It's taken me a few days to work through my feelings. I hadn't fully understood what it would do to me to commune with some of those I've lost. I've been wandering my house, asking myself why I'm so sad, and then am like...oh, right...meh ghosts. This was new for me. When it comes to the spiritual arts, I've never done anything beyond casual tarot readings from friends. I'm not a believer or a non-believer. I guess I'd say I'm a curious maybe-er.
It all started last week when I was sharing with my friend (and sometimes podcast partner), Sonya Mastick, that I'd recently lost a colleague/friend in an abrupt and mysterious way. Since it was all very sudden and she was one of, like, ten people I know out here in California in my new life, I felt very isolated in my grief. I didn't share her with anyone, so I was grieving and wondering alone, having trouble getting any closure. I was obsessed, constantly googling and feeling devastated and incredibly uneasy about the whole thing. Her last year of life had been a difficult one and I wanted to know that she was OK, that she'd been OK before she died, that she wasn't alone, that I hadn't failed her.
Sonya said that after she'd lost a friend she went to a psychic medium and had a profound experience connecting with him and also gaining some understanding about death and dying.
I had trepidation, but I wanted answers about my friend's death, and couldn't find them anywhere else. Sonya received such specific messages, it seemed legit enough to give it a try.
I was also somewhat worried that I might meet a whole room-full of people, as I've experienced a fair amount of death in my life. What if I got messages I didn't want to hear? What if my people weren't happy and well in the beyond? I'd have to add them BACK to my list of people to worry about?!
This wasn't the first death of a colleague I've experienced. I wrote about a friend/colleague/mentor who died by suicide in 2020. That loss was huge, the grief was intense, but shared. Seven or eight years ago, my dear grandfather died. He was a beautiful, complex person who loved the snot out of us. Almost twelve years ago, my other grandfather died. Thirty years ago, my ten-year-old sister died on her third relapse of leukemia. I've lost a half dozen aunts and uncles. I had a few miscarriages. And I've been working in hospitals, clinics, and free clinics for over twenty years, as a social worker and a Physician Assistant and have lost patients along the way.
So. There could have been flocks of ghosts or there could have been none.
Turned out, there were five.
So...a few nights ago, I Zoomed with Kim from Key Tarot, a Michigan-based psychic/medium. She was a nurse for thirty years and is funny, down-to-earth, and super midwestern. By that I mean she's warm, becomes an immediate friend, and she told me how to get discounts on future paranormal experiences. I didn't compliment her clothes or she would have told me where she got them on sale, I imagine.
What she DID tell me was fascinating. The way it works (for her, anyway), is when you do a reading with her, she gets visited by people who know you and she delivers their messages. They come in words and phrases, letters, certain images of places or things, and sense of how the deceased are doing and what they want.
I was skeptical enough that I didn't want to share too much up front, to see if she came up with anything without me feeding it to her. She didn't ask for any info. And, for my fellow skeptics- she would have had to dig realllly far into my online presence to come up with the things she did, and not all of them could even have been found there.
The first person who came through was the old colleague of mine who died by suicide. It took a few minutes to figure out who it was, but then in her description, it clicked. She said he was "very talented and skilled, but didn’t realize it." That he "sacrificed for a lot of people" and that he, "never felt at home anywhere." She felt that he wanted to/needed to check out, and then she concluded, correctly, that he'd taken his own life. He told her, "I'm sorry I left so much undone, but know that I got help when I got here. It wasn't what I expected at all. It wasn't punitive. They were here (on the other side) to help me and I'm at peace." She indicated that he had trouble finding a place that felt right, like home, in the world and "had no idea how special he was" but now he's gotten the help that he needed. He also thanked me "for trying."
So, you know, I'm already shook at this point and tearful. Then, my sister came through.
Kirsten was ten when she died; I was thirteen, our youngest sister was seven. K had been sick since she was three and I was seven, and our youngest was a newborn. The first thing she said, again, without having established with the psychic anything about who this was or the circumstances of her life/death, was, "Sorry for everything that got taken away from you because I was sick."
So, you know, that kicked me straight in the gut. Then she said, "Look, I can take a deep breath now, I can stand, walk, run! I couldn't breathe so well before, but now I can!" She came through as the adult version of herself, with her own little, colorful home in the afterlife. The psychic said she was cute, teasing her about her raspy voice (Kim was recovering from a cold). Kirsten is now surrounded by animals- dogs and horses, mostly. Kim asked, "Was there some reason she always wanted animals but couldn't have them before in life?" I laughed, because we had allergies in our house and so got super fun pets like fish and lizards.
She also sent love to our cousin, Stephanie, who was/is a huge part of our lives and the letter "A" kept coming up, which I suspect is in reference to the name of another cousin who Kirsten adored.
My grandpa came through quickly, and, as we'd predicted and hoped, he and Kirsten spend a lot of time together. He enjoys the animals, too. He didn't say much. She just sensed that he "Loves taking care of everyone, and loves being around people." He wanted me to know just that he's, "Taking good care of everybody."
A patient then came through. No one that I immediately recognized, but it'll probably come to me in time. She described her illness and her husband's reaction to it, then said that she appreciated that people, “moved heaven and earth to give me a good death.”
Finally, the colleague whose death I had so many questions about came through. The first thing she said was, "Mistakes were made." The psychic said, "Oh, this was tragic. This was a tragic accident."
She kept reiterating that she hadn't meant to harm herself, that she "just wanted to sleep." She "took too much/did too much of something" and was found dead in her bed. The tone of the way she said things was so clearly her, it blew me away. I was fairly convinced before, but this really cemented my belief in this psychic medium thing. My friend came through blunt, funny, assertive, type-A, a little nosey, a bit defensive, powerful....just as she was in life. She kept saying she was "bad at this, but I'll get better," meaning the whole being dead thing and communicating about it. Kim observed her as feeling "shell-shocked" and dismayed about her death.
She described her death as "I was in one place, and just woke up somewhere else." She's kind of bent, though, because she had a lot of unfinished work to do and had all these trips planned for the summer and concert tickets bought (this one hit me hard, because she and I had talked about one show in particular were both going to at the end of summer). The experience she'd had over the past year, that had been so challenging and that I'd witnessed, came through, too. She's still kind of pissed about the whole thing, but she wasn't despondent about it. She didn't intend to leave life, she had shit to do and she was doing it. Mistakes were made. She reiterated that the death couldn't have been easier, she's fit and strong there, and she's reunited with her husband who passed before her.
Also, she knew I was a writer (had aided me in a few health articles I'd written) and she knew my hope was to one day make that my full-time profession/identity. The psychic and I hadn't talked about my writing at all, and, again, she would have had to really dig to find, not my writing, but my insecurities about it. My friend kept hollering through her, "YOU’RE SO TALENTED, KEEP DOING THE CREATIVE THING. DON’T STOP WRITING, DON’T STOP WRITING. DON’T GIVE IT UP. "
I was left feeling relieved and certain. After the call, I had my closure. It's weird, maybe, but I have no doubts about how she died or where she was mentally at the end of her life. The others who came through felt a little less concrete, but I'm still feeling a sense of peace and connection.
I don't have anything else to say about it right now.