My Dead Sister Contacted Me From The Other Side And Now My Dad Hates Me
Three days before my high school graduation, my youngest sister Graeme died. She was 7 years old. It happened at a pool party to celebrate the graduation of a good friend of mine with whom I’d attended middle school. He had attended a different high school, but our families remained close, so the invitation was extended to my mother and four sisters.
I had planned to split my time that day between two different graduation parties which happened to fall on the same date. An hour after I arrived at the second party, I received a call to come home. There had been an accident and one of the twins was in trouble.
When I walked into the kitchen, I received the news that while Graeme was playing in the hot tub with our sisters, she dove under the water and had gotten stuck. The force of the drain had trapped her, and the strength of three grown men, as well as my mother, couldn’t pull her up. Graeme drowned by entrapment that day, June 15th, 2002. The last real moment I had with her was changing her into the bathing suit that she died in.
Fast forward 14 years, June 18th, 2016. It’s the 14th anniversary of Graeme’s death. I’m a comedian living in New York City, and I get a text from a booker at a club I have never worked before. “Can you do a guest spot tonight?” it reads. I’m pleasantly surprised to be contacted by a booker at a club I’ve been wanting to perform at for a while, and take the spot at the new club, showing up an hour early to hang with the other comics.
When I arrived, a woman in the front of the club I’d never met or seen before caught my eye, and I noticed myself getting really tense for some reason.
About 15 minutes after I entered the green room, the woman who had made such an impression on me walked in. My friend Kate exclaimed, “Rosebud! Have you met Lucy*? She’s a medium!”
With the anniversary of Graeme’s death on my mind, I wanted to test out Lucy’s skills. Lucy told me she needed to see a picture of an object that reminded me of Graeme, and without saying anything, I started to google a picture of a dragonfly. This is the symbol my family chose as a reminder of Graeme after her death, although she really liked 7-11 Slurpees, and I still think that would’ve been a better symbol.
I looked up at Lucy to hand over the photo, but the second we made eye contact, she cut me off. “Ohhhhkay, I’m actually getting something,” she said, her eyes welling. Then, throwing both her hands to her breast bone, she told me, “I’m feeling a lot of pressure on my chest” (the feeling of drowning) and she doubled over. Lucy was fully sobbing in the green room of the comedy club. The irony wasn’t lost on me.
Lucy went on, “I’m getting the image of two peas in a pod…that usually means siblings” and continued, “I’m getting two numbers, fourteen and fifteen.” 14 was the number of years since my sister died, and 15 was the day of the month that she passed away. Then Lucy told me she smelled chlorine, and started to cry again, as she told me all the details of how Graeme died, how old Graeme was, how scared she was before her death, and how she’s OK now and wants me to know she’s with me all the time.
In the 14 years since she died, I had never even thought of speaking to a medium about Graeme’s death. However, in the weeks leading up to that night, I had been seeing the number 11:11 a lot; on receipts, broken clocks, license plates, addresses, parking meters. I had woken up at 11:11 several days in a row (in spite of my alarm clock being set for 10:00 am) when I finally decided to Google what it meant. I came across an article that explained seeing 11/11 means “Your spirit guides are trying to make contact with you.”
At the time, I had pinned my awareness of the 11/11 conspiracy on my friendship with Kate and all her talk about “universal signs,” but sitting in this green room with Lucy, a poster above her head caught my eye. It read, “New York Comedy Festival” and underneath it, in big blue letters: “11/11.” I felt a kind of shockwave down the back of my neck.
“She’s right behind you,” said Lucy, “She’s got your back.”
When all this was over, I thought about recounting the story to my family and thought of how many of them would think I was messing with them, or call me an idiot for believing someone who “talks to dead people.” I tried to think of how I could defend myself without being laughed at.
Then I had a revelatory thought. Regardless of how I had received the information, my family didn’t need to believe in mediums, or miracles, or even ghosts to be able to hear that my sister Graeme is no longer afraid and that she is with us everyday.
The next day, Father’s Day, I called my Dad to tell him what happened. Graeme had died on Father’s Day in 2002, and I just felt it was important to communicate the information I had received. I was so excited to tell him everything that I left the whole story on his voicemail. Apparently, he was too astounded to even call me back, because it’s almost August, and my Dad still won’t talk to me.
It’s cool though. I talk to ghosts now. I’m never alone.
*Lucy’s name has been changed to protect her anonymity and to avoid my burning at the stake.