Q. Why did you write this book?
SG. There are a lot of parents out there whose child has died who think that death is the end of their relationship with that child. This book hopefully helps parents or anyone understand that the people they love who died still exist and can still exist in their lives. The book is a different way of looking at death and grief.
Q. How does it look at death differently?
SG. People think they have to find closure after the death of someone close to them. But you can continue a relationship without having contact. If a husband dies, the wife continues to love the husband. She doesn't consider herself divorced. She may get remarried. But her love remains. She doesn't have to let go of her love for her first husband to move on with her life. People who pass over don't stop loving us. And we don't have to stop loving them.
Q. You state that most people misunderstand Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief. Can you explain?
SG. Those stages - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance - are the stages an individual moves through upon learning of a terminal illness. People have misconstrued those stages to apply to grief. But we don't go through those stages in that order in the grieving process. The misconception sets people up to think that we go through that process and we don't.
Q. What are the stages of grief that you experienced?
SG. For me, it was numbness, unrelenting pain, searching and reinvestment. And those are not going to fit everyone. No two people hurt exactly the same way or for the same reasons. I don't agree that grief has specific steps that we go through, in a defined sequence, for a specific period of time. Grief is an individual process.
Q. What helps with grief?
SG. Finding people to talk to, reading relevant books, meditation, doing something to keep them in your life, reinvesting in life by doing something in memory of them to keep them in your life, being open to counseling, and feeling the pain, not avoiding it. You also have to let people know what you are thinking and feeling and not expect them to know.
Q. What are your guidelines for picking a medium?
SG. It's good to go on recommendations. If you do not know anyone who can give you recommendations, then request references and testimonials from the medium. A good medium should be able to come up with satisfied clients who will share their experiences with you. Ask about the medium's philosophy. Make sure it aligns with yours. If you start to hear words like "evil" and "fear," run the other way. But ultimately, you have to go by what you feel in your heart.
Q. Are there great differences among mediums?
SG. Mediums receive information from spirit in different ways. Some mediums see objects, symbols, images and scenes from the spirit's life. They might see words, or family names or locations. Some hear sounds and voices. Some feel a spirit's message. They can convey emotions or physical impressions. Some mediums might smell a spirit's favorite perfume, or another scent. Some mediums are much more accurate than others and much more specific. You should look for validating information. A medium should have integrity. It's important to be open and yet it is important to be skeptical.
Q. What should people expect in a session with a medium?
SG. Remember that whoever comes through is the spirit that needs to come through. You may go in expecting to hear from your lost child or spouse and get Uncle John instead. Expect to hear validating information from anyone connected to you on the other side. Also, spirits convey their messages through signs and symbols. The medium interprets those signs and symbols. The meaning of those signs and symbols might not make sense immediately, but might click with you a week later.