New York, US (BBN)-Sometimes, even teachers dread the walk to the headmistress’s office.
Particularly if, like me, they have a secret they’ve been doing their utmost to hide, reports The Daily Mail.
In my 16 years as an English teacher, only one colleague had ever found out that I was also a psychic medium who communicates regularly with what I call the Other Side. Fearful for my job, I swore them to secrecy.
Then came the news I’d always dreaded. A whole group of teachers had seen my name attached to a spiritual event for people who’ve lost a loved one, and they were all planning to attend.
My heart plummeted: I knew I’d now have to tell the headmistress, Jane, about my other life.
I had a sinking feeling that she’d think being a medium was incompatible with being a rational, sensible schoolteacher.
So I took the long, lonely walk to her office, my hands trembling as I sat down opposite her.
‘I need to tell you something. I have this whole other life outside of school that no one knows about,’ I said.
Jane looked concerned. I later learned that she thought I was about to say I was a prostitute.
I went on to tell her that I was doing voluntary work as a psychic medium, working with people who’d died, and helping to alleviate the suffering of those left behind.
There was a long pause as she kept her eyes fixed on mine.
Then she leaned across the desk and whispered: ‘Laura, do you see anyone around me now?’
Immediately, the gates in my mind flew open, and the Other Side started flooding me with information.
I didn’t want to ‘read’ Jane — but I was suddenly communicating with her mother, who’d died decades earlier.
When I told Jane that her mother’s name was Margaret, her mouth dropped open.
She got up, walked around her desk and closed her office door.
‘Your mother raised you very strictly,’ I went on.
‘She was a strict Catholic and she had all these rules for you — and she knows it was tough sometimes, but she wants you to know that everything she did was for you and your future.’
Jane’s eyes filled with tears.
‘She says you were always asking the doctors questions about how much morphine she should be given,’ I continued, ‘and she wants to say thank you for making the end of her life easier.’
There was plenty more — about Jane’s children and a baby I saw on the Other Side who was waiting to come to her daughter.
Before I knew it, 40 minutes had passed and the class bell had rung.
Jane got up, came around her desk and hugged me. ‘Your gift is beautiful,’ she said simply.
In the open: But suddenly her whole knew she was a psychic medium, and she was summoned to speak with the headmistress – but the meeting went better than she could have hoped (file image)
It was not at all the conversation I’d expected.
For years, I’d managed to convince myself that if my secret got out, I’d be shunned, ridiculed, fired — or all three.
Instead, I felt liberated — and that made me want to use my abilities to help as many people as I could.
If you met me in everyday life, you’d probably never guess that I’m able to communicate with people who have passed from this Earth.
I have a husband, three children, a regular job. I don’t read tea leaves or tarot cards; I’m not a fortune teller and I don’t use a crystal ball. I’m simply someone who possesses a gift that is more focused in me than others.
Indeed, I am one of only 19 people in America to have been declared a Certified Research Medium by one of the country’s leading scientific bodies, the Windbridge Institute For Applied Research In Human Potential, and I have conducted readings for many celebrities.
As I’ll explain later in this series, it’s a gift I’ve had since childhood — and one that has sometimes felt more of a curse than a blessing. But after I left university and started teaching, I realised I could use it to bring a lot of comfort into people’s lives.
So I began doing psychic readings — sometimes in person, sometimes over the phone — and as word spread I accepted some invitations to organised events.
Perhaps the most poignant was for ten sets of parents who’d each lost a child.
It was a long drive from my home in Long Island near New York, and I could feel my anxiety escalating.
What if I made these people’s suffering worse? What if the Other Side failed to come through?
And then suddenly, as I was driving down a main road, the children came to me.
It was astonishing — like being alone in a room when suddenly the door opens and ten or 15 people come in.
The difference was that I was surrounded by children no one could see.
I was being bombarded by a rapid flow of words and names and stories and pleas and descriptions and images — so many that I had to slow them down.
‘Wait a second,’ I said aloud, as I pulled over and fumbled in my bag for my notepad and pen. But even though I started writing as fast as I could, I couldn’t keep up with all the messages.
Some were very personal; many were on the lines of: ‘Tell them I’m still part of their lives’.
When I finally walked into the conference room, I found 19 people with haunted faces sitting round a table in silence. ‘Your children are here,’ I blurted out.
Without even noticing it, I’d already slipped back into that place where I’m no longer ‘me’.
The children, who appeared to me as points of light, were coming through strongly and clearly.
There was no fear, no pain, no guilt in what they had to say — just love. To my surprise, they also all stopped talking at once and lined up patiently, one by one — each time pulling me towards the correct parents.
There were too many stories to recount here, but I’ll mention one.
At just 15, Jessie had left her family heartbroken when she died in 2007, just five days after contracting a virus.
‘She wants to thank you for the butterflies,’ I told her parents, Joe and Maryann.
They looked at each other, and Maryann reached for a tissue.
Only later did they tell me that they’d recently chosen a gravestone carved with butterflies for their daughter.
They were less convinced by what Jessie showed me next: a cat stuck on a tree branch.
It was only weeks later that Joe recalled idly tossing Jessie’s favourite stuffed cat into a tree, where it wedged in a branch. He’d meant to retrieve it later, but the toy was still there.
As a third proof of her presence, she told me about a blue policeman’s hat. Joe looked stunned.
Before she died, Jessie had gone to a camp for teens run by the police, and Joe had given her money to buy a policeman’s hat.
However, she’d forgotten, and instead spent the money on something else.
No one thought anything of it. Then, at Jessie’s funeral, something inexplicable happened.
A police officer, holding a hat — a man Joe had never met — came up to him. ‘I got this hat for you,’ he told Joe, his eyes filling with tears.
‘I don’t know why — I just know I’m supposed to give it to you.’
Joe hadn’t been at all sure what to make of this unexpected offering.
But the explanation is simple: just about anyone can be a messenger, as long as the person chosen is willing to keep his or her heart and mind open to the Other Side.
Jessie had wanted me to mention that hat so that her parents would know that she was here in the room.
But she then moved on to more personal and significant messages.
She was particularly anxious for them to know they’d been right to make the agonising decision to take her off life-support.
By then, she was bleeding in her brain, she said.
As it turned out, doctors had told her parents this was the case — but they’d never mentioned this to another soul, and they’d never been sure whether to believe it.
But Jessie’s most important message to her parents was that she was still with them.
Indeed, I heard this again and again from all the children who crowded round me.
The readings went on and on.
Three hours later, I prepared to leave, feeling frankly overwhelmed by all the love passed back and forth that night.
But something felt wrong.
As the parents left the room, I noticed a woman in her early 40s with black hair.
No one had come through for her.
What was going on? And then it hit me: her child wanted to be last.
We sat down, just the two of us, and I suddenly felt her daughter come through — with a light less intense than the others had been.
She was about 20, a college student, and told me her mother was a psychiatrist and single mother.
When I relayed this, the woman’s face froze.
There was much more.
The girl had killed herself with an overdose of pills and wanted to thank her mother for being so loving to her cats.
When she told me this, I understood now why she’d waited for the other parents to leave; she’d wanted her mother to have more privacy.
Her message was heartfelt: she insisted that she had been going to kill herself no matter what her mother or anyone else did.
It was her choice — and it was only after she ‘crossed’ that she realised that life was a precious gift.
Her mother began to cry, and for the first time that evening I did, too.
I could feel incredible love passing between mother and daughter; it was one of the most powerful moments I’d ever experienced.
‘Your daughter wants you to know that if she’d understood how painful this would be for you, she’d never have done it,’ I went on.
‘She is so sorry that she did it.’
I stayed with the girl’s mother for 40 minutes. Instead of feeling exhausted, I felt completely on a high. I’d spent nearly four hours with grieving parents, yet I’d been able to help them all connect with their children and begin to heal.
By day, I continued to teach Macbeth and The Grapes Of Wrath to teenagers, but by night I’d often be upstairs in my bedroom.
There, I’d be having private phone conversations with everyone from celebrities and athletes to astronauts and politicians, giving them a glimpse of something beyond the accepted bounds of human experience.
I had no problems with my double life — until one morning, when I walked as usual down the first-floor corridor at school, where the seniors have their lockers.
Why was everyone staring at me? Both students and teachers had stopped in their tracks and were looking at me, with little knowing smiles on their faces.
I kept walking, wondering what was going on.
In my first class, the atmosphere was different — there was a weird, crackling energy in the room.
Then finally, a smart kid named Owen, seated in the back row, said: ‘Mrs. Jackson? Are you psychic?’
I just stood there, speechless.
I found out later what had happened.
One of the people I regularly read for is a pop singer with a huge following on social media.
Just a few nights earlier she’d invited me to her concert in New York, and afterwards, I’d posed for a photo with her — which she’d posted to Instagram.
‘You kind of blew up our social media last night, Mrs Jackson,’ is how one student put it.
After I got over the shock of being ‘outed’, I gave Owen the answer I’d rehearsed with the headmistress.
Connecting with the dead: But Ms Jackson is strict with her rules, and never lets her two worlds of school and speaking with the dead get in each others’ way
‘Yes, I am a psychic medium,’ I said. ‘I’ve been tested by scientific researchers who have verified my abilities. But this part of my life is separate from my job as a teacher. So I won’t discuss it further — and I won’t read for anyone in any of my classes, so don’t even ask.’
‘Can you tell when someone’s cheating on a test?’
a pupil asked. The truth was, I could. During a test the month before, I’d momentarily had my back turned when I suddenly felt a lasso of energy pulling me to the rear of the classroom.
It felt like a hand on my arm yanking me to turn around.
I followed the pull and walked up to a boy in the last row, who’d hidden a piece of paper under his leg.
‘That’s cheating,’ I told him. ‘You know better than that.’
Still, I wasn’t about to share that story with my students. They were still excited, asking me all kinds of questions about my gift — which surprised me, because I’d thought they’d be more interested in asking about the pop star.
I quickly shut the discussion down and shooed them to their next class.
This same scenario played out over my next six classes. In my last class of the day, after they’d filed out, I noticed that one girl had stayed behind.
She was 15, pretty and very smart. ‘Mrs Jackson,’ she whispered, ‘I need your help.’
A few months earlier, her mother had remarried after many years alone. Her new stepfather doted on both her and her mother and brought much joy and happiness to their lives.
But, just three weeks after the wedding, the girl’s mother, who couldn’t swim, found him floating face-down in their pool. She screamed at her daughter to jump in.
‘I froze,’ my pupil said between sobs. ‘I was just so scared to go into the pool. So I never did.’
By the time the paramedics arrived, her stepfather was dead.
She waited for me to say something, anything, but I didn’t know what to say.
I wasn’t supposed to read my students.
‘Can you please tell him that I’m sorry?’ she said. ‘Please?’
What was I supposed to do?
The door to the Other Side had already swung open and her stepfather came through forcefully.
I hesitated. I’d spent the past two decades carefully maintaining my double life.
And now the wall I’d put up was coming down.
‘It was just his time,’ I finally said.
‘You wouldn’t have been able to save your stepfather even if you’d gone in the pool. His heart gave out, and that’s why he didn’t make it. It was never your fault.’
The girl stopped crying and looked at me, holding her breath.
Her eyes were big and wide and her lips were trembling.
‘There’s something else your stepfather wants you to know, and this is very important,’ I told her.
‘He wants you to know that his greatest gift — the greatest gift he ever got in his whole life — was getting to meet your mother and you, and spending time with you both. And he wants to thank you for that. He says you gave him a beautiful gift.’
The girl burst into tears.
I put my hand on her shoulder.
My two worlds had collided, and there was nothing I could do about it.
But in spite of everything, it felt good.
As I’ll tell on Monday, that hasn’t always been the case.
For there have been times in my life when my abilities left me frightened, ashamed and utterly overwhelmed . . .