I was honored to accept invitations from Brown University and Harvard University to speak about the Afterlife and about my book Never Letting Go. Therefore, Rocky and I flew to Boston the last week of November 2012.
The first engagement was in Providence, Rhode Island at Brown University. The drive from Boston brought us through snow flurries and freezing weather. Despite the icy temperatures, the reception at Brown was warm and inviting.
The crowd was a mix of students, faculty, and the public. They had probing and intelligent questions about spirit contact. It was my privilege to conduct gallery readings for the attendees as part of my presentation.
Rocky and I left Brown and started the drive back to Boston. It was after 10 pm and I noticed something which for me was unusual. I flipped on the bright lights.
“It looks like Star Trek,” I blurted out.
“What?” Rocky asked.
“It looks like Star Trek—you know when the stars go whizzing by,” I said perplexed.
“Mark, it’s snowing,” Rocky laughed, “That is what snow looks like when the car headlights reflect off of it as you’re driving through it.”
Now we both started laughing. I live in Florida and was raised in Florida. For me snow is something I’ve seen on vacations and although I’ve been in snow before, I’ve never driven through a snow storm. It was beautiful and for me an almost otherworldly event. It was as if we were warping through space at amazing speeds watching stars flash by.
I realized speeding when it was snowing wasn’t the smartest thing in the world, so I slowed down and we returned to our hotel—which I couldn’t help but to imagine was Star Base Marriott Courtyard.
The next night I spoke at Harvard. The Harvard Coop was the site of my presentation. What I did not realize was that Harvard Square outside the Coop had so many homeless people. Several came to the presentation to escape the freezing weather and for the free coffee provided.
I was amazed at the stark contrast of the wealth and prominence of what is supposedly the most prestigious University in the United States against the poverty of such poor people. My heart went out to these souls who honored me with their presence. Many of them joined in the discussion and shared their thoughts. It was a humbling experience.
The final day of the tour took us to the Barnes and Noble at Peabody (pronounced Pee-biddy). Rocky and I realized that for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have any media appearances or interviews that day. We actually had a free day so we decided to visit Salem, Marblehead and Gloucester.
I kept thinking about the old 60’s TV show Bewitched when we were in Salem. The show did a series of episodes which took place in Salem and Gloucester. Rocky and I cracked up when we remembered how the bed warmer in the House of the Seven Gables was actually one of Samantha’s old boyfriends.
When we arrived in Gloucester we visited the Memorial to the Lost Seamen. We both joked how in the TV show one of the witches inadvertently caused the Seaman’s statue to come alive. However, when we arrived at the memorial we found it to be anything but funny.
This memorial is for “They who go down to the sea in ships.” From 1623 to 1923 over 5,000 men from Gloucester lost their lives while working aboard ships. Some of these ships went down with all hands and no trace of the vessels was ever found.
Tales of plummeting to the depths of “Davey Jones Locker” seemed to haunt us as we gazed upon the list of names of men lost and we imagined how terrified these brave men were as they fought desperately against the unforgiving power of the ocean only to disappear beneath the waves.
Rocky shed a tear for these brave men.
Together, we read the prayer at the memorial for the lost seamen. It truly was touching.
Later that evening, I spoke at the Barnes and Noble in Peabody. The crowd was very receptive and somehow the experience of the memorial to the lost seamen made it even more poignant. Everyone there had lost a loved one and was grieving. Together we worked through some of the pain. It was an amazing experience.
I’d like to thank the faculty and staff at Brown and Harvard for inviting me to speak. Special thanks to Paula the Community Relations Manager of Barnes and Noble in Peabody.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has found comfort in my book Never Letting Go and for those people everywhere who are facing the holidays without a loved one.
May God Bless all of you and guide you through this time. Your loved ones have not disintegrated; they’ve transitioned to a different dimension. The body perishes, the soul is immortal.
May you find relief in the words of the greatest of all teachers, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”