In late March 2016, when I first start recording Karl’s words in my journal, I think it must be my imagination. So I ask for the gift of discernment to distinguish whether this is the voice of my loved one or not. Rudolf Steiner offers an entirely different perspective: when we speak to the dead, what we say comes from them. And when they speak, it comes from our soul. That is a startling revelation. My soul is speaking to me through the voice of my Beloved!

So that I can start my day with Karl’s loving words, I soon change from evening recording to morning recording in my journal. I add the Three Blessings, an appreciation of Karl’s life (a few sentences, focusing on his actions), followed by my letter to him. I do this so that I can act on his morning advice. His reply then follows my letter. Typically, a communication session between us would last about forty minutes. I eagerly anticipate our daily communication. During the day, I visualize Karl as he was in our life together, and I think about the questions I will ask him at night. Often I will fall asleep with a question in my mind, requesting that he send his advice in the morning.

Two days before my 74th birthday in late January 2017, after a rough night following a heartfelt plea for guidance, I receive a vivid, prophetic dream just before waking. It is a hopeful, romantic dream about love and marriage with another man, a new partner. It is a precise dream and a direct response to my question.

In Part 2 of this book, Chapter 8 provides specific, step-by-step guidance on how to initiate — and sustain — contact with a loved one who has died. Chapters 7 through 10 summarize and interpret aspects of my daily communications with Karl under four separate headings: Acceptance, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Engagement (or service). As you would expect, I have much to say that is painful and repetitive. I love him dearly, and that loss still tears at my soul. I could not believe the shock of his passing, so abruptly, with so little time to say all that I needed to say. I am deeply distressed, having survived by sheer chance. I came within inches of dying, having cashed in my life without surrendering my body. My heart is broken. I feel that my life is damaged beyond repair and that I have lost all that I had in my life.

But not exactly. Not completely.

I have not lost everything.

I still had my love for Karl, my memories, and my gratitude for and appreciation of him.

I have an abiding belief in the goodness of life. I have faith and trust.

According to Steiner, those are the qualities necessary to nurture communication with the dead.

And so I listen.

And as I listen, I reconnect with my spiritual values and begin to appreciate more deeply the benefits, comfort, solace, and guidance of my continuing communication with Karl. I am healing. And I am learning to reflect on my healing.

The healing model we offer in Chapter 6 grew directly from those conversations and reflections.