One decision. One ill-fated decision. That's all it took to cleave our lives in half: the wonderful before, and the intolerable after. In the days and months that followed my son Erik's suicide, our entire family was catapulted into a new world of grief, bewilderment, anger and guilt. As a mother, the effect seemed to take an even greater toll. The physical connection that began 20 years and nine months ago had been ripped apart so violently that a searing pain permeated every part of my body and soul. It leached into every cell, distorted every memory and haunted every thought.
It didn't take long, however, for our new dark world to lighten with brief moments of hope. As early as the day after Erik's death, he sent us what would be the first of many messages that all was well with him in the afterlife. These intermittent respites from grief inspired me to share our experiences in a blog, www.channelingerik.com.
As a physician with a strong science background, these ghostly visits radically shifted my belief system. I had always believed what science had taught me: reality is that which is measurable by one of the five senses. If it cannot be touched, smelled, heard, seen or tasted, it is unknowable and therefore not "real." Whatever is "unreal" we scorn and relegate to the domain of mysticism where only gypsies hunched over crystal balls and New Age kooks dared to tread.
Each of Erik's visits made me question: Is there more to our three dimensional reality than can be perceived by our senses? Do these phenomena have a rational explanation? In a quest for truth, I began to devour nearly every book on consciousness survival and the afterlife, including those written by theoretical physicists and other scientists. Eventually, my research evolved into a new understanding of the quantum physics behind all things metaphysical, converting me from skeptic to believer. I now know the soul survives death. Erik has simply shed his body like a set of clothes and now lives in an alternate reality.
Eventually, I began regular and direct communication with Erik through a gifted medium. I wanted to ask the tough questions: What was death like for him? Where is he now? What is he now? What is the afterlife like? Why did he take his life when he had so much to live for?
In the blog, I continue to share not only the amazing stories of Erik's ongoing visitations and mischievous pranks, but also his answers to our many inquiries. Channeling Erik gives him a voice to help us broaden our perspective. Often each question generates a dozen new ones: What's left after the body is shed? Has he met God? If so, what is God like? What new abilities does he have? How do souls manipulate energy to manifest themselves to us here on the earthly plane? How do thoughts create reality? Does time really exist? Will 2012 mark the end of our existence? Do we have past lives? If so, why can't we remember them? Do souls in Heaven have a work life, a sex life, a social life? Can they hear our every thought? The list goes on.
Over time, those questions have blossomed into a journey. Strangers from all over the world have joined me, asking Erik their own thought-provoking questions. Many of these strangers, now friends, consider his insight life-changing. For some on the brink of suicide, he has inspired them to live. Now, my readers and I venture hand in hand to explore the human experience, the death process, the afterlife, reincarnation and more.
As a physician, writing this blog has been an immense healing experience for me, because it is in my nature to heal others and, through their restoration, I find my own salvation.
As a mother, writing this blog has not only strengthened my relationship with Erik even more, it has also allows me to continue to parent my son. Motherhood and love know no boundaries, even death. I defy that wall and reach beyond to guide Erik to become what every mother wants their child to be: a productive, fulfilled, contributing soul who makes the world a better place for his fellow travelers. In the end, I refuse to allow his death to be in vain.
Erik would be the first to admit that he is no Oracle of Delphi. He does not claim to be a Dalai Lama, the Great Messiah, a mountaintop guru or even a wise sage. No, he is a flawed human being who, like many of us, has battled his own dragons. He has stumbled and failed time and time again. But perhaps because of his foibles, he has a deep understanding of the human experience. He knows what it's like to be neck deep in a foxhole of misery clawing desperately in the mud to pull himself out. He also knows what it's like to feel hopelessness, to give up, to believe that life is not worth the pain and setbacks. But his trials and tribulations offer another type of wisdom--one we can relate to in the shadow of our own hardships. That said, however young, flawed and imperfect, Erik is a voice worth hearing. He is one of us.
It is my sincerest hope that you join Erik and me on this journey. At times you will cry. At times you will laugh. At times you will pause in wonderment. Some of you may be drawn by a fear of death. Some of you may be drawn by grief over a departed loved one. Like me, you search for comfort and hope. Some of you may be drawn by a yearning to see the bigger picture, to grasp the purpose of your existence. Whatever your motives, together we will explore the meaning of life, death and a new reality infinitely larger than both.