Katherine was born with a birth defect known as spina bifida. She was very tiny, with lovely black hair, and as I gazed upon her for the first time my heart was brimming with love for this precious little being. The nurses called her a little angel.
I was not able to hold Katherine in my arms as she had to be taken to a major children’s hospital immediately after her birth for special care. Michael and I visited her in the hospital, only to find her tiny body lost in a large humidicrib, connected to tubes and valves. I was desperately sad at the sight of my beautiful baby girl suffering as she was. At the time, we were living in a suburb about an hour’s drive from the hospital where Katherine was. I remember how excited I felt when, about a week after Katherine was born, we were told that we could bring her home from the hospital on the following day. That night I slept deeply, looking forward to having my family together and our baby at home.
At two in the morning, I suddenly awoke. I sat up in bed, feeling uneasy, with an inner sense that something was wrong. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I just sat there wondering why I was feeling so strange. Twenty minutes later the telephone rang. Michael drowsily reached over to answer it, but I already knew. The worst possible news was about to be given to us. Katherine had died, her little heart could not handle the antibiotics she was given to fight off a post-operative infection. Our baby’s death had occurred at 2 a.m.
This was my first encounter with the worlds beyond our own and one which opened the door to understanding. Katherine gave me this. Before she came into my life I had no knowledge of our intricate connection with the spirit world.
My early life was simple and unextraordinary. I had wonderful parents and two sisters, and we lived in a small house in the outer suburbs of Sydney. We were a very close family and Mum and Dad led by example with kindness and caring. Life was good for us. We felt loved and protected by our parents and we all thrived in this nurturing environment.
The only extraordinary experience of my childhood occurred when I was about three. I remember seeing in front of me the outline of an eye—similar to the eyes drawn by ancient Egyptians in hieroglyphics. This eye followed me around, and as a toddler I thought nothing of it. I wasn’t disturbed by it. I simply assumed that everyone could see eyes as well.
After I started school, the eye disappeared as I grappled with the task of fitting into a school system from which I felt alienated. I cried loudly all day every day for the first few weeks of school. I was kicked under the desk by the boy seated opposite me. He was obviously unhappy with my behavior. From that time onwards my energies were focused on surviving the school system and then forging a pathway to a career in teaching. The psychic realm was far removed from my earthly existence.
After completing high school I studied to become a school teacher. In my first year at college, I met and fell in love with Michael. He was a few years older than I and, unlike me, had survived a very difficult childhood. I felt that he had a lot to teach me about life. Michael was born in the Ukraine and his family had suffered greatly during World War II. His parents had been separated and his father, Dimitri, was placed in a prison camp in Siberia where he was forced to work on building the Siberian railway. Anna, Michael’s mother, a school teacher, was left in the village with her three young children. Times were extremely harsh and she longed for her husband. She had no idea where he had been taken, but Anna was determined to find him.
She set out in the severe Russian winter, traveling by horse and cart. It was amazing that they even survived; the family was starving and sometimes went without food for days. One night when they were resting in a barn, Anna knelt and prayed and prayed for food while the children were asleep on a pile of hay. Suddenly the room was lit by a bright light and Anna had a vision of an angel looking over her. Then, as the angel vanished before her eyes, a lamb materialized in the corner of the barn. Anna was astounded by the gift and killed and cooked the lamb to feed her starving children.
Anna finally found Dimitri, pale and ill, behind the barbed wire fence of a prison camp in Siberia. The family settled near the prison until Dimitri was released and eventually they were able to migrate to Australia.
Michael’s childhood forced him to find comfort in seeking inner truths. He studied atomic physics at university, and when I first met him he was inventing electronic equipment and working in his father’s business. He had many books about psychic and spiritual matters, written by Lobsang Rampa and other such authors, and I became interested in reading them too. They told of life in Tibet and the great teachers and lamas. I absorbed this knowledge, but continued the worldly path of studying and later on marrying Michael. Before long our son, Mark, was born.
Many parents will agree that seeing your baby for the first time is a profound and spiritual experience. The sight of such a wondrous creation is both awesome and touching. When I saw Mark for the first time, I became intensely aware of a higher intelligence, a supreme creator that I refer to as God or the Supreme Being. How else could such a perfect baby be created? I still feel this every time I see a newborn baby. My family was not really religious, but as children we went to Sunday school and church and I did believe in a higher power. Now this power had visited me and given me the gift of our son. I loved being a mother.
When my second baby, Katherine, was born, once again I felt the presence of God in creating such wonder. Even more powerful, however, were the emotions of her death. I have no doubt that Katherine’s passing opened a channel within me which led me to explore the pathway towards my psychic development—the moment of her death and the feeling I experienced while she was ‘visiting’ me, the emotions of joy, love and sadness all at once. I now believe that if Katherine had not left this world, I would have been oblivious to the other realms of existence. After all, when we are not forced to face the loss of a dearly loved one, we have no real need to confront the issues of life and death. Through Katherine I have been put in touch with truth at the highest level. I am grateful to her and to God for giving me this experience, and for allowing me to use my gifts of insight to help other people.