Read the Introduction from "Closer Than You Think"

Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
Closer Than You Think
The Easy Guide to Connecting with Loved Ones on the Other Side

By Deborah Heneghan

Book Excerpt: Introduction

Have you ever lost someone you love and wondered if she's trying to reach out, send you signs, or let you know she's okay? Have you hoped to establish a clearer connection with her? It can be remarkably easy when you know what to do. The payoff, as you'll see, is life changing.

I was fifteen when my seventeen-year-old sister died of Leukemia. A few weeks later, I woke up in the middle of the night in my pitch-black bedroom to a faint whisper summoning me . . .

"Deb, Deb, Deb."

I opened my eyes, and there she stood at my bedside. My eyes traced the outline of her body. Her thin frame was unmistakable.

It's Kathy! I thought. I had no doubt.

Trembling with excitement, I reached my hand out to try to touch her. As I leaned in toward her image, she vanished. In a panic, I jolted, fell back, and flew under my covers.

What did I just do? Did I scare her away? Is she okay? Is something wrong? Did she need something from me? Where did she go?

Seeing her, even for that moment, changed my life forever.

The next morning, confused but curious, I started talking to my sister about everything and anything. I continued this for days, and without realizing this was possible, the signs, messages, and answers to my thoughts and questions started flowing in.

When I needed confirmation of something, I'd flick on the radio and hear "Don't Stop Believin'"-her favorite song by Journey. I'd awaken in the middle of the night to see 3:10 on the alarm clock-her favorite number combination-with the big, bold, red digital numbers glowing brightly on the panel as if validating my question or concern. (I see this number all the time now-on license plates in front of me, on billboards or buildings on my way to work, or in glancing at my clock just when I need a sign. It's become our code and lets me know Kathy is watching over me.)

Little did I know at first, but we were establishing a method of communication between worlds. From time to time, I felt what I like to call an invisible hug wrap around me. My senses heightened, becoming more aware of these messages. Our conversations grew, and I talked with Kathy as if she were right beside me. I kept a log, a diary of sorts, of the most obvious angelic signs-something I'll teach you to do in Chapter 4 (I call it my Angel in a Pocket). Remarkably, Kathy and I built a trust between us, providing me with invaluable guidance and support as well as the confidence I needed to move forward. I like to think I also helped my sister fulfill unrealized dreams from her life. There was no question; this was a new relationship.

It's been over two decades, and Kathy's angelic imprint is still everywhere in my life, a constant. It's so obvious at times that it's downright comical. She's guided me into some of the best work and life situations I've ever experienced, and she's saved me from danger, once literally saving my life! Our relationship is a joyous two-way connection in which I continue her work here on earth, my own work expands, and she continues guiding and protecting me as my big sister. What started off as a bit of a lark-living for two-has morphed from the reaction of a heartbroken teenager to a lifelong practice. She never ceases guiding, entertaining, and blessing our family and me beyond belief. I never cease thinking of her and her dreams, and carrying her with me. Each of us healed through the other. I want that for you, too.

The powerful ways in which my sister helps me, comforts me, and communicates with me create a blueprint for you to follow. With this book, your relationship with your loved one can be one of the most fulfilling, protective, fun, natural, and beautiful things in your world-so much so that you'll believe, as I do now, that death is a beautiful part of life; a beginning, not an end. If that sounds too unbelievable from where you now stand,

I understand. Perhaps you're in a crisis of faith, as I once was. Losing someone near and dear to your heart challenges faith as nothing else can. I'm excited to share stories and techniques that have helped me and countless others restore and grow our faith, so much so that the first chapter is devoted to that subject. Also, at the end of each chapter, you'll find a core Fundamental to help you work through challenging situations and to keep you focused on your many blessings.

In case you're wondering, I assure you, I'm not one of those woo-woo types who sneezes rainbows and moonbeams. I do not have my head in the clouds. I'm a working mother with two young boys and stress like anyone else. I don't live in la-la land but rather in traditional Pennsylvania. I wear business suits, and I design software solutions for IBM. I teach tele-seminars and provide grief and life coaching to spread the profound healing I've received since my sister's death. I also enable people to find their way on their spiritual path through spiritual workshops and retreats and by sharing wisdom, experiences, and stories as an Internet radio host.