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Past & present: Psychic medium says she helps people connect with those who are gone

Psychic medium Deb Sheppard describes herself as having an ability versus a gift because, to her, everyone has something special to bring to the world.

Her modesty is the key to how she connects with people, alive and dead. Her motivation is to bring a message to those who might be seeking answers or provide peace of mind to those who may have lost a loved one.

“I’m also an empath, which means I feel people who have crossed over,” Sheppard said. “They come to me, older, younger, male or female, personality traits, usually how they’ve crossed over and usually really detailed things about what has happened since their death so that people know without a doubt that it is their loved one and it’s not generic. It will be usually very specific information for them.”

Sheppard has no control over who comes through when doing private or public readings. Sometimes the person who comes through can be unexpected, such as an ancestor from hundreds of years ago or someone a person had a tumultuous relationship with. But overall, people find solace through Sheppard’s messages, she says.

“I think there’s a couple things: One is some people believe in an afterlife and others do not, so people come to know that there is more and that their loved one is at peace,” she said. “And it’s kind of another way of the healing process, so they may go to social groups or go to therapy, and a medium isn’t the complete all. It’s just another piece of it. And especially for people who have lost children, I think, it’s a very peaceful way to know that their child is with them. We all want them to still be here. I mean, it’s inevitable that we’re all going to cross, but especially young people is probably the hardest.”

Suicide is something that has hit close to home for Sheppard, and she hopes to give others it has affected some peace.

“I don’t think everything happens for a reason,” she said. “I think that when things happen that you find a way to make a difference in the world. My husband and my nephew suicided, as well as I’ve had lots of friends, so I’m writing a book about it. I’m writing a book on healing and the beliefs around suicide because many people believe you’re going to go to hell and that there’s punishment and what I believe with suicide is it’s a mental illness. I’m trying to educate people that it is an illness.”

Being “extremely open to the process” is what Sheppard suggests to guests who attend her events.

“It’s realizing that you can still hear from the one you’re expecting but be open to how they show up,” she said. “And a lot of times you will get very fixated on how it should look versus let me do my job and be a listener because they’re very nervous. People get very nervous because there is a lot of emotion. … I don’t have control of who comes through and how they come through.”