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If the Spirit Moves You: Life and Love After Death

If the Spirit Moves You - Justine Picardie Justine's story begins on Good Friday, 2000. Her sister Ruth has been dead for three years. "When I think about her now, which is most of the time, it's like rewinding a silent film in my head: I see the crucial scenes in our lives together (holding her hand when her twins were born in an emergency caesarean; holding her hand when she kissed them good-bye just before she died two years later). But what I can't hear is her voice in my head, and that silence is driving me crazy."Justine then goes on to chronicle her efforts for a year to contact her sister through a series of mediums. Justine is a journalist and many of the adventures that she describes retain a journalist's distance. Throughout the book, you are acutely aware of how much Justine misses her sister, and how this has affected her. During the course of the year, Justine's husband's sister dies suddenly and unexpectedly in a boating accident. Justine talks about how difficult it is to reach even her own husband in his grief, and they have a difficult time for a while, as they both struggle with their grief and their attempts to resume normal life. Justine has two songs, school age, and I often wondered if she had help, because she does seem very free to travel around England and to America in pursuit of the stories in this book. Justine doesn't really buy into what the mediums are pitching to her, although you feel that she would like to. She does start to hear her sister's voice in her head though, telling her what a lot of crap some of what she is pursuing is. In the end, Justine feels she learns the most from a massage therapist who treats her at one of the conferences she goes to. The therapist tells her that you may not be able to talk to your sister again, but you can make your children happy. Justine thinks this may be the most sensible thing she's heard all year. The book concludes a year after it started, back at the gym on a Monday in April. "I got tired of running and staying in the same place all the while. I'm walking, not too fast, not too slow, at my own speed, in my own time, while the treadmill turns round in circles beneath me. I like to think that I'm walking toward Ruth, slowly, steadily, as long as it will take. I know that one day I will reach her. Ruth, sweet Ruth, my sister, myself."I recommend reading this book together with "Before I Say Goodbye: Recollection and Observations from One Woman's Final Year" by Ruth Picardie and Escape Artist by Matt Seaton, Ruth's husband. Reading the three books together give you three very different perspectives.