The following excerpt is taken from the new book "After Life: Answers From the Other Side," by John Edward (Princess Books, 2003).

With the new addition to the family, Sandra and I settled into being Mommy and Daddy. Weekends at our house became like an Italian-Portuguese convention, with tons of family and friends passing through; and lots of food, games, and loud conversation.

One Saturday night last November, we were having a pizza party with my Aunt Theresa; cousin "Little Ro" and her husband Glenn; my aunt Roseann ("Big Ro"); and the new cozy family threesome of Sandra, myself, and six-week-old Justin, when Aunt Theresa decided to get all psychic on me.

"John, look...all I've been dreaming about lately is dead people," she told me. "They come to talk to me about this or that. Why are they coming to me and not you?"

I laughed and told her I'd been working so much lately they were probably getting a busy signal trying to reach me and the psychic operator redirected them to her...ha, ha, ha, I laughed.

But Aunt Theresa wasn't laughing with me. All joking aside, she could be extremely psychic and often picked up on family stuff. Yes, I do believe psychic ability can run in families. In fact, I'd venture to say that both sides of my family have a kind of pre-genetic disposition for it-which is really ironic since my father always shunned the whole psychic world. I asked Aunt Theresa to tell me more about these dreams she was having.

"Well, that's just it," she continued, puzzled. "I'm dreaming about all these dead people...and then I had a dream about your father last night. In the dream he was in a real rush-like he was going someplace and couldn't stay. But he specifically told me I was to call him in case there was anything wrong with Justin. Is Justin okay? And why would I be dreaming about your father?"

At about six o'clock the next morning, I got up to change Justin's diapers and give him his first bottle, and the two of us settled into the rocking chair, swaying back and forth. It was such a peaceful moment, all alone with my son-complete tranquility as the sun rose through the curtains. Justin, on the other hand, was having an entirely different experience. He was cooing and gurgling and looking straight ahead, past me, and laughing as if someone was playing with him. I turned around and looked in the direction of his gaze, and all I saw was a wall.

"Who are you playing with, you little monster?" I asked him in baby-talk. "Justin, do you see Grandpa? Are you playing with Grandpa? Where's Grandpa?" I was thinking of Sandra's dad, Fernando, who lived about 20 miles away in Queens, whom Justin simply adored. And once I said it, I thought it was odd that I was asking Justin where Grandpa was. My grandmother used to say that when babies played and cooed at nothing in front of them, they were playing with the angels.

I do believe that babies are directly connected with the spirit world because they have no prejudices about the existence of the Other Side and its inhabitants. In a nervous tone, I said out loud, "Justin, Grandpa better be in Queens...or your mommy is going to be one upset cookie. Justin, who are you playing with?" But my son just nodded back into dreamland, and I thought whoever Justin's angelic playmate was, he or she would have to join him in his dreams now.

I carefully put him in his crib with his little ShooSha (Portuguese for "pacifier") to keep him company on this Side, and the phone rang. I jumped to answer it before it woke Justin.

"I know it's early," Aunt Theresa whispered apologetically, on the other end of the line, "but I thought I should call you right away. You're not going to believe this.but I think your father has died."

All of this leads me to one of the most important points I want to make in this book. I realized with my father's death that I was not able--and could now never--mend our differences while we were both still alive. But I also suspected that, in a strange way, with his death we might actually begin to have a relationship for the very first time. How do I see this happening? Well, I know from my guides and from all the energies that have come through to me in the last two decades that when a person crosses over, their first task on the Other Side is to reflect on the life they've led here and understand why they made the choices they did, see how their actions affected others, and realize what they still need to work on while on the Other Side.

Our learning doesn't stop once our body does--in fact, it's probably hastened because we're no longer being dragged down by Earthly obstacles. I've said before that I see this life and the afterlife kind of like school: On Earth, it's like we're in kindergarten, running around in circles and getting distracted with the toys and not knowing how to do things. When we get to the Other Side, we graduate straight to college because we immediately have more understanding, more skills, and more smarts. It's still us, but it's like a wiser, better us.

Now if you understand that the exchange of energies between two people doesn't stop just because the body stops, and we can continue to "exchange energy" or communicate with our loved ones even after they've crossed over, it stands to reason that if you had a troubled relationship with someone and they crossed over, and then, in reviewing their life, they learned of their misguided ways and cleared their energy of negative patterns, then you both can continue to work on and improve your relationship even though they're not standing in front of you. You may not be able to communicate in the way you used to--talking on the phone, writing letters, or meeting for a cup of coffee--but you can adapt the old ways into new ones. I often suggest to people that they sit down and write letters to their loved ones who have passed because I know they're looking over our shoulders, reading our words as we write them (the Other Side is even faster than e-mail).

And why should you stop talking to your loved ones just because you can't see them? I do believe that they can hear our words and feel our feelings, and then respond by sending us their own feelings in return. Often, we might not be aware of it. For many people, this exchange happens during dreams, or with a "feeling" that we brush off and think is a figment of our imagination. But believe me, it's happening.

In the five months since my father passed away, I've often spoken to him out loud and in my thoughts. I ask him daily to help me avoid making the mistakes with Justin that he and I made, and I also ask him to learn from my experiences as a loving, understanding father. I'm certain that my father hears me. Already, I feel a different vibration between our energies...as if he sees and understands our relationship differently now. I feel a lessening of anger, and more empathy and compassion for him.

If you're wondering if I've had any direct, dramatic psychic visitations from my dad yet, as of the time of this writing this book I have not. But I consider my Aunt Theresa's dream a true visit from my father, and confirmation that both he and my mother are watching over their grandson from where they are. My father had already passed when my aunt had that dream, and shortly after that, Justin did have a minor health problem that needed to be treated. I believe that was my dad's way of letting me know he was (finally) aware of my son and was watching out for him...perhaps in a way he never could for me.

So if you have a difficult relationship with a parent, child, or someone who has crossed over, please know that you still have a chance to work on that relationship after they're gone. However, I'm not saying you shouldn't try to work on your relationships when your loved ones are still alive. Please don't wait for them to cross over, thinking that this is the easier road to take.

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