Why do spirits stay on earth, when many religions tell of a “heaven” where everything is better than life on earth, containing more beauty than anyone can imagine. It is difficult to answer this question for every spirit who chooses, whether they are aware of it or not, to stay on earth. The primary cause is that the soul is too shy or uncomfortable to move on, fearful of the next chapter.
Imagine living comfortably in your current home and then suddenly receiving a notice of eviction. Most would feel lost, even feel helpless at the thought of having to go. That feeling of wanting to cling to their reality is what happens to a spirit who does not want to leave this earth. They have grown to call it their home, and they are not ready to move. The next scenario is similar to this, and that is that they feel like they need to complete something in their life.
What they feel like they need to vary, no two reasons are the same. In their life, these may have been the family member who held everyone up with everyday thoughts such as “Did I leave the stove on?” “I can’t remember whether I locked all the window and doors.” “I think I left the curling iron on.” The spirit may genuinely want to move on, but these thoughts plague their mind, preventing themselves from moving on. It is a hard struggle for the ghosts to accept that they may not be able to protect those who they left behind and move on. These souls are one of the hardest to help move on. The next reason is that they are too stubborn to go.
These usually are the spirits who, during their life, held onto a pair of old boots or shoes because they were still wearable, despite the fact they were falling apart. The footwear would have to tear into pieces or be secretly thrown out by someone in the family. They feel that this is their life, even though they may have passed away, and can still live it how and when they want. When they are ready to cross over, they will, but no one will tell them when that time will be.
The next scenario is when the spirit doesn’t know they have passed, which is relatively rare. The event that caused them to pass on was either so subtle or traumatic they blocked it out from memory. The best way to describe this is waking up to an empty house. Everything is still the same setting. Where clothes had been left the night before are still in a pile in the same spot. The dishes are still in the sink. But no one is here. An eternal silence that can only break when someone brings them to the realization that they are dead, or they figure it out on their own. Until they do, they may walk the same house or place waiting for someone to show up. The least widespread scenario is merely the fear of where they may go.
The idea of leaving this earth and embarking on a journey to an entirely new place, where every law of science shatters is understandably terrifying. For others, it is an exciting new adventure that can only lead to discoveries and thrills. Others hold on to what they have learned on earth and hold an iron grip to it. They don’t accept change well. These are the spirits that when living, they will never change a single room in their house. The paint, wallpaper, and furniture setup will stay the same as if frozen in time.
The cause for why a spirit chose to stay behind varies for each. Sometimes the best way to figure out why they are lingering is to learn about how they lived. Their habits can give clues to why they are staying. Once having some more information, if you feel confident you have found why a spirit is trapped here, try to help them cross over. If you can help remedy a mistake of their past, try to do so, within reason. If too much time has passed to mend errors, sometimes talking can be enough to help. Don’t take it to heart if you can’t help a soul move on; it can be a difficult task to accomplish.