Category Archives: spirituality

A Story About Spirits

“It has been a difficult week.”

It seems that those words have left my mouth much too often the past few years; there have been a lot of struggles, whether it be through deaths, life changes, concerns for the future… the list really is endless.

This Tuesday marks the week anniversary of Sir William Oliver’s passing. He was our last Golden Retriever of a long line of five dogs. (His legacy will be carried on through Brutus, who is adored by his human, my cousin Jon.) I realized, though, that this was the first time in my life there hasn’t been a canine in my household. It’s a sad thing; no more large scampering paws on tile floor, random barking that signals a potty break, or trying to navigate the kitchen without plummeting to the floor due to the sleeping body right in front of the refrigerator.

I know it’ll be a long time before I have another dog in my life. Our Goldens were just that: golden. They were loving dogs that never asked for anything in return, but we gave it to them because they were a part of our hearts. Yes, there was the random annoyance of cleaning deer poop out of their hair after they romped through the woods, and poison ivy was always a possible side-effect of their hugs, but we did it anyways because we loved them with all our hearts.

It’s been a week and I seem to be coming out of my mourning; instead I am celebrating the lives of Scuttle, Goldie, Jewel, Baby, and Oliver that touched us deeply. They are no longer suffering. Instead, they’re on the other side, their presence always around us, supporting us, loving us, being there when we cry.

If we listen quietly, we can witness their spirits thriving–feel their breaths on our face, hear their scampering paws, and, for a split moment, try to catch ourselves as we almost trip, seeing, for a moment, a large golden body lying on kitchen floor in front of the refrigerator.

Our loved ones are never gone. They’re in the reality that we will, one day, reach as well. This life is temporary and, sometimes, full of pain. But it’s also filled with blessings; furry, fuzzy, human, canine, feline, or other joys that make this journey magical.

Love makes life worthwhile.  It’s why we’re here; to learn, to love, to try, to fail, to get back up again. Love is God, the Creator, the source of the Universe.

I love you, Sir William Oliver. Say hi to the gang and tell them I love them all. And I will try to love others, as you so selflessly loved me.

Rest. In peace.

A Shack-Inspired Birthday Reflection

Ever since I saw The Shack this weekend, I haven’t been able to get its themes out of my head. Frankly, would I even want that? Nope. I think it’s great that the story sticks with me so much!

The Shack is a heartfelt story about a man, named Mack, who is lead back to life by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Literally, they appear in a shack in the woods and spend the weekend with him. Whether you’re Christian or not, it’s a good story that can reground the best of humanity within you: being good to one another, forgiving those who do wrong against you, and spreading love.

Every time I read–or now watch–The Shack, I feel like a child again.

And, especially now in my life, it’s a message I need reiterated to me.

I have found myself, especially in the past, in seemingly hurricane-like chaotic years, not focusing on love–or trusting in God–as much as I really should’ve been doing. Since Choy, my beloved feline companion died, events have transpired that have shaken me. Frankly, they’ve taken me, unwillingly, a bit away from focusing on God. My belief in him has still been strong, of course. It always will be. However, I realize in hindsight that I was going through the motions of living a strong faith; specifically, I focused on my worries rather than putting my trust in Him. It’s amazing how we can get lost in our own battles, and our fears of the future, and forget to put our trust in God–to trust things will work out the best way they should.

Truly, it’s hard to put your trust in something you can’t see. And that’s the theme of The Shack: God is always with you, his love will guide you, just let him show you the way. (Or, for those who prefer, let “her” show you the way.)

This year, as my birthday approached, I’ve been feeling more emotional as of late. Last year, I spent my special day at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, watching my father go in for melanoma surgery. Mom and I left my dad late that night, after we knew he was safe, settled and the surgery was successful. On the way home, we stopped at Olive Garden and I blew out a candle in an apple crisp dessert.

A simple, small, somewhat melancholic birthday that fell right in place with the rest of 2016.

But it’s not that specific day itself that makes me bittersweet about my birthday, it’s how the year went after dad’s surgery. That landmark moment seemed to catapult my family and I into a variety of stunning developments that grew me into a stronger Katie today. In part, I wish that some things didn’t happen; mom’s brain bleed last April, for example. But, for the most part, I’m happy for how much I’ve grown out of my shell. For example, I’ve found a hidden talent in bookkeeping that I could hone to subsidize my writing career and support my family.

All in all, even if my birthday feels a tad bittersweet, I still remain stubbornly optimistic to see the good that this new birth year brings.

I fervently aim to finish my book and get it out to agents by the time I go to New Orleans, but I am also, now, looking forward to pursuing this bookkeeping career. (If I’m being honest, I wasn’t entirely set on it until now.) I’m excited for Dan, the boyfriend, and I to get engaged and set our combined goals in motion. And I aim, with God’s help, to let my life–and the lives of those around me–be as little stressed as possible. (Especially after the taxes are completed! Hah!)

I impart this wisdom to all of you: hope is never gone, love never leaves, God never deserts you, unless you let it go yourself. As the infamous Dustin Pari says: “#NeverGiveUp!” 


For more birthday reflections and ramblings, check out my companion Youtube video, and, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, subscribe to my channel and blog!

A Year Of Rebuilding; Choy’s Death Day

This time last year, I was a complete mess: my kitty, Choy, whom I had grown completely in love with, passed away unexpectedly. (See: “Coping With Loss, Partnering With Change” and “Normal vs Abnormal; Recovering and Renewing”)

I was not only broken emotionally, but physically and spiritually as well. It took a good couple weeks to stop feeling a pressure in my chest, a good few months until I started exercising again, and only recently have I renewed my confidence in my spiritual practice. Although, the thing is with this kind of loss, it will never really leave. I will carry it until I die, and I’m happy to do so; that’s how much of an impact Choy made on me.

Frankly, I do miss Choy every single day, but I take comfort knowing that he’s in Heaven, pain free, romping and playing with his brother and our other family members. One day I’ll even join him.

But my job isn’t done here on Earth. Frankly, it’s still only beginning. I still have things to do, people to help, stories to write!

Honestly, I’m proud of the growth of strength I continue to see in myself every day. Sure, I’m not invincible; there are still times where my anxiety takes over and I second guess myself.

A few months back, a distant friend of mine offered me these words of encouragement:

Motto #1: “Don’t let the bastards get you down!”
Motto #2: “The tough times are what define us.”

I cannot begin to express my awe and gratitude at receiving these words at that point in my life; they were exactly what I needed to hear. Mom, dad, and I had a lot of challenges hit us all at once in the first few months of 2016. Ones that we never saw coming.

I firmly believe now that, in a way, we needed these events to happen. Too long had we been at a standstill, too long had I been mourning; we needed to be jolted out of our rut and thrust back into living. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really, really wish that some of these events hadn’t happened. But, like my friend said, they truly defined us… they truly showed me the kind of person I am, what I need to work on, and where my true values lie.

So, don’t let a horrible circumstance get you down. Eventually you’ll find your way out of it–maybe not as quickly as we’d want, but the Universe has a way of sending us what we need. God is always watching over us and just waiting for us to ask for help. I know I wouldn’t have gotten through Choy’s death, these new circumstances, or anything that might surprise me in the future without Him. And Zad. And new friends, old, and family members.

It’s only life after all.

Meeting My Guardian Angel; The Year of Rebuilding

So I finally, FINALLY, FINALLY uploaded a new YouTube video!

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Honestly, it took long enough. It’s been a crazy summer, in both senses of the word — exciting and disorienting. Some of which you all have read about in the past few weeks.

As I write, the Arborists are taking down another set of Blue Spruces trees. In the midst of all of them, there are some healthy ones too. There’s this one tree they have yet to take down. I labeled him the “chair” tree. Its base curved in its growth, causing it to appear like a chair.

Sigh. I think it’s next on the list. I was hoping they would keep it. (Edit: they did not.)

My spine tenses as I hear the saws work. I can see just a corner of the patch they are cutting. No. Clearing.

Choy’s sister, Wella, is rubbing, lovingly, against my shoulder as I type.

Zadkiel, my Guardian Angel, is speaking words of comfort. Almost continuously.

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That’s who my YouTube video is about. My Guardian Angel: Zadkiel.

I talk about this summer, briefly. But the Vlog is mainly about how I encountered him a year ago. It’s a… baring of my heart. Of my soul. Of what I feel is right to talk about. Of what should not be hidden.

Last year I was coasting: spiritually, and, in some ways, with my book. I remember I wrote a lot of my book — inspired by Midwest Writers. But… something was missing. There was a disconnect. My book focused largely on angels, but I didn’t know if I was portraying them accurately. If I was writing what I should be writing.

And then, last August, I met my Guardian Angel. After months of praying to God that I could talk to him (or her), be friends, learn. Remarkably, I did. Amazingly, he’s been around my whole life. Waiting. Helping. Guiding. Protecting.

This past year has been absolutely amazing. It’s been a year of renewal and remodeling. Zad’s shown me so much. Every day I see more — experience more. My mind has been opened… sometimes to things I was afraid of doing before. But knowing that he’s there, that I’m protected, I feel like I can finally learn. And my book is becoming something powerful. Something that might inspire, help, change, make people think. Which is what I’ve wanted from the beginning: to help and inspire.

The trees being taken down, yes, it’s very, very hard to watch. But through hardships one can learn. Sometimes through things we can’t bear, God educates us, leads us to a better life. Even if it means taking it down and starting over.

Next year, after the Blue Spruce’s air has cleared, we are going to plant new life. My mom wants to plant a circle of Redwoods, surrounding a carefully tended, brand new, Blue Spruce. Coincidentally enough, that is almost an exact copy of The Fur Circle in my novel. Mom didn’t even remember.

“Further evidence that it’s meant to happen.” Mom said, referencing both the trees and my novel.

This is just the start. While we may not understand what is happening here, in the present, one day we’ll look back from the future and see the lesson. See what we were meant to newly understand. I look back now and feel blessed that I am one of the individuals who have opened their mind to wonder. That I have learned new things about the world around us, and the multiple worlds that lay beyond. I get the feeling that the world is changing. Spiritually, for the better. That something amazing is coming. That one day we will look beyond our daily needs and focus on bettering each other, the environment around us. Maybe, in that sense, the Mayans were right.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

“Have faith.” My Grandma Nolletti would say.

I do.

So take a look a my new Vlog, where I tell the story of how I met my Guardian Angel:

Do you have a paranormal story? A story of an angelic encounter? Do you talk to your Guardian Angel or God? Tell me below in the comments. Or contact me privately. I would love to hear from you!

Normal vs Abnormal; Recovering and Renewing.

A flurry.
Inside my chest.
Instead of my heart,
Butterflies.They escape a cage.


Two nights ago I settled down to sleep. Only for that sweet relief to be paused by my heart literally fluttering in my chest for a few seconds. Honestly, I’ve had this happen to me before — it is, in fact, a common thing for all humans — so I waited. My heart went back to its normal rhythm. I thought nothing more of it.

The next morning, I called my doctor with the aim of getting some advice on how to deal with stress. The struggle to get an appointment with my family physician ended with me confessing to chest pressure and heart palpitations. Thusly, the nurse suggested I immediately go to the emergency room.

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*sigh*

Although I do realize she had to legally suggest that, I was still frustrated. I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack. I don’t have underlying conditions. My biggest physical problem? A 26 year old girl who is progressively losing her 50 – 60 excessive pounds. I consider myself lucky.

Through a series of pokes, prods, and stickies, the doctor examined me. She stated at the beginning of her evaluation that she, too, thought it was anxiety related, but wanted to check my overall health anyways. She tested me for all the “emergenices”: heart problems via an EKG and X-ray, the possibility of thyroid problems or blood clots via a blood test.

Everything was normal. Perfectly healthy. The doctor prescribed me some temporary anxiety medication to “take the edge off”. She said that it was rare for a 26 year old female with no history of heart disease or ANY underlying conditions at all, to have a heart attack.

Well, at least I walked out of the hospital knowing that I wasn’t going to be surprised by anything. My main concern was the thyroid test. I had been misdiagnosed before with a thyroid disorder and really didn’t want to go down that path again.

As a Spiritual friend told me a couple weeks ago, “You are very sensitive.” She was implying that I was an Intuitive. I think, in some ways, I have always known that. I’ve always been sensitive to the environment around me. Whether it be the emotions of those closest to me, allergies, having a respect of other’s lives before my own, and, of course, my own paranormal experiences.

Honestly, I had a pretty good handle on letting go of stress these past couple months. I was happier. I let it EXPLODE outside my body and never return. However, losing Choy has put my emotions in flux. The loss of my boy struck me, so strong, that it broke me to my foundation. Add my previous worries, whether they be about my future finances and writing career or about two [sometimes] intense anonymous family situations, and it’s no wonder I have anxiety.

This hospital visit was a wake-up call. God telling me to “quit putting off writing, your meditating, your Betterment Development, and–
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(Not saying that Shia is God or anything, but he does have it right.)

So. I work on me. Write. Meditate. Travel. Rebuild.

Father Steve spoke in his Homily this weekend about Mary letting go of her own worries. Of leaving them in God’s hands. What a strong woman! The moral of the story? “Don’t try to control everything.” As Father Steve paraphrased. Follow in Mary’s footsteps: give it to God. He’ll take care of you.

The death of Choy, has, in some ways, left me emotionally vulnerable. I want to hold everything close to me, protect it, and keep my own control involved. Not that I don’t trust God, I always have and always will. But… I guess it’s just a coping mechanism that I need to change.

“A normal reaction.” My doctor said.

Well… let’s work on strengthening my abnormal.

Coping with Loss, Partnering with Change

Let’s see. It’s been:

  • 3.5 months since leaving Dollar Tree
  • 1.5 months since New Orleans
  • 1 month since the work on the property commenced
  • And… one week since my kitty died.

This summer has been a flurry of emotions. Some excitement, some sorrow. Eventful, to say the least.

Last Monday, my bathroom’s remodel was completed… and arborists started to cut down our Blue Spruce trees.

However, the big shocker came with this beautiful boy:

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I still… I can’t believe he’s gone. He was seven years old and full of vibrancy. For those of you who follow me on my social media accounts, I posted (via Instagram), this picture that morning:

#goofykittycat

A post shared by Katie L Mortimer (@katielmortimer) on

By 11:30 that night, he had passed on.

The first 24 hours were brutal. I slept, only from sheer exhaustion. I had been hysterical for almost four hours. He was my boy, I was planning on grooming him later that week, taking him to the vet to get a lump checked, cuddling with him every night, seeing him the next morning, and just like that… GONE. No signs. Just a groan and then, like that, he was with God.

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The act of change, of death, brings into question my own mortality. Sure, I’ve lost family members (some also canine, rabbit, and feline). However, never has one hit me this hard. Usually, and not out of disrespect, I say “I know they’re happy. So I’m going to continue. I will one day see them again.” Because I believe that.

Choy was different, though. He was an unexpected blessing to my life, and left so suddenly. He was, in no truer words than my brother’s, “A gentle giant.” He was such a force to my own heart that sometimes I now think “But I don’t want to wait to see him again. I want him back!”

I always understood death. A friend of mine complimented me, when I talked about death in a college lecture, that I “had a maturity about death.” I still believe this is true… but I also believe that there’s that one death that knocks us down — derails us — and we have to fight, for a long time, maybe even every day for the rest of our lives, to keep going.

I still look to the positive.

That helps. It always will. It’s my method of coping.

  • I know Choy is happy. So I will be happy for him and continue on. However, I will never forget him.
  • I loved my old bathroom. However, I’m excited to experience this new one.
  • The Blue Spruces were a tragedy. However, a beautiful Oak was discovered in the middle of the decay. She now has a chance at life… and will soon have a few brothers, sisters, and cousins surrounding her.

Within the last couple days, mom and I sat down and watched a beautiful 1993 film called “Little Buddha” with Keanu Reeves and Bridget Fonda. Basically a movie where this American boy and two Indian children are thought to be reincarnated souls of Lama Norbu’s teacher, Lama Dorje. The plot is woven around the origin story of Siddharta, who later becomes The Buddha himself.

Through this movie, I learned the concept of Impermanence. Wikipedia explains it as such:

“Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism. The term expresses the Buddhist notion that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is transient, or in a constant state of flux.

More can be read about it here, via Urban Dharma: “The Buddhist Concept of Impermanence” 

Death is imminent. Loss is a given. Change is constant. And, for some strange reason, that gives me comfort. Maybe because I know that, in this world, we are always in movement. Even when we try not to be. The world beyond, the afterlife, Heaven, is what awaits. Peace. Adventure. Freedom from life’s restrictions.

Choy, I will always miss you, always remember. I’m glad you’re happy. That you’re playing with loved ones over there. And I am glad you are without pain. Check in on us from time to time, ok? I know I’ll be checking in on you.