Article in the Caledon Enterprise Feb 1/19

 February 1, 2019 – Caledon Enterprise

It was one of those stories that stays with you.

A 17-year-old girl killed in a car accident.

This one was particularly poignant for me because I was newly pregnant.

“Collision takes life of Caledon girl” ran in the Orangeville Banner on Jan. 9, 2004.

Identical twin sisters, Elizabeth and Cassandra, were driving north in the early hours of 2004 on St. Andrew’s Road when their Honda SUV struck another vehicle heading south.

Cassandra was severely injured; Elizabeth died.

For the initial story, I spoke to their mother, Heather, and cried with her on the phone.

In February, when Robert F Hall Catholic Secondary School held a memorial for Elizabeth, I wrote a second story.

“Student, teachers mourn loss of teen” ran in the newspaper on Feb. 20, 2004.


Heather, her husband Tony and Cassandra were all at the service where students and teachers spoke about Elizabeth and tried to express their grief.

I couldn’t help but keep an eye on Cassandra.

Not only did she lose her sister, her best friend, her womb mate, she was literally a living reminder of that loss because she looks just like Elizabeth.

When I got to my car afterwards, I sobbed.

A few weeks later, I found out I was carrying identical twin girls.

The coincidence felt eerie to me.

I have thought of the Scavetta family often; wondering, how do you live after such a loss.

Fifteen years later, Heather and I meet in a coffee shop to talk about Elizabeth and surviving loss.

It wasn’t easy.

Heather still has trouble talking about the night of the accident.

The horror of the late night call from police, trying to get through the police barricade at the scene, arguing with hospital staff for information — anything — about her daughters’ condition.

The girls were split up — Cassandra was airlifted to a hospital in Toronto’s north end, Elizabeth to the south end.

“When you have twins, you’re so careful to have everything equal — if you kiss one, you kiss the other. It was incomprehensible.”

Elizabeth died at the hospital while she was on her way for a CT scan.

There’s a lot of darkness in Heather’s memory about that time.

Cassandra was in the hospital for weeks recovering. For a time, she couldn’t see, walk or talk.

Afterwards, as Cassandra’s health got better, the grief felt physical, “like a knife in my heart all the time,” Heather said.

And then, she was watching her daughter try to live without her twin.

“They were always so sweet to each other. They were best friends,” Heather said.

Cassandra, the quieter, more reserved of the pair, had to learn to be more outgoing, how to speak up for herself.

As a family, they realized they needed to do something to help themselves.

Heather, who had never been a religious person, called out to Jesus for guidance.

She saw a vision — what she calls a movie — in full colour. She believes it was her daughter, just beyond the veil, that sent her that movie.

The family launched into a spiritual journey — and in it they found their connection to Elizabeth.


Four years later, the Scavetta’s opened the School of Miracles in their home just outside Caledon Village teaching meditation, psychic development and mediumship.

Since then, they have shared with others what they have learned about connecting with the spiritual world.

Heather wrote a book, The Power of Love, A Mother’s Miraculous Journey from Grief to Medium, Channel and Teacher.

The book talks about her loss, but doesn’t dwell on it — focusing instead on how to find joy after loss.

Michael Reist, Elizabeth’s teacher, stayed in touch with the family.

“They have transformed their experience, which seemed nothing but tragic at the time, into something beautiful which has helped countless others who have experienced loss,” he said.


Along with helping others with grief, Heather has made sure that Elizabeth’s name is not forgotten.

For 10 years, they sponsored a high school scholarship in her name. The monetary prize was given to a graduating student who, like Elizabeth, intended on pursuing a career in journalism.

The Caledon Public Library also named a short story contest after Elizabeth — an award the teen had won just before she died.

READ: 5 things to know about Caledon library’s short story contest

One of her poems, “The Night Side of the Earth,” was written a few weeks before her death. It was read at her funeral, Reist said. In it she wrote words of comfort to those left behind — as though she had a premonition of what was to come.

Heather is working on a new book but this one isn’t about Elizabeth. She’s at peace with what happened to her family.

“If I had a life goal, it would be to cure grief. We all have a role to play. Maybe mine is to show others how to heal.”

Karen Martin-Robbins

by Karen Martin-Robbins

Karen Martin-Robbins is a reporter with the Caledon Enterprise. Reach her at and follow her on Twitter @karenmartinrob6


Winter 2014

By Tracey Flocker

Winter Issue
November 17, 2014


Author - Heather Scavetta

Author – Heather Scavetta

After a car accident took the life of one of her 17-year-old twin daughters, Heather Scavetta made the brave decision to do more than just survive; she determined to live a meaningful life. Through meditation and psychic workshops, she and her husband, Tony, learned to feel energy and opened their minds to a new reality. Death isn’t an ending, it’s a transition into the next state of being. Once they understood how to recognize the signs, they experienced messages and even visitations from their daughter, Elizabeth. The couple founded the School of Miracles out of their home in Caledon where they teach courses in meditation, psychic development, mediumship and Reiki. (iUniverse, $14.95)

On this literary landscape, serious nonfiction works are neighbours with lighthearted children’s fare; heartfelt memoirs rub shoulders with gardening lore.
The many accomplished authors on these pages all have roots in the Headwaters region, but a glance at their collective output reveals that may be the only thing they have in common. Which, of course, is great news for the omnivorous reader. On this literary landscape, serious nonfiction works are neighbours with lighthearted children’s fare; heartfelt memoirs rub shoulders with gardening lore. To highlight just a few, there are works of Canadian history – a hefty history of the fur trade by Barry Gough and photo-rich accounts from the Great War by Hugh Brewster. Parents and grandparents will find delightful bedtime companions in Mary Scattergood’s fairies and Sean Cassidy’s woodpeckers. And the latest from Catherine Gildiner, Coming Ashore, picks up the threads of her engrossing memoir series at the formative age of 21.
This year some of this literary bounty is being formally recognized by the Caledon Public Library in its new Read Local Caledon program, launched in October. A bookish version of the booming eat-local trend, Read Local Caledon invites Caledon and area authors to join a new catalogue of books designed local authorsto celebrate and promote their work. Writing can be a very solitary occupation, says Mary Maw, the library’s manager of communications and programming. “We’re hoping to get the word out: We want to get to know you.” The program features new spine stickers on participating books, a series of events bringing local book lovers together, and prominent online bios of participating authors on the library’s website. (Guidelines for qualifying authors can also be found there.) To date, 29 contemporary authors are represented in the collection, including some covered here, such as economics and ethics writer Andrew Welch, and Heather Scavetta, who shares her experiences in the world of meditation and psychic workshops. So far the collection includes 124 titles, with contemporary authors joining such grandfathered literary stars of Caledon as the late Farley Mowat and Robertson Davies. “We want to celebrate our talented homegrown authors and give them a platform to increase their recognition in our community – online, in the catalogue and on the shelf,” says Ms. Maw.As the offerings in our annual review suggest, that catalogue is sure to swell in 2015, and with it the certainty that these hills offer fertile ground for the creators and lovers of the written word. —Tralee Pearce

Winter 2014
Winter Issue
November 17, 2014

The School of Miracles

“Where there is great love,
there are always miracles.”

That quote from Willa Cather is enshrined on the wall at Caledon’s School of Miracles.For Heather Scavetta, the paranormal is just normal. It wasn’t always this way. She once had what she calls a “perfectly normal” happy life. But one day, looking out over the hills of her Caledon farm, she had the uneasy certainty that something seismic was on its way.Just months later Heather, her husband Tony, and Elizabeth, one of her 17-year-old twin daughters, were gathered together on New Year’s Eve. On the television in the background controversial psychic Sylvia Browne was making predictions for the year ahead. Elizabeth and Tony were engaged in a debate, Tony proclaiming something to the effect that the world of psychics is hokum. His daughter disagreed with some passion: It’s real, Dad!” Later that night, a car accident took Elizabeth’s life.Tony and Heather’s world abruptly collapsed. But Heather is a fighter. From her own work as a nurse and having counselled others, she knew that she and her husband needed help. They searched “high and low” for answers, as she puts it. But “the rational world yielded no comfort.” Casting a wider net they learned to meditate. It was during this time that Heather, gutted by grief, hit her lowest point. She cried out for help.“That is when everything changed,” she says. “I started to receive beautiful visions from my daughter every day. I could see them play out before me, colours I had never seen and animals and landscapes, as well as imagery from heaven.” A convert to Catholicism, and with no previous context for her newfound experience, Heather didn’t self-edit what was happening. “The spirit world is real,” she says, “and God exists.”

A sense of mission unfolded for both Heather and Tony. Once a skeptic, Tony also began to experience his daughter’s presence. He is so changed he now teaches at the School of Miracles, which the couple felt compelled to establish to share their awareness. Not “psychic” by birth nor having inherited their extra sense, Heather and Tony feel that opening the doors of perception can be learned, that it’s a beautiful gift and that “contact” involves healing and growth on many levels.

Interest in these things seems to be evolving, Heather points out. You can’t turn on the television without coming across dramas and reality-based shows such as Medium, Rescue Mediums, Ghost Whisperer, The Listener and John Edward’s Crossing Over. It only follows that people would want to learn about their unusual experiences or reach out to loved ones who have passed, she says.

When I arrived to interview Heather, a class on mediumship was just breaking up. Excited students, women and men, young and old, were lingering after the session, eager to share their paranormal experiences and their desire to contact the spirit world. There was a common thread to their stories that Heather later confirms. Spirits come to tell us, “I’m here and I’m okay,” she says. And, in that, her students and clients come to realize all the love that surrounds them. “I had a perfect love with my daughter when she was here,” says Heather. “And I have perfect love with her still.”

Keen to spread her message more broadly, Heather has recently published a book detailing her experience of the loss and redemption of her daughter. Called The Power of Love: A Mother’s Miraculous Journey from Grief to Medium, Channel and Teacher, it is available at local bookstores and libraries or online. (See mini-review The Year in Books: 2014 in this issue.)




The Year in Music: 2013

In The Hills Magazine
Winter 2013
November 19, 2013

Heather Scavetta, R.N.
The Swing

Mastered by Bruce Ley – 2010

The Swing          In this guided meditation for spiritual development and connection to loved ones and spirit guides, Heather and Tony Scavetta are doing important work around bereavement after losing their beautiful daughter Elizabeth. During workshops at their School of Miracles, Elizabeth is regularly seen helping attendees learn to see, feel, hear and know spirit. Heather carves a wondrous psychic path to peace and helps us connect to the higher realms.

Icelandic Horses in Caledon
August 2012

Heather with Áki

Icies are what they are affectionately called, but don’t call them ponies! Icelandic horses are indeed a full size horse even though they typically stand less than 14 hands tall.

Icelandic horses originated in Iceland where they are the only breed of horse. Once an Icelandic leaves Iceland it cannot return, thus keeping the breed pure. Icelandic horses can carry a person up to 200 lbs as well as pull carts. Most Icelandics are used for pleasure riding.

There are many unique aspects to Icelandics, but what is most coveted is their extra gait. The tolt is a four-beat gait where all legs are off the ground except one. What makes this special, is that a tolt can be as fast as a trot, but without the rider posting or coming out of the saddle. The rider sits in the saddle while the horse does all the work! During Icelandic shows, you will often see “the beer tolt” performed where the rider holds a full mug of beer while the horse is in tolt. The smoother the tolt, the less beer is spilled! Try to do that when you are trotting! At Icelandic horse shows, you may also be lucky to witness the flying pace. This extra gait is where all the horse’s feet leave the ground and you are indeed flying with your horse.

Just as with any horse, each Icelandic horse is unique, but typically they are friendly, brave and forward. Once you ride the tolt, and meet an Icelandic, you’ll be hooked. It’s hard to have just one. We currently have three Icelandics.

I could tell you all about the history of Icelandics, but what I want you to know is what a wonderful temperament they have. They are gentle, trusting, calm, and easy keepers, but don’t let them fool you. They are not for beginner riders. They are agile, quick and can turn on a dime. Their canter is as quick as a gallop and they aren’t easy to stop!
Icelandics start late at the age of 5 and can live into their 40’s. It’s not unusual to ride them into their early 30’s.

Traditionally, Icelandics are born with an Icelandic name, whether they are bred in Iceland, Canada, Germany, United States, or any other place. My horse Aki is 24 years old and I am still riding him in the fields and enjoy living with him every day. Svalur is also 24 and Ragnar is 12. We will soon be adding to the herd when a friend’s Icelandic comes to live with us.

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