We come to the Spiritualist Church because many of us lose people in our life and the resulting grief is one of the hardest things to cope with, it really is. People feel it in different ways and they cope with it in different ways.
I remember when 9/11 happened, there was a wonderful church service at St Thomas Church where the Queen sent a message. The words she said were “grief is the price we pay for love”. That’s so true… When we lose someone, we still love them and they still love us from the other side.
I want to tell you of a story that I know from years ago. I feel it is very accurate for today. It’s about a lady who lost her daughter, who was only 10 years old. Helen was the mother and Ellie was the little girl and Paul was her husband. They were married and had trouble conceiving. They tried for years and years, then they had IVF and a lovely little girl Ellie was born. She was very special and when you’ve wanted something so much, you devote all of your time and love to that one person. After some time, rifts in the marriage appeared and when she was 4, they divorced. They got on a lot better once they were divorced, Paul would come every other weekend to collect Ellie and they would go out. That’s how it went and they got on alright.
Helen was a music teacher at a comprehensive school, and Ellie loved music, singing and ballet.
When she was 10, her dad took her to Cornwall. He usually had her for a week during the Summer, this year he had her for the first week of September. They stayed at his parents cottage and on their very last day in Cornwall they went to a cove with their picnic baskets. Paul and Ellie went swimming and were caught in a riptide which swept them further and further out to sea, the grandparents were, of course, very distressed. Ellie drowned and her body was never found. It was a really terrible thing for her parents and grandparents who were all concerned.
When it came to a year since Ellie passed, Helen thought she needed to go out. She was going back to school the next week and needed to do something for herself. She still wasn’t in the right mind. Still grieving, in shock and couldn’t concentrate on anything. She lived in Clapham in South London and got the train to Waterloo and walked over to Jubilee Bridge and then went to St Martins in The Field. There’s a cafe in the Crypt down below where she sat people watching. She looked at the tombstones lining the floor and snapped back to happier times when Ellie was there. Like when they got her a puppy which she named Rascal which Helen still had. About the ballet she loved, the music and games and as you do, she kept going over the past and the wonderful memories that she had. After sitting there for a while, she decided to wander up to Covent Garden. So she went up there and saw the shop she bought ballet shoes for Ellie from and she looked at some pretty ones for sale. Helen was very keen on architecture and not many people that go to London to look up at the wonderful architecture. As she waited at the lights to cross the road she looked up at the building opposite and noticed that it had all different types of windows on each floor, they were a different shape. When she looked at the fourth floor, she saw Ellie’s face smiling at her out of the window, she just couldn’t believe it. She started sobbing, she just couldn’t believe that she looked so well – just as she was the last time that she saw her. Then a big double decker bus came past and it obscured the view and when she looked again she wasn’t there. Although she felt all choked up, she felt a little bit better having seen Ellie. She had dreams that she would be floating back to shore and that she’d come alive again as they never found her body. When she got home she felt a bit better and had been telling herself that she had to get better and pull herself out of it.
She went back to the same spot again and again but she didn’t see her and decided that on the next anniversary she would do the same trip. So she did and she saw the same thing again, she just couldn’t believe it. It was so wonderful. She crossed the road, looked up and the window was obscured. As she did this a white feather came down. She picked this feather up, it was a lovely white one. She is quite Spiritual and friends had said that it’s an Angels calling card when a white feather falls. She thought that it was really lovely. A few weeks later she went back but didn’t see anything in the window and decided to cross the road to go to that building and ask if she can go to that floor to look out of that window. The man in charge said that he had the key for it but said that it’s a store room, no one ever goes up there. Still, she went up there and moved different things away to get to the window and looked across the road and she could see quite plainly where she had been standing. There was nothing there that could attribute to being a face in the window. When she went to turn around she noticed a smaller window down at the bottom. It had a triangle of a broken piece of glass and when she looked down there were many pigeon feathers, black, white and grey. It left her feeling so disappointed because she thought that it was an angel feather that she had. She ran downstairs and went home feeling all dis-spirited. When she got home, Rascal the dog came to greet her, happy to see her although she was still sobbing and crying.
Then the postman came, but he was late. Once he’d come to the door she picked up the envelopes where there was one from the Royal Mail and this is what it said.
Dear Mrs Mitchell,
I’m writing to apologise for the incredibly late delivery of the enclosed item. It has only just been discovered behind a sorting machine following a major modernisation which involved the replacement of the machinery.
Please accept this book of first class stamps in recognition of our failure to give you the service which you would expect that we normally deliver.
The item in question was a postcard ‘from Cornwall’ on one side and Ellie’s neat handwriting on the other.
I am fine, how’re you?
Me and Daddy are having a lovely time here and are going to a new place to swim tomorrow. A big hug to you and please cuddle Rascal for me.
Love you tons.’
She collapsed upset, with the dog who was wagging his tail trying to lick her. And she may have been silly, she said the face at the window she just imagined it because she wanted to see that sign. But it was wonderful, all she could remember was, ‘I’m fine, how’re you?’ as if that was a sign that she had to have. It was really wonderful.
There are so many people suffering in this world and especially lately with their mental health. Lately, I have been surrounded by people with mental health problems. One person that comes to me for readings is struggling and has tried to commit suicide. She comes over for a cup of tea with me, I try to help her as much as I can. I’ve asked the Spirit World to help me because I don’t know anything about mental health. A lady at a club that I go to shared with me how terrible she is feeling. After some daily conversations she shared with me that she was feeling a lot better. It is such a shame people are experiencing this.
We have two hands here, one to help ourselves and one to help other people. That’s what it’s all about. Try to help someone during Lent.
This is a transcript of a Spiritual Address given by Jenny Eldridge during our Divine Service on 24th February 2020, at Thundersley Christian Spiritualist Church.