On June 1, 1994, Joel Rothschild walked into the apartment of his close friend Albert Fleites and found him dead from suicide. Both men were HIV-positive and had seen many of their friends' lives ended by AIDS. During the course of their friendship, the two had made a promise to give each other advance notice if either decided to take his own life. They had also promised that the first to die would try to signal the other from the other side. Albert didn't keep the first promise, but he did the second.
In his debut book, Joel tells the moving story about his reaction to Albert's death and the subtle and not so subtle signals that he began receiving shortly afterwards. It is a personal account of how his life was changed by the AIDS epidemic and his inner transformation that occurred as a result.
As Joel and Albert battled their illnesses and faced the deaths of many of their friends, they talked at length about their hopes and fears about dying. A visit to a hypnotherapist convinced Joel that no disease is 100 percent fatal and some survive because of inner strength.
As a distraught and betrayed Joel was leaving Albert's apartment on the day of his suicide, Joel received the first signal from Albert in the form of an inner prompting from his deceased friend to look in the trash can outside. At the bottom of the can underneath the dirty garbage, Joel found a draft of a letter that Albert had written reassuring him that he was his dearest friend and would always love him. Joel considered suicide as a response to Albert's death, but he was swayed by another visit from Albert's presence which conveyed that he must not take his own life. During that visit, Albert told him that every moment is important, that events and situations are working themselves out in every second, and that all suffering is connected to a greater good.
Albert's presence continued to make itself known in more subtle ways. Joel increased his receptivity to these events and began receiving messages from Albert and other presences. With the advent of protease inhibitors, Joel's health did improve, and he began starting new projects and friendships. He also had a greater appreciation for life and a determination to help others.
Whether one accepts the events that Joel presents as signals from Albert or writes them off as mere coincidences, Signals is the inspiring story of a man who rebuilt his life in spite of a life-threatening illness and a great loss.