Read the series from the beginning.

Wednesday 25 October 2006 started out like any other work day. In fact, most of the day had flown by and the digital clock on my desk told me that it would soon be time to pack up and go home. Like most workers, I didn’t want any complications coming in at this late stage of the day.

The phone rang. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next!

“Hello, Karen,” the chirpy voice said. I recognised the voice straight away. I had spoken to the woman for six years on the phone, but I knew nothing about her personally, except her first name. She knew as little about me. When we talked, it was business only. We had never had a personal conversation. Not once.

The woman asked me about a job and I said I’d phone her back with the information.

Minutes later I dialled her number, she answered and when I told her who I was, she hesitated for a split second and then said, “I don’t care about the job. I need to talk to you about something important. I don’t know why, but I feel the need to talk to you about something I experienced a few days ago.”

Immediately, I felt uncomfortable. Where was this leading?

Her voice was extremely high, as if she was scared, confused, and nervous. She began talking about a visit to a friend’s place about four weeks ago. I couldn’t figure out why she was telling me this information, but I listened.

Her voice continued to rise in pitch and speed. I had the impression she needed to say what was on her mind before she could chicken out.

She told me that a friend had invited her over for a chat. When she got there, she discovered she wasn’t the only person to be invited. There were half a dozen other people. Chairs had been placed in a semi circle, with another chair in the “head” position. The guests were asked to take a seat after being introduced to a stranger – a medium. The medium held a session. She relayed messages from people who had passed over to the people sitting in the room.

Listening to her words, I became tense. My temperature rose. I couldn’t talk. The woman continued in her hurried voice, probably not even noticing the silence on my end of the phone.

She told me that the medium gave her a message from her brother to give to her mother. Her brother had passed away 30 years beforehand and he wanted his mother to know that he was alright, amongst other things.

She told me about another message that another son wanted passed on to his mother – something about “an old soul in a young body” and “lessons to be learned”.

Meanwhile, the hand clutching the phone to my ear hurt from the pressure. My body trembled with fear. Why was this woman, a complete stranger, telling me all this?

The woman continued talking. Her words filtered through my confused mind. I no longer remembered that I sat at my desk in my office.

The woman said that whilst she sat listening to the medium giving out messages, her own throat restricted. She couldn’t breath. She said she couldn’t understand what was happening. None of the others noticed her struggles. The constriction around her throat grew tighter and tighter…and then the medium ended the session and the woman’s throat opened and air filled her lungs.

Without hesitating, the woman continued to tell me about a guest at the sitting who openly cried because he didn’t receive a message from his mother, who had recently died from cancer. The medium had gently told him that his mother couldn’t send him a message until he was able to cope with receiving it.

“I don’t know why I’m telling you this, Karen,” she went on, “but the need is strong within me.”

By now my body shook. Sweat gathered between my shoulder blades. My head throbbed.

But she hadn’t finished.

“Karen, on Sunday evening, I had that same thing happen again,” she told me. “My throat closed, stopping the air. It was scary. I haven’t slept since and I haven’t stopped thinking about you. I don’t know why.”

How strange, neither had I (slept, I mean). I didn’t say the words, but she knew. “You haven’t been sleeping, have you?”

I had to force a reply out of my mouth. It was difficult and my voice sounded raspy. “No.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“Just things on my mind,” I replied.


“I know I sound crazy. I wish I knew why I had to tell you this,” she said.

So did I.

A few minutes later we said goodbye and hung up.

I then had a mild panic attack. I tried to return to work, but I couldn’t write. My hand refused to form the letters. My mind was in a complete state of chaos. Ten minutes later, I was more than a little pleased to leave the office and rush home…to safety!

I burst into tears as soon as I walked into the house.

The woman on the phone knows my first name only. She doesn’t know anything else about me, including the loss of Barry to suicide. I, and she, have no idea why she felt compelled to contact me or why she had that choking sensation. Even now she doesn’t know about Barry, because I was unable to tell her. We have no idea why any of this happened. Is there a reason? Is Barry trying to get a message through to me? Maybe I’m just a desperate mother grasping at straws, reading into something that really isn’t there? Are the events coincidental? Will anything come of this in the future?

This is another occurrence that cannot be explained. It left me in a total state of shock, but that shock turned to hope. The woman’s words “a message cannot be sent through until the person grieving is healed enough to cope with receiving it” still rings in my ears.

As for my questions…I guess I’ll have to wait and see, because only time will tell what the future has in store for me.