The first reason that good souls get stuck on the transitional plane becoming earthbound spirits is a death that happens very suddenly. Sometimes the soul has no idea that it has lost its physical body and thinks that it can go on living as before. This is especially true for atheists who never believed in an afterlife. They often refuse to acknowledge their deaths and run away from the souls that have come to rescue them thinking that they are ghosts of people they know to be dead, or just hallucinations.
The second reason involves people with unusually strong attachments to the material world, or with unfinished business. These souls may refuse to move on either because they feel cheated, or because they feel the need to stick around to make sure that something left unfinished is properly resolved. They often believe that they didn’t really get to complete their lives and want to remain in the earth sphere not realizing that they are no longer a part of the material world.
Ed Warren and his wife Lorraine, were involved in researching the afterlife for many years. They tell a story of a woman who, in the 1970’s, shortly after her death, became a ghost in her own house. She had died in an auto accident in which she was driving home on a snowy night with her own mother when she skidded and hit a tree killing both women instantly. Lorraine is a trained psychic who was called by the family. They were experiencing strange things in their home and didn’t know what to make of it. Lorraine discovered that the ghost was the recently deceased mother. This now deceased woman had continued her normal daily activities like watching out for the kids, straightening the beds, closing cupboard doors and closing the windows at night. She was only doing what she started out to do on that snowy night. She wanted simply to go home and finish the housework. She didn’t realize she had died. Lorraine enlightened her about her true circumstances and she left, after which all the ghostly manifestations stopped.
The third reason a good soul could be stranded on the transitional plane is a sense of guilt. A soul may hesitate to cross over because it is afraid to move on. It has a guilty conscience and thinks that it will have to face an external judgement and be sent to Hell. This fear can become especially acute after their life review. They simply don’t realize that there is no external judgement and that once they cross over, the only judgement is their own.
A sense of guilt is something that needs to be settled prior to death. Much of the guilt people feel about themselves involves nothing more than the violation of a religious doctrine. Religious dogmas are covered in chapter 18 where you will learn that religions only claim to represent God. They are earthly institutions, and very necessary for the maintenance of an orderly society, but Spirit does not care about church doctrine. It doesn’t care about your sex life (unless it has led to darkness in someone else’s life), or even if you believe in God. Just ask yourself this: “Have my actions actually hurt other people?” Did I intentionally carry out evil acts that harmed others to fulfill my own desires?” If the answer to these questions is no, then you shouldn’t feel guilty.
Ed Warren tells a story about an old porter working at West Point in the nineteenth century. Ed and Lorraine had been invited by the post commander to find out why invited VIP’s staying in the guest rooms in the commander’s house kept waking up to find some of their personal items missing in the morning, only to be found later in another room. They were also concerned about one unoccupied bed in the basement of the same building which was often found unmade in the morning when it had been made up the night before.
Being a medium, Lorraine Warren was able to make contact with the spirit that was haunting the building. The couple discovered that an old black man, a porter, working at the post during the nineteenth century had accidentally caused the death of another person. He was eventually acquitted of any crime, but unfortunately, he felt so guilty about it that he carried this guilt with him for the rest of his life, and after his death he remained earthbound wishing to communicate how sorry he was. The unmade bed in the basement was where he slept when he was alive.
Remember that spirits bound to the transitional plane have a distorted sense of time and have little short term memory, so the porter had no idea that he was a ghost who had been haunting his quarters for over a hundred years. It was a matter of his own personal guilt that kept him earthbound. He was caught in a time trap and kept reliving the same day over and over concentrating on his guilt. While his actions may have contributed to the death of another man, the incident was unintentional. Intentions mean a great deal in Spirit, and since he was acquitted of any crime, he probably should not have felt guilty. Ultimately, Lorraine brought him through and was able to release him by granting him the forgiveness he craved. Lest one believes that this was just a story made up by the Warrens, West Point records were found that testified to the existence of the porter, his trial, and all the particulars of his residence in that building.
In general, good people who die expecting to live again in an afterlife move on, even after a traumatic or unexpected death. This is especially true of people who have made loving connections in this life and who can expect to be helped along by friends and relatives who will come to the earth sphere from the higher planes to escort the soul to the proper place in Spirit.