Never Argue with a Dead Person

by Thomas John

Children who lose their parents are referred to as orphans. Adults who lose a spouse are referred to as widows or widowers. But what is the term for a parent who loses a child?

Indeed, the loss is so unspeakable that there is no word for such a thing in the English language. In my work as a psychic medium, I am often called to help those grieving the death of a child. The loss of someone’s child at any age (even if the child lived to be 50 or 60 years old) is a traumatic, unfathomable life event, but when a young child’s life is cut short, the trauma can be even more severe and difficult to process.

However, readings, when done correctly, can offer unequivocal evidence of the survival of consciousness. This story explores a spontaneous reading that was given to a parent, as told in my forthcoming book Never Argue with a Dead Person: True and Unbelievable Stories from the Other Side. 

Excerpt from “Never Argue With a Dead Person”

[Read it as a PDF]

Chapter 3 Teaching Mommy

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Let’s play, Booger man!” screamed the young boy Spirit who appeared to me as I was shopping for toothpaste at the Duane Reade. He flashed me a smile of mischief. His hair was light blonde, thick and coarse, and his eyes were deep crystal blue. He wore a pair of denim jeans and a flannel shirt. He folded his arms and stuck out his tongue. His skin was a white porcelain hue, with rosy cheeks. By all accounts, he looked as though he was alive, except I knew he was dead. Nobody else in the store could see him except for me.

unnamed-3Dead people communicate in many ways. Sometimes they communicate through images or impressions, and I actually see things. These can be things I see externally or internally, in my psychic imagination. When the Spirits communicate verbally, it’s much the same way. Sometimes they communicate through telepathic voices, and sometimes they communicate externally through voices that I hear like voices that you would hear if you were talking to a friend over a cup of coffee. Sometimes I see them as real as a person who is sitting next to me. In this case, the boy was speaking to me externally.

“Na Na Na Na Na—I’m dead. You can’t catch me! You can’t see me! You can’t see me!” the boy continued, laughing, and then disappearing.

Even though the boy was dead, I recognized him. He had been appearing to me for the last couple of weeks. It was starting to become strange. Four or five times a day, he would appear and start laughing or teasing me. He had already made things in my apartment move in the middle of the night, and he was appearing in my dreams. The only problem was that I had no idea who he was, what he wanted, or how to get rid of him. I wanted to help him, but each time I asked if there was something I could do for him, he would just laugh and run away or say something mean. Sometimes younger Spirits are playful and like to tease me. I figured that this situation would all figure itself out in time.

I turned the corner to continue my shopping, going into the next aisle to look at some light bulbs. Several feet away, as I peered through bulbs, a wire tossed itself from the shelf onto the floor. I looked in disbelief. The boy Spirit appeared again.

“Blah blah blah, you’re a ham, you’re a cam, you’re a slam slam slam!” he continued, screaming nonsense at me. As he did this, he moved toward some cans in the aisle and pushed one onto the floor. As it fell and hit the ground, he giggled loudly and shook his fists in the air. Even though I have seen this happen before, it always baffles me when Spirits are able to move things in the physical world.

He was so silly acting that he made me laugh. Even in the Spirit World, many people retain their personalities. Obviously, this boy had been funny and silly in life, and he was the same even in death. Still, I was unsure what he wanted to communicate.

“What do you want?” I asked. “I’m a medium—I can see you. Everyone else can’t see you, but I can see you.” I could tell he was not fully aware of what was going on by the way he was acting, and I wondered if he even knew that I could see him.

“You can?” asked the Spirit boy, turning around and looking behind him and in front of him, as if to see if he was on a stage or if other people were staring at him.

“If you can see me, what am I wearing?” quizzed the boy.

He might have been a new Spirit and didn’t quite understand how all this worked just yet. Sometimes when Spirits first leave the Earth and travel to the other side, they don’t realize that I can actually visualize them and see them. But after a bit of time, they start to realize that some living people can actually sense and feel them.

When I see deceased people, it can happen in many forms. Some people ask me, “Do you actually see them over there?” and the answer is yes and no—and mostly, it depends. The deceased people choose how they want to communicate and be seen to us. They can choose to come through in a way they wish to be remembered (younger, before they were sick, or when they lived in a certain place). They might also come through in a way that gives comfort to the people they want to communicate with or helps provide the most closure to the person I am trying to connect with. Often, they will just come through how they will be easily remembered.

Sometimes, I don’t see the physical form of Spirits—and even when I do, it’s just an illusion. It’s just them showing me something so I can describe it to the person sitting there. In truth, they aren’t in the physical form anymore, but they can take on the physical form for a brief period so we can recognize them and understand who they are.

“You’re wearing a flannel shirt and jeans,” I told him bluntly.

He stared at me, biting his lip. We both stared at each other for a moment.

“Woooooooooooooooo!” he erupted after several moments and disappeared again. He startled me a bit with his loud scream.

I didn’t make much of it and figured that if he had a message for me or someone else, he would probably seek me out again. Usually, though, when Spirits appear to me, they have a specific message for me. I see plenty of dead people all day, and I figured if this boy really had a message for me, he would find a way to communicate it to me so I could help him. In the back of my mind, I knew that I had to prepare myself for the fact that this boy might return to me with a specific

message, and I would have to honor this and communicate it to whoever needed to hear it.

As I turned to go down the next aisle, there was the boy again. This time, he stood, hands crossed, in front of me.

“Look,” I said to him, “if you aren’t going to tell me what you need, I can’t help you, and I’ll need you to go and leave me alone. If you want help, you need to tell me what you need,” I said sternly. I don’t like being harassed by dead people.

We were silent for a moment as he took it all in.

“I need to talk to my Mommy. My name is Ralph,” he said with a frown. Suddenly, he turned from a crazy dead boy who was stalking me to someone that I deeply cared about.

“I can help you if you need. Is your mom one of my clients?” I asked. Often times, Spirits visit me ahead of time if they know their loved ones are going to be seeing me.

“No,” he replied timidly.

“Well, how am I going to help you if your Mom isn’t one of my clients? Have I met her?”

“She’s up front, Booger man!” screamed the boy. “Up front?” I asked. “She’s up front, sneaky man; she’s buying stuff !” the boy

giggled and ran off down the aisle. When he got to the end, he looked down toward the cashier section and pointed.

“Mommy!” he exclaimed.

I walked down the aisle, approaching him. As I got half- way down the aisle, he disappeared. I got to the end of the aisle and looked toward the registers. A woman was standing there cashing out. She was dressed very casually in a ripped sweatshirt, heavy sweatpants, and her hair tossed in a bun. Her face seemed tired, with dark circles under her eyes. Gold jewelry hung around her neck. She was in her thirties, I would estimate, and the young boy was probably six or seven years old. However, Spirits come through in whatever way they think we will recognize them best, so sometimes the way we see them might be just the way they want us to remember them, and not the way they actually looked. So sometimes they might come through very young because they want to be remembered as young.

The whole thing was very nerve-wracking. My palms were sweating, and my forehead was sweating. Of course, I was nervous because this Spirit boy had been playing pranks on me all week. But I’m always nervous to approach strangers off the street and start giving them messages. I’m always worried this approach could backfire on me, or someone won’t be into it or will be scared by what I have to tell them.

I gazed toward the woman cashing out at the register and quietly made my way to her. I watched her, and as I got closer, I could hear her talking to the cashier.

“No, I want the 100s. Marlboro Light 100s,” she said, slamming down a pack of cigarettes onto the counter.

The man placed a pack of cigarettes on the counter in front of her and started ringing up her other items—Doritos, Junior Mints, ice cream, and Pepto-Bismol. I didn’t really like her energy and vibe at all. She seemed hostile and bossy, and I was worried that if I said anything, she might snap at me. But I also know that the Spirit World doesn’t really make mistakes, and if this dead boy was coming to connect with his mother, I had no choice except to deliver the message.

The woman took a double take at the cigarettes in front of her.

“Are you deaf ?” she screamed. “I said I want 100s! The long ones! Are you deaf ? I mean what the heck.” She blew out a deep breath, showing her exasperation, turning to look at the people in line behind her for support.

The cashier frowned and rolled his eyes, grabbing a pack of cigarettes from behind him.

As my attention drifted away from her talking to the cashier, I noticed the young Spirit had appeared again. This time, he stood behind her. He frowned as he looked at her, and then he looked at me.

Mentally, I communicated to him. “I’ll talk to her. I’m going to talk to her.” I can communicate with Spirits telepathically or verbally (like I would speak to a regular person). It really doesn’t make any difference which way I communicate, as they hear and experience the message the same way. But in this situation, I definitely didn’t want to speak out loud and have her see me talking to a Spirit.

The boy nodded. From the cashier’s face, I could sense the relief he was feeling by her leaving the counter and his store. As she turned, he rolled his eyes in frustration.

The woman moved away from the counter with her bags. I could tell by the way she was quickly walking that I would have only a brief opportunity to connect with her before she turned and left.

“Ma’am?” I said as she moved from the counter.

She turned around immediately. “Don’t call me ma’am. That’s for old people. My name is Debbie. What do you want?”

“Well, nice to meet you, Debbie. I’m Thomas,” I said, a bit taken back by her abrupt reply.

“Are you the manager? Because I want to explain about that loser behind the register,” she said, interrupting my train of thought.

“No, I am not. I don’t work here. Look, I’m sorry; I don’t want to bother you or scare you, but I have a message for you,” I said.

“A message?” she asked, raising her voice a bit, in a tone that seemed utterly confused.

I explained to her what I did, and the experiences I had had over the last couple of minutes. I even described what her son looked like and that he was visiting us now in the store. I knew that the only way she would listen to me was if I gave her some specific information that only her son would know.

“So, you’re like a psychic?” she asked, taking a step back as she said it.

“Yes, that’s one way you could say it,” I said, in a tone that sounded ashamed and unsure of myself.

“I don’t believe in stuff like this at all. Those people just guess,” she said and moved toward the door.

I’m always surprised when people say they don’t believe in this type of stuff. I guess I think it is surprising only because even if you don’t believe in something, if something comes through so specific for you, wouldn’t you believe in it? I don’t understand how you would really have a choice. Often times, I guess, it’s a fearful thing. In other words, they are scared of the unknown and don’t want to believe in it. I thought it was particularly strange because I had already given Debbie some specific messages. For example, I had said to her that I felt her son around her, without any prompting from her. Maybe the situation would have been different if I had said that I saw her father or mother or grandparents, as she was an older woman, and maybe they could have passed, but I specifically said her son.

“Ma’am, I think you should listen to me, as I really do have a message for you, and I don’t think your son would be visiting us if he didn’t have a special message for you,” I said.

“Look, I don’t know how you know I had a son that died, who told you that, or what’s going on, or if you think this is funny, but I absolutely do not want to hear anything you have to say. You have a lot of nerve even coming up to me. Seri- ously—get lost before I call the police!” she screamed at me.

By now, the cashier and two other people in the store were staring at us. I was completely embarrassed and mortified at the entire situation. I was also dumbfounded—from both sides. Why would someone not want to hear about her son? I had specifically mentioned I was connecting with her deceased son.

Normally, I would never push myself on someone. I al- ways respect people’s boundaries. But I also know that almost every time a Spirit visits, it’s for a specific reason. And if this boy visited me, I knew he had a special reason. I was going to be damned if I let this boy down.

I knew that she didn’t believe. I knew when she was saying that, she truly meant it. And I knew that unless I said something that really blew her away, she wouldn’t listen to anything I was saying. And I knew that her son would never come through to me so strongly unless she needed to hear from him and he was here to help her.

As I had that thought, I had a simultaneous image of a yo-yo come to my head. The boy Spirit standing next to me showed me a yo-yo too. I could see the yo-yo in his hand. It was clear plastic with a hint of yellow to it and a Donald Duck logo on the side. All of this transpired within split seconds.

“He has the yo-yo,” I exclaimed. “The one with the Donald Duck on it.”

She stopped walking toward the door and stood still, her back to me. She turned and looked at me.

She then dropped her bags. Tears began to fill her eyes. “I really miss him,” she said. I had connected, and I knew her life was about to shift in a really major way. She reached out to hug me. Stuff was about to get real.

That was the moment of change. This is the defining moment of every reading and every intuitive message that I give. When something becomes real and tangible for someone. All of the “He’s okay,” “She misses you,” “You’ll see them again,” “Your grandmother has roses,” and “Your mother wanted to be closer to you” messages sound great and feel wonderful— but to get to that point, I need that clear validation. That one specific thing that nobody could possibly know. That magical secret that allows for healing to really bloom and begin. The psychic seed of change.

“His name is—” she started, before I cut her off, because the boy had also provided me his name just seconds before.

“Ralph. He told me,” I said.

She nodded. It was really him. “You’re not pulling my leg, are you?”

“Nope. I have better things to do,” I smiled. I wanted to give her as much evidence as possible.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you. That wasn’t right of me. I’m sorry, and I am ready to hear what you have to say if you’ll let me hear it. I’ve just been through so much,” she said.

“It’s totally okay. And if it’s okay with you, I’d like to try to connect with him and see why he is coming through so strongly,” I confessed to her.


I paused for a moment and then started to connect. “Is it his birthday?” Suddenly, he was showing me a birthday cake in my mind’s eye. I could see the candles burning brightly and lighting up the blue and white frosting.

“Today is his birthday,” she said, a tear forming in her eye. She was clearly very moved by the message and was opening up to what I was saying.

“I am seeing a cake with blue and white frosting—it looks like it has an image of Cookie Monster on the top of it.”

“Oh my God,” she exclaimed. “That’s the last cake we had together. That was his birthday cake the year he died.”

From there, she listened and received. I started to tell her about how her son had passed away and about his funeral. The boy was channeling messages to show her it was really him, and she was really accepting of those validations. Of- ten times, people need to hear validations before they can truly start to receive messages of guidance or comfort. They need to really know it is their relative or their significant other coming through. If I start by just giving messages without describing who or what the person looked like or the role this person had in their lives, it’s too confusing and it doesn’t help the people really take in the message.

“He’s concerned about the family. He’s concerned about the dynamics of the family.”

“That makes sense. Things aren’t really going well there. Does he say if they are going to get better at all?” she said as she wiped her tears away.

I felt so much sadness coming from her, and I saw images of all sorts of dramatic situations in her family—fights, glass being broken, screaming, and sadness.

I closed my eyes and focused on what the boy Spirit wanted me to communicate.

“He’s trying to help you with the family situation,” I said to her. “He knows you and the family are struggling.”

“We are,” she confessed. “Since he passed away, it’s never been the same.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“We just haven’t recovered. There’s so much sadness and pain with us all. We’re not over this. We don’t know how to be. We are totally stuck. We all mourn in many different ways.”

“Who is Danielle?” I asked. I heard that name in my head. Although Debbie and I were talking, the boy was still connecting with me and giving me information.

“Danielle—that’s his sister,” she said, a bit confused and dazed. I think she was still surprised how much information was coming through.

“He knows about her. Was she born after he crossed over?” I asked.

“Yes, she was born only like six months ago. My psychiatrist told me I should have another child to help me with the loss of losing Ralph,” she whispered.

When people pass away, it’s very confusing for us who remain on Earth. We wonder if our loved ones are aware of what goes on here after they pass away.

“He’s in a good place. You need to focus on things you can deal with. You need to focus on the things you can actually change. Especially your beautiful new daughter.”

She nodded, sobbing, wiping her face with a tissue. “I needed to hear that.”

“You know, I owe you an apology,” she said. “You don’t owe me anything. I totally get it,” I said. “I had this one experience and it was really bad. It was

a long time ago, but it freaked me out. The woman couldn’t connect with my son and then she told me that he was stuck on the Other Side, and she needed thousands of dollars to help him cross over,” she confessed.

“I get it,” I said. The fear I had been sensing before had been real. She was truly scared of connecting.

“It helps me to know my little boy is in a place where he is peaceful, and that he can still come around with me.”

“He definitely can. He loves you very much,” I told her.

Debbie and I parted ways that day, and I never saw her again. I knew the closure that Ralph had given her through me had been immeasurable. Even from the ten minutes we spoke, I could see that she became a totally different person— calmer, more relaxed, less tension in her body.

Spirits of every age and every type can come through to guide their loved ones from beyond. Even if Spirits have been gone for fifty years or if they were very young when they passed, part of their contract with their soul family on Earth is that they continue to guide us when we need it. Even though this boy was very young when he passed, the knowledge that he had about his family’s struggles and how to overcome them transcended space and time.

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