Fringe Dweller on the Night Shift
by Monica Holy
“By day, Monica Holy’s life looks like millions of others. She paints, jogs, talks to friends, and worries about her children. Her nightlife is a different story. It is there, in a world she enters through the portal of lucid dreams, that she works to conduct the newly dead – especially young and/or troubled souls – to the other side. She provides emergency relief. She brings back messages from the world beyond. She works to connect the entire human community to the divine expression of all that is.”
I am in the matrix. For me to be here means that a lost soul is ready to go home.
I have a vague corporeal structure—my ethereal body—with just enough form to appear human. I’m holding the hand of the person I’m leading. In the darkness that surrounds us, we head toward the cone of brilliant light that lies ahead. The light intensifies as we draw closer, becoming brighter than any sun that human eyes have seen, yet its brilliance does not spill out of its own form to light the space around it. The light is held within itself, waiting for the return of the spirit that approaches, waiting to bring the spirit home.
As we travel together, I feel the ineffable love that radiates from the cone of light—an overwhelming sense of peace, calm, wonder, compassion, and wellness. Our joy increases as we come yet closer, and all fear and hesitation is forgotten.
My being opens in wonder and innocence. I am free to be as vulnerable as a newborn, without fear of judgment. Waves of ecstasy wash through me and back again to the light from which they came in an exchange of pure and all-consuming love. In a fraction of a moment I know what it means to be at one with something. I am filled with a sense of connection to everyone and everything—the source of all that is.
I stop at the light’s edge, still holding the hand of the soul I have led here, and gently release him into the blissful light. My hand grazes the luminosity, and every quarter of my being is pierced with the unconditional, absolute sense of infinite love that is the light.
Although I yearn to drift into the light along with the person I brought here, I know that that is not my purpose in coming, nor is it my time. I gently let go of his hand as I feel his essence begin to rise, watching in awe as he disappears into the apex of the cone before finally vanishing into the intensity of Love’s Light.
He has gone home, and I am breathless with the gratitude of having come here, with the memory of my communion with eternal, limitless, infinite love.
The situation I just described will be recognizable to many readers as an account of a near death experience. It wasn’t one for me because, well, I wasn’t near death. Instead, I was blessed to participate as a witness and a guide as part of my work on the Night Shift.
I didn’t know exactly what my job was when I got to the other side. Every time I met a soul in need, the situation was different. Sometimes the soul had already crossed over. Sometimes I took people to the light, and sometimes I just pointed them in the right direction. Sometimes I was a paramedic, or a counselor, or just a woman comforting a small child. I did whatever was needed of me, but I was confused about the role I was meant to play. I wasn’t getting the overall picture.
I had asked my guides for a manual—some guidebook or job description that would make it all clear to me—but I never got one. After many requests, I met an ethereal, translucent woman, a guide, who came to respond to my frustration. “You have all you need,” she said. Not satisfied with her reply, I asked again and again, but she remained patient and gentle, repeating her answer as many times as I made the request. I never did get a manual, but I’m still busy on the Night Shift, so I guess I’ll have to take it as a little lesson in trusting my guides.
One day I decided to ask my guide a different question. “What is my purpose?” I asked, and to my utter astonishment she replied, “Your purpose is to transport people to death—to help them move to the other side.”
I must admit that I was horrified by the thought. This was definitely not something I could tell new acquaintances when the inevitable question came, “So, what do you do?” I could just hear the hasty excuses of a remembered appointment as they sought their escape from someone who was, at least in their books, out of her mind.
Still, it was the answer I was given, and I had to come to terms with it and get on with the job. It might have been easier to accept if I had been given the job of a more well-known type of medium—one who relays messages from those in the afterlife to those still in the material world for instance. As it was, I would be working as a guide to the dead. There would be no evidence of what I did other than my own subjective experience, no proof that I could offer others as confirmation of my abilities. I would have to demand the utmost open-mindedness from anyone that I confided in. It promised to be a lonely and difficult road to acceptance and understanding by the world at large, and I might never achieve it. Of course, now that I’ve grown used to the idea, I consider it an honored position with great responsibility.
My time on the Night Shift has raised some intriguing questions about the experience of death and what happens when a soul crosses over. Why do some souls need a guide on the other side? Why, given that there is an afterlife, doesn’t every soul automatically enter into the light that’s talked about by those who have returned from a near death experience? And why, in the material world, doesn’t everyone experience the unconditional love that emanates from the light?
There are a number of answers to the first question, most of them relating to the circumstances of death. Many people who die without warning—in an accident, or through violence—experience shock, confusion, fear, and even anger. Emotions have a vibrational frequency, and the dense, negative feelings that people hold as a result of trauma are at the lower end of the spectrum. These frequencies weigh souls down as if with heavy chains, keeping them from rising to the light. In effect, their frequencies are out of sync with the scintillations of love, serenity, gratitude, and compassion that make up the higher plane. In order to move on, these souls need to let go of the emotions that hold them back—and that’s where I come in. I feel their distress and offer them my comfort so that they can release the memories of their last harrowing moments. The burdens of trauma fade away, and they are able to rejoin the light that is at the center of their true being.
As a guide in these situations, I work in the dream-time while occupying my ethereal body. This body is able to move through the material plane as well, and as a soul transporter I’m also called by those who are close to death and need help in making the transition out of the physical body and back home to the light. Again, it is the emotions of fear, panic, and confusion that let me know my assistance is needed.
If the situation is extreme, I perform an astral maneuver called a jump-in. I enter the person’s body, merging with them in total empathy and compassion, and giving myself over to their experience. I feel their emotions and hear their thoughts as if they were my own. I share their physical being, letting their sensations become mine. I see a chaos of images—their whole lifetime concentrated as if onto the head of a pin in a single moment. I experience their death with them. Knowing someone is there sharing their last moments on Earth is tremendously reassuring to these souls, and it eases their way to the other side.
Sometimes I’m able to help people find closure as they perform one last task before they leave the physical plane just beyond physical death and go to the light. In one such case, a young woman was mere seconds away from being murdered. I couldn’t help her avoid her awful fate, but I wanted to do whatever I could to help her in her last moments and ease her way to the next.
She was in a phone booth desperately trying to call her parents to tell them she wanted to come home. Her fear was palpable. I did a jump-in, entering her body to share the emotional, physical, and mental experience she was about to have. I experienced her murder alongside her, and my spirit stayed with hers as it slipped from her body. Even as she died, the woman was calling out to her family. I took her by the hand and together we flew through the astral plane, traveling so fast that the subdivisions below became a blur of shapes and colors. When we “sensed” her parents’ home, the ride came to an abrupt halt inside their house. The moment she was content that she was home again, she calmed down and vanished in a twinkling shimmer of tiny lights. With a little help, she had been able to complete unfinished business, shift frequencies, and find peace in the embrace of the light.
When two or more people die together, their main concern is often the other person’s well-being. In these cases, the immediate need during and just after death is to find the other person. This happens a lot between parents and children. These situations say so much about the innate altruism and compassion of humanity. Even in the midst of the disaster and the confusion of their own deaths, these people’s thoughts are of others.
In one dream, I found myself in the yard of a small harbor or yacht club. As I stood at the water’s edge, a woman approached me. She wanted something, but I couldn’t readily understand what it was. Instead of trying to explain, she shoved a note into my pocket. It asked me to help her find her husband and daughter. I looked up quizzically, hoping for a little more to go on, but no sooner had I caught her gaze than she unexpectedly pushed me backwards into the water.
I found myself beneath a capsized boat sunk in the murky depths. In a moment of alarm, my logical mind, ever the stickler for rules, said, “Hey, wait a minute. You can’t breathe underwater.” I told myself that this was dreamtime, where the rules of matter don’t apply, but I still felt an urgency to find the husband and daughter the woman was looking for. I knew no one was in any physical danger (it was already too late for that), but my logical brain continued to wring its metaphorical hands. I swam from air pocket to air pocket underneath the sunken boat until I found the girl in one corner and her dad in another, but each of them disappeared instantly once I had seen them. As soon as they were gone, I found myself once again on shore with the woman who had been so anxious for my help. She mentally sent me a heartfelt message of gratitude and relief. It was now her turn to disappear. I didn’t see the twinkly little lights this time, but I did feel sure that the family had crossed over together.
Before I relate the next story, I’d like to offer some comments about the relationship between the dreaming and waking worlds. In my experience, each is valid, each utterly real.
Many tend to think of dreams as private, internal events—fantasies the mind creates to release or process snippets of daily life. The waking mind hesitates to accept the reality of the dreamtime because it doesn’t follow the rules that logic “knows” to be true. What takes place there is loosened from the orderly march of time from past to present to future. Matter is freed from the constraints of gravity and solidity. Yet we all sense that dreams have meaning, and that the key to unlocking the secret of that meaning lies in the symbols that we hope will help explain something of ourselves to ourselves. From this perspective, dreams are viewed as an appendage of the waking reality and the mind that perceives it. It’s as if dreams are born from the material world and would not exist but for earthly experience.
Imagine, for a moment, that it’s the other way around. What if waking is an appendage of the dreaming mind? What if material existence is the dream of a soul that inhabits the matrix of a wider universe of pure energy? What if our bodies, our senses, and the Earth upon which we live are symbols of our souls’ dreaming?
I don’t offer this exercise in imagination in order to deny the reality of the material world, but to get you to shift your thinking slightly so that you can broaden your ideas about what is real and what is not.
Dreamtime is real. In it we move through astral planes as energy, as spirits. We enter a non-material plane where feelings and thoughts rather than muscle and bone take us from place to place (if the matrix can be said to have “places”!) .We are transported instantly by thought, and we communicate through telepathy—a speaking and listening that requires no words. In other words (which I do require here), how reality appears and operates in dreamtime is very different from how it does in ordinary waking life. So why is it that we don’t wake up to our normal daily lives and remember dreams as we experienced them in our astral bodies? We might as well ask, “How does a thought look? What is the shape of a feeling?” The logical, waking mind clothes the dream elements in garments that it can recognize. The “memories” we bring back from dreams are not memories as we usually think of them, but mental constructs of the waking mind as it attempts to fit the dream experience into its own reality.
The dream world is not a private celestial room that we float through alone with only our thoughts and feelings to keep us company. It is a meeting place, an alternate dimension that we share with others. When our minds meet in that reality, we each bring feelings and perceptions to the shape of the dream. The symbols and images I give to the dream depend not only on my role in the play that unfolds on the stage of the matrix, but also on my empathetic understanding of my fellow players. As I feel the emotions of the spirit I’m with, my waking mind translates those feelings—their feelings—into the symbolic language that I speak.
For instance, in one dream I found myself in a hospital. A little boy was wandering the halls, desperately searching for his mother. His need called out to the mother in me that listens always for the cry of a lost and frightened child. As I shared his thoughts and feelings, my logical mind saw his vision of being lost as an elaborate labyrinth lined with eye-level grey hedges that surrounded us.
I took him by the hand and telepathically sent him the loving message that I would help him look for his mom. In the distance, I could hear a woman calling out for her boy. I strained to see her over the hedge, hoping to let her know that I would bring her son to her. Again, dreams are a meeting place. I could feel both his need and hers. I translated her yearning as a voice calling.
The next thing I knew we were back in the hospital’s hallway. Led by the woman’s voice and her desire to be with her son, I directed the boy into an elevator, which descended into the basement where bodies were kept. My reasoning mind thought this was creepy until I realized that the little boy wasn’t thinking “logically” at all. He just wanted to be with his mom. The image I created was my way of understanding the situation: his mom was dead too, and she was waiting for him before she crossed over.
Still, the logical mind will have its say. I had to move beyond my natural hesitation to expose a child to the sight of his mother’s body. I was glad that my image of death— a body in a morgue—was not his. His love and yearning were so focused on his mother that her image was all he saw in his mind. I pulled open the drawer where the body was kept and witnessed an astounding reunion as the intense love mother and son felt for each other swirled together in a vision of ethereal stardust before dissolving into sparkling lights. Mother and son were reunited and had gone home.
Children have a special place in my heart. As human beings, we all wonder what we could have done when we read about the shocking abuses that are sometimes perpetrated against these innocent ones. In one case, a little girl came to me lost, frightened, and shivering with shock and cold. It was clear that she had been traumatized, that her death had been truly awful. Her fear and trauma kept her bound to the plane between this life and the next. I was there to help her find the light.
I sat down, placed her on my lap, and wrapped my arms around her. I soothed her in the best way I could, stroking her hair away from her tear-streaked face and asking her name. She told me, and within moments she had calmed down. As her emotional energy shifted into this serene state, her ethereal body dissipated into a gazillion little sparkles, but not before I could feel the unconditional love that she was receiving from the other side. I later went on to read about this poor child in the news. I’m eternally grateful that her sad demise had a happy ending.
In my work on the Night Shift, I come across situations that have an element of urgency to them, but the souls who call out in the moment of immediate need are not the only ones who need a guide to find their way to the light. Some souls wander for a long time, not realizing their disembodied condition. This is especially true for many of the men and women who have died in war. The soldiers I’ve connected with have come from everywhere on the globe and from any time in history, for war has plagued every nation and every generation.
Many of those who have died in combat appear to me after being lost for what is obviously a very, very long time by human standards. To them it may feel as if their wandering has been endless, and they long for peace. As these souls search for the homes they once knew, or for families and loved ones who once gave them shelter, they are unaware of the passage of time on Earth. They can’t understand why everything looks different, why their homes are gone. It is as if the sudden and traumatic nature of their death has fixed their awareness to a specific time and place that they can’t let go of. Their consciousness is still directed at the world they knew. When I meet these souls, I explain to them that those they are looking for are waiting for them in another place, and that they must look elsewhere to find them. After speaking with me, they are able to turn their awareness in another direction, accept their passing, and go to the light’s embrace where they find at last the loved ones who wait for them there.
As a result of meeting these soldiers, I’ve developed a keen interest in history and a habit of watching documentaries and films about war. It is often useful for me to be able to recognize the uniforms and weapons used through history so that I can understand what war my lost soldier souls were in, and perhaps a little of what they went through. This way, I’m better able to relate to them and their circumstances at death. You must understand: when I’m in ethereal form and on the Night Shift, I carry the part of my mind that is oriented to ordinary daily life with me. As in any job, it helps to be informed, and the more information I bring to the Night Shift, the better I’m able to communicate with a soul that is lost.
As we die, the process of letting go is not always easy. Many souls carry the limited, familiar beliefs and thoughts of their earthly lives to the other side, holding on to them for a time before they are ready to experience the endless possibilities and the ineffable, unconditional love that awaits them. They cling briefly to the idea that they are not part of the divine, creative compassion that shapes the universe. With guidance, though, they can change frequencies away from the heavy emotions that keep them from realizing that they are one with the light.
This is as true here as it is on the other side. Love’s Light is available to us even in this earthly life. You can find evidence of it in ordinary moments of your day. It’s simple: you see what you choose to look at.
If you look only at the dark—the painful episodes in your life, the acts of violence and cruelty around you—you begin to construct blinders of cynicism, distrust, and fear until a bleak picture is all that you see. This outlook is no different from that of the soul weighed down by the shackles it carries to the other side. Here or there, we disconnect ourselves from Source when we stop noticing the light of love and compassion that is all around us.
Reconnecting to Source is not difficult. Take notice of the sparks of joy, beauty, and gentleness in your waking life. Remember the kind word of a stranger. Watch a butterfly as it alights on a rose. Listen to the delighted laughter of a child as he kicks his way through the vibrant beauty of autumn leaves fallen on the sidewalk. Shift your awareness. These moments exist all around you all the time; you need only look for them. Grasp them in your mind and you will begin to feel the love that is around you, waiting patiently to be noticed.
Each time I see a spirit become one with the light, I am assured of the omnipresent nature of love. I do whatever I can, in this world and on the other side, to point souls toward it. However, since much of my work on the Night Shift is a matter of popping into a story in progress and then leaving it when my part is done, I’ve found it frustrating to not know whether or not my spirit work has made a difference. Like a movie interrupted, I don’t get to see the ending. Do all the souls that I’ve guided to the light actually make it? I know I’ve led them there, but despite all my experiences, I still have the occasional doubt.
Pondering this question one day, I decided that proof didn’t matter. What mattered was the act of compassion itself. Love was its own validation. I set the question aside, satisfied with the answer and prepared to live with not knowing.
That night, I was in ethereal form but traveling in the material plane. I found myself on a cement embankment by a river. It was dark, and I could barely make out the human figure before me. He was in his late 30s, although life as a drug addict had left him looking much older. I knew he would need help crossing over.
I could sense his body shutting down. Years of chemical abuse and poor nutrition had taken their toll. He was on the verge of death, but his sad life was not yet free of abuse. His drug dealer was also present on the embankment, and I could feel the dealer’s dark intent to light his victim’s body on fire and dump him into the river below to avoid identification. The addict knew, too, and in his last moments, he called out to anyone, anything, for help—for an end to his pain.
His body had suffered enough. Although I was there in my ethereal form, I realized I had to find a way to interact on a physical level since he was still in waking reality. I did a jump-in, merging myself with him. I felt all the pain and sorrow that had brought him there, all the regret of someone who had looked for some small joy in the wrong places—the crack pipe and the needle. The man was already dying; my only concern was to let him die with some small measure of the peace that had eluded him in life. I concentrated all my energy to roll him down the embankment and into the water before he was subjected to any more cruelty. I turned him on his back, face-up, so that he could breathe, and pushed us as far away from the dealer as possible. We floated for a while together, drifting around the river’s bend and into the bay, before I jumped back out of his body. I stayed with him, treading water, knowing I couldn’t do anything more for him at that point.
Then I let him go. I remained in the water, watching him drift out of sight, but not before he up-righted himself and gave me a wave of farewell. He was so close to death that he could see my ethereal form. He knew that he was headed for a better place, and did not need me to lead him into the light. I knew he would find his own way there.
I assumed that, like all the other times, this would be the end of my story with a soul in transition, but that turned out not to be so. I was back in the ethereal plane when suddenly the scene shifted. It was midday, bright and sunny, and I found myself on shore a little way up from the river’s edge. I noticed a man floating by, and saw that it was the drug addict. He was actually swimming, and I realized that he had actively been looking for me. He had returned after crossing over to find me in the dreamtime. I walked towards the shoreline as he came in from the water and offered me a note with a map telling me how to find him. I accepted the map, but knew I didn’t need it in order to locate him on the other side. I’d got his number, so to speak. Instead of reading the map, I chose to walk with him back into the beautiful clean river for a further explanation, wondering what he was doing here now that he had crossed over. He grabbed my hand and led me further into the water and around the river’s bend, to a quiet place out of sight.
I was stunned by the vibrancy of his essence and the look of his perfect body. He was completely “cleaned up,” and could have passed for a very handsome European soccer player. He was gorgeous! Although he was not wearing clothing, he was enrobed in glowing vitality. Never before in my experiences had anyone come back like this. Hadn’t he made it to the light as I had thought? Sensing my confusion, he wrapped his arms around me in a warm embrace and sent me the thought, “It’s what you need right now.”
I was exhausted and he held me afloat, just as I had held his face above the water in his last moments. I felt him infusing me with unconditional love and renewing my spirit before he left me. The proof I had so longed for and that had seemed so important to me felt inconsequential then. More gratifying was witnessing how a person could leave this life a physical and emotional wreck and in a heartbeat come back in a state of soul perfection.
This young man’s story illustrates to me that no matter how many mistakes we make in life, when we die we are embraced, made whole and healthy, and restored to the light that is at the core of our being.There is no eternal damnation waiting.
There is no need to fear death. If you are ill, hurt, or in pain, you can look forward to a perfect state of health, youth, and vitality on the other side. Pain does not exist there—-but love does.
If you have lost a loved one, a spouse, or family member, you can be sure they’re waiting to welcome you on the other side. Even beloved animals are waiting there for you once you’ve crossed over. When you die you experience a homecoming.
I’ve been present when someone close to death has had loved ones come to greet her even before her passing. This was the case when my grandmother, who I called Oma, passed away. I saw her lying on her deathbed, surrounded by figures from the other side. When I later described these figures to my mother, she recognized one of them as my grandmother’s best friend, who had died forty years earlier in a train accident. How wonderful it was that my Oma was reunited with her long-departed best friend!
A year after I had the dream that led to the painting of Love’s Light, I had a similar one that drew me again to the incomparable beauty of Source. I was on a snowy mountaintop, hovering in ethereal form. I felt my being attracting elements and energies with ever-increasing strength until they swirled around me like a vortex. The sheer energy of it built to hurricane force, and I began to fly upward toward the sun, speeding past the celestial orbs suspended in space. I felt like a moth drawn to a flame, intoxicated by the all-encompassing love that beckoned. I was going home. Then, halfway to the light, I thought, “No, there’s too much work still to do.” I made the decision to return and continue my work on the Night Shift, knowing with complete certainty that what awaits me awaits us all when our time here is through.
Excerpt from Fringe Dweller On The Night Shift: True Stories From An Afterlife Paramedic
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