Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 4


For two months the dreams just wouldn’t stop. The images were foreign, the sequences disturbing, the content anxious. Pedaling a three-wheeled cab through unfamiliar streets in Ireland, passing buildings painted in vivid shades of blue, green, and orange. Sneaking into and out of a mental hospital in Louisiana with my friend Brigid to escape an evil sheriff. Wading through a swamp filled with dying animals calling to me for help I could not give.

Brigid had died several weeks prior to the onset of these vivid, heavy dreams. It took me weeks to realize the images belonged not to me, but to Brigid. One night her presence was so real, so sad, so confused that both my partner and I woke in the middle of the night from the heaviness and oppressive quality her suffering mind carried. I saw her clearly that night – red hair flowing as if she was under water, crying in confusion and fear. I did the only thing I could think to do at the moment. I used Reiki to create a safe bubble for her, inviting her to get in and rest. I remember her lying there in her temporary safe zone, her face finally relaxing as I gifted her Reiki energy.

Brigid haunted my nights, not out of maliciousness, but perhaps hoping I could see her, hear her, and give her some grounding. She was reaching out to me for help, but her loss had left me weak with grief. And just as in the dreams she poured into my sleeping hours, I could do little to help.

It took the assistance of my friend Barbara, a serious energy ninja, before I found help for Brigid. Barbara saw how fatigued I was. She sat me down and put her hands on my head as I closed my eyes. In my mind, I saw a dimly lit room in which Brigid was facing me, her eyes locked with mine. After what seemed to be only a few moments, a tall door opened behind Brigid. I saw what looked like highway yellow beyond the opening. She turned toward it and with a bright flash of light she was gone.

The oppressive heaviness I’d felt on my shoulders, in my head, and in my chest for so many weeks lifted immediately. I cried with relief as I called my wife to say that she was gone, crossed over, and hopefully at peace. When asked for details, all I could do was cry with joy and say, “Barbara called her a cab.” I had no idea why I phrased it this way.

Some months later I was at an unseasonably cool fall gathering. It would have been Brigid’s 57th birthday in a few days. I saw Brigid’s daughter, who had been by her side through her illness. Knowing about my ability to talk with those who have crossed over, she asked if I had seen her mother. When I said yes, she wanted to know everything I’d experienced. I was reluctant to tell her until she reminded me that she was there through it all, witness to both her mother’s physical deterioration and the fears her hallucinations had bred.

So I told her. I told her about the disturbing images and fragmented dreams. I told her about the night Brigid’s presence was so vivid. I told her about the visions of carrying her mother’s nearly weightless skin-and-bones body, blood leaking out of every orifice as she begged me for help I was powerless to render. And I told her about Barbara, the flash of yellow, and “calling the cab.”

She was quiet for a moment. Then she softly confirmed the dreams as reflective of her mother’s visions and declining health. After another quiet moment she asked, “Did you know my uncle was a cab driver?” I hadn’t. Brigid and her brother were extremely close. I knew she had mourned him deeply when he died. And I now knew that she had gone with him when he came to pick her up.


When someone dies while not fully connected to what we would consider “reality” (i.e., people in comas, those who are suffering from dementia, people who are hallucinating), there is the possibility that they are not aware that they have died. My friend needed help understanding what had happened to her. When Barbara was able to reach through the fog, to tell Brigid what had happened, and to offer her a way past the twilight awareness and confusion, she accepted it.

I think Brigid would have eventually found her way, as most ‘earth bound’ spirits do, though their concept of time is very different from ours and so it might seem to us that it takes a long time to progress. We can still, however, render assistance from this side of the energetic fence to ease the pain and suffering for those we have lost.

Many shamanic practitioners offer what is called psychopomp work. A psychopomp enters the shamanic state, calling on helper spirits to seek for the spirits of those who have died. If the person is found, we ask the person/spirit if they are comfortable where they are and if they would like help progressing forward. Guardian and helping spirits are always available and eager to help when called upon. If the individual wants to stay where they are for the time being, we will remind them that when they are ready, they can always call for help and help will come.

If you want to check up on someone you care about, contact a shamanic practitioner or rescue medium that is trained in working with those who have transitioned past this physical life. This work can be done either with a local practitioner or remotely, giving those who do not have a shamanic practitioner in their area the ability to offer help to those they love.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of this series.

Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.