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James Van Praagh on “Growing Up in Heaven”

Elevated Existence interviewed psychic medium and best-selling author, James Van Praagh, for our June 2011 cover story. In it, he talks about his newest book, “Growing Up in Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child,” and below is a Q&A from the interview:

Why did you decide to write a book about children in the afterlife?
I work a lot with Compassionate Friends, which is an organization of parents who lost children, and I decided I wanted to write a book for parents to deal with grief. I wrote a book called “Healing Grief,” but it wasn’t directed toward parents. I think the worst thing in life is to lose a child, no matter what kind of death or grief, the hardest one is parents who lose children because it doesn’t appear natural. The parents should go before the child.

I’ve worked with a lot of parents, and I’ve seen a lot of parents change because of the experience of mediumship and hearing from their child. I’ve also seen a lot who haven’t had the experience, and their lives are lost. I want parents to realize their children are souls, we are all souls, and many times souls who die as children are very evolved. I also want them to understand that they both chose the experience [before coming into this life] for the soul to pass over as a child this time around – and we don’t always know the reason why. Maybe the parents had to learn about letting go, compassion or forgiveness … the reasons are all so varied and different, but they are always planned out – nothing ever happens spontaneously. I don’t believe that … there is a higher perspective, and I just wanted to share that with them.

You say “no child dies before its time” – what do you mean by that?
I think every soul has a time to be born and a time to die, and there are soul agreements between various soul families for each person’s spiritual evolution. Also, I believe before we come back [to the physical world] we make a decision, such as ‘this soul only needs 5 years or this soul only needs 10 years’ … it’s about how much experience that soul needs. It’s like school – how many classes do you need to graduate. Some need the whole university and some just need grade school. So sometimes we just need certain experiences and then we move on. That has a lot to do with it – it’s about the experience that they need and that the soul group needs.

For parents who have lost a child, what do you find most children do on “the other side?”
When they come through a medium, they have to take on the human personality they just had because that is how the parents look at them.  Parents expect to hear what they are doing over there from a physical level, and so many times they talk about finishing school. Often, they will go on to master things for their innate soul gifts, whether its art, music, dance, sculpture, science, mathematics or architecture. It’s something within their soul being, and they develop that even further over there …

They can also help their family members left on the earth. Sometimes they become their guides. One story in the book tells about this couple from Arizona who lost their baby girl. She came through [in a reading] and talked about how she was going to help them. ‘I’m going to bring you a gift in April, and it’s going to be this big gift,’ she said, and she showed me this big box. I said, ‘I don’t know what it means,’ and the mother said she
didn’t know because it wasn’t anyone’s birthday in April. Sure enough, they called me in May, and they found out they were pregnant in April.

For more on “Growing Up in Heaven,” and to hear about Van Praagh’s personal journey as a medium, as well as other insights he has gained through the practice of mediumship in the last 30 years, check out our June 2011 issue of Elevated Existence Magazine!

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