The holiday season is special for everyone on both sides of life. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa mean parties and family gatherings, and the chance to reconnect with distant relatives and loved ones. It’s also a time when our friends and loved ones in spirit welcome the chance to show up again at a family dinner and meet the new nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
I remember Carter called for a reading because he wanted to touch in with his father, Rudy, who had passed several years ago from prostate cancer. Carter was a New Year’s baby, and when he turned 19, his father took him out for his first drink (Carter had imbibed with friends quite often before that, but who tells their parents they’ve already had a beer or two or thirty?).
My session with Carter was on December 30; Rudy came through and gave his son some good-natured chiding for pretending his “first drink” was with his dad. Carter promised to hoist one with his buddies in memory of his dad, and Rudy said he’d raise his glass in heaven as well.
Carter laughed as our session came to a close. He said, “I guess it’s not true what they say – in heaven, there is beer!”
A week later, Carter sent me an interesting email. Out with friends on New Year’s Eve, they drank a toast at the bar as the ball dropped. When Carter put down his glass, he noticed an empty glass beside his on the bar. There was a small bit of froth at the bottom of the glass. Yet he couldn’t remember anyone drinking next to him…
And then, for some people, the holidays mean remembering the loss of someone close to their heart.
Harriet telephoned me hoping to hear from her son, Joshua. Three years ago, Joshua, a troubled young teenager, had completed suicide the day after Christmas. Joshua had estranged himself from his family, blaming them for not understanding him, for not bailing him out of jail the third time he’d been arrested for drug possession, and left home one night after a loud argument. Two months later, police found his body in the basement of an abandoned building on the edge of downtown.
I described for Harriet the man I was seeing in my mind – tangled black hair, deep-set dark eyes and a lip piercing. “Yes, that sounds like Josh,” she said.
I felt his sadness for a moment, and then it lifted. Tell mom it’s not her fault, he said, and I relayed the message to his mother.
“But why would he do that?” she asked.
I listened to Joshua, and relayed his thoughts. “He’s saying he had a lot of problems and he didn’t know how to handle them. He was depressed and couldn’t stop feeling overwhelmed. And he was in a lot of pain. Emotional pain that became physical pain. But he wants you to know he’s not in pain any more. And he’s sorry that he caused you so much grief.”
Through her tears, Harriet asked, “Are you sure Josh isn’t in pain?”
I explained that pain belongs to the body. Our soul, our spirit, is made of energy, and when the soul leaves the body, it also leaves the pain behind. Energy doesn’t feel pain – it’s only energy.
Harriet and I chatted for awhile longer, and before she hung up, she said she would light a candle for Josh. A warmth came over me; I felt Joshua liked that kind thought and I told his mother so.
“It’s my gift to him,” she said quietly.
I think of Harriet whenever I hear people worry or complain during the holiday season about trying to find their loved one “the perfect gift.” Sometimes, the best gifts are memories and simple acknowledgements – whether they occur on this side of life or come from the spirit world.
If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit me again!