I was twenty-eight when I discovered, quite by accident, that I had the ability to channel the dead. A medium, I believe it is called.
Already a mother twice over, I had joined a woman’s Euchre club – a weekly respite from the tediousness of our lives. We alternated houses, sharing the burden of hosting. On one particular Wednesday, I arrived late only to discover that the card tables were not set up, and that two strangers had joined our group. “A surprise”, our hostess called it. The two women were psychics. Annoyed, I took a seat near the door – I had not been prepared to spend my precious freedom at some freak side show, and was planning to escape.
After muttering a few prayers, one of the two women fell into some sort of trance, and began to speak. “There is a man named John here,” she began in a voice not unlike her own. “He says he passed not long ago, before Christmas. Not a father, but a father-in-law.”
I suddenly paid attention. “Yes?”
“He says that you have abilities that you are not using. He says you know what he is talking about and that he is with you, and he will help.”
A warm rush washed over me. Pop! I’d had a close relationship with my father-in-law, and missed him dearly. To my relief, the women moved on, focusing on someone else in the room.
Truth is, things had been happening to me lately – supernatural things. I did know what he was talking about. At the end of the evening, I asked the ladies where to go next.
“Begin by having people, friends, bring you objects, preferably jewellery, and see what comes to mind.” They gave me a prayer to say for protection and left it at that.
My friends were game. It was innocent enough at first; I’d say the prayer, hold the object, then speak about what I “saw”. The information was never straightforward, more like a cryptic game of decoding, but I found I had a knack for unraveling the puzzles put before me.
I mentioned it to a cousin of mine, who showed up with a ring she wanted me to “read”. Assuring me that I did not know the owner of the ring, I performed my little ritual and settled in to see what would emerge. I suddenly felt a draft of deadly cold, and then something invisible rushing at me, knocking me off center. What the heck, I thought, trying to regain my equilibrium and starting again. This time I addressed the force, negotiating with the unknown.
“This person is no longer alive,” I sought confirmation. My cousin nodded. “I see a tall woman, standing proud and erect. She appears to me as a young woman, in her prime – not dressed for our era, but another time period.” This time the woman moved closer, waiting for an invitation. I let her in, but held my ground. “Your grandmother. She loves you very much.”
“Weird things are happening to me,” I told my family. They wanted to try it out. My mom and dad came first, with items from their parents. I relaxed more, allowing the spirits to work through me.
“Amazing!” my father said. “Nothing you could have known.”
“Definitely something to it,” my mother pronounced. “That was Dad all over. I feel like I’ve just spoken to my father.”
My sister and brother-in-law were skeptical. They brought a ring, but didn’t give me any background. This time I felt myself slipping away to another place, where the air was warm and tropical. I smelt a musty, pungent smell and imagined myself sitting on a porch with large green leaves around me. I settled into the scenery, mesmerized, relaxed. Somewhere in the distance I was aware of a woman’s voice, scolding. After sometime, I heard my sister calling me back. I was slow to emerge and when I did I described the image that had transported me. My brother-in-law had a funny look on his face.
“Do you not believe me?” I asked.
“Oh no!” he blasted me. “That was my Nan, all right! Don’t you ever do that again. You scared the living daylights out of me. It was her voice, for sure, and you even looked like her.”
While intriguing, this new talent of mine didn’t come with instructions or a manual, and I found myself extremely tired after a session. But I kept it up, gaining confidence in myself and my ability.
Then one day, I encountered an old friend at a Craft show. She and her husband created eerie images of ghostly figures by playing with photography. I mentioned my own relationship with the departed, at which my friend lit up. “I need your help. I think we are being haunted.”
“Don’t tell me anymore,” I warned. “I’ll drop by and see what I can do.”
We held a sort of seance. Gathered in a circle, holding hands, and saying my prayer, I then asked that the spirit who had been trying to connect with this family make itself known. Immediately, I was plunged into darkness. This spirit was anxious to communicate – a close relative who has recently died unexpectedly, two weeks before her wedding. Pushing back, I recommended that the family encourage her to move on. The session seemed to end satisfactorily, but her fiancee, who had not been there, wanted to say his farewells, so we set up another session.
This time was very different. Right from the outset I felt something was wrong, and yet, I persisted, saying my prayer and preparing to give myself over. The lovers didn’t want to part. The man, hearing his bride-to-be’s voice once again, clung to my hand, vowing his undying love. I had to fight to regain control, and left feeling sluggish, unrefreshed.
Over the next couple of weeks, I grew more and more ill, until one day I happened upon a friend, who shared an understanding of the mystical.
“You have a spirit clinging onto you,” she advised me.
I knew who it was. With my friends help, we again helped this individual move on, and I immediately felt relief.
Stepping back from the situation and reflecting on what I’d experienced, I recognized that initially I was captivated by the intrigue – empowered by this “other world” connection, but quite obviously, it was not something that ensured my well-being. While I continued to contact spirits on behalf of others for some time, I no longer agreed to give over my vessel, so to speak.
Today, I do neither. I needed to step back and gain perspective.
The fact is, that being responsible for the thoughts and words that emerge from my own heart and mind are enough of a burden. Being a mouth for someone else, whose fate has transcended this earthly existence, is beyond me.
So, for know, this mouth is mine alone.
It was the spirit of the husband’s sister, who died two weeks before her wedding date. Unwilling to accept her fate, she had been clinging to her family, but the effect was frightening. We decided on a seance, to allow for final goodbyes, and to help her move on. Her fiance could not be present, so another date was set just for him. The first gathering went well, and I felt that the goal was accomplished.
The second session had a totally different feel. Just as I was about to begin, I felt an intervention from the other side. “Don’t do this,” I heard, but ignored it, pushing