On October 1, 2016 my grandpa lost his three-year-long battle with Leukemia. He fought long and hard, and by the time he finally passed, it wasn’t so much grief that we felt as it was relief.

A few months later, my good friend’s grandpa also died and she was telling me about how her grandma went to a medium from my hometown. She said it really seemed to help her family come to terms with his death. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical. I thought about this for awhile, and eventually curiosity got the best of me. I scheduled a phone appointment with a medium from my hometown.

When we first started talking, I was really nervous. She was just telling me about what to expect, and how long she’s been in the business. Suddenly, she says that a few presences have come forward to speak with me, and she starts to describe someone who I immediately recognize as my grandpa. The logical part of my brain started to come up with all the reasons she could have possibly known who my grandpa was: Google, Facebook, obituaries. Then she described the way he was sitting.

My grandpa always used to recline all the way back in his chair, put his head up, close his eyes, and rest his hands in the middle of his belly. When she told me that, I knew that this一 on some level一 was real.

Over the phone I could hear her laughing, and then all of the sudden she said, “Are you a bad driver? Your grandpa says you take your turns too quick.” Classic.

The next 30 minutes, she relayed messages to me from other family members as well as a few family friends. Each time, I had to make my own assumptions and connect a few dots because, as the medium told me, the spirits only reveal what they want to reveal.

Toward the end of the call she said, “Your grandpa wants to know if he should keep sending you cardinals. He doesn’t think you pay any attention to them.”

He was right. When I was home over break, I was looking out into the yard with my mom, and she pointed out a cardinal saying that they always remind her of her dad. Honestly, I didn’t buy it. But it clicked for me on the phone. Now, I always make sure to look for them.

It was a bizarre, surreal experience, and I was drained of energy afterward-- something she said was pretty common. I miss my passed family every day, but talking to a medium reminded me that they aren’t as far away as I think they are.