Marilyn wanted to hear from her daughter, Genevieve – “Jenny” to her friends. When we were on the telephone arranging time for our session, Marilyn told me Jenny had passed into spirit about five years ago, leaving three small children and a very distraught husband. By the end of the phone call, Marilyn was in tears, and my heart went out to her. I prayed a moment, asking my guides to be extra helpful when Marilyn would see me in person next week. Yet as I hung up the receiver, I couldn’t help feeling that there was something Marilyn wasn’t telling me.

When Marilyn arrived for our session, I met a tall, regal lady in her late 50s with a pleasant smile. Her belted, navy-blue topcoat was set off with a silk purple scarf that seemed to shimmer in the light. She told me this was her first time visiting a medium, which seemed to explain her initial hesitancy. Yet she was open and friendly, and once I walked with her into my office, she relaxed into the wingback chair on the other side of my desk.

Marilyn had brought a picture of Jenny with her. I like when clients bring pictures; photographs capture the energy of the individual and help me to better link in with the person’s spirit. Jenny’s photo was taken in a professional studio. Her thick, golden hair perfectly framed her oval face, and accented her soft, brown eyes. Her playful smile made me want to smile. Everything about her said “gentle.”

“Her death created a big hole in everyone’s lives,” Jenny’s mother said sadly. “Her children really miss her.”

“I understand,” I said, then closed my eyes and centred myself to get ready to receive spirit. I mentally sent a prayer for help to my guides, and for a few moments, I felt the bliss of touching in with the spirit world—

Then, like a sudden jerk to my solar plexus, I sat forward. My eyes popped open and I replayed Marilyn’s last comment on my mental tape recorder. A tingle in my spine told me something wasn’t right.

Slowly, trying to find the best words, I said, “I understand … that her children must miss her … but surely, in the five years since her passing … they might have been able to work with … work through their grief …”

Tears spilled from Marilyn’s eyes. She looked at the floor and spoke in a hushed voice: “My daughter died two weeks ago. Not five years.”

I sat silently while I gathered my wits. I’ve had clients who’ve tried to trick me by purposely giving me misleading information – God only knows why – but I didn’t feel Marilyn was running a ruse. Her grief was too real, too strong – it rolled off her in waves. I felt the need to get out from behind my desk and give her a hug. And then I realized that was exactly what my guides wanted me to do.

Instead, I put my hands on her shoulders, then bent down so I could look at her at eye level. She took a tissue from the box on my desk and dabbed her eyes. “I’m sorry for lying,” she said. “When we talked on the phone last week, you said a person should wait a few months before coming to see you. So I told you five years. I just … I needed to hear from Jenny so badly … I miss her so much … Some days, it’s so hard for me to even get out of bed …”

I went back to my seat and copied down one of the telephone numbers I keep handy. It was the contact information for a grief counselor that I knew and trusted. I gave Marilyn the number, and urged her to call.

“At this point in time,” I told her, “I don’t think I’m the right person to help you. Visiting a medium does not circumvent the grieving process. I know Jenny’s passing has created a lot of painful feelings, but you need to live through them. I’ve known some people whose sorrow turned to anger because they didn’t give themselves the chance to mourn, and then heal from that grief. I’m not saying this is you, but I do feel talking about your feelings to someone who’s better trained to deal with those emotions than I am may be more helpful to you.”

Marilyn tried to smile. She looked at the phone number on the slip of paper as if I’d written something in a foreign language. Then she sighed, folded the paper in half, and placed it in her purse.

“And later, if you still feel like it,” I said, “come back in about six months.”

I walked her to the door. Then I went back to my desk and said a quick prayer that Marilyn would give the counselor a call. As I thanked my guides for helping me deliver the right message, I heard a gentle female voice say, “Thank you.”

If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at mail @ And please visit me again!

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