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Talk, Hear, Doubt Your Doubts

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Loved ones who have passed away can still whisper wisdom to you.

I speak to people who have passed on as a daily practice. As I reach out, they hear me and respond. The first is a spirit named Jane Cecil, a close friend and advisor during her lifetime. I spoke to her daily and was grateful for her wise counsel.

“Can I hear from Jane?” I ask. I hear back promptly. “Julia, I am right at your side.” She continues, “You are led carefully and well. There is no error in your path.”

Having greeted me and set me at ease, Jane is ready to be more specific. She turns her attention to the issue at hand. “Your book is going well,” she tells me. “Keep a steady pace. Do not second-guess yourself.”

Jane’s messages are brief and direct. They are soothing, having the uncanny knack of addressing precisely my current concerns. Sometimes they pinpoint a concern before I have identified it. Jane may say, “You’re clean and sober. You’ll continue to be firm in your sobriety.” Until Jane spoke, I was not consciously aware of my nagging worry about drinking. But there it was. Jane’s wisdom surpassed my own.

After “talking” to Jane, I turn my attention to another friend, Elberta Honstein, a breeder of championship Morgan horses. Elberta’s communiqués retain the flavor of the horse show ring. “Julia, you are a champion,” she may tell me. “No obstacle is too much for you. You are strong. I give you stamina and grace.”

Like Jane’s, Elberta’s messages are reassuring. They tackle what I think of as my “hidden concerns.” I worry that I am not enough, but Elberta assures me that I am plenty.

Elberta, like Jane, urges me to trust the reality of our ongoing bond. “You reach to me and I reach to you,” Elberta reassures me. “You talk to me and I talk to you,” she asserts. “We are as we always were,” she pronounces. “Our bond is eternal.”

Faced with such reassurances, I find myself trusting. When I write out what I “hear,” I find myself thinking that more people should try my simple tool.

Ask to “hear” and then listen. It was need that triggered my reaching out to my friends. In life, we talked daily. In death, the habit continued. There were topics I could only raise with Jane, topics I could only raise with Elberta. My need for continued contact—and advice—led me to listening. I would pose the question “Can I hear from Jane about X?” and then I would listen as if she were right in the room with me. I found that she was with me. Pen in hand, I took dictation, writing from Jane “about X.”

It was the same with Elberta. In her lifetime, I frequently asked her to pray for me. Nervous about teaching, I would call her. “Stick me in the prayer pot,” I would request. Elberta’s prayers gave me confidence. I could feel their steadying impact. When she died— suddenly, unexpectedly—I posed my request to the ethers. “Elberta, please help me.” Pen in hand, I would listen for her response. “You will do very well,” promised Elberta from the ethers. “I give you wisdom, stamina, and grace.” Writing down what I “heard,” I found myself marveling at Elberta’s poise and dignity—the same in death as in life.

Both Jane and Elberta retained their characteristics. They were recognizably the “same.” When I reached to them, they reached back to me, displaying a heartening eagerness to connect. Their messages were always encouraging. I came away from our contact feeling seen. It was as though I had enjoyed a happy visit during their lifetime. I had the sense that they were not really gone. For some time, I kept my visitations to myself. Our contact felt real to me, and I didn’t want to experience doubt or skepticism from another. Over time, my conviction that we were actually in contact grew, not lessened. I found myself confiding to a few select friends our ongoing bond. “Jane said,” I would say, or “Elberta mentioned ...” To my relief, my friends did not scoff at my revelation. I had feared that I would sound too woo- woo. When I confessed this fear, I was greeted with understanding. As one friend remarked, “Julia, woo-woo is where it’s at.”

“You’re lucky to have direct contact,” my close friend Scottie Pierce tells me. But I feel luck has little to do with it. Open-mindedness does. If more people would experiment with making contact, communication with deceased loved ones would be commonplace.

“But, Julia, what if your responses from the afterlife are just wishful thinking?”

If so, my “wishful thinking” leads me in a positive direction. There can be no harm in the positive. The contact bolsters our self-worth. As we strive to be worthy of our messages, we become better, stronger people. Our “wishful thinking” leads us forward.

It has been three years since Jane passed on, and two years for Elberta. I began writing to them promptly and I now have several years’ worth of messages. Leafing back through my journals, I find that their messages stay essentially the same. They are upbeat and reassuring. They urge me to have faith, to trust that I am on track, well and carefully led. I find no dire warnings. Perhaps their guidance keeps trouble at bay.

“Julia,” I hear from Elberta, “your creativity is intact.” “Julia,” Jane echoes her, “you are as strong as ever.”

What matters here is our clear expectation that we can and will hear the voices of our beloveds. Our pure yearning for contact builds our bridge to the beyond. We pray to hear, and we do hear our loved ones answering our call. Their messages are reassuring. “Do not doubt our bond,” we are told.

And so we must learn to doubt our doubts. We must trust, as words form in our consciousness, that the words forming come to us from beyond. We listen and take down what we “hear.” Our loved ones speak to us fondly and calmly. Unlike us, they do not doubt our connection. Rather, they welcome it—and us. Their words come to us with clarity. We take down their messages and find ourselves comforted. Their loving intent is palpable. A sense of well-being comes to us. As we reach to the ethers to our loved ones, they in turn reach back to us. We are loved, and we can feel that love even after they have crossed “through the veil.”

“Can I hear from X?” we query, and it is as though we have placed a phone call. X answers us. “You are in my custody, safe and protected,” we are told. Pen to page, taking dictation as we listen, the loving message unspools through the written word. There it is in black and white: contact!