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“Yes,” she ­said.

“He says he is real sorry for what he did, but that he is where he is supposed to ­be.”

“Excuse me? How did you know my son ­Jeff?”

“He is telling me that he is really sorry, so so sorry for how he did it, but that he was in so much pain, and now he is happy and where he is supposed to be. You are where ­you’re supposed to be and so is he. Look, I got a killer headache. Do you mind if I get some Advil or ­somethin’?”

Unbeknownst to Mike or my mother, Joe was a medium. He claimed ­he’d been bombarded all day and night by Jeff, who wanted to talk to my mother. Joe said that ­he’d always had the gift, that it was a nuisance at times, and that he got high a lot to dull his senses. He described what Jeff looked like and how he took his life. When relaying the messages, he spoke in a way similar to ­Jeff’s speech pattern. Neither Mike nor my mother had ever told this man anything about ­Jeff.

Joe took his Advil and headed out the door. He said goodbye to my mom and promised to call Mike again and have another ­“guys’ night.” He asked Jeff to p*ss off and leave him alone and then he probably went back downtown to get ­smashed.

Later on in the week, a coworker of my ­mom’s returned from a healing session with her therapist — with a message from Jeff. Kim had been seeing a healer/therapist about trying to get pregnant. Doctors told her that it was impossible after her miscarriage, and ­that’s when she found Beverly. Beverly started the session by asking how she was. Kim said that she was feeling good but that a friend had recently lost her ­son.

“Does his name start with a J?…Jeff…Tell your friend that he comes and speaks with me all the time and that I would love to meet ­her.”

My mom went to meet Beverly, and there began the road to our ­recovery.

On ­Beverly’s advice, I decided to ask for a sign from my brother. I went to Target and purchased two scented candles and taped a baby picture of Jeff to one of them. I closed my window and door and lit the candle. My house at the time was a real dump and had no AC or heater, so no air was coming into my bedroom. I asked Jeff to put out the candle I had lit for him. In the past, being a smartass, ­I’d asked him to make my car hover, or for me to win the lottery, but this time I took it seriously and really tried to reach out. I focused all my energy on that flame and begged Jeff to put it ­out.

Jeff, please. I need you to come down and put this candle out. I ­don’t know of any other signs or whatever that you can do to convince me that ­you’re still here, unless you can make a car fly into my fking window. I need you to do this for me. I know — I KNOW! — that logically, with my window closed, and the door closed, that this thing will burn down to the bottom. ­I’ve burned candles before and all of them have burned to nothingness. But this time…show me you found the way out of the darkness and put this candle out.

I asked that question for a good hour, focusing on the candle, telling Jeff that this was his one chance to help me out and show me that we ­don’t disappear, that he ­didn’t disappear. I eventually got tired and told Jeff I was going to sleep. I passed out with the candle still lit. When I woke the next morning, ­I’d forgotten about the whole ordeal. I got dressed and grabbed my keys and only then noticed that the candle had gone out sometime in the night. It was half-size, pretty much what it had been when I fell ­asleep.

Sure, this ­wasn’t a spiritual two-by-four to the head to utterly and totally convince me that Jeff was still around — but it helped. I mean, ­isn’t there an entire holiday celebrated around the fact that some super old lamp or oil burned for eight days, when it was only supposed to last for a day? Spirits ­aren’t always obvious about this stuff. I think they like to mess with us and test our ­faith.

What finally did it for me, though, were the words “Eep opp ork AH AH!” During a session with Beverly, she told my mother to relay a message to ­Jeff’s girlfriend Mel: “Eep opp ork AH AH.” Beverly talks like my brother when she channels him; she calls me “dude” and talks smack in the exact speech patterns Jeff would have used; she knows things that only Jeff would know. Well, neither my mother nor Beverly knew what those words meant, but when I later listened to the audiotape of their session, I knew ­exactly.

“Eep opp ork AH AH!” was from a Jetsons episode, one ­I’d seen with my brother back in the day. In the episode, Judy Jetson wins a date with Jet Screamer, and he sings this song for her. The words mean “I love you” in space talk. I called Mel to give her ­Jeff’s message. She blew us all away by revealing that for the past year ­she’s been learning to say “I love you” in every language in the world. Jeff knew this at the time of his death and was now saying it to her from ­space.

I ­don’t fear death, nor do I fear a whole lot. ­I’ve poured out one of the most tragic events in my life to you, and chances are we have never met. But I ­don’t care…because those who matter ­don’t mind, and those who mind ­don’t ­matter.

Be happy and chase your ­dreams.■
Frank Wells

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Comments

David Dodd May 28, 2010 @ 2:06 p.m.

Hey, Frank, great story man. He'll never disappear, because you'll carry him with you for the rest of your life. Stay sane.

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AEonFlux May 28, 2010 @ 5:39 p.m.

Hi, Frank. My name is Erin and Jeff was a friend of mine from The Company at Mesa. We were even roommates for a while at the Athabaska house. Smartass and used-car salesman though he could often be, I've rarely met someone so quietly generous as Jeff. He could sense flagging self-esteem and would counter it with just the right compliment, or reverse a rotten day with some random present from one of the thousand pockets of his cargo pants. And in a couple of rare moments he was generous enough to share a slice of that pain he was carrying around with me. I always wished there was something I could do to help, but he just seemed more comfortable being the support than accepting it...I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Anyhow, my mystical Jeff experience is that there are several songs that unmistakeably mean Jeff to me--"Murder, She Wrote" from the Save the Last Dance soundtrack, "Breakfast at Tiffany's", a few others, and whenever one comes on my iPod, they usually all come on in a group. It used to make me sad, but now I just think of it as him stopping in to say, "Hey, what's up?" and reminding me that I still haven't read the Robert Aspirin books he lent me, so I need to get on that.

Thanks for sharing this story, I really miss that bright light being in the world.

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