My Journey Through Grief: How Visiting a Clairvoyant Helped Me Come to Terms with Death
Today would have been my mother’s 77th birthday. It is nearly three years since she died and these occasions do not get any easier to deal with in terms of the loss felt, but I have to come to a point where I see them as days to celebrate her life, rather than mourn her passing.
My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. After undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she was given the all clear in 2000. However, in 2012, the cancer returned, this time spreading into bone cancer. After nearly a year of treatment, my mum was told she could, with healthy food and a positive attitude, live five good years.
It was a diagnosis that, looking back, we did not pay enough attention to. Somehow, not only she, but all of us, felt that it was something she could overcome, for, after all, she had done it before. We forgot she was younger when she fought the first battle against cancer, and her circumstances were different. My dad was working and their lives were otherwise stable. Now, besides being older, she had the added burden of looking after my dad who was gradually slipping into dementia, and their source of income was my sisters and I, giving where and when we could.
My mum could be very difficult and it was not an easy time at all. We wanted her to sell the house and move into something smaller and more manageable, but she refused, even though she found the upkeep of the house overwhelming. We argued a lot. I felt she put an unfair pressure on us all to keep her and my dad in the house, whereas moving would help both us and them. They needed a different situation, to clear their house of years of living, and just focus on getting well. She, however, saw it as some bid to control her and resented our efforts to get them to move.
Things came to a head in February 2018, just after my mum’s birthday, when she appeared one night in a taxi, having had to take herself to hospital as she was in such terrible pain. After being discharged, she couldn’t go back home as my dad had inadvertently locked her out. The result was that my parents moved into our cottage. I was very happy because I thought I could at last give her the attention she needed. However, she went downhill fast and died at the end of May.
For months after my mum’s death, I was obsessed with the idea that I could have done more to help her, whether it be with alternative medicine or seeing a different oncologist. I wished I had taken her to see a counsellor earlier for she really needed to speak to someone. Mentally, she had turned off to my reasoning of her situation, but maybe she would have listened if the same advice had come from someone else. I even had conversations with her in my head, conversations in which we sorted everything out and she was happy.
I don’t suppose I am the only grieving person who has imagined their loved one not being dead at all, but on holiday somewhere. Although I had been with her when she died, a large part of me was in denial. I’d see or hear about something and say, ‘must tell Mom about that’, and then imagine myself telling her and seeing her reaction. It may sound crazy, but I began to talk to her about things, just in the same way I would have done had she been alive. I felt she was with me and sometimes I really felt I ‘heard’ an answer from her.
The strongest feeling I got was that I must go and see a medium. My mum herself had gone on quite a few occasions to different clairvoyants. Her own grandmother was a medium, so it was not something that felt particularly foreign or wrong for me to do. I know there are those out there who will read this and think it was a load of rubbish. Non-believers will always tell you the same things: you only go to a medium when you are in need of help so they will inevitably give you that ‘better days are coming’ story; there’s a lot you can tell about someone from their body language or the way they dress; a lot of what a clairvoyant might say is guess work. They wait for you to pick up on what is true and then embellish it; they say a lot of things that are wrong as well as things that are right; they have looked you up on Facebook and Google before you arrived.
I would be lying if I said these things didn’t cross my mind, but I think that is also quite natural; the rational side of our brain kicks in and tells us that what cannot be explained logically is a load of the proverbial. I would also be lying if I said I didn’t feel just a little bit scared. Not of anything ghostly or strange (I didn’t expect my mum’s spirit to materialise or for things to be thrown across the room), but for two other reasons. One is that my mother wouldn’t ‘appear’ at all, and the other is that, when she did, she would be angry with me.
When I arrived, Lara, the clairvoyant, told me what she would do and what she needed me to do. Number one, she didn’t want me to tell her anything. She doesn’t even want to know your surname when you book with her (so that puts the Facebook theory out of the window!). All she wanted was yes or no answers. Before we began, she told me that she had ‘had’ my mother with her since the day before. I knew then that those strong feelings I got to visit Lara were real; I knew I had been pushed to come here.
The session started with some basic questions: does October mean anything to you? Do you know someone whose name begins with ‘H’, that sort of thing. If the answer is yes, these are confirmations that the spirit is someone you know.
What happened next threw me into complete turmoil. Lara related how my mum had died, how wasn’t really ‘there’ when she was lying in the hospital bed. She spoke about the arguments we had had and how I was beating myself up thinking there was something else I could have done. What came through stronger than anything, was how much I was loved, and still loved, and how there was only love. The spirit does not carry over grievances and problems.
I had struggled for months to deal with my feelings. Like my mum, I am someone who copes, who gets on with things. This is good in one way, but can lead to a bottling up of feelings. I sat in Lara’s room and sobbed my heart out.
That day, six months after my mum’s death, I took the first step towards coming to terms with it. I have since been back two more times. The conversation has shifted. Often the messages just confirm that she is around. On one occasion I was told that my daughter wanted to have her hair cut and she had just that afternoon asked me if she could have it done. Another time, I was told that the shelf in the kitchen was loose and needed to be screwed back in. It wasn’t, but the spice rack directly below it was and I knew nothing about it until I tried moving it and it came off the wall.
At the last visit, I was told that ‘there was something about butterflies’ connected to my book. Well, the UK version of All Come To Dust has butterflies on it, but there was no way that Lara would have known that as the cover had not been finalised or publicised. Some of the messages may not seem relevant at all: one of your pictures needed straightening, you've been thinking of making a tablecloth from that yellow material you have, you broke a vase recently. More than messages, they are confirmations that my mother is around, that the spirit does not die.
Lara told me that many people who come to see her, only come once. Many of them just need to make that connection and the knowledge that their loved one is in a safe place is enough for them. I suppose it’s like getting the phone call that your family have arrived safely at their destination when they go travelling. Once you know they are fine, you don’t worry about whether they will have a good holiday or not. I have tried to see my mum’s death in a similar way, that she has gone on some long, glorious trip somewhere and that she’s doing everything she wants to do and is having a marvellous time.
When someone dies, people try and comfort you in all sorts of ways. The truth is, whether you believe that your loved one is making daisy chains with Jesus in Heaven or that they are dead and buried, never to be resurrected, there is little that takes away the deep pain of missing them. Going to see a clairvoyant has helped me immensely. It has also helped remind me that we are all on a spiritual journey, that there is much that we don’t understand, but that it doesn’t need to be logical for it to be true. I know there are people who think that spirit mediums are evil, but I don’t believe that either. The over riding message was that love conquers all, and I don’t see how that could in any way be wrong. There is a great peace in knowing death is not the end.