Secrets of the Monarch: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Living a Better Life

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9780743291156: Secrets of the Monarch: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Living a Better Life

Known as the inspiration for the hit television show Medium, Allison DuBois regularly encounters spirits who have passed. As part of her life's work, she comforts families who have tragically lost children, helps authorities find dangerous criminals, and locates missing persons.

In Secrets of the Monarch, Allison shares important life lessons she's learned through communicating with the dead. She explores the legacies we leave and shows how her experiences with the other side have helped her to learn the secret to living a happy life while ensuring her children and grandchildren will too. Like the monarch butterfly, whose survival as a species depends on its predecessors' actions, we can live good lives to ensure the happiness of future generations. With insightful teachings on both family relationships and friendships, as well as how she herself is inspired to live better tomorrow than she has today, Allison DuBois shows how each of us can make our lives a true masterpiece.

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About the Author:

Allison Dubois's unique story, the inspiration for the hit NBC TV series Medium, started during her senior year at Arizona State University while she was interning at the D.A.'s office. Soon after, researchers at the University of Arizona validated her ability through a series of tests. Allison continues to support research as a medium, as a member of the Veritas Research Program Mediums Committee, and as a member of the Forever Family Foundation's Medium Advisory Board. In her short career, Allison has conducted over 1,200 personal readings. Allison donates her time to missing-persons and criminal cases for agencies across the country.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

I've titled my book Secrets of the Monarch having been inspired by monarch butterflies. I see a beauty in their families that also exists in ours. What I mean by this is that it takes monarch butterflies several generations to complete migration to secure the survival of their future families.

People are not so different; we spend a lifetime trying to learn lessons, become wiser, and pass this on to our kids and grandkids. We can't live forever, but a part of us will remain through memories of us and will continue to move our family and friends forward. Everyone has a path to walk that will help someone he or she loves to do more, be more, and learn more, so that person in turn can pass it on to future loved ones who will do the same, and so on. So pass on your family stories and traditions to others so they can live richer lives through your touch.

The purpose of my book is to help people live better lives and to realize how precious being alive is so that they savor their days as they move through life. Part of appreciating depends upon connecting with other people and learning their stories. Through this process you become a stronger empathic as well as a great student of life. Remember, if you live well, you will die without regrets, and that is the key to being true to oneself and those we love. This is not achieved through selfishness or greed but rather through empathy, wisdom and, often, assertiveness.Copyright © 2007 by Smarter Than They Think, Inc.

Chapter 4

Family Matters

Well, I think that this title is self- explanatory; my chapter title goes along the same line as my book title Secrets of the Monarch. The significance lies in family/friends and how we affect each other's life. This canbe from parent to child or many other family connections.

In my case, I was passed a torch or a "job" to do from Domini for her unfi nished business among the living.

Many of you have read in my books Don't Kiss Them Good-bye and We Are Their Heaven about my childhood friend Domini. I met Domini when I was fourteen years old at our school bus stop in front of North High. That moment led to a friendship that later made us roommates and even bonded us through my writing this book. When we were teenagers (Domini was two years older than me), we went to see the movie Beaches together and she asked me then to promise that if something happened to her, I would be a part of her little girl's life and tell her stories of who her mom was.

I gave Domini a hard time about the bizarre thought that she wouldn't be here, but then I relented and I agreed to the pact. I was young and it was hard to imagine one of my friends ever dying before her hair had turned gray. I was eighteen when Marissa was born, and I remember holding her for the first time, my friend's little girl. She had bright red hair and baby blue eyes that looked like her mother's.

Around that time I took Domini to the doctor and she had a cyst removed from her ovary. I told Domini that she needed to take better care of herself or she'd pass away around the age of thirty. Domini didn't even flinch; she trusted what I said but continued to live life her way -- that was Domini. Marissa was my first real attempt at changing a toddler's diaper, and I put it on her backward. I was a youngest child, so I thought that Happy Meals were somehow the universal antidote to make the young stop crying. (Obviously I've got different parenting skills now!) I met Joe two years later, and Domini's life and mine took different directions.

Years later I had a strong urge to locate Domini, and I set out on the internet to find her. I ended up finding Marissa's dad, Dominic, Domini's ex-husband. After all my detective work I finally got in touch with Domini, and she told me that she was pregnant and remarried. Sadly, a year after I found Domini, she died from melanoma at the age of thirty-one. While she was dying she reminded me of my promise to her all those years ago as we watched Beaches, the promise that I'd made her concerning Marissa. When Domini died, Marissa was only eleven years old.

Now fast-forward five years. Joe and I were sitting on our patio talking about Marissa's up-and- coming sixteenth birthday party. I looked up because something had caught my eye. Domini was leaning against one of our patio pillars, smiling at me. I was so happy to see her because she showed herself to me only once or twice a year. I figured that she had come because it was around her birthday, Dominic's birthday, and also Marissa's; they were all born in November.

Even in death, Domini had the same sparkling eyes, her hair was down, and she wore a black skirt and top with shoulder pads, which I recognized as one of hers from around 1988. Bright white smile -- check; devilish air about her -- intact; the look in her eyes as though she knew something that I didn't -- yep, it was all there per usual. I explained to Joe what was going on and he laughed. He knew Domini too, and we both missed her. I noticed that she was wearing a pair of my old black pumps.

I said, "Domini, why are you wearing my shoes?"

Her smile turned serious and she said, "I just wanted to see what it's like to walk a day in your shoes, Ali."

She then disappeared as quickly and abruptly as she had come. And what the hell did she mean by that, anyway, a day in my shoes?

Well, I was grateful for the visit from Domini, and I was quite sure that whatever Domini meant by her words would reveal itself to me later. Marissa's sweet sixteen was approaching and I wanted to do something special for her. Immediately I saw a picture in my head that would include Marissa and her parents. I called Dominic and asked him for a picture of himself and Domini and Marissa when Marissa was a baby. He found the perfect one. I decided to have the picture scanned onto Marissa's birthday cake so that Marissa could see her mom at her party, and Domini would be front and center. Marissa decided that she wanted her party at a roller-skating rink, and that I could do. I love skating! Her party was going to be at the Great Skate Roller Rink that I used to compete at when I was a kid. I thought, "How cool is that!" I was feeling a little overzealous and I rented out the whole rink just for Marissa. I had kept my promise to Domini to be there for Marissa, and her sixteenth birthday party was going to be the day that I could really feel I'd kept a big part of my teenage vow. Was it even possible that Marissa was sixteen and my friend Domini was dead? It all seemed so impossible, but I'm not the only person in the world to feel this way, I know that.

Marissa's party was a very happy occasion, but there was a feeling that something or someone was missing. I unveiled the cake to Marissa and, as you can imagine, she drew her hand gently to her mouth, and in that moment of celebration Marissa looked as though she was seeing her mother for the first time in five years. With tears in her eyes, she said, "I knowmy mom's here."

I nodded my head. "Yes."

I watched my daughter Aurora and Marissa speed-skate into the photo booth at the skating rink and giggle as they took pictures together. It was just as Domini and I had planned when we were teenagers, as many young girls do. We were going to raise our girls together and they would be friends like we were. I flashed back again to the characters in Beaches. The two friends who were going to set the world on fire as kids on the pier taking a picture together in a photo booth just like the one our girls were sitting in now. These are the pictures that they would keep forever. I thought, "How ironic is that?"

Our girls came bolting out of the booth, racing back to the skating-rink fl oor. All I could think was, "Man, I miss Dom."

People think that because I'm a medium it doesn't hurt to miss people who have died. But that's not true. I have a deeper understanding that they are still here, but in a different form, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss the way things were before they died.

I was leaning against the wall away from the group because my having had the honor of slicing the cake and then serving it to the kids was emotionally difficult for me. Marissa called out, "I want the piece of cake with my mom and me on it!"

I said, "You got it, baby!"

Seeing my friend on the cake as a tribute to her daughter was haunting and heart wrenching. I was also very proud to be the one who could make this day happen for Marissa and Dom. I composed myself, and I sort of cursed nature for giving me tears and a heart that could ache. Joe walked up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. He seemed kind of excited and said, "Allison, I know what Dom meant about standing in your shoes. Domini meant that sheis not heard or understood by all because she stands in the shoes of the dead, and so do you. Today you stood in Domini's shoes when you acted in her place for her daughter. You planned the party, served the cake, bought Marissa the special birthday outfit to wear, and reminded her that she is loved. So today you stood in each other's shoes."

A wonderful smile spread across my face as it resonated within me that Joe was right. When Domini was alive, she couldn't fully understand what it was like to see the other side and live with it, because it was a part of me that she couldn't experience. After her death, she was able not only to see the other side, but she became a part of it as well, just after her death instead of in her life like me.

Wow! His analogy made sense and I knew that he was right. Pretty good, Joe!

I was too close to Domini to get her riddle, but Joe wasn't. Boy, I am a lucky girl to have a husband who can see outside the proverbial box!

Just when I thought I had weathered my emotional storm, the DJ played "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, which as my readers know is Domini's calling card. This was particularly funny because Marissa had requested that the DJ strictly play alternative yet top forty-type music like Green Day and Avril Lavigne, a sort of skateboa...

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