The Other Side – Passing Over

How different spiritual perspectives influence us

by Helena Dolny

Nomfundo comes regularly to the LoveLegacyDignity Death Café when we get together every last Saturday afternoon of the month. In our August gathering, I had asked everyone an opening question, “What keeps bringing you back here?”

Nomfundo Ntshangase responded that in her family talking about dying is taboo – even though death has been very much part of her family life, taking loved ones away in a way that has felt premature and a challenge to make peace with.

Nomfundo’s interest is in what happens to us when we “cross over” What happens to the body and the soul? Is there something on the other side for the soul?

She has been watching GAIA TV programmes and some on Near Death Experiences (NDE) caught her attention. People who have had such experiences spoke about how this changed their lives and how they choose to live.

Nomfundo will lead the discussion on Saturday 24th September. She will give an overview of what she has learnt so far – differing views – and how different spiritual perspectives influence them. Then we will create space for us all to contribute our reflections.

Nomfundo has mentioned that she would prefer to be cremated and how this suggestion gets a negative response from relatives and a question, “How will your ancestors find you?”.

Recently, I sat with colleagues in Botswana and over dinner one evening one of them mentioned he too would prefer to be cremated, and would cremate his father as well. I was curious about his and his black African family acceptance of this switch from burial to cremation, and I asked, “But what about the question, “If you are cremated, how will your ancestors find you?” He was puzzled and answered, “But our ancestors are in the spirit world and we will know how to find each other.”

There we are, for him, what happens to the body is irrelevant – it’s the spirit world that’s on the other side.