“I feel numb,” Kylie said as she watched her right hand slowly stir her coffee. After a moment, she looked up at me. “I don’t feel my mother anymore. And that makes me feel really empty.”
Kylie is a vibrant, silver-haired woman in her 60’s, and we attend the same Pilates class every Thursday evening at our gym. We used to meet every now and then after class with other women to talk about our kids, grouse about our husbands, or chat about the latest Nora Roberts novel we’d read. But last year, Kylie’s mother took sick, and she became her mother’s main caretaker. She stopped coming to the gym and everyone seemed to lose track of her. I’d heard her mother passed several months ago.
When Kylie returned to Pilates, everyone told her she’d been missed. She smiled at us, but she seemed different. Lethargic. And there was sadness in her eyes.
As I was rolling up my yoga mats after class, Kylie knelt beside me and asked if we could talk. I suggested the Starbucks across the street, which has a lovely green tea. We found a table near the back of the room. At that time of the evening, the place was filled with 20-somethings tapping away on their laptops, and other folks engrossed in their books or crossword puzzles.
We sat quietly for a few moments, then I leaned forward and said, “I’m sorry to hear about your mother.”
“Thanks,” she said, and after another short silence, she told me about feeling numb. She’d been close with her mother, who had passed six months ago, and still felt there was a great emptiness in her life.
“That’s understandable,” I said. “You miss your mother. The feeling of emptiness is part of the grieving process. Everyone grieves at their own pace.”
“But I don’t feel her. Inside me, or around me. Has my mother completely disappeared from my life?”
Though Kylie has never been a client, she knew what I did for a living. How she felt about my being a psychic medium, I didn’t know. But I decided to speak honestly to her about spirit communication.
“There are several things you can look for,” I said. “You might feel a soft breeze, like a caress across your cheek. That could be your mother gently touching in with you. Or you might feel goose bumps on your arms – that’s her giving you a spirit hug. Or you might hear her laugh, or smell her perfume.”
“No, that hasn’t happened.” Kylie seemed close to tears. “And I haven’t dreamed of her. My brother dreamed of her, my sister, aunts and uncles, but not me! Why is that? Why am I so empty?”
I began to wonder if Kylie’s feeling of emptiness was more of a fear that she was now alone in the world. Childless, she had divorced several years ago and as far as I knew, the Pilates class was her main socialization.
“Why don’t you try this?” I leaned forward to speak softly, as the fellow at the next table wasn’t disguising the fact that he was listening in. “If you really want to see your mother in a dream, just ask her to come visit you.”
She thought about that, nodded once, then finished her coffee. I was glad to get up from the table; the nearby fellow was leaning towards us. I felt like giving him one of my business cards.
Next Thursday, as we were getting ready for our Pilates class, Kylie rushed up to me with happiness all over her face. “It happened!” she said. “She came to me in a dream! I saw her, and talked with her. She was smiling, and wasn’t in her wheelchair.”
“Great! She heard your wish and came to you.”
“Yes,” she said, “and I also stopped feeling empty inside.”
Our teacher strode into the room, and Kylie gave me a quick thank-you before heading closer to the front of the room. (I like being in the back.)
I drove home that night, thinking about how Kylie felt, lacking her mom’s presence. By giving her mother permission to approach her, she acknowledged her emptiness, which then communicated to the Universe that she was ready to fill that empty space. After all, doesn’t every creative act begin with a blank piece of paper?
I was reminded of a short poem by Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching:
Thirty spokes share the center of one wheel;
Consider the hole of the center is essential to the wheel’s function.
Craft a pot from earthen clay;
Consider that the space inside provides the pot’s true function.
Cut a hole in the wall to make both window and door;
Consider that the space within four walls is essential for living.
Understand that the form and structure is most beneficial;
Consider also that the empty space within the form is most useful.
If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit me again!