When the signs started showing up on neighbors’ lawns congratulating their high school graduates in late spring, I braced for one of the moments I’d been dreading all year. My oldest son Ravi is and will always be part of the Cherry Hill East Class of 2022, but attending the ceremony I looked forward to for so long was not in the cards. It would have been too painful to watch his friends and classmates symbolically move on to the next stage in life. Ravi died in a car accident during his junior year – forever frozen at age 17.

Of the many lifecycle events that I had to get through last year, graduation was top of the list. Knowing that it would be a difficult day, I made plans to connect to Ravi the best way I know. That’s with the help of Nadine, a psychic/medium I met earlier this year – I like to think through Ravi – who has been a huge source of comfort to me. And like the 2 other times Nadine has done a “spirit reading” for me, I came away feeling uplifted. Through this cosmic connection, I am able to believe that Ravi is well cared for, that he is well aware of what’s happening in our lives and possibly more involved than could logically be explained.

I scheduled the online reading to happen at the same time as my son’s classmates and their family were gathered at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Right off the bat, Ravi let me know he was aware of that. “He says that so many people are talking about him,” Nadine told me.

“He says he feels like he is really there with everyone, and it is all so happy.”

That gave me chills. I knew that my friend Jen Fleisher, a member of the school board whose son is in Ravi’s class, was on the podium at that very moment. Before the ceremony, she had offered to bring something of Ravi’s with her. I gratefully gave her his driver’s license and sophomore year school ID card to hold during graduation. I knew she would be announcing the names of 2 seniors who had been selected for scholarships the class had created in his memory. Our family had helped them come up with the criteria: role-model students who embody the qualities of kindness, enthusiasm and inclusivity, as well as a love and passion for learning.

Ravi told Nadine that he loved the idea of the scholarship and considered the winners worthy choices. “He’s like, thanks for that,” she wrote.

Next, Nadine told me that Ravi was showing her roses and asked me if I knew what that was about. Although my firstborn son was always affectionate – he composed love poems for my birthday and Mother’s Day, told me that he loved me and hugged me every single day – I can’t recall him ever giving me flowers. It seemed out of character. I told Nadine that, but Ravi insisted.

“There’s all these red roses he keeps showing me,” she said. “And he’s handing them to you. He says you’ll see them.”

Like any normal conversation, we moved on to other topics. Ravi could tell I was progressing through my understanding of love (it is an unbreakable bond), life and death. He was so happy that his younger brothers Lee and Cary were having fun playing all the sports that he enjoyed so much – hockey, basketball and soccer. He remarked how proud he was that Cary, the youngest, received an award at his 8th grade graduation for resilience in the face of personal tragedy. Ravi still worried about his father, imploring me to be patient with him. For his 19th birthday, he asked that we gather at his gravestone for cake, to tell stories and laugh.

A lifetime ago, I would have been more skeptical of spiritual readings. As a journalist who deals in provable facts, I was skeptical that the living could communicate with the dead – as intriguing and comforting as the idea was. Although not strictly prohibited by my religion, working with mediums is certainly not encouraged. Besides, I never felt the need. I have always found rituals surrounding death meaningful and they have helped me grieve my father and other friends and loved ones who have passed on over the years. But Ravi’s death was very different, so shocking and of course unexpected – we didn’t get to say goodbye in the normal sense. So I was open when a friend told me about her experiences with spiritual mediums. And through her I met Nadine. As this friend tells it, she was describing Ravi to Nadine when Ravi came through. “Nadine asked: is Ravi tall and thin with sandyish-colored hair that’s a little floppy? Because he is standing here and wants me to talk to his mom.” Nadine didn’t ask for money. She said Ravi’s beautiful soul reminded her of her own son.

The idea that he found this way to reach out to me is just so incredibly comforting. And while I am well aware that there’s no earthly way to prove these conversations are real, that doesn’t mean they’re not true. Since Ravi’s death, I have opened my mind to ideas that didn’t fit my worldview in the before-world.

The spiritual reading lasted about an hour. When I snapped my computer shut, I was in a way better place emotionally. I had turned notifications off my phone beforehand and was greeted with a flood of texts – so many parents of Ravi’s classmates and some of his friends reached out to tell me how moved they were by the way Ravi was part of the graduation. A text from Jen Fleisher was in the mix. Hers included a photo of Ravi’s ID cards on top of an East diploma. Next to the IDs … a red rose.

That was the last time I connected with Nadine, but I’m sure there will be more. When I’m overcome with sadness, my impulse is usually to reach out to her. But that happens a lot and I have resisted so far. Something I know to be true is that I have to trust that the Ravi voice I hear in my head is really him. I’ve often heard that grief is not linear, and that’s definitely been my experience. Still, it’s sometimes enough just knowing that Nadine is part of my large network of caring people who are helping me and my family heal.

November 2022
Related Articles
Comments

Leave a Reply

Advertisement
The-Issue-is-Here-820-×-455-px-Instagram-Post-Square-600-×-500-px_600x500_acf_cropped
The Battle Against Blight Continues | THE GOAL IS TO BECOME A GARDENER

Get SJ Mag in Your Inbox

Subscribe for the latest on South Jersey dining, weekend entertainment, the Shore and much more - sent directly to your inbox.

* indicates required
Email Format
WATCH NOW: It's A South Jersey Summer
Advertisement