Irene: Yvonne, what inspired you to write More Than Meets the Eye: True Stores About Death, Dying and Afterlife?
Yvonne: I have always been curious about the other side, but while my uncle was on life support for almost a year, I kept sensing that I was being visited by his spirit. Moments after he passed away, (before my mother called to share the news) I heard my uncle’s voice in my head and knew that he had passed. He told me what songs he wanted me to play and sing at his funeral. I hadn’t yet been asked to play, but when my mother did call to tell me my uncle had passed, she also requested I sing and play for the funeral. Of course the songs my aunt picked were the same songs my uncle had requested during his supernatural visit. I sensed my uncle’s presence at the ceremony so strongly that I could only smile while everyone else was crying. To me, he had not “gone” anywhere. He was closer than ever.
Irene: Did you have a close connection with your uncle while he was alive?
Yvonne: Not really and that is why it was so strange that he chose to connect with me. He lived at least twenty hours away so I only saw him once a year. Somehow our spirits were more connected than our lives intertwined.
Irene: Your book is about quite a touchy subject that most people are afraid to talk about. How would you encourage people to face the subject and read your book?
Yvonne: I think most people are afraid of things they do not understand, and they either try to avoid the matter or find a way to invalidate their experience. The American view of death and afterlife is deeply rooted in fearful superstition and religious dogma that suggests punishment for sin. Much of this does not align with the experiences had by people who have had a glimpse of the other side. Due to fear of being rejected by family, friends and religious organizations, people are not comfortable sharing anything that veers from the path of what society considers “normal.” I find that when I talk about my spiritual experiences, people are genuinely interested and they feel safe enough to share similar encounters they have had. Once the ice is broken, they find the conversation so comforting and liberating, they want to read my book.
Irene: What do you mean by spiritual experiences?
Yvonne: communicating with the spirits of deceased people, having non-physical beings (angels, guides) interact with me, remembering parts of my past lives, picking up on another person’s energy field i.e.: knowing what is going on with them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Irene: In your book you talk about experiences that some people have had. Most have the same experience. Would you please tell us about the commonality that occurs?
Yvonne: First, I need to determine if you are referring to the near-death or out-of-body experiences or to spirit communication with the deceased.
1. The NDE: The most common things experienced are: a feeling of unconditional love, a life review, being able to communicate telepathically, seeing deceased loved ones or angelic beings, seeing a light or tunnel, being given a choice of staying there or coming back to the present life, and accessing knowledge or record books pertaining to their life’s mission.
2. Spirit Communication: Most people who are energy sensitive are able to see, hear, sense or feel a presence in the room with them and are able to communicate telepathically with the being. Commonly, a bit of knowledge or a request is exchanged in the encounter.
Irene: What is the difference between near-death or out-of-body experiences?
Yvonne: A near-death experience occurs when a person is in a life-threatening situation or is actually pronounced dead then returns to the body. An out-of-body experience can occur during a life-threatening situation, or while in meditation or sleep (astral travel). Some people are able to have an out-of-body experience at will.
Irene: You have had some “close calls” yourself. Tell us about your near-death experience.
Yvonne: In 1977, I was burned in a grease fire that my brother and I set while our parents were not home. In my effort to put out the fire, I picked up the flaming skillet and started walking toward the door to get the pan out of the house. My hand caught fire, so I sat the flaming skillet down on the table to extinguish my hand. The tablecloth caught fire. I picked up the flaming skillet again and threw it through the screen door. Grease splattered everywhere; I slipped and fell to the floor. I was then aware of myself in two dimensions: from above the scene near the ceiling where I was looking down, as well as in my body as I sat inside the wall of flames. I remember feeling no pain; I was not panicking and felt totally peaceful even by the thought of dying. While my body instinctly kicked and tried to get out of harm’s way, I saw my life flash before my eyes and read a quick glimpse of my obituary in a newspaper column. I saw my parents saddened and grieving for me and I knew I had to live. It all happened in the flash of a second and when I re-entered my body, which had suffered 1st, 2nd and severe 3rd degree burns, I immediately felt excruciating pain and wanted to go back to the peaceful place where I had been hovering. The fire had completely gone out when I got up from the floor. I have not feared death since that day.
In 1988, I had emergency gall-bladder surgery to remove a gallstone that was blocking my bile duct and causing my gall-bladder to perforate. Toxins were starting to leak into my body and I had a sense that I was dying. Even so, I knew everything was going to be fine and I felt no sense of panic or fear. I had seen a huge, bright light either in a dream-like drug-induced state or in an experience I had while under anesthesia. When I awoke in the recovery room, I asked if I was still in heaven. A nurse answered, “Not hardly.” I was so angry to be back in my body on earth and having lived through the surgery. I did not want to be here. It took me years to get past the feeling that I had somehow been cheated by having to come back.
Irene: In More Than Meets the Eye you address suicide and some peoples beliefs as to what happens after suicide. What is your opinion of what happens to the person and what do you base your belief on?
Yvonne: I no longer believe in a punishing God. I do believe that the eternal soul incarnates from body to body on its evolutionary path. I believe we create our own heaven and hell by the beliefs we own and the choices we make. Therefore, I realize that we are here for a purpose that our soul knows quite well regardless of what our conscious mind tells us. With certain things to accomplish in a lifetime, a soul who leaves a body prematurely will need to come back into a human body to complete the assignment. It only makes sense that a suicide is the result of a soul deciding to abort its mission. Once that soul reaches the other side, it realizes the mistake, gains insight about what needs to change, then prepares to come back to finish what it started. I base this upon what people have shared with me from their own supernatural experiences, research I have done and what the soul of a suicide victim showed me when I inquired of him on behalf of his mother who was severely grieving and troubled over what might happen to him as a result of his actions.
Irene: You talk to souls of people that are deceased? Explain to our readers how you do this.
Yvonne: I rarely initiate contact with a deceased spirit unless I am asked by a living relative and feel it is in the best interest of everyone involved to do so. However, there are times when I am in public that I accidentally tap into someone’s field. There are also times when I am alone and sense a presence wanting to make contact with me. In any of these instances, I may hear voices in my head that I know are not my own thoughts, or sense an energetic shift around me; I may feel a sensation as if someone is touching me, or I may see a mist or grey cloud hovering. Many times it is simply a sense of “knowing” some bit of information that has not been revealed to me in traditional ways such as sensing when a woman is pregnant when she hasn’t told anyone.
There have been times when spirits, not so lovingly have tried to attach to me. One actually broke a glass bowl in my kitchen to get my attention. Since then, I have set strong boundaries with the spirit world and they know not to contact me, enter my home or tap into my field without my permission. I have asked my angels and guides to set a watch around me and keep out intruders who have foul intentions. This is very necessary for anyone who is energy sensitive and finds themselves picking up illnesses or experiencing mood swings that have no logical source.
Irene: There are a lot of controversial thoughts around euthanasia, and you explain two types in your book. Late Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a renowned expert on death and dying, has changed many people’s thinking about their last days of life. She felt that euthanasia robbed people from completing their lessons and resolving issues that occurred during one’s life. What are your thoughts on this subject and why?
Yvonne: I respect and value Dr. Ross’s views about a soul needing time at the end of a life cycle to complete whatever unfinished business remains. I also consider the natural course of action a body in the same condition would have taken 100 years ago when we did not have life support technology and equipment. The most natural course for a body that has no hope of survival would be to allow the spirit to leave and the body fade away. Life support is a valuable tool for helping a person revive and live a healthy life. While each case is unique and should be approached individually, it is not usually in the best interest of the patient or his/her family to support a body in a vegetative state. Realizing that the soul has many more opportunities in the Afterlife and future lifetimes to resolve its issues and complete its evolution, it makes no sense to keep a soul imprisoned in a body that has no hope of recovery.
Irene: If you were to take the most important point from your book and share it with your readers, what would it be?
Yvonne: Listen to your inner voice, intuition or Holy Spirit (whatever you choose to call it) and you will find direction in fulfilling your life’s purpose. Interact with your guides and angels. Grieving the loss of a loved one is normal and everyone needs to allow themselves to feel legitimate emotions. However, the fear of death is an irrational fear. Death is just another realm of consciousness for which our spirit is preparing to enter. Letting go is much easier when you know that your loved one, not bound my human restraints, is happy and able to be near you in spirit.Irene: Is there anything else that you would like readers to know about you or your book?
Yvonne: Make sure you have a living will. This removes your family’s burden and any guilt associated with making critical medical decisions for you should you be unable to do so. There is a free copy of a legal living will that you may download from my website: www.writersinthesky.com.