Never Say Goodbye
“The end of this physical life does not have to mean the end of a day to day relationship with loved ones in spirit. Gifted medium Patrick Mathews reveals that we don’t have to let go of loved ones in spirit-in fact, they benefit as much from ongoing communication as we do.
Never Say Goodbye will help you learn how to recognize spirit communication and establish an ongoing relationship with those in spirit. The stories Patrick tells of his life and the people he has helped are heartwarming, humorous, and compelling!”
One day, not too long after Laureen passed away, I was walking through Barnes & Noble, with no specific intent to buy anything. I was walking through the Spiritual / New Age section and the spine of a book caught my eye. It was a book titled, “Never Say Goodbye” by a man named Patrick Mathews. I had never heard of him, but a quick glance at the book told me that he was in the same vein as John Edward – a medium who speaks to those who have passed over. And I guess this is one of those things you have to be able to take on faith, or not. Indeed, I just Googled John Edward to see if there was an “s” on the end of his name (there isn’t) and I found an article “exposing” John Edward as someone who hustles the bereaved. I suppose everyone is going to have their own personal belief about all of this and decide for themselves where they fall out with it. For myself, this kind of a world view – the idea that there are things unseen that cohabitate our existence with us – well, that was exactly the world that Laureen herself lived in. And skeptic that I could most certainly be, things happened around her that were pretty much inexplicable by the five senses. And it’s not like she was my first exposure to this world of the unseen, of spirits, and of other happenings and events.
My mom also had a pretty healthy belief that, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…” She was always fascinated by the occult and indeed, even as I am typing this I am listening to one of the two CDs I acquired from my mom after she passed away last year – a CD called Ghosts by Llewellyn. That would be typical mom.
So one of the reasons that I ended up buying Patrick’s book, Never Say Goodbye, is that he included a whole section in his book on how we, the common people, if you will, can look for, recognize and develop, our own connection with those who have passed on to the other side. So again, this presupposes that you believe that, A) there is some form of an existence after we die, B) that those who have passed on still have an interest in interacting with those of us on this side of the fence, and C) that some form of connection and/or communication is possible.
For myself, regardless of my skepticism, I am always open to possibilities because in this incredible and vast Universe that we inhabit, I fundamentally accept that I will never know nor understand all of the realities of our existence. That’s just a plain fact that I can absolutely acknowledge as Truth.
So, having picked up his book sometime in April, I started to read it. And I discovered that he is available to do readings for people so on May 20th, some 9 weeks or so after Laureen had passed away, I reached out to him to see if I could schedule a reading with him. And I heard back from him saying that he had time in September, if that would work for me. A part of me felt like that was a long way away, but another part of me acknowledged that the timing felt right – that I needed to put some distance between her passing and the reading so that I could get through the heaviest part of my grieving process. I had been quite sad, upon her passing, to have felt essentially nothing – both at her passing and in the weeks that followed. I’d had no true sense of her spirit around me for the most part. And I had actually asked Laureen about this before she had passed away – “How will I even know you are around me”, I’d asked her. And she had replied, “just look for me in nature. I will be all around you, always.” But my grief blocked that all out. If I didn’t get a hovering head in the bedroom, or see my bed sink under her weight, I wasn’t about to believe that the signals of nature were going to be her messages to me.
I had to come back to what I had discovered for myself, once upon a time when my journey on the spiritual path was new and I was much more open to the messages that the Universe sends to us (and this is another one of those faith moments that has a touch of irony to it for myself). You either believe that the Universe is constantly sending us messages in order to guide us to realize our purpose here, or you don’t. And if you don’t, then you simply see our existence as a matter of A follows B follows C and there are no hidden meanings or messages (except that the messages aren’t hidden – they simply ask for a certain level of awareness and acknowledgement in order to see and/or “get” the messages). Laureen was an extraordinarily aware person. I think it was part of her artistic side, or maybe it was the heightened awareness that gave her that artistic ability. She simply saw things in the world that most of us don’t see. Perhaps a little bit of Sherlock Holmes in her for his ability also came from a heightened sense of awareness and an ability to see the causality of sublime events – the type of “events” that most of us ordinary people are too busy and too distracted to see, or to notice, or we notice and disregard it as the product of “a piece of undigested beef” (as the character in one of my favorite books would no doubt say).
Time passed and I have been on quite the healing journey for myself in the three and a half months since I made my appointment with Patrick Mathews. Honestly, it feels both like forever and the blink of an eye. This week will be six months since the love of my life passed on. I cannot believe it has been six months already. Indeed, today marks the 182nd day since her passing. I will say that pretty early on I decided that I had to pick my sorry ass off the ground and find a way, any way, to move forward while at the same time allowing myself to grieve as fully and as deeply as I needed to. It has been a shared grieving – both with my family, with her family, with our friends, and with people that I have met on my journey. I am not shy about talking of her passing. We were not shy about talking about her illness all throughout it – it was simply a choice we made and a choice that I continue to make. Death is an important part of life and not something to be sequestered away in some ill-lit room. It is something we need to accept as being a part of life. Indeed, during my meditation this morning I was reflecting for a time on all of the people throughout the world who, even as I was meditating and acknowledging their existence, were in the process of suffering, of taking their last breaths, and of passing out of this world. Every second of our lives, someone somewhere dies. We will all die. It is inescapable.
So today was the day for my appointment with Patrick Mathews. I believe he does all of his one-on-one readings via telephone and that was fine with me. Honestly, I find myself (with much gratitude) in a position where the money aspect of this wasn’t important. Interestingly, it isn’t like I felt that I needed closure or that we had left something unsaid. In that sense, the Universe was both kind and cruel to Laureen and I. We had enough time to say all that we needed to say to each other, and the wisdom to do so, and we had time to grieve both with and for each other, so deeply that at times we would tell each other that we had no more tears left (but we always did have a few more tears left). And in her passing, I knew that I had taken care of her in a way that was a true tribute to our deep love for each other. There was no doubt whatsoever that her passing was as gentle as it might be under the circumstances, and that she had been completely surrounded by loving, caring compassion and so there was nothing left to wonder at or second-guess, except at the seeming unfairness of life itself.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I needed to get out of the reading with Patrick today, other than an acknowledgement that she is still “somewhere” around, even if I can’t see her. I was very nervous about the reading beforehand. I thought maybe she might be harshly judgmental of things – bad eating habits, or whatever, and that I might get a litany of “why are you doing this, and why aren’t you doing that…” I should have known that those would be such inconsequential matters as to not even be worth a thought. I would add that prior to this reading, and for most of the summer, I’d been reading a book recommended by a dear and special friend called, “My Son and the Afterlife” by Elisa Medhus, MD. It is a compilation of the communications, via medium, between a grieving mother and her deceased son and her son has a lot to say about the nature of existence on “the other side” – again, something you will either believe, or not. For myself, what I can say is that I recognized in that book a lot of truth in the sense of the information having a high degree of correlation with my own beliefs (many half-formed) of what existence in a non-physical form might be like. And I mention that book only because the messages that I received during the reading today had a fairly high degree of correlation with that book. It’s a book that both goes beyond religion while at the same time explaining the role that religion can play in our possible experience of existence in the afterlife. And then one caveat that I will add to this is that if I have any gift at all (and I believe we all have gifts – most of which go unacknowledged and unrealized) – it is the gift of an innate sense of intuition and an ability to discern truth from untruth. That’s about the simplest way I can explain it. And I can’t even really explain it – it’s just a kind of knowing that I have, and I have the sense to know that I have it and to use it to my advantage when I am aware that it is trying to tell me something. Sometimes it is like a compass – and particularly when it comes to books, which kind of explains how I found the Patrick Mathews book. Laureen had her own phrase for this kind of thing – in my case, the books I am supposed to acknowledge and read “light up for me”. And that is exactly what Patrick’s book did –I was just walking by and it was like the book was actually shelved so that only the spine of the book was visible but I literally stopped when I saw it and pulled it out and that is how I came to the reading today.
So – the reading. I figured Patrick would run a pretty tight ship with the time on the reading, and I was right. And that was fine. I expected that, and he met my expectation. I contacted him at 9:30 AM this morning, the agreed upon time. He sounded pretty upbeat. We didn’t do a lot of chitchat. I told him up front that I had read his book and enjoyed it, and he seemed genuinely pleased with that. Then he went through a brief explanation of the process, which was as I expected. I should preface this by saying that outside of an email to set up the appointment back in May, through his assistant, we’d had no other contact and he didn’t even know whom it was I wished to communicate with. So to start the reading, that was his first and only question – who did I want to communicate with? And I told him, “my wife”, and that was it – he was off and running.
Laureen came through immediately. There was no searching for her. And as the reading went on I got the sense that she had truly been waiting for this opportunity to communicate with me. And that would be her. I think the most fundamental aspect of our relationship – the thing that made it so special and made it work, was communication. Laureen was a natural born communicator and I am also, in my own way. I am an introvert so I sometimes struggle to communicate – but let me do it through my writing and that barrier falls away and you can’t shut me up. But Laureen, and my failed first marriage, taught me a critical lesson about the importance of communication in order to really make a relationship work. Throughout the entire reading, Patrick repeatedly asked her to slow down and I could just see her trying to get as much information out as possible because she had been waiting and had so much to say. And I’d only given her a half hour to say it. But the other aspect to that, too, is that I saw this as a sign of how healthy she was now. In her desire to communicate, I had the sense that it came from a wellspring of a kind of health of spirit that had simply not been a part of her life here. It was as though she had lived her life mired in quicksand, never able to really do all that she had in her mind to do, because her body simply could not keep up with her spirit (and now I am watching these words appear and I cannot even claim them to be mine. It is as though I am receiving them and passing them on…) Indeed, the first thing she talked about was her passing. Oh, but first, the very first comment Patrick made when he made contact with her was that she’s saying, “she has her own way of doing it”, i.e., communicating and that’s just one of those subtle comments that I know is exactly what Laureen would say. He was dabbling in her realm now and she was the master of communicating with things seen, and unseen. And she isn’t bashful. She’s going to let you know that she is a master of this – even if you happen to be Patrick Mathews. Again – it’s that nuance of a person’s personality that is the affirmation, at least for me, that yup, this is Laureen coming through.
So after she squared Patrick away, her next comment was to reassure me that “she didn’t feel anything”. Now he was talking about her passing and he didn’t get specific but he hit the points of it that were specific and again it is in the nuance that he hits the nail on the head. He said that she relayed the concept or image of her body shutting down and indeed, that is exactly what happened and I can say that because I bore witness to every agonizing minute of it. And my fear in those days and hours was that I did not know to what level she was experiencing what I was witnessing so it seemed she felt it important to let me know that she was not there anymore. Her final comment on this was “she wore it out (meaning her body)” and I truly sensed the truth of that. Her body simply could not contain her spirit anymore. And then she commented that “everything was done properly” and while there was some ambiguity in that, I think it was more in that it had multiple meanings – meaning that I did what had to be done with her care (on several levels) and I believe also in the subsequent manner in which I managed various aspects of what I understood to be her last wishes (the obituary, communications with her mother and sister, etc.) It seemed to me as an acknowledgement that we’d done what we’d agreed to do and that was the end of it.
Then she shifted gears to what things are like now. And her very first comment, a reassurance to me, as well as a joyful expression that I could tell was from deep inside of her – was that she is in perfect health now. And I truly got that sense of it just from the way she was communicating to and through Patrick. It was that energy that I’d always tried to enable for her down here – that sense of health and opportunity and joy and bliss – all rolled together to create a wellspring of vitality through which she could explore her creativity without limits. Alas, that was not to be on this plane – although she certainly expressed herself on so many levels, despite all of her hardships.
She followed that up with the comment that “she hears me talking all the time”. And then she momentarily went back to her passing and said that “it wasn’t a punishment – her passing. It was simply her time to be in spirit.” Again, it’s all in the nuance. This is Laureen’s language. This is what she would say, and it is how she would say it.
After this, she actually started to get more playful. I could sense that she is looking forward to being a part of my journey moving forward and I think this is really what I wanted to hear / know / understand. Is she around me? Are we still connected? Or is this next leg of my journey one that I am to walk alone? And as I write this down, I think this is really at the heart of what I needed to hear today and I couldn’t have really said that before because I wasn’t sure what I needed to hear.
Her next comment (and I am probably leaving some holes here because I was not able to record the meeting electronically so I had to take notes as it went along but I got the important pieces and the context and subtext of the messages she wanted me to get) was that “she’s got a lot of trouble to get me into. . .” and this is where the playful side of her started to come out. And it’s not like we didn’t have our playful times – she was actually quite a strong woman and sometimes she liked to almost kind of wrestle with me on the couch while we were watching a movie or something. She knew I had this thing about protecting my throat (I would always tell her that the throat is a “kill” shot) so if I was intently watching a movie and she wasn’t so interested in the movie, she would start attacking me and going for my throat and we’d both end up laughing so hard… So I really felt this kind of energy when she was saying this. . . It was also a deep and immediate acknowledgement, one that she shortly followed up on much more directly, that she wasn’t going anywhere. That she was going to be walking the path with me, whether I saw her or not.
She followed that up with acknowledgements that I am starting the next chapter of my life and very specifically, she said, “and I am going to help write it”. This one comment truly caught my attention. As I was pondering my future while down in Santa Fe, sitting in a private hot tub for an hour at a Japanese spa, in between bouts of feeling sorry for myself and truly and deeply missing Laureen, I actually pondered what I might do with my life, going forward. And I had asked myself what is it that I am passionate about? And the answer that came to me is writing. It is simply that thing which I do. I don’t have a reason for doing it. But I feel impelled to do it. And indeed, given a small segment of unstructured time in which I could do whatever I wanted to do – what I did was write. I wrote every morning and I wrote every night. I did not watch television – I hardly even listened to music. When I am writing, that is all that there is and all that I need there to be. So I found her choice of words – “I see you entering the next chapter of your life and I am going to help write it” – to be a deep and important acknowledgement of what I am doing, and what I am thinking of doing. That is a message. That is how the Universe gives us our messages.
She followed that up with the comment that “I am never getting rid of her” and again, the sense of it is that it was said both playfully, with joy, and yet, also as an acknowledgement that she isn’t going anywhere – that she has a job to do now and I am a big part of that job. Indeed, jumping ahead a little bit, she jokingly commented that there is no such thing as “no rest in peace”, and she kind of laughed as she was saying that. She is very busy now and she said that’s exactly how she wants it and I got the sense that it was a choice – that you can be busy, or not – and she is choosing to be busy and I felt a kind of exuberance coming through – the kind of exuberance I’d hoped she would experience in life. And indeed, if I had to pick one word to express what I felt was coming through today it would be exuberance – that she had found that state that I’d always tried to enable for her. Although enable isn’t quite the right word. I always visualized it as holding open the door for her so that she could find her true self and realize that state of self-actualization that would create a state of exuberance. Yes, I think that’s it really. So I think her message today was, I am at that place that you wanted me to be at, and now I’m going to help you out.
I think at this point she felt a little bit like the sand in the hour glass was slipping away and she also wanted to give me messages that she knew would be confirmation points for me. I know her and she knows me and we know how we each think. Her first comment to that effect, following up on the comment that “I’m never getting rid of her” was that we are “peas in a pod” and that was something we had always said to each other – that – and that we fit together so perfectly and that was true on the levels we both understood it – Mind, Body and Spirit. I know that I had worried that once she got “to the other side” she would find her peeps and I’d be forgotten like yesterday’s news – like some sort of aberration and matter of convenience that was no longer needed, but it seemed to me that she was/is reassuring me that our connection is much deeper than that and it was something we always acknowledged to each other. It was true – physically, we fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. Her curves fit my curves and it was like we were Yin and Yang, put together. We just fit and we knew it. And this “fit” also extended to both our spiritual beliefs and even the way we thought. We matched, we fit, we were “peas in a pod”. It was the perfect description.
I think at this point she was going fast, trying to get information out – and she admonished Patrick that she was the “expert in spirit stuff” and she even jokingly said to him, “I know where you live”. Again, that’s that playful side of her that only a state of exuberance could have unleashed, but I always knew it was inside of her. Then she really switched gears a bit – and I think it was partly an acknowledgement of some of the reading and studying that I’ve been doing. She simply said, “there really is a heaven”. And she followed that up with “all those books, they can’t really explain it. It’s like a Dr. Seuss book trying to explain life. Heaven is too big…” That is how she said it. Then, and I sensed excitement about this, she said, “I am still a person”. And I understood that to mean that she did not lose her identity, that she is still who she was here – not diluted, not dissipated, but somehow, expanded, but still herself. Like I said, there was a sense of excitement at that, like even she wasn’t sure what it would be, and was very excited and happy to discover that she still has her identity. The she said that she is around me all the time – that she is invisible, but that she holds my hand and lays with me in bed, and she told me that I need to be more open to that. She said that she is not cut off from me. She hears me, sees me, is with me, and wants me to know that and to acknowledge her. She told Patrick to tell me that “the relationship continues” and that she wants me to not be afraid to sit down sometimes and just talk to her because she will hear me. Just sit down – no distractions, and face a chair and talk to her. She even added that I should tell her something that I don’t know about – like to show me something – and that she will make it happen. That one is a little hard to explain and I’m not doing a good job of it, but I understand what she means. She can’t change the big things in my life, or divert me from things that might be painful, or hard to deal with. Those things are a part of life and a part of our journey. But she can do “other things” and I have to discern what those other things are.
Going back to the “there is no rest in peace”, she assured me that this is her choice and that she is so happy and that her choice is to continue loving me and taking care of me. So I guess she is like my special guardian angel – and I believe I have already experienced instances where she has helped me.
And then she got into some of those smaller things that were the confirmation points. At one point Patrick simply asked me, “are you the boss?”, and I immediately understood the question even while he didn’t. And I said, yes, I am the boss. And this was simply Laureen both acknowledging what I do, and then telling me that this is going to change and that I am going to “go out on my own” and that she is going to help me with that. And that is the sense of it that I already have – even though I haven’t the foggiest idea of where I am going. But I have a sense that I am going somewhere and so I am just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to be aware of the messages as they come along. She is also happy that I am getting out and meeting new people. She said that. Then there was an interesting piece that only I would know and Patrick didn’t quite get it at first, but I did immediately. He said something about clothes… like, are you not washing your clothes? And I knew this was about the bathrooms. First, our laundry room is in our downstairs bathroom. So I think that was the connection she was showing him. But Laureen had a real thing about cleaning both bathrooms every week. And I mean, really cleaning them, stem to stern. So I said to Patrick, yes, I’m cleaning my clothes, but I think she’s talking about the bathrooms – I’m not doing so good with that. And that was it. This was just one of those things for Laureen – she had a few things really and one was always keep the bathrooms clean. (a second one was always take care of your feet and I always felt like there were multiple meanings, some very deep, buried in that one – like it was a core belief for her – the importance of taking care of your feet). He also came out with a comment that she said, “she likes to make the pictures crooked” and that one made me laugh. I only have a handful of paintings on our walls at the moment because we had been in the process of considering moving and had re-painted our entire house and had never re-hung the paintings (but I’ve subsequently hung a few up). And they are always going crooked, especially two of them (the two special ones) and I am forever straightening them and this actually pings the OCD streak in me (I like things to “line up” – I do think it is a kind of low-level OCD thing). And in fact, just last night I had straightened a very special painting (one of hers) that I noticed was crooked so this comment struck home immediately. And she followed that up with the comment that “she likes haunting me” (said, even as I sit here watching my dining room lights swaying back and forth for no reason that I can discern).
Then she came back (again jumping around a bit – but like she wanted to answer some of my questions and also acknowledge my reading of the Erik book) that in answer to my question, “Is there a God?”, “Yeah, but not like you think – bigger and better.” She continued to say that “there is a purpose to every little thing, even ants and mosquitos”, at which point Patrick kind of stopped and said, “she’s saying ants and mosquitos – does that mean something?” and that was another one of those touch points. We had a catch and release policy in our house. Two bug jars – one upstairs and one downstairs. All insects found in our house were captured and then released to the outdoors. Only exceptions were ants and mosquitos. And mostly we did release ants – but Laureen would also ask the ants to please stay outside so if they ignored her requests, then she would occasionally extinguish one. And I mean this truly. This was how we lived. Every life was precious to Laureen. Following up on this was the confirming comment – she said, “they will all be here waiting for you when you get here” (meaning all the bugs we captured and released) and she followed that up with (truly the killer comment), “I have given them all names.” That is absolutely the quintessential Laureen. Like who else even does that, or thinks that way? In my life, only Laureen.
Also towards the end, Patrick kind of hesitated, like he was listening to her, and then he asked me, “did you get a new car”. And I smiled at that because yes, about six weeks after Laureen passed away, I traded in my very reliable, fairly new Camry for a vehicle I’d kind of always wanted – a Rav 4. And Laureen had always thought the Rav 4 to be somewhat impractical and I wasn’t sure she would have approved of that swap had she still been around. So when he asked me about the car I immediately smiled. And he said she’s giving me two thumbs up and that she often rides in it with me. That was very cool! We used to ride around a lot and usually on the homeward leg of our journeys we’d be kind of a little tired and I’d be driving and I’d rest my right hand on the center console and she would always just massage all my fingers and it was such a connecting, calming, soul-level thing. I truly, deeply miss that.
So that was most of what was in the reading. There was a piece, or a part where Patrick asked me about my heart (actually he came to this several times) – about whether I am open to being in a relationship with someone else. And I said yes, I am open to that, somewhere down the road. And he said not to be fearful of that, or that it’s a good thing. He said that Laureen was saying that she will always be a part of my life and that our love will always be there. Indeed the very last thing he said to me was that she said “she loves me very much” and I know what she means. We talked about my moving on with someone else before she passed away. I am open to it (I have met people recently who have lost spouses, and some of them want nothing to do with being with someone else again) – but at the same time I feel like I need to heal first. I feel like it would not be right for me to be with someone else too soon because it would not be fair to the other person. At the same time, I acknowledge (and I now feel more assured that this is a two-way feeling) that what I experienced with Laureen was something special. Maybe there are some lifetimes where we don’t find each other at all, but at least this time around, we did find each other and we quickly came to understand what we had found – that deep, soul-level connection / partner – that One that we were meant to find and to be with. And now I am assured that it was not just my imagination – that what we knew here, together, transcends our time here. Many years ago, when I first came to realize that Laureen was “the One”, I actually invited my mother out to lunch, specifically to tell her, “mom, Laureen is “the One” (and literally, that’s what I said). My mom took it in stride – I don’t think she said a word, but she did enjoy her lunch. And, like, who even says that? But I just knew – that intuitive side of me that knows “the book” when I see it – I just knew that Laureen was “the One” and now I believe that was the message she sent back to me today – “Yes, she was my One, and I am hers and just because she is over there now, doesn’t mean she isn’t with me either. She said it would be okay if I connected with someone else over here – that it would be a different kind of love and I totally get that because there could only ever be one Laureen and I know that as a simple truth for myself so I will wait until I reach some point where I am able to be with someone and feel love for them on their own merits, without measuring their value against Laureen, and then I will know that I am with that person in a good way and not as a replacement and I think that’s what Laureen was trying to say to me too.
So… Wow! That was a lot. And I feel like it just had to spill out of me right now and honestly, some of it felt like it had a source other than myself – like I was just watching the words and sentences flow onto the screen. Well, Laureen said she was going to “help write the next chapter of my life…” and she knows I am a literal person. So maybe she really is going to help me “write it”.
A deep heartfelt thank you to Mr. Patrick Mathews for providing Laureen with a channel to communicate with me directly. For myself, I truly feel like I heard from Laureen today. There were random things in there that only I would know about, and while it is certainly possible that Mr. Mathews might have taken some time to try to discern tidbits of information about me through the internet, I just don’t think that the information that came through today, and the way in which it came through, is stuff that could be data-mined from the internet. As I’ve said, it is all in the nuances – the way that Laureen and I communicated with each other – and only her and I know that. So, say or think what you might. For me, this is my validation that she is around and that she is aware and that she is still a part of my life and I think that was all I really needed to know.