"The first thing that happens is bliss, at least it was like that in my case."
I grabbed a pen and began writing my brother's words as he spoke. Nothing would have been odd about this had he been sitting next to me or on the phone. But he was dead. He died three weeks earlier after being hit by a car. I'd been a mess ever since, so depressed over Billy's death I could barely lift my head from the pillow. But on this day, I was awakened at dawn by his unmistakable voice calling my name. "Annie, Annie it's me. It's Billy. Get up and get the red notebook."
The red notebook he told me to get had been a birthday gift from him the year before. I remember it seemed strange, his giving me a blank book with an inscription that read: "Dear Annie, Everyone needs a book dedicated to them. Read between the lines."
As cryptic as it was, I don't think either of us could have imagined what it would be used for. But that red notebook became our book, mine and Billy's, a record of my encounters with my dead brother as he spoke to me about his journey through the afterlife.
Feeling a Divine Presence
When I first heard Billy's voice, I wasn't sure if I was having some sort of strange grief-induced reaction to make me feel better about his departure from earth. But as my brother went on speaking, for the first time since his death I felt happy. I knew Billy was okay as he assured me;
"There's nothing hard or cruel for me anymore. I'm drifting weightlessly through these gorgeous stars and moons and galaxies twinkling all around me. The whole atmosphere is filled with a soothing hum, like hundreds of thousands of voices are singing to me but they're so far away I can just barely hear them. And although I can't exactly say anyone was here to greet me, I feel a divine presence, a kind, loving, beneficent presence, twinkling all around me."
When Billy was alive, he was far from perfect. My bad boy brother did a lot of things that many people would consider big mistakes. Although the end of his life was filled with darkness as he battled his addictions and lost the war, my brother was healed by the light as soon as he left his body. According to Billy:
1. What lies beyond this world is a realm of absolute love that reaches far outside the limits of human understanding.
2. Some believe there's a judgment day after you die, but Billy says the opposite. There's "No-Judgment Day."
3. As you experience the unconditional love of the divine presence, you begin to feel that way towards yourself, unconditional.
So whatever our struggles, whatever our truth, whatever darkness we may encounter, Billy wants us to know that, "The shadow is illusory and temporary. Bliss, ultimately bliss and light, are the truer and stronger reality."
People often ask if hearing Billy's voice from the afterlife is frightening. Not at all. As he speaks, the bliss of his world flows into mine and I feel almost euphoric. According to Billy, this is just the smallest taste of what awaits each of us when we pass into the hereafter.