It’s the Afterlife calling…

February 22, 2016

Everyone on earth is eternal. They may sort of believe it, but they don't know it.I don’t climb mountains or swim with the sharks. No, my risk-taking is living with an open heart and an open mind. It’s amazing what can  happen if you live as though everything is a discovery waiting to be made.

I’ve written more than once that organized religion failed to resonate with me and that it was decades into adulthood–just recently, really–that I had any understanding of the concept of faith.  But as the years passed I began to wonder what comes next. I mean, what REALLY comes next, because I didn’t buy for a moment that we all became angels floating on clouds or that there was a devil and hell.  I wanted to know what REALLY was ahead and went on a two-decade-long journey to see if I could find out. I took with me nothing but my open mind as I read, saw mediums, attended conferences, had discussions.

Whenever I write a post like this, I know there will be a certain percentage of readers who think I’m wacko, another percentage who think I’m dabbling in the demonic, some who are on the same journey as I and some who have already discovered for themselves.  I am now firmly in the fourth category and I have my dead girlfriend to thank.

The day I posted THIS on the loss of my beloved girlfriend, two of us among her loved ones had a telephone reading with the well-respected medium, Hollister Rand. I’ve encountered Holly a number of times on my journey. She’s called me out of a group with messages from the afterlife and some friends and I got together twice at my house for her spirit circles. One of the attendees was my late girlfriend.  We were all exploring the same question: what comes next? Could we really hear from our friends and family that have died?  While most of us got messages that seemed valid at those circles and some got really uncontrovertible evidence, I didn’t feel I had enough. But I respected Holly’s abilities so much that I wanted a session with her after my friend died.  So two of us made an appointment.

I'm Not crazyCould this be real?

Now, some unusual things had already happened since Marilyn died. Shortly after she was declared brain-dead, the candle app on my phone started lighting independently. It happened three times: while we were en route to the hospital and then twice at the hospital.  During the last rites and the Lord’s Prayer, she moved her head, twice, and again when her daughter arrived and spoke with her.  We had been told repeatedly that she was brain dead, the vent simply mechanically pumping air in and out of her lungs. She was GONE, the doctors beat into us. She would NOT recover and in fact was DEAD. Blah-blah-blah, I thought. Alright, already, we get it. She’s dead. But then she moved her head. Hmmm.

The next day I was at my desk writing about her and an empty basket jumped off a shelf into my lap. That same day, my Reiki master and soul sister called to say she had awakened in the middle of the night with a clear message from my friend: Tell Carol I’m free. On the day of her interment, I received a text from her phone. It was a week after her death and her phone had been in her empty house. The sent date and time matched my received date/time: a week after her death.

This is the text. The send time & date are the same as the time/date I got it. She died on Dec. 27.

This is the text. The send time & date are the same as the time/date I got it. She died on Dec. 27.

Now, as you can imagine, I was unnerved. WTF was going on?? Was my friend contacting me or were these just odd anomalies?

A couple of things. No, the medium Hollister didn’t do research on us and no, she didn’t remember us in particular from the thousands–maybe tens of thousands–she reads for every year. She might remember my face from the times I’ve seen her in person, but we were on the phone, and this is a busy, working medium and we have never engaged on a personal level.  Finally, readings do not ever need to be done in person-remember, the spirits are everywhere.  So let’s begin.

The two of us who wanted to connect with my friend sat in my kitchen drinking tea and dialed Hollister’s number.  She began right away. I’ll put Hollister’s words in italics and my thoughts are not italicized.



I’m sensing someone who recently crossed. A newbie.  I sense that you did not have time to say goodbye and that you think her passing came too soon. But she tells me that she had the option to go and she took it. She did not want a long and drawn out death. Her home was very important to her and she wanted to die in her own home with all her parts intact. It was painless. She just didn’t want to linger and have her body fail little by little.

All true. She died Dec. 27 suddenly of a catastrophic brain bleed. She was brain-dead when the paramedics reached her. It was unexpected, because she had been battling cancer for six years and chemo was working. We all thought she would eventually begin a final decline and we would know what was coming, but she feared that. She loved her home and went to great lengths to remain there, including installing a chair lift on her stairway so she could go up and down. She wanted to die there.

She says she had trouble walking at the end but has now cast off her walker and is joyous at the freedom.

Also true. She used a walker, but the brain bleed happened because because of two falls she took the week before. The bleed was not diagnosed and even if it had been, nothing could have been done–she had no platelets, thanks to chemo, and would not be a surgical candidate. She was mobility-challenged enough to have 24/7 caretakers to help her. They were there, but couldn’t catch her fall.

Now the rubber meets the road:

Carol, is she coming to you directly? She says she is, and that you should have no doubt that it is her. It’s me! It’s me! she says.  She says she is very interested in learning how this spirit communication works and her goal is to appear to you in full body. You may catch a glimpse of her in the mirror when you get up at night. I see you walking through a doorway, down a hallway and into a bedroom–she’s there. Also, the way she’s coming to you is very energetic–it’s not just a thought, she is making things happen.

Again, true. She came to me directly and she made things happen, candles, baskets, texts. And I was doubting, asking myself over and over if it could be her. My response now was “do it–come to me full body!”  Since I’m now prepared, it won’t startle me quite as much. (Maybe.)

You have a rose connection with her–something about roses. Do not be surprised if someone gives you roses, or even a rose wreath; it’s she who made it happen. Spirits are very good at making others do their bidding! Whenever someone says “I don’t know why I got this for you, but here it is,”  it’s usually a spirit that’s put him or her up to it.

True. Often, I’d bring her roses in small vases, usually red. I probably did it a dozen times in the past year.  Two days after this reading with Holly I was at a coffee date with one of Marilyn’s caretakers, a woman with whom she was particularly close. When she walked into the coffee shop she was carrying half a dozen red roses as a gift to me.  My jaw dropped. (Thank you, Marilyn!)

The roses I received.

The roses I received.

But then, two days later in Southern California, a friend handed me a small bag. “I remember you commenting on one someone had on when we were together in Virginia Beach. It doesn’t really look like something you’d wear and I don’t know why I got it for you, but…”  I opened the bag to find this:

It is a rose coronet or a wreath.

It is a rose coronet or a wreath.

As Hollister might say, “Of course it is.”

Carol, are you pursuing a course in spirit communication? Because she mentions it.

Since her death I HAD been looking into just such courses. And the day before the reading I began applying for a graduate certificate in regression hypnosis by Atlantic University, which is affiliated with the Edgar Cayce organization in Virginia Beach. Regression takes people to past lives. I will also be regressed by the psychologist teaching the course.

I sense you might have been around each other in another life because you have a connection which in some ways may not look obvious to people–it goes beyond what makes sense.

In my blog post the morning of the reading, I had marveled that we were so close despite having nothing apparent in common. Although I believe in reincarnation, it never once occurred to me that we might have known each other before. But it makes perfect sense to me and is a logical explanation for our affinity toward one another.

Reversing roles

Are you drawn to the impressionists? Because I get that you might have been together in Paris during those times and you knew Monet or Manet.  See what happens with your regression. Or in Egypt. You know, we desire to go places we’ve known.

I love impressionist art and in fact, a few months ago booked a Paris trip that includes a visit to Monet’s gardens at Giverny, the chief draw for me. I had planned to visit Egypt the year that Arab Spring happened; the trip was cancelled. Also, I found myself using an unusual term of endearment when I spoke privately to her at her bedside, at the wake and at her interment, an endearment that may be one I used for her in another life.

She is moving you forward in spirit life. If you feel a kick in the butt, that will be her, she’s turned the tables. The role you might have served in her life she is now serving in yours. It’s very common, a karmic thing –it balances out the relationship so no one is in the other person’s debt, even though life ended.

We often spoke about what came next. Since I had done so much afterlife study, I constantly shared what I learned with her, even though she was the “older sister”. Now, she IS teaching me. In fact, when I reached her bedside in the ER, I sensed instantly that her soul had already departed and said to her, “OMG, you’re already on the other side. What did you find there? Tell me!”  And I constantly asked her to come visit me that week between her death and her interment. So I shouldn’t be surprised that she has been coming to me, as requested.

When you meet someone from your soul tribe, you feel you already know them. ~The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

When you meet someone from your soul tribe, you feel you already know them. ~The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

You will be exploring karma and releasing karma–going through a cleansing of people, places, things, letting go of people who are not additive.

That has already begun and I blogged about it a while back.

She is telling me about a job you left the last couple of years. I see her writing a press release.

I worked in a PR consulting firm and one of my duties was writing press releases.

Well, the elements of that job no longer resonated with you. There were very difficult people, changes you didn’t appreciate.  So you left. She says, “See? Life works out!”

All true. And her comment sounds very much like her.

I hear the womans’ name XXX, Marilyn has visited with her.

The name Holly gave was of another of my friends’ best friends. Not a common name, either.

What is it about purses?

Her daughter gave her a purse for her birthday, a week before she died. I admired it and bought the identical bag the next day and sent her a text message with its photo.

The purse, a tote, really. On sale at Anthropologie in December.

The purse, a tote, really. On sale at Anthropologie in December.

She is like the welcome wagon to the other side! If anyone is about to go, she’s there to help.

That is very like Marilyn. In fact, I met her at a newcomer’s party in early 1985, when she was the greeter. Just like she seems to be doing now in the afterlife.

She is showing me tea, a tea set, sit down and have tea.

Her loved one and I were in the kitchen having tea at that moment during the reading. Apparently, so was Marilyn!

She repeats something she told me before she died

She says she is with you in the kitchen, are you doing something different there that has to do with health? She says it’s a big plan, stick to it. She will be with you.

Yes and yes. In fact, this was the subject of what I later realized was her last wish for me, what she wanted me to do. It was not the kind of statement she would normally make; later I realized it was her instruction to me for the rest of my life. She brings it up again, here, to underscore it.

I see a little black and white dog.

Riley fits that description, so I asked, “What kind of dog?”

It looks like a shih tzu. She is in communication with him.

95% of people who meet Riley think he is a shi tzu and I am always correcting them. The night she died, we got home and Riley stood on the corner of our bed looking at the doorway and barking. We couldn’t get him to stop for 15 minutes, he just stared at the doorway and barked. My friend wasn’t a dog person but she loved Riley. They had a cute relationship. He would sit quietly with her and she’d say “See? He’s always on good behavior for ME!”

She has the perfect personality for spirit communication–very determined, outgoing, strong. She lights up the room when she enters. And boy, is she well put-together and accessorized!  Clearly Amazon delivers to the afterlife because she is not the first one I’ve seen all decked out–with thought, of course!

My friend was known for being well put-together and I would always rib her about going to chemo in full makeup and good jewelry, which she did. She never left the house without make up and being perfectly accessorized. Bingo, that hit head on, too!

She is just delightful!  Ok, time for our closing prayer.

“Delightful” is the way many people would describe her. Hollister prayed and then, immediately after asked us:

Do I know this person? Because she interrupted me mid-prayer and said: “Hollister, you know me! You know me!”

I explained that my friend had been in two spirit circles at my house with Hollister, and she was pointing out that yes, Hollister had “met” her. There are never any introductions at a spirit circle so it wasn’t a formal introduction. But they were in the same circle on two different occasions.  It is VERY like my friend to say that. I can even see the expression on her face!

There you have it. The whole story. For me, that reading was the most fulsome and significant I have had, to date. There wasn’t a single false note and the other loved one in the reading got similarly detailed and accurate information. That’s not my story to tell, so I have not included it in this post.

CS lewisFor me, Marilyn provided unequivocal proof that life goes on–the evidence I have been seeking since my mother died in 1999. The ironic thing is that my mother’s death kicked off my search, but my mother only rarely has spoken to me from the other side.  Marilyn has certainly raised the bar in terms of communication from my loved ones. I am certain that one day I will see her, full body.

Science will eventually catch up. But me? As the poem I read at her funeral Mass says, I am now certain that “there is absolute unbroken continuity:”

Death Is Nothing At All by Canon Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I …and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are, still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always did

Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
And how we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

I’d love your thoughts. You don’t have to agree with me, either. Of course, there is nothing to agree or disagree with. My experience is my experience, right?  Oh, and Hollister Rand’s book I’m Not Dead, I’m Different is excellent if you’re interested. One of the best-written on the subject I’ve seen.

33 comments on “It’s the Afterlife calling…
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    Wow. I would love to get in touch with my father. This post was hopeful beyond all words. Thanks, Carol.

  2. Carolann says:

    I don’t doubt any of your story for a second. Like you, I’ve been on the same path searching for answers and am still excited about the journey. I recently read that spirits often use electronic devices to reach out to us and that text you got OMG. What a beautiful connection you had with your friend both in life and in the afterlife. Keep us posted if you see her full body. I’ll be waiting with bated breath!

  3. C says:

    Oh Carol, I consider you one of the lucky ones. I think you’re being open to all of it is what has gotten you so much wonderful response from Marilyn. I, too, am on this journey, not so much with my loved ones who have gone, but I do find them talking to me ( in my own voice and head, but I still think it ‘s them) but just in general. The spiritual journey is fun, exciting and interesting and I’m trying to stay open to all of it! Holly sounds amazing, so she’s on my bucket list now! Thanks for being brave to share, because you know this kind of post can bring out all kinds of responses!

  4. Haralee says:

    How wonderful to have your dear friend close and know communication is two way!
    I really love your statement of risks you take are having an open heart and mind!

  5. After I read “Many Lives, Many Masters” I never looked at life or afterlife the same way.

    I’m similarly and comfortably startled by things you wrote here. I see my brother in all kinds of forms that I didn’t expect to, and most often when I need to.

  6. In my entire Life no one has ever come to me from beyond. Then again, maybe I’m just not looking. Much to think about Carol. Good post.

  7. Parul says:

    There are a lot of things that are unexplained. My grandmother also felt a lot of connection when my aunt (her daughter) passed away. It is beyond natural but exists. May be that’s why some connections stay beyond life.

  8. Anna Palmer says:

    This is incredible. Whether it is “true” or not your connection is real. Thank you for sharing this and getting my brain turning.

  9. Ellen Dolgen says:

    This is truly something, Carol. After my Dad passed away, I would see him sometimes when I meditated. But, he never spoke to me. I wanted to hear him….to talk to him. It has been 36 years now. I still yearn for that. I do believe that life goes on somehow – someway – someplace else. I have never done a reading. You gave me much food for thought.

  10. Sheryl says:

    Chills…wow. You are NOT wacko. Everyone has their own personal way of connecting, and I feel so strongly that there is so much out there that we don’t know. I applaud you on your exploration and for your open mind and for sharing your journey.

  11. Wow. This really does inspire hope and curiosity, and lessen fear. The closest I’ve felt to getting a “visitation” is an occasional vibrant dream about my mother (who died in 2010), and I awaken with strong feelings that we’ve communicated in some way. There’s so much we simply don’t know…thank you for sharing your exploration!

  12. Sarit says:

    Thank you for this inspiring post. I have no doubt that you can hear and communicate with them.

  13. I’ve been wondering if you had seen or heard anything from your friend. What an amazing experience! I would love to have that kind of reading one day. I’m off to check out Hollister’s book!

  14. andrea says:

    as a Christian, all i can do is pray for the families of those i love who have passed – and to pray that the person (or persons) reached out to God BEFORE passing….

  15. My mom passed when I was 13 and there are definitely things that have happened where I just knew it was my mother. Angels are around us at all times!

  16. This is very impressive–gave me goose bumps while reading it. You are fortunate that your friend is still in touch with you. My sister sends me messages and I appreciate them so much!

  17. Wow! Goosebumps here.

    The only thing I’ve experienced that comes marginally close was a bell given to me by my stepdad (I used to collect bells and he got this one during a long-ago military stint in Turkey) that I kept on my nightstand began gently ringing as I sat on the side of the bed writing his obituary. Just little ding-ding-dings from side to side. I knew it was Jerry telling me to wipe my tears and continue, that what I was saying was perfect despite not following the suggested obit formula.

  18. Mary Barger says:

    Carol, you’re amazing. I loved reading your experience. Thank you.
    I would love to have some of those experiences but it has only happened

  19. k says:

    No doubts here; I have felt my husband holding me at night and he’s been DEAD since 1995. I have sensed my mother’s presence in my bedroom and saw the mattress dip when she sat at the foot of the bed. She passed over to the other side in 1998.

  20. Jennifer says:

    You are not crazy. I’m glad you’re friend reached out to you, so very comforting to read.

  21. Virginia says:

    Wow! What an amazing experience! I would love to communicate like that with my mother some day!

  22. Great post. Words about karma were thoght provoking !!!

  23. Michelle T says:

    There is an ex boyfriend of mine from High School, that was my first love of my life that passed away at age 19, it was very tragic how he died and very unexpected. I pray he’s in heaven but I just don’t know for sure. I believe there is heaven and hell after death. I always pray for those who are not right with God. It would be nice to hear from him, but I just don’t believe it is possible for that to happen. Thanks for sharing your experience and beliefs, I respect them.

  24. Tara says:

    This is a very interesting read. I pray that you do find the answers you are looking for and discover the truth that you seek. It is wonderful that you had such a special friend.

  25. wow. I’m speechless. Especially, about the text you received on the handbag. You really loved your friend, and I’m sorry for your loss.

  26. This really does inspire hope!! I loved reading your experience.

  27. Jennileigh says:

    I have always believed human spirits could visit us and communicate with those who were open to receiving it. My grandmother visited me when she passed. I awakened, feeling her touch my cheek and I could smell her. I knew she was passing over. I felt peaceful and drifted back off to sleep after noting the time on the clock 12:00 midnight. My stepfather called at 12:05 to tell me that grandma had passed away. I already knew. I have a religious basis for my belief. Because I believe in God, I believe in Angels. I believe God allows spirits to remain or visit to help provide comfort to the grieving.

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