Can a medium reconnect me with my deceased husband? (2023)

Until a year ago I had never consulted a psychic, never had my palms read or tarot cards read. I wasn't exactly a skeptic, but you have to trust the people who practice these things, you have to believe their cosmologies, and I didn't quite do that.

But for a few years, in my thirties, around my birthday, I called an astrologer. I had a hippie aunt who gave me a horoscope when I was 16. It was fun; it seemed to confirm who I am - a pragmatic Capricorn - and the antiquity of art, its systematics, its universality appealed to me.

When I last spoke to the astrologer, I was told two important things. One made me happy. I put the other deep in the vault of my subconscious. So in this Anthropocene era we have an interface with the paranormal and the metaphysical. When we get a prophecy we like, we keep it handy, bring it out at dinner parties, tweet it to our followers: “@amazingpsychic told me I'd be meeting my soulmate next month. #cosmic #blessed.” When we receive bad news, we can decide it was brought by a charlatan and ignore it. Because our culture of navel-gazing, technology is god, fundamentally believes in nothing greater than ourselves (What could be bigger?), we have no rules of the road to evaluate what we hear and who delivers our para, meta messages. We are each on our own credit.

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Can a medium reconnect me with my deceased husband? (1)

It was a little over a decade ago. I was 39 years old, 10 weeks pregnant with my son - despite not telling anyone about this pregnancy after a previous miscarriage. The astrologer read my horoscope and said, "You are having a baby now or very soon." Wow, that's hergut, I thought. We talked about how Aquarius was in my marital home, so it was no surprise that my partner was Aquarius. She told me that it was "a difficult path". Was I sure I had to go down there? I assured her that I did because despite all the difficulties, there were many more amazing moments in my life with him. Okay, the astrologer conceded; maybe he was my "destiny". Then she told me that around the time I was 50, something "wild" was going to happen. "It's almost like someone is being murdered around you."

This is the one I sent deep into my Gringotts vault to be ignored and almost forgotten. I had my son Davey, eventually married Aquarius — a brilliant, colorful, disheveled, funny, workaholic, self-centered, loyal man named Peter Kaplan — and built a chaotic and emotionally rich life with him, our son and Peter, raising three children from first Before.

Peter was the liveliest person I have ever known. While he claimed to be an expert on everything, he actually wastatseem all about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Kennedys, Bob Dylan,The Wizard of Oz, good grammar, David Letterman, the Great American Songbook, the golden age of Broadway, Othmar Ammann and his design for the George Washington Bridge, the New York Yankees, Spencer Tracy, Hollywood from 1920 to 1960, Ralph Lauren and the media. He was a controlling person who thought he was always right. He hated when I wore polka dots and drank red wine because he said it made me a little mean (the wine, not the dots). But he was also immensely generous with his gifts, his love, and his time. He was an editor and a mentor to many, many people, and as a result he overwhelmed himself and often got into trouble with them and us. His friend Paul had an expression for the chaplainMethod. Peter would stand on the brink of disaster, squeezing out a victory, a redemption, a "chaplan finish" at the very last moment. He was the leader of our large, sturdy, intellectually stimulated, culturally educated family, the kind I craved growing up. We were lucky. we were happy

Can a medium reconnect me with my deceased husband? (2)

The author and her husband in 2009.

Ten years after that phone call with the astrologer, Peter lay in a bed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he had spent three months. He was surrounded by doctors, Paul, his son Charlie and I who were told that his stem cell transplant had failed spectacularly (Peter did everything spectacularly) and that he would be dead in a week to 10 days. It was as horrific as you can imagine or not, but it also involved torture because he only came home a week before; We feverishly prepared the house for his arrival. He was doing great! "There are patients here who would kill to walk in your shoes," a nurse had told him. However, when the transplant worked and his bone marrow started to grow, his lymphoma came back a third time and he and we made a hairpin turn back to despair. No Kaplan finish this time. It felt like he was being murdered.

"They tell me I only have a week," Peter told his older brother in an almost mocking tone when James arrived a few minutes later. Peter looked at both of us, and for the first time I really understood the connection of ideas in the wordtragicomedywhen he said "Feel free to use some of this as material."

My eyeballs and skin hurt when I went outside; it was like that feeling you get when you're about to succumb to the flu - vulnerable and weird and on the edge.

I have experienced grief in all its facets - the "acute grief" of the first few months after Peter's death on November 29, 2013; and then later the "integrated" or "lasting grief" like thatDSMexpress yourself properly (this was the time when people liked to tweet to me that I was doing amazingly well); followed by "complicated grief" (okay, I wasn't feeling too well; I was actually stuck in a black vortex). I felt stupid and slow, simultaneously suspended in aspic and propelled on in a fast, strong current I couldn't quite keep my head above. It was like someone put a can opener to my edges and rolled my skin back exposing my insides to the air and microbes and all other invasive things. It was the most painful experience of my life, and yet there was beauty in its rawness. I was wide open, unbound in a way I had never been before. My eyeballs and skin hurt when I went outside; it was like that feeling you get when you're about to succumb to the flu - vulnerable and weird and on the edge.

For the first few months after his death, Peter regularly invaded my dreams with a persistence that woke me at four in the morning almost every day. Honestly, that's how he was in life. If he called me and I didn't answer the phone, he would call again. And again. And again. And again. He didn't care what I was doing, which might have kept me from calling him back; when he wanted to talk, he wanted to talk. Davey, then nine, dreamed of him too. One morning he said, "Last night daddy and I had fun."

"What were you doing in the dream?"

"We went to Game 7 of the Yankees-Red Sox World Series," said Davey.

"Who won, boo-boo?"

"Die Yankees."

"What was the result?"

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"Eight hundred three to zero."

It was Peter's sense of humor... and his idea of ​​heaven. There's a rather obscure footage of him at age 23 after talking himself and younger brother Rob into the Yankees locker room after they won Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. Peter stands there pretending to take notes but he's really just looking prettily at the camera - he was a beautiful boy - delighted for the world to see he's in the red hot heart. In those days, Davey was sure he was communicating with his father. As we were walking down our quiet suburban block on New Year's Eve and coming home from a friend's home, he said, "This is the gateway to next year, mommy. By this time next year we'll still be sad, but maybe we won't have the crazy thoughts in our heads."

Then he said, "Daddy's with us now. He says he wants you to hold his hand."

I held Davey's hand in my right hand and my keys in my left—an old habit of city life:If you go home late at night, you have your keys out. Again Davey asked me to, so I put the keys in my coat pocket and held out my left hand in the cold air.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the para and the meta, and I'll get to that in a moment. Because at this point the coincidences began to occur. You might be able to explain away some of them, but not all I bet. It started on Christmas Eve when we flew to Seattle to visit Peter's brother Rob. The car in front of us on the way to the airport was the same colour, make and model as Peter's, and the number plate was almost identical to his - by one number. The flight attendants poured Aquarius water. A few weeks later, Peter's daughter Caroline had her first big acting break in a new TV show calledprove, about a group of people trying to definitively determine if there is life after death. Around this time, Davey, his friend, and I were waiting in the high school hallway for the baseball tryouts. Davey and the other boy were chatting about what year their dads graduated from college. He asked me about Peter as he bent down to pick up a few dimes he'd spotted on the floor. "Well, Dad was supposed to graduate in 1976, but he actually graduated in '77," I said. The years on the cents were 1976 and 1977. On the evening of February 10, 2014, Peter's sixtieth birthday, I went out to dinner with the kids and two good friends. Because I was with everyone I wanted to talk to, I left my phone in my pocket. Three weeks later, I spotted a text message being sent from my phone numbertomy phone number from February 10, 8:18 p.m.: "Lisa, I can't believe I'm funny.

Can a medium reconnect me with my deceased husband? (4)

A month later, Peter's first wife, Audrey, was at a market. The TV above the register was playing the clip of young Peter in the Yankees locker room from 1977. She said it was like he was staring straight at her.

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NEW YORK YANKEES Post-Game 1977 World Series

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Can a medium reconnect me with my deceased husband? (5)

(After 3 minutes, keep an eye out for the handsome young man with the glasses and the pen who manages to be in almost every shot.)

For the first three to four months after his death, I couldn't help but feel like Peter was calling, calling, calling, until I answered. I had two friends who had died unspeakably horrible deaths: One lost her fiancé in the war in Afghanistan. The other lost a child. Both had called a medium named Lisa Kay and I was aware of their remarkable conversations. On a Saturday morning in March 2014, I dialed her number and left a message: "Hi, my name is Lisa Chase. I'm friends with X and Y and I know you worked with them. My husband has passed away and I would like to make an appointment to speak with you."

I hung up and then went to my neighbor's next door to borrow some sugar; When I got back there was a missed call on my phone from a number in Manhattan. I called and Lisa Kay answered. "I don't usually work on Saturdays," she said, "but I felt compelled to call you back now." I also knew from others who have called her that she usually sets up a phone appointment for a couple of weeks and then asks you to mail her a check.

But now on the line with me, Lisa suddenly sounded a little annoyed and said, "I don't like doing it like that."

"What do you mean, 'I don't do it like that'?" I was confused.

"He's here," she said. "He wants to talk now." Then, as if speaking to someone else, "I want to get paid first." Then he spoke to me: “Can you still do that at all? Are you free?” Shocked and delighted, I said yes. This is how it started:

Lisa Kay:Who is David? Who is David? He has grown. He says, "He's grown." testing, test control. He's talking about goldfish. And marzipan. He does not like it.

Lisa Chase: I have no idea what that means...

LK: Credit to James. He recognizes someone named James. are you writing this down You should write all of that down. Even if it doesn't make sense now, it will later.

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James was of course Peter's brother. I ran around my house looking for scraps of paper to write on. I found a receipt from a local stationery store, forms mailed home from Davey's school, a confirmation for a flight to Atlanta. I scribbled frantically on the backs of all of them, grateful to be able to shorthand notes from my years as a reporter because she spoke so quickly, her melodious voice—she once thought of pursuing a singing career—faded and beginning, from Topic after topic scurrying.

LK: He's talking about a ball. He says, 'Find the signed ball in the bag and give it to David.'

While Peter was in the hospital, a good friend who knew he loved the Yankees and especially Joe Torre, their longtime manager, got Torre to sign a baseball - a talisman. But the day I brought it in, Peter shook his head. "I can't," he said. "Put it down." I didn't know why he was upset, but I put the ball in his closet, in a canvas bag I'd packed with his clothes and toiletries to take to the hospital.

LK: He's showing me blood. Did he die of a blood clot? Something with blood. I see the word "genetic".She said it almost choppy: Ge-net-ic.

LC: He died of blood cancer. And his doctors told us it was probably related to the lymphoma that his father died of.

LK: The reason - David won't understand. That's what he tells me. Good for you Peter! i like this guy[In a different voice]:'You can call me Pete!'

He says: "Go on. You can have the red wine.'

I started laughing. For the first time I felt some relief at the cruelty of his death. That call had begun to do for me what the best anti-anxiety medicine and therapy had failed to do, pull me out of the whirlpool and see the beginning of a way out of my sadness.

Lisa would speak to me directly and then speak to... Peter? And sometimes it was when shewarPeter, talking to both of us. Channeling would probably be the best verb. Sometimes she said things that didn't make sense to me. Perhaps a third of what she said could apply to anyone who has lost a spouse; Things like "I want you to get married again" and "It's okay that you cried in front of me". But there were many more specific things she said that she couldn't know or google as several people have suggested to me.

Still, try googling the name of someone you don't know about. It takes a lot more than five minutes to navigate to the page with the right information and take it all in - the names and details and events.

LK: He says he controlled too much. He says, “Take the good with the bad. I had my flaws.” He's learning to get better at not criticizing.

Then she said something that shocked me.

LK: 'I am a lucky guyGuoy. I got the better end of the deal.'

The amazing thing was how Lisa pronounced it: "Guoy," not "guy." It was just as Peter said, with an over-the-top Brooklyn accent. He used this expression when we made up after a fight: I'm lucky... to have you. At that point I started talking to him directly; I couldn't help it.

LC: Peter, you were unlucky! You died!

LK: I hear a dog barking. With him is a dog. Did you have a dog?

LC: Yes, we have. Gracie was our dog. She died of Lyme disease. Peter felt super guilty about it—

LK:[in a sullen tone]"It was our dog, but it was MY dog."

Was he social? Because the people over there are calling for him. Someone yells, "Pete! Peter!” I have to calm him down.

He says: "I was lucky to have someone so pretty and young."

LC: I was lucky to have someone so handsome.

LK: 'That's right.'

Even in the afterlife, I competed with others for his time. But I felt oddly comforted by the joking, the resentment, and the grandiosity. It felt like my husband.

Lisa's cell phone started ringing so she gave me her home number and I called her back. We talked on the phone for about 45 minutes.

LK: Who met you?

LC: Was?

LK: I ask Peter; who met you Mummy. He says mom. But he was clearly hit by his father. He started his transition last week.

"Did you touch my face? I wasn't in my body when you did it.'

Up until this past week I had not been able to touch Peter's skin with my fingers or lips for three months; I wore rubber gloves and kissed him behind a mask. A stem cell transplant brings a patient to zero immunity; a kiss from a woman with even a nascent cold sore can be deadly. But once we knew he wouldn't survive, I took off the mask and gloves, climbed into bed with him - he was in a morphine sleep at the time - and touched his face. After he died I kissed his face and tried to close his eyes.

LK: He says, “You did what you knew was right. I'm fine here.'

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LC: Do you swear Peter?

LC: "No. But you do.'

A joke! It's true; I swear like a sailor. He hardly ever did.

LK: Who is Boo Boo?

I cried out so loud that Davey ran into the room to make sure I was okay. Then I told Lisa that Boo-boo was Peter's baby name for Davey.

LK: He was a seal-the-deal guy. He says: 'XOXO.'

LC: He didn't do that! i did this I'll do it

LK: He said, 'This is one for you.'

We talked on the phone for a little over an hour. I thanked her and wrote down her address to mail her a check for $350. I asked her if people had ever called for another reading and she said yes but didn't encourage it. She didn't want people to become addicts; They had to move through their grief and perhaps learn to recognize the signs themselves. We were just hanging up when suddenly she said, "Who is Paul? Who is Paul? 'Give Paul a hug.'”

Wherever Peter was - and let's just say for the sake of argument that hewar- the dog barked, and his sense of humor was intact, as was his self-respect, and I was still trying to get his attention. The image of life or death or whatever condition that Lisa was portraying seemed incredibly familiar. It was funny. It was almost earthy, not deep, not woo-woo. I couldn't get rid of the idea that after we hung up, he was going to meet up with his friends Eric and Sarah and Lem and Clay, his father and mother. AbrahamLincoln? George and Ira Gershwin? Ava Gardner? Peter loved history and he loved meeting famous people and it occurred to me that the ranks of the dead might make for the best cocktail party ever. Immediately after the call, I was filled with euphoria and flooded with an intense surge of love for him.

I started telling people about the reading. "Wait, he's still learning not to criticize?" said my friend Shonna. "Don't you think it's strange to think about him?stillTo learn?" I called psychotherapists to try and get a plausible explanation—something more rooted in psychology than parapsychology—for why that call immediately made me feel so much better. Sameet M. Kumar, PhD who counsels dying patients and then afterwards, their families (that's brilliant; why don't more therapists work with dying people?andtheir families?), and who wrote a wondrous little book calledMourn mindfully, listened as I searched for reasons that didn't involve spirits in an afterlife, and then said softly, "Are you trying to get me to tell you I don't believe in it? Because I do... I've heard hundreds of these stories over the years." Another, a well-respected psychiatrist, confided (though not as an attribution) that he had had his own experiences of working with his father through a medium to speak.

Peter and I became friends with a young medical assistant from the New York-Presbyterian Lymphoma Service. I wrote to her and asked if she or anyone there had any opinions on life after death. I almost expected never to hear from her again. But the next morning, this was in my inbox: “I love that you asked this question. At the risk of possibly sounding 'out there' or 'psychedelic', I absolutely believe in some form of afterlife and/or spirit activity. I think I believed in this before I started working here, but over the last 2 years my awareness has only increased as I deal with more and more of the transitions from life to death. I also asked some of my colleagues and they all agreed: there definitely issomeafter death, but no one knows exactly what. I've noticed that some of my patient's spirits are more "active" than others. I'm not entirely sure why that is either."

Then I read about a researcher named Julie Beischel, PhD, the co-founder and research director of the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential in Tucson. Though trained in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Arizona, Beischel has spent the past 12 years collecting media data. "I've been investigating the phenomenon - is it a real thing? — and also how the media can work better with law enforcement,” and if she can raise the money, she has designed a study to measure the impact on bereaved families.

Her own loss and an encounter with a medium sparked her interest in quantifying the psychological effects of so-called mediumship in comparison to traditional grief counseling and drugs. "Our real interest is what you can do with it," she says. "And as you've learned, it's super helpful with grief. As long as you know the scientific method, you can apply it to anything. There are all these people, mostly women, who say they experience this communication with the deceased. So I'm testing them."

your goal? That the medical establishment might recognize media as real therapy for the bereaved. It sounds extremely far-fetched, but not so many years ago no insurance company paid for acupuncture. Now the state of California requires all insurers to do this.

The survivors are particularly easy prey for cold readings; We are highly motivated to give meaning to what we hear.

Not surprisingly, Beischel runs a tight business and is constantly in search of funding for her studies, for which she goes to great lengths to avoid any hint of "cold reading". That's the name of how a reader begins a session with general things, pays attention to the client's reactions -- words, body language, skin color, breathing patterns, pupil dilation or contraction -- and then adjusts observations around the information conveyed. The survivors are particularly easy prey for cold readings; We are highly motivated to give meaning to what we hear and to hear what we want to hear about our loved ones who have passed away.

In order to prevent such fraud, Beischel prevented direct contact between the "sitter" (artificial term for someone looking for a reading) and the medium. Typically, this means that Beischel himself gives the medium the name of the deceased, along with five questions about him or her - appearance, personality, hobbies, cause of death, and whether the "disembodiment" (the art term for the dead person) has any news for the relative or friend left behind. That person then gets the answers - but also a set of mock answers from a reading done for someone else. The sitter evaluates both readings for accuracy and chooses which one she thinks is from her loved one.

Beischel says that sitters select the correct reading about 70 percent of the time, but that errors during reading are only part of the process. The reason television media — as most people experience this profession — “seems so accurate is that it's most likely heavily edited,” she says. “The theory [behind the bugs] is that the system has static or noise. Your medium may be picking up the deceased family members of a passing truck driver. As a medium, you have to have that kind of right. Brain Ability to hear from the dead but also to have one foot on the ground to be able to distinguish the noise from the signal.

Lisa Kay only works on the phone, she says, in part to keep the reading "purer," to avoid the "distractions" of in-person reading. But just because I'm a left-brainer, because I've spent my working life as a journalist, I was determined to meet them, report them, use one of themmeinjob titles. I was convinced that by observing her body language, looking her in the eye as I spy on her about her job and how it works, I would know if what had happened between us was real. I wanted to demystify the mystery.

I called her and invited her to lunch. She reluctantly agreed.

We met at a restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side that Lisa had chosen; I told her what kind of bag I was carrying and she spotted me first. She wasn't the New Agey lady I expected. She was attractive, well coiffed and beautifully dressed in pink cashmere, black trousers and flat shoes. I suspect she's a few years older than me, but her age remains a state secret.

"I knew you'd call again," she said as we sat down among all the ladies eating lunch and ordered a Niçoise salad and a frittata. How did she know?

"Well, I'm a medium." she giggled.

I started asking her how it works, the mechanics of reading, seeing ghosts.

"First," she said, "I don't talk to the dead. I see no dead. It drives her insane. “Ghosts are energy – energy cannot be destroyed, just read the quantum physicists. Max Planck. They are just at a higher vibrational frequency and I have to adjust to that.”

What did she do to prepare? "I meditate. I calm my mind. I connect to my heart, set the intention to read. I make sure I'm well hydrated. I leave my problems at the door and make myself completely available as a recipient.” What happens when the signs, or “hits,” as she calls it, start to come? “Sometimes it's a small film. Sometimes an image. A symbol. Sometimes it's just a sign – a smell.” Or a sharp, fleeting pain in her head if the deceased had a brain tumor, for example.

She says she gets some of her best hits in the shower: "Water conducts energy." And at Bloomingdale's! She's pretty funny. "I'm joking, but honestly, I go to Bloomingdale's when it's empty and walk around, and I get some of the biggest hits that way."

She is self-taught. She has not studied with any other medium, but she is well read, both in her field and beyond. Later she would often send me quotes on the power of intuition by Kahlil Gibran, Albert Einstein, Ram Dass, Helen Keller, Molière, William Blake.

"Somebody called them my 'powers' the other day," she said dismissively. "They are not 'forces'. It's an ability I haveworkedan."

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So when did she know she had it? I asked. I sensed that she was weighing something and trying to decide if she should trust me. I later learned that she had been approached by media people before and had decided not to participate in what they were offering - magazine articles, television projects.

Here are some things I've learned about Lisa Kay over the past year:

She and her sister grew up in Switzerland, Belgium and the Upper East Side. Her parents were divorced. Her father was a Marine who fought in World War II and eventually became Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. Her mother remarried and had another child, a boy named Patrick, whom Lisa adored.

It was hard to get her to focus on questions about her personal life. She hit tangents a lot, and I wondered, was she a little bit ADD? Was it possible that she heard more than one conversation at a time? Or, the reporter in me feared, was she trying to avoid my questions?

As a teenager, she returned to the States and enrolled at Jacksonville University in Florida. "I took a criminal justice course there and was intrigued, so I went to John Jay [College of Criminal Justice in New York]." After graduating, she spent a year practicing as a youth worker at the 30th Manhattan Police Department. "One detective said to me, 'You're too sensitive. You want to change everything, and that's not going to happen.'"

So she left and worked as a flight attendant and in a nursing home, took singing lessons and ended up in upscale fashion retail, as a sales clerk at Gucci, Calvin Klein and Bottega Veneta. "I've been lost over the years," she says. "My father was a good man, but he always said, 'You never finish anything.'" One day she took an order over the phone from Bottega Veneta. "I said, 'Okay, doctor, I'll send this to you.' And he said, "How did you know I'm a doctor? I didn't say it was me." I said, 'Yes you did, it's right here on my paper.' But it wasn't. So I tried to explain it away — 'Well, it was just your cadence' — and he kind of laughed and said, 'My dear, you have a very special gift.'"

About five years later, on her fortieth birthday, the love of her life died. “Almost immediately I started receiving psychic information. On the set of the filmLucky coincidence, I worked as an extra, and that's where I got my first media impression. I met this woman at the craft food service table and she started talking to me about her losses. And I started telling her about people who had died. This is in 2001.

"Then I went to a psychic and he said, 'I'm sorry to tell you this, but they gossip for you; they throw a party for you; they say you are doing a great job.' It was exciting but annoying. I said, 'Can you ask them to postpone the party?'"

For a while she read to people for free and practiced. But she had to eat, pay the utility bills, and a few years after that first impression, she began craving hours of reading. She talks to customers a lot on the phone. She has a group of good friends, both psychic and civilian, but says of her work, "It's lonely sometimes." She felt that some of her relationships changed when she first became a medium; not quite that it was used, but…. I imagined her job was like a doctor; People who approach you in restaurants trying to get free advice: "Could you look on my shoulder for a moment?"

At the beginning of our acquaintance I longed for the comfort I had received on that first phone call, and I admit that I had hoped she would offer me messages from Peter if we spoke. On occasion, she did: "He was with you in the attic that night.... He was at Davey's dentist appointment... Did Pete get a new job? 'Dad is proud.'"

Still, I refused to ask for more and I only had the one reading. The power of that call made me vulnerable, I knew it. I worried that I might start a habit I couldn't break. And the more I poked at it, the more I feared it wasn't true. As the psychiatrist I interviewed said, "You didn't protect it. You've told too many people."

And maybe I had asked her too many questions. "I told my friends I had an interview with you for a year," she told me recently. We spoke to each other probably twice a month for 14 months - with me interviewing her or sometimes just chatting.

But I met Lisa. One day it occurred to me that she was in more or less the same cycle of grief as I was. Because 11 weeks before Peter's death, her brother Patrick suddenly died. "I'm human too," she has said more than once. "Sometimes people say to me, 'Oh, you can just talk to Patrick whenever you want.' That will not do."

Can a medium reconnect me with my deceased husband? (6)

Author and medium Lisa Kay in Brooklyn, August 2015.

I decided to report Patrick. I felt sneaky and deceitful. But it seemed to me that if there were any untruths in this story, she would cast doubt on everything. One day I asked Lisa cautiously, "What record company did he run?" Gotham Records, she said. Another time: "What was his last name again?" I asked her how old he was when he died: 41. Then I googled it.

What emerged from the Internet - and it took much longer than five minutes - were images of a young man with wire-rimmed glasses, a sociable smile and close-cropped sandy-colored hair, his strong arms lovingly wrapped around the other people on the Internet's images.

Patrick Arn was the founder and president of Gotham Records and Vital Music. I listened to a podcast interview with him about his innovations at his label; He looked for ways to get his artists' music into video games, films, and commercials - a creative business model in an era of iTunes and Spotify hiatus. He sounded smart, rowdy, principled, alive. He died of a seizure while he was sleeping on September 7, 2013, at the age of 41. I found his obituary in theNew York Times, and read: "Beloved son... esteemed brother... a priceless, devastating loss."

Everything Lisa had said about him and her family was true. But there was something about that last sentence, in the tiny agate type of theMal, that ended my questioning. Lisa lost her little brother. She says she feels guilty because she couldn't help it. What a terrible burden that must be.

"Peter brought us together," says Lisa, and she means it literally. But I think it was our shared grief, that most earthly of emotions, that kept us connected.

Her number popped up on my cell phone last April while I was shopping for groceries on a Saturday morning. She said, "I'm calling you because I got a sign from Peter." It was the only time in our year-long acquaintance that she had done so. “He keeps saying the wordWife. Very emphatically. Does this make sense?"

I had always referred to Peter as my husband. What I hadn't told her was that he and I had been together for 17 years but had only been married for the last 11 months of his life. He had refused to marry a second time. He liked to call me his girlfriend. He found it sexier. But I always wondered and worried if part of him just wanted out. We ended up getting married out of hope when we thought he was finally cancer free. Not that some of the old ambivalence didn't work: he was 45 minutes late for the ceremony.

"He says, 'Ms. Ms. Ms.' He wants you to know that you are his wife," Lisa said.

In our early days of grief, my son said something that I have thought about many times since. We were sitting at our kitchen table and he was heartbreakingly sad. "I wish we lived in a magical world," he said, "where science isn't the answer to everything."

He thought about miracles and medicine and death. But from this distance I think it's a nice theory of everything.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue ofELLE.


How do you connect with someone who passed on? ›

5 ways to stay connected after a loved one has died.
  1. Communicating with, or about, a loved one who has died. ...
  2. Practising values your loved one embodied. ...
  3. Wearing something that makes you feel connected to them. ...
  4. Doing charitable deeds in their honour. ...
  5. Acknowledging birthdays and death anniversaries.
18 Mar 2021

How do you know if a loved one is near you? ›

Common Signs
  1. Dream Visitations. One of the most commonly described signs from the other side is a visitation from a departed loved one in the form of a dream. ...
  2. Familiar Sensations or Smells. ...
  3. Animal Messengers. ...
  4. Pennies and Dimes. ...
  5. Lost and Found Objects. ...
  6. Electrical Disturbances.

Is it normal to talk to your deceased husband? ›

You may talk to them to share a secret or ask or provide forgiveness. These are all healthy, common, and normal ways to have an ongoing relationship with your loved one. So if it helps you to talk with them, then keep doing it and know that you're not doing anything wrong or unhealthy.

How do you stay connected to a deceased loved one? ›

Talk or write to them

Great comfort can be found in talking to your loved one in the usual way… whether that's updating them on what's happening in the family, the wider world or the garden. Or just to tell them how you're feeling and that you miss them.

What does it mean when your deceased husband comes to you in a dream? ›

They Come to You in Your Dreams

When you dream about your deceased spouse, it might be a calming, peaceful dream, or a confusing, combative dream. Either way, it might be a sign that your loved one is communicating with you by helping you create meaning out of your personal dream symbols.

Will we meet our loved ones in heaven? ›

The reunion of believing loved ones

When Paul writes to believers who grieve the loss of a loved one, he offers them this comfort: “We who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, emphasis mine).

Can you feel the presence of a deceased person? ›

After someone dies, it's normal to see or hear them. Some people also reporting sensing the smell or warmth of someone close to them, or just feel a very strong sense of their presence. Sometimes these feelings can be very powerful.

How long does it take for someone to get to heaven? ›

We enter heaven immediately upon our death, or our souls sleep until the second coming of Christ and the accompanying resurrection. Most have chosen to believe what the Bible appears to overwhelmingly propose: our souls (spirits) penetrate heaven immediately after we take our final breath.

How do I live with my life after death of my husband? ›

Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
  1. Take care of yourself. Grief can be hard on your health. ...
  2. Try to eat right. Some widowed people lose interest in cooking and eating. ...
  3. Talk with caring friends. ...
  4. Visit with members of your religious community. ...
  5. See your doctor.
1 Dec 2022

What are you called when your husband dies? ›

November 2022) A widow is a woman whose spouse has died; a widower is a man whose spouse has died.

Are you still married after death? ›

If your spouse has died, and you have not remarried, then you are considered unmarried. It may seem odd and you may still consider yourself as married. However, in the eyes of the law, your marriage ended when your spouse died.

When someone is dying what do they see? ›

Visual or auditory hallucinations are often part of the dying experience. The appearance of family members or loved ones who have died is common. These visions are considered normal. The dying may turn their focus to “another world” and talk to people or see things that others do not see.

What does the Bible say about loved ones that have passed? ›

There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.

What happens in the last minutes before death? ›

Physical signs

Facial muscles may relax and the jaw can drop. Skin can become very pale. Breathing can alternate between loud rasping breaths and quiet breathing. Towards the end, dying people will often only breathe periodically, with an intake of breath followed by no breath for several seconds.

When a deceased loved one comes to you in a dream? ›

Dreaming of a Dead Relative. If you dream about a deceased loved one visiting you in a dream, its meaning depends on your current state of mind. Your dreams are comprised of your inner thoughts and emotions, so you may need to find a way to release them. This type of dream is also known as a visitation dream.

What does it mean when loved ones come to you in a dream? ›

Visitation dreams are sometimes a welcome respite from longing or yearning for your loved one who has died. Whether you believe these dreams are real, from the divine, or something straight out of science-fiction - a visit from the afterlife can be healing to your soul.

What does it mean if you see someone dead in your dreams? ›

Dreams of someone dying can be unsettling, but they shouldn't be taken literally. Death in a dream may symbolize the end of something and the beginning of something new. Dreams provoke emotions — and those emotions can help you connect a dream to events in your life.

How long after someone dies can they hear you? ›

For years, it's been a rule of thumb among healthcare circles that a dying patient will still retain the ability to hear and understand their surroundings even after all other senses have shut down. “Never assume the person is unable to hear you,” advises the British organization Dying Matters.

What does the Bible say about communicating with ancestors? ›

The Bible has a negative view of necromancy or attempts to communicate with the dead. In fact, all contact with the spirit world is expressly forbidden irrespective of the nature of the spirits concerned (Lv 19:26-31; Dt 18:10-11; Job 7:7-10; Is 8:18-20; Lk 16:19-31).

Do you go to heaven if you are cremated? ›

No matter what a person's preference is, from the Christian perspective, cremation does not prevent one from going to Heaven. So there's no need to worry, if God can create life from dust, surely he can restore life from ashes.

What actually gets you into heaven? ›

You enter heaven by forgiveness and through the righteousness that Jesus gives you. You do not enter into heaven by the Christian life. It's always true that where faith is birthed, works will follow, but salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

What does God say about cremation? ›

In 2 Kings 23:16-20, Josiah took the bones out of the tomb, burned them on the altar, and “defiled it.” However, nowhere in the Old Testament does the Bible command the deceased cannot be burned, nor are there any judgments attached to those that have been cremated.

How long does a wife live after husband dies? ›

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Public Health found that people whose spouses had just died had a 66% increased chance of dying within the first three months following their spouse's death. 2 Prior studies had placed the increased chances of death for the surviving spouse even higher, at up to 90%.

Will I ever be happy again after the death of my husband? ›

Until the intensity of your grief subsides, you can't expect to be truly happy again. Work through your guilt, extreme pain, extreme sadness, intense anger, and every other feeling and emotion. Often, reaching out to a grief counselor gives you a structure for doing this work.

How do widows deal with loneliness? ›

One of the first steps in combating loneliness is being around others who share some of the same interests as you. Try your best to pull yourself out of your grief enough to volunteer a weekend or two each month at a local charity or food bank to help those in need.

What finger does a widow wear her ring? ›

What finger does a widow wear her wedding ring on? To put it simply, a widow wears her wedding ring on whichever finger she chooses. Wearing a wedding band on your ring finger on your left hand signifies you are married.

Do you still wear your wedding ring when widowed? ›

Many widows or widowers choose to continue to wear their wedding ring for some time. Some wear it for the rest of their life. They might do it because it makes them feel safe. Or because they still feel married.

How long are you considered a widow? ›

You can only file as a Qualifying Widow or Widower for the two years after the year in which your spouse died. For example: If your spouse died in 2022, you may only qualify as a Qualifying Widow or Widower for 2023 and 2024 as long as you meet the other requirements.

What does a widow call her deceased husband? ›

The technically-correct way to refer to a spouse who passed away is as your “late husband” or “late wife." The term “late” is euphemistic, and it comes from an Old English phrase, “of late." In the original Old English, “of late” refers to a person who was recently, but is not presently, alive.

What does God say about widows? ›

Fundamentally, God is the kind of God who keeps a careful eye on the widow. He is profoundly concerned for her, together with the stranger and the fatherless. He is righteous and protects them for he is “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows . . . in his holy habitation,” (Psalm 68:5).

Will you be married in heaven? ›

Many Christians rely on Matthew 22:30, in which Jesus tells a group of questioners, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

What is the last breath before death called? ›

Gasping is a brainstem reflex; it is the last respiratory pattern prior to terminal apnoea. Gasping is also referred to as agonal respiration and the name is appropriate because the gasping respirations appear uncomfortable, causing concern that the patient is dyspnoeic and in agony.

Does your body know when death is near? ›

As a person approaches death, their vital signs may change in the following ways: blood pressure drops. breathing changes. heartbeat becomes irregular.

Why do eyes open at death? ›

At the point of death, muscles no longer work. It takes muscles to open and close eyes. When those muscles relax, a person's eyelids might pop open instead of staying closed.

What God says about losing a spouse? ›

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

What happens in the first hour after death? ›

From the moment of death, physical changes will start to take place: Within one hour: Primary flaccidity (relaxation of muscles) will occur almost immediately followed by pallor mortis (paling of the skin). At two to six hours: Rigor mortis (stiffening of muscles) will begin.

What happens in the last hour of life? ›

In the final hours of life, your loved one's body will begin to shut down. Their circulatory and pulmonary systems will slowly begin to fail. This may lead to falling body temperatures, but may also cause sudden outbursts. Your loved one will also experience greater difficulty interacting with the outside world.

What happens at the hour of our death? ›

As the moment of death comes nearer, breathing usually slows down and becomes irregular. It might stop and then start again or there might be long pauses or stops between breaths . This is known as Cheyne-Stokes breathing. This can last for a short time or long time before breathing finally stops.

What happens to your brain when your spouse dies? ›

When you're grieving, a flood of neurochemicals and hormones dance around in your head. “There can be a disruption in hormones that results in specific symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, fatigue and anxiety,” says Dr. Phillips. When those symptoms converge, your brain function takes a hit.

What is the first thing to do when your husband dies? ›

A Checklist of Things to Do After a Loved One Passes
  1. Contact the funeral home and make arrangements. ...
  2. Call your attorney. ...
  3. Contact Social Security. ...
  4. Review/cancel their health insurance. ...
  5. Contact your spouse's pension company if applicable. ...
  6. Notify the life insurance company and file a claim.
24 Aug 2022

What happens to wife after husband death? ›

Under Hindu law, a wife gets an equal share of the assets of the deceased husband divided between other Class I heirs, the children and mother. This applies only if the man dies intestate. If there are no children and other claimants, the wife is entitled to the total property.

How long does it take to get over the death of your husband? ›

It's common for the grief process to take a year or longer. A grieving person must resolve the emotional and life changes that come with the death of a loved one. The pain may become less intense, but it's normal to feel emotionally involved with the deceased for many years.

Can a widow ever be happy again? ›

With wisdom and support, a widow can doubtlessly survive the grieving process. It is always possible to move forward and enjoy a meaningful and transformed life. Also, your late wife or husband would not want to see you miserable. They would want you to move on with life and be happy.

What is widow syndrome? ›

It sometimes happens that a person dies shortly after the death of their spouse. This phenomenon is often referred to as broken heart syndrome, the widowhood effect, or more technically, takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Who is more likely to remarry after the death of a spouse? ›

Overall rates of remarriage are much lower after bereavement than divorce: 5% of women and 12% of bereaved men remarry, compared to 69% and 78% of divorced women and men, respectively[v].

How do widows cope with loneliness? ›

One of the first steps in combating loneliness is being around others who share some of the same interests as you. Try your best to pull yourself out of your grief enough to volunteer a weekend or two each month at a local charity or food bank to help those in need.

What is the hardest stage of grief? ›

Depression is usually the longest and most difficult stage of grief. Ironically, what brings us out of our depression is finally allowing ourselves to experience our very deepest sadness. We come to the place where we accept the loss, make some meaning of it for our lives and are able to move on.

What is widow brain? ›

Widow Brain is a term used to describe the fogginess and disconnect that can set in after the death of a spouse. This feeling is thought to be a coping mechanism, where the brain attempts to shield itself from the pain of a significant trauma or loss.


1. Abraham Hicks How We Connect With Deceased Loved One
(Inner FreedomSystem)
2. Reconnecting with Dad | Psychic Medium Matt Fraser
(Matt Fraser)
3. Psychic Dreams & Spirit Visitations
(Matt Fraser)
4. Meditation to Connect with Someone you Love ~ Soul Connection Hypnosis
(Soulful Adventures - Mellisa Dormoy, CHt)
5. Meditation to Connect with Deceased Loved Ones
(Diana Palm)
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