The Spirit Shop

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Memory Of Rhiannon

As most of you know by now, my fifteen year old niece, Rhiannon, passed away a few weeks ago. To honor Rhiannon, I thought it would be nice to write a little something to help you get to know her and the struggle she faced. Not only do I want to tell you all abut Rhiannon, but also my perspective on losing someone close to me and being a medium at the same time.

One of the problems that many psychics or mediums experience when losing a close loved one is just like any other persons experience, and part of that is guilt. We seem to beat ourselves up over things such as "How come I didn't know this was going to happen?" or "Why did I not know something was wring with them.?" I encountered this when my mother suddenly passed away 10 years ago. I talk all about this experience in my book. Afterward one should learn quickly that we as psychics and mediums are not gods or geniuses by no means. We do not know everything that is going to happen in the world or in our own lives. At times I also believe some things are just not meant to be known, including future events.

Several years ago I blogged about an experience I had with a visit from my grandmother. My grandmother appeared to me in the middle of my daily meditation. I was close to this particular grandmother when she was living and have not had a visit from her since right after she passed, more then fifteen years ago. My mother visits me often and it is not common for me to get visits from other random relatives, so I was surprised to see my grandmother. The visit was very short and she only said a few things starting with the fact that she was worried about my sister. I thought she was talking about some other worry until I heard her say "It's cancer." And then she disappeared.

Like anyone else, I automatically thought that maybe my sister may have cancer of some sort, maybe breast cancer. Being pulled to this could also be because for years I use to pick up cancer around her in an odd way. I sat confused for a few minutes wondering what I was to do. For days I could not get this out of my mind and then I received a call that sent me into shock. My sister was on the phone and broke down as she told me the sad news that her daughter, Rhiannon, was just diagnosed with cancer. Immediately tears fell from my eyes with a fear for the worst. I prayed, meditated and still could not come to understand why my grandmother mentioned my sister and not my niece. Now, years later, I'm coming to understand why she was more concerned about my sister.

Rhiannon Jesberger was born on March 19, 1993. She is the only granddaughter to both my mother and father, and my only niece. As you can imagine, she was both of my parents pride and joy. When my mother was still living she was very close to both Rhiannon and Rhiannon's brother, my nephew and godson, Jimmy. Rhiannon and my father were tight, the two of them were always together and were extremely close. My sister being a huge fan of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, like myself, named Rhiannon after the song and the goddess Rhiannon. Known as the warrior goddess riding on her white horse into the night, Rhiannon sure would live up to the goddess she was named after.
Rhiannon was the only one on both sides of the family that had blue eyes and blond hair just like my mother. It was scary how much Rhiannon looked just like her grandmother. You could put two pictures of them together at the same age and never be able to tell them apart. Rhiannon was an adventurous, outgoing and very loving person. She also loved food and anyone that knew her knew how much she loved to eat, and it never showed.

When she was about four years old she went into the freezer in the middle of the night looking for ice cream. Upset that there was no ice cream for Rhiannon to eat, she opened up her bedroom window, climbed out and wondered off into the neighborhood looking for a store with ice cream. Luckily Rhiannon came across a police officer who did get her some ice cream because the officer thought she was so cute, and then drove her home. Could you imagine the police knocking on your door and waking you up in the middle of the night with your four year old daughter who climbed out her window to get some ice cream. Not so funny when it happened but pretty funny now when you look back on it.

Rhiannon was quite a trip to say the least. While on a trip to Mexico at the age of ten Rhiannon had the opportunity to swim with the dolphin's. From that day forth she fell in love with dolphin's and had a dream to be a marine biologist and work with the dolphin's. She had that goal all the way up to the day she passed.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the childhood cancer that Rhiannon was diagnosed with in June 2006, she was only twelve. She would undergo more then a year of chemo, radiation and other medical procedures. At one point they gave Rhiannon a clean bill of health and sent her home. When that happened I had a really bad feeling and even told my sister to keep a close eye on her. One of the horrible experiences I has was the day my sister told me Rhiannon was sick I had an instant feeling that she would lose the fight. That just made me pray harder, send lots of healing reiki and so much more to help through this process so that Rhiannon could win the fight.

Less then one year later Rhiannon's cancer returned and the entire process would start all over for her. I believe the cancer really never went away and hid in her body. As much suffering as she went through she would still remain positive, crack jokes and make fun of things just like her normal self. She would go through years of treatments, surgeries and so much pain for several years before doctors broke the news that there was nothing else they could do. The tumors would shrink and then move to another place in her body. At one point a tumor hid behind her bladder making it hard for doctors to treat. Doctors were amazed by how long Rhiannon hung on for. This just goes to show that there was a warrior in her spirit and she was going to fight to the end. I have to say that she has to be the strongest person I have ever met to be able to survive through the crap that she had to go through. I certainly couldn't do it.

Rhiannon wanted to live her life to the fullest and certainly did the best she could at accomplishing just that. Rhiannon loved to sing and you could always catch her singing around the house. I think it was when she was around four when I bought her this little radio with a tape player and a microphone for her to sing along with the music. Of all the gifts she got that Christmas, that was the gift of all gifts. She carried that radio everywhere with her always singing along to the music. Rhiannon was very creative and always kept herself busy doing things she loved including drawing and coloring.

My sister and Rhiannon's step father, Ward, were going through Rhiannon's bedroom several months ago when they came across a photo album. This photo album amazed us all. We were not aware that she was creating this photo album of her and her family. Next to each picture was something special that Rhiannon wrote. This showed her humor and the love she had for her family. When you opened the photo album there was a picture of her other and her father. In between she wrote "Not together any more." Going through this book made us laugh and made us cry. My sister tried to get Rhiannon to finish the photo album but she became to sick to do so.

This past summer my sister was searching the net when she came across a place in Florida called Marine World. This was a special facility where they worked with and trained dolphin's. My sister contacted Marine World and set up a special trip for Rhiannon to go and swim with the dolphin's. They were so good to Rhiannon and even let her work as an employee for a few days. One particular dolphin, Roxy, which was pregnant, bonded with Rhiannon. This amazed everyone at Marine World. They said that Roxy never reacted that way to anyone. A special bond between to very special spirits. Rhiannon wanted to go back to Marine World and they even agreed to give her a full time job when she recovers from cancer.

It was only a few months later that Rhiannon became sicker then ever. Problems with her bladder would lead her to surgery several times. The Make A Wish Foundation came along to give Rhiannon a special wish. Of course she wanted to go back to Marine World. The trip was all planned and they ever made a special wet suit for her to wear. She really wanted to see Roxy again and Roxy's new baby. A few days before her trip she became extremely ill and this is when doctors told us that she only had a few weeks left to live. She never had her last wish fulfilled but I know that as soon as she passed and crossed over she went right to Marine World to visit Roxy.

Bob and I spent as much time as we could with Rhiannon the last few weeks of her life. We were leaving during one of our visits and I said I love you to Rhiannon and she looked me right in the eyes and used every little bit of energy she had to tell me that she loved me too. I walked away with tears in my eyes because I knew it was going to be the last time I would hear her tell me that she loved me. She became so sick that she was not able to talk well and I cherish that moment I had when I heard her tell me that she loved me. Only a few days before she passed we were in the room with her and I was holding her hand as she moaned from the severe pain. At one point she looked up and saw Bob in the room with her. I don't know where she found the strength, but she looked up at Bob and you could feel her smile as she tried as hard as she could to wave at Bob with just a few fingers.

The day before her passing we all gathered together at the hospital to be a Rhiannon's side. You could not go into the room with her without shedding a tear. She was crying out in pain and breathing very heavy. The doctor would only give her so much medication which did not seem to help at all. I held her hand while trying to send her as much reiki healing as I possibly could. I did not want to leave her side but it got late and we were pushed out. I had a real hard time with that because I new should would not make it to the morning. At about 5:30 in the morning my father called me to tell us that Rhiannon was real bad and it would not be long. Within only ten minutes the phone rang and I instantly began to cry. Rhiannon has passed.

Rhiannon wanted to help other children with cancer once she got better. She was very confident and it was so funny that you could always catch her taking pictures of herself. So in order to help her fulfill one of her wishes, I will begin a foundation in her name. My goal is to raise money for to help fulfill the wishes of children suffering from cancer. My long time goal is to eventually raise enough money to start a children's camp for children with cancer in Rhiannon's name. Rhiannon had the opportunity to go to a children's camp for kids with cancer and she had a great time meeting other children that were also fighting cancer. Rhiannon met a good friend Henry at St. Christopher's who also had cancer. They shared special moments together. Henry passed away not long before Rhiannon.

Rhiannon came to visit me a few days after she passed. It was the first time in all my life and in my work as a medium that I asked a spirit that I knew to leave. I was not ready to talk and she didn't want to hear it. She gave me a message for her mother and disappeared. Another thing that was bothersome was when we went to see her the morning she passed. Right after my father called we got dressed and went directly to the hospital. Seeing her lay there was so disturbing, but then I saw her standing in the room next to the bed. Being a medium you would think I would be OK with that and ready to deal with it. This is not at all true and I was not ready to see my little Rhiannon's spirit.

What I do know being a medium is that she is no longer suffering in pain. I know she is now with her grandmother in heaven singing with the angels and cracking jokes like she loved to do. I know she is now a little angel herself as she was always our little angel and always will be. Rhiannon's personality and bright spirit has touched
every ones life who has met her. She had a way with making people smile and making sure that everyone got along. She was a very special child and that I will hold in my heart forever.

3 comments:

CKaye said...

I hope you know what an important healing good you do when you talk openly about Rhiannon's death and what you went through. Times are better than they used to be, back when the standard was "forget about it, it does no good to talk about it", etc., etc. So much damage was done. The subject of death and spirituality is no longer taboo.

I was disturbed by Rhiannon's MD not adequately medicating her in the face of the terrible pain she was experiencing. It doesn't make sense, seeing that the prognosis was on the table and there was no other outcome. For the longest time in the US there was a perception held by the medical establishment that children did not feel pain the way grownups did, so doctors often did not medicate kids going through tremendous pain or medicated so lightly the dose was inadequate. Supposedly this has changed in the US, though I hear it is still bad in Mexico, but starting to change. If you become involved with childrens' terminal illnesses I hope you check this out. It sounds like what Rhiannon had was probably not a hospice or palliative care set up, so doc was worried about "depressed breathing", or something like that, despite the screamingly obvious circumstances. And, if done properly, there would have been no risk whatsoever, by the way.

Thank you for letting us get to know Rhiannon a little better. God bless you, Joseph and Bob, and please try and take it easy for a bit. And thank you for opening your heart to us.
christina/chicago

nadia said...

Dear joseph
today when i read "In memory of Rhiannon ..." i was so touched by her strength and by the attatchment you felt towards your niece. She surely suffered a lot of pain due to her illness but what i felt was that she was shown alot of love and affection from her family and that you all tried hard to make her happy to which i am sure she is really grateful. the loss of someone dear to us no matter how well prepared we are is always a difficult thing but through our blief that it is God's will (and he always knows best)we are given from up above the strength and the patience to continue with our lives. The memory of your niece will always make you smile i am sure also it will give you a purpose and that is to help those who are suffering from cancer. Your story has given me a purpose too and that is to check on the St. Jude cancer center
here in Beirut and try to make a difference in those kids lives no matter how small.
Thank you for sharing your feelings with us , you have provoked me to do something to help any kid with cancer.
I hope that one day a cure for cancer will be available and that no one will have to suffer the pain that your niece had to.
My her soul rest in peace and her memory make her absence easier.
i hope that one day i either get to meet you in person or at least keep in touch through the internet. My e mail is nadelsi@yahoo.com
with love
nadia

Nadia said...

hi joseph
i am really glad u approved my message because it comes from the heart. i dont really know why or how i got to your website but i feel it must be for a reason. Maybe it is a message to tell you go ahead with your dream of touring around the world with the gift you were given from up above to help people dealing with their loss or even to give them a chance to improve the quality of their lives. again i tell you i dont know why i got an e mail with ur news letter(to which i subscribed now) but i feel that it was ment to be. God works in mystirious ways. we are at different ends of the world you in the states and me in lebanon. lebanon is the country mentioned in the holy bible several times so are the cedars of which it is famous.plus lebanon is the land of Saints. It is a must visit country so why not plan a visit and see for yourself.hahaha
Joseph i really wish you all the best and hope that you continue helping people the way you are doing but remember you too have a life to live.
with love nadia
your friend from lebanon
that is if you accept my friendship (hahaha) :)hope to hear from you soon.