Articles by Rosemary Phillips

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Irene Griffey - Spiritualist Medium - Clairvoyance and Transfiguration

Sparkling Blue Eyes

A story about the late Spiritualist Medium, by Rosemary Phillips, from the book “Sliced Bread”

Irene Griffey
"I'm sorry but I don't have any time to chat right now, I must catch the next ferry to Campbell River," I said as I answered the knock at the door. I had just finished taking a shower and was getting dressed when two Jehovah's Witnesses approached my cabin to tell me the latest good news. "I'm hosting a live phone-in television show on CRTV-10 with a clairvoyant medium," I continued.

Because of the success of her work a year earlier (1984), Irene Griffey had been invited by the North Island Wholistic Society to give a lecture and public demonstration, appear on radio and television shows, and give private readings. We had arranged to meet in Campbell River before going to the television studio to do the show. I didn't have a minute to spare if I wanted to catch the ferry from Quadra Island on time so I was somewhat brisk in my response to the two ladies who stood on my doorstep holding their black briefcases full of Good News. They left immediately and I'm sure I was placed near the top of their list of people they 'must' visit.

This was CRTV's first live phone-in show. Hugh Smith, the programme coordinator, had rigged up a telephone in the studio and wired it through to the sound equipment so that callers could talk directly with Irene. When the studio lights were turned on and the cameras were lined up, the monitors showed Irene looking radiant with her wonderfully warm and loving expression highlighted by her sparkling blue eyes. The phone lines were jammed as one person after another talked with her and received messages and guidance. One caller was not at all pleasant but Irene handled the situation tactfully, calmly, and with grace. She gave the caller credit and encouragement for her own understanding and belief and in no way insisted, or even implied, that the caller change that belief.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, dear," was her closing remark as she moved on to the next caller.

Irene Griffey’s life as a medium

In the years that I had known Irene I had come to really appreciate her gifts and her encouragement, and understood her loneliness. She had raised a son on her own in England then moved to Canada where she continued her work. She had an apartment in New Westminster but spent much of her time travelling across the country, working and earning those few extra dollars needed to maintain her simple life. The years had flown by, and as a senior she was beginning to find the travelling a little too strenuous. She questioned the necessity of having to be away from home to do her work. She found that acknowledgement of her gifts came more from outside her home community than from within. When she was at home she was a minister for the International Spiritualist Alliance, ran Sunday services, participated in lectures and demonstrations, and had her own meditation circle which sat to help Irene develop the mediumship of transfiguration.

Transfiguration and proof that life continues after death

I had seen a demonstration of Irene's transfiguration work while I was living in Burnaby and had been completely amazed by it. Irene had been dressed in black and wore a black scarf tied around her hair. A lamp directed red light towards her face and, except for the red light, the room was in total darkness. There were about thirty people in the audience that evening and each had drawn a number from a basket. As Irene went into trance a spirit by the name of Parkinson appeared. I say 'appeared' because Irene's face visibly changed in the rays of the red light to that of a gentleman. Parkinson addressed the audience in a very British aristocratic type of voice, described the proceedings for the evening, then called out a number. The person linking with that number was asked to give verbal acknowledgment to add voice vibration to the energy needed for the spirit form to show itself. About ten people in the audience experienced the excitement of seeing a loved-one's image forming in front of Irene. Parkinson returned to close the evening's activities, and advised that Irene be left alone for a while to return to complete consciousness.

Now we were holding a transfiguration session on Quadra Island. The moon was full, and all the windows of my cabin had to be covered with blankets to block out the light. Ten people had been invited and a few more came along at the last minute hoping for a contact with, or receive word of, a recently deceased relative. Each person, as they came through the door, picked a number from a basket. My cabin was very small and we sat scrunched up like sardines in the dark as Irene, who sat apart from the group, slowly took herself into trance, the red lamp glowing softly on her face. Parkinson made his appearance, welcomed everybody, gave a short talk then called out my number, and as the visual formations over Irene's face began to change an alarm clock began ringing in the bedroom. I dove towards the room to shut it off and as I leapt over obstacles I knocked over the red lamp. There was a moment of chaos. I quickly squeezed my way back through the people in my path, set the red lamp back in place and sat down to adjust the volume of the music coming from a tape recorder. A glowing face emerged over Irene's and her head moved up and down as a voice gently said, "Asha, Asha. We walked the desert together in the land known as Persia." This sounded familiar. It was the same spirit form which had come through my friend Joyce Tarvin a few years earlier, only now it spoke for a longer period of time. After a few minutes Parkinson returned to facilitate the rest of the evening, calling out numbers and linking spirit visitors with each of the guests in the cabin. Each person present received remarkable proof that life continues.

Irene is diagnosed with ALS

A year later (1987) I moved back to Burnaby to take on some writing and design assignments, and met up again with Irene and the International Spiritualist Alliance. She had retired from running the church and focused her time and energy on her work and travels. While on a trip to Australia she developed a strange sensation in her throat and after many tests she was diagnosed as having Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as A.L.S., or Lou Gehrig's disease, an untreatable and terminal disorder. What followed were months of anguish and pain as Irene first lost her ability to speak and swallow, then as the dis-ease took over she gradually lost use of her body. Communication had been Irene's life work and now she sat in frustration, unable to say a word. For a while she used a pad to write messages, then a magic slate. As she lost control of the use of her hands she pointed at a chart of letters and words. There were moments of anguish, despair and frustration, yet even as the end drew near, she would still smile and her blue eyes sparkled.

On Monday, April 17th, 1989, Irene's friends and family all arrived at the hospital. It was as though each had received a telepathic telephone call from Irene indicating that the time of her departure had arrived. We filled the room with laughter and conversation as she lay there unconscious, and when a nurse came to administer a morphine shot we knew that it would be her last, that the time of Irene's passing was very near.

I thought of food, something I didn't normally do. The cafeteria in the hospital had closed and there was nowhere in the building to even get a cup of coffee. I asked if anyone else wanted anything, made a mental list of the orders and took off in my car to the restaurant where we normally all went for Sunday lunch. I ordered a variety of dishes and several cups of coffee then hurried back to the hospital, ran to the elevator carrying brown bags full of food and noticed as the elevator made it's way up to Irene's floor that sauce had dripped from one bag all the way down my pant leg and onto my shoe. As the elevator door opened I stood there covered in sauce and clutching the bags. Joyce Tarvin and Irene's son Steve looked at me sadly and said, "You're too late. She just passed over."

"No," I replied, "I'm just in time. Let's eat."

The others had gone home leaving Joyce and Steve alone in the room with Irene. As they both sat, quietly waiting, Joyce had turned her head for a moment to say something to Steve when she heard Irene's voice say in her ear, "I'm out." Joyce then knew Irene had left the body. They both moved over to Irene's bedside and saw that her life force had gone.

When I arrived with the food the nursing staff understood what was happening and offered us a place in their lunch room to eat our dinner. As Joyce and Steve sat together talking quietly I slipped out and went into Irene's room to take one last look at her. Her frail physical body lay peaceful and calm, without pain, and the sparkling blue eyes were closed, never to open again. In that brief six months since her diagnosis Irene had gone from being a strong robust woman to a skeleton. She had chosen a very difficult way to go Home.

Irene Griffey continues working from the other side of life

Irene continues her work from the other side of life. At her memorial service her choice of song for us all was "Climb Every Mountain" and over the years, when I have faced one challenge after another, Irene has visited, and inwardly I see those sparkling blue eyes and hear her say; "Buck up, dear."

NOTE: There are many more articles on this site about great musicians and artists - see Index of Articles.

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