It’s the most tantalising of questions: is there life after death?
After we featured a thought-provoking piece by a Cambridge academic who is convinced there is, many of you wrote in to agree.
Here, we share some of your most compelling experiences…
Dad’s energy was there as my son was born
Jane Dawson, 49, from Largs, North Ayrshire, is married with three children, 31, 29 and 16. She says:
I had a very profound other-worldly experience during the traumatic birth of my youngest son that completely changed the course of my life.
My father, Jim, who’d died of lung cancer three months before at 69, ‘showed up’ during the final moments of labour. It was all the more powerful for the fact that the last time I saw him, two hours before he passed away, I told him I was having a boy and said: ‘Please always look after my son.’
The labour had been dragging on for hours and I was reaching what they call ‘transition’, just before the pushing stage of childbirth. All of a sudden my dad’s energy filled the room. It’s hard to explain but I recognised his spirit, if you like, his essence; I just knew he was there with me. I gasped: ‘Oh my God, my dad’s here!’ The midwives looked around as if I meant he’d walked into the room.
Moments later, my son was born. It made me think that my dad must have ‘heard’ my deathbed request to him on some level, despite having been unconscious. He had chosen to respond by supporting us through my baby’s most difficult journey — that of entering the world.
Back home, a medium told me my dad was still there with us. I noticed signs that he was there: coins kept appearing in my shoes. On one occasion I was alone in the house with my baby when I put him in his car seat on the table, went into the kitchen to get something and came back to see the seat had been turned round, as if someone had wanted to take a look. I knew straight away it was Dad.
These experiences totally changed my belief system. I went from never having thought about it to suddenly believing some form of existence continues after you die.
Messages from my mother-in-law
Barbara Wharfe, 72, lives in Bolton with her husband, George, 74. They have two daughters, 47 and 42. She says:
My mother-in-law, Edith, always used to say that if there was anything ‘on the other side’ she’d tell us when she got there. She was a very straight, no-nonsense type of person so it was entirely in character, though my husband and I didn’t take much notice at the time.
She died of a heart attack at 68. After the funeral in August 1964, friends and family returned to Edith’s home. Everyone was chatting away and I was handing out sandwiches.
At one point I was walking towards my husband when I felt an ice-cold draught. Suddenly the small picture on the wall opposite me ‘leapt’ a metre or so and fell at my feet.
The look on my sceptical husband’s face said it all: ‘My mother!’ he gasped. The three-inch nail used to hold the picture on the wall was still very much in place and had been put in at an upward angle to prevent a picture slipping — let alone jumping — off the wall. Coincidence? We think not.
The lamp that switched on by itself
Sonia Mackett, 64, from Gorleston, Norfolk, has a 30-year-old daughter and 29-year-old son. She is a part-time adult education tutor. She says:
My late husband, Tony, didn’t believe in life after death, but he always jokingly said if he died before me he would let me know whether there was.
We’d been married for 37 years when he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. It was very difficult for both of us. He became afraid of the shadows in our bedroom and I bought him a touch control bedside light, which he was absurdly pleased with — it was his safety lamp.