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Ghost Who Would Not Die
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"This book is fantastic. You never want it to end. My hat is off to Linda Alice Dewey for not only taking the time to communicate but also writing it down and sharing it with the rest of us." -- Echo Bodine By Nicole M. Robinson of "The Oakland Press"Linda Alice Dewey says ghosts are like everyone else--except they're dead.She's had more experience with ghosts than most people. Her first book, "Aaron's Crossing" was about an Irish immigrant who died from a fall. She encountered him in an old cemetery in northern Michigan. Aaron was trapped on Earth since his death in 1922, and she decided to try to help him cross over to the afterlife.After he crossed over, he telepathically told her his story, which she wrote down and published."Aaron's Crossing" got the attention of other ghosts, who were able to hear the thoughts of people reading the book, explains another ghost, the subject of her latest book, "The Ghost Who Would Not Die."It is a quick and fascinating read.Dewey, an Oakland University grad who taught in Clarkston but now lives in Glen Arbor, Mich., made no attempts to verify the ghosts' stories in history. But she calls the work "creative nonfiction"--they are collaborations between the ghosts and the author.Ghosts flock to Dewey for help making their transition to The Other Side--heaven, if you prefer to think of it that way.One of those ghosts was Jacobs, a runaway slave who was living as a vagrant in a shanty town before he was murdered in 1885. After his death, he wandered the Earth, confused and lonely, for many years before encountering Dewey.Though born with a deformed foot, he had promise--he was a rare black man who was able to read. When his owner died, he fled and traveled north via the Underground Railroad. He even joined the military during the Civil War, but ran away from that, too. He taught others to read at a church for a while, butwhen his dreams of teaching fell apart, he became a thief and a philanderer. After he died, his sins became visible to those who could see his ghost--they hung around him like a cloud, dimming his own vision of the world. Other ghosts, the kind he calls "clearies," saw his shadow and avoided him. His presence made people feel ill."For entertainment, I watched the Living," he told Dewey telepathically."I'd see happy people and feel sorry for them because of the pain that was bound to happen to them. Everybody gets sick and dies, I thought. I didn't know about the kind of happiness that lasts."He joined with other "shadows"--dark entities whose evil hangs on them like a shroud--roving in a pack, playing tricks on the living before he turned around and sought a purpose for his existence. Eventually, he found a way to serve others and redeem himself.Some of the chronology in his book is a bit confusing, despite chapter headings marked with years. But as Jacobs explains in his story, time doesn't work for ghosts the way it does for people. And although he speaks in the voice of the former slave, his story shows a wider understanding of the world because, "I'm so much more."He realized that not only could he hear living people's thoughts, he could speak to them and influence their thoughts. He began using that ability for good--helping to thwart a man who was stalking a young girl, and later comforting and guiding people dying in a hospital.One day he overheard a woman talking to Dewey on the phone about her ghost work, so he traveled to Glen Arbor to find her in hopes she'd be able to help him cross over, too. He first appeared to her teenage son, who saw a shadow reflected ina window of their home.Dewey reached out to the shadow spirit, and tried to help him reach The Other Side. But rather than finding heaven, he was stuck in a kind of limbo--a place between Earth and The Other Side. Afterward, Dewey learned that not all ghosts are ready to leave this plane.Jacobs spent an undetermined period in a "green space" where he seemed to dream. He heard a comforting voice tell him, "We take care of our loved ones," and, "You are created by the Almighty One. Who are we to judge?"While in that dream state, Jacobs helped Dewey in her work with other ghosts, blocking some who crowded her. He describes seeing an angel appear and remove an aggressive ghost: "I'm a-tugging and he's throwing me off. We're about to get into it good when she casts her eyes upwards."'Angels, please remove this one, ' she says."Now ghosts usually don't see angels...But me, I see who done it."An angel, big and fierce with a sword and scabbard and feathery wings, pulls that guy right outta there. Stops me in my tracks. Without a word, the angel is gone."Jacobs' cloud was beginning to lift. Eventually, he understood that his earthly attempts to be free were still unresolved."All that traveling north from Alabama during the War never really got me free," he says in the book. "I began to see the truth and didn't like it. I wasn't after freedom. I was after 'getting.' Getting free, getting women, getting food, getting warm, getting outta there - getting, getting, getting."When finally he had his own white-light experience, friends including his former owner and family members greeted him on the other side.The book is an exciting adventure, fascinating as a taleof slavery, the Civil War and Underground Railroad, which brought runaway slaves to anti-slavery states in the North. At the same time, it's a metaphysical exploration, compelling reading for anyone who wants to know what happens after we die.Dewey does not see ghosts, but she feels their presence, and learned to recognize those who aren't ready to cross.She has been asked why God might choose her to do this type of work. Why her--why not Jesus?--she has been asked. She did not have an answer at first. Then she realized, "Aren't we all instruments of God?""I'm not the only person doing this work," she writes. She now gives three-hour workshops on how to help ghosts. Dewey hopes her book sells well and she can continue to write more. There's no doubt she could write a series that would appeal to an enthusiastic audience."I still do contact ghosts," Dewey said. "If these would become good sellers, I could go on doing this forever. They contact me all the time."

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