This past weekend, I sprung for tickets to see “Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience” in Chicago. Most people know Theresa as the “Long Island Medium” from her popular TV show on TLC. A medium is someone who claims to be able to connect with the spirit world and relay messages from deceased individuals to their loved ones. They receive these messages in various forms, ranging from words to mental pictures or sensations. Since watching a few episodes of the Long Island Medium, I’ve been intrigued by the possibility that someone could reconnect me with my dad, if even for a moment. With suicide, there is little-to-no closure and lots of unanswered questions. I often contemplated whether or not someone would be able to tell me what my dad was thinking in those last minutes or if he has regrets or if he thought of us beforehand. I’m not convinced mediums really have the powers they say they do, even after seeing Theresa. But, I was intrigued by what I heard and observed during her experience.
One thing I wondered was how mediums relate to people who are religious. I worried that this might be considered witchcraft or something, but Theresa mentioned she’s a practicing Catholic who believes in God. She actually considers what she’s doing as God’s work, but I’ll let readers be the judge of that. Anyway, that took away some of my guilt. Theresa began her “performance” by explaining that she’s been able to receive messages from “Spirit” since she was four years old. She sees them in the form of filmstrips and visuals – and sometimes with voices. Many attendees in the audience brought mementos from their loved ones – myself included. This is because Theresa usually starts to read people by asking things like, “Who is wearing their mother’s watch today?” or “Someone lost a child [in X manner]?” and usually, someone within arm’s distance would shout, “It’s me!” That prompted Theresa to come closer to them and follow up with more specific messages she was receiving from their loved one(s). The individuals she read provided very little personal information about themselves or their situation. But, she followed through with many specific details. For example, “You have a tattoo with your mothers’ name, don’t you? She’s really honored by that.” Or, “Did your husband start juggling that change in his pocket after your dad died?” (to which a young woman replied, “Yes, but it’s sad because it reminds me of my dad.”) Theresa then let her know those were little signs being sent to her through her dad…
She made her way throughout the 3,000-person theater, asking these various probing questions and reading people. I was surprised that she did ask a lot about people who had taken their own life. In one instance, she read a young woman whose best childhood friend took his life. She explained that he wanted his friend to stop fixating on the way he died and instead remember his life, among other things. Theresa noted that this is very common among people who have died by suicide. She also said that he wanted his friend to stop feeling any sense of guilt about the death because there’s nothing anyone could have done. In fact, he communicated that everyone around him had done everything they possibly could to support him but that the pain was just too much. Even though the reading wasn’t about my situation, I guess I felt a sense of relief hearing this. Similarly, hearing that deceased parents did still “know” about major developments in their children’s’ lives and that all of our loved ones are still with us, but in a new form, helped too. This went on for about three hours and each story was more intriguing than the next. She concluded the event by saying that even though we can’t receive this level of communication from our loved ones, they still find ways of sending us little signs – many not so obvious. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a reading, but I was happy for the people who did (many of them parents who lost children) because it seemed to bring them a lot of comfort and closure.
As I said, I am not any more convinced that after death communication with a medium is real and likely will never try to meet with one in-person. But, this was somewhat enlightening. Even while I was at the theater, I thought to myself, “if my dad were going to send me a message, I highly doubt it would be through this stranger in a 3,000-person theater.” He just wasn’t that showy… Though I will likely never have full closure on his death, I do feel like I receive signs from him in my own way here or there. And, that’s enough for me.