Fall seems to remind us of death. The trees begin to shed their leaves and our gardens die. We harvest until the plant is done giving and lay them down for the season. Consciously or not we become more aware of our own mortality and that another year has passed. This last year we have all had some sort of dance with death. The entire Covid-19 experience worldwide has impacted all of us, some more than others. We have become aware of death, grief, and loss like never before. In this great awakening, some of us have looked death in the eyes, witnessed death as a reality, or sat with our own fear of death.

Some of us believe that a lot of October through November the veil between the worlds thins. Whatever keeps us separated throughout the year becomes thinner therefore creating great ease in communication. It gets stronger as we get closer to Halloween or Samhain. The connection to the other side seems to get stronger. Not in a scary way. Hollywood has manifested all sorts of horror stories in our minds around ghosts, dead people, and even guardian angels — not every story represents the truth. Some things are exaggerated for emotional reaction and we are aware of this too. Most of us know this once we talk about it.

Feeling a connection with ‘the other side’ can be done in a good way, be validating even comforting. We might notice our guides start appearing in our dreams and we can more easily connect with the other side. Personally, I have found that some of us are called to the path in different capacities and expressions in life. For me, I was called to the path to bridge the gap between the living and the dead, between dying and grief, helping both sides find peace and healing.

My history with death and dying reached back all the way to my childhood. At 5 years old, I was at the bedside of an old woman, the mother of the person who stood in as a mother to me. I had no concept of death and I just stood beside this old woman I barely knew. I remembered her as sweet, high energy, and positive towards me. As a sensitive child that meant a lot. I held her hand as she obviously laid suffering in the bed. I held her hand in a way to say “Do you know I am here?” She opened her eyes and smiled down at me. I smiled back but somehow I knew at that moment she was sick. She closed her eyes and somehow she felt at peace with me, she passed onto the other side at that moment. When an adult re-entered the room she was surprised to see me holding her hand and sent me out of the room as she began to check her pulse.

This kept happening. I kept arriving at the bedside of the dying, apparently, they felt peace or permission, and would take their last breath with me next to them. I never really noticed or paid attention until I met Sandra. I had recently returned to nursing and I met a woman that over time, developed cancer. She told me about it and I stared her in the eyes as she told me how she didn’t want to be on chemo and she was willing to accept her death. She knew it was inevitable and she felt she had done most of everything she had wanted to do in life. I respected her words and didn’t react. She later thanked me for being so calm and peaceful about death rather than over emotionally reactive. I did say that she could choose to use the drugs to raise her quality of life at some point but she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do. I visited her every week, picking up my eggs from her well cared for chickens. She would ask for stories from the nursing home and sometimes we would laugh and other times we would cry. After some time she got sicker and she asked me to caretake her. I hadn’t realized this whole time she had kind of arranged it that way.

I began to visit her over and over, helping her to use technology when she lost her energy to move. I realized at some point she was barely able to even do that. So I decided to share with her about my studies of spirituality with a Mayan teacher. I also explained how I was applying my old reiki training to the people in the nursing home to help their soul pass on more smoothly. She looked me in the eye and said, “Ohh yes! You are a death midwife! You are MY death midwife!” I stared at her dumbfounded for a moment. I realized what she said was true. I sat in my seat beside her bed and stared her in the eyes. She said, “YOU are MY death midwife. What you are doing is important. There is a reason I chose you. Notice how you always seem to show up at the end of people’s lives.” I felt like I was listening to an oracle and the nurse in me wondered what medications she was on. After a long silence, she explained how she had always wanted to explore her spirituality, psychic tendencies, tarot cards, and so on. She wanted to dance around the fire with the witches and feel like she had some influence in the world. She wanted to be better connected to the rhythms of the earth and what we would call the “collective consciousness”. I smiled because it became very clear, very fast that was exactly why she kept me so close.

She wanted to leave this world spiritually. I began to share more about my rather private spiritual life and eventually I was holding space for a ceremony for her, under the guidance of my Mayan teacher. Inviting drummers and space holders to play the drums for her to hear as I helped guide her soul in a peaceful easy transition. In the days following she became unconscious and we began to wash her body, her feet, and her face each day but just allow her to lay in peace. I would play music at her side, talk to her and tell her about my day. Each day, I would remind her that she had already said goodbye to everyone and her soul was ready to move on, she just needed to let go. One night she smiled and said, “I let go, it’s over.” and she passed that evening. I was not surprised to get that phone call on my drive home. As I turned my car around to head back and hold space for the family to process the death of their elder I felt her say “Thank you!” To this day I honor her at all the sacred fires I visit and she is one of my guardians.

I had already been practicing mediumship at that point for over 10 years. I told her about how I saw ghosts and could sense energies in the field. We even made little jokes that after she passed she would come back and tell me what to tell her daughter. Forever in my heart, we had a special connection because she woke me up to realize that this was my gift. That connecting and bridging the gap to the other side was a gift. Not only did I help her but I supported the family and served as a medium to bring messages through for those grieving after their death. I felt like I had earned some sort of secret degree in the art of dying or something. Each person I was honored to witness during their death would teach me something special, every soul is a gift.

Now as we stand at the end of 2020 I realize my visions are real, I honor them and let go of self-doubt. I also began to realize that my gift was needed more today than ever before. Much like functional medicine, which mixes the best of modern medicine with traditional medicine. I mix the best of death and dying psychology with mediumship and death midwifery. I understand the process of grief and loss and I certainly think there are tools we can use in that process. I find that death midwifery serves a huge purpose for the person on the journey, the family, and for the public funeral. It is certainly a process that looks different based on each experience. It requires an ability to hold space. There are more and more of us aware of this need and I am compelled to be more ‘out’ about it.

If you are a medium and let it be known you can talk to dead people, that you can help people communicate with their loved ones–some people want to test you. They want to disprove you. Some just don’t fully comprehend how we are connected to the other side and find themselves curious. Frankly, I have always hidden the gift and kept it for very private relationships. I would slowly test the waters and if the person was open-minded I was happy to share my gifts. I did offer readings professionally, but under a different name in order to hide my identity. When I traveled the country dancing with elderly people in nursing homes I felt like I was serving as a death midwife of sorts. Often when I visited we had a great time which was the entire intention of the program. When I would visit again I would notice who was no longer there and know that they had a great time with me before they passed onto the other side. It was a special type of love and connection I experienced with those living with dementia. They saw me differently than most people and I understood them in a special way. We bonded. Somehow I felt I spoke their language and they inspired the program that took me around the country. In March of 2020, the program had to stop and remain on hold for the virus I had foreseen in my dreams since I was in puberty.

Now I realize in these times to hold my gift back would not be serving my community. In this time of stress and duress, and many people are grieving something. It can feel very isolating and alone. Death is such a sensitive topic for humans and most people are not comfortable with it. For me though, I see it as a graduation, a transformation, an opportunity to honor a legacy, a life can teach us all. Harvest their stories. Honor their message. It’s like honoring the last tomatoes you pull off your tomato plant before you know the cold will take it. We love autumn colors for their last brilliance before falling away. It’s the harvest of their life and I know there is a way to celebrate it that helps with grief and supports the process of working through loss.

I see mediumship as a tool for those looking to reach the other side, so both parties can have clarity. As a medium, I have always felt that those on the other side have messages for us too. They are often here to guide us, they want to help and they are now their better selves. They want to see us grow, they want the best for us. When we reach out to the other side we are open to receiving those messages. I, as a medium, am simply like a computer that passes the information from one to another. I do my best to interpret the messages from the other side so that they can be applied in our lives today and help us in our grieving process. I serve as a bridge. I notice many gender-benders bridge gaps in humanity. We all have our own gifts and services to the community and mine is to build this bridge which is–to hold one side in their grief and bring forward the messages from the other side. I feel this bridge is often overlooked and dismissed even though it is a powerful healing tool for the grieving. Maybe in the way modern medicine dismisses the usefulness of herbs. As I witness the years pass I notice mediumship becomes more and more acceptable and as a result, I am inspired to step forward with my gift.

If you need help with this communication bridge in any way I am here. I am here to teach others to use their gift. I am here to help YOU communicate with the other side. I am here to support you as you sit at the bedside of the dying. I am here to guide you, even remotely through the death process. Even if the person has already passed there is much to learn from connecting to the other side. Now in autumn is the time to reach out, its the time to develop your gift, its the time to see what messages are waiting for you.