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Sharing the Journey from Bereaved to Shining Light Parent
Joe McQuillen's Validation with his son Christopher through James Van Praagh

Joe McQuillen's Validation with his son Christopher through James Van Praagh

  • Posted
    • May
    • 25
    • 2024
by Elizabeth Boisson

Joe and Christopher/The Lanyard/Christopher and Joe at a Baseball Game/James Van Praagh

Being Irish means you don’t know how to tell a short story.  And embellishing may also be part of my heritage.  But every sentence of this story is true. And many of you were part of it…..

I was perusing the HPH website earlier this week when I saw an event with James Van Praagh.  I had watched you tube videos featuring James and read his book” Talking to Heaven. “ A  few years back when my friend Jen Weigel was interviewing him on the radio I got to say hello while tuning in.  His gentleness and warmth always came through and I was anxious to join the zoom meeting of HPH this past Thursday.

Like every shining light parent at every event with a medium I certainly hoped my son Chris who transitioned at 21 would come through.  Chris is a strong spirit and often comes through in these settings.  But as I looked at the number of parents in attendance, I wasn’t necessarily counting on it.  OK that’s not true… I was but I was willing to take what I got from the hour with James.

James had a way of getting to business and keeping the readings flowing while displaying a kindness that touched my heart.  His readings with parents were of course amazing.  The details and the personality of each spirit coming through was spot on.  At about 35 minutes in, James asked about a child who had fallen from a great height.  Although Chris had in fact fallen 30 feet down a mine shaft while hiking in Arizona, it wasn’t the event that caused him to cross over.  It was one of his two NDE’s prior to his transition. Elizabeth mentioned to James that two parents had identified with a falling accident.  James then quickly transitioned to a drowning in a small boat. 

Elizabeth spotlit me and explained that Chris did indeed fall from 30 feet but  then later drowned in a canoe accident.  James let out a hearty laugh to indicate of course this was Chris coming through.

James asked, “do you by chance have a medal or necklace that belonged to him”? I responded that I do indeed have his St Christopher medal hanging from my rearview mirror in my Jeep.  It was given to him at his baptism.  James laughed that wonderful laugh and said Chris just said that about the medal.  “God, he loves you” James said… you two were cut from the same cloth.  James then mentioned the Irish background and Chris’ connection to being Irish.  I told James that Chris had a Heraldic McQuillen Crest tattoo on his shoulder.  James then mentioned my dad who loved me standing behind Chris. He said there was a large family clan on the other side.  He mentioned our dogs. 

Maybe the most identifiable message was when James was describing his beautiful tombstone when Chris told him “They made a mistake.” James asked about what mistake was made at his grave and I explained that when Chris was buried in January on Chicago’s snowy north shore, he was placed right next to another couple.  When the snow melted, and I saw the “mistake” I had the grave moved over one plot.  I will occupy the one Chris was in and Sally will be on the other side of our boy, when her time comes.   James said Chris was laughing and said, “we all come together over here anyway Dad”.

The reading continued and James asked about Michael who I had just spoken to.  I had spoken to his God father Michael just 3 days before.  The hits just kept coming.

James then got serious and said, “your son welcomed passing”.  This took me out at the knees.  Chris was a high-spirited fun-loving young man, but he had a sad side that always caused us concern.  When James said this, it brought back the words of a Don McLean song -Vincent.  “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”   Chris mentioned his sister and said he has been visiting her in her dreams.

James shifted and asked about baseball.  Did you used to like baseball?   We went to a lot of baseball games. Chris is mentioning “a ticket to a game we went to.”  Do you have a ticket.  I told him I did, and Chris showed James a ticket stub.  I told him I had a ticket from a special game we went to on a lanyard. (see top of page).

James asked me about Francis.  He felt it was St Francis.  Both Chris and my confirmation name is Francis.  And I attended St Francis HS. Chris’ mom Sally had started her day reciting the Prayer of St Francis for the better part of a decade.   James said he was walking earlier that same day and stopped at a statue of St Francis. 

James said he needed to move on… but his kindness stayed with me to this day.  

I was a magnificent event, full of validation, love, and forgiveness.

I want to extend a big thank you to Elizabeth, Irene, James and of course Chris for coming through and putting a little piece of my broken heart back together.  For a little while at least. xo

~Joe McQuillen


“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind;

the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” 

~Henry James

Please watch the YouTube video by clicking here.  

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