Life, Death and Spirituality

Month: November, 2014


There was a time when Saturday night was a ’night out on the town’; a few drinks, good company, maybe a nightclub followed by a good Anglo-Indian curry – home to bed and maybe see daylight again around 11.00 on Sunday!

Tonight I have had an awesome Saturday night.

It started a little earlier than they used to; around 6.00pm, with a beautiful drive out to The Nuggets. It was a delightful sunny evening. This drive takes us down through native bush peppered with tree ferns to the rugged, rocky Catlins coast – a treat in itself. We then take the unsealed road from Kaka Point out towards Nugget Point Lighthouse. Somewhere along the way is our destination; a house that sits above the sea with a view to die for. As you sit in the lounge you feel as if you are completely surrounded by sea; you can see it, hear it, and smell it.

The ambiance of the room as we enter is warm and welcoming. We have been invited to enjoy an evening for our souls – we left our egos behind at home! Maree and Janey joined me on this excursion so the trip out to The Nuggets was filled with interesting and lively conversation. The only improvement would have been to have the company of my boys too but they were away watching a New Zealand versus England Rugby League International in Dunedin (much more appealing for them)!

I have only ever visited my friend in daylight hours before. I have longed to see the sun set and the moon rise on the vista from her ample lounge window. This didn’t disappoint me in the slightest – it was actually far more stunning than I could ever have imagined.

I have read that Angels and spirit love the beauty that Mother Earth offers them – and The Nuggets in the Catlins (between Kaka Point and Owaka in coastal South Otago) is probably one of the finest examples of what Gaia can do to impress them! It is no wonder that my friend’s house has the most unique of atmospheres; a stillness and peace that is tangible. You can see it, hear it, touch it, feel it. You suspect that you may have been allowed into a very private place.

My friend has visitors. Terry and his wife are immediately welcoming and we warm to them at once. It is Terry that we are here to see. He is a light worker and teacher with many skills to share with us. We are joined by another two like-minded people who want to comprehend more about our purpose and our individual journeys. I always tend to feel inadequate when surrounded by spiritual people; I kind of feel that I’m not quite where they are and that I am, perhaps, missing something very important. Terry picks up on this immediately and talks about learning to love ourselves as the perfect beings we all are. I understand this but find it extremely difficult to maintain with enthusiasm in everyday life.

For the second time in twenty eight years my father comes to visit. Terry tells me that he was very surprised to find himself on the other side of the veil; having never believed in an afterlife I guess it was a huge shock for him. For a man who used to say ’Have you ever known me to be wrong’? this will have been hugely alarming and positively staggering! He tells me Rowan is doing fine and that I really should get my right hip looked at before it gets any worse! He is surrounded by animals and Terry laughs at the cacophony of beastly noises accompanying this visit. It comes as no surprise to me. My father was a veterinary surgeon during his last incarnation and he always used to say he preferred animals to people!

We enjoyed a shared supper and listened to each other’s experiences and stories. We shared our experiences of meditation and offered tips to each other to improve our success. We talked about auras and I was delighted to be told that I was surrounded by a warm golden aura as I sat there. We talked about past lives and it was confirmed, yet again, that I was a witch in a previous life – persecuted and killed in a horrendous way (and not surprisingly, this involved spiders). Could this possibly be the reason for my acute phobia in this lifetime?

Our return journey along the unsealed rocky coastal road was made all the more stunning by the appearance of a large, blood red moon rising out of the sea – truly awesome!



I am strong. I am stronger now than I was two years ago. I am stronger but that strength is tempered with empathy for other people that I didn’t, perhaps, have in such quantity before! I was so tied up in my own life that I very rarely considered other people apart from my direct family and close friends. I would consider others if they put their problems bang, slap in front of me and asked me what to do……..but I didn’t ‘notice’ things like I do today.

I am trying not to dwell in the past because that takes away the pleasure of the present time and, although I never thought there would ever be fun times again, of course there are. They are different fun times admittedly; and I will never stop wishing that Rowan could be with us in the physical to enjoy these times too – but, nonetheless, fun times are possible without him. I am lucky in my belief that he enjoys these times with us from the other side and there are times when the thought of his slightly wonky smile and infectious laughter makes the situation even more enjoyable!

I have stopped feeling guilty when I laugh. I have stopped feeling guilty when I actually find that I am enjoying something. I have stopped criticising myself for the sad times and the mad times and the bad times that still crop up. They always will do that………..and……..I am not a sad drunk! I often wondered if I would collapse in a river of tears if I ever had too much to drink – I know that this can happen. I tried it and I won! May be a year ago it would have been a different story. After he died I stuck clear of alcohol for quite a few months because I had a suspicion that it would be an easy path to stumble along. There was an occasion some six months after he died when, fueled on wine, I tore into my long-suffering husband and ripped at him unmercifully. I have forgiven myself for that and I like to think he has forgiven me too! My mother, who passed over some four years ago now, will be proud of my progress!

Does strength come from knowledge? I was weighing this up as I was driving home today. Has this new-found strength of mine been a direct result of all the reading and discussion I have offered my soul over the last two years or is it something that would have come about anyway? I am inclined to think that the plethora of books I have read, and am still reading, have been my weights, my trunk curls and my protein powder; and I am hugely grateful to those people who have shared their experiences, beliefs and philosophies with the rest of us. The beauty of books is that there are always more being written. I will never, in my lifetime, ever be able to exhaust the mass of information and opinions that are out there for me to digest.

Christmas, as so many people seem to be reminding me, is just around the corner. I was sure that I would loathe this time of year for the rest of my life. Last year it was unbearable. We muddled our way through it. Maree managed a little normality on the day with her family. Chris, Francis and I just prayed it would come and go quickly so that we could get on with our lives. This year I am viewing it differently. I haven’t got that old familiar knot in the stomach when I think about it. I have even, quietly and unseen, been buying the odd wee gift for family. The decorations Rowan so expertly put up in 2012 won’t be going up again but the odd new acquisition might be seen, understated but dangling around the place!

It has a whole new perspective for us this time around. There will be tears I am sure on Christmas Day – and probably even more on Boxing Day. Maree and Janey have their own demons to face this year with the passing of their awesome father, John, taking place this winter. He will be with them on Christmas Day just like Rowan will be with us. We will set a place for Rowie at the table again.

Rowan will give me the strength I need to get through. He is always with me, encouraging, pushing, unrelenting in his desire for me to learn. He recognises that when I learn to trust my intuition I will gain a peace and serenity that he knows is waiting for me. I hear this message repeatedly and for the most part trust myself now but I don’t deny hitting the odd speed wobble now and again.

Chris, Francis, Maree and I will never forget Rowan. We love him with the same intensity now as we ever have. He will remain a very large part of our lives and I continue to chase shadows – one day I will catch up with him one way or another.

But until then life goes on.


What a roller-coaster ride the last ten days have been. Heartbreak; delight; spiritual growth. I know we are here on this earth to enjoy our time; to learn and to grow but sometimes it is just too easy to get lost in the sadness of the moment.

The son of a past work colleague of mine died in a motorbike accident at the end of October – another one of our beautiful young men taken too soon – tragic. I was truly devastated by this news. Another colleague was mindful and thoughtful enough to let me know before this intelligence was communicated to us by the media. Thank you my friend. The thought of someone else I care for going through the same pain as we have done brought it all flooding back. I felt sick, tearful, sad for them as parents and sad for myself again as the intense feeling of misery and despair grabbed at me.

I asked my Nuggets friend if I could see her this week. I hoped she could help me process my grief and she didn’t disappoint me. I always feel so refreshed after time spent with her in her beautiful space which sits right on the edge of the sea. She helped me remember the joy that the next stage of our journey as humans carries. She reminded me of the excitement of moving forward after leaving the earthly body behind – so easy to forget when in a state of grief and anguish. I also know that he wasn’t ‘taken too soon’. He was taken just when he was supposed to be. I know these things to be true but it isn’t always easy to keep this at the forefront of your mind.

I also had some tremendous news this week. The dear young friend of Rowans whom I mentioned recently is moving to Dunedin to study next year. This news brought tears of a different kind – tears of joy. I was so delighted to hear that she was joining other close, close friends of Rowans; friends that he couldn’t wait for her to meet; friends that she knows already through his incessant, excited descriptions and the magic of modern communication. I hope she doesn’t mind us taking her out for lunch now and again when we are in Dunedin and we promise not to make nuisances of ourselves!

I’m not sure how you measure spiritual growth. I am now acutely aware when I go through a shift which opens up new revelations and new insights. Leading up to these shifts I feel irritable, unable to sleep properly, restless and incapable of concentrating for any length of time. After I have come through one I feel relaxed, comfortable, peaceful and content. These shifts are worked for, not given freely! I spend much time reading and meditating still. I have realised that if I want to learn I have to apply myself! I spend time with like-minded people and we feed off each other and we find ourselves making discoveries together through talk and brainstorming.

I am now acutely aware that the world is totally different to that which I understood it to be for most of my life. In looking for answers I now use altered ways and methods to the ones that I used as I was growing up prior to my life-changing event. I am sure that I have always been aware of these new methods and approaches but I probably thought them ridiculous before I was guided towards them through well-meaning associates and abounding literature.

I think that most of us need some kind of kick-start to encourage our change in perspective. Some undergo an amazing experience like an NDE (near death experience or episode); others suffer a less dramatic but nonetheless life changing event like the loss of a loved one through illness, accident, suicide. These events drive us to look deeper within ourselves. It is terribly easy to close off, become bitter and resentful and blame anything, everything and everyone for the loss and to dive headlong into an angry despair.

Rowan has pushed me to look at life differently. He hated seeing me upset and angry. He always noticed when I was feeling down and was the first to ask what was bothering me. This is the main reason that drove me to look at life and death in more depth. He wouldn’t want me to stop living just because he did. He stands behind me now, encouraging, inspiring and motivating me to look deeper.

For those of us who do open up to new perspectives through a life-changing event, I do believe that we have an obligation to others to talk about our journey and our discoveries and hope that others might gain some comfort from them. To talk might even start them on a journey of their own.