My husband was telling me about a shaman he had interviewed. The native woman works with the dying, and is often called to go into a hospital room and assist someone who’s either not conscious, or slipping in and out of consciousness. "She claims to communicate with people through telepathy," he said sceptically. "I don’t believe in mind readers." I told him that telepathy wasn’t mind-reading – and, in fact, I’ve done it several times.
I remembered a telephone call several years ago from Sarah, whom I’d read for many times. I’d also had sessions with her mother, Esther. Sarah wanted to know if she could make a special appointment for me to see her mother.
Wondering what she meant by a "special" appointment, I asked, "Why doesn’t your mother call me?"
Sarah was quiet for a few moments. "That’s not possible," she said. Three days ago, Esther had a massive stroke and was now unconscious in hospital, and doctors were hesitant to speculate on her chance for recovery.
I thought about the last time I’d seen Esther, a woman in her 70’s whose spark of life burned bright. She had a husky, deep-throated laugh and loved gaudy costume jewellery – the glitterier, the better – and carried a bright red vinyl purse that looked big enough to park a car in. When I brought through her husband, Jack, who’d passed suddenly from a heart attack, she listened quietly and dabbed the corners of her eyes with a yellow handkerchief.
"I know this is something you don’t normally do," Sarah said hopefully. "We’re not asking for a reading. My brother and I – we just want to know if mom is comfortable. If she can hear us. And if there’s anything we can do for her."
I was touched by the pleading in Sarah’s voice, but wondered if it was possible to contact the spirit of someone who was still living. Yet I felt urged to do what I could to help, and told her I’d meet her at the hospital tomorrow evening. She thanked me profusely, which made me uncomfortable, because I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do except offer moral support.
The next day, I drove to the hospital and met Sarah in her mother’s room in the neurology wing. We chatted a bit, and behind our words was the heart monitor’s beep… beep… beep…. A vase of bright red roses stood on the bedside table.
Sarah asked, "Do you want to be alone with mom?"
Esther looked like she was asleep. She’d lost weight. Her hands, which I remembered as beefy, and covered with rings that flashed under the lights, were frail. She wore only a plain gold wedding band.
I looked down at the delicate looking woman on the bed. I’d never had a session where the client couldn’t talk to me. How could I touch in with her?
"Hello, Esther," I said, placing one of my hands over hers, trying to visualize her spirit within her. I closed my eyes and remembered the vibrant woman Esther had been. This, I thought, was how she must see herself. As I focused, I felt a presence nearby, and in my mind I saw Esther standing beside me.
How are you? I mentally asked.
Esther was sombre, but then her energy seemed to shift and I felt her radiance. Thank God, I can finally speak to someone!
What can I do for you? I thought at her.
She wanted me to tell her children she understood what was happening and wasn’t scared, because she knew she’d soon be with her husband, Jack. In fact, he’d already visited her twice.
I can’t remember how long we "talked," because suddenly my eyes opened and I was back in the hospital room. I gave Sarah the messages from her mother, and she seemed relieved to hear her words.
"I hope I’ve been some help," I said. A part of me was still curious if I’d truly met Esther’s spirit, or if I’d just picked something up from her psychically.
Sarah took her mother’s hand. "While you were quiet, mom’s breathing seemed to settle, and her heartbeat was more rhythmical. I think – she just seems more rested."
Sarah thanked me again, and as I turned to go, in the corner of my eye I caught another person standing beside Esther’s bed. A broad-chested man with a neatly-clipped moustache. He smiled at me, and introduced himself as Jack.