Best friends forever:
Our bond extends beyond death
Gone but never forgotten
Growing up in South Africa, me and my best friend Claudio Sanno were often told stories about ‘tokoloshes.’ These terrifying dwarf zombies were said to molest sleepers in their beds, and naughty kids were often warned to ‘behave or a tokoloshe will get you!’
‘I don’t reckon they exist, do you?’ Claudio said to me one day, as we sat in my bedroom, playing computer games.
‘I don’t know,’ I said thoughtfully. I’d been aware of spirit for as long as I could remember, had a psychic gift – but I’d never seen a tokoloshe.
I already knew that Claudio was dead
My young life had been blighted by something far more frightening than spooks.
From the age of 5, I’d been subjected to horrific sexual abuse by a family friend. He told me it was ‘our secret.’
When I was seven, I’d finally plucked up the courage to stand up to him. The abuse stopped.
But despite my dreadful experiences, I knew I wasn’t alone. I often felt angels around me, giving me comfort.
By the time I was 12, I knew I was gay. I was terrified about how my family and friends would react.
I was 19 when I broke the news to my mum, Lynette, and Claudio. Mum hugged me as I looked at Claudio with anxious eyes.
‘So what?’ Claudio grinned. ‘We can still drink beer together.’
I beamed at him with relief. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
With Mum and Claudio’s love and support, I came out to the rest of my family and friends.
Later that year, I was at work at the college in Johannesburg where I was a PA. I was in a meeting when my mobile rang. It was Claudio’s mum, Celeste.
Before she could speak, a rush of warmth flushed through my body. It was the same feeling I had whenever a spirit was with me. It could only mean one thing…
‘You don't need to tell me, I know,’ I told her. ‘Claudio's dead.’
I felt my heart break into pieces.
Armed robbers had broken into Claudio’s Johannesburg home, shot him as he lay on the sofa. He was just 19 years old.
Claudio’s father Rob had also been shot, but thankfully he'd somehow survived.
I was devastated by Claudio’s death. I missed my funny, warm, loving friend so much that my heart ached. Some days, it was all I could do to get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other.
The following year, I was with Mum in the kitchen of our flat.
‘Can you see that man?’ she asked, looking out of the window.
I stared out over the car park, but there was no one there.
But Mum insisted she could see a man outside. I knew she was looking at a spirit.
Although we were both used to seeing angels, I was scared.
Suddenly, there was a loud bang, glass shot everywhere. The kitchen light had exploded. What the….? Something very weird was going on.
By the time I was 21, the horror of Claudio’s death and the sexual abuse I’d suffered as a child threatened to overwhelm me. I became deeply depressed. One day, I was hiking in mountains outside Johannesburg. I went into a coffee shop where a lady sitting at one of the tables stopped me.
‘I’m sorry for cutting your head off in a previous life,’ she told me. ‘Sorry?’ I spluttered. She gave me her phone number. ‘I’m a medium. You have to come and see me,’ she insisted.
A few days later, I visited her at her home. Marilyn, the medium, told me that she’d been an Ancient Egyptian queen. I was one of her dancers, but she’d had me beheaded after I displeased her.
As we chatted, Marilyn smiled.
‘Your best friend is here,’ she
told me gently. ‘He’s watching over you.’
‘Claudio!’ I gasped through tears of joy.
Knowing Claudio was still with me rebuilt my shattered heart, filled it with happiness.
Marilyn became my spiritual teacher, helped me develop my psychic gift.
That’s when I learned that glass shattering was a sign that great spiritual change was coming.
When the light had exploded in the kitchen, it had been a portent.
And now it had come true.
In 2009, I got the devastating news that I had cancer. It was touch and go whether I’d pull through. Before I was due to go for my second operation, I went for a reading with a medium. I was delighted when she brought Claudio through. ‘You’ve climbed a mountain,’ he told me through the
medium. ‘Don't worry, it’s all downhill from now on.’
Relief surged through me. Claudio’s words meant I was going to be OK.
On another occasion my grandfather Gennaro appeared. He too told me I was going to make it.
Sure enough, after three operations, I was finally given the all-clear.
In 2014, I moved to the UK. I suffered from depression again after my beloved mum passed away. But with the help of the angels and my loved ones in spirit, I recovered.
Now I work full time as a psychic medium and angel healer.
People who have had experiences similar to mine are sent to me by the angels so that I can help them. It’s such an honour to be able to comfort and heal others who are suffering. I’ve had so many dark times, but now through my work I can spread light. Sadly, the robbers who killed Claudio were never caught, never held to account for what they did. But my loved ones – both here and in the spirit world – have made me believe in the good in humanity once again. I’m living proof that you can always replace fear and pain with hope and joy. All you have to do is keep an open heart. Because if your heart is open, it can be filled with love.
Claudio watches over me from the other side