In honor of my father Shelly Perelman who died by suicide eleven years ago today, I want to share some recent revelations I’ve had about suicide, supported by a few passages from my books Spirited and Awaken the Spirit Within.
For much of his life, my father struggled with self-love and self-worth issues that manifested in deep depression. My father wrongfully thought that it was unholy and “unspiritual” to need medication for his emotional pain, but he was chemically imbalanced and when he refused regular, prescribed medication, he sunk even lower. In a moment of great despair and darkness, he decided to end his life on October 17, 2006.
Dad always said, “everything is a gift; every experience that we encounter along our journey is an opportunity to grow if we choose to see it that way.” After several months of agonizing grief following my father’s death, this unfortunate event intensified and clarified my life’s work as a medium, healer, and spiritual teacher to awaken and encourage others to take full responsibility for their unresolved pain and heal their wounds in this lifetime.
In the early years after Dad’s death, he visited me in my dreams where he expressed deep regret and heartache over the finality of his choice. He appeared to me crying and apologizing for his irreversible act of free will. Once Dad was on the Other Side, he clearly recognized that he’d been in great need of professional help. He also realized, and quite instantly, that the pain he thought he was escaping by taking his own life was only waiting for him on the Other Side. Death had not given him a permission slip; he simply picked up where he left off. His message was loud and clear:
Do not wait until you return to spirit to live in freedom, peace, and love. Do the hard work to live in freedom, peace and love NOW.
But Dad hadn’t finished his work and as a result, he spent many years on the spiritual plane working to forgive himself, learn to love himself and heal his soul. During this time, I’d have glimpses of him in dreams and meditation. He appeared to me in a variety of settings—early on he was in a hospital ICU receiving chronic care. Later he appeared naked in front of the house we grew up in, as if he were laying his soul bare in an effort to come clean. In another dream, he sat in a dimly lit room staring at a roaring fire, as in sober reflection and contemplation. And then a few years ago, Dad made a significant and miraculous shift. He came to me as a light and bright spirit (and playing golf, no less!), indicating that he’d finally forgiven himself and moved out of his dark place. He further communicated to me that he’d evolved into a guide, working with other spirits who’d suffered in a similar way, helping them connect with their living loved ones through me. Dad soon became my sidekick on the Other Side to help the living and the dead find closure and peace.
I candidly share my father’s story, as he’s guided me to do. If you’ve lost someone who’s died by suicide, take heart that they’re healing on the Other Side. They’re not suffering or being punished, but rather finishing the work they started in life and learning the lessons imperative to their soul’s growth. Stay in faith that once their work is done, they can be in relationship with you again. Send them love and pray for their healing and ask that once they’re ready, they visit you in dreams, through meditation, and by sending you signs.
Nearly everyday, I connect with spirits who express regret for enduring deep, debilitating pain and staying silent out of fear and shame. They realize that if only they’d reached out to the support available to them and asked for help, they may still be here. So if you (or someone you know) are currently in a dark, low place, I encourage you to reach out for help. Life Is inevitably hard, but what spirits have shown me is that our time on Earth, and in our physical bodies, is where we do our best work. It’s the very reason why we’re here and we ALL have the will and strength of spirit to survive.