As I mentioned in a recent posting, while I have not been writing much over the last few weeks, in the period of “abstinence” I have been reading several books on various topics nonstop.
The interesting thing about all of this is that since Derek’s passing, I’ve found it extremely difficult to concentrate on anything for too long nor am I able to hold my thoughts together without having to write them down mulitple times on paper. Yet all of these issues disappear when I am reading.
Below are three book reviews by renowned mediums whose personal stories and experiences brings insight to those grieving or who have questions about death and the afterlife. Please note that I will share reviews on the other four books, with a different focus from this grouping shortly.
Never Say Goodbye: A Medium’s Stories of Connecting with Your Loved Ones ~ Patrick Mathews
Renowned medium, Patrick Mathews’ shares true stories from his readings to illustrate how our loved ones never die. In fact, they benefit from communicating with us just as much as we do. This book also provides an understanding and guide into how to open our hearts and minds in order to connect with our loved ones through meditation and practice lessons.
Psychic Intelligence ~ Terry and Linda Jamison
Upon first glance it can easily be thought that this book’s sole focus is on how to become a psychic. While “Psychic Twins” Terry and Linda Jamison, provide insight into how we can communicate with our loved ones through the development of either our Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, or Claircognizance, this book provides a wonderful understanding of how to develop our own personal strength.
The change in our lives as a result of a loved one passing on, is scary. The fear of letting ourselves feel whatever we need to feel leads us into becoming emotionally numb. By honing in on the quiet, still voice inside each of us we can slowly heal ourselves while enhancing our intuition.
When a loved one passes, we start questioning “the mysteries of life and death.” Through real-life testimonies and stories, medium James Van Praagh, provides clarity on some of our questions as well as shows us how to open our awareness to those on the other side. Per Van Praagh, we are all naturally blessed with psychic gifts. This book invites us to discover our talents and intuition allowing us to strengthen our relationships with our loved ones on the other side.
A couple of weeks ago, my dear fellow blogger and friend, Sarah Treanor referred me to a book called The Gift Giver by Jennifer Hawkins.
I will provide a full review of the book shortly, however I will say that I found myself crying and nodding my head in solidarity with the Author as she described some of her experiences following the sudden death of her husband.
One such moment in the book, is of Jennifer recounting a memory when upon experiencing the lost of her step-mother through cancer, she finds herself at the bookstore in the efforts of trying to understand the “mysteries of life.” She stumbles upon the book — Home with God by Neale Donald Walsch. This is a book that I myself, stumbled upon and read to help me understand the mysteries surrounding life and death and to answer the ultimate question “Why did this happen?” See my review on this book in my “What I am Reading section.
While reading Home with God and how the Universe gives us an opportunity at the moment of death to choose whether we want to live or die, the Author realizes that she had a near death experience in a moment during a car accident before meeting her husband.
Like the Author I didn’t realize the relevance of my near death experience until I also read Home with God. I think many of us see a near death experience as a moment of seeing a white tunnel hearing angelic voices around us. However these moments can occur multiple times in a span of nanosecond. Nearly missing a car that has sped through a traffic light, having a severe allergic reaction to medication or food, complications during childbirth — these are all moments when our souls may be faced with death. In the moments when our lives are in danger, the author in Home with God suggests that we have the information and power to choose our “destiny.”
The ideal suggests that while we may not be consciously aware, our superconscious or soul has the free will to make a choice at the time of death if it wants to “cross over” or reverse the death and continue experiencing what it came to Earth to experience. At the time of our near or death’s experience, our souls will get a sneak peek into seeing and feeling Heaven. It will then be asked if it’s ready to move on. If the soul has a thought or feeling of wanting to keep living, then it will return to the body and the accident or death will be adverted.
Now, this ideal can be upsetting because if the soul is able to choose, why would it choose to leave a life of loved ones behind?
“Nearly every person who is dying is not dying for the first time. If they choose, this time, to “stay dead,” it is because they feel really complete with what they came here to do. Therefore, do not begrudge them their moving on, nor feel angry because they have not come back. They came back to you many times to keep you company before.” [HWG: Ch. 32, Pg. 260)
Neale’s dialogue with God would suggest that consciously we normally wouldn’t make that choice. However the soul is able to make the choice because it can not only see into its future but it can also see the whole picture of what the effects of its living or dying would produce. It knows when its time of experiencing in the physical life is complete. In fact, a soul has probably made the choice multiple times in their physical lifetime to come back in order to stay with their loved ones.
Now while my account of the memory of my near death experience may differ in account from those who shared the experience with me because we all viewed it different standpoints, the feelings and emotions surrounding the event remain the same.
I was heading back upstate to college after spending a typical weekend in the city. On Fridays and Saturdays, I would drive down from Colgate in Hamilton, NY to New York City to work as a Head Hostess at the Central Park Boathouse. I had worked at the Boathouse over the last couple of summers and had agreed to work during the weekends when I wasn’t performing Sound or DJ’ing. This weekend was particularly busy with more people dining out because of the beautiful 65 degree weather and me having to work doubles.
I had invited two girlfriends to ride back up with me as they were spending that weekend with their families and I didn’t see the point of them taking the 6 hour bus ride back up north. Plus it was good to have company for a change.
We met up around 4PM and started to make our trip back up. I realized I was additionally thankful for the company when one of them offered to drive up allowing me to rest a few hours. Sleep came easily to me as I had been on my feet and had been working non-stop through the weekend and the Sunday Brunch rush.
I was awaken by the urgent tapping of my girlfriend who was driving. While we were basking in 65 degree “shorts weather” in the City, we were welcomed to a blizzard and 30 degree weather on the back roads near Roscoe, NY.
By this time, my girlfriend in the back had also woken up and we instructed our friend to stay steady until we made it off the mountain as we could both tell that she was becoming nervous and we intended to switch sides. Being that I had a 2 door hatchback, I always kept a few cinderblocks in the back to weigh down the car. However the wind was so strong the car kept slipping along the fresh snow. This made her worry even more and tighten her grip on the steering wheel as if it were glued to her hands.
In the next moments, the car shifted to the right and as if pushed was jerked all the way to the left side and off the road. At that precise moment, the song, “Slow Down” by Brand Nubian came on the radio.
The car went straight out and felt like it had nose-dived down into the blackness of the night. I can tell you that when you don’t know whether you’re facing an accident or worse you don’t scream and neither do you “brace yourself” as we hear so often spoken in car crash scenes as depicted in movies. In a moment that seemed to both last forever and in a split second, I was silently sending love out to all of those that I knew I would leave behind.
However as that car fell down, in an instant I knew we would all be okay. With this thought the car landed into something however we were still in a 90 degree angle. Because it was so dark outside, we almost didn’t want to move but my girlfriend opened the door to see where we were. My other friend opened the back door, not feeling or seeing anything but hearing a loud rushing sound below. She told us to close the doors and to not get out of the car. The only way we would be attempting to exit would be through the hatchback as that seemed the safest route. We first had to put on a few layers of clothes as we had dressed for the 65 degree weather back home.
After we quietly changed we slowly opened the hatchback and crawled through the car and out into the unknown groping for rocks or any kind of earth to move us up onto the road.
Just as we made it up to the top, we heard the welcoming sound of a fire engine siren. The officials said that a driver of a passing by tractor-trailer called in the accident.
The Fire Department used a crane to pull the car up. The car had miraculously wedged itself in between two rock formations and came out without a scratch on it. We realized that we had nearly missed a ravine that plunge down to a river below. As we walked into the EMT truck we began to laugh so much so that the medics thought we may have had a concussion. We declined a trip to the hospital that night and got back into the car which I had immediately named Angel.
However different or the same our experience of that night was, we drove the rest of the way to school with a new perspective on how easily our “adventure tale” to our friends the next day could have gone a lot differently. The car could have gone right and straight off of the mountain instead of to the left. It could have moved a few inches passed the place where it wedged itself between the rocks crashing into the water. Had the car not slowed down right before skidding off, we could have crashed into on-coming traffic. There were so many minute paths during that accident that could have create an alternate reality for all of us. And yet everything happened precisely the way it was supposed to in order to ensure our safety.
It has been a while since my last posting. While I am unable to adequately express the feelings that I’ve been dealing with during this “moment of silence,” the closest and yet imperfect thought that comes to mind is “I’m Coping.”
Within this period of reflection and meditation, I’ve read several books which I will share with you all during the next few days.
I cannot explain the reason behind this voracious reading except that I feel that Derek has guided me towards each of these books as they have provided its own personal source of comfort and answers to the nagging question of “WHY?”
In the final Conversations with God series, Home with God is an astonishing and profound spiritual book that helps to open up the dialogue about our soul’s journey in life, death and the afterlife. The conversation opens with this poignant thought:
“It is impossible to live or to die without God, but it is not impossible to think that you are. If you think that you are living or dying without God, you will experience that you are. You may have this experience as long as you wish. You may end this experience whenever you choose.” [HWG, Chapter 1, P. 1]
Reading this book was an Ah Ha moment for me as it helped me to form my own truth that every death has a significance and helps to shape and form the life of another person. Therefore ensuring that no death is in vain and is of divine perfection. Now, I am not saying that our loved ones choose to leave us and intentionally drive us to pain and sorrow. But our lives are interconnected through love and when we experience a death it brings a message to us about the extraordinary meaningfulness of the life which has passed as well as our own life. Once we hear the message we seek to honor that life by sharing our stories and demonstrating love for others thereby causing a Butterfly Effect, changing other people’s lives as well.
Whether or not you believe that Neale’s conversations were channeled through Source itself, this book offers a thought-provoking look into the transition from life to death allowing us to form our own truths about ourselves and death.
I have also found this be a comforting book for not only those who have lost a loved one but for caregivers looking to offer comfort to those who are critically ill or in their final stages at Hospice. There is a prayer in the end assuring us that God is always with us as we’ve never left Home. Whether we believe in Him or not, we are never alone as He and our loved ones are always nearby ready to welcome us back to our original life.
“Know for a certainty that when you leave here, you will be again with all those who have held a place in your heart and have gone before. And do not worry about those you leave behind, for you will see them, too, again and again, and love them too, again and again, through all eternity, and even in the present moment. For there can be no separation where there is love, and no waiting where there is only Now.” [HWG, Chapter 35, P. 296-297]
Following the passing of her mother, with whom she was extremely close, Dr. Jane Greer shows how transcommunication with our loved ones can offer therapeutic healing. Simple exercises can help us to open our hearts and minds allowing us communication with those on the other side bringing to some relief and moments of peace.
In need of getting some fresh air to clear my mind, I went down the block to Nyack Beach. This weekend has been a difficult one for me as I feel Derek’s physical absence more than I have within the last 2 months. Someone once described the loss of a husband/partner with the loss of a limb. You can’t see it — but you feel the limb as well as the incompleteness of it being missing. It’s a terrible mental and emotional pain that doesn’t go away.
The “beach” which is really more of a hiking/bike trail with picnic benches lies next to Hook Mountain and is adjacent to the Hudson River. It’s always been a favorite Sunday ritual for Derek and myself to walk along the paths snapping pictures and enjoying each other’s company.
I picked a quiet picnic table to sit and read my new book — The Afterlife Connection, which examines a psychotherapists’ experience with afterlife communication and how our bond with loved ones is not just psychological. I was on a chapter that discussed how our loved ones are always around to provide signs so as long as we are open to the connection and can recognize their signs when sent. As I began reading a case study on a young woman reaching out to her father in spirit about a career decision, a bee landed on the book and started moving side to side as if it were reading the page with me. Not looking to get stung, I gently tilted the book down for the bee to move away. Instead of flying off it moved up and started walking up my arm — my instant reaction was to stand up which prompted the bee to fly away. If Derek were with me he would have instructed me to have my Off fan with me; with the reminder of him not being there to tell me this I began cry instantly. “I can’t do this anymore…I’m hanging by a thread, Derek. I need you.”
As I start wiping the tears away I noticed a few autumn leaves falling to the ground. I looked up and saw what appeared as a branch hanging in mid-air below a tree. Upon, closer inspection, the branch was hanging on some type of string. Maybe it was a fishing line that somehow became tangled with the branch and the tree or maybe someone put it there (although I don’t see what the purpose of doing that would have achieved). Whatever the reason, this branch remained as part of the whole tree and moved ever so slowly and gracefully even as the leaves were blowing against the strong morning wind. “Hanging by a thread”, the branch wasn’t in danger of falling. And I wouldn’t be in danger of falling as long as I held onto Derek’s hand. I smiled and whispered, “Thank you for keeping me from falling.”