Mary Ivan speaking about her condition after her passing
[This portion of the session begins with the sitter who was recording the session asking Mary her conditions after her passing.]
Greene: But Mary, how did you… how did you find yourself? What sort of conditions…
Ah, I woke up and found myself in a kind of place like a hospital. I thought, “well what’s this?” Because I was in my own house and… you know, I was sick-a-bed and everything. And I had a sister who was looking after me. And I remember waking up here and I was in a kind of ward place in the hospital.
But very nice and very clean, and everything seemed so fresh and airy, and everyone seemed to be so efficient and quiet and peace, and the sun or whatever it was – at least I thought it was the sun then – was shining through the windows now, and everywhere around was pretty and clean. There were pictures hanging on the walls and somehow it seemed like a very special kind of hospital.
And I thought, well, this is strange. And then a very sweet woman came to me and said, “You know,” she says, “you just have to rest a little while and then you’ll soon be all right, once you sort of, sort yourself out and get to know things. And your people will be coming in to see you in a wee while.” And I thought, “This is strange.” I felt sure I was at home in my own bed, and here I am in a hospital, so I must have been unconscious and they must have brought me into hospital. I did not think at first that I was dead.
And then I could see, after a wee while, other souls lying around and there was a sweet little lass next to me in a bed, a little blonde child. Pretty child she was, and she was sitting up there and she was chatting away and then she showed me one or two things that she had; a dolly and some books and things. And she said, “Isn’t it nice being here?” She says, “I’m so happy!”
I said, “Aye, it’s very nice, but what’s wrong with you?”
She says, “Oh, I got diphtheria.”
I says, “Well you don’t look like as if you’ve got diphtheria. You look as fresh as a daisy, and your cheeks and everything are bright and cheerful.” You know, I could not think there was anything wrong with the wee lassie. And I said, “Well how long have you been here?”
She says, “I’ve only just come.” She says, “I’m very happy though.”
I said, “I can see that.”
Anyway, then I saw my sister coming towards me. And I was so surprised because, you know, I had this sister and she died very young, when I was about twelve. We called her Kate. And I thought, “this is strange. Kate’s not here. Kate’s dead.” And there she was. And she came to me and she’d got a great big bunch of flowers in her arms. Beautiful flowers they were, fresh flowers with the dew on.
And she said, “Here, I brought you these and we’re so glad that you’ve come.” And she says, “Mother’s coming soon, and also Pa.”
I says “No,” I said “That’s not possible.” I said, “In any case, how are you getting in here, you know. You’re no here; you’re dead.”
She says, “Oh, don’t be silly,” she says, “I’m dead all right and so are you!”
I says, “What do you mean, I’m dead?”
She says, “You’re dead.”
I says, “Nooo, it’s not possible.” I said, “I’m very much alive. I’m in hospital. But how did you get in? Did anyone see you come through the door?”
She says, “Aye, they all saw me come through the door because they’re all dead that are here.”
I says, “I don’t get this at all.”
And the wee little one, she sat looking at me in the next bed, and she says, “Aye?” She says, “Is that right? Are we dead and the lady? The lady,” she said, “is she really dead too?”
So I said, “Well, she’s my sister and she’s dead. And if she’s dead, then we must be dead, but we’re alive.” I said, “I don’t understand this.”
So my sister said, “We’ve come to fetch you.”
I said, “What do you mean, fetch me? You have to get permission from the hospital for me to leave the bed. But I must say I feel so well, I’ve never felt so good in my life.”
She says, “Of course you’re all right. There’s nothing wrong with you at all. Only in your mind. Get that out of your mind. You’re no sick.” Anyway, she says, “I’ll see the lady that’s in charge of this ward.”
Anyway, after a while, there was a conflab went on between them and I was allowed to get up.
And I said, “Well what about my clothes?”
And my sister laughed, she said, “You don’t need to worry about those. You’ve got them on.”
I says, “What do you mean I’ve got them on?” And I looked at myself and there I was, I was dressed. I could not get this at all, because I did not remember putting any clothes on. And I did not remember bringing any clothes.
And there I was standing beside the bed in a beautiful gown. It was…was a pale blue and long, with a sash and lots of little lace things around the neck. I thought, “Well I know, I don’t understand this at all.” And my hair was all combed and nice.
And my sister laughed and she said, “That’s all right, I helped you to dress, but you didn’t know that.” She says, “I helped you do your hair too, by my thoughts.”
I said, “Well how’d you do that?” I said, “Do you think I’ll be able to do things by thoughts?”
So she said, “Yes, of course you will. Take a little time to get accustomed to it, but once you realize that, by your thoughts, you can achieve all the things that you want to do.”
I said, “I don’t understand.”
She said, “That’s all right. You remember when I was a wee lassie and I used to strum on the piano? And I always wanted to play and I used to get bad tempered and stamp and all the rest of it, because my fingers wouldn’t do the right things?” She says, “Now I can play beautifully. And I do it now by concentration and because I want to do it and because the power makes it possible for me to do it.”
I said, “Do you think that’s so?”
She says, “Aye,” she says, “that’s so.” Anyway, she says, “Come, we’ll go now. We’ll go and see Mama and the others.”
I said, “But I thought you said Mama was coming.”
So she says, “Oh, she’ll probably be downstairs.”
I thought, “Well, I don’t understand this. It all seems so strange.”
And we went down a beautiful staircase. And it was just as if it was made of marble. It was beautiful. And there were all sorts of interesting people walking about, and all looking so fit and well and healthy. And everywhere there seemed to be, I don’t know, as if the whole place has been so well cared for. It was so clean.
Go on Mary, this is awfully interesting.
Aye, and we went down the stairs and out this, sort of, portico or whatever you call it, down some more steps into a beautiful garden. And it was as if, I don’t know, I’ve never been to these posh places, because I never was able to do that sort of thing on Earth, but I’m told it’s not unlike you’d see in France in some of these beautiful gardens that they have with the fountains playing. And there were all sorts of people. Children too, running and playing. And there were grown-ups, of course, and there were… everyone seemed to be fit and well.
And then I thought, “How odd. None of these people seem out of place and yet I feel so out of place.”
“I suppose they’ve been here a long time,” I said to my sister.
She said, “No, only just this last few days as you term time, and they’re just becoming acclimatized to everything and they’re waiting for their friends. They’re waiting for their relations. This is what we call the ‘reception place’ where people come, quite often, not all, but quite a lot of people, until they’re sort of acclimatized to the new conditions of life. And their friends begin to arrive and then they come and, eventually they’ll go away.
“Usually, they go to live with their wife or their husband or perhaps their mother and father if they not married. Or at least the people that they love most. They are the ones that invariably wait in the garden and wait for them to come out, because then they know that they’ve awakened. Of course, usually someone like myself, in your case, goes in to break the ice, as you might say, you know.”
Ah, it’s very wonderful. Do you know, no one need fear dying because it’s the most wonderful thing. It’s the most exciting thing that could ever happen to anyone. No one need ever to worry about it. Everything here is so real, so natural. Everyone is so, I don’t know, full of love. And there’s no hatred and no sort of intolerance and everyone’s so patient, especially with those who are new and fresh, and everyone wants to help. It’s a wonderful way of life.
Eventually I did. Eventually I went to live with my mother, and eventually after that with my husband.