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The Transition of My Friend, Debbie Ford by James Van Praagh

Monday, September 08, 2014

"Oh My! It Was So Easy!"
The Transition of My Friend, Debbie Ford
by James Van Praagh

The following is the excerpt from Adventures of the Soul.

ADventures of the Soul
One experience that profoundly affected my life and my work (and is the reason I wanted to write my new book Adventures of the Soul) concerns the transition of Debbie Ford.

I met Debbie in the early ’90s at a conference in San Francisco. Her sister, Arielle, was speaking at the conference and afterward, Debbie and I sat in the corner of a restaurant and shared dinner and got acquainted. She told me her life story, including drug addiction, failed relationships, and her issues with self-worth. I told her that she needed to write a book and share her story with the world; it could help millions of people who suffered from the same situations.

The rest is history. She wrote the book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, was invited on Oprah, and skyrocketed into the “self-help” galaxy. Later she wrote many bestsellers, was an international speaker, created foundations, and single-handedly changed the perspective on our shadow side.

But to me, Debbie was always just Debbie. She never forgot her friends even with the sudden fame, and people often remarked on how “real” she remained. But with the highs, come lows. Few people knew it, but Debbie had a very rare form of cancer and had been fighting it for years. The few who knew about her condition would often hear about the different types of treatments she was investigating, always hopeful something new would take hold. The hope never stopped.

In 2011, I was speaking at a conference in Manhattan, and there was a knock on my hotel-room door. I opened it and there was Debbie, looking impish and pretty, as usual. She bounded through the door and screamed out: “Hi, honey, I missed you!”

After we got caught up on how life was treating both of us, Debbie told me she had something she wanted to ask me. We sat down, and she began.

“James, if it comes to the end and I am passing over, would you help me pass?” I was flabbergasted, but it was Debbie, so I always expected the unexpected.

“Yes, of course. If I am able, I would do anything for you,” I told her.

Relieved, she thanked me and abruptly changed the subject: she was beginning to write a new book that she wanted to call Courage, and we talked about it. After she left my hotel room, she never brought up the subject of her death again, even though we chatted on the phone routinely.

That was to be the last day that I would see Debbie physically alive. Between both of our work and travel schedules, we never were able to be in the same location at the same time again.

In early 2013, I answered a call from a mutual friend, Jorge, who phoned me late one night. His usually upbeat voice was low and serious. “I’m at Debbie’s; it’s not looking good. She wants to talk to you.”

I was in shock with the realization that the end was here so quickly. Jorge handed the phone to Debbie, and I heard a very low, faint voice say, “James, I think it is tonight. I’m getting ready to go.”

I was in shock and started to cry. I knew this was the moment she had spoken to me about in my New York hotel room, and I had to give her something. I forced out, “I love you, Debbie. I am here. If you feel lost, think of me and I will be there. I am with you. We can talk in thoughts.”

She was getting weaker, and she barely managed to reply, “Really? Okay, I love you, too. Bye.” Jorge took back the phone and passed it to Debbie’s sister, Arielle. I told Arielle to tell Debbie to pretend that she is a feather and just fly away and to keep on giving her that image. Arielle told me she would phone me when she had an update.

I was expecting a call within hours. I kept thinking of Debbie, but I couldn’t reach her with my thoughts. I knew that she hadn’t passed yet. I called up Arielle to ask what was happening. She told me that she had spent the night with her sister and had said her good-byes. Arielle remarked that everyone was just amazed that Debbie was holding on for so long. Even the hospice nurse had never seen a case where someone held so strongly while so ill. Arielle knew that was Debbie; she would go when she was good and ready! Arielle asked if I could do something to help, and I told her I would try my best.

After I hung up the phone, I left Brian and the dogs downstairs, and shut myself in the bedroom. I lay down on the bed and began to meditate. As I got deeper and deeper, I focused on Debbie and I began to see her face very clearly. She looked as if she was in her early 30s, and when I called her name, she looked right at me and smiled.

I mentally said to her, “Debbie, what is the problem? Why don’t you want to leave? There are people waiting for you.”

She quickly defended her position and yelled out, “I’m a mother, James!”

I told her that her son, Beau, would be fine, that he was in college, and the family would be looking after him.

She then dropped her doe eyes and said, “Death is so strange; it’s like I have been given a new set of keys to a car, but I don’t know how to drive.” It was pure Debbie. Then she said something I will never forget for the rest of my life: “For years I have been so concerned about teaching people how to live that now I don’t even know how to die!”

I smiled and knew this was very much the truth. In my consciousness, I began to see a parade of her past lives. I telepathically saw all her death scenes. She was a warrior, a commander, a chief, a priestess . . . and in all the lives she was killed for her belief systems. Since her current transition was imminent, I had the sense that Debbie was aware of these past lives as well. I could tell that she was conflicted and resistant.

I made sure that I got her attention and telepathically said to her, “Debbie, those are past experiences. Right now all you have to do is look up and visualize a gold curtain.”

“Are you sure, James?” she asked.

I said, “Yes, and look for your father. He is there with some friends of yours from Miami. Just go to them.”

I had a vision that reminded me of Dorothy skipping up the yellow brick road. But it wasn’t Dorothy. It was beautiful, dear Debbie looking back at me one more time and smiling.
I came back fully into my own awareness, and I went downstairs, where Brian was watching TV. I told him what had happened, and we hugged and cried.

Suddenly the TV room went frigidly cold. Brian said, “Did you leave a door open upstairs?”

All I could say to Brian was, “It’s Debbie!”

Ever the pragmatist (and double Virgo), he went in search of an open door. He returned and said, “Everything is closed. You’re right—it must have been Debbie.” The coldness disappeared slowly, and with it came a feeling of gratitude and completeness. I could not hold back the tears and was interrupted by the phone ringing. I picked it up; it was Arielle.

“Debbie has passed.” I told her that I knew, that she had just come to visit, and she was finally free.

It should have been very difficult for me to sleep that night, but somehow I fell into a deep slumber. At about 5 a.m., I was awakened as if someone hit my head with a sledgehammer. I opened my eyes and Debbie was in my consciousness, begging me to get to a computer. I ran out of my bedroom and went into my office, turned on my computer, and started to write every word Debbie gave me.

She kept saying, “I am free, James! I am so free! I cannot believe how obsessed I was about my body! What was I thinking? How crazy!” This struck me as extremely funny because anybody who knew Debbie knew that she was very concerned about her appearance, always wanting to look her best.

“Tell everyone not to be so involved in physical things,” she continued. “It makes it harder to let go at the end. Tell everyone that as a soul you are part of the ‘oneness of the wholeness’!”

I sat in my office for two hours and laughed and cried. I sent off e-mails to her family and friends, because she had asked me to share her thoughts. Debbie Ford is a great soul, and she wanted others to realize that they are great souls while still having the human experience and not wait until they pass over to come to this realization.

Our Loved Ones Await

I knew that Debbie’s father was the first one to greet her as she made the transition. On the spirit side of life, there is a telepathic “knowing” of your upcoming return.

My father had a dream about my mother (who had been dead for many years) before he fell ill. She was on a train, and she looked very young and beautiful. She invited my father onto the train, and he obliged. “She only asked me to go on the train. You weren’t invited,” he later told me as he recounted the dream.

After Brian’s mother passed, his father was in his kitchen and he swore that his own mother (who had died in 1965) walked past him and beckoned for him to come outside the front door. His father passed within a year of that visitation.

Souls you recognize from the physical plane who have made the transition all have a task to perform as your time nears, from influencing your transition to creating a welcoming environment. Even deaths that we humans would term sudden or unexpected, like accidents or murders, are viewed well in advance on the spirit side. Guides, family, and teachers are always aware and bound to the soul in its every move and will steer it in its progression to get back home.

You must know that no soul ever transitions alone! The spirit people take such care of you and exhibit such concern for you on your journey that they are all very prepared and excited for you to enter their world. It’s the epitome of a “welcome home” party


I knew Debbie Ford, I could really see her talking to James too (he was at her memorial too) She was a special lady and fought to the very end to keep holding on. Her words... "I am so free! I cannot believe how obsessed I was about my body! What was I thinking? How crazy!”

How much we all talk/feel about our body, either negative or positive, I can only speak for myself but I know how much I have put myself down in the past (not any more thankfully). WHY? we are perfect just the way we are. Debbie was always perfect, she just couldn't accept that. She was an amazing and beautiful woman who I have learned so much from. Still today I learn from her and her work. In a session today, she came to me guiding me to do something for my client. I did and the result was life-changing as well as chills for both of us. What an honor to get to know her, touch her, hug her and love her. You were always perfect to me Debbie!
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