Annie Kagan, a chiropractor and songwriter living in Manhattan, abandoned her hectic city life in search of serenity in a small, secluded house by the bay.
Her brother Billy died unexpectedly and began speaking to her from the afterlife: “It’s me, darling, it’s Billy! I’m drifting weightlessly through gorgeous stars and galaxies and I feel a Divine Presence, a kind, loving, beneficent presence, twinkling all around me. Death isn’t as serious as you think it is. So far, it’s very enjoyable. Couldn’t be better, really.”
As Billy reaches from the “other side” to change his sister’s life and the lives of those around her, he shares secrets about the bliss and wonder to come in the afterlife.
The fascinating, true story of her on-going, after death communication with her brother Billy is recounted in her debut book: The Afterlife of Billy Fingers – How My Bad Boy Brother Proved to Me There is Life After Death.
In this exclusive interview with Annie Kagan, we openly discuss proof of the afterlife, what love means to her and what Annie has learned from this extraordinary experience.
Soul Love: After your brother died in an accident, he started communicating with you. This is of course quite unusual. In your book you write about Billy giving you clues that proved it was truly him you were communicating with and you have been saying: “My resistance became wonder”. Did you need these clues in order to believe what was going on?
Annie Kagan: I absolutely had to have clues. Maybe not so much to believe, but to be willing to put the words out in the form of a book. At very first I was really skeptical and I thought that somehow I might be inventing this experience so that I would feel better about his death, because I felt so bereaved. If someone dies from drugs or related to drugs in some tragic way, people often feel guilty. So I thought maybe somehow my mind was inventing this, but then of course I didn’t just go crazy all of a sudden.
As time went on and he began to give me clues I definitely began to believe it, more and more. But the strange thing was that I would go back and forth between being in this beautiful expanded consciousness and having my mind come in and doubt the whole thing. Every time he would give me proof, it was almost like being struck by lightning. It was always as if he would give me a clue and I were to find the answer to that clue which proved that he was indeed real and that I wasn’t imagining it. It was almost like a bolt of lightning would come through me and clear my entire nervous system. It was quite strong, very disorienting and even to this day it’s disorienting. It’s a shock that erases my limitations and my beliefs about who we are and what we’re capable of and what we’re doing here.
Sometimes you think that it’s just a story made up to make us feel better, saying that we’re going to see our loved ones after they die, that we’re going to some place incredible, it’s like a fairytale, but it’s not! What I have learned is that this is the truth. It was the truth of my experience rather than the truth of my mind, because there was no way that I could have made up the proofs.
Billy took me out of my comfort zone and then he made me understand through the people that I met that I really didn’t have the right to keep the story to myself because it belongs to everybody. It doesn’t just belong to me.
The sharing was a huge step for me because I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to talk about anything, even not with my closest friends, that’s how private I am. I don’t talk about my relationships or my deep feelings with anybody. So for me to be telling people that my dead brother visits me, and writing down everything that’s happening in the afterlife was a huge step. But I really believe that Billy arranged things for me so that I had no choice.
One of the wonderful lessons about that is how he taught me what he calls “Making a quantum leap”, which is changing your perspective and it will make you see the same thing but in a completely different way.
I’m thinking of myself as the crazy woman who talks to her dead brother and that’s really, really uncomfortable for me. Billy then said to me “Hey, why don’t you look at it just differently. Why don’t you look at yourself as being a cosmic detective.” That really appealed to me because I love detective stories and I love mysteries, and the book doesn’t just talk about what happens after you die, but it gives us great philosophies to live our lives on earth.
SL: You are attracted to Eastern spiritual traditions. Do you think this was helpful for you in order to understand the fact that Billy was communicating with you?
AK: I think that it was essential. After being a doctor for a while I started to be very stressed out. I think it’s because I was sensitive and I really cared. I meditated to get stronger, but what actually happened was that I got so sensitive that I couldn’t do it anymore. It was a specific technique where you get very quiet and you’re listening to the sounds of the universe and you’re looking at the light inside of yourself. I went from a person who had lunch with the girls, who went shopping at Barneys and did all these ‘New York things’, to someone who was meditating three hours a day. That was pretty crazy. My whole life seemed strange and it just all started to feel like it wasn’t my life anymore and that was pretty scary. But if I hadn’t gotten quiet like that, if I hadn’t moved to a really secluded house, I could have never had this experience.
SL: Because this is such a unique experience and maybe not always easy to discuss with others, do you feel more isolated now?
AK: [Sighs] I don’t feel more isolated because I am coming out with the book and talk with many people. I do however feel more deeply in tune with myself and less concerned with the outer world because I’ve deeply learned that the most important thing is “you with you”. If “you are not with you”, if you’re not having that relationship with yourself and if you’re not on your own side, nothing will work.
People have their own reasons for seeing the way they see and that has nothing to do with me. Don Miguel Ruiz says it so beautifully: “Don’t take anything personally”. This is almost like a martial art technique for me – if you don’t take it personally, then it doesn’t hurt you. This has changed me a lot and I am deeply connected to myself and I encourage everyone to be deeply connected to themselves.
SL: Why do you think it’s often so hard for many of us to be ourself? Does that come from fear?
AK: I think there’s so much conditioning around us and so many ideas being put into our heads, so many beliefs, so many things that everybody is feeding us and we are just ‘on automatic’ and don’t take the time to just stop. Billy says “We’re all running around, trying to follow rules that everybody has set down for us and we don’t even realize it, but we need to just step back and get a little quiet”.
“The shadow is illusory and temporary. Bliss, ultimately bliss and light are the truer and stronger reality. Earth is just a stopover. A kind of game. Make it a star game.”
Our society is very keen on reaching out, it’s a big theme today. One will tell you how this works, the other one will tell you how that works, but YOU have to see how it works for you. You can listen to people’s ideas but you should examine them very closely and don’t just adopt them. The greatest joy is of life is finding what is really going on here and how to navigate this crazy and wonderful and magnificent and difficult and dark and light world that we inhabit.
SL: What are the most profound elements that you learned from your journey, together with your brother?
AK: The most profound thing for me is learning that every molecule of my being was once literally part of a star; the calcium, the iron, every single thing within us was made when a star was born or when a star was dying. This intelligence that runs through the entire Universe, also brings my breath and heals my wounds. I don’t always have to be thinking so hard about what to do and I spend a lot of time looking at pictures of the Universe and knowing that that’s me.
I also meditate by allowing that I imagine to see the Universe and the things in the Hubble Space Telescope inside of me and all around me. When I return from this meditation, I am different and sometimes I just have the answer to something right there because I’ve given it to a larger part of myself. For me, that’s the greatest lesson and when I look at you right now, I see sparkly stars!
“Pay attention to what you like.”
What I also learned is that I was always waiting for everything to be perfect before I was going to be happy. I had to have the perfect moment, I had to be feeling wonderful, I had to have my relationship be perfect, my friends be perfect and I think that Billy taught me that that’s not the nature of life. There’s a shadow element to everything and… have fun anyway. It’s okay, you don’t have to wait for everything to be the way you think it should be in order to enjoy yourself, just enjoy. Billy says that it’s the purposeless purpose of being here, the miraculous nature of breathing a breath and being able to see and hear. Look at the sky and look at the trees. It’s not always about succeeding like we think it is or how we look in the eyes of others, it’s all about the moment to moment small pleasures.
SL: So this unique experience has really changed you in your day-to-day life…
AK: Yes, it changed me very much in a way that I feel that my spiritual practice helps me pay attention to the things that I like. I enjoy my coffee in the morning, I look at someone’s face and see their beautiful eyes, I watch the sunset and really focus on the things that give me pleasure and this changes my life completely. It might not always be easy and it is definitely a practice, but it so worth it.
SL: Could you have managed it without this experience?
AK: I think that without this experience I had too many beliefs that I had adopted from others, in order to have a pure experience of my life. But now, it’s just me and my energy without a lot of ideas running through my head about what I should or shouldn’t be doing or looking for approval. The most important is to have approval of yourself and that changes life so much. No, I don’t think that I could have done it without this experience. Never!
SL: Are you looking for answers why this all happened to you?
AK: I definitely think it had to do with my destiny and I recently had a conversation with a woman who has been in this field forever, she even knew George Anderson, who is known for ‘life after death communications’ and this woman made me see that all my life I’ve been involved in playing with energy. First I was a musician, then I was working on people’s energy because I was that kind of a chiropractor, since I did a lot of cranial sacral work and working with spinal energies. I was also meditating for such a long period of time and that again was about subtle energies so I feel that everything has brought me here. It’s not a path that I stepped on or that I set out to go on and I think we don’t exactly know everything, we can’t really predict.
SL: What is it that you believe in? What is your truth?
AK: I believe that we are divine eternal beings right now and I realize that there is a soul and we do go on. Every day I say to myself “What does that mean to me? How does that make me live my life right now and not waiting till then”. It’s now that we are eternal.
SL: What does love mean to you?
AK: I have to say that I kind of substituted the word ‘Bliss’ for ‘Love’, because Love sometimes has a very human up-and-down quality, like Billy sometimes says “I loved you yesterday, but not today. I don’t love you anymore because you are not who you used to be”. Love to me seems a little bit fleeting, but when I think of Bliss, that’s just like Love but it’s more general, so it’s for everyone and everything and it’s not conditional. It’s a state of love that’s unconditional and I guess my goal is to feel Bliss more than Love. I am more focused on being blissful.
SL: Do you have a final message to people who lost one of their dear ones?
AK: Yes, very much so. Grief is a very strong emotion and when you realize that you really will meet your loved ones, you really will later on, knowing that they’re fine and in a beautiful, incredible and divine Universe and that the love between you is still there, then it just takes the edge off that grief. There is so much comfort in the book because you can ‘feel Billy’ when you read it. You can feel a light energy coming from the book and you know that your loved one still exists. There is so much comfort in that, even though we miss them, we want to hug them and want to be with them.
Finally, it is very important to stay open because the statistics tell us that one in four people have some kind of sign, so stay open to the sign because the sign is that your loved one is telling you “I still exist, I still love you. I know you need to grieve but have a good life”, and you will.
It was more than a pleasure having this conversation with Annie and she’s definitely our Super Soul.
You can buy The Afterlife of Billy Fingers here.
For information, please visit the website: afterlifeofbillyfingers.com
INTERVIEW BY: DIRK TERPSTRA – SOUL LOVE FOUNDER
Enjoy this post? Subscribe here so you don’t miss the next one.