mediumship: why I believe

Let me tell you a story. Listen with the openness we had as children, when we all willingly believed in what is mysterious and magical, for this really is a tale of magic and the transformation that comes with knowing it is real.

Today is the 49th anniversary of the day my mother vanished forever. I wrote about my mother’s disappearance at an old blog called Big Ass Belle. The details of the story aren’t that important. Essentially, she vanished on a cold Sunday morning, a few days before Christmas of 1969. It was a singular event in my life and in the lives of my family members. There is tragedy and heartbreak in losing one so loved to death. And it is a different kind of tragedy, an endless heartbreak, for someone to go missing for 49 years.

There was before, and there is after. In years after, leading up to the subject of this post, we were never able to really let go, to grieve and move on, and we marked the transitions of life and the passage of our ordinary days always wondering. What happened? Where could she have gone?

Often, I would look at my father when he was still living and think “it’s not possible she could still be alive.” He left us at Christmas six years ago, 95 years old, and even in his state of dementia, he would still touch my arm and look at me intently. “What do you think happened to Audrey. Do you think she’s still alive?”

She would be so old, and surely in ill health, alone and lonely, and troubled by the same demons that drove her out the door that frigid December morning. But if not alive, then where could she be? Where is her body? Wouldn’t her secrets be finally revealed in death? For 20 years, I’ve fought to keep her on my state’s missing persons list, the oldest case in Oklahoma, but nothing has come of it. Nothing.

In 2010, my very smart, rational, science-minded sister, then 66 years old, happened into a small spiritualist encampment in Florida called Cassadaga. There she encountered mediums and psychics, for it’s a small village devoted to the mysterious arts and whether you are believer or simply a sightseer, they are there, a flock of working spiritualists, and they are quite busy.

Wandering through the village, a skeptical Karen encountered a medium standing on the front porch of her cottage. “I think you’re supposed to come in,” she said. And so my adventurous oldest sister entered the medium’s lair, was seated, and before she could even speak, the woman drew back, looking alarmed, and exclaimed, “oh, oh, there is someone rushing at me, she is pushing everyone aside.”

Everyone. Yes. I know the images that will evince for the skeptics among us, the very idea that we are surrounded by the spirits of those long gone, that they can be invoked simply by a willingness to believe they are there. And yet it is possible, I now know this. With certainty. It is possible even when we cannot set aside the flood of disbelief which automatically wells when someone says these things aloud. As with Karen, we have only to show up, skepticism in tow. Our people in spirit will do the rest.

But even if we can’t bring ourselves to a state of belief which is, after all, not much more than a suspicion, it changes nothing. It happened. Someone in spirit was so eager to communicate with my sister that she rushed that medium. Disbelief and skepticism don’t change the fact of it. Actually, I should say that disbelief and skepticism don’t change the facts which were subsequently revealed by that spirit, who turned out to be our long lost mother. She gave us answers to questions we’ve had since that ghastly day in 1969.

What happened to Audrey? Why did she leave us? How could she have stayed away, never to have reached out, not once? And most importantly, we at long last knew she was no longer alive — in human form — which is a comfort when the loss of someone is so unfinished.

Like my sister, I am also reasonably smart, and science-minded, but also artsy and romantic, so my interpretation of events may be suspect. I want to believe, I admit it. I love the idea of the unknown becoming known and I inhabit my own imagination as if it’s another, very real, world. But Karen is not that way. She’s rational, down to earth, one who requires proof.

That one, the utterly rational sister, conversed with our mother, of that I’ve no doubt. There were dozens of proofs, literally dozens. A complete stranger in a part of the country where none of us have lived before knew details of my mother’s pre-internet disappearance she couldn’t possibly have discovered. Karen’s appearance before the medium was not preceded by an appointment, or signing in, or any of the myriad ways a bit of information can be given and research obtained. The trip to Cassadaga was done on a whim.

Karen’s appearance was unheralded and the medium a stranger. At the time, it seemed to me impossible that one can speak to the dead, but it happened and it’s real. The medium revealed everything: where she lived when she left, and why she vanished, what was happening to her at the time, where she went and with whom, and most importantly, that she had died in 1993.

I know the skeptics out there are scoffing. The mere fact of our being human carries with it a disbelief in things unseen because it’s more comfortable that way, to believe only in truth we can verify and experience with our five senses.

But that it was my mother, I know without a doubt. I know it as solidly as I know that my eyes are brown and my once red hair has gone silver, that I am living and breathing in Tulsa on a sunny, cold afternoon in December. I am equally certain that most reading this will still not believe, though maybe the truest part of you may whisper before sleep tonight, “what if?”

What does it mean to really know that our loved ones don’t die? That they continue long after their human suits have disappeared? Prior to this encounter of my sister’s, I was terrified of mediums. My fear of death ~ and hell ~ was so extreme, I couldn’t even consider a reading. What if the medium said I was going to die? But this was astounding news from my mother was convincing and it had come through a medium.

I rushed right out and booked an appointment with the same one. And then I sat on it, giving in to fear again, for over a year. When I finally marshaled my courage to sit for the reading, it was a truly healing experience and the first of what would become many, because Mike died six months after and daddy three months after that. Grief once again felt ruinous, but this time I confirmed very quickly that my sweethearts were not dead.

In the Cassadaga reading, my mother needed to know if we could forgive her for walking out in 1969, if we could let go of our pain and anger and years and years of wondering, of not knowing, of never being able to grieve for her. She asked for our forgiveness and we gave it.

In subsequent readings with the amazing mediums, Nina Cree and Sandy Soulsister, I’ve had life-changing, astonishing conversations with my mother. I recognize now that this initial loss, my mother’s disappearance, was the foundation of the life I have today. That agonizing event was the sand in the oyster of my life (her words) and while I attracted a lot more sand and grit on my own for a period of years, that event was the beginning invitation to change in the most divine ways. The sand, the grit, has been turned into a pearl of the greatest beauty.

On this day 49 years ago, my mother vanished. Nineteen years ago today, my brother-in-law died by suicide. It’s also the winter solstice, which I have celebrated annually since 1993, a ritual which put to rest years of winter sadness. It’s also the birthday of a dear friend, Valerie, another accomplished medium and spirit artist, and the day my sweet niece Kylie was born.

Life just goes on. It evolves. We get sand and we make pearls. Or not. It’s a choice and I can attest to the fact that it helps to have the input of our loved ones in spirit, to recognize that there really is more to this life than what we see. That’s such a lonely state of being, thinking this is all there is. Knowing there’s more is delicious.

I am grateful, but really, something beyond that. There has to be another word. A devastating, heartbreaking event in 1969 led to some really, really ruinous years after, and ultimately to this life of peace, joy, love, and KNOWing. No fear of death anymore. No fear of anything. There is a sense of certainty about the universe, this life, and what I now know comes after and that is very, very precious. My mother is well. I hope you are too.

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excitations of love

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What if the universe is a hologram? What if everything that now exists or ever did can be called into presence given sufficient attention? According to the physicists, attention affects our reality. We’ve all experienced this to one degree or another. Buy a hot pink car because you’ve never seen one and suddenly they’re everywhere. That’s one small example.

But was given more meaningful example of this magic two years ago when I realized I didn’t know my maternal grandmother’s last name. I googled, then fell down one of those internet rabbit holes which are the curse of the curious. And suddenly there was a great grandfather I’d never heard of.

Hello grandpa Charles! It was quite a surprise to see a photo of this man standing next to my grandfather, a young face I recognized right away. Two days later I had a reading with the wonderful spiritual artist and medium, Valerie Kwietniak. In that reading, Valerie felt the presence of a male and with further discussion, it became clear that it was my great grandfather.

Let me say again: I knew nothing of him, yet there he was, showing up in a reading. Was he called into being by my attention? It seemed very strange.

About a year later, my friend Sandy Soulsister, another gifted medium, offered to do a Zoom reading for me to see if we could make contact with some of the more than two dozen children I’d cared for who’d been killed. In particular, two teenage boys, Rico and Adrian, had never left my heart or my thoughts though they’d been gone since their violent deaths in the early ’90s.

The reading was a great success. Both of my boys came forward with evidence, messages, and so much love. And then, nearing the end of our time together, there was an excitation — a swirl of energy — and suddenly bubbles and orbs and prisms and sparkles were everywhere. Sandy said, “Lynette! Are you blowing bubbles?” Shocked, I looked more closely at the screen and I could see them too.

What looked like bubbles were orbs which zoomed across the screen and ascended en masse in a curtain. Then there were prisms of light and tiny sparkles darting out of the bookcase behind my chair. At one point, my eyes were drawn to the space just past my screen — in my real life room — where one twisting prism flashed before me and was gone.

Were these excitations of the pure love that we are? The energy in that two minute light show felt like it. Were all of those little lights conjured up by the children I had cared for after their deaths and before, then sent to express love or possibly gratitude? That astonishing reading created as many questions as any I’ve ever had, but one thing was certain: the bonds of compassion and love and caring that connected me to those dead children years ago still exist.

My friend Brenda has said, “I am Brenda for you because that’s how you recognize me. But that’s not who I am.” When called upon by her many friends, the Awareness picks up that old suit of Brenda clothes (which carries with it the story of her life), shakes it out, steps inside, and voilà! Brenda is present once again for those who know and love her. She’ll be that for as long as we need her to be.

In fact, Brenda is and always will be present in her true form. There is only One of us in this universe, in all of existence. We are all aspects of that magnificence. All of us. As teacher and evidential medium Suzanne Giesemann has recently and beautifully described it, we are the effervescent bubbles of an irrepressible love. Pure joy, an exquisite love so divine it can’t be contained, and thus it creates, and in the creation — that excitation — we come into being.

She describes us as shiny little bubbles reflecting to those around us a story: dancing, playing, experiencing one another and ourselves in all of the aspects of our humanness. We’re living right now what we think of as real life, and while it is very, very real in this instant, in the end it appears to be little more than a lucid dream shared by those of us who still breathe. My Brenda’s first words: “I just woke up! They really are people suits.”

Someone else I know (a trustworthy, highly ethical medium) who’s channeled Jesus was told by that presence, “you know me as the Nazarene so that is how I come to you. But that is not who I am now.” What? How could Jesus not be Jesus anymore???

But truly, how could any of our loved ones disappear? It’s a constant fear of grieving people. What if they won’t come to me, my dear ones? What if they’re gone forever?
Many grief stricken people have found comfort in the book, The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, in which Annie Kagan describes how she learned to connect with her bad boy brother in marathon meditation sessions. But quite a number of those same folk are driven to throw it across the room when, as the story unfolds, Billy’s presence begins fading as he reunites with Source. (Spoiler alert: he returns, rising out of the holographic ether. It’s a great book.)

I read it that way too the first time. It was as if Billy were being wiped out, erased. In reading those words, I was wrecked to think that Mike, my soulmate, the love of my life, could disappear. In fact, in being absorbed by the Universe, Billy was being revealed for what he really is: That, the One, All That Is, Awareness.
You are that. Me too. We all are.

Billy didn’t disappear. He dropped the charade that he was Billy. Yet those we love in spirit will always show up for us in the way that we know them. Eventually, when there’s no one left in this dream who remembers that particular excitation of love, maybe that energetic wrinkle of the universe is ironed out. Maybe it’s a kind of cosmic housekeeping. Imagine if all of the thought-bubble-energies of every living thing which had ever existed were still actively vibrating? It could get awfully busy and cluttered.

And yet, as evidenced by my great grandfather, and by those nearly two dozen dead children called forth by Sandy, by Brenda’s wisdom and the words of the Nazarene, and by Annie Kagan’s brother, Billy Fingers, once the thought or the request is sent out into the ether, the energy of it calls upon the One to don that old suit of clothes, that story, and make an appearance. Thus there’s Brenda. There’s Mike. The great grandfather I’d never even heard of. There are all of the stories we know in this time and place of our lives present once again.

There’s such comfort in this certainty: they will always be available when the stories of us need the stories of them to keep moving forward, to heal from grief, to feel the love again of those we’ve lost.

The universe is a hologram. It’s all there, ready and waiting for a spark of energy — a thought — to create; for some aspect of the One to shine forth. We’ll all go Home one day, dropping our costumes, waking up from the dream, and then we’ll finally see our Self as the blindingly beautiful One that we are.

You are blindingly beautiful right now. This instant. I see you. I hope you see you too.

With love, Lynette

*And here’s a little magic with this post: I’d started half a dozen pieces and nothing seemed right coming on the heels of the grand Emergence2018 conference in Salt Lake City. I have been thinking about this disappearing thing ever since seeing the movie Coco. There is such a lesson in that film but it’s always seemed a little backward: disappearing after we die is a very good thing, not the sad event depicted in Coco. Having coffee with friends Monday afternoon, I looked up to see this in the window. Question answered: write about (never) disappearing. Write that all is always well. Because it is.

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why a blog? why now?

IMG_6062.JPGBlogs are so 2005, aren’t they? But since the fading away of my first effort, the aptly named Big Ass Belle, I’ve continued writing stories about life, love, death, and how we return to ourselves after the worst imaginable, because my own worst possible thing happened in 2012.

Grief and loss will touch every one of us eventually. Some of us seem to get more than our share while others imagine they’re untouchable, until the moment they’re not. And then there are those who experience deaths of loved ones complicated by life’s more troubling aspects: suicide, overdose, medical error, abuse, unforgiveness, and so much more.

That people survive these things and even come to thrive and blossom as a direct result of devastation is hope for all of us. Sharing how that happens is endlessly fascinating and inspiring to me.

Our stories don’t define us but they can shine a light for someone else. The marvelous alchemy which transmutes grief into love, peace, and understanding is mysterious but in my own experience, it’s required a wide open mind and a willing heart.

Mediumship, meditation, shamanism, energy work, and other nontraditional means of healing have provided the foundation for this joyful life I have today. I regularly hear from my dead people and it enriches my life in a way I’d never have thought possible back in the day when concepts like these were a source of amusement.

We all have stories we can tell. I hope you’ll also share yours with me as we go along. One thing I know for sure: life is better done together. I’m really glad you’re here.