Her psychic gifts, which she first noticed as a child, allow her to read people’s energy and pick up on information about their past, present and future; her mediumistic abilities help her communicate with people who have died and relay their messages to those who are still living ― but more on that later.
When Laura was just beginning her career as a teacher 20 years ago, she went on a first date with Garrett, who is now her husband. On their second date, she opened up to him about her psychic medium gifts.
“It’s not something I can really hide,” said Laura, author of The New York Times best-seller The Light Between Us. “Anyone who knows me well, knows this is part of me. So, on our second date, over dinner, I told him about my abilities and some of the experiences I’d had related to them.”
So what’s it like to be married to someone with these otherworldly capabilities? The Jacksons fill us in below.
How did you respond when Laura first told you about her psychic medium gifts on that second date?
Garrett: I was intrigued by it. My stepmother had gone to psychics for years, and I was fascinated by stories she relayed to me. She was told very specific factual details about her life during some of these readings that the psychic could not possibly have known beforehand. I knew there had to be something to it.
Laura: He was actually pretty open-minded about it and interested. In retrospect, it was a good litmus test as to whether I should date him or not.
What is the difference between a psychic and a medium?
Laura: There is a saying in the industry: All mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums. Being psychic means that you perceive energy and can read someone’s aura. It also means that you pick up on information about a person’s past, present or future. When I read psychically, I am retrieving the information, or looking to see, feel and gather information.
Being a medium means that in addition to having all your psychic abilities wide open, you can also shift your own energy in order to hear, perceive and connect with the consciousness of those who have left their physical bodies ― in other words, those whose physical bodies have died. When we leave our physical bodies, we are still conscious thought energy. Mediums can, using their own consciousness, shift, tune in (kind of like turning on a radio and tuning in) and connect with those who have crossed and receive information and messages.
Being a medium is like being in the role of a translator, translating a universal emotional language into English ― and at times, hearing words and phrases, feeling impressions of things or watching little movie clips. It is a receiving of information rather than a retrieving of it.
At what age did you realize you possessed these gifts? What was that like for you, Laura?
I have always been psychic since a young age. As a child, I would feel other people’s energy and emotions and see people with superimposed color ― blue, red, orange ― around them. But I just assumed this was the way the world worked and that other people perceived things in the same way. It seemed normal to me.
However, at age 11, I realized something was “wrong” with me, so to speak, when I knew my grandfather was going to die right before he did. In retrospect, that knowing, too, was a gift, not a curse, because I got to spend one last day with him. He communicated with me in a dream after I crossed, which was also my first mediumistic experience. It took me decades, though, to understand that my abilities were a gift and to embrace them fully. At times, they scared and overwhelmed me.
Garrett, after almost 20 years together, what do you think about Laura’s gifts today?
It is very humbling to get to see firsthand the healing that Laura has brought into so many people’s lives. I have had the privilege of meeting many of these people in person and hearing their stories directly from them. She has brought peace and healing to so many people whose lives were otherwise hopelessly frozen in grief. Many of these people tried unsuccessfully for years to find any relief from their grief through counseling, support groups or other “traditional” means. It was amazing to meet these people and hear from them directly how Laura’s work gave them hope and perspective to begin living their lives again after years of living in darkness and despair.
Also, through my own personal experiences, I can say with absolute certainty that the afterlife is real ― which is a concept that many people spend their lives grappling with, never 100 percent sure. There are paranormal phenomena that exist on the peripheries of our physical world that, although rare, are indeed real.
What do you do for a living, Garrett?
I am an attorney.
When you tell people what Laura does, how do they typically respond?
I typically don’t bring it up to acquaintances unless someone asks me directly what she does, or unless they express an interest in the paranormal. The topic of psychic mediums can be somewhat polarizing ― some people are fascinated by it and other people believe it is impossible. I honestly don’t blame intelligent, rational people for being skeptical. I don’t know that I would believe it either unless I had firsthand experience with it.
All of my family, friends and co-workers know about it. They are largely very supportive. Generally speaking, I find that the majority of people I mention it to are fascinated by it and are often eager to share some kind of personal experience that they, or a family member or friend have had previously with the paranormal.
I honestly don’t blame intelligent, rational people for being skeptical. I don’t know that I would believe it either unless I had firsthand experience with it. Garrett Jackson
Garrett, what challenges ― if any ― has it presented in your marriage?
The psychic part of Laura really doesn’t factor into our marriage as much as you might think. Laura is largely unable to read people that she is very close to. Therefore, it isn’t a situation where I have to worry about her “peering into” my thoughts and activities without my knowing it. Plus, even if she did, I am pretty well-behaved for the most part and spend virtually all of my time either at work or with our family. She knows where I am at all times and I am pretty predictable!
What’s something people wouldn’t know or realize about being married to a psychic medium?
Our lives are astonishingly normal. We live a totally typical suburban family existence. The fact that Laura is a psychic medium rarely factors into our marriage or family life. We are a close family and love spending time with the kids doing normal family stuff. We explained to our kids from any early age what Mommy does and it is totally normal to them.
Laura, do you ever do readings for your family?
Every now and then. I can do it, but it is harder when you know someone so intimately to stay neutral with regard to the information coming through. Also, I try to stay in “normal” mode most of the time, because mediumship is extremely draining to me and I can get physically sick if I stay “open” all the time. I found this out the hard way. So now I set pretty clear boundaries with the other side.
My mediumship door stays locked like a bank vault unless I am actively shifting my energy to do a reading. The psychic information I get is another story, though. I can’t shut off or tune it out, but reading psychically is much less draining than reading mediumistically, and using it can be a helpful tool to navigate the world! I can also “look” to see if my kids have homework they are not telling me about, for example.
What do your kids know and think about your gifts, Laura?
They are completely comfortable with what I do and it is normal to them. I have never tried to hide it or keep it secret, so they have grown up with it being commonplace. They each have their own gifts, and they are open to embracing and accepting them. Even my husband, who claims to not be psychic, seems to have involuntarily honed his psychic abilities. He will often just “know” things, but he will still shrug it off and not own that he is psychic. It’s kind of funny.
Overall, we are a pretty normal family ― only, I suppose, our dinner conversations are maybe a bit different than average ― and how we approach and navigate problems may be a bit different. For example, if something goes missing, we “tune in” to find it, and follow the “pull” to it.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.