September 20, 2003, was a defining day in my life. In the early morning hours of that Saturday, my daughter Elizabeth and two of her six roommates died of smoke inhalation in their duplex, just blocks from the U of M where they were all beginning their sophomore year.
That day my life was forever changed. One door was slammed shut in my face and I kicked and screamed and begged God to open it again. And he did…not in the same way of course, but in a way that brought me to re-connection and a new way of embracing and viewing the world and a return to JOY.
Those first days were fraught with pain and disbelief…but they also brought me overwhelming clues that all was not lost, that Liz and I would find each other again, in new and amazing ways.
It has been said that when the student is ready, the teacher will follow. This was certainly true in my case. Within two months of my daughter’s passing, I learned of the work of Kathryn Harwig. Kathryn helped Liz and me to forge a new connection. She helped to facilitate a peace and return to joy, along with the absolute knowing that my daughter was indeed safe and happy on the other side of the veil.
My journey, however, had just begun. I slowly realized that the Universe had a bigger plan in place. It took time and patience, but I began to write about my experiences with my daughter – both while she was here and after she left the physical world. Not only did writing aid in my grief healing, but it also brought me to the realization that my journey was meant to be shared with others.
I had absolutely no idea how this would happen; all I knew was that my task was to write. And write I did. I poured out my heart and soul for a solid month. And when I finished, it felt as if a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders.
Two years later, my story was published in True Stories of Messages From Beyond by Julie Aydlott & Friends. As I held that book in my hands for the first time, it was crystal clear that the Universe had been the author – I had been merely a willing participant.
I began to realize that the lessons I learned were important and I needed to do more than write about them. I needed to speak them. You must know, however, that I have gone through the majority of my life saying that there were certain things I would never do – and public speaking was at the top of my list.
I also felt an intense sense of gratitude to the Universe for giving me the experiences of the past several years – so much so that I was open to putting my fears on the back burner and stepping out in faith to share my story. Once again, I had absolutely no idea how this would happen, but I was confident that, if this was my destiny, the Universe would take care of the details.
On April 20, 2007, my opportunity was at hand. I was the speaker at the monthly Intuitive Forum sponsored by Kathryn Harwig. I had practiced for months, and there were many times when I would question my sanity. How can I possibly speak, not only in public, but speak about the most painful experiences of my life? Could I speak with emotion, but without becoming emotional? In truth, I didn’t know. All l knew was that I had prepared myself the best I could and now I needed to let the Universe take over.
I followed my gut and it went off without a hitch. It truly felt like an out-of-body experience, and it brought about a huge sense of complete euphoria. I had accomplished the task I had been given and it felt so good! In a strange way, I had even enjoyed it!
I have learned so much about myself and the world around me since that painful, life-changing September day. The Universe has a plan for each of us. It can take us into uncharted, scary waters. But we are never alone. All we have to do is pay attention and follow — work hard, and offer yourself up in service to others. You will receive gifts you could never have imagined.
It has been almost nine years since that fateful day, and life for me is joyous! I continue to write, speak, and share my journey with anyone who will listen.
When the Universe opens your door, do not be afraid. Step forth boldly and you will go on a journey that you never could have imagined.