Life, Death and Spirituality

Month: October, 2013

Just a word for his friends….

Its amazing how things can change in the blink of an eye.

I was just looking at photographs of Rowie and his friends from 2012.  They were all so innocent and happy; so full of anticipation of the good things to come.  Everything was fun; the cliched jokes and the posing facial expressions; the music; the exuberant dancing.  The excitement of the weekend and the serious planning that went into these extravaganzas.  The excitement as they planned the summer holidays; the New Year celebrations and the high jinks of Year 13.  All these things trashed in the blink of an eye.

Their lives along with ours have changed forever.  They have had to “get over it” and carry on with life in as normal way as they can muster.  By not being immediate family their grieving is acknowledged but not fully understood.  Their school is a small, intimate school; one where friendships are intense.  They have had to go to school every day; every day a reminder of someone who no longer shares their fun, laughs and aspirations – our hearts go out to you all.  You have done an amazing job this year; you have propped each other up; you have looked after us – and after everything you have gone through, you have come out the other end – stronger, softer, wiser.

Some of his great friends moved on from school last year; Jess, Reuben, Duncan, Tom, Samantha, Tiffany, Alison, Jason, Hayden, Heidi, Rebecca.  They have all had their own battles to face.  We are so proud of you all. We know it hasn’t been easy.

There are those who were part of his pre-Owaka days; Matthew, Laura, Sarah, Olivia.  There are those he met on The Spirit Of New Zealand – Liv particularly.  They have all had mountains to climb this year.  We are thankful that you were part of his life.

…..and, as Rowie would say, you have all found your souls :o) !!!


Just love his hands!

The end of Rowan’s school year…..

“The excitement of things to come in his life have been replaced with the painful realization that there will be no future memories.”

As we head towards the end of the school year; a time when Rowie would be preparing for his role as Head Boy at the School Prize Giving; a time when he would be as excited as his peers about where he is heading next year and what he is going to be studying and which Hall he is in………..

This starts the long, painful process for us of the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.

We are going to attend Prize Giving.  We really want to see his friends stand proud at the end of their school lives and learn about where they are all heading next year.  These guys have all been such a large part of our lives since we moved to Owaka five years ago and we will continue to see them come and go again at the end of each semester and follow their progress with interest.

Rowie’s memorial plaques, designed by other students, are in place at school now.  We have the unveiling ceremony coming up soon. They are with the Rowan trees donated by my Census 2013 peers after Rowie died.  We will watch the Kapa Haka group perform for him – always a spine-tingling performance – and listen to things that people may want to say about him.

….and another chapter in our lives will end.

I do believe that everything, no matter how ghastly, horrendous and hideous, happens for a reason and according to a soul’s plan.  This soul plan is unique and allows for spiritual evolution.  We choose our paths in life before we get here to enable us to learn.  Certain paths are chosen to learn altruistic qualities such as compassion, kindness, patience and healing.  These paths may require resolution and strength to survive arduous situations like experiencing the death of a child.  Each challenge is planned so that a person will grow beyond our limited human thinking.  These paths are chosen together within a soul family so on some level, Rowie, Francis, Chris and I planned this.

We all grieve differently.  The way I see it is that we can either stay in the depths of deep and inconsolable pain, anguish and misery; give in to the fact that life has forever lost its magic or use this ordeal and suffering as an opportunity for learning and growth.

If you were to ask a hundred people about their thoughts on life and death you would probably get a hundred different responses.  We are all unique.  My views are mine and, as I have said before, I would hate to distress or anger anyone with them.

You might think that a child’s death would bring the family closer together.  I read that this often is the opposite of what actually happens. The death of Rowie has completely changed the family dynamic between Chris and I and between Chris, Francis, Maree and I.  A major social adjustment has had to take place.  There is consolation that we have each other to share the grief but I know that I certainly have had unrealistic expectations of the others.  I have wanted them to lesson my grief in some way or another.  This, of course, is impossible.  How can you heal someone else when you can’t stop the hurt within yourself.

Anyone reading this who may be going through the same tragic journey must learn something from us – if you, as parents and siblings don’t work through your grief together by talking and sharing your feelings, resentment, self-loathing, addictions and depression could be the result.  Death is not an easy subject to talk about but in order for you to come out the other side in a healthy, reasonably well-balanced manner you must share your feelings.

I am thankful we have talked.

Rowie’s friends

Just a note to Rowie’s friends – if they feel that they have anything to say about him they can leave their comments at the end of a post under ‘Leave a Comment’.  Perhaps some of you have a different aspect of him that you would like to talk about.  Feel free……

More on Rowie….

Rowan was always a sensitive soul.

When he was five he was moved very rapidly from New Entrants to J1.  This created him some angst even though we were unaware of it at the time.  He developed alopecia.  This was localized to the scalp.  He had two large, round bald patches develop.  We took him to the doctor who performed blood tests, hair analysis etc and she couldn’t find any reason for this to occur.  We used scalp stimulant cream on his head every day and this didn’t improve the situation.  There was no family history of this condition.  The medical profession suggested that it might be caused by stress.  Another mum, with a strong religious background, offered to pray over him if we were willing to allow this.  After a little discussion Chris and I decided to give it a go.  The poor soul was being teased unmercifully about having ‘holes in his head’ (kids can be cruel) and we were prepared to give anything a shot.  I took him to her house and she prayed over him, asking God and His Angels to heal him. We were amazed to see new growth on these bald patches within days of this prayer session.  At the time we weren’t sure whether this was a natural end to a viral attack or due to the prayer being answered.  I am pretty sure now which one it was.

He chose to go to the Salvation Army Kids Club.  He stayed with them for 6 years.  He would probably have become a Youth Leader there if we hadn’t moved from Alexandra.  He loved the weekly club.  He enthusiastically took part in every play they produced and was always first to sign up for their weekend camps.

What I am trying to say is that even though we, as a family, didn’t raise him to go to church every week and we didn’t discuss religion at length with him, he chose to learn himself.  

Rowie believed in an afterlife; he believed in reincarnation.  He talked about having been on earth before.  We listened and laughed and teased; he laughed too but he was deadly earnest in his beliefs.  Having spoken to many people and having had readings with Rowie, I do believe he is an old soul; someone who has been here many times before.  This is why he only stayed a short while this time around; he has pretty much learned his soul lessons and earned his wings (figuratively speaking of course).

As I was writing this I had a phone call from the Coroner’s Office.  The Coroner has finalised his provisional findings and they are posting a report out to us tonight.  She wanted to warn me so that it isn’t a shock when I take it out of the letter box.  A very kind thought discounting the fact that hearing this might in itself put me into a spin!  Ten months tomorrow since he died and they have just put a report together.  We won’t get a formal death certificate until 2014 because the Coroner goes on leave in two weeks and there won’t be time to finalise this before he goes!

Before Rowie died the sun rising was an assurance of a new, exciting day.  Since he died we wake in the morning after a restless sleep to a day without sun; an emptiness that we feel will never be filled again.  The excitement of things to come in his life have been replaced with the painful realization that there will be no future memories.  At first it felt like we would never be able to carry on and that our lives too were over.  We trudged through the first few months surviving from day to day.  Ten months on we are aware now that we can survive this loss.  Little triggers like the phone call today set us back again but we will get through this and with Rowie’s help we will become aware of new perspectives and spiritual enlightenment.


Heart and Soul

Upgrading our vibration

More of my beliefs are:-

Heaven is only a stone’s throw away.  We can’t see it because we are vibrating on a different frequency.  We can only reach through the veil that separates us by changing our own vibration through prayer and meditation.  This vibration is the energy that buzzes through our body.  Our God is a rebel.  He gave us freedom of thought – bless his heart.  He wants us to experience emotion; love, compassion, forgiveness.  Unfortunately other emotions come to play too – our ego brings doubt and angst.

The earth’s vibration is changing and we need to keep up with the play.  The Wholeness Blessing is an upgrade to our vibration and is Heaven sent.  Its no biggie!  This Blessing is the first step to changing the frequency at which we operate – one heart at a time.  This Blessing was given to Joe Crane by Archangel Michael.  Joe had his first intervention with Michael during the Vietnam war when he and a handful of others listened to a voice and were led to safety when their ship was under fire.  It took many years before Joe actually accepted that he was being targeted to bring mankind messages from Heaven.  He still finds the whole process rather stressful!

When I was in San Francisco in August I was given the ability to pass this Blessing on to others – one heart at a time.  Some of you will laugh at this; some of you will be angry at the thought of Blessings and the arrogance of someone who says that they can give this; some of you might want to give it a go.  One thing I can say is that my life has changed hugely in the last 10 months and if there is anything that can help me in my quest to get closer to Rowie then I will give it a go.  I was given this Blessing three times whilst in the USA and each time I felt an emotion and a strength that cannot be discounted.  I would rather be a hopeful believer than someone who discounts and negates an opportunity.

As the 10 month anniversary of Rowie’s death looms, I am feeling far more confident and at peace with myself.  I look at Chris and Francis – they are still hurting as I am – but I think that they too are gaining strength.  They believe that they will see him again – there is enormous comfort in that.

I have been practicing Universal White Time Healing – a gift brought back from the USA.  There are a few UWT Healers in Australia but New Zealand is new territory.  This healing is incredible and I thank Jodie and Jose for this amazing gift.  My life is changing and I know that Rowie sits with me and encourages me in my endeavours.

60 cms x 90 cms pure beauty XX

Last school photo 16 August 2012

Personality Plus Plus Plus!

Although Rowie was only young when he died (nearly 17 years) he was more mature than his years in so many ways.  He had an inner-warmth, gentleness and kindness.  He often spoke of the Samurai Code of Honour and his desire to live by their four simple rules; strength, respect, loyalty and honour.  It was extremely rare that he ever criticized anyone.  He never played the blame game.  He was always the first to put his hand up if he had done something wrong.  As Francis said at his funeral:-

“he was also the most honest person you could meet.  Many times he would get up to a cheeky piece of mischief and own up to Sue pretty much before he finished!”

Most of us learn the blame game at a very early age – “who me?” “No, it was her”!  Rowie never played that game even when he was young which, on analysis, was quite a clever concept.  Blame someone else and you’re in trouble; own up and its pretty hard for anyone to get too grumpy!  

Forgiveness was something Rowie was very good at too.  He never bore a grudge.  He wasn’t prone to sulking.  Forgiveness is a present that we give to ourselves.  It is a conscious choice not to resent or plot revenge against someone else.  By forgiving we aren’t minimizing the wrong that the offender may have done; we are just freeing ourselves of our own negative and damaging thoughts – thoughts that eat you up if you let them.  Rowie never did.  On occasions when he talked to me I felt like the child!

Francis said:-

“Rowan had the biggest heart.  He was the glue in our family.  He always knew what to say and to say it at the right time.  With his gentle sense of humour and cheeky grin he would light up any room, be it classroom, lounge, pub or party.”

Rowie was full of love.  He loved openly and he loved hard.  His love had no boundaries. He loved his family totally and unconditionally.  He loved his friends with a total commitment and loyalty.  He wasn’t ashamed of admitting to loving you.  His love wasn’t possessive and it wasn’t based around conditions.  There were no strings attached to his love.  He just loved.  He cried at sad movies. He cried at sad songs.  This didn’t make him soppy or weak.  He was stronger for carrying his heart openly.

He had a wicked sense of humour; one that quite frequently manifested itself when it would have been better remaining buried!  Having said that, laughter was hugely important to him and if something amused him I’m afraid that stopping the bubbling up of mirth was completely impossible.  His dimples would start forming; his eyes would light up and he would laugh until tears rolled down his cheeks!  I miss the sound of his laughter.

He certainly wasn’t perfect but I’m thinking he was pretty damned close!  Just think what a better place the world would be if we could all love and forgive as easily as our beautiful, warm and funny son.


Rowie loving his life XX

Rowie on board The Spirit of New Zealand August 2012