Let me first say that I am a borderline skeptic when it comes to psychics. I have a wild but intelligent imagination, and I am able to devise ways to explain how and when John Edward could come up with some of the things he says in his various readings, especially those televised on the Sci Fi channel. Who knows the people who were read for this book? Could *his* wild imagination have dreamed up these stories? He did write a novel recently.
But when my "I wanna believe" side is let loose, I get caught up in the emotion and intrigue surrounding his readings. If he didn't get help from anyone (friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.) about the people he reads, then how could he possibly know some of the intimate details of people's lives?
John Edward is an adorable 30-ish guy from Long Island. His puppy-dog eyes and engaging smile could land him on the cover of anything and we'd look twice. When someone like that also claims to connect with our loved ones who have "crossed over", then we either look twice out of curiosity or out of scorn. Everyone has seen those 1-900-PSYCHIC commercials, which are obviously staged, and we wonder who actually calls and pays for a reading from them. Personally, I'd never do it. However, I've seriously toyed with the idea of calling for tickets to Edward's TV "gallery", and have even thought of getting my name on the 2-year waiting list for a private reading. I may doubt others, but Edward's charisma and dedication to what he does has made me believe in him, at least.
John Edward is known as a Psychic Medium, but I think Grief Counselor would also be appropriate. The things he says to help people believe their loved ones are safe and are aware of our love for them has helped to ease many, many people through the grieving process.
One Last Time is mostly autobiographical, interspersed with details about "visits" from spirits and stories about readings which have been pivotal in Edward's life and/or in the lives of those who were read. He writes with a very friendly tone, allowing you to understand exactly what he is trying to convey. I've never read another book on this subject, so I was concerned it might be full of terms and ideals with which I was unfamiliar. That was not the case. As each event was described, it felt as comfortable as though I were reading a personal letter from Edward. His love for his family, his desire to help people ease their suffering, and his sense of humor all came through just as strongly as they do through his television show.
I lost my Mom in late January of this year. It's been difficult, obviously, but one thing which has made it more difficult is that I wasn't able to be with her when she died. I've struggled with the guilt, and I've hoped that my Mom understands now that she "knows" the circumstances surrounding my inability to be there. My faith is strong, but I've never spent a lot of time involved in any one organized religion. My beliefs are based on the basics of religion learned as a child, books I've read over the years, and interaction with friends and family who have stronger ties to the church, primarily the Catholic church. John Edward is a Catholic, too. He has struggled with the church's general non-acceptance of his chosen profession, but he was able to find some allies within the church. This is detailed in the book quite nicely.
One evening, a few months after Mom died, I was flipping through the channels looking for something to watch on television. I'd never watched the Sci Fi channel before, but I stopped there when I saw "Crossing Over With John Edward" on the DirecTV program guide at the top of the screen. I wasn't sure what it was about, but I stopped long enough to find out. During the show, John Edward interacted with members of the audience by proving to them that their loved ones were around and watching over them. I don't remember the particulars of that episode, but I do remember that I was in tears by the time it ended. Not only because I was emotional about Mom's passing, but also because it was clear that the people Edward spoke with were genuinely surprised and pleased that he had made the connections for them. After that night, I tried to tune in every evening. I now consider that hour my personal time to connect with Mom, or other family and friends who have died. No, they don't sit next to me on the couch and talk about the show. I just find that while watching other people remember their loved ones, I can also reflect on memories of the people I miss, too.
John Edward's mother's words were the inspiration for the title of this book. During a conversation they once had about dying, Edward thought it would be nice if we could all have a "one last time" to connect with loved ones after they passed. A window of opportunity to tell them we loved them or to make peace in a strained relationship or whatever else we felt needed to be said. As Edward encourages in each of his "Crossing Over" episodes, we should use the time while our loved ones are here to make sure they know how much we care. Don't wait until it's too late and you have to rely on a psychic to make that connection for you.