I recently discovered that my dear friend and colleague, Charles Filius, passed away on his birthday, Jan 24th, 2023, after surgery. He was 62 years old. This is one of the few times someone’s passing on from this physical world has truly impacted me. This page serves as a memorial to my dear friend.
REMEMBERING CHARLES A. FILIUS – THE ADOPTED BASTARD
Charles was born on Jan 24th, 1961, in West Virginia. He was an adopted boy who grew up as an only child. He would later become a firm supporter and advocate of adoption rights and would help with the Bastard Nation organization. An organization that advocates for the rights of adults who were adopted as children.
Charles would eventually meet his birth family, but my understanding was that it was a long and grueling process to be able to find and locate them. According to his book “On a Wing and a Prayer,” it wouldn’t be until 1994 that he would find his birth parents. That was after almost ten years of searching.
Charles loved the term bastard. No doubt he found it humorous that an organization would call themselves bastard nation. The fact this organization dealt with adoption rights paired with its name probably made Charles feel destined to know and be part of it.
Charles A. Filius: The Extra Large Medium Documentary
REMEMBERING THE EXTRA LARGE MEDIUM – CHARLES, AS A PSYCHIC MEDIUM
Charles was a hilarious man. He called himself the extra large medium. This was initially because of his physical size and the fact he did spirit communication sessions. After his heart attack, he lost weight but kept the extra-large medium branding. It morphed into more about his extra-large sense of humor.
As I recall, and as he mentions in his book “On a Wing and a Prayer,” Charles never intended to get involved in the spiritual fields. In fact, for the longest time, he didn’t believe in spirituality. It was only after an encounter with famed medium George Anderson that his world began to change, and he started to pursue mediumship more.
His pursuit would eventually lead him to where I met him, Starchild books in Port Charlotte, Florida. Starchild was the new age bookstore that famed medium John Edward spoke about in his book Crossing Over. Mr. Edward met his first and only teacher, Sandy Anastasi, at Starchild. He took a few classes with her before venturing out independently and finding his way.
Charles would attend a six-part psychic development and mediumship training program at Starchild with Sandy Anastasi, John Maerz, and Ed Hicks. He would also enroll in the same program I attended for teaching psychic development and mediumship. Thus, we participated in that program together.
Shortly after that, we became good friends.
Charles loved and adored his work as a psychic medium. It was extraordinary and sacred for him to connect people with their loved ones. No matter how deep a session got, he always managed to bring things back to humor, a true gift that not so many people have.
He spoke to me often about his life guide Robert and their special connection. He had many other spiritual guides that he worked with, but Robert had the same insane sense of humor he had.
Charles would be the one to introduce me to the concept of “phone psychic readings.” He had worked for a few phone psychic hotlines, including, at the time, Hollywood Psychics and, I believe, Psychic Source. He hated working at them. He hated that they forced readers to attempt to keep people on the phone for as long as possible. You see, the longer you keep someone on the phone, the more you get paid. This is still mostly true with the majority of psychic hotlines.
As a reader, it’s a great source of income when your season is slow. You sit on a phone and answer it for 3-8 hours daily. You get paid anywhere between 29 and 42 cents per minute. They charge anywhere from $1 to 15 dollars a minute. Indeed a horrible system, but one that always ensured you had a paycheck coming every week – which is not always the case when you are a professional reader doing business on your own.
When he finally stopped doing psychic hotlines, he promised he would never return to them, no matter how slow his psychic business went. To my knowledge, he always kept that promise.
REMEMBERING CHARLES, THE CARTOONIST
Besides being an excellent psychic, medium, and spirit drawing artist, he was also a cartoonist, having personally known Charles Schultz and many other famous cartoonists. He is better known for his cartoon work than his mediumship sessions. Still, his mediumship session impacted people deeply and profoundly. At least they did every time I worked with him,
As a cartoonist, however, he was also highly well-loved. He religiously attended the National Cartoonist Society convention every year. It didn’t matter when or where it was. He made sure to go. If I remember correctly, one year, it interfered with comic-con (another of Charles’s favorite conventions). Charles, despite his love for all things of geekdom, still preferred to attend the National Cartoonist Society.
I would also learn of his passing through their blog post, Charles A. Filius, 1961-2023, shared by a Facebook friend. You can know much more about Charles and his cartooning career than I could ever describe through the link above.
REMEMBERING CHARLES FILIUS, THE PERSON
Charles and I should have talked more often than we did, but we shared a great deal of banter via text, email, and Instagram messenger. I was always assured that we would spend hours laughing when we spoke by phone or saw each other in person. He had a wicked sense of humor and was so quick-witted. He also was not easily offended by anything. This combination of traits allowed us to have irreverent conversations and laugh until we cried.
He was that friend I could talk to about anything, and I knew he would offer his honest opinion and do so while trying to make me laugh. I didn’t always appreciate his honesty, but at least I knew he would give it to me straight. So although I may not have always enjoyed it, I did respect him for it.
We often watched ridiculous movies and laughed at them when we were together. Charles loved movies, especially black-and-white Hollywood movies. He also enjoyed movies that matched his sense of humor, the Monty Python movies being one of his many favorites.
He loved the state of California. He claimed it was the best place in the world to live – despite the fact he was always complaining about something there. To him, California was home. A few of his favorite places to hang out were Disneyland and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. That man loved cemeteries. One of his favorite pastimes was to walk through them and read and photograph headstones. He even enjoyed attending midnight movie screenings and sitting in them. For him, they were some of the most peaceful places you could see. Of course, making a living talking to dead people no doubt inspired him to spend time there too.
He traveled a lot. He was constantly going somewhere to perform live demos and in-person sessions. I always asked him, “how can you afford that?” To which he always said, “frequent flyer miles.” The word demo is an old spiritualist term for gallery sessions. You get a group of people together and do readings for the entire group, passing along messages from those who crossed over. He loved doing them, and he was great at what he did. Often he would buy a gift the day of or the day before his event. A gift that he would be asked by spirit to give to someone later during the event. It was always meaningful to the person who received it.
Other places he loved to travel to include Wisconsin, Portland, and Washington, D.C. He especially loved Washington, D.C. He even lived in Washington, D.C., for a time. He loved it there for no reason other than “there is so much free shit to do!”
The last time I talked to him on the phone was in the summer of 2022. June, to be exact. He provided comfort because Rose (my wife) and I were going through a challenging time. On that day, Charles and I talked about life. We had an excellent hour-long conversation about our work, the craziest sessions we’ve ever had, and our plans for the future. His plan was simple – “be a perverted old man scoping out college chicks,” to which we both chuckled. I knew he was joking. Charles was always joking.
Charles wrote the forward for my first book Psychic Self Defense and was one of the first people ever to leave me a testimonial. We worked together…. Heck, for a while, we lived together. He was an intensely private person…. For someone that was so outgoing, in reality, he was an introvert. He recharged best when left alone and did his best work while not being pestered.
Charles was also a cat person. He would much rather have pet cats as opposed to dogs. It was just the type of person he was.
Charles Filius Last Social Media Post
His last post to social media was quite prophetic. It was a starry sky with the words “Everything will be all right” – as though he, in a way that only he could, was trying to let his friends and followers know that despite his lack of presence here in the physical world, everything would be fine. His caption to that was, “so they say….”
I know he is in a better place and with his dear friend Leigh (I probably misspelled her name). He missed her horribly after she left the physical world. So much so that he would always leave an empty chair for her at his demo sessions. I know he talked to her a great deal too. When he had a session with me, she almost always popped in, and when she did, those sessions took a turn to a much sadder place than where I usually saw my friend.
That’s the thing about grief. It tends to be a much more private event than many realize. There’s the public aspect of grief, but there’s the very intense private aspect of suffering too. The personal grief, the part of it that we face alone, can help us keep moving forward when we feel like it’s simply not possible. Charles dealt with the private grief of the loss of his friend (who I can only assume was so much more than that – but to which I have never had any verification) his entire life. I bet that after her passing, he became the cynical person I, and likely many of his close friends, experienced.
There is so much I could say, but the fact is this: The pain is deep and sharp. The loss of one of the few real friends that I had in my life feels horrible, and I’m sure life will never be the same. It certainly seems less funny and humorous without him here….
I love you, Charles. Thank you for your advice. Thank you for your companionship. Thank you for the laughs. But most importantly, thank you for being a friend.. (and yeah, buddy, I think I hear the Golden Girl’s Theme song in the background….)