Book Summary

“Unfinished Business” guides you through the messages that the dearly departed have for all of us ‘living’ to live better and fuller lives. The messages are interwoven with compelling stories of James Van Praagh’s fascinating mediumship. The book touches on all aspects of our mental and emotional lives and is a great introduction to many self-healing practices.

Unfinished Business: What the dead can teach us about life.” James Van Praagh. 2009. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-06177814-8.

Why I Read the Book

January has been an emotional month. My dear Grandma of 93 years passed away shortly after Christmas, with the funeral held the first week of January. Then a few short weeks later I learned of my uncle’s death at the all too young age of 58.

I picked up “Unfinished Business” on a whim on the trip back to Calgary following my Grandma’s funeral. While I am nowhere near a medium of the caliber of James Van Praagh, I have, now and then, had brief contact with loved ones who have passed over.

Sometimes it is a candle flickering in a still room or a song played at random that lets me know that a loved one is nearby. Often I just have a knowing or a clear word or two cross my mind, or an image here or there.

When my Grandma passed all I could hear for days afterwards was “I am here, I am still here!” I found myself having full-fledged conversations with her, and all in her characteristic witty style. It seemed right to read more about mediumship and communication with spirits, if, for no other reason, to convince myself that I wasn’t going nutty.

What I got from it Personally/The Book in Action

Unfinished Business is one of those books that was in the right place at the right time. While I have been reading it, I have gone to two funerals and two friends of mine have gone to funerals as well. It seems as though death is the theme at the moment. And it raises the question “What is to be learned here?”

As with most questions I have, I reach for books for the answers.  This book was a good one for me to be reading through the grieving process. As I read each story about loved ones from the Great Beyond sharing their heartfelt messages to the people they loved, a bit of the grief I was feeling melted away.

There was something very comforting about reading story after story of passed loved ones so eager to communicate their messages.

The advice from the spirits in the book seemed to echo messages I have encountered before and reinforced many of the ideas that are the most beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health. To paraphrase some of the messages in Unfinished Business: Ditch your addictions; Forgive yourself, apologize and forgive others; Let go of the past before you die; and We are here and we are happy, please be happy too.

So to that end, I am re-evaluating my coffee habit; I’m continuing the forgiveness process; I’m letting go of old ideas, emotions, and general junk in my life; and most importantly I am trusting that we never truly die and my job is to live a life I love.

Related Concepts and Books

The power of forgiveness – “If I Can Forgive, So Can You: My Autobiography of How I Overcame My Past and Healed My Life.” Denise Linn. 2005. Hay House. ISBN 978-1401908881.

Letting go of negative thinking – “You Can Heal Your Life.” Louise Hay. 1984, 2nd edition. Hay House. ISBN 978-0937611012

Dealing with fear – “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.” Susan Jeffers. 2006. Ballantine Books; 20th Anniversary edition. ISBN 978-0345487421

You are more than your achievements, possessions or body – “The Shift: Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning.” Wayne Dyer. 2010. Hay House. ISBN 978-1401927097.

Read this Book if…

You are grieving the loss of a loved one.

You are curious about mediumship.

You want to feel more alive while you are living.