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Evidence for Life after Death
By George E. Dalzell
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2002 George E. Dalzell
All rights reserved.
"Based upon our research, we conservatively estimate that at least 50 million Americans, or 20% of the population of the United States, have had one or more after-death communication."
—from Hello From Heaven! by Bill Guggenheim and Judy Guggenheim
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to continue communicating with a loved one after death? My firsthand experiences have demonstrated that such a thing may be possible.
As you will see in the pages that follow, I present evidence of what appears to be a series of contacts between this world and what appears to be a spirit world we call "heaven."
I credit the best-selling author and spiritual medium, James Van Praagh, for opening the door to my experience, and for creating a greater public awareness of the phenomena of mediumship and after-death communications (ADCs). The random act of seeing a television demonstration of mediumship by Van Praagh led me to an unconventional path in which I used mediumship in an experimental way to help a family in bereavement.
It stands to reason that, if the human spirit "survives" physical death, a determined loved one should be able to communicate through a medium. In an informal experiment, I tested mediumship by both acting as a medium and by consulting professional mediums in an attempt to test this hypothesis.
The resulting experiences changed my life and touched the lives of a group of people in a therapeutic way. It is my conviction that our story carries the potential to help redefine spirituality and the way we look at life after death. I hope that publication of this story will help establish and further a need for serious research of ADCs and mediumship.
A graduate of Northwestern University, I achieved a masters in social work from Barry University. I am licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in the State of California (LCS 19150), and am presently employed as a psychiatric social worker by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
In the course of my work at a community mental health center, I have struggled to help my clients cope with bereavement as well as with major depressions resulting from loss.
As a therapist, I constantly seek to refine the art of intervention and to make a difference in people's lives. That I stumbled onto the unconventional tool of using mediumship to help a grieving family was the result of a quest to intervene in possibly the most effective manner.
If someone had told me just a few years ago that I would be writing a book about using mediumship and ADCs as interventions for bereavement, I would have been extremely skeptical.
Destiny, however, can cause one's direction in life to take remarkable detours.
It all started with the sudden passing of a great friend in a car accident in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 10, 1996. It began with asking for spiritual contact, and it resulted in a miraculous phenomenon that continues at present writing.
I met Michael Keller in January of 1993 by chance in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I was finishing my masters in social work.
A clever, brilliant man with a super sense of humor, at twenty-six Michael held the prestigious position of being one of the youngest pursers in Lufthansa's fleet. He was not a flight attendant, but was in charge of the flight crew.
When we met, it was as if higher powers had reunited a pair of long-lost brothers. Destiny appeared to be at work in ways neither of us could understand, but we accepted it without question. We became inseparable companions in mind, body, and spirit.
Michael fit South Florida into his flight schedule almost weekly, making it his "home away from home." Precocious and willful, Michael was filled with selfdetermination. He was a rebel who would not take "no" for an answer.
Michael would arrive in Fort Lauderdale with surplus champagne and caviar from the first class pantry on his most recent Lufthansa flight. Each visit became a celebration and a reunion. When Michael and I connected, I felt as if nobody else existed, that nobody was funnier, nobody was wiser. He took center stage, and during the time that I knew him, we shared an unconditional bond of love.
On the surface of it, Michael was a guy who had it all—youth, good looks, parents who loved him unconditionally, a well-paying job, and world travel at his fingertips.
I wished that our time together would never be limited.
Fate, however, intervened to change the form of our relationship. As a result of the German tourist killings of 1994, Lufthansa's flights to Florida slowed to a trickle, and Michael arrived one day to state the obvious: Unless one of us was willing to sacrifice his career for the relationship and move to a foreign land, we would have to accept that we could no longer spend as much time together. We would see one another once every few months as his schedule would allow, and remain friends.
This was a time of crisis and sadness for both of us, but I wanted Michael to be happy. Not long afterward, Michael found a companion named Markus Reicher who eventually moved into Michael's apartment in Frankfurt, Germany.
I thought that this would seal Michael's fate for the better, though for Michael something was lacking. He seemed to be on a kind of spiritual quest for an essential ingredient in life that seemed to elude him. In truth, he was running out of time from the moment I met him.
Pivotal to this story is my connection with Michael's parents.
I visited Michael in Germany in the fall of 1993. I met his parents, Ludwig and Annabel Keller, over coffee and cake at their home in Kirschfurt, Germany, a picturesque village just off the River Main. Intelligent and straight to the point, they seemed a perfect match of pragmatism and good humor; a loving couple in their early sixties. I had an immediate good first impression of them. They clearly adored Michael, the youngest of three sons. Michael was the baby, the golden son.
I had never seen such love between parents and child before in my life. They laughed and radiated love in each other's presence and celebrated Michael's precocious sense of humor. The mutual love affair among the three of them was beyond description. I sat back and watched this loving connection with fascination and intrigue.
It's important to note that the Kellers were no strangers to loss. Both were children living in Germany during World War Two, and were the young victims of the war's senseless ferocity. Annabel lost two brothers in the war, and Ludwig Keller barely escaped death during a bombing at a Red Cross shelter for women and children. Now, they seemed stronger for having survived these stressors.
Michael's parents went out of their way to make me feel welcome, and they seemed strangely drawn to me. They were supportive of the fact that Michael had linked up overseas with someone who seemed to anchor him and provide him with stability in the maelstrom of his maddening, time-changing flights.
We kept in touch over the four years I knew Michael, on Christmas, birthdays, and holidays. I found them to be two of the kindest and most generous people I've ever met. They became like family to me.
I moved to Los Angeles from South Florida in May of 1996. I hadn't spoken with Michael for several months during the move, so I was completely unprepared when I phoned Frankfurt and learned from Markus Reicher that Michael had been killed in a car accident shortly after my move to California.
I immediately phoned Michael's parents, who were in shock. They related that the funeral had already taken place, but that a Requiem Mass would be held for Michael at Laurentius Cathedral in Kirschfurt on July 5, 1996.
I later phoned Michael's brother, Heiko Keller, who explained what had happened. On June 10, 1996 at around 10:00 P.M., on the outskirts of Frankfurt a man stopped to pick up a hitchhiker standing by the side of the road. The hitchhiker was Michael.
He seemed frightened and disoriented. When the driver looked down, he discovered that Michael wasn't wearing any shoes. They drove for a bit, but Michael seemed antsy, and uncomfortable.
Inexplicably, Michael suddenly insisted that the man stop the car so that he could resume walking. The driver argued with him, but Michael was adamant. The driver told him it was dangerous on this stretch of road, there were no streetlights. But Michael wouldn't back down. He got out of the car and closed the door.
The driver was concerned for Michael's safety, and drove to a nearby police station to get help. He insisted the police follow him to where he had left Michael, but when they returned to the site, at 11:10 P.M., it was a horrific scene.
Michael lay dead on the road. One car, a Porsche, had run over him and plowed into a tree. The driver was in critical condition. The other car, a Ford Fiesta, had collided with the Porsche after running over Michael a second time, and the driver was in a state of shock. She had never seen Michael.
No one knew what Michael was doing on that road, how he got there, or why he insisted on getting out of the car that had stopped for him.
The accident scene had been played over and over again in living color, to the Kellers' horror, on Frankfurt's evening news on June 11, and Die Bild-Zeitung, Germany's tabloid equivalent of The National Enquirer, ran a headline, which read, "Tot-Hitzekoller? (Dead from Heatstroke?)." It featured a gruesome photograph of Michael's body, a trail of blood leading from where he had been hit, as well as photos of the totaled Fiesta and Porsche.
I later discovered that Michael Keller was suffering from depression at the time, and that in the months preceding his death, there were mysterious disappearances and an escalation in his use of stimulants.
Was it just an accident, I wondered, or had Michael played a role in the accident? Was there foul play? There were so many questions left unanswered.
I was devastated by the tragedy of Michael's death, but in the wake of his mysterious passing, a phenomenon was beginning.CHAPTER 2
The Rainbow Lights
"I want you to have a view into my soul, something I practically have never afforded to someone else."
—Michael Keller in a letter to me from February of 1993
June 17, 1996
It was Michael's brother, Heiko Keller, who had the first experience.
He had driven from Laudenbach, Germany, to the roadway outside Frankfurt where Michael had been killed. Drawn by curiosity and a desire to understand how the accident happened, he drove out after the funeral to pay his respects at the site.
The section of highway was actually leading away from Frankfurt, and was a good distance from Michael's home or from any known friend or associate. The highway is a narrow road without shoulders. Heiko thought it was certainly not an area where anyone had any business walking.
He pulled his car onto a grassy area adjacent to the site, and noticed the speed of the cars whizzing past, and how they seemed to come out of nowhere.
At night, Michael wouldn't have had a chance, Heiko thought.
Carefully, he walked along the grassy embankment to the actual place where Michael had lain when the paramedics arrived. He first noticed the hypodermic needles they had used in an effort to resuscitate him. This protocol had been followed even though doctors at the scene could find no pulse in Michael.
Suddenly, as he stared at the site, Heiko saw what appeared to be rainbow-colored lights surrounding the precise spot where Michael's body had lain after the accident. Varying in size and form, the lights danced and darted in front of him, as if in an attempt to communicate with him. To recover his senses, Heiko rubbed his eyes and looked away momentarily at the woods across the street. There was no wind that day, but, strangely, two trees before him began to shake violently back and forth, while the surrounding trees stood absolutely still.
He couldn't believe his senses. He blinked, then turned back to look at the accident scene. The rainbow lights were still there. "Like the fingers of God," he later related to me. Sparkling, and blinking back at him.
Unaware of Heiko's experience, I was on the opposite side of the world, yearning to support Michael's parents in any way I could. I was considering flying to Germany, but wondered how I could make a difference during this terrible crisis.
I had always been skeptical about the existence of life after death. On the other hand, the topic remained a passionate mystery to me for as long as I can remember. I've always believed that, if we survive bodily death, there must be a way to come back and prove to the ones left behind that there is a dimension beyond our present life on Earth.
My quest led me to research the topic of life after death, combing the lists of non-fiction and metaphysical literature for books which provided evidence of life after death. While many authors have explored the subject, only a few publications provided an inkling of what I sought.
I was impressed with the questions raised in Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss, M.D. A Yale-educated psychiatrist, Dr. Weiss put his career on the line by writing about a patient, Catherine, who appeared to have the ability to relay information from another dimension while under hypnosis. In an altered state of consciousness, Catherine talked about life after death, delivering specific information, relevent to Dr. Weiss, from otherworldly "masters," information unknown to Catherine. Furthermore, while under hypnosis, Catherine journeyed through past life experiences and found that her anxiety and depression lessened as a result.
I was intrigued with the phenomenon of near-death experiences (NDEs), which is the focus of Life After Life by Raymond Moody, M.D., and Closer to the Light by Melvin Morse, M.D. Through current medical advances in resuscitation, Moody and Morse's subjects were brought back from the brink of death; they shared similar postmortem sensations such as floating above their bodies and traveling through a tunnel towards a mystical "light," where they experienced glorious reunions with family members who had "died," but now stood miraculously before them in robes of light.
I came to the conclusion that if NDEs were to be taken as a revelation of the existence of another dimension, then surely this could be somehow proven. Someone could give a sign to someone else after death, or phenomena could be witnessed firsthand which could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that life after death was a matter of fact, not fiction.
Bill and Judy Guggenheim's work, Hello From Heaven!, which includes anecdotes from scores of people who reported after-death communications (ADCs) with the spirits of loved ones, hit home with me. The Guggenheims' research indicates that approximately 20% of Americans have experienced one, or more, after-death communication, compared to the estimated 4% of the population who have experienced NDEs. I was impressed that ADC experiences outnumbered NDE experiences four to one. The Guggenheims advocate that continued research of ADCs is warranted by the sheer numbers of respondents claiming to have made contact with loved ones who have physically "died."
While I was greatly intrigued by all I had read on the subject of life after death, I remained somewhat skeptical. Now, Michael's sudden death left me curious for real answers, and I was led to take an inventory of my own mystical experiences.
My first experience with after-death communication occurred in 1993 and resulted in a supernatural intervention which saved my life.
I had a favorite aunt named Alice Wilson who died from lung cancer in November 1987. I had enormous love for Alice, as she was a woman of great humor and strong character. In fact, during a summer vacation before she died, we made a pact on the shores of Lake Erie at Van Buren Point, New York, that, if there was a life after death, the one who "passed" first would try and find a way to communicate a message from the next dimension as proof of life after death.
It was a whimsical collaboration, but an expression of the great love between us, and it came to haunt me a year later when Alice died. Could she send a message through mediumship, I wondered?
Excerpted from MESSAGES by George E. Dalzell. Copyright © 2002 George E. Dalzell. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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