Having lost my Father, my Mother and both of my two beloved dogs, my beliefs that there is life after death have been well and truly reinforced. Sometimes I think that I am just a puppet, with my strings being worked by some superior being especially just after, and even before, a bereavement. My kids think I am mad, but they have yet to experience these unexplained, out of character happenings.

Prior to losing my second dog, for no real apparent reason I suddenly decided to spend my savings which I had closely guarded for the ten years after my Mother’s death, using the theory that if I hadn’t had the item I desired yesterday, then I didn’t need it tomorrow. This in itself was totally out of character for me, having always spent more than I earned using the theory that I can’t take it with me therefore, as I have huge credit limits on several credit cards, I would go out owing and enjoy life to the best of my credit cards’ ability.

My out of character thrift was the reaction to my Mother’s death. I suppose I must have been in shock for a few years afterwards. Clearing out her house made me realise what a lot of money she had spent on “things” which she hardly ever used and which I inherited and could not bring myself to throw out or give away. I vowed that I would be stop buying even more “stuff”, as I had quite enough already. It worked most of the time, and I hardly ever bought anything I didn’t really need. I also knew that she didn’t want me to spend any more money on household things, and that any money I had inherited from her should be used wisely, so apart from paying off my mortgage and other debts I never spent anything I hadn’t earned myself after I received my inheritance.

After her death, I could always feel my mother’s influence in most things that I subsequently did, or decisions I made. It was as if she had only gone away somewhere and that I would see her again.  I instinctively knew what she would disapprove of, and instead of rebelling as I had done when she was alive, I seemed to accept that she was actually right. She seemed to be standing behind me wherever I went.

I became increasingly aware that when I was at my lowest, something would always happen to bring me out of my despair. It was as if an inner voice was spurring me on, just as my mother had always done. I got into the habit of saying my prayers in my morning bath or shower. “Thank you for heat and water, in the right measure, etc, etc, …………. and please can you help me through this day……” or words to that effect. I was convinced that my mother was sending me some of her inner strength when I found that my day had actually been better than I had anticipated it would be.. 

I said my evening prayers to the brightest star in the sky that I could see every clear night, which I discovered  years ago was Venus, as it was in the right position to be Venus the day I researched which star or planet it could be. I am mortified now to find that I have been saying my prayers to some other celestial body, or satellite, or whatever the object is that is always in that same place just after dark on a clear evening. This “object in the sky” shines so brightly that it interferes with me watching Wimbledon highlights at night every year. However, I first felt its influence when my father died and it seemed to be shining directly into my bedroom the night before his funeral. 

They say that after a loved one dies a new star shines, and it certainly seems to be true for me, after my father died, even though we had a somewhat distant relationship. What I could never understand though was why the same star shone brightly for me after the death of my mother. Maybe they were reunited in death? Maybe it is just my fertile imagination.

I do not recollect a new star shining for me when Jezebel died, and I always got the feeling that she was still here with us, just out of reach. I used to feel her presence when Myschka and I were out walking, although there was no visible effect on Myschka, so it had to be my fertile imagination again. Or did it? Now that my Myschka has died, I do not get that feeling. I feel that she has gone and that she has been reunited with her twin sister. I also feel a sense of relief and release.

Imagine my surprise to look out of my window the night after she died to find two twin stars shining directly above my special star. They had not been there before, so we looked on an app thingy and found that they were supposedly Pollux and Castor the twin stars of Gemini. I have no idea how, but I knew that Castor and Pollux were twin stars. Some distant memory had suddenly returned to me. How come they just happened to be in the right place at the time of my Myschka’s death? I am told that the bright star that I am seeing now is Jupiter. But how can it be if it is always there?

How come I chose 16th May to finally let go of Myschka? I didn’t think there was anything significant about that date until I spoke to my son and he said it was the anniversary of when he nearly decapitated and killed himself when he came off his new motorbike at 125mph!  I had thought originally that it was April 14th, as that was when he crashed his second bike a month and two days after he bought it, but apparently he had actually bought his first bike on April 14th 1982 and crashed his second bike on that day in 1983. On April 14th this year I tried to do the make the dreaded call to the vet to put Myschka out of her misery, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. May 16th I made the call because I could not stand to see her suffer any longer. As I have said before, someone is pulling my strings.

How come I suddenly decided to spend money on making my garden manageable? How come I suddenly decided to have a new kitchen? How come I suddenly started to grow vegetables in the dog run and call it a utility area and turn the dog room into a utility room? How come I suddenly surrounded myself in cerise and not purple?

How come after Jezzie’s death the old orchid, which I had placed on the bathroom windowsill almost above the dog room because it was just two seemingly dead sticks, suddenly blossomed into a Jezzie shaped floral display and bloomed right through until winter? I’ve never had any luck revitalising orchids before. How come after it died back again and I chopped it back it has now blossomed again? It is almost as if it was expecting a new death and wanted to cheer me up. How come Jezzie’s usually heavily laden apple tree had more blossom than any other tree in the park after she died, yet produced no fruit at all? Are these all signs sent by my loved ones?

After the death of my dog, Jezebel, my immediate reaction was that when her sister Myschka went I would sell my car, that reminded me of them, sell my house that reminded me of them, and move to Cornwall to start a new life in a place with only holiday memories. A bit drastic, I suppose, but that had been my solution to my first marriage break up. I sold the family home and moved somewhere new where there were no painful memories. A totally kneejerk reaction which actually worked very well to sooth my troubled soul. Phase three of my life started brilliantly the day I moved into my new home (phase one being when I was living with my parents, phase two being from marriage to final separation).

I am now embarking on phase five of my life (phase three was my life with my new partner, phase four was my life with my two dogs). I am not sure whether I will eventually have another dog, but for the moment I am going to try to find out if there is a life to be had without a dog when one has no partner, as it would not be fair to get a new dog while I am working. I will need help from my mother and my two dogs to get me through this time, and I am sure that I will get it. I have seen many signs that I have a guardian angel, or two, or three. I now have four to look after me, and long may their stars burn bright.