MEDIUM Claire Broad has been receiving messages from beyond the grave since she was a child. She tells us her story.
As Claire looked at the man sitting across from her, she was consumed by an overwhelming rush of love for him. However this wasn’t a family member or a good friend. The truth was Claire didn’t know him. In fact, she had only just met him.
Instead she was channelling the love of his son, who had died a few years earlier.
“I’m a spiritual medium and although I’ve done thousands of readings, there are some that have really stuck with me over the years,” says Claire, 42.
“During this reading, the boy told his dad through me that he’d only needed to be here for a short time and now he was at peace. It gave the dad such peace of mind to know his son was happy.”
Claire, who lives with her husband and two children in Fleet, Hampshire, had her first spiritual experience when she was just four when she visited a cemetery with her grandmother to put flowers on her grandfather’s grave.
“My grandfather died when I was three so I don’t have memories from when he was alive but I had an experience where I heard my grandfather speak to me.
“My grandmother was laying flowers at his grave and I was playing nearby. I heard a clear message in my mind saying: ‘Claire, please tell nanny that granddad says ‘I love you Ivy’.
“When I told my grandmother she was shocked because although Ivy was her real name, everyone but my grandfather called her Connie.”
Claire’s next spiritual experience happened when she was a teenager. “When I was in my early teens I would sometimes wake up and see a figure standing at the end of my bed.
“At first I wondered whether I was dreaming but even when I was fully awake I could see him standing there so I’d run into my mum’s room. It was really unnerving.” Claire kept seeing the figure at the end of her bed throughout her teens but didn’t know what it meant. Then one day when she was 19, a friend persuaded her to go and see a spiritual medium.
“First of all, the medium brought through my granddad and she named him. She said he was telling her that I was psychic and that he’d tried to communicate with me directly.
“There was no way she could have known that, it was so personal.
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“Then she said there was a spirit guide coming close to her and she told me that she could see a Native American and that he was called White Feather because he was coming in peace.
“At first I was very dismissive and thought, everyone gets told they have a Native American guide. Can I believe this?”
Then a few years later, she saw another medium, who gave her a similar reading.
“I went to see a well-known medium who was doing a public demonstration. I bought one of his books and when I went to get it signed he said: ‘You know you have a Native American with you and he’s given me the name of White Feather.’
“I was so shocked because I couldn’t think how he’d possibly know that. And that’s why I decided to start finding out more.”
Alongside her job in advertising, Claire started having weekly sessions with a medium to learn more about communicating with the spirit world.
“It definitely frightened me at times because I didn’t understand it.
“But the magical thing about this is that once you start to learn about it, you realise that there’s nothing frightening going on. Our imagination is what frightens us the most.”
After 10 years of studying mediumship, Claire started going to spiritualist churches and giving readings herself.
And before long, people began asking her for private readings.
“I see the joy and the peace of mind that my clients get from hearing personal messages. It’s such a rewarding thing to do for someone.
“For me, the most amazing thing isn’t knowing the name of someone’s relative, it’s bringing through the essence of that person’s personality. It could be argued that you could look names up but you can’t look up someone’s character.”
Claire also wants to encourage others to develop their spiritual abilities too. “I believe everyone can have intuition. I’m not special at all, the only difference between me and someone else is that I took the 10 years to learn about mediumship and communicating with spirits.
“Being able to get messages from Heaven doesn’t take away the challenges of life or the pain of missing loved ones but what it does do is give you a broader perspective on life without being fearful of death. It’s given me a sense of purpose and brought so much comfort to others.”