I am well aware this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if it gives just one person a more positive attitude towards death, then I’ll be pleased. It is written for the YA genre, but could equally be relevant for those older folk who want something light and thoughtful.
‘I ask you all to think about what you’d like to achieve, now you are in heaven?’ says Gabriel, who is running this session.
‘Some of you may wish to continue studying. There are many sciences that are in need of research workers. I know some of you have had experience in this area on earth and will wish to continue this work. Good! Some of you will want to start a new study. Many writers amongst you may wish to continue writing. All options are open to you.’
‘Some of you have worked in the arts. We have musicians, actors, painters, sculptors and a myriad of other art forms. You may wish to work alone or work in a group. If you choose any of these pursuits you will have scope to fulfill your dreams here in heaven; or help those on earth as they struggle, when they ask for help. As the law on Earth gives people free will, we must respect that; we only help those who ask for help. By helping others, this will help you with your own development. We watch over people struggling, trying to discover something new, or compose new music. We are there ready to help. Does it surprise you that we continue to learn here in heaven?’ Most of us nod, as this all seems so strange and dream-like.
‘The option to help humans do what they set out to achieve; or to protect them from harm, are both valid. You will all be called upon to help humans from time to time. As you can now telepathize you will know when you are being called to help.’
Gabriel continues, ‘this leads us to those of you who would like to work in the healing profession. Some souls, who left Earth in a violent or unpleasant way, are in a hospital here in heaven. We need nurses and carers to tend these broken souls, so that they can feel loved again and become whole. I’m sure there are some of you who would enjoy helping here. Remember, as you help others, you are helping yourself.’
‘Are there any questions?’
A murmur goes around the room.
‘Does everyone have to do something?’ ‘Good question! The answer is no. But because it is more satisfying to do something, whether that be helping others, or pursuing your own interests; most people find a full life more rewarding.’
‘As we don’t have a need for businesses here in heaven, there are businessmen and women and bankers who will want to discover ways of helping those on Earth. Your skills are always in high demand. Or, you may choose to develop new skills, widening your interests here in heaven.’
‘I can hear those of you in the hospitality areas saying,’‘What about us?’ ‘You too have the same options.
Yes, IT technicians are always being called for. There are endless possibilities and careers, just as there are people on Earth. Police, fire, ambulance; all of the emergency services are forever calling for help.’
‘I have a question,’ an old lady asks. ‘When someone asks for help, how do we know who should respond?’ ‘Another good question, thank you Jess.’ Gabriel continues,‘You are linked telepathically to a small group on Earth. Because there are more of us in heaven than people on Earth, we limit ourselves to small groups, so we share our group with our close ones here,’ continues Gabriel, ‘That allows us free time and we’re able to be kept informed about our charges’ progress on Earth.’
‘Have you all had a chance to think of what you’d like to do?’ ‘Who would like to work here in heaven, working to help rehabilitate the forlorn in hospital?’ ‘Yes Fleur, I think that would be a very good place for you to start, considering your extensive experience of hospitals.’ I beam, as that is just what I am thinking. This is so new, having people able to read my thoughts.
‘To begin with, I shall assign Martina to help you find your feet.’ Martina, a short, round angel with a gentle smiling face appears. Rather than wait to hear what everyone else is doing, we leave.
My first assignment We glide with a puff of wind through our hair to arrive at the hospital. Martina now looks at me seriously. ‘You may find this challenging’, her thoughts transfer, ‘but don’t be scared!’ I wonder what lies ahead.
‘We shall be working with Neil who murdered his son, Lucas, and as a consequence of threatening the police with a knife, he was shot.’ ‘Holy cow!’ escapes my lips. Martina smiles before going on.
‘Neil is finding it very difficult to forgive himself. We are here to help him understand, what is done, is done. There is no judgement, and no going back. Now he must forgive himself, before he can ask his son’s forgiveness.’
‘How did he kill Lucas?’ I asked in all innocence. ‘Neil has had mental health issues and his violence was well documented. Mary, the mother, had taken out a court order to keep her ex-partner away from Lucas; but because the boy loved his father and didn’t believe he would ever hurt him, it happened.’
‘Lucas wanted his father to come to cricket practice, so he could be like the other boys. He pestered his mother to let him come. Mary gave in as she believed Neil would behave himself in public.’
‘Neil, who had been living rough must have been building up to this. At the end of the match he swung the cricket bat at Lucas’s head and cracked his skull and then stabbed him, in front of everyone. Mary cradled Lucas while the chaos continued around them. The police arrived quickly to attend to this dangerous situation. Capsicum spray was used, which didn’t deter Neil. He chased the policeman with a knife, and the policeman shot him in self defense.’
‘Thanks for telling me this before we go in Martina. Is he safe now?’ ‘Yes Fleur, we are quite safe. Neil is full of remorse and we are just here to support him until he can find the resolve to forgive himself. He has been able to shed his mental illness and now his soul is in need of rest and refreshment,’ says Martina.
‘Can we do something enjoyable together, to take his mind off things?’ ‘You’re getting the hang of this very quickly,’ Martina responds.
We enter a bright yellow ward with blue furniture. White fluffy bed covers for comfort rather than warmth covered the beds. Neil is sitting in a rocking chair reading. Martina introduces us and suggests we might like to go swimming in the river. His face brightens as he nods in agreement. ‘No need for togs.’ As we immerse ourselves, the strangest thing happens; even though the water feels like water, we don’t get wet. Relaxing in the water we feel the healing properties infuse our bodies. ‘Wow! If only I could tell my family about this. I shall have to ask Timothy if he’s been here.’
As Neil cries, his tears become rainbow coloured gems falling into the clear water. Tension releases and he’s able to talk to us sitting on an old log, while we dangle our legs in the water. ‘I can’t believe how different I feel,’ says Neil. ‘This is like a miracle river with incredible healing powers.’
After Neil and I exchange our stories, Martina shares hers. She arrived many decades ago and isn’t in a hurry to be reborn on Earth. She loves being at ONE, though the time will come when she will choose to return to another life. She explains some more about living in Heaven.
‘Here we have no hierarchy. There are no religions, as there are on Earth. Love is sufficient. We are all equal; no one belongs to or has power over another. We are empowered to help others and as there is no commerce or money and love is not a physical thing, temptation is limited.
Good is stronger than evil and once we adapt to being in Heaven, negatives dissolve. It is wondrous watching the auras return to their true brilliance, once people have adjusted to their new surroundings.’ Martina glances about her; ‘I can see a difference in both of you after your swim!’ ‘You better believe it,’ says Neil. ‘I reckon I’m about ready to see Lucas!’ I glanced at Martina, who is smiling. ‘Yes, I think you are Neil. Try out your telepathy. It is a perfect time to meet and have a swim together.’
Quick as a flash, Lucas appears. ‘Wow, how quick is that?’ says Neil. He introduces us and then Neil and Lucas dive into the swirling water and swim out to an island in the middle. There they sit in deep conversation.
Martina and I remain on the log observing them from a distance; things look to be going well as Lucas hugs his Dad.
‘How long does Rehab take Martina?’ I ask. ‘That’s hard to say: for you, because you are adjusting quickly, probably a couple of days. It may take Neil longer, as he has much to come to terms with, though it looks to be going well for him.’ ‘I think Lucas has forgiven his father’, I venture, ‘do you think he’ll stay and help his father adjust?’
‘That’s quite likely. We will stay in the background to give them backup; our love will allow them to feel true acceptance, which is the first step.’ ‘I’m glad you are here with me Martina, otherwise I’d be feeling out of my depth!’ Martina grins.
‘Tomorrow there is an art therapy group I think you’ll all enjoy,’ Martina suggests, when we are all back together. ‘I shall meet you here in the morning and we’ll go together. Whilst you are in rehabilitation you need your sleep. When you are completely recovered, sleep is an option, not a necessity.’
I liked the sound of that, although sleep has been a big part of my life; it will take some adjustment to give it up completely.
Next day we meet as arranged, the four of us hold hands so that Martina can direct us to the Art Therapy Centre. Here again is another beautiful building that is situated around a garden courtyard where sculptors are busy carving and creating. Inside we join the other participants. There are weavers, potters and painters, each group sharing different studios. Skylights fill the studios with light.
Another circle with zapping precedes the workshop. I am getting used to this now. We are given options as to where we’d like to work. Neil and I choose the pottery studio. Lucas and Martina elect to express their feelings in paint. The bustle of activity settles as we all become absorbed in our own projects. After wedging my clay telepathically, I begin a coil project. The sculpture starts forming as a womb and gradually grows into a huge pot. Absorbed in telepathic concentration the room hums with quiet activity. The thought of food and drink does not cross our minds. It means we can get far more done as we have less to distract us.
I glance over at Neil. He is immersed in a group of entwined figures forming one shape. They are each stuffed with paper, so that the clay won’t explode when it’s fired. It looks a very loving group and his aura had brightened showing his sense of peace and satisfaction.
When we finish our labour of love, we meet to share what we have done. Fascinating stories continue to emerge; people open up, releasing their tales. It is as if the work we’ve created contains our story and it retains the pain and joy. My womb shaped sculpture contains my unborn babies and the cancer.
Lucas paints his cricket team winning the state prize. His use of yellow, his favourite colour, shows his positive attitude and joy of life in his painting, though his yearning to be there is palpable. His forgiveness of his father is remarkable and it is heart warming to see his Dad accepting Lucas’s forgiveness. They’ve both come a long way.
Neil then explains his intricate work. Lucas is moved to hear his father’s loving words and to see his pain and torment absorbed in the sculpture. Again many tears are shed, but they are tears of gratitude and acceptance as much as of sorrow.
Martina painted her ‘garden of plenty’, as she calls it. Well- being with harmonious colours radiate from the paper, as they do from her. Just to look at her work makes me feel joyful.
Returning to Rehab for another restful night, we agree to meet the next day at the same spot. Martina has another surprise in store for us.
Dreams in Heaven are abundant. I chat to some of the other new comers in my wing. They, too, experience happy, positive, dreams. Mine are so enjoyable I don’t want to wake up. I have been flying with the butterflies in Martina’s painting! I feel so weightless.
Today another new experience awaits; I am beginning to understand how helping others helps me. Martina is glowing as we hold hands for our next destination.
A colonnade of elegant white marble arches surround the building standing before us. Vigorous vegetation with a heavenly perfume wafts from the garden beds. There are a lot of beings here. I wonder if we are all here for the same purpose. Inside to the left, there is an orchestra tuning up. We are each given sheet music and asked to go into the practice hall.
The conductor begins, ‘Today we are forming a choir. Singing together will bring total unification and healing.’ ‘I shall teach you how to draw in the golden light before we start.’ Neil looks over dubiously. Martina gives him a reassuring smile.
We’ll start with some simple exercises and then begin with some songs. The more we sing, the better we’ll sound. Our aim, by the end of the week, is to sing the Handel that is on our sheet music. I know you are thinking that this looks really hard. Gradually we will learn the parts, so that you will all sing in glorious harmony.
After a full day our conductor says,’ Well done! I shall see you back here tomorrow, you are getting better and better!’ Now it is time for a relaxing swim. It is a popular choice as we all end up swimming in the river. Playfully we splash one another and the noise level rises. Even though we don’t get wet, the gentle sensation of water splashing is fun, without the annoyance of it getting in our eyes.
Tension is released as we enjoy splashing each other. Laughter must be heard throughout the valley. I think of Timothy, and he arrives on cue! Wow, this will take some getting used to. I introduce him to Lucas and Neil, as he already knows Martina. We play together like little children; and feel exhilarated, yet are soon ready for rest at the end of the day.
Choir practice is a daily treat for the rest of the week. As we improve quickly, it is decided to have a concert in the grand hall at the weekend. The whole building reverberates with the orchestra tuning up.
Friends and relations and more arrive to hear us. We are feeling confident that the extraordinary sound will move them too. We sing ‘The Messiah’ in full. I sing soprano, and the music lifts my spirit up into the vaulted ceiling. I don’t want to stop.
Our ethereal bodies absorb the sound and the whole building resounds with joy. Neil is singing bass and loving it. Lucas sings alto. This week of singing changes us as a group; our auras now shine like the angels about us. We are ONE at last! Graduation day has come. Rehabilitation over; now we are ready for serious work.
Neil and Lucas are drawn to help Mary, Luke’s Mum. She is alone now and misses him terribly; so his decision is made easy. Neil remains as a backup for Luke, and hopes that he can regain Mary’s trust. He must prove himself and show his recovered self.
I feel torn between my friend in hospital, with whom I’ve spent so much time, and my family. Timothy and I decide to visit the hospital for my first experience of helping humans. Annie’s plight is dire and her calls for help are powerful. Timothy used to come to help me before I left my body. Now he will show me how I can help heal and ease Annie’s fear of death.
Annie’s insistent call ceases when we arrive; she senses our arrival. She has been in and out of hospital for six months, having a series of treatments that have weakened her body and her spirit.
Timothy explains the procedure. We sit either side of her bed and by linking thoughts; we surround Annie in a glorious pink healing light.
This ‘light treatment’ will lift her spirit so that she can face her ongoing treatment and remain positive. It is essential to saturate her body with pink light, helping Annie to fight the cancer. Time is a strange thing; we could sit for hours and it would seem like a second.
As we watch Annie’s illness go in and out of remission, we are there to support her. When she absorbs the light her breathing calms. As she snoozes we leave, knowing she’ll have a relaxed sleep.
We then go to visit my family. My mother is still grieving over my untimely departure, or death, as she thinks of it. Seeing her makes my heart swell with love and pride. My mother has been my strength throughout my illness. Here she is sitting having a cup of tea, quietly sobbing. Timothy and I sit at the kitchen table with her. We surround her with a brilliant white light; she stops crying and her face relaxes, breaking through her sorrow. We smile at one another. Joy is returning to her broken heart.
The doorbell rings. Mum goes to see who is there. ‘Come in June!’ Mum’s old friend is obviously upset. ‘Sit down and have a cuppa, I’ll pop the kettle on. I was just going to make a fresh cup.’ ‘I shouldn’t be worrying you, Bea, at such a time,’ says June Bunting. ‘Nonsense June, I was just thinking of inviting you over, you’ll help to take my mind off my own thoughts. Come in and tell me what is bothering you? You look upset.’ ‘I just want to ask you what you think of this?’ June says. ‘Cathy has been spending a lot of time in her room since Fleur died. She’s been really quiet and I just thought she’s missing Fleur. But yesterday, I went into her bedroom and saw her crying her eyes out. She said, ‘Of course I miss Fleur, but it ‘s more than that. I’ve been getting lots of nasty texts and messages on the computer. Fleur isn’t here to talk to, I just feel so desperately sad and lonely.’
‘I’m at my wits end! I don’t know what to do!’ June expounds. ‘Often I’m at work and I’m not there to give her the support she’s needing. Could I suggests she comes and talks to you when I’m not there?’ ‘Of course June, I’d love her to, if she feels she’d like to. Does she know who is sending the messages?’ ‘No, she can’t think who would be so nasty. They are saying she is a slut and other horrible, untrue things. There are even death threats! I went to the school this morning, but they weren’t much help. They did say they’d look into it.’ June broke down in tears. Her silent prayer is screaming for our help!
While Bea comforts June, Timothy and I do our thing. The light in the room radiates calm and love. The timing is perfect for our visit. As the women calm down and drink their tea, Timothy and I telepathise. ‘Who is doing this to Cathy? What can we do about it?’ We must visit Cathy tonight and see if we can pick up any clues. Maybe we need some advice from ‘upstairs’?
We leave June and Bea, as we need a quick trip ‘home’ before visiting Cathy tonight. At least travelling is a breeze.