SCARLETT LEWIS: “I’m so very excited about this Afterlife TV episode with Scarlett Lewis, because there’s so many jewels to take away from it. Scarlett lost her six-year-old son, Jesse, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, CT. In spite of this horrifying tragedy, Scarlett’s story is filled with powerful after-death communications (ADCs) and signs of precognitive knowing (when someone subconsciously knows about their impending death).
“What’s even more amazing is that Scarlett Lewis learned how to choose thoughts of love instead of anger, hatred or fear, which she shares with us to use in our own lives. And only a short time after the shooting, Scarlett was able to forgive her son’s killer, and her example teaches us how to shed the burden of anger and hatred in order to find joy again following any tragedy. While the foundation of this story is sad, this Afterlife TV episode is both comforting and inspiring thanks to what Scarlett and Jesse Lewis have to teach us. You really don’t want to miss this special episode.” ~ Bob Olson, Afterlife TV
If you’d like to watch this video, Afterlife Love Story: Choosing Light Where Darkness Looms, visit www.afterlifetv.com/?p=2221
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: BestPsychicDirectory.com (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & BestPsychicMediums.com (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 PsychicMediumWorkshop.com.
JOIN BOB’S NEWSLETTER: Don’t miss Bob’s latest content about life lessons and life after death on his newsletter called, Bob Olson Connect.
Bob: Hey, everybody. Bob Olson here with Afterlife TV. You can find us at afterlifetv.com. This is where, when we’re not shovelling ourselves out from several feet of snow, we’re searching for evidence of life after death and asking the meaningful questions around that subject. Today, we’ve got something very special for you. You know, I’m calling this an afterlife love story. I don’t want you to get that wrong. My subtitle is going to be “Choosing Light where Darkness Looms.” This is a really special episode because we will be talking about after-death communications, and we’ll be talking about precognitive knowing, where some people seem to know that their death might be impending even on a subconscious basis. I’ve found that this seems to be more true for younger people than us older adults, but it does happen in all ages.
But we’re also going to be talking, and I want you to stay on because the foundation of this is a very tragic story, but you’re going to leave this episode feeling empowered and feeling like you have some new tools for making life better by being careful about the choices that you make. You’ll learn more about that as we go on. Our guest is the author of this book, a very special book. I actually had a relative who just told me, “You have to have this woman on.” Here’s the book right there, “Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness.” I bet many of you, in our Afterlife TV audience, have already read it. Her name is Scarlett Lewis. Scarlett, thanks so much for joining us.
Scarlett: Thanks for having me, Bob.
Bob: We’ll let the audience know. We’ve already had a few chuckles because Skype is playing around with us. It’s causing your lighting to go back and forth, so everybody, we know. We know that this stuff is happening. We can see it. There you go. It just happened. Thank you. Sometimes her e-mail is going to ding, and that’s just, maybe, I think, to put emphasis on whatever it is we’re saying, just to wake you up a little bit. I do believe that your son, Jesse, is really having his fun with us here.
Scarlett: I see.
Bob: It’s a great opportunity for it. Your story begins December 14, 2012. It is a very tragic story. Why don’t you tell us what happened on that day?
Scarlett: Well, on December 14, 2012, an angry young man shot his way through the glass doors of Sandy Hook Elementary and proceeded to gun down 20 first graders in two first grade classrooms, and six teachers and administrators. That was, obviously, the worst day of my life. I was at work, and when I got the message that there’d been a shooting at a school in Newtown, just not too concerned, not thinking that it was that big of a deal, believe it or not, because, of course, nothing can ever happen to your child. Especially where you live and, you know, Sandy Hook is a little New England community. Got to the school, my commute is 45 minutes. By the time I got there, there were media, army trucks, people running around with camouflage on, helicopters overhead, and we were supposed to meet up with our kids at the fire house, which was at the other end of the road.
Of course, Jesse never came, and neither did so many other loved ones. We didn’t find out until the end of the day what had really happened. In fact, after everyone else in the United States knew. But, just a very, very tragic day. I was definitely in shock.
Bob: Yeah. I have the book, but I actually listened to it. I got the Kindle version and then I used my Kindle to read it to me. Not sure why I did that, but it was, you know, the computer doesn’t read it perfectly, but it did a good enough job. I was riveted by the story that you told and in a way that, of course, I think most of us have already heard that story, but hearing your version of it, and what your experience was like, I was really able to sort of feel as though I was there with you and watching you go through this experience. You did a great job articulating that in this book. Again, though, I want to repeat, it’s a tragic story, but I didn’t feel as though I wanted to close the book. I felt as though, the way you wrote it, you weren’t trying to pull tears out of me. You were just stating the facts, telling me what was happening.
For that reason, I wanted to understand, as much as anyone can, in our situation, who haven’t experienced what you’ve experienced. So, I thought it was very well written. I just want to mention that because, I think, there’s a lot of people, I think I’m one of them, that tends to avoid books like this because I don’t want to feel bad. I felt compassion for you all the way through, but I can’t say that it ever made me feel bad. If nothing else, I mean, these stories make us recognize how the little things in life are silly for us to feel sorry about ourselves as we go through life and we go, “Oh my God, look what she’s been through,” but also, how grateful I am for so many things. So, after finishing this book, I just felt gratitude for days about my life, and that’s one of things that your book offers.
Scarlett: Definitely. I’ll tell you, going through a personal tragedy like that gives you an incredible sense of perspective. Myself, everything that is not important falls away, and you just have this incredible sense of perspective of what’s important and you feel gratitude for those things. So, in that regard, that’s a blessing that definitely comes out of it. I mean, there are a lot of lessons in the book as well. I mean, it opens up pretty dramatically with, I think, the scene in Jesse’s classroom, because Jesse acted very bravely that day. When the gunman entered his classroom, he continued his killing spree and murdered Jesse’s teacher who was standing very close to him. We feel like he was standing there with her to protect her, and when the gunman’s gun ran out of bullets, Jesse used the delay to call out to his friends to run.
They said it’s because he called out that they ran, and he was instrumental in saving nine lives. He, himself, didn’t run, because we feel that he did not want to leave the side of his teacher. So, the gunman reloaded and killed the remaining kids in the room. But, just that lesson alone, within the first few pages, changed my life. It wasn’t just the loss, but it was his courage that he showed on that day, and I think about that on a daily basis when I wake up and I think, “Gosh, this life is hard and how can I do what I feel compelled to do,” and I feel that if Jesse had the courage to do what he did on that day, I certainly have the courage to carry through with his message. Of course, I’ve been talking a lot with children and schoolchildren, and the concept of courage falls into character values. It takes courage to be kind. It takes courage to be generous and compassionate, and so I feel like that’s such a great lesson for all of us, and also perspective for everyone, as well.
Bob: Oh my goodness. That is so true, and it’s always interesting, guys especially, guys will be the first people to, “Oh, if I was in a situation like that, this is what I would do.” We never know what we would do until we’re in that situation. And here, how old was he, six?
Bob: Six year old has this kind of courage. I don’t know where it comes from. He was sort of the protector even before that. He was protecting the farm, right?
Scarlett: Absolutely, yeah. His favorite toys were yellow rubber ducks and little army men, and that shows you this incredible dichotomy within him. But one of my most poignant memories is of him coming home and kicking off his school shoes. He would pull on these snow boots with camo on the top, even if it was summer, and he would pick up a water gun and he’d strap on this army helmet. He would go out and he would just go out in advance of me going out to feed the animals. He would stand at the gate like this, like a sentry, waiting for one of his friends to come and take a horseback riding lesson. We always called him, “the protector.” It’s weird. It’s almost like, I look back now and I see how, perhaps, maybe in the last six months of his life he was gearing up for something like this that was going to happen.
I felt like, you know, we would roughhouse every morning. J.T. would leave. He would get the bus. J.T. is Jesse’s older brother. He was 12 at the time. He would get the bus at 6:30, so that next hour would be my time with Jesse. I would go in and wake him up and we would “rustle” is what he called it, like “wrestle and play.” I remember the last six months, like, our wrestling got a little bit different. It was like he was strong, and he was only six, you know, but I would have to say, “Don’t hurt Mama.” Like, “Be gentle with me. That’s pretty rough.”
I look back now, and it’s only recently that I’ve been thinking about that, thinking I really think he was gearing up for this. My friend had sent him that army helmet. That’s that iconic picture that everybody looks at, and that’s in the book, but he wore that army helmet to bed. He wore it all the time. He wanted to wear it to school and I said, “You can’t wear it to school.” He would come home and strap it on. He’d literally wear it to sleep, and I just feel like he knew he was this little soldier and he was going to have to do something brave. I mean, my God, that classroom, literally, was a war zone.
Scarlett: I feel like he had this spiritual knowing that he would have to play that role and he was preparing for it.
Bob: Yeah, no question about it. Here’s the picture, if we can make it visible at all.
Scarlett: Yeah. Yeah. You can see it.
Bob: People, can you see it? These pictures are all in the book. That one’s on page, I don’t have my glasses, so it looks like nine. One of the other things that you talked about in the book that I thought was really important, and again, just a great reminder about life. I don’t know where you got this from. Maybe I missed that in the book, but you were going through a period, yourself, again, precognitive knowing, I don’t know. You were going through a period where, or maybe it was always like this for you, but you were taking the extra time to be with your children and to do things in spite of the fact that you might be late for work, that sort of thing. You just knew, “You know what? I need to spend this time with them.” Tell us about that. Tell us, maybe, a couple of things that you had done, and I also want to know where you think that came from.
Scarlett: I know. It’s weird. Well, you know, Jesse was born and I said a prayer the first day that he was born. I said, “Dear Jesus, I know that he is a gift. I know that you can take him from me but please don’t.” It was like, I think I cocked my head aside and was like, “Hmm. Okay.” I prayed that with Jesse every single night. I would pray for J.T. as well, but not that prayer. I never really questioned it.
So, after Jesse was born, his dad and I split up right after he was born, and I kind of went through this period of my life where I really had to become stronger. I had to become more independent. I actually hired a Personal Empowerment Coach right after Jesse was born. She still works with me in the foundation. I made some huge changes in my life. I became more aware. I become more conscious. I became more mindful and more grateful about things in my life. It was just the boys and I and that never bothered me. I just wanted to be with them and have fun and focus on them, and gosh, I am so glad that I did. I do think that, looking back, then I can say, “Wow, where did that prayer come from?”
Scarlett: I think that it had to come from a spiritual awareness, a precognitive knowing, on my behalf, that something was coming. I look at the way I led my life with the boys, during Jesse’s life. It was like, you know, I went to work. I supported my household, but every time I was with the boys, it was like, “What can we do? Let’s just have a great time.” My mom would joke because she would call me at, like, 8:00 on a Saturday morning and she’d say, “Where are you guys headed to now?” I’d say, “Well, we’re going to a museum to see, you know, a beagle mom is nursing fox puppies in some museum two hours away and then, on the way back, we’re going to go play laser tag and then we’re going to go to a movie, then we’re going to go out to dinner.” It was like, I packed my days.
Even at night, we would just be having fun. We might go to a movie on a week night or J.T. and I would go skiing on a week night. I remember thinking, after Jesse died, I remember sitting on the couch not wanting to do anything. Not wanting to, having this inner feeling or this drive or this passion to be somewhere, to be having fun, to be doing. It was, like, the first time in six years that I was able to sit and be still and calm and not have this inner drive to do something. I thought, “Wow. Thank God I had that.”
Scarlett: Because we really lived those six years very fully but I also wondered, as well, where that came from, and it had to be a spiritual awareness and knowing that I had to pack a lot into those six years and I did.
Bob: That’s not uncommon. Even with people who, say, die in their 20s or 30s, I hear of those people being very driven to pack a lot of life into those short amount of years. It certainly gives you the impression that there’s something that’s driving us, that’s pushing us to do these things. For me, I find that comforting. I find that comforting because it makes me think this was all part of the plan. This is no accident.
Bob: Yeah. Now, since we’re on the subject, because I think it’s fascinating, you also wrote a children’s book before Jesse’s passing. Tell us about that.
Scarlett: Yeah. I wrote a book called “Rose’s Foal.” This was about a year after J.T. was born. The day after 9/11, J.T.’s father was working in New York. I was just so devastated, obviously, as everyone was. I was looking at the TV, at this horrific scene of burning buildings and destruction and terror. Then I’d walk outside on my farm and we had just had a newborn foal the day before, and it was just this beautiful pastoral scene, and I just thought, “I need to do something about this.” At the same time, we don’t have a TV so I read to the boys every night. All these books that I was reading to J.T., they just weren’t enough to nourish his brain, I thought. So, I thought, “You know what? I think I can do better than this.
So, I wrote a book about the foal that was born on the farm and a mother’s love for her child. I included the five most important lessons that I think that a mother can pass on to her son, in particular. The last lesson was that a mother and foal, a mother and son, might not always live on the same farm but their love will transcend distance and time forever and always. Then I ended the book. You know, a traditional book ends with “The End,” and, you know, love never ends. So, I couldn’t really say, it’s never “The End,” because there is no end, so I ended it, “Love never ends.” I was surprised to find that, in December of 2012, the book was flying off the shelves and it was because, and people usually, and this is usually, people see the synchronicities before I do.
They said, “Oh my God, you had an awareness that this was going to happen. This was your last lesson, that you wouldn’t be on the same farm.” Of course, when I was writing it, I really thought about college. The boys were going to leave for that, not death, but it also speaks to death as well.
Bob: Well, who knew? I got chills a couple of times while you were telling that story, and I had already read about it. It’s that kind of a story, especially when you think of it in hindsight, that you wrote this before the shooting. The next thing, I’d love for you to just tell us about the story of the morning of the shooting. Tell us a little bit about that.
Scarlett: You mean the firehouse?
Bob: No, no, no. Way before that. You have a great picture.
Scarlett: Yeah, right. So, the morning, actually this was Thursday morning because Jesse was with his father every other Thursday, so this was Thursday morning and the shooting would happen the following day. Normal morning, obviously, getting up, rushing around, getting two boys off to school. J.T. had left and then Jesse had our morning together. I’m walking him out to meet his father, who’s picking him up in the driveway, and we had this conversation about how we were going to meet at Jesse’s classroom the following day to build gingerbread houses. I turned around to give Jesse a hug and kiss goodbye and I saw that he had written on the side of my car with his little fingernail in the frost, “I love you,” and he had drawn little hearts on all my windows. I have a picture of it here.
Bob: Amazing, and yeah. So, on the windows, we can see, oh yeah, yeah, we can see it. In the book people can see that more clearly. There he is. Thank God for, that was your cell phone, I assume, you took that picture with.
Scarlett: I didn’t have it with me, but I looked at that, and I just thought, “This is one of those moments, you know, to be mindfully aware. This is a moment that you cherish,” and I said, “Don’t go anywhere. Just stay right here.” I ran in. I got my cell phone. I came back out. I positioned him in front of the car. I took a picture of him, and that’s my goodbye message that I have a picture of, you know. Thank God, because that was frost and it melted within fifteen minutes but I will just have that with me forever.
Bob: Well, that’s beautiful. What a gift that that is. Again, you have to look for the gifts, right, through the darkness. In this particular case, I mean, so many people pass and I hear a lot of people say, you know, “I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to say I love you,” whatever. Some people have had harsh words. In this particular case, you not only have the words, but you have a picture of what it was. Yeah, and it’s beautiful. Was it the same morning or was it the next morning that Jesse had said something to his father, Neil? I thought that was, again, precognitive knowing. We’re still on the subject. Tell us about that.
Scarlett: Yeah, absolutely. It was that morning. It was December 14. It was the morning that Neil was driving him to school, the morning of the shooting. Jesse said, he was kind of grumbling because, the night before, they had gone to this place called Stew Leonard’s, and they were having a gingerbread making class. They had signed up for it and they couldn’t get in because it was filled. I guess Jesse was kind of grumbling about it in his car seat in the back, and Neil said, “Don’t feel bad about not missing that because your mom and I are meeting today at 2:00 in your classroom. We’re going to make gingerbread houses.” Jesse said, “That’s not going to happen,” you know, kind of grumpy. Neil said, “Yeah, it is. I mean, we talked about it. We bought the kit last week and it’s all set up. We’re going to meet in the classroom.” Jesse said, kind of angrily, “That’s not going to happen,” you know, very emphatically.
Neil thought, “Hmm,” to himself. Well, at first he said, “I’m not going to argue with him. Maybe he got his dates wrong. Maybe he doesn’t feel that well.” In fact, he says that some part of him was like, “Maybe he doesn’t feel well. Maybe I should keep him home from school.” Too bad he didn’t have more precognitive knowing. Anyway, but he said, “I just didn’t argue with him. We went to school. I walked him into the little foyer and I bent down, like I always do, to give him a kiss goodbye.” Jesse put his arms around him and gave him a kiss and whispered in his ear, “Dad, it’s going to be okay and I love you and Mom,” and then turned and walked away. Neil said he was like, “Hmm. Okay.” So left, but, you know, then it becomes very meaningful after the fact.
Bob: Yeah it really does. Again, I just go back to when you’re looking for the bits of light in a very dark story, this one has a lot of light and, again, gives me that comfort because it gives me this thought that, you know, does it do the same to you? That, again, this is not an accident. This was almost something that his soul had planned and here he was. There’s a purpose in all of this. Do you feel that way? Did you come away with that at all?
Scarlett: Oh, I absolutely know that to be true. There’s a reason and a purpose for everything and it serves us and I know that that’s true. I say I used to believe and now I absolutely know that there’s life after death. I know that Jesse is with me. He’s sent me such incredible signs and there’s this precognitive knowing, without a doubt in this case, that your spirit knows. Not consciously, as you said, but unconsciously. For me, that gave me so much comfort because to know that he’s okay now and that we are going to be reunited, I know that without a doubt. You know, all that precognitive stuff, that helps a lot, too.
Bob: Yeah, yeah. Do you have a picture of the drawing he did of the shooter?
Scarlett: Yes, yes.
Bob: You do? All right. I mean, this is amazing. At what point did you actually find this drawing?
Scarlett: Yeah. I went directly to my mom’s house. She lives on the other side of town and so I stayed there for roughly a month after the shooting. About a week after, our state trooper went to the school and got a box of all of Jesse’s personal belongings from the classroom. They literally just took the paperwork out of the desk and stacked it chronologically and any school work that was hanging up in the room, they took down. So, my sisters-in-law and myself went through this box and we found this picture that he had drawn about three days before the shooting.
Bob: So what I see here, I see a figure with, like, angel wings. Then I see this other figure that’s been blacked out. Tell us more about it.
Scarlett: This is incredible. It’s funny because I give talks around the country and my audiences pick up on things, still, to this day, that I hadn’t noticed. So, we call this “The Angel and The Bad Man.” This is exactly how Jesse died, facing the shooter. He’s in the shape of a bullet and the angel is a 14. I mean, these are little things that my audiences talk to me about. The most incredible thing is this shooter’s head because, I don’t know if your audiences are going to be able to see it. I’ll try to get it as close as possible, but in the back of the head and I do not believe that he intended to draw this, is a demon figure. There is a figure in a black cloak with two black, blunted wings. He’s got a little face that’s looking over towards Jesse. He’s got a ball cap. He’s holding a gun and there’s a phallic symbol that screws down into the head.
I don’t believe, this is just in his… It’s like an angry figure, but this demon is very prominent and once you see it, you can’t help but see it. But the most important, incredible thing about this shooter’s head is that, in front of this demon-like figure, there’s an angelic figure. There’s a figure that could not have been drawn. It’s like a rubbing almost. It’s a face, a little face right here, with a halo and the woman is standing, somewhat like Mary of Magigoria, standing with her arm out like this in biblical robes, with a halo. It couldn’t have been drawn. That, to me, my interpretation is that we all have the two forces within us. We all have good and we all have evil. It’s like the old Indian parable, it’s whichever wolf you feed. I feel that way about the shooter. I feel like he wasn’t born a mass murderer.
Scarlett: Right? He was born a perfect child of God. He was cultivated into the killer that he became by his environment.
Scarlett: So, unfortunately, the wolf that was fed within him was evil but there was also the propensity for goodness in there, as well. That could have come out, but we all have both, and I think that’s a really important lesson.
Bob: I think so, too. Amazing lesson, and it’s an amazing picture. I’m going to try to put that picture up under this video, so if it’s not there, everybody, I just had some issues because I want to make sure that people are able to see these things.
Bob: Otherwise, do you have them on your website as well?
Scarlett: I do. I think that that picture’s on my website. It’s definitely on my Facebook page.
Bob: Okay. All right. Great. We’ll tell everybody about that later. But, important things to see and, again, everything is in the book. Let’s show it again. All right, “Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness.” We’re going to talk more about that. You have another picture there, a much more beautiful picture. Can you show that to us and tell us what that picture’s all about?
Scarlett: Well, I have many beautiful pictures. Are you talking about his last painting?
Scarlett: Okay. So, Jesse and I painted together. I paint in oils. He painted in acrylics, for obvious reasons. This was his last painting that he painted about three months before he died. You know, when your child paints a painting, it’s, you know, just a masterpiece, right? Because your child did it. When he dies, it becomes a treasure. I took a couple of these pieces to a woman who had studied with Elizabeth Kubler Ross, and she studied precognitive drawing with her, where kids draw how they’re going to die. When she saw this, she said, “My God, that is a three-dimensional door and he painted exactly how he was going to die.” This is a bloody, violent death around the outside. The blue is the journey and the green is the color of the heart chakra. It’s the color of love and it’s where he’s going. Absolutely, I mean, for a six-year-old anyway to cover all the canvas like this is pretty incredible but, to me, that’s exactly what he drew.
Bob: Yeah. I have great respect for Elizabeth Kubler Ross and that organization and the work. She was one of the early people I was studying before her passing, many years ago, that brought me into this field. Her work is amazing but, certainly, her work with children is the most fascinating to me. It always has been. The great thing that she’s able to do with a lot of these kids, because she worked with kids in all sorts of different ways, but she was able to work with a lot of kids who where she could get their feedback on, “What does this drawing mean to you?” It really helped define, crystallize her ability to interpret these paintings and drawings that these kids did. That makes perfect sense to me right there.
Scarlett: Yeah, it’s just amazing and they keep coming.
Bob: Yeah, well, that’s it. You know, it reminds me a little bit, too. I mean, the first thing I thought of when I saw it was the tunnel that so many people who have near-death experiences talk about that they went through. There’s certainly a doorway to the afterlife. Just beautiful. So much there. You’ve also had a lot of what we call ADCs, after-death communications. I’d like to discuss a few of those. Being Afterlife TV, I’d like to focus on some of the more spiritual aspects of your story. Start off with some, maybe, more mild ones and we’ll work towards the stronger ones as we go. At first, one of the first things that happened with you was you immediately had lights flickering. Most Afterlife TV viewers understand that it’s one of the easiest ways for our loved ones in spirit to communicate with us. Why don’t you tell us about your experience with lights flickering?
Scarlett: Well, the morning after, I was actually sleeping in my mom’s bed and I got up really early. It was dark. Of course, you have that few seconds of bliss until you realize what’s happened, and I remember just getting up. I had my laptop on the floor and I picked it up. I turned on the lamp and I positioned myself and I was going to start writing a draft of his obituary. Almost immediately, I got my laptop opened and the light next to me blinked three times. One, two, three, just very deliberate blinks. I got this wash of just soothing comfort and love that came over me. I had this absolute knowing that Jesse was right there and that he was telling me, “I’m okay.” I even said out loud, “Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for that. I’m so glad that you’re okay. You know, I love you so much.” That was, it just started right away.
Then, we had this light and it’s on the strangest place. It’s on this dresser. It’s right outside of my mom’s bathroom. We had a lot of people, of course, coming and going. My friends flew in from all over the country. Some of them are spiritual, some of them are not at all, and I’ll never forget. We’re getting ready to go to the funeral and my best friend’s husband, who is not spiritual, is helping J.T. up in my mom’s bedroom, and they had this experience with the light blinking. You almost, like, you got a message from it. You knew that it was for you. You knew that it wasn’t just blinking or a dim bulb. It was a message and he came down with tears streaming down his face. He said, “I was with Jesse.” It was just so beautiful. I’ll just say, last night, I’m over at my mom’s, we’re in the living room, and I’m with a bunch of my really good friends.
I’m going over a presentation that I’m giving with the foundation and I wanted them all to hear it before I brought it out to the world. I start talking about it and, of course, we’re always talking about Jesse. We were talking about the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation and, all of a sudden, the light on the other side of the room started blinking. Now, it hadn’t blinked. It started blinking, blinking, blinking, and I’m thinking, “Oh,” you know, it takes you a little while. I’m like, “Oh, okay. The lights. Oh, it’s Jesse.” I said, “Well, Jesse’s here,” and somebody said, “Oh my God. I was watching the light blink in the window and I was thinking, is that what it is? Is it headlights?” You know, it takes everybody a while, but it blinked, blinked, blinked and then it stopped. So I know that he was there with us last night. My mom said, “After you all left, I went back into the living room and I sat and, of course, I wanted the light to blink, but it didn’t.”
Scarlett: I’ve felt that, because you know that your loved one is there and he was watching the presentation, too. He’s my boss.
Scarlett: So he wants to make sure I’m doing a good job.
Bob: You know, look, certainly the skeptic can say I’m looking for things but, the truth is, you have a light that’s in front of you. Your light is not going on and off, but our visual of it is that it does. You keep getting darker and then getting brighter. This has never happened with another guest where, starting right from the get go, this has been happening with us. It’s kind of comical, but we’re talking about lights flickering and this is just another way. You know, I have no problem saying this is Jesse letting us know that he’s aware of this interview and he’s right here with us during this whole time.
Scarlett: Well, the lights are better than when I had my first Board of Directors meeting. I’m sitting right here and everybody’s on Skype and you hear, shhh, shhhh. Like this whooshing, whooshing, and I’m like, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with my audio.” You know, we couldn’t do the call. I had to mute myself. One of the guys on my Board of Directors, he’s actually a three-star general, and he said, “It’s Jesse,” and I said, “I think it is.” It’s not always me that says that. Other people bring it up and I think that it is. I love that.
Bob: You know, it’s one of those things that’s kind of easy, even for the people who would not watch Afterlife TV. They don’t have a hard time believing in these sorts of things because we’ve all experienced it so much, and they happen at the most incredible times that you really can’t even call it coincidence anymore. I think that even generals are able to very easily say, “Yeah, that’s who it is,” you know.
Bob: I love that. I think it’s wonderful. You also have a great story. I think it was the next morning as well, soon after Jesse passed, that you found something on your pillow. Do you remember that?
Bob: I know you can’t remember because, you know…
Scarlett: Oh yeah, oh yeah. I remember that. It wasn’t the next morning. It was several weeks later because I was back home.
Scarlett: I had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I didn’t turn the lights on or anything. I’m just kind of feeling my way, and so I felt my way back and I put my hand down on the bed to kind of feel where it was before I got in, and my hand touched on a toy, miniature toy soldier.
Bob: Yeah. Yeah.
Scarlett: It was like, I had just been lying in the bed and that was not there. My hand went down on the bed right on top of it and, you know, when I get those things, I go, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I see it. I love it. Thank you for letting me know that you’re here with me. I love you so much. I miss you. Thank you.” You know? Then I keep those little things. They happen a lot. I keep them with me for the day, at least. I mean, I used to keep them with me for weeks. They would go everywhere. Now, I at least keep them with me for the day, just because that’s Jesse’s token of physical presence and loving me and so I’ll just stick it in my pocket and walk around with it.
Bob: Yeah, yeah. Well, yeah. I would, too.
Bob: The other great thing that I, there was two young boys and, again, this is going to happen through young children more likely than adults, but two young kids who actually seemed to have communicated with Jesse. One was his cousin, Christian, Becky and Jordan’s son.
Scarlett: Yeah. Oh gosh, amazing. So, the first time I ever came back to the house was a few days after the shooting. I had to get Jesse’s clothes for the funeral. I came with maybe 10 people, friends and family all around me. They knew it was going to be very difficult. We walk in. We had already put our Christmas tree up. Actually, I had bought a little train for Jesse, because he had specially requested this, that went around the base of the tree. I think a night before, or two nights before, it was sitting right there and he just begged me to open it. I said, “Just open it and play with it.” You know, full of fun. He did. So the boys had one night to play with this train. They had such a great time playing with it. The train was still out. The box was still lying there.
My brother Jordan and his little son, Christian, who I think was four at the time, they walked in and Christian went, “Ahh, a train. A train.” He ran over and Jordan’s like, “Don’t touch that. Don’t touch anything.” I’m like, “No, no, Jordan, please. He can play with it.” He’s like, “No. I don’t want him to touch anything.” I said, “No, no, no. I want him to have it. I don’t want that train. I don’t want to see that train.” I mean, it was kind of like, you change different things about… I was in shock. I just said, “You know what? I don’t want to come home again and see that train. I want you to take it.” I said, “In fact, the packaging is right here,” and I just dropped to my knees and I said, “Christian, this is your train. Jesse would want you to have it. I’m putting it back in the box. It’s brand new.” So we packaged it up, took it, and then, a couple days later, this was the day of the funeral.
I’m dressed and I’m sitting on the couch waiting for everybody to show up. Jordan and Becky come in and they have tears streaming down their face. Becky’s literally bawling. She, they both were like this, and they said, “We have something we have to tell you. Something happened this morning. So, Christian got up early, and he’s been talking about the train, the train, the train, and he asked for the train. So Jordan went out and got it. It was still in the car, I guess. So he gave him the train and went back to sleep. We’re lying there. We’re asleep in bed and the door’s closed.” I guess Christian knows to play very quietly whenever he does. They said he’s never made noise before. She said, “I heard him talking to somebody in the hallway, right outside of our bedroom.” She said, “I opened my eyes and I was listening,” and she said, “Christian was saying, ‘Oh, is this your cool train? This is a cool train. Yeah? Yeah?'”
Becky said she reached over and she grabbed Jordan’s leg and she started shaking him and she said, “Jordan, Christian is talking with Jesse.” Jordan woke up and they heard this conversation. He was saying, “Oh, play with it in the tub? Okay.” Jesse loved playing with toys in the tub and it was like, they knew, but you know how have, you have a knowing. You just know what’s going on. You have this spiritual awareness of what’s going on. They knew that he was talking with Jesse.
Scarlett: So, anyway, they came and they were telling me this and it was so nice. I have a little follow-up to that, a little follow-up story. So, my mom had Christian in her car. Now, remember, he’s only four, and you know, I mean, we got together at holidays and different things like this but, he’s four. He’s sitting in a car seat in the back of my mom’s car and my mom has Jesse, his picture, on a mass card and she keeps it on her dashboard. So, they’re sitting at a red light and my mom takes the mass card and she turns around and she goes, “Hey, Christian. Do you remember who this is? Do you remember him?” Christian goes, “Yeah, that’s the kid with the cool train.”
Bob: Wow. Wow.
Scarlett: So, I just love little things like that.
Bob: Yeah, that just wrapped it up with a bow right there.
Scarlett: Right. Then, my other brother, Trent, I’m not sure if this is in the book or not, but he has a young son, same age as Christian, and Sasha, who is my sister-in-law. She puts Hayden down to bed every night and they say a prayer every night and include Jesse in it. She was talking about Jesse, and he goes, “Yeah, Jesse. Jesse’s flying. Jesse comes in here and he flies. He flies.” So, you know, she thinks that Jesse really does come in and fly.
Bob: Yeah, exactly. I was going to ask you about him because that is in the book, too. Beautiful, beautiful stories, and such innocence when it’s coming from these children. They have no agenda to do this. They wouldn’t even know to say these things to make other people feel better. They just, because they’re honest and everything that comes out is truth, and there you go. I love those stories. I think they’re amazing. Now, talking about an amazing story, though. I don’t think anything can be, really, more powerful than the story of when you get off the plane in Florida. You can tell the story but what I want everybody to understand, ahead of time, is that, because I think this is beautiful and I think it’s important is that you, what happens in these situations where people lose a child is, very often, the focus becomes on the child that’s been lost.
The child that’s left behind gets ignored in many ways because of grief, because of depression, because of all sorts of different reasons. In your case, you made an extra effort to not let that happen, and you decided you were going to bring J.T. to Disney World, right?
Bob: So, go ahead and take it from there. That’s great.
Scarlett: Well, you know, Christmas was two weeks after the tragedy, and that day, as you can imagine, was just horrific in so many different ways but also, you know, I have three brothers and they all have two little boys and they’re all running around on that day and everyone’s busy. They’re all younger than my boys. I had already done all of my Christmas shopping so all of Jesse’s presents came and they were given to the little nephews or the little cousins. It was a difficult day and I thought, “Oh my God. I have to get out of here. I have to reconnect with J.T. as the family of two that we now are.” So, within 24 hours, I had gotten plane tickets and a place to stay and I was thinking, “What’s an easy place to stay? Some place I feel confident going on my own? We’ve been, it’s fun. What about Disney World?”
Within 24 hours, we are on our way to the airport. I was leaving out of White Plains, and my father, my step-father, was driving us. That morning there was a huge storm. So, as we’re driving to White Plains, this has never happened before but a pop-up came up on his cell phone and said, “Your point of origin of your flight has changed,” and we turned around and we went down to New Jersey to JFK. That’s where we had to fly out of. So, once we get there, and by the way, this was a day or two after Christmas so I still wasn’t talking to anyone. This was only two weeks after Jesse was murdered. I mean, I hadn’t been home. I hadn’t moved back home and I really wasn’t talking to many people. I just was still in shock and this was for me to get away, too. So, no one knew we were going, really, only a few people, my very close, a few friends, and of course my family.
So, we get down to the airport and the flight is cancelled three times because of the weather. We finally get on the plane. We were given a movie because of all the flight delays and everything. Everybody’s watching their movie, you know, peanuts, cokes, and everything. I’m sitting in the middle seat. J.T.’s got the window seat, except for me. My movie won’t play. My movie on the little screen goes flash, flash, flash, flash, flash. Then it drops down 20 channels to a radio and the channel is playing, you know, songs that were for me. There was no way around it. The words were for me. In fact, I got my cell phone and, you know, this was our healing adventure. I didn’t want to, J.T.’s not really into the ethereal things and I didn’t want to make him feel sad. We were supposed to be happy so I didn’t want him to even know that I was getting messages at this point.
I just kind of got my cell phone. I took out the notes. I’m writing down every word. They’re like, “missing you,” “love you,” “wish you were here,” you know. They’re all for me. Then the song would go over and I would go back on my seat and I would channel back up to try to watch the movie. I’d watch maybe 30 seconds of it. Then it would flash, flash. It was all static and everything, and then it would go down again, and then another song that was just for me. I was so happy because I knew I was getting messages from Jesse. Finally, J.T. looks and me and he goes, “Jesse?” He’s not into spirits and signs or anything, and I said, “Yeah. I mean, it has to be.” So, I never get my movie going. We land and one of my friends texts me, “How was the flight?” I text her back and I say, “The flight was amazing. Jesse was all over this flight.”
She texts back and she says, “Sometimes spirits linger because they want to make sure that we’re going to be okay.” So I just made a mental note. I knew exactly what I had to do. I didn’t say anything to J.T. We get off the plane with our bags and I said, “J.T., can you watch our luggage while I run to the bathroom?” He said, “Sure,” so he’s standing on the outside of the bathroom watching the luggage. I go into the women’s bathroom. I lock myself in a stall and I say a prayer. I just say, and I’m bawling my eyes out, because I really mean this when I’m saying it, “Jesse, if you’re lingering to make sure that J.T. and I are going to be okay, we’re going to be fine. You know, I want you to be in the arms of Jesus. If you can be in both places at once, that would be fine, but if you can’t, I want you to go.
I want you to go be in the arms of Jesus. We will see you soon. J.T. and I are going to be fine. We’re going to miss you. I love you, but I know that I will see you in heaven.” So, I’m bawling. I open the stall door. I rinse off my face. You know, this is J.T. and my healing adventure. I don’t want to bring J.T. down so I really masked it. I go out of the bathroom and I’m like, “All right, J.T. Let’s go rent our car and start on our healing adventure.” So, we go, we rent the car. We drive out of the airport driveway. We make a right onto the highway there and out of my window, of the side window here, in the sky is written in sky-writing, “Jesse and Jesus, together forever.” I have a picture of it.
Bob: Thank God.
Scarlett: We stopped. I looked at J.T. I didn’t say anything. I looked at J.T. J.T. looked at me and he said, “Jesse’s with Jesus,” and I said, “I know.” So we just sat there in stunned silence for several minutes.
Bob: And who would believe this? I’m glad you took a picture.
Scarlett: Me, too.
Bob: It’s just too amazing.
Scarlett: Well, I say, J.T.’s like, he’s like my toughest critic. He’s always in the background listening to what I say, and he’ll go, “Wait a minute. It wasn’t five minutes. It was three minutes.” You know, so I’m like really, thank God J.T. was there. Even if I had a picture, J.T. saw it, too. He was 12 years old at the time, and we were floored.
Bob: Yeah. Let’s see the picture. Okay.
Bob: Oh, we’re not seeing it because it’s kind of, oh there you go. Oh okay. We can’t make out what it says, but… Again, oh, okay. So, same thing. I’m going to try to put this picture up below this video so people can see it but, obviously, it’s sky-writing. Tell us about the “J”.
Bob: The “J” in “Jesse”.
Scarlett: Right, so, it’s Jesse, ampersand, Jesus, and the J is backwards, like Jesse wrote his Js, backwards. It’s like, “You know, Mom, I don’t want you to think it’s a different Jesse. It is definitely me,” and the plane was still flying. It had already written the message but it was still flying, and this is pretty interesting. It’s a little fuzzy when we were looking at it and the plane’s still flying. It flies around to the side of the car and now it starts to write another message out our windshield. I said, “J.T. we have to stay and watch this because this message is for us,” and he said, “I know.” While we’re sitting there, the plane writes, and I have my camera now because I’ve been taking pictures here, or my phone. I try to take a picture of this message, this is interesting, and I can’t. “It must be on a different wind shear,” I was thinking, because as soon as the plane wrote the letter, it went away.
It wrote, “U + God – :)” I looked at J.T. and I said, “This is our message that we have to stay close to God to be happy,” and he’s like, “I know.” But then, interestingly enough, I was a part of Wayne Dyer’s conference in January, 2000, must be 14. I told that story and at the end of when I was speaking, a couple ran up from the back. They had tears streaming down their face and they said, “We were there that day. We saw the message.” Because everybody had said, “Well, did you call down and find out who did it?” I said, “I don’t have to call down and find out who did it. I know who did it. I have no desire to call down. I know.” Actually, my neighbor did call down and she had found out. She said she felt compelled. She wanted to tell the skywriter that I received the message. I received comfort from it.
She did call down, and there’s a little group of people that do the skywriting, and of course, no one knew who wrote that. They hadn’t heard of it. So here’s this couple running up with tears streaming down, “We were there. We saw the message. We have a picture of it.” I said, “Oh my God. Let me see.” On their camera is “U + God – :)” They said, “We were there that day.” I said, “Well, if you saw that message, then you had to have seen “Jesse and Jesus, together forever” because that message never went away, and I couldn’t get a picture of that message that you got an entire picture of. They said, “We never saw Jesse and Jesus. We saw this picture, but not that one.” I said, “But that one never went away. We drove away and it was still up there.” So, really cool stuff.
Bob: Really cool stuff and, if people really think about, I know people’s minds and I know you know this because of the way you tell the story. People’s minds are thinking that someone you know did this and it’s not possible because of all the changes in flights, even the changes of airports. Then, you know, the timing of it was just amazing.
Bob: So, just very, just a wonderful story, a beautiful story. Also, this is Florida. You know, it’s a big Spanish community, so Jesus, Jesus. I mean, this could’ve been a love message, you know, between two people, two adults. But it meant something to you.
Bob: And why the “J” was backwards, dyslexic airplane driver, whatever you call that, pilot.
Bob: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Scarlett: You know, even if one of my family members did it, nobody’s ever fessed up. Not only could they not get the time, nobody could’ve predicted, I couldn’t predict the time and I was on the flight. Of course, they would never have known about the prayer. Right? All the things going on on the plane, and then I say the prayer and then I walk out and there’s the message for me. So powerful.
Bob: You know what the greatest thing is? This is a sacred experience to you and J.T. and you don’t have to explain it to anybody. That’s the wonderful thing about these kinds of things, right?
Scarlett: Yeah. I love sharing it because I know that a lot of people get hope and comfort from that as well.
Bob: That’s right. That’s why I wanted to have you on today because there’s just so much of this throughout your book, which is amazing. For someone to tell this kind of a story and just have all these things spattered throughout the story. I mean, from the beginning to the end, these are just lightly spattered here and there as you’re going along. “Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness.” I want to just talk about the title. Right here is the picture. So, this is something that Jesse actually wrote. Why don’t you tell us about that?
Scarlett: Yeah. On that day that I came home to get his clothes for the funeral, it was on my way out that day that I noticed that Jesse had written a message on our kitchen chalkboard, which we didn’t use that often, by the way. He had written three words: nurturing, healing, love. Those three words are not in the vernacular of a six-year old. It’s not something that they say. They were phonetically spelled because, of course, Jesse was just in first grade and learning to write. But, the meaning, I mean, later, we come to find out how powerful these three words are. Those three words are in the definition of compassion across all cultures. Then when we actually broke down the three words, and this was over the course of a couple of months, nurturing means “loving kindness and gratitude”. Healing means “forgiveness” and love is “compassion in action”.
So those three words, in that order, are actually the algorithm for choosing love. It’s so powerful. Not only that, but there’s this incredible experience that J.T. and I had with orphan genocide survivors that reached out to J.T. from Rwanda. Wanted to tell him about their experience and let him know that he would be okay and feel joy again, which was an incredible thing for both of us because, early on, no one had ever experienced something like that. So, no one really had credibility when they told us we’d be okay and that time heals all wounds. You’re looking at them going, “Really? Because you really don’t know.” These were people that had been through something worse than us, so they had credibility. They reached out and they gave us a healing equation, how they healed and how they’re now young entrepreneurs and doing really well. Their healing equation was the exact same one that Jesse left on our kitchen chalkboard. Really cool.
Bob: That is really cool. It kind of leads into, one of your key messages is to choose love. Choose love over anger, especially. I wanted, if you could elaborate on that because this is sort of the beginning of your non-profit foundation. Why don’t you tell us about this key message that you have spread across America, across the world, about choosing love over anger, especially?
Scarlett: Well, when the tragedy first happened, I took a step back and I thought, like everyone else, “How could this possibly have happened?” I thought that it was an angry thought in the shooter’s head, at one point, that started, set off this chain reaction and started the whole tragedy. I pictured the shooter as a young boy, having an angry thought without the tools or a nurturing environment to deal with that thought. So this thought, more angry thoughts and it escalated. We know that one angry thought can change us on a biological level. It actually changes the shape of our cells. Imagine just continuous angry thoughts without a nurturing, loving environment and anger can turn into rage. Rage, I believe, is what fills our prison systems and can lead to acts of violence such as Sandy Hook.
Then it dawned on me, my God. A thought can be changed. So, what power in that, to know, but you have to be taught this, that you’re not your thoughts. You can choose loving thoughts over angry thoughts and it’s just a choice. So much in our life is just a choice. We can choose to forgive. We can choose to be compassionate, choose to be in service to other people. I thought what an incredible message to go out and talk about Jesse’s message. I knew when I saw “nurturing healing love”, I just downloaded all this information, really almost from his message about how this happened and why and what we can do to change it. I felt like I knew that Jesse had a spiritual awareness that he wasn’t going to be on earth for that long. I knew he wanted to leave a message of comfort for his family and friends but, even more so, I knew that he wanted to leave a message that could make the world a better place.
This “Nurturing Healing Love” which happens to be the algorithm for choosing love and choosing loving thoughts over an angry thought. I realized that this whole tragedy started with an angry thought so it all kind of fit together.
Bob: It really does. It really does. You know, look. It’s amazing. It’s amazing that you’ve come to this conclusion. I’ve run into lots of people in the work that I do who are still stuck in their anger and all I can is they have every right to. Then when I see people like you who have recognized the power of the paradigm shift to do what you’re saying. It’s to think of it a different way and choose love over fear and hatred, anger, all those things that are related, and how that can change your life. This is one of the key messages that I really thought was so important. I needed everybody to see all of the other parts of the story that we’ve built up until now, but this is the one that really can be life-changing. It led you, if I got the story right, in only six weeks, you found it within your heart to be able to forgive this young man who actually shot your son. Tell us about that.
Scarlett: Yes. Well, you know, it was strange that, I mean, I was never really enraged at what had happened. That’s not to say that I don’t have moments of anger because I absolutely do. I thought about how something like this could happen and I just felt like, I just had this intuitive feeling that he had, the shooter had slipped through the cracks in our society, that he had never been shown caring and kindness in any aspect of his life and that we could’ve done a better job with him. Actually, it turns out that that is exactly the case, that he is someone that did slip through the cracks, in schooling and his community. It’s unfortunate but, in that way, and I thought someone who could do something like this must’ve been in such a tremendous amount of pain himself. It was in that way that I could feel compassion for him and come to forgiveness.
I’ve learned so much about forgiveness since December 14 and I think about what I knew about it the day before. Even though I’ve gone to church, I consider myself faithful and religious, I didn’t know anything about forgiveness. So much that I’ve learned and I continue to learn that we forgive for ourselves. I remember speaking to an at-risk youth group and I’m talking about my journey of forgiveness, right? These are rough kids. There were about 50 of them, and one of the kids in the back raises his hand and says, “What is forgiveness?” I’m standing up there and I’m going, “Ugh.” You know how you berate yourself. “You don’t have a Webster definition of forgiveness at hand and you’re sitting here talking to people about forgiveness? What is wrong with you?”
I said, “You know, I’m going to have to tell you what forgiveness means to me.” I said, “I felt like I was connected to the shooter through somewhat of an umbilical cord and that I would be dragging him around with me. All of my personal power flowed out of me through this umbilical cord into the shooter, and so I would be drained and I was angry all the time. Forgiveness, to me, is a big set of scissors. I cut this cord.” I said, “It’s not condoning what he did because I’ll never condone what he did, but it’s freeing myself from anger. It’s freeing myself from being constantly connected to him, from renting him space in my head. I’m able to move forward with all of my personal power and use what I’ve learned to help other people. That’s what forgiveness means to me. Since then, it’s gotten richer and fuller.”
He also raised his hand and he said, “How long did that take you?” I said, “That’s a great question, too, because, you know, I forgave pretty soon after the tragedy. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t fall back into anger. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have times of anger because I absolutely do. It doesn’t mean that I failed in forgiveness. It just means that I need to take a deep breath and I need to choose to forgive again, and that’s okay.” I think, often in our society, we talk about forgiving and forgetting, you know? Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting. In fact, it would be unhealthy to forget things that were done to you that were painful and impossible. Right? We’re set up for failure immediately when you talk about forgiving and forgetting. I never want, I will never forget, obviously, what happened at Sandy Hook and I never want anyone else to either, so it has nothing to do with forgetting.
People say, “Well, I can’t forgive because I can’t condone.” It has nothing to do with condoning and it has nothing to do with holding someone accountable for their actions. I mean, everyone is accountable for their actions. Forgiving is for yourself, for releasing you from anger. Then I found, while doing some research on the internet, that actually there are studies to show when you choose to forgive, you actually have 70% less anger. That, kind of, I felt that in myself. It’s a way to kind of get past that, those points of anger.
Bob: That’s really powerful. I wish more people understood the energetic value of forgiving, as you described it. There’s a reality to it. We really do have a cord connected to us, to that other person, when we refuse to. I write in my own book, forgiveness is really more about us than it is about that the other person. It’s not about letting the other person off the hook. It’s about letting us off the hook of reliving whatever it was that took place that is holding us in anger and hatred for the rest of our lives. That’s what you described. You got that. It’s a difficult concept to really understand for a lot of people, and for those people, I kind of feel sad because they do carry that around with them, the way you described. Your message is really important, I think.
You know, you talk about religion, and religion is really important, but religion is what I call a “vicarious experience.” People are teaching us something for which we have to learn to believe. We need to trust what they’ve told us in order to believe it. You teach from personal experience. When you learn from experience, that’s the only way to what I call “a knowing” versus a belief.
Scarlett: That’s exactly right. That’s what I say. I have a knowing. I used to believe but I have a knowing now and that’s such a blessing.
Bob: It is. We teach by example. Our children are looking up to us. People in their 20s and their 30s are looking to see how we live our lives and you, it’s one thing, you know, you have your words and you’re out there. You’ve got your words. When you’re speaking, your words. It’s really your example that means more than anything else, and that has an energetic quality to it as well. That is what is changing the world. Each one of us changes the world, either positively or negatively, through our example, and you’re certainly doing it in a very positive way. This led to a foundation, the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Why don’t you tell us about that?
Scarlett: So, the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, I created to spread Jesse’s message of “Nurturing Healing Love”. I feel like it’s a healing equation and it’s universal. When I talk, I’ve talked to so many disparate groups from kindergardners to convicted felons in prison. It’s amazing. I say, I talk about “Nurturing Healing Love”. I basically say the same things, and it’s like these people, kids or adults, they take it, they translate it into their heart and they can identify with it and it changes lives. It’s so beautiful. I knew instinctually, right after the shooting, that there was something missing in Adam Lanza’s education. I thought that, of course, Jesse’s message of “Nurturing Healing Love” would be associated with social and emotional learning in schools.
I just had a feeling that he wasn’t exposed to that. Turns out that he wasn’t, and had he been, there’s a report that came out, things might’ve been different. So, I have been spending the last two years since the tragedy promoting social and emotional learning on a national level. I’m now working with Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio, who’s written a social and emotional learning Bill. We’re working on a companion Bill in the Senate with Senator Blumenthal. I’m going to have a meeting with Vice President Biden to get it going on a national level. This is really exciting stuff because there have been 20 years of scientific research and evidence about how incredibly important social and emotional learning is to children and to their development, to their brain development. It decreases violence. It increases peace. It helps with test scores. I mean, mind, body, and spirit. There’s just so much evidence of how good it is.
Even in my mind, more important than the sheer academics of reading, writing, and math because it helps academic performance, actually, while creating, and when I say social and emotional learning, I’m talking about character values, emotional intelligence, moral awareness, mindfulness, things like this, that it’s evidence-based how wonderful it is for children. There are some schools, but we really need a push for this. You know, there have been 100 school-related shootings since December 14, 2012. One hundred, which is one per week in our country. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone because I don’t see anyone else jumping up and down saying, “This is unacceptable. School has to be a safe haven for our children.” I guess it’s because I’m travelling, criss-crossing the country, talking to parents, talking to children, realizing that this is a silent epidemic that’s changing education in our country.
I mean, there’s some fear now where there wasn’t. Of course, how can kids learn when they have cortisol rushing through their brain and negatively impacting their prefrontal cortex? It’s so important. There are things, and I don’t say that to scare people. There’s so much that we can do. So many things out there, it’s very exciting. A big part of that is social and emotional learning. Just being aware of it and asking your school if you have these programs in your school is a good start.
Bob: Yeah, geez. First, I’ll say, jesselewischooselove.org, O-R-G, is the website. All of the links will be below the video. You know, first of all, when Jesse yelled out to the other kids to run, we know at least six kids ran out of that room, right?
Scarlett: Nine, actually.
Bob: Nine. Nine kids. So, now we know, I mean, instantly, he saves nine kids. Now, through his passing, through the tragedy, through the work that he does through you, and together, you as a team, are affecting hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, hopefully, millions of children, soon-to-be adults, across our country, at least. I know that J.T. and the Foundation, you are doing things with the victims of Rwanda, as well, so that becomes, now, worldwide. It’s just, it gives, it doesn’t make it any easier but it gives meaning to loss, does it not? When you see the results of something like this?
Scarlett: It absolutely does. It absolutely does. I see Jesse’s message positively impacting people’s lives all over the world. Being able to devote my life to spreading his message, which is, I knew, what I had to do. Honoring him in this way is a beautiful thing. Knowing that he is a very active part of the Foundation, that this was his intention, really. I mean, I say that he had this precognitive awareness and then he leaves this message powerful enough to change the world and I’m watching it happen. Sometimes, more and more, I find myself sitting back in awe and people showing up in my life and for the Foundation that are supporting us and moving us to the next level, and I think, “Wow. What’s he going to do next?” You know? I just feel like I’m here, and I’m his action on earth. He’s so incredibly powerful and it’s really exciting for me. Of course, a great way for me to heal on a daily basis.
Bob: Right. Which will be a daily thing for the rest of your life, just like everything else that you talked about, you know. Choosing love is something that you do on a daily basis and it’s continuing. This will be as well. I want to encourage everybody. There was a lot of other things I wanted to talk about. We’re already way over time. So here’s what I’m going to encourage people to do. I’m going to encourage you to buy this book, “Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness”. Scarlett Lewis. Links below the video where you can buy that right on Amazon. This is a non-profit foundation that you’ve created, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Non-profit, all the proceeds, am I correct, of this go to the non-profit organization that you created.
Scarlett: That’s correct.
Bob: I think it’s important that people know that. I think that’s one way that you can support this Foundation and the work that Scarlett here is doing. Otherwise, you can go to the website, and I’m sure there’s other ways, if you want to contribute more, that you can do that, as well, by going there.
Scarlett: Absolutely. Everyone listening can be a part of this change. It’s really important. There is one last message that I wanted to share with everyone.
Scarlett: On the same day that I came home and I found the “Nurturing Healing Love” on the chalkboard, J.T. had kind of been watching everybody get all these messages and I don’t think he had a personal connection. So, while we were walking out that day, I felt this little tug on my shirt, and he said, “You know, Mom, everybody’s been getting messages. I got a message, too.” I said, “You did? What message?” He had gone into his room, because, remember, we weren’t living here at the time, so he was getting chargers and things, really important stuff like that. He found a message that Jesse had left him on his desk. The message said, “Have a lot of fun.” You know, this message from this little brother to the big brother was so prophetic, because, whereas Jesse was bouncing off the walls and always smiling and laughing, J.T. is kind of the kid that’s a little bit more serious, you know. He needs to, sometimes, loosen up.
So that was incredible, but when I saw it, I also saw how the importance of it on a global scale, like, “Aren’t we just here to have fun? Isn’t that what we’re all just trying to do? While we’re doing Nurturing Healing Love, we have to remember to have a lot of fun.” So that’s kind of become my mantra when I’m doing things and sometimes I’m nervous and I’m coming out of my, I’m going out of my comfort zone. I get this little tap on the shoulder and it reminds me, “Hey, you’re supposed to be having a lot of fun.” It completely changes the way that I look at what I’m doing and I think, “Right. This is a lot of fun. I’m so blessed to be able to be doing it.” I wanted to share that, too, with everyone.
Bob: Oh that’s beautiful. I like it. I really like that because it’s an important reminder for all of us to do that. Years ago, I used to listen to Tony Robbins and there was something he was talking about. He talked about when you’re about to do something that you don’t really want to do like go running, you know, or something like that. He said, “Ask yourself, ‘How can I make this a Top 10 experience?'” So, I can listen to great music. I can go with a friend. You know, you would think of all the different things you can do. That became kind of a mantra of my wife, Melissa, and I along the way. You know, if we had a long drive to Connecticut or something to visit her sister, we would be like, “How can we make this a Top Ten experience?”
That’s basically what you’re saying, you know? Do the same thing in life and, again, a day-to-day challenge for each and everyone of us because life can get you down sometimes. That’s when you always want to remind yourself to have a lot of fun.
Bob: If you and J.T. can do it, I think any one of us can do it. There’s a lot of things in this book. She talks about resisting going to a support group and then how that ended up being so beneficial to you. It was something that I wanted to talk about, but we won’t because people can read it in the book. Then also, you utilized some alternative therapies, including Reiki and hypnosis and EMDR and tapping, otherwise known as EFT. Really powerful stuff there. Last question. How are you and J.T. doing today? I mean, really, in terms of your grief, in terms of dealing with all this? Aside from what you’ve told us, how is it going for both of you?
Scarlett: Well, incredibly enough, J.T. is doing better today than he’s ever done. I say that, he started the, after the Skype with the Rwandans, his thing was, “You know, those kids reached out to me in love and I’m going to reach back out to them.” That was a direct quote. I’ll never forget it. He started NewtownHelpsRwanda.org. Within a couple of months, he’d raised enough money to send one of those orphan genocide survivors to college for four years, or university in their country.
Scarlett: He’s helped former children soldiers in Uganda build self-sustaining fish ponds. He’s helped children in Connecticut. Just through his service, he has been healing himself, and today, he is better than he’s ever been. I mean, he’s confident. He’s a freshman in high school. He’s just really come into himself. He has a tremendous faith. He’s seen all that’s happened here, so he’s really choosing to live his life in faith and not fear. He’s doing really well. You know, I’m doing well, too. It’s not to say that every day, I don’t miss Jesse. It’s not to say that I don’t have tearful moments every day, because I do. I think that my mission of service through the Foundation is really what is healing me on a daily basis.
I realize more and more that the only reason we’re here is to be in service to one another, so I feel very blessed to have found my purpose in life and to have been given that by my six-year old son in a message that he left on our kitchen chalkboard. To be able to pursue this mission of helping other people, I just feel incredibly blessed. In that way, we’re doing well.
Bob: Great. Well, I really appreciate you sharing your story with us today. It’s just so meaningful, and I really do think that people, as I said at the beginning, tragic story, empowering message. I think people are going to leave watching this episode and feel better about a lot of things in their life. Certainly, they have a new way of choosing love. Choosing love over all sorts of negative other possibilities like hatred and anger and fear. I think it’s a great message. It’s my new mantra. I’m certainly going to think about it all the time. I appreciate it. Keep us up to date. If there’s any way that we can help you with what you’re doing, let us know and I hope a lot of people will reach out to you and read your book and support your foundation and all the wonderful work you’re doing. I really appreciate you. Thank you.
Scarlett: Thank you so much. Thank you.
Bob: All right. Bye-bye now.
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: BestPsychicDirectory.com (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & BestPsychicMediums.com (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 PsychicMediumWorkshop.com.
JOIN BOB’S NEWSLETTER: Don’t miss Bob’s latest content about life lessons and life after death on his newsletter called, Bob Olson Connect.