Connection to Heaven
(written by Berit Ertmann and Lars Sejr)
”I would like to know if my Grandfather has ”come through”.
Behind a couple of now, very swollen red eyes, a young woman is trying to blink away the tears in her eyes, while looking at the woman in front of her. For over an hour, she sits like that. In almost the same position, on the edge of a white chair, where she has listened to words from deceased relatives, that she hasn’t spoken to for a very long time. They have all passed away. Today, however, they are back to tell the young woman, Linda, things they didn’t get the chance to say in life.
I am sitting like Linda, precisely the same way, when I sat down tat my observation post, to observe the sitting. I have seen Linda cry, and seen her bite her teeth together, and seen her grasping for air, when facts where laid on the table, which touched her deeply.
A few days ago, I would never had thought I would have been sitting here as the most natural thing in the world, listening without any doubts, that there are spirits talking to Annette. I can’t see that Linda is sceptical anymore either.
“Yes, he is here.”
A few seconds later, he is talking to Linda.
Grandmother is stiffly staring out the window and no one is in doubt as to her opinion.
“Just so you know. One of the mentally ill at Montebello once became insane after seeing someone like that. So I don’t think you should do it.”
Linda has tried this before. Half of her childhood was spent with her Grandmother and Grandfather. That’s why it is only natural she wants to include her other Grandmother in the meeting with the psychic. A message the older woman isn’t pleased to hear.
“But Grandma, then it’s good that I made the decision myself.”
“Yes, yes, but I still think you should consider it.”
Linda’s relationship to her Grandma is closer than most. Her parents were only 23 and 21 years old when she was born, and weren’t at all ready for the responsibility of being parents. They used their time to party. All he time. Linda’s mother jokes about the fact that Linda can always sleep. No matter what. The loud parties have had their affect, she feels. That’s why her grandparents helped raise the now 21 year old young woman.
Her grandfather was a loving man, who took care of her like his own. She still remembers the time he picked her up at day care. The sky was pink, the sun was nice and there were small, white clouds that made the scene idyllic.
The little girl was impressed by the beautiful sight. The awesomeness of it all took new heights, when he told her, that he was the one who made heaven so beautiful. Just for her.
Grandmother has always been a strong woman who knew what she wanted. She has always been extra good to Linda, since she was the oldest child and therefore the favourite. When she was young, she just had to say what she wanted for breakfast and she got it. Together with fish oil and vitamin pills and ofcourse a glass of juice.
She can be just as mild and generous as she can be tough as nails. She is stubborn and always wants things her way. But not this time, Linda is thinking, and quickly changes the subject of the conversation.
The day after, Linda again visits the house in Elsinore. She loves to visit her Grandmother and thinks back at that time with joy. How she slept between her Grandmother and Grandfather until she was 13, and her Grandfather died of colon cancer. He was a good man.
Even though it has been eight years since his death, she still has a t-shirt of his in her room. The blue t-shirt from Lipton Elevators is being kept in a bag in a box, so his characteristic smell is retained.
Linda barely comes through Grandma’s door, when she is asked:
“So, have you decided?”
She looks astonished at Grandma. It is still early morning and Linda is too tired to ponder what the older woman is implying.
Then they sat down in the metal chairs in the kitchen. As usual, Grandma lights a cigarette and an ashtray with a thimble in the middle, decorates the white table in front of them.
“Decided what, Grandma?”
“Well, if you are going to that hokus pokus.”
“Yes I am. I am using it as an experience.”
“Well, then it’s your own fault, if your head goes crazy.”
The cigarette goes straight into the thimble and she crosses her arms. It has always been an advantage for Linda, that she was the oldest child in the family, that other than a 5 year younger brother, include 3 cousins. Because even though Grandma can be tough, she can’t keep the façade very long in front of Linda.
“When are you going there?”
“At 4 o’clock,” she replies, even though the sitting is at 2 pm. Linda is well aware, that she will try and call to get her to change her mind about going. But she has made up her mind. When the day is over, she will have been to the psychic. If it gives her the chance to meet her Grandfather just one last time, there is no one who can stop her.
Annette Edel pulls the curtains with a firm hand, that are hanging in the basement rooms biggest window and chokes the last bit of sunlight that had shined into the room. Nothing is to indicate what the world looks like outside.
The nearly 20m2 big basement room is in Annette Edel’s home on a small residential street in Lyngby. There isn’t much traffic on the street beside the house, and with the curtains drawn, there aren’t many sensory impressions that kan reveal where in the world we are.
She quickly walks around and gets things ready, walking around in her worn, black Chinese slippers making a soft sound on the wooden floor, straightening the small things in the room. Everything has to look warm and inviting when Linda walks in the door within the next hour.
The narrow massage table that clients receive healing on, gets a stroke from her hand so the white blanket is smoothed out. 17 candles are lit and the room is instantly cosy and warm, which is a contrast to the grey weather outside. That isn’t something Annette Edel notices. She is in a world of her own and has closed herself into a concentration which she does every time before a sitting. The spirits are ready to be let in, but she doesn’t let them come yet. She has already had a few come “in over her”, as she puts it. It’s Linda’s deceased family. Annette knows that it isn’t just one, but several who wish to come through. She knows this, because she has been sitting in the spirit energy earlier and felt them trying to get through. They know that Linda is on her way, and one of the spirits has a very special message to convey. Annette has felt it. Sensed it. Yet she hasn’t received the message yet.
Annette knows nothing about Linda in advance. She doesn’t even know her name, she only knows that it is a woman. She doesn’t want to know anything.
Under half an hour before the sitting starts, everything in the room is ready. The computer that is to record everything on a CD-rom, is ready on the armrest of the soft chair that Linda and Annette will be sitting in. The thin Kleenex tissues are ready and in contrast to the white of the room, which is a Hanna Montana box, is placed on the side Linda will be sitting. People often have a need for them, when they experience a strong contact from the spirit world. In most cases, anyway.
The candles flames waves gently when Annette gets up and goes upstairs to the kitchen, which is on the main floor of the house. 3 minutes later she comes back with a pitcher of water with lemon slices in it. She pours the water into 2 big glasses, placing them on the table, sits back and waits. She blends in with her thin, white tunica to the chair, if it wasn’t for her big, dark brown, almost black hair, that flows over the back of the big white chair. Ebony and ivory. She is ready now. She doesn’t know what will happen the next hour and a half. If she did know, she wouldn’t tell anyone. It is now ten minutes to two. Linda is on her way. Outside, a lonesome car drives by. On the other side, the spirit world is ready.
They are sitting about a meter and a half apart, on each side of the square, white table. Both sitting on the edge of the chairs. There is a relaxing mood in the air and a pleasant warmth from the candle lit room. And yet there is a kind of waiting tension in the air. An expectation. I look towards the lights that are by my observation post on the other side of the room and am almost expecting someone or something to blow them out. That’s at least
the way spirits to it in movies, so I have seen. My thoughts go back to when I first met Annette, where I was standing exactly the same place as I am sitting now, and felt something cold creeping up my leg, so the hairs on my neck stood on end. Maybe it was just a draft. Maybe it was just my imagination. Maybe I just wanted to believe there was something else in the room, that wasn’t of this world. But when Annette told me before I left, that there had been spirits in the room, I had a strange feeling of experiencing something supernatural. Not convincing. Just something that tells a small voice in my head to think: is this really true..?
Annette’s voice suddenly brings me back to this Friday afternoon. It is now it is going to happen. It must be Linda’s tension that is felt in the air. She is sitting straight up with her feet flat on the floor, like a little school girl, and her hands folded together. She is looking straight at Annette, who is speaking quickly and with large hand gestures and ready to let the spirits in.
“What I see is now is, a woman coming from the other side.”
Annette looks at the floor towards her right. She has a far away look in her eyes. Linda is sitting almost petrified, and looks intensely at the psychic across from her, who continues her quick speech.
“I have the feeling of being sick. Do you understand that? It’s as if I can’t breathe. I have the feeling of being on your Mothers side. Do you understand the meaning of being sick?”
Linda barely gets to say anything, before Annette continues almost breathless with more information.
“She shows me a picture of your childhood. I have the feeling she has followed you through your life. Now you have to see…”
It is soon realized that it is Linda’s grandmother on her Mothers side that has come through. The details fit in any case. Linda confirms with a quick yes, when Annette has said something correct. She actually doesn’t miss. Her hands are still resting between her thighs, the water on the table is untouched, and the way she has been sitting is almost static, like a statue, since Annette started talking with the spirits.
“… and she smiles and says, it took me too long to die.”
A loud sob passes Linda’s lips, and the stone face changes to advantage of tears that are running down her cheeks. She reaches the short way to the Kleenex box, pulls a single white tissue and dries the tears under hers. An outsider would think that it was the love for the grandmother that touched Linda, when the psychic gave the message. In fact, she is sitting with a bitter taste in her mouth and the feeling of resentfulness of being forced to talk to her Grandmother.
“Even from the other side, she is forcing herself on us,” are one of the thoughts that are running through her head.
Annette takes a deep breath and holds it a bit, before she exhales quickly and with a little nod, before she tells Linda what she is already thinking.
“There were some things around her… there were some unsaid words that weren’t said when she was alive. What you have to know is, she has no grudges. Now you have to see… I have this feeling of needing to be forgiven.”
At this time, Linda’s tears have already dried away.
When I first came into contact with Linda, I soon became aware of a young woman who has experienced a lot.
Just like there a lot of good memories on her Fathers side, with the Grandfather and Grandmother that took care of her, and let her grow up with them, just as bad are the memories on her Mothers side. Her Grandmother (on Mothers side) always took her cousins side, instead of her and her brother. And when her Grandmother was on her deathbed, asking for forgiveness, Linda refused to give it to her. The hate was simply too great.
Her Grandmother was always the cause of a lot of drama in the family. She didn’t want Linda’s Mom and Dad to be together, and tried constantly to ruin the relationship. She had expected the daughter to get married to a bank manager, but she got a lorry driver instead.
Linda sits in her flat in Elsinore and tells openly about her past. About how 11 family members had died in her lifetime. And how dismayed she is over the betrayal from her Grandmother.
“My Grandmother is a mean woman to put it mildly. When she died, only my aunt (Mothers sister) was there to hold her hand. I had discontinued all contact with her and my Mother was unfriendly with her for a long period of time.”
Linda keeps chatting. Her mouth doesn’t keep still, and like the rest of the family, she is used to talking about death. You quickly get a hard shell, she believes, and she comes with an example of how her Grandmother kept a distance to her and her brother.
“The day before Christmas Eve, we were at my aunts. I remember my brother and I were to receive gifts from my Grandmother. Christoffer and I got kr.100 each in an envelope, but my cousin got a Babyborn and my other cousin got a race track. We sat there with a crooked smile. That’s when I said I didn’t want to see her anymore.”
Since then she hasn’t talked to her Grandmother, who died the summer before last. That’s why it irritates Linda that the subject is about her Grandmother. She would rather talk about other family members that deserve it. Like her Grandfather on her Fathers side.
If anyone, he stands as a symbol of the good in her childhood. Even though she has a natural scepticism about clairvoyance, she hopes to get contact with the man who functioned as a father to her.
When we sit in the car and drive off towards Lyngby, she gets to say one more sentence that gives no doubt that there is still hate is still strong in the strong young woman.
“Someone other than my Grandmother has to come. Everyone else.”
The disappointment of her Grandmother coming through is enormous. Linda is raging inside, while the tears are rolling down her cheeks. She is simply so mad, that her Grandmother has stolen so much attention. Especially on this day, which should have been Linda’s. Not her Grandmothers.
She takes another Kleenex tissue and dries her eyes. Now that she has come through anyway, she wants to hear what she has to say.
“I can see that you have grown up. And I see something about your confirmation. What’s this about your confirmation? She keeps referring to your confirmation. There are some things about your confirmation.”
Annette is left with a dismayed expression, while she is looking straight forward. Usually she is good at interpreting the spirits symbols, but this she can’t get to fit.
“Yes, she wasn’t invited. I didn’t want her to attend,” she replied.
The tears keep rolling down her cheeks while Annette continues speaking quickly. The message from her Grandmother is straight forward. She is not mad. She loves Linda and asks for her forgiveness for the way she acted when she was alive.
“The last while, put a lot of things into perspective for her and she regretted a lot of things. She was resentful, because there were a lot of things in her life that didn’t turn out for her. This affected others. I have the feeling of being lonely,” continues Annette.
I am sitting at my observation post, and my smile becomes more and more crooked. The feeling of actual contact with the deceased Grandmother, is flowing through my body. No more than 2 hours earlier, Linda was sitting in her flat in Elsinore telling me about how she had denied her Grandmother forgiveness on her deathbed. Even when she had tried to apologize to Linda.
The trend continues, while Annette continues. And again and again, Linda and I have to declare, that we had talked about precisely the same things Annette is telling her.
After getting everything right for an hour, she asks Linda, if there is anyone else that she wants to talk to. According to Annette, there is a queue of spirits lined up, and Linda thinks about all the family members she has lost. Yet there is one who is more important than the rest. Her Grandfather on her Fathers side. And finally, the old man who died of colon cancer eight years earlier, gets through.
“When I feel him, I want to go to my stomach. I get the sense of being ill in the stomach. Funny, I also keep seeing a ball. Was he a soccer player in his youth?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Ok. Well, is your Father a soccer player?”
“Yes, he plays soccer and still does.” “Ok, good. That’s what I didn’t understand correctly. What I sense about your Grandfather is, when he comes here, is something about a rifle.” “My Dad is a hunter…” The tears are rolling down her cheeks. It is no longer because of rage about her Grandmother. Her Grandfather has just proved to her that he is from her Fathers side. Inside Linda’s body, her heart is pounding fast while she is listening to the last minutes of Annette’s sitting. “He says likes food a lot.” “He did.” “I have the feeling of a lively man. Now he is showing me a big bowl of strawberries with cream.” The words hit Linda like a hammer on the head of a nail. She totally loses her breath for a second, and as I sit watching her, I can clearly see that she is shocked. Her eyes are bright red and her mouth slightly open. “That was his favourite dish.” ***** It is over an hour since the sitting ended and in Linda’s home in her flat in Elsinore, we are both taking status of the experience of the day. The CD with the hour long sitting is being listened to, and slowly the information is falling into place. “I simply can’t get passed the part about the strawberries and cream. That was very extreme.” The conclusion is obvious; Annette must have had contact with a deceased family member. The scepsism is still lurking on the back of their minds. Because if you are rational, things like that couldn’t happen. Talking to ghosts. But it has been a rough experience for Linda, and the first question is obvious:
“While you are sitting and listening to her, what are you thinking? Do you believe her?”
“All in all, I am very critical, so if she made just one mistake in the beginning, I would have shut down and not believed her the rest of the time.”
Linda is close to being convinced. The details of her Grandmother and Grandfather were so significant that it almost seems impossible for Annette to be correct so often.
A short while later, one of the last pieces start to fall into place. Annette mentioned a ring with a stone or something, which belonged to Linda’s Grandmother when she was alive and which should apparently be in a little black box.
“She wanted you to have it,” Annette had said when she had connection with the Grandmother.
But Linda has never seen any of her Grandmothers jewellery after she died, and as far as she can remember, she had a large, white jewellery box, not black.
The apparent mistake in Annette’s vision, she asks her Mother’s sister about, when she calls to tell her about the sitting of the day.
“She deeply regrets that we didn’t get any of her jewellery. Apparently there is a ring in a black box that she wanted me to have, but we never got any of that, did we?”
The aunt doesn’t have to think long for an answer. She knows what Linda is talking about.
“Grandma actually had a gold ring with a white pearl.”
“And it didn’t fit her. It was just lying in the jewellery box. It didn’t fit either her or me. So it sounds right that she wanted you to have it.”
Linda is obviously very shocked that this was also correct. She sits a few minutes with the phone in her hand, and can’t help but ask what kind of jewellery box the pearl ring is in. The answer was almost known in advance:
“It’s in a little black box.”