HEALING THE GRIEVING HEART
Hello from Heaven: After Death Communication
Hosts:? Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley
With guest:? Bill Guggenheim
December 28, 2006
G:?Hello.? I?m Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host
H:?Dr. Heidi Horsley.
G:?Each week we welcome you to Healing the Grieving Heart, a show of hope and conversation with those who?ve suffered the loss of a loved one and for health care professionals who work in this difficult field.? As always the message is others have been there before you and made it, you do not walk alone.? This show is a pre-record so you will not be able to call in today, but you?ll be able to find the show archived on our blog, www.thegriefblog.com, as well as www.thecompassionatefriends.org websites.? All shows can also be downloaded on Itunes and the transcripts can be accessed through www.thegriefblog.com.? Well, Heidi, we?ve got a great guest today, and what an interesting guest.? It?s Bill Guggenheim and he?s the co-author of the best-selling book Hello From Heaven.? Do you want to talk more about him for us Heid?
H:?Sure.? I?m actually very excited to have him on.? Like you said, he wrote a best-selling book, Hello From Heaven, and interviewed thousands of people about after-death communications so I think this is a show not to be missed and one that will give people great comfort.?
G:?Absolutely, well, Bill, welcome to the show.
B:?Well, thank you very much.? It?s a joy to be here.
G:?It?s great to have you on and I?ve been looking at your book, Hello From Heaven.? This has really been quite the book.? It?s been a best seller for how many years?
B:?Well, actually, it was published in 1995 and we self-published it.? Then Bantam published it hardbound in 1996 and mass paperback in 1997 so eleven years ago by commercial standards.
G:?Now, have you done another one?
B:?No this is the book.? It?s the definitive book on this topic.
G:?But you do have a website.? Heidi and I have both gone on to your fantastic website.? You call it ADC right?
B:?Yes.? ADC is short for After Death Communication.
G:?Lots of good information on this website.? Well, Bill, starting out on the show, in looking at your book, I was really interested.? Heidi and I are always very interested because we?re talking to ? a lot of our listeners are bereaved parents and other bereaved people.? They are fairly newly bereaved and I?m always interested in talking to people about how they got into this field and I noticed in your book that you mention that when you were eight, your father died.
B:?Yes, that?s correct.? However, I didn?t have any experiences myself at that point.? But, what interested me in this field was when I was attending a five-day workshop with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1977 and she related an experience she had had with a patient who had died ten months earlier.
G:?Yeah, could you mention that, and I do want to get back to your loss just because as I said of our listeners, but I think people sometimes think of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as just being this doctor, academic, now that she?s been dead for a few years and they don?t realize where she actually came from.? Could you mention about how she came into it?
B:?She?s from Switzerland.? She was one of three triplets and she grew up in Switzerland, and after World War II, she personally for whatever reason she had, started going through all the countries that had been occupied by the Nazis and things like that, went into the concentration camps and saw all the horrors that the Germans had perpetrated on everyone and kind of opened up their heart obviously and then she came to the United States later on as a psychiatrist, fully-trained psychiatrist, and then later on, through a series of choices, specialized in, or really founded the field of thanatology or death and dying on her own.? It was her books, the best-known one being titled On Death and Dying, which brought death out of the closet, so to speak so people could talk about it.
G:?Right.? I was in the health care profession myself at the University of Rochester at that time and it was just kind of an amazing thing for everyone because like she said, if you walked around the hospital, nobody was dying.
B:?That?s right.? Four students came to her who had to write a paper and the topic was:? what are the feelings and the thoughts and the fears and whatever, concerns, of those who are terminally ill?? And Elisabeth said no problem.? Just go through the large hospital in Chicago and walk through the wards and we?ll talk to the people there who are obviously very very sick and probably life expectancy of just a few weeks or months.? However, at that point, in the fifties and sixties, the staff were very much in denial and the belief was everybody was going to get well and go home again so nobody would talk about this.
G:?Absolutely, and then because we?re talking about after death communication, talk about the one she had at the elevator.
B:?All right.? Well, this was a number of years later because there?d been a great deal of opposition to her because she persisted in interviewing people and writing books about them and what not and Elisabeth just sailed right into an opposition of the medical establishment so people wanted her to quit doing what she was doing and she was planning to turn in her letter of resignation the following day and she was down at the elevator in an office building where she was in Chicago and a woman said, ?Dr. Ross, may I have a few minutes of your time??? Elisabeth looked at her and said, ?Okay,? and they started walking down the hallway back to Elisabeth?s office and Elisabeth noticed that this woman was not fully solid the way we would be to one another, and she did a lot of what she called reality testing and she did remember who this woman was.? She looked familiar at first but she couldn?t quite place her, and it was a woman named Betty Schwartz who had died ten months earlier and Elisabeth knew, had been very much a part of this woman?s dying process, and she knew that there was a particular minister that was involved as well, so when they got to the office, Elisabeth, to document or verify this experience, she asked this woman, Betty Schwartz to write a note to her minister so the woman did take a pencil and write a note but before she did so, she said, ?Dr. Ross, your research is far too important for you to quit.? You must promise me that you will continue.?? And then the woman wrote the note, and once again, elicited the same promise from Elisabeth that she would not resign but would continue her research, and the woman walked toward the door and went out the doorway and Elisabeth paused for a beat and then ran to the hallway, looked up and down the long deserted corridor, and nobody was there.? But this had been a patient, as I said, who had died.
G:?That?s wonderful.? And so she continued with the great work that?s been so important to all of us.
B:?Yes, and what impressed me was the fact that Elisabeth had nothing to gain and everything to lose by sharing such an unusual experience with the seventy people who were at this five-day workshop with her in 1977.
G:?Absolutely.? I always thought she was so amazing that she was willing to hang in with this whole thing being a physician and there was a huge amount of resistance to it.? And today, there is still a certain amount of resistance to it, and let us say that not everyone has dreams or after death communication or whatever so if you?re listening today, and you?re a skeptic or whatever, we hope you?ll hang in and just listen to some thoughts about it and some things.? If nothing else, it?s a very interesting topic.? I wanted to get back just with you just a little about your dad dying when you were eight years old.? I know you said that you didn?t have any communication.? Do you think that opened you more to the future, though?
B:?Perhaps it did.? I?m an only child.? My father had been very ill for the two years following World War II.? He had been 4F so he couldn?t participate in the war effort directly in the military but he did a great deal of civilian defense work and had a farm, not just a garden but a farm, where he rose food for the war effort.? He had been born with a bad heart and that?s what really killed him off so he was in a great deal of pain when he died and I felt really a sense of relief for his sake when he died.
H:?Now, I know Bill, you didn?t as a child have any after death communication with him but have you since?
B:?Yes, I have.? As a matter of fact, in 1980, one afternoon when Judy and I were in our home here in Florida and we had finished a conversation on a Sunday afternoon as we were leaving the room, I heard a voice in my head say, ?go outside and check the swimming pool.?
G:?And you felt that was your father?s voice?
B:?Yes, it was, who had died many years earlier.? And when I did, I walked out to the back.? There was no sense of urgency to it so I just walked to the back of the house, looked through the sliding glass doors.? We had a safety fence about fifteen feet away and I noticed the gate was open and this is a screened-in swimming pool area.? So I opened the sliding glass doors, walked to the gate just to secure it because we had three sons, and when I did, I happened to look down to the far end to the deep end of the pool and saw that our youngest son who was only 21 months old was floating in the water without moving.? And he was not near the edge and not moving or anything.? I had no idea if he was dead or alive.? So I screeched Judy?s name, that was my wife.? I screeched her name out, ran down the side of the pool, and for some reason I took my shoes off before I went in the pool.? I heard you?re supposed to do that so I did that.? And I just paused and looked at my son, Jonathan, and I noticed his eyes were wide open and he almost looked like he had a small smile on his face and he was floating on his back face up about one inch under the water and not moving at all.? And I jumped into the pool, came up underneath him, and I pushed him to the side.? Judy had heard me scream.? She came running out and pulled him out by the wrist.? We were both shivering because it was cold.? It was in May.? Even in Florida it can be cold here.? The water was cold.? And he coughed and spit up some water but he was fine.? He did not even require CPR and I know if I had not been alerted to go outside and check the pool, he would have drowned.? There?s no doubt in my mind that Judy and I would have been bereaved parents had that warning not occurred to us.
G:?Now having that communication with your father, did you have others and have you felt closer to him?
B:?Yes, I?ve had other conversations, mostly mental two-way conversations.
G:?But that has opened something up for you to deal with some of your childhood losses.
B:?They mainly have helped the present, not so much of the past, but whatever was happening in the present.
G:?I think it?s such a great story for people about the fact that you were a bereaved child because there are so many folks out there right now that are concerned that their kids who?ve lost fathers or siblings, they?re concerned that they?re not going to be okay and they?re not going to be able to do things.? They?re going to be permanently damaged.
B:?Again, it?s very helpful for them to be in a support group.? I urge parents to find a support group for their children so they can talk to each other and the larger cities do have some kind of center for grieving children now and it?s talking to one another that?s the most helpful I believe.
G:?It?s time for us to go to break now and when we come back from break, we want to talk more with Bill Guggenheim, best-selling author of Hello From Heaven.? I?m your host, Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host Dr. Heidi Horsley.? You can reach us through our blog, www.thegriefblog.com and you can also download the shows on Ipod.
H:?Welcome back to Healing the Grieving Heart.? I am your co-host, Dr. Heidi, with my mom and host, Dr. Gloria.? Our topic today is Hello from Heaven: After Death Communication and for those of you who are just joining our show, our guest today is Bill Guggenheim.? Bill and Judy Guggenheim spent seven years conducting research for their popular book Hello From Heaven.? During this time, they interviewed 2,000 people and collected more than 3,300 first-hand accounts of after death communications.? After death communications provide what many believe is modern-day evidence of life after death.? Bill has presented his research at many national and regional conferences of The Compassionate Friends.? Welcome back to the show, Bill and Gloria.
G:?Your book?s pretty amazing.? One thing that I was amazed about is the relationship that you and Judy have.
B:?Well, we were married for 17 years and have 3 sons, then we were divorced for 4 years in 1984, and we began working together in 1988 on this research and book and have been working together ever since then.? So as I say there is life after divorce.
H:?Ah, I love that.? That?ll be your next book, though.
B:?If you want to create that.? When you have children, it?s very necessary to do that for their sake.
G:?I wanted to ask you, have your sons had any experiences with life after death and what do they think about your work?
B:?Have my children had any?
G:?Yes, and what do they think about your work?
B:?They just take it as a matter of stride because they grew up with it.? They were of an age that when we were doing it, our older son created our website and our other two sons were very involved and heard me give workshops and what not and to them, this is a normal and natural part of life just as it is in other parts of the world.? What we write about here in this country as being unusual or controversial, in other parts of the world such as Central and South America, parts of Europe and Asia, especially the Catholic and the Spanish-speaking countries, Italian countries, things like that, people have these experiences at night and openly and willingly share them with one another the next day.
H:?Now, Bill, I?ve heard that children are more open to these experiences than adults especially in this country.? Is that true?
B:?Oh, yes.? Children are much more open because nobody tells them you can?t have it or that it?s unusual and so they have very elaborate experiences with their brothers or sisters or parents or friends or whoever it is who has died and they just will talk about it as a matter of course until some adult says, ?wait a minute.? What did you say??? Oh, yes, and then they?ll dismiss it as a dream, meaning not real.? Something or some other way of denoting it like don?t talk about that.? It?s not okay.? And so they become self-conscious and they learn not to share with adults and then eventually they close down.
G:?So now what would we say to our listeners out there who say have had ? they?ve got a child who?s had a sibling die or a parent die or a grandparent or whatever recently and they come and tell their story.
B:?Then be open and listen because sometimes they get information they could not have known otherwise.? It?ll be very evidential and in some cases, they, number one, two boys who are friends, one drowned and nobody even with a forensic intervention examination what not could determine how he drowned in a swimming pool because he was a very good swimmer so the one who drowned came back to his friend who was still living and explained that he had slipped while fooling around on the side of the pool and had hit the back of his head, the flat part of the back of his head on the side of the pool in such a way that it didn?t tear the skin or anything like that or break any bones and so even the autopsy did not determine that.? And so then he just sank to the bottom of the pool and drowned and it?s only because he had related this information to his friend who was still living that that boy in turn shared it with his own parents, then the parents of the boy who had drowned.
G:?Incredible story.? What about the healing aspect for these little children?
B:?Again, they don?t see the difference between that world and this world and the next world, you see?? It?s seamless.
G:?So they don?t have the same healing that maybe an adult would have from this experience?
B:?No, it?s the opposite.?
G:?I mean it?s just as it is with them.
B:?Yes, exactly, it?s matter of fact.? They don?t make a big deal because it?s just.? They don?t have any belief that it can happen.? Therefore, it does happen.
G:?Right, and you might want to have your kids.? If they?re younger, even draw it or really embellish the experience rather than cutting it off.
B:?Exactly.? It?s how we hear them whether we hear them with believability and at the same time not pumping them and jumping on top of them and try to squeeze every detail out because that will make them feel uncomfortable as well.? So you just have to be open and hear it just like any other story they would tell.
H:?And Bill what about our listeners who would like to have after death communications with their loved ones but haven?t been able to?? Is there anything they can do?
B:?One thing I?d like to do is give a definition of an after death communication here because it?s a very specific kind of communication.?
B:?Okay.? And basically our definition is an after death communication is a spiritual experience that occurs when someone is contacted directly and spontaneously by a relative or a friend who has died, and directly means that there?s no psychic or medium or third-party involved, and spontaneously means that our deceased loved ones determine when, how, and where to contact us.? So this is very tight.? It has nothing to do with ghosts and operations and these other kind of unusual experience and nothing to do with mediumship.? These occur spontaneously and they?re very very common.? We estimate that at least 60 million Americans, 20% of the population, have had one of these and other polls indicate it could be double that number, as many 120 million people.? But whatever it is, it?s a lot of people and these are very real experiences and they fall in up to 12 different categories according to our research.
G:?And if you want to get the 12 categories, we probably don?t have time to present every category, but maybe the major ones, or do we have time to run through the 12?
B:?Some are very common.? The most common one is actually feeling or sensing the presence of the one who has died, knowing that they are near you and you can tell when or where they are in the room, when they?ve come in and when they?ve left.? And the others involve the different senses such as hearing a voice, which is by telepathy in your head usually, smelling a fragrance you associate with the person who died.
G:?Yeah, that?s a big one, smelling, because even spraying and all those smells can bring those things back to you very strongly.
B:?And it?s smelling something totally out of context.
G:?Ah, out of context, okay.
B:?That may be a flower in the middle of winter where there are no flowers growing and there?s no cologne or perfume or anything like that that could be mistaken for that flower, and not only that, but two or more people can smell that fragrance or scent as well, and as many as a dozen people could smell it or whatever number are present without anybody commenting on it, just one by one, they?ll say, hmm, where?s that smell of the roses or some other flower or food or whatever it may be.
H:?Well, my husband was going to visit my parents, he smelled in their home Old Spice cologne because his father used to wear that.
B:?Okay.? Um hmm.? And this would not be because it?s actually lingering in the air but
H:?No.? Nobody wears cologne in the family so we couldn?t believe we could smell this.
B:?Yes, exactly.? So other ones involve feeling a sense of touch, being touched in some way, including a kiss or a hug, and, of course, the most dynamic ones are the ones which are visual where we actually see the one who has died.? But I want to stress especially for bereaved parents, regardless of the form of the death of their child or of their loved one in this case, he or she will always appear healed and whole and in radiant health and no matter whether it was a car accident or a fire or explosion or a battlefield occurrence or whatever it may be, no matter how badly the body may have been damaged, they will come back appearing healed and in whole.? They?ll be usually typically smiling and they?ll be almost glowing with radiant health.
H:?That?s very comforting to know.
B:?It is, and those who are elderly often come back looking younger moving backwards toward the peak of their life.? Not all, but some do.
G:?You talk about the fact that anger, fear, and bitterness can block this.
B:?Again, stop and think about communicating with somebody right here on the earth plane who?s filled with anger, fear or bitterness.? It?s hard to communicate and it?s hard to get through to people.? And if that?s their predominant set of emotions, they don?t want to hear us.? They don?t want to hear our message or whatever.? So imagine how much more difficult it is for them to receive a message from a loved one who?s not in physical form any longer.
G:?So resolving those issues may be something that you desire.? It was interesting because I was going to do the show and I had a wonderful dream about Scott and Heidi had ? our son that was killed ? and Heidi and one of the guests on our show had a similar experience with her brother.? Do you want to tell him your experience, Heidi?
H:?Well, I was on an Outward Bound program in Colorado and our whole team could not get up the hill any more.? We were exhausted.? We were spent.? It was awful.? We were crying and so I really called out to him in my mind that I needed him because he had gone on the program a year earlier, the year before that, and I didn?t see him, but I felt his hand on my back and he propelled all of us up the mountain.? His spirit, something, and got us through that day, and it was a very powerful force and nobody in that group could figure out what was there but we all felt something pushing us up the mountain that day.? And I knew it was him.
G:?And then we had Bill Hancock on who wrote the book Riding with the Blue Moth and Bill talked about crossing the United States after his son Will was killed in an airplane crash and that he was pushed up the hill on his bicycle.
H:?By his son.? A very similar experience to mine.? So they?re powerful and I just want to know how to get more of these experiences.? How to get more after death communications.
B:?Well, there are several different ways.? One is to ask for a sign that your loved one, your child, or your parent, or friend, or whoever it is, ask for a sign that he or she still exists and that means ask God or Jesus or the universe or your deceased loved one, whoever it may be or whatever your faith is, if any, or just ask period.? Please send me a sign.? I need one.? Let me know that you continue to exist and everything is okay, and the most common signs involve butterflies and rainbows.? But it can be many other forms.? It could be a bird.? We have many species of birds reported.? Other animals.? And unusual behavior of the butterfly or the birds or the animals.? It?s not just seeing a butterfly, but rather what it may do.
G:?And you also talk in your book about meditation.
B:?Yeah, the best way, and this is wonderful if you are bereaved because people who are bereaved, they don?t sleep very well, their appetite goes way down, they?re constantly in a state of sadness or even depression and today, of course, everybody is saying, well, here, take anti-depressants.? Well, that?s one way to do it but a much more organic way you might say is to learn how to meditate.? And by that I don?t mean you go out and sign up for an expensive course for thousands of dollars.? You can just go to a local teacher as a group teacher for probably ten dollars a session or something for five or ten sessions or you can get an audio tape or CD or book or things like this or just sit down in a chair and listen to gentle music and learn to relax closing your eyes and doing some deep breathing and relaxing while you hear it.? And that?s what meditation is.? It?s deep relaxation and slowing down your brain wave frequency and becoming more open to the intuitive.
G:?You also leave some space.
B:?And you create space for yourself.? And while you do this, you begin healing emotionally, and you?ll find that it gets easier to sleep and you?ll eat better.
G:?Well, it?s time for us to come up on break again.?
One of the things I want to say for folks that are just tuning in and I?m just going to summarize it and you can tell me what I?m missing here, but after death communication, there are no intermediaries or third parties in your definition of it, and the person always contacts you, is that correct?
B:?Yes, it?s direct contact.? Occasionally they may come to a friend or a neighbor because they can?t get through your grief or you?re just not open to it and they?ll ask that person to give you a message.
H:?I was going to ask you about that, Bill, because there was actually a woman that came up to me after my brother died and said that she had had communication with my brother and that actually made me very angry because I felt like she didn?t know him very well and if he was going to contact anyone, it would have been someone in our immediate family.
B:?Yes, but you see, actually she was trying to do you a favor in the sense that he tried to get through to the immediate people but because of their grief or this unbelief or just not being as open, I?m going to say intuitively, he came to her because she would be that open and she did and she received the message and then attempted to deliver it.? So she was really attempting to reach out and forward the message to you.
H:?Very good.? That makes sense to me now.? Thank you.
B:?And that?s risky.? People do feel a lot of emotions about somebody who?s trying to deliver a message and the person who has received the message feels very self-conscious ? well, if I do this, they?re going to think I?m nuts or I?m crazy or something like that.? How do I know it?s real?? And they go through a lot of self-doubt.
G:?Yeah, and there is a risk, and we were talking about Kubler-Ross took a risk and you took a risk.? Did you think about it yourself before you did this research?
B:?It took me eleven years before I actually attended that workshop and began the research mainly because I?m not a medical doctor and the one?s who are doing the research on near death experiences such as Raymond Moody and Melvin Morse are medical doctors so I didn?t think I would have as much credibility because I used to be a stock broker and a security analyst who didn?t believe in any of the stuff and it was my transformation and persistence in doing all the research and everything, and we found we were giving workshops one year after we began our research in 1988.? It?s very unusual to be invited to give a workshop at The Compassionate Friends if you?re not a bereaved parent, and yet Judy and I were invited in 1989, one year after we began, to be presenters at the TCF Conference in Tampa, Florida, which is about an hour and a half, two hours away from where we live, and we had over 300 people in our first workshop.
G:?Well, I know you had a lot.? I was at the one in Detroit and you had what? 400 people there?
B:?I don?t know how many but we had a lot.? I?m not a good estimator.
G:?So there are a lot of people looking for this experience and wondering about it and a lot of people who have had it that are there to validate it, right?
B:?Oh, yes, because what I always do is have the people come up ? men in my presentation and share their own experiences.? I?m just a researcher.? Who cares?? I can tell you anything.? Blah, blah, blah.? But it?s when other mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers or grandparents are willing to come up and share their own first-hand accounts with a whole room full of people that makes the presentation alive, then you know that you, too, may have one, and whether you do or you don?t, at least other people are all around you, people just like you do have them.
G:?Right.? And it?s interesting because I was talking to my husband about doing the show and I said, ?have you had an experience where Scott?s appeared to you or anything?? And he said, ?no, I have not,? and I said, ?would you want one?? And he said, ?no.?? So that was interesting.
B:?Some people are afraid of this, by the way.? There?s an overlay in our culture of religious values and conservative Christians regard this as of the devil and demonic and satanic impersonation and all kinds of values like that.? Parapsychologists say prove it.? On and on and on.? There is so much doubt and skepticism about anything we can?t prove with science, meaning duplicate within a laboratory.? And you can?t duplicate these in a laboratory but you can?t duplicate creativity in a laboratory either or love or compassion or any of the higher functions of mankind, and yet we insist that they be treated the same way as we can do with physical matter.
G:?Right, well, one of the things that came up for me is that he wasn?t denying my story or Heidi?s story or he listens to all the stories and he is happy with them and he?s happy that he doesn?t have the story.? So I think what I?m saying to my audience out there is be patient if you are not having the experience somebody else is, and it?s their experience.
B:?Yeah, we find that certain families are more open than others and many members in one family may have experiences.? Sometimes the father does and mother doesn?t; or the mother does and the father doesn?t.? It can be jealousy like what? doesn?t my son love me, too?? It?s just that some people are more open intuitively so that?s what meditation does.? It allows our intuition to open up which benefits in so many ways, not just in this field, but in terms of creativity and having more solutions to life?s problems.
H:?So, Bill, are you finding that most people?s experiences are the loved one coming back and saying that they?re okay?
B:?Oh, the universal message is I?m okay.? You don?t have to grieve for me.? Go on with your own life.? Everything is okay here.? Because when someone dies, we have two concerns:? How is that person?? Do they still exist?? And the other is a sense of loss that we have because a death is a form of emotional amputation.? Some part of us is no longer there and that?s extremely painful.
H:?Oh, I like that.? Emotional amputation.? Yes.
G:?That?s a good way to put because it is so excruciatingly painful.
B:?Yes.? It?s like having an arm or a leg or an eye or something just ripped up off you and it takes years to heal.
G:?Now when you present to other groups, do you see any difference between bereaved parents and other groups?
B:?No.? Grief is grief and wherever there is love and then there?s the absence of it where that person is no longer there to touch, to talk with, to just be close to, that?s a tremendous sense of loss in all cultures, in all relationships.? Some people grieve for their grandparents when they die because they were raised by the grandparents.? That was the most nurturing, loving person in their life.? Of course, there?s no greater grief than the loss of the death of a child.? That?s the most painful of all and I?ve spoken to some women who had the death of a husband and the death of a child and not meaning to put down husbands, but they?ll say of the two, the death of the child was far more painful than the death of a husband.
G:?I always wonder if that?s some kind of biology, too.
B:?Well, it?s the expectation in it.? Go back 150 years where people had a large family of say 10 to 15 children.? It was normal to have two or three of them die.? Accidents, diseases, things like that.
G:?I think 80% at the turn of the century died before the age of 8 or something like that.? It was huge.
B:?Okay, and today it?s so unusual.? We expect everybody to die in a linear sense, you know, the great-grandparents, grandparents, ourselves, and our children.? So for our child to die out of turn, so to speak, is such a shock and so unusual relatively compared to the way it used to be.
G:?Yeah.? Could you talk about your website and all the wonderful things you?ve got on the web?
B:?Well, let me give the address first.? www.after-death.com.?
G:?We?ll have that on our blog also.
B:?Our son created it in 1995.? We?ve had over 2 million visitors to our website, and it?s there for everybody to come to, use, gain information from, learn about the field.? It?s the largest website devoted to this topic.? And it is what it is.
G:?And don?t you have where people can put their stories?
B:?Yes, and we have a message board where they can communicate with each other so we have a great deal of information and it provides a great deal of comfort and a source of people connecting with each other from all over the world.? When I read the guest book, I?m awed to see how many foreign countries people have come from.
G:?That?s great.? Well, we?re coming up on break now.? I want to talk during the next part of our show, now we?re in the Christmas season, between Christmas and New Year?s and I know this is a very difficult time.? Heidi and I are aware that it?s a difficult time for you all and that you?re thinking of your loved one at this time.? Please stay tuned to hear more.
When we went to break, I just wanted to quickly say something so we didn?t lose it about the holidays and your children and other family members and this after death communication is an interesting aspect in thinking about the holidays.? Maybe you will have dreams or whatever about them during the holidays but you may want to, for those folks who are not having what they want, you may want to just do something for them like light a candle, have the picture, whatever you do during the holidays.? Have you got any thoughts on that Bill?? Or anything about the holidays?
B:?I think that whatever helps a person to feel more connected to their child who died or anyone else whatever feels healing and nurturing.? It?s about self-nurturing.? It?s about honoring what it is that makes us feel better and then doing it and attending support groups such as The Compassionate Friends, I think, is essential for that because they have so many ways to cause us to feel more connected to our children who have died.
G:?And you can find information about the holidays on their website and also on our blog.? Well, Bill, would you talk about your book and what?s in it before we close?
B:?Well, we have 353 first-hand accounts and each one is a complete short story in the experiencer?s own words.? And so there?s one by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and one by me in which prevented my son from drowning but what I?d like to stress is that we have six entire chapters and each chapter has about 15 experiences in it.? Six entire chapters.? Oh why are these real and not merely grief-induced hallucinations as they have been termed previously?? These are not just a result of imagination or magical thinking or fantasies or memories or something like that and these range from having the experience before you even know your loved one has died and you wouldn?t be bereaved prior to that, to having an experience 10, 20, 30 or more years afterwards ? you?re not heavily bereaved that many years after the death ? to learning things you didn?t know before, being told where to find things, of either emotional or sentimental value, or in some cases things you didn?t even know existed and being led to those very specifically to look for them and find them there, and may have, as they say, financial value or emotional value or whatever, then as you heard about my son who could have drowned if I hadn?t been warned, we have an entire chapter of people who were notified in some way which prevented them from being seriously injured or killed by following the advice that was given.? So just stop your car now or look out the window and then they saw that there was a fire at the barn which was moving toward their house.? Things of that nature.? Many different forms of protection.? And an entire chapter, which is very interesting, of people who were suicidal and planning to take their own life who had a deceased loved one come to them at just the right moment, just the right way, to dissuade them from taking their life, and that alone, I think, is a fantastical field of interest.
G:?It?s a great field of interest but how about those folks out here whose kids did take their life and they?re wondering where that message was?
B:?Some people disregard it, too.? They may receive it and disregard it because taking their life, there are so many motivations for doing it, but the common one, I think, is the people who are in that space for some time are in so much emotional pain, all they want is the pain to end.? If they could find some other way to have it end, they would, but this is the extreme, of course, and they just feel so cut off and so isolated and so helpless and hopeless that they think that they?re going to have a cessation of pain.? It?s not that they?re going toward a life after death, they just want to stop hurting for whatever reason that they?re so upset by.
G:?Right, and what about ? where is it in your book that talks about how they can get these experiences?
B:?Well, different parts of it, such as if you do feel the presence of a deceased loved one, if you?re ? other than driving a car, sit down, close your eyes, open your mind, take a few deep breaths and say, if you have a message for me, please let me know and I?ll try to receive it mentally.? So that and then learning to meditate.? I wrote an article for We Need Not Walk Alone, which is a publication of The Compassionate Friends about this general field of after death communications.? I?m going to be writing a follow-up article of how to have these experiences which will be published in a future issue.?
G:?Oh, that?s great.? And you can get that through The Compassionate Friends.? I believe that?s on-line so you can get a hold of that.? Well, it?s almost time to close our show and we want to thank you for being on our show, Bill.? It?s been great talking to you.
B:?I especially want to always deliver messages for bereaved parents because at Compassionate Friends, I feel so honored.? Judy and I have felt so honored to be invited to their presentation and I?ll be at their Southern Regional Conference in Kentucky in March and at their Eastern Regional Conference in Pennsylvania next September and I hopefully will be in Oklahoma City but I haven?t heard from them yet.
G:?Great.? So go on line to The Compassionate Friends, and you?ll find out exactly when those are going to be and when Bill will be there and what a great opportunity to do that.? And thank you so much for your research and for being on the show and for all the good you?re doing in the world, and best to Judy.
B:?Thank you very much, Gloria and Heidi, and let me wish you a very happy new year.
G:?So it?s time to close our show now and I want to thank our guest, Bill Guggenheim, and please stay tuned again next week when our topic will be ?I Have No Intention of Saying Good-Bye?: Coping Techniques for the Now Childless, and our guest will be Sandy Fox.? Sandy is the bereaved mother of Marcy and her book, I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye, tells the story of 25 sets of parents and how they moved on with their lives after their losses.? Sandy devotes her time and talents trying to help others through their grief journeys.? This show is archived on our blog, www.thegriefblog.com, as well as www.thecompassionatefriends.org website.? Please stay tuned again next Thursday at 9:00 Pacific Standard Time, 12:00 Eastern, for more of Healing the Grieving Heart, a show of hope and renewal and support.? Remember, others have been there before you and made it, you can, too, and you need not walk alone.? Thanks for listening.? I?m your host, Dr. Gloria Horsley, and
H:?Dr. Heidi Horsley.? Bill, your father is gone but never forgotten.? Thank you for helping people feel more connected to their loved ones who have died.? Thank you, Bill.
HEALING THE GRIEVING HEART