your pal, erin

Writer & Psychic Medium

Biff The Stiff

Biff is taunting me.

“Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.”

We are in my car, waiting at the intersection of Derenne and Bull streets.

“Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.”

He’s chanting like an annoying older brother.

“Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.”

I refuse to comply.

STOP HITTING YOURSELF!”

His words pelt my face, like a handful of cat liter thrown at100 miles per hour. I rap my knuckles maniacally about my noggin just to shut him up.

The driver in the next car makes concerned eye contact as I give myself a noogie. He can’t see my dead friend Biff…just the crazy woman who appears to be in the throes of a nervous breakdown.

My only recourse is to wave a friendly hello.

Biff is ecstatic. He loves playing “Humiliate the Psychic” and is thrilled to have found such a rube participant.  

In high school we hated each other. He considered me his best friend’s slutty girl crush and I dismissed him as the jerk who laughed at everyone else’s expense. Since his passing, Biff has shown me that laughter was the way he expressed his affection for others; that he was always the biggest butt of his own joke.

Biff passed from cancer just weeks before our 20th high school reunion, marking the occasion bittersweet. Nevertheless, he insisted that he would be there, wearing hot pink finger nail polish and matching lipstick—conveying an image of Bugs Bunny dressed as Carmen Miranda in drag to illustrate his point.

Back in Savannah, I was unable to attend, but relayed Biff’s message to a mutual friend, who later confirmed that Biff’s pal Velma had shown up wearing fucshia lipstick and matching nail polish for no particular reason, other than that fact that she was “tired of feeling like such a mom.”

This past week, while I was visiting Minnesota, a group of Biff’s friends booked me to do psychic readings at their party. It was an honor and a pleasure to share Biff’s messages of love and laughter, but I was surprised when people didn’t seem as excited to receive his messages as I’d expected. 

It’s not that they weren’t appreciative; they just weren’t emotionally up to speed with his humor. Even when they agreed that the message sounded like something he would say, their responses felt as if we were watching the same sitcom on two different television sets, with theirs being on a seven second broadcast delay. 

I couldn’t understand the disconnect: If two people who hated each other in life could forge a friendship in death, then how could those who knew and loved him not feel the steady stream of love and pure positive energy that he was sending back?

The answer came became clearer when someone mentioned that Biff had tried to make people laugh, even in those final days in hospice when he was unable to speak. 

That’s when I realized that those who were closest to him are not only suffering his absence; they’re grieving his physical transition from the person they knew and loved into what appeared to be the shadow of his former self.

But appearances can be deceiving. As such, I’ll do my best to explain what Biff has communicated to me about his death transition experience.

Even as Biff’s body became immobilized, his spirit was feeling elevated. He wasn’t suffering, but rather in awe, wishing he could communicate the joy of being enveloped in love and light. That very sensation captured in Steve Jobs’ legendary last words, “Oh wow. Oh wow. oh wow.”

As his the essence of his physical being diminished, his conscious expanded. Biff reveled in seeing, hearing and feeling the thoughts of not just his loved ones, but everyone around him. As they watched him slip away, he was feeling closer to them than he ever could have when he was in his physical body.

Biff’s conscious didn’t end when he left this world. It expanded beyond the walls, out into the Ether where he merged with All That Is.

To know this intellectually is one thing. To be present with it in the midst of your grief is something else entirely. And so, we share these insights in hopes that they will resonate as true, even though they might not entirely make sense.

As someone who loves to end even the most serious note with a laugh, Biff would like to take credit for having chosen the awesomely bad title of this week’s column, embracing yet another opportunity to embarrass me.

 “High five,” he adds in his best Borat voice, hoping that his loved ones will get the joke.