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  • Writer's pictureJ. R. Erickson

What Happens After We Die?

This is the (slightly modified) newsletter I sent to readers this week, but I wanted to include it on the blog for those of you who are not newsletter subscribers. If you’d like to be on the newsletter list, you can join that here.

You might be wondering about the headline on this post. It’s a heady topic, one that most of us have contemplated at one time or another, perhaps more so when we’re readers of the paranormal. By association it seems we must all have an interest in this question.

The truth is that none of us really know. Our answers may be based on religious beliefs, academic studies or personal experiences. I’ve had a lifelong fascination with what happens after we leave this world, but when all is said and done the mystery of that answer continues to prevail.

Many of you know that my father passed away this  past December. During the final months of his life he spoke frequently of people and entities that he could see, which we could not. He described a blue tunnel that he called ‘playful.’ He smiled and laughed, waved at people who were ‘just over there on the other side.’.  When I asked him about these visions he told me, ‘It’s not for you to know yet. This is my experience and it will be different for you.’

My dad did not attend church or subscribe to any particular religious beliefs, but he did always have faith that we go on. Witnessing him as he seemed to shift between two worlds in the final months of his life was both grueling and uplifting. The truth of what it meant hurt – that he would no longer occupy the physical world. On the other hand, the joy that he clearly felt about the next adventure he was embarking upon, brought myself and my family peace.

After many years of hearing people’s paranormal experiences, having my own otherworldly experiences, and watching and reading about near deaths, ghostly encounters, and mediums, I have no doubt there is life after life. What that entails exactly eludes me as it likely will until I too step into the world beyond this one.

So, why am I sharing all of this with you?

Well, for a couple of reasons. One reason is that my curiosity regarding the inexplicable aspects of life is a big part of the reason I write the kind of fiction that I do, and I’m guessing your own fascination with such things is why you read that type of fiction. The other reason, and this is the bigger and deeper reason, is that we’re all in this together. We’re all here stumbling through the darkness of our lives and sometimes our stories illuminate the way for others. Sharing what happened in my dad’s final months is my way of extending to you the peace that it brought to me.

I have one other reason for talking about this now. I’m winding down my latest novel, Helme House, and I’m going to be starting the next novel in the Troubled Spirits Series. I’d like to weave a reader’s story into my next book. I’ve done this before. In particular, I asked for reader’s to share their paranormal experiences with me in 2019. I ended up using a story shared by reader, Scott Roberts in my novel Dark Omen. You can read Scott’s story on my blog.

I’d like to do something similar for the next book in my Troubled Spirits Series. Do you have a true story about a paranormal or otherworldly experience you’d like to share? The story will be fictionalized to fit into the novel. If your story is included, I’ll add your name in the acknowledgments for the book and you’ll also receive a signed paperback of the novel when it’s published. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, email your story to me here. No rush on your stories. I’ll be collecting them through the end of April, so take your time.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy reading.

The picture below is my dad sitting in a laundry basket with me and my sister many, many moons ago. 

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