On the morning of January 3, 2016, Joe McQulillen’s life was turned inside out when he received a call that his son, Christopher, along with three of his friends, was missing. They had been at a friend’s lake house, celebrating the end of Christmas break from college. Sometime during the evening of revelry, the four young men jumped into a canoe, paddled out onto the icy lake, capsized, and drowned. Christopher’s body was recovered first; the others over the next several dark days. Thus began a father’s remarkable journey through grief, awakening, discovery and acceptance as Joe—through mediums, research and, eventually, direct communication—navigated his personal bridge to "the other side."
Joe’s first contacts with Chris occurred through a medium, via telephone. The messages were astounding and reassuring, but Joe wanted more; he needed to look into the face of the one talking and listening to his son. To be clear, Joe McQuillen is a not a flaky guy given to flights of fancy. He grew up a blue-collar kid from Buffalo, and he has done very well in several businesses. He is a solid citizen, happily married for 27 years, father of two other children…a family man and a guy’s guy, who, at 61, still plays hockey with his pals. He would rather have stayed ignorant of the spiritual world, but he did not have that choice. Joe’s journey through this heart-breaking event left him with the certainty of belief that we grow spiritually or we die! This is a book for all who have lost a loved one -- especially if prematurely -- and he hopes it brings you to the threshold of understanding and knowing that they are not gone.
JOE McQUILLEN has been married for 27 years and is a father of three children, one on the other side. Joe was the youngest of 10 children from an Irish-Catholic family. Although Joe has had two successful careers, he is at heart a blue-collar kid from Buffalo, NY. Starting as a salesman, he spent 25 years in the automobile business and worked his way up to executive manager and partner in a number of successful Chicagoland dealerships. After selling out in 2009, Joe began a second successful career as a mortgage broker and is currently with Chicago Financial Services.
Among his many charitable associations, Joe sits on the board of ln Balance Ranch Academy, a boarding school dedicated to helping troubled teens with addiction. Following the loss of his son, he began running a charity golf outing to benefit both In Balance Ranch and Penguin Players, a theater troupe of disabled young adults.
JOE McQUILLEN, 33 years sober and a member of AA, a fact that has, in his words, “helped me to get close to God and to carry me through the dark times after my boy’s crossing." His journey has led him both to speak to teens with addiction and write this book. Joe has pondered the possibility that he may yet one day turn the tragedy of his son’s death into a new, third, career, one which may well be the most fulfilling of his life.