The voices of my departed are an endless song in my head. They move my hands across the keyboard and fill my nights with dreams. I’m their child left behind whom they watch with great concern and extraordinary love – holding back when they long to help, staying quiet when I take a wrong turn, letting me learn my lessons like a child learns to walk by falling down and getting back up again.

From the moment I met Paul under the white-hot streetlight, silver halo wrapped around his head, eyes ripped from a vivid ocean blue sky – I knew I belonged with him. How gracefully he saw me, stroking my hair to find perfection in every flaw, seeing beauty in every crease. He laid his hands upon my soul and loved me.

We shared such joy in our escapades; the long hikes to climb ridiculous peaks, the God talks, the movies that made us laugh and cry. With his dreams wrapped inside my heart I saw our future unfold. This love would be a resting place for me – somewhere I felt safe from a world where my gifts pushed me too far to the left of normal. I needed his arms around me to dig in – to create our white picket fence life. Together we would find a way to make this realm our own, do our good work and thrive. He made me happy every day.

Did I know he would die soon? I’m intuitive. Why didn’t I see it?

It came to me in so many ways so that I would be prepared. Yet being the hard-headed child I was, I fought against each divine reveal; the look on the technician’s face the day they scanned Paul’s liver, how that film was lost and never found again, the misdiagnosis that made no sense. On our first hospital stay, a man Paul’s age, dying of end-stage colon cancer, was wheeled in to be our roommate. While Paul was still learning what it meant to have a tumor in his intestines, this dying young man and his desperate wife (named Sue) gave us a glimpse into a future we didn’t want to see. We quickly asked to be moved to a different room.

And what if I HAD heeded the signs, would it have helped? I’m sure I could have been more graceful. I could have moved our bed down from the upstairs bedroom sooner. I didn’t need to throw my glass of iced tea against the wall the night the canister leaked bile all over the sheets. So dramatic. But my perfect future was slowly and painfully being ripped from my hands. Our white picket fence was crumbling.

Did Paul know where the journey would take us? How it would end up here with me speaking to you? He spoke in riddles at the end – telling me I was gifted – demanding that I not waste my life grieving for him. He made impossible demands on my heart.

I must have been the baby soul of our posse – struggling to keep up with those I loved. When they asked for a volunteer to drop into the physical realms and accomplish something hard, to be strong and help raise the limits of consciousness, I must have raised my hand – not really knowing what it entailed. But knowing I had to do something big and vast and brave – or be left behind. I remember someone telling me I had a courageous heart; it was just a whisper and then I was gone. How many hours have been wasted here in my pity? It’s hard to tell. But all that matters is before I leave this lifetime, before it’s done, YOU have heard me.