She hooked me with a blurb:
“And really, darling, there is no one to forgive, because we signed up to do this dance together before we were born. We weren’t acting out some type of I-did-something-wrong-to-you-in-another-life-and-I’m-paying-for-it-now kind of thing.”
When you’ve broken as many book bindings as I have, you begin to notice a common factor: books, like all things, come to us when we need them the most. When this quote was shared in one of my Facebook groups, I knew I had to read The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There’s Live After Death.
After a lifetime of playing the protective, sympathetic younger sister, Annie Kagan discovers her bad-boy brother Billy has died: homeless, in the depths of addiction, possessing a criminal record. Three weeks later, Annie wakes up on her birthday to hear Billy’s voice above her, “Annie! Annie! It’s me! It’s me! It’s Billy!” And so begins Annie and Billy’s extensive after death communications (ADC).
From then on Billy shares in sensory detail his experience of the other side. According to him, it will be slightly different for each soul. Since none of us experience this reality the same, his insight did not surprise me and explained why accounts of the other side often vary. This got me wondering if the beliefs we have while we are alive determine what we will experience in our afterlife. I asked Annie Kagan her thoughts;
Annie - Our beliefs affect the first or lowest levels of the afterlife. When you first enter the world beyond this one, it is subjective, very affected by the beliefs we held on earth. The higher worlds that are closer to the light are more objective.
If you started having conversations with the spirit of your loved one, you would more than likely question your sanity and would keep the communication a secret. Over the course of the book, Annie works through these same concerns, keeping their communications secret until Billy confronts her fears, “Don’t be overly concerned about how you look in the eyes of others. People will pretty much see you as they will. Play your part in the cosmic drama, but never forget, baby, that you choose the way you see yourself. Don’t let others do the casting.” Billy explains to Annie that she must let her fear of judgment go because the two of them are predestined to write this book.
Now that the book has been out for almost a year and has been well received (4.5 stars out of 405 reviews on Amazon), I asked Annie if any of the reactions to the book have surprised her;
Anne - I am surprised every day by people’s reactions. I never expected the book to be as successful as it is although I definitely put a lot of energy into getting it into the world. Truthfully, I did it out of my love for Billy most of all. When I get an email from a mother or father who has lost a child, I am in awe that there is something at work that feels much bigger than me, and I am very, very grateful.
For many people (myself included), communication with those who have passed on changes us profoundly. I was curious if Annie’s discussions with Billy have altered her spiritual practices.
Annie - My spiritual practice is now all about freedom. Fascination with my emotions and thoughts in an unconditional way, imagining myself as a universe absorbing the mysterious energy of Source, and also organizing my drawers are all things that connect me with my essence.
Self-acceptance was a major theme in The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, and it was the message I needed to hear. I find the self-help movement to be wearing with its static message of self-change. In comparison, Billy discusses how our constant judgment, beliefs, and self-ridicule eventually paralyze our lives. “Never assume that anyone is fortunate or unfortunate because of the way things appear to be. Fortune or misfortune is just a human way of measuring.” Billy goes on to discuss how his “bad-boy life” and the negative perceptions most people had about him were spiritually unfounded. He explains how his addiction centered life was a direct manifestation of his soul’s desire to experience life as an eventful drama. When he looks back on his life from the other side, he quickly concludes that he lived exactly how he intended to. For those who are living with a “bad” boy/girl in their own life, this book may be particularly enlightening.
This book was page after page of profound wisdom. I found Billy and Annie’s communications to be thought provoking, inspirational, and timely - which circles us back to destiny. I asked Annie what she attributed her ability to communicate with Billy’s spirit to. Was it the result of their relationship, a special intuitive gift she possessed, an ability she had, or needing to live out this experience with him?
Annie - I believe that writing this book was my destiny. Looking back on my life, it seems that composing music, writing lyrics, being a chiropractor and doing extensive meditation, all set the stage for writing this book. I believe that Billy and I planned to do this together before we were born into life as brother and sister. And although this seems like a very personal experience it really isn’t. Billy is talking to everyone who wants to listen. I have written about what my experience is like so that the reader has a way to identify.
Books come to each of us when we need them the most. Annie Kagan and Billy were destined to share this experience. I was destined to read and share it. Now The Afterlife of Billy Fingers has fallen into your life. The question is, are you going to discover why?
Visit here if you'd like to purchase a copy of The Afterlife of Billy Fingers.
Connect to Annie Kagan on Facebook.
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