02/26/2011 01:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Insider's Guide to Death

I lost my 20-year-old son, Erik, to suicide recently and started to journal my grief in hopes of helping other bereaved. Soon afterwards, friends, family and eventually strangers all over the world contacted me to say that Erik had visited them. Sometimes he'd materialize physically just to say 'hello" or to give them advice about their personal life. Sometimes he'd pull a silly prank -- manifesting a noxious smell, turning on their water faucets or opening up all of their kitchen drawers. And other times he'd provide them with the insight he's gained about death, the afterlife, and more.

As a physician and skeptic to all things "New Age," this rocked my entire paradigm, so I began to pour myself into various books about afterlife evidence and the quantum physics to support it. When it became clear to me that this was no fluke, random aberration or mass scale delusion, I chronicled his views in my blog, Through psychic mediums, I regularly ask him those questions to which we all want answers: What is death like? What is the meaning of life and the human experience? What is the afterlife like? What is the nature of reality? In the beginning of this journey, I was the reluctant skeptic dragged along -- often kicking and screaming the entire way. But now, given the tangible evidence, all doubt has vanished. I understand, finally, that there's a lot more to our reality than this three-dimensional place we perceive with our five senses.

Erik will be the first to admit that he is neither a wise sage nor a guru sitting on a mountaintop. He's a boy who is just as flawed as the rest of us -- a human being who once suffered from mental illness but is now free from pain. From his unique perspective on the "other side," he has become our "inside man" in the afterlife. In the following channeling session with psychic medium Jamie Butler, Erik shares what death is like:

Me: Okay, Erik, I want to ask you what you'd like to share about death.

Jamie (chuckling): He's kind of rubbing his chin.

Erik: Can we come up with another word than death?

Me: Transition? I don't know! You tell me; you're the expert!

Erik: Death is just like birth. We "birth in" to this amazing world where I am, then we "birth in" to the other world where you are.

Me: Which is more difficult?

Erik: Oh, God, birthing in to the human form. It's kind of like milking a cow.

Me: So tell me more about transitioning to where you are now, Erik?

Jamie: He takes a deep breath.

Erik: Going Home. Well, because of you, I've had a lot of interactions with other spirits who talked about death. Their death. Their transition. It's all very different, I really believe...

Jamie: He's pausing to think, and his eyes are scrunched.

Erik: The mechanisms of -- no, no, scratch that. Mom, it's like this: Everyone has such a different experience, and I really think God did it that way so that we can only learn and experience what we're capable of dealing with. Most of the time, when I talk to spirits, even if they were in an immense amount of pain when they died, they don't really recall it as vividly as you recall painful things as a human. There's just not a big emotional attachment to it. Yeah, so most of the time, death is painless, unless the spirit wanted to experience a painful death in order to grow.

Me: Yes, I remember you mentioning that before.

Erik: Something else about pain during and after transition: Pain is related to the physical body, and we're not in it anymore. We don't have those body memories. Those old scars, those old pains and strains are gone. We're set free from them. We have that pain when we're in the body, but as soon as we're released...

Jamie: He's giving me this really funny image of, um, a horse race when the gate is open, and the horse just dashes out, like, "Oh yay, get me out of here!"

(Jamie and I both laugh)

Erik: Yeah. That's when we really begin to run the race. Everything is faster and freer, less limiting and cramped.

Me: Okay. Now a lot of people who have had near death experiences talk about going toward a light, going through a tunnel. I know you said everyone has a different experience, but are there some things that are constant?

Erik: It's based on their belief system. What I find most profound are children who die, and so they really don't have a belief system yet. They don't have that training or indoctrination. They cross over to here and...

Jamie: Oops, now he's changing topic.

Erik: You know, I was talking the other day to somebody. St. Jonathan.

Jamie: Is there a Saint Jonathan?

Me: Heck if I know!

Erik: So I was talking to him about...

Jamie (giggling): Slow down, Erik! Take a breath.

Me: He can talk a mile a minute, that boy!

(There's a pause while Jamie catches up with Erik; then she paraphrases what he says)

Jamie: He was talking to this other gentleman about the structures of the brain. And he says there's been a lot of research about when the brain dies. There's two minutes after as the cells die, and there is no oxygen; there's an image perceived as a light, and it has this tunnel effect. And he says you can read all these articles of scientists claiming that that's exactly what the tunnel effect is.

Erik: Well, I gotta give that science some credit. Not all though.

Jamie: He's shaking his head like he's saying, "Oh, no way, not all!"

Erik: But I do think this is the way our bodies work to comfort us. I've been told that God designed our bodies this way, because it is the natural progression of death of body and release of spirit.

Me: Okay.

Erik: Why wouldn't our brains begin to start us off on this new journey while it dies? It just makes so much friggin' sense to me.

Jamie: I've never thought about that before!

Me: Interesting. I've read the research you're talking about, Erik. It has to do with the lack of oxygen to the occipital lobe of the brain. Okay, now, go back to children. Tell me how their death is.

Erik: Get this: Children with no belief system -- what do you think they report when they have near death experiences?

Me: I don't know; I give up.

Erik: The purest of pure things. They see the Light. They go into the Light, and in this Light they see people. Mom, they're so little, they don't know that it's, you know, Grandpa Joe or Great Grandma Suzy. But the child knows these people love them. They have an experience like that.

(Long pause followed by Jamie laughing)

Jamie (still giggling): Okay. You gotta go back, Erik. Back up a little for me. He's talking about people who believe they've had near death experiences, but when they die and come back they talk about a council of white robed people and people with Roman togas and wraps and, you know, streets lined with gold.

Erik: Mom, I know that's in our belief system, but that's exactly what it is. It's a man creating a story, passing it down. Most humans like to idolize the Greeks and Romans, and they think that the togas have status and the monks are very connected with God. So we imagine that our spirit guides dress like monks or leaders of that era.

Me: Do we create that design, or do they create it for us so that we'll be more comfortable and better oriented when we pass over?

Erik: Oh, no, we create that for ourselves. Our beliefs are the strongest chain link fence that we have around us. It can keep things in, and it can keep things out.

Me: What about skeptics or atheists who don't believe in an afterlife? What happens when they die?

Jamie (laughing): He's got this "cat who swallowed the canary" smile.

Me: Oh my gosh, I can just see it right now in my mind!

Erik: Well, they expect to go into nothingness, or at least that's what they believe will happen. So, they do! And then... they have a thought, and they realize, "I'm having a thought." And that curiosity right there sparks them into exploring the space they're actually in. When they begin to do that, they transition Home.

Me: What happens if they don't explore? Do they float around in nothingness for all eternity?

Erik: There are spirits who come to rescue them and orient them, but they have to wait until the person's energy vibration opens up, gets higher.

Me: What about people who believe in Hell and think they belong there?

Erik: Then they have no opportunity to see the Light and cross over.

Jamie: He puts his hand down on his knee and says, "That's it; they're going to Hell!"

Erik: Just kidding, but they have to wait until their vibration goes up. Eventually, it does. It always does. Really, Hell is just the separation from God, from the Light. Mom, we, who believe in God or The Source, we know that it's in everything. So how can you ever be separate from God? God is all there is.

Jamie (laughing): I love his mannerisms!

Me: I know! He has a lot of funny ones!

Jamie (still laughing): When he gets deep and is thinking, boy, his body really moves into it!

Erik: Mom, it doesn't make sense! God is omnipresent, so Hell can't exist. If God is everything, every being, every universe, every dimension, how can Hell exist? It's impossible.

Me: So what do people do when they think they should be in Hell? Do they imagine Hell and create their own personal reality of Hell?

Erik: Well, what I've seen happen...

Jamie: He sits back now.

Erik: Let's take the Baptists for example.

Me: Oh, no, you're going to get me in trouble, here.

Erik: You know they believe they have to go through Hell before they reach God. They believe they have to face their demons, the evil that resides inside of them, to purify themselves. So people with those strong beliefs, they don't feel the Light right away. They see their fear, the fear of mankind, all of the lower energy, and they fight. They have that struggle, then they get into the Light, and they feel they've survived. Is it necessary? No. But that's their belief. That's exactly the crap they'll set up for themselves. I think it's so weird that people can be so careless and carefree with their lives, because they think death will rescue them or that when they die, God will forgive them. Little do they know their afterlife is based on the beliefs they create while they're still alive.

Me: Wow! Their whole afterlife, really?

Erik: Yes, because if they believe that this is all they get, then their perspective is going to be so narrow, so then that's all they'll get. It's the same in life. Haven't you realized?

Jamie (giggling): Beans, Erik? Really? (pause) All right. He says maybe you've never tried bean, and then at age 30 you try beans. Then all of a sudden that's all you can see everywhere, beans, beans, beans. That's because you're more open to it.

Me (chuckling): Well if they're green beans, you've probably never tried them, Erik!

Erik (laughing): That's not true! You made me take some bites!

Me: Well, that's true. You got me there. So that's really interesting. I remember every time I was pregnant, it seemed like every other woman around me was too. So, what you're saying is that the beliefs you have all throughout your life set the foundation for what your death and afterlife experience is like?

Erik: Yes. And the chance of evolution and self-growth is much more vast over here, because everything happens more quickly. Thought creates reality instantaneously.


Naturally, my questions seemed to generate hundreds more, but all will be answered in due time. I hope you enjoy our journey together. Stay tuned for Erik's visit with God, his take on the concept of time, what it's like to not have a body, and more.