The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death (7 page)

BOOK: The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death
12.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“My sister died a few months ago. She just got sick and died, all of a sudden, like that. She wasn't even twenty. Thank you so much for sharing your story about Billy. I think that you're, you're like some kind of sign from her.”

I was taken aback. This was the first time I had told a complete stranger about Billy, and he didn't think I was crazy. He thought I was a messenger.

“Yes,” I agreed, remembering Billy's message that morning. “It must be a sign.”

Walking from the spa to my small, musty room, the woods and sky were humming with the Billy effect. Billy must have had something to do with my meeting Vincent. Did Vincent's sister have something to do with it too?

As I ate a bowl of chickpea soup in the restaurant before heading home, Vincent came to my table. He handed me a tiny round red straw basket with three crystals inside. Vincent explained that the clear quartz was for the mind, the rose quartz for the heart, and the rare dark red citrine was for the blood, as in brother and sister.

More Proof

fter I returned from my trip to the Catskills, I told my writing group about Vincent. When I admitted that sharing my Billy experience with a stranger had been more a gift than torture, Tex gave me her I-told-you-so look.

The next morning was misty. As the late April showers turned the earth fragrant and green, Billy showed up sounding lazy, his words softly drawn out.

Tell . . . Steve . . . lead . . . us . . . not . . . into . . . temptation.

I phoned Steve at the office to deliver the message.

“Billy just gave me a message for you. ‘Lead us not into temptation.’ What does it mean?”

“It doesn't mean anything,” he said. His voice was clipped. “Listen, I have a meeting and I'm late. We'll talk later.”

I was surprised. This was the first time my brother had missed the mark.

A few hours later Steve called back.

“In the middle of my meeting, one of my partners told a story, and the punch line was . . . Lead us not into temptation. He repeated it twice. I almost fell off
my chair. I guess any doubts I had about your brother are gone.”

After Steve hung up, Billy gave me another clue.

Tex . . . Bach . . . flower . . . remedy . . . clematis.

Bach flower remedies are a kind of homeopathic treatment for emotional distress. I speed-dialed Tex.

“Did you ever hear of Bach flower remedies?”

She laughed. “Yeah.”

“What's so funny?” I asked.

“I'll tell you after. Go on.”

“Well, Billy wants you to take one called clematis.”

“Just yesterday, my sister said I should take a Bach flower remedy. I'd never heard of them before. Now Billy's prescribing one? This is wild.”

Tex and I went online and searched clematis. It was for people who prefer to live in a dream world rather than reality. That fit Tex to a T.

“Billy wants me to know he's watching me,” said Tex. “And watching out for me.”

Twenty minutes later, Billy gave me another prescription.

Lola . . . Bach . . . remedy . . . vervain.

Lola was Guru Guy's girlfriend. Both of them had been following the Billy story, so I immediately called Guru Guy and delivered the message. He called me back minutes later.

“I just gave Lola Billy's message and guess what? She was at a health food store looking through the Bach remedies when I called. Guess what else? She had a vial of vervain in her hand.”

These proofs, coming all on the same day, made me feel like I was in a wonderland—an invisible reality that Billy was making real for me. I put on a yellow slicker and drove to a nearby fishing village, then sat on a weathered wooden bench, looking out to sea.

It was July when I'd last seen Billy. We were sitting on this same bench, drinking coffee and eating donuts. Guru Guy had rescued him from Venezuela the previous summer and Billy had come up from Florida to visit. When we went into a donut shop, he ordered for me. I was surprised that he remembered I liked vanilla icing, rather than chocolate. I loved being near my big brother, watching the waves roll in. Now, though, sitting alone in the rain I sensed his presence all around me.

Part Two
Even the Soul Changes
Becoming the Universe

illy went silent for a while, though sometimes I could feel him around as I went about my day. It was almost June when he visited me again, but he sounded very different. His voice was slow, hypnotic, and dreamy, and seemed to be coming from far, far away.

I know my voice sounds funny today—far off and kind of intoxicated. Don't get scared, little one. I'm not high
I'm just further along than I was before. I'm alone, but it's a good alone, not like the alone I felt those last years of my life.

After you die, you spend a lot of time, solo time, exploring yourself as a Universe. Do you believe that? You are the Universe. But society teaches you different. Society teaches limitation. Believe me, Annie, everything you ever need is already inside you. And who you really are is far beyond your comprehension. That's why living squeezed into the human experience can be painful at times. It was for me.

It's been, what, about four months since I was hit by God's delivery service?

I thought I'd never get tired of watching my hologram. But after a while it became clear that all roads ultimately
led me to the same place—the present moment, floating out here in space, which is a lot more fascinating than looking back at the life I left behind. My hologram must have had some built-in destruct mechanism, because as I lost interest in it the images faded to nothing.

As the last image evaporated, out of nowhere this super-radiant vertical ray of blue-white light burst onto the scene. The light beam was about ten times my size (I don't really have a size, but you know what I mean) and reminded me of a stick figure zigzagging like a wavy electric current. Coming out of its body were a bunch of fluorescent branches that looked like arms reaching in my direction. This light seemed friendly, glad to see me. I felt friendly toward it, too, but since I had no idea what the proper protocol was I didn't say or do anything. I figured I wasn't the one in charge.

You're probably curious about why I felt friendly toward a giant figure with lightning tentacles, but the benevolence of whoever or whatever this was left no room for fear. I'm pretty sure it was one of those invisible Higher Beings who's been hanging around. Maybe I'm only ready to meet it in this form. Or maybe this is its form. I can't really say.

What I can say is that the Higher Beings seem to be particular attributes of the Divine Presence. This Presence—the limitless light that fills the Universe everywhere—its personality contains every good quality imaginable. Perfect wisdom? Yes. Tender compassion? Of course. All-encompassing love? Definitely. Whatever qualities come under the heading of benevolence, that
virtue is right there in the light. It's different with these Higher Beings. They're more specific, more personal, like the Divine Presence is focused through a prism. And the colored rays that come through the prism—these are the Higher Beings.

Anyway, as the lightning-type Being came closer to me, it radiated an electric kind of energy right through its phosphorescent arms. I compare it to electricity not because it was painful in any way but because it gave me a jolt. The kindness and understanding from the Higher Beings now comes to me from myself. I love myself as I never could have when I first arrived in the afterlife. I guess that means even the soul changes.

If there's one thing worth doing on your planet, it's discovering self-love. I say “discovering” instead of “learning” because learning implies you're starting from zero; but the truth is, you already love yourself. When you're born, when the amnesia happens, you forget your magnificence, and think you have to earn the right to be loved. How can you earn what already belongs to you?

My encounter with the Light Being began a new phase of my journey, the phase I'm now in: becoming the Universe. That electric jolt made me rise up, spread out, and expand across the cosmos. I've got stars and moons and galaxies inside and around me. There's some kind of processing happening, like there's a giant pinball machine of light waves inside me, and the sensation keeps getting better and better.

The thing about becoming the Universe is—and I'm going to say this but the words aren't really going to do it
justice—the more I let go of my so-called self, the better I feel. As I blend more and more into the Universal energy, I think, “This is it, I'm going to lose myself.” But it feels so good I don't care, so I let go and blend. Then, lo and behold, I'm still myself, but more blissed out. That's why I sound so dreamy.

Becoming the Universe is how I understand the incomprehensible nature of this otherness, how I venture into a dimension of what you may call the Source. And I can say, most inadequately, that at the center of everything is an energy, an immaterial material that for lack of a better word I'll identify as
Wow, baby sister, and how I love and how good it feels, this love. You can't imagine it. You really can't. There is no way for you to.

I guess that ordinarily someone going through this isn't talking about it, just experiencing it, but who knows? Who knows why you can hear me? After I died, I could see you and I could see all that pain in you, and I started to talk to try to make you feel better. It was a big surprise that you could hear me. I'm as surprised as you are. And speaking of surprises, one is coming.

I was having a hard time hearing Billy. He sounded like someone slowly coming out of anesthesia or waking up from a deep sleep. Although his voice was faint, the euphoric feeling that his words carried with them was stronger than ever.

I took a blanket and some pillows and spread them on the deck outside my bedroom. It was a breezy
morning, and the moon was still visible. Could what was happening to Billy up there happen in some way to me down here?

I wanted to become the Universe, like my brother. Staring at the vast, cloudless blue sky, my confusion about what to do with my life began to dissolve. Maybe I didn't have to be a particular someone or something. Maybe I could let go of all the ways I define myself. Maybe it was okay for things to be just the way they are.

My reverie was disturbed by the phone ringing. It was someone asking permission for my meditation teacher to use two of my songs on a program to be aired around the world. Years ago, I'd sent my teacher a CD of my songs, but I'd never expected anything to come of it. What a surprise! Billy was right, again.

I was filled with questions. How does Billy know what's going to happen? How far into the future can he see? Can he see my whole life? Can he influence what will happen? Is Billy simply some super-psychic part of myself? The questions seemed to loosen the earth's gravitational pull on me. I felt like the air.

Two Universes Passing in the Light

y moodiness returned the following morning, but mood swings were a price I was now willing to pay. I couldn't wait to hear from Billy again. Days passed with no sign. Was he gone? Had his voice become so faint that it was impossible for me to hear him?

Ten days later, at dawn, I saw an oval-shaped blue light hovering high above my bed. I knew it was Billy. I focused on the light, and soon I could hear his voice, which had become even more languorous than before.

Can you hear me? I know I sound farther away but if you concentrate, you'll still be able to hear me. The more you try to listen, the more you'll be able to hear.

I'm feeling quite nostalgic. You sometimes feel that after you're dead, nostalgia. But no more neuralgia, arthralgia, fibromyalgia. None of those other “algias” plague you up here in heaven. Did I say heaven? I guess I did.

I was floating all alone enjoying becoming the Universe, and what happens? Along comes Ingrid, my first wife. I cannot convey the joy, which is way too small a word to describe what I experienced when I got
my first look at Ingrid in spirit form. The last time I saw her we were both on earth and she was on morphine, dying of cancer.

Ingrid was now also becoming the Universe. Her suns and moons and stars were arranged in a constellation that resembled the shape of a woman. She was doing this very feminine dance of love, moving her gorgeous starry hips back and forth as she circled around my Universe with hers. Ingrid has always been quite a seductress. Seeing her like that almost tempted me right back into a body again. Almost.

As soon as I saw this dancing Universe, I knew right away it was her. I think each soul has its own particular qualities and when you've been really close to someone, you recognize their soul no matter what form it takes.

Ingrid's soul wasn't old or young, just what you might call ageless. As she got closer, I could see that the stars in her Universe reflected different phases of Ingrid and her story. All the ages and stages of her life were there.

In one star I saw an innocent blonde baby digging up sand on a beach. In another, a scantily dressed teenage Ingrid danced on stage in Las Vegas. God, she was gorgeous. There was a star that showed her strung out on cocaine, and one of her doing time in jail. I can see that's where she got her mean streak. Then, there was my favorite Ingrid, my voluptuous Swedish bride, looking at me with those big green eyes like I was the whole world. Ingrid the crazy tigress with the hair-trigger temper was also there in the stars, but it was blended in, so it didn't seem so bad

Shining through all these different aspects of Ingrid was her soul. And her soul was, without question, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I never even had a vague idea of her Divine magnificence when we were alive.

If I could have seen the ravishing beauty of Ingrid's soul while I was alive, I would have been so overwhelmed I don't think I could have functioned. But here, I'm just drifting in space, floating around, becoming the Universe. There's nothing I really have to do.

BOOK: The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death
12.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

One Wild Cowboy by Cathy Gillen Thacker
Deceitful Vows by Mackin, A.
White Horse Talisman by Andrea Spalding
Running Towards Love by Adams, Marisa
Apotheosis of the Immortal by Joshua A. Chaudry
Kill the King by Eric Samson
The Jackal Man by Kate Ellis
Flipped Off by Zenina Masters