My Reading by George Anderson


In August, 2001, I was visited by a couple of close friends from Florida, Suzie and Robbi. They were visiting Los Angeles specifically to attend a seminar held by George Anderson, the widely renowned medium. This particular seminar was hosted by The Learning Annex. I’ve seen George Anderson on television and found him, and the subject, quite interesting. Well, this seminar ended up being far more than just “interesting”. What follows is a narrative of what did occur.

There were a LOT of people there...mostly women, oddly enough. I guess we macho men only attend sporting events, strip clubs, dwarf tossing and monster truck rallies, but I digress. There had to be at least 400 people but I’m betting on closer to 600-700. George Anderson, a calm, soft spoken man who could easily pass for an accountant, talked for about 45 minutes. He discussed his experiences, thoughts, etc., of “the after life” as well as his personal background. After taking a break he spent another 90 minutes or so doing random readings from the audience.

Set up: George would sit in a chair on stage. A microphone was to his left, about 6 feet away. After a hushed prayer and crossing himself he picks up a pad of paper and pen. It appears that he begins to write or scribble on the pad (as I understand it he does this to help him concentrate). He would announce the arrival of a spirit and offer a first name or role in life, or both (such as “Dorothy, approaching as a mother figure” etc). George asked that no one give him any information. He just wanted the subject to answer “yes” or “no” with any further explanation. “It’s the job of the spirit to correct me, not you!” he said. He requested that when he announced a name for anyone in the audience who had an association with someone with that name and/or roll to stand. The spirit would direct him to the person they wanted to contact. He went through several people (perhaps 6 or 7) during the course of seminar. All but one were dead on matches (Oh, a pun!). In retrospect, the one who wasn’t was not due to Anderson’s ability. The gentleman simply didn’t know much of his family history. During the whole pageantry going on before me I was thinking, “This is entertaining but it could be nothing but a ‘dog and pony show’. For all I knew the subjects were “part of the show” and it was all a stunt. I have always been a believer due to my own past experiences but, in my opinion, being a believer requires a healthy dose of skepticism.

Then, finally, came the closing reading of the evening. This is what happened:

He paused, concentrating, and then he finally said, “A male figure is approaching.” He looked around the crowded room and added, “I’m getting the name ‘Charles’.” My grandfather, my namesake, was named Charles. Suzie had an Uncle Charles. Robbi, at this point, was laughing. It seems her sister had a pet guinea pig named Charlie as a child. A woman sitting on her left was quite appalled at Robbi’s lightheartedness and gave her a stereotypical “evil eye”. Robbi simply shrugged and said, “I don’t think it’s the guinea pig!” A few people stood up, myself and Suzie being among them. Robbi opted to risk on the chance that a rodent was NOT trying to communicate to her and stayed in her seat. Although, by the feeling I had, I knew it was pointless for the others to continue standing. It was the oddest sensation that I’ve ever felt. I simply knew what was about to take place. He added, “He comes as a father figure.”  George looked a little confused and added, “I’m getting two Charles’. The same name for two people.” At that point Suzie sat down. Others sat down…I don’t know how many. I didn’t bother to scope the room. My attention was fixed on George Anderson. He looked right at me and asked, “Is that understood?” I nodded ‘yes.’ He motioned for me to walk onto the stage. “He’s moving toward you. It has to be you.”

I walked up on stage and stood at the microphone. George sat in a chair not 6 feet from me. His pen was scribbling a mile a minute but the page was blank. As I watched I don’t believe the pen even touched the paper. My “nuts and bolts” kind of mind couldn’t help but watch. He said, “To confirm, a man named Charles who is a father figure. Correct?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said, “I’m getting another name…Charles and Charlie. Correct?” I agreed again. “He wasn’t your father but he was a father figure to you. Correct?” I agreed for yet another time. George smiled and said, “He’s your grandfather! Correct?”

I said, in a choked voice, “Oh, yea.”

This is where it gets weird (as if you could define what I’ve written so far as “normal”…)

With sudden realization he exclaimed, “He was Charlie and you were Charles, correct?” (FYI: As a child we were known as “Big Charlie and Little Charlie, which I thought was OH so cool! The only people who still call me Charlie are the kids I grew up with in grade school. Then I became ‘Charles’. But my grandfather, whom I called 'Papaw', was ALWAYS ‘Charlie.)

He then said, “Another man has come with him.” I’m thinking it would be my Uncle Bill, who I adored. They were both my father figures as I grew up and I lost both of them within three months of one another in 1985. All-in-all, 1985 sucked the wind. They stepped in as “my father” because my own father was a worthless sack of cow dung with feet and no hair…not that I’m of the embittered opinionated sort.

George proved me wrong by saying, “Your father is with him. Your father has passed on. Correct?” I know my eyes were the size of half dollars as I affirmed with a cautious nod. George said that my father wanted to say he was sorry. He said, “He knows he wasn’t a good father.” To which I responded with a loud “Well, Yeaaaaauh” much to the delight of the audience. He said “Your father has a good sense of humor and says he was ‘no Ward Cleaver’.”  I had to laugh on that one. George then began going on and on how my father had come to say he was sorry. “He was an angry, unhappy man. He died young but it’s because he wanted to. He was a drinker.” (I added “He was the poster child”) He showed George the movie "MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS" as an example of ‘the perfect happy family’ and how he wishes he could have provided that kind of family for us. (Quite often the spirits show him clips from movies to make a point, believe it or not. George is an avid movie fan so the spirits use frames of reference that he will clearly understand)  

“He’s hanging laundry in front of you---he is private and doesn’t want to air dirty laundry in front of everyone---but he is offering you the olive branch. He is asking forgiveness and he is fully aware he is the one that had to make the first move. He wishes he could have been a better father; one who was there when you needed him.” He said my father is very proud of how I have turned out and that I was able to ‘beat the odds’. “After all,” says my very dead father, “the way you grew up you could have easily turned out to be a jerk.” (Some would argue that I have done just that, but that’s another story!)

“Your mother is still with us, correct?”

I nodded.

“Your father also calls out to your mother and wants her to know he is always with her, watching over her. And that he’s very sorry. Your father was a man who never wanted to admit he was wrong. Well, he’s here to tell you that he WAS wrong.”

Another person, a woman, entered and stood with my grandfather. It was my grandmother. But she said nothing (which is so not like her!). She wanted to be there to offer her support.           

George said that my grandfather knew that I didn’t grow up in a “traditional cherished” home, one in which my parents had stayed together and all was peaches and cream, and he’s sorry for that. “However,” George added, “if it hadn’t been that way Charlie wouldn’t have had the opportunity to raise you. You always say that you felt lucky to have had HIM when, in reality, it is Charlie who felt he was lucky to have YOU.”  My grandfather then showed him a clip from the movie, HEIDI, with Shirley Temple and Jean Hersholt. “Although the gender is different, he’s showing me the kind, loving grandfather.”

He says that I was also surrounded by animals and that’s because I often prefer their company over other people. “As a pet owner I can’t say I blame you,” he added with a smile. (FYI: I thought he said “animals”. Suzie thought he said “dogs”. My grandfather had four beagles as I was growing up and I just loved them: Sally, Rowdy-Sport, Prince and Queen. Yes, “Rowdy-Sport”…I wanted to name him Rowdy and Papaw wanted to name him Sport so this was our solution! Make of it what you will.)

George continued with “You’ve said time and time again, ‘If I could have just five more minutes with him.’ What you need to realize is that Charlie is with you all the time; he has never left your side.” He then added, “He is so very proud of you and all you’ve done. He and your father are very proud how you manage to stay on the road you have set for yourself and how you can’t be deterred from it.”

I wasn’t with Papaw when he died. I never had the chance to say ‘goodbye’. I have been so scared that he never knew how much I loved him. I’ve also thought that I have been such a disappointment to him; that I never lived up to his expectations. I have said so many times, “If I only had five more minutes with him…” Needless to say, I caved at that point and promptly began my award winning Niagara Falls impersonation.

George said that Papaw knows that I pray for him, and he is grateful for that, but he also knows that I often pray “to” him. I talk to him and he hears me. (I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t look at his picture and say SOMETHING to him. Most of the time I’m bitching about his family but I digress…) He went on to say, “Charlie knows you’re going through a very stressful time in your life. He just wants you to know you’re not going through it alone.” He continued, “Your father wasn’t there for you and, although she is still with us, your mother was never ‘there’ for you, either.” I nodded. "Charlie, like your father, is a private man and doesn’t want to air family matters in front of everyone here. But he says you know what he’s talking about.” Again, I nodded. “Charlie is the one person who loved you unconditionally. He wants you to know he still does and he always will.”

“Your grandparents,” George continued, “extend a golden apple to you because you were the apple of their eye and you still are. The sun rose and set on you. Charlie is always with you, as your guardian angel, just as he was in life. Just because he’s moved on doesn’t mean his role has changed, so to speak.” (The one thing that struck me was that every time Anderson said the name, “Charlie” he did it with a sense of familiarity, as if he knew my grandfather.)  “He so desperately wanted to reach out to you tonight but, being the kind hearted man he is, he waited for the others to reach out to their loved ones first.” (That is just like him, too. Never one to be pushy, thoughtful of others and he had the patience of Job.)

Finally, George said, “All of them embrace you with love. Charlie gives you a big hug. And they step back.”

I don’t know if I received a gift from God, from my grandfather, the cosmos, or any combination there of… but I DO know it changed my life. A tremendous weight was lifted from my shoulders and I was able to breathe again. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the events of that evening started me down a totally new spiritual path. But I certainly got my ‘five more minutes’ and then some. And I’m eternally grateful for the experience.



August, 2001

Copyright © 2001, Charles A. Filius
Printed with the direct permission of
George Anderson Grief Support Programs

Charles A. Filius

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