It was during my busy lecture and book signing season, when comedian Jack Simmons called me with a request. He was bringing his one-man play "Buddy's Gift" from California to Long Island, and he wanted me to not only see his play, but partake in it as well. When he told me the heartwarming story of his father, Michael "Buddy" Simmons, "a man who never stopped loving his family, even after he died," I knew a connection had been made. I agreed to briefly talk about after life communication immediately following his monologue in both East Marion and Huntington, Long Island.
There were so many similarities to Jack's story and my own. His dad, like my father, was a down to Earth, loving and sarcastic Irishman who lived life to the fullest. He was the patriarch of his family...strong, confident, until a disease began to take what life was left in him.
One of the worst things I've had to live through was watching my father suffer from Multiple Sclerosis for close to sixteen years, and even worse, watching him die those last few months. Listening to Jack talk about the denial, the hope, the all-encompassing thoughts that permeate every waking moment of your life...well, it all hit home because I too, had lived it with my own family.
I always said that during that time period, as well as the months that followed my father's death, that I was a part of some secret society. A society I didn't want to belong to. A society filled with grief and loss. Looking back now, I see that it was a part of a journey for me. It's what lead me to write the Ghosts of Long Island books, and to ultimately help others to overcome their grief through my writing and my lectures.
That's not all that happened though. As the months went on, strange things began to happen. I always have a radio playing softly in my house. I had gone out for an hour and when I came back, I could hear the radio playing from outside! It was blaring! How could this be? No one else had been home. Other times in the middle of the night, my Ipod would start playing in its charger. It would wake me, and I would hear one of my father's favorite songs or a song that actually answered a question to something that had been on my mind. Signs. They were signs from my father, without a doubt, and they were comforting.
I took this one step further and went to see medium Richard Schoeller who is now a very good friend of mine. He told me things he couldn't have possibly known, and I was reassured that my father was well, and was in a better place. I also came to realize that just because a person dies, it doesn't mean they leave us. Physically they do, of course, but they are always here with us spiritually. They know what we do each day, they know when we're feeling sad or stressed, they're there at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and at the birth of a new baby. They're always there, helping us on our own life's journey.
I can help people through my writing. Jack Simmons through his play. Jack's life changed when he came to his own realization that Buddy was still there, loving his family like he always did. It's nothing short of a beautiful gift.
There are a lot of people out there suffering and feeling alone from a loss of someone who has died. Look for the signs, and don't give up hope. Those we love who have died live on, and we will be reunited with them again someday. After life communication is an amazing thing. Be open and believe, and maybe one day, you'll be writing about your experiences and helping others too.
If you're interested in attending an upcoming performance of "Buddy's Gift", now playing in Huntington, go to HuntingtonPatch.com and search Jack Simmons. You'll also see a wonderful video about the play from reporter Chris Collora. Be sure not to miss it. Lastly, visit my blogtalk radio show "The Kerriann and Joe Show - Spirit Connection" for an interview with Jack Simmons, as we discuss after life communication.