CPN | My Yellow Papers

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My Yellow Papers


Every now and then I have to remind myself that you are still here.   When life gets busy and there have been no signs and I anxiously wait to hear from you, I head to my yellow papers.  That one hour session, those notes, they mean the world to me. They give me back your voice when you feel so far away.

About a year after my daughter Sophia passed away, her brother and sister and I decided to go to a medium.  An acquaintance of mine had gone to see a medium with her son.   She said that she found it to be healing for both of them, so I thought why not, what do I have to lose.  I knew I would not be comfortable in a group setting, as I am a pretty private person when it comes to my grief.  I asked around, and finally found someone with whom I felt comfortable.  My husband had no interest in going, but both of our children did.  I realized that they needed some answers, and it needed to be from someone who was not their parent.  My husband and I discussed this and agreed that as long as there were some rules or guidelines in place to protect Ethan and Hannah, it would be okay to bring them.

The three of us went one afternoon. We were all pretty anxious about what we were about to experience.  I have never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect.  I was hopeful, but cautious.  When we went into the room, the woman explained how she hears from people who have passed which helped put us at ease. She explained that she sees pictures in her head.  That sometimes it is like a black and white movie.   She offered each of us a yellow pad of paper to take notes.  Then I heard her! The medium talked about Sophia using language that I would use to describe her.  Such as “spunky”, “independent”, and “direct”.  Sophia was known at home and in the hospital for being very direct.  If she did not want you there, she was not afraid to let you know.  

She came through with a grandfather who passed a while before she did, but her spunky “tough cookie” personality came right through.  She had a lot to say to each of us.  She also had a few messages for my husband even though he was not there.  The medium said that Sophia was concerned about him, that his heart was heavy and that he was not dealing well with her passing. I would have agreed with her.  

After Sophia passed we made a decision as a family to get a dog.  I love dogs and knew I needed something to take care of.  We put a deposit down on a dog and were excited to pick her up later that summer after the reading.  Sophia showed the medium that she knew we were getting a dog, and that it would be her dog, free to go wherever the dog wanted.

There were things that we could not understand, but for most of it, Sophia she was loud and clear.

Although she had leukemia, Sophia passed unexpectedly, with no clear reason to her passing.  This is something that each of us has struggled with in different ways. Through the medium, Sophia made it very clear she had not been ready to go but she reassured us that she was with our family and she was okay.  For my surviving children, hearing that she is still here and part of their lives has allowed them to begin to heal. Sophia thanked her brother Ethan for always talking to her, and for making her laugh, and she talked about seeing Hannah dressed up so pretty for her dance recital and said that she was right there with her.

To be able to provide my children with this experience that opened the door for their healing is priceless and one of the best gifts I can give to them. Before we went to the medium that day, the light had been gone from Ethan and Hannah’s eyes.  As we sat there in the reading talking to Sophia, I saw the joy and hope come back to them.  Don’t get me wrong, this would not replace having their sister back, but it helped them to begin to understand that a loved one does not need to be here physically  to still be a part of our lives, and that when they talk to her, she hears them.  

For me, the gift was so much more than I expected.  I am not saying it would be any easier knowing that my child was going to pass, but for all accounts Sophia should have survived.  There were no opportunities to discuss death with Sophia, my other children or with my husband.  At times I have been very angry that I did not have the opportunity to prepare our family for this possibility.  Our family talked openly about Sophia’s illness as we learned to navigate together.  Sophia tolerated her treatment well and our family was making it through.  No one ever talked about the possibility that she may not survive.  We were blindsided and that continues to be so hard.   Hearing from Sophia that she was not ready to go but that she was not scared, that she was free now, was both a punch in the gut as well as reassuring.  I know that she was not supposed to die at 4 years old, but I now know that she is okay.

I am not religious, but I do have faith.  Believing in a higher being and a beautiful heaven is part of my faith.   Both of my parents have passed, and I now know from this reading that Sophia is with them and that they are still a part of our lives waiting for us to join them.  I feel as though some people are put on this earth to relay those messages and reassure us that when a loved one passes on they are okay, which in turn allows us to come to terms with our own mortality.   

We left that day feeling lighter and excited to go home and to share our yellow papers with my husband. That night as I lay in bed rereading my notes  I allowed myself to feel my daughter’s presence and hear her little voice in a way I no longer thought possible.