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Children in the Afterlife with James Van Praagh

JAMES VAN PRAAGH: “In this new conversation with medium James Van Praagh, James returns to Afterlife TV to talk about children in the afterlife. He explains why children are more closely tied to their spiritual essence than adults, how imaginary friends might actually be contact with spirits, what messages children in the afterlife send their surviving loved ones, and how age comes into play in the spirit world. James also shares his thoughts about thought-provoking subjects of spiritual growth, including why children are allowed to pass, where free will comes into play, how pre-life agreements between souls work, and even a discussion about suicide and murder. This is an Afterlife TV conversation you won’t want to miss.” ~ Bob Olson, Afterlife TV

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Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

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Bob Olson:  Hi everybody.  Bob Olson here with Afterlife TV.  You can find us as I am so grateful that James Van Praagh has agreed to let me interview him again about another subject.

Here we have a celebrity medium, who is going to talk about subject of his latest book.  The book is called Growing Up in Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child.  This is the book here.  Look at the book if you want to find it on the shelves.  That’s what it’s going to look like when you see it there.

Today we’re going to talk about what happens when children go to the afterlife; a subject that too many people, unfortunately, are interested in learning more about.

James, welcome back to Afterlife TV.  Thank you so much for coming back again.

James Van Praagh:  Thank you, Bob.  Thank you for having me. I love to come back.

Bob Olson:  This is a difficult subject in some ways to talk about, and yet, I understand the same reason that I wanted to do this interview is probably why you wrote this book.  What was your reasoning behind choosing this subject matter for your latest book.

James Van Praagh:  Well, it kind of chose me, I didn’t choose it.  Really, for several months before this book even started, I began to see spirit children a lot more than usual, and a lot more frequently than I usually do.  They were not only around people when I was working an audience, but I would see them many times in my office running around.  And I usually don’t see them that way because I have to be ready and be open to work before I see them.  But it would usually be in meditation in my office, and I would see these children.

After awhile I asked my spirit guides, one of my guides.  I said, “Why am I seeing children so much now?”  And they said, “They’re going to help you write your new book.”  “Okay.”  So I knew it would be a book about children.  And it turned out to be a book written about children as well.

I found through 30 years of doing this work, that the hardest loss that there is, is the loss of a child.  I find no matter how many words, how many books you can read, how many seminars you can go to that hurt doesn’t really end.  Of course, it might change, but it doesn’t end.  I work a lot with different organizations that are associated with loss of children.  I think it’s a very important book to read for a parent, to look at it from a different perspective, and that’s why I wrote the book.

Because when I worked with children who pass over, it’s a very, very different thing when they come through and talk to their parent about, “It was my time to go this time around.  I want you to realize it was not your fault.  You do not have to be guilty.  You will see me again.  I will be here as a teacher and a guide. I am helping you from this side of life.”

I think this book was written for parents.  Then also in the process of writing the book, I found out that the book was really not just about children, but us as souls.  We are souls, we’re spirits and the book goes into – you know, I never know what I’m going to write about, I really don’t.  I let the spirit guide me, and the book ended up being a very good book about soul groups, soul family, soul commitment, karmic obligations, and looking at things from a very, very different perspective.  That we are spirits having a physical experience and coming along with that, being a spirit and having a physical experience.

That brings many, many situations we must go to when we decide to come back on this earth, live out our lives and progress spiritually.  That is part of the lessons.  One of the strongest, hardest lessons we can go through, of course, is the loss of a child, but it is a lesson, it is a situation.

So it’s a book about what happens to children, why sometimes – not every child that passes over, but certainly in many, many, many of them, the scenario is about why they pass over, and it’s a guide for parents to realize that there’s more to it than just the death of a child.

Bob Olson:  Yeah, yeah.  You know it’s interesting, one of the things when I was re-reading the book again this weekend, what really stood out to me was something you wrote, which is, “Because they are still young and they haven’t been away from the spirit world very long, their transition back home to the spirit world is a little different.”  Explain that a little bit.

James Van Praagh:  Sure.  I’m going to explain that, and I’m going to explain something else too, which may be a little etheric for people.  But they have to understand that the soul that comes back on this earth; that baby spirit, if you will, they prepare to come back into that vibration, that atmosphere where the parents have set up on the mom’s tummy or whatever, and that spirit will either full-term pregnancy or will stop halfway.  That is also a decision made before both parent and child come back into this incarnation, that the mother will have to experience a miscarriage, an abortion, whatever it might be.  They have spoken about that before they come back into this physical earth.  That’s something they should know about.

When the baby; when it’s a baby and it’s a young toddler and it’s a young adult ages two, three, four, five they are very, very open to spiritual things, to physic phenomena, to the other world.  Because their mindset is out of spirit, they’ve just come from spirit.

It’s like asking us – say we went to Italy on a trip and we come back and we talk about Italy.  Well for the first two weeks or month, you tell your friends everything about Italy.  Where you went, where you ate, the clothes that you bought, the things that you saw, and it’s very, very clear.

But the longer and longer and longer as time goes by – months and then it goes into years, your recollection of that trip might get a little fuzzy, you can’t really remember certain things.  It’s very much like that with a spirit of a child.  They come so close and they’re so tied to that world they’ve just come from, it’s fresh to them, it’s clearer to them.

I’d like to say also that many parents or people will say, “Oh my child sees things.  I call it their imaginary playmate.  It’s really an imaginary playmate, right.  It’s not a spirit.”  Many times I’ll say, “You know what, it could be an imaginary playmate, but many times I have found that it’s a spirit and they’re seeing the spirit very, very clearly.  You have to accept that parent, because you have to realize that your child has not learned yet about judgment.  They have not closed off the mind.  They have not limited the mind and they’re still very, very open.”  So that’s very true as well.

Bob Olson:  Well it’s interesting, because that also brings up the idea of like past life memories that children will have.  Sometimes they’ll have memories of their last life.

I actually had a friend, and I don’t remember exactly how she said it, but she had this young daughter and whenever my friend would say something about her mother, her mother would say, “No, that’s not your mother, that’s my sister.”  She was like changing the – but she was consistent with it.  It could be a couple months later and she would go and do the same thing.  So she remembered that they as a soul group had another lifetime together, but they had different relationships.  Is this common?

James Van Praagh:  A different time period.  Sure very, very common.  Very common where you will have children who recall past lives like that.  They’ll speak a different language.  I’ve heard many stories where Ian Stevenson has talked about them, these past life experiences where children will all of a sudden say, “Yeah, you were the father last time,” or “I died in the war on that plane.”

Recently there was a story about a young child who knew everything about a military airplane, everything.  And you would never expect this little four or five year old kid who knew everything regarding the mechanics of this military plane.  And then they were able to show the picture of this actual pilot that died, and you could see the resemblance of this small boy.  You could see the eyes and the facial resemblance to that.   It’s very, very true. That boy might have a soul that might’ve come back very, very quickly and so they have a recall of this past life right there at the tip of their brain or their mind.

It’s like us having an experience in New Orleans and we go back 10 years later and we go down certain streets and remember right away.  We recall what happened on that street 10 years ago.  It’s very, very vivid to us.  It works that way with that spirit, the child’s mind.  They’re very aware when they come back on this atmosphere, this earthy atmosphere of the experiences that were very rich and full of life.  They’ll remember that and they’ll just spurt it out and just say what it is.

Bob Olson:  So when a child’s physical body dies here, for whatever reason, and they crossover back to the spirit world, is their experience crossing over any different than an adult’s might be?

James Van Praagh:  Sure.  Yes.  A child’s passing is usually extremely easy in that they don’t tend to hold back.  It’s interesting, it’s like dogs or animals; they just slowly leave the body and go, because it’s very natural to leave the body and go.  Where adults, we might have fear.  We might have judgment.  We might want to think, oh gosh. If they’re religious they might have a religious thought about it, that I might go to hell or whatever and they might be afraid, literally fearful.  It holds them back and they can’t transition as easily as a child would.

A child is again, very natural and very open.  They haven’t been taught these judgments, and to me, I’ve found that children go over very, very easily.  I’ve had so many children that have died in car accidents.  Car accidents now; we’re talking 17, 18, 19, 20 year old kids.  And they say, “Oh, I didn’t feel that pull.”  “Oh, I was out of the car before it even hit that tree.”

There is no pain in death.  There is no pain in death, a parent should realize that.  God in its wondrous way has given us a shut-off valve where there’s a loss of consciousness of an impact. A spirit will often talk about a situation that happened right before it happened and then right afterwards.  They say, “That’s not me.”  And many times a spirit will say, “Mommy, why are you looking down at the ground, praying to the ground.  I’m not in the dirt.  That’s not me down there, I’m all around you.”

So you can’t kill energy.  You can’t kill energy no matter how much you try, but yeah, it’s interesting.  It harder for an adult.  The more the adult is aware of spiritual things, the easier the passing would be.

Bob Olson:  Well that’s great.

James Van Praagh:  Yeah, and for us what we really should do with for our loved ones, when it is time to pass for them, we can help them, we can assist them whether we’re there physically, or we can send our thoughts mentally that, “It’s okay to move on.  It’s okay to move on.  It’s okay for you to move on and you’ll see your loved ones over there.”

I’ve done it for many years.  I used to work in a hospital; I used to help people who were going to pass.  I used to sneak in their rooms and I used to say, “It’s okay.  It’s okay to pass if you want to.”  Sometimes they need that reassurance.

Bob Olson:  Yeah, I’ll bet.  I’ll bet. Now children, when they cross back over, is there like this homecoming celebration, like we hear about?

James Van Praagh:  Very, very much so.  From my experience, I have found there is a reunion of sorts, if you will.  And I have visually seen these incredible pavilions of glass and materials, which I wasn’t sure what they were.  There were many, many people and folks just waiting for a reunion of that soul, that spirit.

Over there also, the mother and father should know that there are souls that maybe in this lifetime they always had a desire to have children, but for some reason they never did.  When they go into the spirit, those same spirits who wanted children now can take care of those children who come over.  So they’re like the surrogate parents, if you will.  The desire is met and they adopt those children.

And parents should know that there’s a sense of resonance, a sense of belonging, it’s an attraction.  Like attracts like, and the right adopted parent or surrogate parent will berith that soul of a child coming over.  So you have a wonderful reunion.

Children tend to grow up in spirit in that they can take classes, if they want to; music classes, art classes, studying and understanding things about history of this earth and many other places.  There are many forms of study over there,  many forms of creativity, advancing your creative self in the soul.  So they do develop over there, and they tend to grow older.

Again, it’s hard to place physical three-dimensional laws that are spiritual dimension; it’s very different there, but I will say from my experience, they’ve gotten to the prime of their life, I would say and they’ll come through in messages in their thirties.

Bob Olson:  Now, when a child crosses over like that, are they aware of their surviving loved ones still here, even immediately.  How does that work?  For instance, you know during the services or whatever it might be for that child, are they aware of what’s going on?

James Van Praagh:  Oh very, very much so.  Very much so.  Many times they are met by a relative; a grandmother, great-grandmother, grandparent, a great aunt or uncle.  And remember, on a soul level, on a soul memory, these souls remember them.  They’ve been with them many, many lifetimes.  They just left them, just recently.  So there is a recognition and they do tend to go to their memorial services, no doubt about it. I’ve seen everything from relatives bringing them to memorial services, or I’ve seen these surrogate parents bring them to them as well.  So yes.

Bob Olson:  Why would they attend?  What do they get out of attending, or are they coming there for us, to try and help us?

James Van Praagh:  They’re coming there for us, because they’re don’t need it for themselves, they’re fine.  I think they go there to kind of influence their parents and their families.  They love them but they’re around them.  It seems that there has to be a sense of connection and a sense of projecting their love to parents and families.  That’s why I feel that they go there.  I think that they go there for that very, very reason to influence them that they’re okay, that they’re all right.  That love continues on.

Bob Olson:  You know we hear about – am I using the right phrase, the life recall, like if you’re in front of the Council of Elders or whatever.  I read about this in your book.

James Van Praagh:  Life review.

Bob Olson:  Life review.  I knew that was wrong.  Do they still have that even as children?

James Van Praagh:  Sure, because as a soul, they’re much bigger than just that child’s body.  So as a soul, remember that earth is our schoolroom, and a soul might just need the experience of coming back from birth.  They have to go through the birth experience and then they go back home.  Or they might stay here two or three years and then go back home.  Or 20 years and go back home.

So whether it’s one year or whether it’s 20, 30, or 40 years, there is a life review and that soul will see how effective it was at passing certain tests, at bringing through assistance or a teaching to its parents.  For instance, if a child passes over as a young child, two years old, that child will have a soul review.

Because as a soul, a soul is looked at very differently than a two-year-old.  So it’s not like a two-year-old looking at its life review, it’s a soul looking at a life review.  And that soul will see if in that two years, if it passed all of its tests.  If it was able to bring through experiences for the parents to go through, whether it’s about loss, whether it’s about letting go.  Whether it’s about compassion, whether it’s about forgiveness.  Whatever soul lessons those parents had to learn, that they all agreed upon before that baby was born, that two-year-old soul will look and see in that review what its elders or guides and teachers, if those were accomplished.

Bob Olson:  Interesting.

Do they try to send us messages to let us know that they’re still around, even as children?

James Van Praagh:  They do.  All the time.  Many times they will come in the form of butterflies, birds, dragonflies, and the parent will look at that and think, “Oh that’s my little Johnny.  Is it little Johnny?  Hmm, maybe.”

Not literally, but Johnny could be standing right next to the mother, sending a thought, projecting a thought, influencing that mother of itself.  “Hi mom, it’s me.”  And if she receives that thought of Johnny, she’ll look at that butterfly or that dragon fly and say, “That’s Johnny.”  And then she can associate the two together.  That’s one way.

Another way they will try is through dream state, and that’s the most common way for spirits to come through, is really in the dream state.  And they will see them, feel them – I call them crossovers because it’s so real.  It’s so much more than a dream, and that’s another way they come through.

Another way would be through smells of things, let’s say flowers or even a certain candy the child might have liked.  There might be some kind of smell associated with it and they’ll try to get through that way, project that smell.  I don’t know how they do that, but they do.

This is another interesting way where people will be walking down the street, and they’ll look at somebody and they’ll say, “Oh that looks like my little boy.”  Or, “That’s my little girl,” and they look just like them.

I once did a trip to Tahiti with a group of people, and I remember on that trip there was a lady who lost her 20-year-old daughter.  We were doing a ceremony on one of the islands over there, and we hadn’t met these natives yet who lived in Tahiti.  We hadn’t met the Tahitians who were helping us with the ceremony.

Well we brought the group to that island and met these people, and the lady in our group freaked out.  She started crying her eyes out.  And she said, “This woman over here…” – it was a 23-year-old Tahitian woman – “She looks just like my daughter.”  She showed a picture of the daughter and we had a picture of this Tahitian lady and they looked identical.  Not only did they look identical, their names were the same.

Bob Olson:  Oh my goodness!

James Van Praagh:  They both were named Maria.  Now what is that?  Well, obviously, it’s synchronicity.  It’s spirit working through.  It’s spirit influencing certain things to happen so that can manifest, so that can take place.

Is it a coincidence?  I think coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.  So I think spirit is in everything.

Bob Olson:  That must have been a very cool experience.

James Van Praagh:  I was cool.  It was very cool, yeah.

Bob Olson:  I’m going to talk a little bit about age and spirit.  I understand that children show themselves, say to you as a medium, so you identify them as children.  But you have referred back to souls and spirits.  Tell us the difference between the soul and the spirit.

James Van Praagh:  Well, in growing up in habit I talk about that a lot.  I differentiate between the two terms.  I don’t like people getting caught up in the terms because it’s really just that.  It’s terms, it’s labeling things.  I use them interchangeably.  A soul is a spirit, a spirit is a soul.  Usually, for me, when I talk about spirits, it’s like communication with spirits, but I’m really communicating with souls; the same thing.

For my own reference point, souls, to me – it’s hard to explain – it could be like the big pie, right.  That’s the soul, the bigger picture.  The soul, the bigger pie.  And I think the spirit would be someone that just speaks to me and it’s a sliver of that pie or a slice of that pie.  That would be the spirit.  And in that spirit, that would be the personality of the individual who just recently left the earth.

So when I bring through the personality, when I bring through that spirit, I’m bringing through the personality that just past.  Now we know that they belong to a bigger part, that whole pie, which is the soul part.  So they’re really not just this one sliver, one slice, they’re much bigger than that.  They’re a soul being.

So that soul, when they come through, that spirit comes through and just talks to me.  They might be able to mention past life incarnations with the ones on earth, how they lived in this life, how they had this ability, and they might have a lot of different understanding and wisdom from lifetimes before.  And the parent in the audience might say, “Gosh, how could my little Johnny know all of this?”  Well, because they’re a soul, they’ve been here many, many times and this is just a small sliver to who they really are.

Bob Olson:  Yeah.  So when we talk about age after they’re back into the spirit world, again it’s really for the people who aren’t grasping this concept that as the child’s spirit merges back with its soul, we’ll say in the spirit world, it’s essentially ageless and more mature than we would think of the child.  But for the parent’s sake, we, and you even in your book, use terms that help the people really think of their child as a child, right.

James Van Praagh:  That’s exactly right.  Because they have to be able to relate to that child.  There’s got to be a relatability.  So if the child, the soul came through and talked about all these other things, that parent might not be able to associate or relate to what they’re saying, on this level, on this three-dimensional level.

This happens all the time when I’m bringing through spirits in communication.  I know that what I’m giving this person, the audience, information, it’s just a tiny bit of really what’s going on.  It’s like if I was to tell you, “They love the color red.”  Now we know here on this earth what the color red is, we have an idea of what the value of red is.

But really in the spirit world the color of red could be a kaleidoscope of different red hues and values.  And how can be bring all of that information, that reality of those higher levels down to this third dimensional small dense world?  It’s like trying to land a 747 on the head of a pin.  It’s just so vast, that we can only bring through slivers and stuff. And that’s what I say to people in this three dimensional world, this earth world; it’s a very small part of who we are, and it’s just a tip of the iceberg.

Bob Olson:  And yet, this subject matter, I think – I haven’t lost a child, but I would think it could add some, however small level of comfort, when you’re able to grasp the fact that we’re really dealing with souls here.  It’s not a little child that’s scared and by itself without its parents traveling somewhere, it’s the soul level.  But also, and I’m leading into this, because we’re talking about souls.  We’re talking about the child’s soul and the parent’s soul, pre-chartered their lives before either one of them was born.  Is that correct?

James Van Praagh:  That is correct.

Bob Olson:  And decided perhaps that this is what was going to happen; the child was going to leave this earth at an early age.

James Van Praagh:  That is correct.  And we have to remember that things are done always for the progression of the soul, for the progression of the soul group, the soul family, and it happens all the time.

Two very distinct ones I remember very, very clearly.  Years ago, I gave a reading to parents who lost a son.  They came and they sat there and I said, “There’s a young man named Chris here.”  And they said, “Yes, that’s our son that past.”  And Chris brought through a lot of details about the Yellow Volkswagen he used to drive and all these details.

I said in the middle of the reading – he said through me, “Daddy, I’m going to work with your hands.”  And the father said, “What does that mean?”  I said, “I don’t know what it means.  He said I’m going to work with your hands.  I didn’t know what it meant, that’s all I know.”  I said, “I wish I could tell you more, but he’s not telling me anymore.  He’s giving me the impression he’s going to work with your hands, and that he had to pass over at this time, for this reason,” and we didn’t know what it meant.

So months later, Bill calls me up and he said, “Oh my gosh, now I know exactly what you were talking about, what my son Chris was referring to.”  I said, “What?”  He said, “Well when I go to the airport, or I go to certain meetings or I meet certain people, there’s a heat in my hands that starts up.”  He said, “I feel that when I put my hands towards somebody.

Inevitably, I ask that person about their health and they say, ‘Oh I’ve just had cancer.  I’m going through leukemia; I have AIDS, or something.’  And he starts working with them – that was many, many years ago.  Now he has a clinic in Los Angeles.  He’s a healer and he helps heal people.  That could not have happened until his son, Chris passed over to the other side of life and completed that circuitry, if you will.

Another thing, when you lose a child, it can be one of the most devastating experiences, but it can also be one of the greatest experiences in how you the parent decide how you’re going to use that.  Are you going to benefit from that and help others, or are you going to go right back down?

I have seen many, many parents of these children who have started organizations, who have written books.  It’s thrown them onto their spiritual path and in turn 10 years later or 15 years later, they help other parents who have gone through it.  So we never know why it happens, but there’s always a reason behind it.

Bob Olson:  Well that’s fascinating right there.

I do want to ask about this pre-charter in our lives thing.  Not to get too deep.  I don’t want to ask the faith vs. freewill question, but in a sense I do.

Is it a potential that we’re talking about if we pre-charter this and the child is probably going to leave?  Is that a potential because freewill is also involved?

James Van Praagh:  Freewill is also involved, yes.  You bet.  So before you come back into the incarnation – I talk all about this in the book – you will decide with your guides and with your other soul group, and remember it is always what is the best opportunity for others in your group as well and not just yourself.  Because you’re working together as a family, as a soul group and we have to evolve in a group setting.  Not only individually do we grow, but we also grow in a group setting.  And then we break in the evolution of this whole world.  You know what we do affects everybody in this world.

We might not be aware of it, but every thought that we have, every action that we have will have an effect.  It has action, so it will in effect affect every single individual on this earth, because we’re all connected.  We’re all one energy.

So you can come back with a soul, let’s say, with the ability to play the piano.  You can be very, very skilled at the piano, very advanced with that piano.  Maybe you played lifetimes and lifetimes to hone that skill, so you can come back and you can be an incredible virtuoso about the piano, okay.

Now you might come back and decide “You know what, I’m not going to play the piano this time.”  You have the choice.  Maybe your life is going in a different direction and you want to become, let’s say a writer, and you want to do writing, and that’s what you decide.  You have that choice.  You can play the piano and do really well, or you don’t have to this time around.

That may be a bad example of it, but you would come back with certain abilities, which we perfected to a degree, that we will use or we don’t have to use in this lifetime.  If I came back in this lifetime, decided I was very psychic and very intuitive, and I run into this a lot with people at conferences where they say, “You know, I have what you have, but I’m afraid of it or scared of it.”

I say, “You know what, it’s up to you.  It’s your choice if you want to use it or not.  It’s your choice if you want to sit and go through the work and development that it takes in order to let this out effectively. But if you don’t do it, when your time comes to pass over, you might look back at your life review and say, ‘Gee, I was given all this ability.  I was given God’s gifts, and I threw it right back in God’s face.’  It’s up to us and if you don’t use it this time, you’ll use it another time.

Bob Olson:  Yeah.

James Van Praagh:  There’s always learning, there’s always growing.

Bob Olson:  It is.  But it’s interesting, because obviously, based on what you’ve said and based on what I’ve read in your book, there’s definitely purpose behind both the cause and the timing of a child’s passing.

James Van Praagh:  Definitely.

Bob Olson:  And it doesn’t matter whether it’s an illness, a suicide, a murder, or an accident; every one of those situations and others that I didn’t mention, it’s the same thing.  There was purpose behind it, right.

James Van Praagh:  There’s purpose behind it.  For instance, suicide, a lot of people ask about a child’s suicide.  I’ve gone through thousands and thousands and thousands of suicides.  You know, how you leave the body doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter how you leave the body, you leave the body.  If it’s a car, you get out of the car and you leave it.  But the process is different.

If you commit suicide because your stock fell down, that’s very different than someone committing suicide who has a brain disorder, who has an imbalance.  It’s very, very different.  So we have to look at those things very differently.  It’s always the motivation behind the act that means something.  That’s what you’ve got to take into consideration.

Also Bob, I just want to say I don’t even know, and I’m going to put it out there, that suicide; maybe that soul group decided that, that soul is going to leave through suicide this time.  Because by that lesson leaving through suicide, that’s going to create a whole different scenario as far as how we react to that suicide.  And how we react to it, maybe we decide to go and work with a suicide prevention league, or maybe it will put us in our line of work or into our path by that.

If it was a heart attack, if it was a car accident, we might not have gotten into that another way.  So there’s always ways and things, so I don’t want to be very finite and say, “This is the way it is.  It’s A, B, and C.”  It’s impossible.

Bob Olson:  No I agree.  You know I dealt with depression years ago and I dealt with the, what’s called suicidal ideation, thoughts of suicide.  I had this conversation with my wife, Melissa before, that speaking of this pretention that we’re talking about.  Not just her and I, but everybody that was in my life knew by coming into this lifetime with me, whether they came here before me or after me – by coming into this lifetime with me during that period of time, there was the potential that they would learn to deal with this situation, with my taking my own life.

That potential existed.  Those souls knew it.  They knew that they would gain something from it, if it happened and yet, they would learn something if it didn’t as well.  So it worked both ways. In this way, I didn’t take my life, so it went a different direction.

James Van Praagh:  But guess what, those people that were around you at that time of your life, extracted from that experience certain things, certain elements, certain ways of doing certain methods that they can use later on in their lives in other situations, where there are people in the exact same space you are in and now they know how to help them, so that’s why these things  happen.  We don’t’ know when we’re going to be able to use this information later on, but believe me we do.

Bob Olson:  Yeah.  And you know I think it’s difficult, some of these subjects, and you talk about them in the book.  But some of these subjects are different.  Like when it comes to murder.  When you’re talking about crime, it’s understandable that a parent, especially, would get very focused on blaming the murderer for the cause of the death, okay.  But if they work at it from a spiritual perspective and really try to see a bigger picture of it, maybe they can let in the possibility that the soul of this child knew that it might leave in this way.

James Van Praagh:  And they agreed upon that before the soul came back into the incarnation.  Can I just say, or maybe there is a possibility that, that soul killed the other person in another lifetime.  Now they’ve got to work it out karmically.  Everything is ying-yang.  You’ve got to find balance.  You’ve got to experience one thing and then experience the other thing.  So what you give out you will receive back.  You have to learn both ends of it.

Bob Olson:  Yeah.  Well I think the greatest lesson that I think people will get from reading Growing Up in Heaven, and even in listening to this interview with you, is this is all about our soul’s growth.  This is an eternal thing that’s going on.  So their child, whatever age that might be – young, teenagers, or in their twenties, their child still exists and that’s why you do what you do as a medium to try to help bring evidence of that for people and connect people with their loved ones.

But, you know it can send people into this path, this spiritual path of understanding the afterlife and recognizing it.  It helps them in so many ways and if they connect the dots they’ll realize that their child was really responsible for that in on the long run.

James Van Praagh:  Completely, Bob.  Completely, and I’ve seen that thousands and thousands and thousands of times.  I am so happy when a parent recognizes that their lives are full.

I mean I have a friend named Maria Levine [sp], who lost her son Peter, oh about 20 years ago in a car accident.  I met her in New York.  I did a reading for her in New York, and at the time of the reading she said, “I just want to kill myself.  There’s no reason for me to live anymore.  I don’t want to live without him.  I can’t live without him.  How am I going to live without him?  I will never be the same.  I will never live without him.”

Well, she has since gone on to write two amazing bestseller books, helping a lot of organizations.  It’s just amazing that it gave her the impetus to do that.  She never would’ve done that, she never would’ve helped those other 1,000 people if she hadn’t lost Peter.  And maybe there was agreement that her and Peter had in the in between life.  So I’d like to think of it from there.  And based upon 30 years of doing this, I’d go with that, from my experience.

Bob Olson:  Well, first of all, I want to thank you again for doing this interview.

James Van Praagh:  Sure.

Bob Olson:  I want everybody who is watching this to understand that neither you nor I are expecting that this would be easy for anybody to go through this or what we’ve said should make it all better.  But you and I both understand that this is probably one of the most challenging things that I think anybody can go through.  Would you agree?

James Van Praagh:  Yes, and part of the lesson is you have to go through a pain.  It’s a horrible pain, it’s horrific but for some reason the soul must go through learning what that pain is all about or learning what the loss of a child is about, and your soul has chosen that class this time around.

But you will get better.  It does get better, and you will always be with your child.  Your child is a part of your life in the spirit, which means that your child is right around you, helping things to be influenced, helping things to happen in your lifetime now.  You’ve never lost your child, they’re just in a different form.

Bob Olson:  Well that’s beautifully said.  Again, thank you.

I highly recommend anybody, if you haven’t read it go out and get this book.  You can read about it.  Underneath this video will be some copy and links so people can find out more about this book.  To find out more about James Van Praagh, he’s at, which is

James, it was beautiful.  I just love the way you teach everything in such a real authentic way.  It’s beautiful.  Thanks so much.

James Van Praagh:  Thanks, Bob.  Thank you, I appreciate it.  See you next time.

Bob Olson:  Bye-bye now.

James Van Praagh:  Bye.

Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

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