Wind Phone

wind-phonePhoto from NKH World Radio and TV Japan Website


On March 11, 2011, a great earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan. This triggered an enormous tsunami in which more than 18,000 people died. About a month after the disaster, in a town called Otsuchi, there appeared a phone booth. Inside was a black rotary dial telephone whose line was not connected.

A man named Itaru Sasaki had built the phone booth in his garden and named it “phone of the wind.” He built it for people to talk to those they had lost in the tsunami and hoped that those who came would be comforted by the thought that the wind was delivering their messages.

He wrote a blog about it, and in the three years following the disaster, over 10,000 people came to the phone booth. Now in the fifth year of its existence, people are still coming to talk to their dead.

Someone who has lost a loved one will understand this. Yesterday was the 37th anniversary of my son’s death, and I still talk to him. I talk to all my “dead” —my son Eddie, my mother and father, my grandparents, and sometimes to my favorite aunts and uncles. My husband Bill has been dead for seven years, but when I see something extraordinary in the news, or I read something that would interest him, I find myself saying out loud, “Billy! Would you look at that?” Or if I see something about a place we’d traveled to, I’ll say, “Remember when we were there, Billy?” I talk to him as though he is in the room with me. Of course, I believe he is. But even people who don’t believe as I do, do it. They talk to their loved ones. They’ve told me.

There is something about the monumental loss called death that causes the mind to open, that invites people to consider that, in spite of all they’ve been taught, there are, in the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “…more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

I use the word “dead” to describe the condition in which my loved ones left their bodies. To me, “dead” does not mean “lifeless.” Life continues beyond the body and the event we call “death,” and something in us knows that. Why else would we talk to our “dead?” Why would we visit a “wind phone?”  Why would we call upon our ancestors? Ask for their guidance, their protection? Something intuitive leads us to the phone booths of our minds. Something in us urges us, prompts us, to call out to them, to speak to them most intimately, to whisper to them that we love them, that we miss them. This is not a tradition bound by borders, nor is it a practice peculiar to any one generation. It is a phenomenon that is very, very old. And universal.

And that something that calls to us to reach out to them…is Love. Whatever you believe that to be.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at or

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What good is a beautiful gift if it is hidden away? That’s what my book The Messenger was – a gift, a beautiful story, for which I can take no credit. I didn’t write it.  I wrote my own story, but the story that took place in Egypt 200 years after the death of Christ was given to me by my Spirit Guide, Lukhamen.  The two stories are side by side in the book, mine and his, because they are connected, because I am connected to my Spirit Guide, as we all are connected to teachers, guides, and loved ones who look after us, love us, guide us, and give us messages. Whether you believe this or not does not matter. It happens anyway.

Has a thought ever entered your mind that seemed odd in its timing or subject matter, random, out of the blue, connected to nothing in particular, but was a bit of information that came in handy later, or actually saved you from harm?  Did you ever hear something in your head that whispered “Watch out!” or “Stop!” when you weren’t paying attention but needed to put the brakes on? Did you ever wonder where these little warnings came from? Did you think it was your subconscious operating in a futuristic way? Was your internal warning system operating independently? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps it is something much more improbable, something a little more miraculous, something coming from a love you can’t see or touch.

This reminds me of the title of a book written by a man named Michael Mirdad. He’s the spiritual leader of the Unity of Sedona Church here where I live. It’s called, “You’re Not Crazy, You’re Just Awake.”  Sure, the messages may sometimes seem mundane and trivial, but what is important is that you heard them. You were awake to something more than your physical senses.

I’ll tell you something I’ve noticed. People who never heard these “messages” before begin to hear them when a loved one dies. Or when they have experienced some kind of trauma. Or when they are in despair or depressed. And sometimes what we get are not thoughts. They’re feelings. Hints. Clues. Even impulses. How many times have you heard someone say, “Something told me to…” or “I don’t know why I did that but…” Have you ever felt compelled to go to a certain place, and discovered when you got there that there was a reason for you to be there – then – at that time? Or just the opposite. Have you ever felt strongly that you should not go somewhere and later found out that it would not have been good for you to be there – then – at that time? I invite you to take notice of these things. I invite you to consider the idea that something wonderful is close to you at all times, loving you, protecting you, guiding you, talking to you. I invite you to take notice of coincidences (as if there were such things). On the day of your mother’s funeral, did a hawk suddenly appear above you in the sky? And did you remember that your mother always said that she would watch you like a hawk? That happened to a young woman I know. She told me her story just yesterday. And many more, all related to her mother, all little signs that would mean something only to her. Her children had their own signs, gifts from that loved one who was now looking on with love, making sure they knew that she wasn’t Gone for Good.

We need to tell each other these stories of comfort, hope, and yes, improbable little miracles – and the big ones – that are given to us. We need them, especially if we are in grief, or have known grief. Or loneliness. Or despair. I have been told that I will do something to create small (or large) groups of people like myself who want to talk to each other, people who have suffered, who are suffering, grieving, feeling alone in their sorrow, but looking, searching, and finding hope and comfort, people who want to share their experiences, their gifts. People who want to feel loved again. And last night, in the middle of the night, it came to me that I would call them The Messenger Groups.

There will be more about this as it is revealed to me. I’m listening.


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Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney.  Find it at or on her website:

You Can Do Almost Anything

You can do almost anything if you don’t hurry.  That’s a line from a movie I saw yesterday. I love movies. The title of this blog, “Nobody’s Gone for Good,” was taken from a movie. I’ll take wisdom wherever I can find it. It doesn’t have to be dressed up in guru’s robes or spiritual books. It can come from a child, or from an airline pilot, like the one in the movie who said, “You can do almost anything if you don’t hurry.”

I can take these little gifts of wisdom from the Universe now, but there was a time when I couldn’t. It was when I was in the throes of grief. When you are overtaken by grief, everything is on hold—your brain, your heart, your consciousness. Thank God people didn’t offer me their favorite truisms when I was in the midst of grief. Wait. That’s not exactly true. One of them did. I had lost my child. After the funeral service, as I was sitting in the car waiting to go to the cemetery, she mouthed through the car window, “God loves you.” My angry thought was, “And just how do you know that?”

Years later, I lost my husband. By that time, I had learned of lots of things about life, and death, and grief, and faith. But at the time, the awful days and months after his death, I was too raw to remember them, too captured by pain to let them into my consciousness. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in what I had learned; it was that I couldn’t hurry my return to normalcy, to the fact that God really did love me. I had no idea that a slow, steady climb out of pain would be the path the Universe would lovingly offer me.

I suppose you can do almost anything if you don’t hurry. I don’t know why that is true. I just know that it is true for me. I know that in my everyday life, when I hurry, I lose time, because I make mistakes. Inevitably, I will lose my car keys, or my glasses, or I will (like I did yesterday) hurriedly respond to a text I thought was from my daughter. In it, I said something embarrassing about the person I actually sent it to. Yikes. I apologized, but I still feel bad about it. If I had not hurried, I would have seen that the number was not my daughter’s. If I had not hurried, I wouldn’t have said something embarrassing in the first place. I would have had time to think. Hurrying for me is like running through a maze with blinders on. I miss a lot. I lose my way and have to start all over again.

I was not allowed to rush through my grief. I had to take it a day at a time—pain, despair, hopelessness, and all. Only now can I see how wise that was. A loving Universe fed me small, digestible bits of wisdom as I was able to take them and keep them down. With every small bit of love, I was able to let go of a small bit of bitterness and despair. Bigger bites were not possible for me.

It took me almost thirty years to understand and truly believe that there is no death, that there is only life, and that perfect Love and Wisdom reside within me. In all of that time, I read, I stayed close to people who knew about such things. I meditated and sought the wisdom of my own soul and that of the spirits that look after me. I still do that, for my human tendency is still to want to know answers and to be comforted when things go wrong. I want them to be fixed. Right. Now. But there is no real comfort in that. The best answers come when I am able to understand them.

I write this blog for anyone who has lost someone they love. I write it for anyone who has lost anything—a home, a marriage, a job, money, health. What I know is that the long, slow road out of loss and grief is the surest. It leads to a lasting peace. Anything else, anything hurried, is temporary, and frequently unwise. But I also know that, like me, you will discover that you can do almost anything if you don’t hurry.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at or

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