In a candid interview about her new book, the Long Island Medium star explains how she's navigating the pandemic and healing from divorce

By Sam Gillette
June 17, 2020 09:00 AM
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Theresa Caputo
HarperOne

Theresa Caputo — star of the hit reality show Long Island Medium — knows about loss.

In a candid interview with PEOPLE, the medium discusses her upcoming book Good Mourning, how she's handling her own "grief" after her divorce from her husband of 28 years, and what life is like now that she's staying at home with her family amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I felt the itch to write another book, and I didn't feel the timing was right because I was going through my divorce at the time," Caputo, 52, says of first wanting to write Good Mourning three years ago during her split from husband Larry. "What I learned is that everyday losses affect us everyday. We don't even realize it — not until something catastrophic happens like a death or this pandemic."

Good Mourning, which will be published by HarperOne on Oct. 6, explores how life's setbacks — both small and large — can cause an unacknowledged grief that weighs people down. Caputo believes that the only way to ease this upset is to recognize the losses and then do the work to heal and move forward. (She says this knowledge comes from her special gift she calls Spirit.) Each chapter explores a different loss, from relationships and health to careers. Caputo includes inspiring stories from her own life and that of her clients. She also provides guidance so readers can lead happier, more peaceful lives.

HarperOne

"Nothing in life, as we've witnessed over the past several months, is a guarantee," Caputo says. "This pandemic has really opened our eyes to a lot of things. So it's really just recognizing that losses are part of our everyday life and we make freewill choices on how we handle these losses or don't handle them. And if we can recognize them, we'll know what to do and recover much faster."

She adds: "This book will steer you towards positive solutions for mourning."

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Keep reading for more from Caputo's interview.

What personal anecdotes do you share in Good Mourning? How have you healed after your divorce from Larry in 2018?

I wrote about how divorce for me, that was a loss. I'm still grieving my marriage, my life with Larry for 33 years. And I might grieve that for the rest of my life, but healing is something different. And that's what I shared, what I learned.

What everyday setbacks that you explore in the book can be really painful and hard to get over?

Losing a friend. In high school, [I lost] one of my best friends. Once I got engaged, it was like I didn't speak to her anymore. And it was very upsetting, and still is to this day. But I learned how to deal with that, not having past friendships.

What type of losses are people experience during this pandemic? What's the larger emotional impact of such a catastrophic global event?

I think we're losing a sense of everything that once was. I think that was the biggest statement that I made when I also wrote this book. This book is about daily losses, but also what once was. Especially being from New York, people talk about phases and we're in phase one, we're not even in a phase. We're still home and people have lost their independence. They've lost control. They've lost safety, familiarity. They've lost financial stability. They might've even lost their hopes and dreams. And their identity.

Unfortunately, how many people have died through this pandemic? People [are] not being able to honor their loved ones, not being able to be there for their loved ones. That's a big [part] of what I do for a living. We were thrown into a situation where even the ill, we weren't able to be with them. We weren't able to be by their sides to say goodbye to them. And that I think is something that a lot of people are going to struggle with.

Chris Buck

How are you navigating the pandemic and your own grief during this really scary time?

I choose to not put fear and anxiety into something that I don't have control over. [I have] suffered from anxiety for a majority of my life. I always spoke very freely about it over the years, about my anxiety and how it held me back. And I just learned that I can't have fear over something that I don't have control over. So I always release the fear and embrace the faith.

This pandemic—some people might say mother nature, some people say God, whatever it may be—has forced us to reunite and to be one again. And to really focus on what's really important in life and what we need to feed our souls.

Are your kids staying at home with you? 

I'm very fortunate. As a lot of people know, I still live right next door to my parents. I always talk about separation anxiety. I'm 52 and I still live next door to my parents. So I'm able to be with my parents, which is fantastic. My son, who lives in Manhattan, came home right when the shutdown happened. So he's been here. And my daughter Victoria lives with me and her fiancé, Michael.

I'm so fortunate that I'm not alone. I get up every morning and I list all the things that I'm grateful for, all the blessings that I have in my life. And then I pray and send out good intentions for those who aren't as fortunate, who are alone, who don't have family support.

There are some people who are skeptical about your abilities as a medium. What do you think skeptics can get from your book? 

This book, it is wisdom from the other side, because that's what I do. That's where everything comes from. That's who inspires me, the souls of the departed. Whether you understand or believe or you're skeptical, we have daily losses. Navigating our time here in the physical world, coping with someone's passing, it's so profound.

[People need to] realize the way that we handle things, or how we didn't handle things in the past, affects how we move forward in the physical world... I never try to be rude, but it doesn't matter to me if people believe in what I do. I want them to believe in themselves.

Good Mourning goes on sale on Oct. 6.