Afterlives of the Rich and Famous

This book is about current events in the lives of celebrities who’ve passed away, as reported by a “resident expert” on the Other Side whose name is Francine. Two obvious questions probably leap to mind: “Who’s Francine?” and “Since these celebrities are dead, doesn’t that pretty much mean they’re doing nothing?” Believe me, if I didn’t have good answers to those questions, this book wouldn’t exist.

As for the first question, Francine is my Spirit Guide. Like your Spirit Guide and everyone else’s, she’s been with me all my life. You’ll find a complete definition of Spirit Guides and what they do for us in the glossary, so for now I’ll just tell you about her.

I was born psychic, with an inherited ability to “tune in” to the spirit world of the Other Side. At first, starting when I was five years old, I was only clairvoyant—that is, able to see spirits (and I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it, believe me). But then one night when I was eight, I discovered with an equal lack of glee that I was also clairaudient, or able to hear spirits, as well, when a chirpy, high-pitched voice came crashing into my bedroom and announced, “Don’t be afraid, Sylvia. I come from God.”

My beloved, brilliantly psychic Grandmother Ada explained, after prying her terrified granddaughter from around her legs, that the voice was simply my Spirit Guide introducing herself, that we all have Spirit Guides, and that they’re around to gently help us navigate our way through these brief trips away from Home. And so, tentatively at first, I began communicating with Francine. Throughout our sixty-five years together she’s never lied to me, never betrayed me, and never steered me wrong (I took care of that on my own). She’s also been a fascinating, invaluable source of volumes of information about the afterlife.

It’s a requirement of all Spirit Guides that they’ve incarnated—otherwise, our problems, worries, and missteps on earth would be incomprehensibly trivial to them, living as they do in the blissful perfection of the Other Side and seeing everything that happens through the perspective of eternity. Francine (who introduced herself as Ilena, which I apparently didn’t like and promptly changed to Francine) only chose to incarnate once, as an Aztec-Incan woman who died at the age of nineteen, in
1520, saving her infant daughter from a spear during the Spanish invasion of Colombia. She’s accompanying me through this lifetime as a result of a mutual agreement we made at Home, before I decided to come to earth again for the fifty-secondth and last time.

I’ve communicated with Francine every day of my life since I was eight, and I love everything about her but her voice. Like everyone in the spirit world, she lives on a plane that exists on a much higher frequency than ours, with the result that when she talks, she sounds like a tape recording played on fast-forward. I intend no disrespect—I’m deeply grateful for her guidance and for the fact that I can hear her—but it took me a while to even be able to understand her, and after just a few short sentences, listening to her can be downright irritating.

When I was in my late teens, I began wishing that other people could hear the wealth of wisdom she had to offer without subjecting myself to hours of that annoying, chirpy, Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks voice. She came up with the perfect solution: with my permission, she could borrow my body and my vocal cords and, instead of talking to me, she could talk through me. In other words, by going into a trance and essentially “stepping aside” temporarily, I could channel her, for as long or short a time as I wanted, with no risk to me whatsoever. I wouldn’t have any memory of what she said while I was “gone,” but she could give talks and lectures without driving me or others crazy, and people could record her on tape if I wanted to check out what went on in my absence.

I wanted no part of it when she first suggested it—I wasn’t about to turn over control of my body and voice to anyone, thank you, not even to someone I trusted as much as I had come to trust her. But I finally agreed to try it, if only to prove her wrong, find out I hated it, and determine never to let it happen again.

As always, she was right. It was so harmless that there was nothing about it for me to hate, and I’ve been routinely channeling Francine ever since, going through the simple process of announcing her impending arrival, closing my eyes, and letting my spirit “take a break” from my body, so that she can “come in.” Her voice is mine, of course, but her speech pattern is slower, her vocabulary and knowledge far exceed mine, and as a resident of the Other Side she’s able to give eyewitness accounts of everyone and everything that goes on there.

Throughout the years she’s given countless lectures to groups ranging from ten people to thousands, and she’s provided an inexhaustible amount of extraordinary, profound information for any number of my books. She doesn’t participate when I give readings, largely because she usually responds to earthly problems (including mine) with the accurate but unhelpful assurance, “Everything will work out as it’s meant to.” It frustrates me, so I can only imagine how it would frustrate my clients.

For decades now, after certain celebrities have passed away, I’ve had calls from the press asking for my psychic input on anything those celebrities might have to say or any information I had to offer about their lives or transition to their afterlives. Francine contributed an enormous amount of that information. And I don’t mind admitting that over the years I’ve checked with Francine many times about “deceased” celebrities I especially loved (or, in one case in particular, especially didn’t). Slowly but surely, with an emphasis on “slowly,” it occurred to me that a book about celebrity afterlives might be of interest to a wide variety of people, from their fans to their families. I began assembling brief biographies, and those were fascinating enough all by themselves—even while putting together biographies of celebrities whose lives I would have sworn I knew all about, I kept thinking, “I didn’t know that.”

And then, while my friend and assistant, Linda, sat beside me with a tape recorder running, I channeled Francine and let Linda ask question after question, late celebrity after late celebrity. What you’ll find in this book, then, is a collection of biographies and Francine’s comments, transcribed and edited from the tapes of those trance sessions, as much or as little as she had to say about each name that came up, unless it was too indiscreet to include. (Francine has no filters when it comes to answering questions.) I’m not kidding about “as much or as little as she had to say,” either, believe me. When she was finished talking about someone, she was finished, no matter how many more questions Linda asked her, sometimes because that’s all
there is and sometimes because, frankly, apathy might set in on Francine’s part. “We all love each other here,” she explained more than once, “but that doesn’t mean we all find each other interesting.” In fact, there were a few names Linda brought up (after I’d spent hours gathering information for their biographies, I might add) to which Francine simply replied, “No.” That’s it. Just “no.” She didn’t even care to discuss why she was saying no, and I didn’t blame Linda one bit for leaving it at that and moving on.

Francine also asked me to clarify what might be a misimpression in reading her comments. Several of her discussions include other celebrities with whom the celebrity in question socializes, works, or performs, and she doesn’t mean to imply that celebrities on the Other Side only hang out with other celebrities. For one thing, the whole concept of celebrity is meaningless at Home, where everyone is of equally admired status. For another thing, she thought it would be more interesting to us here on earth to limit her observations to names with which we’re probably familiar. The way she put it was, “I could tell you that one of your celebrities enjoys horseback riding with John Smith or taking guitar lessons with Susie Jones, but would anyone care?” I had to admit that no, we probably wouldn’t. So please don’t be misled by her genuine efforts to edit herself on our behalf. All things considered, I’m sure she did us a favor.

As for the second obvious question about this book—doesn’t the word “dead” tell us all there is to know about what someone’s doing?—the answer is a resounding, comforting, “Not even close.” God’s promise to us, as part of our birthright from the moment He created us, is that the death of our bodies doesn’t mean we cease to exist. We always were, and we always will be. We all have eternal lives to look back on and to look forward to. Not eternal nothingness, or an eternal vacuum, or an eternity of floating around like blobs of vapor playing harps. Eternal lives, vital and productive, each of us on our own progressive journey toward our spirit’s greatest potential.

Eventually (as you’ll learn in the course of this book, it just takes some of us longer than others to get there) we all spend eternity in a place called the Other Side, a place every bit as real as earth, but without its flaws. The Other Side is our real Home. It’s where we came from for our brief visits here, and it’s where we’ll return after we’ve accomplished our carefully planned intentions this time around. And when we get there, we’ll joyfully resume our busy lives where we left off, farther ahead than we were before because of all we learned from our latest incarnation.

It’s true for you. It’s true for me. It’s true for celebrities, both the famous and the infamous.

That’s why the question, “What are these celebrities doing now?” is just as relevant after their “death” as it was when they were here on earth. Just as everyone you’ve known, loved, and temporarily lost through the illusion of death is somewhere doing something at this very moment, including visiting you, the same can be said for everyone you’ve ever heard of, wondered about, had a crush on, admired, or loathed.

But before we start exploring the celebrities one by one, it’s worth taking a look at exactly what happens when our bodies die and the variety of places our spirits might go from here.

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