Just Tell Me What You Want

I Hired a Medium to Talk to the Dead

Chuck Mall
Aug 25, 2016 · 4 min read
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About a month after my son Max passed away, I had a reading from a medium. This woman is well-known among those who have lost children. No, it’s not the Long Island Medium. This person is not on TV. My neighbor, acquainted with her, emailed her. The medium, several states away, agreed to do a phone reading within a few days.


1. You pay for it.

2. You can be “read” via phone.

3. Why does a stranger have the ability to contact your deceased child when you were the parent? Aka the Can’t-He-Come-Straight-to-Me? syndrome.


You are so desperate, and you have been dealt such a hard, horrible blow in life, you are pretty much entitled to do whatever the hell you want to do, within the boundaries of the law, your own capabilities, and not hurting others.


Since I didn’t necessarily believe in mediums, and it’s against my religion, I called it an experiment. Kind of like buying a ticket to a movie you’re not sure you want to see. Only this was a $225 ticket.

I would not lead her on. I know how a medium can fake it:

Medium: “I see an elderly woman, someone who has pain…”

You: “That’s grandma! Yes, she had a lot of pain before she died.”

Medium: “She is showing me something in her lap, like some type of craft…”

You: “That’s her crocheting! She loved to crochet.”

And so on. Anyone with chicken nuggets for brains could do a reading that way.

Both Max and I are all over social media, so a lot of details are out there. I knew what the medium knew about me from the neighbor’s email, and reviewed what was on social media about us.


There were a few times when the medium said things like “he says he loves you,” or “he says, don’t worry, I’m in a better place.” That’s Medium 101. (I would like to know if a medium ever tells a client, “He’s frying in hell, so I’m having trouble getting a connection.”)

An older father figure “appeared” to tell me, “No father should ever go through what you had to go through.” She asked: “Your father or grandfather, perhaps?” Hmm. Pretty good guess. Someone who loses an adult son probably has at least one deceased grandfather.

She told me different numbers he was giving me. None of these numbers meant anything to me, but I wrote them down. The only result of that is my losing money on lottery tickets trying to arrange these digits to fit in Lotto, Mega Millions and Powerball games.


  1. After the reading, I felt more peaceful and in the present than ever, like I’d been meditating deeply for hours. I felt comfortably pushed into a state of mind that could only track my current feelings, not memories or anticipation. There was no desperation, longing, or optimism. I was just being.
  2. He wanted to prove it was him, the medium said. She told me, “I see a red or yellow car.” After a few seconds, she added, “He’s laughing, and says to ask you about the vanity plate.” My blood turned to cold mud. In the 1990s, I bought a new red van that the kids and their friends loved. No one else had a bright red van. The vanity plate had our cat’s name on it: TOONCES. That is nowhere on social media, and my neighbor (who’d originally emailed the medium) didn’t know it. I had met her three years ago when I moved to this neighborhood. We never talked about this car and plate, it was so long ago.
  3. The medium said, “You had a haircut in the last two or three days.” Yes, exactly two was right. That had been a bad day and I was thinking of Max strongly during the haircut. Had I “signaled” him some way with my grief? I hadn’t posted any mention of the haircut on social media.
  4. The medium kept talking about some metallic thing that Max’s Mom wore, or I wore, or his brother wore, and I kept thinking. But no, there was nothing. She insisted Max was telling me that the item was “like a dog tag.” And, she said excitedly, “He’s pointing to it, saying, ‘That’s me! That’s me!’”

That’s where I thought I had her in her fakery.

A couple of weeks later, Max’s girlfriend came to dinner. I hadn’t said a peep about the medium to her. She gave a key ring gift to me and my older son, and a necklace version to Joyce. She found a vendor on Etsy who could take a loved one’s handwriting (in this case, Max’s) and engrave it.

Here it is:

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Now what?

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