Celestial Conversations:
Healing Relationships After Death

by Lo Anne Mayer

Cape House Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-939-12901-7.
Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
Posted on 02/11/2013

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

Relationships don't necessarily end when a person dies. Memories keep them alive, but that's not enough for author Lo Anne Mayer. Mayer and her mother left too much unsaid. She came across some of her own old journals a year after her mother's death and remembered "how [she'd] combined meditation and journaling to tap into divine guidance" when she was dealing with her six-year-old son's academic difficulties. She wondered if the same technique could help her overcome her grief at the loss of her mother, and figured it couldn't hurt to try. Celestial Conversations is a record of her attempts and the results.

She wrote a letter to her mother, using automatic writing. She finished, and closed the book. She repeated the process, and on her third try, she wrote what she heard or channeled, and her writing produced a letter in her mother's voice. If you are a doubter or a cynic, you may doubt the author's credibility. Keep in mind that this is memoir: it's the author's emotional truth, and she supports it with ongoing events, witnessed by her family, that make her story believable.

When Mayer first hears from her mother she writes,

"I had no doubt the letter from my mother was the contact I had hoped for. If I hadn't journaled in this manner years ago, I might have stopped after my hand scrawled 'Loanne.' My mother had always written my name in that manner. For fifty years I had written 'Lo Anne.' For me the spelling was a sign Mother was writing through my pen onto the paper."

Reading Mayer, I cannot help thinking of a line from Hamlet, which says, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy..."

I am a strong proponent of journaling, free writing, and "going wherever the writing takes you," (a technique I learned in an Amherst Writers and Artists Workshop and have incorporated into my own work). Mayer has done all three and shares important passages from her journal, some in her own voice and some from both her mother and a daughter who died unexpectedly.

Mayer writes with conviction and a passion for sharing her experience. She offers tools, which readers may take or leave. She shows her characters clearly, and brings to light where her relationships succeeded, where they failed, and how they shifted when her mother and daughter wrote to her from the other side.

Mayer reveals her story with increasing drama and depth. There is a tension that comes from deaths and difficult relationships, but Mayer also offers hope. Who among us has not wanted to communicate with someone who died too soon? Who would not like to resolve unsettled issues with parents or siblings on the other side? Who would not value the reassurance that comes from knowing there is another side?

Celestial Conversations is about a spiritual journey that gave hope to the author. Although it's very personal, it can give hope to those who open their minds. The information is there. Why not read Mayer's story and see how meditating and journaling can change your life?

Lo Anne Mayer, a workshop presenter and former host of the television show Angels at Work, is a student of many metaphysical and healing traditions. Journaling helped her heal after her mother's death. Celestial Conversations is her first book. Visit her website.

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