The Ghost.

We humans get so caught up with the idea it’s all about a body. But my belief is that there is far more to us than that. Someone said that there is ‘a ghost in the machine’. The body is a vehicle to transport us through life on Earth. But do we honestly believe that that’s it? The brain is an organ like any other organ in the body, and performs according to orders issued from the mind. But what is the ‘mind’? How do we define the mind? When we are unconscious and dreaming who is dreaming and from where does it come? From the unconscious over which we have little or no control. But is that the ‘ghost’, the spirit? I have come to believe more and more that if we limit ourselves to our body we make a big mistake. I am not religious in the orthodox sense of the word. But of recent years I have come to accept teachings from the founders of religions who seemed to have had an insight into the Spirit. Define love, and how you feel about someone when you say ‘I love you’. Does that end with death? Of course not! Such is my belief. Now as with all things Spiritual not everyone sees it that way. We want ‘proof’ which is not always forthcoming. But faith is a belief in something unseen, something beyond the normal five senses. That undefinable ‘something’.
The first lines of that lovely poem sum it up for me……………

“Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep”

‘They’ are not there. The real ‘they’ has moved on. I also believe that when we mourn they feel our pain. That’s why we should make very effort to uplift ourselves. My goodness, not easy, and don’t I know it! There has got to be more to life than just being born and dying. Love is the oil that keeps the wheels of compassion turning. Was it St. Paul who said " Without love I am but a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal". I believe love is Spirit. Like a white cloud drifting across the sky, the more we grasp at it the less we feel of it. We need to accept it’s beauty and hope it brings blessings on another’s head. Love to all.


Hi Jonathan, All very complex and I have little knowledge to be able to make much comment. I do however have a spiritual neighbour and her words do help me.
She has told me that our loved ones do not like to see us so upset, they can’t rest.
I have something that I read often that was sent to me. Part of it I read out when we placed Brian’s ashes in his grandparent’s grave. It’s by Henry Scott Holland who was Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral 1847-1918. I won’t put all of it as it’s quite long but the parts I hang onto reads:

Death is Nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me, let my name be ever the household word.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
Why should I be out of your mind, because I am out of sight. I am but waiting for you. Somewhere very near, just around the corner… All is well.

When I go to the grave where Brian’s ashes are I find myself looking all around me just in case !!!

Pat xx


I was taken to the chapel of rest 18 days ago to see my Richard yet I knew he wasn’t in his body, I knew his body was just a shell…all the same I still spoke to him and kissed his forehead…I believe that at some point our spirit and soul comes out of our body, whether this takes place as soon as our loved one stops breathing or a tad later down the line once the body gets cold…My belief also is that someone comes for us, takes us…these are my beliefs, not my Richards…


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Hi Jackie. I have the same feelings as you. The spiritual neighbour I have has taught me a lot and I like what she says it gives me comfort so I am happy to listen to her.
Brian died at home in the dining room with only me with him. Some of his family came to see him later. I kept him with me for 12 hours but just knew that only the shell of his body was there. Of course I cried and talked to him, I even put his arm around the back of my head as I lay against him. I didn’t go to see him at the funeral directors. Those 12 hours was ours and I didn’t believe it was ‘him’ there. But now I look back and it all seems like a dream and I don’t know how I got through it.
At his funeral I dreaded seeing the coffin and stared at it but I felt no connection. He wasn’t there I could tell. Only the shell of his body. Someone told me that he was probably looking down on us all the time and that is what I want to believe. I was also told that he was sitting on his chair in the dining room while his body was still there. One of my dogs wouldn’t get off his chair and still spends all her time on it. Knowing Brian he would be wondering what all the fuss was about. On the day he died I had to go to the small local shop and as I walked in a song was on the radio and it was. “I’m talking to an Angel” As I walked to the shop II thought about a local woman who’s daughter died in her arms and thought she would know how I was feeling at that moment. I hadn’t seen her in months but as I walked out of the shop in tears she was standing right there in front of me and she comforted me. I couldn’t believe it. So I do believe that Brian was helping me that day. I’m not sure what Brian believed but he did say he would always love me and be still looking after me. He asked me to take him on my walks.

…yes, I too am a firm believer in someone is up above helping us as something strange happened to me during my first couple of weeks after losing my Richard…I was gathering up various piles of the paperwork, the bills, the solicitor, the funeral etc, etc, when there was a solid briefcase that needed a key to unlock that held a file of important papers, documents that I was going frantic that I could not unlock, then there was his driving licence I hunted over and over again that I just could not find yet I had seen it somewhere, yet out of the blue I went through a pile of paperwork right in front of me sitting on the stool, and there it was, same pile I had previously been through, as for the solid plastic-metal case, i put one of the keys in and then this lever sprang sideways and opened, yet previously the key just turned round and round not doing anything, on both occasions I thanked our God I was ecstatic…Richard was guiding me, that I do know…


Jonathan, I have just one simple word for your recent post - WOW!

Some interesting responses which I can relate to. When I went to see my husband in the funeral parlour I felt no presence whatsoever - the room was empty and I remember feeling exactly the same a few years earlier when my mum passed. It was a strange experience in that there lay a body but there was no one there. I only cried when I came out of the parlour and was handed a copy of the funeral service sheet with a photo of my husband on the front with his name below. I stared at it through my tears thinking ’ this cannot be '. A surreal experience. I visit his grave and again feel no presence. I go because I like it to look nice but it’s simply a memorial, that’s all it is. He’s not there. But when I’m at home, this is where he is, I feel his presence all around. When I walk our dogs, I imagine him looking down on us and through my imagination I feel him. As it’s been said before “The power of love!”

I’m firmly of the opinion that death is just that. We die like all creatures. Whilst alive we have a much higher level of consciousness and that wonderful power of imagination. I sometimes envy people that can construct stories that give them comfort but, for whatever reason, my mind seems incapable of that. Maybe my view leads to an easier acceptance of what happened.

Hope you’re having a good time YL. I thought you might find this conversation hard to resist (wink, wink!).

Hi Kate
I’m sitting above St Ives and it is very therapeutic. I think I’ve found some bits of myself here, much more than I expected. Life is pretty much stripped down in this moment.
Unfortunately I have no greater understanding of things to push, no alternative reality. I do hope my views aren’t offensive to anyone. I wouldn’t mind being wrong.

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Oh no YL. You would never give offense. You are far too kind. Belief is a strange animal. If, as many do, you have a firm conviction about something, be it religious or not, then you carry that with you. I must confess to being like the doubting disciple who had to put his hand into Christs’ wounds to be convinced. But all of the contributions to this thread have simply reinforced my view of death. That ‘they’ have moved on. Strange things do happen. It’s what Carl Jung described as ‘synchronicity’. Meaningful coincidences. Nothing happens by chance. I believe things are meant to be. For some reason we are not given an answer to the ‘whys’. Perhaps we have not arrived at the state of mind where we could take it in. Many say we should not be afraid of death, and would not be if we really knew what was on the other side. Blessings.

Thank you Pat for the lovely quote. ‘Into the next room’. Yes, and one day we will open the door and go in and they will be there. It has taken my wife’s death to make me realise that all is not lost and that life, in whatever form, goes on. Not just life on Earth but life in the whole universe including the Spiritual. Life and love are indestructible.

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Hello Kate, I certainly feel Brian with me when I’m walking or at the allotment. When I work on his plot I find myself constantly asking him if he approves. I’ve even put a chair by his pond as he loves that area and can sit there. If I’m struggling and don’t want to go out I feel I am letting Brian down. He wants to be out not moping at home. I’m still not sure about the cemetery though.
I wish Brian would give some indication that he’s at this house. I need to know what he thinks about me selling it. Does he want to stay here or will he come with me wherever I go.
Pat xxx

Hello YL. I am so jealous, it sounds wonderful, like it’s being as much as it can be. Sometimes I am overcome with an urge to get away, to just be on my own far away from everything. I am going away with my son (and dogs of course) for a week in June, to a cottage in at David’s. But in August I am hoping for a hotel break, perhaps in Windsor, all by myself - just haven’t booked it yet but I will. Keep on doing what you’re doing YL, it’s obviously good for you. By the way I never find your views offensive, only ever knowledgeable and interesting. Xx

Oh yes dear Pat, he will be with you wherever you go…xx

Is that St David’s. I love Pembrokeshire. It’s like Cornwall but everything is a bit less touristy( that’s Yorkshire speak for cheaper). I think I may have a trip down there soon. I suspect I may find more bits of myself there.

Hi Jonathan,
Yes I’m familiar with the idea of synchronicity or “the randomness of things.”
It’s probably as near as I get to meaningful and I love how it “works”.
Have you come across the Baader Meinhoff Phenomenon. That puts an interesting slant on things.
I think I’d describe myself as a humanist, an atheist with a bigger heart. Apologies to all atheists!!
I hope to remain receptive to anything and everything and I have a thirst for learning. I just seem to need that bit extra proof, I suppose the word is, to be able to take things on board.

Yes St David’s, stupid text. We were due to go to Little Haven when my husband died suddenly so seems kinda fitting to go to the same area exactly 2 years later.

I revisited & retraced a holiday we did for our 40th just after the first anniversary. Jimmy was right there with me x Had a few wobbles as a solo guest but know I can do it and for me it’s comforting.

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We were due to go to Nolton Haven in June last year and I’d booked it in March. Unfortunately things progressed rapidly in the meantime and it wasn’t to be. I suppose all these places present particular challenges and that they are there to be overcome. I’m facing several each day at the moment but I wouldn’t have it any other way.