The “Crazy” Lady

The “Crazy” Lady

Wishing I were more like her.

Vince Migliore

Retards! In my vulgar Brooklyn way, that’s how I thought of them. Those kids on the short yellow bus. The disabled; the mentally handicapped. At least I learned to use more compassionate language, but still, in the back of my head, I thought of them as somehow inferior. Then, one of them taught me a lesson; an experience I cherish even many decades later.

I was hiking on a hilly, wooded trail in a park near my house. The trail rose to about 3,000 feet. The air was just brisk enough to be invigorating. As the day wore on however, the sun managed to break through the canopy of leaves, enough to drain my strength.

At the base of the hill I found a flat boulder under a shaded-offering tree, so I took off my boots and laid on top of it for a rest. Exhausted, I drifted off into that uncharted territory between wakefulness and dreams. The coolness of the rock worked to relieve the aching in my legs, and I soon entered an even deeper depth of reverie.

The next thing I knew there was a soft touch on my cheek, an angelic, soothing voice whispering to me. “It’s my birthday! I’m having a party. Do you want to come to my birthday party?” She stroked my face and my hair.

Wait a minute! I thought I was in a park somewhere! On a rock! And yet, for that split second all I could think of was her soft touch, the tenderness of her voice, and the heartfelt invitation to a party. I want that! I want more of that!

Then, in sterner tones, a man’s voice. “Come back here, Linda! Leave the man alone!”

I jumped up and roused myself, just in time to see the back of the head of a nice young lady, rejoining her caravan of day-trippers. They were all physically or mentally challenged. They marched back to the van that was transporting them.

I too was transported back into the mundane world of proper etiquette, where people don’t touch you; where it’s frowned upon to look at someone and say, even with sincerity, “Oh, what a lovely face you have! I would so enjoy kissing you!”

I’m old now. It’s been many years since anyone has stroked my face or whispered sweet nothings into my ear. I wonder if that “crazy” lady wasn’t wiser, more genuine than I am, restricted as I am by social norms. Thank you, little lady! Thank you! I love you too. Yes, I’ll go to your birthday party!

Terrorism, Justice, and the Near-Death Experience

What becomes of terrorists in the afterlife?

A Study of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) can shed light on the consequences of our behavior here on Earth. The “reward” for our actions is both simple and fair:

Justice: you experience the effects your actions have had on others.

Judgment and the life review seem to go hand-in-hand in many NDE reports. A theme in the life review is not that we are judged, but rather that we judge our own behavior. A curious occurrence in the life review is the ability to feel the effects of our actions on other people, and this seems to be the cornerstone of the judgment.

Here we see a woman who played a cruel trick on a friend, and how it played out during the life review:

“I saw my entry into the world, one childhood memory after another as distinct and as clear as if each were really happening. . . . Most things were pleasant to see, some things made me very embarrassed. In fact, revolution (sic; probably meant revulsion) and guilt took away any good feelings, making me so very sorry for certain things I had said or done. I hadn’t just seen what I had done, but I felt and knew the repercussions of my actions. I felt the injury or pain of those who suffered because of my selfish or inappropriate behavior.” 

She goes on to relate an incident where she played a cruel trick on a young man.

“I never gave this incident a moment of thought after it had happened. But, during the review of my life, I was grieved to see how totally selfish, thoughtless and downright cruel I had been. I felt his complete panic and fear, and his change as he became less trusting. I was sickened. I had such total guilt that I tried to pull my view away. I was being pounded with the fears, pain, injuries, and anger I had caused in others, and the repercussions that had been passed on and on.”

IANDS, All is Everything (1).

This case illustrates another judgment based on the life review:

The light responded: “The question is not who am I, but who are YOU?” Before I could reply, a series of images and experiences flashed across my vision. This was (by analogy) like a projector displaying images on a flat screen. There were two distinct differences, however. The first difference was that the images were non-sequential (e.g. they were not in any specific order). The second difference was that I could feel, think, see, hear and experience the emotions, thoughts, feelings and experiences of everyone I had ever come in either direct or non-direct contact with.

If you can imagine a series of Dominos cascading downward like water down staggered steps, then this was the experience of being other people and experiencing both the intended and unintended effects of my contact with them. This was not in any way, shape or form a pleasant experience. I saw a multitude of opportunities to help people and be loving and kind, but in most instances I chose to ignore these opportunities and instead focus solely on myself. This was very unsettling to say the least.

All throughout this review process, however, the only entity which judged me was myself. The light did not interject any judgment for or against my earthly actions (or inactions). The only thing the light did was to pause some scenes and ask me what I thought about my actions.

According to the light, the most extraordinary moments of life are not framed by money, work, drugs, alcohol, possessions or self-gratifying behaviors. Indeed, what we consider trivial actions are highlighted as the most significant of our lives.

IANDS, Unborn (2).

One of the most striking accounts comes from a bully who abused other students:

“The first thing I saw was my angry childhood. I saw myself torturing other children, stealing their bicycles or making them miserable at school. One of the most vivid scenes was of the time I picked on a child at grade school because he had a goiter that protruded from his neck. The other kids in the class picked on him too, but I was the worst. At the time I thought I was funny. But now, as I relived this incident, I found myself in his body, living with the pain that I was causing. This perspective continued through every negative incident in my childhood, a substantial number to be sure. From fifth to twelfth grade, I estimate I had at least six thousand fistfights. Now, as I reviewed my life in the bosom of the Being, I relived each of those altercations, but with one major difference: I was the receiver. ”

– Dannion Brinkley, Saved by the Light (3).

Now, apply that consequence to terrorist actions. Let’s say a terrorist kills ten people. First, the terrorist, in the afterlife, will experience the terror he caused for his victims. All ten of them. He will feel the fear and the pain of the execution. Second, he will find himself on the receiving end of the sadness that he generates in the lives of the victim’s family members left behind. The family will grieve for many years over the loss of this loved one. The terrorist will endure the same amount of pain. He will find himself in the body of the friends and co-workers of each victim and get to evaluate the effects his terrorism has on them. He will feel the life-long emptiness that he generates in the children of his victims.

Justice dictates that you experience the effects your actions have had on other people.

I don’t expect there will be a parade of virgins waiting for the perpetrator.

On the other hand, loving behavior has its rewards too. It’s clear that our actions influence those we interact with, but the effects are often positive as well.

In the Betty Eadie case, the negative acts exposed in her life review were causing her grief when Jesus intervened:

” ‘You’re being too harsh on yourself,’ he said. Then he showed me the reverse side of the ripple effect. I saw myself perform an act of kindness, just a simple act of unselfishness, and I saw the ripples go out again. The friend I had been kind to was kind in turn to one of her friends, and the chain repeated itself. I saw love and happiness increase in others’ lives because of that one simple act on my part. I saw their happiness grow and affect their lives in positive ways, some significantly. I felt the love they felt, and I felt their joy.”

– Betty Eadie, Embraced by the Light (4).

What is justice then, but to feel the effects of those we have touched?

~ ~ ~

Note: Most links are now inoperative.

(1) Link archived:


(2) Link archived:


(3) Brinkley, Dannion, Saved by the Light, Villard Books, New York, 1994.

(4) Eadie, Betty, Embraced by the Light, Bantam Books, New York, 1992.

V.T. Migliore is author of “A Measure of Heaven” from which most of the above material is reprinted here.