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I got a psychic reading 3 months after losing my dad. How it helped me heal

I was bereft about never hearing from my dad again. After my session, the feeling changed.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

I've always been intrigued by psychic mediums (honestly, who isn't?), but my passing interest escalated to utter fascination when I lost my father last December.

On the same day, my husband also lost his grandpa, who had been a surrogate grandfather figure to me.

Suddenly, I was thrust into a dark period of loss with no idea how to navigate this unchartered territory.

Up until then, I didn't have much experience with death — sure, I'd lost all four of my own grandparents, but so had most people my age and I'd taken comfort knowing that most of them lived long, full lives.

This first major loss — my father — was almost too much to bear on its own, but losing grandpa on the same day felt like a true one-two punch, even if his death was more expected at his age.

Just two and a half years before, dad had been the life of the party at my wedding, happily celebrating this next chapter of my life and the start of his own retirement. But a few months later, his health started to decline.

The author on her wedding day with her father.
The author on her wedding day with her father.Courtesy Chrissy Callahan

What was initially diagnosed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) turned out to be something much more serious — lung cancer — but we wouldn't find that out until late summer 2023, and it was far too late at that point. By then, the cancer was inoperable so dad prepared to undergo chemotherapy.

This was his third bout with cancer, all different types, and we knew he was much more frail than one should be before they start treatment. Still, we forged ahead.

Just a few short months after we received a diagnosis, my dad was gone and my entire world was suddenly turned upside down.

Finding comfort in mediums

Three weeks after my dad's death, I interviewed Theresa Caputo, a well-known psychic medium, about her new TV show. When I asked her how to interpret signs from deceased loved ones, I mentioned that I had recently lost my father. She then asked if I ever feel his presence behind me. I said yes. I'd felt someone tap me on the shoulder a week beforehand when no one else was around.

From there, she went on to mention that I saw my dad briefly in a dream (accurate) and let me know that my dad was coming through to tell me he was at peace. When I felt a sudden warmth pass through my body, Caputo said she had just seen my dad's soul pass through me.

The author and her father enjoying some quality time together.
The author and her father enjoying some quality time together.Courtesy Chrissy Callahan

It was a brief, blissful hello from heaven and it gave me the strength I needed to make it through these next few hellish months.

From there, I began feverishly reading psychic medium books, eager to discover how to decipher signs my dad might be sending from the other side. I read all four of Caputo's books and Tyler Henry's book, "Here & Hereafter."

Travis Holp
Travis HolpWiley Image

A few weeks later, a publicist reached out asking if I would like to attend a 1:1 mediumship session with Travis Holp, a psychic medium and spiritual guide who recently won a Cheer Choice Award for in the motivational/inspirational category.

I eagerly accepted a 50-minute session with him and began to wonder what it would be like since this time, the session was all about me and wouldn't take place during an interview.

I'd seen TV shows about psychic mediums and had even attended two live shows before, but had never had a proper sit-down reading that wasn't a part of an interview.

Talking with Travis

I felt instantly comfortable with Travis, who complimented me on my "energy" right away.

"That's funny," I thought, because his energy was simply infectious too. After walking me through what I could expect during the reading, Travis jumped right in and told me a father figure was first to step forward.

"Thank God," I thought, "He came through."

I hadn't mentioned my dad's passing before we got started. In fact, Travis said he prefers not to know who his clients want to hear from.

Travis began by telling me dad was at peace.

“He’s like, ‘Please let everyone know I’m OK,’” Travis said.

He went on to mention cancer (correct) and a quick progression of the disease (correct). I had recently mentioned this in another article I'd written, so I still had a healthy dose of skepticism but felt instantly encouraged.

As our session progressed, Travis mentioned a professional project I've been considering and said my dad was so excited about it. I've been looking for a sign that I should pursue the project, and this felt like the push I needed.

Dad kept telling Travis how "proud" of my writing he is. "Dad just wants to brag on your writing. He’s like, ‘She’s such a good writer,’" he said.

Unbeknownst to Travis, this was one of the two main goals I had for our session. I knew my dad loved me (duh) but he wasn't one to hand out compliments or praise all that often. I've spent the last few months wondering what he thought of my career and wishing I could just hear him say he was proud of me, so this was a moment I will always cherish.

“He keeps saying it, so you must’ve really needed to hear that,” Travis said.

Dad also sent through a few messages for my mom and reassured me that he heard us say goodbye to him.

Halfway through the session, Travis asked if I had any questions or wanted to get clarity on anything else. I was curious to see if my dad would mention a special, secret nickname that we shared.

It didn't come easily but I wasn't surprised because my dad was always a stubborn man. But after we'd left the topic and moved onto something else, Travis mentioned the nickname and my mouth dropped.

Hearing from multiple loved ones

You never know who will show up during a psychic medium session, and I was happy that a few other loved ones stopped by as well.

My nana, who I'd lost earlier in the year, popped in very briefly. Travis described her personality to a T — "She's so sweet! Her energy is so precious" — and mentioned the disease she had before her death.

Grandpa also stopped by and Travis depicted his personality perfectly. "What a funny man. He's so funny. His energy is coming through and I just get the sensation that I want to laugh," he said, and spoke about his profession accurately.

He shared the initials of my husband's two brothers' names while saying that grandpa is so proud of them.

Why I would meet with a psychic medium again

From the minute he greeted me to the end of our session, Travis infused positivity into our session. He was serious when necessary and provided comedic relief when appropriate, making for the perfect balance of energy.

Travis did a great job of validating that my loved ones are still with me by mentioning specific details that no one else would know.

“I know that we miss the physical presence of our loved ones but their energy lives on and just continues,” he told me.

Of course, mediumship isn't an exact science, so he did misinterpret a few things. For instance, while talking about my husband's career, I mentioned that his brother, father and grandfather were in the same field. Travis referred to a "legacy business" a few times, saying that it would "flourish."

He might have been referring to the company my husband and brother-in-law currently work at, but all four family members have worked for separate companies at times. However, the overwhelming majority of messages were relevant and accurate.

The 50 minutes we spent together were healing, but the way our session left me feeling afterwards was why I would meet with Travis or another psychic medium again.

I felt reassured, comforted and not alone, feeling that my loved ones were watching over me. The session gave me the energy to keep going.

When you lose a loved one, it's hard to adjust to not being able to hear from them anymore. But the session made me feel like I could speak to my dad, just using a new language.

Travis validated some of the signs my dad has been sending me, most notably blue jay birds. Since he mentioned that, I've been paying much more attention while walking around my neighborhood with my husband. Last week, I noticed five blue jays in one walk.

“It’s a beautiful thing. It’s never truly goodbye with our loved ones in spirit. It’s always this string of hellos,” he told me.