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Excerpted from Blessings from the Other Side by Sylvia Browne. Copyright 2000 by Sylvia Browne. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 

"Why believe in something as joyful as the fact that our spirits have eternal life, but promptly scoff at all the proof around us that we're right?"

  Sylvia BrowneBlessings from the Other Side, Part 4

If grieving were really limited to worrying about whether or not our loved ones are still alive and happy, I would cheer at every funeral. It's the practical difference between the two dimensions that causes me to grieve. The spirits I see are not these dense, gravity-bound bodies we live in while we're on earth, and their voices are quick bursts of high chirping words, distorted by the transition from one vibrational pitch to another. I'm blessed that I've seen and heard Daddy many times since he went Home. 

I cherish the signals he sends me, from the occasional unmistakable whiff of his beloved cherry-blend pipe tobacco to his well-timed playing of the music box he gave me, which won't make a sound on its own since I haven't wound it in at least twenty years. But I'd be lying if I said any of that is even a pale substitute for my yearning to have him walk into this room right now, put his strong arms around me, and, in his smooth baritone voice, make me laugh as no one else could but him. 

It's selfish and ungrateful of me, but the truth is, I grieve because he's on The Other Side, having a great time, happy and healthy and not even missing me because as far as he's concerned, I'll be there with him in another minute or two, while I'm stuck here living out my own chart, trying to make the most of the thirty long years I have left until he and I are living full-time on the same dimension again.

It always fascinates me that when I'm writing, it's as if my clients find out somehow and gang up to bring me relevant contributions, no matter which subject I happen to be working on at the time. During this particular chapter, I talked to two separate grieving families with beautiful stories to share, all the more touching because these people didn't consider themselves extraordinary, and because both stories involved children.

You may have met William and his daughter Amy right along with me, at a taping of The Montel Williams Show. When Amy and her twin sister were three years old, the sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She died at the age of six, and Amy, now a young adult, has been visited by and seen the spirit of her beloved twin ever since. Almost more amazing to me, since it's a comparatively rare experience, was what William had witnessed. He was a sweet, soft-spoken, modest man, certainly not someone so eager for attention that he'd make up a good story to get himself on television. He was afraid I'd think he was crazy, as if I'm in a position to think anyone is crazy. But William was alone with Amy's six-year-old twin, a foot or two from her hospital bed, at the moment she "died," and he was blessed to actually witness her spirit, an unmistakable mist, leaving her body.

I remember his saying that when he looked back at her body again, he knew it was vacant, it was just the vehicle she'd occupied during her brief stay on earth. He didn't need me to confirm that he hadn't imagined it and that that's exactly what he had seen. In fact, he wasn't asking. He was just a lovely man who wanted me and the audience to hear the exquisite news that he hadn't seen his child die at all. With his own eyes, he'd really seen his child live. Fifteen years later, his voice was still a mixture of joy and sorrow as he told me about it. But sorrow for her, after that quiet miracle? Not a chance.

I was also very touched by Alexis, a quietly elegant client in her early thirties. Her four-year-old son Ethan had passed on only a few weeks before I met her, after a brave battle with leukemia. In his last moments on earth he'd looked up at her with absolute peace and said, "I'm going to die, Mama. It's okay. I promised God." At Ethan's funeral, Alexis was sitting in numb shock, wondering how and if she could survive without this child who had given her life such love and purpose, when she unmistakably heard his voice, whispering in her ear, strong and playful, "Mama, I'm going to kiss you on the nose," followed by a tiny, gentle breath of cool air on the bridge of her nose, exactly where the two of them made a private habit of kissing each other good-night. It was so real it made her gasp, and she found herself smiling, filled with a rush of joy.

Her friends and even her minister listened patiently and compassionately when she shared this wonderful moment with them later, and then one by one they assured her that grief can create all sorts of hallucinations, but if it brought her comfort to think it was real, there was probably no harm in it. "Sylvia, I was in a lot of pain," she told me, "but I wasn't far enough gone to hallucinate. It happened. Ethan talked to me and kissed me on the nose at his funeral. What I can't understand is, my friends and my minister claim to believe in life after death. Ethan gave me proof that life after death is real. So how can these people turn around and insist I only imagined a sign that what they believe is true?"

It's a question I've asked myself a million times. Why believe in something as joyful as the fact that our spirits have eternal life, but promptly scoff at all the proof around us that we're right? Grief is excruciating enough as we face the rest of our lives without the human presence of our deceased loved ones. If I didn't know with absolute certainty that our loved ones are still as alive as we are-actually more alive-and that they're around us all the time, I would just crawl into a corner, curl up in a ball, and never come out again.

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