Sadness friend or foe…?

Sadness is one aspect of grief.

The sadness and sorrow after the death of someone central to who we are, is frequently of an overwhelming nature, powerfully uncomfortable and sometimes frightening in intensity.

It is also an emotion that people want to apologise for, thinking it a sign of ‘not moving on’, of weakness and inadequacy.

At its purest, sadness is love in the face of physical absence.

Grieving may be understood as what is experienced as one becomes accustomed to a world forever changed the includes the person who died with a different connection, a non-physical one.

People may die, but our relationships with them do not.

Sadness is, in fact, a useful and necessary emotion.

Leaving aside cultural rules about this emotion, the question may be asked as to what purpose does it serve?…What good does it do?…Why would nature have chosen this emotion?

The emotion of sadness occurs when we have lost someone or something that is important to us, and there is nothing we can do about it.  Sadness turns our attention inward so that we can reflect and think.  It allows a close examination of everything…which is part of what is necessary to rebuild life around the pain of loss.

Sadness slows us down; it slows down our biological systems contributing to withdrawing of attention from the outside world to our inner world.

Moreover, when we are sad, we look sad.  Our face and body language signal to those around us that we may need help, care and compassionate understanding.

We are hard-wired to respond to each other in this way.  We are biologically constructed to respond with care and concern when we see others suffering.

While many of us have been conditioned to perceive sadness as a negative emotion, it is a necessary emotion and has its usefulness and wisdom.

We are expected to be in control of our emotions and while it is important to learn how to ‘dose” ourselves when faced with intense emotions i,e. Get a break from them; it is important not to suppress them, deny or avoid them,

We, in our culture, tend to overvalue reason, logic and the capacity to be rational.  Conversely, the language of the heart tends to be undervalued.

We search and are encouraged to seek quick remedy, relief and recovery.  We don’t like to be vulnerable, out of control.  We tend to keep our intense emotions secret and unseen and may even feel ashamed of them.

We are taught that to give too much room to intense emotions may be a sign of weakness or breakdown.

We turn away rather than toward them because of cultural conditioning and because they can also be frightening.

Grieving people sometimes fear that they will be overwhelmed by emotions like passionate sadness forever.  They may also feel as if they are going crazy because of the intensity and unpredictability of intense sadness.

Our language is full of advice such as ‘get a hold of your self’, ‘get a grip’, ‘stay in control’ amongst many others.

The fear is that overwhelming emotion may be destructive.

We are sometimes encouraged to take medication that will make us feel better.  The focus is on getting rid of strong emotions rather than learning from them.  It may be difficult to believe that having strong, intense emotions acknowledged, listened and attended to, in fact, helps them diminish.

Sadness and sorrow are neither positive nor negative in themselves …it is the way we think about them that is positive or negative.  How we think about things affects how problematic they may become.

Profound and passionate sadness is not a bad thing.  It is the most normal emotion imaginable following the death of a child.  While at the beginning that sadness may fill every inch of your being, it does not stay the same shape and colour for the rest of time.

Feeling emotional pain is not a sign of being sick…it is a sign of having loved deeply.  It is the other side of love and as noted previously plays an important role in rebuilding life around the pain of loss.  It allows an inward reflection on such questions as  ‘Who am I now?’, ‘How am I different?’, ‘What do I need?’, etc. and it acts as a signal to the world around that compassionate care is required.  This care includes the time and space to, for a while, withdraw from our normal concerns.

In spending time with intense and profound emotion, it is possible to discover or renew the capacity for gratitude, joy, faith, courage and compassion.

Healing is a journey through pain not a departure from it.

The purpose of intense emotion is not to make us miserable forever but to help us heal.

with special thanks to my social work colleague Vera Russell

Supporting Grieving Adolescents

fantastic-wallpaper-with-butterflieMany bereaved families may have surviving adolescent children who are mourning the loss of their brother or sister.

This is often new territory both for the teenager and also for the parents trying to work out our best to care for them especially when they are feeling so emotionally depleted.

Some things to think about:

1. Grief is not always visible

Grief is not just the outward display of emotion. It is also the thoughts and behaviours that we experience in response to the death of someone we love.
As adolescents are in the process of becoming more independent of their parents and other important adults, they may at times feel reluctant to show feelings or talk about their thoughts as it can reinforce a sense of dependence and vulnerability. They may also choose to inhibit some of their thoughts and feelings out of a desire to protect their families. They may also prefer to share their experiences with their peer group.

Strategy: Be available

It is when we are listened to and heard is when we feel most understood. Create a home environment where open communication is encouraged. Convey to them that it is okay to have the thoughts and feelings that they may have and that you will be available should they decide to let you know what is going on with them.
As with adults, at the beginning of grief, it is sometimes very difficult to communicate what we are thinking and feeling…it is no less difficult for adolescents who have less life experience than adults and who, when they are feeling vulnerable may find it difficult to put things into words.

2. Don’t try to “fix” the pain associated with grief

It is difficult and uncomfortable for parents to witness the pain of their children. They usually want life to be okay for their children and are pained by what they see and uncomfortable about the helplessness it can create in them. This means that we may want to take away or fix the pain of those we love. This may take the form of avoiding conversation about the person who has died or distracting them from thinking or feeling their pain. While this may be momentarily effective, it can result in the adolescent hiding their grief or withdrawing or expressing their grief in destructive ways.

Strategy: Talk about the loss

Invite the adolescent to talk about the person who died. Encourage questions. Should the teenager not want to talk, respect this. Offer others that they may speak with about their feelings.
Always answer questions honestly and clearly. If you do not know the answer to something, say so. Share your memories, thoughts, beliefs and don’t expect that your teenager will always see things as you do.

3) Understand that grief does not proceed in orderly predictable stages.

Young people grieve in doses. Like with adults, their grief is more likely to go in waves. Sometimes adolescents may have outbursts of grief after a period when they have seemed perfectly okay. Know that this is normal. Their grief like yours, may at times seem unpredictable. They are no better at grieving or making sense of the world than adults. The difference is that they may seem unaffected for periods of time and a burst of emotion can catch parents unawares.

Strategy: Allow for adjustment

Because grief does not proceed in an orderly fashion, teenagers need to be allowed leeway as they adjust to a life forever changed. Providing a secure, consistent environment with predictable routines is important. This helps to generate a renewed feeling of safety and security. Be aware of any danger signs such as violence, drug and alcohol abuse, risk-taking behaviour or dramatic changes in personality. Seek help when necessary.

4) Model Healthy Grief

Like all of us, adolescents learn from those around them. They will pick up implicit and explicit messages from those around them on how to grieve. This is how they think they should behave or are expected to behave. They take their cues from important grown-ups in their lives (even if they do not look like they are paying attention).

Strategy: Mourn together

Be aware of the messages that they may be receiving from those around them about how to grieve and offer alternatives when appropriate.
The more adolescents observe healthy communication and the appropriate expression of the many feelings associated with loss, the more likely they may understand, accept and manage the breadth of emotions and thoughts they may have.

Try as much as possible to consider what things might look like from their perspective. Give thought to the closeness of the relationship your teenager shared with their brother or sister. Acknowledge the deep loss it is for them too.

When you can, in the midst of your grief, set aside time, attention and availability for the adolescent. That does not necessarily mean talking about the death but maybe just time spent together doing something that is fun and thereby communicating that they matter and they too are important.

Finally, remember that this is new for all of you and that there will be some trial and error as families become better able to take care of each other.

A mother’s tale of growth after the death of her son…

The below writing is a heartfelt story from a mother who has buried her child; I include her story in its entirety simply because her message is so very important.  Apart from some grammatical errors, nothing has been changed.


A Story from Elise and her beloved son Luke who now resides in the realm of spirit.

I wrote the following FB post a few months after two incredible experiences that shifted my grief journey into a much lighter, grateful, and peaceful place.   Last August I did a type of grief therapy called Repair & Reattachment Grief Therapy with Rochelle Wright, she wrote a book about it with Craig Hogan.   (I know, without a doubt. I was lead to her by my Luke, but that is a whole other story); it re-framed all of the terrible memories of my son’s last hours on earth.   The bad memories are completely gone and replaced with amazing new memories of me with my boy.

Then only a month later, I attended the Afterlife Research and Education Symposium (again, a ton of signs lead me there including Rochelle asking to talk about Luke and me in her presentation at the conference).   Both the therapy and the conference were the first time I had travelled anywhere since Luke passed.   I had a ton of anxiety about travelling and leaving my young son and while it had been over 2.5 years and I almost cancelled both trips right before, but I was completely pushed to go by Luke/Spirit.

It turned out to be completely life-changing for me. I think learning all we can about the afterlife and becoming truly grateful for our earth experiences can shift us into a life filled with supernatural miracles instead of just human suffering. May you find comfort if you choose to read further. I am so thankful for my sweet, beautiful boy who was my teacher then and continues to be now. ❤️


I have been mulling some things over the past couple months and thought I would write it out hoping it may help someone else. I have had quite an intense shift in my perspective which has made my life and my grief journey so much better. In mid-September, I attended the Afterlife Research and Education Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona.


For the first time, I was surrounded by people (a lot of them…over 500) who believe that our deceased loved ones still exist and are interacting with us with signs and messages of love.   Yes, they have shed their physical bodies, but their Spirits are alive and well on “the other side.” Spiritual signs are not new to me.   I experience so many spiritual communications between myself with my boy Luke in my daily life.


I kind of feel like a “weirdo” for thinking this which is quite odd to me because many people and most religions do believe in life after death but seem not to have much to say about the people who have transitioned over. It was very comforting for me to be in a place where I felt like I belonged and where the atmosphere radiated loving energy.

Most of the people at this conference had lost someone incredibly important to them which lead them to seek out learning more about the afterlife, and I met several sweet grieving mothers while there.   One conversation, in particular, did get me thinking because I was a bit surprised at what I said.   I sat down about 10 minutes early before the presentations on Saturday afternoon began.  Another young woman sitting next to me struck up a conversation. She asked me what brought me to the conference and I told her that my oldest son was in Spirit and of course her immediate reaction was sadness and response of “I am so sorry.”

I nodded and said thank you and then shocked myself by saying “Actually I am not sorry and let me explain why.” This writing may come out clumsy, so I apologize in advance but know it is all from my heart.   I will no longer say I am sorry about my beautiful boy Luke anymore and I will not let the moment of his physical death overshadow the amazing 5+ years he had on earth and the beautiful eternity he is experiencing now.

He was, and still is, my biggest blessing and I am not sorry about that at all. His life and “death” catapulted me into intense learning, growth, and transformation and I am not sorry about that. I had learned so much and am still learning and, even more important, yearn to learn which wasn’t even a concept in my life when Luke was still here physically.

The millions of beautiful moments I had with him while he was here on earth and the connection we continue to have completely trumped the moment of his physical death.

Yes, I still feel intense sadness that I do not get to talk with him and hold him and watch him grow up here on earth. I will never deny my longing to have him physically here, but my gratitude that he was mine in the first place and is mine forever makes it all worthwhile.  I have realized that I never fully comprehended what being thankful meant before.

I am so incredibly thankful for my beautiful sweet boy and all that he has taught me and continued to teach me. I am so thankful he chose me to be his Mama, and he gave me the gift of telling me that fact a week before his unexpected passing.   I am so blessed with such a special little boy with a supernatural understanding of Heaven, to the point where I know for a fact he came from Heaven and then went back again.

He was pure love and joy in human form, and his amazing soul still can shine his light down on me which gives me the energy to keep going. Yes, he left his earthly life earlier than what I would have liked, but I know God called him Home because his work here completed and that it is only because of him (in both physical presence and his spirit presence) that I am growing into the person I am now.

I may not yet know what I am here to accomplish, but I do know that it will be revealed in time and that Luke is with me every step of the way.   I still feel his incredible love and am surrounded by it and reminded of it daily. His signs of love reaffirm his existence, and I am so lucky that I know without a doubt that I will be with my boy again one day.

I used to wish for that day to come soon but I no longer do. I used to think that there was absolutely no way I could survive “x” number of years without my Luke but now know after surviving almost three years now and learning all that I have, that I can survive and WILL SURVIVE because my soul knows I still have work to do and lessons to learn.

I am letting my life unfold instead of trying to control everything as I did in the past. I know I will be lead to the places I need to go and to the people I need to meet for my continued healing and the healing of others. I am keeping myself open to whatever crosses my path and know that even when “bad” things happen, blessings can still abound.

I will always try to find the bit of good in what seems bad and to see the potential for growth in everything that occurs. Everyone has their journey and lessons to learn, and I am grateful to be able to share with you all that I have learned so far.

Sending blessings and love out to Facebook land today!




Photo by Lora Denton Photography ~ Sept. 2017



Victor Zammit is the author of the Friday Report, a weekly report that has been printed every Friday for the past 18 years.  This weeks report can be found at this link.  


Over the last five years we have seen the closed minded skeptics getting fewer and fewer, while orthodox religions are also losing numerical support.

Collectively we are going through an expansion of the mind unseen in human history. Fewer people are accepting traditional creation stories and religious beliefs. At the same time they are refusing to accept the materialist explanation that everything in the universe came by chance. 

Fundamentalists and other traditional religious believers blame the reduction in the number of their followers on the evils of materialism. However people are saying that they are not finding traditional religious information convincing and relevant.

This is why objective, repeatable afterlife research is more important than ever. People are opening their minds, seeking a new understanding of who we are, and our place in the universe. People are looking for the TRUTH and the TRUTH about the afterlife sets us free from fear of death and despair about life.

story of a little beetle…

Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads lived a little water beetle in a community of other water beetles.  They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond.

Once in a while though, sadness came into their community when one of the little beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again.  They knew when this happened because their friend was dead, gone not to be seen by them again.

Then, one day, the little beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb the stem of the lily pad. However, he was determined that he would come back and he would not leave forever.  He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top of the lily stem.

When he reached the top and climbed out of the water and onto the surface of the lily pad, he felt so tired and exhausted, so he decided to to have a little rest before he returned to his community.  The sun felt so warm that he soon drifted off to sleep.

As he slept, his body began to change so that when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful slender blue tailed dragonfly with beautiful wings designed to fly.



And fly he did!  As he soared and saw the beauty of a world that was so new to him and far superior to the one under the water he had known he felt exhilarated with his new learning.

But he remembered his promise to his friends and soon his thoughts drifted to how sad they would be, thinking that now he was dead.  He wanted to go back and tell them, that this world was so much more beautiful with splendid new things to do but most of all he wanted to explain to them how much more alive now he felt, more than he had ever felt before.

But as much as he tried his new body would not let him go down under the lily pad.  He tried and tried, but he could not go down into the water.  At last, he understood.   Their time would come too when they would climb the lily stem and know what he now knew.  His life as a beetle had been fulfilled it had not ended, he did not end.  For awhile he was a little sad that he could not tell his friends to not be afraid.

He understood too that one day they would know this beautiful new world and that they would join him when the time was right.  At last, he took one more look into the water and with a joyful beat of his heart he raised his wings and flew joyously off to join all those who had gone before him into the new life.

Author unknown

No death for the soul


“I have great compassion for you regarding the passing of your loved ones.

I have had several people I was very close to make their transition, including my brother who sadly took his own life.

I am learning that we can love people deeply (on Earth and in Heaven) without needing and believing others are the source of our self-worth, love, happiness, and inner peace – even if we are family or friends.

We can learn to love ourselves, express our needs, take care of ourselves, and seek healing.

We can learn to accept the past/present/ourselves/others while surrendering to a power greater than ourselves to guide and support us.

We can learn to trust that one day we will have greater understanding about those people and things that seem difficult, outrageous, or unfair.

We can learn to have faith that those we love who are in Spirit are now healthy and at peace. They are still with us in a different way. We will be together in Heaven someday when the time is right.

We can continue to have a relationship with those we love who are in Spirit, to still feel their love, and to send them our love as we connect our Soul with their Soul.

We can be willing to learn to accept what is and ask for help with it.

I am learning to focus on being thankful that my loved ones are no longer suffering and are now at peace.

I am learning to think of my loved ones in Heaven as surrounded by the love of family, friends, and pets in Heaven who are now with them.

I am learning to create a new relationship with those in Spirit and to experience them, not as a physical presence, but as a living Spiritual Presence in my life – still very much alive, but in a different form – as pure Soul.

I am aware that I am an eternal Soul too and that my loved ones in Heaven and I can love one another and still communicate Soul to Soul. The bond of love is never broken.

I am focusing on being grateful for having my loved ones in Heaven in my life. I am remembering the many blessings they brought my family. I remember them with love as I remember the good times we had together.

I celebrate their life. I honor them with the way I live and I make them proud knowing that when I am happy, they are happy for me.

I am comforted in knowing we will all be together again as a family one day in Heaven.

We choose to come here to love, create, learn, heal, and grow.

Be gentle with yourself and others. It helps to ask, “What can I learn from this?” and to help others who are in similar situations or needing help in other ways.

By extending our hand and hearts, we also help heal ourselves.”

© 2017 Gayle Kirk


Letter from heaven…

Now that I am in Heaven, I know that life for you there just isn’t the same.   I want you to know that I hear you say how much you miss me and love me every day.   Yes, I still hear you.    I love you so much too.    My love for you will never waiver from Heaven.   I can’t say that I miss you because you see, missing you is a negative emotion, and we simply don’t have negative emotions here in Heaven.   And so, instead of missing you for all of the years that you have left in your life, I will Love you through them.   I know it is hard to continue when you feel you are walking through life without me, but I want you to know that I am right here next to you.   I walk through your life with you now, guiding you and helping you along the way.     Our relationship never ended when I graduated to Heaven; it is simply different now.      Heaven is all around you.    Heaven is truly only 3 feet off of your floor.

I want you to look for the signs that I leave for you from Heaven. You won’t have to look very hard because I will surround you with signs in so many different ways.   You see, I am limitless when it comes to leaving you signs.   Birds, butterflies, silly shaped rocks, rainbows, clouds that look like me, electronic mishaps, songs on your radio, coins, feathers, oh I wouldn’t begin to be able to tell you how many different kinds of signs that I can bring into your path.   When you see the signs I send, don’t let your conscious mind tell you that it wasn’t from me, because it was.   Sometimes you may miss the signs that I send you because it is hard to see the beauty in the world around you through tears and that is okay; I will just keep with the signs of love until those tears clear.

I am not missing out on your milestones or the milestones within our family.   I love the way you think of me so often.   The ways that you and the family have honoured me since I journeyed home to heaven are pretty amazing.   Please try not to dwell on the day and way that I passed, for my legacy of love that I left behind for you is so much more beautiful than my passing.    It hurts you to think of my passing, and that hurt is not the best part of me that I left for you.    I want you to hold on to our sweet memories that we share with one another.

When you find yourself in a day of tears, please just replace one of those tears with your favourite memory of me.   I will sit with you as you remember me and enjoy the memory with you.   I know you would love to see me in dreams every night as you go to sleep.   I would love to be there in your dreams each night as well.   When you say out loud, “I never see you in my dreams”, it places blocks in my way because your energy says that you don’t see me.   I want to help you with that.   I want you to change that phrase to, “ I look forward to seeing you in my dreams in your perfect timing”.   It will help you to place this positive focus on seeing me in your dreams when the timing is right.   The reason I don’t come every night in your dreams is that you do need space to work through your grief as well.

You see, you are gaining more strength through your grief than you ever knew you could carry in life.   Part of that strength is my gift to you, and that gift will only make sense someday when you return home to Heaven here with me. We spend our lives there living for our spiritual growth.    Some of the most beautiful spirits write from and of the most difficult paths, and I want you to be so proud of yourself for the life you are living with all of the obstacles you placed within your path.   I also want you to know how extremely proud of you I am as I watch you learn and grow from Heaven. You are not being punished when I went to Heaven before you.    I simply reached my soul’s beautiful goal of growth in life.   I achieved this amazing goal before you, and it didn’t mean that I left you for one moment.   I graduated to the next part of my eternal journey.

Oh, you should have seen it when I got here!!   All of our family and friends who graduated  before me were right at my side to greet me when I arrived.   Even the pets that we had along the way were waiting with smiles and wags as I walked into the light!   I went into a review of my life after I arrived and it was incredible to see all of the lives I touched there with mine.   I got to re-live my life through the eyes of every person that my life touched along the way.   It was beautiful to watch my life through your eyes as well.   Don’t worry, when you get here, you will get to review your life through everyone’s eyes as well as your own and even through mine.   There will be moments you are extremely proud of, and there will also be moments that you will recognize that you could have handled differently.   But, the beauty of those moments is that you are living, and in your life, not everything will be perfect, and that is just part of our growth.   None of us can take back the things we could have done differently, but we sure can grow from those moments.   Of course, me telling you this now gives you an opportunity to look at the days in your future differently so that you will be proud of them when you look back.   I didn’t have to make myself a home when I arrived here because I already had one.   You see, I lived in Heaven before I lived there on Earth with you and I simply returned to my beautiful home.   You will remember it too when you get here.

The colours here in Heaven aren’t like anything you have there on Earth!   The light that fills the air lifts our souls with love.   The Angel’s choir has such a Heavenly sound that it brings peaceful showers of love down upon you all on Earth.   The weather here is perfect always.   Time doesn’t exist here which is nice too, I mean we don’t have to run around heaven looking at our watches on our spirit wrists worried about being late for anything,   You see, you can’t place a time on Eternity.

We don’t work here in the way that you all work on Earth, but we do work.  We work on our spiritual growth, and we are always working on the beautiful evolution of our Souls growth and strength.   Just remember as you walk through your life every day, that I am right here at your side.   I cheer you on in your times of Greatness, and I wipe your tears in your moments of pain.   So what if you have a day of tears, I will stay at your side for comfort. I can tell you that I am most proud of you as you get out and live life to its fullest. I don’t want you to think that you can no longer live because I am “Gone” because I am not gone at all.   Carry me with you in all that you do for I am here. The dreams that you wish you could have lived out with me in life are still possible and don’t you worry;  I won’t miss them.

My biggest message of all in this letter to you is that I am perfect, don’t worry about me.  I Love you, and I am with you for always, I want to see you live life to its fullest, I want to see you catch your dreams and I see you and hear you always both when you speak out loud and even when you talk silently to me in your mind.   Someday this will all make perfect sense when you get to be with me so don’t worry that it doesn’t make sense now. Just know that you are a miracle and because you are a miracle, you are capable of creating miracles as well.

I Love You……

All Of My Love,
Me Up In Heaven.


heart roseadapted letter