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Books! Afterlife, A Murder Solved.

2010/07/04

Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11 is #15 on the NYT bestseller’s list.  Congratulations, Bonnie McEneaney!  I encourage everyone to read this book.

Oddly, I picked up another book I’ve had awhile, and had read half of it and put it down.  I guess I wasn’t ready for it, because I barely remembered reading the first time.  Maybe I bought it used and someone else had dog-eared it at that spot.  Have I mentioned I am not a detail person?  I will remember loving something I read but not remember details about it?  Like all the Nancy Drew books of my childhood, except the names Nancy, George & Bess, and the color “titian blonde”?

Anyhow, this book is by a woman named Dianne Arcangel.  It’s called Afterlife EncountersArcangel is a former psychotherapist and hospital chaplain, and has worked with Elizabeth Kubler Ross.  Arcangel studied afterlife encounters for years and wrote this book, which is interesting and inspiring.

My husband shared this experience with me (and gave me permission to blog about it).  As many of you know, he lost his wife suddenly when she was 33 of cardia arrythymia.  We met and married later; I didn’t know either of them before.  He has shared with me a few of her visits over the years.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her, I know I’ve felt her.  Our son saw her, and she was wearing the dress she was buried in.  He was 2 when she passed and didn’t attend her funeral.  I’ve never doubted her comforting, protective presence in our lives.  I told him last night (probably thought of it because I’m reading about afterlife encounters) that he should write down these experiences, but after he told me a few things he hadn’t shared before, (or had and I forgot) I knew he would never forget them.

I thought this one was so cool.  Tim felt like her death opened up many spiritual doors for him.  He believed all things were possible before, and even more so after she passed.  As all people who have experienced traumatic loss know, he was going through his own personal hell after she passed.  He’s always read the Bible, classics, etc., but he started reading some of the Christian mystics and other spiritual books as well.  About 6 months after her death, he was reading  Proverbs 31, about “the capable wife”.  Now, Tim doesn’t mark or highlight much in books.  He’s big on small post-its, and they fill his Bible and many other books he reads.  If he does highlight, it’s very neatly, usually with a green highlighter.  He showed me a place in his Bible where he had highlighted.  Anyhow, as he was reading in Proverbs 31, he came upon verse 25: 25Strength and  dignity are her clothing,  And she smiles at the future.  The part I wrote in blue was underlined in pencil.  Tim knew he didn’t do it.  He knew Denise did it, and it brought him great comfort.

That is the overall theme of afterlife encounters, based on the 2 books I’ve read above.   Frequently, the purpose is to bring comfort when someone is in crisis or transition.  I’ve always believed in an afterlife.  I don’t really know what it looks, sounds or smells like, but I find things I read about it very comforting and inspirational.  Historically, culture has a lot to do with how death and the afterlife are represented and regarded.  I think now we are still in a Victorian or even older cycle of being very afraid of death and an afterlife that can’t be defined adequately for many.

Friday I read a book about the murder and eventual discovery of the murderer of Chandra Levy.  It’s written by 2 WaPo reporters named Scott Higham & Sari Horwitz.  It is very comprehensive and informative.  It’s called Finding ChandraIt was a quick, well written read.  I never read anything about it before.  Like many others, I was obsessed with her disappearance and the bizarre media spectacle of Gary Condit, which was eventually overshadowned by 9/11.

I finished Andrew Young’s The Politician.  I found it fascinating.  I also found it hilarious because of some of the behavior of the people involved, but also because I listened to it on tape and the reader’s intonations made some of the actions of the characters laugh-out-loud funny to me.  This book on tape provided a plethora of levity during a very stressful couple of weeks!  I got 2 more books on tape– Jon Krakauer’s book about Pat Tillman and the coverup of his death.  I like Krakauer’s work.  I’ve been reading him ever since his Everest book.  I also got a book on tape called Father Joe, the Man Who Saved My Soul, by Tony Hendra.  It’s a memoir.

I think my next books on tape may be fiction.  I checked for books by Pat Conroy or William Styron, didn’t find them at my library but maybe I’ll find at another branch.

Ciao for now!

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3 Responses to “Books! Afterlife, A Murder Solved.”

  1. Jingle Says:

    have a festive day!
    Happy July 4th!


  2. I am in awe at how many books you finish. My husband can speed read through three books while I chew on one. I tend to re-read sections, and then pull scenes apart in an attempt to learn from the writer.

    I have had a few experiences with ghosts, When my sister died I felt nothing, empty. I was hoping she would jump out and yell, Boo!

    Her cats were the ones that heard her. They would be sitting in the living room or staring out a window, when they would jump up and run upstairs to sit in her chair. In her last days, when she couldn’t walk the stairs, she would call to her cats to come and sit with her.

    I was wondering what your job is at, The Growers Exhange? I am trying my hand at the examiner- the link is on my blog.

    Have a great summer.
    Gerardine

    • Julie Says:

      Gerardine, I’m so sorry you lost your sister. I think she was showing herself to you through her kitties, just not in the visual way we usually perceive it! I kind work at the “back end”, so to speak, of an on-line garden center, which is The Growers Exchange. I love it.


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