Harry enjoyed the company of his friends...
“You can be Earthbound and be quite happy”
Harry didn't go to the spirit world when he died.
Please read the transcript below as you listen...
Present: George Woods, Betty Greene, Leslie Flint.
[Break in tape]
I used to like a drink, see. That's what was, I suppose some people would say, was my downfall, but...
But somehow I used to get a certain satisfaction going around the pubs and seeing my old friends, and other people, and listening to their conversations and knowing what was going on in the world. I used to get a certain amount of satisfaction out of others having a drink. As a matter of fact, um, I rather enjoyed it in a kind of way - excepting some nights; I felt so damn odd, I couldn't join in the conversation.
I mean I wasn't miserable being dead, but for that matter, I was not happy either. And I couldn't visualise any sort of place where there was people playing harps and all that. I mean, that wouldn't do for me, if that was the idea of heaven, if it even existed. So I thought I better stick to the old Earth!
But deep down inside me I suppose there was a, sort of, desire to know more. Eventually, I began to be conscious of someone following me. That got on my bloody wick* that did, for a time. I thought; who the hell's this?
*got on my wick = became very irritating
I'd look round - there was no one there. I used to go to the pubs, as I told you, and places. And I'd be sitting there and listening to what was going on, quite enjoying myself, in a kind of way. Then all of a sudden, I'd have a funny prickly sensation and thought; well, that's that there so-and-so again. Not that I ever saw anyone or was ever conscious of anyone, but I always felt there was someone there, see.
Then I had a sudden realisation that perhaps it was true. You know, that, um, people from other... other spirits like, might be able to get in touch with me. The same as I was, in a kind of way, able to get in touch, you might say, with people on Earth; not that they were conscious of me, but I was able to see them, and all that.
And then one day it suddenly dawned on me. Perhaps if I, sort of, got away from the old conditions like and sort of settled down, quiet like and, sort of, mentally threw out my thoughts for someone to come and help - I'd get some help. So I thought; well, I wasn't going to do that in a pub, I might as well go out in the country somewhere. So I went down to a little place I'd been to when I was a young kid, a place in Suffolk.
In any case, if...if there is anything in 'contact', you know, like people who have 'gone on', they wouldn't come back dressed up, dolled up, like that. Of course, people ain't been dolled up like that for centuries, you know. I've seen them in picture books, history books, and all that.
Everything seemed to get further and further away - the chimneys and the houses, and the treetops. And it suddenly seemed as if we were up in the clouds, and I could see a plane coming along. Cor! And it was just as if it was coming straight at me. I thought; cor blimey, I hope I can travel quicker than that, you know. And yet, I thought to myself, at the same time - it's funny how you think of three or four things all at the same time in this business, you know - but I thought; well, it can't... can't touch me anyway, 'cause I'm supposed to be dead!
It was just as if.. as if we were floating together. Somehow, in some peculiar way, as we were going higher, it seemed as if we were coming closer together. I can't explain this, but...
I remember, as I was, sort of, going unconscious, I was saying to myself; that's the high altitude. I'd heard about people up in aeroplanes; they get too high and they, sort of, pass out, see.
Cor! Dear, oh dear, you could have knocked me down with a feather. And this door opened and it was my mother! Cor! Not as she was when she was an old lady, but as she was when... when I was quite a young lad, you know. Quite a fine looking woman she was, my mother. Well, she came forward and she called my name, and I just couldn't speak, I was so, sort of, overcome.
So she said, 'Well, we call him George'
So,' she said, 'when the time was right, we were able to help you. And I think before long,' she says, 'when you've been rested and you get used to your new home here with me, you'll be able to see things differently and you'll begin to settle down and take up something that would interest you, see.
Of course that shook me, proper! Not that they was ever, sort of, you know, an ideal couple or anything. But, after all, they were married and all the rest of it.
So I said, 'Well that's funny Mum, why aren't you with Dad?'
'Cor!' I said, 'Mum, how come you've got Sam here?', see.
'Ah,' she says, 'well, the cat's got intuition, see - well, you call it intuition - and it realises that you've changed. That's why you're here. Otherwise, if you hadn't changed you wouldn't be here, and for that matter, I'm quite sure the cat wouldn't jump on the bed and come towards you, if you hadn't changed. The cat knows you've changed, I know you've changed and I think you're beginning to realise,' she said, 'you've changed too.'
[The recorder makes a sudden sound]