I went to Manhattan to see a very beloved Medium.
I dressed up. I felt like I was going on a date with my husband, Erik.
I knew from one previous experience that Mediums can’t just dial up the person you want to talk to. They open up and see who comes through. But Erik arrived right away.
At first, it was heart-achy. He just wanted to say I’m sorry and I love you and give me kisses. At one point I said, “You don’t need to apologize, I really understand.” And he said: “No! You need to hear me say I’m sorry!” And he listed all the things around his death and since and even leading up to it.
There was something so striking about how oomphy and Erik-y he was. At one point, he spoke of how proud he is of how I’ve engaged with his death and my grief and said, “You’re a fucking magnificent warrior woman and I don’t know how I got so lucky.” For those of you who know him, is that not classic Erik?
It was clear he is doing well.
I don’t know how the cosmos and reality work. But there was one part that blew my mind a bit and rearranged my notion of things.
The Medium said, “Your husband is incredibly touched that you wrapped him in a sheet before he was taken away.”
The Medium seemed a bit confused why this would be so moving.
But here’s the thing:
I didn’t do that in real life. I did it in the imaginal realm.
About a month after Erik died, I was overcome with regret and yearning. I wanted so badly to have been able to wash and prepare his body. I told this to a friend, who is a Death Priestess, and she said: It’s not too late in the imaginal realm.
And so we created a ceremony where, in my mind, I laid him out between us. I washed his body and anointed him with oils. The ceremony was long and I took the time to visualize and thank and lovingly prepare every part of him. Then I wrapped him in a sheet and sent him off on a Viking ship. In the last moment, just as the boat was disappearing, I suddenly saw him standing on the bow looking back at me. A little glimpse of him in full, vigorous form.
In that ceremony, I had a sense that I was remembering something miraculous:
When something is terribly wrong, you can make it right in the imaginal realm.
Erik’s death became a crime scene. When the police arrived I wasn’t allowed near his body.
Yet, after that ritual of imagination, I felt like something was put right in the fabric of things. I knew something had been made right for me, and I hoped something was made right for him.
I’ve tried to write the story of the imaginal realm many times. But I could never finish. And maybe it’s because the story wasn’t over. The end of the story is that Erik received it. And was touched.