Mastering the Art of Living while Dying

REWARDS June 15, 2010

When I had my Angel Reading with Kim, ( See MY SPIRIT GUIDES AND WHY I'M BLOGGING) my spirit guide Uncle Jan, told me that I was going to get a reward. That was nice news to hear. We all like rewards. And I had no idea what it would be.  Could it be "a neeeew car!" or a trip to Las Vegas? It could be anything.

The following day I was invited to attend a tea party by a lovely lady who I didn't know real well. The invitation was passed along by a mutual friend.

So we went to this lady's house (Penelope is her name) and it was just like walking into a museum. She was a collector of many things but especially old dishes, teapots etc. This woman was also a magnificent & clever quilter. She showed us at least 20 different quilts of various complicated designs. My face was aching from smiling, and saying "Wow!" so much.

Then...she lead us into her dining room and she had the table set up so sweet. Using her lovely dishes, she had teapots, little sandwiches, shortbread cookies, squares, fruit. It was magnificient. Plus there 5 other amazing women. We had such a wonderful time. I felt like a little girl in big girl clothes. 

When I got home I thought "That is my reward" !

The following day, Mike and I went to visit some friends who live on the shore. It was a fabulous warm week-end and still only March. We went for a long walk on the beach and I found lots of sea glass which I never find. I thought to myself, "This is my reward!"

Then we had a delicious meal and when it was getting dark, I saw these wonderful flashing lights on Ruth & Kenny's deck. I asked Ruth what they were, She said " Oh, they are my dragonfly solar lights".  Mike and I gave each other a look because a couple of days before at my Angel Reading, Kim told me that dragonflies are my spiritguides. So Mike mentioned that to Ruth. Ruth said, "Well I better give them to you."
I said "oh no, you don't have to...well o.k.". (I have been learning that receiving is as important as giving.) So I accepted them. Everynight I see those sweet little dragonflies twinkle and light in my window and I just love them. This was my reward!.

The following day, I get in the car and turn on the radio and my sister's Theresa's favorite song "Let it Be" comes on. This is my reward.

A week later, I receive a lovely package in the mail from someone I have never met. Inside was a lovely book, 2 beautiful photographs, a picture colored my a little 3 1/2 year old girl, some feathers and a sweet card. This is my reward.

Every day, I get rewards. Every day is a reward. I love my life!

My Support Team and Prayers, June 10, 2010

You would think that hearing the news that you are going to die would be devastating. And I must admit, I was shocked and did cry. And now and again I still cry. Like when I wonder how many more mornings my husband will wake up with me beside him, or will I see another Christmas. Will I get to meet my newest grandchild or future grandchildren?

But that is rare. Most of the time, I am very happy and feel so blessed because I know how much I'm loved. Not that I didn't know it before I became ill, but people came out from nowhere to support me.

It blows my mind. I have had people I had never met, come up to me to tell me they were praying for me.

My friends and community had a benefit for me right after my surgery and people were so generous. And it hasn't stopped.

I know I'm supported in my home, my family, my community, I even have family in Europe who are holding space for me, and I know for sure that there are many in the spirit world who support me.

I often hear people tell me they are saying prayers for me and I respond with "I know".

If you looked at me you wouldn't know that I have cancer (except for this huge scar on my neck which I'm sort of proud of.)  

I was diagnosed with incurable cancer more than a year ago and I'm still here and having fun but I'm also learning about life and how important it is to give and get support and to be grateful.

How much more proof do you need that prayers, love and support work? I am living proof.

So first of all, I want to thank all of you (and I hope you know who you are) for everything.

And for you sceptics, have a little faith. What could a few prayers hurt.

I love you all!




This is my Oom Jan on the right, me in the middle and Tante Willy on the left

This is my Oom Jan on the right, Tante Willy on the left and me in the middle

So...the reason that I'm doing this blog is because of divineintervention. Really!
Keep reading if you are intrigued.

My cancer started in my neck and since my surgery 2 years ago I've had 3 serious cases of cellulitis. This is a serious infection caused by either staph or strep bacteria. When it occurs, I have to get to a hospital and have I.V. antibiotics immediately. There is a good possibility that cellulitis will get me before the cancer does.

Anyway. I was having a conversation with my cousin (double first cousin, which means that her father and my father are brothers and her mother and my mother are sisters)
Chantal lives in The Netherlands so we didn't know each other until 1993 when she and her then partner Dirk came to PEI.
Chantal and her sister Bianca's father "Jan" (prounouced "Yan" which is Dutch for John) died very suddenly in 1974 when Bianca was 10 and Chantal was almost 7. Our fathers were quite close so these girls always felt close to my parents and as a result so Chantal and Dirk came to visit.

Chantal and I immediately connected and since that time we have been very close. We call each other sister.
Two years after their first visit, Chantal and Dirk married here on Cavendish beach.

Anyway, we are very close and skype with each other once or twice a month for at least and hour. We also have visited each other several times.

Recently in March this year 2010, while we were skyping, and I was recovering from the latest bout of cellulitis, Chantal suggested that perhaps I should speak to a spiritual person. She thought that I might be repressing something and that may be causing the trauma in my neck.
I'm certainly open to all ideas and I totally believe in the spiritual world. At that time I remember seeing an email about an "Angel Reader" who just happened to be on PEI that week doing Angel Readings.
Her name is Kim. ( I have a spiritual advisor who I love and trust but I thought I would contact this girl also.)

So I met with Kim and as you may already know, I have my sister Theresa and my Mom who are in spirit and I know they are close to me. So I was expecting to hear about them.

Kim started by telling me that I have 3 spiritual guides. Then she was describing this male who was in spirit. I really couldn't think of who she was speaking about. I don't really know any males who have passed. She said he was an adult and that his name started with a "J". I had no idea who it could be. Then Kim suggested "J" names, Joe, Jack, John... When she said John, it came to me. My uncle Jan (Oom Jan in Dutch) Chantal's father.
I couldn't believe it! I hardly knew him. When I was very young we lived in Germany for a couple of years and at that time I would have spent some time with him but I was four years old when we moved back to Canada and I never saw him again.

So this totally blew me away. All this time since my uncle's death, he has been with me.
Kim said he was laughing and saying "I bet you never thought it was me"
He also said that he is o.k. and he wants me to know that I can call on him for help. He is here to make sure I do my life purpose and that my path is similar to what he was supposed to do.

He says “that I have a beautiful gift to give people before I pass over. And that is to write a book that may help people who have a fear of death. That I’m living proof that it’s all good” He says I could heal many and I can carry people to the light”  Wow! That is a tall order.

I said to Kim “ But I’m not a very good communicator” 
Kim said “Your uncle wants you to stop saying you are not a good communicator.”

So… when you get a message like that from the spirit world, you should pay a bit of attention to it.

The idea of writing a book is quite daunting to me. (I’m a cook so I could make a very good béchamel sauce, but write a book?)
I put a bit of thought to it and decided that a blog would be best. This way I could add a bit more whenever I feel inspired and I could also hear your comments. And a blog doesn’t have to be as structured as a book. So…that is why I’m doing this.

Perhaps I have a very positive view of life and death and if that does help someone, that is great.
Stay tuned for more stories. Let me know what you think.




My Brother Jeff, June 2, 2010

I am so blessed to have such a great family. We are very close and supportive of each other.

My brother Jeff is the youngest of the family. He was a wonderful surprise for our family, born 8 years after Steve who was expected to be the last child.

Jeff was only 2 when I moved out of the family home to move to another province. But despite that, we have a pretty close relationship.

Jeff has 4 delightful children who are ages 3-8. He is an amazing father to his kids but also a supportive son to his father, and brother to all of us.

Jeff also belongs to the Baha'i Faith and lives in New Brunswick. When he and I get together, we always try to "hang out on the couch" which mean just chat. Usually it just the 2 of us but sometime other family members join us. And most of the time it is way too late when we finally hit the sack.

Jeff has so much wisdom, but especially about spiritual stuff. And listening to him gives me a much more awareness of my spirituality.

The following is his theory (I'm not sure if it is his theory or a Baha's theory, but I love it and so might you)

When we are in the womb, we don't know what is on the other side. We could never imagine such things like a forest or ocean, or flowers, etc. We hear & feel stuff so we know there is something, but we're not sure what it looks like. We can only imagine. The same is true for us in this world. We know that there is something after this life and but we're just not sure what. But I'm willing to bet it will be even greater than what we have in this world.

Jeff believes that the womb is where we grow our physical self. Our body, legs, arms, heart, etc, but perhaps this world is where we should grow our spiritual self to better prepare us for the next world.

I am aware that I will be joining the next world relatively soon and Jeff's theory makes so much sense and gives me great comfort. 

Jeff with his wonderful family.       Jeff reading a prayer at our wedding

The Ole Bucket List, May 31, 2010

If you have seen the movie “The Bucket List”, Great for you!

If not…put it on your list.

I watched this movie a couple of times and each time it has offered me good messages.

There were some serious parts, and some emotional parts, and of course the hilarious parts. but wasn’t it a great movie?

This movie is about a man who is facing a scary health crisis and has created a list of the things he would like to do before he …..”kicks the bucket”

Shouldn’t we all undertake this exercise? Perhaps we do.

If we don’t perhaps we should.

Make a list of what you would really like to accomplish before the light goes out.

If you knew you were going to die in the next year. What would you do.?

I….have a hefty bucket list. I have many needs and wants before I check out, which could be anytime between now and then.

What do I have to work with? Well… I have time, but I don’t know how much time. So we work with today. That …I do have. I always have today.

Which other recourses do I need to tap into? Money? I don’t have so much of that. Some of those items on the list require a certain amount of money. I could always hope, wish and pray for more. And I do.

But what I have been finding is that I’m receiving many of the items on my prayer list, wish list (call it what you will) in less monetary ways..

I wish to spend time with my loved ones. Family is very important to me and “I LOVE MY FAMILY”

So, on my bucket list. I have …”Spend time with family”.

I do that one with no problem . We are geographically close so that is easy to accomplish.

Another item on my list is connecting with friends and getting to know some people better. I have been accomplishing quite a bit of that.

Also on my list is Travelling.,..I love to travel, see the world, learn new cultures and really appreciate what we have in our world.

Since my diagnosis I have been to Holland, Paris, (Mike proposed to me in Paris on the Eiffel Tower and or course I totally say “Yes, Yes Yes!”)

I have been to New York City twice. (I love that city!)

The first time with my friend Julia who has lived in NYC and her parents live there now. We had a blast! We yakked all the way there, the whole time we were in New York City, all the way back and we had to sit in her driveway when we returned to finish up. But we got to do so much.

The second time was again with Julia, my sister Judy, and my special cousin/sister Chantal. It was a different kind of trip than the first time with Julia but it was just as awesome.

I have been to London in the U.K. during a Tube strike which made travelling that city even more entertaining.

My friend Gale and I travelled from Charlottetown to Souris to the Madgelene Islands on a motorcycle.That was so cool!

Mike and I went to Quebec City, Niagara Falls and Toronto for our honeymoon. That was pretty fun. It was my first time in either of those cities except Toronto that I just passed through several times.

I’ve also been south several times.

I have many travel hopes in my future. A lot of it depends on health and finances.

As I burn through my bucket list, I keep adding more items.

You may hear more about them as we go on.

My Brother Steve, May 20th 2010

I love my brother Steve. He is amazing! Very creative, an awesome musician, extremely spiritual, and an all around nice guy. You would love him too. I'm so proud of him and very honored to be his sister.

He and his wife Lois are terrific parents to 2 fabulous children Ethan and Marla. (Am I using way too many adjectives? I could add even more.)

Steve, Lois and the children are very committed to the Baha"i Faith. In fact Steve and Lois just returned from a Baha"i Pilgrimage to Haifa in Israel.

Steve had an album out called "Jumpstart to Eternity". It has beautiful music and lyrics and he is always creating more works of art. 

One particular project I'd like to brag about is "That's Me".

Steve has a friend who suggested he write a song about her nephew "Thomas" who died of cancer when he was just 7 years old. But during those 7 years, Thomas inspired many with his great imagine and positive attitude. 

So Steve met with Thomas's family who filled him in on Thomas and his life.

Steve went home, sat down with a pen and the words to "That's Me" just fell onto the page. Steve claims that he was just the co-writer. Thomas was actually the writer.

The song is wonderful and so inspiring. Steve then found a brilliant artist, "Sue Rose" who created the beautiful images for the song.

The song is about Thomas who is in spirit and telling his loved ones that he is still with them and if they keep their minds and hearts open, they can connect.

This book which comes with a CD would be a wonderful gift for anyone who is grieving. Check out the website

Angels and Spirit Guides

Doesn't it just make you feel protected to know that we all have spirit guides and angels looking out for us? My heart goes out to those who don't know this or don't believe it.

I've always known that my sister and now my mother are close by, but I've recently discovered spirit guides and angels.

I have had spiritual readings done and the results are quite amazing. It reaffirms my belief in the spirit world and that gives me great comfort knowing that I'm heading in that direction soon I will be part of that world.

We all have spirit guides and we all have angels looking out for us. We also have loved ones who hover close by and in my experience like to show off their spiritual tricks. You will hear more about this in later blogs.

Guardian angels have never had a human form therefore they don't have an ego. Angels are with us before our conception, when we, too, are in spirit. They accompany us through birth and are with us in every thought, word and event we experience in life. Angels are committed to us for the entire journey of our life - they never leave us. They will be with us when we leave this life and when we are, again in spirit.

Spirit guides have had human forms so they do have egos. We have probably been connected to them in the spirit world or even in this world at one time and made arrangements for their guidance while we are earth-bound. The guide is there to give you general advice, comfort, and at times warning and protection but never interferes with your free will.

Asking for help from your loved ones who are in spirit, your spirit guides or your angels is as simple as taking a moment to get quiet and centered, and then making a sincere request. It can also be as elaborate as a complete ritual including prayer, lighting incense and candles. It is always good to give thanks for the gifts you have received.

Have you had interesting experiences with the spirit world? We would love to hear your stories.

Another Theresa Story

Here is another story for you….

Several weeks after Theresa’s death, I was in Charlottetown with my 14 month old son, and met my mom, then we met my sister Judy and we decided to go to her house. Mom called Dad and he came over.

I called my husband and he and our 2 other children also came to Judy’s. Then Eric and Elizabeth came too so we were all at Judy’s. This is the first time the family was together since Theresa’s passing. It was so nice. My little guy had a nap , we cooked up some food, and just sat around and talked.

I was telling Eric (Theresa’s husband) how nice it was and we should do it again. He told me that the Baha’is like families together together 6 weeks after a death so we looked at the calendar to plan it, and guess what….yup, you are right. Six weeks after Theresa died was that very day. We all got goosebumps about that, but it is very comforting to know that we have connections in the spirit world working with us.

It is also very comforting to know that when you leave this world, you move on to another world that is even greater and lovelier that this world. Theresa told me that Abdu’l Baha who was the eldest son and successor to Baha’ullah said “if people knew how beautiful the next world is, every one would want to die.

My Mom

My mom passed over March, 2009. Although she was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s, her death was sudden.

I do miss her physical presence, but strangely enough, I don’t really miss her. I believe that is because I know she is close by. It would only make sense. Moms love their children and even death wouldn’t separate that love and bond. I’m absolutely certain that my mother is with me.

About ten years before my mother’s death, she had a heart attack. Mom was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and apparently on the way she went into cardiac arrest.

This is her story of that particular event.

“I was in this tunnel of light and the feeling was indescribable. The best words I can use are peaceful and wonderful. I could see my mother and father waiting for me. I was so happy to see them again. But then the attendants brought me back.”.

Since this happened, my mother never had a fear of death. She knew “the other side” was a wonderful place to go. And because of that, I also have no fear of death.

        Mom and I                                        

My Family

I have a wonderful life! I have 3 awesome children, 3 grandchildren with another arriving in August. I have my dad, sister and her family plus 2 brothers and their families. Plus an amazing amount of wonderful friends.

I met Mike, my soul mate 8 years ago. Every day I thank god that he is in my life. I believe he is a gift from God and my sister. I am so grateful for him as well as all the other wonderful people in my world.

I also have a very strong bond with my cousin "Chantal". She grew up in Holland and I grew up in Canada. We met when she and her boyfriend came to PEI to visit about 18 years ago. We immediately connected to each other.

Chantal is actually my double cousin. Her father (who passed away when she was a little girl) and my father are brothers. And her mother and my mother are sisters. So we come from the same gene pool. She has a sister "Bianca" who is a couple of years older who I am also very fond of but I don't know her as well as Chantal.

Since the first meeting 18 years ago, Chantal and her boyfriend 'Dirk' made several trips back to PEI. On one of them, they married on Cavendish beach. And I have traveled to Holland a couple of times. We call each other sisters.

My mom passed away a bit more than a year ago. You will hear more about her and the rest of my family as we go on.

Karin, Bianca & Chantal

My Sister Theresa

I come from a close family. My sister Theresa is 2 years older than me and we were best friends. From the time we were teen-agers we were inseparable. Theresa left home at a young age and a year later moved to Ottawa. When I reached 16, I too moved to Ottawa. There we became even closer.

After that I was married and Theresa moved back to PEI. I missed her so much but we spoke on the phone regularly. When Theresa became the mother of a dear sweet girl “Elizabeth”, I knew I wanted to move to PEI so we could raise our children together. And so we did. In fact after a time, we ended up living in the same apartment building. Since Theresa was a single parent, my husband and I were happy to support her.

When Theresa turned 30 she became a member of the Baha’i Faith. The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic faith founded by Baha’ullah nineteenth-century Persia emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. She met and married a wonderful man “Eric” who was also a Baha’i. Eric was more than happy to help Theresa raise Elizabeth. Unfortunately just weeks after Theresa and Eric were married, Theresa was diagnosed with cervical cancer. After a 2 year battle, Theresa passed away leaving grieving husband and a 10 year old daughter. And me. I lost my best friend.

During Theresa’s illness, her faith became even stronger. That is what helped her and the family though this terrible time. She found great comfort in the Baha’i writings and so did the rest of the family even though we didn’t belong to the Faith.

Theresa and I were very close and I thought that even death wouldn’t separate us. So when she did die, I was shocked, sad, and very angry. I felt that I lost my connection with my sister. I heard other people speak of Theresa’s “presence” but I didn’t feel any of it. I was very angry for a long time.

Then one day, I was driving down a busy road when I saw ahead a truck wanting to pull out, but when he saw me coming he stopped. As soon as I got close to him, he pulled right out in front of me! But he didn’t hit me. I don’t even know where he went. All I saw was him coming at me and then he was gone. I know right away that it was a message from Theresa. She was telling me (or should I say throwing a truck at me) to wake me up to realize that she has been here all along, I was looking for the physical, not the spiritual.

Since that time, I know that Theresa is close by. Sometimes closer than other times.

Me Now

I’m lucky that I have time to prepare myself and the people around me. It’s unfortunate that some don’t have that.

When I was diagnosed, I had a pretty successful catering business that I loved. I love to cook, love to nurture, I love my clients and enjoy meeting new people. I had the perfect mix of everything, but my business did take up a lot of my time. So the little free time I had was treasured.

When I received my diagnoses, the first thing I wanted to do was sell my business. As much as I love that part of my life, I felt that I wanted to devote my time that I have left to put some priorities into place.

It took several months but I was finally able to sell the business and what a relief that was. I no longer had energy to put into it and it needed new life.

So now I have a short time to live but more time to live it. This is the time when we use those clichés about "quality over quantity" and "live every day as if it were your last".

So I have a lot of free time now. I have travelled some, Mike (my husband) works 4 days a week now and we spend more time together.

I try to have a visit with at least one person per week. This could be someone I know really well, or someone I would like to know better. It is always really good. Connecting with people is such a gift.

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