Gabriel Interviews Emily©
by Maribeth Shanley
As the Board of Directors for the In-Between-World convened, the Board Chairman, Gabriel and four directors, Joseph, Clarisse, Zoe and Franklin sat at a round table where the recently deceased Emily waited.
The Board interviews new souls who have transitioned to the life between death and rebirth in order to review their most recent life. Typically Gabriel does not attend most interviews. Since he is known to represent life, hope and truth, he oversees interviews only with the purest of souls.
Gabriel addresses Emily: “Emily, on behalf of this Board of Directors for the In-Between-World, I want to welcome you.
Emily: “Thank you, sir. This was a hard transition to make. I loved this past existence. It was very difficult to leave.”
Gabriel: “Given the life you just left, we can all certainly understand. You had a wonderful life and left behind a family and friends who adored you.”
Emily: “Thank you so much for saying that, sir. I cherish my family and friends more than words can say.”
Gabriel: “Ok. Let’s begin. “Emily, we heard that you have a favorite song and artist. Is that true?”
Emily: “Yes sir, I do. The artist was known as Neil Young and the song was We Never Danced.”
Gabriel: “Why that song and artist?”
Emily: “It’s the first song Sean, my husband and the love of my past life danced to when we were still children.”
Gabriel: “I understand that you had already determined it would be your song even before your dance.”
Emily: “Yes, sir, I did.”
Gabriel: “Tell us all, Emily, so we can understand why you chose that song.”
Emily: “It was the week after I met Sean, who was then visiting his grandmother, Martha. I had just spent the day with Sean. That evening, I was feeling very sad and alone when I skipped watching TV with my family and sat in my room. I loved listening to this one CD of Neil’s. I was listening to the CD when I looked out my window and could see Sean standing at the window of his bedroom across the street where Martha lived. He was staring out the window. The words to We Never Danced, began playing and I wondered to myself if I would ever have the chance to dance with Sean. He touched my heart and soul like no one had ever done.
Gabriel: “Why Sean? What was so special about him?”
Smiling a sweet smile, Emily looked down at her hands which were folded in front of her on the table. She began thinking of her childhood as a tear bled from the corner of her eye and rolled down her cheek.
Emily: “I was the oldest daughter of four children. My grandma, Bertie, lived with us then. With grandma, we had seven individuals living in our household, yet I felt so alone and isolated.”
Gabriel: “Explain to us, Emily, why you felt alone and isolated in a household full of other people.”
Another tear wrung from her eye.
Emily: “My father began molesting me when I was only six years old. That molestation continued until I was twelve. He used to threaten me in a cajoling manner as he told me I was keeping our secret. Yet, it was never my secret. It was his. I spent those six years so afraid of him and what my mother and siblings would think of me if they knew the truth. So I never told.”
Gabriel: “What changed when you met Sean?”
Emily: “For the first time in my life, I felt another human being’s warmth and compassion. He genuinely seemed interested in me for myself. I felt the same when I met his grandmother, Martha. Then, when I met Jeannie Chandler, a girl my own age, I felt the same warmth and acceptance. Those were new feelings for me. I was only ten when I met Sean, but I think I immediately fell in love with him and that love only grew as we both matured.”
Gabriel: “Emily, tell us about your first dance with Sean. Tell us where you were and what you felt.”
Emily: “It was Jeannie’s 13th birthday. Her mom and dad gave her a birthday party the evening of her birthday. Jeannie knew about Neil Young’s song and also knew that her party would be the first time Sean and I would dance so, with the help of her mom, we devised a plan for Jeannie to play the song. When the song began, I grabbed Sean’s hand and told him it was our special song. He apologized because he didn’t realize how well he could dance. He expressed regret just in case he stepped all over my feet. I think I laughed and told him I didn’t mind if he stepped all over my feet because I was just so happy to dance with him.”
Gabriel: “I can see the smile on everyone’s face for such a sweet story." Then with a light laugh of approval ... "Tell us, Emily, did he step all over your feet?”
Emily: “No sir he didn’t. Martha and his mom had spent several days teaching him how to slow dance. He was a wonderful student because he danced extremely well.”
Gabriel: “Tell us more about that first dance.”
Emily: “Well, as he took my hand and put his arm around my waist then pulled me close, I felt as if I would faint. I remember as if it was yesterday how I could feel his breath against my ear as I listened to his heartbeat. That was the first time Sean took me to heaven.”
Gabriel: “That’s a beautiful story, Emily. I can see the tears in everyone’s eyes as you told that story. Now tell us about the remainder of that night and also about the following day. They were both pretty traumatic, weren’t they?”
Emily: “Yes, sir they were. The following day was extremely traumatic, but it was also the day I took my life back from my father.”
Gabriel: “Tell us about that evening and especially the following day. I’d like the rest of the board to get a feel for just how brave you proved yourself to be at the age of 12.”
Emily: “Well, sir, I don’t know if it was actually impressive, but it was the day that my life turned around for me. Thank you for saying that though.”
She took a deep breath and continued. “When Sean and I said good-night, I stepped into my house and immediately knew I was in danger. My dad had been spying on us from the dining room window. He was at work when Sean and I left for the party. He intended to molest me, so he used the excuse that he wanted to see how pretty I looked. But, I didn’t let him molest me. Instead, I told him I was going to bed and not to follow me upstairs. I felt pretty brave for telling him that; but I remember how angry he got. That night was the best night of my life and I was determined that he wasn’t going to ruin it for me. It worked for that night, but the next day was a totally different story.”
Gabriel: As he pushed his chair back from the table, he crossed his arms. “Emily tell us about the next day.”
Emily: “I was supposed to go to Mass the next morning with my mom and grandmother, but Mom was really sick. To make matters worse, my two sisters were complaining of sore throats so Mom told them they could stay home. Then I found out that my older brother, Paul had already gone to church with his friend. That’s when I panicked because that meant the only person left to go to church with was my dad. I knew how angry he was the night before when I wouldn’t let him touch me, so I was scared to death of going with him, but, I felt trapped. I knew I had to go with him because I just couldn’t alert my mom that anything was wrong. It was probably the worst day of my life, but it also became the best day because I stood up to my dad and told him that he would never, ever be allowed to touch me in such an unholy manner again.
He drove me past the church and down a lonely dirt road, into a clearing in a wooded area where he planned … I know this in my heart … to rape me. But that never happened because I found a pencil in the pocket of the passenger side door and, before I knew it, I jammed it in his hand when he slid his hand up my leg. Then, I jumped out of the car and threatened him that I would not only tell my mom what he had been doing to me all those years, but, more importantly, I would tell his boss, the base captain of the Navy base he was stationed at. He was the one who became panicked so I demanded that he take me home. Life completely changed after that. In fact, he not only stopped touching me but he actually became a nicer person to my mom who he always bullied.”
Clarisse: “My God, Emily, that was such an incredibly brave thing you did. I am extremely impressed.”
Everyone in the room was nodding their heads in agreement when Gabriel spoke again.
Gabriel: “We’re all very proud of what you did. But, we’re even more proud of what you did a few years later. Your dad did change, at least at home, during those next few years, but his life was cut short when you were 15 years old. Tell us about that year, Emily. Especially tell us what you said to your father as he lay on his death bed.”
Emily: “My father had a heart attack that year and never left the hospital. Mom took my siblings and me to the hospital the day before he died so we could say good-bye to him. Mom had no idea exactly what Dad had done to me all those years. She also thought he hurt his hand on a dirty broken bottle the day I stabbed his hand. So, when I went in to talk to him I had no idea what I was going to say. He told me how he had been molested when he was a child. I recall feeling terrible for him; but I also told him that the way he decided to behave toward his molestation was all wrong. He used what happened to him to justify molesting children, including me. I told him he stole everything from me and that I didn’t know if I could ever forgive him for that. He begged me to forgive him, but I just couldn’t. He hurt me deeper than anyone could ever have hurt me. He took away my trust and made me feel all alone in the world.”
Gabriel: “Yes, Emily, you did tell him all of that; but, you also urged him to do something else. What was that?”
Emily: “I told him that I wasn’t sure if I would ever forgive him. Then I told him that my forgiveness wasn’t important. The forgiveness he really needed was his own forgiveness of himself. I wanted him to forgive himself.”
Emily: “I thought if he could think in terms of forgiving himself, he would realize what a horrible thing he chose to do to innocent children like me. At the time, I thought I didn’t love my father; but later, I realized I actually did and I didn’t want him to suffer for what he did. I wanted him to find internal peace.”
Gabriel: “Emily that was a tremendous act of compassion. Your father was a very fortunate man to have such a kind daughter. I’m happy to tell you that you did save your father’s soul. Your words to him and your amazing compassion saved him from having to repeat his errors. In fact, he went back and is living a happy life; but, you already know that, don’t you, Emily?”
Emily: “Yes, sir, I do. I don’t know why Sean and I were chosen to have visitations from those who passed before us, but we were and that’s how I not only knew my dad did forgive himself, but I also knew that he returned to become the wife of my little boy, Dakota. He came back as a female because he wanted to know how it felt to be female and it was because of what I said to him that he chose to be a female. In fact, he, or rather she is now helping children and adults who have been victimized by molestation.”
Gabriel: “And you played a part in that decision.”
Emily: “A small part, but, yes sir I did. I think his soul was looking for a way to make amends in his present life.”
Gabriel: “That is correct, Emily. Now, one last thing before you ask us what you came here to ask. Trish, your daughter-in-law who is the reincarnated soul of your father, asked you a very delicate question shortly before you passed. Do you recall what she asked? More importantly, do you recall how you answered her?”
Emily: “Yes sir, I do remember both. It too was a very profound moment in my life.”
Gabriel: “Please, Emily, tell us about that profound moment.”
Emily: “Trish asked me if I was ever able to forgive my father. I had to think about the question when I realized I had known the answer for a long time. I basically explained that because I had dedicated my life to living in the light of love, that, in my life, there was no room for hate, revenge or darkness. Those are burdensome emotions that effect only one person, the person who holds onto those negative emotions. Thus, as I explained, although my decision was never a conscious one, I had forgiven him probably a very long time ago. When I told her that, I sensed feelings of relief on her part. I’m so happy she asked me that question, because it helped me to feel light when I passed. I needed to know that I had forgiven him, so, it was his soul that gave me back the gift I gave to him and I am so happy for that gift.”
There wasn’t a dry eye at that round table that day. Every one of the board members was moved by Emily’s words.
Gabriel: “Emily, you have lived your life in an exemplary manner. You stayed true to the promise you made when you transitioned to that life. You not only found love and happiness within yourself, but you found it in others. In addition, you helped your mother find happiness within her own soul and that allowed her to find another soul to share her joy with. Because you entered your last life with such love, you were able to not only give love but receive it. You had a wonderful life with Sean, stayed true to your friend, Jeannie, and brought into the world three souls who called you mother. For that, Emily, you have earned the right to choose your next life without restrictions. We all know you will chose well. Now, we know that you have three immediate requests and we’re ready to hear those requests.”
Emily: “Yes, sir, I do have three requests.
My first request. I know it’s not customary to return to a past life through a visitation; at least not immediately. However, sir, my husband, Sean is heartbroken by my departure. I would like permission to visit him tonight in order to comfort him, give him hope and, most importantly, ask him to comfort our children. He needs to see and hear me because I’m afraid he will become withdrawn from our children and life. That is my first request.
My second request. I believe I saw Neil Young in the group of souls who welcomed me when I transitioned. I would like permission to have Neil play and sing “We Never Danced” once more for Sean and myself when I do go back to see Sean. I would like to have one last dance with Sean and a dance would not be a dance without the right song being played and sung by the original artist.
My third request. I wish to stay here at least until Sean dies and we can be reunited here before going back. We made a promise to each other that we would return to human form in order to find one another so we could be married again. While I’m here, I’d like to have the opportunity to counsel those souls who did not learn the lessons they were meant to learn in their last lives. I’d like to help them make the right decisions while here so that they don’t have to go back and suffer again.
Sir, I make these three requests with humility. It’s just so important to give my precious family hope; and, I believe this is how I can give them that gift, through Sean. Too, knowing what my words to my dad did for him, I am hoping I can do the same for others.”
Gabriel: He stood and addressed the four members. “If anyone objects to these three requests, please speak now. If no one objects, then I declare that Emily has been granted all three requests. Personally, I am convinced that Emily has earned all three requests and I would like to give her permission.”
Not one member spoke. Instead, they all sat looking lovingly and approvingly at Emily who became overwhelmed with gratitude.
As Gabriel ended the meeting, everyone stood and hugged Emily thanking her for living such a loving and humane life. They wished her the greatest of happiness in her next life.