Laurie Gilman knew she was not like everyone else even as a little girl.
Now as an adult thinking back on her childhood, she realizes that there were signs all around her indicating that she was an empath and psychic medium able to feel the mental and emotional state of those around her.
“I was very misunderstood and I didn’t even quite understand myself,” says Gilman. “I didn’t grow up knowing what I can do. It hasn’t been the easiest all the time because no one teaches you what to do. There were times when I took on another person’s pain and feelings like a sponge, and I would be so scared.”
She recalls being a young girl and seeing a spirit floating above their landlord’s body that was lying in a stretcher being carried away.
“It looked like a big man hovering over her,” she says. “Everyone was so busy and I saw her go away, and that man I now know was an angel over her.”
Now at the age of 47 the spirit medium has come to accept her gifts and has even opened her own office called Eagle Wind Readings but it wasn’t always like that- Gilman spent years trying to subdue her ability to be able to speak with those on the other side. She became a certified holistic health counselor and then it just felt natural for her to open up and embrace her otherworldly talents.
Gilman now fully embraces her abilities and has the support of her friends and family, including her three children. At first she opened an office in Essex in April but then one day in September a spirit told her to stop going to Essex so that same day she located an office, the one that she is in to this day, on East Main Street.
She says that now that she is completely confident in her abilities and has a solid client base she can bring forth truth, love and healing to any who need it.
Her clients come to her for different reasons, some come in search of help and guidance, while some come to hear from a loved one who is no longer with them.
“Sometimes the spirit is here before the client even walks in the door,” she says. “I feel it like a hand on my shoulder. It’s like they’re saying ‘listen, pay attention, I’m here.’”
One of her clients, a woman named Sharon O’Rourke, has seen Gilman’s gifts in the flesh, firsthand. O’Rourke was able to talk with her mother who passed away in September during her most recent reading with Gilman.
“She’s been able to give me messages from my mother that she definitely couldn’t make up,” she says. “It still hurts that my mother isn’t here, but through Laurie I’ve found a lot of healing. If more people were open to this, I truly think it would be a better world.”
Teri Parish is another of Gilman’s clients and she has been receiving messages through Gilman from her deceased brother.
“I never told her his name or that both our initials and nicknames had always been TP,” she says. “When I was with her, she kept saying that he was showing her a Native American Teepee and she didn’t understand why. Through her, I was able to hear some really nice things from him that were very comforting.”
Gilman gets a lot of people who come to her because they weren’t able to say something or make amends to loved ones before they passed away. To those clients she tells them that death is not an end but a transition.
It has been Gilman’s experience that spirits keep their personality in the afterlife that they had while on earth.
“If they’re tough as nails here, they’ll be that way when they come back to me,” she says laughing. “Sometimes they’re really funny and will make me laugh. Sometimes a symbol will come in like a snow shovel or something that might not mean anything to me but means everything to a client.”
Being an empath means that Gilman can feel people’s emotions and can sense when her clients aren’t doing well physically or who has recently lost a loved one in a particularly painful way.
“There are times when I can feel really intense, tangible things, like one time I was with a man whose father had passed away in a fire, and I felt like I was choking and couldn’t breath,” says Gilman. “I shook his hand and felt the presence of his father’s spirit.”
Gilman keeps every session confidential, just like any counselor, therapist or doctor should. She states that she will never betray anyone’s trust, but clients are more than welcome to bring someone with them or record the session if they so wish.
“What happens here stays here,” she says. “Some of these people come to me and are hurting and in such vulnerable places. There’s often lots of tears.”
She says that she has had skeptics who ask her why she doesn’t tell the future or play the lottery but she understands the skepticism and is able to look past it. She stands firmly by the gifts she’s been given and what she does.
“This work is sacred. People might roll their eyes, but I know that I’m bringing the light of God, truth and healing into the world. I’m not a fortune-teller. I think people have struggled to put words to this stuff for a long time. We walk around in a mundane world, but when spiritual guidance comes in, it can heal people, which is a game-changer.”