Heartbreak

How A Clairvoyant Finally Healed Me After The Tragic Death Of My 28-Year-Old Friend

Photo: Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock
psychic reading

A trickle of sweat ran down my neck. From the stairs in a posh Village apartment, I first saw Pierre, the famous clairvoyant. He sat as if on a throne behind a massive desk.  

“Look at those curves!” he shouted. 

I laughed. My nervousness lessened. 

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I was a single, 34-year-old, financial regulation attorney and had consulted two psychics and an angel card reader in the four months since my friend Eithne was killed in a major plane crash.

Given my new obsession with psychic readings in search of answers and the frequency with which I saw one just a block away, I didn’t expect to feel anxiety before meeting this special man.

Pierre had a reputation for accuracy and for even assisting the police. His waiting list was several months long. Maybe deep down I feared he’d be able to tell me how Eithne died, and it would have been more gruesome than I’d imagined.

He complimented me, and his tone was so warm, his admiration so genuine, that my uneasiness subsided.

He took a drag from an electric cigar then flicked his hand to indicate I should sit in a chair across from him. He inspected me through thick-rimmed glasses and wrote on small white cards. I suspected his feet didn’t reach the floor. He seemed like he could float.

“What do you do?” Pierre asked after several minutes. 

“I’m a lawyer,” I said.

Like a magician, Pierre showed me one of his cards. Lawyer was written in black ink. 

“You have legal all over your aura. But honey, law is only your job. You’re not a lawyer at heart. You’re a writer. You’re more creative than you realize.” He showed me the card on which he’d written writer.

I wanted to squeal. I loved creative writing. It filled a void left when hip and ankle pain made it impossible for me to Irish dance, a hobby-turned-profession that I’d been lucky enough to do in two major shows and use to help pay for law school.

Pierre asked questions about my love life and chastised me for being too available for a man he called a “selfish whore.” He flipped over cards with 0 for no boyfriend and 2 of 3 for possible pregnancies, after saying one had already passed. He was right about both.

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“Who’s Ellen?” he asked 20 minutes into my reading.

“Eithne?” I took her photo from my purse, thinking he may have gotten my friend’s unique name wrong.

The photo was one of my favorites from a party we’d attended in Belfast, shortly after we finished our stint performing in Riverdance on Broadway. Back then, Eithne lived in Dublin and studied to be a doctor. I was finishing law school in Manhattan. 

After getting a text saying she was gone, I couldn’t engage in normal day-to-day life and ignore the fact my friend was lost somewhere in the Atlantic. My current friends told me to move on. My religious mother told me to pray. Neither helped. Only psychics seemed to understand.

I pushed the photo across Pierre’s desk. In it, Eithne was smiling, her raven curls wild.

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“She’s been dancing around this entire time going, ‘The plane. The plane.’” Pierre shook his hands in the air as if Eithne had been driving him mad, not like he was quoting a beloved character from the show Fantasy Island.

I gasped. When I’d booked my appointment, I didn’t expect him to communicate about Eithne in such a vivid way. The others I consulted weren’t able to make contact as he had. 

“Is she from school? A classmate of yours of some sort?” Pierre asked.

My voice cracked as I explained how we’d met nine years ago rehearsing for the dance troupe, and a few months earlier, Eithne had been on an Air France flight that disappeared between Rio and Paris.

“That was the past. Now, she’s your protector. She’s with you all the time.”

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My protector? I wrapped my arms around myself as tears ran down both cheeks. Raised as a strict Irish Catholic in the Midwest, I believed I had a guardian angel. But I always thought it was a mystical figure, not someone I knew like my departed 28-year-old friend.

“Know my dear that Eithne is with you all the time. Flickers of light, gentle breezes, and little kisses on your skin that make your hair stand up, are all signs that she’s around. You must remember: life is eternal.” Pierre drew a circle in the air. “Death isn’t the end.” 

Pierre pushed three notecards he’d written in front of meThey said: Ellen. Plane. Dancer.

Shocked, I looked at the cards. “The plane. The plane,” repeated in my head. 

Pierre’s words settled down on me, taking root, stopping my crying

At a café down the street, I sipped a cappuccino as I wrote notes about what Pierre had said.

If he had really connected with my friend, then death wasn’t a dark hole of hell, a bleak purgatory, or glorious heaven, as I’d learned growing up in the Catholic Church. Death didn’t really barricade us from those we loved. 

My feet tapped under the table, like a free-style drumbeat. I felt a vibrancy I’d long lacked. 

But months passed, and neither the plane’s black box nor Eithne’s body had been recovered. I began to lose hope that she would have a proper burial, or the cause of the plane crash would be discovered. I lost comfort from what Pierre had shared too.

One night at my apartment, I sat in the dark on my couch wrapped in a blanket, missing my friend. Picking up my computer, I logged into Facebook. 

“Eithne!” I shouted. Tingles ran across my hand, creating goose bumps, as I spotted her picture on the upper right-hand corner of my Facebook screen with Stay in Touch written under her photo. I was stunned the random feature had selected my friend, and I took it as a sign. 

“I promise. I will,” I said to my protector.

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Tess Clarkson, a former Irish dancer (“Riverdance” and “Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance”) and Wall Street lawyer, is working on a memoir. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Independent, Next Avenue, Scary Mommy, Motherwell, Insider, and AARP’s The Girlfriend and The Ethel.

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