Traveling through the grief process is different for everyone. Family, friends, therapy, support groups, exercise, meditation and medication can be helpful. Some ways of coping can be harmful, like overeating or drinking too much.
Many people turn to faith for support. We pray and ask why this had to happen. We try to make sense of it. And we wonder where our loved ones are.
We start to see or feel signs that our loved ones are still with us. My cousin finds dimes in odd places. My mom used to find golf balls in unlikely spots. Blue Jay birds visit me.
My path on this journey led me to read books about life after death. It started with books where people described dying and then coming back. They saw a light. Some claim to have experienced seeing the room where they died before coming back.
Reading books written by psychic mediums continues to intrigue me. I watch the T.V. shows called “The Long Island Medium” and “Monica the Medium”. I was hooked and wanted to hear as many stories as I could.
One day a friend told me she had visited a psychic medium and during the reading, my husband Mike came through and told her some information about the night he died. A few weeks later my cousin went to this same medium. The medium didn’t know that the 2 women knew each other, and Mike visited her as well and told her the same similar information.
You can only imagine that now I needed to go too. If he is talking to everyone, he should talk to me too!
My first reading lasted about one hour and took place 2 months after Mike passed. I felt she was able to give me some information that only he would know.
She described my bedroom and asked why my husband stands across the street from my house. I was shocked. That is where he died.
The messages she told me were comforting and she did not tell me anything bad. Most mediums tell you that they will not reveal any upsetting information and want to use their gifts to give support to others.
As I was reading books about the afterlife written by different people, I began to notice a group referred to as the Forever Family Foundation. They have a website and many resources available for grieving people. In fact, they offer a weekend retreat in Connecticut every summer so last year I signed up to go all by myself.
When I arrived I was first surprised at the number of men at the retreat. I had expected this to be filled with older widows but I was wrong! It turns out that people who are hurting even more than women who lose their spouse, are couples who lose a child. Some people had children who had overdosed on heroin or committed suicide. Everyone was hurting – a lot.
The retreat included all meals and the 50 of us stayed on the property. The first evening, we had a speaker and a wine and cheese hour. We also did some meditation and the 3 mediums were introduced and gave a few readings to the large group.
The next morning, we had breakfast, a morning mediation and then broke up into small groups with about 12 mourners in each group and 1 medium. The medium spoke to the group and encouraged us to find ways to communicate with our loved ones who have passed by recognizing signs; birds, butterflies, numbers, coins, etc. Then the medium began to share messages through spirit that resonated with someone in the group. He went around the room giving messages that he was receiving and people would make the connection that the message was for them based on information that was validated.
After the session, we enjoyed lunch outside on the deck surrounded by a lush green forest. That afternoon we experienced a Tibetan singing bowls performance. It was beautiful and meditative. We then broke up into small groups again, with the same 12 people, and met with a different medium. Again, messages were shared. Not all the people in the group were read, but we started to get to know each other and it was uncanny how the different mediums would get similar messages during each session.
Saturday night after dinner, we quietly walked an outdoor labryinth in a clearing of the forest. Then we sat together around a bonfire. Some of us stayed up talking into the later hours of the evening and had a few glasses of wine.
Sunday started with more meditation, a Reiki activity and another speaker before the final break out session. I was glad to have gone on this trip. I met some lovely people who were all experiencing this intense loss and wondering how to go on living. Overall the feeling was that we had all experienced a new level of comfort that our loved ones are O.K. and they want the best for us.
The Forever Family Foundation has a list of certified mediums who have had their abilities evaluated under controlled conditions. I spoke to several people who had readings over the phone and had positive experiences so of course, a few months later I tried that as well. I spoke to one of the listed certified mediums one evening for close to 90 minutes. She was able to give me some insight but honestly it was a bit expensive.
This past weekend I invited one of the psychic mediums who I met at the Connecticut retreat last summer to come to my house and do a group reading for 10 close family and friends. I knew that he had said some things to me last summer that were amazingly spot on and I was hopeful that he could give a good reading and some comfort to my friends as well.
We were not disappointed. He stayed for 3 hours and each person had a 15-20 minute reading. We sat in a large circle and he turned and spoke to everyone. Each person experienced a spirit connection that was meant for that person. It was not something that you could just say to any one of us. There were some tears but it was more because it was hard to believe he would know something that was so true to us. We had some laughs as well. After Joe left, we ordered in Chinese food and rehashed all that was said. I also recorded the whole thing on my Ipad and listened to it again the next morning so I could break it up into sections for each person.
Joe Perreta told one woman in the group that she seemed very intuitive and with practice could possibly build her psychic gifts. He said we all have them, it’s just not something that we have easy access to, but with practice we could all be more intuitive.
In the meantime I will keep looking for blue jays in the neighborhood that Mike sends me. I will continue to talk to him and ask for guidance. And maybe there is a reason that every time I seem to look at the clock, it is 9:18, which is my birthday. Read more about signs I have seen in my post Signs from Beyond.