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

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 the 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.

More Articles Written by Lauren