Celebrating Life, Lungs and Second Chances!

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.” 
Chad Sugg

A little while ago I received an invitation in my email. It’s for a party this weekend to celebrate something extraordinary. Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of my dear friend Carly-Jay Metcalfe‘s double lung transplant. Carly has Cystic Fibrosis. At the time of her transplant things were dire and she’d been given just a week to live. Suddenly she was gifted life again through organ donation.

So this weekend we’re celebrating her Transplanniversary with a quiet little gig for family and friends. Of course we will all be thinking about Carly’s donor and her family too, because while we are celebrating Carly’s life we are all aware that one family lost their loved one and donated organs which enabled our gorgeous girl to be saved.

Carly-Jay, or Carls as we call her in our household (Aunty Carls to our dogs – she is Godmother to Rufous!) is one of my dearest friends for so many reasons. She loves books and writing and good coffee and mugs of tea as much as I do. She has a wicked sense of humour and one of the biggest hearts I know. And she and I are both in the second-chance-at-life club and the socially unreliable club. Illness often means we break dates with one another. It’s just how it is.

That’s me on the left: almost blind, drug-bloated and rocking an eye patch and dark glasses after I lost 70% of my vision in one eye and 90% in the other as a result of life-saving medications for an acute hospital-acquired superbug bladder infection – the same infection that recurred and nearly killed me last year. Carly insisted on taking me out for breakfast AND cut up my food for me, put my coffee cup in my hand and was my human seeing-eye-dog. We were practising me being blind because it was predicted I would stay that way. Carls kept me entertained with rollicking descriptions of everyone around us and hardly bumped me into any furniture at all. What a treasure she is! (And yes, I eventually got most of my vision back, luckily!)

Carly having blood taken from her foot, because we both belong to the crappy over-used veins club!

Carls and I live with chronic and progressive degenerative illnesses (hers is Cystic Fibrosis and mine is Late Stage Lyme Disease with Lyme Carditis). We share the same kind of normal – living with often unseen aspects of disability (not that we think of ourselves as disabled – more ‘unabled’ when poor health puts limits on us) that impact us and our families. Modern and alternative medicine keep us alive, upright and functioning, but sh*t still keeps going pear-shaped for us, and our health is a very up-and-down road. Carls isn’t just a friend. She has been my live-in nurse and helper on more than one occasion after I have come home from hospital, or have struggled with treatment for one thing or another. I’ve been her cheer squad when it’s all been a bit horrendous for her too.

It’s good to have someone to talk to who gets what I am going through, and who can share a laugh with me over such awesome topics as incontinence, fatigue and crappy veins. That’s what friends are for, right?

I’m so looking forward to Carly’s party on the weekend. (I have a few catering surprises for her too, in honour of another friend we lost suddenly to illness some years ago, but stay tuned for those as they need to stay secret for now!) One of the most powerful things Carly’s taught me is to rock your scars and own your wounds, and both of us subscribe to the philosophy of celebrating the everyday, and laughing, no matter how bad things get. So we’ll be doing lots of laughing and celebrating come Saturday. With snacks. And loved ones. She’s still here. I’m still here. That’s worth celebrating!

Life is beautiful, and every breath is a gift. For all of us.
Sending all my love to you, Nicole   xx

PS: Just a little reminder. When you die you won’t need your organs anymore, but someone else might. Please consider becoming an organ donor and have that chat with your family and friends.

My beautiful friend, Carly!

Accidents and Sudden Deaths – My thoughts from a psychic perspective

“Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am that swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
~ Autumn Rain – Mary Frye, 1932

 

This is the next post in my Wednesday series on death and dying.

Many people have asked me what happens to a person if they have a sudden death through accident or illness.

I’ve sat holding the hand of people who’ve been suddenly and gravely injured and who have then passed away.

I’ve also been ‘visited’ psychically by souls whose life has suddenly terminated due to trauma, or I have connected with them through my meditations.

One of the strongest psychic experiences I have ever had was of sitting in my friend’s body and being aware of his thoughts in the hours before and after his death from suicide. Although that remains the most brutal experience I have had, it was also a supreme gift.

This is what I have come to understand…

Death that is sudden is a shock for the soul. We live on, and our capacity for thought and awareness lives on. There is a period after death where the soul must orient themselves to their new circumstances.

This doesn’t always happen the same way.

 

Some people die in trauma and there is a short period of nothingness – as if someone wiped part of a video. In this way the soul is spared the traumatic memories. There will be no trauma to process even if the circumstances of death were difficult. Sometimes the soul abandons the mortally injured body before death takes place. There is no suffering. Life just stops. In every instance the newly liberated soul is met and guided by loved ones who help to move the soul to a place of love and comfort. Later the soul may revisit their body or the scene of their death, but by then they will have disconnected from their life to an extent that the revisiting adds no trauma, only understanding and closure for the life they have just lived.

Some people die, and don’t immediately realise that they are dead. They may look down on themselves and be completely disoriented and confused. There is no physical pain. I liken this situation to when you awaken from a dream and are not sure where you are for a moment. Then gradually understanding comes as you orient yourself to the room you are in. This may take minutes or hours. There is never a situation of being trapped in the body, or trapped on earth. Instead there is a period of readjustment before the soul accepts their death and moves to wherever it is we go after this current life journey is complete. And wherever that is, it is ALWAYS a return to love.

My friend who suicided realised too late that he had acted from emotion in making the decision to end his life, and that he didn’t want to die. He was still alive when that realisation came but it was impossible to change his outcome. In the moments before death he experienced extreme regret and sorrow, and a deep awareness of the trauma he would now inflict on his family. After death he came to a place of deep love and acceptance for himself and his life. That was his gift to me. He showed me and allowed me to feel that love. I have never experienced anything as comforting or all-encompassing as that place of unconditional love his soul moved into after death.

Souls don’t remain trapped on earth, or stuck in some strange in-between place because of trauma, sudden or violent death. We always return to love.

The true suffering is done here on earth.

The energetic imprint of trauma, violence and suffering can remain in a place, and many psychics and empaths will pick up on that. They can tune into thoughts, emotions and even images that have been imprinted. This energetic residue is NOT a trapped soul. Lightworkers can bear witness to that low vibration energy, and use love and light to dissipate it and heal a space or place if that feels right.

 

Do we always die because it is our time? I would love to say that I am wise enough to know the answer. All I can say here is that while many people do indeed die because whatever experience they needed here is complete, there are instances of accident and mishap that can terminate our lives before we did all we came here to do and experience. Life is fraught with risk. We are biological organisms. It’s a crazy adventure that sometimes goes wrong. I do know that, no matter what happens, we return to love when we die. And everything we experience teaches us something and helps us to grow – either in this life or in our time between lives.

It is important to remember that the ones most affected by sudden death (be it accident, suicide or medical) will be those left behind in life.

 

I also had a question from a reader about organ donation that fits in very well with what we’re talking about here on the blog this morning. Here it is:

“My understanding is that taking organs when the person is brain dead, or just after their heart has stopped beating means their spiritual body hasn’t completely left the physical body yet. I understand that this can cause distress in the next world and maybe even problems when reincarnating with a spiritual body that hasn’t fully healed from having parts taken or damaged. have you had any experiences of this type of thing, or is it something you could enquire into? My only personal experience is living in a building where they did experiments on human eyeballs in the basement. I’m not scared of ghosts usually, but the corridor by the basement always seemed to be teeming with unhappy souls.”

 

A ghost is an energetic residue. Many empaths and intuitives pick up on strong positive or negative emotional energies that have been imprinted upon objects or places. I believe that the reader who posted this question is highly empathic and intuitive, and hence their ability to tune into old energies held within the building where they lived.

When organs are taken from a donor, the person is already brain-dead or their heart has stopped beating. There will be no possibility that this person could be brought back to any form of life. Life is sometimes artificially continued for a short period of time through the use of machines that keep a supply of oxygenated blood flowing through the body. These keeps the organs viable so that the donor’s wish to gift life to others can still take place. The soul of this person will have already detached from their body when the organs are removed.

A soul is never hampered in their journey after death because of what may have happened to their physical body before or after death. A soul would not experience difficulties because part of their physical body continued to exist. That organ serves no purpose for the disembodied soul. We exist as more than just our physical bodies, and we have no need for our physical body after death. Our physical bodies may continue to do good and be of service after our death though, through acts such as organ donation.

Be kind to yourself, and those you meet. We never know what is going on within another, and this is often a hard time of year remembering those we have lost.

Much love to you, Nicole <3 xx