The Hand on the Mirror by Janis Heaphy Durham is a search for answers by the author as she chronicles her life after the death of her husband.
In 2004, Janis Heaphy Durham’s husband, Max Besler, died of cancer at age 56.
The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she practiced her faith as she struggled with her loss. Soon she began encountering phenomena unlike anything she’d ever experienced: lights flickering, doors opening and closing, clocks stopping at 12:44, the exact time of Max’s death. But then something startling happened that changed Heaphy Durham’s life forever. A powdery handprint appeared on her bathroom mirror on the first anniversary of Max’s death.
This launched Heaphy Durham on a journey that transformed her spiritually and altered her view of reality forever. She interviewed scientists and spiritual practitioners along the way, as she discovered that the veil between this world and the next is thin and it’s love that bridges the two worlds.
This book may come across as a ghost story. It may seem like yet another ‘crossing over’ tale. But, truthfully, it’s about more than that. Yes, the story centers around Janis Durham’s finding of unexplained handprints and more after her husband’s passing.
But, as you read further you realize it’s truly about a woman’s search for answers and ways to connect the dots after her husband’s passing. Is there any coming back after death? Can our loved ones reach out to us, and if so – how? Instead of taking the hand print on the mirror at face value, or discarding it all together, Janis sets out to fill in the gaps between what she thought she believed and what is now taking place around her.
She takes the time to explain to you who she is just to further this point – who she was before strange things began to take place. Is this a woman who sought out spiritualists and psychics? Not at all. But what began happening in her life made her stop and think – is this really all there is in life? Or is there more?
Speaking with numerous parapsychologists who are leaders in their field, she attempts to make sense of it all. Is it her late husband? Are they messages? What are they trying to tell her? She shares all that she finds with you, the reader, as she goes along.
The most fascinating thing about this book is that Janis had no concept of parapsychology before the first anniversary of her husband’s death when the handprint first appeared. She had no preconceived notions to guide her conclusions. This was brand new to her and she approached it as such.
If you want to know what Janis learned over several years of research and firsthand experience, you’ll have to read the book, The Hand on The Mirror.
Sorry, no spoilers here. But, I will tell you this: it will make you think. I am not a believer in ghosts and the dearly departed returning with signs and wonders. I’m still not even after finishing Janis’ story.
But, I found myself taken in by the concepts and revelations Janis uncovered, if not more so by her methodical approach to turning over the truth. Perhaps logic and the paranormal really can coexist? Only you can decide.
About the Author: Janis Heaphy Durham was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1951. After earning a bachelors and a masters degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she was hired in the advertising department at the Los Angeles Times, where she rose to senior vice president of advertising. In 1998 she was named the first publisher of the Sacramento Bee. Under her leadership the newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes. Janis retired in 2008 and lives between Idaho and Florida with her husband, Jim Durham.