The death of a beloved friend in 2011 is my saddest experience.

Following that painful incident, I finally accept that I inhabit a parallel universe concerning death.

Karl and Ross on our property, 2001

Ross preparing for a community workshop, 1989

My dear friend and colleague (I’ll call him Ross) died suddenly in an avoidable car crash. After the shock and sadness begin to sink in — partly because of the terrifying circumstances of his death — I fear that the collective grief of his family and friends might hamper his progress on his new spiritual journey. Two close friends also died in the crash, intensifying our collective grief.

I contact a clairvoyant neighbor and beg her to communicate immediately my message to Ross:  for my part, my grief would not hold him back from whatever was calling to him now.

To my astonishment, she immediately responds that Ross wants to talk to me. Urgently.

Before she visits, I hurriedly develop some prayers and meditations and even imagine myself comforting Ross in his coffin. I am so anxious, I even clean my house!

When my friend arrives, Ross and I have a long conversation through her. He begs me to pass on his messages of love and reassurance to his family. Some of his messages are very specific, and I carefully record his exact words.

When I try to communicate them to his family, however, my good intentions backfire, and several old friendships are destroyed. At the time, I know it’s about different worldviews but it’s still devastating, as I promised Ross and feel I must deliver on my promises.

It is too “out there” for anyone to consider communicating with Ross. And anyway, why is Ross talking with me and not with his family members or other friends? (I feel the answer is simple: I have reached out to him; they haven’t.)

A mutual friend leaks my painful secret. He and Ross’s family members then engage in widespread character assassination: declaring me to be incapable of handling grief, emotionally unstable, and wait for it —  mentally ill.

Shattered, I learn a lot from Ross’s death (and about mishandling grief and clairvoyant messages). 

My eulogy

Before everything collapses, I speak at Ross’s memorial. Delivering my eulogy, I speak directly to his coffin, confident that he is present. He was a devout student of Rudolf Steiner, so I am confident that he’ll be aware of Steiner’s views on death and the afterlife. After the memorial, I find Steiner’s book on reconnecting with the dead on Ross’s bookshelf (along with 35 other Steiner books).

That tragic and heartbreaking experience is at the forefront of my mind when I consider communicating with Karl after his death.

But this time, I have a mandate: Karl is my husband, and I know we share a belief in the afterlife.

I can do what I want.

And I do.


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About Dr Wendy Sarkissian