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.


The Messenger IMG_0416

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

The Messenger IMG_0416

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.


The Messenger IMG_0416


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


 “We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist


Before I get started, I want to make an amend. A few blogs ago, (Letter From Sedona: The Great White Dog) I wrote about the Shaman’s Cave in Sedona, Arizona and used a beautiful photograph:


It was taken by a photographic artist named Bill Caldwell. Trouble is, I didn’t give him credit for it. He evidently found my blog, found his photo, and wrote to me. (If you want to see more of his work, visit his web site at

Bill lives in Arizona, near Sedona. I wrote back, told him I would give him credit in my next blog. (Here we are, and thank you, Bill.) I asked him if he knew Clay, the shaman whose soul searching gift I discovered the first time I went to Sedona. No, he said, since he had moved to Arizona from the East about a year ago. The next note I got from Bill was telling me he had found Clay and had scheduled a retreat with him. So now, I am connected to Bill and Bill is connected to Clay.

That reminded me of two other connections. My acupuncturist and meditation teacher, David, lived on the same street I lived on in Washington, D.C.  In the seventies. When I lived there. In the next block. We probably passed each other more than once. We didn’t actually meet until last year, when both of us were living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Clay lived in Germantown, a section of Philadelphia. When I lived there. In the sixties. We might have passed each other on the street. We didn’t meet until 2009, in Sedona, Arizona.

Both of these beautiful human beings changed my life. They have a bit of magic about them. They have helped me heal in so many ways. They have given generously of their wisdom, increasing my own. How is it we came so close to one another in years past, but never stopped to speak, never met? I’m sure it was because I was not ready. Neither were they. We all had to live a little longer, learn a lot more.

There is a saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I can believe that. It is how my book came to be written. I was at the lowest point in my life when I made another improbable connection. In desperation, I reached deeply into a realm of consciousness I did not know existed, and a teacher appeared. His name was Lukhamen. He, too, changed my life. He told me his story and gave me hope and a reason to live. Our paths had crossed before, Lukhamen’s and mine. The first time was in Egypt, two hundred years after the death of Christ. When he came as a Spirit Guide to be my teacher, it was in Washington, D.C. some seventeen hundred years later.

Some connections just take a bit longer. They may require a little more faith, and the willingness to accept things we cannot prove. But our teachers are there. When we are ready.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney.

The Messenger IMG_0416

Click here to find it: