My husband, Benjamin, was telling me about a shaman he had interviewed. The native woman works with the dying, and is often called to go into a hospital room and assist someone who’s either not conscious, or slipping in and out of consciousness. “She claims to be able to communicate with people through telepathy,” Benjamin said sceptically. “I don’t believe in mind readers.” I told him that telepathy wasn’t mind-reading – and, in fact, I’ve done it several times.

The woman takes the dying on a shamanic journey to help prepare them for their transition into the spirit world. “Before I begin working with patients,” she told Benjamin, “I’ll ask them if they want help. I never work without the patient’s permission. If they’re unable to speak, I’ll telepathically ask permission of their guides or their higher self. I’ll talk with them through telepathy, and find out if they’re afraid of dying – and if so, why?”

As I listened to my husband tell Lynda’s story, I remembered a telephone call several years ago from Sarah Yates, whom I had read for many times. In fact, I’d had sessions with other members of her family, including her brother, Isaac, and mother, Esther. But on this day, Sarah wanted to know if she could make a special appointment for me to see her mother.

I wondered what she meant by a “special” appointment, and asked, “Why doesn’t your mother call me?”

Sarah was quiet for a few moments. “That’s not possible,” she said. After a deep sigh, Sarah explained that three days ago, Esther had a massive stroke and was now in hospital. She was unconscious, and doctors were hesitant to speculate on her chance for recovery.

I thought about the last time I’d seen Esther, a woman in her 70’s whose spark of life burned bright. She loved gaudy costume jewellery – the glitterier, the better – and carried a bright red vinyl purse that looked big enough to park a car in. She had a husky, deep-throated laugh and didn’t mind anyone hearing it. When I brought through her husband, Jack, who had passed suddenly from a heart attack several years before, she listened quietly and dabbed the corners of her eyes with a yellow handkerchief.

“I know this is something you don’t normally do,” Sarah said hopefully. “We’re not asking for a reading. If you could come to the hospital… Isaac and I – we just want to know if mom is comfortable. If she can hear us. And if there’s anything we can do for her.”

I liked Esther, and was touched by the pleading in Sarah’s voice, but I wondered if it was possible to contact the spirit of someone who was still living. Yet I felt urged to do what I could to help her. I told Sarah I would meet her at the hospital tomorrow evening after my last client. She thanked me profusely, which made me uncomfortable, because I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do except offer her and her brother moral support.

The next day, I drove to the hospital as the sun was setting, and met Sarah and Isaac in their mother’s room in the neurology wing. We chatted a bit, and behind our words was the sharp beep… beep… beep….of a heart monitor. A vase of bright red roses stood on Esther’s bedside table. Isaac gestured for me to sit in the chair next to his sister. I thanked him, but said I was more comfortable standing.

Esther looked like she was asleep. She had lost weight. Her hands, which I remembered as beefy, and covered with rings that flashed under the lights, were frail. She wore only a plain gold wedding band.

Sarah asked, “Do you want to be alone with mom?”

I shook my head, then looked down at the delicate looking woman on the bed, and wondered what I could do to help her, or help her family. I’d never had a session where the client couldn’t talk to me. How could I touch in with her?

I placed one of my hands over hers and said, “Hello, Esther,” and tried to visualize her spirit within her. Then I closed my eyes and centred myself. I remembered the vibrant woman Esther had been, and concentrated on that image. This, I thought, was how Esther must see herself. And as I focused myself, I felt a presence nearby, and in my mind I saw Esther standing beside me.

How are you? I mentally asked.

Esther was sombre, but then her energy seemed to shift and I felt her radiance. Thank God, I can finally speak to someone! she exclaimed.

What can I do for you? I thought at her.

I let her talk. She wanted me to tell her children that she was okay, and that she understood what was happening. She wasn’t happy about it, but she wasn’t scared, because she knew she’d be with Jack shortly. In fact, he had already visited her twice, and was getting their new home ready for her.

I don’t know how long we “talked,” because suddenly my eyes opened and I was back in the hospital room. At some point, I must’ve sat in the chair that Isaac had first offered. I gave him and Sarah the messages from their mother, and both seemed relieved to hear her words.

“I hope I’ve been some help,” I said. A part of me was still curious if I had truly met Esther’s spirit, or if I had just picked something up from her psychically.

“Yes,” Sarah said, taking her mother’s hand. “While you were quiet, mom’s breathing seemed to settle down, and her heartbeat was more rhythmical. I think – she just seems more rested.”

Sarah and Isaac thanked me again, and as I turned to go, in the corner of my eye I caught a third person standing beside Esther’s bed. A broad-chested man with a neatly-clipped moustache. He smiled at me, and introduced himself as Jack.


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