Me: Is there a past life you can share that most affected this last one?
Heath: That’s a very clever question.
Jamie laughs loudly.
Jamie: That’s so smart! He’s comparing talking about other lives to the secrets in your closet.
Heath: Like when you’re alive, your sexual orientation is kind of what you keep in the closet. But when you’re in spirit, there’s so much honesty and veracity, that the only secret you keep in the closet is, “What lives did you perform or love.”
Jamie: He’s joking with it. He finds it to be similar.
Heath: I remember the life when I was an Irishman in a war.
Jamie: He’s showing me a horse and a sword and armor that looks completely handmade. It doesn’t look fancy like what we’d see in really awesome movies. It’s like something he made in a backyard blacksmith shed!
Heath: I’m a younger man in that life. Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, and I’m excited that I’m going off to war with a few other younger kids my age as well. It was a fine age to be on a horse and fighting, but apparently there was a law passed for boys of that age to stay behind, because that particular war was so gruesome.
Me: Oh gosh.
Heath: And they wanted enough young men behind to run the villages and so forth. But no, I didn’t listen.
Heath (swinging his arm around acting a bit sheepish): I didn’t listen. Me and four others strapped our horses, took what we thought was good enough, and just when you think the story is going to get good, when we reach the battlefield and charged ourselves up for what we were going to do and how we were going to mask who we are and our ages, we pretty much chickened out!
Jamie (chuckling): He sort of laughs at himself.
Heath: With all the best intentions, fear got the best of us, and we retreated. We retreated and vowed to keep it a secret. And we created a lie about a small battle we fought, won and went home. It was in that camaraderie that we could trust each other enough to have this lie and know that it would never be found out. This helped me believe in people, but it never addressed my fear—conquering something I think I needed to do. That has really carried over into many lives. I know I’ve done it again and again and again and—yet again.
Me: Not conquering fear?
Heath: Not conquering one’s own fear.
Me: Well, do you want me to keep this a secret? I don’t want to out your secret here about you bailing out of the war!
Heath (chuckling): I think right now, the cat is truly out of the bag.
Me: Okay. Well, we’ll honor whatever you want. What was your proudest accomplishment when you were alive, and has that changed since you’ve crossed over?
Heath: I’m very proud of how I was able to reach a level in my career but also maintain a sense of privacy. I worked hard on that, and I asked several other people about it, you know, how they balanced their life in that way.
Me: And now that you’re in spirit—
Heath: Now that I’m here, it doesn’t seem that important. Your perception shifts a bit.
Me: I suppose so. Now, looking from the afterlife, what would you consider your proudest achievement?
Heath: There isn’t one that I can single out.
Me: Surely one of them is being a father to Matilda.
Heath: I agree with that, but I never really got a chance.
Me: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Heath: But I am proud that she was conceived out of pure love and how strong her mother is.
Me: Good. Good. Now, do you have any messages for humanity? Anything you’d like to share with the world?
Heath: It’s fine to put on other people’s clothes, but it won’t mask who you really are.
Me: Ah, so very true.
Me: So Erik, what would you like to ask Mr. Ledger?
Jamie: Erik kind of went for a personal question.
Jamie: Hey! (pause) That’s weird! I know he was asking a personal question, but all of a sudden, instead of hearing them speak, it sounded like static or computer malfunction noises.
Me: That IS weird.
Jamie: I’ve never, ever had that happen before.
Jamie: And so they were specifically making it to where I couldn’t listen.
Me: Oh my gosh!
(All I can think of is that “Cone of Silence” from Get Smart.)
Jamie: That’s my first experience with that! Erik!
Me: Yeah, Erik! You’re going to have to share with the rest of the class!
Jamie: I know! That’s not nice!
Erik: No, it’s cool.
Me: So that’s it? You’re leaving us hanging?
Me: Okay. Well, thank you, Heath!
Jamie: Thank you.
Heath: Thank you for your time.
Me: Oh, thank you for your insight! Hopefully others will learn from what you’ve shared.
Heath: I think the book, overall, will provide a sense of (chuckling) mild entertainment, but also some security in seeing so many spirits recount their journey and how similar yet truly distinct each one is.
Me: Yes, absolutely. Well, thanks so much and goodbye!
Jamie: He gives kind of a stiff wave, almost military in a way.
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