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The After Life – What Happens When We Die?

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What happens when we die

Lessons we’re all dying to learn about life after death by Michael Newton

In her groundbreaking book, On Death and Dying, Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced the concept of the Grief Cycle – a framework for observing and understanding the emotional stages of grieving. These stages are not set in stone in a particular order along a linear timeline, because the grieving experience is acutely individual; but recognising and allowing the cycle can assist a grieving person to identify and make sense of the complicated mass of emotions they are feeling.

What happens when we die

This first stage of grieving helps us to survive the loss. Denial and shock help us to cope, and make survival possible. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle.

Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. This anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.

We want life returned to what it was; we want our loved one restored. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss.

After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss.

Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “okay” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel okay or all right about the loss of a loved one.

This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone, and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live.

We must learn to reorganise roles, and reassign them to others or take them on ourselves. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one. Just remember: your grief is as unique as you are.

Life Between Lives
A recent loss may be the catalyst that unearths a lifelong pattern of suppressed emotion arising from within a family culture; and during an experience such as Life Between Lives hypnotherapy, beautiful insights can occur as to why a loved one has left this life, perhaps planning their exit as an unexpected way to illuminate spiritual growth and deeper understanding. Life Between Lives work leaves no doubt in the minds of participants that we live many times; that part of us remains always in the spiritual realm and we return here to be with one another again and again.

The eternal part of us, the core energy of who we are, is constantly developing and questing for perfection. Through hypnotherapy, we can access not only the past lives we have experienced in countless reincarnations; we can review the threads running through those lives, the lessons learned, and integrate their relevance with who we are today. We can meet our loved ones – those with whom we may have reincarnated many times to work with and assist each other as we learn mutually-agreed lessons.

Visions of Loved Ones
Our loved ones may take many forms, but in our current incarnation we can view and understand in terms of human understanding alone; the understandings we are ‘wired’ to be able to accept. The beings in the spiritual realm will appear in the most appropriate way for each individual concerned and can take on a variety of forms. They may take on their recognisable, beloved human body, usually rejuvenated and healed of suffering; they may appear as beings of light that transmit an instant ‘knowing’ of their identity. The experience is unique to each person.

Higher Self
Deep trance allows memories to be accessed not just from the unconscious mind but from the Higher Self; that super-consciousness in which resides all that we are and have been. We can encounter welcoming spirits, who come to greet us as we arrive home, to the inter-life. We can meet our guides and the beings who have been with us through countless incarnations, ever present and always supportive. We can go to places of rejuvenation to help heal our energies after challenging lives. To deepen our insight, we can visit the library in which our past lives are documented and recorded; we can meet with our soul group, explore the classes where we and certain of our fellow souls undertake specific learning projects. We can visit the place of body selection and learn why we have chosen to inhabit not only our current body but those from the past; and those we could have chosen. And we can meet with the wise group of elder beings who are our between-incarnations advisors, always there with wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

And this unveils a reassurance beyond compare; the knowledge that the spiritual realm – a realm of consistently loving harmony complete with a total absence of judgement that’s unimaginable to humankind – is our natural state of being.

Death’s Door
Death is merely the means to the next step; the next stage in our soul’s progress. When we are presented with an overview of our past lives, the bodies and geographic locations we have inhabited and the purpose of (and lessons resulting from) each experience we’ve had, a sense of profound understanding of the bigger picture – the greater pattern of living – emerges.

Perfect Harmony
In a recent Life Between Lives session, a participant asked if all the different earthly factions could ever come together in harmony. In reply, she was given an incredibly powerful, reassuring image of a wave, gently washing into a welcoming shore. The wave consisted of colours (some of which she had never seen before and found to be indescribable) that were all in complete contrast to each other but nevertheless blended perfectly and harmoniously as that wave moved in perfection towards, and arrived on, the shore. This image was given together with a deep knowing that all is as it is intended to be; humankind is melding together on its journey and will ultimately reach its intended, perfect destination.

Michael Newton, founder of Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy, has a new book out: Memories of the Afterlife. www.newtoninstitute.org

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