HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE IS AN AFTERLIFE?

“Endings are not always bad. Most times they’re just beginnings in disguise.”

Kim Harrison, Something Deadly This Way Comes

How do you know there is life after death? I’ve done several interviews over the past few weeks promoting my newest book, A Call from Heaven: Personal Accounts of Deathbed Visits, Angelic Visions, and Crossings to the Other Side. During these interviews, I’ve been surprised by the many times I am asked this question.

I’ve been researchinCallfromHeavenCoverg the afterlife for over 10 years now and I’ve just completed a book about deathbed phenomena. So how do I know there is life after death? I know not because of my books or the countless spiritual experiences that I have come across; I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an afterlife because of my own personal experiences.

The epilogue of my first book, Footprints in the Sand: A Disabled Woman’s Inspiring Journey to Happiness, contains an inspiring e-mail written by my husband’s friend and former boss, Rich, who died during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11.   In it, Rich talks about the passing of his father but more so about the importance of living life to its fullest.  After the completion of the book, Rich came to me in a vivid, lucid dream that would not only forever change my view of the afterlife but would also strengthen my faith in God.

In the dream, I went down this long hallway. I had no idea where I was yet there seemed to be a force pushing me forward as I eventually made my way through a doorway at the end. I walked into this room and looked around seeing a bunch of desks and windows. Although I say, “walked,” it was more like I glided as I do not remember my feet ever touching the ground.  I should also mention here that I actually felt myself moving.  It was as though my soul was out wandering while my body remained in a deep sleep.   All of a sudden, Rich appeared before me.  He was wearing glasses and smiled reassuringly at me as he telepathically communicated, “Josie, thank you for mentioning me in your book.”

It is important to note that I had never met Rich in person when he was alive on this Earth. I had only spoken to him on the phone and knew him through pictures yet I had no doubt that this was my husband’s friend standing before me.  I looked up at him seemingly squinting because it was hard to look straight at him.  The only reason I can give for this is there seemed to be a density or fog about us.  To this day, I don’t know why I said this but I looked at him and said, “Rich, you have to give me proof that this is really you?”  He looked at me with a comforting glance and walked over to a desk picking up a cell phone.  On the cell phone was a picture of him, his wife and his son.

He then spoke to me again saying, “Boston is O.K.” I had no idea what this meant but I understood intuitively that this was a message he wanted me to get to his wife. The next thing I knew I was going through a window and found myself on what seemed like a street.  Rich appeared to be in the bed of this pickup standing behind his wife and son.  He looked at me motioning for me to go and give his family the message. I don’t remember anything much after that except for waking up panting and sweating in a sitting position feeling like something had just hit me in my chest.

I must admit I was scared and confused. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. Though I could not understand what just happened; I was certain that I had to get this message to his wife.  I was certain that what I had just experienced was real.  It was about 8:00 a.m. and my husband was already at work.  I quickly rushed to call John and told him what had just happened.  His response was nothing that I didn’t expect.  “You’ve got to be kidding me!” he yelled.  “You want me to call Rich’s wife who just lost her husband and tell her that he said, ‘Boston is O.K.’” He was convinced that I had lost my senses.

I persisted telling him that I was certain the experience had been real and not a dream. It was unlike anything that I had ever experienced.  As I would later find out, I had just experienced a form of O.B.E. (out of body experience) known as astral travel. When this occurs, the soul leaves the physical body to travel in its astral body to other dimensions or realms of reality.  My husband listened reluctantly but finally agreed to forward an e-mail written by me explaining what had occurred to Rich’s sister-in-law.  He would ask her to forward the e-mail to Rich’s wife only if she felt it was appropriate.

Shortly after, we were on vacation when my husband received a response from Rich’s sister-in-law on his BlackBerry. In short, she explained that they had a brother in Boston and Rich’s wife was considering moving there.  But having purchased their home just before her husband’s untimely death, she felt guilty.  My husband read this message to himself but did not grasp what the message meant until he read the e-mail aloud to me.

We both looked at each other in complete shock. I never even met his wife let alone knew that she had a brother in Boston.  Now, it all made perfect sense to me.  His words, “Boston is O.K.” was meant to let his wife know that she need not feel guilty about moving.  He was telling her that it was alright with him.

At first, I honestly did not know what to think. So a deceased friend had given me a message in my dreams that had actually been validated.  What next?  What did this mean?  I had no doubt that I had visited with Rich’s spirit and that he was alive and well, but I had difficulty processing this information.   After all I reasoned, if Rich is dead and if he did, in fact, communicate with me, then not only is it confirmation of the existence of an afterlife, but it is also possible for the those on the other side to communicate with the living.

I did not realize it then but this would ultimately lead me on a spiritual quest which would later result in my research followed by my books which highlight various spiritual phenomena including deathbed visits, near-death experiences, angelic encounters and evidential afterlife communication. The more books that I write and the more I delve into these spiritual phenomena, the more I realize that we are so much more than the physical body.  As Edgar Cayce once said, “Birth in the physical is death in the spiritual. Death in the physical is birth in the spiritual.”

So, again, how do I know? I know because a man who was killed in the World Trade Center Attacks of 9/11 came to me with a message for his wife.  The message was later validated by his family shaking me to the core and leading me on my spiritual journey. I have also had many other spiritual experiences since then.

What about those of us who have never had such experiences? This is another question that I’ve discussed on several radio shows in recent weeks.  For those of us who have had such experiences, no proof is necessary.  For those of us who haven’t perhaps no proof will ever be enough.

Skeptics often argue that evidence pertaining to the metaphysical is largely anecdotal or based on personal experience. For this reason, many claim that such evidence is worthless and irrelevant.  As I write in my book, yes, most supernatural evidence is based on personal experience or eyewitness testimony but they are not worthless by any means.  They are, in fact, very noteworthy and significant.

As Albert Einstein once said, “Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world. All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.”  In other words, all knowledge starts with personal experience.  How can we know that something needs to be studied if we don’t first experience it?

Recently, I received a note from a reader named Kim who had just finished my book, A Call from Heaven. She wrote, “I just finished it! Thank you so much for validating the visits from heaven that I have experienced over the past two years since my husband passed. After reading numerous stories, I would end the chapter saying out loud to myself, ‘It’s all really true!’ Thank you for the peace I am feeling tonight!”

Thank you very much, Kim. Yes, it’s all really true.

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