After the death of Roger Ebert recently, I read a wonderful article that he had written about his beliefs in the next life and they were very similar to mine. I told my Facebook friends that day that I wasn't afraid of death because I had an experience that showed me that life does in fact go on and that I would blog about it. I actually had a couple but this one I wanted to share.
Recently, I have discovered some great books by author Linn B. Hilton of the U.K. In particular, the book "Being a Skeptic Is Oh So Easy" is where she writes about experiences that have happened to her that connect her to the "other side". Some of them are things that have happened to me that I dismissed as "coincidence" or my imagination. I now believe there are no such things as coincidence and that I didn't imagine these things after all.
About 15 years ago, my late husband Rich and I had both lost a loved one within a year. It was the first time that we really started to wonder about life after death and we began doing some serious reading on the subject. We lived in Connecticut at the time and we had heard about a psychic medium named Suzane Northrop who appeared often on our local radio station. We read one of her books and a few others by George Anderson and John Edward, both psychic mediums as well. It was life changing for us. We attended a few seminars, both together and separate, and heard Suzane and John give readings to people in the audience from their deceased loved ones. It was fascinating and the details were so personal and private that we knew that there was no way anyone could have known this information ahead of time. Rich and I had hoped that we would hear from our loved ones at one of these events. Rich did in fact get messages from his loved ones and he was convinced then that he would see his loved ones again. This conviction was what made his dying from Hepatitis C and liver cancer so easy for him. He looked at it like he was going on a journey into a new world. It was also what made it much easier for me to deal with his death.
Rich's daughter had bought 2 tickets to attend another of Suzane Northrop's seminars. At the last minute, she couldn't make it and gave us the tickets. We gladly took them and looked forward to another seminar of learning and confirmation.
This time I noticed we were going to a different location and it was a smaller hotel. On the way in the car, I was trying to figure out in my head how a couple hundred people were going to attend this when the conference rooms I knew to be small. I just put it out of my head and looked forward to the event. Once we arrived, we followed the signs to the conference room and it was small. Outside the door was an easel welcoming us to her "workshop". Now I was really curious. I didn't realize that it was a workshop for only 40 people. A few of us were early and we gathered in the hallway and I asked what the context was for this workshop Apparently we had tickets for a workshop where Suzane would teach us how to receive messages from people who have passed over to the other side. Can I just say I was excited and totally anxious to get underway since we would be in a smaller room with Suzane and could interact with her!
Rich and I sat in the front row about 2 feet from Suzane. She is a brilliant speaker and has a great sense of humor which was critical in putting us at ease. She asked us questions, we asked her questions. For the first half we learned a lot about how we all have psychic abilities, we just don't all know it or know how to use it. I've always known I had something. My Grandmother told me I was born with a veil over my face which only recently did I find out that it meant that I am very intuitive. And I am.
Now for the fun part. Suzane told us we were going to participate in an exercise where we would receive a message from someone who passed. A few of us weren't quite sure we had it in us and we joked a bit about it. Basically, we were going to be walked through a meditation stage and then we would be given a message. I was very ready.
First we did some deep breathing exercises and neck, shoulder and arm exercises to help relax our upper bodies. We were then guided by Suzane on how to breathe, how to focus on what she was saying and following her instructions.
All of a sudden, doors were opening and I was stepping out into the most beautiful and colorful garden I have ever seen. The birds were singing, the air was warm, the grass was so green and the air was like perfume from all the beautiful flowers. It was so bright and peaceful yet the brightness was not coming from the sun. There was a stone path that led up to a white gazebo and I knew I had to walk towards it. As I approached it, an older woman came out of the gazebo and I have never seen her before in my life. To this day I can remember it like it was yesterday. She was very heavy, wearing a navy blue dress with a belt around the middle. She had short, white, permed hair and glasses. She wore large white button earrings that were popular in the 80's. She also carried a black pocketbook. An old fashioned style handbag. The one feature that stood out to me was her upper arms. They were extremely large and fleshy. They were disproportionate to the lower arms.
As I stood looking at her, she smiled and said to me "tell my Granddaughter that I love her". That was it. Nothing more. I was then pulled back to the doors that I came through and to Suzane's voice telling us to open our eyes and breathe deeply through our noses and out our mouths. I felt so refreshed and calm. I have never felt as peaceful as I did then. We were then directed to silently jot down what we saw.
Suzane asked for a volunteer to tell the group what they say. No one wanted to go for fear of sounding nutty! Finally, I raised my hand. I described what I had seen and what this stranger told me. No sooner than when I finished speaking, a woman two rows behind me shouted out "That's my Grandma and I've been waiting 7 years to hear from her"!!! Can I just say that every hair on my body was standing on end and a shiver went down my spine. I turned around to look at this woman and she was sobbing and thanking me profusely. Suzane asked her how she knew it was her Grandma and she told us that her Grandma "always" wore button earring and carried that handbag wherever she went. She also said that my description of her arms was spot on and that validated it for her. I began crying myself, now understanding what I had just done. I'd given this woman a message from someone she loved and lost and what better gift could a person give or receive.
Each person began to tell what they saw and messages were delivered and let me tell you the tears were flowing. There was no grasping at straws trying to make the messages "fit" any one person. The details were too specific.
That day was very enlightening for me. It changed the way I look at death and dying. I got a peek into a beautiful place that I can't wait to see again when the time comes. My loved ones are there waiting for me and until I join them, they continue to send me little signs that they're around and love me unconditionally.