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Georgia O'Connor ~ Post Star 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Past
Stillwater woman to hold event on contacting the dead

Published: December 15, 2008
Post Star, Glens Falls, NY
Photo By Jeffrey Fehder

Georgia O'Connor doesn't need Jacob Marley to tell her about the chains he forged in life. If she wanted to, she could talk to Bob Marley instead.O'Connor is a medium who lives in Stillwater with her husband Dennis and their three children. She operates a business from her home where she assists the living in communicating with the dead.On Sunday, O'Connor will hold an event called "The Ghosts of Christmas Past" at the Inn at Saratoga Springs. The public is invited, at $50 a head, to try and make a connection with lost loved ones."I'm going to have a 'meet the medium' event, which basically is a two-hour program where I spend the first half talking about what I do and how I do it, things I've learned from the other side ... and then I do questions and answers to let the audience ask whatever they want about life, death and in between," O'Connor said.

The last half-hour of the presentation O'Connor spends communicating with the dead.She believes her work is a comfort to those who have lost loved ones, especially during the holidays.
"It's nice to know that they're still around and that they're celebrating the holidays with us," she said.O'Connor said that she first realized she was different when she was 3 years old but didn't fully come to terms with the idea of talking to the dead until she was in her late 20s."I didn't start seeing it as a gift until I was 28 or 29," she said. "Before then, I really thought that I was kind of crazy and was going to be locked up. Really. If you think about the people walking around on the street who are seeing and hearing people that no one else hears, either they're homeless or they're going to end up in a mental institution. I really thought that I was heading for the same fate."O'Connor said she decided to "come out of the broom closet" after experiencing a 46-hour natural childbirth with her second child. She figured after that, she could endure anything.
"After I had my son, I decided to try it out a little bit," she said. "Just to see if the things that I was hearing and seeing could really be validated."O'Connor assembled a group of volunteers who were blown away by the information that came through from the other side. She said that they were able to validate 90 percent of the messages that she received."That really gave me a lot of confidence," she said. "Finally I thought maybe these are really dead people and not hallucinations."

O'Connor said that she struggled with her gift for a long time because of her Catholic upbringing."There was a lot of inner turmoil that I had to overcome in order to accept it," she said.O'Connor believes that after we die, the body and the spirit disengage. She described the relationship to be like a car where the body is the vehicle and the spirit is the driver."When the car finally gives out, we leave it," she said. "I think of it much like the process of birth -- there's some pain when the body dies, but there's a tunnel and a light at the end of it and a bunch of people standing at the end of it going 'come on! come on!' to welcome us into the new world."She believes that when we cross, we're greeted by the friends and family that went before us. She said that there is no judgment on what is right and what is wrong. Some spirits, she believes, create their own hell by refusing to cross over and live in isolation.

O'Connor said that there are spirits around everyone at all times."Every person has about five to 10 people who stay around them all the time," she said. "Family members, whether you knew them or not, are always around."She said that they are not there to scare us, only to watch over us, comparing there presence to the fabled Jiminy Cricket, who acted as the voice of reason for the puppet Pinocchio.O'Connor can pick up the presence of a spirit visually or audibly. Sometimes it is just a sense that she gets. Often times they show her symbols that she must interpret, which can be frustrating for the medium."There have been times when I'm not sure if the person I'm talking to is living or dead," she said. "I have little tests for myself, like if I close my eyes and still see them. Or if nobody else can see them, I know I'm talking to a dead person."
She said that the majority of her readings involve an apology of some kind."Even if their loved ones have already forgiven them, they still need to come through and talk," she said. "It's been explained to me that we stand in front of a mirror when we first cross, and your whole life is replayed to you and instead of just seeing it happen. You feel the emotions that you made other people feel. It's a huge learning experience. There's no punishment, but it's all about learning and trying to become the most loving being that you can."With the popularity of talk show mediums like Sylvia Brown and John Edwards, people seem to be more open to what O'Connor does, she said. But she still experiences a fair amount of contention."I still face people who are very fearful that I'm talking to demons disguised as their loved ones," she said. "I've had people come to readings only to sit there blessing themselves the whole time and asking me to tell them when the demons show up so that they can pray. I don't even think that there is such a thing as demons, but it's a stretch for some people."It doesn't go along with what they've been taught to expect for a lot of years. But I don't think it goes against any religion because, at the core of every religion, there's life after death. Life continues and it's all love-based, and I really think that that's what the message is."