Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014 - 4 Years and 10 Months - Afterlife?

A lot happens in a short time frame: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Josh's birthday and another month anniversary that now brings us ever closer to the 5th year anniversary on March 18th.   In years past, these months were very hard as each holiday was a blistering reminder of our loss.

But this year, instead of feeling constant grief with the occasional respite, I felt more at peace with the occasional grief flare-up.  Maybe it is because of some new thoughts regarding the afterlife, the reality of heaven, and the idea that Josh's spirit is very much alive.

Last month, while in Dulles airport waiting to board a flight, I wandered into a bookstore and came across the book, My Son and The Afterlife by Elisa Medhus, MD.  After reading the blurb on the back cover below, I had the strong feeling that Josh led me to it.  So not only did I get the book, but devoured it within a couple of days.
Dr. Elisa Medhus never believed in life after death.  As an accomplished physician, she placed her faith in science.  All of that changed after her son Erik took his own life and then reached out from the other side. 
Intimate, heartbreaking, and illuminating, go on an incredible journey from grief and skepticism to healing and belief.  Based on Medhus' wildly popular blog, ChannelingErikMy Son and the Afterlife provides answers to the most universal questions of being human. 
At once tragic and uplifting, Erik speaks from the other side with candor, wisdom, and depth as he describes his own experiences and provides new answers about the nature of souls, death, and the afterlife - answers that have the potential to change our lives forever.
Erik died on October 6, 2009 - almost 7 months after Josh.  Have they met?  I wonder.

The book is essentially a transcript of her questions and his answers (via medium).  It is information overload: strange, surreal, and difficult to process.   The following bullet points are what I wrote in my book journal:
  • Afterlife is a reality
  • Our two-dimensional (space and time) are a very small part of the overall reality
  • Souls depart the physical body upon death but retain their essence, memories, everything that makes them unique.
  • Souls want to remain connected to their loved ones on earth and are able to give signs, play pranks, show themselves and communicate - click here to read about our signs from Josh.
  • Reincarnation exists
  • Unconditional love for ourselves and others is the ultimate goal of being human
  • This energy, life-force, soul, spirit exists in all living things: humans, plants, animals
Along with Dr. Eban Alexander's book, Proof of Heaven that I read last summer, there is much to ponder.

Then last weekend, when Tim and I went to see Savings Mr. Banks, we saw the preview of Heaven is for Realbased on a true story in which a young boy experienced heaven in a NDE (near death experience) - see their web site for a video interview with Colton and his parents.   It is amazing.

As I process this information, I find the bitterness and anger lessening, being replaced with nascent...unusual feelings of hope and peace.  I feel more assurance that Josh is in a better place and is hopefully doing just fine.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy 22nd Birthday Josh

Josh would be twenty-two today.  I spent some time over the weekend thinking about 22 things that I remember and miss most since he's been gone.   Some made me smile, other memories brought tears.

Written to him in my weekly letter:

In honor of your upcoming birthday, here are the 22 things that I remember and miss about you…

  1. your smirk
  2. your well-timed, funny, zingy comments
  3. the sound of your slippered feet shuffling on the floor
  4. your deep, manly voice
  5. waking you up in the morning for the 1st time
  6. …and 2nd time
  7. …and 3rd & 4th time (it was actually very annoying but I miss it now)
  8. your humming while in the shower
  9. how you looked over my shoulder while I was preparing dinner…sniffing and commenting on how good it smelled
  10. how you liked to eat grilled cheese sandwiches with salsa
  11. your go-to after school snack - 2 packages of ramen
  12. my weekly washing of your nasty football practice uniform
  13. my washing of your game day uniform by which I could tell what happened (where you fell on the ground, etc)
  14. teaching you how to drive
  15. going shopping together for clothes, shoes, sports gear
  16. how if I took you to the grocery store, all sorts of miscellaneous, random items would end up in the shopping cart
  17. you sleeping on the couch with Buddy and Benji
  18. you sleeping on car rides, listening to your iPod
  19. watching Patriots games together
  20. the marathon watching of 24 we did one summer
  21. chilling in the pool
  22. and even your reprimands of "chill out mom!"