The loss of someone I loved

This week, for the first time ever, I went and sat in with a psychic medium as she did a small group reading. Yes. I am talking about the people who talk to people on the “other side,” AKA dead people a la the Sixth Sense. Cue the non-believer eye rolls and “oh please’s” Trust me, I get it. I am a New Yorker and as a unit we don’t believe jack shit. Plus, I am a scientist.. so there’s always that side of me that tries to disprove all the theories. However, I have always had a duality to my personality. Part of me that feels that things like people talking to the dead is woo woo nonsense for people desperate for closure. I know that “mediums” could very well be empaths who can easily read a crowd and use verbal and nonverbal cues from the people in the room to spark their “readings” and conversations with the “dead.” However, the other side of me does understand that we are vibrational, energetic beings. Do we just die and disappear? If energy cannot be created or destroyed It seems unlikely that there is nothing, no remnants of our life force energy left behind after our physical bodies pass. Why couldn’t someone be able to see through the curtain and reach that energy?

Long story short, I don’t have the answers. I remain a curious skeptic/believer. Which is why when my good friend invited me to go to this medium’s small group reading in Sherman Oaks, I said “yes.” We got into the room a couple minutes late and had absolutely no idea what to expect. The medium was a colorful woman in her late 50’s who seemed like someone that might live next door from you and have a couple of cats. The readings began and things were… awkward – at best. The medium seemed a bit nervous to be honest, even though she said she has been doing this for a while. The room was quiet enough to hear the lady next to me picking her fingernails. The medium started by saying she had a “hitchhiker” with her since the morning. Those of you who don’t know what that means, it refers to a spirit that follows the medium around prior to a reading to be sure they “get through.” She said the hitch hiker spirit was a woman named Carol and that she was someone’s mother. No one in the room knew a Carol or what the hell was going on really. She explained Carol with some more details and … crickets.

Eventually she moved on to someones spunky Spanish grandma and someone in the room did claim this spirit. However, the name was off by everything except the first letter… so I remained very skeptical, at best. The readings went on and at some point she even channeled someone’s dead pet rabbit. Some of the readings seemed pretty on, but almost all of them had at least a few points that people couldn’t connect and that honestly seemed like guesses.

About half way through the session she connected with a young woman who had walked in late. She was talking about a female spirit that was very persistent and wanted to tell this young woman to move on with her life and not spend any more time in her grief stricken state. The young woman being read cried and when the medium asked if this spirit was her mother, she nodded yes. The medium asked her what her mother’s name was and she said… “Carol.” The entire room sat up and gasped. She had missed the first 15 minutes of the session by coming in late so she hadn’t heard the anecdote at the beginning about the hitch hiking spirit. Coincidence? Maybe. Honestly though, in that moment, it didn’t feel like a coincidence.

Every reading came through with details about someone’s departed loved one as well as messages for them from the beyond that pertained to their lives now. The messages communicated love and forgiveness. Almost everyone’s passed loved one told their person to relax, not be so hard on themself, pursue their dreams and to stop holding back. The little Spanish grandma urged her grandson not to give up on his writing and Carol asked her daughter to go back to her creative side. A little bit vague and generic I thought, but also probably exactly what we would say to our loved ones if we saw the limitless potential in their existence from behind the screen of the “other side.”

About an hour into the session, as we were coming to the end of the experience, the medium commented that she was getting male energy. Interesting, as almost all of the other people who had come through in the session were female. She said that this was definitely “Uncle energy”… this was for sure someone’s uncle. She said the man was a big guy, but bigger on top and in the belly than in the legs. (My dad later confirmed that he “always joked with him about his skinny legs and him being top heavy.”) The medium said this uncle had a lot of hair and he looked very nice.

Now, I haven’t told you yet but my Uncle Tony passed away this past Christmas Eve, less than a month prior to this session. It was kind of sudden for us and we were all surprised and heartbroken. I didn’t sign up for this to talk to him, I actually agreed to it before I knew he was gone. I can honestly say I never really expected him to come through at something like this, especially because he’s just the sort of person that would eye roll this kind of function. Then the medium said this man was in his 50’s and hadn’t lived a full life. No one had claimed him yet, so I raised my hand and said my uncle had just past and truthfully every single thing she had said so far was a bang on description of him. To be honest, it kind of felt like my hand raised itself.

She looked right at me and said “oh yes, he belongs to you.” She followed immediately with: “he’s connected to your father?” I confirmed that was true. I was very careful to give simple yes or no answers and I even went to the lengths of wearing nondescript clothes and no make up so she couldn’t draw any clues about me from my appearance.

What she didn’t know was that Uncle Tony wasn’t an uncle to me at all in technical terms. He was my father’s lifelong childhood friend and we had adopted the name “uncle” as a term of endearment. Uncle Tony was part of my life from the moment I was born, just as he had always been part of my dad’s life. He and my father had a special friendship, full of laughter and love. Their friendship spanned decades, the way few things do nowadays. Uncle Tony always loved me and was always very protective. He was a worrier, to say the least. So, my recent galavanting around the globe and jumping out of airplanes made him more than a touch uncomfortable.

She said “he’s showing me a gold ring on his hand and making me feel like I should kiss it.” I confirmed that this was possible, since he was always impeccably dressed and pretty funny. Later in talking to my dad he connected the dots for me and told me of the reference in the movie The Godfather to kissing the ring. What’s funny is my dad thought it was my Uncle just being a funny Italian and making a joke, but what he had forgotten was that Uncle Tony was my godfather, so it was more than a joke. It was his clever way of proving his relationship to me.

The medium went on, “he has a nice button down shirt on and the wants you to tell your father not to worry. He wants your dad to know that he’s alright.” He also wants you to tell your dad to “pay his credit card bills in order of the highest interest” but other than that “your dad needs to relax.” She said his tone was big and funny and loud and that he seemed to be making a joke of that to tease my dad. That is exactly the kind of relationship they had, always poking fun at one another and being loud and silly. They were the life of every holiday and party and always had the whole family in stitches with their antics.

The medium also communicated that he was asking me to tell my dad to be more open to communicating with him. She said that my uncle had been trying to reach my dad to tell him that he’s OK but that my dad’s been shut down to the signs. When I told my dad this later, he confirmed that while he was cooking in the kitchen earlier that same day he felt prompted to say out loud to my Uncle that he wasn’t ready to talk to him just yet and that he needed more time. I asked him what he felt that made him say that and he said, “I don’t know. I just felt that in that moment he was trying to reach me.” Coincidence or confirmation? I’m still not sure.

Then the medium said, “he clearly loves your dad and my god does he LOVE you. He is just beaming with pride and going on about how impressed he is with you and he’s telling me that you influence a lot of people, does that make sense?” I nodded yes. She went on, “he says that you’re the type of person that on social media, you’ll like everyone’s stuff. You’re not petty, you believe there’s room for everyone and want to see everyone win. He says you are on the exact right path, you’re level headed and open and you are fearless. He says he wishes he could have been more like that and he is just going on and on about how influential you are and how he’s so excited and proud.” I was speechless. If you’re anything like me you’re automatically wondering if she had access to my name before the session… because then she could easily type it into google and know without much effort that I am an influencer online. However, I hadn’t signed up for the session.. my friend had. He had put his name down and signed me in anonymously. I saw for myself the +1 on the list, not so much as my first name was listed.

I was the only person who got a message like that from a loved one, with that kind of tone and detail and honestly, it applied to me exactly. What was very cool to me was that all of the things that scared my uncle about me when he was here in the physical now excited him in the beyond. He even said he wished he could have been more of a risk taker and less of a worrier. Now that he can tap limitless knowledge and unconditional love he gave me the gift of affirming that my path and intentions are correct and gave me the boost I didn’t even know I was looking for to keep knocking down walls and running after what I want and doing so with love in my heart. I don’t know what’s real and what’s not but I know that that experience lit me up and felt very genuine. She was spot on about Uncle Tony and the thing I remember the most about him was his huge contagious smile. I could feel myself smiling just like him throughout the session and for hours after.

He wished he had taken more risks and admired that in me … that really resonated. So how do we learn to take more risks? I don’t have all the answers but I know for me personally that setting boundaries has made it much easier to be a risk-taker. I have found that I can take risks more responsibly now, if you will, because I have decided exactly where my limits and boundaries lie. For example, I will take risks at work but never go so as to surround myself with people who are doing things I don’t respect just to get ahead. I will jump out of a plane but only after doing all the research to know I am as educated as possible on the safety measures and statistics.

So was it really him? I guess I will never be able to say for sure; but what I can say is thank you. Thank you Uncle Tony for the years of love and laughter and the way you have protected me and continue to protect me. Thank you for being the friend you were to my Dad and for loving our family so much. It’s truly a blessing that we became family by choice. I have the best memories of our time together and it was a privilege to have you here with us, bringing light and laughter to our lives. I will never forget you or one moment of the life we all shared. Our small apartment in Brooklyn came to life with music, stories and fun every time you came through the door. Thank you for the way you cared for me, loved me and have supported me and continue to support me. Your big laugh, huge smile, and superman sized energy will be greatly missed. I’ll think of you often until we meet again, I love you always, oh and I promise to remember to be careful.

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