Died at Albi (Tarn) January 25th, 1865
Dr. Demeure was a distinguished homeopath physician of Albi. His moral excellence, as well as his great learning, had won for him the esteem and veneration of his fellow-townsmen. His kindness and charity were inexhaustible; and, notwithstanding his great age, he thought nothing of his fatigue when called upon to prescribe for the poor. His fees were the last thing he thought of; and he was even more ready to hasten to the bedside of the destitute than to those who were able to pay for his visits; “because the latter (he would often say), if he did not go to them, could always secure the aid of some other physician.” To the poor, he not only gave the requisite medicines gratuitously, but frequently left them money for their daily needs, a species of help that is often the most beneficial of medicines. His benevolence was such that he might be fairly called The Curate of Arts of the medical profession.
Dr. Demeure had embraced, with ardor, the theory of Spiritism, because it gave him the key to solving the grave problems for which he had vainly sought the solution in science and in the various systems of philosophy. His profound and investigating mind had shown him, at once, the vastness of its scope, and he had consequently become one of its earliest and most zealous proponents. Relations of lively and mutual sympathy were established between him and ourselves through the correspondence that we had kept up for several years.
We were informed of his death on the 30th of January, and our first thought was to converse with him. Here is the communication we received from him on that day:
“I am here. I had promised myself, while alive, that, as soon as I was dead, I would come, if possible, to shake hands with my beloved teacher and friend, Allan Kardec.
“Death plunged my soul into the heavy sleep that we call lethargy; but my thought kept watch. I shook off the injurious torpor which prolongs the confusion that follows death. I roused myself to wakefulness and, with a single bound, I accomplished the journey!
“How happy I am! I am no longer old nor infirm. My earthly body was only an imposed disguise. I am young and handsome, embellished by the eternal youth of the spirit, whose face is never furrowed by wrinkles, whose hair is never whitened by the lapse of time. I am as light as the bird that traverses, on rapid wing, your cloudy sky; and I admire, contemplate, bless, love and adore – I, who am but an atom before the grandeur, wisdom, and science of our Creator, and all the marvels by which I am surrounded.
“I am happy! I am in glory! Oh! What language could ever recount the splendid beauties of the Land of the Purified? The skies, the worlds, the suns, and the part played by them in the great convergence of universal harmony! Yet this will I try to do, O Friend and Teacher! I will make a study of this grand theme, and I will bring you the results of my spirit-labors, which I dedicate to you beforehand. I shall soon return.”
DEMEURE The two following communications, received on the 1st and the 2nd of February, relate to the illness from which we were suffering at the moment. Although personal to ourselves, we give them here, because they show that the spirit of the excellent physician is as actively helpful in his present
life as in his last one.
“My dear friend – Have confidence in us, and keep up your courage; this attack, though
fatiguing and painful; will not last long, and you will be able, if you adopt the precautions we have suggested, to complete the work which is the principal aim of your present existence. I am always at your side with the Spirit of Truth, who allows me to speak in his name, as the last of your former friends that has arrived in the world of the Spirits. They are doing the honors of the reception. Dear Teacher, how glad I am to have died in time to be with you in this emergency! If I had died a little sooner, I might, perhaps, have been able to ward off this attack, which I did not foresee, having been too recently disincarnated to be able to occupy myself with the things of your sphere. But now I shall always watch over you, and shall be with you constantly through this illness; but you know the proverb: “Heaven helps those who help themselves.” You must help your spirit-friends to be useful to you, by conforming strictly to their prescriptions.
It is too warm in this room; and your coal-fire oppresses you. While this attack lasts, do not burn coal; the gas with which the room is filled is very injurious, and adds to your difficulty in breathing. – Your friend,
“It is I, Demeure, the friend and disciple of Allan Kardec. I have come to tell that I was beside him when the accident occurred; its effects would have been far more serious, but for the efficacious intervention in which I was so happy to take part. From my own observations, as well as from the information I have obtained from higher spirits, I am quite aware that the sooner his discarnation takes place, the sooner will he be able to reincarnate himself, as he has to do, for the accomplishment of his task; nevertheless, he has still to finish the works which will complete the doctrinal initiation confided to him; and he will be guilty of voluntary homicide if he continues, by overwork, to increase the defectiveness of his organism, which threatens him with a sudden departure for the other world. There must be no hesitation in telling him the truth about himself, so that he may be on his guard and may follow our prescriptions to the very letter.”
The following communication was obtained at Montauban, in January 26th, the day after his death by the Spiritist Society of that town.
“I am not dead for you, dear Friends, but for those who, unlike you, are unacquainted with the admirable doctrine which reunites those who have loved one another upon the Earth, and who have shared the same sentiments of kindness and charity.
“I am happy; happier than I could have hoped to be; for I enjoy a degree of lucidity that is rare among spirits who have only been disengaged from matter for so short a time. I shall often be near you, and I shall not fail to give you information in regard to many things of which we are unaware while we are attached to the paltry material body that shuts us out from so much magnificence and so many enjoyments. Pray for those who are deprived of the happiness of obtaining this knowledge. They little know how much they lose by their indifference to the light.
“I shall not remain long with you today; but I simply must tell you that I do not feel myself to be, in any way, a stranger in the world that is invisible to you. It seems to me that I have always inhabited it. I am very happy here; for I see my friends on the Earth and can communicate with them whenever I wish to do so.
“Do not weep for me, my Friends; you would make me regret that I have known you! Let time do its work and you will be led on to this sojourn where we shall be reunited by and by. Good night, dear Friends; be consoled for my departure, for I am still near you.”
Another letter from Montauban contained the following narrative: –
“We had kept the knowledge of Dr. Demeure’s death from Madame G. (a seeing medium and very lucid somnambulist), in order not to excite her extreme sensitiveness; and the worthy doctor, no doubt appreciating our intentions, had avoided showing himself to her. On the 10th February last, we had assembled at the invitation of our guides, who, they told us, wished to relieve Madame G. of a sprained ankle, from which she had been suffering excruciatingly since the preceding day. This was all we knew of the matter, and we were far indeed from anticipating the surprise they had in store for us. Madame G. had no sooner passed into the state of somnambulism than she began to scream violently, pointing, meantime, to her foot.
“Madame G., as we later learned, perceived a spirit bending over her leg. His face was hidden from her view, as he energetically worked over her injured limb, appearing to rub and to massage it, utilizing a longitudinal drawing or pulling motion, exactly as would have been done by a physician in the flesh. The treatment was so painful that the patient uttered a succession of shrieks, writhing in her chair, in great agony. But the crisis was of short duration; in the course of ten minutes, every trace of the sprain had disappeared; the swelling of the ankle had subsided, and the foot had regained its normal appearance; Madame G. was perfectly cured.
“The spirit, however, was still unrecognized by the medium, and persisted in not allowing her to see his face; he even seemed to be going away, when Madame G., who, a few minutes before, could not have taken a single step, sprang to the middle of the room, determined to shake hands with her spirit-doctor and to thank him for curing her. As she did so, the latter again turned his head aside, while leaving his hand in hers, when Madame G. uttered a loud cry, and fell, unconscious, on the floor. She had caught sight of her doctor’s face, and instantly fainted away. While she remained in this state of unconsciousness, she was carefully tended by a group of sympathetic spirits; and her lucidity having presently returned, she conversed aloud with them, shaking hands with them, and exchanging with them tokens of the most cordial friendship, especially with the spirit of the doctor, who responded warmly to her expressions of affection, and restored her to her ordinary calmness by surrounding her with an atmosphere of health-giving fluids.
“Is not this little scene at once most natural and most dramatic, and do not the various actors who took part in it seem as though they were enacting an incident of the earthly life? Is it not a fresh proof, added to the thousand proofs of the fact which we possess already, that the spirits who people space are beings as real as we are, possessing bodies, and acting as they did when upon the Earth? We were delighted to find ourselves again with our valued friend, and to know that he retained, in his spirit-state, his excellent heart and his delicate solicitude. He had been, in life, the physician of the medium; he knew how extremely sensitive she was, and he endeavored to spare her feelings as carefully as though she had been his own child. And is not this proof of identity, given by the spirit to persons whom he loved when alive, a striking confirmation of the truth of the spiritist theory, and well calculated to lead us to regard the future under a most consoling aspect?”
Remark – The situation of Dr. Demeure, as a spirit, is precisely what his earthly life, so nobly and so usefully employed, might have led us to expect; but another indication, no less instructive, is furnished by the incident just narrated, viz., the activity which he employs, almost immediately after his death, in doing good. In virtue of his great intelligence and his eminent moral qualities, he belongs to a very advanced class of spirits; he is happy, but his happiness is not inaction. A few days before, he was attending to the sick, as a human physician; and, no sooner had he thrown off the coil of mortality, than he hastened to attend them as a spirit. “What advantage, then, shall we find in the other world,” some people will ask, “if we are to have no rest when we get there?” To this question we reply by asking the questioners whether they count it nothing to be delivered from the cares, needs, and infirmities of human life, to be free of its limitations, and to be able to travel through space, without fatigue and with the rapidity of thought, and to have the power of visiting one’s friends, instantaneously, at any time, no matter where they may be? And, having asked this, we add: – When you are in the other world, you will not be obliged to do anything whatever; you will be perfectly free to remain idle as long as it may please you to do so: but you will soon grow weary of so selfish a repose, and you will beg, of your own accord, for something to do. You will then be told that, if you are tired of doing nothing, you must look about you, and choose, for yourselves, what you would like to do; opportunities for being useful are not lacking, in the world of spirits, any more than in the world of human beings. Thus the activity of spirits is not a result of constraint; on the contrary, activity is, for them, a need and a satisfaction, because their avocations are chosen by themselves, according to their tastes and their aptitudes, and also, and especially, with a view to hastening their advancement.