Love Continues After Death
As a physician raised by atheists, I never gave much thought to an afterlife. My education was largely in science, and I was taught that unless something could be perceived by one or more of the senses or measured with an instrument, it couldn’t possibly exist. When I became a mother with a child who suffered from severe bipolar disease, with the knowledge that the disease is often terminal, I was filled with a sense of dread for my son, Erik.
I often wondered if he would survive his emotional and psychological demons, or if he would harm himself, or even take his own life. During that period, my family and I constantly walked on eggshells trying desperately not to set off one of his rages, plunge him into a depression, or push him to any self-inflicted harm.
We tried everything to help him. We showered him with love, affection, and encouragement. He saw both a psychologist and a psychiatrist on a weekly basis. Still, nothing seemed to help. Life in our family was full of drama, uncertainty, and fear. After a period of intense struggle and despair, I confided with my husband one day, “I don’t think Erik is going to live very long.” My heart broke as I heard those words pass through my lips.
Once, he almost lost that battle by overdosing on Provigil. My dread changed into alarm as I realized I might not be able to save my son. During that overdose, I noticed something odd. Erik, in his delirium, kept holding the invisible hands of two people: his deceased aunt, Denise, and his friend Allie who had just died from an accidental gunshot wound. He seemed to be in another dimension and was filled with a sense of euphoria.
Just after his twentieth birthday, my worst fears came to pass. Erik took his life through a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He wanted to be certain that he would succeed this time in order to end his suffering.
No pain is as great as losing a child. It was like an atomic bomb blew up, shattering our home and our hearts. Again, what made it worse for me is that I didn’t have any beliefs about what might have happened to him due to my reverence for material science and the influence of my parents’ atheism. These two things made it impossible for me to answer what would become the most important questions in my life: Did my son still exist? Is there an afterlife? If so, where is he? How is he?
Were it not for one event, I might have remained in that permanent, hellish state of tormented skepticism and fear. Three days after Erik died, my intransigent atheist father called me, his voice filled with panic. He explained that he was sitting in his chair reading the paper when he looked up to see Erik standing in front of him. The sight took his breath away. Then Erik turned into the little boy version of himself and crawled on to my father’s lap. “I’m so startled! I don’t know what to believe!” he said. My father wasn’t the sort of person who would make this story up to lift my spirits. In fact, he was so deeply rooted in his atheism that his first words to me after I told him Erik had died were: “I’m sorry, Elisa, but Erik is going to turn to dust.”
That was the moment my journey from skeptic to believer began. First, I voraciously devoured everything I could find on alternate dimensions, near-death experiences, channeling and mediums, studies on consciousness, and the quantum physics behind all of these subjects. During those months of research, my family experienced things that suggested that Erik’s life might not have ended with a bullet.
A week after he died, my second oldest, Michelle—who was particularly close to Erik—and I were walking toward Erik’s room when she felt his presence strongly. She picked up a digital camera that just happened to be on a nearby table and started snapping pictures. When we looked over the photographs, one caught our interest. It revealed a bright orb with a comet-like tail giving the appearance of following me as I rounded the doorway to Erik’s room.
I was so intrigued that I had a photography expert analyze it. He brought the gamma down to produce this filtered image:
He concluded, based on the above photograph, that the orb was its own light source. You can even see it casting light on nearby structures.
Soon after his death, other family members and I began to experience what we could only chalk up to Erik’s paranormal pranking. Water faucets would turn on and deadbolts would lock as we looked on. Airsoft BBs would appear at the ceiling and drop to the floor. Unplugged appliances would turn on. Eventually, the evidence became all but indisputable.
About three months after his death, Erik called me on the telephone. It was around election time, so when the phone rang, I assumed it was one of those annoying robotic calls and ignored it. After what seemed like an exasperating eternity, the answering machine picked up, and I heard Erik say, “Mom, it’s me, Erik. It’s me!” I ran to pick up the phone, but I was too late. The odd thing was that it was a 12-digit number, and when I tried to call it, it wasn’t a working one. There was no message left on the answering machine.
Shortly after that, I had my first Erik sighting. As I started to lay my head on the pillow to go to sleep one night, I saw him at the foot of my bed jumping from one side to the other, over and over again, seemingly oblivious to my presence. On the left side, my deceased sister, Denise, sat and watched him with a big grin on her face. I followed him with my gaze, thinking about how surreal the moment was. Clearly, I was awake. How could this be? Then, all of a sudden, Erik turned to me, shock registering on his face. He said, “Mom, you can see me!” Then he fell into my arms and hugged me. The hug felt solid just like the many hugs we had shared when he was alive. Moments later, he disappeared, leaving me in a state of both astonishment and bliss.
Still, after each of these experiences, time would pass and doubts would creep in. It appeared my science background and atheist upbringing was winning the war. Around four years after Erik’s death, I heard his voice on a videotaped channeling session I had with a gifted medium, Jamie Butler. Unlike the telephone call, this time I had a permanent record. I could tell it was Erik’s voice. A mother knows the sound of her own child’s voice. I recognized his characteristic verbal tic that sounded like he was clearing his throat. I recognized the way he said “breakfiss” instead of “breakfast.” I recognized his typical, incessant pacing. This was my Erik, without a doubt. To further confirm my belief, I had a sound professional analyze the voice, and he concluded that it did not belong to a human being. For one, it left no voiceprint. Here is an audio clip from the sound expert’s analysis:
From that point forward, I knew Erik was still alive but in some other dimension, and I made the decision that I wanted to continue to have a relationship with him. Now, six years after his transition, through mediums I ask Erik questions about death, the afterlife, his life as a spirit, all things related to the human experience and more, and I share what he says on my blog, Channeling Erik. I share many of these answers in my book, My Son and the Afterlife.
Through Jamie Butler, who serves as Erik’s spirit translator, Erik wrote his own story, My Life After Death. It’s an account of his journey from the moments before his death to the present. In it he shares intimate details about his own death, his life as a spirit, and the place he now calls home. Knowing these details has helped to ease the deep grief I used to have, and it has revealed to me that love truly knows no boundaries. Relationships never end if we are willing to open our hearts and minds beyond what we think are absolutes.
It’s true that our relationship is different from when he was alive. I’m still his mother, but he’s become a spiritual friend, teacher, and personal tour guide of the afterlife. Together we work to bring enlightenment and comfort to others across the world—expanding the conversation about what life and death mean.
My family and I are continuing to heal — we still struggle with his physical absence. We miss his hugs, his kisses, the face-to-face conversations, and we continue to mourn the fact that he suffered so much because of his mental illness. Those feelings may lessen with time, but I know that they will never completely vanish. However, we do feel comforted by the knowledge that Erik is not forever lost to us. We are all eternal beings and will never lose each other, and we now have a deeper understanding of the human experience and how precious a gift it is. Continuing a relationship with a spirit takes practice, consistency, and patience, but doing so will hopefully heal you as it has done for me. It will give you comfort knowing that your loved one will never leave you, that he or she is doing well, and that you will meet with them in the afterlife when your own time comes.
To all of you who have lost loved ones, know that they are still around. They are just without a body, and they’re happy and healthy, free of mental and physical illness. You can continue to have a relationship with them, and they want you to. Maybe that relationship will be the same; maybe it’ll be different, but it will be real and deeply fulfilling.
There are many ways to communicate with your loved one. You can do so through a medium. You can even learn how to channel them yourself. Everyone has the potential to do so. One simple technique I learned from Erik is to ask your loved one yes and no questions through the Hand Game. Designate one hand as “yes” answer and the other as “no.” Then, with your hands spread apart and your palms facing upwards, ask your question and wait. After a while, you’ll pick up a different sensation in one palm. It might be a change in temperature, numbness, tingling, itching, pressure, a blowing sensation, etc. If your loved one has trouble making that sensation obvious, encourage him or her by saying, “Make it stronger,” and repeat this until you’re satisfied that you have an answer.
Another exercise I discovered on my own is what I call the Tea Party. You set out a cup of tea or coffee for both you and your loved one, and invite him or her to attend. Then, start carrying on a conversation. After saying something to them, listen for a response. You might hear it in your loved one’s voice, but it might also sound like your own. Typically, it’ll seem to come out of nowhere, unlike your own thoughts, which arise from a logical process or sequence. When I hear Erik, the sound seems to come from just behind my right ear. For you, it might come from another location. If you have trouble clearing your mind enough to hear your loved one, Erik suggests you try while listening to binaural beats between 14 to 16 Hz through a pair of earphones. You can download these sounds through iTunes.
From my continuing relationship with Erik, I have transformed in so many meaningful ways. For one, I see myself as an eternal being living through my human experience in order to learn about all facets of love. I know that doing so requires the contrast that can rear its head as a challenging struggle or sometimes even a tragedy. For example, I know that for some of us to learn more about one facet of love, forgiveness, we have to suffer pain or betrayal. Another facet is compassion, which we learn from experiencing personal loss.
From Erik, I’ve learned how to see death in a new way. And as a doctor, it’s very important to be compassionate and to comfort patients and their families when facing death and grief.
Last, I now know that suicide, something considered so taboo in our society, is simply another way to transition into that dimension Erik is in. There is no punishment, no scolding, no purgatory, no Hell. There is only forgiveness and love.
If you would like to learn more about death, the afterlife, and the life of a spirit, or if you have lost a loved one, read Erik’s book: My Life After Death: A Memoir from Heaven.
If you want to find out more about what happens after death, check out Journey of Souls.
Journey of Souls presents the first-hand accounts of twenty-nine people placed in a “superconscious” state of awareness using Dr. Michael Newton’s groundbreaking techniques. This unique approach allows Dr. Newton to reach his subjects’ hidden memories of life in the spirit world after physical death. While in deep hypnosis, the subjects movingly describe what happened to them between lives. They reveal graphic details bout what the spirit world is really like, where we go and what we do as souls, as why we come back in certain bodies.
While in deep hypnosis, the subjects movingly describe what happened to them between lives. They reveal graphic details bout what the spirit world is really like, where we go and what we do as souls, as why we come back in certain bodies.