The following is, for the most part, the Author's Foreward from my new book, "Forbidden."
A few months after my wife died in April of 2017, I unwittingly committed a major breach of social and “spiritual” norms. The first instance was in a regular widows and widowers Facebook group where I made the apparently unforgivable mistake of saying that I had overcome my grief and had developed a good relationship with my crossed over wife. I had no idea at the time that overcoming your grief after a dearly loved partner died was considered impossible. I was attacked and threatened with being reported to the police. My post was deleted and I was booted from the group. Privately, though, several members reached out and wanted to know more.
I reasoned I should probably take my comments about my experience to a more "spiritually inclined" group. I managed to find such a group that agreed we could continue our relationships with our crossed over partners. However, when I posted the same thing, my post was again deleted and I was encouraged to leave the group. I learned that the idea that we could become entirely grief-free and develop a relationship with our romantic partners that was as good as, and in some ways better than what we had when they were physical, was not a welcome one. I also learned that it was considered unhealthy and somehow non-spiritual to deliberately work to overcome one’s grief.
What I became painfully aware of and frustrated about over the course of the next two years was that the idea of deliberately overcoming grief and continuing and more deeply developing a transdimensional romantic relationship was a very disruptive concept in both the secular and so-called spiritual communities, in religious views and also in standard, approved terms of psychological health. A like-minded person, Mary Beth Spann Mank, in the same situation, approached me about starting our own group founded on the idea that we could become free of grief and develop a completely fulfilling relationship with our crossed-over partners, and that there was nothing wrong with doing so.
We were very fortunate in that several influential people who actually led online spiritual groups and organizations were sympathetic with our views. These people not only allowed us to participate in their Facebook groups, but also helped to promote our own 'Love After Life' Facebook group and the ideas we believed in, effectively giving us a respected platform for exposure. A lot of our time, however, was spent intervening in conversations and “rescuing” people from many other members of those groups and organizations that attacked the idea of overcoming grief and developing a fully satisfying transdimensional relationship.
Modern psychology, Western society in general and much of the so-called spiritual community generally condemns our views as unhealthy, impractical and non-spiritual. As our group grew (rather quickly, to my amazement), our members described the onslaught of discouragement, ridicule, attack and immense pressure to conform to social and “spiritual” norms, meaning “move on” and that they would just have to get used to the grief, because it would be with them the rest of their lives. Most of us were told that we were “holding our romantic partners back” or that we were too attached and that we should give that love to others who were still living. We were told we were lying to ourselves or living in a fantasy world.
It seems there is an endless stockpile of standard tropes in every avenue of community that forbids, discourages and attacks even the idea that we can successfully continue a fulfilling, loving, enjoyable transdimensional romantic relationship with our crossed-over partners. It is an interesting paradox that virtually no one would dare to tell someone who lost a child, a brother or a parent that they need to “move on” or find someone else to fill in that emotional gap, yet they don’t think twice about saying such things to those who have a romantic partner or spouse that died, as if that relationship can and should always be “filled in” by someone else.
Not all romantic partnerships are equal. When each of my first two prior marriages came to an end, the idea of not repartnering was never even a consideration. With Irene, however, repartnering was never a consideration because I knew she was my eternal soulmate. There could be no other after her, and besides, it’s not like she ceased existing. Why should I give up my relationship with her? To make other people more comfortable? To conform to some social or spiritual norm? Conforming to make others comfortable was never something on our agenda even when Irene was physically here.
One of the most devastating social and spiritual tropes we have to suffer through is the idea that our crossed-over partners want us to repartner “so we can be happy.” Mediums often tell us that our partner is “sending us someone.” People say, “Well, they would want you to be happy.” Even worse, some in the spiritual communities would say that these relationships don’t extend into the afterlife and our partner is now “above” such attachments and concerns.
It’s understandable that people outside of “spiritual” communities pass along these harmful statements. They often don’t know what to say, cannot empathize and just say the standard things they have been trained to say thinking it will make us feel better. Usually their words are really just them trying to make themselves feel better in an uncomfortable situation. However, the tropes extended by the supposedly “spiritually informed” make no sense and even contradict the bulk of reliable information we have about the afterlife and from those who live there.
The idea that our partners are “above” feelings such as desire, romantic love, anger, regret, guilt, jealousy or emotional pain, is directly contradicted by readings from renowned mediums who have brought through all of those emotions from those who have crossed over. Indeed, the idea that such romantic relationships do not continue is directly contradicted by the ongoing relationship between Annie Nanji and her husband Dinshaw. For fourteen years (1970-1984) following Annie's death from cancer, Dinshaw spoke directly with his wife thanks to the help of direct voice medium, Leslie Flint.
Similarly, the idea that we are “holding them back” is a profoundly ridiculous notion in a community that almost uniformly agrees that we are eternal beings and that “linear time” is an illusion. I don’t even need to elaborate; just by reading that statement, you can see for yourself the internal contradiction that exists.
So, why do some people--even those educated about the afterlife--say such things?
Social conditioning, biases, and spiritual views are not separate things; they are usually baked into each other, or one can spring largely from the other. The enormous social and secular pressure for people to repartner stems from historic, social, financial and practical pressures, some of which is no longer even applicable to modern life in Western culture, but the influence remains as a kind of cultural habit. Those habits of thought and perspective can then be found underlying the reasons for certain spiritual tropes. In other words, you can see how the spiritual idea that “we are holding them back” or that our relationship with our dead romantic partner no longer exists serves the economic pressure and social desire for repartnering. It is so much easier if we can just mentally draw a line at death and say that this relationship is “over” and so we can move on to repartnering.
Also, people are just uncomfortable around those who are grieving and want it to end as soon as possible. The idea that we have to “let go” when our partner dies and find “new” love is a trope in virtually every movie, TV show and book that even remotely addresses the subject.
Even though it runs counter to simple logic when, considering the basics of many spiritual views, the social pressure, programming and cultural bias seep in. People employ spiritual-sounding justifications (actually rephrasings of the secular tropes) to insist that dead romantic partners should be replaced, justifying their secular bias.
Continuing the relationship after a partner dies flies in the face of any number of books and the work of professionals and authorities that have standardized our ideas about processing grief and the definition of good mental health. It contradicts many so-called experts both secular and “spiritual,” who insist on repartnering to “find happiness again,” as if happiness cannot be found in a transdimensional relationship. Again, these experts would never say this to a parent who lost their child, yet they often see a romantic partner as a replaceable commodity.
Apparently, romantic relationships that cannot be replaced, and are imbued with a sense of eternal commitment and devotion that transcends death, are exceedingly rare. Some spiritual sources say that twin flames (or soulmates) rarely incarnate together, and even more rarely actually meet in life here. It’s easy to see why this kind of relationship has virtually no social support or cultural consideration.
It’s odd that the spiritual community routinely accepts and even promotes the idea that we can have life-long transdimensional relationships with so-called “spirit guides” or that we can have other family members and ancestors taking an active interest in our lives, but when it comes to a romantic partner, for some reason that’s not given the same consideration or honor.
Because the number of people that have found their way to our group has grown so much, we have realized that there are many more people in the world that feel as we do and have virtually no support. Not only do they not have support, they are often browbeaten into silence. We have created this public venue as a better outreach to those people, and to facilitate the social acceptance and understanding of this choice. Also, we have found that the information and methods we have accrued may be applicable for those in other transdimensional relationships - parental, sibling, etc. - who do not fit our specific group entry criteria, so we have made that information available here. Finally, there are also people that wish to prepare themselves before the death of a partner or loved one, and having access to this information may be helpful.