We left Waunakee in the early afternoon on Wednesday, heading for Jim Phillip’s funeral home. We decided to go there first, to make sure everything was in order for the viewing that was scheduled for Thursday, the next afternoon. We didn't stop for food along the way because both of us had lost our appetites. Food tasted bland to me and I felt a sense of dread as we approached the funeral home. It wasn’t so much about Jim. Even though we had met him only once, I had a good feeling about him. But when we drove into the parking lot of the funeral home, it just felt too real. We were there to talk about burying our children who had been alive and well just a few days earlier.
When Jim met us at the door, I felt deflated and discouraged. But something he said took me by surprise. “Your kids,” he said with a big smile on his face. “I just don't know. That Josh is a real trickster.” He shook his head. “He keeps turning the lights on and off and he’s messing with my music. He keeps changing the radio station and he won't leave my stuff alone. C’mon in.”
“What?” I said. Josh always loved to tinker with electronics and music when he was alive. But now that he was gone, I was not prepared for the things Jim was telling me as we walked inside and sat down to talk with him.
“Could you ask him to stop?” Jim continued with a laugh. “I’m trying to work on him and he’s playing games with my music.”
That was the first spark that maybe, just maybe, there was a way to still be with the kids. Maybe they weren’t so far away after all. Maybe I could communicate with them like Jim was doing. What if they were actually around, tinkering, playing with the lights like he said, making their presence known? I glanced at Rick who looked as stunned as I felt. I didn't realize how pivotal that moment was at the time, but now I see that Jim was introducing us to our kids as spirits and he was sure they were still around. He was so sure that he was asking me to talk to Josh and tell him to stop playing with the music. Something was stirring inside of me as we went over the arrangements and Jim told us he had found a casket large enough to accommodate both kids. We headed over to my mother’s best friend’s condo who had been kind enough to offer us her basement room for the next two nights.
Title: We Never Left You
Authors: Beth and Rick Olsen
Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir / Inspirational
After unspeakable tragedy, one couple must forge their own path to healing in the bittersweet true story, We Never Left You.
One moment, Beth and Rick Olsen were enjoying an ordinary life filled with all the joys and frustrations of raising their two children, Jessica and Joshua. The next moment, a drunk driver plowed through a red light at eighty miles per hour, hitting their van and changing everything.
The death of both their children launched Beth and Rick down a long and winding path toward simple survival—and eventual healing. As shock gave way to the cruel reality of their loss, they began receiving messages that proved the existence of life after death—a welcome sign that aided them in moving forward.
The Olsens soon attempted traditional healing methods but quickly found that counseling did nothing to help them get a grasp on their monumental loss. They then turned to nontraditional approaches—a decision that led them to Peru. It was there they finally began to undergo the immense physical, mental, and emotional changes that allowed them to understand everything—including the accident—happens for a reason.
Beth and Rick Olsen
Happily married since 1987, Rick and Beth Olsen survived the death of their two children from a drunk driver in 1999. Now, in 2015, they have written their first book about their experiences in an attempt to help other people undergoing the same kind of tragedy. Beth and Rick live in Glenbeulah, Wisconsin with their three children.
Andrea Cagan has been writing, ghost writing, collaborating and editing for over two decades, with more than a dozen books appearing on the best seller lists, including four #1 NY Times and LA Times best sellers. She focuses on topics of social value, and has worked with such celebrities as Magic Johnson, Marianne Williamson, Grace Slick and many more.
Book website www.weneverleftyou.com