Mary Beth Mank
Commitment: The Ultimate Grief Relief
Updated: Jan 11, 2020
The story I’m about to tell you begins with a mediumistic reading and ends with an extraordinary realization.
The whole thing took place about three years after my husband, Paul, had crossed over. By then I had completely recovered from my grief. I was in excellent shape emotionally and physically—which was an amazing state of affairs considering how bad I had been right after his “death.”
When Paul died, I felt like I had been hit by a train. I wasn’t suicidal, but, despite being surrounded by many beautiful family members and friends, and although I had meaningful work I loved, I didn’t want to be here anymore; I wanted to be with Paul.
For months following Paul’s death, I could barely function. Back then, I cried all the time. Everything hurt: my hair hurt; my teeth hurt; my limbs felt heavy and achy. I was beyond exhausted all the time. I routinely slept sixteen hours a day and still felt bone-tired and out of it. It was a little like having some weird strain of flu with no hope of recovery.
But, from Day One I also began doing whatever I needed to do to feel good again. I firmly believed that the better I felt, the more chance I would have of feeling Paul with me. So, the promise of being able to sense him with me became my prime motivation for feeling better as soon as possible.
In the weeks and months and years after my Paul passed, part of my feel-better plan included readings with a variety of different mediums. Except for a couple of wonky readings (which I ignored because mediumship is an uneven art and even the best mediums filter information through their own perspectives and belief systems), I experienced mostly fabulous results.
So, fast forward three years from Paul’s “death” to the time of this particular online reading that I had scheduled on Paul’s birthday. Because I had taken care to continually point myself in the direction of feeling good, my efforts had paid off. I was enjoying the day-to-day sensation of having Paul with me all the time and was mostly feeling like my old self again.
The medium I had chosen for this reading does not read sitters in person or over the phone. Instead, she types messages into a private online chat box. On this day, she began the reading by typing out typical missives such as, “He’s showing me a class ring; his mother passed before he did and he is singing ‘Happy Birthday,’” etc.
And then the medium typed, “He is saying, ‘Remember street legal.’" My jaw dropped!
The medium told me she didn’t know what that reference meant. She asked if perhaps “street legal” was the name of a movie we had seen together.
No, “street legal” wasn’t the name of a movie. It wasn’t a book title or the name of a short story or a play. The phrase was exactly the one Paul said to me when we had finally left our respective marriages and were free to be together.
Back in 1970, Paul and I had been high school sweethearts. We broke up, not because we didn’t get along beautifully (because we did), but because Paul did not want to get trapped in a relationship with one girl. On our very first date he had told me he wanted to exchange high school rings and "go steady." But he also cautioned me to not get "hung up" on him. "I'm going away to college," he explained. "I want to date a lot of people before I settle down." I heard what he was saying. And I proceeded to fall head over heels in love anyway. When the dreaded day came when he actually handed me back my ring, I was very sad. But I loved him unconditionally. Seventeen-year old me figured if you love someone that much, you want for them what they want for themselves. So I let him go with love.
31 years later we reconnected online. At the time of our reconnection, the miles separated us and we were married to other people, yet the magnetic attraction to each other from decades earlier was undeniable. The love we had for each other came flooding back.
Of course the timing seemed all wrong; we couldn’t be together. We couldn’t even get together for coffee. For one thing, we were each married with families and wanted to honor those situations. For another, we lived thousands of miles apart from one another.
At one point, Paul said it would really be best if we didn’t continue to communicate online at all. It made me very sad, but I knew he was right. So, for a second time in my life, I had to honor his wishes and close the door on my relationship with Paul.
Years passed with zero communication. Eventually, I separated from my husband. Then I learned Paul had separated from his wife. I reached out across the miles to him and he responded. At last, he and I were free to reestablish our communication. This time, though, we could really be together, not only online but in person. We could be a real couple. And it was during our glorious romantic reunion that he said to me, “We’re street legal, Baby!”
When the medium typed that same phase during my reading, I knew for 100% certain that Paul lives on and that he and I are together now and forever. I was thrilled and felt all aglow. It was such strong, significant evidence, I was happier than happy…
Until the doubts and fears began to creep in.
My joy began to drain away when I remembered that, a few days before the reading, I had thought of that “street legal” phrase (as I was prone to do from time to time). Uh-oh, I thought. Maybe the medium had not connected with Paul at all. Maybe the medium had just been reading my mind instead. My heart sank. Then I became mad at myself for allowing my stupid doubts and fears to spoil the strongest and most fabulous medium message I had received to date. As is my habit, I began scrounging around for thoughts that might make me feel better.
I told myself I hadn’t been thinking about that particular phrase during the reading, so how would it be possible for her to read it in my mind? I told myself the “street legal” phrase itself was so specific that it was nothing the medium could ever have found online or anywhere else. I told myself it was Paul’s way of letting me know, “We are still together, even though I am “here” and you are “there.”
But the whole thing still felt ruined.
Then I talked to my "Love After Life" Facebook Group co-founder, William Murray. I told him about my amazing reading. He was really as blown away as I had been. Then I confessed my doubts.
Interestingly enough, William didn’t reassure that the medium was connecting with Paul for sure. He didn’t tell me that it was unlikely that the medium was reading my mind. He didn’t even chastise me for looking outside myself for validation that Paul lives on. (While he holds no judgement one way or the other about mediums, William, himself, has never used one to connect with his wife, Irene.)
Instead, William said something that changed everything for me. He said, “It sounds to me as though you have a commitment problem.”
“A commitment problem? Huh? What do you mean?”
William explained that when involved in a Transdimensional Romance with our beloved soulmate sweetheart partners, it’s important to fully and completely commit to the idea that our partners live on, that they love us and are with us every day and that someday we will be fully reunited with them.
In his writings, William has made no secret of the fact that in his own marriage, when his wife, Irene, was still focused here on earth, there came a time when they decided to fully commit to making their marriage work. They had hit a rough patch but wanted nothing more than for their marriage to be successful. He said he and Irene consciously and completely recommitted themselves to each other and, as a result, discovered a level of love they had not before experienced.
William said that for people like us in Transdimensional relationships, commitment is just as important as it was when our partners were physically focused—maybe more so. He said it's important to be “all in.” He point out that if I continued to allow doubts and fears to creep into my experience with Paul, I would experience a roller coaster ride at best and a miserable, grief-filled experience at worst.
I thought a lot about William’s words. I loved the idea of fully recommitting myself to my Paul. I loved the idea of living my life confidently knowing he is with me. I reasoned this new commitment was somewhat like renewing our marriage vows—only this time, I would be promising to live my life knowing that my beautiful Paul and our cherished soulmate love survived his physical death. I would be vowing that I would not ever again allow doubts and fears to creep in and ruin the fun, enchanting parts.
I knew I didn’t want to continue to doubt and question anything and everything about Paul and the afterlife. I realized that was a painful way to go and I didn't want an agony-filled life. I wanted to move forward knowing I have educated myself about the afterlife to a satisfying degree of certainty, I am totally in love with my Paul, he is with me every day and we are together for all of eternity.
After my conversation with William, I fully recommitted myself to my Paul and to our love. Nowadays, if a doubt or a fear pops into my experience I just laugh and tell it to be on its way. Paul and our romance take center stage. Consequently, I have discovered a newfound sense of peace and happiness with my Paul. I am comfortable and satisfied with our life as it is now and am filled with glorious anticipation of what’s ahead. It is the same feeling I wish for everyone in a Transdimensional romance.
For me, “street legal” has taken on a whole new meaning: in addition to its original significance, it now points to the fact that Paul and I are able to fully realize and revel in our very precious Transdimensional relationship. Thanks to my decision to commit, our romance now continues on without doubts, without fears, without limits and without end.