My Mother Never Wanted Kids, We Bonded Over Psychics

We never made any pact about contact from the afterlife, but after she died I suspected she was trying

L.L. Kirchner
7 min readMay 7, 2021


A young woman in a leopard-print top looks into a mirror as she applies makeup.
Mom on vacation, getting ready to go out.

Cassadaga is a small town in northern Florida that bills itself the psychic capital of the world. Not long after my mom sloughed her mortal coil, I found myself driving nearby. We hadn’t made any pacts about reaching out from the afterlife, but since her death I’d begun to suspect Mom was trying.

Throughout my 1970s childhood, my mother looked nothing like the other moms of our Rust Belt suburbs. She wore her thick black hair closely cropped, paired with figure-flattering leopard prints and a bold red lip. Raised in Chicago, she couldn’t drive. Cabbies flirted with her. “That your sister?” they’d ask. Neither of us would answer.

“We’re living in Hell,” she said of one neighborhood. “Without the amenity of sidewalks.”

Her dreams of a bigger life often found outlet in psychics. At our back-to-back appointments, I’d wait on Miss Lorena’s wagon-wheel patterned couch till it was time to switch places. Afterward, we’d dissect our sessions.

“What did she tell you?” Mom would ask.

I lived for this precious attention from my otherwise distracted mother.



L.L. Kirchner

I write entertaining stories that sneak up on you. Florida Girls, my new novel, comes out May 28! Stay abreast of it all at