Life, Death and Spirituality

Month: May, 2014


If I go right back to the beginning of our journey, my whole intent was to be able to communicate directly with Rowan.  This was reliant on the probability that I could firstly convince myself that the presence of an afterlife; life after death, Heaven, Nirvana etc. existed.  I couldn’t understand why only some people could see and talk to ‘spirit’ and I felt hugely envious of those that could.

Seventeen months into this journey I believe wholeheartedly in an afterlife and I still, with enormous resolve, am convinced that I will be able to communicate directly with Rowie one day.

Kelvin Cruickshank told us at his workshop that we are all psychic and that we are all capable of seeing and communicating with spirit.  If a number of authors are to be believed, every one of us is psychic.  It’s just that some of us don’t recognise it and don’t learn to harness the power.  I have a set of Angel Therapy Oracle Cards.  There are forty four cards in the set.  Time and time again when I read the cards for myself two particular cards come up; ‘You are Profoundly Clairvoyant’ and ‘Mediumship’.  Not being a mathematician I cannot work out the odds on these cards coming up virtually every time I use them but I’m pretty sure it is quite a feat for these to turn up probably once in every two times I visit the cards.  The first card tells me to trust what I see in my mind’s eye as well as with my physical sight, for my spiritual vision helps me with healing, teaching and guidance.  The second card says that I have the natural ability to connect with departed loved ones and the Angels ask me to trust my feelings, thoughts, and visions about these spiritual connections because they are real.

Just recently I have been working on my intuitiveness again.  I have been trying to harness the power of my thoughts and I have been trying to use my five every-day senses  to heighten my sixth sense.  I think intuition is a gift of thought-power from the Universe.  It just pops into your head as opposed to being a conscious thought process.  I think the Universe helps us all in so many areas of our lives by just providing those thoughts – tipping us off if you like.

I don’t think the Universe is alone in tipping us off.  I think our loved ones also use the power of thought to influence us.  I can sometimes ask Rowie a question and feel that I get a reply.  He told me that a great friend of his would become head-girl and she did (I didn’t even know she was interviewing for this role).   I have occasionally seen him in the corner of my eye walk past the kitchen window.

Now, this is probably where I lose all credibility in everyone’s eyes.

I saw Rowie on Tuesday night.  I’m telling you this because I made a promise to myself and to Source that I would be completely truthful on this journey; that I would tell it as it happens.

I was sitting in the dining room watching television and Chris was sitting in the lounge watching something he had recorded.  I face the door where I sit and it was ajar but not fully open.  I was suddenly conscious of someone walking into the room and I looked up presuming to see Chris coming back in.  I saw Rowie walk in – he was serious and he was wearing dark clothing – and I am sure he was taller!  As he walked in he disappeared.  This gave me a huge jolt.  I asked out loud if it was really him and I had the most amazing goose-bumps travel down the right side of my body – goose-bumps like I have never felt before.  His tabby cat, Long Cat Yowling was sitting on the dining room table next to me where he spends a lot of time.  He got up and started meowing and walking up and down the table.  He was very agitated.  I was inwardly delighted albeit a little confused.  I thought that perhaps, having spent a large part of my day studying, I was tired and being over-sensitive.

It was only on Wednesday morning that I understood the reason for this visit – and I am now completely sure it was a visit.  Our beautiful little black puss, Jaws, that Rowie used to call ‘Cutie’ was run-over and eventually lost her life on the morning after this visitation.  I think Rowie came for a couple of reasons – maybe he was the harbinger of sad news and maybe, just maybe he was there to wait for Jaws and to take her with him.  To me this is validation of something hugely loving and powerful that doesn’t end with the bodily death of a human or animal.


I’m still not quite where I want to be but I know that Rowie is there and encouraging me as always.



You may wonder why I am so interested in Near Death Experiences (events that take place as a person is dying or is already clinically dead).

When Rowan died we were absolutely bereft.   Chris, Francis, Maree and I were left feeling hollow, empty, short of breath, sick to the stomach.  ‘He was the glue that held our family together’ said Francis of his little brother; and he was.  He was unique; very special to all of us.  He kept us all communicating with each other – he would pick up on any slight nuance of stress between us and heal it within seconds!  The thought of losing him forever just didn’t bear thinking about.  I felt that we could maybe gain some sort of comfort knowing that we would one day be able to see him again and to talk with him again.  When I say ‘knowing’ – I mean that I wanted absolute, concrete proof that there is an afterlife; that we will see him again. 

Mediums play a huge part in allowing us to believe that the soul or spirit does go on and I am hugely grateful to those that helped us with our journey.  They knew things that I know could only have come from Rowan. But, unfortunately, the latent scientist in me, the scientist that was born from a father who was a scientist and an atheist, needs more proof!

I have read a number of books on NDE’s but one particular book on research that was carried out on NDE’s fascinates me.  ‘Evidence of the Afterlife’ was written by Jeffrey Long MD., a Radiation Oncologist who was captivated by an article he read long before Near Death Experiences became well-reported.  He found this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and this proved to be the catalyst that lit the spark that saw him eventually start a website,  This website asks people who have experienced this phenomenon to retell their near death experiences without the fear of ridicule and derision that so many people have been treated to when they opened up to the medical profession previously.

To cut a long story short, he has provided me with the proof I needed that there is indeed an afterlife; life after death.  He talks about the nine lines of evidence that prove the existence of life after life.  Before I came across his book I had, myself come up with a few of these ‘lines of evidence’ insomuch as they increased my burgeoning belief of a continuation of our journey after our physical body had died.

How people described their NDEs :-

  • Heightened senses
  • Intense and positive feelings and emotions
  • Passing through a tunnel with a mystical light at the end
  • Meeting people in spirit form who had already died (usually familiar to them)
  • A life review
  • Seeing beautiful realms; gardens
  • Learning special knowledge
  • Encountering some sort of barrier

His nine lines of evidence are as follows:-

  1. It is impossible to have a conscious experience, one we can remember, at a time when we are clinically dead.
  2. People see and hear things whilst clinically dead.  They can relate conversations that went on in other rooms whilst they were in an unconscious, even clinically dead state.
  3. A large number of NDEs occur during general anaesthetic.  Whilst anaesthetised theoretically it should be completely impossible to have a lucid or clear experience.
  4. People who were born blind and whose understanding of the world is based totally on their other senses of hearing, touch, taste and smell actually describe seeing things during their NDE.
  5. Most NDE people describe a process they call a Life Review as having taken place.  These life reviews involve an accurate review of prior events in their lives, some of which had been forgotten until that point.
  6. Virtually all people encountered during the NDEs were deceased at the time of the NDE, and most were deceased relatives.  People encountered during dreams are much more likely to be living people.  Sometimes the person seen is unfamiliar but the person experiencing the NDE later discovers the identity of this person by looking at old family photographs.
  7. The similarity of NDEs experienced by very young children and by adults suggests strongly that the content of NDEs is not due to people’s existing beliefs.  Children younger than six have virtually the same components in their near-death experiences as adults do.  To me this is one of the strongest suggestions that near-death experiences are real and not dreams or fabrications.
  8. The consistency of NDEs around the world – every religion and culture experience the same pattern of events.
  9. People who experience NDEs always change after undergoing this phenomenon.  The study found consistent and long-lasting changes following NDEs.  People have a decreased fear of death and dying and an increased belief in the afterlife.  They tend to become more loving and compassionate in their interaction with other people.  Some also experienced an increase in their psychic awareness.

As I read these lines of evidence each one gave me hope that there is an afterlife.  When I had finished reading them all I couldn’t help but believe totally in the continuation of life after death.  The proof has been served and I know I will see Rowan again.



Life on earth is like a college or university for the development of our souls!  Once we graduate we get to move on to the next chapter or phase.  We are sort of imprisoned in our earthly body; it’s dense and slow moving (ha – some slower than others); an inhibiting but necessary vehicle to allow us to move around down here!  I think the key to happiness is to know and understand that life does continue after ‘death’.

I started this journey by reading lots of books written by mediums but my first sojourn to this topic started just after a got married.  I found an engaging old English lady called Doris Stokes (6 Jan 1920 – 8 May 1987) who was a medium and she had written a number of books; Voices in My Ear and More Voices in My Ear being the most famous.  Her stories fascinated me although I wasn’t wholly sure I believed what she was saying.

This time around I read books by Lisa Williams, James van Praagh, Kelvin Cruickshank and Allison DuBois – all well-known mediums/psychics and all well worth reading if you are looking for comfort, solace, reassurance.

I then progressed, as I have said before, to reading books by people who have undergone Near Death Episodes or Experiences (NDEs); authors like Eben Alexander MD, Richard Sigmund, Ned Dougherty, Mary C Neal, Marvin J Besteman and just recently, Anita Moorjani – all amazing reads and very powerful learning tools or security blankets if you are struggling with a recent loss or have deep-seated fears of death and dying.

The phenomena described by all these authors are very similar. They all explained that their spirit floated above the physical body as they reached the point of death.  They said that they were able to watch what was happening around the body – they observed the people trying to help them, the resuscitation attempts.  They could hear conversations that their family members and medical staff were having.  They could even see and hear people who were in other places, other countries even.  They could be in many places all at once.

I remember a good friend of ours many years ago describing something similar to us after he had a bad car accident.  He was travelling one of the narrow, stonewalled country roads in the Yorkshire Dales late at night.  He misjudged a corner and hit a wall at speed.  He was thrown from the car and landed in a field.  He remembers sitting with his back against the wall looking at his lifeless body lying a few feet away.  He sat there a wee while wondering if anyone would come to help him.  He then saw a car stop, two of the occupants got out whilst the other took the car off to a local farm to ring for an ambulance.  He saw the farm house and its occupants and he heard the conversation.  He watched as the two people with his body stood and stared at it.  He felt like shaking them –shouting at them ‘well do something then – don’t just stare at me’!  He was eventually picked up by ambulance and resuscitated but not before he was lead down the tunnel by hand and welcomed warmly by his grandparents.  He suffered a severe head injury and spent many months in rehabilitation.

I can’t pretend to know what happened to Rowie when he passed – this is something that I long to hear from him directly; something that I am working towards; one of the many, many questions I have lined up for him!  All I do know is that he was taken from his body before the point of fear.

People report a tunnel with a warm, beautiful, enticing light at the end of it.  Their souls appear to feel great warmth, love and peace as they approach the light.  This is why these NDE people don’t want to return to their bodies – they feel a sacred, blessed and loving vibration that is overwhelming.  They see family and friends who are already in spirit standing at the end of this tunnel.  They speak to them.  They see the most beautiful gardens with colours that are indescribable – vibrant and glowing.  Wow, who wouldn’t want to stay there!

I was privileged to take part in one of Kelvin Cruickshank’s workshops last year.  Towards the end of the workshop he took us all on a guided meditation to Heaven.  This was to enable us to meet loved ones who had passed.  He explained that we would all have different experiences.  One thing we all had in common was that we didn’t want to return from this journey!  I didn’t see things; I ‘sensed’ the trip.  I know that sounds strange – it is actually very hard to describe what happened.  He took us through a large wooden door into a garden and then on to a building at the far end of the garden.  We were taken into a hall with doors on either side where our loved ones waited for us.  I smelled my mother – she always wore Chanel No 5 and I distinctly smelled her; and I was hugged by Rowan – the definitive ‘Rowie’ hug – one that I could never mistake for anything else!  We were all in tears when we returned to the room!  One lady was ecstatic.  She said that she had seen that garden before!  Her father was a gardener before he passed and not long after he left her she had a visitation in a dream.  She met him in a beautiful garden with the most vibrant colours and a decorative fountain in the middle of a large lawn and he was wheeling a wheelbarrow!  When Kelvin took her on this trip to Heaven she saw the same beautiful and dazzling rose garden and fountain that she had seen previously.

NDE patients are told by their family and friends who greet them at the end of the tunnel that it is not yet their time to die at which point they return to their physical bodies.  Most tell of their terrible disappointment at not being allowed to stay in the other realm. They felt secure, loved, warm and peaceful.  This tells me that death isn’t terrible and frightening and something to be scared of – although the thought of separation from our earthly friends and family and missing out on life’s excitement may be a consideration I guess!

People who return after an NDE always change.  They seem to gain a sense of freedom because they have no fear of death any more.  The fear of dying and the unknown has gone.  They learn that they are ‘love’ and that their purpose in life is to learn and to grow – interesting stuff eh?


The moment when someone leaves his or her body, the time of death, is obviously a very sad time for those of us who are left behind.  I wondered what Rowan had experienced.  As any mother would, I was scared that he had suffered; that he had been scared; that he was distressed.  Most parents spend their lives worrying about their off-spring and trying to protect them from any form of pain and suffering.  When a child dies suddenly due to an accident the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to blame your selves for not keeping them safe; for failing in your parental responsibilities and for letting them down so appallingly.

I have been told by several psychics that Rowan was taken from his body before he felt the true terror of his situation.  His guardian angels did an awesome job of taking him across the bridge from this world to the next where he was welcomed with open arms by his family and friends.  Even those who have no conscious memory of anyone who has passed are welcomed by warm, loving beings that show pure, unconditional love to the newly arrived spirit.

Sudden death can throw the newly arrived soul into a bit of a spin…….!  I believe that there is a place, a little like a hospital, where they go to heal.  It must be quite a shock for this soul who can see their loved ones grieving but are unable to put their arms around them and comfort them.  I was told that Rowan spent a wee while healing after his passing.  This would explain my visitation (in a dream) from him just after his accident.  He told me repeatedly that he wasn’t dead.  This was very distressing for me and him.  I have been told that he is now part of the welcoming committee for young ones who pass suddenly.  I can believe this – who better to help these young ones come to terms with their sudden transition?


I think we then go through a process of self-assessment.  We have our contracts that we drew up before incarnating and we judge whether in this lifetime we have learned what we contracted to learn.  I do not believe that God/our Creator/Source/Light, whatever designation you choose to give this power, is sat in judgement of us.   I believe we get to judge ourselves.  Have we grown?  Have we progressed?  Have we lived a compassionate life?  Have we hurt others?  Have we loved?  Have we helped others?  Have we learned the lessons we needed to learn in this incarnation?  I don’t think this judgement is there to send us to Heaven or to Hell – it is there to show us how our soul is progressing and to show us what we still need to learn in our next incarnations.

I’m not sure what place this bridge we cross leads to.  I know we are pure energy and when our bodies die our souls traverse this bridge into another plane – maybe it is the ‘astral plane’ we sometimes see in our sleeping state or maybe it is a parallel universe.

There are so many things that throw a spanner in the works when I am trying to make sense of my thoughts and conceptions.  Where do really bad people go?  I do not believe in Hell.  I think our God/Goddess/Source is too full of love to banish people to a grim, dark place like that.  Perhaps really bad people will have to learn extremely hard lessons in their next reincarnation.   Why do people incarnate with sicknesses?

I think the good news is that all of us get repeated chances to grow and evolve here on earth; not just in one life-time but again and again until we are pretty much perfect and get to stay up there forever if we want to!   I think we are a unique spirit; and every time we reincarnate whether as a male or female, we still possess that exclusive energy and vibration that makes us who we are.  Each member of our soul family will have their own distinctive energy or vibration as we get to live new lives over and over again in each other’s company.   I guess our soul is a bit like a book and each time we reincarnate, this adds another chapter to that book.   I think that’s where that ‘déjà vu’ feeling comes into play – we have memories at some level of past lives.  I think these memories can show up as fears or warnings.  Maybe the little child who is terrified of fire was burned to death in a previous life?   On the other hand maybe a husband and wife in one life could have been a wife and child in the next and best buddies after that – if the connection of love is strong this love can manifest over and over again – I like that thought tremendously!!!


I was talking to a friend the other day who has suffered the same devastating loss as we have; the sudden and accidental death of a much loved teenage child.  We were talking about theories, beliefs, philosophies, viewpoints.   She has always held spiritual beliefs; I am a relative greenhorn when it comes to this way of thinking and I am learning as I go along!

I tried to explain to her, poor long-suffering soul, what my theories are and I thought I might share them with you.  Once again I apologise if these thoughts offend anyone – they are only my views and I have no intention of forcing them on anybody.  They may be of interest to other people on a similar journey to us and it would be awesome to hear other people’s deliberations too.

I won’t share her stories – that is for her to do.  I will say though that she too has some amazing stories to tell.  These stories are similar to ours in some ways; they are stories that could easily be classed as coincidences if we didn’t know better.  One thing we are both totally in agreement about is that we have a couple of pretty awesome cherubs keeping their eyes on us! 

The first thing that I am completely sure of is that Rowan has not left us.  He has not disappeared, never to be heard of again.  His ‘life’ has not ended.  He makes us aware regularly that he is still around with the subtle little messages that he leaves and the odd little humorous ‘happening’.  I started this journey by putting these things down as ‘coincidences’.  How frustrating that must have been for Rowie!  He must have felt like shaking us – having breached that barrier between life within the confines of the human body and life as an infinite, loving, light being why wouldn’t he want to share this with his loved ones left behind in their lower vibrational bodies!  Why wouldn’t he want to say ‘hey you guys, I’m still here – I can see everything you do.  I can be with you any time you want me!’  ‘I’ll be here for you whenever you ask.  I will be here to greet you when you pass through the veil of separation’.

I absolutely understand why some people may say that all these perceived happenings are a figment of our imagination or the amazing ‘coincidence’ – something that we grab hold of to carry us through the abject and desperate misery of our loss.  I have questioned this myself over the last sixteen months but there comes a time when you have to actually admit that there are one heck of a lot of coincidences – far more coincidences than could possibly be coincidental!  And then you begin to understand that there are no coincidences; there is a reason for everything under Heaven!

I really good friend of Rowan’s has seen him at one of her hockey games.  He was there, on the side line, watching and cheering her on.  This same friend feels him there, with her, when she needs a little more courage and resilience.  This isn’t surprising.  Rowie was wholly supportive of his friends before he died.  Why would this change?

Another friend hears music that reminds her of him when she is feeling particular sad and needs a lift; a dose of joy!  She laughed the other day and said that even the guy on the radio was astounded when a particular track came on – it wasn’t planned!  I have experienced this phenomenon too.

He stands behind me when I am writing these posts.  I ask him for inspiration prior to sitting down and I wait for an idea to spring to mind.  I usually get a sort of insight within twenty-four hours about a topic to talk about.  I haven’t seen him (more’s the pity) but I am aware that he guides me with warmth and love.  He fills my heart with love on these occasions and I sometimes cry with the emotion I feel as I am writing. 

I am not terribly clever when it comes to lighting fires!  I have lost count of the number of times I have lit the fire only to return to it 10 minutes later to find that it has gone out!  On these occasions, as when he was alive, I say to Rowie ‘Give me a hand please buddy – the fire’s gone out again’!  (I am an asthmatic and I find the effort required to restart a fire can trigger my asthma and Rowie was well aware of this).  I can return 10, 20 or 30 minutes later to find a roaring fire!  He is awesome!  Some may say that the fire probably hadn’t gone out.  Please believe me.   I know categorically that on certain occasions the fire had definitely gone out!

So, I believe that there is an afterlife.  This is extremely comforting to me.  I no longer fear death.  I know that Rowan will be there to meet me and I’m guessing that Mum and Pop might just be there too!

I seriously believe in reincarnation.

I believe we all sign a contract before we incarnate with a list of lessons we intend to learn within this incarnation.  I believe that our soul family are involved in making this plan so at some level we are all aware of our own destiny and the destiny of our loved ones.  The younger the soul is when it passes over, the better the memory of the contract they made.  This explains a lot to me about Rowan.  It explains why he believed categorically during 2012 that he wasn’t going to see 2013.  It explains so much about his attitude to life.  He did a lot of living in his last year.  He was in a rush to enjoy as many experiences as he possibly could.  Looking back it is now apparent to me that he was very aware that time was running out.  His last couple of months were strange.  He spent a lot of time in his room.  He was very pensive.  He talked a lot about his spiritual beliefs.  He spoke wistfully about his missed opportunity to visit Japan.  I said that he could apply again in 2013 but he said ‘that won’t happen’.  He wasn’t depressed.  Depressed would say that he was unhappy.  He most certainly wasn’t unhappy.  Even though he was aware at some level that he wasn’t going to be here for long, he was excited.  He was surrounded by awesome friends and he was enjoying fun teenage experiences.  He was looking forward to a break away with friends for New Year.   He was anticipating an amazing summer.

Well, he was right.  He didn’t see 2013.  He has been described as ‘an old soul’.  I have been told that he has earned his wings.  He no longer needs to reincarnate to learn more life lessons.  He can stay where he is and become a guide, a teacher, a mentor to other young ones that pass early.  If he chooses he can reincarnate – I just hope he waits until I get there!