Eventually C. S. Lewis accepted the presence of Joy, his departed wife, though he believed it was not the soul but her intellect. He speaks of the experience, “It was incredibly unemotional. Just the impression of her mind momentarily facing my own.” He calls it more like intelligence and attention. To me that is what the soul is – intelligence and attention. It is that which watches us, that unites two in love into one. When I feel Pat’s presence it is what I feel but I also feel the essence of Pat, her feelings, pleasure, love and peace.
I had such a feeling this morning as I was waking but still dreaming. I am sure it was Pat – it had her personal identity and true love. Pat was creating (drawing) an animated heart (beating) covered in rose wreaths and growing until it covered the entire field of vision. I felt her love and knew instantly that she was telling me she still loved me, that love is forever and our love is still growing. Yes, more than just intellect and attention but just as real as Lewis’ Joy presence.
Such after death appearances refute the claims by some that the dead have “gone to their rest”, that “their work is done”, and that they “sleep in peace”. While they are at peace and in the arms of Christ, their work is not done, they are not resting, and they are growing and preparing for the birth of two entities into that one resurrection body in heaven. There is soul work still to be done. As Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault (LOVE is stronger than DEATH) writes, “the very purpose of true love is to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts and, through the strength of that union, imperious to death.”
Rev Cynthia also explains why often somehow these after death appearances feel sexual. She writes, “And there is also sexuality that, clarified of the craving and attachment, is truly Eucharistic – “This is my body, given for you” – A drawing near to the other with all that one has and is: in conscious love; to give the innermost gift of oneself, in the most intimate foretaste of divine union that can be known in human flesh.”