Here is the letter which I gratefully wrote to the Victorian Spiritualist Union about April 2017.
I attended my first service on Sunday last, and am writing to convey my deep gratitude for the experience, which was powerful, even overwhelming.
Some time after the death of my wife, Margaret, on September 23rd last year, I decided I wanted to attend a reading and a service.
First I went to North Melbourne on a Sunday, then went by train to Ringwood rather than Rwood East. Then during the holidays, to find it shut of course. Finally, I made it last week...fourth time lucky.
I have had 2 private readings previously, in a'Beckett St., where my sister, Anne Lamont, was secretary for some years. I have also written a memoir (of spiritualistic occurrences in my life) called "Ouija Nights". One of my private readings was for me to find further info re Great Grandfather, about whom I wrote a novel called "Coan the Cooper".
During Sunday's reading, Diana saw a small couple, about 5'5" she said. G Grandfather was that height when he joined the Union Army in 1855. It was certainly interesting, and I was happy to take what was offered. I hardly dared hope for any hint of Margaret.
Diana's session came to an end and I enjoyed chatting over afternoon tea, but as I left was accosted by Mary, a young lady whom I noticed had been looking and smiling at me during the readings. She was anxious to intercept me before I left.
She told me that all during the session, she saw that I was accompanied by a young woman who stood close and smiled at me. She was very clear, and present all the time. She was in her prime, aged 30 to 40 and was slim with light brown hair in a soft wave. Mary immediately identified Margaret from photos on my phone, particularly one in early pregnancy, aged 34.
l cried tears that I hadn't cried before, and was grateful to be comforted by Mary. I told her that it was my first visit, and she told me it was her first for the year.
I am grateful to all concerned and feel blessed by the whole experience.
It'sDecember 2022. I had an email recently from a young lady who was Margaret's violin student.
Here is the email
I am not sure if you remember me at all but I was a student of Margaret's in around 2002 - 2006. I stopped playing violin not too long after my father, Tony, passed away in 2005. Both you and Margaret came to the funeral in Surrey Hills and played music for it.
I have such fond childhood memories of the years I spent in that second room in Spencer street looking at that 70's painting of the couple standing in an apartment with a shag rug. It's an oddly specific visual memory to have but I really loved that piece of art! I was also a fairly terrible violin student as I spent at least half of my lessons just talking with Margaret. But she was so kind and lovely to talk to when I was 14 as I didn't really have many adults I could talk to.
I was very interested in fashion at that age and Margaret would record hours of the fashion channel onto a vhs tape so I could watch all the runway shows because my parents sternly refused to get foxtel! She was so supportive of my young ideas. I probably still have those tapes.
I recently learnt of her passing through the website of hers you were updating as I was curious if you had moved from Spencer street as I could no longer recognise the house. It has changed so much and lost the charm it had while you all lived there.
Reading through your blog was very heartwarming and saddening as a lot of your experiences with her illness are so familiar to me - both my parents died in much the same way from cancer and it was a terrible thing to go through as a carer watching a loved one suffer and slowly disappear.
Then I read a reference to 8 Royal Crescent. I thought surely not...no, it couldn't have been. And then it clicked. My long time neighbour at 6 Royal Crescent (I live at 3 Fairholm Grove directly behind her and diagonal to 8) was recently in the process of selling her house and wanted the dividing fence replaced so having no fence we chatted a fair bit and we talked about number 8 and she said there were lovely musicians living there for a while. I remarked that I could always hear live music playing and often late night parties and so much laughter.
So it just dawned on me that for at least a couple of years you were both living so close to me without me putting two and two together. I'm sad that I didn't realise at the time that you and Margaret were my neighbours.
All this is just to say even though it's been some time I'm very sorry for your loss and I just wanted to share my fond memories of Margaret with you and thank her through you for being so wonderful.
I hope you are doing well and still playing loudly for the neighbours to enjoy!
All the best,
AND I REPLIED
Hi K**. No, I don’t remember a K** S*****, but I do remember very well a certain C******** S********* - and of course, T*** and M****. I will write properly soon but Margaret would have loved to have known you then.
We sold in August 2014 and lived in Royal from August 2014 till December 2019.
Margaret was diagnosed in the Autumn of 2015 (her sister Anna having died suddenly of an aneurysm at home in Italy a year earlier).
2016 was a year of gradual decline and she died at home in 2016 … September 23.
Elizabeth next door became a very good friend of mine and we would spend many times having afternoon tea and chat in each other’s place.
I live at ** ****** Street Camberwell with Dominic and his wife and their baby, my Granddaughter Martiana.
I will send a couple of links which might amuse you.
Margaret would most definitely send her love and best wishes to your dotty fashion label with all those syllabus (3?) and maybe a letter p prominent somewhere.
Love and best wishes,
These emails were received and sent between 1 and 2 am, then I went back to sleep.
In my sleep I dreamt that I was in the front room at Spencer Road, where I taught. On the dresser I saw a letter in which Margaret's old pupil had made contact. I was so pleased that I turned to my right and called to whoever might be home, "Hey kids, just come and look at this letter from Mum's old student."
I turned then to my left, and there, to my surprise, Margaret was sitting, smiling serenely at me. She looked wonderful, of course and put out her hand to take the letter.
I was not shocked, just surprised and delighted. I thought to myself, "Isn't that strange? I thought Margaret had left us, but of course she hadn't because I see now that she never did and she has been with us all the time. Of course she has - how silly of me."
I turned to my right again to call the children. Then I turned back, and Margaret was gone.