Feel free to play the following music while you read. Chosen by Lorrie.
A message from Lorrie: ‘If it is that you find yourself in the depths of despair, suffering and sorrow. This story may help to ease the anguish and the pain: to offer, but for a flicker of light to restore one's aching heart and soul.’
As a child I had what some may call unusual other worldly experiences. For me it was a presence of something unseen, beautiful, and comforting. Other experiences could be described as premonitions, seeing imminent events unfold before they had actually occurred. These experiences have continued to influence me throughout my life. Some premonitions were a lot more upsetting and traumatic than others, from 9\11 to the Paris bombings, the Granville towers tragedy to aircraft disasters and more.
Being part of my life, these experiences have set me on a never-ending journey of discovery; leading me to search for the truth, meaning and understanding of life and death. In doing so it has brought me some comfort with my own challenges and life experiences. In time I felt drawn to share and pass on what I felt and recognised to be a gift for the soul through art, word, and story, in the hope that it may bring solace to others.
There was one experience in particular that has stayed with me and at times haunted me. It is a story that became known as Three Days in September and The Angel of the Innocent.
It was early one morning in late August and the children's first day back to school. Like so many parents around the world, I was rushing to get breakfast and the children ready for school. Checking they had their teeth cleaned, new school bags with lunch packed, shoes polished and laces tied. Holding their little hands on the short walk to the school gates, feeling their excitement and nervousness. One sprints ahead to catch up with her friends and no time to say goodbye, whilst the other clings to my leg as I gently coax her to let go and a word of reassurance that it won’t be long before we see each other again. A big hug and I tell her I love her so much before she reluctantly skips off to class.
I make my way home where the clean-up starts after the chaos and excitement of the morning. The house felt so quiet without the sound of the children. I began washing the dishes. Not my favourite of chores but it allowed me to gaze out the window and immerse myself in the beauty of the trees, swaying and dancing as if conducted by an invisible orchestra. It was during this moment of stillness that I felt something change, as if a doorway opened within me and a call from that unseen world.
I dropped everything and hurried to my little room. It was simply furnished with a window seat and easel yet filled with the beauty of the light from the rising sun. It was a peaceful place. I would often sit here to watch and witness the wonder of the sunrise in all its great beauty which in turn lent itself to moments of stillness and contemplation. My soul hungered for the sense of peace and serenity this experience offered to me and in return would inspire me to write, paint and reflect upon the miracle and sacredness of life and death.
On this particular day, it was like none other as I entered my little studio with a sense of foreboding. It was not the rising sun that called me but instead an overwhelming feeling of unease. All was not well in the world. I reached for my first pastel when suddenly I was transported to another world. A world filled with love and peace. I could hear and feel the most beautiful music. The music cascaded through me and all around me. It was the sound of love being sounded back and forth across all eternity. Sounding the sound of Creation. The harmonic sounds in turn created bursts of living colour and light as if dancing to the sounds of unending love. Creating an infinite sound of colour. The sounds motioned together appearing to take a form. The form appeared to take the shape of a being, alive with the movement of colour.
Words came flooding into my mind:
"I invite you to participate in our mission, in your world."
With that, many forms gathered behind this beautiful and majestic being. It was as though a heavenly army had gathered to the sounds of celestial chanting and yet within that sound was a great sense of foreboding and urgency...all was not well.
Light into Darkness
And so, it was in the blink of an eye my world did change. The blissful and love-filled sounds of heavenly choirs were no more, only to be replaced by the deafening sounds of sorrow. The beautiful bursts of dancing colour had been overcome and lay in the shadows of darkness. It was as if all had descended into hell and hell was in our world.
My heart began to ache, my joy turned to the deepest feeling of sadness and pain. I found myself standing, watching, filled with what was to come. Before my eyes lay total devastation and destruction. Mounds of burning rubble, fires burning, blackened smoke rising and consuming all that lay in its path.
The sweet sounds of heavenly music replaced by the chilling sound of children screaming, calling for their mothers and fathers. Mothers and fathers calling back and forth with the deadening sounds of terror as they searched for their children. In that moment it seemed all the light had left the world, replaced by an overwhelming air of sorrow and heartache - heartache and sorrow that had overcome all that was good and pure. The perfumed scents of heavenly love were replaced by the smell of fear and death while layers of darkness carried and echoed the silent screams of sorrow and pain all around; the beauty of light and colour gone.
From Darkness came Light
Through the darkened chaos, a light suddenly appeared and from within that light another light and another, multiplying as they moved through and above the devastation spreading throughout the darkness, their light growing and pulsating like a heartbeat. It seemed the only flicker of light offering hope within the great darkness. Each light seemed to linger above an area, pausing as if searching for something, then appearing to have found what they had been looking for.
The light nearest to me seemed to grow and grow until it took the form of the beautiful Being I had stood before just moments earlier in that heavenly place. The figure reached down as if searching amongst the rubble, stopping, and gently uncovering what it had been looking for, gathering, and cradling something into its arms, then rising tall to stand still for a moment; to bow its head in stillness and turn to face me.
Held within its arms cradled the body of a small child ever so close to its heart, with the greatest of reverence and gentlest of love as if nothing else existed. A sorrowful love swept through me, a sorrow that was shared and could be felt across all eternity. Deafening anguish grew all around and within that anguish, all lay quiet, all lay still, as the sound of sorrow rang out across the heavens as if to echo a call to mourn and to make way for the return home of God's most precious gifts. It was in this moment of sorrow, and with tears rolling down its face, the Angel did say:
"Our Love for you all is so great, it is indescribable, but so too is our sorrow, for what you do to each other in this world."
And in that same moment, I was back in my little room and there in front of me was the painting of the Angel cradling the beautiful child. My heart began to ache as I realised, I may have again bore witness to another event that was yet to unfold.
From vision to reality
I carried a deep sorrow and pain within my soul for the following days, going over and over what I had experienced and witnessed with no understanding of the hows and of course the whys. Entering into the visions of one world would only bring me to enter the other as though intertwined for all eternity. Every day I would enter my little room to gaze at the painting, waiting for it to awaken.
It was some days later that I was to understand!
I casually turned on the radio after coming home from leaving the children to school, only to hear breaking news involving a little school in Beslan. Immediately the hairs stood on the back of my neck, and so it was over the coming days the world would watch on in horror as a little school in the town of Beslan had been taken hostage by Chechen separatists. It was the first day of September 2004. A day when the schools were returning after their summer recess. A day when both parents and grandparents would all gather at the school to see the most beautiful part of themselves being entrusted to others for their first day of the school year, just as I had done days before with my own girls.
The world watched on in disbelief. The unfolding horror beamed into millions of homes throughout the world, the true terror unfolding minute by minute. Over a thousand children and adults had been taken hostage and were held in the school gym hall. In sweltering heat and without food and water they were forced to drink their own urine. Booby trap bombs had been strapped to the bodies of children, parents, grandparents, and teachers….
In less than three short days things took an even more sinister twist while we watched on helplessly as the school was filled with gunfire and explosions. A fire on the roof of the sports hall started and soon the burning rafters and roofing fell onto the children, teachers, mothers, and fathers below. Eventually, the entire roof collapsed, turning the school into an inferno.
It was not until the following days that the news coverage captured the full horror of what had taken place. I began to cry as a full-size image covered the front page of our national newspaper. A moment I will never forget as long as I live.
It was of a man cradling the body of a child with tears running down his face.
A volunteer carries a small child after special forces stormed a school seized by heavily armed masked men and women in the town of Beslan in the province of North Ossetia near Chechnya , September 3, 2004. (Reuters) © Reuters
I had witnessed this horrific event before it had taken place. I had also been permitted to enter a heavenly afterlife of angelic-like beings, who await to collect the unbreakable light that exists within this human body of ours. A light I know to be constant and eternal, a light that is created from the purest love. It is the light I witnessed being lifted and cradled ever so gently and lovingly from the broken bodies, the bodies of the innocent. Their light was the light within the darkness, they were the love within the hatred, they were the peace within the sorrow, they were the hope within the despair.
We remember the children of Beslan.
I hope this story may help to ease your anguish and pain and offer a flicker of light and hope that our souls, despite the tragedy, continue on in peace surrounded by heaven's love and light to restore from it's earthly hardship.
Please feel free to share with any friend or loved ones who may find solace in this story or comment below.
View Angel of the Innocent here