The following is an excerpt from Till Death Don’t Us Part by Karen Frances McCarthy. A former political and war correspondent, she was on assignment when she received the news that her partner had suddenly died in New York. Skeptical by nature and numbed by the tragedy, she spiraled into a deep state of grief about never communicating with him again… until he communicated with her —
The end turned out to be the beginning. The beginning turned out to be an excruciating but ultimately enlightening journey to come to terms with the overwhelming evidence that my beloved not only survived death but was communicating from the hereafter.
It wasn’t an easy paradigm shift to make. As a former political journalist, war correspondent, atheist, and sceptic, I needed facts, evidence, something so compelling that I would be left with no option but to accept that we don’t die, that consciousness is not an emergent property of the brain, that love endures, and that we are never alone.
In the shrinking of self that accompanied my grief and in my distrust of my own senses, I found myself torn between the desire to believe and my need not to be desperate or delusional. Yet, strange occurrences meant the questions persisted: What is life? Is reality simply sensory information or is it something more? My search for answers involved a challenging personal and spiritual transformation that demanded I not only learn to trust in a power greater than me but that I also learn to trust myself.
The message in this book therefore is not one that describes life in the hereafter. It’s a message about how awakening to the continuity of life after death not only helps us fully experience love but also enriches our understanding of the complexity of existence.
To paraphrase Confucius — to know death, we must first know life. This is a story therefore about how death affirms life, about awakening to the magnificence of life and to the feeling of ultimate oneness that can only be called home. It’s a story of how accepting our connection to all beings gifts us with an open mind, an open heart, and the ability to heal. It’s a story of how a willingness to receive the compassion shared with us from loved ones in the spirit form can fill our lives with joy and purpose.
As my wise friend, Professor Ernest Rubinstein said, this is, “A story that doesn’t just save us from our fear of death but also from the vague uneasiness and sense of disconnection that sometimes infect a life.” This gift was offered to me from my beloved, and I now offer it to you. I hope that my journey shows how magnificent is both life and life after life. I hope it inspires you to contemplate the biggest and most unanswerable questions because it’s in striving to understand that we are part of something greater that we understand that we are truly spiritual beings. Above all, for those grieving, I hope these pages bring you the comfort of knowing you are eternally loved and that your loved ones walk with you, always…
I slipped out onto the front porch and sat on the steps in a T-shirt and boy shorts, clutching the bottleneck with white knuckles, hearing nothing but the normal sounds of the night. After an hour of sitting out there in the dark, I decided that I’d imagined the whole thing and went back inside. Still, I stood in the hallway for a few minutes, afraid to move, listening, hearing nothing and no one.
This was so stupid. Four years earlier, I spent the summer crawling around in Iraq as an embedded journalist with the Stryker Division out of Washington and the Mountain Division out of New York, washing with baby wipes, and eating MREs to get the worms-eye view of the war. I waded through shit-filled creeks and hunkered down with the guys during rocket attacks in Sadr City. I walked in the footsteps of the soldiers in front of me as we navigated IED terrain. I’d been crammed into Humvees in 120 pounds of body armor in 130-degree heat as we rolled outside the wire to bullets pinging off the metal and the gunner spinning his M2 in every direction. Now, here I was, in rural Virginia with a bruise on my forehead from imaginings in the night.
Stupid or not, I didn’t have the courage to go back upstairs. I wandered into the library, the smallest and most defensible room in the house, and picked out a book called Classic American Decorating. I curled up in the throw blanket on the chaise and flipped mindlessly through the pictures. It was almost dawn before I was calm enough to sleep. As I began to doze, the air around me seemed to change somehow, growing warmer or softer maybe. A feather-like sensation brushed my forehead and then both my eyelids like little kisses that felt strangely familiar, but I couldn’t quite remember why…
You can read a longer excerpt or purchase the book on Amazon HERE.
For another description of after death communication, check out Lisa Smartt’s An Excerpt From Veil: Love Poems from across the Threshold
Karen Frances McCarthy is a best selling author, public speaker, and progressive Spiritualist medium. Formerly a skeptic and atheist, she spent many years working as a major media journalist and was also an embedded Iraq war correspondent. Her first book “The Other Irish” was supported by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs as a cultural outreach in Ireland’s cross-border peace process; for this work, she was named one of the top Irish female broadcasters who have made an international impact.