Monday, 20 April 2015

Book Review: Bridge to Beyond

In Bridge to Beyond, True Stories of an After-Life Midwife, Carolyn Ewing Cobelo reveals her real experiences of guiding and communicating with souls, as they cross over to the Other Side after physical death. Each of her fascinating stories is unique and individualized, mirroring the personality and cultural perspective of the person whose soul is making this journey. Carolyn has also discovered common, universal elements of the after-life passage, which she describes here in vivid detail. This book offers essential wisdom for anyone interested in life after death.

What an intriguing book! I've heard of Death Doulas, those who assist families. As a hospice volunteer I have assisted and advocated for those who are at end-of-life. Some have fears of death, but usually that revolves around fear of the dying process, being cared for, determined to die at home, and conquering pain. Some, as this author writes, need permission to pass over, fearing leaving loved ones alone. Several times, including my ex-late-mother-in-law's death in the 80s, I assured her that her daughter could cope without her, and she had turned into a strong woman. She passed over the next day. This concept is well-illustrated in the book. There could be much more the author could teach us, but it is only in the final chapter that Cobelo gives a brief two-page guide to meditation.

Bridge to Beyond is chronicling the author's work assisting the soul's journey into the spiritual world. I've had experience with such, having studied meditation (which I failed!), and reading a lot about spiritualism. It would be a hard read for some; atheists, or lapsed Christians. I have given up religion, having been in contact with too many who profess to be Christian, but fail to practise these values. It is Christianity-based, bringing in the symbol of Mother Mary, which bothers me. Archetypes are common in most religions, but many of us do not have positive experiences with organised religion. I understand the author's bias, but I would prefer, but the claim by the publicist that Cobelo mirrors the cultural perspective of her people is just wrong. Perhaps, more fitting, Mother God, if she wants a female symbol. Too many have had negative experiences at the hand of the Catholic church, with nuns and priests. I found this disconcerting.

I found the book difficult to process, as the author's spiritual journey, covered in these scant 66 pages, isn't chronological. Cobelo writes two or three times of her late mother's more recent after-life passage, as I recall, and then writes of an 1982 visit to an Ashram in Bombay, to see Baba. (Coincidentally, a late friend of mine wrote a book about her journey to an Ashram in the 80s, which I helped her edit in 2005.) Many of us have found such gurus and teachers, and this is interesting reading. Many religions incorporate archetypes, such as Jesus, and other prophets, common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is a journey many of us explore.

There are three pre-chapters: the author's story; preface; introduction (total 10 pages); before we get into the body of the book. I found this disconcerting, as the author's story, surely, should be a part of the basis of the book. She is a prolific teacher, and has many books on Akasha sacred travel, but little experience, methinks, writing an autobiography.

Finally, there were two spelling errors I spotted. This may sound silly, but this bothers me! Autopcy should be autopsy (p. 37), and house should be horse. "In a few minutes I saw in the distance a herd of wild houses, stampeding towards us." (p. 51.)


William Kendall said...

Every book, even a mainstream book, will have errors. No matter how well it's edited.

Nancy J said...

Jennifer, I am the same, and pick up spelling errors so quickly.. How could a book be published without a spell check, and ,even better, proof reading? Sometimes I might write "form' meaning "from" and of course it doesn't get checked as wrong. Hope all is well up there, AOK down here, plodding along slowly.

Red said...

I guess the only thing we can say is that this author tried.

Powell River Books said...

The day Mom passed, one of her caregivers was there for the night. It had originally been a day off for me, but when Wayne and I got back from dinner it was obvious that Mom wasn't doing well. I slept on the couch and Bonita was in her room. We check on Mom throughout the night. In the early morning her time came. Having Bonita there with me was so comforting for me and Mom. Bonita had helped many others through the process in her work with hospice patients. If I hadn't had her insights it would have been a much scarier and more difficult time. I stay in contact. Our shared experience forged a strong bond. - Margy

Carolyn Cobelo said...

Thank you so much, Jane, for this review. Your support and appreciation of my new book are much appreciated, as are your helpful comments. I did not realize (nor do I think the publishing company did) that there were these copy-editing mistakes. Luckily, I can correct them.
I am also most grateful that my message is reaching those who have shared the most profound experience of being present as someone they love passes over to the Other Side.
If you would like to know about my other nine books and a spiritual board game I created, you can check them out at