Me: Do you have any advice to those who have lost loved ones and are just so stricken by grief?
Erik: Remember, grief is really selfish.
Wow, this made my heart sink, because that means I am One Selfish Bitch.
Erik: They need to look at what part of themselves they feel is not being heard.
Me: Oh! Hmm.
Erik: Because if they weren’t selfish when someone died, they could understand that it was that person’s journey. It wasn’t about them.
Me: I think a lot of them just don’t know what the transition is all about and that Home is our real reality. And even when we do, oh, how it still hurts.
Erik: Well, I think some people get into grief, and they enjoy how people react to them, and so they play the victim to get all that pampering energy. Then they get stuck in it. Of course, others, like you, Mom, grief because you feel such love.
Me: Yeah. Anything advice on how to manage?
Erik: When you lose a loved one, it’s not about putting your chin up and playing tough either. Of course there are going to be moments of awareness that you’re not with them anymore. But as soon as you get there—you need to think about really where they are, because I’m telling you, we feel EVERYTHING you give out.
Erik: Mom, I feel what you’re thinking about me; I feel what the neighbor up the street said about me. It gets to me. Goes straight to me. So imagine when a person dies, they lose everyone in their entire life.
Me: Oh, yeah!
Erik: They’ve lost it all. They’ve lost it all, and now what they get from everybody is grief. Granted there are one or two people who go, “I love you, and you’re all right,” and those words mean the world to us. I like that you do that for me, Mom.
Me: Oh, yeah. Of course I’m happy for you. I know you were miserable here, and I’d rather you be happy all the time and me be miserable from time to time than for both of us to be miserable here because of your pain.
Erik: Yeah cuz just imagine, Mom. You’re dead and you feel like shit cuz everybody’s grieving, and you feel everyone’s sorrow.
Me: Oh, how awful.
Erik: And then you have to work extra hard not to make them cry. You find out right when you get next to them, they feel you and it triggers them to fall apart. You feel like you’re cursed in a way. I’ve seen it play out again and again and again.
Me: Yeah, absolutely.
(Somber pause as I feel extra sorry for my baby boy. Sigh.)
Me: How do you multitask so well, Erik? I can’t imagine how you can listen to everybody, hearing their thoughts, their feelings. Oh my god.
Erik: I know, I know, it’s totally crazy! But it’s not like we do it in the human sense. The messages don’t line up so you get one at a time like on an answering machine. It just breezes right through your body, your spirit body, and you know exactly what it is.
Me: It’s like on Bruce Almighty where the guy, you know, Jim Carrey, gets all those instant messages on his computer from everyone in the world. It gets to be too much for him!
Jamie: Bruce Almighty, that’s right.
Me: So it’s not like that, then.
Erik: Yeah, they don’t just line up and wait for ya.
Me: Yep. Okay, what about advice for those considering suicide. We’ve talked about this before, but it’s been quite a while ago, because you know you paint a pretty picture of the afterlife. You make dying seem fun.
Jamie: He does.
Me: I know.
Erik: Oh, it’s not all milk and cookies.
Erik: It’s like, if you’re a dick—
Jamie giggles with embarrassment at having to translate this.
Jamie: God, Erik!
Erik: If you’re a dick, and you die because you’re a dick, you’re gonna wake up dead as a dick.
Me: Oh yeah, okay. Not getting a pretty visual, but go ahead.
Erik: You’re gonna have to work through your own shit. Now there are those cases where someone commits suicide, and they did it NOT as a last resort. Not to be punny, but they jump the gun.
Me: Oh boy. Okay.
Erik: And in those cases where they just gave up, surrendered and left, there are all these people left on earth who are meant to interact with them. That’s when the suicide soul has to figure out a way to connect with all the people who are alive and still get them to meet that mark that they would have if the suicide soul was still living.
Me: Exactly. The spiritual contract still has to play out.
Erik: You have to play ‘em. You have to keep ‘em, and do you know how hard that is? They thought it was hard when they were alive? Just screw that. It’s way more difficult when you’re dead.
Me: Yeah, but what’s it to them? They could say, “Eh, who cares. If the contracts don’t get honored, we’ll just do it next time.” I mean, a lifetime is just a blink of the eye from the perspective of an eternal soul.
Erik: No, no. They have to complete things first before there’s a next time.
Me: Okay, so if a person feels such hopelessness that they’re considering suicide, how do they hold on?
Erik: They who? The dicks?
Me: Yeah, or anyone in that dark place. Now, I’m not talking about the rare ones like you where suicide is part of their destiny or the ones who are terminally ill or the ones where it’s a real exit point for them.
Erik: So, you’re talking about the ones who jump the gun?
Me: Yeah, them. How can they hold off?
Erik: Well, there’s not really gonna be a straightforward answer across the board, but the best thing to do is—you tell people when they’re sitting at that moment before they swallow those pills or jump off the chair or pull the trigger, they have to think. They have to be able to—
Jamie: Hold on. I’m trying to get him to say it in one sentence.
Jamie: He kind of rambled around.
Erik: They have to be able to accept the responsibility of leaving. It’s just that simple. And if there’s any doubt or hesitation—even a tiny, tiny bit—that’s when you know they’re going to soon. They need to stay.
Jamie (to Erik): So you can base it on the feeling of doubt?
Erik: Yes. That’s the one emotion I can think about, because a lot of people get there, and then they say, “Well, I don’t REALLY want to die, but I really wanna piss off Christine. I want Christine to suffer, so I’m just gonna go ahead and do it.” But if they themselves have doubt, that’s called jumping the gun.
Me: Wow. Did you have doubts seconds before?
Erik: No. I tried before and I had doubts, but not this time.
Oh, how I wish he had had strong doubts, enough to ease off the pressure on that trigger and come to me for help.
Erik: And I can’t tell you how many people knock themselves off and think, “Holy shit. What the hell did I do that for? Dammit, now I just have to do this all over again!” Denise went through that.
Me: That’s true. After she died, I channeled her through Kim O’Neill, and she was pissed at herself for committing suicide.
Erik: Yep. Without fail, suicides come here feeling totally embarrassed, cuz they see how the earthly plane is just a freaking school play, and they were only playing a role.
Me: It’s so hard to see the forest from the trees when your knee-deep in drama, though.
Erik: Yeah, but all they do is add more drama in their wake. And they have to suffer along with the ones who are in grief. It’s not easy. But one day, humans will see death differently. They’ll see it for what it really is—a stage exit you go through after you play your part.