This series is a collaboration between writer MJ Pack and Amy Venezia.
The following is purely speculation and in no way should be considered concrete facts unless future evidence proves otherwise.
When we last left you, I was off to my personal training session and Elvis was put on the back burner for the moment. (That’s not a sentence I ever thought I’d say.) Amy was preparing to go on a trip, and as we discussed logistics, I suggested we meet up after her week-long vacation.
She said no, Elvis was going to want to speak to us sooner than that. It couldn’t wait a week.
Okay, I said. I’d see what I could do. We shuffled our schedules and planned for a session on July 3, two days from our first session. But remember that whole medical thing I mentioned? I spent the next few days miserable, nauseous, constantly on the verge of vomiting. There was a strange mucus wad that refused to leave my throat no matter how many times I coughed and spat.
Finally on the third of July I texted Amy, told her I was very sorry but just didn’t feel up for a conversation today. She said she understood and we’d shoot for the next day, July 4.
Obviously that didn’t work out. I felt marginally better but she had plans with a friend and just like that, Elvis’ second session just kept getting pushed back and back.
On July 6, I was finally able to see a specialist for my condition (after almost three months of waiting for an opening.) His suggestion, to my horror, was a seven day in-patient study at the hospital. I would be constantly monitored by live video, confined to my room, and only able to leave my bed with supervision.
To someone who’s only been to the hospital once (for said condition,) it sounded extreme. It sounded scary. But the way my medication had totally deadened a part of me — the most important part of me, in my opinion — was scarier, and the study involved weaning me off of it. At the very least, I could get some answers about why I was so miserable and sick all the time.
I said yes. He said I’d probably be waiting another month or two to get into the study. I went to the front desk to set up my appointment; the very nice lady there said I could start July 12. Less than a week.
There was no use putting it off. I said yes again.
Fast forward to the evening of July 13. The first day had been hell. I knew I’d be confined to a bed but had no idea the extremes that this test would involve, including a plastic-tubed IV that hurt my arm, a head wrapped fully in gauze (complete with humiliating gauze chin-straps,) and nurses popping in every hour asking if I had to pee.
July 13 was better. They had started to wean me off my medication, as promised, and I felt the difference immediately. I had more energy, I was closer to my old bubbly self, and most importantly I had begun to write again. So when Amy texted that day, asking how I was feeling and if I was up for finishing our conversation with Elvis I said yes. After all, it wasn’t like I had anything else to do.
As we begin, Amy comments on how “cute” my head wrap is and says that I look like “a little pumpkin.” I do not feel cute, though I do feel something like a pumpkin. She comments on her appearance, saying she’s sweaty from tennis and feels gross. I point at my gauze-hat and demand “YOU feel gross?!"
After getting some pleasantries out of the way, we get right to it. And, contrary to our first session, I feel much more sure of myself. Maybe it’s just the high of feeling back to normal. (Except Amy mentions at the start that I ‘feel’ different. Better.)
Me: Okay, so first I would like to apologize that it took us so long. I know you wanted us to get to this sooner, but… life gets in the way a little bit. (gesturing at head) In case you can’t tell. So I just wanted to let him know I’m sorry.
Amy’s eyes are closed, but she’s smiling and nodding. Then she pauses, opens her eyes, and looks to the left as if something odd has just struck her.
Amy: He called you ‘sugar.’ Like, “It’s okay, sugar.” (laughs)
I am not laughing. My eyes are wide.
Me: Are you serious?
Amy: Yeah, he’s, he was like “It’s okay, sugar.” He’s explaining that time is irrelevant.
This next part, I’m not sure you’re going to believe. Hell, I’m not sure I believe it, and I’m the one who witnessed it happening. But here goes.
Amy and I have an application we use that, if it works as it says it does, allows spirits to use its energy and choose words to share with us. (They use a similar instrument on “Ghost Adventures.”) Now, I’ve downloaded a lot of these and almost all of them have been total bullshit, spewing words here and there that make no sense. This app is the only one Amy recommends and it’s the only one that has A) given me intelligent answers to my questions and B) has been at all clear on who it is I’m speaking to when using it. How does that work, you might ask? Well, it’s usually a repeated word that helps me identify them. Even the tone or selection of words can give me a hint.
Before I tell you the rest, take a look at these screenshots. The first is a text to Amy the evening of July 3 at 7:48pm. She never responded.
The next is a screenshot I went back and took after our conversation on July 13. It is also from July 3, and the word in question came through at 7:41pm — moments before I texted Amy out of curiosity.
This is the word I was asking Amy about, but as always, she tells me not to give her any details, so not only did we never continue that line of conversation (due to the business of the holiday) but I never mentioned what the word was. I can say this word came through enough when I felt the spirit might have been Elvis that it made me ask her if there was a nickname he used for women in his life — after googling, I found nothing.
So you can see why I’m a little shocked. More than a little. Blown away might be a better phrase.
Me: That word has come through every single time I feel like it’s him on the app, to the point I looked it up to see if he called anyone in his life ‘sugar.’
Amy: Weird! That’s what he said. ‘Sugar.’
Me: Wow. Okay. So that’s off to a good start! (sighs) Okay! So, I looked into some of the stuff that we talked about before, and was just really moved by some of the performances that I watched. Even the ones in the later years where you can tell his health was not in the best of shape, it was always… the heart was always there, and that can’t be said of every performer. So I admire that very greatly in him.
It’s so much easier this time. It’s just kind of… pouring out of me. Amy is smiling.
Me: So before we leave that topic about what it was he was really trying to project into the world, and to give the world… if there’s anything else he wanted to add, or discuss, anything like that?
She closes her eyes.
Amy: So, he’s saying that there’s two different things. One was what he was trying to give to the world when he was in body, and one is what he would like to try to do now. He’s saying that he wants… the world to let go of the pompous arrogance. When it comes to walking around every day, the miraculous way that we do as human beings, without ever considering that there is a higher source to be grateful to… and acknowledge. In our lives. He would like for people to wake up. And realize that if you can feel that for another human being that is in a position that you feel is something to be glorified, why can’t you glorify…
She pauses, frowning, and looks up.
Amy: He’s saying, “The Maker,” he’s calling him. The Maker.
Amy: He wants people to know that there is a vast expanse of mind-blowing things. Just wake up to that to understand. That… to live in ignorance is… not only disrespectful to what we each have been given, why we’re on the planet right now, but also keeps us from being what we came here to be. He wants for people to connect with… something higher. And to do it now. Before it’s… too late, he’s saying.
Me: Too late for people individually or too late for humanity as a whole?
Amy: Humanity as a whole.
I think we can all see where he’s coming from on that. Turn on the news, look at the Internet. It feels like the world’s burning.
Amy: He’s explaining that when you connect with something higher — whatever you wanna call that, or whatever that is to you — you immediately come into balance. All of your craziness and things come focused into balance, and so it is like a… it’s an opening, it’s a way to remember passion and gentleness and gratitude. And if you don’t do that, if you ignore that part of yourself that is what you are, you’re denying the very part of what you are, and it causes you to make choices that are harmful to yourself and other people. And where humanity is going… the more that that is disconnected, the more violent and… he’s kind of saying there’s, it’s not that there’s a point of no return because there’s always a way to connect, but humanity is getting to the place where the mass majority is concentrating on a negative… force. That will only cause us to turn on one another and have mass chaos.
I wonder if that force is hatred or Donald Trump? I kid. (Kind of. Not really.)
Amy: And he’s saying the solution is for everyone to just acknowledge, no matter what your beliefs are, the miracle of life and who you are and come to understand there is something… higher. That you are a part of. And he wants to make clear that people don’t have to be religious or believe in God or call it anything. He’s giving me the example of a musician who is passionately playing his guitar, and he’s just lost in it. His whole mind is open and his heart is open and this energy is flooding through him and he’s playing this prolific guitar… you know, he’s been in a way taken over. He’s lost in it. He’s showing reverence for it. He’s allowing himself to… combine what he is in body and spirit with this source energy that’s moving through him. So if you want to call that music, you can call it music. If you want to call it art, you can call it art. If you want to call it writing, you can call it writing. If you want to call it love. If you want to call it sex. Whatever it is that you want to call it.
As I said, I’m not a religious person. But this? I get this. There are moments in my life I will never forget — singing the “Walk Hard” soundtrack with my friends on a road trip, dancing with my husband on our wedding day, spotting a family of dolphins just feet from where I swam in the ocean — which fill me with such emotion that even now to recall them brings happy tears to my eyes. Those brief, fleeting moments where you wonder how life could be so good to you.
Yeah. I get it now.
Amy: It’s the times in your life that you realize there’s something more than you. And you allow it. And when you allow it, you open and you start doing things that after you do them you wonder, “How did I do that?” It’s because you acknowledged something higher than yourself. You let it be a part of you. You opened to it. So it’s not about religion or worshiping one thing in particular, it’s the acknowledgement. And the humility that there’s something we’re all a part of, we all can tap into, every day of our lives. To be at our fullest potential. And when we’re at our fullest potential, we’re happy. And when we’re happy, we’re being kind to each other. When we’re being kind to each other, we’re making a better planet.
Amy pauses, as though listening for more, then nods decisively.
Me: I think that falls pretty well in line with some of our other subjects, and you said that he’d been… catching word of what we were doing, so I think that’s definitely a… very good one to share. And I think something that will resonate with a lot of people, especially with everything that’s been happening lately.
I wax poetic briefly about how recent topics in the news have been both upsetting and divisive. I talk about Alton Brown’s son and his gentle, evolved approach to the backlash against his father’s death. Then I get to the point that I realize I am, actually, so much better in my own head than I had been when we started this on July 1.
Me: All that, I think, is similar to this message. Not being so wrapped up in your own ideals and what you believe and what you perceive, but thinking beyond that… and like you said, just being more evolved about… everything, really. Because if it comes down to — and I know this is only one situation, but black VS white, cops VS ‘thugs’… Everybody can be broken down into one word if you want to. But in the end we’re all people. We all have souls. We all have our own energy. We all have our own purpose, whether we lose it or not. So, yeah. I think that’s definitely a message that a lot of people are going to need to hear right now.
Amy has a small smile on her face. She’s nodding.
Me: So thank you. Tell him thank you.
Amy: He’s happy.
Amy: He’s actually, um, very happy with you. He says that you, you’re gettin’ it.
I think so, too.
Me: I think there was a reason we had to wait until today. I don’t think I would’ve gotten that quite as well. Before.
Amy: And also, I’m thinking if you go back and read the first session… you’ll get it more then. Because there’s some brilliance in that first that… I think you will understand and get it more.
You’d think I’d stop being surprised when Amy is right but wouldn’t you know it, in transcribing the first session it was definitely starting to sink in (seeing as I was finally home and fully of the medication at the time.) Not to mention how Elvis had said I would come out of this better than before. He was right, too.
Me: Good. I feel really good about that part. And if he does too, then we can move on. I know he had wanted to talk about his family. (pause) Oh, I suppose I’m supposed to ask questions. Okay. What does he want to say to his family, or if there’s anyone in particular he wants to send a message to?
Amy closes her eyes again.
Amy: So the first thing I get with that is an acknowledgement to Priscilla. Um, that is… him saying he knew she had to do what she had to do. He wants to let her know that he… gets that. And that, that’s all good. A complete understanding of… something about that he wants her to let go of. He says she pretty much has, any lingering… thoughts. About… how he felt about that. Should be let go of. Because he knows she did what she had to do.
There’s a very long pause as Amy listens. Behind me, my hospital bed glares a brilliant white.
Amy: I’m trying to… hear clearly, um, there’s something he’s trying to show me having to do with his daughter? That is… something that he used to say to her, or they would do, like an interaction. He would say something, she would giggle and say something back? It is… something that was done all the time. A little ritual they had when he first saw her, like if he was away and then saw her, or… she walked in the room after not seeing her for some time.
She squints her eyes closed.
Amy: There’s a nickname with it. (pause) I’m hearing the word ‘honey,’ but that’s not just it, there’s something with it. I’m hearing… ‘honey-bear?’ ‘Honey-boo?’ I don’t think that’s it, it’s not coming through clearly. I don’t know.
She tries to listen and comes up short, so we move on.
Amy: He works with her [his daughter] a lot. On the evolution process. Her… soul. He’s a guide for her, although, um… he’s telling me she knows that but there are times she doubts it. He’s saying he’s very much a part of her process, things that she has found herself in or gotten wrapped up in, he steers her towards sanity. And right directions. Always watching over her. Always. Like her conscience, kind of. He steps in when he needs to. That’s him. He does that for her.
Me: Okay. Is there anyone else who was special to him, whether it was a family member or not, that he either wants to talk about or say anything to?
Amy laughs immediately.
Amy: He just kind of made an instant joke, but I didn’t hear it in words, it was more like I felt it. “Well, everybody’s pretty much over here already!” Like, so many are on the other side. He’s saying there’s too many to go into and name, but he does want me to acknowledge his band, and singers that were with him. He truly believed in his heart that he was nothing without them. He humbly, truly believed in his heart he was nothing without them. He had a great love for each one of them. He thinks that they know that, but there were times that… he was very much in his ego with reactions and things. Especially towards the end, he’s saying. Maybe the last five years or so. Being reactive, really flying off the handle. He said that was just his unhappiness. He wasn’t happy.
Me: Okay. Now before we’re done I feel like we need to touch on something a little darker. Like Marilyn’s, his death is one of those that… I don’t question that he actually died, it’s just that his death is a questionable situation. So not to get into it but if he has anything he wants to clear up about his death.
She closes her eyes and listens. The pause lasts about a minute before she opens them, looking somber.
Amy: First off, he wants people to know he didn’t do it intentionally. I guess some people have said that? Did people say that?
Me: It’s… jumbled. There’s a lot of controversy around his death. Some people still think he’s alive.
Amy focuses again, then giggles.
Amy: He just called me ‘darlin’.’He’s basically saying, “That’s the whole point, darlin’!” He’s saying to me in a way of, like “You know this.” He is alive. Very much alive. Just not in body. He, he left his body. And he didn’t do it on purpose. And it was a slow progression, train wreck of… inevitability. And he doesn’t blame anyone. But he’s saying he certainly didn’t have anyone around him who could’ve stopped him from doing… anything detrimental, as far as what he was taking. And how much he was taking. And depressive slumps he was getting into, and things of this nature — there wasn’t anything that anyone could’ve done. To get him the help he needed. Because he never would have allowed it. So he doesn’t blame anyone at all. And he was ready. As much as that might hurt people that he loved and loved him, that he would say he was ready — it doesn’t mean he was ready to leave this person, ready to leave that person — it’s a broader picture of him being ready to… end the suffering of what he felt. A lot of the time. The separation of what he viewed as God. Being in a body, dealing with all the things associated with that, and… on top of that having the whole world watch you while you do it. He was — it was time.
Me: Okay. That makes sense.
I glance at my app, which has been running as we speak. It speaks just one word as Amy finishes her speech:
Me: I just got the word ‘finally.’
Me: And that’s okay. You know? That’s… okay.
There’s something in the stale hospital room air that feels… at peace. I feel like we’re done here. But, as always, I make sure we end the session only when our guest is finished.
Me: Well, I think we’ve got more than enough, but is there anything else he wants to add?
Amy closes her eyes and listens one last time.
Amy: He’s actually telling me that he’s very grateful to me, and to you, to be able to… talk about the things that meant something to him. And to be able to pour out his… love. (pauses, grins) He’s saying it’s the best interview he’s ever done.
We both laugh.
Me: That’s a very high honor, and we’re very grateful for him choosing us to speak to. I’m going to try my very best now that I’ve got some clarity.
Amy: He’s saying now, to me — to you and me both — when you need understanding and guidance, um, to connect with something higher, he will be there. Like… Superman. (laughs) He will come if you are confused about something, if you need clarity on something. He’s a higher being.
But it seems Elvis has had enough of my dancing around subjects, because Amy points at me.
Amy: And he wants to see you do more of that, he is saying to me. You don’t… ask. For guidance. He would like to see you try. To open yourself, to connect. With something. Angels, guides, whatever it is that you… want to. Just start turning to that, and ask for guidance when you need it.
He’s right. Not only am I notoriously bad about asking for help period,I don’t take the time to fully explore all these amazing new avenues I’ve discovered through my work with Amy. I need to start doing both.
And just like that, he’s gone.
This conversation was perhaps the most profound one we’ve held yet, in my opinion. That could just be me and the experience I had as it was taking place, but the message couldn’t have been more on point for what I was going through (and, to an extent, am still going through.) I’m home from the hospital, tests all clear, no more medication. I feel like a new person — or, rather, a better version of who I used to be before my setback three months ago.
I’ve had many people tell me that as these conversations are published, the messages they contain somehow seem to hit a place inside them that really needed to hear it. I think Elvis’ message is no different. In fact, it may be what we all need to hear right now.
Labels aren’t important, whether they’re for people or a belief in something higher. You don’t have to be ‘religious’ to appreciate the majesty of a night sky studded with stars or the warm feeling in your chest when someone you love touches your heart. You don’t have to believe in ‘God’ to see the good in other people and be kind to them in return. All labels are, they’re just words. And even as someone who deals in words, I know words don’t matter as much as what we do. We can all do better in this life.
Since I’m dangerously close to echoing it anyway, I’ll leave you with the closing lines of one of my favorite films, “American Beauty.”
You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will. Someday.