A few weeks after my partner Pat died, my girlfriend insisted I go to her medium, Julie, to “contact him.” She swore on her husband’s grave that Julie channeled words from beyond so specific it was clearly him coming through. I was skeptical, but I went, secretly hoping for some last words from Pat. Twenty years had flown by fast, it was sad and ridiculous how many things remained unsaid between us.
Pretty quickly after I sat down and we called out his name, Julie declared that Pat was already “with us.” I wasn’t so sure. For about 20 minutes, most of what she “channeled” from Pat was true, but nothing so intimate that only he could have said it. Things like, “You two had many lives together, you’re eternally bonded.” Getting a little more cynical by the minute, I crossed my arms, waiting for something personal like, “There’s a note in the carved box you gave me explaining where the million dollars is.”
After a bit, I asked if Pat was ever “with me” at home, because I wasn’t feeling his energy there. She went into a short trance and answered, “Always. He said he’s connecting with you through jewelry. Did he leave you something?”
Gasping, I touched my heart and gently pulled out a necklace that had been hiding under my blouse. I held the exquisite diamond choker towards Julie, “You mean this?”
“That’s probably it,” she said knowingly. Pat had the diamond necklace made in New Jersey from his bed in LA, while battling cancer, hoping to give it to me at Christmas when we visited. Instead he died November 30th, so his sister presented it to me when I flew there for his memorial. His mother later told me he had considered giving the family diamonds to me as a ring and since we’d never married, I was overwhelmed.
Julie interrupted my thoughts and said, “Pat can always find you through the beacon of the light in the diamond, he’s always by your heart.” I teared up.
A minute later the tone changed, “Oh…Okay…” she tilted her head and said, “I’m just relating what he’s saying…I’m a little embarrassed…I’ve never heard…”
“What?” I asked, touching the necklace, my heart rumbling.
“Pat has great…sexuality for you. He’s…got so much lust! He misses you sexually!” I never expected anything like this, but her face was poised urging my response.
“Well, he’s a very passionate man,” I said, “He had great enthusiasm for everything.” I wasn’t interested in discussing our sex life with this stranger, ready to move on to the part where he tells me where that million was stashed, but she kept on the subject of Pat’s endless love and “sexuality” for me.
“I’m sorry but his love for you is so…he just has so much, it’s beautiful.” Whether it was Pat speaking or not, what woman wouldn’t want to hear this? She said Pat felt he hadn’t expressed enough how much he loved me.
“He told me almost every day, Pat wore his heart on his sleeve,” I corrected her.
“Not enough,” she corrected back.
Truthfully, our love life had been challenging for years. We’d met late in life and once I hit menopause, sex always felt more like a chore than a desire. The intense passion I had for him five, 10 and 15 years ago was now hard to summon. We both missed our intense love, but his health meant that if we had sex, it wasn’t very romantic. I missed the foreplay, desperately. The last several years he was sick often, the cancer that took him from me was his second bout. During that horrific last year, our sex life was but a sweet memory, a knowing smile we’d share. Our mutual adoration was expressed in words, loving glances, sweet kisses and the way I took care of him. This had become our sexual relationship. When he asked, “How can you be such an angel?” I whispered, “Clearly you don’t know how much I love you. I’m sorry I haven’t made it more clear.”
I’d spent most of our 20 years together holding on to an old idea that my college boyfriend was the love of my life because he was my first and the pain was unbearable. I think Pat had overheard that somewhere and I can only imagine it devastated him. Our relationship was not an easy one–we argued plenty, but we loved each other madly. When he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, I knew at that moment that he was going to die and that he was the love of my life. I couldn’t believe I’d been so clueless! On his last day on earth, I whispered to him in his semi-conscious state, “You do know you’re the love of my life?” He nodded, “Of course” and closed his eyes. I tugged on his tired hand, “Well? Am I the love of YOUR life?” He smiled, knowingly, squeezed my hand and nodded as if to say, “Ask me something hard, Deb.”
When Julie said, “Pat wants you to know that you WERE the love of his life” it made me tremble. It was her inflection, “You WERE the love of his life,” that made me weep, as if he were responding to my bedside question. Julie continued, “He’s very sorry he never married you.” I tapped my necklace again and took a deep breath. “He wishes he had given you the biggest ring ever.”
I cried all the way home. I thought about how hard being too sick to have sex must have been on him since he was so passionate. I tried to make sense of him talking about sex through Julie, he was a very private person. I wondered if he had gone off to the great beyond, sexually frustrated? I hoped he knew how much I loved him.
A few weeks before he passed, Pat said to his best friend, “Do you know that Debbie is the most amazing person I’ve ever met?” “Amazing” wasn’t a word he used. This from the man who met Springsteen? That was the best foreplay ever, that to me, is sex.