Tag Archive: Spirit guide

Cover of "Stranger Than Fiction"

Cover of Stranger Than Fiction

Not too long ago I interviewed Tess Schafer, a medium who also happens to be the main character in my book “Be Still, My Love“, and got her perspective on a few things.  I truly enjoyed connecting with Tess and chatting with her.  Yeah, I know, rather bizarre when you think about it…me interviewing my character…which means essentially, me having a discussion with me!  (smile)  Still, we flushed out a few things concerning the story and I enjoyed the chat.  It truly felt as if Tess were right here with me.  In fact, for the most part, I do think of her as someone separate from myself.  When we authors develop a character, that character becomes somewhat real to us in our minds.  I know that once the story gets going, my characters drive the telling of it and I do nothing more than go along with the flow.  If I try to go MY way on something, it won’t work, the words eventually fail to come and all progress grinds to a screeching halt.  It’s like they (the characters) stop talking to me.  It’s an interesting process.  I find myself fascinated by it.  Often, when this sort of thing happens…the complete-story-halt scenario…I go back and do what the character wanted to do in the first place.  Lo and behold, the words come, the story flows and I am amazed at what develops!

I am going to show my age here but when I was young, I loved The Carol Burnett Show.  One skit she performed on that show really made quite an impact on me.  To this day…so many years later…I still think about it.  The skit consisted of Carol being a character in a book which Vickie Lawrence (a regular on the show) was in the process of writing.  As Vickie typed the story, the characters…Carol and the other two cohorts on her show Harvey Korman and Tim Conway…acted out the scene.   It really hit me upside the head as I thought about all my own creations.  “Oh God! What if in another reality, the stories are really happening?”  Sort of freaked me out a bit.  I suddenly felt responsible for “real” people.  It made me take note about what I was writing concerning them.  Conversely, I now felt sad when something bad happened!  I don’t like writing sad stories and yet life is filled with sadness isn’t it?  I know this much…I better feel uplifted when my story ends.  At the very least, I better feel like the characters are going to continue on with a great life.

One movie that really had some impact on me as an author was “Stranger Than Fiction” with Will Ferrell.  In that movie, Will is a character in an author’s book and one day he suddenly starts hearing her thoughts as she writes his life.  This means he also hears the omniscient narration that tells him he is going to die in the near future.  Will doesn’t want to die so he sets out to find “the voice” so he can beg her to let him live.  This movie just expanded on the skit in The Carol Burnett Show.  “Delirious” with John Candy operated on the same premise.  In this movie, he had a magic typewriter that allowed him to control the lives of the characters who lived in an alternate reality!  The Neverending Story is another example of this story-being-real concept.  As an author, the creator of characters, I feel responsible for the “people” I bring into being.  The life they live and the life it is suggested they’ll live after the book ends are now resting on my shoulders.  What a responsibility to shoulder!!

I’ve been watching a television series called “Once Upon A Time” in which all the storybook characters ever created are real and have been banished from “story land” (or wherever it was they existed) by an evil queen (Snow White’s Step-mother, the witch!).  Of all places in the world…where do you suppose the evil queen banished those poor characters?  To MAINE!!  (smile).  Yeah, my home state.  Oh the horror!  Those poor, poor dears.  I have to wonder why the writers of that show decided that Maine was to be the place of banishment (I mean, seriously, it isn’t that bad a place to live!)?  So anyway, back to my point.  In the last episode I watched, one of the characters, the Mad Hatter, tried to convince Snow White’s daughter Emma that the storybook her young son Henry claims is a factual document (he’s only one of a few who knows the truth) is in fact just that…a true accounting of all their lives (the poor dears also lost all memory of their former storybook lives).  Those “tales” are true, the Mad Hatter tells Emma.   She doesn’t believe him.  He tells her, (paraphrasing here) “Where do you think stories come from?  The imagination?  And where did THAT come from?”  The very point I’ve pondered for most of my writing life!  The stories I write just develop on their own.  I honestly feel like I’m taking dictation.  They run like movies through my mind and I type what I see.  Am I tapping into a true life story that exists in an alternate reality?  Oh come on, suspend disbelief and go with it.  Mind-boggling though it is.  Hey, writers have to be a little out of touch with so called reality in order to create the worlds, characters and stories they create!

So here’s the thing.  Right now I am writing paranormal stories involving ghosts.  My books Be Still, My Love and it’s sequel Hidden Voices (to be published in May) both focus on the life of the character I mentioned earlier…Tess Schafer.  She regularly talks to her spirit guide Sheila and she attracts spirits to her  wherever she goes.  Mediums do that, you know, attract spirits to them like cows attract flies (poor things, I always feel bad for them…the cows not the mediums!).  If the stories I create are actually alternate realities, then it stands to reason that I’ve tapped into a paranormal world that actually exists!  Could it be possible to bring that world into ours?  Why wonder such a thing, you might ask?  Well, while I was writing those books, strange little things happened.  My grandkids’ toys activated.  I heard knocking noises that even made the dogs bark (so it wasn’t just my imagination!).  I saw blinking little lights (like bright twinkles).  I can’t say how many times I thought someone was with me…to the point that I’d get up and go have a look around!  I’d detect a movement out of the corner of my eye and turn to look…no one there! I felt cold drafts, chills down the spine…yeah, yeah, it could just be my very active mind playing tricks on me but still.  It makes me wonder???

I recently gave Hidden Voices out to a couple family members to critique for me and both of them had a strange experience happen to them while reading it!  For one, the printer attached to her computer suddenly came on and randomly started printing stuff.  For the other, all the lights went out just as a seance in the book was getting started.  Could be coincidence, certainly.  But here’s the thing…I don’t believe in coincidence.  Our world is carefully orchestrated to operate ON PURPOSE.  All things that occur in life do so by divine design.  Nothing is by chance or coincidence.  Nothing! There’s a reason and purpose for every single thing, no matter how small and insignificant it might appear to be!  The stories, movies, shows, arts, songs…everything that is created was channeled from somewhere.  It existed THERE, and now it exists HERE.

Pretty thought provoking, isn’t it?  We live in a bizarre world!  We really do!  Okay, I’m done for now.  I’ve another story to channel! (smile) Thanks for stopping by and reading my rambles.  Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!

In my book “Be Still, My Love“, the main character, Tess Schafer, is a medium.  In other words, she speaks to “the dead”.  I wanted to write a story involving a medium for many reasons.  1) I am intrigued by the idea of talking to the “dead”, 2) I’ve had some success with it in various forms and wanted to use some of those experiences in a story, 3) I love ghost stories and so what better story to write than a story I love to read?

Tess doesn’t just talk with people who have “crossed over” (I dislike the term “died” when that isn’t really accurate), she also communes with her spirit guide, Sheila.  I really wanted to explore the whole issue of a medium going through grief and how she might handle it.  “Be Still, My Love” came to me pretty quickly.  I wrote the story in just a couple months (the editing took longer but we won’t discuss that!).  I am now nearly done with the sequel (as yet to be titled).  I had to write another book involving Tess because I was so intrigued with her.  Not to mention the other characters as well, like her love interest Kade Sinclair (I’m hoping to interview him soon!).

I’ve seen other blog posts of authors/bloggers interviewing book characters and at first I thought it was silly.  But then I got to thinking about it.  And now I’m thinking it’s a pretty neat idea!  My characters are like real people to me and the idea of interviewing them to see what more we can get from them…well, love the concept.  So, without further ado, I bring you an interview with Tess Schafer, medium, and heroine of “Be Still, My Love”.  My comments/questions in bold:

Do you think I did a fair job in your character development?

I think so.  I started out pretty normal, living the good life, enjoying a great marriage and then, of course, it all ended in that one awful moment.  To put it mildly, I was devastated.  I really didn’t think tragedy would hit me like that because of my spiritual connections.  It was a bitter pill to swallow.  I lost it for awhile and turned my back on God.  I was just so mad.  I was mad at Mike for dying and taking my dog with him, I was mad at God for taking him, and I was mad at my spirit guide Sheila for not warning me about what was going to happen.  I went into a dark place.  I believe you did a pretty good job pulling me out of that dark place and bringing me back into the light.  I was a completely different person by the time Be Still reached its conclusion.  I can’t imagine allowing myself to ever slip back into that sort of misery again.  But I’m also hoping nothing happens to test it.  Really, this story should give people hope that anyone who has gone through a loss like that will eventually find some happiness again.  After all, we aren’t truly abandoned are we?  God, the angels, even Mike, never really went anywhere.  They stayed with me the whole time.  I just couldn’t feel them.

Did anything happen in the story that you wished had gone differently?

Well yeah, you have to ask?  I wish I hadn’t lost my husband and dog.  Death sucks for those of us left behind. It really does.  And I’m saying that as a person who KNOWS that life doesn’t end when the body expires.  But then we wouldn’t have a story, would we, if Mike and Tootsie hadn’t died?  The worst thing in the world is dealing with death.  Not only did I lose my husband, but my dog.  It really ticked me off that you took my dog from me too.  Two years is a long time to live in misery.  It would have been nice if you’d sent me to that resort sooner.  I mean, really…TWO YEARS?  I think my biggest problem was the loneliness.  And I wish I hadn’t lost my ability to talk to the dead … er, to people who have crossed over.  I might have found some comfort in talking to my husband, Mike, and recovered a little sooner from the loss if I could have only talked to him one more time.  Of course, I did get to do that eventually and I’m grateful, I truly am, but I wish it could have happened sooner than two years.

Do you feel that your faith is stronger now than it was before your tragedy?

Oh yes, definitely!  That old saying that you don’t miss something until you don’t have it?  Well, there’s something to that.  It was terrible to live for two years without feeling my connection to God.  I really was mad at “him” and you know I hate referring to God as a him but it’s easier to reference something like that as a pronoun.  So anyway, once I realized that Mike really was okay and so was Tootsie, well, it was easier to forgive God for taking them.  I wanted some joy in my life again.  And I wanted my gift back.  People need people like us, you know?  Mediums have a purpose in this life.  We connect this world with the next and we help grieving people find some peace.  It’s an awesome gift.

What do you think about people who think mediums are in league with the devil or are engaging in evil practices?

You can’t stop people from believing what they do.  I feel sad for people like that but I’m done with defending myself and my beliefs.  To each his own, you know?  I had to deal with that prejudice with Modesta.  She never came around and I can’t figure why?  I mean, what did I do that was so evil?  Nothing!  But I’m not going to get on my soapbox about it.  I know in my heart that what I do is good and filled with nothing but loving intention.  I won’t let anyone sully that with their bias.  Even my husband Mike had a problem with it.  He didn’t think it was evil or anything but the whole stigma attached to it, that it’s all hoodoo voodoo hoopla, well I had to deal with that.  We are all at different stages in our lives when it comes to belief and knowledge and whatnot.  We just need to respect each other instead of tearing each other apart for having different beliefs and views on things.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?

Certainly I do!  But my concept of it is probably not the same as yours or anyone else’s.  I think we get in the afterlife what we think we deserve.  If you die thinking you were bad and have to go to hell, well, you’ll experience a sort of hell until the angels can help you come around and see that you don’t need to be there.  If you think you deserve to go to heaven, well then you’ll experience a sort of heaven.  But eventually, I think we all end up in the same place.  Some might take centuries to get there…you know, the ones who have a lot of negativity in their soul to work through.  I do believe in Karma and all that.  It’s all pretty complicated and I’m still working through my beliefs.  But I try to keep an open mind, you know?

So, what’s with Kade?  Do you think you can have more than one true love in your lifetime?

Wow, that’s personal!  I like Kade, of course I do.  Who wouldn’t like him?  He’s honorable, strong, kind, thoughtful.  He’s what every girl wants in a man.  I loved Mike and I’ll never stop loving him but I have found that the heart does heal and will allow another in … eventually.  Mind you, I only accept this happening when one relationship has definitely ended.  Cheating doesn’t cut it.  That isn’t acceptable.  Poor Kade had to deal with that and I can’t imagine going through that sort of betrayal.  It was bad enough dealing with Mike’s departure from my life by dying, I can’t imagine how I would have felt if he’d left me for someone else.  Both bring lots of grief, of course, but one seems more forgivable than the other.  I mean, if someone dies, you can’t be mad at them forever about it.  But, if someone cheats…well that’s a choice made that’s hard to accept.  You can come to forgive, of course, but you’ll never forget.  I’m glad Kade isn’t letting it come between us or anything.  I would probably have trust issues after something like that.  He seems to trust me and I … well, I love that about him.

What is it you like best about yourself?

My gift.  Hands down.  I love that I can make that connection to “the other side”.  It’s hard to be severed from someone you love.  It’s painful and it physically hurts.  A lot of the anguish comes from not having a chance to speak one more time or not knowing if they are okay.  We love them so much and when they are gone, we think of them as being alone.  We don’t want them to be alone.  I hated not knowing how Mike was after he died.  Was he okay with his passing?  Did he go against his will?  I’ve yet to come across someone in spirit who is not happy to be there.  Even the ones who die violently, they are more concerned with the loved ones left behind or having someone on the loose who might do more harm than they are upset about being dead.  I have found that people can come to accept the death of a loved one a little better if they can just have that reassurance that they really aren’t gone forever and they really are okay.  It’s all any of us want, for those we love to be happy.

Before we close out this interview, can you tell us anything about the sequel to Be Still, My Love?

Oh wow!  This new mystery has me totally enthralled.  I know you are as stymied as me on where we’re headed.  I have a pretty exciting life to be sure.  It gets a little scary sometimes because the unknown is scary but then when you bring the unknown to light…well, it isn’t scary anymore, it’s fascinating.  I’m really enjoying my stay in Bucksport.  It’s a really neat little town and there’s so much history there.  I understand you grew up there?  Lucky you!

Yeah, it was a nice place to grow up.  The witch’s curse was always a fascinating topic for me.  I also lived in a haunted house when I was a kid but in the next town over.  Maybe you should check it out, see if the spirits are still there?  The house is gone now but the tomb is still there.

I’m hoping you keep me in Maine for awhile.  I’m not ready to return to New York.  But I guess we’ll have to see what happens as we conclude the story.  The suspense is almost too much.  I’m like, solve this already!

I know what you mean!  I feel the same way.  Thanks for the chat, Tess.  Maybe we’ll do this again sometime!

Thank you for interviewing me.  It’s nice to have a voice other than in the story!  Hope some of your fine blog readers will check out our books!  And I hope you get the inspiration to write another one when this sequel is done.  I’m not ready to fade into obscurity.

And so that concludes the interview with Tess Schafer, Medium.  If you are interested in Tess’s story, check it out here: “Be Still, My Love”   The sequel coming soon!!

Blessings to all and Peace Out!

Inspirational Writing is one of the most intimate forms of writing.  The message that comes through is either from your higher self (your soul), an angelic being (guardian angel? spirit guide?) or God.  Although the last is really part of it no matter what since God is part of all things.

If you have a problem or concern or would just like a little guidance, Inspirational Writing can deliver just what you need.  Who better to help you than someone who absolutely loves you?

So, for those who have not tried this form of communication, how is it done?  First, there is no right or wrong way.  The only thing you need to do is write (or type if you prefer).  Inspirational Writing is like a written meditation.  Instead of a mental or emotional conversation, you allow words to flow onto paper or onto the keyboard.  The following is just a suggestion on how to approach this very intimate communication.

1.  Start with prayer.  Prayer is communication with God, and Inspirational Writing comes from this very loving source.  So, open the communication with a prayer.  If you have a problem, concern, worry or curiosity, then voice it to God (although God already knows, it helps you clarify what it is you are hoping to accomplish).   Once you have stated your intention for the writing, give thanks for the message you are about to receive.  I can’t quote the bible exactly or tell you where to find it but I do remember reading a passage where Jesus said something to the effect that we should always thank God as if the thing for which we have just asked has already been received.  This reminds me of nightly prayers with my children when they were small.  My daughter always began her prayer this way, “Thank you God for the rest of my life.”  I LOVED that!  I don’t know where she got that from but wow…out of the mouth of babes!

2.  Make sure you are clear about what you are seeking from the communication.  It’s okay if you aren’t seeking anything specific.  If all you want is to open yourself to spirit and see what comes through, that’s totally fine!  If you prefer the message to come from your higher self (an interesting expression but simply means your spiritual self) then state as much. If you would like your spirit guide or guardian angel to come through then say so.  Just know this…whatever your intention when you sit down to write, whoever you wish to contact, whatever you want to know, it will come through.  Just so long as you ALLOW it to happen.

3.  Believe you are worthy of the communication!  You don’t have to be a religious or spiritual leader to receive communication from God or the angels.  You ARE worthy because you are a child of God and our loving Creator is not going to deny you an audience!  Promise.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you are, how you live, what your faith … when talking to the spiritual realm, none of those things matter.  What matters is that you are a spiritual being, a child of God, and you are seeking communication.

4.  Allow the message to come through.  Just write whatever comes to mind.  Don’t analyze it, don’t edit it, don’t argue with it.  Just LET it.  If the message seems to come slowly at first, stick with it, the more comfortable you get, the better the communication, the easier the words will flow.  Once you set your inner critic aside and just write, you’ll be amazed at what comes through!  Keep writing until you KNOW (and you will know) that you are done.

5.  If whatever comes through is critical and judgmental, then you just communicated with your ego.  Spiritual messages are always loving, positive messages.  ALWAYS.

6.  It is very hard to get our ego out of the way and allow true Inspirational Writing to occur.  One way to do this is to pretend that you are a loving being answering your question.  When deliberately “pretending”, the ego seems to relax and allow things to happen.  However the loving spirit must come through, even if it’s through pretense, it will come through.  Nothing is by chance, so even if you made something up during your pretense…well, where do you suppose those “made up” comments came from?  Your higher Self.

The thing to remember about this form of writing is that it is for YOU.  You don’t need to worry about grammar or punctuation or proper sentence structure.  None of that matters.  Inspirational Writing is spirit writing a letter to you!  Now, if whatever comes through seems worthy of sharing and you’d like to do so, then by all means, share those loving messages.  If people don’t receive them as you did or if they try to negate the message, just remember this…that’s their ego talking.  Unfortunately, ego is a very critical and necessary part of who we are…it helps us function in a very difficult world.  God and the angels don’t have egos.  Any message received during an Inspirational Writing session is done so in love and it will fill you with nothing less than that.

So, give it a try, see what God, the angels or your higher Self has to say.  Blessings to all and Peace out!

So, is there really life after physical death?  You betcha.  How do I know?  I just do.  Not a good enough answer?  Fine.  I’ll elaborate.

Aside from living in a haunted house full of “dead” people, I’ve made contact with people who have made the transition from physical life to the spiritual hereafter.   Now, those that believe this is possible will accept that I may actually have done this.  Those who do not believe, will not believe, and that’s fine.  We are all entitled to our beliefs.  At least here in America we are!!  That doesn’t mean we don’t get prosecuted for what we believe but that’s something I’m not going to get into here.  I get on that soapbox and I’ll rant for hours!

The unseen forces in that haunted old farmhouse were scary.  But I think it was more because we didn’t know what we were dealing with and also, my dog didn’t like them.  I figured if they were friendly, he wouldn’t react in the way dogs do when they don’t like someone or something.  My dog Tippy, however, often growled at them and that is a pretty good indication that they were not friendly.  We didn’t get hurt by them or anything but they sure did take a lot of things that were never to be found again.  Bummer that.

My contact with loved ones in spirit through Automatic Writing went a long way in cementing my beliefs in life after death.  No one is going to convince me that I wasn’t REALLY talking to my grandparents.  Some of the stuff they shared were things I didn’t know anything about (see previous blog posts about this!).

When I then tried my hand at channeling (direct communication with someone in the spiritual realm without the use of anything but my self), that went quite well also.  The information that came through had to come from somewhere as I sure as heck didn’t know that stuff!  When connecting with spiritual guides and loved ones who have passed on, the information coming through should be helpful.  If it’s scary or useless, then you are not connecting with a loved one or a spirit guide.  You are possibly connecting with a “dark” spirit.  An entity that operates as far from God’s influence as possible.  Something that’s in league with “the devil”.  My belief is that the devil isn’t a specific person or entity … it is a term that embodies all things evil (no love involved).

A few years ago I was introduced to “table tipping”.  Like the Ouija, table tipping has negative press associated with it.  Mostly from people who don’t understand any of this, don’t believe any of this and who pass negative judgement on anything to do with the supernatural.  Weird that, since God is a supernatural energy and the majority of the ones criticizing such practices believe in God!! But anyway…

The first time I was introduced to table tipping was at a “spiritual development class” I attended.  I had never seen this work before.  Indeed, I never even heard of it.  There were several small tables used and we put about four to five people per table.  The gist of it is that you lightly lay your hands flat on the table top and invite a spirit to communicate with you.  When one takes you up on the offer, the table begins to vibrate, shimmy, rattle back and forth and finally, it will tip up on one or two legs.  Yes, yes, people are going to say that the people operating the table are causing it to do those things.  Can’t do anything about the skeptics.  I was in one group where the table continuously tipped toward me and of course I was being accused of making that happen.  So I took my index finger and lightly placed the tip of it in the CENTER of the table (there were three others at the table).  We asked the spirit a question and the table easily, quickly tipped to me.  Now, how did I make that happen with the tip of one finger lightly resting on the center of the table?  If my mind made that table tip towards me, then wow, even that is amazing!!

For the most part, though, I considered table tipping just a fun sort of activity.  I didn’t take it too seriously.  Until one day we got a group of people together and got ourselves a serious message.  One of the woman who joined the group at the table I was operating (there were four of us all together) was a stranger to me.  I shall call her “Gladys” though that was not her name.  I did not know Gladys or anything about her.  She came with one of my aunts who was also operating the table with us.  The fourth person was yet another aunt who also did not know Gladys.  Once we got the table tipping and “talking” (it spells out messages through a series of tips … “a” is one tip, “b” is two tips, etc… yes, it’s time consuming), Gladys wanted to know if she could ask for someone.  We told her to go ahead and call him forth.  When the table tipped  to indicate he was with us, she started to cry.  At first I thought it was because she was moved to think someone she cared about was with her once again.  But that wasn’t it at all.  The man she asked for and who answered her call had been missing for two weeks.  Of course Gladys was hoping that he was still alive though it really wasn’t expected that he was.  He suffered from Alzheimer’s and had wandered from his home two weeks prior.  Gladys believed from the beginning of his disappearance that he had left his home with the intention of coming to visit her.  There was a path through the woods between their homes that he used to use.  She said that volunteers had searched the woods but did not find him.  The man whom I shall call “Walter” (not his real name) then told us that he was indeed in the woods.  He told us he got confused, wandered off the path and then fell over a fallen tree.  He told us where we could find his body.  The mood at the table was pretty somber.  This wasn’t just a fun game anymore.  None of us were sure how to handle the situation.  Part of us wanted to load into the car and go find Walter.  A bigger part of us did not.  The bigger part won out.

Gladys, however, decided a few days later to try and find Walter based on the information he had given us through the table.  But she became lost herself (Gladys is in the elderly stages of life, as was Walter). Thankfully, Gladys’s son found her and rescued her.  No other attempts were made to find Walter’s body (search parties had been called off by this time).  Then a year later, during hunting season, two unfortunate hunters found more than they bargained for.  They found Walter, right where he said he’d be!  This more than anything has convinced me that table tipping is a valid way to communicate with the spirit world.

Shortly after being introduced to table tipping (and before the Walter incident), I convinced a couple family members to sit down with me and give it a try.  We did a prayer for God’s protection and cast his protective light about us (our imagination is a key tool to all there is!  a strong, focused mental picture is as real as solidified matter!)  The dark forces that lurk in the netherworld cannot penetrate God’s light (all light is God!).  By envisioning ourselves surrounded with light, we are ensuring that only good, loving spirits get through to speak with us.  I always begin each session that involves spirit in any way with a prayer, and I always take the time to imagine myself surrounded in God’s protective light.  I believe this works, nay, I KNOW it does for I have not had any problems with negative energies.

So, there we are sitting quietly waiting for the table to move.  It shimmies ever so slightly.  Of course we each ask the other “Did you feel that?”  Then suddenly into the quiet was a series of knocks pounding loudly on our window in the living room (my home has an open floor plan and we were in the dining room portion of the house). Of course we jump up and check the window and look out on the porch to see if anyone is out there.  Our first thought was that someone saw what we were doing through the window and decided to have fun with us (an illogical thought as we have no close neighbors and live relatively secluded).  So of course there was no one about and no logical explanation for the knocking.  Such a thing did not happen again or since.  Not during table tipping activities anyway.

I have experienced several incidents in my life where I heard someone knock at my door and when I went to answer it, no one was there.  As my dogs also heard the knocks and responded with excited barking, I know I didn’t imagine it.  One time the knock was on the door right beside me.  I was doing dishes, lost in thought, when someone (or “something”) knocked on my door.  The dogs immediately started barking and I turned my head to see who it was (the door is all glass) and no one was there!  I’ve even heard my name called out several times.  Have even answered before I realized that I was alone!  My initial response to these moments is to question whether I really heard anything or not. But gosh, they sure sounded real enough.

A few years ago I decided to check out the Spiritualist Church.  Luckily for me, we had one nearby.  The first visit there, I had my grandmother come through the visiting medium (for those who are not familiar with the Spiritualist Church … services are conducted in three parts: healing/mediation, an inspirational talk and then finally, messages from spirit).  How do I know it was Nana who came through for SURE?  I’ll explain.  Since I fully understand that some mediums bring through vague references and information that is pretty universal…can be attributed to anyone…I want it clear that what came through for me on this day, my first visit to the church, was very specific to my grandmother.  My Nana was short…only 4’11” and she probably weighed all of 90 lbs.  Nana was a chain smoker (Pall Malls, unfiltered!) and she enjoyed beer (yeah, she was a character!!).  She used to pour herself about a half a cup of beer each day and took her time drinking it.  Nana’s day consisted of cooking for Grampy (he got two full meals a day) and sitting at the kitchen table next to the window.  She doodled constantly and kept watch for whatever interested her outside that window.  Driving up the driveway to her house, you could always count on seeing her there and it was always a welcome, comforting sight!  I spent many, many hours of my childhood in her front yard knowing she was watching my play with interest and amusement. Truly, I loved having an audience.  Especially an appreciative, nonjudgmental one!

That short background bio is important.  Here’s why.  The medium told me that I had a grandmother figure coming through to speak to me.  She was quite short and slight of stature.  He saw her sitting at a table next to a window! He said she was holding up a cup and saying “It’s tea” and winking (Nana used to joke with me that she was drinking her “tea”).  He said she passed over to the other side about 25 years ago or so (yes).  He said she liked to draw (hey, doodling is a form of drawing!).  He saw her smoking a cigarette and looking out the window!  Her message to me was to continue with my writing and not stop!! I was working on a novel at the time and wondering if I really should pursue my old dreams of being an author.  Nana had always been supportive of my writing ambitions (I’ve been writing stories since the age of eight and was determined all through high school that I was going to be a published author someday!).  It all just hit me in that moment that my grandmother was really there!  It’s quite an emotional thing to happen.  I had spoken to her over the years through channeling and automatic writing but to have her come through someone else was quite wonderful!!  More so perhaps because I knew it wasn’t me influencing anything in any way.

This experience convinced me that this was the church I needed to continue attending.  The people there were friendly, the atmosphere lovely and better yet, my Nana attended as well!!  So the following week I go again.  I was hoping that Grampy would come through this time.  He did not.  My uncle Paul did instead!!

My uncle Paul died at the young age of 29.  A brain aneurysm struck him down in the prime of life.  I was 14 at the time and his death was a stunning blow to me.  I loved him very much.  He was one of the nicest persons you could ever meet.  He was always jolly and very kind.  He treated everyone so very well.  What I loved most about him was how attentive he was and how considerate.  And what’s more, Paul believed in me.  I remember one day that I was upset because I gave one of my stories to my mother to read which she did … out loud to one of her friends.  The two of them chuckled over it and I took it that they were making fun of my writing! Now, looking back, I don’t believe they were being cruel or disrespectful.  I was thirteen years old, the writing had to have been pretty amusing to an adult and they truly did enjoy it.  They even told me I should write more.  But all I heard was their laughter.  Not long after that, my uncle stopped by for a visit.  He wanted to know why I had such a down face and I told him that I had just made the decision not to write anymore (at 13 it is easy to be discouraged and everything is always so dramatic!).  I had shared my secret dream of being a writer with my uncle Paul a long time before and he was very supportive of that dream.

My uncle’s easy smile disappeared and he got a very serious look on his face.  He leaned across the table toward me, looked me in the eyes and said, “Debbie, don’t let anyone discourage you from your dreams.  It doesn’t matter what anyone does or says.  You believe in yourself and go after whatever you want.  That’s all that really matters.”  He then squeezed my hand and said the all important words, “I believe in you.”  That was enough for me.  Thank you, Paul!!

So here I am at church for the second time and when we reach the part of the service where the medium starts sharing messages, I get excited and nervous.  Will Grampy come through or not?  I had sent a mental plea out to him, inviting him to do so.  The medium looked at me and said, paraphrased somewhat but close to what was said, “There’s a gentleman here.  He’s very jolly.  Strong personality, very friendly. (I adored my grandfather but I wouldn’t have described him as “jolly”).  He’s got a very uplifting spirit.  He wasn’t very old when he died, later twenties?”  The medium then touched his head.  “I’m getting that he died suddenly.  An aneurysm…in the brain?”  (It felt as if the blood drained from my face.  I knew instantly that it was Paul and I began to cry.  I was just so GLAD to have him back in my life!!).  “He’s quite tall, prominent nose.” (the medium is gesturing) “His hair is parted on the side.” (All apt descriptions) The medium rubs his face.  “Sometimes he has a beard but not all the time.” (Paul usually grew a beard in the winter time and shaved it off during the summer months!). The medium then held up his hand. “He’s showing me a pipe!  He’s holding it in his left hand.  His tobacco is pleasant.”  (My uncle Paul was left handed, he smoked a pipe that gave off the most pleasant smell of cherries!!)  Paul’s message?  He’s here, he’s happy and he’s still supportive of me continuing my dream! Oh. My. God.  That’s all I can say.  I was profoundly affected by the entire thing.  I KNOW my uncle Paul was in that room with me.  He was just as exuberant and full of life as always.  Just as supportive of me as he had always been!  I left church that day with a renewed sense of purpose. Yes, I was going to pursue my writing career and I was going to be serious about it.  Nana and Paul both came through to encourage that decision and I trusted them whole-heartedly.  Like the good granddaughter and niece that I am, I am taking them up on that advice!

Just this past weekend, I went to church after a rather long absence.  Just before heading out the door, I went to grab my glasses off the bathroom counter where I placed them while blow-drying my hair.  My glasses were gone.  Looked all over for them.  Nothing.  My son helped me with the search and guess where we found them?  Tucked up under the counter.  Baffled as to how they got there, I hurried off to church, worried that I’d be late.  When it came time for messages from spirit, guess who comes to greet me?  My grandparents.  The medium said, “There is a couple here.  One is quite tall (Grampy was over six feet) and the other one is quite short (Nana was 4’11”), he is holding glasses in his hand.  There is something significant about this.”  (aha! so my grandfather was the one who hid my glasses.  Just so he could help validate his presence in church later).  Clever man.  The medium told me that they wanted me to know they were a united front in spirit, their arms are entwined (a nice picture for my mind to enjoy).  They wanted me know know that they are here for me always.  It was nice getting that message as I’ve been wondering what they thought about what I’ve been up to lately, this blog for one as I’ve been talking about them quite a bit.  It’s a wonderful thing to stay in touch with them, though I do miss their physical presence.  Still, it’s comforting to know their spirits are close by and there support is as strong as ever.

So, yes.  There is life after physical death.  And we can thank God for that!  Hallelujah and Amen.

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