Part 3

These intimate interludes with our loved one naturally lead us to the Gateways of Wisdom. As we connect, we may hear our loved one’s voice in the words we are recording, and we may feel their support, comfort, and guidance. Now — with that channel open — we may begin to journey in the direction of the four Gateways to engage with issues and questions that arise in our grieving process.

The two methods go hand-in-hand: connecting with our loved one and journeying through the four Gateways into new territories.

Please be gentle in your consideration of what a Gateway is. A Gateway can also be a refuge. We may wander in wonder through a Gateway, linger there, and then move on to a new realm. Gateways are for us — they are our refuge. Generally, we should not experience them as provocative, challenging or frightening.

Over the 20 months that I write in my journal, while Karl and I cover many issues, I begin to notice that we are sharing our insights about four specific topics: acceptance, gratitude, forgiveness, and engagement. My detailed analysis of the record of our conversations reveals that most of the content of our conversations fall into those four categories.

Slowly, our healing model emerges.

What is unique about our healing model?

Our healing model is unique because it is the direct outcome of my communication with a dead person. Karl and I have two voices — as we are two beings — and we are collaborating to understand the dimensions of our journey to reconcile and heal from grief and loss. Together, we are making — and walking — a healing path. I now realize (and most researchers agree) that healing from grief and loss does not proceed in discrete or identifiable stages. We do not graduate from the shock stage and move on to denial or bargaining.

Further — from a spiritual (and not primarily a psychological) perspective — we can experience all stages co-occurring. On some days, I am accepting of my reality, grateful for my life, and eager for service to others.

On other days, it’s all about forgiveness.

Only forgiveness.