We were sitting inside the sanctuary of the church I attended when I was growing up. So many of my favorite memories from high school came from activities with my friends at this church. I was fairly sure this day was not going to be among them.
I’d only been in Denver for ten days. I flew in from Los Angeles just hours after my ex-wife told me, “your mom called. Your dad is in an ambulance on his way to the hospital. He had a heart attack.” I remember just looking at her, not really comprehending her words. “My dad?” I asked. I couldn’t really wrap my brain around all those words I’d never heard, much less imagined, in the same sentence together. Dad, ambulance, hospital, heart attack…
And now we were saying goodbye, or so I thought. The pastor had just finished speaking. What he said, I have no idea, I couldn’t really focus on his words. I was drifting obliviously in a bubble of numbness watching his mouth move, his compassionate expression drifting over us like a misty marine layer consoling the jagged coastline of our broken hearts. As the pastor went to sit down, my focus was suddenly yanked to the front of my consciousness and directed like a laser at my oldest daughter who laughed as the pastor sat. I bored holes in her, aghast with the impropriety. “Ruby! What is so funny?!”
In that moment, I wasn’t really remembering my daughter has always had moments of clairvoyance and clairaudience, so when she looked at me, hand over her mouth, still suppressing giggles, I wasn’t amused. As I glared, Ruby leaned in and whispered to me, in an out of giggles, “the pastor almost sat on Grandpa.”
It took a second, but as I registered her words they began to wash over me like the first ray of sunshine bursting through a storm, the clouds relenting to a playful sun pushing it’s way through, dragging a rainbow of hope and healing with it.
You know there’s been healing when you begin to refer to loved ones who’ve made their transition in the present tense. My dad is very funny. His sense of humor is almost everyone’s first memory of him. He also knows Ruby can see him, and he knows how much Ruby loves slapstick comedy, so it was a very well thought out move on his part to sit in the pastor’s chair during his own memorial service and just wait patiently for the pastor to return and almost sit on him.
It worked. Ruby laughed, I got relief from my sadness, and the healing started. The healing is now so complete, in fact, a day I was sure I wouldn’t want to remember at all, is one of my fondest memories in that church sanctuary.
The gift of connection to loved ones through a medium is beyond healing, it feels like a miracle. Mediums help transport us across the abyss of belief, into knowing. Knowing there is continuity of the soul, knowing we don’t really die, knowing that when everything else falls away, love remains.