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Abstract

Bereavement following the loss of a loved one has and always will remain a panhuman constant. An increasingly popularized form of healing is asserting itself in the form of mediumship. This paper seeks to investigate contemporary forms of mediumship in North America through critical analysis of the TLC show, Long Island Medium. Rather than questioning the validity of such practices, it instead strives to deconstruct the symbolic healing system surrounding the medium. This healing system serves to assure cultural constructions of an afterlife while acknowledging the presence and ability of spirits gaining agency through after-death communication. Furthermore, this paper seeks to assert that mediumship can in fact draw the bereaved from the liminal state of mourning into active life once again.