Some folks you meet and you know from the get go they’ve very dark auras. Not necessarily serial killers, but folks that go through life with an angry vibe. The ones you instantly know to not enter any sort of relationship as it won’t end well, especially for you. I’ve two that gambol through my little neighborhood daily and I simply know to leave well enough alone. Reminiscent of the old adage, you love some folks by simply leaving them be.
Then there are some you meet that are quite friendly on the outside but your inner voice tells you to leave, pronto. It’s that inner Spidey sense that warns you something is amiss so you are polite but don’t get too close. These are the folks that if you were to one day learn they had a closet full clown costumes and basement full of cadavers; you wouldn’t be all that surprised. Think of the charm and charisma of Ted Bundy.
Phoebe fit into neither category. She was here for a few weeks to learn Spanish that I met in dance classes. Fortyish, attractive, wealthy (judging by jewelry and hair, key indicators in women), well-mannered, bright and a really good dancer. Everything indicated she was gal it would be fun to engage in conversion with but I wouldn’t, I couldn’t, to be precise.
There was no dark aura to her or vibe that said “I drown kittens in my tub for fun” but every atom of my carbon being said stay away. I couldn’t wait until it was time to switch partners in class and she was no longer my own. It was a very weird sensation.
I forced myself to initiate a chat with her (mainly because I was baffled where this weird feeling came from) and I learned she had a near-death (she would argue post-death) experience when in her early twenties. Many points to her story are the universal ones: seeing your physical death from above in the hospital, going to the light, being happy and coming back to the body and its pains not so pleased with being back on this plane.
Phoebe’s tale had two marked divergents. One was the instant realization the connections or roles she had here meant nothing. She was no longer someone’s daughter, fiancé or pal. In the ensuing twenty plus years she never did marry that boyfriend, or any other, nor become a mother. To what end, I suppose.
Second was how she now totally understood the concept of the Holy Spirit though she was of no denomination, or had thoughts of him, before death.
I’ve always found the Holy Spirit confusing. First off, I like his old name better, Holy Ghost. It made him sound like a more spiritual version of Casper, the friendly ghost. Secondly, what his exact role in the Holy Trinity is I don’t understand but I’ve seen countless times if you invoke his help, he does really good work in ways I never saw coming. Hence the phrase, “Turning things over to the Holy Spirit.”
While she was chatting to me of her experience it was clear to me why I intuitively didn’t like her. She wasn’t supposed to be here. Somehow, her “difference” emanated in what most would simply consider a mildly bitter personality.
To me she was the embodiment Lazarus Syndrome. (Also the name for when the heart self-ignites following death, like after someone is struck by lightning and oddly bounces back minutes after being proclaimed dead.)
Lazarus, along with his sisters Mary (you can trip over that name in Scripture) and Martha, appear to have been Jesus’ best pals outside of the apostles. Lazarus dies at 30 and is dead for four days when Jesus raises him from the dead. Lazarus is celebrated on Palm Sunday, or the week before Jesus comes back from the dead himself on Easter.
Lazarus appears to remain mute about his time in the afterlife and is dropped from the bible. However, legend states he was morose and sullen ever after and never laughed again dying for the second, and lasting time, at 60 in Cyprus.
How Phoebe is today is how I pictured Lazarus was upon his return to the Land of the Living. Alive, sure, but not necessarily all that stoked to be so perhaps realizing just how much it sucks to be in God’s presence and then be thrust back to this world.
I don’t know about my theory for sure, but what I do know for sure is something was off and not in that general “I’m a mean spirited person” or “I’m a serial killer” kind of way. More like those standardized tests we took in school where you had to identify what didn’t belong but way more subtle.
by Joseph Toone
Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series. All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays. Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA. Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkingTours.com, and JosephTooneTours.com.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed hereby are those of the author and not necessarily those of the San Miguel Times.