Life, Death and Spirituality

Month: December, 2014


Rowie loved Christmas. This is the second Christmas that I have not looked forward to since 1987 when Francis descended upon us! I have made a conscious decision. The time has come to turn things around if I can.

Last year we dreaded it; we hoped it would go away; we tried to ignore it. We compromised. We didn’t decorate; we didn’t have a tree. We had an understated Christmas lunch, just the three of us; Francis, Chris and I. We set a place for Rowie so he didn’t feel left out if he decided to pop in. We certainly didn’t celebrate. Boxing Day was horrendous. We went up to school and put some flowers by his memorial plaques there. We cried some; it rained some. We hoped the day would dissolve in front of our eyes. We spent most of the anniversary down in Pounawea with Francis and Maree; a rainy, miserable day as expected.

People have been saying to me ‘no point in saying have a good Christmas, just get through it the best you can’. Plans have been to make no more of it than last year. This year Chris is working Christmas Day night anyway so he will be asleep most of Christmas Day. Boxing Day is his first day off so we will eat Christmas fare then. Hopefully Francis and Maree might join us.

It is so easy to slip into this self-loathing, self-pitying state of mind. It is far harder to pull yourself out of it and turn things around.

Rowan loved Christmas. Isn’t it kinder on him to make a bit of an effort to celebrate as we would have done if he had still been here? Are we making him feel sad by bemoaning and grieving our way through the festive season?
OK, no tree again; just the blossom tree that stands guard by our ‘big Rowie picture’ throughout the year. His wee bird’s nest that was his ‘special’ Christmas decoration, has stayed on his casket throughout this year. The beautiful decorations that he festooned the house with in 2012 stay boxed up and invisible. I’m guessing they might make an appearance again when a new young life comes into our family again.

I love my children as hard as any mother can love her children. Francis came into our lives after a miscarriage and many years of hoping – an exceptional gift. Rowan came into our lives eight years later, much anticipated, much loved – an exceptional gift. For those of you that are yet to experience the love that a mother has for her child, believe me when I tell you that ‘unconditional love’ doesn’t begin to describe the feeling that you have for these exceptional gifts. In the moment that they are born you realise what life is all about; you understand why you are here and what it is that you are here to do.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to allow the love for these tiny souls to fill your heart and to allow their souls to connect with your soul; to hold them close and to let them know how very important they are to you and the world. This mission is both the hardest thing you will ever do and the easiest too. To do right by them is hard. No-one teaches you how to be a parent. It is only when you are a parent yourself that you realise just how enormous this job is that you have taken on.

But although enormous, this job is the most rewarding and important job a soul can do.



The weather for the last three days has been a replica of the weather leading up to Christmas in 2012; sunny, warm, positively balmy – a massage for the soul!

I popped out to The Nuggets first thing this morning.  The colours were truly amazing.  Everything looked crisp and clear.  Bright blue sky reflected in the shimmering water of the Pacific.  Peace.  What a wonderful, magnificent presence of quiet.  My friend had two visitors to her beach this morning; a fur seal and a NZ sea lion.  How lucky are we to live in such a beautiful area as The Catlins, New Zealand?  She also had a very persistent sparrow that hovered repeatedly outside her large window as if he had a message to share with us.

Our family moved down here from Alexandra in December 2008.  Rowan really didn’t want to come down here – he had fallen in love for the first time.  Laura had been generous enough to agree to accompany him to his first ‘Formal’ – a black and white themed dinner and dance to celebrate their moving from primary education to senior school!  A great event enjoyed by all and such a serious part of growing up.

On our journey down through Miller’s Flat to Owaka, furniture van following, we stopped to say a farewell to Laura with a promise that she could come and stay with us at Easter.  This placated Rowan somewhat although he was still fighting the move stubbornly.

As it turned out, Laura was to accompany Rowan to his next two ‘Formals’ – the ‘nearly grown-up’ kind!  How awesome was that?

After our contract in Owaka ended and we had the opportunity to move back to Alexandra (we had kept our house there), Rowan fought tooth and nail to stay in Owaka!  Oh how things change!  He had fallen in love with the sea, with the native bush, with the bird-life, with the people of Owaka and its surrounds.  He loved The Catlins Area School and couldn’t contemplate finishing his schooling anywhere else.  He had made life-long friends with the whole school community and eventually achieved his aspiration to become Head Boy.

His fatal accident on 26 December 2012 brought a premature end to this and everything else on this earthly plane for him; his opportunity to create more memories taken away in the blink of an eye.

Chris and I chose to stay in Owaka after Rowie passed; not least because Francis is close by, but because the community has a certain something; a warmth, an ethos, a tenet that we didn’t think that we could find anywhere else.

For a small community, Owaka has lost so many of their youngsters.  I have something pulling at me; nudging me, telling me to do something.  All kids are special.  These kids that have been taken so prematurely from us in Owaka are special – very special and I have a feeling that there is something I am supposed to do to honour them and to help us heal the wounds.  This sounds crazy.  This sounds ridiculous.  I have a recurring dream, one which gives me hints but doesn’t explain how and what I am supposed to do next!

I was told to write and so I write.  I was told to work with the energy of crystals and I am now making crystal jewellery.  Maybe my next steps will become clearer as time goes on.

If there is something I need to do, I can be sure the Universe will let me know!

The 'big Rowie picture'

The ‘big Rowie picture’


I’m feeling a bit soppy today. I guess Christmas is creeping up on me and I am beginning to panic a little – not the happiest of times for us. Popped into school today as well which pricked at my heart. Two whole years of children won’t know who Rowie is. I saw one of the beautiful Rowan trees donated by my workmates when Rowan died with the beautiful stone and his memorial plaque. The tree is positively thriving which made me smile.

I got to thinking about the ceremony that accompanies the death of a loved one; or more exactly, the ceremony that I personally have attached to my life since Rowie passed. Does everyone have a ceremonial routine that they follow or am I the only one?

Thank God for the ‘big Rowie picture’. Standing 60cms x 90cms and facing us as we walk into the lounge, this picture, almost as large as life, has been immensely therapeutic for us. Every morning my first job is to pop in to see him; I touch his cheek, his hand and tell him just how much I love him. I then turn the blossom tree on which stays lit all day until the bedtime ceremony! I touch his ashes casket, surrounded by owls, on the piano as I leave the room.

I run the shower in the bathroom. I allow the steam to build up so that I can write him a message on the mirror. It’s the same message every day but one that comes from the bottom of my heart. I sort of expect him to write one back to me! Once I have showered I turn the extractor fan on because I reckon Rowie has had long enough to see the message I have left for him.

My day can start properly then. I have acknowledged Rowie and I have told him how important he still is to me. However busy my day gets, I know that he is tuned in to me and will stay around me; watching me, encouraging me, sometimes laughing at me; with me.

The things I have chosen to do with my life recently ensure that Rowie is never far from my thoughts. I write my blog; I am in the process of publishing my first book; I make natural gemstone jewellery, each with a little Tibetan silver owl attached in memory of Rowie and his love for these feathered beauties – the brand called Row-aka-Ruru (Row for Rowan, Owaka for the place where he lived, Ruru for the owl he loved). If I am taken away from this environment for the day it’s OK because I have gone through the morning ritual.

I spend quality time in my room every day; my healing room that is full of therapeutic crystals, candles and incense. A room where I can listen to music if I want or meditate if I can still the babble in my mind for long enough! This is a time where I ask for continued emotional healing and recharge my batteries. I ask to be able to help others going through a similar grieving process – I ask that things I write may help other people who don’t know where to begin with their own healing.

At the end of the day, the last thing I do before going to bed is to visit the ‘big Rowie picture’ again. I touch his cheek, his hand and tell him just how much I love him. I turn out the blossom tree. I touch his ashes casket, surrounded by owls, on the piano as I leave the room.

All my ceremony over for the day.


The Universe never ceases to amaze me.

It’s very easy to ask the Universe for a parking space and for one to show up just at the right time. I have proved this to myself and others many times over. There are other things that you ask for in your life that don’t appear quite so quickly. Nonetheless I am a firm believer in synchronicity and the Universe pulling out all the stoppers to produce what is needed just when it is needed.

Two cards I have been pulling repeatedly during my daily readings recently make me smile. One talks about the ‘Rainbow’ children; these special ones come to us knowing so very much and are here to provide us with the knowledge that we all need. These children follow on from the Crystal Children and the Indigo Children. Crystal Children have large and gentle eyes that are older and wiser than their years. Their eyes have an almost hypnotic effect. They are happy, fun and forgiving children. They are a new generation of light workers and healers. The Indigo Children are very sensitive and spiritual children. They have important life-purposes. Indigos have a warrior spirit and tend to have fiery tempers and incredible determination. They tend to be labelled as suffering from Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) by schools who have so many children to deal with that one behaving ‘differently’ puts a huge strain on them. These wonderfully sensitive children lose their spiritual gifts when they are medicated.

The names ‘Indigo’, ‘Crystal’ and ‘Rainbow’ were given to these children because their aura colours and energy determined these. Indigo children have lots of blue in their auras which indicates that they are very spiritual. Crystal children have pale, semi-opaque auras with stunning multicolour shine. Rainbow children radiate rainbow energy and their aura pops and fizzes with every colour imaginable.

The other card tells me to work with the energy of crystals. So I have been working again with crystals recently as directed. I am making natural gemstone bracelets; all with different healing properties both spiritual and physical. A friend suggested that I start making ones for children; for the ‘Rainbow’ children! Wow – blown away yet again by the ‘coincidences’ that keep showing up in my life! I will certainly do this with hopes that these children will be drawn to the crystals and that they will gain some comfort and strength from them.

I’m not sure why, but I asked Francis what gemstones he would pick to go with rainbow quartz in these bracelets. He picked Lapis Lazuli and Chrysocolla. Lapis is blue and is a stupendously serious spiritual stone. Chrysocolla carries supportive energy which helps verbal expression and helps both men and women to communicate in a clear and loving way. It helps you to choose the right words to speak to aid emotional healing in others! What an awesome combination for Rainbow Children whose soul purpose is to help us become more enlightened.

A spiritually aware friend of mine confirmed that, of the crystals I have to work with, the three most beneficial for these special young ones are Rainbow Quartz, Lapis Lazuli and Chrysocolla!

Well how’s that for awesome?


My mum died back in 2011, six days before her eighty-second birthday. There was some question as to whether she was suffering from some sort of mental health issue shortly before she died. I personally think that, unbeknown to her or my sister, she had suffered a numbered of minor strokes before the final ‘big’ stroke that took her onwards and upwards. This followed the most horrendous winter the UK had seen for many years; coastal Bridlington was frozen solid for four weeks. All the pipes were frozen and there was no running water during this time. My mum got herself in a real state about this lack of water. She was always very fastidious about personal hygiene and she felt that she was unable to keep up her high standards. This caused her to suffer from a slight depression around this time too.

Mum started talking about there being ‘threads’ in the attic. These ‘threads’ tied us all together she said. She talked about us being like an enormous tapestry, all woven together. My sister said at this stage that she thought our mum had, to quote, ‘gone bonkers’!

Three years later I read Anita Moorjani’s book, ‘Dying to be Me’ where she experiences an NDE (near death experience or episode). She says ‘I saw my life intricately woven into everything I’d known so far. My experience was like a single thread woven through the huge and completely colourful images of an infinite tapestry. All the other threads and colours represented my relationships, including every life I’d touched. There were threads representing my mother, my father, my brother, my husband, and every other person who’d ever come into my life, whether they related to me in a positive or a negative way’ and ‘Oh my, there’s even a thread for Billy, who bullied me as a child!’

I am now inclined to think that at some stage in her last few weeks, maybe during one of the small strokes she suffered prior to death, that mum had a sneak preview of what was to follow and that her preview contained similar visions to those experienced by Anita.

I believe that everyone enters our life for a reason, either positive or negative, but a reason nonetheless. There is always something to learn from everyone we meet and when we meet them, our lives become permanently and irrevocable entwined.

I have had some amazing ‘chance’ meetings since Rowan died. So many of these meetings have lead on to other more astonishing encounters.

I met a spiritual soul through my blog; a soul who could see spirit when she was young but had not seen anything for a good few years. She was diagnosed recently with cancer for the second time and has suddenly, once again been able to see spirit. I think this is awesome. Rowan has visited her twice along with another young friend. This young friend of Rowans, as she was passing, met the soul of a young boy who drowned in the same place as herself exactly one hundred and twenty two years earlier to the day. This wee boy is stuck somewhere between this plane and the next and our young friend is looking after him. We have been in contact with another gifted soul who can help those stuck to move into the light.

Through our various threads and weaving of them, we are now, each of us, helping in our own way to set this young boy on his path home. There is always a reason behind every casual meeting!

I have asked myself repeatedly ‘why did we come to Owaka’? The obvious answer being that we interviewed and were offered the job we applied for. I really don’t think that this was the true reason why we ended up here; I feel that it is as it should be – we were predestined to come here. The people who are in my life now were meant to be in my life. Everything on my journey is exactly as it should be at this moment in time.

A while ago I felt uncomfortable meeting new people; since Rowan died I had found it difficult mixing and talking with people. Now I look forward to meeting new people because I know that they are bringing with them some gift to help me on my journey.