¢â‚¬â€‌jenniffer weigel, author of g closer closer than think closer than you think closer than you think

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  • The Easy Guide to Connecting with Loved Ones on the Other Side

    “Wonderful—a caring and compassionate guidebook like nothing else I’ve ever read.”—p. m. h. atwater, lhd,

    author of Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story

    Deborah Heneghan

    closer than you think

    closer than you thin k

    H eneghan


    “The perfect reminder that our loved ones on the other side are closer than we think.”

    —jenniffer weigel, author of I’m Spiritual, Dammit! and Stay Tuned

    ever talk with your deceased loved ones? Do you sometimes feel their tap on your shoulder? See them out of the corner of your eye? Hear their favorite song and think they’re trying to tell you something?

    Or maybe you wish you could talk with your mother/husband/daughter/friend just one more time but worry that it’s a little crazy.

    Listen up! It’s not crazy at all.

    Debbie Heneghan should know. Her sister Kathy died when they were teenagers. But Kathy kept right on showing up and offering advice when she needed it most. It’s been over two decades and they still talk all the time. “She’s guided me into some of my best work and life situations,” Deb offers in this story-filled guidebook. “She’s saved me from danger more than once, one time literally saving my life!”

    “Not another grief recovery book, this is a celebration of love and life in all realms, and I give it ten stars!” —dr. caron goode,

    author of Kids Who See Ghosts and Raising Intuitive Children

    “Deborah Heneghan covers every aspect of death and dying, life and living in a heart-filled, uplifting, and totally unique and wonderful way. She’s done us a favor.

    She’s opened up our hearts . . . so we can see what’s inside.” —p. m. h. atwater, lhd, author of The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences

    and Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story

    with debbie’s help, you will discover that your deceased loved ones are here to stay. Learn to recognize rock-star appearances but also subtle nudges. And let yourself grow richer from their guidance and wisdom. Which are always closer than you think.




    ISBN: 978-1-57174-661-0 $16.95

  • Copyright © 2012 by Deborah Heneghan

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Hampton Roads Publishing, Inc. Reviewers may quote brief passages.

    Cover design: Nita Ybarra Cover art: Chris Stein Interior design: StanInfo

    Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. Charlottesville, VA 22906 Distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser, llc www.redwheelweiser.com

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available on request.

    ISBN: 978-1-57174-661-0

    Printed on acid-free paper in the United States of America QG 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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  • xv


    Have you ever lost someone you love and wondered if she’s trying to reach out, send you signs, or let you know she’s okay? Have you hoped to establish a clearer connection with her? It can be remarkably easy when you know what to do. The payoff, as you’ll see, is life changing.

    I was fifteen when my seventeen-year-old sister died of Leukemia. A few weeks later, I woke up in the middle of the night in my pitch-black bedroom to a faint whisper summoning me . . .

    “Deb, Deb, Deb.” I opened my eyes, and there she stood at my bedside. My eyes

    traced the outline of her body. Her thin frame was unmistakable. It’s Kathy! I thought. I had no doubt. Trembling with excitement, I reached my hand out to try to

    touch her. As I leaned in toward her image, she vanished. In a panic, I jolted, fell back, and flew under my covers.

    What did I just do? Did I scare her away? Is she okay? Is some- thing wrong? Did she need something from me? Where did she go?

    Seeing her, even for that moment, changed my life forever. The next morning, confused but curious, I started talking

    to my sister about everything and anything. I continued this for days, and without realizing this was possible, the signs, messages, and answers to my thoughts and questions started flowing in.

    When I needed confirmation of something, I’d flick on the radio and hear “Don’t Stop Believin’”—her favorite song by Journey. I’d awaken in the middle of the night to see 3:10 on the alarm clock—her favorite number combination—with the big, bold, red digital numbers glowing brightly on the panel as if vali- dating my question or concern. (I see this number all the time

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  • xvi Introduction

    now—on license plates in front of me, on billboards or buildings on my way to work, or in glancing at my clock just when I need a sign. It’s become our code and lets me know Kathy is watching over me.)

    Little did I know at first, but we were establishing a method of communication between worlds. From time to time, I felt what I like to call an invisible hug wrap around me. My senses heightened, becoming more aware of these messages. Our con- versations grew, and I talked with Kathy as if she were right beside me. I kept a log, a diary of sorts, of the most obvious angelic signs—something I’ll teach you to do in Chapter 4 (I call it my Angel in a Pocket). Remarkably, Kathy and I built a trust between us, providing me with invaluable guidance and support as well as the confidence I needed to move for- ward. I like to think I also helped my sister fulfill unrealized dreams from her life. There was no question; this was a new relationship.

    It’s been over two decades, and Kathy’s angelic imprint is still everywhere in my life, a constant. It’s so obvious at times that it’s downright comical. She’s guided me into some of the best work and life situations I’ve ever experienced, and she’s saved me from danger, once literally saving my life! Our relationship is a joyous two-way connection in which I continue her work here on earth, my own work expands, and she continues guiding and protecting me as my big sister. What started off as a bit of a lark—living for two—has morphed from the reaction of a heart- broken teenager to a lifelong practice. She never ceases guiding, entertaining, and blessing our family and me beyond belief. I never cease thinking of her and her dreams, and carrying her with me. Each of us healed through the other. I want that for you, too.

    The powerful ways in which my sister helps me, comforts me, and communicates with me create a blueprint for you to follow. With this book, your relationship with your loved one can be one of the most fulfilling, protective, fun, natural, and beautiful things in your world—so much so that you’ll believe, as I do now, that death is a beautiful part of life; a beginning, not an end. If that sounds too unbelievable from where you now stand,

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  • Introduction xvii

    I understand. Perhaps you’re in a crisis of faith, as I once was. Losing someone near and dear to your heart challenges faith as nothing else can. I’m excited to share stories and techniques that have helped me and countless others restore and grow our faith, so much so that the first chapter is devoted to that subject. Also, at the end of each chapter, you’ll find a core Fundamental to help you work through challenging situations and to keep you focused on your many blessings.

    In case you’re wondering, I assure you, I’m not one of those woo-woo types who sneezes rainbows and moonbeams. I do not have my head in the clouds. I’m a working mother with two young boys and stress like anyone else. I don’t live in la-la land but rather in traditional Pennsylvania. I wear business suits, and I design software solutions for IBM. I teach tele-seminars and provide grief and life coaching to spread the profound healing I’ve received since my sister’s death. I also enable peo- ple to find their way on their spiritual path through spiritual workshops and retreats and by sharing wisdom, experiences, and stories as an Internet radio host.

    But for as much as I’ve found the blessings in my sister’s death, I should also admit another truth: death sucks! Believe me, if I had my way and could reorganize the universe, I’d make sure no one would ever have to lose someone they love ever again!

    The brutality of having to say goodbye to a person who gives your life meaning is unbearable. But because of how gut wrenching my sister’s death was for me, because of how horrible and unfair it was for my parents and my other older sister, for my grandparents and Kathy’s young friends—most of whom had never seen death—I had to find the silver lining. If not, I would have gone nuts, like my friend who used to wake up at night insanely trying to figure out ways to pull a Dr. Frankenstein and bring her father back from the dead. That’s how crazy our minds get when we experience the inconceivable pain of loss. Even though I’m not a fan of the entire unfair system of death and grief, I’ve stopped trying to avoid and fight it. It’s futile. After all, death has been around a lot longer than me, and it's not going away.

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  • xviii Introduction