El Día de los Muertos: Contacting departed loved ones via mediumship | AspenTimes.com

El Día de los Muertos: Contacting departed loved ones via mediumship

Kimberly Nicoletti
Special to The Aspen Times
Becky Hesseltine gives a reading in Eagle.
Courtesy photo

As a young child, Becky Hesseltine would feel “eyes in the room” or a presence she didn’t understand. Sometimes, she’d be spooked.

It wasn’t until she said yes to understanding the phenomenon, and not being afraid of it, that her psychic and mediumship abilities flourished.

“I didn’t realize that connecting to other people’s souls and with departed souls is a natural connection and expression within our soul,” Hesseltine said. “It’s very healing and loving.”

In 2017, the Eagle resident left her corporate job to help people connect to their departed loved ones and gain clarity about their own lives.

She begins readings telling clients to let go of any expectations, likening readings to inviting friends to a coffee shop: They may or may not come, and if they do, they’ll have their own agenda to share, “just like our friends in the physical world,” she said.

“Imagine you don’t have a physical body but still feel, still have a mind and connect with loved ones,” she said. “We are spirit people having a human experience. We are connected to our soul family — a deep bond with each other. When we allow ourselves to be moved by that connection, we can communicate. I believe it’s the most natural language, the language of the heart and soul. I believe everyone can do this. It’s a matter of how available you are to it. It’s not so much ability. It’s availability. … It’s basically a shift in your awareness.”

Some people seem to be more attuned to sensing the invisible world, and it can be spooky without the paradigm in which psychics like Hesseltine frame it. She and others like Cheryl Murphy, who teaches summer sessions on intuition in Carbondale, assert that only love is real. Therefore, the idea of haunted houses and malevolent ghosts is simply an inaccurate perception.

Just as you might walk into a room and sense your friend is upset, you might also walk into an old hotel or house and pick up on a lingering memory, or energetic pattern.

“Your friend is leaving an energetic print in that space that you can sense,” Hesseltine said. “We leave energy behind.”

She doesn’t believe ghosts haunt people or that spirits get “stuck” here on Earth.

“(As a spirit) you probably wouldn’t be hanging around in that house. You probably would have better things to do,” she said. “I believe the moment the body physically passes, you’re automatically in the spirit world — you’re automatically in this place that feels like home … and you are free.”

She believes we often make meaning of these energy patterns through a filter of fear, conditioned through society’s horror and ghost stories. Murphy has a similar belief, which includes spirits perhaps wanting our attention to impart a message (and, sure, that might include flickering lights or sightings), but they’re not meant to scare or haunt us.

“Loved ones just want to say hello and tell you they’re OK and they care about you, so beware of your filter,” Hesseltine said, adding that it is a mysterious world with so much more to explore. “The relationship between you and your loved one continues.”

That seemed to be the case during my own reading with Hesseltine.

Without me saying a word, “a male in the spirit world with a fatherly quality” who had been in the military “in charge of others” came through. Indeed, my dad’s dad was an officer in World War II. He expressed sadness that he couldn’t be there in the way he wanted to for his own kids and wanted to let me and my dad know that he was sorry for pushing my dad so hard, which had a ripple effect in my life. He wanted us to know we’re worthy beyond our accomplishments, and he supports us in softening our own hearts even more and letting in greater love. He said my “sparkle” brought out the “mushy” side of himself, which he couldn’t allow with his own kids. And that’s accurate: I experienced a loving, kind grandpa who supported me as a competitive figure skater and beyond; his kids grew up with a much tougher version.

A photo of Kimberly’s grandparents, which ran in the Record-Courier in Kent, Ohio, in 1988 with the caption, “Betty and Bill Mauk wheel their way around the floor at Roller Express,” as part of a story about seniors roller skating, titled: “Good times on the roll: Freewheeling skaters relax.”
Richard Sweet, Record-Courier

During the reading, my grandfather mentioned a photo of himself, with me skating. I told Hesseltine I didn’t think anything like that existed, but then an intention I’ve had for a photo immediately popped to mind: For several years, I have been wanting to mimic a photo that ran in 1988 in the Record-Courier in Kent, Ohio, of my grandparents roller skating in their senior years. I’ve been wanting to capture that same pose with my husband on ice skates. During the reading, my grandpa cheered on that idea. But it wasn’t until last Thursday, about a week after the reading, when my husband and I were heading to the ice rink, that I realized I should try to capture that photo now to better illustrate this story. So, without a professional photographer or much preparation, we did our best.

Kimberly and Dylan Nicoletti pose on skates, mimicking a photo of Kimberly’s grandparents that ran in 1988 in the Record-Courier in Kent, Ohio.
Courtesy photo

While the reading also included information about me, my childhood and where I might be heading, my grandma (on my dad’s side, also pictured) proved her presence by talking about at least three pieces of jewelry she had given me (and I do have three rings from her that I absolutely treasure). In addition to conveying her love and support, she encouraged me to use my voice, something she said she didn’t get to express as much as she would’ve liked (in other words, write that dang book and teach more).

“When you don’t feel supported in the physical world, you have them right there with you, just loving you into life,” Hesseltine said.

While I’ve certainly felt their presence — as well as their son Michael’s — throughout the years since they’ve each passed, the reading makes this Day of the Dead all the more poignant and powerful for me as I feel into their presence and glide through the mystery of life with just a little more ease.


Kimberly’s grandparents, as part of a story on seniors roller skating, which ran in 1988 in the Record-Courier in Kent, Ohio.
Kimberly Nicoletti
If you want to delve deeper…

What: Deepening Your Psychic and Mediumship Gifts, Level 1 with Becky Hesseltine
When: Jan. 9 to March 20
More info: beckyhesseltine.com
To contact Cheryl Murphy: psychicmediumcherylmurphy.com