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Home / Long Island Medium bringing ‘The Experience’ to Cedar Rapids
As the Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo’s life is an open book. Television, social media and live audiences know about her divorce after nearly 30 years of marriage; about her turn as mother of the bride on May 22; and that she’ll become a grandmother in February.
But how does it feel to have her private life played out in public?
“You know, no one's ever asked me that before,” she told The Gazette during a phone interview from her Long Island home Monday morning, as she prepared to head out on the road later that day.
“And it's so interesting, because I feel actually blessed, because I have so many beautiful and happy things that go on in my life. You mentioned my divorce — it was sad, but yet in the same token, it’s a reality for a lot of people.
“When I meet people, like on the street (or) meet someone in a store, one of the first things that they always say to me, they’re like, ‘I know you, you're like my best friend,’ or one woman said to me the other day, 'I've known you for 10 years, but you’ve never met me.’
“To be able to connect with people in person and for them to say, ‘You're exactly the way you are on TV’ is … really nice. At the end of the day, as hard as certain things are to share, it helps people, and that's what I do. It shows a side of (me) that we are all the same,” she said.
“No matter where we're from, what we do for a living, we’re all the same. We all go through the same struggles, especially through COVID. We all felt alone, we all lost a lot of things, whatever it may be, we all lost something. …
“I think being so accessible the way that I am, and sharing so many things, I think it helps people in their everyday lives, as well.”
Helping people get through life’s trials is the essence of how she uses her ability to connect with departed loved ones, giving their survivors a measure of peace and reassurance that their connections continue after death.
Even though she no longer does phone readings, during the pandemic, Zoom let her connect with people through her “Hey, Spirit!” podcast and for most of the “Long Island Medium” season, which streamed on Discovery+.
“I felt like Zoom was the new phone reading,” she said. “Even though we weren’t allowed to see everyone in person, we were still able to have that connection. You could still feel the emotion. Listen, of course, there’s nothing like anything in person, right? But with Zoom, it was still very intimate, and it was again, something where we could all stay focused and have something positive to look forward to.”
The Experience Live
Now she’s looking forward to resuming “The Experience Live!” tour, which is coming to the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Sept. 22.
When she steps into a full or nearly full auditorium anywhere, the most yelling comes from the audience members, not from the departed trying to get their messages to their loved ones in the room.
Messages come to Caputo in signs and symbols, and the psychic messengers she calls “Spirit” guide her through the audience, until they stop her in front of the person for whom the message is intended.
She has felt those nudges throughout her life, aware that she felt “different” even at age 4, but she didn’t embrace her gift until adulthood. Now at age 54, she has been sharing that gift with others for about 20 years.
She advises everyone to come with no expectations, and even though some may think bringing an item like a piece of jewelry or a scarf or purse might increase the chances of their loved one coming through, they typically act as a means of validation.
“I have found over the years that the people that come with no expectation, they have the best experience, and I think it's because I’ve learned that there are so many common things that Spirit might talk about or refer to, as far as burdens and guilt (or) maybe the way that someone has passed.
“But what I have Spirit do with every healing message that they have me deliver, they have to validate it with something completely unique to the person that Spirit has me speaking to. They might talk about something that happened years ago, to remind them of happy times. They might talk about things that have happened since they died, so they know that through every milestone they’ve achieved, their loved ones have been with them in spirit, that they haven’t truly left them.
“They talk about things that no one else would know that they said to their loved ones in their own personal thoughts or prayers. They talk about things that there’s no way I could find out about.”
She realizes some people are skeptical of psychic abilities — even those who are coming to her live shows.
“Whether someone believes in what I do or not — and that’s not why I do what I do, so it doesn’t matter to me if someone believes me,” she said. “I want them to believe in themselves. I want them to believe in an afterlife and to know that their loved ones are still with them, just in a different way, and that the soul bond hasn’t been lost.”
A profound experience unfolded for her in late June and July, when she channeled for people whose loved ones died in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. More than a year in the planning, the readings were taped and premiered Sept. 9 on cable channel TLC.
Unlike her other readings, where she knows nothing about anyone’s circumstances, this time she knew everyone coming to her had lost someone because of 9/11 — either that day or even years later from illnesses triggered by those events.
They wanted answers to how their loved ones died — were they in pain, did they suffer.
“That’s a big burden that someone’s carried,” Caputo said.
In New York, Spirit guided her through the victims’ deaths, to the point that by the end of those days of readings, she said her voice was raspy and she felt like she had smoked a pack of cigarettes.
“One minute I was in a smoky stairwell, one minute I’m in a firetruck, the next minute I’m in the streets of New York. It was incredible how Spirit worked,” she said.
Her experience was very different when she went to Shanksville, Pa., where she knew that everyone who died was aboard that airplane.
“It was almost like they wouldn’t let me feel anything. It was like they were protecting me from what they were going through or what they had gone through,” she said, “and the validations — the things that Spirit had me talk about were so mind blowing.”
Her Pentagon experience was a mix, since some victims died in the plane, and others in the building.
“The thing I learned or took away from this special was these families, every year, have to relive their loved one’s death in extreme detail, minute by minute, hour by hour, and how hard that is for them, and the strength that they’ve shown by coming,” she said.
“Even after 20 years, still searching for peace. To have been able to give that to them, in those moments, I was so proud. And that’s why I consider what I do such an honor, and a privilege to do this kind of work.”
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