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Archive for the ‘Departed loved ones’ Category

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

I was waiting for the imminent disaster to fall on me, or us, not quite knowing what it was and thus unable to prepare myself for it. I suspected what it was, prayed it wasn’t and waited.

Time passed and things limped along, until the day arrived when Mum had to be admitted to hospital.  I can’t even begin to say why I knew this was different. The energies around Mum seemed thick and Dad’s presence was so strong. As she always had done in the past she rallied and the hospital were almost ready to let her come home – but only after we had made an appointment to see the doctors!

image from www.the guardian.com

image from http://www.the guardian.com

It really didn’t take Einstein to work out what was going to happen. We were told very simply that Mum had finally reached the terminal stage and that because of her condition she could only go home if they (the hospital) could be assured that she would have someone with her 24 hours a day. In less than a heartbeat I discounted my business, it wasn’t important, and told them I could look after her during the days. My brother, who hated living alone and had moved home before Dad died would be there in the evenings and nights. Even though he was at home, they looked to me to settle the matter.  It was my responsibility and I told them we could manage it. I was the eldest, it was what I did.

It goes almost without saying that my children were right behind me, it was their Grandma after all. It hurt to have to tell them the bad news, but I think we were all expecting it one day, we had simply hoped it wouldn’t be soon. I say soon, we had been prepared for years but when the time arrives it is always too soon. . I thought my hubby was also “on board”. They had gotten along well in the past and being embarrassed that things weren’t great at home I hadn’t talked to Mum about it. Since I was basically supporting him, and had been all along I really didn’t expect any hassles.

Is it ironic that I truly enjoyed the months I spent alone with Mum each day? When I could see how things were and had been happening every day, I felt ashamed that I hadn’t done something to correct it. I didn’t like how Mum had been looked after as she became more fail. I didn’t like the fact that I was so preoccupied with my woes that I hadn’t seen what was happening when I visited. I hadn’t visited enough! So, without telling my brother I started spoiling her. I bought her things which would tempt her to eat, treats to make her smile, little gifts she wanted but he disapproved of. What he didn’t know wasn’t going to cause a problem and I wasn’t seeking a pat on the back for loving my mother.

If I could have given her my lungs for her to breathe instead of the horrible asthma attacks compounded with the emphysema – I would have. I couldn’t do any of those things. I could send her healing to ease things, so my Reiki training was very useful. I could help her through the attacks but I couldn’t stop them and I knew time was running out. She loved watching that crazy soap, “Days of Our Lives” and each time I saw that hourglass and heard the theme…..”like sands through the hourglass” I had to bite my lip to stop tears.  I bathed her and washed her hair, bought new nighties to brighten her days and a lead light lamp which caused a furor.

I didn’t broadcast what I considered small things to help her through the dark days. I loved her and it was irrelevant that I tell anyone what ‘a wonderful daughter I was’. It’s strange how people perceive things later.

We talked a lot about “afterwards” and I explained to her all I knew and believed. Dad’s scent was so strong in the house and she admitted she could feel him. She was frightened that there may not be anything afterwards, and I fear it was one of the reasons she clung on for so long, but our talk brought some measure of comfort and I could feel her accept that there may be more for her than she had feared.

A month before Christmas I arrived home after a difficult day of asthma attacks to be welcomed by this statement. Hubby, “This isn’t working out. I’ll be moving out on Friday. I’ll take my things when I’ve worked out where I’m going.”  For one second I was dumbfounded and then I blazed like a volcano erupting. I know my voice was like ice, as though I had killed something inside.

I remember saying, “Don’t think about waiting until then. I’m not leaving you in my house alone until Friday. Pack your bags and get out now. You can call to talk about the rest on Saturday. Now – GO!”

With a frosty glare he opened his mouth and I said, “Don’t think about it, If you don’t leave now my son will put you out.” (My son is a big man and was capable of doing just that, in fact he would have loved it. Which shows the level of discontent still in the house).

image from footage.shutterstock.com –

He left, I had too much on my mind at that time to worry about it. I was advised by my insurance company that if I wanted to be covered in the event of ‘things’ being missed later, I had to have the locks changed. He came back when the locksmith was changing the locks. Such was the animosity in hubby’s face that he, the locksmith, was reluctant to leave. Truthfully, I think I would have welcomed him trying anything. It would have been a distraction. I was becoming numb and anything would have been a welcome distraction.

But, the end was fast approaching.

Losing myself.

Losing myself.

Each day I felt I was losing myself. I had no one to talk to, I had to remain strong for everyone and yet I felt the cracks widening more and more.

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Next week – Losing my way

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

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I was still smarting from the way my last friend and psychic exited my life when I started working with Cherylane. It was to be a new beginning. She was a completely different person to Anya  in every way possible.  I was determined this time to find out if the person I was going to work for and with was ethical in their work, so I ventured out to where she regularly did shows and sat in the audience. She had never met me in person, we had only spoke on the phone, so it would be an interesting evening.

What was interesting was the unexpected message I received. There was absolutely no denying it was for me, nor who it was from, and no way she could have possibly known of the connection. It was a message from my ex husband’s father so it was as much a shock as surprise.

After the demonstration closed I waited behind to say hello to her, both of us laughing at the message since she had no idea I would be there. It seemed an auspicious start.  It certainly made her ability credible, but gave no clue as to the storm I was about to be engulfed in.

Due to my loyalty in staying with Anya, Cherylane had employed a part-time office helper, Robyn, to assist her with appointment bookings. I was to take over her role and travel with Cherylane when she went on the road to do her shows. This was the first lesson that I should have heeded.  Robyn was a former client. Cherylane had complained bitterly at her lack of commitment since she had a small child and was often missing or unavailable.  She said she was eager to let her go so I could start and get everything shipshape.  Unfortunately Cherylane then decided she couldn’t let Robyn go because she felt sorry for her due to the circumstances under which they had met. (A small hint).

I could understand her feelings but when her work was affected Cherylane was not very polite about airing her grievances, at least not to me. Still, Robyn’s hours were increased, mine cut to cover the away trips only and since I had already signed an agreement with her I was stymied. Truthfully, I was keen to work with a genuine psychic, so I was willing to give the arrangement a trial, especially when she indicated that if Robyn didn’t pick up the pace she was definitely going. Plus, she also said she would ‘teach me’ as we traveled.

The first trip arrived, traveling from Brisbane to Sydney and all parts in between. I was told to pack lightly because we had to take all the ‘show’ materials. A little nonplussed I none the less complied. She collected me from home as I was on the way to the airport and I found out why I needed to pack light. She had hundreds if not thousands of brochures, flyers, business cards and books! She had self published her first book and it was going to be part of my job to sell them at each venue.  So, a smallish suitcase for me and Cherylane and two enormous bags stuffed to the seams with books. Heavy books! Overweight baggage!

It was not long after my accident and I had made sure she had been aware of the lingering back problems but apparently it didn’t factor into her plans. I had to haul one of these gargantuan monstrosities along with my bag. Timetables arranged by Robyn had us sprinting between connecting flights, different airlines so the luggage had to be grabbed and hauled to the new departure point. Not happy – not at all.  I was ready to cry as my shoulders felt they were being dislocated every time we pulled the bags along.

At each venue it was my responsibility to co-ordinate with venue staff to get the room arranged correctly, microphone and speakers set up, chairs, a room for her to ‘prepare herself’ beforehand, and escape afterwards, set up my table outside and have all the ‘materials’ ready. She wasn’t keen on separate rooms at the motels due to the cost, but circumstances changed this later.

By the time we arrived at our first destination I was shattered. I was unsure which part of me ached the most. I went to the venue and got everything ready whilst Cherylane rested up for the evening.  However, when I finished I returned to the room and went in to have a rest myself. Oh Boy! The proverbial hit the fan. She was furious and I found out she had the vocabulary of a dock worker. Unknown to me, I was expected to walk the town until it was time to shower and get ready for the performance. Eating was a poor after thought as she now decided to tell me she was a vegetarian and couldn’t be near any meat… and she preferred not to eat before a show. Wonderful!

The show went well, book sales were good (thankfully, less to haul around), and plenty of tickets had been sold. An auspicious start I hoped. It was, until we went to bed that night. The schedule called for a unappealingly early start after the late night and for once I fell asleep reasonable quickly. Until there came the most ferocious swearing from the bedroom next to me. Cursing and swearing non stop I finally went to see if anything was wrong. There was….. the spirits from the people who would be attending tomorrows show were trying to ‘get in early’ and she couldn’t shut them up and therefore couldn’t sleep. Still, the language was ripe. (Lets not forget as a police officer I used to arrest people for using that language in front of me!) Sleep was fitful and the sudden yelling, shattering to say the least.

Hollow eyed we set off at 4.30 that morning. An early radio show (advertising) was scheduled. With no prior warning or communication, I was not to know that in the somewhat frigid early morning hours I was expected to wait outside whilst she went inside and shone.  One of the radio personnel who saw me arrive with her invited me in and got me coffee.  As a result I was introduced to the radio crew who asked me into the booth with them (Big mistake). She went over fabulously but did not like sharing the limelight, even though I didn’t speak.  When the giveaways came out, and she fessed up to never wearing makeup (which I already had on) so they gave me half a dozen goody bags. Feeling quite pleased after the awful night and early start I was dismayed to be thoroughly abused after we left. This was not turning out as I expected. Lesson number two I failed to heed.

Each day was basically the same, an early start hauling the bags, dashing to either planes or venues for advertising promotional work and then to the motel for a ‘rest’. By day 7 I was beginning to realise that this was not at all the way it had been proposed to me. As an overworked, underpaid and abused lackey it fell far short of appealing. Sleep was almost non-existent and the frigid bouts of tantrums was beyond amusing.  Yet day 8 cracked all the rest to date.

Back at the motel we were sharing I arrived to find Cherylane swearing into her mobile and bashing out something on her laptop. When she saw me I was given a frozen stare and told to collect her washing and put it in with mine in the laundry a few doors away.  Oh – and to wait until it finished because someone was sure to try to steal the clothes. Cold, tired and really miserable, it was turning out to be a trooper of a day. I did meet a really great old guy there who turned up with a hot cup of coffee and kept me company for  a while, People with hearts of gold still exist I’m grateful to say.

Another six days of this and I was wondering what I had let myself in for. In a haze of pain, sleeplessness, swearing and cursing each night, being treated like an inconvenience, I was wondering if my sanity had deserted completely.  Not quite yet…. more was to come.  Home had never looked so good.

Next week, Lessons from Spirit I couldn’t deny.

Blessings  Susan xx

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In a meadow green

Locked in beside a stream

Sunlight smiled a dappled beam

On butterflies whose colours

Made a brilliant sheen

Ringed about by stately trees

Of Beech and Oak, Rowan and Sycamore

Standing guard upon my recumbent form

As I gazed into a glittering dawn

And whiled away the mellow hours

Dreaming dreams of colourful flowers

Which grew abundantly in this glade

Of purple and red, yellow and blue

Altogether they made a rainbow like hue

Until at last the daylight dimmed

The moon arose, the treetops rimmed

In silvery light of gossamer threads

Breaking through the canopy above my head

And still it seemed I slumbered on

The voices of my Spiritual friends,

Guides and Angels, Faerie folk and Elves

My loved ones dear, they whispered here

All night they softly murmured along

Lifting my spirit with their colourful song.

Hatred and violence, horror and war

All left behind a now shuttered door

My soul replenished, my spirit recharged

I re-enter my life filled with laughter and light

Taking my sanctuary within me

Filled with rich colours and spiritual light.

image from tutorialspalace.com –

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”    ― Pierre  de Chardin

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We each find the ways and means to replenish our spirit, to find the gossamer threads which hold us to each other in this world or the next.

You are welcome to share my spiritual haven. Like minded souls are always welcome.

Blessings.  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson

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image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall.co.uk

Two years before my marriage breakdown my father had passed away after a nasty battle with cancer. As anyone who has had anything to do with cancer knows, it isn’t an easy journey. Dad had Myeloid Leukemia and as time passed I became aware that I was hearing Nanny call me more and more often. I would lay awake at night waiting for her to call me, finally falling asleep only to wake when I heard her calling me, then lose any connection when I spoke. I became more frustrated with myself, wishing I could ‘wake’ just enough to ‘talk’ to her without saying anything, which I thought was stopping her from speaking to me.

I read everything I could find about Angels and spirit communication. I listened to anything I could on CD or video but couldn’t get to see or speak to anyone. (My ex called it “that rubbish”). I was frustrated and saddened by my failure to learn something which might bring some peace to Dad or Mum who was herself very ill. Yes, and answer some of my questions.

After his passing he seemed to be with me often. His particular scent was everywhere and I felt if I could turn quickly enough I might be able to glimpse him before he vanished. I began hearing him calling my name as I slept too. It was comforting but frustrating as I felt I was missing something important. Yet I had no idea where to go to find the answers. It seemed everyone was calling me and I was unable to hear what they wanted me to hear.

image from myvoiceonthewingsofchange.blogspot.com

Twelve months later my father in law passed away. I was shocked when I heard his voice call me. We had traveled out to Texas to see him, knowing in my heart we would be saying goodbye. Once I saw him in the hospital I heard voices all around me, his family waiting. A planned short visit became a dire need to stay overnight, one I knew would be the last but which my husband refused to accept. As I waited for him to return from collecting overnight items I heard his father calling my name. Yet neither of us said a word. Within minutes of his return his father passed away.

I was shocked by my experiences in the hospital. The last years had seen a growing divide between his father and I, almost in line with the decline of my marriage and I was stunned at the experience I had whilst I was alone with him.  Now I had even more questions. Why did he speak to me after all ‘this’ time’? “Why” could I hear his family when I had never been able to form a close relationship with them over the years? It was inexplicable to me at that time.

Twelve months later my marriage broke down completely and my foray into other avenues to find the answers which filled my mind finally began in earnest.

I began to actively seek out groups I could get to, Paganism, Wicca, Angelic workshops, Spiritual churches. Online and in person I searched for a reason for the why of life and death which perplexed me.  I pursued my Reiki healing and then followed with other healing modalities. I could feel my senses expanding and sense things even more intensely. I attended Doreen Virtues Angel workshops and became an accredited Angel practitioner. I bought and became proficient with a range of tarot cards but apart from friends lacked the trust in myself to read for anyone else. A wonderful ‘seminar’ with some famous psychics arranged by Hay House was a highlight at the time. I had so many questions bubbling away inside and no opportunity to ask any!

I became involved with a couple of Wiccan groups, only to find we didn’t ‘fit’, beautiful people and I had some answers and learned a great deal. Much of what I learned made sense but didn’t answer everything completely. In the process of searching through online groups I came across a colourful individual, I’ll call Evan, a colourful character who had led a colourful life.

Evan and his family lived in the Woodford area and I was invited up to meet them…. I gathered it was an inspection process to see if I would fit in with the group. It was a strange meeting, filled with questions and the impression of being ‘weighed and measured’.  In retrospect it was rather funny. They had their ceremonies which appeared to be very similar to the Wicca groups, but there was a hint that there was ‘more I could learn if things went well’. This intrigued me even more. What could be so secret that I had to ‘prove’ myself before I could find out about it. It certainly didn’t sound like any of the Wicca I’d been involved in or studied. It did, however, sound very much like it might lead to a darker kind of practice. My curiosity was piqued.

Now I know from my studies that Paganism is not ‘black magic’ yet I also know that there are those who do take such worship down darker paths. The feelings I received as we performed our full moon celebrations did not leave me feeling happy and joyous but uncomfortable and brooding, waiting for something further to happen. The secrecy and mystery they surrounded their celebrations with also made my hackles rise.

My years of reading Dennis Wheatley came to the fore and it took little time talking with the other members of the group to learn that the New Moon celebrations were more ‘interesting’. Now why should that be? Why were the chants so strange? Why were we not allowed to see them until the ceremony was about to start?

People stop seeing you for who you really are after a while and I sat and listened to what was happening. I’m sure everyone has seen the backward writing which your brain can read easily after a few seconds. All the words for their ceremonies were written in reversed order. Nothing ‘bad’ that I could ever saw, but what went on at those ceremonies I was not invited to?  As time passed I became more uncomfortable. Their costumes became more flamboyant and brief and their talk left me in no doubt that their altar was not a place to honour life. Not in the way I would like.

Common  sense told me to simply stop going there as I had already heard of past members having somewhat unfortunate accidents. My police ‘radar’ was working overtime, and my angels were pulling me away. After my snake episode. yes, it was Evan who gave me the cranky snake, I’d had enough searching down this avenue. Discretion was the better part of valor!

Then I met an old friend from my children’s primary school who was having weekly meetings at her home. Reiki practice, angelic and spiritual discussions and demonstrations. A new era was starting.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Blessings, Susan x

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Next week, New worlds open up.

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Despite the passage of time, the death of my Nanny still troubled me. (In Search of…Part One  here) Not being able to understand all the ins and outs of the situation acted like a burr under my skin and I desperately wanted answers.  Granddad’s passing seemed surreal because we were so far away. From time to time I would hear one or the other calling me in my sleep, waking me up enough to answer them before they fell silent. It was only after the incident on board the ship, where Granddad’s voice woke me that I recalled the number of times Nanny had been doing just that. I now know that she was trying to reassure me because of the deep hurt I still felt.  However, that realisation was to come later.

Mum tried to get us to church once we settled into our new home but it was hot that summer of ’72 and inside those timber churches it felt like we were descending into a fiery hell. At least it seemed that way to me. It may have been the way I was thinking at the time but I didn’t struggle when she finally decided it was too much. Fainting every Sunday morning didn’t seem like the way to go and my heart wasn’t in it anyway.

I have always been so very fortunate in that Mum never restricted my reading material. I was always happy to be able to talk about the strange things I ‘learned’ and my taste was eclectic to say the least,  everything from my school texts, English literature to autobiographies, fiction and thrillers and eventually into Science fiction and fantasy. I started reading Dennis Wheatley, a prolific writer of thriller and the occult. At the time, one which stuck in my mind was “The Haunting of Toby Jugg”.

In one sense it was a way of searching’ for answers.  It was a strange place to look but I was so focused on getting through school, where I didn’t fit in, that in another way they were an escape.   Another author I remember being introduced to was Dr T. Lobsang Rampa, a Buddhist monk who wrote many stories, beginning with one called “The Third Eye”. More questions followed the answers I felt I might be finding.

Books, films, I scoured them all, searching for alternate ways to explain what happened in life and death. I wanted a reason for the apparent randomness of events. Why did some people seem to sail through life without a care in the world whilst others had no end of horrible things happening to them?  What was the purpose to the horrors which occurred on a daily basis, to people, places and entire countries? How could I find an explanation for the debasement of human beings by other human beings?

If I made a mistake during this time it was that I kept my search to myself. In my self-imposed exile I failed to talk to anyone or I might have found others to talk to, broaden my horizons and perhaps find the answers I was searching for. Yet I didn’t and so the search continued. I wanted to help people, people who were unable to help themselves or had been badly treated in one way or another.  I wanted to do what they could not, whatever that might be.

Joining the police department after finishing high school was another culture shock. My rather quiet and staid upbringing was knocked on its head. In a sink or swim situation I grabbed the only lifeline available…. a wall, not of indifference but distance, between the events I saw played out daily and myself. It was the only way to survive being dropped into the human melting pot of behaviour, where the standards accepted by society seemed not to exist.  What I saw and learned served to give me even more questions. I was very empathic with everyone I met, the physical pain which would scour my body often left me feeling overwhelmed. I was an empath but hadn’t yet found the meaning for it.

PW 377. From a time long, long ago.

PW 377. From a time long, long ago.

Oh my, how things have changed.  There are times when I wonder what happened to this fresh-faced and innocent wanderer.  I wonder most of all how she managed to survive with the naivety I approached my entry into the police force. Since I’m still here I can safely say I survived. I learned and I survived.

I met my first husband whilst I was a police officer.  It was after our marriage that the ‘voices’ started occurring more often. His maternal Grandmother was a lovely lady and we had just spent a beautiful long weekend at her property out on the Downs, past Toowoomba.  So it came as a shock to be woken from a sound sleep hearing her calling my name. Once again I awoke as soon as I answered her. The next morning the local police knocked on our door, a request to call his mother. His grandmother had passed away during the night – at the precise  time I woke from sleep answering her!

This was the first funeral I attended. It was sad, more so because it was so totally unexpected and we had seen her just a few days earlier.  Yet people are strange creatures, what followed after the ceremony was much worse. In the days and weeks that followed I was surrounded by the scent of her perfume and awoken frequently by Nanny calling my name.

I started reading books by known psychics, Doris Stokes, Sylvia Browne and anything I could find on the afterlife, spiritual beliefs, practices  and occurrences. Suddenly all my strange encounters as a child which I had put down to an over active imagination (at least Dad had) suddenly made so much more sense.  I read everything from tomes about Angels to Paganism and Wicca. At the time I was ‘researching’ all the books I read were purported to be by respected psychics.  I neither advocate nor denounce anyone since they all had information I found useful.

They were years when I was restricted to reading. Venturing further afield and attending meetings was ‘outlawed’  and hence the urge to see for myself what these people had to offer, as answers, was increasing.  I managed to start my Reiki healing and the results from that, the amazing feelings which came with it, sparked an ever-increasing yearning to go further.

It would not be until my marriage ended over two decades later that I was finally able to seek out these new avenues for answers and experiences.

Next week – My foray into another world.

image fromartel-art.livejournal.com

Blessings, Susan x

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“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
Swami Vivekananda

Some people spend their whole lives searching for their own truth. Some take the truths their families taught them or the church taught them and are fulfilled and happy with this. For these people it is right and none can gainsay this. For those who search for their truth, the questioners of life, death and all manner of things, their search may be long, yet we must hope that they eventually find what they are searching for.

What feels like a lifetime ago I turned my back on the beliefs I was brought up to believe. I was a questioner. I needed to know the ‘why’ of things. I couldn’t blindly accept what I was told. I was part of the new movement of people who wanted to understand their world, their place in it and where it was leading to.  Until I was 14 years old I thought I understood my place in the scheme of things, but I had reached a place filled with questions and I could find no-one to give me answers.

My Grandmother, my Nanny, was a beautiful lady. She had been ill for much of her life having contracted St Vitus dance as a young child which left her with a weak heart. She had such a strong belief in her faith, in God that despite all her travails she believed. In all honesty it probably kept her going through everything.  Her passing and the manner of her passing saw me reach a crisis in faith.

Beautiful memories

Beautiful memories  Nanny sitting between her brother, Alec and Grandad, her husband.

It was the first time I refused to cry. I refused to allow the mourners who had come to sit with the coffin, this was in the days when the coffin came home for the final viewing, I refused to let them see me upset or cry. It felt as though their eagle eyes were boring into my back as they watched me cross the parlor, waiting for me to break down in hysterics. In my self-imposed agony I refused to allow them that satisfaction. It is strange what thoughts pass through your mind at times like that. To this day I abhor open casket viewings.

There was no closure, I had important exams the next day and my parents, wishing to spare me the distressing funeral service told me to go to school. Whether this would have helped I don’t know, I only know that it hurt almost as much as losing her.  It also created an internal barrier which prevented me from going to the cemetery later.

I was a ‘good Catholic’ girl, attending a Catholic college and was a handmaid of the Blessed Sacrament. I went to mass every day at school and thought I might become a nun. That was about to change. I needed desperately to understand why, an all merciful God could take a beautiful soul in such a horrid and heartbreaking way. In a fit of despair I asked my school chaplain this question. I was told it was “Not my place to question the workings of God.” Further pressing on my part solicited the response the “I would be excommunicated for my heretical behaviour!” I was so angry at this callous attitude I believe I was quite rude. By this time I’m afraid God and the Church had lost me anyway.

I refused to go to church at school unless it was absolutely necessary, but refused to open my mouth at all, refused Communion and, but for my mothers deepest wish for us to continue to go to church would have stopped going with her also. I refused, in my mind at least, to have anything to do with a God who was so vengeful and cruel. There was no blessings to be had for me at that time.

It was a bleak time. The pain refused to lessen and my obdurate stance on refusing to cry caused Mum a lot of heartache. I also refused to go to the cemetery with the rest of the family. I took the better part of a year before I found my way there alone one day. There was no peace there for me. I didn’t feel God’s presence or his reassurance. I simply saw a sad and lonely place, filled with dark reminders of those who had been lost. There were no answers there for me only more heartache.

Even though we left England a couple of years later I hadn’t reconciled to going to the cemetery with Mum, always making my solitary way there so spend time trying to remember something other than the last time I saw her face. Perhaps that was the cruelest irony of all for me at that time.

I was wrong. It appeared the “all merciful God” had not finished with my lessons in his omnipotence. My granddad didn’t want to leave all his friends and family and come to Australia. It was difficult leaving him behind but there was a hollowness inside that this new pain simply sank into. There was plenty of time for introspection on the way over, between the insane bouts of high jinks. Yet the thoughts of “why’ and “what does come after’ never left.

There was a strange feeling a couple of weeks after we sailed. It coincided with getting underway after the long layover in Teneriffe. I woke one night to hear my granddad calling my name. Just that, but so clear I answered him. Then it was gone. A puzzle for me to think about.

When we arrived in Australia my parents were ushered into my Aunt and Uncles lounge and ‘the children’, of which I was apparently still counted as, were ushered into the garden in the broiling sun. Shortly afterwards we were called inside. As soon as I saw my mothers face I simply said “Granddads dead, isn’t he?” Despite the shock on her face she confirmed that he had passed away in his sleep two weeks after we left England, the same night I had my name called.  I had more questions than ever. So many things were piling up in my mind and I was looking for answers to them wherever I could.

In part two I recall the strange places I searched to find the answers to my growing number of questions,

Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.”
Sai Baba

Blessings,  Susan x

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Mum 1980

Mum 1980

There are many ways of looking at anniversaries, but the first has to be the type of anniversary which is occupying your mind.  The best, of course, are the happy ones, the birthdays, weddings, births, graduations, when you met THE ONE, special holidays and holiday travels. In fact there can be so many highlights in our lives which can become anniversaries.  Strictly speaking an anniversary is defined thus:-

anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event.

Today I am deep in remembrance of an anniversary which, in itself is not as happy as the others I mentioned. It hardly seems believable that today marks the fifth anniversary of my mothers passing. I’m beginning to wonder if time stands still at times, since I recall this anniversary as an event which happened only yesterday. It is however the first time I have publicly acknowledged it. My normal practise is to withdraw for silent communion with a lady I revered above all others. A lady who was not only my mother but my best friend, the person I would turn to first and foremost to share the joys and sadness which populated my life. We were as close as sisters and I loved that special bond. So close in so many ways.

She was stunning, breathtakingly beautiful, and to me, wise beyond anything I could have imagined. I hoped to emulate her example as I became older and have to trust I honour that. She was a small lady, barely 5′ tall, yet she had a presence which made her seem much taller, imposing is the word I would use. She had the most amazing deep auburn hair which shone like a molten coppery gold. I wished every day to have her hair, and those beautiful curls, rather than my straight and black brown hair. Still, my beautiful daughter has inherited those incredible auburn locks, despite the pain they caused her as a child, being called ” carrot top” or worse still “Red”.

Mum and Dad 1977

Mum and Dad 1977

My mother, Patricia, was petite in every way. On her death I inherited much of her jewellery.  Her fingers were so small I am unable to wear any of the rings, not even on my little finger!  That, for me at least, epitomised her, small  and petite but she had a strength of will which placed her amongst giants.

Unfortunately she was ill for many years. The day my son was born in 1982 she collapsed in Brisbane and shortly thereafter was told she had inoperable emphysema and chronic asthma. It was heartbreaking to receive such glorious news of her first grandchild and the sentence of a slow death at the same time.

It was her indomitable will which refused to allow her health to dominate her life until much later. She saw her only granddaughter born two years later in 1984. She often said they were the most precious treasures in her life, and she and Dad spoilt them as much as they could. As their only grandchildren they were spoilt, but not overly so, and they adored their grandparents in return.

It is ironic how the future turns out. The family was as prepared as you can be in these situations, but we were all shocked when Dad suddenly learned he was ill. Terminally ill. He  passed away in 1997 and left her bereft at his loss. We all were, since Dad had been Mum’s rock for so many years. Despite  knowing how strong-willed she was, her health deteriorating, I prepared myself for the worst.

It is a terrible thing for someone with an active and clever mind to be confined physically as she was, yet aware daily of what was happening to her. The frustration and humiliation, for her at least, were a constant raw wound to her pride. To me she always looked beautiful, but when her health stopped her from being able to care for herself the way she liked she withdrew more and more. Her enjoyment came from her grandchildren, her craftwork, which we shared and the long, daily conversations we had in between visits.

Graceful and always ready with a smile.

Graceful and always ready with a smile.

During the last six months of her life I was privileged  to care for her so that she could remain in her own home as long as possible. She had a horror of dying in hospital, alone without her family. This stemmed back to her own mother who did pass away in hospital shortly after Mum had left for the night.

We talked more than ever before, and as much as her failing lungs would allow. We had one last Christmas together in 2007 before she finally went into hospital, another hard decision in February 2008. The next two weeks are indelibly etched in my memory. The hospital called earlier each day, until I was being called at 4.30 am because she was calling for me. I thanked the “higher powers” that my children were teenagers who understood and willingly worked around this so that I could be there for their grandmother.

I tried to get her to eat, bathed her and got her into her fresh nightgown, and made sure she got the only medication they could give her to ease things – morphine!  How she hated that, but at least it enabled her to rest peacefully. It was heartbreaking watching my beautiful mother slowly lose that will to live, to finally simply want an end to the torment. Still she fought it every step of the way.

The Administrator for the hospice was kind and gentle, yet even so Mum didn’t want to go. She decided it meant it was the end and the day of the transfer has been carved in memory as one of the worst I can remember. It was hot and she hated the heat. It was crowded and noisy, which bothered her then. The warder wanted her to lie down which made her breathing worse, so that was another problem. The short transfer from the P.A.to Mt. Olivet seemed to take hours. Once there I bathed her and settled her in a fresh nightgown. She curled up like a child in her bed.

My brothers all came for a brief visit. I think I was the only one who realised we were saying goodbye. I wasn’t ready to leave , although it was much later than usual. Bombarded with urgings and cajoling from my three brothers I finally left, intending to have a quick shower to freshen up and return. As I walked through the door the phone was ringing.

My darling mother had passed away as I was driving home .

I knew how much she hated the sombreness of funerals so I arranged a white casket to be covered with her favourite flowers,  yellow roses and red carnations.

So, one stage of her life was finally over and, as a soul in a human body she is now enjoying the next stage if her life, pain-free, able to run and dance and move freely once more. I rejoice in her freedom again and know that missing her is a normal reaction, yet I am disappointed that believing as I do I still grieve. I grieve for myself, my loss and somehow that feels selfish.

I wish my mother an eternity of happiness and joy, free to dance and sing as she wanted. I believe that one day I will be able to talk to her again and I long for that day.

So today I will look through my albums and with a heart overflowing with love, remember a wonderful lady who was my mother, a woman who taught me so many things, and be eternally grateful that she is free and happy once more as I lay flowers on her physical resting place.

This is for you Mum. Thank you for making my life so wonderful.

image from MATTCLARK_01’s media

Ever your loving daughter, Susan xxxxxx

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