Me too, Miss Gish

I wrote a book, and it has brought me the gift of meeting mothers and fathers like myself—parents who have lost children. We have a bond. We have survived life’s severest experience, perhaps its harshest test.

They amaze me with their resilience, their unbridled, limitless bravery. I am honored to be in their presence. Like war veterans, they have the faraway gaze of someone who has been to hell and back. But in that gaze and behind those tears is also love, love of that child that even death cannot eradicate. Love connects us to our children forever. It is our bridge to them, to the place where they continue to exist, on the other side, or unseen, by our side. They are as real as the sunrise, and as constant. They are with us every minute of the day, whether their presence is clear and forward in our minds or is lingering quietly in back of every thought.

Talk of a spirit world is not frightening to these parents, nor is it off-putting, not to the ones I have met. They seem to know instinctively that their children are still close, still viable. It took me awhile to know that. And then I learned the same thing was true of my mother and father, and my husband. Don’t ask us how we know. We know. Of course, there is evidence. The spirit world is not without its resources, its abilities to communicate. We can go through all of our lives without hearing it, without feeling it, until we have to. And then it becomes as clear as a bell—as a truth that is beyond man’s ability to explain, or to prove. Trauma takes us there. Death takes us there.

And when we talk to each other, it is in this language of knowing. I have found it and heard it in everyone I have met. These, my kin and their children, have helped me discover a goal, a purpose for my book and my life. The Messenger was only the beginning. It has brought a few parents to me, but now I will go out to find more, because finding each other, knowing each other, and talking to each other is so healing, especially for me.

There is a great movie from 1955, called The Night of the Hunter, in which a former prisoner, disguised as a preacher, hunts down two children he believes know the whereabouts of money stolen by their father, his former cellmate. The children are sheltered and protected by a kind woman played by Lillian Gish. She has one of the great lines of the movie. It comes near the end, when she says, I’m good for something in this world and I know it too. I’m going to try and make that true for me too, Miss Gish. Me too.

More later.


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

For Those Who Believe


“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who do not believe, no proof is possible.” – Stuart Chase


When my son Eddie died, I had no way of knowing that I was at the beginning of a journey that started where everything else ended – faith, love of God, and the value of life itself. I was lost. Nothing in the physical world pointed to the North for me. Nothing in the rational world offered me a reason to live. It was in the world of Spirit that I found a path back to sanity and eventually, to peace.

It began when I started to experience little things – signs. Like the Christmas decorations that fell from my closet shelf as, full of pain and anger, I declared that I would not celebrate Christmas ever again. I remember looking at the decorations on the floor, none of them broken, trembling and whispering, I hear you, Eddie. I hear you.

Over the years, I have found other people who were having the same kinds of experiences. Just this past Christmas, my brother-in-law got a text message from his wife’s cell phone number. Margie had passed away in July, one day before their wedding anniversary, and by Christmastime, he didn’t even know where her phone was. The message just said MERRY CHRISTMAS. Just like that – in caps. Nothing else. Other members of the family got the same message. From the same number. I don’t know if he ever found the cell phone. I must ask him.

A few years ago, while preparing for a trip to Paris with my granddaughters, I was looking through a Belgian candy box. It was so pretty, I’d kept it for jewelry. There was a little ring inside, one my husband Bill had bought me on a trip to the Caribbean. It had special significance for us at the time. My fingers had swollen, and I had put it away. Seeing it there in the little box brought tears to my eyes. I took it out, looked at it, remembered the day he gave it to me with such love, then put it back in the little drawer in the little red silk box. I closed the drawer, closed the box, tied it with its red silk ribbon, and put it back in the closet. A few minutes later, while sorting clothes to put in the washer, I heard something drop to the floor. I looked, and there was the ring at my feet. I picked it up and put it on my finger. It fit perfectly. OK, Bill, I said, I’ll wear it. I’ll take it to Paris. Bill loved Paris. We loved it together. He wanted me to know that he would be there with us.

Yes, I talk to my dead. But I don’t believe in death any more. At least, not like I used to. They have shown me again and again that they are not gone, but that they are still very, very close to me. Sometimes, when I am not feeling well, I will feel something going through my hair, lightly, like a feather. Don’t ask me how I know, but I know it’s my mother. She used to do that when I was sick, and it always made me feel better. I always say, Thank you, Mama. I feel her. I feel her loving me, like I did that cold, dark, February night in Brussels when the plant in my office burst into bloom, just like Mama’s night blooming cereus from South Carolina. Mama had passed over about two weeks before. I had just gotten back from her funeral, feeling guilty because I wasn’t there at the end. She found a way to tell me that it was all right, and that she loved me.

I know many people now with stories like these. They feel safe telling them to me. Sometimes they begin with, “I’ve never told anybody this before, but…” They don’t want to be ridiculed or to have people think they’re…odd. I’m okay with it, because I know the “rational” world has difficulty accepting things it can’t see, or explain, or measure.

But we know – we who have felt them, or seen them, or heard them. We know that when we are sad, or sick, or lonely, they will find a way to let us know they are with us. They will find a way to help us believe that Nobody’s Gone for Good, and that life is all there is.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. It can be found at

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