Writer Kelsey Butler shares how a conversation with a psychic—and her best friend who had died—changed the course of her life.—Horoscope.com editors
Like so many people before me, I was there to speak to the dead. Well, one person in particular. It had been almost eight years since my best friend, Casey, passed away just before we were set to return to our senior year in college.
At the time, family friends and well-meaning acquaintances had assured me the sting of losing my young healthy friend unexpectedly would fade, but almost a decade had passed and hearing her favorite song or seeing a blonde ponytail bopping down the sidewalk could still make my eyes water. And it had resulted in a dull ache in the back of my head and a feeling of loss that hung heavy over what was supposed to be the happiest time of my life: my engagement.
So that’s how I ended up on the sidewalk on a freezing winter afternoon texting with a psychic/medium that I had prepaid to see. I just needed to check in with my friend. After a few emoji-filled texts back and forth, I knocked on Drew’s door and walked in. We exchanged a few niceties, and then dived right into our 30-minute session.
“So before we get started, I need you to hand over something personal of yours that’s with you all the time,” he asked.
I worked my engagement ring off my finger and handed it to him.
“Are you in a relationship?” he asked.
I nodded, thinking that the engagement ring on the table between us made that clear.
“OK, I want you to think really hard about why you’re here,” he commanded.
Casey immediately sprang to mind. I thought of her messy bun when we were hanging out in our dorm room together, our last phone conversation where we hung up with a brief “love ya” and the playlist she made for pregaming nights out that still languished in my iTunes. I shut every other thought out of my mind.
“I’m getting the words ‘business’ and ‘writer,’” he said, the words interrupting my thoughts.
Wait, what? Did my messages get lost in translation?
“I mean, I’m a finance reporter, so I guess that…would be me?” I finally responded. He asked me a bit more about writing, a passion that Casey and I shared.
“I really feel like that’s you,” he said. “Please know that spirit acknowledge that that’s a better fit for you than other things you’d tried before.”
We chatted a bit more about my pre-wedding jitters, he pinpointed that we planned to honeymoon in Croatia, and he dropped an odd side note into our relationship chatter.
“My advice to you: You’ll always be married a bit more to your career than your husband,” he said. “I want you to have a bit more of a balance with that.” I barely had time to absorb what he said before he asked me if there was anything else I wanted to know about and I brushed the comment aside.
“Well, yes. I want to know about my friend,” I said, my voice wavering as everything tumbled out. Was Casey OK on the other side? Was she at peace? Did she send me signs?
“She’s totally at peace,” he said. “But they usually are, in my experience, when they reach that side.”
My eyebrows shot up. How could he be sure?
He then went on to describe specific habits of hers—twirling a piece of her hair with her hand—and the exact circumstances of her death—hit by a distracted driver—that quickly assuaged my doubt. My hands unclenched. She was at peace. That’s what I needed to know.
“And she wants you to know that she will be there for you on your wedding day,” he assured.
Before we closed up, Drew said he wanted to leave me with some knowledge that he really felt I needed to take with me.
“The next three to four years will change your life massively, where you will have every single thing you want in your career,” he said. “And you will have a sense of power, where you’ll think ‘Wow I’m so much more independent than I ever thought, and so much more capable than I thought I would be.’ Be careful what you do with that power. You understand? Don’t take the things that are around you for granted. Be careful of that, alright.”
I wiped my wet face, hugged Drew hard and headed back out into the cold.
Days later, I finally worked up the courage to listen to a recording Drew had encouraged me to make of the session. I’d been jittery during the reading that I was sure I’d missed things.
One phrase stood out: You have to have more of a balance. When had I lost mine?
I’d been so laser focused when it came to my career lately: I had poured everything into a new job that left my brain wiped at the end of the day and staying up until 2 a.m. trying to start up a freelance career.
I mean, I was here. I owed it to Casey, who was a brilliant reporter and writer and was no longer alive, to give it 200%. How could I not?
But I couldn’t shake those words. When was the last time I actually just said no? When was the last time I put work aside to just enjoy the day?
In college, Casey was an insanely hard worker, but also always nudged me to make memories. She would drag me to the pet store on a sunny September day for a contraband fish for our dorm room—studying could wait. She would force me to pose for a self timer photo with her on the first day of our magazine internships. She would Blackberry message me links to Perez Hilton articles for me to read during boring classes. She made college fun—not just about work.
I can’t remember most of the details of the classes we took together, but I remember every night talking about our dreams from our respective twin XL beds.
Don’t take the things around you for granted.
Eight years after I should have first learned that lesson, those words were on repeat in my mind.
As winter thawed and the summer drew closer, I tried to live more by that ethos. Did I need to take that sixth freelance gig or would I rather go to the beach with my college friends? Should I agree to yet another coffee meeting with a PR person who wanted to “pick my brain” or go home and take my dog to the park?
I couldn’t let the unimportant things take over. Something else popped up when listening to the recording once more. “The future is never written in stone; it’s fluid and it’s malleable, so we can actually create destinies,” he said. “It’s not easy to do, but it is possible.”
I went to a medium to talk to Casey, but what I needed at the time was to listen. I finally heard her.—By Kelsey Butler
Kelsey Butler is a reporter and editor based in New Jersey. She has written for health and lifestyle publications including Women’s Health and Brides. In her spare time, you can find her on the bocce court, collecting souvenir pennies, binging “Law & Order: SVU” episodes and hiking with her dog, Sonny.
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