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Love Lives On: Learning from the Extraordinary Encounters of the Bereaved Paperback – November 7, 2006
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About the Author
Author and certified grief counselor Louis E. LaGrand, Ph.D., has been teaching about death and counseling the bereaved for over 25 years. He is a former Professor Emeritus at SUNY and he continues to be a sought-after international speaker.
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Dr. Louis LaGrand is a former distinguished service professor at State University New York (SUNY-Potsdam), where he started the first college course on death and bereavement. A certified grief counselor, he has authored several other books on the subject. He has been active in hospice and lectures frequently on dealing with grief.
While the skeptics will say that EEs are merely anecdotal and perhaps the result of wishful thinking, coincidence, or hallucination, most experiencers do not so easily discount them. "I was stunned," LaGrand quotes one experiencer. "Yet, as I walked back to my room I knew what I saw and what I had experienced. It was real."
As LaGrand points out, the EEs are for the most part beyond our understanding, but they do suggest that some part of us goes on in a world of spirit. Moreover, where there are bonds of love, the deceased remain concerned with loved ones left behind and often try to help them. "EEs help us understand that death is a temporary separation," LaGrand offers, "a transitional step a doorway to another kind of relationship between people."
While many grief counselors say that we should forget about our deceased loved ones and move on with life, an emerging view, of which LaGrand is a leader, is that we should continue to embrace them. However, as LaGrand points out, there is a difference between love and attachment. The latter can be binding and constricting. He also points out that some people having EEs can fall into the trap of wanting more in the way of another sign or visitation, thereby failing to move forward. Nevertheless, the EEs can offer comfort and peace of mind. "I've seen the way EEs can be the difference between coping well with a loss or being mired in pain and isolation," LaGrand states. "There are untold numbers of mourners who have found more meaning in the unexplainable - the confidence, hope, trust, and love that begin a web of healing relationships - than in any rational or logical experiences in their lives."
LaGrand gives many tips on dealing with grief and incorporating the EEs into one's mourning. Overall, it is a very interesting and informative read.
Spirits linger near me hoping to reach someone they left behind. My loved ones on the Other Side visit often. They guide and comfort me through ordinary daily life. My loved ones protect me, love me and have conversations with me about times we shared when they were living on earth. Clients seek me out wanting to hear a word from their loved ones on the Other Side.
Yes. Death is very much a part of my everyday life. HOWEVER, so is life.
Even though life is hard sometimes, it is also happy and delicious most of the time. In fact, it's wonderful.
The two states of being, life and death, are naturally inseparable. People live. People die. People live. People die. That's the way it is.
This cycle of living and dying is known as the circle of life.
BUT THE TRUTH IS... PEOPLE NEVER DIE:
People are eternal beings. We are souls first and foremost. And souls are eternal.
It doesn't matter in what dimension our soul self is located at the moment. We will always exist somewhere as the soul that we are.
Finding Comfort After a Loss:
Yes. In my profession, I see a lot of life and death.
However...even though I am a Medium, and I deal with life and death every day, I profoundly felt the loss of my own parents.
Imagine how I felt when they died. I was heartbroken to lose them. In fact, my life has not been the same since they died. Oh, yes. I miss their physical presence. I want them here, on this side of the veil, with me.
My friend, it has been over twenty years since they died, but it seems like only yesterday to me.
What has helped me find peace? I find comfort in their visits with me. It helps tremendously.
You see, when I get lost, my father helps me find the way home. I hear his voice and I sense he is near. I feel him place a reassuring hand on my shoulder and my anxiety eases because I feel safe.
When I need my mother, she is there for me. She had a funny little laugh that made you want to laugh too. Although she was ill much of her life on earth, it is her laughter I hear now. Mama is always with my daughter and does not leave her side. She has protected her from harm many times.
How long did I grieve when they passed away? Well, I probably never stopped. It is just easier now than it was at first because I am comforted by their spiritual presence and I know they are happy.
Grief is Different for Everyone:
Over the years and after thousands of readings, I've found that grief is different for everyone. It seems there is no time period for grief. It doesn't matter how long it took your next door neighbor to grieve or how long statistics show is a "normal" amount of time to grieve.
Grief is an individual process each person goes through in their own time, and in their own way. The amount of time needed is the amount of time that is right for you.
Love Lives On:
Since my job, and desire, is to help bring relief to those who have suffered a loss, I'm always happy to refer a special book which may help bring comfort to those left behind.
"Love Lives On," by Louis La Grand, is such a book.
"Love Lives on" is a book of comfort, hope and inspiration not only to those who are mourning the death of a loved one, but to anyone who is seeking to connect at a higher level with the presence of a greater Universe.
Through the use of true personal stories about life after death, Grief Counselor, Dr. Louis La Grand seeks to bring comfort to the bereaved. I found these personal stories to be touching, and even awe inspiring, as each one unfolds to gently teach us, "Death is a door, not a wall."
The moving stories are told by real people from everyday life who have experienced what Dr. La Grand calls an Extraordinary Encounter. EE's are visitations from a deceased person to people who are still living.
Throughout the book, "Love Lives On", Dr. La Grand gives examples of beneficial actions that can be taken by a mourner to overcome grief.
And although the book seeks to primarily address comforting the loss of a deceased loved one, the recommendations for beginning a new life after a death is applicable to many types of loss; including loss through divorce, loss of friendship, loss of lifestyle and so on.
What I found most interesting about the book was the unexpected discovery that the book is chockfull of advice to anyone who wants to eliminate negativity, in any form, from their life. LaGrand fills the book with sound suggestions for leading a more spirit filled, positive thinking, and open minded, joyful lifestyle.
Dr. La Grand is a master teacher who gives the reader easy to follow, step by step instructions about how to move forward and leave loss behind. Having worked as a teacher and counselor myself, I found that "Love Lives On" is especially inspirational and motivating to any person who wants to build a better life.
"Love Lives On" is a book of wisdom to keep on your shelf for reference as it seeks to bring peace, and love, to a suffering heart at a time of great need.
Encounters with the Dead:
At the core of the book, remain highly intimate stories of people whose lives have been changed for the better through personal encounters with the dead.
Each inspirational story relates how the person who experienced the EE came away from the visitation with a new outlook, an inner knowing that we are never alone, and a heartfelt realization that we are all one.
Additionally, many of the storytellers go on to say that their EE experience changed not only their lives, but the lives of people who they told of their Extraordinary Encounter with the dead.
An important point the reader learns from these stories is this: A single visitation from a deceased person can create a "domino effect" of love. As the story is told over and over, it spreads a comforting message of love from one person to the next; thereby enriching the life of not just one person, but of many.
Storytellers in "Love Lives On" went on to say they felt extremely fortunate to have "heard from" their deceased loved once again. After their EE experience, they found old hurts and issues were dissolved. They also discovered that peace was brought to both the deceased and the living because old wounds had been healed by the visitation.
Amazingly, many times the visitations were from a deceased person who did not believe in an afterlife.
In addition, the EE's not only healed past hurts, but gave comfort to the mourners in knowing that their loved ones were not really gone from them. Furthermore, the grieving person felt the visitation was a gift of love from the departed because it clearly demonstrated to them that love never dies.
The importance of these personal stories is amplified for the reader when each storyteller goes on to say that their encounter with the dead significantly decreased the pain of their loss and helped immensely in their grief recovery.
You are Loved Forever
In summary, Extraordinary Encounters offered "proof" of continued life to the storyteller by demonstrating to them that their loved one continued to live on in another realm. This newfound knowledge gave the mourner a sense of comfort and peace of mind, with the realization that love is eternal and never dies.
Most of all, the title of the inspirational last chapter sums it up best, "You are Loved Forever."
What impressed me about "Love Lives On" is that this book gives extremely important and insightful information that have proven to help in healing from grief. "Love Lives On" is like taking a crash course for bereavement counselors and mourners alike, yet it is a very easy read. Dr. LaGrand has had the courage to include the concept of spiritual visitations that many of the bereaved often receive, which have greatly aided in their healing, and may be a new concept for professionals.
I have also had the pleasure of personally meeting Dr. LaGrand, who is an expert in this field. He is a man who has a very compassionate heart, who sincerely cares about helping the bereaved, and has dedicated his life to this work. "Love Lives On" is an excellent book and I high recommend it.
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
Author - "God's Gift of Love: After-Death Communications--For Those Who Grieve"
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