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THROUGH BEREAVEMENT TO HAPPINESS

THROUGH BEREAVEMENT TO HAPPINESS

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Published by spiritstalking
Everyone’s bereavement is unique, ones own, or ones family’s tragedy, but all brings inexpressible grief and heartache. The loss of a baby, a child, a partner or a parent can devastate the life of the bereaved. It is as if a part of oneself is missing and the mind and body can seem to go out of control from the shock, especially when a death is completely unexpected. Time does not exactly heal, but it softens the blow, and one becomes accustomed to the pain.
Always the question remains - do the dead still exist? If they do, where is that life, that love, so suddenly gone? Finding the answer to these questions is an enormous help in understanding and coming to terms with bereavement, as is proved by this true book, ‘Through Bereavement to Happiness’, a spiritual love story.

Available on http://www.amazon.com/Through-Bereavement-Happiness-spiritual-story/dp/1434825604
Everyone’s bereavement is unique, ones own, or ones family’s tragedy, but all brings inexpressible grief and heartache. The loss of a baby, a child, a partner or a parent can devastate the life of the bereaved. It is as if a part of oneself is missing and the mind and body can seem to go out of control from the shock, especially when a death is completely unexpected. Time does not exactly heal, but it softens the blow, and one becomes accustomed to the pain.
Always the question remains - do the dead still exist? If they do, where is that life, that love, so suddenly gone? Finding the answer to these questions is an enormous help in understanding and coming to terms with bereavement, as is proved by this true book, ‘Through Bereavement to Happiness’, a spiritual love story.

Available on http://www.amazon.com/Through-Bereavement-Happiness-spiritual-story/dp/1434825604

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Published by: spiritstalking on Jan 05, 2009
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Lily had been particularly pleased with her last
message from Charlie and with the fact that Michael had
been there to hear it. Some time before, knowing how
restricted and depressed Lily had felt, Michael had
suggested to her that they took a holiday together with ‘no
strings attached on either side.’
Lily had not been sure she should go, but now felt
able to agree, knowing that she had Charlie's blessing on
whatever changes in her life lay ahead. She now had the sign
that Grace Gooding had forecast in June of the previous
year.

After several enquiries, Michael found an
advertisement for a two - bedroom, self- catering holiday
bungalow at Boscastle, in Cornwall, somewhere where
neither of them had stayed before. They would both be able
to take their dogs and, guided by Lily's intuition, Michael
booked for the week beginning the 23rd March. On Lily's
insistence, expenses were to be shared equally between
them.

For some time, Michael, who passed the famous
beauty spot 'Steps Bridge' on his way to Lily's house, had
been asking her to come out there for a walk. Each time she
had refused on the grounds that he had already come a long
way and this would mean extra driving for him. Lily had
been well aware of the tired face, Michael presented after
driving from a distance. On 3rd March she had a message
from Charlie at her church. Through John Greene, he said,

‘IT IS NEAR DAFFODIL TIME NOW, WHEN THE

71

FIRST DAFFODILS COME OUT, PLEASE GO TO
‘STEPS BRIDGE.’ WOULD YOU PLEASE PUT SOME
PRIMROSES AND DAFFODILS BY MY PHOTOGRAPH
AND DON'T GET DOWN IN THE DUMPS AGAIN!
PLEASE GO TO ' STEPS BRIDGE!’’
After such a direct message, Lily felt she could no
longer refuse. On 14th March they took their two dogs and
walked along the banks of the River Dart at ‘Steps Bridge.’
The sweet scent of spring was in the air. Everywhere, among
the trees, daffodils were appearing. For the first time Lily
felt Michael put an arm around her waist. As they stood
absorbed in the beauty spread before them, on each side of
the rippling river, she felt him place a soft, sympathetic kiss
on the top of her head. Very gently something had started.
Lily's three friends were very interested in her
ripening friendship with Michael. He was to take the service
at her church the following Sunday, so Lily invited them to
lunch and Margaret agreed to drive Lily, Eunice and Phyllis
so that they could hear him speak. Lily loved cooking and
entertaining and two of the guests were particularly fond of
good food. The lunch was a great success with the friends
trying to outdo each other in sampling the food before them
and at times they were almost hysterical with laughter.
They were a joyful light-hearted group as the car
travelled the eighteen miles to the church. Michael and
Marian, the medium, were already in the room reserved for
speakers when the four arrived, so they took their seats in
the front row.

When it came to the address, Michael spoke on
Judgment, or, as Spiritualists would say, Self-Assessment,
on reaching the next world. He put it in the context of
eternal spiritual progress so that it seemed a helpful, indeed
valuable event in the individual soul's spiritual evolution.

72

After the service, the friends were introduced to the
tall scholarly figure, who had given such a confident
address. Lily felt the service had gone very well and it had
certainly made a very deep impression on Phyllis. Everyone
was anxious to thank and praise Michael and there was no
doubt he had made a lasting impression. She heard, later,
that both Margaret and Phyllis had written independently to
thank Michael for an uplifting service, something he said
had never happened before.
Lily, however, had other things to think about. She
had to make preparations for a self-catering holiday and her
mind was fully occupied with providing all the necessary
requirements for a stay with a man she did not yet know
very well, and two dogs, in a bungalow she had not yet seen.
Michael was looking forward to the coming holiday
with a rising interest that quite surprised him but also with
an unexpected anxiety. He had told most of his friends that
he was going away to Cornwall for a week with a friend. He
had not specified who he or she might be. He felt he did not
want Lily to be the subject of talk if it did not work out
between them. There was a special reason for this. The
thought of marriage was certainly becoming more attractive
to him in spite of the many complications that it would lead
to.

The trouble was he had just had a message from the
medium, Marian, which seemed to rule out Lily as a
possible wife. Without saying where it came from, Marian
had suddenly announced that he would marry a younger
woman, who was a medium. Michael felt shocked at the
message. He was 70; Lily was 70. She certainly had flashes
of intuition and good insight into people's characters, but she
was not a medium. On the other hand he did know one,
perhaps two, ladies, who fitted the description! Spirits of

73

course, were not infallible. They were simply people who
had passed on to another dimension and some were no wiser
than they had been on earth. Also messages were easily
distorted by passing through the medium's mind, as any
good medium would admit. But supposing it was true! It
would be very unfair to Lily to let her suppose they might
make a life together and then leave her for someone else. He
could tell that she had a strong interest in him and, although
they had agreed that they were going away with ‘no strings
attached,’ he guessed a little of what was in her heart. It
would be another disappointment to add to the many others
she had suffered. It was because of receiving so many blows
from fate that she was going to call her book, ‘Just when
Everything Seemed Right,’ and he did not want to add
another disappointment to the list,
For the moment, he tried to put the thought of the
message aside as he collected together the items of food and
other things he had arranged to bring with him on the
holiday. He had meant to take with him his family
photograph album so that Lily could understand more of his
past life and background. Now he wondered if he should. He
had also planned to take the big book in which he had
recorded all the spirit messages received since 1976, Should
he take it? Suddenly he decided to take them both anyway.
‘Blow the silly message!’ he thought, it was probably
wrong anyway! He felt that in all honesty he musts tell Lily
about the message yet it seemed an unkind thing to do at the
start of a holiday together.
As Michael and 'Bracken,’ his collie dog, travelled the
road to Mortonhampstead, the sun was shining, the trees
were budding and spring flowers lined the road verges. His
spirits rose and he found himself singing as he drove his car
towards the holiday with Lily. As he drew up at the old

74

house in Mortonhampstead, he saw Lily emerge with cases
and boxes all prepared. She obviously cared nothing now for
the thought of neighbours peeping through curtains at the
sight of them loading the cases into the car. Soon they were
packed up and with the Jack Russell on board they set off
As they drove, Michael mentioned the message he had
received from Marian and admitted that he was upset by it.
They discussed the message impersonally, as though it
affected two other people. Had Marian heard it right? Had
she interpreted correctly? Michael said he gave it no great
weight. They dropped the subject and concentrated on
finding the way to Boscastle. The holiday mood gripped
them but at the back of both their minds lay the message
saying ‘Be careful, be cautious!’
When they reached the bungalow they were to share
they were delighted. It stood in the grounds of a large
Georgian house, a peaceful spot surrounded by a lawn and
spring flowers perfumed the air. After taking possession,
arranging their things and making the first cup of tea, they
sat in a sunny lounge congratulating themselves on having
found such a lovely spot. After tea, as the sun was setting,
they took the dogs and set out to explore. They found a path
leading directly to the cliffs. As they walked along the
grassy cliff path, the sea was ablaze with glorious colour. In
the distance they saw a mysterious little white tower
overlooking the sea, farther to the east. As the air started to
chill, they retraced their steps to the bungalow, looking
forward to an evening meal together.
Earlier in the week, Lily had had her radio on very
late at night and had heard Pan pipe music that reminded her
of her life in South America. She had felt so sorry for the
hard lives the native Indians suffered and she admired their
simple hardiness in extreme poverty and she loved the

75

soulful music they played on their Pan Pipes. She had
managed to trace the music and order a cassette in time to
bring it with her. As they started the meal, Michael set the
tape going and Lily was delighted to see that he too loved
the music of the pipes

Early next morning, Lily followed her usual custom
and stole quietly out of the bungalow to take her dog, Lucky,
for a walk along the cliff path. In the distance she saw the
white tower again. It seemed to be looking out to sea as
though on guard. The cliffs were very steep and rocky and
far below the waves crashed against the jagged base.
Everywhere gulls were nesting on every available nook and
cranny on the cliffs while others wheeled incessantly above
her head. She returned to make early morning tea and take a
cup to Michael.

She had wondered whether the dogs would fight but
she need not have worried. Bracken had slept in Michael's
bedroom and Lucky in hers. When she opened Michael's
door, Lucky burst in to smother him with affection, while
Bracken, the ever-hungry one, burst out to see what was
happening in the kitchen.
The table where they breakfasted had a huge window
by it, through which the early morning sun poured in,
covering everything in golden light. They luxuriated in the
warm rays, so welcome after the bitter winter that had made
life so hard for Lily in Mortonhampstead, dealing with
frozen pipes and icy paths. They had a long leisurely
breakfast and each wondered that this intimate, friendly
meal seemed so natural, as if they had been married to each
other instead of to two other people for so many years. It just
seemed to be right.

Michael, who had read widely about reincarnation,
wondered to himself if they could ever have had lives

76

together in the past. They decided that after breakfast they
would explore farther along the cliffs and see if they could
reach the white tower. They set out but they had not realised
what a climb they had undertaken. The rolling hills had been
cut away by the sea so that the cliff path climbed and
descended almost to sea level, then climbed and descended
again while it wound its way round narrow inlets that
reminded them of Norwegian fiords. At last the tower was
ahead and they struggled up the steep incline to sit
exhausted on the concrete base. Presently they recovered
and examined the tower from all sides. It seemed almost too
artistic to be constructed merely for practical use and they
later learned it was, indeed, built as a charming 'folly'. After
some years the coastguards had used it and now it was
boarded up and empty.

On their return, Lily got the lunch. Michael asked her
how she had become such an expert cook. The reply was
unexpected. She said that her mother was such a poor cook
that at seven years old she realised that if she wanted decent
food she would have to learn to cook it herself, and now
cooking was one of her main interests.
Michael had always tended to jump up after a meal
and start some job or other. Lily now persuaded him to sit
and rest after the meal, a thing he had never done. Taking an
unaccustomed rest, Michael picked up a book Lily had
brought with her and was immediately interested. It was
called ‘Centenarians of the Andes’, and the author, Dr
Davies, described how the inhabitants of certain areas in
Ecuador had very long and vigorous lives. These people
lived above 5,000 feet in the Andes Mountains and they
showed few signs of the decrepitude that we, in the west,
associate with old age. Dr Davies had traced and studied
men as old as 140 who were still agile and clear-headed,

77

while a woman he met, of 104, moved like a young woman
of 20. He carefully studied everything about their lives and
found them quite free from heart disease, cancer and many
other diseases of the western world. They ate fruits, herbs
and roots instead of modern processed foods, and very little
meat. These people maintained their ability to cultivate their
small- holdings almost to the end of their lives. They had
herbs, which they said promoted fertility and women of
sixty had given birth, while men of over a hundred had
fathered children. Dr. Davies also described people of the
Abkasion tribe, living in the Caucasus Mountains of
southern Russia, who were also very long-lived. One man
was 168 and had a brother who had died at 134. He could
remember clearly, events that happened 150 years before.
The conclusion seemed to be that natural foods, mountain
life and regular work played an important part in the long
and healthy lives of these peoples.
Michael mused over the book. Were cancer and heart
disease perhaps caused by western food? He felt he still had
a great deal to do in life and even another ten or fifteen years
would give him the chance to do it. Then there was the sex
question. He and Nancy had had a happy relationship in this
way for over 40 years. It had always seemed entirely natural,
as basic to their marriage as their spiritual partnership,
Would he ever know that kind of physical closeness again?
He remembered how Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of
Christian Science, had changed her point of view on this
after her death. She had returned through the medium Ursula
Roberts to say that she could now see the seven power
centres in man that the Hindus call the chakras. From the
sexual centre at the base of the spine, to the spiritual centre
at the top of the head, she now said all should be active and
in balance for a good healthy life, depending of course on

78

circumstances and situations. This seemed to argue against
the Roman Catholic rule of abstinence for priests.
Lily was moving. He could hear her washing up.
What should they do? He went out to ask her. It was Sunday
and they both had the same idea. They would like to go to a
Spiritualist service in a new place. Michael had taken part in
a service at Bude, ten miles away, some while before. He
had been driven there by a medium and thought he could
find the little church again. They set off on a lovely sunny
afternoon. Now and again, on their left, they saw a glimpse
of the sea with the waves sparkling in the sunshine. They
drove into Bude and entered the one-way traffic system. The
last time Michael had been here as a passenger, he had not
paid attention to the route. As they came round the one-way
circuit for the second time he had to confess himself unable
to find the church. He stopped and asked in the Police
Station. They could not help. With a sense of panic
developing because time was now very short, Michael
decided to ring the medium, Marian, in Devon. The number
was engaged and minutes ticked away. At last he got
through to her and she laughed at him. It was held in a hall
he had already passed twice. They arrived outside at 6.29,
the service started at 6.30.
Lily jumped out of the car without saying a parting
word to the dogs and giving them the usual chocolate drops,
leaving Michael to lock up the car. He caught up with her to
see her being embraced by a large gentleman at the door
who said, ‘Welcome young lady,’ as though she was
expected. They took their seats, almost the only ones vacant,
and the service began. The medium was Michael Packer
from South Devon. He had a very lively uplifting manner
and when he came to the clairvoyance, he went straight to
Michael. After describing Nancy, he said,

79

‘SHE IS GENTLE BUT STRONG. SHE COULD
TAKE ME OVER. SHE IS VERY EXPRESSIVE,
PERSUADING YOU TO MOVE ON. SHE SAYS ‘CAN’T
YOU SORT IT OUT?’ SHE IS PERSUADING YOU TO
SEE THINGS FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE AND GET
A MOVE ON.’

The medium came to Lily with the last message of the
evening. After a brief message from Charlie, he relayed a
message from her aunt Emily, which said,
‘EMILY COMES CLOSE. A CHANGE IN WHERE
YOU ARE LIVING. BE POSITIVE WITH SPIRIT'S
HELP. CONSIDER COMMITMENT. DON'T TURN
BACK. IT'LL WORK OUT FINE.’
As they left the service, the chairman made a bee -
line for Lily to say a very special farewell, which, seemed
strange as other people were departing without such
particular attention.

‘Young lady’, he said, which she certainly was not,
‘you will come to Bude Church again. I see much happiness
ahead for you. I can see a triangle over a sphere above your
head,’ and he made a triangle with his arms over his own
head as illustration. Another hug, another kiss and a warm
but restrained goodbye to Michael followed.
As they drove out of Bude, to find the coast road to
Boscastle, they felt they had had a very surprising evening.
The pattern of a triangle over a sphere was the logo on the
front of the pamphlet Michael had published about his
experiences when taught by a Tibetan teacher. There was no
way the Chairman could have known this. On the way to
Boscastle, they had a good deal to think about. Michael was
sure that the message had come from Nancy and he was
pleased she had known of their plans and spoken through
Michael Packer. He was not quite clear as to what the

80

message meant. It was probably an encouragement to follow
his instinct and suggest a closer friendship, and perhaps
partnership, with Lily, but it made no reference to the other
message about a younger psychic.
Lily's message was all too clear to her. Her aunt, who
had had an interest in Spiritualism, was encouraging her to
do as Charlie had suggested and commit herself to a
partnership with Michael. It reinforced the two previous
messages. But what did he think? She remembered a letter
he had written to her in which he said-
‘You have no competitors in my affection, but if I
promise more than I can perform, it may lead to unhappiness
later, which is the last thing I want. Let us get to know one
another better gradually and see how it goes!’
Then there was the other awkward message about a
younger woman. Obviously Michael was not ready and did
not want to commit himself yet. Well, she only wanted him
if he was sure she was the one, as she was sure in her own
mind that he was the one for her, and he must make up his
own mind without any pressure from her.
The following day they went to Tintagel and explored
the massive rock formation with its caves at the base,
washed by the ocean. The sun came out and early season
visitors were climbing the steep paths and gazing out to sea
over the ramparts of what legend said was King Arthur's
castle. After returning for lunch at the bungalow they sat
quietly for a time while Michael worked on an article for a
magazine his church produced. Later they explored the
picturesque Boscastle harbour, a steep sided inlet providing
one of the few shelters for boats on this harsh, rocky coast.
By the harbour, were cafe's and shops and they bought
provisions Lily wanted, as they had invited some guests to
come to lunch the following day. Lily remarked, and

81

Michael agreed, that it seemed entirely natural for them to
be shopping together, exploring the village and preparing for
guests, as though they had always known one another.
The guests were to be Brian, the bereaved man Lily
had heard on the radio and 'Judy' his daughter. Lily worked
hard preparing the lunch. She wanted the meeting to be a
success and hoped that they would give some
encouragement or enlightenment to Brian who was sunk in
grief and still visited his wife's grave with flowers every day.
Also in meeting Michael he would realise that Lily was not
as alone as he might have thought.
The couple arrived and during coffee Brian bluntly
asked Michael, 'What are you doing in Boscastle?' ‘Oh, I felt
Lily and I needed a break and we are visiting people near
here.’

A little later on the question was repeated, 'But what
are you doing here?’ with emphasis on the ‘you’. Any
answer was avoided by a call to lunch and general
conversation. The daughter, Judy was a very attractive,
intelligent girl, very much concerned for her father's welfare,
and she, too, seemed anxious to probe Michael's future
intentions. Michael felt all this was a little unfair when they
were, after all, guests eating a splendid lunch, but he bore it
with good grace.
.

When he put the Pan Pipes tape on, as they had
coffee, Brian dismissed it rather curtly, saying, 'I prefer my
music straight'. Michael switched it off again. Brian seemed
as if he was easily irritated, by things he did not like. About
an hour after lunch, the guests prepared to depart after
looking over the bungalow and garden, Michael
accompanied Judy out to the car but Brian hung back in the
kitchen with Lily, looking out of the window, hesitating, as
though he had something he very much wanted to say but

82

could not quite say it. After a minute or two he reluctantly
made his way out to the car and they departed, Michael
watched them go, feeling sorry for the man who, even
though he had a fond daughter, seemed locked into
loneliness self-pity and grief.
After clearing up, Michael and Lily took the dogs for
their favourite walk along the cliff tops. The sun shone on
the sea. The waves broke against the rocks far below. The
dogs hunted strange scents in a fever of excitement until the
sun sank, the air cooled and they turned for home. After tea
they watched television. They both enjoyed an old classic
comedy and then a programme on orchids, Lily's special
interest.

Breakfasting again, in the glorious early morning sun,
they both felt the peace and contentment of this period
together, away from telephones, post and regular visitors.
They seemed to exist in an aura of peace.
The following days went all too quickly and Saturday,
when they must depart, was looming nearer. The next day
they visited Delabole, the largest slate quarry in the world,
Port Isaac and the seaside village of Rock. They lunched
out, and in the evening they talked about their past lives and
experiences. They did not venture into discussing the future.
Michael described how, in 1990, he had started a little
business called Amazing Spiritualist Audio Tapes. It had
come about almost by accident. He had been asked to take
an old friend to a well-known healer in Okehampton, some
20 miles away. The friend, a fellow teacher, had had a heart
attack while lying on a beach in the South of France. His
holiday insurance had brought him home by Air Ambulance
but the end result had been paralysis of his left side,
especially the arm and leg.
The friend, Bill, remembered how Michael had been

83

healed of his injured spine and hoped for a similar success,
Michael had not been too hopeful, as the damage was now
many months old, but he willingly drove Bill to the healer's
home and helped him into the healing room. The healer, Ted
Cornish was well known and always seemed to have patients
from near and far, waiting in the corridor for their
appointment with him.

Once inside, Ted immediately began giving healing to
Bill but gave most of his attention to Michael. After asking
him many questions about the Spiritualist Church, he said
'Have you seen my tapes?' which Michael had not.
'They're the most amazing recordings of communications
through a medium you have ever heard’, said Ted, 'you must
see them before you go.
Michael described how, ignoring the waiting patients,
Ted took him into a large lounge and opened a glass topped
mahogany cabinet with many audiotapes displayed in rows.
He explained that a small Spiritualist circle in Sidmouth had
received over a hundred, 'Messages to Mankind', transmitted
from the Spirit World by a representative group of those
who had passed over. The whole operation had been
supervised by members of the spiritual, ‘White
Brotherhood’ and the speakers included housewives, bank
managers and doctors, as well as well-known people such as
Florence Nightingale, King George VI and Lord
Mountbatten. Inclined to be suspicious, it seemed to Michael
unlikely that the tapes were genuine communications. It had
been known for foolish spirits to claim to be famous people
in order to gain the attention of listeners. Yet, what if they
were genuine? Should not this be investigated? He asked to
borrow four tapes and promised to return them on his next
visit with Bill.

When he got home he spent many hours, listening to

84

the tapes over and over again. The personalities described
their lives on earth, their passing, or death, and their
experiences in what they insisted was called the, ‘Etheric
World.’ The next time he took Bill for healing, he returned
the four tapes and borrowed another four. These, too, he
assessed again and again. He became more and more
impressed with them and the idea came to him that they
should be marketed, so that they were made available to the
public at large. When he listened to a tape made by the
former King George VI, he was more than interested to hear
the King's voice say to the members of the Sidmouth circle,
'Don't worry about distributing the tapes, we will
arrange for someone to do this.’
Michael asked if he could take on distributing the
tapes, Ted agreed at once. There was no copyright claimed
and the medium wanted no payment. He simply wanted the
messages to go out to whoever wished to hear them. Ted
mentioned that others had offered to market the tapes for
him but until now he had had an inner feeling which said,
'No. Wait!' Now he felt the message was ‘Yes’, and so he
allowed Michael to make his own master tapes from which
to make copies for sale.

After making a set of master tapes, Michael had
placed copies in his local church and then set about
advertising them in 'Psychic World.’ To save tax problems
he had decided to run the business as a church activity with
profits going to the church. In this way, the church
accountant could deal with the income under charity law.
Lily now understood why Michael so often said; 'I
must deal with my post before I come out.’ She knew he had
bought a word processor to print lists of tapes and had had
many orders, some from overseas.
Michael asked many questions about her life and

85

especially about Charlie. Their life together had been one of
considerable hardship and almost endless hard work, but
Lily loved to talk about Charlie and his boundless energy
and kindness to one and all. He seemed to have struck a
chord in the hearts of hundreds. The poor, the frail, the
handicapped and the suffering had been his interest and
concern. With his humour, his kindness, his first-aid
knowledge and his healing gift, he had had friends
everywhere. Often he had come home to her and said,
'Lily, could you make a cake for old Mrs. 'X,' or ‘Mr.
'Y'?’ As he had developed as a spiritual healer he had had
some remarkable successes in apparently hopeless cases and
also in training other healers. Lily had been perfectly happy
to do the planning, organising and cooking so that he could
do his work. She accepted that half the lonely old ladies in
the town felt that they had a part share in Charlie.
After he died, she found a beautiful watch he had
bought for her as a present but had never given to her in the
upset of her accident, followed by his sudden death. He had
written a note with it she would never forget. It said, 'With
all my love. You are the wind beneath my wings! Charlie.’
The next day, Michael and Lily explored Boscastle
and discovered a delightful wooded walk by the side of the
River Valency. They came to the cottage of the National
Trust Warden and spent a pleasant half hour listening to his
stories of the locality and its visitors. They knew that
Thomas Hardy, the novelist, had visited Boscastle, and the
Warden told them of some disputes among the members of
the Thomas Hardy Society when they visited the area.
Lily had an artist friend, who, when she said she was
going to Boscastle, had said, with a twinkle in his eye,
'Are you going to visit Paradise while you're there?’
Lily had thought he was joking as it must have seemed

86

surprising that she was going away with Michael whom her
friends had known so little about. She had laughed but
wondered if there was such a place. On a sketch map they
had of the district, they saw a place named Paradise. In their
euphoric state they felt they must visit this place but the
directions were vague and they failed to find it.
That evening Michael asked directly if Lily would
consider re-marriage, if asked, and he outlined his financial
resources, income and general situation. Lily remained
friendly but firmly aloof. None of the financial details
interested her and she did not take them in. She went so far
as to say, 'Yes, if I was asked I would consider it,' but she
refused to go further. In this she was resolute. There were
several other women in the field, she knew, and unless he
was absolutely sure she was the only one for him, she would
not allow herself to give way to her feelings and so put
pressure on him. He must make his own free choice
otherwise unhappiness could be ahead for them both.
On Friday morning they lingered over the sunny
breakfast table, realising that tomorrow's meal would be a
hasty one as they would have to pack, clear up and settle
accounts by 10 o'clock in the morning. After a last walk on
the cliff path in sunny but windy weather, Michael offered to
cook lunch. He felt Lily had done all the cooking and, after
all, she was on holiday as well. As the stove was ultra
modern and unfamiliar, he worked carefully, and slowly and
lunch was rather late but Lily waited patiently. It was a long
time since anyone had cooked for her and she was quite
happy, thinking to herself that another prophecy was coming
true.

In the afternoon they visited Bodmin Moor and gave
the dogs a good walk before returning for tea at the
bungalow. After tea they set out to find Paradise. According

87

to the bungalow's proprietors, it was not far, just a few
turnings to right and left. For some time they searched tracks
and lanes without success, then, suddenly, just as the sun
was setting, they found it, marked officially by a notice
board saying, PARADISE. It was the most tranquil spot by
the side of a charming old house. A stream trickled down
towards them, flanked on each side by grassy banks, covered
with primroses and daffodils. The fresh green branches of
weeping willows hung over the stream as it tumbled over its
rocky bed with a gentle gurgle. The whole scene was lit by a
gorgeous sunset, which gave it an unearthly beauty.
Lily was a practiced photographer. They both had
cameras with them. As they tried to capture the scene, each
camera in turn gave a depressing whir, announcing that its
film was finished. They stood side by side, drinking in the
view until darkness fell, Lily asked laughingly,
'Do you know the way back?' for they had already lost

their way several times.
'Oh yes!' came the confident reply.
They started back with the two dogs. Michael, who was now
looking in vain for clues to the way back, hoped the dogs
would remember the route. They at least appeared confident
and strained forward on their leads. After some time the road
grew narrower and sloped steeply uphill. In the gathering
dusk they could make out hedges and farm gates and heard
the bleating of sheep. All this was unfamiliar. Were they lost
again? Still the dogs pressed forward but Michael now
admitted he had gone astray, called a halt and they began to
retrace their steps.

Totally bewildered, now, they wandered for what
seemed ages before a familiar main road appeared and they
managed to reach the bungalow again, tired but still quite
happy in spite of their meanderings in the pitch dark.

88

Everything they did seemed to bring them closer and they
both felt the increasing attraction that was drawing them
together, in spite of their 'no strings' agreement.
They were hungry and, as Lily prepared supper in the
small kitchen, Michael helped her and they chatted about
their adventures. Lily felt they were now very close and for
her, Paradise had left her with a treasured memory she
would always remember. As they lingered over the meal she
hoped that Michael would say he had made up his mind
before the evening was over.
They did some packing and then reminisced as they
had their last supper drink but still Michael said nothing.
Lily dreaded the thought of going home to an empty house
on an Easter Saturday, Was it really to be a case of 'Paradise
Lost?’

Michael too, thought he ought to say something but
still felt he must not speak until he was sure beyond all
doubt. This holiday euphoria, which so encompassed them,
did not guarantee that a permanent partnership was right for
them both. On the other hand, they were so naturally close
that it seemed ridiculous to part and go to separate
bedrooms. As they both fetched glasses of water from the
kitchen, in their nightclothes, he hesitated. Lily looked a
little aloof and after all it would not be fair until he was
absolutely sure a marriage would be a success for them both.
It was many months before he found out what her feelings
had been at that moment.
On the drive home next day, Lily heard Michael
humming, ‘I’ve grown accustomed to her face,’ from the
show ‘My Fair Lady.’ She wondered if in the days to come
with his busy life, he would miss her, as she knew she would
miss him.

Their thoughts as they drove homewards were partly

89

of the wonderful companionable week that was ending and
partly of what lay ahead. Michael's mind was busy with
thoughts of appointments and duties that he had gladly
shelved for a week. He now looked forward with enthusiasm
to his various tasks. How would he find his house he
wondered, after a week in his grandson's care, not to
mention the care of his friends in the small pop group he
belonged to who, no doubt, would have been practising in
the living room during his absence.
Again and again the message from Marian came to his
mind; 'To marry a psychic'. A younger woman.’ Could it be
true? Who knew what the future held, but if it were true,
how unfair to Lily; Lily of the honest, loving and vulnerable
heart.

90

CHAPTER ELEVEN

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