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“Claire wants you to know how thin the veil is between you.” I listened intently to the medium as she held up a Kleenex, attempting to demonstrate the meaning of her words…or Claire’s words? My heart believes what she is telling me, but I feel the skeptical part of me resisting, looking for “scientific proof.” I ask that part to take a step back for now, because even if it’s not true, it doesn’t matter.

The only way I can survive the loss of my daughter is to know that I am still very much connected to her. She is a part of me and always will be, which is both scientific and supernatural. I don’t mind if they co-exist. I have learned to hold many opposing views and emotions at the same time: devastation and happiness, emptiness and completeness, confusion and clarity.

So I believe this veil is thin. I feel Claire’s presence with me on a daily basis.

I already knew it when the medium said, “She sits with you in the front seat of the car when you drive.” For over two years I have felt her presence with me in the car as I drive. Every time I drive near one of her friend’s houses, I always feel a pull in that direction. Regularly driving by her high school, I’m flooded with memories of concerts, plays, dropping off, picking up, meetings with staff, and celebrating her life at her memorial service.

Whenever I come to a particular intersection, I hear her anguished cries, remembering the baby bunny pulling himself along the street after obviously being injured and unable to use his back legs. I called upon my useful tool of denial and proclaimed to her, “No, he will be fine! He’s not hurt! Rainbows and Kittens!”

And then there is the street where she accidentally drove up over the curb shortly after getting her driver’s permit. Again, I tried to reassure her that everything was fine, just get back onto the street, while inside I was thinking, “Wow, maybe you’re not even safe when you’re walking on the sidewalk!” With all of these things and more occurring every time I get in the car to go somewhere, it makes perfect sense to me that Claire is sitting next to me, reminding me of our precious times together.

But my only problem with this veil is that it is like the dark-tinted window on a limo. No one can see in, but the passenger can see out. Claire is the passenger. She has the ability to see me, but I can’t see her even though I know she’s there.

Some days I pray for a moment of super power so I can just get one glimpse of her, like today when she was playing with Raja. This is another thing I have witnessed — and the medium confirmed to me, “Claire loves both the cats, but she is particularly close to one of them, and she plays with her.” Most every day, all of a sudden Raja goes a little crazy. She jumps up at nothing we can see, she races up and down the hallway, her eyes dart back and forth at apparently nothing. I’m convinced Claire is playing with her — and Raja has the ability to see her. Perhaps Raja wonders why I am so grief-stricken, since to her Claire never really went anywhere and is still around.

It is a sacred and precious gift to be able to continue the relationship with a loved one who has passed. It can also be agonizing and rage inducing. Once again I am faced with experiencing opposing views simultaneously. With every fiber of my being, I want Claire back in her physical state so I can hear her laugh, hold her close, see her beautiful smile and disgruntled looks, smell the scent of her favorite shampoo on her golden locks. But at the same time, in her death the connection between us has deepened to a place I don’t believe it could have gone if she were still alive.

I still miss her with every breath, even though I feel her presence. I want her here with me, but not in a body that has been taken over by cancer. So all I can do is trust the thinness of the veil and peer through the darkened glass.

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Jane Frick is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist whose youngest daughter Claire was diagnosed with Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of 16 in 2010 and sadly passed away in 2012. Jane was also diagnosed with breast cancer during this time and is currently in remission. She believes her personal experiences with cancer, grief and loss have enhanced her abilities as a therapist. Jane enjoys writing and spending time with her family, friends and cats. Contact Jane at 651.494.8921 or janefrick716@comcast.net. Read her new blog at Soothingthespirit.com.

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