What Happens When We Die?

“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.
It worked.
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.

Image by micahkiter

Image by micahkiter (The link takes you to great drone footage of the Byron Bay Lighthouse)


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.

Image from tatamom78 at www.photobucket.com

Image from tatamom78 at www.photobucket.com

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 cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.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,

Nicole❤ xoxo

Supporting Your Loved One at the End Stage of Life

“And then we ease him out of that worn-out body with a kiss, and he’s gone like a whisper, the easiest breath.”
~ Mark Doty


Welcome to the second post in my Wednesday series on death and dying.

Today I’d like to talk about the end stage of life, and what you might expect as a loved one or carer. Death is something we have become less familiar with in our modern, western world. Most of us are quite removed from the process of dying, and of being with the dead after death has occurred.

I’ve been privileged to sit with and support over thirty people now as they transitioned from this world and this has taught me a great deal about the process of the letting go of our physical bodies.

I have learned that we each die in our own way, and in our own time. Someone who dies quickly, as a result of an accident or sudden illness will have a different journey to someone who is dying slowly – such as might happen with a terminal illness or old age.
The only thing that’s ever important is to help the dying person to be as comfortable as possible, to touch and reassure them, and to be with them. Love and care is what matters.
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The physical aspects of dying:
As a person enters this last stage they gradually begin to withdraw from the activities of daily life, even things that once held interest for them. They begin to sleep more. Conversation often becomes taxing. Appetite decreases and then leaves. There is simply less energy as the body begins to slow down and then shut down. They will become less responsive to your touch. Less responsive to your voice. Even in the middle of all of this the dying person may rally and be more ‘with it’ for periods of time. They may engage with you, or regain a little appetite. These windows of clarity and strength are quite normal. But they are windows. Please do not raise your hopes that this is a sign of some dramatic turn-around.
I have seen a woman who had been unresponsive for days suddenly become alert and sit up in bed for a final conversation with her brother, who had travelled for two days from across the globe to be at her bedside. She died shortly after, peacefully and easily.
The morning before my grandmother Marga’s death she was suddenly hungry, after days with little or no food or liquid. She ate one last meal of a few small mouthfuls of soft food – a soup, a little of some lamb roast and vegetables, followed by stewed apple and custard. She enjoyed it immensely, telling us over and over again that it was good. Food had always been one of my grandmother’s great pleasures. Then she talked with my mother and sister and I for an hour or so, breathless and fragile as she was, to tell us that she was surprised to still be ‘here’ and alive. She had been sure she was ‘almost gone’. A day later, she was.
As a person moves towards death their digestion closes down, swallowing becomes difficult, bowel and bladder function changes and slows (there can be loss of bowel and bladder function), and eventually they will only want just a sip of water, or a sponge soaked in a soothing liquid to moisten the mouth and lips. You can also use a balm to keep the lips moist. The body no longer needs nourishment. This is normal, and part of the withdrawal process.
The eyes become heavy lidded, or may stay half-open. The mouth might gape open too. Everything is relaxing and letting go. Your loved one’s skin tone will change. They may become mottled. They may become more pale, more ashen, more waxen. They may become momentarily hotter, or colder. Their skin may feel much cooler to the touch. Your loved one may look much less like themselves.
Closer to death the breathing becomes laboured and the mucous thickens, which can create congestion in the airways or mouth. Breathing can become noisy, and a rattling noise is quite common. This is often referred to as the death rattle, and is an indication that the end of life is very near. Breathing will become erratic, until a breath is taken only every so often. Eventually breathing will cease. This can take some time. It is not painful for the dying person, but it may sound scary or distressing to friends and family who have not been with a dying person before.
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On a metaphysical level:
 As your loved one moves closer to dying they move in and out of a place where they can feel, see, hear and connect with souls who have already crossed over. This is a very comforting and reassuring space. I have heard some doctors and nurses pass this phenomena off as ‘hallucinations’, but as a psychic, I know this is not true. (More information on this, and on people with dementia and alzheimers here.)
Some people use the end of their life, over weeks or days, as a time of review. In their dreams, in their mind, in their inner journey they go back to people and places long since gone, to make sense of what has happened, or to make peace with what has gone before. While they are doing this they will seem to be sleeping most of the time, or rambling in their thoughts and words. Please support and love them as they journey. Don’t try to criticize, correct or judge them, or tell them that what they are experiencing isn’t real. For them it is, and it is an important and healing part of their journey.
The act of death itself is simply a shedding of the skin, and a return to another way of existing. The act of dying and the transition back to being ‘a soul’ is always, in the end, a joyful and love-filled one.
Metaphysically you can help by sending love and light to the dying person. Feel the love move from your heart to theirs. Surround them with white light, or whatever other colour feels good to you. You can also call upon God (or whatever you know that energy as), your loved one’s guides, angels and others who have already crossed over (such as family members or friends) – to come and support and guide your loved one for this final part of their journey. Tell them that it’s okay, and that they can go whenever they are ready. Remind them of the great love that is here on earth for them, and that will greet them where they are going next.
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What can you do to support your loved one?

Simply, just be with them. Hold their hand, sit in their space, touch them and let them feel you near them. You might want to stroke their hair, or press a cool, damp cloth to their forehead and arms. Moisten their mouth for them. Rearrange their pillows. You might want to massage some cream into their skin or brush their hair. 

Talk with them, even if you think they can’t hear you. They can. Please keep talking when it feels right –  even when someone is in their final hours and are non-responsive they hear you. Speak quietly and soothingly. No abrupt noises or movements, and keep the room lighting soft so that the person doesn’t startle.

It’s okay to cry and show emotion. It’s also very normal to laugh and to reminisce. There is often no need for words at all.

Do tell your loved one that you love them. Let them know you are there. Let them know you care.

If it feels right to talk, share some happy memories. Talk about things you have shared together over the years. Tell them about the things you learned from them. What have they passed on to you? Why are you a better person because of them? What can you acknowledge about them that you respect or admire?

Tell them about yourself. Share your life. If there are issues between you say what needs to be said with a spirit of forgiveness and kindness.

2012-03-09 08.09.54

Even when we have had a difficult relationship with someone it helps both people to be able to find something that you can share which helps the dying person to feel that their life had purpose and that somehow, in some small way they were loved, made a difference or were noticed in a positive way. We all need to know that we matter.

It’s also enough just to be in their space, just to sit with them, just to be by their side. Read a book, curl up beside them, it doesn’t matter what you do – it matters that you are there.

It’s okay to say goodbye. Whether yours will be a short visit, or a long period of support, saying goodbye is a soothing and healing thing to do, for both of you, no matter how hard that goodbye might be.

Let your loved one know that it’s okay for them to go. Reassure them. Sometimes they will linger, hanging on for you. I’ve seen many a person pass after their loved ones have left the room. It’s okay to let your loved one know that you are leaving the room. It might be what they need to finally let go.

Above all, ensure that your loved one is comfortable. There is no need for anyone to be in pain, and there are so many options to help you and your loved one manage this final transition so that dying and death are pain-free.

Make sure you look after yourself in all of this too. Take a break if you need one. Ask for help. Call on doctors, nurses and care-givers. Step away when it gets too much. Remember to eat, and to get enough sleep.

If you would like to use essential oils, I have found Young Living’s Peace and Calming soothing for everyone in the room. Place a drop on the back of the hands or the inside of the wrists of your loved one, and a drop on the chest or the back of the neck. A little on the edge of the ear is good too. If you don’t have this oil Lavender essential oil will do nicely.

If there is distress in your loved one (or yourself) use Lavender and Frankincense. Apply a drop of each of these at the wrists, temples, back of neck, throat, heart, and soles of feet.

Yes, you can use all three of these oils together.

Use these oils hourly, or follow your intuition. They can truly transform a situation, and help bring peace and comfort at what can be an emotional and difficult time for everyone in the room. I used this combination when my friend Angela passed over last year, and the difference they made – for Ange, for her loved ones, and for the nursing staff – was truly remarkable.

The combination of Lavender and Frankincense also helps the soul to let go.



I truly believe that death is not the end of our being.  I know that love endures. I am looking forward to sharing more of what I know of this journey, and I’m sure you will find it comforting.

Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll be talking about sitting with a person after they die, and what happens in these moments after death for the person who died. If you have any questions you’d like me to cover in this series, please contact me here on the blog or at cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.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,

Nicole <3 xoxo



A Short Blog Series on Death and Dying

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”
~ Neil Gaiman, The Sandman


As a society I don’t think we do death very well. It’s not talked about. We try to pretend that it doesn’t happen, and often, sadly, we try to keep it all behind closed doors – either for ourselves or for a loved one.

I’m no stranger to dying, and I’ve come to know death from a number of perspectives. I’ve had my own prognoses of numbered days several times in the past twenty years. From heart issues to life-threatening infections and multi-organ failure, death and I have looked each other in the eye. I have held the knowledge and the feeling of dying within me as I have struggled to keep living.

I’m still here. But that dark bird still sits on my shoulder, and I have learned to travel with that extra weight and the gifts of perspective that this brings. Among my friends are others who have dark birds of their own. We share a special language without words, because we know – we live with this extra awareness, and we have watched others go before us and leave this world. Once the dark bird has visited you, everything changes.

raven, crow, dying, death

The Common Raven, by George Hodan. Image from www.almanac.com

I’ve come to know dying from having been at the deathbed of over thirty people now, as they’ve made their transition from this life. I’ve talked about death with them as their days diminished from endless to numbered. As they’ve grappled with the news of their impending demise and the knowledge that time has almost run out. I’ve cried with them. And laughed. I’ve talked of living, even as they are dying, and helped them to make plans about the things that mattered most.

As their final hours have arrived I’ve held their hand and stroked their hair and anointed them with oils. I’ve whispered in their ear, and cradled them in my arms and helped them to no longer be afraid. I’ve created a safe space for them and for their loved ones who were with them for this last past of the journey. I’ve witnessed as their last breath left their lungs, as their heart stopped beating, as they moved from life to death, and then beyond.

I’ve helped to plan or even officiate over funerals and memorials. I’ve celebrated the passing of many a loved one, with all of those who were left behind.

death and dying, forest light

Forest Light – Image by Rayma Devins.  Image from www.desktopnexus.com

The final perspective I have on death is as a psychic. I have watched what happens to a person’s soul and to their energies as they begin the journey of transition. I have witnessed death and spoken to souls in the moments, minutes and hours after their physical end. I have communicated with souls who have long passed from our world. I have connected with the dying via dreams. One precious soul even showed me his passing by sharing those last hours of life and those first moments of death and beyond with me as I supported him via meditation. I have learned so much about the enduring nature of our souls after death, and the power of love to transcend dimensions and boundaries of time and place.

angels in clouds

Image from www.nastej.ru

Right now I have a number of friends and clients who are facing the imminent passing of an elderly parent, or a terminally ill child or life partner. There are a couple of friends and clients who have been given their own recent diagnosis of a life-ending condition.

This is the territory of my daily life – providing support in these situations. It’s endless, because it is part of the cycle of life. People who know me well understand that I am always walking with death, and in service to that transitioning, although I may not mention it to those still firmly in the flow of life.

So, in response to a number of recent questions about death and dying, I’ve decided to write a short series of blog posts to help these friends and clients, and any of you who are (or will one day be) in this situation so that you can provide support to your own loved ones, and feel comforted in understanding that the end of life can become a beautiful space, after which the soul simply moves to a different state of existence – and yes, continues to exist. If you are one of those friends with a dark bird on your shoulder we can talk about how to live even as you are dying, and what things you may want to consider, of both a practical and a spiritual nature.

I’ll begin next Wednesday. But before that, if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer in this series, please contact me by leaving a comment below, or emailing them to cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.com

I would be honoured to help in any way possible.

As always, I am holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, Nicole <3 xx

Being Held By The Universe

Image by Simon Beedle www.simonbeedle.com

Image by Simon Beedle www.simonbeedle.com

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
~ Anne Frank


I didn’t write a post on Saturday, although I intended to.

The Universe knew better. I’d had a huge week of work in the city, both paid clients and out-of-hours emergencies that are just part and parcel of my wider life in spiritual service. There was Alan on Monday night, a man on the brink of suicide. There was Steve on Thursday night – a man on the brink of dying. Steve had been involved in a terrible accident, and he needed my help. I’d hoped to tell you about it but it’s still so raw that I find the words aren’t coming yet. Only tears.

It was a crazy busy week of drama. On top of so many other people who have been in crisis or needing help with major life issues. On top of my Planner community and my regular readings.

I thought I’d been coping okay, even under a full load. I’d honoured my feelings, and sat in my emotions and done my best not to bottle anything up. I’d been gentle with myself. Psychic work is hard. It often drains me. And my tender heart is regularly bruised by life, even as I love and celebrate the journey we all share.

That’s me below, exhausted and shiny-faced with tears after helping Steve to pass over on Thursday night. A process which left me completely shattered. My new computer, which I still can’t use properly, managed somehow to capture a screen-shot of me just after I’d hung up from skyping Steve’s wife. It was about 5am, and I’d been talking with them since just before 11pm the night before.

As I wandered around my city home on Friday morning, packing to return to the farm, all I did was cry. Walk and cry. Clean and cry. Pack and cry. The tears kept streaming down my face and I couldn’t control them. They were just a release of all of the energy I’d accumulated as I spoke to the living and those in the place we go to after death. I was also in deep fatigue after experiencing my second night in four days of zero sleep while I did unscheduled psychic work.


I really thought I was okay, apart from the tears and the tiredness.

But when we got home to the farm on Friday afternoon I finally understood how emotionally bankrupt I was.

Mother Nature knew. The Universe knew. They whipped up an enormous thunderstorm, followed by lashing rain. After which came another storm, and more rain.

My little farmhouse was a sanctuary, surrounded by trees and cut off by flood waters.

I crept into bed at 4pm, and curled up under the sheets to the sound of thunderous rain upon the roof.  I lay facing the window, watching the play of lightning across the sky, and the trees  swaying and dancing in the wind. I felt safe and loved and deeply connected to the natural world. All night the storms raged, and I moved in and of sleep. In the morning the air was clear and the world was quiet.

Very quiet.

We’d lost phone connection and power.

I couldn’t blog or check my email or do any work at all.

‘See,’ my husband said, ‘even God thinks you need the morning off.’

So I spent my morning barefeet on the grass, sun on my face as I meditated or dozed, and by lunchtime I was completely restored to myself.

Thank goodness for my farm, and for trees and sky and rain and tempest, for birdsong and silence. Nature is medicine for my soul.

Today is my Wedding Anniversary, so I’m taking a day off to spend with Ben. The other fine medicine for my soul. We’ll walk on the beach, swim, rest, find somewhere yummy to eat a meal (and probably take Cafe Dog) and talk about life and all that good stuff.

It’s an incredible privilege to be here on this planet at this time. Even if some days do get hard for all of us. Take care of yourself today and always, and remember that nature is always there to embrace you.

Sending much love to you all. Nicole xx

Image from liftupideas.com

Image from liftupideas.com

For Angela, On Your Last Morning

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
~ Helen Keller


Good Morning, Darling Friend.

My first thought this morning is of you, on this, your last morning. As I lay in my soft bed, in my still-dark room, I thought of how I left you last night. Your laboured breathing, the white walls of your hospital room, the little bubble of peace that you were in, surrounded by but no longer aware of the sounds of distress and traffic and beeping machines and views over car parks and shabby buildings.

Lie gently, my friend. None of that matters now. Let it all fall away.


And let me fill your mind with a picture of all the things I can see and be grateful for this morning, and that I know you will understand and treasure too.

From my bed I can hear the cry of the cheeky kookaburra who lives in the grove of eucalypts beside our bedroom. Mr Grumpy the koala is noisily saying goodnight to the last of his girlfriends. The gentle pre-dawn light is filled with the chuff and click and chirrup of the myriad birds who call our farm their home. Down the road, at Richard and Jo’s, their three roosters are stirring and calling. They are such handsome fellows. So full of life and personality.

Image by Jo Immig

Image by Jo Immig

The morning’s air is cool, and fragranced with damp earth and that lush scent of rainforest. To be truthful, there is also that hint of cow.

Here, in our bedroom, Lavender and Peace and Calming oils linger on my pillow, just as they do on yours. We are linked by fragrance. And by love, my dear. That makes me smile.

At the foot of my bed Bert is gently snoring and twitching with a little dog dream. My pillow cradles my head and the worn linens that cover my legs against the morning chill are silken soft. It’s a safe little cocoon, this bed, as beds should be. Just as your bed is for you right now. A place to float away on peaceful dreams.

I know you’re there now. In that gentle, soulful place we talked about. That place of peace and quiet and joy and letting go, surrounded by love. I know that you can feel the love for you – here, and where you’re going. It was an honour to take you there yesterday, and to feel your ragged fear and distress melt away and for you to find comfort and sanctuary. I’m right here with you. You’re safe, and loved, and all is well.

Harry and Ben are already up and out of bed, and getting ready for the day – time to check the cows soon and to put the hose out on the mulberry tree up by the pool.

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I’m up too. The kettle is on, and it fizzes and ticks in the quiet. So quiet that I can hear the hum of the fridge, the occasional fat drop of water plopping melodically into the soaking saucepan I placed in the sink last night after a hurried dinner. No fancy meal that was – just a bowl of noodles with soft yolked eggs, butter, cheese and a handful of herbs from the pots at the back door of the kitchen. Comfort food. Carbs. Oh goodness, Ange – the foods I will savour now for you. I know how much you’ll enjoy that.

My tea this morning is a colossal cup of Melbourne Breakfast with a good slug of milk. That smooth vanilla taste with the kick of caffeine. I’m in my pyjamas and gum boots now, mug in hand, walking around my early morning garden. I must pull out and compost the sweet peas. They are at their end, and it’s time to plant out my summer flowers. There are mulberries to pick, and sweet Tom Thumb and Amish tomatoes. I laughed when I inspected that ratty old capsicum bush, which is also slated for the compost. What a fighter it is. It must have heard me say that last week. Again! Another fruit this morning, and two more developing.

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The sunlight is streaky thin and still silver, but the sky has a hint of gold and purple. Even from here, hidden by the mountain, I can sense the ocean, and feel the promise of heat in the day.

Up in the teak tree the tawny frogmouth owl mother is sitting on her flimsy nest of sticks, a couple of fledglings under her wing. She’s watching me. But you know about me and owls…

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I’ve dragged the hose down from the mulberry to the lemon tree, which is covered in tiny perfect fruit. The grass is still dew-covered, and the sweet white clover heads are getting ready for the morning influx of bees.

I’ll sit here on this chair out under the poinciana now, and sip my tea, and think of you. Remember Christmas Day, when you both popped in for one celebratory drink and left late that night after too much champagne and prosecco and food? We laughed so much you fell off your chair. Such happy memories of good times, my darling girl. It’s been a marvellous life – filled with that special richness of love and friendship and appreciation of the simple things. Wonderful husbands, loveable dogs, gardens, good food, music and dancing and surfing and beach walks and bonfires and travel and staying up late into the night devouring the pages of a book you can’t put down.

The whole earth is vibrant this morning as you leave us. Time moves more slowly, as you take a last look around. It’s beautiful here. So beautiful. And what I am most grateful for this morning is that finally you see how beautiful you are too, and that you have ALWAYS been beautiful. And loved. You just didn’t always remember that on other waking days. No matter, sweet friend. You came from love, you are love, and you return to love.

It’s all good. Every single crazy inexplicable moment.

I love you so much.

So, for you, the magical journey begins. That secret journey we all wonder about. How special and fantastic and amazing that journey is. Surrender to that magic. Smile, that you know the secret now too.

I’ve lit your candle, with your wishes, watched over by the owl you gave me.

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We promise to look after your man, and your puppy dogs, and to drink bubbles and to have glorious expeditions and delicious food and think of you.

I’ll meet you in the night sky. I’ll meet you in that place.

Love is forever, and I know that you can still receive emojis in heaven. But I’ll miss the ones you used to send me here.

Thank you, Angela, for everything.

I love you. Nicole <3 xoxo

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The Girl who sees Angels

“For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you carefully.”

~ Luke 4:10

*Note: Names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved

I received an email from a young friend yesterday.  It was a simple note, and this is what it said;

Dear Nicole,

I can still see Angels.  Is there something wrong with me or can you help me? Thank you very much.


I have known Kirsten since she was a baby. Her parents separated when she was six.  David, Kirsten’s father, had suffered from mental illness and alcohol addiction for many years, and her parents were living apart, but still had close contact.

Two years ago, when Kirsten was eight, I supported her family through a very tough time.  David disappeared and no-one could contact him.  His family feared the worst. And their worst fears came true.

Emma, Kirsten’s mum, asked me to sit with her one Friday morning while she broke the news of their father’s death to her young children.  And it was there that I witnessed something extraordinary as I sat with the family in their grief.

Emma was struggling to keep her emotions in check as she sat with her three small girls. She had not yet begun to say anything.  She’d just gathered them together on the lounge.  Kirsten, the oldest, became very calm and placed her hand on her mother’s arm.

“It’s okay, Mumma,” she said.  “Daddy was taken home by his Angels because he wasn’t happy here and he couldn’t get better. Now he can be happy again, and they will take care of him, and he can take care of us.”

What Kirsten said surprised us both.

“How do you know that?” Emma asked her.

“Because first there was one Angel, and then there was two, and then last week there were so many when Dad took us to McDonalds.  They just sat with him, even though he was grumpy and sad the whole time. Then one came and visited me on Tuesday night, and told me Dad had to go home.” (Tuesday was the night this man took his own life, but Emma did not find out until Thursday morning when the police contacted her.)

Image from www.konca.net.ua

Image from www.konca.net.ua

Kirsten cried for a moment, and then pulled herself together, hugging her mum and siblings.  Then she said, “Everyone has a time to go, and Daddy was finished here. I will miss him heaps, but I can still love him and he can still love me, and if he is happy now then it’s actually okay, even though that makes us all really sad.”

Kirsten doesn’t come from a family with spiritual beliefs.  If anything, she’s had a faithless upbringing.  Life for her and her family has simply been hard. But she spoke to us with deep conviction. She was absolutely sure of what she’d seen.

Now Kirsten’s ten.  And she’s still seeing Angels. She doesn’t talk about it much, because she worries people will think she’s strange and they won’t believe her.

I understand what that’s like – to know things and to see things that others can’t experience in the same way as you.  So we skyped last night, Kirsten and I, and she finally had a space to talk freely about what she sees and how this affects her.

It was important to me that she felt okay about being sensitive, and about having psychic gifts. I believe her, and I believe in what she’s experiencing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her at all.  She’s simply a sensitive soul, with a gift for clear Sight. She sees Angels often. Kirsten told me there are more of them in places like hospitals, and with people who are ‘alone in a lonely way’ as she so beautifully explained it. They come and go, but they are always aware of us, and of how we are feeling. They are filled with kindness and with love for us.  When we need them, they are there, whether we realise it or not.

I find her visions very comforting.  Don’t you?

Smoke Alarms and Lost Souls

My soul is full of whispered song;
My blindness is my sight;
The shadows that I feared so long
Are all alive with light.
~Alice Cary, Dying Hymn


*Names have been changed in the following story to protect the identity of those involved.

A few weeks ago I went to bed early, and fell into a deep peaceful sleep. I was woken from that sleep by the shriek of our smoke alarm. Beep beep beep, it blared.  Beep beep beep.

I felt as if I was drugged – that awful slow limbed, thick witted state where you struggle to make sense of anything.

“Ben,” I said to my husband, shaking his shoulder hard, “Wake up, there’s a fire.” Then I threw open the bedroom door and raced downstairs, the dogs hard at my heels.

I couldn’t smell smoke.  There were no flames but the smoke alarm kept beeping until I stood directly underneath it.  And then, of course, it stopped. It was 2.03am.

I turned on the lights and checked every room, but the house was fine.  No fire.  So I trudged back up the stairs with the dogs and got into bed again.  Ben was still fast asleep so I crawled back beneath the covers and tried to make myself comfortable.  The dogs fussed and scratched and I tossed and turned, but that only lasted a moment.

Suddenly the dogs stopped their fussing and became quite still.  A cold creepy feeling came over me, and I realised that the corner of the room was softly illuminated.  I turned over, with my back to Ben so that I could look towards the light.

And got the fright of my life…

A young woman, maybe in her late teens, was standing right beside the bed.  She was all dressed up for a night on the town, but her makeup was streaked and her eyes were frantic.  And she was glowing dully.

She was dead.  I knew it instantly.  And I also knew she wasn’t supposed to be. I immediately understood who she was; the grown daughter of a work colleague. We’d often looked after her when she was little but the family split up and moved away and we lost contact with them when she was barely six.  “Isabelle, you’re not supposed to be here, ” I said to her.

Before I could say anything else she was sucked backwards and vanished so that I was left staring at wardrobe doors and emptiness.

For the rest of the night I couldn’t sleep, so I meditated and prayed for Isabelle. It was all I could think of to do.

The next morning I told my husband what had happened.

“Why would she come here?” he asked.

The only thing I could think of was that we had always been loving, but strict, and she’d always felt safe here.  She’d often come to us, my husband especially, when she was small so we could solve her problems.

We spent the morning trying to track her down, but her mum had remarried and we knew she had changed her name.  We came up with nothing. It was a feeling of great frustration and helplessness.

'I Heart Sparklers' by Soul Lost At Sea

‘I Heart Sparklers’ by Soul Lost At Sea

The next night I slept deeply again, but my husband lay awake most of the night.  He didn’t see anything, but he said he felt her around, all night.  He told her to go to the light, and that she was safe.

Yesterday we heard, in the strangest of co-incidences, that the young adult daughter of an old work colleague had died in tragic circumstances recently. The young girl had been a problem, and had really gone off the rails as she grew up, so we were told.  Dropped out of school.  Depressed.  Anti-social.  She’d drunk a fatal combination of alcohol and energy drinks and gone into cardiac arrest at a party.  Ambulance officers revived her at the scene, but she had slipped into a coma at the hospital and died the next day.

Oh Isabella, my heart aches for you, but at least you are not lost anymore.  You are home now, safe, and surrounded by love.