There are any number of terms for it: after death communication; discarnate communication, spirit communication. Prior to 2000 I was blithely ignorant about the whole concept. As a writer, primarily of mysteries, I spent most of my days in front of the computer putting one word after another, one chapter after another. There was nothing new about that; my first book at been published eighteen years before. I had retired from my day job to write full time. With groceries in the larder, money enough to pay the bills and buy cat food, and friends to chat with, I was (literally) fat and happy. Then one night my husband called me.
Let me be clear about this. When you’ve known someone for thirty-eight years and have been married to him for thirty-one of them, you know his voice when you hear it. And under other circumstances there might have been nothing unusual about his calling me. Since Bob West’s ashes are fertilizing a holly tree outside my window, however, there was everything in the world unusual about hearing his voice. In spades.
The first time it happened I was awakened from a sound sleep by his voice. As Bob had been bedridden the last year of his life and in failing health for the previous three, I reacted to his voice exactly as I had during those anxiety-ridden years: I was out of bed and on my feet to find out what he needed. I was, in fact, halfway across the bedroom before I realized I had gotten up for nothing. Bob West had been carried from our residence by ambulance the day after Christmas in 1997 and had never returned. He died in April of the following year in a rehab facility. Obviously I’d been dreaming.
The second and third occasions changed the whole dynamics of the situation because I was wide awake. Just as before, his voice was loud, clear, and again seemed to come from the front of our condo. And lest you think my apartment is haunted and his activity confined to our three-bedroom unit, the fourth time he called out to me I was on Long Island in a hotel. The only difference on that occasion was that I heard him in my head instead of, well, my ears. There was no way I could use dreaming as an explanation.
Then on a slow Monday morning while channel surfing, I saw a promo for Crossing Over with John Edward, a syndicated show featuring a medium. I watched out of pure curiosity and with the jaded eyes of a skeptic.
That was my attitude on that morning, progressively less so on Tuesday, Wednesday and part of Thursday. A lot of the intimate information and seemingly insignificant details given to audience participants could not have been researched. Face it, you weren’t likely to find out on the Internet that fifty years ago your Uncle Bucky once swallowed a live goldfish to make his sister sick. These days, yes, thanks to Facebook and blogs galore, but not back in 2001. Then on that fourth day, John Edward informed a woman in the audience that, yes, her late husband wanted to assure her that she had indeed heard his voice, that he had called her name when she’d been this place or that – I forget. I will never, however, forget her astonishment. Or mine. The communication I had experienced was real? And it had happened to others, too? In an interview conducted afterwards, the woman said she had never told anyone about hearing that voice, that she was certain she’d imagined it.
I still wasn’t ready to become a believer. It went against my whole concept of death. Watching Crossing Over, however, made me curious. And furious. Something was going on I didn’t understand. A right-brained person all my life, I metamorphosed into a left-brained fiend, determined to research and get to the bottom of the whole business. I was in for a shock. Whereas I began with the sole intention of finding out what might be available on the subject of after death communication, the more I read, the wider the arena became. It was humbling faced with how much I didn’t know, the only consolation being that it appeared that the general public was no better informed than I’d been. Why? Because people were hesitant to talk about it.
In spite of the number of scholarly and complex treatises on the subject, few have been vehicles in which ordinary people could voice their extraordinary experiences. For me, not feeling free to talk about what was happening was like a cancer gnawing at my soul. Many of those whose narratives you’ll read expressed the same frustration and it was this that became the impetus for this book. The descriptions of ADC occurrences that follow are not fantasies, fabrications or flights of fancy. They are literally what we experienced. Those who have contributed have done so with the understanding that the purpose was publication. All were asked to sign their names as testament to their experience.
You hold the results in your hands. Again, this is what we experienced. Whether you believe it or not, dear reader, is up to you.