A ghost of myself

I pull to the side of the road. The screech of sirens and the flashing blue lights of an ambulance head towards my village. For a moment I am simply grateful that my younger son sold his motorbike, even though I know he misses it dreadfully. There were too many ditches when he was younger…

Then I wonder who needs the ambulance. Will it get there in time? Do I know them? Will they be okay?  What if I was me who had died and the ambulance was going for my body while my ghost, all unaware, still went to work…?

Now there’s a thought that comes right out of nowhere and is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks on the way to work…

How would I know? Living with the dog wouldn’t have helped, as I am convinced they can see far more than we can. Ani might not have noticed the difference as I left either. Granted, I was driving the car and the steering wheel felt reassuringly solid. But then, a ghost car would feel solid to a ghost…and there are plenty of tales of spectral vehicles.

I got to thinking about just how you might realise you were dead. It was one way to while away the morning traffic. Would memory and expectation construct a facsimile of your normality that would blind you to the reality of your situation? How long would that continue? Some part of your consciousness must be aware of the truth… would it start injecting its own variant of pink elephants into your vision until you got the hint and ‘woke up’? I glanced around for stray pachyderms…

The idea that a sudden and unexpected death can leave a spirit going about its normal business…at least until it notices that things aren’t quite right… is one that has been used in fiction, is behind much of the folklore of ghosts and is part of many belief systems. My own beliefs about ‘what happens next’ always seemed to be there, right from the start, and, having had a very strange experience during a car accident many years ago, I feel I have some justification for those beliefs.

At the moment of the collision, my head had smashed against the dashboard, knocking me senseless, fracturing bone and making a terrible mess of my face. The windscreen shattered around me. There was a lot of blood. The passenger in the car behind screamed while the driver ran to phone an ambulance. Local residents came out, alerted by the noise. My driver stood beside the car with his head in his hands. I lay against the dashboard, limp and unmoving. I know, because I watched it all, quite calmly and with utter detachment, from somewhere about six feet above the roof of the car. The roof was still there, but somehow seemed to have become transparent or its solidity inconsequential; it presented no barrier to sight. I was vaguely dismayed when my body started to moan and move and reeled me back in.

I was as near dead as made no difference and losing blood at an alarming rate. Yet something that looked out through consciousness was still there. Although it was purely subjective and can be explained away in numerous ways if scepticism so requires, it was enough for me, and perhaps that is all that matters at such times.

Many people report similar experiences. There are probably many more who remain silent, but of all those to whom I have spoken over the years, all who have experienced something of this kind are convinced that death is not the end of life… even if it is ‘life, but not as we know it’.

And that was the answer I was seeking… even if the ambulance had been heading for my vacated body, I would have known…and on previous experience, would have been quite dispassionate about the whole affair. The fact that I was bothering to think it through showed it could not possibly be true. It also meant I didn’t have even the ghost of an excuse… I would still have to go to work…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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77 Responses to A ghost of myself

  1. I’ve been very close to death at least three times … and I’m pretty sure that very near and “over and out” have at least a few significant differences, especially physically. I would think that the pain goes away. That would be a big, not easy-to-miss thing. Sometimes I think maybe I WAS dead and was “popped back,” because that is what I remember. But I wasn’t gone more than a few seconds and there were none of the things people say about death involved, But wouldn’t it be lovely if life got to be too much and would could continue on, ghostly but still aware and conscious — just minus pain and without most of the needs of life..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I believe it does somewhat better than just carrying on…but I will have to wait and see on that.
      I do remember several occisions when I’ve almost died and wondered if I had…and like you, decided I couldn’t be because it still hurt. I find that reassuring too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How fascinating it does make you wonder. Glad you lived to see another day Sue, life is so fragile and so precious. The older I get the more convinced I am of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s very creepy. I know a lot of people who’ve had out of body experiences when nearly dead. Always sends a shiver down my spine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ritu says:

    I’ve had the moment of my life flashing before me… but not so much outerbody experience .
    I’m just glad you’re here to tell the tale Sue. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done, Sue – and I loved the way you circled back to work. It does seem to anchor us – or tether us – to the physical. Once we get that final gold watch, I often wonder what the ultimate retirement will be like – feel like.

    Like you, I know there is more beyond … and find it comforting to think that we will be beyond pain (at least of the physical sort), which allows me to transmute the aches and glitches as I age into signs and reminders that, today, I am still alive and kicking!
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I can’t really see me retiring 🙂 Quite apart from not having a pension, I will always have wor to do, of one kind or another, I think. Until I don’t…and that won’t be up to me 🙂
      I have no doubts on there being survival after death, though I doubt we remain ‘us’ in any identifiable form… just one drop in a boundless ocean.

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Something for us all to ponder?

    Like

  7. jenanita01 says:

    I am probably a lot closer to discovering the truth of what happens ‘after’, but if there is no pain, I will not mind at all, whatever happens…

    Like

  8. colonialist says:

    That was, indeed, a thought-provoking experience. Of all explanations, an ‘out-of-body’ one seems the least far-fetched, which does tend to support the idea of a spirit/soul/life force separate from the body. Pity no scientific proof of that yet exists.

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner, Indie Author. and commented:
    I KNOW there is life after death. If you can make time to visit a clairvoyant, you will find out what I discovered a long time ago. There’s a medium coming to our village tonight. Maybe I’ll get another message!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great blog! Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  11. I certainly beleive that there is some kind of life after death although I am not sure what form it takes! 🙂

    Like

  12. thejuicenut says:

    Well-written amd thought-provoking. I have my own tale to tell of hovering above my body watching what was going on, and have been visited by my father in times of extreme stress when I’ve asked for help. It certainly doesn’t end here. 💜

    Like

  13. Certainly something to think about…

    I’m not sure whether I hope I’d know if I was dead, or hope I could carry on for a while before I noticed. I suppose either way it would likely be upsetting to learn you were dead, even if that wasn’t the end of your life entirely, if that makes sense.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It makes perfect sense, but I doubt our viewpoint would be the same and I doubt we would be upset. Though, given I am usually up to my eyeballs in things I like to think are important…even if they are not really… I can imagine my last words being ‘oh bugger…’ 😉

      Like

  14. Fascinating how many people have this experience. My mom had a brain aneurysm and had a similar sense of being out-of-body, quite content.

    Like

  15. Thank you, Sue. I had out-of-body experiences. It’s reassuring to find them shared.

    Like

  16. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue,
    I enjoyed this post and it sure did stimulate my imagination. The great mystery of humans, we question whether there is life after death. As Christians, we hold onto our beliefs that God will reveal all to us and we will have eternal life. Your use of drawing us into a story about an imaginary out of body experience and your death was brilliant. At first, I wondered if this was a real experience. It is writing like this that stimulates me to learn and practice more of my writing. Thank you for sharing your talent. HUGS

    Like

  17. I often think along these lines but have never had a near-death experience. I did once do a little astral-travelling but not for long and was dismayed when my body was sucked back into my body at great speed. I really can’t work out whether my sneaking suspicion that there is an after-life is wish-fulfilment or closer to conviction if that makes sense.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Perfect sense, Sarah, and that is a question for which we will all have to await a defnitive answer…though my own belief knows no doubts. I have come too close on too many occasions to have doubts. Even so, I might be wrong and await the final adventure with more curiosity than fear.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Fascinating stuff, Sue. I know many who share the same peace of mind after a near-death experience. It’s very comforting info for those who suffer in any way in this life. It hasn’t happened to me, but I have had so many experiences/sensations that convince me…this life is not all there is ! Thanks for sharing, glad you made it out of that car accident.

    Like

  19. paulandruss says:

    Fantastic post… As you say Sue, perhaps some people never realise they have passed. Reading the comments I was struck by the near death experiences some people have had. I find it an absolutely fascinating subject and one to be frank I hope I never undergo due to the trauma it obviously involves. I should image a near death experience leaves you with a core of certainty others can only wish for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I had that certainty log before, Paul…but this was a ressuring affirmation. It does not always involve trauma, though that depends upon how you define that, I suppose. The calm and detachment was certainly unforgettable.

      Like

  20. KL Caley says:

    This is so interesting, Sue. I do think people’s experiences with such things are very intriguing. On a similar vein, we have a lot of twins in my family tree and there are several stories of connections between them regardless of the distance that just cannot be explained. Great Post! KL ❤

    Like

  21. A very interesting read, Sue. I recently wrote about a previous life as a Roman soldier but mixed it up with some fiction. I’ve read a number of posts about death and out of body experiences recently, and they’ve had me asking lots of questions. During my blogging break last week, I wrote a post with some of those questions. Your words have certainly made me think and question myself again.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I think many such experiences are presented as semi-fictionalised… a way of talking about the stranger side of life without too may questions being asked, perhaps. I know I have done so myself. But thse questions seldom leave us in peace for long 🙂

      Like

  22. dgkaye says:

    Wow Sue, I’m glad you lived to tell. Interesting theory though because I’ve also pondered about such things. 🙂 xx

    Like

  23. Pingback: See You on the Other Side | Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

  24. willowdot21 says:

    “Not a ghost of an excuse” I like that Sue. I enjoyed this Sue and it rang very true with me. 💜 We have used that photo for your Thursday Photo Prompt. 😊

    Like

  25. noelleg44 says:

    An unnerving but interesting post, Sue, With each passing year, I think more about death. It’s just like taxes.

    Like

  26. sharmisworld says:

    Nice one. Please see my real life haunting experience in my blog

    Liked by 1 person

  27. macjam47 says:

    Sue, your story is entirely plausible. Two weeks after surgery, I had a raging systemic infection and ended up in the hospital deathly ill. I had a similar experience.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It is not the only occasion, it happened, Michelle, but it was the clear, unarguable viewpoint I had that made it stand out. I think it happens to more people, more often than is generally spoken of, and particularly when the body is vulnerable.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I think you’re writing is a very high standard and I find your perspective interesting.

    Like

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