Question:  Dear Kelley,
I have been very concerned over my son Ian. He has been troubled with symptoms of depression for about a year or more. He seems like a different boy and I am very worried. Can you give me some insight? I would really appreciate your help.
Sincerely, Elissa Ray

Thank you for your note, Elissa.  Initially meet an aspect of Ian sitting in a small dark pit where he is staring straight ahead.  I ask him what brings him to the pit and he says, “I don’t have to think.”
Although I don’t really expect an answer I ask, “What is it that you don’t want to think about?”  He stares ahead, nonresponsive.
I ask him if he will let me take him to another place that has a lot more color, but he doesn’t have to think and feels better.  Agreeably, he takes my hand and I lead him up to Spirit for healing.  As we near the Source Realm, he starts to cry.  He lets go of my hand and looks back at me but moves into Spirit space eagerly.
I ask his guides to lead me to a place that will feel comfortable to him when he is ready to talk with me.  After a few moments he returns with the gold-tinged souls of three older people (two women and one man) following closely behind him.  He seems to be very happy that they are with him, and they seem to be souls of the dead that he somehow knows.
I ask Ian what his depression is about and he replies, “I feel sad all the time.”  I ask him what the source of that sadness is and he does speak, but I feel very clearly that it is related to the death of someone significant to him.  This person is a teenager, but someone that Ian views as in his own age range, and the death of this young man was very distressful to him.  I do not have the impression that this young man was someone that Ian knew very well, but could likely be a soul that came to Ian after he had already died.  The significance of this teen seems to be that his death was Ian’s first brush with his own mortality and that of those he loves.
As we sit in this very uplifting space I ask Ian if he experiences death a lot, and he says that he does, and that it scares him to the point that he is afraid to live.  He is afraid everyone that he loves will die.  We talk about that for a bit, about how everything in form eventually moves out of that form to be formless, yet still exists.  Then we talk a bit about how he has had the opportunity to reunite with souls of those the dead that he has felt close to in this Higher space, and that he always has that availability.  He understands from this that he can revisit this space and those that he loves.
I ask him what he needs to feel a connection to his own ability to be in form or out of form, and a young man approaches us then.  It seems as though this is the soul of the young person for whom Ian has felt the most sadness, and Ian hugs the teen.  They talk privately for a while.  The young man looks over at me and smiles reassuringly, and after a bit Ian returns to sit by me and the three souls that are waiting.  Ian’s life force feels different to me now, more willing to flow and participate in life.  I ask him if he is ready to go back to Thinking Life now, and he says that he is.  I leave him in front of his house, where he walks gingerly inside.
I ask his guides what else I need to share with his mother about his close proximity to the dead, and one replies, “Ian is well protected.  He needs creative outlets—art—to express his feelings.  He is sensitive to the dead and the death realm and needs validation for his experiences with them.  When he hears them or sees them he needs to be able to tell his mother about them and receive acceptance of his abilities and perceptions.”
Ian is in possession of a very special ability as a communicator with the dead, and possibly  as a Deathwalker—one who leads the dead to shift out of form peacefully.  Some people refer to it as ‘midwifing the dead.’  As you can imagine, without a really healthy perspective on that shift, the reality of death can be very daunting, particularly to a young human.  It’s not something that many in our culture will admit to or have an operative framework for understanding, let alone be able to explain to someone else.  Being receptive to the plight of the dead can also take an incredible emotional toll when one can’t sift out one’s emotions from those of his or her formless visitors. Nonetheless it is a powerful ability that can also create an empowering depth of compassion and self-assuredness.  A book that may be of interest to you is Shamanic Guide to Death and Dying by Kristin Madden.
Be well, Elissa!