Chasing Rainbows – the Stolen Future of Caroline Ann Stuttle
Sample | Chapter 22 – Competing with angels
The natural world played a large role in my life growing up. Like many people of my generation Sir David Attenborough was one of my heroes. He always spoke with such passion and sensitivity about the natural world and the animal kingdom. I was glued to the TV whenever any of his programmes were on. He taught me that life for everyone on this planet was a battle, survival of the fittest. Every living thing completes a life cycle; birth, growth, reproduction, death and feeds back into the food chain. It’s a balancing act that’s taken hundreds of thousands of years to perfect. Our world is dependent on every living thing to thrive, no matter how large or small. I understood that life on this planet is hard, so why should it be any different for us? We just have different struggles, thankfully most are not life-threatening but that doesn’t necessarily make them any easier.
As humans, we are blessed with consciousness. There is something very powerful within us and our conscious mind; belief and our understanding of death sets us apart from all other species. Some people are willing to sacrifice everything for what they believe. It can even override our instinct for survival and self-preservation.
After Caroline was gone, I didn’t know what to believe. Was she now an angel? How could my life live up to what hers could have been?
I wondered if her soul was still around in some form or another. When I was around eight years old, another of my heroes was my Grandad. We had so many amazing times which I will always remember fondly. After he died, I was upset, but eventually asked the question.
“Mum, Dad, what happens when we die?”
I can’t remember word for word. We talked about life. Dad told me that minutes after I was born, he held me in his arms, to him I was an amazing new life. He thought, who is this little person? We all talked about growing up, becoming a teenager, an adult, eventually a parent and grandparent just like Grandma and Grandad. They explained when you die you go to another place, but you are still around looking over your family and friends. The conversation must have planted a seed in my mind.
Since Caroline’s death our family have talked a lot about life after death. I have had many experiences that I feel are far more than just coincidence. Dad told me a story from when Caroline was little.
‘Dad,’ she said.
‘Yes Caroline?’ he replied.
‘When I go to bed a man comes to visit me at night,’ she said, very relaxed.
‘OK, what does he want?’ Dad replied, surprised but calm. He knew the house was secure and no one could have gotten in. She could have been dreaming.
‘He just wants to chat, but the thing is Dad, I can see straight through him.’
‘Right. No problem, next time he comes to see you tell him to come and see me,’ said Dad.
The next morning, ‘Dad, the man came again last night, and I told him to go and see you.’
‘OK, then what happened?’ Dad asked.
‘He came back and said you were asleep,’ Caroline replied.
‘Next time he comes to see you, ask him to go away so you can get some sleep,’ Dad said.
‘OK,’ Caroline said.
After that, she never mentioned the man again and slept well.
I became interested in life after death, what had happened to my sister? Where was she now? I believed that there was more than just our physical world, but didn’t know what. Over the years I have been able to study at The Arthur Findlay College. The college was left by Arthur Findlay following his death to further advance Spiritualism and the psychic sciences. It delves into the subject of life after death and the continuation of the human spirit.
I have always kept an open mind and over my life tried to listen very much to my intuition, the little voice inside me that knows what’s best for my well-being. I always tried to listen carefully and develop my sensitivity to the world around me.
My thoughts would go back to hearing the organ playing in the weeks after Caroline’s death and the significance we had placed in rainbows. I have been lucky enough to be around many world-class mediums and the information they have given has been incredibly accurate. It always made me wonder where the information came from?
Our belief in another existence has given us as a family a common bond to hold close. We like to think Caroline and our other loved ones are looking down on us, watching and guiding us in this world.
I believe as humans we are blessed with a soul. Our lifeforce is so strong, complex and well developed that I find it hard to believe that it only popped into existence when we were born and on death it just ends. It’s the essence of what makes us individual. I know there is something which allows us to connect with people on multiple levels, this is evident with all the people I have met throughout the years. We are able to connect through mind, body and soul.
I found comfort in the thought that Caroline is continuing her work in the next world and her energy still exists in some shape or form.
The way I understand our different worlds is through levels of vibration. Everything is vibrating at a different frequency from trees in the forest to the table we place our coffee cup on. I imagine an infinite number of guitar strings all tuned to a different note; to listen it’s a case of simply plucking the string and attuning to harmonise with that vibration. After death, our energy or soul departs our physical body returning to another frequency.
I believe Caroline’s soul has returned to become part of the vibrational energy of the universe (as we all are). I can attune into her frequency, feel her energy and know that she is still around.
Attending courses at the Arthur Findlay College, I have learnt about energy, healing, spirit art and mediumship. It opened up a whole new level of potential, looking deeper into ourselves as well as beyond our physical and materialistic worlds.
When I was working in the Alps, I had time and the opportunity to paint as well as complete various spiritual courses. Painting put me in an altered state and allowed me to look further into myself and areas of life that interested me. Expanding my mind was important, it’s a way I could explore and feel out of control that didn’t rely on anyone else.
One occasion shortly after Caroline’s death, I found myself in a situation with a group of people I had not met before and they didn’t know our story. They asked if I had any siblings, and for ease, I said ‘No’. Immediately I felt a pain inside and pull on my heart, it was as if she was shouting, I’m still here! I had just denied Caroline’s entire existence. I still think back now and cringe, I felt absolutely terrible. I have never done it again. I tried to understand why I said that; a part of me wanted to save them experiencing the pain of our story, another part didn’t want them to feel sorry for me. I have never wanted sympathy but that was no excuse in denying my sister’s life.
Seeing Caroline in the chapel of rest made me aware that it was Caroline’s essence or soul which made her who she was. That was the spark of life and it was no longer in her body.
I feel it’s important for us to consider our own evolution in order to understand our own spark of life. Appreciating the simple pleasures. Watching a beautiful sunset, taking an evening stroll along the beach or catching up with friends for dinner. These experiences can evoke feelings and emotions within us, I have always been curious why people like certain things more than others, why people fall in love.
A quote by one of Spiritualism’s great pioneers, Gordon Higginson, resonated strongly, ‘Before you can touch the Spirit, you must find it within yourself. For all truth, for all knowledge and all love, must be found first within oneself.’
Through better understanding our feelings and emotions we can enhance our awareness. We can experience more from the sunset or the stroll on the beach, we are able to forge deeper connections with the people around us.
I can liken this development to painting, for portraits and life drawing there are techniques to learn, ways to look at a subject that make the work more accurate and captures the feeling and essence of the person. Firstly, it’s about the physical form, facial features, tone and shadow. Next is to look under the skin, understanding bone structure, weight distribution and muscle definition. Once an artist has gained this knowledge, they can produce an accurate resemblance of the sitter, but there is more to it. An artist then needs to look not with their eyes but with their feelings and emotions, they need to capture the essence of the person. This is far more difficult and not a skill to master; it’s a knowing that needs to be understood in every brushstroke. Some painters just have the touch, they have that ability to capture the sitter’s true self on canvas. Looking at the works of the greatest portrait painters, they have captured far more than just the resemblance. Their paintings can evoke the same feelings as if you were actually interacting with the person they painted.
I have been asked many times, do I consider myself a religious man? My belief played a role in dealing with what we had been through. I have been interested different aspects of Spiritualism and other religions for many years and feel that the belief in more than just myself has given me a greater sense of peace. Socrates heard a voice in his head, a divine or guiding spirit who advised him throughout his life. Had he achieved some deeper understanding of life, or had he tapped into his intuition? Was it another part of himself in the spirit world communicating with him or was it God? We will never know the answer, but I believe that you have to be true to yourself, listen to the voice inside yourself which understands your divine path.
I am sure my ideas and beliefs will continue to change over time as they have done up until this point. I think that any person who holds the same philosophy all their lives is either a born genius or unable to consider new ideas and evolve. It’s incredibly important to try to incorporate what we learn into our daily lives, be willing to change our way of thinking as we meet different people and have new experiences.
Life is a pendulum, as much as it swings in one direction it swings just as far in the other. I now try not to view what happens as good and bad or black and white, everything is just part of life’s experience. I feel safer in the knowledge that nothing will ever be as bad as the devastation we have already been through. If it turns out I am wrong and something far worse happens, I feel safe in the knowledge that I have already gotten through experiences in life that I never thought I would be able to.
Sadly, we will never know what Caroline’s life could have been in this world. I believe we have our own lives to live, we both have a great deal to do and will be working together for many years to come, just from different worlds.
Written by Richard Stuttle – taken from his book “Chasing Rainbows – The Stolen Future of Caroline Ann Stuttle”. Published by Pegasus Publishing in May 2021
Chasing Rainbows – the Stolen Future of Caroline Ann Stuttle
On the 10th April, the Stuttle family received the worst news possible. The headline in the newspaper read ‘English backpacker thrown to her death in Australia’.
The book is an insightful real-life story of ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. A turbulent journey and the devastating impact of the murder of Caroline Ann Stuttle. The story is told from her brother’s perspective, after a phone call at 4:30 a.m. in the French Alps changed his world forever.