Question: Is there any way to know if a spirit is at rest? Say for example if my friend committed suicide, how would I know if he is at peace or if he is in a self-imposed hell cut off from the light? If he is in a bad place, is there anything I can do to help him find the light?
Answer: The way you’re using the term “at rest” to me means the spirit has crossed over fully, has accepted the light, has gone through their life review, come to terms with their deeds, and is now kicking back with a brewsky on the other side (metaphorically speaking of course!). If that’s what you mean by “at rest” then a spirit would not be at rest if any of those components are not fulfilled.
So let’s take each component in order. First, crossing over fully. Some spirits hang around the earth plane. I often see this with people who were murdered or had a sudden, unexpected death through an accident. They either don’t know they’re dead or they aren’t ready to accept it. Or they are waiting for their killer to be brought to justice, or they are still very attached to their earthly life and can’t let it go. They have not crossed over yet and are earthbound. This spirit would not be at rest.
Now let’s take the case of a spirit who is ready to let go of their earthly existence but fears judgment. These people resist the light because they fear they will be sent to Hell or that there is some horrible punishment coming up. They end up stuck between earth and the ether, feeding off the energy of the living to resist the light. They’re not waiting for justice like in the previous case, they’re not waiting for some event to take place, they have detached from their earthly life but don’t want to go into the light. They are not at rest either. Not by a longshot.
Next are the people who detach from their earthly life and go into the light, sometimes with great eagerness and sometimes a little hesitantly. They get to their life review and are horrified by the pain they’ve caused others. They can get stuck in a situation where they replay events over and over again for whatever reason: to endure the pain they caused others, to understand their choices better, to make different choices, etc. Sometimes spirits can spend a lot of time here, unnecessarily, but we all let go at our own pace. There are spirits and angels there helping you process it all and encouraging you to forgive and move on. A spirit in this place is “not at rest yet” but is definitely on their way.
And lastly, there are those who cross over, completely severing their attachment to this earthly life, have their life review, process it all and accept it, and move forward into the welcoming embrace of the afterlife and all their dearly departed loved ones (and animal companions!). These spirits are very much at rest. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about loved ones here on Earth. They tune in periodically to see what’s up, but they’re also creating a new experience on the other side that isn’t part of their old incarnated human life.
I hope at this point you’re not thinking, “Dear God! I don’t want to be hanging around in a disembodied state totally afraid of the light! And what if I don’t pass my life review and decide to punish myself? Gack!” The vast majority of spirits cross over just fine, have a lovely life review over tea and pastries, and make it to the other side in time for the party. Don’t worry. Learn to forgive yourself now so when you see what you’ve done to others during your life review you’ll have understanding instead of regret. But like I said, most people cross over just fine and are guided through their life review by compassionate and understanding beings.
So how do you know what state your dearly departed are in? A medium would know what state a spirit was in when she tuned in to them. A person without the ability to tune in to deceased energy would have a hard time knowing what state a particular spirit is in. However, you can often pick up clues from dreams. Dreams are a place/plane where incarnated individuals such as yourself can hook up with reasonable accuracy and clarity with other beings, including deceased relatives and friends. Are you dreaming about the individual and if so, is he coming to you and telling you he’s just fine or do you see him suffering?
If you ever encounter a spirit that you believe is earth-bound or suffering in some way or resisting the light, you can communicate with them energetically and try to help them cross over and accept the light. Talk to them. Meditate to get yourself into a higher vibration. Hold an object they used to own which will help you zero in on their energy (sometimes). Encourage them to go into the light and not to fear judgment. Encourage them to release their fear. Help them understand that nothing bad will happen to them in the light no matter what they’ve done on earth. Sometimes a spirit sticks around when people are heavily grieving. Let such a spirit know that you’ll be okay without them so they will move on. It’s not healthy to be earthbound. If they’re waiting for justice to be served (and I’ve encountered people who are still waiting 60 years later!) help them detach from the tangled web of karma and move on, knowing their killer will not truly get away with anything.
It sucks to be stuck here waiting for justice. It sucks to put yourself in a self-imposed hell and avoid the loving light of the divine. Don’t do it! Educate yourself now so that when you get to the other side you can fly right through. Death is a time for rest and rebirth, for reconnecting with Source, not for punishment and fear. Rest easy I say.