Afterlife Messages from 9/11: The Rainbow

Monica Iken, the widow of a 9/11 victim, finds peace and comfort in signs that her husband is in heaven.

You know, we met on 9/11/99, and he knew it. And he waited for me to come to that bar. And I wasn’t even planning on coming to the bar. I was going out. It was a soul connection. I have never in my life—I’ve dated a lot of people, [but]I’ve never said to someone, “Well, I need to be with your soul.” And that is exactly what I said to him. And he thought I was pretty much nuts. But he was happy; it was all good. Because from then on, that was it. From that moment, he was the one. 

But we went on a fast-speed train. He proposed without a ring, just at a party on December 11, 1999. You know, knocked me on the bed. “I wanna marry you, and that’s it.” I’m like, “Huh? What?” [laughs] I wasn’t even ready. We were inseparable. We spent every day together as if something was happening. Like, I think I was a messenger for him because he was going to die and he knew it. In his mind, he kept saying he was going to die young. 

So I kept, like, reassuring him that there is this other thing there. There’s a person. There’s a God, a higher power, whatever you want to call it. And we do go to a beautiful place when we die. You don’t wanna call it Heaven, that’s fine. Whatever you want to call it, it’s something. There is another place. 

And that’s pretty much how we lived our life because, you know, I only had him two years to the day. On 9/10, it was Monday, he wasn’t himself. I was in the city. I was going to—my mother’s friend just got hit by a car and we were going to go to New York Hospital the next day on the 11th. So I said—I was in the lobby of my mother’s building, and I called them. It was, like, 3 o’clock. I said, “Listen, honey, I have to go tomorrow, come back in the city because, you know, Gerhart got hit by a car and I’ve got to go help my mother.

He got crazy. He started yelling on the phone like a crazy lunatic. “You are not to come to the city. You are not to be in the city. What’s wrong with you? Why are you coming to the city?” I’m like, “Uh, Michael, you need to calm down. Like, calm down. I’m going to the hospital to see a sick friend. Like, calm down right now.” He’s like, “No, no, no. I don’t want you in the city. I can’t have you in the city. I don’t want you in the city.” He was like a crazy person, I swear. He was just not himself at all that night before. Not at all.

But he woke up. And we did the same thing every morning. You know, kissed each other goodbye, said we loved each other. You know, the same ritual he always had. He never left without a kiss goodbye. 

[piano music] 

He’s very much around. I’ve never in my life—if I thought for a minute that there was something not going on, there was something going on over there. Because from the moment—even at 9/11 when I went to sleep by the door. And then probably, like, some time, 9:00, 12:00 in the early hours of the morning and he came in the dream and I ran to the door, it felt very real ‘cuz I see it like today. And I jumped on top of him, I said, “Oh, thank you, you’re home!” Because we were in a garden apartment, so I was listening by the door to hear him walking. 

And I did in my dream. He said, “You’re right, everything is fine. I’m OK here.” You know, he confirmed that everything was fine. Like, I get chills. So I know, you know, from that moment on that he was—I knew he was gone. But because it happened like in a dream state, I thought, you never know. So we were out the next day looking and everything. But deep down, I did know he was gone ‘cuz I knew. I felt it. You know, you feel that soul connection—when you lose it, you know. 

I knew he was OK wherever he was because he was very clear about letting me know he was fine. But he did come to me when I moved to my second aparment—not this apartment I’m in. But I did move, and whenever I communicate and I tell him something, he’ll show his presence. Not physically out, but somehow he’ll come around and let me know he’s there. So when I moved the second time because I couldn’t stay in Riverdale anymore, it was just—it was too much for me. I said, “Come with me.” I had this chest. I put everything in it. 

And I remembered waking up in the middle of the night and felt—I could feel something in the room. And it was just, you know, me, myself, and I. So I know there was something that woke me up. And I saw him at the foot of the bed just standing there smiling his little smile and glowing. And I was like, “Thank you for coming.” And as quick as I said that, he disappeared. It’s interesting because other people said the same thing. 

The family and I went to his timeshare. He has it in Nassau. So we went for the first time last year, and I said, “Michael, I know you’re here. I know you are here.” I said, “Show me a sign.” I was talking to him in the ocean. And I walked away, and later on, this unbelievable—I have a picture of it—rainbow, clear as day, caused everybody—you could see the whole arch. Colorful. I have pictures—look. Look at the details. And it was unbelievable. Everybody came running out of their units. In 29 years, we’ve never seen a rainbow here. Never. Colors so vivid my children were just like, in awe of it. Like, I can’t. Right after, I swear. 

And I thank God every day to have that blessing. Like, who gets that? You know? I’m blessed. Because I know he’s watching over us. And he’s saying, “Thank you for coming.” So we’re gonna go back this year. And I’m like, oh, so excited. Because I get emotional because I know he’s…it’s so nice. 

This book was something that needed to happen because I was feeling it a long time ago. And I know a lot of people were, but didn’t wanna say anything, but I would talk to my friends and they would talk to me because I was telling them things. So I think it’s just enhanced and validated for me that I’m not crazy, and that it’s OK to allow yourself to be who you are and be spiritual, if that’s what you believe. And tell people what you think, and express yourself. It’s OK. You know, if you feel your loved one’s communicating to you, that’s a blessing. That’s a gift they’re giving you. Even if it’s energy, whatever you think.

And it’s such a nice thing that we can actually experience these things and feel it and know there’s some validation. You know what? I’m proud to be a part of this group. And we have to take that gift and, you know, do something positive in our lives for that, you know? And that’s how I live my life every day. And I carry it. You know, I wear his bracelet, his first necklace. First gift, so…

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