Tag Archives: death

Born Toward Dying  (Fr. Neuhaus)

Born Toward Dying (Fr. Neuhaus)

A good friend, having read my own account of the near-death experience with which I was blessed a couple of weeks ago, sent me this account of a similar experience with which the late Fr. Richard Neuhaus was blessed. These things are at once more Real than the shadowlands in which we live and yet less tangible to our enshadowed minds, which is why we’ve invented the label “mystical” to discuss them.


It was a couple of days after leaving intensive care, and it was night. I could hear patients in adjoining rooms moaning and mumbling and occasionally calling out; the surrounding medical machines were pumping and sucking and bleeping as usual. Then, all of a sudden, I was jerked into an utterly lucid state of awareness. I was sitting up in the bed staring intently into the darkness, although in fact I knew my body was lying flat. What I was staring at was a color like blue and purple, and vaguely in the form of hanging drapery. By the drapery were two “presences.” I saw them and yet did not see them, and I cannot explain that. But they were there, and I knew that I was not tied to the bed. I was able and prepared to get up and go somewhere. And then the presences – one or both of them, I do not know – spoke. This I heard clearly. Not in an ordinary way, for I cannot remember anything about the voice. But the message was beyond mistaking: “Everything is ready now.”

Near Death, Nearer to God

Near Death, Nearer to God

My latest article for the Imaginative Conservative recounts my close encounter with death, following a close encounter with a wasps’ nest that led to my body’s going into anaphylactic shock. It’s an effort to describe the mysterious experience that I had on the verge of death.


Jef Murray: Rest in Peace

Last night I received the devastating news of the death yesterday, from a heart attack, of Jef Murray, my good friend and StAR‘s long-serving artist-in-residence. Jef and his novelist wife Lorraine were very good friends, with whom we have spent many Easters and Thanksgivings and whom our children know as Mr. Jef and Miss Lorraine.

Jef will be known to all readers of StAR as the artist-in-residence who designed the theme-logo for each issue and whose own art often illustrated our pages. He is best known as an artist whose Muse was inspired by the worlds of Narnia and Middle-earth but he was also a very gifted writer, whose short stories exhibited the vividness of a mind alive to the wonders of Creation. He was also a gifted singer, whose elvish incantations enriched the Tolkien specials for EWTN on which he and I collaborated.

Please remember Jef in your prayers, though I can’t help but believe that he has less need of ours as we do of his.

Until we are all reunited in our true Home on the other side of this veil of tears, we will remain in spiritual communion with you, dear friend.