Coping with the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult. It is during these times, it becomes necessary to embrace your faith, and rely on your belief to find the inner strength to endure this pain.
When asked about his belief in life after death, Mark said, “I believe in God, in Heaven which I call The Other Side, in an Afterlife, and in the immortality of our souls. I also know it is possible to contact those who have crossed over to The Other Side. How you choose to believe in God, and how you interpret spiritual immortality, is always deeply personal.”
When asked, “Why we must endure the pain of losing a loved one?” Mark replied, “I don’t know if anyone on this side of existence can really explain that. But I do know, death isn’t sad for the one who died. It’s only sad for those left behind. Physical death is the transformation our souls must go through to achieve the elevated state of existence, which is spiritual freedom. I’ve found a poem entitled, ‘I’m Free’ by a Christian poet, Shannon Lee Moseley, which does a beautiful job of explaining this. I’ve found it comforting during a time of loss.”
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took God’s hand when I heard the call;
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that place at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not bothered with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow,
My life’s been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don’t lengthen it now with undo grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, God set me free.
As one who communicates with spirits of those who have crossed to The Other Side, Mark believes our faith can guide us to an uplifting perspective on death. “What frightens many people about death is the perception it’s the end.” Mark said, “A more positive way to look at physical death is that it’s a new beginning. No one should ever intentionally cut his or her life short. We are here to learn, and everyone must go through all of the trials, tribulations, and life lessons that are before us. When we have completed the lessons as God intended, we return to God.”
“My mother was Roman Catholic and my father was Baptist, so I was raised in a Christian environment,” Mark explained, “I accept the teachings of Jesus, and I believe we are all the children of God, and that we were created in the image of God. God is the immortal spiritual being, and our spirits were created in God’s image, a spirit which lives on even after bodily death. Because we are spirits temporarily encased in a physical body, when that physical body ceases to function, we return to our immortal existence with God.”
The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Judaism and Christianity. Ecclesiastes 12.7
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
Christianity. Matthew 6:19-21
As a scholar, Mark has found most religions of the world agree there is an Afterlife. To fully understand all the religions of the world would take lifetimes, yet most of these religions have overlapping teachings. As the spiritually-oriented Beatle, the late George Harrison once said, “All religions are branches of one big tree. It doesn’t matter what you call Him, just as long as you call.” Despite their other philosophical and cultural differences, most major religions agree that physical death does not end spiritual existence.
The body is the sheath of the soul.
Judaism. Talmud, Sanhedrin 108a
You prefer this life, although the life to come is better and more enduring.All this is written in
earlier scriptures; the scriptures of Abraham and Moses.
Islam. Qur’an 87.16-19
Now my breath and spirit goes to the Immortal, and this body ends in ashes;
OM. O Mind! Remember. Remember the deeds. Remember the actions.
Hinduism. Isha Upanishad 17
One who identifies himself with his soul regards bodily transmigration of his soul
at death fearlessly, like changing one cloth for another.
Jainism. Pujyapada, Samadhishataka 77
Matter has no life, hence it has not real existence. Mind is immortal.
Christian Science. Science and Health, 584.
Relatives and friends and well-wishers rejoice at the arrival of a man who had been long absent
and has returned home safely from afar. Likewise, meritorious deeds will receive the good
person upon his arrival in the next world, as relatives welcome a dear one on his return.
Buddhism. Dhammapada 219-20
Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is
continuity without a starting point. Existence without limitation is space. Continuity without
a starting point is time. There is birth, there is death, there is issuing forth, there is entering in.
That through which one passes in and out without seeing its form, that is the Portal of God.
Taoism. Chuang Tzu 23
Man’s real nature is primarily spiritual life, which weaves its threads of mind to build a cocoon of flesh, encloses its own soul in the cocoon, and, for the first time, the spirit becomes flesh. Understand this clearly: The cocoon is not the silkworm; in the same way, the physical body is not man but merely man’s cocoon. Just as the silkworm will break out of its cocoon and fly free, so, too, will man break out of his body-cocoon and ascend to the spiritual world when his time is come. Never think that the death of the physical body is the death of man. Since man is life, he will never know death.
Seicho-no-Ie. Nectarean Show of Holy Doctrines
All the living must die, and dying, return to the ground; this is what is called kuei. The bones and flesh molder below, and, hidden away, become the earth of the fields. But the spirit issues forth, and is displayed on high in a condition of glorious brightness.
Confucianism. Book of Ritual 21.2.1
Some day the Great Chief Above will overturn the mountains and the rocks. Then the spirits that once lived in the bones buried there will go back into them. At present those spirits live in the tops of the mountains, watching their children on earth and waiting for the great change which is to come. The voices of these spirits can be heard in the mountains at all times. Mourners who wail for their dead hear spirit voices reply, and thus they know that their lost ones are always near.
Native American Religions. Yakima Tradition
The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother. When the soul attains the Presence of God, it will assume the form that best befits its immortality and is worth of its celestial habitation. Such an existence is a contingent and not an absolute existence, inasmuch as the former is preceded by a cause, whilst the latter is independent thereof. Absolute existence is strictly confined to God, exalted be His Glory.
Baha’i Faith. Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah 81
One breath pervades all, what point is any weeping over another? Man wails over the loss of what he calls his: Know, the Self is not perishable.
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Gauri, M.5, p. 188
The Way of death is found in one’s own mind and no other;
Inquire of it in your own heart,
In your own mind.
Leave to the kami the path ahead;
The road of the returning soul is not dark
To the land of Yomi,
To the world beyond.
Shinto. Naokata Nakanishi, from: One Hundred Poems on The Way of Death
We are on a market trip on earth;
Whether we fill our baskets or not,
Once the time is up, we go home.
African Traditional Religions. Igbo Song (Nigeria)
Eight centuries ago, words attributed to St. Francis of Assisi concisely explained what most religions teach, “In dying, we are born to eternal life.” St. Francis understood we are spiritual beings having a material experience and when we leave the physical world, who we are, our consciousness, is transferred to the spiritual level of existence.
“One of the most uplifting things I’ve learned is love transcends physical death.” Mark said, “Our body may die, but our soul doesn’t. The soul can’t die because, as beings created in God’s image, we never cease to exist. Instead we begin a new life on The Other Side. Our soul encompasses our consciousness, our memories, our personality and all our love. Who we are lives on after physical death. Love is why spirits make an effort to communicate with us. Spirits still love us and because they can feel our pain, there is a desire to help us heal from the pain of grieving. Spirits reach out to let us know that love is eternal.”