Written By: Rick and Beth Olsen
We Never Left You. That is the title of our book and the story and hope of our life. Our nine year old daughter Jessica and seven year old son Joshua were killed on July 18, 1999 in an accident involving a drunk driver on a Sunday afternoon. How do you go on is the question that we heard many times. At first we had no idea. We had to learn just how to get through the next five minutes. But how could we get beyond those five minutes? Our children, the heart and soul of our family were gone.Life took over at that point. Our bodies told us we had to eat. We had to sleep. We had to use the bathroom. Life also told us we had to take care of details that we never dreamed we would have to. We went to the funeral home to talk about how we wanted our children’s funeral arranged.
Life also gave us the unexpected. When we walked into the funeral home it was empty and eerily quiet. It matched how we felt. One person greeted us and went to find Jim Phillip, the funeral director. He approached us with a smile on his face and said, “That Josh, can you tell him to leave my lights and music alone?” Jim continued, “He keeps turning my lights on and off and changing the music station.”
We stared at him in stunned silence. “What did you say?” Beth asked. He repeated it again. We had a glimmer of hope that maybe; just maybe our children were alright. We were just given our introduction to the fact that our kids have never left us.
The following morning we were given confirmation that they never left us. We were visiting a friend of ours before the funeral. She was a gifted psychic. We chatted with her for over an hour and as we were about to leave she said, “The children are here, no wait it is only Jessica.” Our friend got that far off look in her eyes, as if she was listening to something only she could hear. She gave us a message from Jessica. The message was about a conversation that Beth and Josh had an hour before the accident concerning a chicken in the basket. Nobody else knew about the conversation except for Beth and Josh. Tears rolled from our eyes as hope began to creep into our hearts. Our children were reaching out to us.
As we were leaving our friend told us that the kids were arranging something for us when we got into the car. Not sure what to expect, we waited excitedly in the car for several minutes. When nothing happened we started up the car and there it was. The children’s favorite song from the movie Tarzan was playing on the radio. The song was titled, “Two Worlds, One Family.” We smiled and wondered, if our children were gone then how are these things possible?
As time moved on we had no choice but to move on as well. We began to piece together our shattered lives. The loss and heartbreak was still unbearable. Our children continued to send us messages to let us know they were still with us. We began a journey to figure out how to communicate with our children. As we moved along that journey the seeds of healing were being planted.
We began to share the chicken in the basket story. Whenever we did we saw the power of that story. It gave hope and healing to some and peace to others. We began to understand that this story needed to be told. A slow realization began to creep over us. If this story needed to be told, could it be possible that the accident and the kids communication with us was meant to happen?