Janelle and I first ‘met’ in 2010 when a member of her family came to me for a reading. At the time I was living in Western Australia, offering psychic and medium readings from home. After this particular reading I overflowed with compassion, feeling the pain of those who believe they have lost their loved ones forever. I said to myself: “I wish I could do more,” and Janelle’s voice answered loud and clear: “Writing my story would help.”
Hi, my name is Janelle and I would like to tell you my story. I ended my life by jumping off a cliff at the age of 29, yet an outsider would not have found one reason for my desperate deed: I was a young, beautiful-looking woman with a blooming career, and I was about to marry my high school sweetheart.
I was famous as well, something I had aspired to since I was a little girl. I loved being in the spotlight; I loved my fiancé; I loved my family, my friends, my colleagues and my dogs. I loved the country I lived in. I loved my parents who had doted on me from the day I was born. Still I jumped.
Even now I can feel the despair and the terror I experienced at the time of my death. I was overcome with feelings of unworthiness and self-hatred. I thought I was ugly and a failure and that I put everybody who loved and believed in me to shame.
These feelings did not come out of the blue. I had been taking antidepressants for years, ever since my late teens, when the bully in my mind told me that I was fat, even though I was skinny. But those episodes were nothing compared to what I experienced towards the end of my life.
The pressure that had been building up from an early age became unbearable. I suffered from chronic ‘perfectionitis’ and this manifested itself in everything, including my relationships towards others.
I don’t have the feeling that it was me who jumped: I hardly remember anything of that day, besides the need to stop the torture in my head. It’s hard to recognize myself in the girl who jumped: me – the people pleaser, the perfectionist, leaving such a mess behind – that was unheard of, but still, I did.
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From a human perspective I was a person suffering from depression, who had the misfortune to go to a doctor who prescribed medication that didn’t work and as a consequence I killed myself. The End.
Reactions To An Untimely Death Vary
Some believe that those who die young are too beautiful for this world and God wants them with Him. Or life is nothing more than a game of Russian roulette and death is a consequence of unfortunate events. Others believe that our breaths are counted and all is predestined. My fiancé tried to make sense of my death by nailing down the ‘guilty’ doctor, while my mother became passionate about suicide prevention, so that my death would not be in vain.
But where was I when the world stopped for my loved ones and my picture appeared in the news media across Australia with shocking headlines like: “Janelle Du Gard dies at the age of 29”? Was I going through the Bardo, as the Buddhists say? Was I pleading my case at The Gate with Saint Peter? Did I gain wings on losing my body and was God content to have his angel back? Here is the story the media did not get hold of. This is my story from the moment I stopped being Janelle as the world had known me…
The Afterlife According To Janelle
The gods conceal from men the happiness of death,
that they may endure life. – Lucan
The first thing I became aware of was an intense wind, not passing around my body but going through it. I literally felt as though I was dissolving. I felt free; this was the best I’d felt in weeks, maybe even months. I noticed a deafening stillness and colours that, just for a moment, seemed to pass through me.
I became aware of the lack of temperature: I was neither cold nor warm, I just was. I sensed I was being lifted up, but did not know by what. The first moment without a body was unbelievable, going from desperation to freedom in an instant. I knew that I was dead or at least in a coma by the lack of senses as I knew them.
I wasn’t scared, not for a second, but I was apprehensive of what would come. The people-pleaser in me still wanted to get it right, even after death.
I had felt alone during life. That wasn’t anybody’s fault; most people had gone out of their way to make me feel at ease. I felt alone because I felt different. During the last months and maybe even years of my life I felt isolated in my own (sometimes quite horrible) world.
And in one moment all these feelings were gone and I was overwhelmed by a sense of belonging. It wasn’t so much that someone was waiting for me; it was more that the veil of separation had lifted and I had become one with all.
This blessed nothingness was not just the opposite of feeling lonely, detached and isolated; it was also the opposite of feeling haunted. During my life I had put stress on myself to get ‘it’ right.
I would fret over my looks, my weight, my school marks, my achievements at work, and I’d worry what other people thought of me. All of that fell away in an instant. What remained was peace, pure and blissful peace.
The closest I can get to describe the feeling is being in a warm bed on a cold rainy morning with absolutely no duties or appointments waiting. I felt full and fulfilled. I felt surrounded by love, love that was coming from others like me. I felt like I was back in the womb, completely taken care of.
I felt nothing and therefore I felt everything. I had become a weightless sponge, a love magnet, soaking up the surrounding love so fast that I was totally replete. I didn’t feel I was ‘going somewhere’, yet I did feel I was in motion.
Everything Is Energy
Later I learned that everything in our universe is movement: all existing particles travel, and everything is energy. I wish that energies had colours visible to the human eye. If that were the case I would probably still be alive, because people would have noticed how black my energy field (representing my thoughts and feelings) was. Confronting me with my darkness could have forced me to stop pretending I was OK.
The energies I became aware of after my passing were neither threatening nor invasive. They seemed to exert no influence on me at all; I simply knew they were there. What made it so peaceful was the lack of pressure: there was no time; no day or night, tomorrow or yesterday. I felt I could truly rest.
I have since understood that you can achieve this sublime state during life, that you can become free of anxiety on every level, even under torture. I had persecuted myself from childhood: my mind was full of crazy deadlines and achievements that had to be reached, otherwise...
As an adult, I had not known what it meant to be alive and free. The last time I was free was as a child, and I didn’t experience that again until after I died.
After this initial state of Bliss I became aware of a frequency reaching me from life. I felt the word “NOOOO” vibrating through me with desperation and disbelief, coming from my lover. This puzzled me, because it was such a contrast to the beautiful experience I was having.
This contradiction was a taste of what I, and almost all souls who have ended their own life, deal with. Would I have wanted to be saved? I was the luckiest girl in the world when it came to family and friends. I had a partner who would do anything to undo what happened. So yes, I would have liked to prevent all the pain people have suffered because of me, but no, I could never have been happy without experiencing this peace.
How confusing! I concluded that I had a lot to learn.
©2015 by Melita Harvey.
Published by 6th Books,
an imprint of John Hunt Publishing.
Blissfully Dead: Life Lessons From The Other Side
by Melita Harvey.
About the Author
Melita Harvey, née van Doesum, was born and raised in the Netherlands. The grey skies encouraged her to move towards the sun at the age of 24. She stayed in the South of Europe until emigrating to Australia 17 years later. There she worked as a psychic and medium until she and her husband started traveling around Australia in a motor home. Blissfully Dead is Melita's first book, and was written throughout her years on the road. Melita is currently in the process of translating Blissfully Dead into Dutch.