Life After Death© 2008 by Joan M. McCabe
I’m a trained clairvoyant and have been doing spiritual work professionally for 27 years. I’ve communicated with people’s lost loved ones, observed when my Grandmother passed in 1994, and assisted with pets’ transitions. Even so, when my first love died last November I went through grieving like any unaware person. At the same time, I also gained tremendous knowledge about the reality of life after death.
Ian was on his bicycle crossing a busy street when he was hit by a silver PT Cruiser. I was across the country at the time, but had the sudden urge to contact him, which I didn’t follow through on, being in the midst of a busy work day. Later that evening, sitting alone, I felt a presence come towards me. It unnerved me so much that I slept with the lights on for the next three nights. I later discovered that he’d been hit in the afternoon, but had passed at the hospital without regaining consciousness. Also, he’d had no ID on him so relatives weren’t informed for several days.
Throughout the weekend and the next week, I had all these thoughts go through my head – how life goes by in the blink of an eye, reflections on choices I’d made in my life. Ian had been my first love, and we’d continued writing until I was 23 and stopped when I met the man I eventually married. We’d only been reconnected through the gift of the internet for a couple months and I’d been suppressing the urge to jump on a plane and visit. I’d felt it was too soon in our getting to know each other again. The next Saturday I received an email, sent by his brother, informing his address list that he’d died. So now it was too late.
My initial reaction was one of detachment, mild surprise, but as the day went on I became overwhelmed with grief. I started to have all sorts of physical symptoms. I began using my left hand for everything, including drinking (which can be potentially hazardous when you’re right handed)! I started driving my car sitting upright and hunched over the steering wheel. I started wearing my reading glasses everywhere (also potentially hazardous, when you’re farsighted)!
Ian was left handed, tall and long-torsoed, and myopic. I got the impression I was to be at the memorial in order to communicate for him, and be his eyes. I got the impression that when you’re dead, things look different, because you see energy rather than physical form (but then this could just be his trying to focus without his ever-present spectacles)!
The only time my grieving subsided during the early weeks was the one time I sat and meditated, going back to the moment of his accident and sending a healing for his passage (similar to a Reiki technique).
The day of the memorial I had lunch with a mutual friend of ours, whom I’d not seen in nearly 30 years (I hadn’t been back to Ottawa in 25). I asked him why Ian had never married – indeed, his life seemed identical to the way it was when I knew him – he was living alone, with a dog (only this time he was retired and back then he had just begun his career). Our friend said that he’d never dated after me. This was confirmed at a gathering of friends and family after the memorial as well. There I was able to talk with specific people he’d mentioned in his recent emails with me and pass on the things he’d said about them.
On the plane home my emotions hit full force – I didn’t want to live in a world without Ian in it. I felt every choice I’d made since I was 23 had been a mistake. The grieving felt never ending – it seemed there was no light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time, I was constantly experiencing Ian’s presence with me, and at night I would feel as if I were embraced by him.
I spoke to him constantly, feeling like he was easier to talk to now that he was non-physical, but harder to hear. In late January I asked him if our communication were real, and if so, could he manifest something for me for Valentine’s Day? Well, February 14th came and went, and I was bummed. The next morning as I let my dogs out, I discovered a little plastic necklace with red hearts hanging on my doorknob. It turned out that a friend delivering firewood the day before had felt compelled to leave it for me. I figured that as a newly-dead person, he would have had to go through someone alive in order to manifest something. I laughed as said I could hardly wait for my birthday in April.
April 23rd, my birthday came and went and again I was bummed. It was in the midst of a 3 day class in Bellevue that I was assisting. The next morning one of the participants came up and told me that something I had said the day before had touched him. I had talked about a visualization technique for non-resistance called Body of Glass (where you imagine yourself transparent to negative energy so it passes right through you). He said he was an amateur glass blower and had felt compelled to give me something from his collection and handed me a glass paperweight. Just like Valentine’s Day – Ian delivered his gift a day late and through someone unexpected. This paperweight was amazing – it was clear glass with a blue glob in the center and a small air bubble. I realized that, if you were non-physical viewing people in the physical, you would see them like this – the dense body being a darker color surrounded by a clear aura. (I figured the air bubble was Ian hanging out in my space)!
Besides these gifts, I also received a package in the mail from Ottawa – his friends and brother had been going through his house and found a box with all of my correspondence – as well as my old journals from the time. If I had never reconnected with him, if I had never gone back to Ottawa, I would never have gotten these things back.
One of the things that helped me continue was remembering that this lifetime passes in the blink of an eye. I believe that as Spirit there is no time or space, so everything is happening at once (including all of our past and future lifetimes). As Spirit I am already reconnected with Ian. Also, I believe that this world is my creation through my own thoughts and actions. This belief helped pull me out of my darkest moments when I couldn’t imagine going on. The world of the Spirit seems to be one of ecstasy, all joy and no pain – why on Earth would I want to stay here? (Pun somewhat intended). Then I thought what if I did leave now and realize that I’d wasted this lifetime’s opportunity – to create my physical reality any way that I want. I began to consciously choose my thoughts – when sad or negative ones came up I would choose better feeling ones. I started to focus what kind of experiences I would like to have in this lifetime. Doing this slowly pulled me out of grief and depression and into an emotionally stronger space than I’ve been in years.
After about nine months, I noticed that Ian’s energy became more diffuse. I think he has mostly finished his cycles with those of us still in the physical realm. I wonder if there’s a ‘gestational period’ – just like the nine months it takes us to fully manifest into physical form, it may take us nine months for us to fully check out (although I think some people who die slowly of an illness may do this while still being in the body).
Even though Ian’s personality level energy has dissipated as the months have gone by, he still communicates with me in other ways – I will see Silver PT Cruisers at odd times. Sometimes two or three in a row will drive by me on an otherwise deserted street. At first this used to creep me out, and always produce a new round of mourning, but now I find it comforting, a symbolic reminder that he still exists. Occasionally I will have red pens appear – Ian was a teacher and used to write me in between grading papers! I also have had several vivid dreams involving him.
Looking back on it all, I can see that my grieving was a natural and necessary process for my body. Physical bodies take life and death very seriously – as this is the only lifetime they’ll have, and they’re not going to make it out of it alive! As an immortal Spirit we have more neutrality about the process. Your body is your physical vehicle. Just like an owner of a car, you will have many cars during your lifetime. You may get attached to the one that you’re presently driving, but when it’s time to trade it in, you go on to have another one and will enjoy that one thoroughly also. My body reacted to Ian’s death with fear and sadness, but as Spirit there was curiosity and joyful communion.
One thing I have profoundly learned was that what remains after this lifetime is love. The love I felt from Ian, especially during the darkest times during the holidays last year, was the essence we all seek in our relationships. It’s what we feel and experience for each other beyond the personality quirks and conflicts. It’s reinforced for me what it truly important in this life, and that is Love.