Interviewed By: Jody Glynn Patrick
Medium Suzane Northrop agrees to an interview for BookReview.com in a hotel room in St. Louis, where she is staying under an assumed name so that she can get some peace and quiet before a seminar scheduled for later in the evening. It is her 13th city in 13 weeks, and the only one in which she has been openly referred to as "Satan." It has unnerved her, but not deterred her from guesting for a local radio station and doing cold readings on air. Nor will she consider canceling the seminar.
"I have a mother presence, a Betty," she will say at that seminar. My husband will raise his hand and answer,"I have a Betty. She was my mother" She will then say, "She is bringing through a Daniel and a David." My friends Donna and David will gasp with me. David is their son. Daniel is mine. Both boys are dead.
It was a belief that she didnĂt get her due when the book The STance was published that drove the medium to get the rights back from Dell. Northrop then repackaged and updated the manuscript and had it republished by Jodere Group in 2002. Second Chance: Healing Messages from the Afterlife was written with a foreword and endorsement from friend and colleague John Edward, who has risen to celebrity stature following the airing of his television program "Crossing Over." Northrop is the psychic that Edward reportedly turns to when he wants to make a connection to his own family.
"When John was dating the woman he later would marry, he didnĂt know how to tell her what he did for a living," Northrop said. "So he brings her to one of my seminars and then afterwards, when she says she really thought it was cool, he said, ŠYou know what Suzane does? WellÓ thatĂs what I do.Ă ThatĂs how he told her!"
Northrop not only has high hopes for Second Chance, but also for her next ű Everything Happens for a Reason -- expected to be published this November.
Northrop admits that the time may also be right (even ripe) for a television program. "But I would only consider it if it was the right opportunity," she insisted, meaning that the station would work with her on the edit and give her profession a respectful handling.
"You have four children," she will say to me at the seminar. "Two boys, two girls. Your son on the other side says he is nothing like your other son. The two boys are very different. ŠNot the same at all,Ă he says." I choke up: she is absolutely right.
Northrup hails from New York, and quips that there is, indeed, something in the water, since well known mediums John Edward, George Anderson, and even James Van Praagh were born within a hoot and a holler of each other. Mediums are big draws on the East Coast ű Northrop can expect up to 500 in a New York audience versus the 150 expected tonight. She says she hopes that her book sales will bolster her seminar career, and vice-versa. SheĂs booked well in advance for seances and commands on average $300 per person in a group of eight or ten, but she is nonetheless drawn to the teaching aspect of her profession.
"This is how I make my living," she admitted, adding that she doesnĂt particularly care if people donĂt believe she can do what she says she can ű connect the living with those who have died. But she would appreciate it if they wouldnĂt be so attack-mode oriented in their disbelief. "ItĂs my job, nothing personal," she says. "If a skeptic comes to a seminar and I donĂt happen to pick them, then they can either learn from those who did get connections or they can choose to be mad. I try to give everybody something, to educate people about what happens, about the process. ThatĂs what they should be able to take home ű that they learned something."
During the seminar, she will say to my friend, David, "Your son has your name." She has never met the man before. "Yes," he will whisper. "He is funny," Northrop will add. "He makes me feel like laughing, like heĂs here on stage with me." David will answer, "He was a stand-up comedian." "A damn good one," she will agree, then ask, "Is it true what he says now, that he played Vegas?" The father will nod. Yes, his son performed in Vegas.
Her work is all about the people she connects to their loved ones, Northrop insists. It isnĂt about stardom. She doesnĂt take a limo, preferring to drive her Jeep to local appearances. "IĂm in a service profession," she says. "If you forget that, well, believe me, itĂs a gift and a gift can be taken back. IĂve seen it happen. I stay down-to-earth."
Success has nonetheless had an impact. Northrop says that sheĂs always felt different, however, because even when she started 25 years ago playing small psychic fairs, there was always a line waiting to see her and she could command more money than most. "YouĂd think itĂs a community, but IĂve had a few knives to pull out of my back over the years," she says. "Still, friends like John and others hold the ability in high regard, theirs and mine."
She will later say to me, "IĂm told mega albumns. Your son says many." True. I have made 14 scrapbooks and am known for it in the family. She will nod emphatically: "ThatĂs mega to me. And he went up in a hot air balloon." I will disagree: Daniel did not do this, althought his younger brother did. "He was with him," she will insist. "He knew you were afraid, so he went with the younger boy to protect him."
Can she turn it off and on? The voices? The visits? "Most of the time," Northrop says, though she says that she is commonly drained after a seminar. She has to "speed up" her own mental energy to connect and she doesnĂt always remember what was said during her trance state. To cope with the stress (both physical and mental), she often drinks red wine after a performance. "It calms me down," she says.
"One boy died suddenly, alone, in a vehicle. An accident," she will say, speaking to Donna and I and our husbands in the middle of an audience of 150. "The other died of an illness. The boy in the vehicle died quite a while ago, the other more recently and around a holiday." Daniel died in a car accident 11 years ago; David died of health complications just after New YearĂs. She will nod and tell me directly, "Your son wants you to know that if he didnĂt die, he wouldnĂt have been right. He would have never been normal. It was as it was supposed to be." I will cry at these words because Daniel suffered a broken neck and spinal cord in the accident.
"People who get a reading, those people are never the same," Northrop says. "They might think they believe, but when they really get a connection, they know it and it changes their lives. They are never exactly the same afterwards. All doubt is gone. They have experienced it. Some experience it by validating othersĂ experiences in the group, but the ones that get a messageÓ they are changed forever.
I tell her that I donĂt expect a reading or a message and thatĂs okay. I already believe in her ability. I donĂt need proof beyond what I know in my heart.
"IĂll see you tonight," she says. "And youĂll see for yourself. It changes lives. ThatĂs why I do it. It changes lives. People who are supposed to get readings, get readings. Everything happens for a reason."
"He [Daniel] is bringing through a beloved grandmother and a mother known for her crocheting and sewing," she will tell me. This is my grandmother Nana, greatly beloved, and my mother, who sewed right up to her last days with cancer. "The afgans are to be handed down, as you are doing," she will add quickly. "Everything is where it should be ű you are doing it right. You are keeping things in the family, correctly placing the things she sewed that matter most."
Meeting Suzane Northrop certainly is life changing, and having her make a connection is mind blowing. It happened for a reason and so not to include it in the review would be wrong. Thank you, Suzane ű from Donna and Dave, Jody and Kevin. And from our DPs as well..
What is as equally important to me as a medium is helping others validate their own connections/contact with loved ones who have passed over. Although our dreams, beyond a doubt, is the way most communication happens, contact does happen very differently for everyone. More importantly however, what I've come to learn is we need to believe and know without any uncertainty that we all have the right and permission (by God or a higher source) to contact or be contacted by a loved one who have passed over into the spirit world. This is the ultimate test of our faith.
It is not my job or my place to convince you of what I believe...that we do not die or that we can and are contacted by loved ones who have died. You need only have an open mind, or be open to the possibility of life after death. There is a growing body of research in my field, and wonderful people, practitioners, researchers, philosophers and every day people sharing their own experiences. Recent discoveries in physics regarding energy and matter have given new credibility to psychic phenomena, to mediumship, and to works of other ages and other belief constructs concerning life's continuing passages.