There is a question that I’m asked over and over again, that I see raised in forums over and over again. That question is:
‘Will I see my furbaby again?’ In other words, is there life after death for pets?’
We need to put our faith in things that we can substantiate in some way—either through intuition, experience or other evidence. This way, we can stand firm in our conviction, and not be swept away on the highs and lows of the next ‘new thing’ that blows into our life. This is why I am so supportive of the research done by doctors, scientists and genuine spiritual intuitives into the subject of life after death.
This began with the groundbreaking work of the very brave Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who even in the face of the current conventional scientific and medical thinking about death, persevered in her studies about death. She was a maverick and a trail-blazer for others to follow.
Two particularly renowned doctors in the field currently are Dr Raymond Moody and Dr Eben Alexander. Both of these medical doctors and scientists have conducted groundbreaking research into life after death. Dr Alexander, in particular—a neurosurgeon trained in the most traditional and conservative of ways—had his own profound NDE (near death experience).
So what does this have to do with our pets? Well, if the spirit lives on for humans, then all spirit lives on, and this includes for animals also. In fact, many people who have had an NDE have reported seeing animals, and in some cases, their animal, when they had ‘died’.
I’ve researched many articles and case studies that provide compelling evidence that ALL spirit—that is human AND animal—lives on after this life, this body, has ended. According to NDE researcher PMH Atwater (who also had her own personal NDE), ‘both adults and children report being greeted on the other side by animals…and favored pets who have previously died.’
Harold Richter Stark, MD, said after his NDE, ‘What I came to realize is that there is a love connection between the two worlds—a stream of energy that forms a heart bond between two souls that is the strongest at the time of transition. Love comes out to greet you, wearing the form that will be most meaningful to you at the time. In my case it was our precious dog, and yes, dogs have souls—Plato knew it and so did Saint Augustine, along with most other true saints and sages.’
I have found that reading credible cases of NDEs helps alleviate much of the fear and sadness surrounding death, and I highly recommend this. These cases provide more than just mere comfort. They provide good grounds for having a firm conviction in the beauty of the ‘afterlife’, for you and for your pet.
Scott S Smith was an editor for the magazine Vegetarian Times. Naturally, then, the rights and experiences of animals were central to his life and his work. Like me, Scott was interested in an afterlife for animals—did they, in fact, live on in spirit after death?
As part of his investigation, Scott published letters in metaphysical and animal magazines, inviting readers to describe anything which had convinced them that animals had a spirit or soul which lived on after physical death.
Scott thought he would receive a whole lot of ‘ghost stories’, or unsubstantiated old wives tales.
Instead, hundreds of letters reported an amazing variety of strange experiences, many of which had some element that made it hard to explain them away as mere hallucinations.
The White Horse story
An example of what people told Scott came from a professor of veterinary medicine at Purdue University. She said when she was in private practice, she had been asked to make a house call to attend a sick horse.
After examining it, she suggested to the owners that since the problem was infectious, it would be wise to separate the sick creature from the white horse in the same corral.
The owners were confused. “What white horse?” they asked. The vet pointed to what she could see, but the owners saw nothing there.
The vet described the horse’s markings and then the owners realized that it was a horse they previously owned, which had died a few months earlier.
The two horses had been very close. In this case, the vet’s experience cannot be explained as wishful thinking on the part of a grieving pet owner, which is the argument skeptics would like to be able to use.
Deceased Cat Walking story
Another type of story that refutes this simplistic “explanation” was sent in by a woman in Burbank who was sitting in her living room with her two cats watching TV one night. Suddenly, a ghostly version of one of her deceased cat came walking into the room.
The two living cats arched their backs and hissed as it walked over to the closed bedroom door — and went right through it!
The two jumped down and ran over to the door, stared at it for a moment, and then ran away and wouldn’t go in the bedroom for months.
What his investigations revealed
Through his investigations, Scott found science has fiercely resisted granting animals intelligence for its own exploitative reasons. And not only has it been proven that animals are intelligent, but that they have a full range of emotions. Which begs a very important question: If they are similar in every inner way, why should the only thing distinguishing us be a “soul”?
Western religions aren’t really known for advocating the soul and afterlife of animals, but in fact the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible show that the writers believed animals would survive death. Martin Luther and John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) also believed in animal souls. And the Mormons and Christian Scientists have the strongest formal animal afterlife doctrines.
Some, perhaps many, people have a hard time understanding why someone would feel enormous loss when a pet dies. But there is a similarity with the extreme grief parents experience when a young child dies: both animals and babies have an unconditional love and innocence that bonds them strongly to those who have open hearts. And if the animal has been a companion for many years, the attachment grows stronger and its death can be emotionally devastating.
That is why research into and stories about animal afterlife is so comforting and healing for the bereaved—you will be together again, one day.
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About the Author: BJ Burman
BJ Burman is a writer, researcher, healer, advisor and teacher. All through her childhood and adult life, she has shared her life with animals, every one of them dearly loved. She is also a passionate supporter of animal rights and animal conservation.
In addition, BJ has always been interested in spirituality and religion, both academically and personally. When she became personally involved in Eastern philosophy and religion, she became specifically interested in death & dying (and what really happens to us).
Over the years, she has studied and researched the subject of death & dying, and the associated grief, particularly from a spiritual perspective, under the guidance of respected Buddhist, Hindu and Christian teachers from the USA, Britain and Australia. These great traditions, have so much to teach on the reality of life and death.
BJ has worked in the education sector for nearly 20 years, as a teacher (particularly in a pastoral care role) of adolescents and adults, helping them to not only navigate their path in education, but also navigate their way through personal life obstacles for the happiest outcomes.
Bj holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Graduate qualifications in Linguistics/TESOL, Masters in Comparative World Religions and is a published author for national and international magazine print publications in the field of health and well-being.
It seems only natural to her to combine her love of animals with her interest in death & dying to create a genuinely compassionate and supportive forum for humans who must say good-bye to the animals they love so much.
It is BJ's deep desire to provide guidance and comfort for humans to help their beloved animals live and die in peace.