Learning Bad News
The sun beamed brightly as my 34-year-old brother David and I laughed and reminisced while walking along the sandy shores of Coast Guard National Seashore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Our family had just gathered for our annual camping vacation, and it was great being together again.
David came out that he was gay when he was 22 years old. Twelve years later, thousands of people were dying of AIDS weekly. There was no cure.
“Hey David, have you been tested for AIDS?” I ask casually.
David turned away. The sun went behind the clouds and a chill air swept around me. My heart began to scream with anxiety. It was the longest ten seconds of my life until David slowly turned towards me and said softly, “I’m HIV Positive.”
Keeping a Secret
I feel ridiculous saying this now, but I had no idea what these words implied at that time. “What does that mean?” I ask with a sinking heart.
“HIV forms into AIDS,” he said, looking me straight into my horrified eyes.
My brother David was going to die! This impending catastrophe makes no sense. “DAVID! Are you getting good medical care?”
David slowly replied, “Yes, I am getting the best medical service possible. I see a doctor affiliated with Harvard.”
My heart beat a crescendo of fear and disbelief. My mind whirled with the implications of David’s impending death. “What can I do to help?”
David quickly replied, “Please don’t tell anyone. I am taking all the precautions. I don’t want to be treated any differently.”
No Support for a Sibling
Of course, I agreed immediately. I would do anything to assist my brother.
When I consented not to share this horrific news, it left me with no support system. One day I found myself in the New Age section of our local bookstore. Now I realize I was guided because I didn’t even know the term New Age. I’m a science-based Occupational Therapist with no spiritual or psychic awareness at the time.
I found books that described the afterlife, a scenario I had never contemplated before. I shared some of these books with David, so we were both aware there may be a possibility that he could remain alive after death. Yet, neither of us knew anyone who recognized the reality of an afterlife. My mind needed to BELIEVE that the afterlife was real before I could learn that after-death communication was possible.
David lived for three more years after our initial oceanside conversation.
Six weeks after David passed, my heart overflowed with grief. I feel everything in life is positive, but I could find nothing positive about my 37-year-old brother’s passage.
‘Best Present of my Life’
I was riding my horse through a Christmas tree farm, crestfallen and confused. That day I received the best present of my life.
We had just experienced our first frost. Icicles were sparkling, and rainbows shimmered amongst the trees. I opened my heart just a tiny bit to nature’s wonder. When our heart is closed with grief, it is hard to feel anything except sorrow. Yet today, I said, “Thank you universe for a beautiful day.” I shut my eyes, and there was my brother!
David was in human form, wearing a black and red plaid flannel shirt, dungarees, and sandals. I had never heard of or experienced anything like this before. The scene was luminescent, filled with LOVE. I started to talk with David and realized in a split second that I could send and receive his thoughts. David was healthy, and I was ecstatic. I was with my brother again!
I looked to the right, and there were my grandparents, who had passed about ten years before. Edward, one of David’s best friends who passed about six months ago, was standing beside a friend of mine, Holly, who transitioned about 20 years ago.
Realizing that Life Continues
The story continues, but it was the first time I realized life was eternal. I asked the universe to send me a teacher so that I could learn how to continue communicating with my brother. When we are looking for assistance from the afterlife, it is very helpful to ASK.
Dr. Amy Carroll mentioned she knew a shaman that talked with people who had died. Amy was a friend of mine and an Occupational Therapist. Our professional similarity allowed my mind to consider contacting this shaman, even though I knew no one that believed that the afterlife was real.
I immediately apprenticed with Nancy Arael for 3-6 hours a week the first year after David transitioned.
My life became a magical series of transformational events. Nancy Arael used Reiki to assist my connections with the afterlife. I became a Reiki practitioner and eventually a Reiki Master after learning Reiki initially from an Occupational Therapist.
It’s important for our minds to relax when learning after-death communication. With my background in Occupational Therapy, having mentors in the OT realm helped my mind accept what my heart already knew. My brother David was alive and just living in another reality. I continue to share messages with my beloved brother.
Finding a New Mission
It took me 20 years to find the courage to disclose these events. I sold my large rehabilitation private practice with hundreds of staff serving thousands of people each year specifically to share my transformational journey of LOVE.
My book, Change Maker, How My Brother’s Death Woke Up My Life, was published by She Writes Press and won 5 national book awards. I became the first person to teach Reiki at each in-person American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference since 2015 and at multiple International Association for Near-Death Studies Annual Conferences. I teach online and in-person international after-death communication weekend workshops with excellent success.
After-death communication is possible. If I can learn to communicate with my deceased brother, so can you.
TRUST yourself to follow your heart. BELIEVE the afterlife is real. Mindfully ASK for assistance. Know that your LOVE is always received. Express GRATITUDE. Understand that your deceased loved ones remain alive, living in the afterlife.
Rebecca is teaching her online After-Death Communication Weekend Workshop on November 5-6, 2022. Registration is at: https://afterdeathweekendworkshop.com
Rebecca’s one-day weekend certificate-provided Reiki Immersion Online training will be held in late March/early April 2023: RebeccaAustillClausen.com/reiki-immersion
Read more about sibling suicide on Open to Hope: When a Sibling Dies by Suicide – Open to Hope