It Begins Again

Here, in the land of the red rocks, I have begun my second book, the sequel to The Messenger. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that The Messenger II has begun because it is time, I am ready, and I am in the right place. I am merely the scribe, not the author. As it was with the first book, I am being impressed with the continuation of the story of Lukhamen, my Spirit Guide; that is, I see it in my mind’s eye. It is fascinating. I wish I could explain it.

I can tell you that this is how it happens: I sit before my computer and the story begins where it left off.  Always. No matter how much time there is between segments. And I see it unfolding in the present, even though the lives of the people I write about lived long ago. When the segment (for that is how it happens, in segments) is over, I am back in my own present. That may be confusing. Let me say it another way: When I am in the story, or when I am observing the story taking place, I see it as it is occurring. Not as it occurred. That is why I write it in the present tense.

Or how about this: When you are watching a movie, and unless there is a flashback, you are watching a story unfold in the present. It is happening now, in front of your eyes, even if you are watching a historical dramatization of past events. That is what it is like for me. I am watching a movie. I see a little of it at a time, and I write it down as it is happening. Afterwards, I go back to what I have written and edit it —make it into coherent sentences.  Chose the right word to describe what I saw on the “screen.”

I suppose you would call this channeling. The word for it is not important. The significance of this amazing occurrence is that it is a gift—a miraculous gift— that I can pass on. Not only is the story fascinating—who wouldn’t like to be a witness to the end of an era in Egyptian history—but it contains a message, a wonderful message, a message of hope, a message that saved my life when my son died.

I’m going to share with you now a little of the story as it begins again, a little preview of things to come:



The heat of the sun wakes him. He rises upon his arms, and notices that his hands are rough and bloody in places. From crawling? He turns on his hips to half-sit, to see his surroundings. He is in the desert, alone. A scorpion scuttles past him, causing him to start. He needs shade, water. A bush beckons to him, and he pulls himself through the rough sand toward it, dragging his legs. It takes all his strength to reach the sparse shade.  He is exhausted by the time he reaches it, and lies prostrate beneath its fragile shelter. He cannot remember how he got here.

He dimly remembers a boat, and a river. No, not a boat. A temple barge. The heat scorches his bloody hands and burns the scalp beneath his hair. I had a family. I had a god. The words will not form on his parched lips. They are in his mind, his poor, wretched mind, which does not know what brought him here to this place that must surely kill him with its heat, its searing sun, and its sere, bleak loneliness. He closes his eyes and waits for death. He does not see, nor does he feel the hands that lift him onto the makeshift carrier. He does not feel the wracking ride over the rough rises, nor is he aware of the horse that drags him or its rider.


Like you, I do not know what is going to happen. The other part of The Messenger II, as it was in the original Messenger, will be based on the memories I have of my husband Bill, who passed away seven years ago. I am guessing that most of my readers have read The Messenger, and understand already how the present and the past can come together in the most beautiful way. I suspect it will be the same with The Messenger II.

And so it begins again.


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

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The Journey to Nobody’s Gone for Good

Every so often I stop to remember why I write this blog, and why I slog away at it every week. It must seem that I am forever recounting small miracles, improbable occurrences, and stops along a spiritual path. I am, of course, but I am aware of these things only because of what happened at the beginning. It started with grief. Not just any grief, but that special, life-threatening grief that comes with the loss of a child. My spiritual path began there. Not that I knew it at the time. I wonder if we ever know the moment of embarkation on the journey to another sphere of recognition. For that is what it was, the journey to the realization that Nobody’s Gone for Good. It’s the name of my blog.

I write this for the mothers and fathers who know that special, awful brand of grief, but I also write it for everyone who has ever known a heart-rending loss. At some point in time, that will be everyone. Grief is part of life. It is not life itself. And that is the difference a journey to the spiritual side of life made me understand.

I take no credit for understanding this great difference. That was a gift. It was either that or death for me. I lost a son. My daughters lost a brother. My mother lost a grandson. His father lost a son. His friends lost a friend. Even as I say it, I have trouble with that word lost. But as it is in that beautiful hymn, Amazing Grace, “Once I was lost, but now I’m found,” our loved ones could never have really been lost. And no matter how it may have seemed, we were never really lost, either. I think the idea of being lost is an illusion. It’s something I believed. It wasn’t true. Because I am here. I am not lost at all. And neither is my boy. I can feel him here with me.

The illusion of loss is the basis of grief. And we must feel it. I don’t know why. I only know that when the illusion becomes our belief, we feel grief. And I think that applies to every “loss.” I “lost” hope. I “lost” joy. I “lost my career.” I “lost” my child.

But then, for some of us, the embarkation occurs, and we put one foot in front of the other and begin the long, slow journey to another realization. There are many ways to be led to the point of embarkation. For me, it was threefold:  a book, a gifted medium, and contact with a Spirit Guide. For some, it may be a friend. It may be the words to a song, or a line in a play. Any number of inspirations can lead from one belief to another. I was neither easily convinced, nor did I learn to believe in another way quickly. My new beliefs were based on evidence, evidence that death is an impotent power, another illusion, and that the person who is lost is merely…elsewhere. In another form. And, most importantly, that communication with that person is possible and natural, with love as the bridge.  This is not easy. The transition to a new belief in life asks us to consider the reality of something that cannot be seen, or heard, or felt. It asks that we suspend disbelief, refrain from contempt prior to investigation, and to accept, in the words of Shakespeare, that “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” It asks that we believe in a Love greater than we can imagine, a Love that never takes away, but gives, and gives life, constantly and always.

Today, I can write of the miracles I see in life. I see them because I know beyond all doubt that there is

—“a light in the night for all who mourn, the message that death is banished, that life is all there is, and that love is greater than fire, and wind, and time.” – taken from “The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide” by Helen Delaney.


The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney can be obtained by going to and my website at

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Just a Little Bit Out of the Ordinary

I don’t mind the mysterious. I don’t mind the inexplicable. I’m used to it. Something inexplicable happens almost every day. If you have the eyes to see it, that is.

My daughter Michaela is visiting me in Sedona. I’ve been here not quite a month, so I’m not really settled in yet. My spare room (also my office) is not put together. And there are boxes I’ve still not unpacked.  Michaela came out to do some writing, to get away from the energy of New York, seek a retreat, and perhaps experience a new energy.  Every morning, we’d start our day with meditation, and every evening we’d quit our work, get out of the house, hike a trail, and emerge our souls into the sacred beauty of the red rocks. Every evening, we’d look for a beautiful place to see the sunset. That’s not hard to do here.

Tonight was exceptional. Tonight we didn’t hike. We took a scenic drive. And when I say a scenic drive, I mean a scenic drive. Scenic is such an inadequate word. We took a drive into one of God’s masterpieces. We watched the sun do marvelous things to the sky, and to the rocks, and came back filled to the brim with gratitude and awe. As it began to get dark, and we got closer to home, we noticed a big, gorgeous pink cloud, an aftermath of the sunset. Of course, you can’t capture the real colors with a phone camera. But this is a bit what it looked like. Picture the cloud really pink.


Michaela, who had been taking photographs all along the ride, took the one above and another right behind it. Just a note: we were in my car with the top down, so it wasn’t taken through a window. When we got home, she started reviewing the photographs of our drive and the sunset. “Mommy,” she said, “Look at this! What is that?”


Same cloud, but something interesting showed up. You can see it right in the middle of the photograph, something that seems to reach from the sky into the ground, or from the ground into the sky. Is it a totem? Is it some kind of energy? We are in the middle of energy vortexes here, but I’ve never actually seen evidence of it except in gnarling, twisted tree trunks. I’ve felt it, but never seen it. Whatever this is, it is lovely, and I am pleased to share it with you, dear readers.

I’ve come to accept all of God’s gifts, whatever they may be, and I’ve tried to recognize these gifts, large and small, whenever they come into my consciousness.  I do have to ask you, my dear friends, if any of you have a technical explanation for this image, please don’t tell me. Some parts of life should be whimsical, spiritual, inexplicable, mysterious and mystical. There is enough hard reality around, these days, don’t you think? Remember, this, too, is reality. It’s just a little bit out of the ordinary.


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

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Showing Up


I am meeting the people in Sedona I thought I would meet. Kindred souls. For instance, there is the lady shaman, who talks to animals. I asked her to help me with my cat, Dorian Gray, who isn’t terribly happy about our situation. Back in Maryland, where I came from, Dorian was a free-range cat. He came and went as he pleased, and gladly suffered the price of freedom (wounds from captive prey and subsequent shots from the vet). He was king of the neighborhood.

Dorian is confined now to a two-bedroom condo with a small patio out back,  newly screened in. And here’s the thing: he howls. His howling is loud and other-worldly, awful and weird. I’m always afraid the neighbors are going to call the police, fearing someone is being murdered. He starts out of my sight, in another room. (The middle of the night is the worst!) As soon as I appear, he stops and meows like a normal cat. Luckily for me, he did this during the shaman’s visit. “He’s having a temper tantrum,” she said. Whew. I thought he was suffering some awful psychic pain. Dorian is, after all, eating well, eliminating VERY well, and in between yowls, playing with rubber bands and a fishing rod with a mouse on the end. The shaman looked at him and said, “There’s a new sheriff in town now, Dorian.”  The bottom line is, she’s going to work with him. And me. I need as much work as Dorian does. The fact is that I have spoiled him. A good cat whisperer, like any other whisperer, knows that there is as much work to do with the “mommies” as with the animals. And so I am presented with another occasion to look to myself, to admit my part in this play, and to remedy it. I have to show up for duty.

But I have a new friend. The shaman and I talked for hours. She told me stories about herself and her practice of healing, and I told her my story, of channeling my spirit guide, Lukhamen, and how that whole experience saved my life after the death of my son. They call Sedona the Mecca of Spirituality, a place where these kinds of conversations are not extraordinary. I knew that before I moved here. This is why I am here, to meet and connect with people who have had similar life experiences. To be encouraged. To experience more. To write the second book.

This morning, I met a woman who was in grief. A sister she’d raised like a daughter had just lost her husband in a car accident, and her heart was broken for this sister, and for herself. She had, after all, lost her brother-in-law. I shared my story with her, telling her of the loss of my son and my husband. Afterwards, she turned a face full of pain to me and asked so innocently, “What can I do to help my sister?” She had said before that she had assigned herself the jobs of filling her sister’s dishwasher and taking out the garbage. “Just be with her,” I said. “Just be there. Fill the dishwasher and take out the garbage. Just being with her will be enough.” She thanked me with relief and tears in her eyes. Just keep showing up, I guess I was saying.

I had my own moment of loss on Thursday. It was the seventh anniversary of my husband Bill’s passing over. And I remembered the wise, loving people who surrounded me afterwards. Our children, of course, and dear friends. And what they did and what they said was perfect. They were just there. And in the making of food and talking about ordinary things, there was perfect love. Someone came and filled my house with flowers. She didn’t say anything, just came with flowers and vases and put them all over. I will never forget that, Nancy. A friend came all the way from Brussels and just sat with me on the porch, rearranging flower pots to give our guests more sitting room. Ordinary things. But staying close. That’s what we need. Just the physical presence of love. Just the sight of the faces we love. There is no cure for grief, except time. There is loss, and there is that space. But, in time, some of us come to realize that there is no death. There is only life. And that, in those times of loss and pain, showing up is an act of perfect love.

Yes, I am in Sedona, that magical, sacred place among the red rocks, and wonderful things have already started to happen. I have a new friend, a shaman who knows that there is no death. She came to help my cat and stayed to help me. On Monday, I will visit my other shaman friend, the one who pulled grief from me six years ago. I am going to retrieve two beautiful rocks he found for me in the desert, one white, one black. He said he would save them for me until I had a place here. Now they have a home.

I still have boxes to unpack and pictures to hang, but there is no doubt that I am where I belong. All I had to do was show up.


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

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