Everything possible, of course, should be done to cure disease, allay suffering and prolong life-but the deliberate attempt to keep people in this world when they are properly and evidently dying, when we all recognize the propriety and fitness of leaving this world, is another and a very ill-advised matter help them to go-do not try to retard the decision do Divine Providence.

For many years the process of death has interested me-the more I consider the mechanism of the normal leaving of our earthly bodies the more I see in the method, the birth into another life in a different and more rarified atmosphere.

We are used to the struggle of the new-born babe to learn to use its lungs and breathe our atmosphere-we look upon the childs fight to get its breath as a natural and interesting experience- because we are here in this world and understand the simple act of breathing and know the infant will soon be used to the proceeding and enjoy the result! We surround the new life with love, care and consideration.

The more we observe the processes of nature and meditate upon the laws of the universe, the more we are forced to recognize and admire an all-wise Providence.

There is a marvellously planned sequence of events in nature-the planning is flawless-the flaws have been made by man-in ignorance usually, in laziness often.

We all feel one vital something as the reason for our being-we call it soul and we believe soul to be composed of an imperishable something-some soul substance-not earthly matter from which our perishable bodies are made-but a vital spark which emerges in a body of its own-to live and breathe in a finer atmosphere than that of this, the natural world.

Watch a soul in its usual struggle to leave the body it has been used to-the changing breathing-the little naps for rest and encouragement and beginning to breathe in the next world. Where the life in this world has been a useful and happy life the going often is made easy by the gradual opening of the spiritual eyes- little glimpses of those who have gone before-then a little restful nap, then a consciousness of this word and the people near-then another sight of the next world-each time the spiritual eyes are opened they are opened longer and each time the passing soul sees and hears less here and for shorter and dimmer periods, it is a process of tuning in with a finer atmosphere.

If we help those leaving this world by being cheerful and telling them the truth when the say “Am I going to die?” Say, “Yes, if you want to.” They are pleased and satisfied and willing to go- when they question, they feel the pull of the next world, and you are helping the angels who are working with the soul, to liberate it from this material body.

We can watch and see the changing respiration until it becomes attuned to an atmosphere we are not yet fine enough to breath nor fee–one our ears cannot now use, but we know something has left the body we have known so well.

We enjoy our ears in their ability to hear and when we think of their construction, marvel at its perfection-as receptacles for the catching and carrying of sound-but how often do we stop to realize their even larger use in their protecting quality-their preventing our hearing the myriads of sounds going on all the time in this atmosphere surrounding us and in the atmosphere contained in our air-the radio has brought to our knowledge the tremendous variety to vibration in constant play all around us and if our ears tuned in to their babel of sound, we should be mad in a short time! Our ears are designed for protection as well as for enlightenment! A wonderful combination in our small human ear.

There seems to be every reason to believe our ears tune in to the next world as we are leaving this world-the spiritual ear is opened when the spiritual eye is opened.

Anyone who has watched the changing expressions on the face of the departing and departed has proof enough of the continuance of life-there is a wonderful atmosphere in the room where the great adventure of death is taking place-there is a feeling of power, strength and inspiration, if those present will only think about the departing one and help him pass the earthly door to enter the spiritual life-why make the going slow and painful by trying to keep him here with us when he is really ready to leave?.

When will we have the intelligence to refrain from the selfishness of holding the people we live, in this world by imploring them to stay, and not to leave us?.

Selfishness keeps souls in this world inhabiting bodies worn out and past all usefulness, simply because the people who say they love the occupants of those sick bodies-when they should be willing for them to go and use the good and beautiful bodies they have been building of soul stuff and are ready to leave the earthly body-with-the soul builds its own body as surely and as definitely as a snail builds it shell, the particles made by a good deed, by a kind thought, by unselfish action are all soul stuff and go to building the spiritual body and making it beautiful-the less selfishness and more selflessness the more beauty in the body, growing to use in the next world.

Every thrill, thought and inspiration we feel in our soul, the body has no power to feel-it is only a lighting conductor for the soul-and made to make souls visible in this world to our worldly eyes-for limited years and limited abilities-in contrast to unlimited years and unlimited ability to study, learn and truly live.

Let us take death in a normal and understanding way-have an intelligent and unselfish interest in the soul in its second birth pangs-be honest-brave and helpful-take a friends hand as he struggles, and say, “I know what you are doing, you are learning to breathe in that beautiful new strong active body of your; its unpleasant for a bit because you are not used to those new lungs- I am with you in spirit and in truth-I understand-have no fear-friends are helping you in the next world-give up and go with them-they understand your needs-even better that I- and I am feeling your experience too-I feel the power and courage of the coming life”.

In my opinion death should be allowed to progress in a natural and orderly manner, without the interruption of the administration of oxygen or similar non-curing, mechanical makeshifts.

Everything possible, of course, should be done to cure disease, allay suffering and prolong life-but the deliberate attempt to keep people in this world when they are properly and evidently dying, when we all recognize the propriety and fitness of leaving this world, is another and a very ill-advised matter help them to go-do not try to retard the decision do Divine Providence.

If anyone in this world who is with a person about to leave it will pray for the passing soul and ask help, he will receive wonderful strength, light and a feeling of elation and know that he is near a great and beautiful experience.

If it is possible, go to sleep thinking only of the experience your friend is having and being with your friend to comfort and bear company along the first of the new way-I am sure the passing soul has the companionship of the sleeping loving friend-far longer than those who are crying, mourning and keeping their minds on their own little short loss-instead of trying to see, help and understand.

There seems to be a Divine Providence in the fact, that so often the nearest and most loving friends and relations of a departed soul have been nursing and caring for the loved one to the point of personal exhaustion-so they naturally fall asleep soon after their friend goes into the next world and in their sleep may bear him company a short distance along the new way.

Let us all be more understanding and kind to friend Death, who is so much misunderstood.

E. Prescott Sherrill