Irene Griffey - Spiritualist Medium
Sparkling Blue Eyes
A story about the late Spiritualist Medium, by Rosemary Phillips, from the book
"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, Irene Griffey
had been invited to Campbell River 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 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 on Capital Hill 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
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 that
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
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 face one more challenge after another, Irene
had now and then visited, and as I inwardly see those sparkling blue eyes I can
hear her say; "Buck up, dear."
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