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Inspirational WRITING

Walk The Talk

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

I would like to share with my Dear Readers a beautiful Soul, Dave Thomas, creator of the “WALK THE TALK” podcasts. Dave is a serving police officer. In one of his shows he talks about being a Family Liaison Officer. In his calm and measured tones, he tells his own story. It is simply and beautifully told, brutal, graphic and sad but ultimately filled with hope. I have long held a huge regard for our Police Service in the U.K having had a very special person help me when I needed it most. Listening to Dave Thomas, I am in awe at his selfless service and have a greater understanding and deep well of compassion for those men and women who are our Protectors. For who could walk in Dave or his colleagues shoes, and have the Grace and courage to talk about the horrors they have dealt with and still have such kind and loving hearts?

By kind permission, I share below the transcript and the link to Dave’s personal testament. I hope when you listen too, you feel the sheer love this wonderful man has for others. Behind the uniform beat real human hearts, our Protectors are Sons, Daughters, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters and Friends. Imagine your loved one had to carry the things Dave shares…

 

 

WALK THE TALK

by

DAVE THOMAS

 

Welcome to‘Walk the Talk’ a private podcast production with me Dave Thomas. Thank you for downloading this edition of the programme. I do hope you enjoy it. Until now I have interviewed folk with the hope and intention of expanding and illuminating the subject of well-being, in what will become a regular addition to these podcasts I will be sharing my own experiences and in this episode I will talk you through my work as a family liaison officer. At times heart breaking, but ultimately rewarding work. But the role has a shelf life and as you will hear that clock is ticking, and one day I know I will have to give up that role I volunteered for 10 years ago.

The opposite of death is birth, not life, as many people think. Life is what transpires between those two events of which we have no control. We anticipate and hope for a happy fruitful and long life, not only for ourselves, but for our friends and for the people we love the most.

For reasons I am yet to understand, circumstances and events transpired to bring a person’s life to its premature end, sometimes before it’s even really begun. If that death is the result of a potential criminal act then a Family Liaison Officer is parachuted in, landing firmly in the middle of an emotional no man’s land of a devastated family. I purposely use that language because we invade a family’s grief and intimacy with the same abruptness that a shell hits the floor. You are entering a vacuum with little to offer but yourself. Working as a Family Liaison Officer can be immensely rewarding: To help a fellow human being in their darkest hour and actually be in a position to change the world for one person or at least help them to adjust to a new one. That painful privilege does have a price. As in all things in life, the price that has to be paid, if not managed effectively, that privilege can come with a very high price indeed.

 I’ve dealt with pretty much every which way a human being can die. I’ve never had somebody die in my arms, unless of course you count my own Mother and that is an experience I have yet to get over. Working on the Road Policing Unit, I have seen ‘Body Disruption’ a non-descriptive non-emotional term to describe a scene from hell. I’ve seen decapitation and people burnt beyond recognition. I have seen folk without a scratch on them. Not pleasant sights and never unseen that will stay with me until it is my time to say farewell. But what really affects me is as a Family Liaison Officer, and continues to do so, is the utter vacuum for those left behind, the mind numbing, cold hearted emptiness, the grief that relentlessly keeps crashing over again and again. They feel it and so do we.

I’m often asked how do you tell somebody their loved one has died? I’ve learned from painful experience, and the answer may sound blunt, use plain words in simple sentences, “They have died, they’ve been killed.” They know what I’m going to say when they open their front door, it’s written all over my face and they’re listening hard for the words they desperately don’t want to hear. It’s important therefore to be clear because they are already in shock. I feel a tremendous amount of relief once I’ve passed that message, the worst thing for me is for them to say, “I know”.

A family liaison officer will, wherever possible, go to the scene of a fatal collision. Our brief by the Senior Investigating Officer on the circumstances and any clues as to the identity of the deceased. It’s not always that easy and there is a tremendous amount of pressure to let the next of kin know as soon as possible. We have to be sure we know the identity of the deceased and we’re always fighting a battle with social media.

I have lost count how many times I’ve destroyed a family with our news, but it all starts the same way. Visit the scene, do your background checks and trying to keep your mind on the road as you drive to their house. But honestly, you’re already in another place, preparing yourself to enter their world and to become a part of it. Even before you have got to the house, you’re soaking information in. What sort of neighbourhood is it? Style of the houses, even the width of the road. You’re driving along, then there is the house and you’re looking for something that if seen will fill you with dread; the toys of children lying in the garden. Advance warnings that this is going to be a tough one.

I know of a colleague that had to deliver that message to a waiting wife and children who were about to celebrate a birthday. I’ve had to get people out of bed, turn the gas off on a cooker for dinner about to be served, bury a dog that had been killed with its owner. The list is as long, as it’s varied, as it is tragic. I arrive at the front door. I hesitate to knock, taking a deep breath, as I raised my arm. Sometimes the door opens suddenly before I get the chance to knock. I introduced myself and insist I come inside. I ask if there’s anybody else in the house.  I’ve known folk we thought of being killed only to walk down the stairs. I also ask that question to make sure that there is support available. I take in every little detail. You can tell whether there is love in a house.

You are there in the knowledge you’re about to destroy somebody’s world. And with that, for the Storyteller or for the Messenger, over the years comes guilt. Sometimes my mind has wandered over to that famous Hindu text quoted by the father of the atomic bomb “I have become death”. But I know I’m only the Messenger. People react in different ways, I have been slapped, hugged, screamed at and even had a cup of tea made for me. I’ve nearly had a cup of tea poured over me! Over the years I’ve learned the power of silence. I used to try and fill that void, over the sobbing tears, invariably saying something stupid. Now I don’t bother.

The next huge emotional hurdle for me and my family is the formal identification. Yes, you see, they are my family now. I came into their world as a stranger and now our common friend is death. Identification is usually done at the hospital Mortuary; the staff are acutely aware of the circumstances and are so very supportive towards the next of kin. For many this is the time when the awful news finally sinks in. Instinctively I stand behind those who wait to see what’s behind the curtain, ready to catch them when they faint. All too often they will say to me they didn’t believe me until they had seen their Loved One with their own eyes.

The first few hours for a family liaison officer are draining, both emotionally and physically. Here is the start of a long painful route lasting many months, which is littered with hurdles and troughs. I have shared the grief of many families over the years, some start off as friends and remain friends, some start off as enemies becoming friends. But I am proud to say I’ve never lost a friend nor created an enemy. That takes more than dedication and hard work, it takes sacrifice, in point of fact.

So, to the real point of this podcast, all of this takes its toll, toll that must be paid. A willing transaction, nonetheless. Each subsequent deployment gets harder not easier. Genuine tears that I used to find easy to hide are no longer so. A mind racing with thoughts that get harder to put to sleep at night. I’m now unable to watch videos of cruelty to both man and animal, getting irritable over minor things. And yes, only the other week my hearing briefly dropped quite significantly due to that stealthy assassin ‘Stress’.

Being honest with myself, I realised that I’m getting closer to emotional saturation. I have given of myself without regret or hesitation. Over the years, the effect though is cumulative. I’ve given you a piece of me in exchange for a piece of your grief. I can’t take it off you, but I can help you to carry it when he gets too heavy. And as a result, you now have a part of me whether you want it or not.

So how much more do I have left to give? The honest answer is “I don’t know”, but I’ve learned throughout the years, and my own emotional intelligence, tells me, I won’t be waiting until it gets too late.

Quitting whilst you are ahead is not the same as quitting.

 

© Dave Thomas

 

You can follow Dave Thomas on Twitter

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“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Categories
WRITING & BLOGGING

Coffee Shop Tales #1

Hello there,

Henry the cat here with a little coffee time tale from my home at the ‘Black Cat Café’ in Providence, Rhode Island. My person Cassie owns the place. Whilst she is busy brewing and baking, I like to curl up on a cosy couch and people watch. Entertaining business for a fabulous feline with an interest in depth psychology.

A quiet Monday, mid morning and I saw her, one that left a mark. A woman of a certain age, nicely dressed and sat there on one of the big leather armchairs. She’d nabbed a place tucked in the corner of the coffee shop. I watched her nursing her cup of strong black coffee, pain etched on her face.

She did not she me. Her eyes were fixed on something or someone in her own private mind movie. I wondered what hurt she was reliving and was it somewhere back in time or a fresh memory? No matter, really. Heartache is heartache. It all hurts the same, be it old or new.

I padded over and jumped up on the seat beside her. Maybe I could help? Sometimes humans find it good to talk, especially to a handsome and understanding chap like myself.

She became aware of my presence and blinked away threatening tears as she came back into the space we shared. But the shutters were down. I had intruded on a private thing. It was if a huge wave of emotion had washed over me and I felt the full force of her pain. She knew and with a shock I realised she resented me for it.

She got up, without giving me a second glance, and walked away trailing her sadness behind her.

~Eily Nash

Categories
LIFE Uncategorized WRITING & BLOGGING

FEELING PRESENCES

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Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

 

Feeling Presences: a little true story…

There is a woman I used to know  Eloise, I helped her a lot with stuff over the years, younger husband falling for a younger woman, his cheating, the divorce that ensued and an old lover who put in a reappearance in more than one way…

Back in the day the love of her life, Carter, treated her badly, preferring bikes, beer and mates. They split but she never really loved anyone like him. Years roll on and they meet and seeing she is (as she supposes) happily married they stay just friends, with the occasional benefit. He wants her back but she knows it would not work. The friendly beers with the boys had long ago turned into addiction.He was a highly functioning alchoholic.

Anyhow, he died suddenly, his once fit body ravaged by years of abuse gave out way too soon. She was heartbroken. Came to see me for tea and sympathy and maybe hoping I may get my Tarot cards out. There was no need, as  Eloise walked into my kitchen, Carter came in too!

I saw him as a large grey shadow by her side. I could ‘sense’ what he looked like but not see him other than this very tall, grey shadowy  shape. I told her he was there and where he was standing. 

She said she knew, she felt him come in too and hoped he would give me a message for her. 

Then to my shame something happened I regretted.  This was years ago and I didn’t know how to use the ‘gift’. 

I heard him inside my head, his voice. Wanting me to connect my energy with him to let her Know he was OK. 

I was scared I would not get rid of him, so I closed down. But not before  he told me to let her know he had loved her, she had been his true love, the love of his life and he had thrown it away. I thought Eloise would be hugely upset, but she wasn’t, his words were what she needed to hear to lay the ghosts of their past to rest. Eloise left and she was  happy…Until the husband’s skulduggery came to light, but that is a private matter, not my story to tell.

Now many years have passed, and many Spirit visitors later, I do know how to send them on their way, just always feel bad about that one!

The spooky stuff that has really happened to me, I have enough to write a book and not one of my usual fictional ones!! Maybe I shall…one day.

 

© Eily Nash

Categories
SPIRITUALITY Uncategorized WRITING & BLOGGING

Those Blue Eyes

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Image by intographics from Pixabay

 

They say that eyes are the window to the soul. This is a true story about a pair of blue eyes I once saw and never, ever forgot.

An ordinary day, an ordinary shopping mall. I was weighed down, not by shopping, but those concerns life throws at us time to time, heavy burdens we have to carry because there is no one else can take them from us. And if they did? Would we loose valuable life lessons? Only the passage of time, experience and the growth self awareness will tell.

So there I was, walking along alone, lost in thoughts. From a long way off I was aware of Him. Call it charisma, personal magnetism, kismet…I was brought back into the here and now with a powerful pull. He was beautiful, those eyes, those mesmerising eyes. They were a shade of cobalt blue I absolutely adore. I was all at once transfixed and shy, desperately wanting to go and say ‘Hi, how are you?’ But I couldn’t. Rooted to the spot, I watched him glide by, and something passed in his eyes. He looked at me and I at him and I just had an overwhelming sense of ‘knowing’ and a feeling of total and unconditional love, something that had been in short supply for a very long time. His body may have been broken. His Soul Light was mesmerising in it’s intensity!

He was maybe seventy years old, white hair and beard covering a tanned, weather beaten face. I no longer remember what he wore, just that his legs had been removed below the knee and he guided his wheelchair skilfully through the throng of people. I so wished I had chased after him, spoken, asked questions…But…

Many times I hoped I would see him again, in a small town you do tend to see the same ‘faces’ but I never did. I never forgot those cobalt eyes. He became the inspiration for Peter Cabot, Doctor and Spirit Guide, in my book ‘Wychwood’.

That day I believe I was touched by an Angel…And my personal burdens were somehow so much lighter.

An Angel with blue eyes, incredible cobalt blue eyes…

 

Categories
animals SPIRITUALITY Uncategorized WRITING & BLOGGING

The Cat’s Tale

 

 

 

Do you ever wonder why we have pets, why we have a close affinity with animals? I believe we are given our pets by God to help us on our life path. They love us absolutely unconditionally, and the bond once formed with an animal can be so strong, so intense and life affirming. Love is Present. It breaks my heart when people are cruel or unkind to God’s creatures. There is no need for it.

It is really easy to love that cute little fur-ball of a kitten or a puppy. It is a lot harder to have the same ‘Ahh’ feeling for a tough old alley cat, but who is to say that a battered old bruiser is not just as deserving of a little TLC and respect?

I‘d like to tell you about one such Cat I met many years ago. His name was Charlie, he was the scourge of the neighbourhood. He was big and brawny and Charlie liked nothing more than to prowl around looking for a good fight.

Charlie was not a friendly cat. Although he had a home, he was originally a rescue cat, he was very much his own boss. His nature was much more alley cat than pampered pet. He had attacked other cats and dogs and he had even attacked people too. Often very viciously and I heard first hand how he managed to claw and draw blood from a lovely elderly lady who is known locally to be extremely kind to animals. Clarice needed hospital treatment for the wounds he inflicted, yet she never reported Charlie nor did she complain to his owner about his bad behaviour, choosing forgiveness instead of anger and resentment. Clarice told me his owner had enough of her own worries and there was no need to burden her further. She was a very wise woman.

My special pet is called Angel, she is just the most adorable fluffy white West Highland Terrier. She has a very loving nature and is a very sweet and friendly girl. Although Angel has a big bark inside our house, she is shy and timid outside.

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Angel and her favourite puppy dog plush toy

 

One day Angel was out walking with me, It is very green and pretty where we live. She was happily doing doggy things, like sniffing all those interesting scents from other pooches, cats and foxes. Out of nowhere Charlie sprang at her and tried to claw her down her back, she is a small Westie and at that time not long past her puppy days, and next to Angel Charlie was HUGE. Angel is my baby girl and no one and nothing will hurt her whilst I am around to love and protect her. So I reached down and scooped her into my arms and roared at Alfie ‘Leave her alone!’  I roared so loud my voice stunned him and he gave up on his ambush and slunk off into the bushes. Angel was very shook up and frightened and I was not best pleased with that cat. For the longest time when I saw him afterwards, one look from me and he just knew better than to mess with Angel again. Knowing she was safe, Angel just continued doing her doggy thing, sniffing all those deliciously enticing scents and not engaging with him.

A few weeks later, I was sat on the step in my front garden, hunkered down between our very tall hedges. Along the path comes Charlie. I was feeling very down about something. As is the way with life, all things pass, all is transitory and I no longer recall what had upset me although at the time it was important enough for me to seek solitude in nature. Charlie had (if cats can have such a thing!) a very ‘hang dog’ look about him. He wasn’t slinking along with his usual beligerant air.

I caught his eye and asked him ‘You not feeling so good either Charlie?’ He stood watching me, in that way cats have of staring into your eyes and deeply reading you. I dare say, cat owners have no secrets from them! And then something odd happened. In that instant I just knew everything about Charlie, why he was like he was and how his ‘old battered bruiser Tomcat’ exterior was just an overcoat wrapped around a lost boy who had a heart after all. He told me he had especially chosen his special human Courtney, the girl who had “rescued” him, because she was having a hard time in this game called life, and she had been battered and bruised by a lot of unkind people. He had come to show her she was worthy of love and devotion and that he enough  strength and courage to protect both of them.

He came over and gently rubbed his face against my leg and I stroked him under his chin. He sat there and purred a bit. I talked and Charlie listened and between us we gained a liking and a great deal of mutual respect for each other. When I needed a friend that day, God sent one along albeit he came in the strangest disguise!

Charlie and Courtney eventually moved on, where she went, he went. I know a well deserved and happier life awaited both of them.

I have long forgotten whatever had ailed me but even though he is long gone, I have never forgotten old Charlie the cat.

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Feral_cat_Virginia_crop.jpg

 

Thank you for reading! This is a true story although, apart from Angel, I have changed the names of the characters who appear in my little sharing:)