Both entertaining and enlightening, Restless in Peace contains tales of a psychic mortician. Mariah de la Croix shares some of the experiences she had over the course of about five years while working towards her full license as a funeral director. Her writing style struck me as highly personal and even vulnerable given the subject matter, and I wish she would write another book for me to read – and soon.

She was kind enough to answer my interview request, and provided the following insightful and candid answers to each of my questions. Meet Mariah de la Croix, author of Restless in Peace.

An intro from the author:  The time frame of my book runs from 2004/5 to 2009, with the writing of it not taking place fully until 2010/11, and its final release in 2012. Many things within me changed during that time and continue to do so, including my connection and understanding of Spirit and the power of trust in my Higher Power. Restless in Peace was and is my memoir of my time of being immersed in energy that brought me strongly back into the realm of working with spirits and opening to my own spiritual journeys more in-depth, which has enabled me to help others on their own journey. So, what I know to be true now is oftentimes different from how I viewed things then, over ten years ago. One thing I have learned from all of this – along with reviewing journals and notes from other times in my life – is that we are all on our own path that is unique to each of us. We all are here to learn and to never stop in that learning process. Our souls are meant to seek and grow, whether we stumble and fall or gracefully move and soar. All is a learning experience that we’re meant to get something out of; learn a valuable lesson from, no matter how much it hurts or raises our internal spirit. It is when we cease to learn that we, in essence, begin to die. And never, ever, does one person have the total answer to everything or, as some people have worded it, know it all.  It takes many views, experiences, times of introspection, and people to show us what is right for each of our own journeys – and sometimes that takes a lot of living to do.

Your stories run the gamut from heart-warming, to playful and humorous, to creepy, to downright terrifying. With all of the experiences you have had, I wonder what your reason is that you still get freaked out from time to time by a Spirit. For example, my way of explaining this is a creepy (my spidey sense) feeling. I can’t see anyone, I can’t hear anyone, but I know something is going on and it freaks me out because I can’t control what is happening. But then, on the other hand, I think it would almost be worse if I could see it or hear it! Do you think it is the loss of control aspect?

This is an easy one to answer as it applies to anyone whenever they’re surprised by someone or something. If a person is focused intently upon whatever they’re working on and someone walks up behind them or bumps into them, they get a little “freaked out,” as you put it, and have to reconnoiter themselves into the moment of what is now happening. I like your term of spidey sense and that kicks in quite often with me as well (actually more often than not), but it manifests in me where I’m alerted to something present and, if I’m in the mood, I’ll reach out in various ways to see what that alert is all about.

You ask about the control aspect and, personally, I think too many people want to be too in control of their environment and/or the spirits and energies around them. One can be in control of one’s self, but not in control of others. It’s how a person reacts that is the deciding factor in many situations – both earthly and ethereal – and, for me, I control ME and work with that which is happening.  Though it might take me a few seconds or minutes to get in control of good ol’ ME, I do it and work through things. After all, who really wants to be around or communicate with someone who is too controlling? I know I don’t, and since spirits also have feelings AND free will, they don’t either. They oftentimes have a message to convey and, if a person is too controlling, that message gets lost in the shuffle.

This is not to say that I was this much in control of myself at all times during the various encounters in my book, though. I was coming back into myself and my working with spirits at the time. So, many things have changed since the encounters in my book happened.

What is your theory on where spirits go when they aren’t interacting with us (back and forth to heaven, or just going about life like they would if they were still alive, etc.)?

As EVERY spirit and their stories are different and unique, the answer to that is unique and as individual as they are. So, where they go and what they do, what they experience, what they work on and where they work on it, is all their own personal adventure, just as it will be ours when we also go into that realm

In Chapter 3, we are introduced to Sister Mary. On Page 33 you write that spirits can fully manifest when there is a real need, which is absolutely comforting. Then we meet the suicide in Chapter 10. It also seems that they are able to fully manifest if they have a lot of anger or confusion. When someone like this spirit shows up and flat-out chases you, do you think they are powerful enough to cause harm to the living, or do you just tell yourself you’re going to be okay because he can only scare you but not physically hurt you? 

With Sister Mary there IS need manifesting deeply when she appears and it is somehow SHE who determines that need. She, just like the rest of us, has free will and shows up at her own discretion. She has a great and powerfully loving energy. On the other hand, the Suicide Spirit had energy that stuck with him over time, enabling him to return. One has to consider also the time of his death originally having been a factor in energizing him AND the fact that funeral homes are ripe with energy that is strong in many ways.  Add to that the issue of many employees remembering the date and time of finding him and recalling how they felt, there we see a perfect storm for his being able to return.

In the situation with the Suicide Spirit, that was a time when I truthfully did NOT know what could happen. That occurred nearly ten years ago. At that time I was coming back into the working with and understanding of spirits and their messages. Since then I have grown and matured greatly. Now, I wouldn’t have run as NOW I KNOW the full benevolence of my Higher Power.

Had I known then what I know now, I would have worked with Spirit and my Guides/Guardians more closely. I would not have fumbled with my keys, nor nearly turned my ankle running to my car. (I have to laugh at myself still on those points – but we all learn and we all grow.) I’d have been in control of myself and reached out to see how this poor, dear soul could be helped and released from that earthly torment – which I did do later, but that’s not in the book. It is in an update on my personal blog.

You ask, though, if he could have physically harmed a living.  As he never did – he more frightened the begeesus out of everyone that encountered him – the physical harm would more than likely result from the person harming their self out of fright and panic while trying to evade him.

Jamie, since I shared with you the link to the update on the Suicide Spirit, I’ll share it here for your readers’ convenience as well.  http://mariahsvisions.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-restless-spirit-at-peace-follow-up.html#links

After I shared that with you and you had the chance to read it, you wondered if he could hear my prayers. I don’t think “hearing” them was necessary. He felt them and the shift in the energy surrounding him, which resulted from my compassion and intent. He knew he could go Home anytime, but wanted to return the favor before he did, as well as give me some insight I needed to learn. In other words, we took care of each other.

I’m thinking about that silhouette from Chapter 9, which I think is the creepiest story of them all. There is something about the dark that makes me uneasy as well. Probably most women, for that matter. But even though it makes me feel better when I throw that switch on, I can’t help but ask – “Did I really make that shadow disappear, or is he still sitting right in front of me and I just can’t see him anymore?” What do you think happens? Does the light make him flee or is he still there, just unseen? 

In the case of entities like this, the light seems to be his enemy or blocking agent. The feeling in the room would change when the light came on, but I felt that he wasn’t really gone; just hidden. These types of entities seem to literally absorb what little light is in the room when the room is nearly dark, with the darkness being their ally. Oddly, it’s almost like experiencing a dimensional shift between darkness and light when they’re around. This is my experience with the dark entity and my feelings on this particular one, but it’s not the same as how others saw or felt him.

For instance, one person I had worked with in that particular funeral home worked there long after I left and would usually call me on a weekly basis to give me updates about the spirits and also just to say hello or see how I was doing. She let me know that she had basically come to terms with this dark silhouette entity and set boundaries on any communications or interactions with him.  Something happened in that location and the entity felt free to roam the entire building instead of just sitting in the parlor with deceased individuals whose family cared nothing for them. This roaming he would do early in the day, with the sunlight streaming in the front windows, and it seemed to fill a need in him. Eventually he let her know that he could no longer remain there and had to move on. This occurred just shortly before my book was released, so one theory me and my former colleague had is that he somehow knew he would be read and learned about and basically decided to give up the ghost, moving on to greener pastures.

Interestingly, the dark entity that caused people to get sick to their stomachs is one that I’ve received the most outside comments on.  Those comments have come from private individuals who felt the need to share with me what type of spirit/entity he was. No two have ever agreed as it being one energy in particular, so I guess that just goes to show that a psychic or occultist or practitioner of any religious art should hold off on their opinions until they have ALL the facts. Egos can, unfortunately, run amuck in any field, though.

There were several times throughout the book when you told spirits that they needed to stay there, not to go home with you. Does this always work as far as making sure nothing attaches to you (except for the lady from Chapter 18 – but she went away when you returned her folder, right)? Is there such a thing as being able to make sure nothing fixates on you? 

Here is where one MUST rely upon their Higher Power as being their ultimate protector. One can enhance their own protection – through prayer, trinkets, and whatever makes them feel better – but the true protection is in trusting in their Higher Power’s strength.  When we do that fully and confidently, we no longer have holes in our armor that allow negative or lost or lonely spirits and other entities to make that attachment. If something does, we can rest assured that it isn’t something nasty, but something that needs to be with us for a reason, getting assistance from us that our Higher Power knows only we can give, which is always something of an earthly nature that can only be given by another living human being. Sometimes that’s just recognition; sometimes it’s honest compassion and caring. But whatever it is, it is something that validates and heals a part of their being that they couldn’t or didn’t have the chance to get in life.

Regarding the woman from Chapter 18, yes, she did settle down when I returned the folder – which she saw as being HER property and the property of her family and friends; not mine. She was a very determined foe for everyone who had to deal with her, both in life and in death, with very staunch views of the way things should be. She was going to have the last say in things, no matter what.

 The Knowing Guardian from Chapter 4 was a touching story of someone protecting you from going out and getting caught in a car accident on your way home from work. Do you have any advice for people who are looking to get in tune with their own guardians?

My best advice is to be open and accepting of one’s Guardians, whether they’re with us for a short time – as the Guardian in Chapter 4 was from time to time – or if they’re with us eternally. Employ patience and don’t give in to trying to be the one in control all the time regarding when they appear, how they show themselves to you, and what they do to guide you. In time, things will be revealed, sometimes with conditions being controlled by powers that are unseen and sometimes irritating. We should always remember that it’s how we view things that give us that irritation, though. We should also always realize that we are NEVER alone, no matter how alone we may feel at any given time.

In Chapter 8, you discuss children who can see spirits. Many people believe that all children are born with this ability, but that we slowly lose it as we age. Do you think that is a good thing or a bad thing? Is it an ability someone should want to get in tune with and develop once more, or do you think it naturally goes away because not knowing anymore is some sort of protection?

We only lose the ability to connect with spirits, the other side, our Higher Power, etc. because society tells us we have to and drives that point home in us as we grow older. When we are young we are constantly TOLD how to think, how to develop an acceptable form of religiosity, and how to present ourselves so we can “fit in” to our societal world. This “being told” is what begins to block the natural abilities we ALL have at birth. We are told by parents and other supposedly smart, big people in our young lives that we don’t see those people we’re talking to and we don’t have those friends around us. We know that many of the special friends we have are actually as real to us when we’re small as Mom or Dad, our siblings or the kid down the street are, but for some odd reason, we just have to let them go and do as we’re told. So, we do, just to get along and fit in with all the other normal people out there, many of whom have gone through the same thing.

As every living individual is different, sometimes it is best they shut their abilities down and ignore them for the remainder of their time. In other cases it isn’t. Each person has to work with that on their own and not be told what they should or shouldn’t do. So, there’s no real blanket answer for your question here – it’s all up to the individual. But, they’ll still experience psychic or spiritual occurrences; they just won’t acknowledge them if they’ve decided to stay closed down or just happened to do so. They’ll have things mysteriously disappear, then reappear where they’ve looked a hundred times for it. They’ll get the thought of someone they haven’t thought of in years then suddenly find the person has died or they’ll get a phone call from that person. They may even find out other friends and family have also been thinking about that person. They’ll get a sudden urge to not take their usual route to work, school, or the store and find out later there was a horrible issue along that original route they might well have been involved in. All these types of things and more are indications that our loved ones, our Guides, Guardians, and Higher Power are at work in our lives. Whether one chooses to acknowledge other forces being at work, or chooses to ignore it, is entirely up to him or her.

 My first book (Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums) was about two “normal” (I put it in quotes, because none of us are, but my use of the term means average Joe Blow off the streets of America, I guess) people who go ghost hunting in some places that have famous haunted reputations. I was just cracking up when I read Chapter 11 when the Director popped up right in front of Angel multiple times when she had her alleged ghost hunting equipment out! Do you think all these tech tools that ghost hunters purport to use to measure paranormal activity are all just a bunch of novelty bunk items? Do you think any of it can be used to capture real evidence (EVPs on a voice recorder maybe)?

There certainly does seem to be a great deal of equipment that’s used today, some of which might be considered to be just a novelty toy, while others are kind of interesting. I think and feel, as well as know, that electronic devices CAN obtain many bits of what is called “real evidence,” though. I know from personal experience that voices can be recorded that we cannot easily hear with the naked ear and things can be seen on different types of film, camera units, and the like that just escape our eyes. Whether or not anything that is “captured” will ever truly be looked at as definitive evidence remains to be seen, especially since there is now also the technology that enables a lot of fakers to easily create bogus videos, pictures, and sounds.

But, I also know from experience that many spirits can easily manipulate electronics to their advantage; or the disadvantage of the investigator/hunter as I shared in the chapter of my book you speak of in your question. Where some can manipulate how cameras work, others can use phones or computers. Some, on the other hand, seem to allow themselves to be recorded and/or photographed, while others just are perhaps too new to being in the realm of spirit or just haven’t bothered to become tech savvy in order to not get caught. Of course, too, there are times when conditions are just right or a person’s timing is good, allowing for something to come through for the record – and then there’s always the fact that some spirits just seem to like some livings doing the investigating.

So, I feel staunchly that today’s “investigators” and “hunters” are working from what is more modern and easily understandable in their own lifetimes of work, along with great exposure to what is in the current realm of technology. But, unfortunately, since funding was pulled from these types of investigative studies many years ago (1989 to my best recollection), whereby accredited schools of learning could do scientific investigations, until something can be done in a controlled manner suitable to the minds of academics, most of what is found will just remain in the realm of skepticism and fancy and not be fully accepted as being real proof that ghosts exist for quite some time. Still, even then, the world will still have those who scoff, cajole, and simply don’t believe and never will no matter how much proof is given to them. No amount of proof will convince those types of folks of the existence of the afterlife and, for those permanent scoffers, I feel very sorry, because they are so limiting their own existence and experience on this earth.

What can you tell us about yourself and your writing process? (Are you a pen and notebook gal, or a typist? Morning or night person? Write on a schedule, or as the mood strikes?)

I’m an “all of the above” type of person and more.  I don’t think it would EVER work for me to limit the possibilities of when or how to write.

Tell us how to keep up with you (your websites, social media, any upcoming projects you want to plug here). 

My website is http://ladymariah.com . That is where people can find various readings I do and can order them directly from me.  Autographed copies of my book, Restless in Peace: A Psychic Mortician’s Encounters with Those who Refuse to Rest, are also available from my website, with $2 of the profit from each copy going to help animals in need and the people who help them. The remaining cost of the book goes to shipping, taxes, and my actual cost of the book since I don’t get it free either.

I can be found on both Twitter and Facebook.  My @’s on Twitter are @MariahsVisions and @RestlessNPeace. My location on Facebook is Restless In Peace by Mariah de la Croix  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restless-in-Peace-by-Mariah-de-la-Croix/293414867388662

I also have two blogs:  http://www.mariahsvisions.blogspot.com and http://www.mariahsquietcorner.blogspot.com.

I can also be reached by email at Mariah@ladymariah.com

I have no upcoming projects at this time.

Again, I thank you wholeheartedly for this interview opportunity and I wish you and your readers many wonderful blessings and bid you all Peace.

Mariah de la Croix

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