My dead friends speak to me sometimes. I used to think I was imagining it or creating it in my head when thinking about them. But I don’t think that’s it anymore.
All kids fantasize about having superpowers–reading minds or bending spoons or making people bleed out of every orifice on command. Or is that last one just me? My fantasies about being psychic also included talking to angels or dramatically saving lives, somehow being extra and other, like the X Men. Then we grow up and life turns out to be far more complicated and mundane and no one appears to us in a halo of light to guide the way. We ruin relationships and work jobs we hate and argue with customer service reps and in the process discover that while we can include people we love in our orbits, we are on our own when it comes to feelings, creating destinies, learning lessons, repairing mistakes.
Only recently, after a lifetime of trying to come to terms with my ordinariness, I’ve come to realize that I actually do have a small thread of connection. I rarely see anything, there’s no glowing light or beautiful visions. Instead I hear my friends’ voices in my head.
I used to talk to Joey Ramone sometimes. I don’t know why, we were friends but not in a super close kind of way. But he would visit on occasion and he was a warm presence for years after he died. He hasn’t been around for a while though, maybe he is in a different body and life now. I also have a harmless female ghost in my apartment that I have made peace with after living together for 20 years. I did see her once, when I was half asleep so it could have been a dream, but I don’t think so. She is a tiny black lady in 30’s dress and she was happily digging in my jewelry box. Pieces of jewelry will disappear and reappear once in a while; she likes pretty things but she always returns what she borrows. And lastly, when I had a boyfriend whose mother died in a difficult way, I could feel her hanging around me. I think because he didn’t believe in things like that and it was a way for her to communicate her presence. She never spoke to me but I felt her love for him.
When my friend Codie died she was all over me. She wouldn’t shut up. It was wonderful, because she was/is hilarious and her death was a great loss to me. So I still had her in some capacity, and she had new wisdom from being on the other side. It was great to feel she was near and had my back, as much as someone on the other side can have your back. Because again, see paragraph two, life sucks and we’re still terribly, cruelly on our own most of the time.
I am surrounded by psychics and spiritual healers, partially because I’m interested and primarily because my mother is one. It’s strange. My siblings and I call it “Momaganda” because while the information we get from her is often invaluable, at times it’s also colored with very Mom-esque opinions about what her children should or should not be doing. But I ask for her help when I am struggling and she helps me get clear on the true causes and issues underneath whatever is happening on the surface.
One person in my mother’s circle is especially adept at talking to dead people. He can’t go into some ghosty places where many people have died because he gets overwhelmed by the chatter. He hears and sees it all clearly. He’s generous with his gifts and usually does readings for me when I’m home for a visit in the summer, in which ever since Codie died, she dominates with her advice and jokes.
A couple of years ago, when I was in a very sad place, confused and mourning the devastating loss of the relationship that I thought would be there for me forever, full of self-loathing, pretty much hanging on by the thinnest of emotional threads, I got one of those Codie readings. And this time she hammered the fuck out of me. She said, through our friend, all of the things I secretly and not so secretly feared about myself and my trajectory. It was a good hour and a half of being yelled at and arguing back, with hot tears in my eyes. Which is weird when the fight is with your dead friend through your other friend.
I was so hurt and angry by the end of it. It felt like a violation somehow, like a hit and run. After that I stopped speaking to Codie in my head completely. If I heard her voice I shut it down. I told her I didn’t want to hear anything from her. I couldn’t forgive her somehow, even though I knew maybe it wasn’t really her, and that it was filtered through the eyes and words of a mutual friend who, although a stellar clairvoyant, has his own opinions and is maybe too close to me to be objective. And it was split in my head. I wasn’t mad at human, live and in person Codie, I was mad at nebulous, maybe made up, dead Codie.
Fast forward to now and my life is awesome, the best it’s ever been. I love my job, I’m traveling, I’m moving into a nicer place later in the year, I have amazing, fun, loving, loyal friends, my pets are healthy. My romantic life is strange at times and certainly unconventional, but it’s still a safe place for me, which is new. I’ve come to love and accept myself, which is very new.
I was in London again recently because two of the bands my company supports played Camden Rocks (The Tip and The Sweet Things). They ddn’t fully need me but it was a good excuse to hang out for a few days with friends, cool people and cute boys while listening to great music and networking with like-minded industry types. I made sure the musicians didn’t starve, handled hotel issues, organized cabs to and from places and tried not to yell at the constantly incompetent/uninterested British servers.
It was all fabulous, except that traveling triggers my bad brain. I am super routine oriented as a means of staving off anxiety. I usually unpack as soon as I get into my hotel room and organize my things in a way that makes me feel comfortable and in control. While most people want to spend every minute in a new city socializing and checking out the sights, I need a lot of downtime in between exciting moments to recuperate and ground. It’s tenuous, and even with precautions anxiety and self-doubt can creep in if I’m too tired or hungover or there is discord with anyone. Which there is bound to be when you’re traveling with a large pack of rock and roll egos and artistic temperaments.
“No matter where you go, there you are” has been a constant life lesson. Yet, despite that, and despite a lot of pain and loss, I live a magical existence. There is a movie-like quality to the things that happen to me, the scrapes and adventures I get into, the gifts I receive. I have been given much, including the ability to manifest most of what I fantasize. But no matter what is happening or where I’m at, no matter how grand or special, there’s still that dark spot in my brain that I can drop into at any time, that makes me feel that it’s all pointless.
So I was sitting in a nice big tub that someone else would have to scrub for me in the morning as long as I didn’t put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door, and I sighed happily and put my head back and shut my eyes. All was well in that moment. And then I heard Codie’s frigging Queens Italian voice bray out: “Okay, bitch, can we get over this now?”
“God damnit!” I opened my eyes and said petulantly (in my head). “You never fucking apologized.”
She said, “I did repeatedly! You have refused to hear it.”
I said, “Okay. Fine. Yes. I know I’m being a big baby about it.”
And she said, “Remember when I told you a few years ago that there were some good surprises headed your way?”
I said, “Yeah, it’s been pretty great lately.”
She said, “More is coming.”
So of course I burst into tears in a tub in a foreign country, miles from home, talking to my dead friend in my head like a total lunatic. But since I let her back in it feels that I’ve given myself permission to trust that clairaudience that’s always tried to get through. I always looked for a big cosmic fanfare, and it’s not that. It’s just a voice in my head. Sometimes it’s the voice of a dead friend, sometimes it’s a bit of kindness or inner wisdom during an ordinary day, “Don’t eat that, eat this”. Random, helpful nudges that come from a deeper place, a deeper wisdom, that looking back always came through and were mostly ignored.
I’m paying close attention to all of it now. Even if its just new age tomfoolery, the advice is good and it’s nice to be on a healthy autopilot. My day to day runs more smoothly when not overthinking it.
So I started writing this post about a week ago and sadly before I finished another beautiful friend, Georgie Seville, died unexpectedly. I haven’t heard from him like I did from Codie right after she died, and I’m not expecting to, but it is a coincidence of note.
I asked Codie to check in on him and she told me he is recuperating. What that means exactly, I don’t know. I do know that he is heavily mourned on this side–he was a lovely, special human and it’s a great loss. So I’m sending him and the people who mourn him much loving energy. And maybe the assurance that if you are sad that you will never see him again, you might be surprised to hear from him in a quiet moment. There is more magic to be had than we realize, it’s just softer and more delicate than what we had once imagined.
To shut up and listen is easier said than done. But it is possible. And sometimes regardless of your resistance, the message finds its way through anyway. So thanks as always Codie for your patience, your attention, and your steadfast love and friendship that will not be silenced even in death. Please take care of our Georgie.