Last night I received an email from a man
I coach. On Friday he received the unexpected
news that his brother had died. He wrote to ask
me if I had some words of wisdom I could console
In my reply I told him what I passed on to a friend
a couple years ago; a friend who lost his father to
cancer. A few months after his father’s passing, he
was still crushed. When he called I didn’t say much,
When the conversation ended, I had a thought pop
into my head from behind – as if coming from his
father. It seemed so real I treated it as such. Not
wanting my friend to think I had gone completely
mad, I tried to fight the urge to call him back and
tell him the message I had received.
I was unable to fight the impulse – it was over-
I dialed. No answer.
I left a message: “Your father gave me a message he
wants me to pass along to you.”
An hour later I received a call from my friend. “What’s
up, my brotha?” he began.
“Kicking ass, as usual,” I replied.
“You said you had a message from my father,” he said
in a trusting tone.
“Yes, uh, I do,” I replied, with a slight hesitation.
“Your father wants you to know that it is okay for you to
talk to him. He wants you to talk to him,” I blurted, letting
the emotion out as fast as I could.
Long pause. Could feel the emotion through the airwaves.
“Thank you,” he finally said as his voice cracked.
“I don’t think I have to tell you that this is NOT something
I would bring up lightly,” I said. “I don’t talk like this all the
time,” I said.
“Dude, if this came from you I know it’s the real deal.”
We talked about a minute longer and, as I was out of the
country for a spell soon afterward, we kept missing each
other for a number of months.
Then a phone call came through one afternoon as I was
driving home from a walk along the beach. I saw who it
was and answered. My friend’s voice beamed with joy and
“Just wanted to tell you that I’ve been talking to my dad,”
he said. “And I can’t thank you enough for passing the
message on. I tell this story at every lecture and speech
I give and the positive effect it has on the audience in
truly powerful. What you told me changed my life.”
Last night. There I was, being put into a similar situation.
And the answer for my student was the same. “Your brother
wants you to talk to him. He wants you to know it’s okay for
you to talk to him.”
I figure, today, on the 5th anniversary of 9-11 – this may be
a good message for all of us, as a country, to remember.
I’m not talking about holding seances or anything like that.
I’m simply talking about remembering those who have died
in a different light. No one ever really dies. Their memories –
and our memories of them – live on. Their energy can never
be destroyed. It can only pass from one form to another.
Although we never want to forget the horrors of what happened
on 9-11 – we also do not want to forget the beauty of how those
who’ve gone before us have lived. There’s gold in the memories
of our dearly departed. Let us never forget them.