Afterlife Connections by Jan Engels-Smith

I have written two other articles on the topic of death and dying—“Death and Dying from a Shamanic Perspective” and “Psychopomp.” This third article describes contacting those in the afterlife. Afterlife contact is common amongst mediums as well as shamans. The contact involves a connection to and a conversation with someone who has crossed over into the light. In shamanism this is usually done for closure and is initiated by request from a client to make contact with someone on the other side. The shaman travels into the light calling the name of the deceased.   It is important for the shaman to intend for the highest version of the deceased to appear. The spirits have repeatedly told me that time is not linear, but holographic, meaning that all things happen at the same moment but in different realities. This makes shamanic journeying to visit different dimensions of life possible. The person doing the journey travels into a particular time dimension, which in these types of journeys is into the light.

A soul that is in the light is enlightened and this guarantees that the soul is only capable of expressing love, no matter what the circumstances were at their time of death or what type of relationship they had with the client. When a soul is enlightened there is a new perspective available to the deceased. In this perspective the deceased understands the trials and tribulations of life without judgment. An enlightened soul also can express a perception of life purpose often not available in a normal human awareness.

When contact is made by the shaman there is often a loving exchange, which in turn brings great healing and closure for the client. No matter what age the deceased was at the time of passing, the greatest and most radiant self usually appears. This includes those that died at birth, were aborted, or died very young. The soul will appear in its greatest version even if that was never expressed on the earth. For clients that struggled with a parent or loved one that was abusive or authoritative, this radiant version of the deceased can bring a complete transformation in the earthly relationship. In this contact with the deceased, I have witnessed miracles including an exchange of information that lifts pain out of a client’s body.

I would share these two very different examples to show the diverse ways journeys to the afterlife can help with difficult situations:

Jim, a client of mine, was struggling with a career decision. Jim’s current career had started with the death of John Lennon. Jim was about 18 years old at the time of Lennon’s death, but he had had a powerful experience, which changed the course of his life. When Lennon died, Jim felt John contact him. This contact was so powerful that Jim committed himself to John’s spirit and became obsessed with learning all of his music. Jim is a talented musician and developed a very successful band, which played Beatle standards. This supported Jim, both financially and soulfully. Jim felt that he was keeping John’s spirit alive through this commitment and dedication to his music. But after many years, Jim felt as if he were becoming lost as an individual. He wanted to develop his own style of music and be recognized for himself. There came a time when Jim was ready to hang up his Sergeant Pepper’s suit, but he had much indecision and remorse about this career change. He felt as though he were breaking his commitment to keep John and his music alive. He asked me to journey to John’s spirit in the light for closure.

My spirit helpers almost always show me things metaphorically during a journey, somewhat like a dream. Luckily for me, my spirit helpers also usually explain the metaphors to me, unlike a dream where you must figure out the symbolism for yourself. I contacted John in the afterlife. John said, “Let me show you some things.” The first scene that came to me was Jim lying on the floor sobbing into his hands. John walked up and pulled Jim to his knees. He then embraced him tightly. Jim continued to sob on John’s shoulder with John supporting and consoling him. The scene then changed to Jim and John flying through the air. Their bodies were actually blended, as if they were superimposed on each other. Each of them had one arm and leg free and off to the side, but their inside arms and legs were superimposed. John was about a head’s length in front of Jim. After several moments of this, the scene changed to Jim and John curling up into a ball, or sphere, that appeared like rolling light. I then saw the Earth off in the distance as if I was viewing the planet from a space capsule.

I asked for an explanation of the metaphors and I received the following understanding. The first scene, where John was consoling Jim, had a real twist in it for my client. Jim had been a drug addict, and his involvement with John’s music actually was part of his own healing. The Beatle tribute band had kept Jim productive, responsible, and clean. In order to be a success, he had to take care of himself. John was actually keeping Jim alive, not the other way around.

The second scene, with them flying through the air superimposed, was explained as Jim and John actually being the same soul expressed in two different incarnations at the same time! Absolutely amazing! John’s head was shown a head’s length in front of Jim because he was about 20 years older than Jim and further along in the expression of his life. I marveled at the meaning contained in such a simple image. I found it incredible.

The spirits then went on to explain the imagery of the spherical ball of light that Jim and John became. They stressed again through this imagery that time is not linear; it is holographic. There really is no such thing as past or future lives. Everything is happening simultaneously in different dimensions of time. The Earth was used to illustrate that we can look at all individuals and see different incarnations of our soul being lived out. We’ve got a whole planet of people who are different expressions of us. John Lennon’s words from “I Am the Walrus” are interestingly appropriate to Jim’s experience, like a message to him across time:

I am he,

and he is me,

and we are all together.

With this information and closure to his Beatle band career Jim started a new music career. John in his enlightened self was able to explain these greater life perceptions in such a fascinating way that it not only helped and healed my client Jim but also brought me into a state of awe, propelling me into many more exploratory journeys about incarnation.

March 6, 2015 marked the two-year anniversary of my mom’s passing. It is strange for someone such as myself, who teaches death and dying, has a large clientele of those that want to communicate with their deceased loved ones, and am presenting at the National Afterlife Conference this spring, to state that I had not made contact with my mom since she had passed. We had done numerous “pre-crossing” journeys together and she had a stellar death process. To me everything was and is in divine order.

But on March 6, as I gazed upon the beautiful blooming star gazer magnolia tree that a couple of students/friends had given me to acknowledge her death, I knew that this was the day to make contact with her in the afterlife.

I had a quiet space and my husband was at the park with our 18-month-old grandson so I had a couple hours to myself. I began my connection journey and found myself sobbing within minutes. A floodgate of emotion swept through me. I had not realized how much I had pent up inside myself the feelings of missing my mom.

My mom appeared in all her radiance. The love emanating from her was spellbinding. We greeted, hugged, kissed, and wrapped ourselves together. I was overwhelmed with recall of special intimate moments. My life flashed before me with magical instances with my mom. It was holographic in nature. All my senses where activated: smell, touch, sight and sound. I was reliving my life with my mom much as I would image a life review but everything happened simultaneously and holistically instead of in chronological order. I fully embodied our life together from my birth to her death. I basked in this love fest for several minutes.

As our time progressed and I gained my composure, I asked her what she wished to share with me. She said: Life is all about relationships. Love is just another word for relationships. All relationships need to eventually be unconditional. What you don’t bring into alignment in this lifetime you will repeat until you get it right. (I was thinking ground hog day on steroids!) Time passes on earth like a flash, enjoy and foster good relationships. Make that happen for yourself. Do whatever you can to make that happen, always. Share this information with your children, your grandchildren, your friends and all that you know. Relationships are the foundation of love. I contemplated her statements. My mom never taught with words, always through example. Her relationships were exemplary. Of course this would carry over to the afterlife. Had she discovered the truth about love while living? My heart was bursting.

I asked her, what she would like me to do with her ashes. She laughed and said, “Put me in your garden. I will help your flowers grow.”

She exited with a wave, a laugh and a wink. “See you soon!” I laughed.

As we have heard over and over again from sage, prophet, scholar, and saint, life is short, enjoy each moment, and enjoy each other!