20. Unusual rescue
It was a very hot July day. Beyond a shadow of doubt, the temperature was not below +40 C.
The white-hot air was desert dry and literally "crackled" in our lungs with every breath. We sat on the riverbank, shamelessly
sweating and catching the air with our mouths like overheating carps thrown out onto dry land. Being already almost fully "roasted",
we wistfully looked at the water. The usual moisture from river could not be felt at all and we all longed to jump into the water as
quickly as possible, but were a bit wary of doing so, because this was a different bank to our usual one, and as was generally known,
the Nemunas has always been a deep and unforeseeable river which was not one to be trifled with.
Our old favourite beach was closed for cleaning, therefore we all gathered in a place more or less familiar to some of the children
and "got dried out" ashore, without daring to bathe. An enormous old tree grew at the very edge of the river and long silky branches
touched the water at the slightest puff of wind, quietly caressing it with their tender leaves. Its robust old roots, abutting against the
river stones, interlaced under the tree, creating a continuous "warty" carpet and forming a peculiar lumpy roof overhanging the water.
Oddly enough it was exactly this old wise tree that represented a real danger for bathers. For some reason there were a lot of eddies
around it which "sucked" a person in, and one had to be a very good swimmer to manage holding out at the surface, taking into account
that the place under the tree was very deep.
But to tell children about danger is almost always useless. The more caring adults convince them that an irremediable misfortune
can happen, the more they are sure that "it can happen to someone else but surely not to them, not here, not now". On the contrary, the
feeling of danger attracts them even more, provoking them to sometimes doing stupid things.
So, we four "dashing" neighbourhood guys and I thought the same way and on being unable to endure the heat any longer, decided
to bathe. The river looked still and seemingly represented no danger whatsoever. We agreed to watch each other and started to swim. In the
beginning everything was quite familiar the flow was no stronger than near our old beach and the depth was the same as we had been used
to. I plucked up courage and started to swim more confidently. The requital for such confidence did not wait too long. I had not swum far
from the bank, but suddenly I felt that I was being sharply pulled down. It happened so swiftly that I did not have time to react and hold
out to stay at the surface. I was twirled around and very quickly went down. It seemed that time had stopped and I desperately felt the lack
Back then I knew nothing either about clinical death or luminous tunnels which appeared during the process of dying. But what
happened next looked very like all those stories about clinical death that I found in different books, when living in far away America...
I felt that if I failed to breathe any air right now, my lungs would explode and I would certainly die. I got terribly scared and everything
went dark before my eyes. Suddenly a bright flash blazed in my head and all feelings disappeared... A blindingly bright transparent blue tunnel,
as if woven from moving tiny silvery stars, appeared. I placidly soared inside it, feeling neither suffocation nor pain; I was just surprised in my
mind by an unusual sense of absolute happiness, as if at last I had found the place of my long-awaited dream. I felt the incredible peace and
quiet. All sounds disappeared. I did not feel like moving. The body became very light, almost weightless. Most likely I was simply dying in that
I saw very beautiful, luminous and transparent human figures slowly and smoothly coming to me along the tunnel. They all warmly smiled,
as if inviting me to join them. I had already begun to reach out for them, as suddenly an enormous luminous palm appeared from somewhere,
caught me from below and began to lift me to the surface rapidly and effortlessly, like a grain of sand. My brain exploded with the sharp sounds
which gushed into me, as if a protective partition suddenly broke in my head... I was thrown to the surface like a ball and stunned by the waterfall
of colours, sounds and feelings which for some reason I perceived deeper than before
Everybody on the shore was in a frenzy of panic. The neighbourhood guys were yelling and vigorously gesticulating, pointing in my direction.
Someone tried to drag me out onto dry land and then everything started to drift and spin in a crazy whirlpool, and my poor overstrained
consciousness glided into complete silence... When I came to myself a bit, the children stood around me with their eyes wide with horror. They
all looked like frightened owlets. It was clear that all this time they were terror-stricken and probably had already "buried" me. I tried to smile
and still gulping warm river water, managed to squeeze out that I was absolutely all right, although it was very far from being the truth.
As I was told later, the whole havoc had lasted only five minutes, although I felt that time stopped during that frightful interval when I was
under water... I was sincerely glad that my mum was not there that day. Later I succeeded in persuading a "neighbouring mother" who volunteered
to supervise us to keep secret everything that had happened at the river, because I did not want my granny or my mum to have a "heart attack",
all the more so now that everything was over and there was no sense in frightening anybody. The neighbour agreed at once. It was obvious that
she was more than eager to do so, unwilling for anyone to know that, regrettably, she had failed to justify the trust placed in her.
This time all ended well. Everybody was alive and happy, and there was no reason to talk about it anymore. However, very often, after my
unlucky "bathing", I came back to the same blazing blue tunnel in my dreams, which for some unknown reason attracted me like a magnet. I
again felt the unusual sense of rest and happiness, not knowing that, as appeared later, it was very dangerous...
21. Unexpected guests
- Evening casts a smouldering gloom upon us.
- It seems a harbinger of a bitter loss.
- Another day is leaving, leaving and
has left into yesterday,
- Like a raft down the river. And there will be no return.
- Maria Semionova.
A couple of weeks after the ill-starred day on the river, the souls (more precisely, the spirits) of the dead, unknown to me, people began to
visit me. It is highly likely that my frequent returns to the blue channel "disturbed" the rest of the souls which had calmly existed in peaceful
silence... Well, as it appeared later, not all of them were calm and peaceful. When a lot of extremely different spirits had visited me, from
very sad to deeply unhappy and turbulent, I understood how important the way we live our life was and what a pity that we began to
think about it when it was already too late to change anything and we remain absolutely helpless facing the cruel and inexorable fact that we
will never be able to put anything right anymore
I wanted to run out into the street, grasp people's hands and cry to everybody how it was terrible, when it became too late for everything!
And painfully, I wanted everybody to know that nobody ever would help them "afterwards"! Regrettably, even then I perfectly
understood that all I could get for this kind of "sincere warning" would be a direct route to an asylum or, at the very best, laughter. Besides,
what could I, a nine-year old girl, who nobody wanted to understand, and found the easiest way of accepting was to consider her a "bit
strange", prove to anybody?
I did not know what I must do to help all the unhappy people, suffering from their errors or cruel fate. I was ready to listen to their requests
for hours, forgetting about myself and wishing to be open as much as possible in order that all who needed could "knock" on my door. So, the
"avalanches" of my new guests began, which, honestly speaking, at first frightened me a little.
The first was a young woman who for some reason I liked at once. She was very sad, and I felt that an unhealed wound, which prevented
her from going away, "bled" deeply in her soul. A stranger appeared for the first time, when I sat, comfortably curled up in dad's arm-chair,
and "devoured" a book which it was prohibited to take out of the house. Enjoying my reading very much, like always, I submerged into an
unknown and such exciting world so deeply that I did not immediately notice an unusual guest.
First a disturbing sense of a strange presence appeared. The feeling was quite peculiar, as if a light cool breeze suddenly blew in the room
and the air filled with a transparent vibrating fog. I lifted my head and saw a very beautiful, young and fair-haired woman right in front of me.
Her body slightly shone with bluish light, but apart from that she looked quite normal. The stranger intently looked at me as if begging for
something. Suddenly I heard:
Please, help me.
Although she did not open her mouth, I heard the words very clearly; although they sounded slightly different; the sound was soft and
rustling. And here I understood that she spoke to me the way I had heard it before the voice sounded only in my head (which, as I knew
later, was telepathy).
the voice quietly rustled again.
How can I help you? I asked.
You can hear me; you can talk to her... The stranger answered.
Who must I talk to?
To my little girl, the answer followed.
Her name was Veronica. As it appeared, this sad and very attractive woman died of cancer almost a year ago, when she was just thirty
and her little six-year-old daughter thought that her mother had left her and, therefore, refused to forgive her and still deeply suffered because
of it. Veronicas son was too little when she died and did not understand that his mother would never return, and now strangers hands would
take him to bed and a strangers voice would sing his sweet lullaby to him. He was still too little and could not realize how much pain such a
cruel loss could bring. The matter with his six-year-old sister was different... That is why this nice woman could not calm down and go away,
while her little daughter suffered so deeply, in such a grown-up way.
How shall I find her? I asked.
I shall take you, the answer rustled.
Only now I suddenly noticed that, when she moved, her body easily passed through furniture and other solid objects, as if being woven
from dense fog... I asked whether it was difficult for her being here. She said yes, because it was high time for her to leave. I also asked
whether she had been afraid to die. She said no. Dying is not a scary thing. The most frightful is to watch those who you leave, because
there are still so many things you wish to say to them, but, regrettably, you cannot change anything... I felt so sorry for this nice, but
helpless and very unhappy woman. I wanted to help her, but did not know how.
The next day I returned home from my friend's where we learned to play the pianoforte (because I did not have one then). Suddenly I felt
a strange internal push, turned and went in the opposite direction along a street, absolutely unfamiliar to me. I went for a short while until
I stopped near a very pleasant looking house buried in flowers. A sad tiny girl sat in a small play area. She looked more like a miniature doll
than a child. Only this "doll" was incredibly sad for some reason... She sat absolutely motionless and looked indifferent to everything, as if
the surrounding world did not exist for her.
Her name is Alina, the familiar voice rustled inside me, please, talk to her...
I came to the gate and tried to open it. The feeling was far from pleasant as if I intruded on somebody's life. But I thought what an
unhappy mother poor Veronica had to be and decided to take a chance. The girl turned her enormous sky-blue eyes to me and I saw that
they were filled with such deep grief, which a tiny child simply could not possibly feel. I approached her very carefully, being afraid of
frightening her, but the girl was not going to be scared, only looked at me in surprise, as if asking what I wanted from her.
I sat on the edge of a wooden partition and asked why she was so sad. She did not answer for a long time and then, finally, whispered
My mother left me, but I love her so much... Maybe, I was very bad girl, and now she will never come back.
I became confused. What could I say to her? How to explain? I felt that Veronica was with me. Her pain literally twisted me up into a
hard smarting lump of pain and began to burn me so strongly that I could not breathe. I wanted to help them both so much that I decided
whatever will be will be but I would not go away without trying. I put my arms round the girls fragile shoulders and said as soft as possible:
Your mother loves you more than anything, Alina, and she asked me you to tell you that she never abandoned you.
It means, now she lives with you? The girl bristled.
No. She lives where neither I nor you can go. Her earthly life here with us ended, and now she lives in another, very beautiful world
from which she can watch you. But she sees how you suffer and cannot live in our world, but she should not be here any longer. Therefore
she needs your help. Would you like to help her?
How do you know all that? Why does she speak to you?
I felt that she still disbelieved me and did not want to accept me as a friend. I could not think of how to explain to this little and unhappy
girl that there was "another" distant world from which, unfortunately, nobody could return and that her beloved mother spoke to me not
because she had a choice, but because I simply was "lucky" enough to be a bit "different" to everybody else.
People are different, Alinushka, I began. Some have a talent for drawing, others for singing, and I have a special talent for conversation
with those who have left our world forever. Your mum speaks to me not because she likes me, but because I heard her when nobody else could
hear her anymore. And I am very glad that I can help her. She loves you very much and suffers because she had to go. It hurts her to abandon
you, but it was not her choice. Do you remember how long and seriously she was ill? The girl nodded. It was the illness that forced her to
leave you. But now she must go to the new world where she will live. And to do so, she wants to be sure that you know how much she loves
The girl sadly looked at me and quietly asked:
Does she live with angels now? My dad said that she lives in the place where everything is like on the postcards which I received at
Christmas, where there were such beautiful winged angels... Why did not she take me with her?
Because you must live your life here, dear, and then you will go to the same world where your mum now is.
The girl began to shine.
So, I shall see her there? She joyfully prattled.
Of course, Alinushka. Therefore you only have to be a patient girl and help your mother now, if you love her so much.
What must I do? The little child asked very seriously.
Just think of her and remember her, because she sees you. And if you stop being sad, your mother will finally find rest.
Does she now see me? The girl asked and her lips treacherously began to twitch.
She became silent for some instants, as if gathering her inward strength, and then firmly squeezed her fists and whispered:
I will be a very good girl, mummy
go, please. I love you so much!
Tears rolled down her pale cheeks like big peas, but her face was very serious and concentrated. Life had inflicted the first cruel blow
upon her and it seemed that this little, so deeply hurt, girl suddenly realized some very grown-up thing, and now tried in earnest and openly
to accept it. My heart was torn apart with pity for these two unhappy and so nice creatures, but unfortunately, I could not help them in
anything more. The surrounding world was incredibly light and beautiful, but it already could not be their common world anymore.
Sometimes life can be very cruel, and we never know what the lesson of pain or loss prepared for us really means. Probably there is some
truth in that: without losses, it is impossible to comprehend what fate gives us, no matter whether it comes by right or lucky chance. But what
could this unhappy girl, shriveling like a small injured animal, comprehend when the world suddenly threw at her all the cruelty and pain of
the most frightful loss?
I sat with them for a long time and tried to do my best to help them both to find some peace of mind. I remembered my grandpa and the
terrible pain which his death brought me. How hard it would be for this fragile, vulnerable girl to lose the dearest creature in the world her
We never reflect on the fact that those who fate takes from us for one or another reason suffer the consequences of their death much deeper
than we. We feel pain from loss, suffer and sometimes even get angry, because they abandoned us so pitilessly. But what do they feel
when their suffering increases by thousands of times, on seeing how we suffer from not having them with us anymore? And how
helpless a person must feel not having the slightest opportunity to say and change anything?
I would have given a lot then to find a possibility to warn people about that. Regrettably, I did not have such. Therefore, after Veronica's
sad visit I started waiting impatiently for when I could help somebody else. As usual, life did not keep me waiting long.
The spirits came to me day and night. They were young and old, male and female. All asked me to help them to talk to their daughter,
son, husband, wife, father, mother or sister. It was an endless stream until in the end I felt that I had no energy left. I did not know that on
contacting them I had to put on my protection (which, besides, should be the strongest one I was able to create!), restraining myself from
being open emotionally and pouring out my life-force, which then I did not know how to fill up, on them like a waterfall.
Very soon I literally had no strength to move and fell ill. When my mother called our doctor Dana to check what again befell me, the
latter said that it was a "temporary loss of strength because of physical overstrain". I said nothing to anybody, although I perfectly knew the
real reason for this "overstrain" and as I had done for a very long time, honestly swallowed any medicine that my cousin prescribed me and
after spending almost a week in bed was ready for my next "feats".
I had understood a long time ago that my sincere attempts to explain what really happened to me gave nothing but headaches and
increased my grandmother and mother's permanent watching me; honestly speaking, I found no pleasure whatsoever in that...
My long "communication" with spirits of the dead once again turned upside down my already unusual world. I could not forget the
endless stream of deep human despair and bitterness and tried to find another way to help them all. But days passed and I was unable to
invent anything but doing what I did; only now I spent my life-force more carefully. But I still could not treat what happened with cold
calmness and continued to contact the desperate souls and tried to help them, as much as I could.
Truth to tell, sometimes there were amusing, almost funny, cases and Ill tell you about one of them.
22. The poltergeist
It was a grey gloomy day. Low leaden clouds slowly trailed across the sky, threatening to break into a heavy shower at any moment.
It was stuffy in the room; I did not feel like doing anything my only wish was to lie down, staring at "nowhere" and think of anything.
But the point is that I never was able to think of anything, even when I honestly tried to relax or have a rest. Therefore I sat in my dad's
favourite arm-chair and tried to drive away my sombre mood reading one of my favourite "positive" books.
In a while I felt a stranger's presence and mentally prepared to meet a new "guest". But instead of feeling a usual soft breeze I was
almost glued to the back of the arm-chair and my book was tossed on the floor. I was very surprised at such an unexpected stormy
manifestation, but decided to wait and see what would happen next.
A "dishevelled" man appeared in the room. He did not greet me and give his name (which usually all others did), but demanded at
once that I "immediately came with him", because he "needed me urgently". He was so highly strung and "boiling" that I almost laughed.
Unlike others, there was no sadness or pain in him. I made an effort to look as serious as possible and calmly asked:
Why do you think I will go with you anywhere?
Don't you understand anything? I am dead!!! His voice shouted in my head.
Well, why? I know perfectly, where are you from, but it does not mean that you have the right to be rude to me. I
answered calmly. As I understand it, its you that needs help, not I; therefore it would be better, if you tried to be a bit
My words had the effect of an exploded grenade upon the man... It seemed that he would explode himself. I thought that he certainly
was a very spoilt child of fortune or simply had a terribly bad temper when he was alive.
You have no right to refuse to help me! There is nobody else who hears me!!! He bawled again.
The books began to whirl in the room and then flopped on the floor. It seemed that a typhoon raged inside this strange person. But
then it was me who became indignant and I slowly pronounced:
If you do not calm down at once, I shall stop the contact, and you can rebel alone, if you find so much pleasure in it.
The man was obviously surprised, but slightly cooled down. I had the impression that he was not used to anybody refusing to submit
to him at once as soon as he expressed his wish. I never liked this type of person neither then nor now. Boorishness always revolted me,
even if, as in this case, it came from the dead...
It seemed that my violent guest calmed down and asked in quite normal voice whether I wished to help to him. I said yes, if he promised
to behave in a civilized manner. Then he said that he must talk to his wife and that he would not go away (from earth) until he could talk to
her. I naively thought that it was one of those cases when a husband loved his wife very much (despite that seeming quite unnatural regarding
his way of behaving) and decided to help, even if I disliked him. We agreed that he would come back tomorrow when I was not indoors, then
I would try to do what I could.
The next day I felt his mad (I can not call it otherwise) presence from the early morning. I mentally sent a signal to him several times that
I could not hurry the course of events and I would go out when I could in order to prevent additional questions from my family, but my new
acquaintance was again quite unbearable. Apparently the possibility of talking to his wife made him absolutely beside himself. Then I decided
to change my schedule and get rid of him as quickly as possible. Usually I tried not to refuse help to anybody, therefore I said yes to this strange
and capricious spirit. I told my grandma that I wanted to go for walk and went out to the street.
Well, lead me, mentally I said to my companion.
We walked for about ten minutes. His house appeared to be not far from us, on a street running parallel to ours, but for some reason I did
not remember this man, although I knew all our neighbours. I asked when he died. He said: ten years ago (!!!). It was absolutely impossible,
and to my mind too long ago!
But how can you still be here? Dumbfounded, I asked.
I told you. I will not go away until I talk to her! He answered crossly.
There was something wrong in it, but I could not understand what. Nobody of all my dead "guests" stayed on earth for so long. Maybe,
I was not right, and this strange person loved his wife so much that he did not dare to leave her? But to tell the truth, I could hardly believe it.
Well, he did not look like a "knight, in-love-forever", even at a huge stretch. We came to the house and here I suddenly felt that my stranger
had become shy.
Well, shall we? I asked.
You do not know my name. He mumbled.
You should have thought about that at the beginning, I answered.
Suddenly some kind of a door opened in my memory and I remembered what I had known about these neighbours.
It was a house "known" for its oddities in which only I, in our whole neighbourhood, believed. The neighbours rumored that apparently
the hostess was a bit off her head, because she constantly told "bizarre" stories about flying objects, self-writing pens, ghosts, etc. (things
like this are shown very well in the film "Ghost" which I saw many years later).
The neighbour was a very pleasant woman in her forties. Her husband indeed died about ten years ago, since when these "wonders" began
to happen. I visited her several times, being eager to know what really happened in her house, but regrettably could not get my reserved
neighbour talking. Therefore now I fully shared her husband's impatience and was eager to enter, anticipating that which, in my opinion,
should happen there.
My name is Vlad, my former neighbour croaked.
I looked at him in surprise and understood that he was very afraid, but I decided not to pay attention to it and entered the house. She sat
by the fireplace and was embroidering a pillow. I greeted her and was going to explain why I was here, when she unexpectedly quickly said:
Please, dear, leave as quickly as possible! It can be dangerous here.
Poor woman was frightened to death and I suddenly understood of what she was so much afraid. Obviously she always felt
the presence of her husband when he came in! And all the poltergeist manifestations, which had happened before in her house, were his
fault. Therefore, when she felt his presence again, she wanted to "protect" me from possible shock. I took her hands and said as gently as
I know what you are afraid of. Please, listen to what I want to say to you and all of it will be over forever.
I tried to do my best to explain about the spirits which came to me and how I tried to help them. I saw that she believed me, but for
some reason was afraid to show it.
Milia, your husband is with me. If you want, you can talk to him, I said carefully.
To my surprise, she was quiet for quite a long time, and then gently pronounced:
Leave me alone, Vlad. You have tormented me for long enough. Leave.
I was shocked at how much pain was in the woman's voice! As it turned out, her answer dumbfounded not only me, but her strange
husband. His reaction was immediate. I felt a wild whirlwind of stranger energy next to me, which began to smash everything around.
Books, flowers, teacups everything which was on the table fell on the floor with a terrible crash. The neighbour turned white like
linen and hastily began to push me outside. But it was already too late to frighten me by such "effects" like tossing cups. Therefore, I softly
moved the poor shaky woman and firmly said:
If you do not stop frightening your wife, I will go away and then you can look for somebody else for as long as you did before!
But the man did not pay any attention to me. Apparently he had been waiting for somebody who would help him to "get" his poor wife
and his ten years of "sacrifice" would not be spent in vain. And now, when it happened at last, he totally lost control...
Milia, darling, I wanted to tell you this for so long
come with me, dear
come. I cannot be alone
I cannot do without you for so
come with me.
He disjointedly mumbled something, repeating the same words all the time. Only then did I understand what this man truly
wanted!!! He was asking his living, beautiful wife to come with him, which simply meant to die.
I could not bear it all anymore.
Listen, you! You are absolutely mad! I mentally cried. I am not going to say these mean words to her! Be off where you should
have been for a long time! Your place is there.
I was simply turned inside out through sheer indignation! Can this really happen? I did not know what I would do, but I knew one thing
for sure I was not going to give this woman to him, not for the world.
He fell into a furious rage because I did not repeat his words to her. He yelled at me. He yelled at her. He cursed with words I never heard.
He wept, if it can be called weeping... I understood that he could be truly dangerous now, only I did not understand yet how. Everything moved
frantically in the house, the panes were smashed. Milia stood motionless, unable to say a single word. She was terribly frightened, because,
unlike me, she saw nothing of what was happening in "another" reality, closed to her and saw only objects "dancing" in front of her in a mad
fantasia, and slowly went crazy
It is very amusing to read about poltergeists and another reality in books, being entranced with heroes who always "defeat dragons". In
reality there is nothing "amusing" in it; when you, being horror-stricken, do not know what to do with it and a good person can die right now
because of your helplessness.
I saw Milia slipping down the wall and become pale as death. I was terribly frightened and suddenly felt who I really was then just a
little girl who, due to her foolishness, got into something terrible and did not know now how to get out of it.
Well, no way! I thought. You will not get her!
And I delivered an energy blow to this insignificant spirit, putting all my indignation into it. I heard a wild howl and everything disappeared.
The crazy motion of objects over the room stopped; there was no fear... and there was no strange crazy man who almost sent his innocent wife
to the next world. Dead silence hung in the house. Only broken bits still tinkled. Milia sat on the floor with her eyes closed and showed no sparks
of life. But for some reason I was sure that everything would be well with her. I came to her and stroked her cheek.
Aunt Milia, everything is over, I whispered softly, trying not to frighten her. He will never come again.
She opened her eyes and observed the devastated room, looking tired and dubious.
What was it, dear? She whispered.
It was your husband Vlad, but he will never come again.
And here she broke into tears. I have never heard before such a heart-rending weeping! It seemed that the poor woman wanted to cry out
everything that had been happened in her life for these long (as I knew later, terrible) years. But, as they say, no matter how deep the despair or
offense, one cannot cry endlessly. The tears wash away the bitterness and pain and the soul gradually comes back to life, like a bud turns into a
beautiful flower in spring after a long cruel winter. The same way Milia began to come to her senses. Her eyes were filled with surprise which
was later replaced by shy gladness.
How do you know that he will not come, baby? She asked, as if wishing to get additional confirmation.
Nobody has called me baby for a long time and in that moment it sounded especially strange, because I was exactly that "baby" which right
now accidentally saved her life. But, naturally, I was not going to be offended. Besides, I simply had no strength for that, being unable even to
move to the sofa from the floor. It is highly likely that I had "spent" all my force in delivering the only blow which nothing could make me repeat
I stayed with my neighbour for quite a long time and she at last told me how her husband tormented her all this time (the whole ten years!!!).
She was not quite sure then that it was exactly he, but now her doubts disappeared and now she knew that she was right. When Vlad was dying,
he said that he would not know rest until he took her with him and he did his best to achieve it for so many years...
In no way could I understand how a person can be so cruel and dare to call that love. But I was, like my neighbour said, just a little girl,
who was still incapable of believing that sometimes man can be really cruel even in such a high and noble feeling as love.
23. A car accident
It was the most shocking case in the endless train of my contacts with the spirits of the dead. It happened one warm autumn evening when
I was slowly making my way home from school. Usually I would have been much later because I attended the evening lessons which finished
at about seven o'clock, but on that day the two last lessons were cancelled and we were allowed to go home earlier than usual.
The weather was uncommonly pleasant. I was in no hurry and decided on a gentle stroll. The air was filled with the bitter-sweet scent of the
last autumn flowers. The playful breeze rustled among fallen leaves whispering tender words to the now bare trees which bashfully blushed in
the last rays of the sunset. The soft twilight calmly breathed quiet peace and rest...
I loved this time of day. It attracted me with its fragile inscrutable air of something undone which at the same time has not even started: when
the day has not yet dissolved into the past and the night still refrains from claiming its rights. It feels like a fairy-tale "no man's land," elusive,
suspended in time. I adored this short period of time and was always myself then, in a very special way. That day something "special" did indeed
happen, but not the kind of special which I would gladly see or experience again.
I was calmly approaching a crossing, being deep in thought, when the wild squeal of a car's brakes and the screams of shocked people
suddenly and sharply pulled me out of my reverie. Right in front of me, a small white car slammed into a cement post and met an enormous
car coming from the opposite direction head-on.
In a few moments the spirits of a small girl and boy "jumped out" of the smashed white car. Confused, they began to look around until they
saw their disfigured physical bodies and dazedly stared at them.
What's happened? The girl asked in a thin frightened voice. Is that us out there? She whispered in a very hushed voice, pointing at her
bloodstained little physical face. "But... how can it be?... were here, as well".
It was perfectly clear that she was shocked by the event and her greatest desire was to hide somewhere from all that.
Mummy, where are you?! The little girl suddenly cried. Mummy!
Judging from her appearance, she was four, no more. Two thin blonde pigtails with enormous pink bows bristled like odd pretzels on either
side making her look like a little, funny kind of faun. Her wide open large grey eyes looked with enormous confusion at her familiar and well-
known world, which for some reason had suddenly become incomprehensible, strange and cold. She was terribly frightened and did not hide it.
The boy was eight or nine. He was thin and fragile, but his round "professorial" glasses made him look a little older, very business-like
and serious. But all his seriousness suddenly evaporated somewhere giving way to absolute confusion.
A lamenting and bewailing crowd began to gather around the cars. Within several minutes the police came accompanied by an ambulance.
Our town was quite small then, therefore the city services could react to any incident quite quickly and efficiently. After some swift words
the paramedics carefully began to take out the maimed bodies, one by one. The first was the boy's body whose spirit stood in shocked silence
next to me, unable to say or think anything.
The poor little fellow was shivering wildly. Obviously, it was too much for his child's overtaxed mind to comprehend. He just looked
goggle-eyed at that which had been "him" some moments ago and had no strength to come out of his prolonged "numbness".
Mummy, Mummy!!! The girl began to cry again. Vidas, Vidas, why does she not hear me?!
Or rather, she cried mentally because, unfortunately, she was already dead physically, as was her brother.
And her poor mother, whose physical body still clutched tenaciously at its fragile, hardly glimmering life, could not hear her because they
already belonged to different, inaccessible to each other, worlds....
The children became more confused and I felt that give it another minute or two and the girl would have a real nervous breakdown (if that
can be said about an incorporeal spirit).
Why are we lying there, why does Mummy not answer us?! The girl still cried tugging at her brother's sleeve.
Maybe because we are dead. The boy answered with his teeth chattering.
What about Mummy? The girl whispered in horror.
Mum is alive. Her brother answered somewhat doubtfully.
But what about us? Why don't you tell them that we are here, that they cannot go away without us! Tell them!!! The girl still could
not calm down.
I cannot, they do not hear us. Don't you see? They truly don't hear us. The boy tried somehow to explain it to his little sister; but she
was too young to understand that her mother could neither hear her, nor talk to her, anymore. She could not understand and refused to accept
this horrid situation. Spreading the tears that streamed down her pale cheeks with her little fists, she saw only her mother who for some reason
did not want to answer her and did not want to rise.
Mummy, please, get up! She began to cry again. Please, get up, Mummy!!!
The paramedics began to carry the bodies into the ambulance and the girl lost her head...
Vidas, Vidas, they are taking all of us away!!! What about us, why we are here? She was unable to calm down.
The boy was paralyzed with fright. He stood silent, even forgetting about his little sister.
What shall we do now? The girl became panic-stricken. Go now, please, let's go!!!
Where to? The boy asked quietly. We have nowhere to go.
I could not stand it any longer and decided to talk to the poor frightened, clinging to each other, children who were suddenly thrown into
a strange and incomprehensible world. I really felt for them and could only try to imagine the horror of a little girl who did not have a clue as
to what death was.
I came near and, fearing to frighten them, softly said:
Let's talk, I can hear you.
Vidas! She can hear us!!! The girl chirped. And who are you? Are you a good person? Can you tell my Mummy that we're scared?
The words streamed from her lips nonstop. Obviously, she was terribly afraid that I would suddenly disappear and she would loose the
chance to say everything she wanted. She looked at the ambulance and saw that the paramedics had redoubled their activity.
Look, look, they will take us away now, but what about us?! The frightened child babbled in horror, unable to understand what was
I felt caught in a blind alley because this was the first time I had come across children who had just died and had no idea how to explain
all that to them. The boy seemed to understand something but his sister was so terribly frightened by what was going on, that her little heart
refused to understand anything at all. I was confused for some moments and wanted very much to calm her down, but I could not find the
right words and, being afraid of doing more harm, kept silent.
Suddenly the figure of a man emerged from the ambulance and I heard the paramedics' voices crying: "We are losing him!" Then I
understood that the next to say farewell to life was the father...
Daddy!!! The girl exclaimed with joy. I thought that you had left us and here you are! Oh goody. That's better!
The father, understanding nothing, looked around. On seeing his body covered with wounds and the paramedics bustling around it, he
grabbed his head with both hands and howled faintly. It was very strange to watch a big strong man contemplating his death in such wild
horror. Or maybe, it always happens exactly this way? Because he, unlike children, perfectly understood that his earthly life was over and
nobody could do anything about that despite wishing with all one's heart that it was not so...
Daddy, daddy, aren't you glad? Can you really see us? His daughter chattered happily, oblivious of his despair. The father looked
at them with such confusion and pain that my heart was slowly torn to pieces...
Good Lord, you, too?!.. And you?.. But why you?! These were the only words he could find to say.
The three bodies in the ambulance were already covered fully; there was no doubt that all three were dead. The mother was the one
who remained alive and, to tell the truth, I did not envy her "awakening" at all. In fact, on seeing that she had lost her whole family, the
woman could well renounce her life too.
Daddy, will Mummy wake up soon? The girl asked merrily.
The father was totally confused but I saw that he did his best to gather his strength to calm his little daughter.
Katienka darling, mummy will not wake up. She will not be with us anymore. He said that as calmly as possible.
What do you mean she won't be with us?! But, aren't we together? We must be together!!! Right?.. little Kate didn't want
to give up.
I understood that the father would find it difficult to explain to his daughter such a little human being that their life had changed
dramatically and they could not return to the old world, no matter how much she wanted that. The father was in shock himself and, to my
mind, needed consolation no less than his daughter. The boy bore up best of all, although I could see perfectly well that he also was terribly
frightened. Everything happened so unexpectedly and neither of them was ready for that. Obviously, the boy had an "instant of
courageousness" triggered when he saw his "big, strong" dad so taken aback, and he, poor thing, had to be the man and take the "reins of
government" from his confused father's hands into his child's shaky little ones...
I have never seen people (except for my grand-dad) at the very moment of their death. It was then, on this ill-fated evening, that I
understood how terribly helpless and unprepared people were in the moment of their transition to another world! Probably the
fear of something unknown and the view of their physical body from the outside (but already without them in it!) shocked people
who suspected nothing of the kind.
Daddy, look! They are taking us away and Mummy too! How will we find her again?
The girl tugged at her father's sleeve, trying to catch his attention but he still was somewhere "between worlds" and paid no attention to
her. I was very surprised and even disappointed at this behaviour, unworthy of him, for no matter how scared this big human being was, a
little human being his tiny daughter standing at his feet, needed his consolation and support. For her he was "the best and strongest"
dad in the world, therefore, in my opinion he simply had no right to be so apathetic in her presence.
I saw that the poor children had no idea whatsoever what to do and where to go; neither had I, frankly speaking. But someone had to
do something and I again decided to interfere in that which, probably, was not my business but I simply could not look at all that calmly
and not act.
I beg your pardon, what is your name? I gently asked the father.
This simple question led him out of the "thick fog" in which he had been submerged, unable to find his way. Astonished, he confusedly
My name is Valery. Where did you come from?!... Did you die too? Why do you hear us?
I was very glad that he had somehow regained his senses and answered:
No, I did not die. I was just passing by when all this happened; but I can hear you and talk to you, if you wish.
They all stared at me with surprise.
And why are you alive, if you can hear us? The girl inquired.
I was just going to answer when suddenly a young dark-haired woman unexpectedly appeared and swiftly disappeared, without saying
Mummy, here you are!!! Kate cried happily. I told you she would come, didnt I?
I understood that the woman's life "hung by a thread" now and her spirit was knocked out of her physical body for a few moments.
Well, where is she?! Kate looked disappointed. She was just here!
The storm of strong emotions exhausted the girl and her face became very pale, helpless and sorrowful. She grabbed her brother's hand
very tightly as though seeking support and whispered:
Nobody around sees us. What does it all mean, daddy?
Suddenly she looked like a little, sad and confused old lady, who looked at the so familiar world with her pure eyes and could not
understand where she was to go now, where was her mother and her home?.. She turned both to her sad brother and to her father, who
stood apart, lonely and seemingly indifferent to everything; but neither of them could answer her simple child's question and suddenly the
poor girl became really terrified.
Will you stay with us for a little while? She asked plaintively looking at me with her large pleading eyes.
Of course, I will, if that is what you want. I assured her immediately.
I wanted so much to hug her firmly in order to warm her scared little heart.
Who are you, girl? The father unexpectedly asked.
I am just a person, only slightly "different" I answered being a bit embarrassed. I can hear and see those who "have gone" ... like
We have died, have we? He asked more calmly.
Yes, you have. I answered honestly.
So, what will happen to us now?
You will live, only in another world. And it is not so bad, believe me! You just need to get accustomed to it and accept the idea that
you will like it.
Do people really live after death? The father asked, still unbelieving.
They do, but not here. I answered. You will feel everything the same way as before, but in another world, not your usual
wife is still there, as am I, but you have already crossed the "border" and now you are on the other side. I said trying to find the proper
words so he could understand what had happened to them.
So, will she come to us some day too? The girl suddenly asked.
Yes, she will, one day. I answered.
Well, I will wait for her then. The girl declared confidently with satisfaction in her voice. And we'll be all together again, right
daddy? You want Mummy to be with us again, dont you?
Her enormous grey eyes shone like little stars with the hope that one fine day her dear mum would be there too, in her new world. But
she did not and could not understand that being in her new world would mean death for her mother, no more and no less...
It so happened that the girl did not have to wait too long. Her beloved mother reappeared. She was very sorrowful and slightly confused
but behaved much better than the wildly frightened father who, to my sincere joy, slowly became himself again.
I made a very interesting observation covering the whole period of my contact with an enormous number of dead peoples spirits. I
can say with almost one hundred percent confidence that women accept the "shock of death" much more calmly and positively than men. I
could not understand the reason for that then but I was firmly convinced of it. Probably they felt the pain of guilt for leaving their children
in the world of the "living", or the pain which their death brought to their nearest and dearest more heavily and deeply: but the overwhelming
majority of them did not experience the fear of death, unlike men. Could the fact that it was they that gave the most valuable gift on
our earth that of human life explain that? Regrettably, then, I did not yet have the answer to this question...
Mummy, Mummy! They said that you wouldn't come for a long time! And you are already here!!! I knew that you would not leave us!
Little Kate twittered, choking with delight. Now we are all together again and everything will be all right!
I felt deep sadness observing this lovely united family trying to protect the little daughter and sister from realizing the fact that their
being together now was not all right and that none of them now had any chance to live the rest of their unlived life; and that they
would sincerely have preferred any member of their family to survive: but little Kate chattered on innocently and happily, extremely glad
that the family was all together again and everything was all right...
The mother smiled sorrowfully trying to show that she was glad and happy too... but her heart screamed in pain like an injured bird
mourning for her poor children who had lived so little. Suddenly she created a transparent "wall" as though "separating" her husband and
herself from the children and looked at him gently touching his cheek.
Valery, please, look at me. The woman spoke in low voice. What shall we do? This is death, is this not?
He fixed his large grey eyes on her. An unbearable mortal melancholy reigned in them so that now I wanted to howl like a wolf
because my heart and soul could not take it anymore...
How could it happen? And why them too? The wife asked Valery again. What are we going to do now? Tell me.
But he could not either answer or suggest anything to her. He was dead and, unfortunately, knew nothing of what happened "after
that", just like all other people who lived in that "dark" time when the greatest lie of all was hammered into everyones head; that being
the idea that there was nothing "after that" and that human life was over at the mournful and frightful moment of physical
Daddy, Mummy, where shall we go now? The girl asked cheerfully. It seemed that now, when they all were together, she was completely
happy again and ready to lead her life here, in an unknown, for her, level of existence.
Oh, Mummy, look. My hand went through the bench!!! How can I sit down then? The girl exclaimed with surprise.
Before the mother had time to answer, the air right above them sparkled with all the colours of the rainbow and began to thicken, transforming
into a blue channel of amazing beauty which looked very like the one I had seen during my unfortunate "bathing" in the river. The channel
sparkled and shimmered with thousands of stars and wrapped the dumbfounded family within the thickening cloud.
I don't know who you are, girl, but you know something about that. The mother unexpectedly asked me. Please, tell me. Should
we go there?
Yes, you should. I am afraid so. I answered as calmly as possible. This is your new world where you will live. It is very beautiful.
You will like it there.
I was a trifle sad that they had to leave so soon, but I understood that it was for the better: they should avoid regrets about the world they
just lost, because they would quickly accept their new world and new life...
Look, Mummy, it is beautiful!!! Almost like Christmas! Vidas, Vidas. Isn't it so lovely?! The little thing was absolutely delighted. What
are you waiting for? Let's go!
The mother sadly smiled at me and tenderly said:
Farewell girl, whoever you are, I wish you happiness in this world.
Embracing her little children, she turned to the sparkling channel. They all, except for little Kate, were very sad and looked extremely
worried. They had to leave everything they were accustomed to and knew so well and "go" who knows where. Unfortunately, they had no
choice. Suddenly a luminous female figure condensed itself in the middle of the sparkling channel and slowly began to approach the
dumbfounded bunched up family.
Alice? The mother said, squinting at the new guest.
The spirit smiled and stretched her hands toward the woman as if inviting her embraces.
Alice, is it really you?!
Well, we finally meet again, my dear. The shining creature pronounced. Are you all here? Oh, what a pity! It's too early for them...
What a pity...
Mummy, who is she? The little child whispered in astonishment. How beautiful she is! Who is she, Mummy?
She is your aunt, dear. The mother answered affectionately.
That beautiful lady is my aunt? This is great a new aunt!!! And who is she? The curious girl could not quiet down.
She is my sister, Alice. You have never seen her. She went away to "another" world before you were born.
Well, it was long ago then. Little Kate confidently established an "undeniable fact."
The luminous "aunt" sadly smiled watching her cheerful little niece who saw nothing bad in this new situation. The girl merrily hopped on
one leg, testing her unusual "new body" and feeling absolutely satisfied with the latter stared inquiringly at the grown-ups, full of expectation,
that at last they are going to go into the unusual luminous "new world." She seemed to be quite happy again, because the whole family was there
which meant that everything was perfect and all right and there was no need to worry about anything anymore. Her tiny childs world was
again protected by the people she loved and she did not have to think about what had happened to them anymore and she just waited for
what would happen next.
Alice looked at me very attentively and softly said:
It is too early for you, girl. A very long road awaits you.
The luminous blue channel still sparkled and shone, but it seemed to me that the luminescence was becoming weaker. As if confirming
my thought, the "aunt" said:
It is time, my dearest. You do not need this world any more.
She embraced them all (which surprised me a little, because she suddenly became bigger) and the luminous channel disappeared together
with the sweet girl Kate and her wonderful family... I felt empty and sad as if I again had lost someone dear, as happened almost always after a
new meeting with a person who was "leaving".
Are you all right, girl? I heard an alarmed voice. Somebody was shaking me, trying to "return" me to the "normal" state, because it
seemed that I had again "entered" into another world, distant for others, too deeply and scared a good man with my "abnormally-frozen"
The evening was still wonderful and warm and everything around was the same as it was an hour ago... but I did not want to stroll
Some fragile, good lives had just been torn off so easily and flown away to another world like white clouds. I was sad, as if they had
taken a little piece of my lonely heart with them. I wanted to believe that the lovely girl Kate would be happy while expecting to return
"home." I was sincerely sorry for those who did not have such "aunts" to calm their fear, and who rushed about in horror departing for
another, unknown and frightening world, having no idea what waited for them and not believing that their own real LIFE was still