An Interview with Elissa Al-Chokhachy

1. Your new book, Our Children Live On, deals with stories of spiritual contact with children that have passed on. What inspired you to write such a book?

As a hospice nurse, I am passionate about bringing comfort, hope, and healing to the dying and the bereaved. The loss of a loved one is difficult to accept under any terms, but the untimely death of a child can be devastating. Children are supposed to outlive their parents and grandparents, at least that is what we were taught as children. But, what happens when this natural cycle of life and death is interrupted? Bereaved family members are forced to come to terms with a senseless world where none of the rules apply. These individuals desperately need to know that their beloved children live on. Nothing could be more powerful than the first-hand testimonials of bereaved individuals who have seen, felt, and experienced their deceased children from the other side. Remarkable experiences such as these are able to transform grief by serving as important beacons of hope for the bereaved. True, heartfelt stories contained within this moving anthology provide undeniable evidence that our children and loved ones in spirit live on.

2. Our Children Live On contains more than eighty stories and testimonials of communication with young loved ones that have passed. From where did you collect these?

Over the years, I have met numerous bereaved parents and family members as a result of my first book, The Angel with the Golden Glow. This illustrated children's book was inspired by my youngest hospice patient, who woke me up within hours of his passing. I literally watched the story happen and wrote it down while being flooded with goosebumps. This beautiful story eventually became an illustrated children's book to help families through loss, especially the loss of a child. Amazingly, one little angel in heaven had shown me the way to meet other families whose lives had also been blessed by angels.

3. Your previous book, Miraculous Moments, also contains stories affirming life after death. Do you feel that bereavement is different when the deceased is a child?

From my experience, those whose lives are affected by the loss of a child find themselves on a difficult and lifelong journey of healing through loss and grief. Sadly, some are never able to get beyond the pain of the loss of that child; a part of them feels incomplete without the child. Theirs is an unrequited love until they are able to reconnect with that child in a meaningful way. Yet, when this occurs, it is able to transform their experience of loss and absence into one of loving presence.

4. Have you ever personally had communication with the spiritual realm?

Yes, I have been blessed with several encounters from spirit. I have described these in detail in Miraculous Moments and Our Children Live On. The most profound encounter occurred shortly after the death of my cousin, Steffan, with whom I had lived for nine years as a child. He was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of twenty-nine. I was twenty-three years old and a brand new nurse at the time. As horrific as it was for our entire family, Steffan gave me the most incredible gift—he came to visit me two weeks after he died. I saw him totally healed, happier and more at peace than I had ever known him in this life. That life-changing event healed my grief and became the foundation of my faith in eternal life. This awareness has enabled me to work caring for hundreds of dying patients and their family members with hope in my heart. Not only are these patients who have passed from this world now healed, happy, and whole, I know that their family members will be reunited with them again. The circle of life is a beautiful thing. I am so grateful to have witnessed this miracle in my own life through my loved ones and hospice patients, and through the uplifting, transcendent experiences of others.

5. What do you hope your readers will take away from Our Children Live On?

That death is not the end. Rather, it is merely a transition back to the spiritual realm from whence we all came and where we will be reunited again.

About Elissa Al-Chokhachy

Elissa Al-Chokhachy, MA, RN, CHPN, FT has been working with the dying and the bereaved for almost two decades. She graduated with a Masters of Art in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement. Al-Chokhachy is the recipient ...