Q & A: Alzheimers and ‘Lost’ Souls.

Q: Hi Jennifer. How can someone, like that ghost you encountered from the 1700’s, still be HERE? Why don’t they find peace? Why are they stuck? —Christina, Houston

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it.

(She’s referring to THIS experience if you haven’t yet read it.)

My encounter suggests poor Jose’s been stuck in some rocky, Mexican purgatory 300+ years. But that also supposes a linear timeline. (You can read more about the space/time problem here. )

Please remember Heather had a ghosty run-in that night, too.


What if the land was responsible for our mutual paranormal experience, and not a ghost?

(bear with me.)

Supposedly, we have several spiritual “hot spots” here on Earth:

Sedona, Arizona

Machu Picchu, Peru

Ayer’s Rock, Australia

Mount Sinai, Egypt

Glastonbury, England

. . . to name a few.

I’ve not been to any of these places. And I’m not a fan of the word “vortex.” ( like, at all.) Makes me think of nutball New Agers and Bermuda Triangle enthusiasts. Still, their theories are somewhat provable by ley lines, plate tectonics, and magnetic fields (all real).

So maybe those locations– as well as the little pueblo we visited in Mexico– have some geomagnetic or spatial components that make the proverbial veil thinner there?

I don’t know enough to take a stance.

But I DO know many describe Sedona’s atmosphere the way I described Tepotzotlán’s: charged.  I also know when I’m about to experience some serious ghost action the air around me crackles like polyester from a hot dryer.

Maybe I need to go to Sedona?


Q: Dear Jennifer, I read that when a person has Alzheimers and they pass, they are in such a confused state of mind that they don’t completely cross over. Do the deceased know how to cross over even though their minds are altered? Thank you for any answers you can help me with. — Vicki, Texas 

Hey, Vicki.

I’m no brain expert. But really, who is. Even top neurologists admit limited understanding. What’s it, 10% comprehension or something silly like that?

I personally feel those suffering with Alzheimers already have one foot on the Other Side.


I witnessed it with my grandfather, his beloved essence evaporating one painful month at a time.

He stared past me like a stranger while I searched his once vibrant blue eyes.

Remember me, Paw Paw? It’s Jennifer. You used to carry me on your shoulders? Remember how we played in the pool? You drove me back and forth to cheerleader practice and brought dinner to  play rehearsals? You drove us to Disney World, treated the world to dinner. You were our living Santa Claus, Paw Paw. Remember your great-granddaughter, Sophia? Isn’t she lovely? Paw Paw, are you in there?

One time, near the end, the fog cleared.

He looked at Sophia, then me.

“Well!” he smiled, some twinkle restoring in his Carolina Blue eyes. “She’s wonderful!”  He looked at me with that wonder reserved for the elderly, curious where time went, his expression saying look how big she’s gotten!

Paw Paw opened his bear arms wide and she fell in.

But his eyes died before the hug finished.

I bit my lip so I didn’t cry.

At least he saw her. Really saw her. That one last time.

Did his brain allow him through those precious seconds?

Or did God.

And was that a gift for me?

Or for him.

I’m no doctor.

But I know in the physical body, the brain rules supreme. What happens after death is spiritual— therefore God’s–domain.

Human rules and vulnerabilities do not apply.

No wayno how are dementia patients bumping into each other in heaven, asking for directions. No. They are whole.

They’re home.


I love and miss you, Paw Paw. I hope your heaven is custom fitted with a recliner and football game, turned up extra loud. 

Thanks for your question, Vicki. Hope this helps.

If YOU reading have a paranormal or metaphysical question, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.




P.S. Has anyone been to one of those vortexy places listed up there and felt something unusual? Let me know!




Q & A: Long Island Medium and the VOID.

Q: Hi Jennifer, I’ve watched the show, “Long Island Medium” and believe that woman, Theresa, is the real deal. I’ve heard her often say, “so and so wants you to know they’re at peace with our father in heaven.” My question is: HOW can a soul be at peace and still be with us on Earth? After a person dies who has God in his or her heart, HOW do they move from the spirit realm to our physical one? —Christina, Houston

Interesting you use the phrase “real deal.” A friend of mine received an unsolicited reading from Theresa and actually ended up on that show. And that’s the exact phrase she used. Real deal.

“So and so wants you to know they’re at peace with our father in heaven” is a comfort phrase for the living. She wouldn’t say that to someone who believed differently, because not everyone defines the afterlife that way.

(And that’s okay.)


As for moving between realms –well– that’s a deeper question.

If I start talking ‘dimensions’ and quantum theory this’ll read science like fiction.

But this I know for sure.

Human rules for space and time DO NOT APPLY to the Other Side. So:

1. Take all your assumptions.
2. Crumple them into ball.
3. (Cue En Vogue.)
4. No, you’re never gonna get it.
5. Never ever gonna get it.


Because our brains are hardwired for linear timelines and compartmental definitions of space.

1 to 10.
A to Z.
Left to right.
Once upon a time, the end.


Pragmatists will NEVER be comfortable with these conversations.

But here’s the deal.

I’ve personally experienced the VOID. That wordless place between space and time.  I KNOW it exists. Though exist might not be the word.

Few years ago, we were watching tv when the living room –and all daytime noises– evaporated.

Like someone flipped a switch.

Radiant peace undulated in my periphery, filling the space like warm liquid. The room was an illusion.

I saw my beloved grandfather across the room, next to my little girl. Not as an opaque person; but a shimmery outline, his flat cap confirming his presence.


I couldn’t talk.
Didn’t have to.

My Grandpa died. But he was right there. And this was COMPLETELY unlike any visit I’d had before.

Was this a place?
. . .  or the absence of one?

Had I slipped into the Divine? Who made this happen?! And why wasn’t he sitting next to me?

We lack vocabulary for these things.

I recall that part in Eat, Pray, Love where Elizabeth Gilbert experienced it, too:

“Simply put, I got pulled through the wormhole of the Absolute, and in that rush I suddenly understood the workings of the universe completely. I left my body, I left the room, I left the planet, I stepped through time and I entered the void. I was inside the void and I was looking at the void, all at the same time. The void was a place of limitless peace and wisdom, the void was conscious and intelligent. The void was God. But not in a gross, physical way–not like I was Liz Gilbert stuck inside a chunk of God’s thigh muscle. I was just part of God.”

I remember reading that bit, and feeling like YA! You go witcha bad author self, Liz! THAT!

People of different faiths who’ve had near death experiences describe the variations of the same.

Who’s to say Spirit can’t come and go as they please? Or that God doesn’t encourage them to pop in and give us love nudges every once in awhile?

My advice?  Try not to overthink the HOWs.

We probably couldn’t grasp the answer anyway.



Thanks for these questions, Christina. I’ll answer the rest of them in the next week or so.

If YOU reading have a paranormal or metaphysical question, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.

Thank you!

Q & A: Mexican Ghosts Speak Spanish

Q: Hi Jennifer. My grandma died last year. We miss her a lot! My mom says she sometimes catches flashes of her, which I believe, but why can no one else see her? Sometimes I think I sense her, but I’m really not sure. When you experience a ‘ghost’ how can you tell it’s not your imagination? –Emily; New Braunfels.

Great question.

But let me answer the last part first.

Imagination is when you’re watching a scary movie and too scared to get up and pee. Intuition is when you open the bathroom door and see a man walk through the wall.

If a ghost, angel, or deceased loved one appears, it’s my experience that (most) everyone in the room will experience something. Even if they later try to reason it away.

HOWEVER. Only those with clairvoyant tendencies would (likely) see it.

Imagine this scenario:

A few friends gather at Peter’s house, drinking and chatting  when a sudden presence fills the room. So strong that Peter stops talking and stares at the wall.

Peter: Wait. What was that. Did ya’ll see that?

Susan: See what?

Peter: A man. There by the window.  I swear I saw something?

Edmund: I dunno, but I just got the chills.

Lucy: Right when you said that, I smelled cigarettes. Did someone say ‘Harold?’

Susan:  Ya’ll are crazy. I’m leaving.

Peter: Please don’t. The queso’s almost ready.

Susan: No, I don’t feel right. Something’s up.  Excuse me a sec.

Susan calls home, learns her son sliced his foot and needs stitches ASAP. Peter researches to find the original homeowner, Harold Smith, a heavy smoker, drank himself to death in 1899. No one likes Peter’s house anymore.

The End.

Okay, that’s silly and oversimplified, but you get the point. ‘Clairvoyant’ is one of those loaded words, but it just means ‘clear seeing’ and is by far the easiest extra-sensory perception to glamorize on film. But spirit detection is rarely down to eyes alone.

IMG_6236 (1)

Intuition/Psychic ability breaks down to:

  1. Seeing
  2. Feeling
  3. Hearing
  4. Knowing
  5. Smelling/Tasting

Peter saw. Edmund felt. Lucy smelled AND heard. And Susan — our skeptic– demonstrates intuition isn’t a woo-woo phenomenon. I personally think clear knowing is the strongest, most trustworthy of the four. Sometimes you just KNOW. You don’t know how. You just do. And inevitably it’s about something really, really important, right?

Every person alive has at least one of these gifts whether they ignore it or not. Those with a decent command of all four are the world’s ‘psychics’ or ‘intuitives.’ Those who claim they do and tell people lies for money and attention are charlatans.

Know the difference.


Now I’ll share something that really happened.

Picture it. Estado Morelos 2008.

My mom, our friend Heather, and I traveled to Mexico for a family wedding and shared a room in this hotel overlooking scenic Tepoztlán.



Pretty, right?

It was also FULL of Spirit. Like, everywhere. In the streets. In the market. In church. The entire city felt charged. Not haunted. Just charged. (Frenchman St. in NOLA’s French Quarter feels similar.)

I felt it. Heather felt it. Mom felt it. But it was in our hotel room we encountered a pushy, dead Mexican.

I woke in the middle of the night because I felt –I dunno– something.

Imagine squeezing a balloon. Not enough to pop it, but enough to think you might. That’s what woke me– something pressing against my subconscience. I opened my eyes and pulled up on my elbows.

The room felt still.

I remember being hot. There was no a/c so they’d given us fans, but really, they just made noise. We’d opened balcony doors to stave off heat, but there was no wind either. Only moonlight, a whirring fan, and the distant chirping of foreign bugs. I kicked off the covers. And that’s when I noticed the bottom of my mattress, sunk down.

Like someone sitting there.

I yanked in my feet. Let me assure you the mattress was hard as a damn rock. It’d take something with mass to make it sink that deep. I stared at the empty (yet occupied) space with a pounding heart.

The air got crackly.

Oh hell no, I thought. LEAVE.

But that guy —I could tell it was a guy— didn’t budge. And he was super happy I acknowledged him. Because then he started talking. FAST.

A quick word about Spirits talking: Rarely do you hear them outside yourself –like you’d hear someone next to you–talking. You hear it inside. But it’s completely different from your brain voice. Does that make sense? It’s almost like a super loud thought, yet you know it’s not coming from you.

The cool brown tiles felt good against my feet. I slipped to the bathroom and shut the door, quickAnd do you know that cabrón followed me to the toilet?!  I wasn’t imagining things either because rapid unfamiliar Spanish zipped through my conscience like ticker tape. I caught a few words.

. . . mil setecientos . . .

“Go away!” I whisper-hissed, too scared to look up in case he manifested in front of me.

. . . José.

“Váyase José!” I waved toilet paper at him.

. . . de cólera, he implored.

“Eres muerto, Jose!” ( Jesus Cristo! How do you say go to the light en Español!?) My mind raced. “Vaya con Dios!” I still wouldn’t look up.

“Who are you talking to?” I heard my mother.

And then he was gone.

I re-entered the room to Mom and Heather, wide awake.

“There’s a damn ghost in there telling me he died of cholera in the 1700s.” I plopped defensively on my now un-sunken mattress.

And then it got interesting.

In full disclosure, I need to let you know Heather is a professional medium and my trusted go-to when I want a reading. She’s also a big ol’ chicken who gets really uncomfy outside the loving presence of angels and deceased loved ones.

Poor girl had been lying there hours. Unable to sleep. Overwhelmed by images of bones, mountains, native people, and snatches of conversation from long ago. And she couldn’t shut it off.

“They obviously don’t sage here,” she sighed, sitting up, fluffing her pillow.

Everyone knows how bad it sucks to lie there exhausted in the wee hours, mind churning like a hamster wheel. Let me tell you it’s 1000 times worse as a psychic. It’s like a movie reel shining bright, constant, moving pictures behind your closed eyes. And you can’t do CRAP about it except wait for it to be over.

Mom later confessed she’d seen a man hovering over Heather in the doorway, but didn’t say anything.

We turned on the lights and waited several hours for breakfast.

( P.S. Local Mexican coffee mops the floor with Folgers.)

That same trip,  Mom and I hiked two, steep, dangerous hours to the top of an ancient pyramid and encountered –I have no choice but to believe– an angel.


But I’ll save that story for another time.

Next time you say prayers Emily, ask Grandma to let you know she’s there. Maybe you’ll dream about her that night. That’s a form of clairvoyance, too. In the meantime, believe your momma.



If you have a question regarding paranormal or metaphysical phenomena, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.

Thank you.









Last week, I sat on the chaise beneath my Beatle painting talking to my friend, Michelle. It was pretty late. We were both tired. I nursed a beer, her a glass of wine. Kids ran around screaming to our mutual irritation, while our husbands attempted to assemble furniture in the next room. I wouldn’t’ve said it was an ideal time for spirit to show up (WAY too much noise) — But someone on the other side was anxious for our attention.

I kept seeing tiny pops of light around Michelle. Over her head and also in front of us- like old timey flash bulbs. Bright and quick. Distracting enough to make me stop and LOOK. When this happens around strangers (which it does, often), I try to ignore it. There’s really no socially acceptable way to say “Sorry for interrupting, but do you know someone dead who might be trying to say hello?” . . . Luckily my friends know the deal.

“Someone’s with us,” I said.

Michelle admitted she felt something, too. We both held out our arms. Chills. Chills are a popular favorite with Spirit. It’s a non-invasive physical way to get our attention. I often get body wide chills when I deliver a message accurately. Almost like they’re saying, “Well done!”

So we knew someone was with us. But who? I actually got the sense of several someones with us. I got the feeling of a woman. And an older man. I sorta stared at the floor while they flashed images at me. The woman showed me a beautiful white cat. A well dressed man playing the piano. An old stuffed animal with a frayed faded ribbon around its neck. A vase with a single white flower. “A daisy?” I guessed, not entirely sure. I relayed this to Michelle as quick as the images came. And I could tell by her face, it all made sense.

“It’s my mom,” she said.

“What was her name?” I asked.

“Sharon,” she said.

Then we both got chills. Big ones.

I got a vision of Sharon clapping. Jumping up and down. She was very happy, excited, like a little kid, THRILLED that Michelle was paying attention.

“She’s definitely here.”

People have a tendency to look above and smile when I say “Mom’s here, or so-and-so’s here.” But Sharon stood right in front of us. I couldn’t see her. And I don’t know how else to say it- but I could see the air was different where she stood. I reached my arm out. It was warm. Crackly. Like static energy. And then, more little pops of light.

Then all of a sudden, I had trouble breathing. I stopped talking because I had to catch my breath. I realized it was a reference to a different person, showing me how they died.

“Who had lung problems?” I asked.

(I don’t remember your answer, Michelle. Was it your grandparents?) I asked them to please not be so physical with me and the feeling disappeared immediately. They just wanted to relay that they were there with Michelle’s mom. As for Sharon, what a lovely spirit. She gave me the feeling of special affection for a boy child and overwhelming joy that we knew she was there. She was very happy, surrounded by family, and it was very important to her that Michelle relay this to her siblings.

There were more flashing images, but I forget details. When spirit visits, it’s not ME giving the info. It’s them. And the feelings of heaven are difficult to recreate via blog. It’s like trying to relay a gust of wind.

Anyway. It’s been so long since I wrote about Spirit. Mostly because my house has calmed down. With Michelle’s permission, I’ve documented this event and procured some pictures.

And mothers. They may close their eyes, but they never stop loving.


Heaven Sends a Greeting Card.

Last Sunday evening, Christopher and I watched “The Road” on Netflix. It’s not exactly a “feel-good” movie (like, at all), so when loving peace BURST, then spread through my chest cavity mid-film, I felt momentarily confused. This rare, beautiful feeling literally overtakes. It wholly consumes. And I looked slyly to Christopher, because I always wonder, does anyone else feel this, too?!

But inevitably, it’s just me. This night was no different.

I smiled slightly, enjoying the buzz, wondering who it was. It was either an angel, or–

All of a sudden, I smelled smoke. Quite strong, actually. And it was coming from . . . me? I cupped my hair in my fist and brought it under my nose. Yup. Cigarettes. Strong. Strong. Strong.

“You don’t smell that?” I asked Christopher. (Like, seriously, how could he not? I was practically dizzy with it!)

“Smell what?” he looked at me briefly, then returned to the movie.

“Nothing,” I smiled, completely overwhelmed. This feeling can only be described as melting, cell by cell, molecule by molecule, into a giant vat of well-being. Of peace. Like nothing, and I mean nothing (at least for those few precious moments) is wrong with the planet. Or mankind.

Who are you? I asked silently, though really, I should’ve known.

“Happy Mother’s Day.”

The answer came clear in my brain. Like *ding* on crystal. And I recognized the voice. The cigarette smell strengthened, like the final squeeze of a super long hug. Then disappeared.

I exhaled. My eyes teared up. I cupped my hair again, taking a long whiff.


My body temperature restored to normal. Silent, cool, happy tears mapped down my cheeks.

He was gone.

“The Road?” 4 stars.

A Happy Mother’s Day from my Grandpa in heaven? 5 stars.

5 bright, beautiful, shining stars.

For Stephen

I’ve dreaded this post, because I knew this entry had to be about Stephen. And I fear failing to convey what happened. How it felt. How it still feels.


We stayed with my friend Angie before flying to London, Labor Day weekend. Not only was my family there, but her brother-in-law, Stephen, was there, too. He was a nice young man. 24. Blonde. Tallish. Polite. Computer-y. Well-spoken in a nerdy sort of way; and, I felt right away, a very gentle soul. He said he was going to his first ever concert that night.

“Oh?”  We chatted over lunch. “Who’re you seeing?”

“The Backstreet Boys.”

I giggled, but Stephen owned it, saying his girlfriend really wanted to go. ( So add “good sport” to the above description); and the next morning, he padded into the kitchen looking very sleepy. “You are my fire, ” I told him. “My one desire.”

“Shut up,” he smiled in his orange juice.

He admitted the concert was good, but that he was tired. As a result, he spent the day on the sofa, playing Minecraft with my son, Harvey. I’d say they played Minecraft for 8 hours that day and every time I walked by, I overheard Stephen explaining things to my little boy with profound patience and respect, answering his 9-year-old questions without irritation. Every once in a while, Sophia and Emily, our screaming banshee little girls would tear through the living room, sometimes crawling over Stephen like a climbing frame, which he tolerated without complaint, only pausing sometimes to quiet them down, or stop their arguing with a calm, gentle voice. I remember thinking how very good he was with the children, GENUINELY good, the way some people just are.

The next day, Labor Day, I walked downstairs, smiling to see Stephen on the couch, this time held captive by two pajama clad little girls, snuggled into either side. I know he’d rather been playing Minecraft than watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but he wasn’t about to disappoint Sophia and Emily. “You’re so good, ” I told him, and we all spent a quiet day together. Christopher and I packed for Europe while Angie cooked, and the children played. The neighborhood pool was closed, so the girls put on their princess best and sweet talked Stephen into blowing up their pool.

He died a few hours later.

He lost control of his vehicle and died at the scene.

His parents found out when policemen knocked on their door. They called Mike, Angie’s husband, at work, then Mike called Angie. I heard screams from the next room. That’s how I found out. She dropped the phone and fell into me.


There’s a white-hot numbness that accompanies tragedy. You’re stunned into shock. Silence. Your mouth falls dumbly trying to say something rational. But I just saw him! your mind screams. I made his last meal. How do we tell the children? My God, his parents . . . The ringing in the ears stops for other questions: What happened? Was he wearing his seatbelt? Was he on the phone? His plate’s still in the sink. This isn’t really happening, right? His breath is still in that pool.

My last words reverberated in my head. “Take care,” I told him, not knowing . . . but then there’s that part. The knowing. Earlier that day, I told Angie I had a bad feeling.

“What kind of bad feeling?” she asked.

But I couldn’t give specifics. Just a bad feeling. We didn’t discuss it further.

Later that night, before we got the news, I saw two quick, bright purple flashes in the living room. “Oh hello!” I said brightly. ( I almost always acknowledge Spirit out loud.)

“Girl, don’t be bringing your ghosts in my house,” Angie laughed.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “Purple is good Spirit.”

We carried on chatting, 30 minutes away from knowing.


I think about how young he was. 24. I think about his parents, his brother, their gut-wrenching loss. I think how often we’re warned that tomorrow’s not promised, and how easily we recite that and dismiss it at the same time. I wonder if any part of Stephen’s soul knew he was moving on, to be with God that day. I’d like to think he did. Because he spent time with his favorite people, attended his first concert, won the hearts of my children, and was surrounded by love. He called Angie on his way home, thanking her for a wonderful weekend. She said it was the first time he’d done that.


And lasts.


In loving memory of Stephen Novacek, November 22, 1988 – September 2, 2013.

Bereaved in Brooklyn

Picture it:

New York City. Halloween Party. Last week.

So I’m sitting on a couch in Brooklyn sipping champagne in a butter yellow caftan. I hardly know anyone but ain’t no thang because I make friends fast and my bubbly was super tasty. I was happy!  I’m sitting there observing the crowd when a handsome man dressed as a woman sat down across from me. The fact he was dressed as a woman is irrelevant but I’m trying to set the scene here. I hate when males have long pretty legs …so not fair (but I digress.) We chatted about Texas and moments later it was clear we had company.

When dead folk are near it feels like someone holding bowls over my ears. There’s an atmospheric shift, mostly pressure not temperature, and as I talked to him, I felt a warm female presence to my right. She felt quiet, polite, and was waiting her turn (so to speak) but I hesitated to acknowledge her. I didn’t know this guy beyond a polite introduction, I was partying hence off duty and most importantly, I don’t like reading for people after drinking.

Alcohol, heavily processed foods, and chemicals in general inhibit one’s ability to connect with the RIGHT Spirit. By ‘right’ I mean deceased loved ones, angels, holy Spirit (anything that won’t scare the crap out of you in the middle of the night, etc.) But if you want to connect to lower energies (icky spirits, demons, trapped/lost souls, whatever) knock yourself out on drugs and alcohol.

This phenomenon perfectly explains why some addicts swear they hear voices. (This is a WHOLE other topic which I’ll gladly get into) but please know I don’t even bother trying to read for people after a drink. But when he sat next to me I knew I was supposed to try.

The female presence was warm, peaceful, maternal….and she was definitely there for him. The atmospheric change was undeniable, interruptive, but in a good way.

“Do you feel that?” I asked and thank God he did. I knew I was safe to deliver a message then, champagne or not.

“Who are you?” I asked the empty space to my right. Scott watched the empty space too. He was all ears.

Tell him I died on a holiday.

I heard her words separate to my brain voice.

“She says she died on a holiday.”

I felt affection spreading through my chest and radiating down my arms. Her affection. I put my hand on his arm.

“My mom died on Halloween several years ago,” he smiled in a sad kinda way, “Well, two days before.”

As he spoke her energy grew stronger. She was so happy I was talking to him.

“Is there anything you’d like to ask her?”

He wanted to know if she was proud of him and that answer was clear too. All she wanted was his happiness. Then another strong message came through.


He told me about growing up in Texas, his strict religious upbringing and how much he loved and missed his mom who succumbed to widespread cancer when he was still a little boy.


Her energy totally overpowered my champagne buzz which was fine because the former feels better but I ignored the repeated butterfly message. I had butterflies on my caftan and thought maybe I’d just looked down and “made it up” if you know what I mean.

But the word was firm in my head.


She repeated it over and over and over.

“Okay I don’t know what this means but she’s telling me to tell you ‘butterflies’,” I said and Scott gasped and covered his mouth, a sheen of moisture coating his pupils.

“My mom was a master seamstress,” he explained tearfully. She’d started quilts for her children as wedding gifts but got too sick to finish his. Years later his mother in law finished it for him.

Here’s Scott’s mother, Ramona.

And here’s the quilt she never finished.

Thank you so much Scott for letting me share your story.

And thank you Ramona for reminding us a mother’s love is forever and ever.