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Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Dose of Humour Macabre 
 By Anna Olson

The first time I heard what could be called a joke about death was from my father-in-law about 40 years ago. He told us about a man in his home town who had died and was laid out in the living room, as was the custom in those days. Suddenly, the man sat bolt upright. Someone grabbed a heavy stick and swung at the supposedly dead man, saying, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.”

I wish I had quizzed my father-in-law (who has since passed away). I would ask, “Did that really happen or are you joking?”

I went on the internet and browsed “body spasm after death” and learned that occasionally cadavers will spasm but it’s not a common occurrence. I’ll never know the truth of that story.

What is more common is for a person thought to be dead, waking up and being puzzled to find him- or herself in the morgue, naked, with a tag on his or her toe. Usually, the person can make enough noise to gain the attention of a rescuer and come back to the land of the living. (Browse this topic on the internet and find lots of stories.)

Some have a near death experience like this friend of my family when I was younger. “When I was five years old,” this woman said, “I seemed to die from an infection. I was laid out on a table in the living room for relatives, friends and neighbours to come by to pay their respects.

“Suddenly, my mother noticed movement under the sheet. She ran to me and saw my eyes open. She was ecstatic, hugging and kissing me. Later, I told her I had floated up and came to a happy, warm place. But someone told me it wasn’t my time, that I needed to go back and stay with my mother. So I came back down.”

I heard of another story where a person’s awakening was not as happily received. A man appeared to die who lived in a small town. He was buried in a coffin in the cemetery at the edge of town. He woke up and managed to get out of the coffin and walk to town. First he went to his house, opened the door and called to his wife. She turned white, screamed, and slammed the door on him. She thought he was a ghost.

Next, the man went to the town hall to tell the clerk he wasn’t dead. The young woman was annoyed and said to him, “You’re dead. The record says so. Prove you’re that man. I don’t want to change this if I don’t have to.” The man couldn’t comply, as he had no identification on him. I don’t remember how the story ended but I trust he found someone to help him prove he wasn’t a ghost and deserved to have his “alive” status returned to him.

Jews have a tradition of burying their dead by sundown on the day of death, if possible. This is because of what they perceive as the soul’s attachment to the body. They believe a quick burial helps bring closure for the soul to help it move on.

The problem is that perceived death is not always final.

Decades ago, when a body needed to be exhumed, workers sometimes would find scratch marks on the underside of the coffin lid. Oops. That meant a person was mistakenly buried alive. A system was devised to prevent the accidental death of supposed corpses. A bell was hung from a stick atop the grave with the end of the string going through a hole into the coffin so that the person could grab it and pull.

A succession of relatives and friends watched in shifts for a few days to see if the bell would ring. These watchers were said to have the “graveyard shift.” The phrase “dead ringer” refers to a person saved from an untimely death in his or her own coffin.

Here’s my experience with death and humour. My little girl Jenny died at 2½ years of age because of a congenital heart defect. It’s a horribly painful experience to bury a child – I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. At the time of her death, I was in a 12-step program. One of the readings said to try and find some humour in life, no matter how painful the circumstances.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and asked aloud (I was by myself), “Is it possible I could laugh about Jenny’s death?” I promptly burst into tears. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I “saw” the spirit of Jenny hover near my left shoulder trying to lift my left arm even though it seemed to be made of lead. I heard her say, “That’s the idea, Mom, lighten up.” Since then, I have taken her advice and tried to find something to laugh about in any adversity in my life.

Here are some thoughts from a woman I met in The Compassionate Friends, a self-help group for bereaved parents and siblings. She wrote a humour column on grief for a bereavement magazine, if you can believe. I heard her speak at a conference where she talked about her book, Why Are All the Casseroles Tuna? She claimed that after her son died, neighbours, friends and relatives gave gifts of food to her family. She appreciated the thought but said that of the many casseroles, most were tuna!

Giving food to grieving people is a good idea – it’s a small island of comfort in a sea of pain. After Jenny died, a woman came to visit me with a meal for two in a basket, complete with plates and cutlery. She stayed and ate with me. I forget what the food was, but I’ll always think of her with appreciation for her thoughtful gesture.

We can’t bring our loved ones back but we can offer a small measure of solace through our company, compassion, and food. Sometimes, even a small dose of laughter will help.

Anna Olson is a writer and editor living in Winnipeg. She is the author of Exploring the Mysteries of Life & Death, and can be reached at

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Through the Window of a Train: A Canadian Railway Anthology

[Note:  Barbara is a friend of mine who has written Through the Window of a Train. I think it's a great book, and offered to put a notice about it on my blog. Email her at for info about where to buy it.   A.O.]

By Barbara Lange

If you´ve ever been curious about the lives of people on board a moving train, or wanted to take a nostalgic trip back to the steam era, then this book is for you. Since the first trans-continental passenger train, the Pacific Express, headed west in 1885 – the railway has been part of many people´s lives. For some the railway was their life. One only needs to mention The Moonlight SpecialThe CNR, The E&NThe CPRThe Blueberry SpecialThe Milk Run, or The HS&W  (Hellish Slow & Wobbly) for memories to come flooding back.

This journey begins in Craigellachie, amongst the verdant mountains of British Columbia, where the famous last spike was driven home. The reader is then transported to Vancouver Island and across the Prairies to Nova Scotia, and from the era of steam to diesel-electric trains. Relive hilarious, hazardous, and historical moments as you peek through the window of a train and into the past. Meet gandy dancers, a rookie running out of steam, lost immigrants, and women entering the male-dominated world of the railway. Experience asbestos snowball fights, boxcar classrooms, and silk trains as they blur by your window.

These stories retell the significance of the railway, or a single journey taken, in the lives of ordinary Canadians. Dotted with junction and siding names, engine numbers, and routes, for the rail enthusiast.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Launch a Success

Thanks to everyone who came out to the launch of "Exploring the Mysteries of Life & Death" at McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant Park Mall in Winnipeg. Over 60 people turned out on a wintry but sunny afternoon to celebrate with me.

If anyone is wishing to buy the book ($15), you can go to McNally Robinson, Prairie Sky Books, Radiance Gifts, Hollow Reed Holistic, Elemental Book & Curiosity Shop, U of M Bookstore, and Neighbourhood Books & Cafe.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Launch for Exploring the Mysteries of Life & Death

  Book Launch: Sunday, February 2 at 2 pm, McNally Robinson at Grant Park, Grant Avenue, Winnipeg Manitoba. Come celebrate with us: Reading, Q&A, Refreshments, Door Prizes.

 Exploring the Mysteries of Life and Death

Join Anna Olson as she touches on past life memories, visions, near death experience, ghosts, communication with deceased loved ones, near death awareness and more – in her new book, Exploring the Mysteries of Life & Death. She presents possible answers and explanations that may intrigue, amuse or annoy you – or make you question your previous beliefs.
Anna has been interested in metaphysics, the world of the unseen, for close to 30 years. She has learned through reading books, listening to others’ stories, and her own mystical experiences. She also loves to write, having written and edited professionally for over 20 years.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New book: Exploring the Mysteries of Life & Death

Hi everyone:  I've just published my new book called "Exploring the Mysteries of Life & Death" (140 pages, self-published). Don't worry, it's not a sad book – it's got some funny cartoons and lots of cheerful stuff. The list on the front says:   Past Life Memories * Visions * Near Death Experience * Ghosts * Communication with Deceased Loved Ones * Near Death Awareness  – and more!

On the back, it says:   Questions you may have ....
*  You or a loved one has had a near death experience. How do you cope with it?
*  A loved one saw a vision shortly before death. Do you understand why?
*  Are memories of past lives real?
*  Has the spirit of a loved one communicated with after his or her death?
*  How are ghosts created, and how can they be helped to go to the Light?

So far, the book (selling for $15), is available at Winnipeg's Prairie Sky Books, Radiance Books & Treasures, Hollow Reed Holistic, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Elemental Books & Curiosity Shop, U of M Bookstore, The Forks Trading Post (2nd floor at The Forks), and The Neighbourhood Cafe & Books. It's also available in the Winnipeg Public Library. In Gimli, Manitoba, it's available at Tergesen's General Merchant.

If you would like me to mail you a book, send a cheque for $20 ($15 plus $5 S&H) payable to Anna Olson, (#1115–610 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg MB, R3C 0G5). You can also buy it through

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Proof is in the (Heavenly) Pudding

By ANNA OLSON (1,590 words)

In my past view, spiritual was not a word that I would have employed during a scientific conversation. Now I believe it is a word that we cannot afford to leave out.
                Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven

Eben Alexander, M.D., was busily occupied in his roles of neurosurgeon, husband and father when his sense of identity suddenly changed. On November 10, 2008, at age fifty-four, he developed bacterial meningitis that ravaged his central nervous system for six days. On the seventh day, he started to recover, mystifying everyone, including himself, with his amazing revival and distinct memories of what happened while in a coma. He would never be the same again.
Previously a self-proclaimed skeptic on spiritual matters, Eben Alexander is now a zealous proselytizer of the love and acceptance that he experienced on the “other side.” He feels he must share this message – that it’s the most important task he has. His book, Proof of Heaven  (Simon & Schuster, 2012) and his website are steps in that direction.     
The physical nightmare

Alexander describes waking up with pain at the base of his spine, which evolved to include a severe headache and a grand mal seizure. In the emergency room, doctors and nurses discovered he had gram-negative bacterial meningitis, a very rare condition, especially as nothing had happened to introduce bacteria into his central nervous system. His last words before lapsing into a six-day coma were “God, help me!”
On the seventh day, he woke up, thrashing with discomfort from the breathing tube he no longer needed. “Thank you,” he said as soon as it was removed. Later, as his surprised family and friends gathered around his bed, he said: “All is well. Don’t worry, all is well.”
All was not immediately well, however, as Alexander developed a full-blown “intensive care unit (ICU) psychosis,” which often happens to patients when their brains come alive after a period of inactivity. Gradually, the hallucinations and paranoid thinking decreased as language, memories and recognition returned. He has since regained his full mental abilities.
The real miracle

Eben Alexander claims three medical puzzles for his case: contracting bacterial meningitis even though doctors couldn't figure out how bacteria got into his "closed" central nervous system; staying alive even though bacteria were eating his cerebral cortex, the part of the brain "responsible for memory, language, emotion, visual and auditory awareness, and logic"; and the full recovery of his mental faculties.
The above is enough to get Alexander into the record books, with the doctors involved shaking their heads in amazement.
The real shocker for everyone is what Alexander experienced while in a coma. “I was encountering the reality of a world of consciousness,” he writes, “that existed completely free of the limitations of my physical brain. My experience showed me that the death of the human body and the brain are not the end of human consciousness, that human experience continues beyond the grave.”
Those are powerful words coming from a man who had built his career completely immersed in the scientific world of neurosurgery. Before his illness, Alexander had filed any reports of the supernatural under the heading “unknown.” He assumed a common sense answer would be obvious at some point.
In Proof of Heaven, Alexander writes that his first awareness while in a coma was witnessing a kind of underworld. “Darkness, but a visible darkness – like being submerged in mud yet also being able to see through it,” he recounts. He felt like a point of consciousness without memory or identity, just awareness of what was going on around him. He later called this mud-like environment the “Realm of the Earthworm’s Eye View.”
After Alexander's encounter with this sludgy netherworld, he suddenly whooshed through an opening and found himself in what appeared to be a completely different world – “brilliant, vibrant, ecstatic, stunning” – into which he felt like he was being born. It was earthlike but with a difference. He was flying, passing over trees and fields, streams and waterfalls. Children laughed and played, and adults sang and danced. Everyone's clothing seemed to have a living warmth, as did the trees and flowers.

As Alexander was flying along, someone appeared next to him. They rode together on what looked like an intricately patterned butterfly wing. This “Girl on the Butterfly Wing” imparted a strong message of unconditional love: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.” She intimated that there was more for him to see, but that he would be going back to his life on earth.

“Everything was distinct,” Alexander says, “yet everything was also a part of everything else.” He would silently pose a question and the answer would “come instantly in an explosion of light, colour, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave.”

Alexander then found himself entering what he called the Core, “an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting.” A brilliant orb seemed to act as interpreter between him and what he sensed was God, the Creator, the Source. He uses the name “Om” to describe what he felt was an omniscient, omnipotent and unconditionally loving God.

Alexander learned to navigate between the levels of his mystical journey. When he slipped down to the murky, mud-like level, he found that when he wished for the “Spinning Melody” he had heard before, it appeared and pulled him out of the sludge, up towards the Gateway and the Core.
“Emotions are different up there,” Alexander writes. “Imagine that every time your mood changed here on earth, the weather changed instantly along with it. That your tears would bring on a torrential downpour, and your joy would make the clouds instantly disappear.” He says that inside and outside don’t exist in heaven – everything is permeable and connected.
Although he felt he had communed with God (or “Om”), Alexander admits he “never heard Om’s voice directly, nor saw Om’s face." He says it was as if Om spoke to him through "thoughts that were like wave-walls rolling through me, rocking everything around me and showing that there is a deeper fabric of existence – a fabric that all of us are always part of, but of which we’re generally not conscious.”  
Eben Alexander says that communicating with God is the most extraordinary experience imaginable, while at the same time being very natural. “God is present in us at all times,” he claims. “Without recovering that memory of our larger connectedness, and of the unconditional love of our Creator, we will always feel lost here on earth.”

Back on planet earth
The Girl on the Butterfly Wing had told him he would be going back. Now he was descending through great walls of clouds. He sensed people praying for him, and it gave him confidence that everything would be all right.
Back in the earthly world of the living, Alexander needed to recover and then decide what to do with the rest of his life. He could either keep quiet or go public with what he experienced. He chose the latter.

A contribution to the near death experience (NDE) literature that Alexander wants to make is to squash medical explanations for NDEs. He writes, “The more I read of the ‘scientific’ explanations of what NDEs are, the more I was shocked by their transparent flimsiness. And yet I also knew with chagrin that they were exactly the ones that the old ‘me’ would have pointed to vaguely if someone had asked me to explain what an NDE is.”
While Alexander was writing about his heavenly journey, he realized he was disappointed that he hadn’t seen the spirits of deceased loved ones. He was grateful to the Girl on the Butterfly Wing, but she didn’t resemble anyone he knew from his past. Then he saw a picture of the sister he had never met. It was her. She had been born to his birth family after he had been adopted out, but she died before he reunited with them. Realizing that the Girl was the spirit of his dead sister helped to heal his deep pain about losing his birth parents.
                  * * *** * *
I loved this book. It’s deliciously ironic that a neurosurgeon who doesn’t believe in mystical tales from others has a near death experience that flips him into being a zealous promoter of the reality of heaven. In Appendix BAlexander demolishes all the neurological arguments that attempt to explain NDEs. This guy knows brains, and you’re not going to fool him by using fancy medical terms to invalidate NDEs.
Alexander wonders if this journey in and out of coma was “meant to be” in the sense that his illness and recovery were to show proof of consciousness beyond brain functioning. For six days, his brain was being eaten by bacteria, yet he had vivid, interactive and life-changing experiences in another dimension.
Those of us who believe in the existence of spirit or soul probably won’t have any trouble accepting his near death experience. There are others who say there is no spirit that lives on separate from brain and body. Perhaps Eben Alexander’s revelations in Proof of Heaven will help to convince the doubters that a person’s spirit does exist  – and that heaven is real and VERY beautiful.
Anna Olson is a Winnipeg freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at Read more of her articles at
Sidebar (656 words):    “The Prophet” – Eben Alexander Gets Pummelled
In his article “The Prophet” (Esquire magazine, August 2013), Luke Dittrich questions the credibility of Eben Alexander, author of Proof of Heaven ( Dittrich declines to accept that Alexander's near death experience (NDE) is proof of anything.
In his introduction, Dittrich writes: “Before Proof of Heaven made Dr. Eben Alexander rich and famous as a ‘man of science’ who’d experienced the afterlife, he was something else: a neurosurgeon with a troubled history and a man in need of reinvention.”     
Let’s deal with the troubled history issue first. In Proof of Heaven we learn that at four months of age, Eben Alexander was adopted by a couple that loved him completely, calling him “chosen” (as opposed to adopted). However, there was still a part of him that felt rejected and unloved because his birth parents gave him up. This subconscious ache surfaced seven years before his illness. At the time, he had found his birth parents, but they didn’t want to see him because they were still grieving the loss of their daughter two years earlier. This ache pulled him down, affecting his home life and work.

In the book, Alexander doesn’t give details of these pre-NDE problems, but he doesn’t hide the fact that this was a difficult period. Do his former misdeeds (like an insensitive bedside manner in one instance, and surgery on the wrong vertebrae in another) negate his NDE? Dittrich also details the excellent pioneering work that Alexander accomplished. My impulse is to take the NDE at face value regardless of previous good or bad deeds.

Dittrich says Alexander was “a man in need of reinvention” prior to his NDE. In  Proof of Heaven, Alexander says that as he recovered from his illness, he realized he felt like two personalities walking around in one body. His experience on the other side felt intensely real; he couldn’t dismiss it. Yet he still loved science. "How was I going to create room for both of these realities to coexist?"  he asked himself.
Alexander’s decision has been to go public with his experience. He has created a website,, and he speaks often on radio, TV and at conferences and other public events (browse “Eben Alexander YouTube” for public performances). Proof of Heaven has been translated into 35 languages. If he gets rich from it all, why put him down? His success shows a high level of public interest in a spiritual topic. We could applaud that. (Do we complain when people are paid millions to chase a ball or puck around?)
Whenever a person takes a public stand on a controversial topic, he or she can expect a certain amount of criticism. Luke Dittrich’s article may convince some people to disregard Alexander’s message, but it doesn’t dissuade me. I think the article is a case of “shoot the messenger” rather than dealing with the substance of the message.
Dittrich quotes the Dalai Lama chastising Alexander at a function at which both were speakers. “When a man makes extraordinary claims,” the Dalai Lama said, “a thorough investigation is required to ensure that person is reliable, has no reason to lie.”
Dittrich's implication is that, because Alexander once falsified a medical record, his otherworldly experience is not to be believed.

Who am I to argue with the Dalai Lama? But I will anyway. My approach to dealing with another person talking about a mystical experience is to ask: Does it resonate with me? Will this information help me live a better life?
My answer is yes to both questions when I look at Eben Alexander’s report of his near death experience. I have read a lot about NDEs in general plus I’ve had one of my own. Alexander's experience has some different elements to it, but fits within my previous understanding.
I admire Alexander’s courage to go public and risk the “rotten tomato” flings from people like Luke Dittrich.
                             Anna Olson

Monday, June 24, 2013

Assisted Suicide: What Do Spirits Say?

 By Anna Olson

When I look into the subject of assisted suicide, I find abundant material from the pro-choice and the pro-life sides – but not much attention by anyone on spiritual realities. Many on the pro-choice side don’t believe in life after death; they believe we live a life, the body dies, and that’s it. The pro-life people talk about God being the only arbiter of life and death but give no information on how different kinds of death affect the spirit of the person.
I admit my bias here: I believe in life after death. I have communicated with spirit entities enough to be assured that my spirit will continue to live on in another dimension after my physical death. I prefer the word ‘transition’ to ‘death’ to describe what happens at the end of our earthly life.
I also lean towards the pro-choice side of the debate even though there are several downsides to an early exit if we can believe the statements attributed to spirits, detailed below. I think it’s important for people to make their own choices, to think it through for themselves how and when they want to die.
Pamela Rae Heath and Jon Klimo have done a huge amount of work collecting material dealing with the spiritual side of suicide, which they present in the book, Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife? Channeled Conversations with the Dead (North Atlantic Books, 2006). Besides assisted suicide, they deal with traditional suicide, murder-suicide, and suicide bombers. “Suicide by cop” is another form of suicide that has surfaced in recent years, where a person deliberately provokes a law enforcement officer to kill him or her. 
In Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife? Heath and Klimo have gathered channeled messages from spirits of people who died through some form of suicide, and from spirit guides who help other spirits in the afterlife. (A definition of channeling: a person on earth is able to converse with the spirit of someone who has died or a spirit guide. The channeler either writes down what a spirit is saying or speaks into a tape recorder and then transcribes.)
The channeler’s prejudices can taint the message. Heath and Klimo do not guarantee accurate channeling – in fact, in a few places they point out what might be the channeler’s feelings coming through. In all, I think the authors attempt to give an overview of the wide range of messages that have come through various channelers, without being dogmatic as to what the reader should believe. For example, the authors point out a pronouncement that may have come from the mind of the channeler rather than from a spirit: “It [euthanasia] is not according to God’s Laws, and he will not forgive it.”
In Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife? Heath and Klimo give the source of all their quotes – but here, for brevity’s sake, I will just give concepts and some quotes.
The spirit statements vary from acceptance of euthanasia when there is a long period of physical suffering and lack of a will to live – to regret that something was lost by an early exit.
One argument against euthanasia (from the spirit’s point of view) is that it is harder on the spirit than a natural death. “The euthanasia of terminally ill patients may be a shock to the system, which causes the soul to have to adjust a great deal more than would otherwise be necessary.”
Losing opportunities for emotional growth is another argument against premature death. Those who leave through suicide or assisted suicide “will experience some sadness that they let go of the opportunity for learning.” Another spirit says, “One never really knows until after the fact (when the soul learns the truth of the situation in the afterlife) whether something valuable was lost with cutting your suffering short.”
Some are concerned about their families. “In the case of terminally ill or elderly persons, some are sick and want to save their families time, money, and heartache by committing suicide. These people are unaware of the spiritual side of their actions. Perhaps before coming into the physical plane, family members set up certain conditions and situations in order to work out their group karma. Or they needed to experience being of service to the one who is ill.” (One definition of karma: the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.) 
More benefits of a natural death: “How do we know that a soul didn’t choose to go through an experience of a fatal illness in order to burn away karma? If we cut short someone’s natural time on earth, we never know whether something valuable could have been learned or whether such an experience was necessary to reach a new spiritual plateau.”
If people opt out too soon, “one consequence might be that they would lose the opportunity to practice the suffering that is needed for them to develop greater compassion for others.”
We need to feel useful and it’s painful if we don’t. “Part of the trauma [of being on life support] being that when the pattern for that life is over, why should the physical instrument [the body] be maintained? When the time of purposefulness has ended, then there is a certain vacuum, a certain lack, in that which lies ahead, and prolongation of the physical instrument is a painful process, part of the pain being its purposelessness.” 
One person’s illness is another person’s chance to provide care. “There can be a long terminal illness, which may be an opportunity to experience the love of others in the care given, and the progressive love of society providing care. [It’s important] to judge each case individually.”
One spirit pointed out that “there is a difference between no longer artificially prolonging life – hence allowing a natural death to occur – and an act of euthanasia performed because a person is old and tired and finding life hard.”
Heath and Klimo note: “But once passed, these souls insist that is was necessary, both for us and for them, that the spiritual lesson of pain and suffering prior to passing be learned. A loved one in the hereafter says they would gladly endure their pain again to gain the same reward in the hereafter. They also acknowledge that no matter how bad things got, all of it was necessary for the completion of their lessons on the earth. ‘If I had to do it again to get the same reward here, I would in a heartbeat’” (communicated by the spirit of a young woman who died of scleroderma, a very painful skin condition).

                         * * *** * *
The above are concepts to consider when thinking about assisted suicide for oneself or a loved one. Watching a loved one go through a long, agonizing death can be very painful. But perhaps the dying person and the caregivers gain something on the emotional and spiritual side that they weren’t aware of at the time.
It’s interesting that loss of dignity rates highest in a Dutch study (1991) that asked patients requesting euthanasia to give their reasons (quoted by Heath and Klimo). Here is a breakdown of their answers: loss of dignity (57 percent); pain (46 percent); pain, when it is the only reason given (5 percent); when the nature of one’s dying seems unworthy (46 percent); having to be dependent on others (33 percent); and being tired of life (23 percent).
Dignity is an emotional term. It covers being able to sustain one’s normal life, finances, health, and self-care (bathing and toileting). People have different tolerances for lack of independence. Some consider it undignified to be dependent on others for the basics of life and so would rather die early than go through such an experience. Perhaps if they knew they might benefit spiritually by waiting for a natural death, they would be willing to go through pain and discomfort to reach that goal.
The concept of spirit reaction to assisted suicide (and suicide in general) is fascinating. If you’re interested in looking into this more deeply, I hope you will read Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife? by Pamela Rae Heath and Jon Klimo.
 Anna Olson is a Winnipeg freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at