Observations placeholder

Marryat, Florence - The Spirit World – Sees and hears her dead child

Identifier

028035

Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication
Hallucination

Number of hallucinations: 1

Background

Our definition of an hallucination remember is the superimposition of an image from the spiritual realm upon that from the 5 senses.

Again we have included the background to the observation because we believe it provides context and  comfort.

A description of the experience

Florence Marryat – The Spirit World

Now, one of the principal objects of Spiritualism is, to make this death, which you dread so much, less horrible to you ; to prove that it is as natural as living on this earth, being but a continuation of nature ; that there is no death, in fact (in the sense we have been, taught to regard it), but only a second birth to a second sphere of action. It will show you that you fear too much, because you know too little, and that Spiritualism is a light that will make life easier for you to bear, and death more welcome.

I do not wish for one moment to depreciate the awful agony attendant on losing our friends by death. That is quite another matter, from dreading it on our own account.

It is the greatest trouble which this life holds, but even that is much alleviated by the knowledge that there is only a thin veil between us and those whom we have lost from sight. I suppose there is not a creature who will read these pages, who has not gone through it — not one, who has not stood beside the dying bed of a father, or a mother; a brother, or a sister; a husband, or a wife; or, worst, and cruelest grief of all — a child !

For it is only in the course of nature, that our parents should pass away before ourselves, and it is an equal chance whether brother, or sister, husband, or wife, should be the first to go. But the children we have brought into the world — the infants we have nourished at our breasts — the youths and maidens we have watched blossom to maturity —

0, Mothers !

I appeal to you if there is a greater agony under heaven, than to see our children die ? To watch the hands which we have never failed to assist, stretched out to us for help in vain ; to see the dear eyes glazing beneath the dread decree; to try and catch the last faint whispered words ; to hear the sobbing breath drawn with more difficulty at each labored inspiration, and then, before you have realized that he is close at hand, to know that the destroyer has come — that all is over ; that the warm living child you have held to your heart night after night — bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh — is gone forever, has become a lump of clay, without sense, or speech, or motion, and that in a few days, however tightly your fond arms may be clasped about it, they will take even that from you, and thrust it into the dark, damp earth, and leave it there, to become putrid and noisome and revolting.

That awful burial, when the heavy clods of earth rattle down upon the lid of the coffin, that holds your dead darling, as if they would burst it in, and you call out, as if your feeble remonstrance could arrest the ceremonial, and your heart grows sick within you, as you feel there is nothing to be done, but to submit.

God, who ordained death as the means by which His children should pass to a purer and more progressive existence, alone knows the agony they have undergone whilst viewing it in the persons of those they love.

And then the sense of desolation that follows.

Do you remember what it was to return home? To mark the empty chair, the vacated bed, the familiar possessions left behind, and to feel that the dear arms would never twine around your neck again ; that the voice you loved to listen to, was silenced forever ; that the eyes you gazed in with delight, were closed and dull ; that your child had left you ; that he was lying in his narrow coffin under the cruel sods, out in the cold and the frost and the rain, and you would see him never more, until you had passed through the dread mystery yourself.

Did you not lie awake at night, sobbing instead of sleeping ; peering with your inflamed eyes into the impenetrable darkness ; yearning for the ' touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still ' — feeling that you would give anything, and dare anything, only to hear one word, to see one glimpse, that would convince you that your beloved had not gone utterly beyond the reach of your affection and your tears ?

Poor mourner ! To whom did you go for consolation in your terrible affliction ? To your minister? What did he tell you ?

Doubtless, he was very kind, and pitied the grief he had no power to assuage. He talked to you of a shadowy, indistinct, undefinable heaven, situated, he knew not where, governed by what laws, he would not tell, subject to what conditions, he did not know ! A jumbled, misty- idea of a city, paved with gold, and situated above the clouds; a place where innocent infants, if unsprinkled with water by the hand of man, may not enter ; but where hoary-headed old sinners, and murderers, who cry with their last frightened breath, -" I believe ! " are gladly welcomed ; a place where, God's mercy being illimitable, you may trust and hope your child has found admittance.

Did that comfort you? Did that take away one thought of the dark grave, and the narrow coffin, and the fair features and rounded limbs turning livid with decay ?

And if your lost darling had not been a child — if, on the contrary, he were a thoughtless young man, who had never done much good, or much evil, in his short life, what did the minister say then ? Where did his theories consign the unawakened ? Did he not shake his head, and keep his mouth shut, and leave you more hopeless and despairing than before?

It was not his fault — he did his very best to comfort you — but he knew no better. How should he, whilst he belongs to a community that lays down hard and fast rules for its members, and permits no man to think, or speak, except with the mind, or the mouth, of whoever may be set in authority over him?

Of all the people in this world, the parsons, priests and ministers, are the ones who want instruction most in Spirituality. They are truly the blind leading the blind, and tumbling into the ditch of ignorance with their followers.

And had your friends any more satisfactory consolation to give you ? Did they not help you to hurry everything that should remind you of the trial you had gone through, out of sight, and advise you to try change of scene and air, and say it was useless to sit down and nurse your grief — that weeping would not bring back the dead, and that your duty was to the living?

And you fell down on your knees, perhaps, half maddened by their sophistries, and stretched out your empty arms to heaven and called on God to tell you why He had ever created your child, or yourself, only to leave you a prey to such unutterable misery.

What would you have said if, at that supreme moment, you could have heard the voice you believed silenced forever, say

" Mother !" —

if you could have turned your head to see the dear, familiar form standing beside you, not dazzling in its brightness, and set apart from you by an angelic radiance, but clothed as it was on earth — looking and speaking as it used to look and speak, only with all the sadness and sickness swept away, with no taint of death, or corrugation on it, but beaming with life in every limb and feature ?

Would not such a sight, however short a time it might have lasted, have done more to dry your tears, than all the priests' theories, or your friends' advice ? Would not that single word " Mother ' have comforted you more and convinced you of God's goodness more than a thousand sermons could have the power to do, and sent you to your knees again in gratitude that you had been vouchsafed the only proof that can he infallible of life beyond the grave.

This is what I have been privileged to see

— what thousands beside myself have seen —

the blessing I long to convince every soul to be an indisputable fact, that the dead are not gone beyond the reach of those who love them.

The dead are not dead! They stand in our midst to-day ! I, who write these words to you, have seen them, conversed with them, …. and I would not part with the knowledge thus gained, for all the good the world could give me.

The source of the experience

Marryat, Florence

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Grief

Commonsteps

Hearing voices

References