A Gentle Lesson

Like many writers, I’m daunted by the blank screen. When Saturday night rolls around, I’m always convinced that I won’t have a thing to write about. But when you embark on the spiritual path, there is always something nearby that is waiting to teach you. The soul doesn’t like rest.

This week, the lesson concerned my cat, Dorian Gray. Dorian was Bill’s cat. When we adopted him – to scare away mice – I thought he’d be my cat. Bill didn’t especially like cats, but Dorian won his heart. They watched football together.  They took naps together.

They bird-watched together.


When Bill passed away, Dorian became my little buddy, the little animal soul who stayed to keep me company.  As animals do, he lightened my darkest days.

I think that Dorian is psychically attuned to me. When he stays out past my comfort zone, I go to the window and whisper, “Come home, now, Dorian.” In a few minutes he appears. Every time. We moved to Arizona a few months ago, and Dorian had to get used to new territory, which he did, and new dangers – coyotes and bobcats.  He spends a lot of time in his safe spot – on top of my car. If he’s at a neighbor’s a few doors away, and he sees me, he comes running.  He’s my little buddy. He’s something to take care of. Something to love. Something of Bill’s. So, when Dorian gets sick, I get sick too, in my heart. He’s twelve years old now, and I’m always on alert for anything that might go wrong with him.

All in all, I have a wonderful life. I am living my dream in Sedona, Arizona. It’s nestled in monumental red rock formations and so beautiful I can’t describe it. It’s like living in the Grand Canyon. I’m retired and my time is my own. My job is to write my next book, and I can’t think of anything more wonderful than that. I’m healthy. I’ve made lots of new friends. The weather is spectacular right now. The desert is flowering, and it looks like my version of Heaven.

But. I found a way to be unhappy. Last week, Dorian stopped eating, stopped going outside, and just looked…sad.  I started to worry. I started to imagine the worst. And right then, in my little piece of Paradise, I changed back into the person I thought I had left behind – the one who worried and was always anxious, even after the Universe had lifted me out of grief, despair, and loss, into another state of being. Ah…but as I said, the soul doesn’t like rest. It wants to grow, to continue with the lessons, and as soon as I get comfortable it shows up – in my face.

Dorian doesn’t have anything serious. He does have acne (don’t laugh) on his chin. It’s infected and it’s painful, and it hurts to move his mouth, which is why he stopped eating. The vet cleaned it up and gave me some pads to wipe his chin with every day. And Dorian’s been really good about it. He holds his little chin up for me and I gently wipe it, but last night, when I wiped it, there was blood on the pad. And not a little either. Cats don’t like to show pain. It’s a survival mechanism. Dorian didn’t howl or pull away. But he stayed away from me. He didn’t sleep in my bed like he usually does. He didn’t eat dinner or breakfast. And I cried. I cried because I hurt him, an innocent little animal. I didn’t mean to, but I hurt him anyway. As long as I cried, and hovered, and apologized, Dorian stayed away from me.

And the Universe stepped in with the lesson. In one of the books I was reading, there was a statement that stood out and wouldn’t leave me alone:  It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. The more I thought about it, the more powerful this idea became. And the more difficult. But there it was.

My situation isn’t dire, but I was feeling more pain than I needed to. I decided to stop indulging in self-pity and fear of losing my little buddy, because that’s all it was. When I stopped my melodrama, Dorian changed. He came in from outside. ( He always cries to come in when I am exactly fifteen minutes into my meditation.) He ate a little. He joined me in the room where I write and fell asleep on the couch, attuned to my “better” energy. His chin has stopped bleeding, and we’re back. We’re friends again. All I have to say to the Universe is…thank you once again. This was a gentle lesson, but I’ll need it again someday.

Have beautiful, joyful thoughts this week, dear readers.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com. For a signed copy, go to www.themessenger.space.

Spring Always Comes

I went to a women’s luncheon last week, and the entertainment was provided by a lovely woman from England. She stood there, petite and serene, alone with her guitar, and sang a little melody called “Spring Always Comes.”  I suppose all my friends on the East Coast could use a little encouragement like that right now.

Here in the Southwest, spring is already here, although it doesn’t arrive officially until Monday. The trees are in bloom, the sun is warm, and today there was a perfect, gentle breeze that seemed to kiss the new life around it – the blooming irises, the cherry blossoms, and people like me, who felt renewed and young.

I get messages from the Universe (my readers know that), but I’m getting better at noticing them when they appear. That little song was one of them. It must be, because I can’t get it out of my head. The more I say it, the more I think about it, the more it resounds with truth: Spring Always Comes.

Seeds germinate in the harshest of conditions, in drought and in drowning water. Trees withstand unrelenting cold and wind, appearing to all but those who know better, as dead. We humans see this return to life every year and yet, so many of us still cannot believe that an all-knowing, all-loving God would grant us, His children, the same ongoing cycle of life.

As for me, I do not believe in death. I believe only in life. I believe that Spring Always Comes, and that is why I listen for the voices of the ones I love who have gone on to another spring – my son Eddie, my husband Bill, my mother, my father. And why should they not speak to me? Shall I not speak to my children when I leave this pasture? Shall I not try to let them know that I am alive and renewed in another springtime?

And why would God grant me only one spring? I believe that I have lived before, many, many times. I have evidence of at least one former life. I wrote a book about it. Haven’t we all felt that that one lifetime is not long enough? It isn’t. One lifetime is not long enough.  We have so much to learn!  Can we learn true compassion, can we learn complete and utter forgiveness in one stumbling, error-filled life? We are all capable of it, but it takes…time. Times.

If we are vigilant and willing, we accept our lessons as gifts, one gift at a time. This lifetime has been a full one for me. I have learned from death that there is no death. I have learned that whatever energy I project onto the world or onto another I project onto myself, whether it is positive or negative. I have forgiven someone in this lifetime I thought I could never forgive, and as the result of that forgiveness, a tinnitus in my ear and a pain in my head for which no doctor or expert could find a cause…went away. It went away finally when I realized I had to forgive more than the blows I had received from this person in this lifetime. I learned the meaning of the admonition in Scripture to forgive “seventy times seven.” For me, it meant forgiveness for every lifetime I suffered a blow to the head at the hands of this same person, the signal to me being the pain in the same spot in my head, the ringing in my ears that wouldn’t go away. I had to forgive the blows that even caused death. Can we learn to forgive seventy times seven in one lifetime? It took me until now, until this lifetime to do it.

And so, Ultimate Love gives us spring, after spring, after spring, to grow, to experience winter, to reawaken, to be born anew, to learn that that we can become the true, perfect beings that we are, the beings that we started out to be, before …ah, but that’s another thing altogether.

If you are still digging out of the snow, if it is still cold and damp, if it’s dark, be assured, be happy, because Spring Always Comes. Always.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com. For a signed copy, go to www.themessenger.space.





No Beating Around the Bush

There are so many things that happen in this world that we can’t explain. I wrote a whole book about it. In The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide, I recall the events following my son’s death. Oh, heck. Let me just say it out loud right here – I began to communicate with a spirit. There. Most people who know me or who have followed this blog for a while will not be shocked. They’ve had a couple of years of hearing from their friend or former colleague who reached out in desperation and touched something not of this world. If I incur any new readers this week, here it is: I communicate with a spirit. His name is Lukhamen.

I spent over forty-two years in Washington, D.C. and three in the foreign service, where I learned to tolerate  – and use – language that was, to be kind, obtuse. Politicians and bureaucrats (present presidential company excepted – I’m talking about professionals), almost always issue official papers written in high-sounding gobbledygook. What comes out is, a great deal of the time, impossible to understand unless you are a lawyer or unless you’ve learned the language over time, like I did. Have you ever tried to read the Federal Register or the Tax Code? Also, if you listen to a lot of speeches (like I did), you’ll realize that sometimes what comes out is just…nothing. It just sounds like something. Part of this culture is to preserve the mystique of the office – keep it – and their denizens- in an intellectual ivory tower, out of reach, above and beyond question. There is no real reason why laws and regulations can’t be written in plain but careful, understandable English. If everybody understood everything they read or heard from their representatives, the folks in D.C. and in state capitols would have a lot more to answer for than they do now. And I’m just talking about the ordinary stuff of yesteryear – not the torrent of reckless, feckless declarations that now bombards us.

It’s risky to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It was like that for me when I decided to publish a book about a spiritual experience that some people might see as scary, blasphemous, stupid, or crazy. I was afraid of what my friends would think of me. Luckily, I was pretty much retired and my job and my reputation weren’t on the line. But my friendships and relationships were. Oh, but I underestimated them.

Happily, and to my great surprise and everlasting gratitude, my friends and family embraced me, loved me, and read my book without judgement. Of course, even after almost two years, it still hasn’t gone out into the world. Who knows what awaits me there? My net was cast close to home, and I haven’t really tried to get it “out there.” I, like a lot of authors and artists I know, hate to sell. Hate it. That probably isn’t our job anyway. Our job is to write or paint, or do whatever it is we do, and hire somebody who knows what they’re doing to do their job, but I haven’t even done that.

Getting back to the book – I didn’t ask anyone to believe what I came to believe. I didn’t ask anyone to follow my path.  I just wrote down my experience. Nobody called me crazy. Nobody ridiculed me. Some people shared their metaphysical experiences with me, experiences they had never shared with anyone before. Some people said it helped them, which is why I wrote it in the first place.

Here’s why I’m bringing this all up. I’m working on the second book. It’s the sequel to The Messenger, and I am challenged by my writer’s group (and they are right on the mark) to explain this “miracle” of channeling a spirit guide in the first chapter. Right up front, before I begin to tell the rest of my guide’s story (the first part is told in the first book). In other words, I have to do in one chapter what it took a whole book to explain. So now, I have no choice. I have to tell it like it was, and quickly. I have to say what it was like to have contacted a spirit guide and how it was that he told me his story, and I have to do it in plain and understandable English.

I have agonized over this first chapter. I have written and re-written it, but I have just realized that I will either have to start all over again, or make sure that what I have written isn’t spiritual gobbledygook.  I know New Age people who speak only in their own terms, and their language is much like the politicians’ – obtuse and private. (Seems like no one is exempt from purposeful obfuscation.) I don’t have to worry about my guide’s story. He does that one. It’s mine I have to write with all the clarity and honesty I can muster. And feel the risk all over again.

Thank you, my dear friends, for your encouragement. If you want to send good thoughts my way, I’ll take that too.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com or, for a signed copy, go to www.themessenger.space.

Happy Birthday, Billy

March first was my husband Bill’s birthday. We were together almost thirty years, married for twenty of those. Because we were together that long, I can see him in many ways, in many versions, and in many settings. He is gone now, but there is the full arc of his life with me from which I can pluck a memory. There’s the young, rakish fellow who first asked me out, the actor who changed faces and personalities with every role; there is the soft face of a father and a grandfather, the confident, solid face that kept me anchored when the seas got rough, and the loving, peaceful, blue-eyed visage that looked at me as he left this earth. I have never seen so much love as I saw in that last look.

Bill had been in and out of his body several times before he finally let go of his earthly bonds. I only had to look at him to know when he wasn’t there. He came back one last time to say goodbye, and in his eyes was something I’d never seen before. It was a love that, as Scripture says, passes all understanding. I think that love was a reflection of what he had seen, of where he had been, and it came back with him, mirrored in his eyes. It was…unearthly. What I mean to say is that it was, for wont of a better word, heavenly. It was as if he was trying to tell me that he had been to someplace wonderful, more wonderful than I could imagine. It was saying that he loved me and that he always would. It was all there, in that one, beautiful look. It was, truly, worth a thousand words. Of all the faces of Bill that I remember, that is the one comes to me most often.

I have felt him around me more these past few days. I just finished re-reading one of his favorite books. Bill loved the English novelist Nevil Shute, and had an entire collection of his books. In the days when we were dating, he would read them to me in a stately, gentle way, because that was the way Nevil Shute wrote and that was the way his stories touched Bill. When Bill passed away, I gave most of the collection to his youngest son, Patrick, but I kept four – my favorites. When I read them, I hear his voice caressing the words, savoring each syllable. That must be the most cherished wish of every writer – to be that reverently read and loved. If Heaven is what I think it is, Nevil Shute and Bill sit in an English garden from time to time, talking, a pot of tea on the table between them. What a lovely thought.

Bill was around me on Thursday, the day after his birthday, in a most practical way. I’m working on my taxes for the accountant – always a punishing exercise. He used to do this abhorrent chore for the both of us, but for the last six years, it has fallen to me.

But back to Thursday: we kept a bank account from which we drew checks only to pay estimated taxes. It simplified things. Just for the record, I’m pretty good about keeping things and putting them in the proper places. I started out my working life as a secretary, and it left me with some valuable skills. I never misplace important documents. I had two other checkbook registers from our old bank from which to work, but I could not, for the life of me, find the one that listed my paid estimated taxes for last year. I hadn’t, as a matter of fact, seen it in a while, since I moved and changed banks. But I have a rule. I keep one file each year for everything I am going to need in February and March, when I start to assemble tax data. The checkbook registers are always put there, along with everything else.

It was nowhere to be found. I turned the office upside down. I went through every possible file, more than once. I cleared my desk and put everything back. I looked in drawers and boxes. I was getting desperate. Just before I decided to tear my hair out, I went back to my desk one more time, lifted a file folder and…there it was, underneath. It’s notable because it is the last one I have with Bill’s handwriting on the front.

The register wasn’t lost. Of course it wasn’t. Nothing else, and I mean nothing else, among loads of tax-related papers was lost. I don’t LOSE these things. Bill moved it.

No, this isn’t crazy. I’ve had things like this happen to me before (I’ll bet some of you have too). Bill just wanted me to know that he was around, that’s all. He put it back. But he got my attention. For those of us who make a study of things metaphysical and ponder the workings of the spirit world, this is a common occurrence. A thing that is transported from one place to another or the appearance of an article from an unknown source is called an apport. Material things are de-materialized (you know, like on Star Trek) and materialized again.  The point is just to let us know that Spirit is around. That’s all. It’s nothing spooky. It’s just another act of love and remembrance. When it happens, we meta-physicians take it in our stride, smile, and say thank you.

Happy Birthday, Billy, and thanks for the visit. You know, I know, and I hope that my readers know by now, that Nobody’s Gone for Good.



Read: The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com or, for an autographed copy, visit www.themessenger.space.