Coming from a big family with my mother being the youngest of seven, I am no stranger to death. It is to be expected that those that come before you may leave before you would like them to. In some more traumatizing cases, those much younger than us depart this world before it seems they were even given a chance and such is life.
My Uncle Carlo was like a father to me. My biological father abandoned us when my brother and I were at the ripe old age of four and five. He had fallen in love with his “business partner” which started a dysfunctional few years of familial fighting that would permanently scar us. He wouldn’t completely disappear from our lives until four years later but our world as we knew it was officially devastated.
One shining day we stood in the garden with our uncle. My brother and I had been crying so much it seemed as though it would never end. At four and five years old, there is no way to intellectualize what has just happened to you. All you know is that your father doesn’t love you … he must not … or why else would he leave you?
As we sat with Uncle Carlo in his garden that beautiful Spring day, we found ourselves overcome with sadness. Who is going to love us now? Before we knew what was happening we found ourselves asking him if we could call him daddy. Now according to my Aunt Mary, my uncle cried for days. He was heartbroken for us and of course he had said yes.
For years he treated us like his own. In his company we never felt abandoned, lost, misunderstood or abused. We would go on hikes in the woods, play golf, ride the tractor or help him make wine in the basement. He would tell us stories of the war in Italy and how he escaped the Nazi’s. He made funny faces at us when our aunt yelled at us and was always amused by our shenanigans. At night while watching TV he wold announce it was time to have a party. Oreo Cookies and Chocolate Entenmanns Donuts with a glass of milk would appear before us. We would stay at their house for weeks. It always smelled like wood burning even in the Summer. It was the best time of our emotionally fragile lives.
Because of Uncle Carlo, Oreo cookies remain my favorite and the smell of wood burning brings me immediate comfort. He was like a father to us, and would often refer to himself as our “second father.”
So it would come as no surprise that in 2009 when the Universe took him home, I was devastated. I kept thinking that there was so much left for me to do and he wasn’t going to be there for any of it. My heart was broken. It’s a funny thing about a broken heart. Nothing can ever really heal it. It can come back together, but it will never truly be the same.
Naturally I wanted to speak with him again. Being the psychic junkie that I am, I did some research. I couldn’t talk to just anyone. I finally found a Medium on Long Island named Glenn Dove. I had heard great things about him and wasted no time at all in setting up an appointment.
When the date finally arrived, my best friend came along with me. As we raced out of the Midtown Tunnel I had a nagging thought. I turned to Stephie and said, “I have a lot of dead relatives and I love them all but I really only want to speak with him today.”
Stephie nodded. “Well hopefully, he will come through.” she said. She was very supportive of this adventure, making it all the more comforting.
When we finally sat down across from Glenn I couldn’t help but feel nervous. What if he doesn’t come through? What if everything this guy tells me is complete crap? I’d had so many bullshit readings I was a bit jaded. Glenn smiled and gestured for me to sit. He took out a tape recorder and prepared to record our reading.
“Are you ready to begin?” he asked.
“Absolutely.” I said.
Glenn began writing on a piece of paper. He looked up for a moment.
“Your father is on this earth?” he asked.
“Okay then it must be a grandfather … no, no. He’s holding up his hand to me and showing me the number two. He’s saying second father. He says he was your second father.”
I was speechless. There was no way this guy could have known that we referred to my uncle as a second father. I just nodded. “That’s my uncle.”
Glenn continued, “There are a lot of relatives around you right now but he pushed forward to the front because he says you are expecting him.”
The tears poured out of my like a faucet. They just kept dropping to the ground like emotional goo. I couldn’t believe it. There’s no way he could have heard me.
Glenn paused for a moment, then smiled. “Have you reached a milestone? Like a birthday or something?
“Yes. I just turned thirty two days ago.”
“Your relatives are celebrating. They are throwing roses. There are roses all around you. It’s really quite beautiful.”
For the next hour Glenn gave me one of the best readings I had ever had. More of my relatives came through and he got them all BY NAME. These are not common names so I was certainly impressed. Before I left I asked him one final question; “If or when I ever get married. Do you think my uncle will be there?”
Glenn didn’t hesitate. “Absolutely.”
“But what if he forgets, or is busy? It might be a while before that happens and then I might not even know he was there at all.” I rambled on like a bumbling baby.
Glenn paused for a moment. “He said he will be standing right beside you. He will be sure to make it known he is there. That’s a promise.” Then he added, “Your uncle says he knows that you miss him, but you have important work to do here. He doesn’t want you to obsess about the loss of his life … he wants you to live yours.”
“Thank you so very much.” I said as I got up to leave. I felt such comfort in knowing that my uncle was not gone. The reading had left me with a sense of peace that I hadn’t had in months since his death.
I was married in 2014. A good friend of mine *Ann who is highly intuitive was at my wedding. She kept telling me that there was a man standing next to me when I was taking my vows. “He is so handsome. He just kept smiling. Do you know who he is?”
I was so overwhelmed that day I couldn’t think straight. “No. These places are always haunted. It could have been anyone.” I somewhat dismissed her leading her toward the cocktails. “Why would some random ghost be smiling at your wedding?” Ann insisted.
“I don’t know.” I said. “We are all one on the other side.” Ann rolled her eyes. I handed her one of our signature cocktails and made my way back to the party.
Twenty minutes later I found Ann standing in front of the memorial table I had erected to honor mine and my husbands deceased relatives. Their photos were displayed in vintage gilded frames surrounded by white roses and pillar candles. There were so many pictures, there would be no way to tell which was which or whose side of the family they were from.
Ann was holding a picture to her heart. When she turned around to face me I saw that she was holding the picture of my Uncle Carlo.
She didn’t have to say it. I knew it was him that she saw. We stood there and hugged for a good long time. My make-up streamed down my face leaving lines of tears inked into my skin.
I knew that the final prophecy from my reading with Glenn Dove had come true. My uncle had attended my wedding, and although I myself couldn’t see him, he had fulfilled his promise; a promise made from another dimension all those years ago.
While we may miss our loved ones here on Earth in the physical form, they are never truly gone. They are always with us. I don’t know for certain if there is an afterlife. But I do know for sure that there is life after death. And maybe the purpose of it all, is just to live.