Can I Believe My Mother is in Heaven?

I love going to psychics. I’m not sure if it’s my impetuous nature to know what is to come, the comforting assertions like “Great fortune is headed your way” or its mother-memory connection. I became loosely associated with the magic of clairvoyance at age 5. I waited in the reception area while my mother traveled through past lives and peered into her future. These days I’m allowed to partake in the mysticism myself. 

Turning the corner on six years of motherlessness, I strolled through the beaded door of a Hyannis psychic on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Once inside the inconspicuous storefront, I was greeted warmly by my gorgeous psychic du jour, Erica. Immediately I felt I was in the right place.  

I sat down in her domain, optimistic of my foretelling. She began, “Many people are inspired by you… by your experiences because of what you’ve gone through. Do you understand?” Her disjointed sentence structure somehow made the experience more authentic. Even her incessant “Do you understand?” wasn’t condescending because she seemed so sincere.  

“The things you write are your mother speaking through you,” she said. This news sounded purely logical to me. Other people inherit assets. I inherited my mother’s vocabulary and penchant for a solid topic sentence.  

“Your mother is in heaven and she spends lots of time with you… as much as she can. But she is very worried about you… something she said to you before she died. She’s afraid you misunderstood.” Erica’s hands flipped off the table and the New York half of her Albanian accent came through, “I’m not a medium so I don’t know what she said to you.”  

Like any other self-respecting 26-year-old adult woman, I burst into tears in the shadow of Erica’s psychic accoutrement display case filled with crystals and incense. To comfort me, Erica said, “We should be jealous of her. She is where she belongs. We should all work as hard as she did to get there.” If anyone else said that I would find it trite but coming from Erica, scam or not, it felt like a back rub on my brain.

After my mother died, the idea there was a heaven seemed frighteningly overwhelming and the idea there was nothing seemed like a horrible injustice. Years later, I had to admit I had been avoiding thinking about where my mother had been al together. I acknowledge her influence in her loved ones and in my actions daily but I narrowly avoided the concept of an afterlife. 

Rationality aside, I liked Erica’s rendition of the truth. My reservation to indulge fell purely in the form of all of my friends who would think less of me for buying into something without strong scientific basis. However I couldn’t deny this truth’s comfort. 

Through my sobbing tears I thought for some reason Erica would comfort me with an old pat on the back. Instead she handed me tissues and sat back down to confront the real issue here.  “Are you religious?” Erica asked. 

I fumbled through a political answer. “Well I believe there is a place for religion. I like the idea of having a place to check in on one’s morality and ethics. The corruption of organized religion turns me away. However I have great spiritual mentors.” I winced to find out if that answer was psychic-approved.  

She countered with a diatribe about her disgust for atheists. Then she said something accidentally sublime, “What’s the harm in believing?” Now that’s some simple logic I can buy. 

Since then, I took Erica’s prophecy, made it my own and set science aside. I think about my mother coming to visit me.  When she is not with me, I picture her as an angel helping others. She always did loving meddling in the lives of others doing in around the clock seems like a perfect fit to me.   

I am grateful I met Erica that day because it confirmed a theory I had. The path of grieving and healing is unique for everyone. Our perception of comfort is dependent upon our individual keyholes through which we see the world. Therefore, when we seek purely conventional methods to heal our grief and loss, we become closed off to the endless possibilities within the universe. Our hearts and heads may lead us astray but when we rely on our intuition it steers us on the right path.

Lauren Muscarella 2011

Lauren Muscarella

More Articles Written by Lauren

Lauren started the blog Mama Quest ( in May 2010 to share stories of her journey through loss after losing her mother in 2006 at age 20. The blog also serves as an outlet to pass on wisdom she received from her mother, who died of breast cancer at 52. After an overwhelmingly positive response to the blog, she launched Trauma to Art (, a movement to support and facilitate creative expression from those who have experienced loss. Now Lauren works to build the Trauma to Art community while writing a book of creative arts therapy activities for confronting grief as well as preserving the memory of lost loved ones. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys volunteering, traveling, wine tasting, and learning to speak French.


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  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Lauren,

    I really appreciate your writing. You are able to express exactly what I’m feeling. I’m 21 and just lost to mom to diabetes and heart disease in june. I’m struggling. My life has been turned upside down. I dont know what to believe. But two sentence you wrote really stuck with me. The first one—“After my mother died, the idea there was a heaven seemed frighteningly overwhelming and the idea there was nothing seemed like a horrible injustice”— is exactly how I am feeling right now. It hurts to think about it, so I just try to ignore it. But its still hard. The second one— “the path of grieving and healing is unique for everyone. Our perception of comfort is dependent upon our individual keyholes through which we see the world”— I really agree with and am holding on to as I continue through this painful grieving process. Thank so much for your writings. You have helped me alot.

    – Miriam

  • Anonymous,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad to here the articles are helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me any time.

    Much love,

  • vivien says:

    Dear Laura,

    Your words touched upon a topic that my Mother and I discussed. Mom said to me ‘Oh Vivien I am afraid what if there is nothing after death. That is one thing that is unproven”. I responded “Mom you must know there’s a heaven…at least since Dad passed. I remembered this conversation and felt guilty for my response. I wish to believe and am trying to believe that my Mom who worked all of her life for the good of others and she bore many heartaches concerning her brother and my own brother. I hope that she has been rewarded and is in a peaceful and happy place.

    I was not with my Mom at the moment of her passing which is one of my many regrets. Even though it has been 1and a half years I have been feeling very sad recently. So I turned to google and started perusing through the topic of grief at Mom’s death.

  • Susan says:

    I lost my Mom on Memorial day this year. I also was not with her and regret it so. I knew it was coming anytime but just couldn’t face it. It’s especially hard because some of her last words to me was asking me to “walk her to the door”. My mother lived for her Lord and family and I pray she’s with him now, no longer suffering.

    She was my best friend. She had told me I had always been her rock. Why couldn’t I see it through? I beg her forgiveness everyday.

    Is there a heaven? I believe there is. Am I worthy? I don’t think so now.

  • malene says:

    It’s comforting to read all posts here. My mom passed away 2 months ago and I’m still grieving. It was so painful because my siblings blamed me of what happened to my mom they said I always say “yes” to the doctor”. I and my mom were not in good terms before her passing as I was convincing her to separate with dad because she is nervous and doesn’t want to be left alone with dad who always threatened her to hit with his fist if they had arguments.

    I’m always hopeful that she will get cured of diabetes and pneumonia (medicine side effects of her medicine for 30+2 years taking of medicine) because the doctor said she is recovering will be discharged for a few days but after wrong diagnosed and negligence of the medical staff “nurse” about her not being able to urinate after 24 hours she died. Few weeks or days before she died, it’s my first time to hear her say “I am tired with my life” and other days she would say “difficult”. I’m so careful with my words or I just keep silent “less talk, less mistake”, my brother would say careful with your words so that medical staff will take good care of our mom they will not be distracted, unfortunately, some public hospital staff are not doing their job. From time to time, I felt angry with everything upon remembering all the things that happened prior to my mom’s death. I’m struggling to pray, to let go, to forgive myself, & others and be positive.

    Mom, I believe you are in a happiest place now. No more pain, no more sorrow. Family member can no longer dictate you, or persuading you to separate my brother and his wife, or if my sister nags you if she doesn’t like what you wear. Mom, you can be easily persuaded to do negative or positive things and it’s hard to please everybody. Please be at peace now, I love you. I’ve been calling counseling hotline for so many times before and after your death crying over to the counselor on the line because my siblings told me to leave you and I need to work to help with your needs and or I feel guilty of what I have or what have not done for you to get cured. Mom, I know I did my best when we were once together, but I think my best wasn’t enough. I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you. There are a lot of things going on my mind like going to a psychic, etc. because I miss you. If I know you’re okay, I’ll be okay. I’m struggling but deep, deep down in my heart I know you are in heaven and at peace.

  • Hi

    My mum passed away the 5th of this month
    I felt her spirit pass me and the chimes in her garden chimed away.
    Was it definitely her?

    I know before she passed she was worried sick about my son who is very poorly, do you think she is around him? He found a white feather and so did my sister in her house…I’ve not felt my mom since the morning she passed…maybe she has left me signs but I don’t know what to look out for.

    I’m so lost without her

    Dawn X