Picking Up The Ashes: Entering the Twilight Zone of Grief

Excerpt from Book 3, Chapter 20 "Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge" Click HERE for actual video footage of the scene which will open in a new window.

"It was the first time she went to the park without me. She had just been to the vet to pick up my ashes. It was raining that day; pouring just like it poured the morning that I passed. I knew right where she would go. She would always go to Grandfather Tree when she was having a bad time or needed to sort things out in her head. She sat down under the mulberry, which was thick with big leaves, so thick that the rain rolled right off of them while she remained dry underneath. She thought of me, her mind playing like a cinematic movie, reviewing the fun times we had shared. Her thoughts began to crescendo as she remembered the suffering of our final hours together. I did not want her to go to those memories.

Suddenly a car pulled up into the parking lot behind her. She heard a door open and close. It made her stop sniffling a little bit but she was kind of upset because she really just wanted to be alone. Who in their right mind would be out in this rainstorm? A moment later she turned her head and her tear-filled eyes to watch as they walked by.  It was a woman walking with her Afghan Hound under a big red umbrella. What kind of person comes out to the park and walks in the pouring rain, she asked herself again. And an Afghan Hound? Kate had never seen an Afghan Hound in these parts. None of it made sense and she wondered if she was dreaming, but she wasn’t. I sent the rain. I sent the woman. I sent the Afghan Hound. I sent the red umbrella. Remember what I said about things that make no sense?..."  

The Jack McAfghan Trilogy will heal your grief. Available on Amazon Worldwide and through your favorite bookseller. Visit to see our five star reviews. Start feeling better in a matter of hours by starting with Book 1 "Reflections" 


"Are All Your Books About Dead Dogs?"

Our first book in the Jack McAfghan series was "Jack McAfghan: Reflections on Life with my Master".  Jack quickly developed a following by helping people to work through their grief, walking them through it each step of the way. As a canine "grief counselor," Jack connected readers with their own loved ones and brought those loved ones back for healing. 

After that book was published in June 2015 I just kept writing and writing and writing.  

Last month, a family member called to congratulate me on the then-upcoming publication of "The Lizard from Rainbow Bridge."  She had no idea what this book was about. She then asked me: "Are all your books about dead dogs?"  

Well, no. This second one is about a lizard actually. A dead one. A dead one who lives on in another dimension. Ok? 

My next book, yes, it's about a "dead dog" too. Jack is back again. In the style of his first books, he helps the reader through their grief by teaching and supporting... and sharing the wonderful story of his journey to Rainbow Bridge and back again. "Return from Rainbow Bridge" is a book, also narrated by Jack McAfghan, that speaks of why we die, how we die, how we can return to life and how the end of this life is not the end of life at all. We hope to release it by the end of this year. 

What's next after that? Well, I guess it's about a "dead dog" too. It's a book about the progression of death in all things.  It's a small booklet that guides a stressed reader through the dying process. After 30 years working with Death and Dying I have witnessed the same things happen over and over again. There is a somewhat predictable course when one prepares to die of natural causes. This little book will prepare the reader to recognize the stages of the journey and to best prepare for the inevitable. It is told by---- Jack, the canine grief counselor. Jack just seems to have a better way with words than I do.   

....And the next book after that comes along as a matter of course. Over the past year or so, as Jack worked his way into the hearts of his readers, they wrote him fan mail and many letters seeking support, comfort and advice. "Letters from Rainbow Bridge" brings his answers to their questions about death, dying, decision-making, emotional issues and confusion that are a part of grief. He teaches the reader how to find the best help and how best to help others who are going through loss.

That said, there is another book. I was almost finished with it before the fateful week that changed my life. In July 2014 I took Jack in for surgery on a Monday, taking that week off to be near him and to finish the book. But it didn't unfold that way. Jack  passed that Friday and my father passed the next day... I short sold my home the following month. Caught up in grief and loss, I was paralyzed for six months. Then Jack brought me back to life. He came back into my life and rocked my world. He gave my words back to me and brought my intuition into the light of day.  I never planned to write all these other books. He inspired all of them. 

"It's All About You" will be finished after "Letters" ...and there are many many more books forthcoming. This journey is definitely not about a 'dead dog'. It is about Letting Go of everything we ever thought Love was.  Everything we ever thought Life was. Everything we thought Death was. 

Sometimes you have to reach a certain age, a certain stage in life to find out what makes you happy.  I am currently looking for new housing and a simpler life, financially and otherwise, because All I Want To Do Is Write.  I will sacrifice everything and do whatever it takes to make this happen. 

See you in my next book!  


When You Grieve For One Who Grieves

Sometimes it is harder to witness one grieving than it is to grieve for yourself. Sometimes you grieve more for them than they grieve for themselves because you tend to project your own feelings onto them and it distorts and magnifies the grief.

Yesterday she heard the familiar "THUMP" of the bird hitting the window. She ran outside and it was a young adult female cardinal. So beautiful. It had died instantly having broken its neck in the impact.  
She went inside to get a soft towel and returned for burial proceedings. She admired its feathers, its beak, its regal beauty as she wrapped the bird. She prayed for it and spoke with it as she carried it to the fence at the back of the yard, the place where the cardinal and her mate would often frolic and play.  
As she dug the soft hole, she cried softly. She covered the beautiful creature with the dirt which she sifted through her fingers so that it would land gently upon the tangerine-colored wings. 

After she went back into the house, she tried to re-focus on her tasks at hand there. In a matter of moments there was the "CHIRP CHIRP" of the male cardinal. He was at the back fence flitting around. "CHIP CHIP CHIRP CHIRP".  Oh this made her cry again, harder. It was not a happy chirp. She imagined what it must be like for the cardinal's partner to not know what happened. To be confused and lost and alone. She wondered if they had a nest -- of eggs -- or perhaps of little ones who still needed their mother in order to survive. She had hopes that cardinals do not mate for life so that this beautiful red boy would be able to find love again. Throughout the day she would hear his CHIRP and she would be so unhappy for him.  

But today, there he was. CHIRP! CHIRP!  Flying around with another girl. Humans take a long time to heal and four-leggeds heal 7x faster. Birds heal almost immediately once they know what's going on.  Mr. Cardinal had seen the whole thing. He knew what had happened. He did not waste any time in grief for as soon as his lady passed, she joined him in spirit. Birds and animals know more than you think they do and they are capable of knowing more than you know.  They would say to you this: 

"Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form."  
Jalaluddin Rumi

Read my books and I will help you understand how we go and how we come back and what happens in the middle of it all. 
Jack McAfghan: The Trilogy is available worldwide on Amazon and through all major booksellers.  

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