“There once was a girl who found herself dead.
She peered over the ledge of heaven
and saw that back on earth
her sister missed her too much,
was way too sad,
so she crossed some paths
that would not have crossed,
took some moments in her hand
shook them up
and spilled them like dice
over the living world.
The boy with the guitar collided
with her sister.
“There you go, Len,” she whispered. “The rest is up to you.”
~ Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere
Welcome to the third post in my Wednesday series on death and dying.
Last week I talked about the end stage of life, and what you might expect as a loved one or carer. Today, I’d like to discuss the moments after death, and what happens for the person who died.
Let’s start with Antoinette, a friend of mine who lost her life to breast cancer at age forty-two, leaving behind a loving husband and two little girls. Antoinette had battled cancer for a number of years. She was the first friend who ever contacted me after she died. Let me share her story…
When Antoinette’s time came, it came quickly and she went downhill very fast. She did not want to die in a hospital, so her family brought Antoinette home, arranged for medical care, and went about their lives with her firmly in the midst of it all.
My friend had been ravaged by cancer. She was bald, skeletal, and frail as a bird, with a hugely bloated stomach and a deep pallor. As I sat holding her hand in the days before her death, my friend would whisper to me about what she was experiencing as she faded in and out of consciousness. It was very beautiful, she said, and her Dad had come to help her (he had died some years before) but she was very afraid. There was a beautiful garden and people dancing, and she really wanted to join them there. She was tired and couldn’t keep fighting, but she felt so guilty to be leaving her family when her job with them wasn’t finished.
As her body began to shut down Antoinette’s words became slurred and incomprehensible to others, but I could still hear her voice as loud and clear as a bell. Her mum and husband would come into the room, and her physical aura would immediately strengthen as she tried to be strong and stay with them. When they left the room her physical aura became instantly weaker and her etheric aura (her soul energy) grew bright again.
The day of her death a strong pink and gold light descended upon Antoinette, and the whole room was filled with a Divine presence. I don’t often work with Angels or people who have passed over but my friend’s room became filled with Angels that I could physically see. As soon as they arrived she began the journey of letting go, and became more and more peaceful.
We all gave Antoinette constant attention and love, and told her that it was okay for her to go to the Light. My friend was leaving a young family behind, and she resisted death with every breath while the living were in the room with her. Finally a beautiful moment allowed her to begin the process of finally letting go.
I saw the spirit of a charming man, perhaps in his forties, just as if he was really in the room with us. I couldn’t hear him, but Antoinette could. “Dad’s here”, my friend whispered, but she was also distressed – she knew her life was coming to an end. I had never met Antoinette’s father, and did not know what he looked like. When I described the man I saw later to her mother without saying who I thought he was, she said – “oh yes, that’s my husband’’. He’d been much older when he died, but he appeared to Pinkie at an age when he was strong and handsome.
Then the spirit of an older woman turned up – my Guides explained that she was a relative from Antoinette’s husband’s family – who had died before Antoinette or her husband were even born. Her presence soothed family members, even though they could not see or hear her, and did not know she was there. I watched this older woman standing unseen to all but me in the energy field of Antoinette’s husband, strengthening and supporting him, and witnessed the most moving scene as he then began to recall how he and Antoinette had met, and some of the special moments in their lives together.
Hours before Antoinette’s death, the spirit of a physically stunning blonde young woman turned up by her left side. Antoinette’s eyes widened in amazement and delight. “My friend’s here, my beautiful friend. I don’t believe it. She’s here!” cried my dying friend. I watched this beautiful girl lean over Antoinette’s broken body and stroke her cheek, whispering to her, and as she did this Antoinette’s physical aura became paler and paler and her breathing laboured. Then her etheric aura completely disengaged and floated to the top of the room, held by the most slender and delicate silvery cord. I left then and went home, so that my friend could share her final moments in privacy with her family.
Even though I knew Antoinette was meant to be leaving us, and would be well guided and looked after, I was very upset at losing my friend, and found it hard to sleep that night. Just after I finally dozed off I was woken by a bright light in my bedroom, which was filled with the fragrance of sweet flowers. My beloved friend was standing at the end of my bed in a pink dress, and with raven hair down to her waist held by a jewelled head band. She looked years younger and radiantly beautiful.
“Thank you, Nicole,” said my friend, smiling widely. “I’m okay, and I understand everything.” She then gave me some short messages for her Mum, husband and family.
I heard from the family the next morning that Antoinette had passed away ten minutes before I saw her.
A girlfriend rang later that day to see how Antoinette was. I told her of our friend’s passing, and the things I had experienced with her before her death. This girlfriend had gone to school with Antoinette and knew her very well. From my description she immediately identified the girl who had come to Antoinette’s bedside as a childhood friend who had died tragically in the company of Antoinette when they were just eighteen.
My girlfriend asked if I would be prepared to share what I had seen with the family of the girl who had died so many years ago. I was able to share my experiences with that girl’s family, who took great comfort from the fact that I had seen their long-lost daughter and sister, and that the girls were together again, looking after each other. A photo they showed me matched the girl that I had seen exactly.
I’ll share with you with the final thing Antoinette said to me on the night of her death as she stood at the foot of my bed. “Don’t worry Nicole. God is everywhere. It all makes sense when you get here. It’s really okay, and so am I. I love you. Tell them all it’s okay. It’s all just love.”
And here’s another reassuring story, although this one is very different.
When my friend Angela died, in the early hours of the morning, her spirit stayed in the hospital room for a long time afterwards. At first it was hard for her to believe that she was truly dead. There was quite a period of adjustment for her until she could finally feel a deep love for herself, and for her body. In life she had never felt beautiful, or good enough. In death she looked down upon herself and her loved ones and felt only love.
As dawn approached she slipped out of the room, and understood that with her thoughts she could travel freely. She gave me a running commentary as she travelled from the confines of the palliative care ward in Lismore. Angela spoke with joy about what it was to feel free. The world was so beautiful. She flew back over her home, and visited her dogs and her garden. She flew down to the coast to watch the sun come up over the lighthouse in Byron Bay. She could see dolphins! She could see so far, and the dawning morning was one of the most precious gifts she ever received. She was euphoric.
Angela’s spirit came backwards and forwards to our realm until her funeral a few days later. She was calm, joyful and completely at peace in a way she had never been in life.
And this final story is of a stranger.
The Motorbike Man
I witnessed a terrible road accident a few years ago, involving a motorbike. It had just happened when we came upon it. There had been two people on the bike, but I only saw an empty helmet, and a rider who still wore his helmet, but who was horribly injured. As I sat in the car in the middle of the traffic jam, waiting for the emergency responders, a man in motorbike leathers came to the open window of our car. He asked me to help his friend. I poured all my love into the injured man, and prayed for him. I called upon his Guides and Angels and Ancestors. I prayed for the paramedics who were working on him, and I asked for the outcome for the Highest Good for all.
It was only much later that I found out the young man I’d been speaking to had actually died in that accident, and he’d stayed because he wanted to make sure that his friend would live. By an uncanny twist of fate I later met this friend again, at a cafe in Brisbane. You can read more about that here.
In every instance that I have sat with the dying, and with their body afterwards, their soul has left their physical body and stayed for at least a short while with their loved ones here, or taken a final tour of important places.
Wherever our soul travels to after this life, I know that we reunite with loved ones who have already passed, and that we feel nothing but radiant joy, love and calm. We return to love and we are never alone.
Whenever I have communicated with souls after their passing they have been at peace. Anger goes. Shame goes. Fear goes. Pain goes. All that is left is love.
I also know that love gives us ability to reconnect with and visit our loved ones in small ways, once we are no longer in a body.
Haven’t you ever felt the presence and love of someone dear to you who has died? We might not talk about it often, but it is a common occurrence.
I certainly don’t have all the answers to the mysteries of life and death, but I have seen so much that goes beyond what was ever taught to me or held as true around death and dying that I cannot but believe that we go on, that love goes on, and that love is all there is.
Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll be talking about suicide and also about grief. If you have any questions you’d like me to cover in this series, please contact me here on the blog or at email@example.com
Wherever you are, go in peace today, and know that you are in my thoughts, prayers and meditations. I’m wishing you well. I’m sending you love,
12 thoughts on “What Happens When We Die?”
Thank you Nicole, with all my heart. It took me until now to read your series on death and dying because I lost my husband of 26 years just this last May. I sobbed through it, but it was a joyous and relief filled sob. I know my dear husband is around me often. I wish I could see him, I wish we could all see out loved ones who’ve left their bodies. I think the world would be a better place if we knew we went on and that it is all about love. Bless you for helping us all. You are a gift to the world.
Thank you so much. I have more I’d love to say but I am speechless. I feel the love and that is what matters xxx
l feel comforted after reading this. Thank you xox
I loved this post. It was so reassuring and so humane. As a child I spent my holidays with my maternal grandmother in Ireland. My grandmother said she had seen fairies in her garden and she ate lentils and believed in the afterlife a very long time before it was considered fashionable. She died two years ago and I was sad that she would no longer be here but also incredibly happy that she would now be in this wonderful loving place we had spent so long discussing and anticipating – with her brothers and sisters and lifelong friends and her son who had all passed before her. Thanks for all your wise advice over the years Nicole, you’ve been particularly comforting after losing a different loved one in a sudden and distressing way. Keep it coming. xx Abigail
Hi Nicole I don’t comment as much on your blog as I used to , I think it used to be everyday at onetime, but I always read your post .
I have been with you for many years now and I remember the stories of motor biking incident and your friend passing .
Belive me I am the worst person Eva to read a blog on death …I run and hide from anything I don’t understand but I am reading your post and absorbing every detail thank you for being so amazingly frank .
Cherry, I hope these posts are helping you to feel a little reassured about death. Sending the biggest hugs and love your way, dear friend xoxo
I love reading everything your write but usually don’t comment because I know how much you have to do and don’t want to give you more. Just know I’m out here cheering you on to restored health and soaking up all your words. I love knowing that there is method to this madness we call life.
Thank you Nicole. I read this through tears. I had a NDE 53 years ago when I was 9 years old, long before any research into these experiences became known. It was hugely validating for me , as a young woman to discover that others shared my experience and it wasn’t a dream, or a vague recollection. I also read your post about the motorbike accident as I lost two young friends in bike accidents. I used to be concerned that they seemed to take a very long time to adjust to the fact that they had died and to cross over. Have you found this to be the case with accident victims? I will be very interested to read your thoughts about suicide. Last June my foster daughter tried to take her life by taking an overdose … again. She has bi-polar and personality disorder. It sometimes seems to me that she has an army of angels watching over her but I still worry. Possibly because of her four young children. I look forward to your daily posts and I am so glad I came across your page. I keep you in my prayers and I hope you are recovering from your overexertion on the weekend ❤️
I don’t know if you will accept my comment but I will try.
Thank you Nicole for this beautiful post. I cry writing this as it touched me deeply. People do change – sometimes when we are not looking. I’ve lost Dad and Mum and it almost destroyed me. I wished desperately to be able to connect with them as I did when they were dying as I was the only person with them as they crossed. I doubted myself – – my ability to do so – as you know. I have now and this confirms everything you described here.
I wish I could mend broken friendships here as I helped my loved ones cross and leave their fears behind. If this does reach my dear friend, I pray she forgives me and lets me know It’s not worth the pain this separation causes. We should make amends whilst living. Before it’s too late to do so.
Thank you for this Nicole. I wish you well always. Holding you in my prayers. I pray people can forgive as God does and our loved ones realise in passing – the love goes on, it’s all love.
Thank you so much Nicole for sharing your beautiful experiences which, for some reason, I read through tears and yet a lighter heart. It gives me a sense of profound hope knowing that our loved ones are at peace. Much love and hugs to you xo
Thank you reading this brought peace to my heart this Wednesday
Thank you Nicole for sharing these beautiful happenings in your life. The last part of your story of Antoinette reminded me of when my granddad past. He came to me in the early hours just after he had passed and told me he had and to be ready to help my mum and aunty. Following that he would visit me and show me pictures of him and grandma who had passed away when I was 9 and how happy he was to be reunited with her. He even told me of there favourite place and where he would like his ashes to go. At first I was hesitant to tell my mum and aunty and when I asked qts my mum knew I had seen him 🙂 When I told them of the place he mentioned they both knew where that was. It was a beautiful experience that I hold dear to my heart.
With my dads, dad I had a similar experience, except he didn’t speak to me he just appeared and sat to my left. xx