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Rebecca Rosen says she helps clients find lightness in life after suffering a profound loss

By Sally Stich

Special to The Denver Post

Sharon Ripps wasn't sure what to expect when she made an appointment with spiritual medium Rebecca Rosen, a recent Los Angeles-to-Denver transplant who's typically booked months in advance with clients from all over the country.

"My mother died last May," Ripps says, "and it was far from a peaceful death. I haven't been able to grieve, so I was hoping for - but not necessarily expecting - some closure."

That bit of skepticism kept her from revealing anything about her quest as she sat in Rosen's sunny Cherry Creek office. Asked to silently think about who she wanted to hear from, Ripps concentrated on her mother, but Rosen mentioned hearing the voice of a man.

Then Rosen put her hands on her chest over her lungs, and said, "Wait, it's your mother."

Ripps' mother, who had died of lung cancer, had had a low, gravelly voice that people often mistook for a man's over the phone.

"It was just a chilling moment," Ripps recalls.

For Rosen, 29, it was all in a day's work. She she says her "gift" is a calling, born of a dark period in her life nine years ago.

"Until I was 20," she says, "I had a completely happy life."

She grew up in Omaha and went to college in Florida, where, after a wonderful freshman year, she says she fell into a major depression.

Her parents insisted she see a therapist. But therapy and antidepressants did little to alleviate her pain, so she began journaling as a way to sort out feelings.

One day, while writing at a bookstore, she says she felt as if an outside energy guided what came out of her pen. It was a message from her paternal grandmother, who had committed suicide when Rosen was 11.

Calling her dad to make sense of Grandma Babe's message, she discovered that much of it contained information her dad had never shared with anyone.

Rosen says Grandma Babe continued to communicate with her, and Rosen recorded it all - looking to it for guidance when she needed validation.

"My grandmother was helping me as a way of atoning for the painful way she'd chosen to die," she says.

After college and a futile search for work in advertising in Detroit, Rosen became a nanny who gave spiritual readings on the side "just for fun."

But it was clear her ability was more powerful than merely entertaining. A class with Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. (an Angel Therapy practitioner in California) in 2000 convinced Rosen her career was not in advertising, but rather as a "messenger of light."

By the time she and husband Brian left Detroit in 2003 to live in Los Angeles, Rosen had clients booked a year in advance.

Two and a half years in Los Angeles expanded her business (she has several celebrity clients, but refuses to divulge names) but ultimately, she and Brian hated the impersonal lifestyle and moved to Denver five months ago.

Ironically, right before leaving Los Angeles, she got an offer to do a television show. When she said she was moving, the producer said, "No problem.

We'll base it out of Colorado."

Though it's still in the hush- hush phase, Rosen says she is currently in negotiations (she won't even say if it's cable or network) about how she can give people their lives back after profound loss.

She says the pilot is scheduled to be shot in March, but when it'll air is anybody's guess - except, perhaps, Rosen's, and she's not talking.

Just exactly how does she work? When a client comes to see her, she asks no questions - only instructing the person to concentrate on the people they want to hear from while she prays silently, opening herself up to whatever energy is hovering. Then she opens her eyes and starts.

"I use all my senses to catch the energy and interpret it clearly: is it male or female, a parent or friend? Sometimes I sense how someone died. Sometimes I'm given glimpses - initials, an image, words."

She speaks rapidly to the client about what she senses. Some messages hit right on the nail; other things make no sense at the time. But the information that resonates seems to go beyond lucky guesses or coincidences.

"Skeptics accuse me of doing research before I see someone," she says. "Do you have any idea how time consuming that would be for the 20-25 people I talk to each week?"

(Her advice: If you're even remotely skeptical, use a fake name when you make an appointment. )

Likewise, to avoid attracting "spiritual medium" junkies, Rosen prefers to see a client no more often than once or twice a year.

Though most messages are affirmations, she periodically delivers painful ones.

"A mother came in whose son had committed suicide," she recalls. "The son wanted his mother to tell his father to stop being so hard on his brother. The spirits often feel more comfortable giving an important message to the one person with whom they had a good relationship."

For Sharon Ripps, hearing that her mother - who fought death - is finally at peace has brought her peace. "I can move on through the grieving process," she says.

Still, is she really sure it was her mom?

"Yes," Ripps says without hesitation, "because at one point, Rebecca said, 'I don't know what this means, but maybe you will. Your mom's saying, 'I tell it like it is. There's no fluff.'

"Anyone who knew my mom knows those were some of her favorite words."

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