Proof positive

If ever I have a minor doubt about which way to tread some event usually unfolds for me to face it. One such occasion was the use of disclosure in the right circumstances.

One of my other hats was working as a volunteer counsellor for a  bereavement charity. Occasionally we are required to make home visits if our clients have transport or health problems. Sometimes they maybe just so distressed they do not want to leave the safety of their home. On this occasion it was a mobility issue. Names have been changed for confidentiality though this particular incident was about 12 yrs. ago. I remember it very well because of what transpired.

There is always a very minor risk when a man visits a woman in her own home. Unfortunately there was no friend of Jane who could be with her. She was pleading and desperate for a visit so off I went with a feeling all will be fine because it generally is.

Jane opened the door and welcomed me in to the lounge where we sat opposite one another. She was in her mid seventies and obviously had some trouble walking. The heating was on full tilt, so I suspected it was because she sat in her armchair most of the time. Jane was obviously very distressed and did not mention her ills and ails. She was a nice lady who was desperately sad and missed her husband John. It was clear they had been very close. She talked about feeling lost and that money was a bit tight. She was particularly annoyed with herself that she had misplaced her husbands gold watch, which she wanted to sell.

Often I would see clients guides, projected images and feelings but I would concentrate on what they were saying and reflect or challenge accordingly – after all I had working and ethical parameters to stick with. I might use the images as prompts but not generally ‘open them up’ or talk to their guides which would be done by concentrating on them a little more.

On this occasion it was rather different I gradually became aware of a man standing to my right. He was very eager to get my attention so eventually I part focused on him. Whilst doing this I was still trying to maintain a conversation with Jane after all I was there for her and I needed to listen to what she was saying.

It was clear this man was John; he kept interjecting and made it plain he wanted me to tell Jane that he was here. I’m not sure if Jane could see that my concentration was not fully with her. Through my thoughts I tried to explain to John what the purpose of counselling was how we are trained to listen, work with feelings and respond accordingly.

This didn’t go down well at all “you don’t know what she wants”. So I tried to explain that counselling would show what she wanted. “Yes” said John “but can you give her what she wants?”-“ Tell her I am here”.

“And you know what she wants? I replied, “Yes she wants to know I am here – you know how these things work I’ve been in contact with the higher levels of her”

Well I couldn’t really argue with that, Jane was giving her permission at that level as well as stating her need. I had no reason to distrust John but I thought I have to be gentle about this – I can’t just come out and say it. So I started with “Jane sometimes I get feelings and images when I talk with people” That wasn’t untrue because things were beginning to buzz around her.

Jane was calm and found it interesting, and she wanted to know more. Unbeknown to her she was projecting an image of a man on a ladder cleaning out the gutters on her bungalow, it was John of course. Gently I said, “ I get an impression of a man cleaning gutters on your bungalow”

She went quiet for a little while and then said “I tried to stop him he was always so stubborn and willful I am sure that’s what led to his heart attack – I haven’t mentioned that to anyone else and I should have done more.” That last comment contained a little guilt and would have required me to reflect this to her but this was not the time for that kind of counselling.

John was becoming more insistent, so I asked Jane what she thought of the possibilities of contact from the deceased.

“I’ve heard about it, some say its true but you never really know do you”

John says very loudly to me “tell her she broke a hand mirror this morning and the gold watch has fallen behind the chest of draws in the bedroom”

With out beating around the bush I gradually explained that John was here and what he had told me. When I had done this he faded away.

Well it seemed Jane could be quite sprightly when she wanted to be. No sooner had I finished than she shot into her bedroom like an Olympian athlete. Shortly returning triumphantly holding aloft the mirror and the watch.

We talked for a little bit longer but it became plain there wasn’t much more to be said. As I was leaving by the main door I asked if she wanted to have another visit.

“No dear not at all, I am fine now the only thing I ever wanted was to know he was alive and well- thank you so much” Before I knew it she had clasped her arms around me in an unusually tight grip and smudged her tears on my jacket.

And that was that I was back in the car thinking well that doesn’t happen every day. Jane had what she needed and for me, well let’s say I was having doubts about what I should say and when. Yes there were times when it would be completely inappropriate to say what is seen. But sometimes for healing the normal guidelines of an organisation can be stretched a little to suit the circumstances. To say things just the way they are.