Nobody’s Gone for Good

It has been one year since I began writing this blog. I have, over the course of the year, written about a lot of things, mostly the vicissitudes and the challenges of living day to day. On this, the blog’s first anniversary, I decided it was time to remember why I started writing it in the first place. It was to introduce my book, The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide.  Writing this book, which is about the death of my son Eddie and the discovery of Spirit, my own and that of a loving Guide, simply saved my life. The Messenger, whose name is Lukhamen, lived in Egypt a long time ago, some two hundred years after the death of Christ. His story, as he imparted it to me, is a glimpse of life as it was under the brutal occupation of Rome. But it wasn’t until I went to Egypt – quite by chance – and the places I had seen only in my mind’s eye became a reality, that I understood who he was, and why he came into my life at its darkest hour.  The book – his gift to me – is a message of hope for anyone who has lost someone they loved, but especially parents who have lost a child.  The Messenger has found its way into the hands of precious people who have known the awful pain of grief. They have told me that the book was a comfort to them. That is its purpose. I plan to spend this next year seeking out others like them, and asking them to talk with me and to each other, so that we might share our experiences, strength, and hope.  Thank you to all who have stayed with me during this year, and to all who have joined our journey along the way. Your encouragement has lifted me out of many a dark day. Here is how it all started one year ago:


Welcome to my blog, Nobody’s Gone for Good. I never dreamed I would write a blog. Blogs were not invented by my generation. My granddaughters are in their twenties. A blog? Why? And why now? For the most part, I have led an ordinary life. But something happened to me that was not at all ordinary. It was, to say the least, improbable. It began a long time ago, and it took me a long time to write it down. I didn’t fully understand it until I had finished. It’s all in a book now, and it is time to let it go – to wherever it is supposed to go, to wherever it may do the most good. I have been told by this generation that a blog is its first step into the world. I am nothing if not obedient.

The title of my blog, Nobody’s Gone for Good, is borrowed. I was sitting in a movie theater when I heard those words sung onscreen. A woman who had passed on was sitting by her husband; her song was meant to console him, a man so lost in grief that he could neither see her nor hear her. My daughter, who was sitting next to me, touched my arm and said, “That’s it. That’s your line.” I had been looking for one simple sentence that would describe the book I had just finished, one simple sentence to describe the long journey that began with the death of my child.

Do our dead sing to us? Do they love us still? Where are they? Are they gone forever? Or does something live on, and do they whisper to us, saying, Don’t cry. Nobody’s gone for good.

Shakespeare said it so well: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Something happened to me that happens to many, many souls. At the darkest moment, in the deepest throes of anguish, at the point in time when all seems lost, a gift is imparted; a pinpoint of light shines in the night, the glimmer of a small star reaches a spirit in despair, and gives it hope.


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Look for The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney at

You Do Not Have to Believe This Story

After reading the back cover, people will either open my book titled The Messenger, or they won’t go near it. The subtitle: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide will intrigue some, while others will be put off by it. Those who begin to read it will find that it opens with this sentence: You do not have to believe this story. It happened all the same. I don’t ask my readers to believe it. I simply put it before them, as it was put before me.

Half the book is my story as I lived it—the gruesome, heartbreaking experience of the death of my child and its aftermath. The other half was given to me by someone who lived almost two thousand years ago in Egypt: My Spirit Guide, Lukhamen. Let me use the proper term for what happened. I channeled his story. Improbable? Indeed it was. Is.

I’ve read about other people who’ve experienced this phenomenon. I have also met some. They were not “woo-woo” people. They were not flaky or inveterate liars. Or con artists. Or on drugs. They were ordinary people with ordinary lives, ordinary jobs, and not particularly imaginative. The first one I happened to hear (on National Public Radio) was a well-known newspaper journalist. As for me, I have lived my own professional life in the company of hard-core realists – engineers, research scientists, and government officials. I spent my entire career in Washington, D.C., interrupted only by a brief stint as a diplomat in Brussels. My life was lived in two centers of government that are about as far removed from metaphysical philosophies as ever I could imagine. I was, and still am, tremendously impressed with intelligence and the scientific mind that is driven to explore the unknown, the unknowable, and the unbelievable. But let me stop there. I am not an apologist for channelers or channeling. It is, as they say, what it is.

What I would like to do is answer the most-asked questions put to me by my readers. I believe I should include these in an introduction to The Messenger II. (I’m working on a sequel.) The questions are, WHAT WAS IT LIKE? And HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

To answer the first question, the best explanation I can give is that it was like looking at television. Imagine that you are watching, say, a soap opera. (That is so unfair to my Spirit Guide, but it is a commonly understood form of a continuing story.) Each segment is just a few minutes long. You turn off the television and write down what you heard and saw. It was almost just that simple. Except that I was looking at television with my eyes closed. The story would always resume where it left off. Like soap operas do. One negative reviewer (gratefully, I’ve only gotten one so far) questioned my ability to recall conversations. He just chalked the whole thing up to the conclusion that I invented the whole thing. I must say I’m flattered that he would credit me with the massive imagination it would have taken to dream it all up plus the fiction writer’s gift for concocting a complicated plot.

Many of us can recall (more or less) scenes from our favorite movies. How many of us can remember the lines from a famous airport scene that ends with, “Here’s looking at you, kid?” Can you see the hat Ingrid Bergman is wearing? Can you see the tears in her eyes? I can.

And how did such an extraordinary, improbable thing happen? It happened because I requested it. Now, when I think of it, it was more like a prayer. I asked for a Spirit Guide to come to me, to help me. I was at the end of my rope and nobody had yet made me understand why my young son had to die. I asked and I received. I asked and Love answered.

The truth that I will ask my readers to believe comes at the end of the book. And it is this: There exists a Love that is greater than any of us can imagine. It will find us in the darkest hour. There is a light in the night for all who mourn, and death is banished. Life is all there is, and love is greater than fire, and wind, and time.


From the back cover of The Messenger:

Helen Delaney is in a railway book store, inconsolable and suicidal after the death of her son. A book at eye level catches her attention. She touches it, and it falls off the shelf, into her hand. It is a set of instructions on how to connect with a spirit guide. Thus begins The Messenger, the true, intimate story of a grieving mother, a gifted medium, and the spirit guide Lukhamen, who keeps her alive by recounting the story of his life.

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The Messenger by Helen Delaney is available at

Acts of Futility


Beloved. Did you think our love had ceased to be, that we were gone forever because of the funeral pyres? Oh, no, Beloved. The fire did not consume us, nor could the desert wind and a thousand years keep us apart. Love is greater than fire, and wind, and time.

These are the words of Lukhamen, the Spirit Guide who came to me after my son died. I could hear them echoing around a church in Charleston, South Carolina and a mosque in Nigeria, where praying people lay slaughtered.

And I was able to remember that death was my teacher. And that the ones who committed the brutal acts of hate and terror were also my teachers. They were here to show me the meaning of futility – poor, useless acts of futility.

As if anyone could destroy life! As if bullets could destroy the Spirit that lives within each human heart. As if we hadn’t seen it time and time again – the rising up of hope from the ashes of violence. As if death didn’t bring us together, as if love did not live on, even amidst the sorrow of burying our dead. As if more and more of us are not awakening to the truth that we are all in this together. Forever.

My beloved Temple of Luxor has been threatened by terrorists. African American churches have been burned in my country. And still love is here. As if destroying our buildings could destroy the love that built them. As if we would not build them again, and again. Because life is forever. Love is forever. It is greater than fire, and wind, and time. And bullets. And poor, useless acts of futility.


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Look for The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney at Now available on Kindle.


What Will People Think?


When I finished my book, The Messenger, a part of me was afraid to let it go out into the world. What will people think? I worried. No, I did not write an expose, or a provocative tell-all. I wrote about a spirit guide. But my ego kept interrupting, kept nagging me with its insistent question: Really? A Spirit Guide? What will people think?

Imagine this: You have been given the most beautiful gift, a gift of love, and hope, a glimpse into another lifetime, and your ego whispers that into your ear.

There is a place in the book where I talk about withholding this information from Bill, the sweetheart who was to become my husband. It was relatively early in our relationship, and I didn’t know if disclosing my foray into the world of metaphysics would end it all between us. And here is the ego part – I didn’t want to be ridiculed. Oh, but I underestimated him. Bill did not ridicule me. He did not laugh at me. He believed me. Imagine being married to someone like that, someone who believes you. Someone who believes in you, no matter what.

When it came time to make the book public, Bill was gone. He had read several versions, helped edit it, and encouraged me every step of the way. When he died, I lost a lot of confidence, a state the ego is always waiting for. I wanted to appear as if I were in control of myself, in control of things. I didn’t want my colleagues and friends to think that I had gone round the bend, or was an aging hippie. (A house inspector who overheard me talking about the book actually called me that.) I was afraid people would think that I was just a little…strange. As a matter of fact, when I started receiving my guide’s story, the thought had crossed my mind that I might be losing touch with reality. There is a line in my book to that effect:

“I just do what keeps me alive. I ‘tune in.’ If I’m insane, I don’t care.”

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know that I am capable of getting off track. But I always find my way back. This time, I’ve had help from my friends, who have been sending me emails as they’ve been reading the book – sweet, heartfelt, touching notes. I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday, who told me that when her husband was rushed to the ER and had stopped breathing, she had my book with her. It kept her company through those lonely hours. Thank God, he came through okay. I’m glad it was with you, Peggy.

THAT’S why I sent it out into the world. If it can comfort someone, if it can offer them hope, or if it can just help them get through a few lonely, frightening hours, then the book will be doing what it is supposed to do. This isn’t my book. It is Lukhamen’s. My spirit guide. It is Eddie’s. My son. They gave me this book, and it has a purpose. It is here to comfort. It is to hold out hope to those who need it. It is for those who are in pain and mourning. It isn’t about me. I’ve made that journey.

The ego is clever. It says, You are the author. You created this. And then it blames you for it. Your friends are not going to understand. You can always tell when the ego is around, because it makes you feel bad. It makes you feel wrong, or afraid.

But here’s the other thing about the ego; it is a coward. It will back off as soon as you recognize it. It will fade away as you pray for peace. I have to live with my ego, just like everybody else. But I have learned when to tell it to…bugger off.


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Look for The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney on