Some spirit people have a message that’s so important to deliver, they will grab me – literally. Like the spirit that clutched my throat and stunned me for a moment, just as I was about to connect with a totally different energy. I wasn’t scared when it happened; the grasp was gentle. But after I delivered its message, I understood why it needed so urgently to come through.
This happened last month at a public message service at Lily Dale, New York, the largest Spiritualist community in the world. Every summer, from June through Labour Day, hundreds of mediums from around the world visit this quaint Victorian community and volunteer to work at three daily message services. These visiting mediums are joined by registered mediums that live on the grounds and offer private readings. Depending on the time of year, upwards of 300 people can attend one of the public services, though not every audience member will receive a message from a loved one in the spirit world.
When my name was called to serve, I thanked the person chairing the service, stood before the audience and immediately connected with the spirit of a mother who wanted to touch in with her son. She had passed from complications of diabetes and spent her last days in a coma. As I described the woman, a sandy-haired man in the first row raised his hand to accept the spirit. Her message to her son was that even though she’d been in coma, she’d heard his loving words and, before he left her bedside for the last time, she’d felt his hand on her arm and his kiss on her forehead.
The son thanked me and I paused to centre myself, and receive the next spirit person who wanted to be heard from. In my mind, I saw someone coming toward me. A salesman carrying a valise. As I opened my mouth to speak—
Suddenly, I felt a hand on my throat. A quick yet gentle squeeze that stopped me in my place. For the briefest moment, I couldn’t breathe. Then it was over. I felt so rattled, I considered sitting down. As I processed the feeling, I sensed that this grab wasn’t a threat – no, quite the opposite. You see, there was time for only one more message before the service was over, and some spirit desperately wanted to come through.
Who are you? I thought.
And before I knew it, I was addressing the crowd.
“I feel I’m with a man who liked to take chances,” I said. “Spirit is showing me a motorcycle, and he went to Port Dover every Friday the 13th. There’s a big beard and tattoo of a spider on his right arm. He’s saying his mother is here, and he needs to connect with her.” Again, I felt a slight pressure on my throat. “And there’s something to do with choking. Does this make sense to anyone?”
In the front row, three seats away from the person I’d just connected with, a middle-aged woman slowly raised her arm. As I looked at her, everything else in the room faded away. It was as if I was looking down a tunnel at her face. There were tears in her eyes, and she seemed like she was trying to smile.
I asked her, “You understand what I mean by choking?” She nodded. “He doesn’t want to talk about that. But he wants you to know he’s okay now, and he takes responsibility for his actions. And he loves you very much.”
There was more to his message; unfortunately, I can’t remember it now. But I felt the man’s sorrow, and he didn’t want me to mention that. Mom has suffered enough, the man’s spirit whispered to me. Let her be. Then he roared off on his Harley.
Indeed, the woman was smiling hopefully. “May I leave you with that?” I said, and she nodded enthusiastically. As I walked offstage, I thanked the chairperson for allowing me to serve spirit. The chairperson then said a prayer to finish the service.
As I thought about my experience, I begrudged the spirit for butting into what should have been a message for someone else. Then I realized the spirit world is not like a polite group of people waiting in line to buy tickets for a movie. Sometimes, it’s every spirit for themselves, because there’s so many spirit that want to touch in with their loved ones, and so few of us that can hear or sense them. The biker really needed to speak to his mother, and he had only one chance – so he’d do anything energetically to get through. And I suspect she really needed some assurance that her son was fine on the other side of life.
I laughed to myself later that evening at the cafeteria when someone hurriedly cut in line a few places in front of me to get that last piece of peanut butter pie I’d been eyeing. Oh, well, at least the plate wasn’t grabbed out of my hand.
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