It’s one of those drizzly autumn afternoons, cool and damp, the kind of day that makes me want to curl up in bed and take a nap. If I was a bear, I’d probably think about hibernating. Sprinkles of rain trace wavy lines down the window in my office, and I can’t stop thinking about the couple I saw last week, and the feeling of heaviness they carried in their souls. That heaviness, I later learned, was a grief that was so intense, it threatened to drown the love they had for each other, and their surviving child.

Brenda and David were a couple in their late 30’s. Both were casually dressed, yet stylish in blue jeans and pullovers. When they entered my office, the pressure in the room seemed to change, as if they’d brought a wall of protective silence with them. I smiled as they sat across from my desk and tried making pleasant chit-chat to relax them, but neither gave more than one- or two-word answers to my comments about the weather and their drive from Whitby on the 401. I sensed that their hesitancy was not that either of them was uncomfortable about visiting a medium. No, I recognized their difficulty stemmed from grief, and wondered how soon it was that their child had died.

“Let’s begin,” I said pleasantly. “How can I help you?”

Brenda, who had made the appointment, pulled from her purse a photograph of a young girl in a soccer uniform. She told me this was Cassie, their 12-year-old daughter, who had died suddenly two years ago. I blinked in surprise. Two years ago? Brenda’s pain was so strong, it felt like she was mourning a passing that had occurred days ago.

I looked at David. His sorrow did not feel as strong. As I asked my guides for the best way to serve this couple, I began to understand that David had made his peace with Cassie’s passing. Interestingly, I sensed that he was grieving more for his wife, who was suffering so intensely, her soul felt as if it was in another room.

I wondered if the couple would be better off seeing a grief counselor, rather than working with me. But then I felt a gentle presence enter the room, and in my mind’s eye I saw the girl in Brenda’s photograph standing behind her dad. As I opened my mouth to describe what I was getting, Cassie raised a finger to her lips shhhh! and in my head, I heard her ask to talk to her dad.

But your mother and father want to talk with you, I mentally told Cassie. They came because they love you.

She shook her head. I don’t want to hurt mom any more, she answered.

“I’m having a little trouble linking in. How about if I try sitting with you one at a time?” I said, disliking telling this little white lie. But if spirit thought it best that I talk with these people separately, then what else could I do?

“I’ll go first,” Brenda said. I ushered David back to the reception area, then closed the door, centred myself, and waited for Cassie to touch back in with me.

 But Cassie didn’t come. Instead, Brenda’s mother, grandmother and two aunts in spirit wanted to talk with her. I provided enough evidence for Brenda to recognize her family members, and each had the same message for her – we support you, we love you, you’re strong enough to get through this. Through the session, Brenda sat still as stone, her face expressionless, her eyes like dull copper pennies. I knew she wanted to hear from Cassie, but the girl was nowhere. And I was not going to make something up just to please her.

After twenty minutes, Brenda and David changed places. As soon as he was alone with me, David leaned across my desk and whispered, “She sleeps in Cassie’s room, in her bed.” He sadly shook his head, then sat back and blew out a breath. “She tried going back to work six months ago, but couldn’t take it. Most mornings she comes downstairs for coffee, then goes back into Cassie’s room and closes the door, and then I don’t see her until I get home from work that evening.”

Behind him, Cassie’s spirit emanated sadness, as if she was grieving for her mother. I told David this, and passed on other feelings Cassie was communicating to me – that she was fine, and watching over her little sister, and helping her get through feelings of being abandoned by her mother. David seemed relieved to hear that, and before he left my office, I gave him the following grief support service:

The Centre for The Grief Journey
2-3415 Dixie Road, Box 201
Mississauga, ON  L4Y 4J6
Phone: (905) 624-8080

When the couple left my office, rain was falling, and I watched David open an umbrella to shelter Brenda from the autumn shower. I was happy to see Brenda accept the comfort, and prayed that she would be just as open to allow others more qualified than me to help her begin healing. A sudden wind gust tore the umbrella from David’s hand. Rather than chase the pinwheeling umbrella down the street, he pulled his wife even closer as he guided her toward their car.

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