Oakland Press

Section D

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Making the 'Crossing'
First-time author shares view into another realm with her true story of a ghostly encounter

by Nicole M. Robertson of the Oakland Press

Linda Alice Dewey, an Oakland University graduate who taught choral music teacher in the Clarkston schools during the 1970s, has had her life changed by involvement with ghostly activities.
Linda Alice Dewey

Linda Alice Dewey doesn’t see dead people. But she has talked with many since she first met Aaron in a cemetery in northern Michigan.

The Glen Arbor author was visiting the cemetery in 1995 with her brother and a friend when they felt his presence. Her friend genuflected and crossed herself at the foot of a grave, which was strange, because her friend is Jewish. To this day, her friend doesn’t remember doing so, Dewey says.

The grave was that of Aaron’s beloved wife, Susanna. Having no living family and nowhere to go, Aaron had been hanging around in limbo since his death from a fall in 1922. The graveside gesture caught the ghost’s attention because Susanna’s grave wasn’t even marked.

On a third visit to the cemetery, Dewey felt compelled to help the poor being. She called out, “My heart is with you,” as she documents in her book, “Aaron’s Crossing.” Aaron took that as an invitation, and followed her home.

He knew if he tried hard enough he could affect solid matter and even communicate with people who were open to it. So he worked to get Dewey’s attention. He kicked her bed, hard, causing her to sit up and investigate. She thought it might be the ghost, and did not sleep well that night. He finally got her attention the next day when he pressed on her mattress as she tried to take a nap.

“When he pushed down the mattress, my eyes were wide open, and at that moment, I could have gone into a fearful state,” Dewey, 57, says in an interview. “But I had a plan and I knew if I went into the fear, I would be no good. So I made a conscious decision not to go there.”

Dewey was raised as Christian Scientist, a faith that does not accept ghosts. But she had gradually learned about channeling spirits, and once she knew of Aaron’s plight, she offered to help him.

She believes her interest in ESP and metaphysics made her more open to the subtle energies of ghosts.

“It’s my feeling that we all have a very strong spiritual side that’s generally undeveloped,” Dewey says. “You learn these things as skills. You don’t just do it — most don’t. You don’t just sit down and start playing piano — most of us have to take piano lessons.”

She wanted to help Aaron, but thought she needed help of her own.

“I thought my neighbor, Ariel, who had done ‘ghost’ work, would be the one to do it.” But Ariel was unavailable, and Dewey had some things to learn for herself.

“I needed to learn to trust my own intuition, and Aaron had to learn to trust another person,” she says.

Aaron later told Dewey he had been kidnapped by his drunken father at the age of 4, taken from Ireland to America and put to work, never allowed to go to school. He became an angry and isolated man who abandoned his own children after his wife died. When he was killed in a farm accident in Ohio, no one in his family knew.

His ghost lingered in anguish, watching his loved ones welcomed one by one into the light of heaven without him. The moment in Dewey’s book when he finally crosses is a tear-jerker: The children he’d abandoned in life return to greet him, along with his beloved Susanna.

After crossing over, he contacted Dewey telepathically and told her his story, which she published independently.

But it didn’t stop there. After her manuscript was written, other ghosts began contacting to her. She says she’s lost track of the number she’s helped, but she learned, too, that not all spirits are ready to cross, and need to work out Earthly hang-ups in the “Second Layer,” as Aaron called his state after dying.

Dewey doesn’t worry that people won’t believe her story. She’s gotten a few negative responses, but many more positive ones from people comforted to know there is life beyond death.

Linda Alice Dewey encountered the ghost Aaron in a northern Michigan graveyard, and she decided to help him.
Linda Alice Dewey

“I know for sure that existence doesn’t end with death,” she says. “I know that without a doubt, and so do lots of people who have come up to me at (book) signings who’ve had experiences like that, and they stay in the closet because people roll their eyes.”

She’ll sign copies of “Aaron” at Barnes & Noble in Rochester Hills on Sunday. On July 13 at Borders Novi, she’ll discuss how ghosts are not monsters — just confused people.

“Some, who have issues they haven’t resolved, or have an attachment to people here that they left behind, or have some kind of guilt or whatever, don’t go. But eventually they all do,” she says.

“I don’t think they hang around just to cause problems, I think they’re stuck and angry and frustrated and they see others crossing over. I think a lot of times people are at their own funerals. There is a three day or so period when people hang around, and then they go.”