There are two things all of us, no matter who we are, have in common: we’re all born and we’re all, at some point, going to die. Many of us get used to that idea fairly early on, for other’s it’s a bit of a slap in the face. Regardless, what matters is the way we deal with this essential aspect of being alive – whether that be through religion, spirituality, or – as was the way of the ancients – building huge temples. But, according to Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks, there’s no reason to be afraid of what lies round the bend.
“Some people are really afraid of dying, but I’m not,” Nicks said in a recent interview. “I’ve always believed in spiritual forces. I absolutely know that my mom is around all the time.” Following the death of her mother in 2012, Nicks found herself standing in her kitchen, dizzy from the strain of “really bad acid reflux”. She was alone in the house, but it didn’t feel that way: “I felt something almost tap my shoulder and this voice go: ‘It’s that Gatorade you’re drinking,’” she said.
Adding: “I’d been sick and chugging down the Hawaiian Punch. Now, that’s not some romantic, gothic story of your mother coming back to you. It’s your real mother, walking into your kitchen and saying ‘Don’t drink any more of that shit,’ Nicks concluded, evoking the withered rasp of her late mother.”
Nicks’ fervent belief in the paranormal has defined her public image for many years now, with many coming to regard her as some modern-day white witch. This aspect of her public persona was even honoured in the long-running horror series American Horror Story, in which she played a witch in the Coven series. “I wouldn’t have done this 30 years ago,” Nicks said of the role back in 2014. “In the beginning of my career, the whole idea that some wacky, creepy people were writing, ‘You’re a witch, you’re a witch!’ was so arresting. And there I am like, ‘No, I’m not! I just wear black because it makes me look thinner, you idiots.’ So when all this came along, I was like, ‘What, really, am I going to turn this down because of all that past nonsense?'” she continued.
“I’m way too old and I’ve been through way too much to give up an opportunity like this. I’m fearless. You have to be fearless in life. I’m not afraid of anything.”
For many, Nicks’ experience will sound like just another example of the singer’s rampant new-age mysticism – and I wouldn’t blame you, either. But, her story also reveals something really interesting about our continual fascination with ghosts and spirits. Because, as Nicks’ encounter reveals, more often than not, they seem to behave less as ghoulish terrors and more as important mediums of communication; ways for us to connect to those we love and to remind ourselves of what they taught us while they were alive. These lessons, as was the case for Nicks, can be as simple as ‘stop drinking Gatorade’. Still, sometimes that can be enough.