Not surprisingly, I think a lot about death. I think about the experiences of my friends who have passed. I think about my own eventual death. I think about death as a concept and as a reality. I think about it from a physical perspective and from a spiritual perspective. I think about it from a distance and up close.
I am curious about what might exist after death. I’ve read the books written by Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander. I’ve read the book Heaven is for Real and saw the movie. Like many people, I’ve had funky experiences where I can feel someone around me, then later learn that they died during that timeframe. I’m convinced they came to let me know of their passing. I’ve had random, unpredictable events occur, related to someone who has died.
Given this train of thought and my experiences, you would not be surprised to know that I believe in mediumship. Mediums vary, both in how they connect with those who have passed as well as in their ability to work with you, but I’ve found a few who I adore.
My favorites combine warmth and humor to convey their messages. I have a blast working one-on-one with Monica the Medium (based in Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia), where she delivers personal and spot-on messages from those I love.
Working with a crowd of hundreds, John Holland was entertaining and captivating. So when I saw him scheduled for a smaller venue of about 60 people, I scooped up two tickets.
Then something came up (a memorial service – more death, ironically. It happens.) and I couldn’t make the event. Though I know many people who could use the tickets, I kept having this feeling that I should give them to my friend Marinda.
Marinda is a graduate student in therapeutic dance and in her early thirties. When she was two years old, her father died after his car was hit by a drunk driver. She and her mother became a tight team and best of friends.
Then almost two years ago, Marinda’s mother, Cheryl, died suddenly, thrusting Marinda into complicated emotions as well as an opportunity to help a woman by approving a face transplant from her mother. Cheryl’s story and Marinda’s unselfish, loving actions were the topic of many news shows and newspaper articles (including this NYTimes article). Marinda built these tributes to her mother for more than a year while she was also grieving and going to graduate school.
As I kept hearing that I should give these tickets to Marinda, I tried to convince myself it wouldn’t make sense. She could finally focus on her schoolwork and would be busy with finals and end-of-term projects. She wouldn’t want to drive an hour to attend a funky event where she may not even get called on. She might not find a friend to go along and she might not want to go alone.
But the voice was persistent, so I tentatively contacted her. She immediately said yes AND that she had a friend who could join her! I was thrilled that the tickets would be used and hoped that she would have fun. Maybe her mother would even come through for her. The voice gave approving silence and I went on my way.
Marinda and her friend checked into the event as me (meaning, no one there knew her name or could do prior research on her), and later that night, Marinda called me: Out of the approximately sixty people in the room, only about eight were called on. John called on Marinda right away and her father came through. Here are some excerpts, in Marinda’s words (and shared with Marinda’s permission and blessing):
He asked if I had a brother. I do, but not many people know this. My dad got a girl pregnant when he was 16 and then was forced to go to a boarding school. I have yet to seek him out and not many friends know this about me. “He wants to acknowledge his son.”
Then, he says “John and Mary”. Who are they? They are my mother’s parents who passed on when I was 10 and 16. I was extremely close to them. He didn’t fish for those names, he just said it.
Marinda – you are an artist. You are on stage and you are a good dancer. “New York, California”. I spent a very short time with my father on earth and taking me to NYC for my first birthday was his idea. When I was 6 months old we road tripped across the country to California. There are many beautiful pictures of this trip.
“Mom passed, and you weren’t expecting it. There are questions about her passing. Feels like she took the wrong medicine and it affected her body. Your mom didn’t act like a mom but more so a big sister/friend.”
He went on to describe how my father has been with me and has watched me graduate from college. “You did well in school.” “Take your parents love,” he said. I took it and feel lighter and loved like I’ve never felt before.
And right when I thought he was done, he said “Tommy, Tommy, who is Tommy?” That is my father’s name. With a smile he said, “Dad sees it all.”
Those tickets were never meant for me. I felt honored to be a pawn who was moved to enable all this to unfold, and I thanked God that I actually listened! I marveled at the workings in our life beyond my intellectual understanding.
About one week later, I read a Facebook post from Debbie Whitmore’s sister. Debbie was a fellow cancer patient and friend who passed away in November. Debbie’s sister had gone to see Maureen Hancock and the first spirit to come through was Debbie! She, too, shared messages that were clearly personal and gave her family peace. (This is also shared with her sister’s permission.)
I love that Marinda now has a relationship with her father and that Debbie’s sister got a few more minutes with Debbie. I miss Debbie as well, so it made me feel better too.
I love how we can all stay connected. Maybe our heart ties remain strong enough to keep us linked to those we love. Maybe our souls stay around and heaven really is here on earth. Though it doesn’t replace the physical presence of those I love, I have experienced some powerful and fun connections. It gives me hope that my family and friends are okay.
I am reminded to listen to the voices that guide me, and to trust that our heart connections live on. I continue to marvel at the workings of our hearts and in our lives, at the things that we cannot see but can strongly feel.