May 2015

Welcome to the May issue of our Helping Parents Heal Newsletter!  

We are glad you have found us.  This newsletter is a space that allows us to share our amazing children. We are all in this together.  We understand and we walk the same path. Thank you for your compassion and for the constant support you provide.  Together, we will help each other heal!  

Once again, this month's newsletter contains stories of validation and spiritual growth.  We hope that it will bring some peace and comfort to you and your loved ones.  We are fortunate to welcome Dr. Mark Pitstick and his new column, 'Evolved Souls Don't Need Long Earthly Lives',  to the newsletter.  Each month he will be answering some of the most difficult questions that Parents ask on our Facebook page, Parents United in Loss, aka Helping Parents Heal.  Please also take a moment to read the inspirational quote that our NYC affiliate leader, Sheri Perl Migdol, will be including in her column, 'Wisdom and Quotes from the East Coast'

Sending love, light and warm memories to each one of you as you navigate this bittersweet time.  You are not alone.

-Elizabeth Boisson, Co-Founder and President of Helping Parents Heal, Newsletter Editor and Affiliate Leader for Scottsdale/Phoenix.

Dr. Mark Pitstick and his book 'SoulProof'

Evolved Souls Don’t Need Long Earthly Lives
May 2015

by Mark Pitstick, MA, DC

 Welcome to the first Q & A with Helping Parents Heal.  First, a few basics:

  1. I have not had a child die, but I have worked with children as they died and many bereaved family members over the last forty years.  I also have personally suffered the pain and sadness of loved ones dying, divorce, major financial loss, broken dreams, etc.  I’m not equating that with the death of a child, but I’m no stranger to suffering—professionally or personally.   
  2. I know that the passing of a child —at any age or by any means—is one of, if not the most, horrible events that can happen to you.  No matter how rosy a picture I paint of life from a cosmic view, I never minimize or forget that. 
  3. However, even the death of a child creates an opening, a transformational moment that—in the long run—can be a blessing to you and to many.  That may sound like crazy talk, but it’s true. 
  4. My answers are always offered with respect and love.  Please do not feel that I am being critical of you in any way.  Send your toughest questions to and I’ll answer them in twice per month newsletters. 
  5. The homepage of my website has free articles that share comforting, sensible answers to your most commonly asked questions. 
  6. I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only answers, but I do have some good answers that have helped many people lighten their grief and make more sense of what seems to be a totally senseless occurrence. 
  7. Reading my answers isn’t an instant cure, but hopefully is a step toward a broader view of life and acceptance of what is—even when your child dies. 
  8. The simplest answer to why a child dies is that evolved souls don’t need long earthly lives.  Special souls don’t have to go through a long earth-school like the rest of us slow learners.  They came here just for a while to brighten our lives, serve, and teach.  Then they went back Home, to the really real place.  You will see them again when you change worlds.  And—if you stay alert, peaceful, and remember life and love are forever—you may detect them now.   

Q: It’s been almost six months since I lost my son and since I have slept well.  I end up passing out about 4 am and waking at 7 am.  Does anyone else have insomnia and do you have any suggestions?  I have tried everything I know.  - Melissa

A: Dear Melissa,
Insomnia is very common among the general population and particularly so for those who have experienced a traumatic emotional experience such as the death of a child.  The brain, thyroid, and heart are especially impacted by severe emotions; over time, a nutrient deficiency occurs and the problem is perpetuated.  Imbalances of those organs are, in my experience, the most common causes of insomnia. 

My book Radiant Wellness has a section on eliminating insomnia with self-help strategies you can use to get to sleep and stay asleep.  You and others with insomnia can email me at the address below and we’ll email you that information.  Blessings, Mark
Q: I wish the pain would stop, but I know it never will. I walked past a church today and there was a wedding happening. It hit me that Chrissy will never have her father walk her down the aisle and she will never become a mother. - Audra
A: Dear Audra,
Actually, the pain will lessen over time, even though it doesn’t seem like it, especially as you grow in peace and understanding with a long view of life. 
To take a step in that direction, let’s start with positive self-talk.  Jesus and many others have taught, “As you think, so shall you be.”  So, one simple way to move along the journey toward healing is observe how you can upgrade the quality of your thoughts and words.  For example, you could replace your statement “I wish the pain would stop, but I know it never will” with “I don’t feel like the pain will ever stop but, with Spirit’s help (or whatever words work for you), I’m doing my best.”  Try it. You will probably feel at least a little better immediately afterwards. 
Same thing with your thoughts about her never being a bride or mother.  By the way, that statement is true for this current earth-experience, but she—and everyone else—are forever beings.  So who knows when and where she might enjoy those aspects of life.  And, as obvious soul-mates, yo
u likely will be right there to cry tears of joy instead of grief. 
Finally, it’s shocking when a loved one dies/graduates at an age that seems premature from an earthly perspective.  But, first, consider that although she was young in earth-years, she may have been an old soul by eternity’s clock.  And, second, every tragedy carries with it an equal or even greater opportunity for growth and serving others.  One example of this is learning to live in the present moment.  It’s difficult to do at times, but it’s so important for fully experiencing your time on Earth and in the hereafter. 
Recovering significantly from such a seeming tragic event is a process that, depending on a number of factors, can take months to years while some never come to peace with it in this lifetime.  I hope that you continue to search for help and hope that will lighten and enlighten your life while blessing others.  Love and Light, Mark

(Editor's note-Audra added: 'I think I need to focus on working on my nonprofit so that she is never forgotten by those who knew her in this reality and those who never knew her will feel like they do through me')
Q: Why couldn't we have been taken with our loved one? I am truly not suicidal, but I can't wait to be with him again. I don't know how to do this. - Kelly
A: My heart ached when I read your question so I can only imagine how it feels to you.  How you do it is one breath and one moment at a time.  It also helps to remember you are not alone in two ways:
1. You are always surrounded and assisted by your spiritual support team—angels, guides, master teachers, God/the Light—whatever you want to call it. 

2. Many bereaved family members and others are praying for you and rooting you on to come through this horrible event as an even stronger and loving person. 
Helping Parents Heal is dedicated to diminishing the pain and helping you glimpse that there is a rhyme and reason for all life’s events—even the death of a child.  I can only discuss so much in each answer, but it’s a start.  We’ll get through this together.  Peace, Mark

Q: I've always had a quick temper, but learned to control it growing up.  Now I lose it at the drop of a hat and have become really intolerant of people's faux problems.  Am I always going to be this awful? - Terrylee

A: Most likely.  Just teasing.  I try to lighten things up now and then to remind us to not take life and death so seriously.  Just imagine your surprise and delight when you get to Heaven/Other Side and discover all your loved ones—even departed pets—so happy and energized.  You’ll get to see the big picture and understand why you went through such suffering at times.  Then you’ll be able to laugh with joy and celebrate with your departed dear ones. 
But you don’t have to wait until you die to see the light.  You can awaken now.  And that awakening is one of the biggest gifts that can occur when tragedy strikes.  The death of your child shakes up your world and makes you ask important questions that you wouldn’t ask if things were going smoothly. 
I know what you mean about watching people’s melodramas over small things in life when you are struggling with such a big thing.  There’s a big transition period after a loved one passes on, isn’t there?  And, as you say, it can be more difficult to be in the world with its petty and huge problems.  The world doesn’t seem to make sense anymore to you and that can definitely make you more irritable.  So relax; this too shall pass.  If you learned to control your temper before, you can do so again.  Do it in honor of your departed loved one.  Become more compassionate and patient.  That adds more meaning to his or her life and death. 
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, clinical psychologist, chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and workshop leader who helps you know and show—no matter what is going on around you—that you are an important and infinite part of Source Energy/God/Universe.  Visit his websites at and for free articles, radio shows, e-mail newsletters, and special reports.  For more information about his workshops, visit   Email to ask your toughest questions.   

Our March Scottsdale meeting with Laurie Savoie (center in red) and her daughter, Kailee (back center) with some of the parents who attended.  

Laurie Savoie and her daughter Kailee spoke at our March meeting about her new book about the suicide of her son Garrett, entitled 'The Ripple Effect'.   It was a helpful and healing meeting for all of the parents who attended.  Celia Cheves Edwards, a Founding Member of Helping Parents Heal, hosted the meeting and provided refreshments.  Thank you ladies for all your help, and a big thanks to all of the parents who attended.  

April 23rd Scottsdale Meeting- Unity of Phoenix
Dr. Lisa Strohman 

We are happy to announce that Dr. Lisa Strohman will be our special guest for our April meeting. She is a psychologist with LifeScape Medical Associates who specializes in grief therapy.  Lisa has spoken to our group in the past and parents loved her gentle, compassionate manner.  Please visit LifeScape's website here.  If you would like to join us, please RSVP for this meeting here.  We kindly request a $5 'love donation' for this meeting that is split equally between Dr. Strohman and Unity of Phoenix. Meetings are from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Inspirational Messages from Parents like Us-
Cherie Rickard - 'The 6 Steps to Surviving the Death of a Child'

Cherie with her book, 'Wake-Up Call A Mother's Grief Journey'

Our Hilton Head Helping Parents Heal Affiliate leader, Irene Vouvalides, forwarded a newsletter from 'The Grief Toolbox' that contained many helpful and healing articles.  I highly recommend this resource.  One of the articles was particularly interesting.  It gives 6 simple ways to survive our grief, and it is particularly useful at the very start of our difficult journey.  Please take a moment to read this concise, easy-to-read article.  
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.  

-Elizabeth Boisson

The 6 Steps to Surviving the Death of a Child

Who survives the death of their child? Do parents feel they even really want to survive the death of their child? The death of my child was the most devastating loss and pain I have ever felt and those that walk in a similar journey would agree. You not only have to live without your child you also grieve the loss of what ‘’could have been’’ as the years go by and their friend’s graduate school, get married, have children and build their future. Your life is forever changed and this life we call tragic is your new normalcy forever. You are alive and you can chose to live as though your life is now meaningless or you can chose to live again and keep your child’s memory alive. Your child will forever live with you but not in the physical sense but rather in the spiritual sense. You can learn to live through the grief and pain. I have a few survival tips to guide you through your painful journey.  
1. Allow yourself to grieve and recognize your emotions as normal responses to such a horrific loss.  You may experience all or some of the 5 stages of grief at one time or another. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. In addition to these you may feel guilty or afraid depending on the circumstance of your loss. If you want to talk, then talk. If you want to cry, just cry. If you want to sleep, just do it. Keeping your emotions bottled up inside will only fester up until you blow. It’s actually healthy to cry and without this first crucial step of embracing emotions you can’t move forward in the healing process. Any or all of these emotions are all part of grieving and everyone is different in how long they grieve. It doesn’t mean you’re a better parent if you grieve longer nor does it mean you’re not a good parent if you move through all stages in a short time. Everyone grieves and walks in their journey differently and at their own pace. At one time it was believed each step occurs in order and that has since proven to not be completely true.  While your impulse may be to blame yourself or take on guilt for not being there if it’s a tragic accident, try to resist the urge. There are simply circumstances in life and that cannot be controlled. Beating yourself up about what you could have, would have or should have done is counterproductive to healing. Grieving is a personal walk in life and even couples may grieve different and at a different pace.  Respect each other’s emotions or you could end up at odds over this so-called time table of grief.  You may be angry before denial and if fact you may never go through bargaining depending on your circumstances. Please allow your spouse their own space and way of coping. This will make your relationship a lot easier in this trying time of your marriage.

2. Take the time you need from stressors and lean on your faith. We all have outside stressors other than the immediate obvious loss of your child and even though nothing else seems to matter in life right now, we all have to face the decision to return to work, take additional time off, can we afford to be off work, when do I go back to church, when to continue a project etc….Some of us can’t bear the thought of working and facing our co-workers or staying on task when all we can do is cry while others may do just the opposite and work over time feeling the challenge of a work environment is exactly what they need. Don’t be misguided in thinking that by throwing yourself into work this will somehow heal you because in reality you are only avoiding the unavoidable. If you’re going back because you’re ready or have to financially then that’s completely different from avoidance. Don’t fear your company will suffer by you being gone because where the company suffers is when you return without the mental ability to concentrate on the job at hand; so go back when you’re ready. Comfort in prayer is individualized. I found that by asking God to give me peace and heal my pain was part of the reason I even felt hope in the first place after my son died. It’s my belief that grief recovery is difficult on your own and without the grace of God, it’s going to be harder to work through the pain, guilt, anger and depression.

3. Take care of yourself and then you can take better care of others. Some parents can’t sleep or eat while others over eat and stay in bed all day and night. None of which is good and something I still struggle with after 7 years. I am an emotional eater and although I am learning to redirect my stressors, it’s all a process and learned behavior. The key to success is surrounding yourself with a good support team. The death of a child takes a huge toll on you mentally and physically. The need for rest and proper diet is of course a necessity and easier said than done. If you’re having difficulty sleeping you may want to create a sleep time ritual or routine. I found bubble baths is the most relaxing ritual prior to bedtime. It’s difficult for most to eat immediately after your child has died and food was delivered for days by so many.  Everyone wanted me to eat but I just couldn’t do it. It’s later on that food can be a crutch and it’s a habit so hard to break. Some parents never regain the appetite for food and their health begins to suffer as well. Try to remember to eat for fuel only even if you have no appetite. Taking care of yourself is not just physical but mental as well. Some may need anti-depressants, or therapy. Some may never seek the help they need. It’s your mind and body and nobody knows you better than you! If you need to cope by way of medication then seek a doctor that can help you. There is no shame in seeking the help you need to learn how to live your new normal life. Work with your family physician or therapist you trust and feel comfortable with to find out what works for you and make a plan for treatment. I found there are many grief sites that will offer suggestions and others that give reviews on who and what worked for them. Even though we are all different, if you’re at a loss for direction it may be helpful to reach out to someone who has walked your same journey for suggestions.

4.  Evaluate friendships and other relationship. If we ever needed a friend in our life it would be after hearing the news your child has died. Allow your friends to be there for you. This is the only way they know to care for you whether it be cooking a meal, listening, running your errands etc…One of the most painful realities is the friends we thought we could count on just simply pull away during this grieving period. Some people simply do not know what to say. Our friends who are also parents may feel uncomfortable with the reminder that the loss of a child is possible. If you have friends encourage you to go through your grief on your own pace you should listen to them. If you have friends that push you to "get over" your grief and try to hurry you through your grieving process, you need to set boundaries. If necessary, distance yourself from those who insist on dictating and directing your grieving journey. Remember your friends and family are hurting too and have their own grief to work through so allow them to cry as well and work through their own pain. We tend to forget as parents that our child was loved by others and we aren’t the only people suffering in sorrow even if our levels of grief and loss are different they too need time to heal.

5. Keeping your child’s memory alive and celebrating their life on earth and in heaven. Our child is gone and the pain sets in so deep that it hurts for a lifetime but we can keep our child close to our heart and keep their memory alive in so many ways. You can host many different events from just family and friends to an open invitation for the public. A memorial dinner/gathering a few weeks after the funeral would be a great way to honor your child. Sharing memories, photos, stories and laughter. This event could be at your home, family home, the park or somewhere your child enjoyed going. You should consider a scholarship offering or memorial fund. You can combine the two if you prefer. My son’s classmates start a 5K run held annually in Memphis that not only brings everyone together honoring my son but also to raise funds for a scholarship that is given away each year to a deserving senior at my son’s high school. Visit for more information. You could also call the local University or high school to set up other scholarships honoring your child in his or her name. You can hold a fundraiser such as our 5K to raise funds to donate to a particular charity or project that was meaningful to your child. Think about the activities and interest of your child and what was important to them and look for ways to donate to a good cause. You can create a web page, Facebook page etc…..The social media has endless opportunities to spread the word. You can collect photos on your sites and stories as well. You can provide information on fundraising and events to honor your child. Birthday banners and announcements for your child’s family and friends. If you’re really creative you may want to begin the project for scrap booking, photo albums, and art work designs. If your child enjoyed art you can collect art and have it framed.  Scrap booking could be a family project that would allow siblings to feel they too have a contribution to their brother or sisters memory.

I chose to write and in April 2014 my book Wake-Up Call was published.Visit for more information. Depending on the nature and circumstances of your child’s death you may want to lobby for better laws, or become an activist for a good cause. For example if your child was killed by a gun to may want to join an organization enforcing gum control or if they were killed by a drunk driver you may want to research joining (MADD) Mothers against drunk drivers.  John Walsh became famous after his six-year-old son Adam was murdered, he went on to help sponsor legislation to toughen laws on those convicted of violence against children and hosted a TV show focused on catching violent criminals and has made a huge difference in law enforcement.

6. Do whatever you need to do work through your grief in a positive way. Some parents have asked whether it’s a good idea to continue to celebrate birthdays in honor of their child memory and of course it is! There are no right or wrong ways to do this--if it would give you comfort and allow you to celebrate all that was good, funny and bright about your child, then plan a birthday event. You can invite close friends and family and plan a balloon release or have a candle light ceremony. You may feel connected by joining a bereavement group. Knowing that you're not alone in your grief and that others are facing similar challenges can be comforting. Bereavement support groups for parents are available in most communities. I found the National Organization of Compassionate Friends has local chapters all over the country and can offer you the chance to tell your story in a supportive, non-judgmental environment, a decreased feeling of isolation and people who validate and normalize each other's emotional. There are many National Conventions and Conferences held at different times of the year and you can simply go online to research what works best for you. Example is the National Grief Convention 2015 held in Indianapolis, IN April 16-18 and Compassionate Friends National Conference 2015 held in Dallas, TX July 10-12. There are also many forums online dedicated to giving support to those living with loss. Look for one that is specifically for parents grieving the loss of a child in order to receive better understanding of your specific loss. There are also many general grief website that too are very helpful such as Grief Tool Box. Facebook has several open and closed groups. Example for support for Mother’s who have lost their child is (SIS) Sister’s in Sorrow, Grieving Mother’s and the list goes on. Make sure however you are in a group that you feel comfortable. Some sights will display photos of their deceased infants and children so if this causes you an increase of pain do not join that particular group. If you have faith in God make sure you’re not asking to join an atheist group that could possibly offend you and set you back in your grief journey. The best advice I can give through trial an error is do your research and explore what gives you a positive outlook, hope and comfort.

-Cherie Rickard for The Grief Toolbox

Cherie is a Published Author of the book 'Wake Up Call...A Mother's Grief Journey: the call that changes your life forever', of 'Healing Your Wounded Spirit: A Guide to Fighting the Battle of Grief after Divorce, Death of a Loved-One or a Broken Friendship' and of 'Strong Women: A Guide to Building Confidence, Self-Esteem & Independence' For more information about Cherie Rickard and free resources please visit her Facebook page.

Sheri’s Corner-
Wisdom and Quotes from The East Coast

No, no, the moments which united us are greater than centuries, and the light that illuminated our spirits is stronger than the dark; and if the tempest separates us on this rough ocean, the waves will unite us on the calm shore; and if this life kills us, death will unite us.
Khalil Gibran---Lebanese artist, poet, and writer
What if you knew that “good-bye” only meant “so long for a time?” Wouldn’t you breathe easier? 
I believe that because our children are leading the way by crossing over before us, it is imperative for our sense of well-being, that we learn everything that we can about the afterlife.  I have been investigating the afterlife since 1971 and for me, Danny’s death was definitely not good-bye, not even so long, because we are still in touch now, only differently. This is possible for each of us.

-Written by our NYC Affiliate Leader, Sheri Perl Migdol
Please visit Sheri's Prayer Registry here.

Stories by Parents Like Us

One of the members of our Facebook Group, Debbie Bockstahler, posted this article about her son who died of a heroin overdose.  It is heartfelt and gives a meaningful account of how difficult it is to help a loved one with an addiction, or sometimes even to discern that there is a problem.  However, by raising awareness, we all move closer to a cure.  Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your beautiful Cody with us.  Please click here to read Cody's Story.
Cody and his Mom, Debbie

Affiliate Groups and their Facilitators (by alphabetical order):

Jennifer Amato Tom’s Creek, NJ
After the passing of Jennifer's 2 year old son Joey, Jennifer found support from other bereaved parents. She is now finding healing in helping other bereaved parents learn to cope with their loss. Jennifer and Christine are co-hosts for Tom’s River.

Tina Babloski-Anderson Citrus County FL
Tina Babloski-Anderson is a grieving mother who has learned to laugh again since the loss of her son Paul G. Babloski on October 1st, 2009. Her efforts to find comfort have led her on a journey that has not only helped to heal herself, but to bring smiles on the faces of other grieving parents. Tina said, "There is no one here in Citrus County, Florida that could understand the loss of a child, except for another parent that has experienced the same pain. So, we formed a group that supports and celebrates each other’s children. We find that by supporting each other, we can learn to laugh again.

Elizabeth Boisson-Scottsdale, AZ

Since the passing of her son Morgan at the Base Camp of Mount Everest due to acute altitude sickness on a student trip to Tibet in October 2009, Elizabeth has held monthly parent meetings in Arizona. She founded both the Facebook site, ‘Parents United in Loss’ in February, 2010 and then partnered with Mark Ireland to co-found ‘Helping Parents Heal’ in February 2012.  She cherishes the opportunity to
meet both parents and their children in spirit.

Kristen Brown-Sanders Pensacola, FL
Kristen Brown-Sanders started The Next Step group in FL in January 2010 after her beloved daughter Sarah transitioned due to a distracted driver.  The Next Step linked in with Helping Parents Heal in 2012.

NEW GROUP - Lancy Carr-Washington DC

I have lived in Arizona since 1983. I met Karla Kay at Bikram yoga Tempe which I started doing shortly after Nathan passed away.  She told me about an event and I met Linda West, the first psychic exposure for me! It healed my heart a little and made me want to learn more. I also met Justine Schrimsher at that meeting and she told me about HPH. The first meeting I knew this is what would work for me.  I have enjoyed all the support, love and hope that is shared at every meeting. I got a new job in DC in Dec 2013 and I now want to not only support this wonderful non-profit, as it has given me so much help in my grief, but to help others heal as well.

Nancy Courtmanche-Eureka, CA
The loss of my son Robb, 29, has made me painfully aware of the need for parents to have a group setting that is safe and confidential. Healing occurs. Out of my loss I dedicated myself to service for others in volunteer Hospice patient care and grief support, as a Hospital Chaplain, and healing work.  This has prepared me to lead an HPH group now.

Janice Crowder-Torrez-Tucson, AZ

Wanting to honor her son’s spirit, courage, and the many gifts he left behind, Janice discovered Helping Parents Heal in Scottsdale, AZ.  Opening the door for other parents to grieve their loss, while offering support to small groups, Janice decided to start a chapter in Tucson where she resides and her son Anthony, aged 31, took his life. Janice is a MSN and certified in Meditation.

NEW GROUP-Lori Fina Jennings-Cape Coral, FL
My son died at age 30 of a drug overdose. My surviving daughter has Down Syndrome. Life has blessed me with so many unique gifts & learning opportunities. I'd like to "be there" for people as my son was. My book, Liam's Lessons, was written with the help of my son shortly after he died. Practicing Isha Yoga has been my saving grace.

Sheryl Hill-Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tyler, my beautiful sixteen year old son, died a preventable death on a People to People Student Ambassador Trip to Japan in 2007. My most important achievements are being a mother, a wife, nonprofit endeavors with the Clear Cause Foundation (to keep American children and students safe on foreign soil) and perhaps my work as an author. I did not lose the ones I love who have passed. I know where they are.

Julia LaJoie-Washington DC
I joined Helping Parents Heal in April of 2012 when I met Mark Ireland, Anne Puryear and Elizabeth Boisson at a conference in Phoenix, AZ on After Death Communication. There were many parents like myself who had lost a child and had discovered the healing that comes from ADC and other forms of spiritual growth. I am eager to join hands and hearts with other parents in the Baltimore - Washington area to grow our network and support each other in healing and spiritual growth.

NEW GROUP - Paige Lee-Boise, Idaho

Paige is a Speaker, Coach, and Reiki practitioner and owns Crystal Soul Healing Center in Boise Idaho. Paige is dedicated to helping people who have experienced a profound loss, especially the loss of a child, face and release their emotions and find a way to joyfully connect with their loved one in Spirit. Her spiritual awakening came abruptly and forcefully after her only child, Bryan, was murdered in September 2008. Just as the only world she’d ever known was shattered, a new world opened. A world filled with Hope, Spirit, and Love; a world that allowed her not only to continue having a relationship with her son, but a world that opened her own true self into being.

Patti May- Ottawa, Ontario
I am a mother of 3 wonderful children, married 30 years to their father.I lost my son Adam in 2006 in a tragic auto accident. Since losing my son I have had afterlife signs that have helped me.  I began to search for like-minded parents to share our experiences. I came across the wonderful group Helping Parents Heal and asked if I could start a group here in Canada.

Jessalyn Nash- Sonoma County, CA

Jessalyn Nash, M.A. has facilitated groups for over 25 years and is involved in the restorative justice movement. After her beloved 21-year-old son, Trystan passed away, Jessalyn has dedicated herself to helping other grieving parents.

NEW GROUP - Glenda Pearson-Granger, IN
Glenda is a Reiki Master, Munay Ki practitioner, intuitive guide, Stephen's Minister, author and Certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist.  Reflected in her book, But Should The Angels Call For Him, she speaks of her personal loss through the death of her only child, Chad, and believes there is healing for everyone.

Maria Pe - San Diego

Maria Pe, J.D., is the mother of Sean Robert and Kyle Joseph, her two sons who transitioned to the other side on June 21, 2011.  That day was the beginning of Maria’s profound spiritual journey to find out where her sons went and how she could continue to have a relationship with them.  Having been educated in Western culture and trained as an attorney, Maria was skeptical and had no idea where to turn for the information and answers she was seeking.  She was guided to a shamanic practitioner who taught her how to raise her consciousness and energy levels through meditation so that she could connect with her sons.  She began keeping a written journal of her experiences which culminated in her book, Journey To The Upper Realm:  How I Survived the Deaths of My Sons and Learned to Communicate With Them on the Other Side (free at and in hard copy on Amazon).   By sharing and talking about her own experience, she hopes to help other bereaved parents.

Sheri Perl-New York, NY

Sheri Perl Migdol is a spiritual healer, an interfaith minister, an author, lecturer and mother of 3 children, one deceased. Sheri is the founder of The Prayer Registry, a free service for all bereaved parents.

Christine Volpe-Tom’s Creek NJ
After the passing of her 17 year old son, James, due to a vehicle accident Christine has spent countless hours helping other bereaved parents.  She is devoted to help other parents find tools to help them in their grief. Christine and Jennifer are co-hosts for Tom’s River.

NEW GROUP - Irene Vouvalides-Hilton Head, SC

I lost my 24 year old daughter to esophageal - gastric cancer on February 17, 2013. She was my best friend, my only child. I have been on a spiritual quest since, reading constantly, writing about my life. I have had two sessions with George Anderson and had a phone session with Laurie Campbell. Having recently moved to South Carolina, I am very interested in connecting with other parents here. So happy to find and read Mark Ireland's books and have also taken great comfort in reading Dr Brian Weiss's books.

Laura Wilmot-Fall’s Church, VA
A retired federal HR Director, Laura taught Mexican Folk dance to children and adults and performed Mariachi music with her family for several years.  She “connects up” to her son through meditation and prayer.
Please contact Elizabeth Boisson ( if you would like to start an affiliate chapter in your area.


Mission statement of Helping Parents Heal:

Our mission is to help parents who have lost children, giving them support and resources to aid in the healing process. We will go a step beyond other groups by allowing the open discussion of spiritual experiences and evidence for the Afterlife in a non-dogmatic way. In other words, we will welcome everyone regardless of their religious (or non-religious) background and allow for a very open type of dialog.

-Mark Ireland, Co-Founder, Helping Parents Heal

Sending peace, love and white light to you and your beautiful children

Note: Information in the Helping Parents Heal newsletter is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you in finding resources (information, meetings, books, etc.) to aid in the bereavement process. This newsletter is not intended to endorse, sponsor or encourage your use of any of the information or services listed, whether from members or other individuals. Rather, our intent is simply to inform you of vast amount of resources available for your consideration. We urge you to independently research and consider the value any particular resource for yourself. Further, while we take steps to ensure accuracy of the information posted, especially relative to linked media, we accept no liability for content. Helping Parents Heal is a non-profit Corporation.


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Helpful, Healing Information

Stories of Validation -

Kim Camacho and her son Austin
Austin Jordan Alegre

Connecting with Austin

My name is Kim and my son Austin passed at age 15 on July 20th, 2009 on our vacation in Rocky Point Mexico. I took Austin, my daughter Allison (age 11) and two other boys quadding.  Austin crushed his chest and ruptured his aorta when the quad (4 wheel ATV) rolled over onto him.  Austin died in my arms as I was performing CPR on him.  I am a broken soul with shattered pieces but I have chosen to grow strong again with tape on all of those shattered pieces.  I chose to be a positive strong role model for my daughter Alli.  I am strong!  I am broken!  I am angry!  And most of all I am spiritually connected to my son Austin!

I often write about my signs and validations from Austin on Facebook  because it brings healing to me and to those who read my words.  This new life as a grieving mom is not one that I wanted but it is one that I will learn from and hopefully help others with my stories.

I have so many validations but here are just a few from this year 2015:

  • I was at a stop light and I decided to give an apple to a young homeless guy. My son Austin said to me in my head., “That was really cool mom.”  I said "thanks Buddy" and then I was thinking to myself, "well I haven’t heard him in my head in a long time" and then Austin said to me. “You can do this mom, you just need to clear the clutter from your brain and be patient.  It will take time but you can do it… I love you”. And I said "I love you".
  • Austin's younger sister, my 16 yr old daughter Alli now drives. She has a car. Alli knows I am a nervous wreck so she texts me when she starts to drive and when she arrives at her destination. Last night I worked really late. Sometimes my mom drives with me if I travel far. On our way back, I told her Alli was still at her boyfriend's and that I get nervous with her driving. Especially at night.... So 'Thelma and Louis' (my mom and I) made a detour... We drove to Alli's boyfriend’s house and hid in the dark. Like the cop shows... LOL While waiting, the back of my car had a very loud thump! Like someone had slapped their hand on my car. My mom and I got startled.. . I looked around and no one was there. No trees around for something to fall onto my car. Nothing was thrown at my car.... So my mom and I knew... It was my son Austin saying "OK you two crazy broads she is coming out get ready and please make this your last stake out!!!!" LOL.  My mom and I laughed and followed Alli home. She did great! And I know her brother is watching over her and has her back!!!
  • The hummingbird has been my sign since Austin passed.  I am not sure why but I follow what is brought to me by my son.  So one day,  I was having a stern conversation with Allison.  I started to get very heated in my tone.  Alli, my mom and I were in the kitchen. I started raising my voice towards Alli... She is so sensitive... All of a sudden a hummingbird flew in front of our dome-shaped window in the kitchen. I have never seen a hummingbird fly that close to my house. Although I do have feeders in the trees, they never come to my window. So I immediately lowered my voice towards Alli and said to the bird.. "Ok I get it!" My mom just looked at me and said "Aha!" She had seen its reflection in the refrigerator since her back was to the window...
  • Last but not least.  This past Sunday April 12th   around 6:30 pm I was home alone out in the backyard throwing the ball to my dogs.  My husband went to pick up his son from his mom’s to bring him back to our home to watch our favorite Sunday show.  While I was outside I saw a person walking from the garage to the living room.  I thought it was Jon’s son Maddux.  I looked around from the patio and no one was in the house.  Jon and his son arrived about 5 minutes later.  At first I was a bit freaked out thinking someone had entered our home.  I had my husband check all the rooms. And since the house was clear I immediately knew I had my first vision of my son while I was awake.  I say awake because I have already seen him in my dreams.

Austin and I are becoming more spiritually connected.  He keeps telling me in my readings that as long as I clear my clutter, I will be able to communicate and work with him on a much stronger level.  I think the time has come! 

-Love, Kim-Austin and Allison’s MomAlli, Kim and Austin

Michelle Stein and her daughter Olivia
Olivia (center) and her parents, Michelle and Harvey

Journey to Olivia

Our wonderful daughter Olivia died on January 9, 2010. She was 24. My first conscious thought, in the first couple of hours after her death was, “How am I going to walk this earth without her for the next 40 years?” Olivia came to me just after I woke the next morning in her full-soul presence. Words are feeble and inadequate to convey what she conveyed to me but she was ancient beyond imagining, wise beyond wisdom, LOVE beyond any love we feel on earth. She spent about 10 or 15 minutes with me letting me know how beyond “good” she is. She even made a little joke in order for me not to dismiss this with my trusty logical left-brain. She wanted me to really know that this was a true visit. But, I’m still here, I’m still in this body and my pain was---as you all know---infinite.
Sometime, in the first few weeks I began to “hear” or “feel” that the way that I will walk this earth without her is to be of service to others. I had no idea what that would look like but I knew that it was true. I began to read everything that I could get my hands on about Past Lives, Life Between Lives, Near Death Experiences, Reincarnation and medium’s accounts of what they hear. Brian Weiss’ books resonated deeply and I signed up for his 5-day Intensive Past Life Regression training, nine months after her death. Over the next few years I studied with a handful of teachers and each time I was guided, very directly, to do so.
Last year I heard that it was time to really study Hypnotherapy. I have been certified to do Past Life regressions by two of the best: Brian Weiss and Denise Linn but I really had no idea about the theory or practice of hypnotherapy. When I went to see what was nearby I was stunned to learn that there is a very thorough (both psychologically and spiritually) school 7 minutes from my front door. It has been there since 1986! I have found, again and again, that I won’t see something until I am meant to “see” it. I began my 200 hour course in February 2014.
For homework, I had to practice taking someone on a journey to meet their Spirit Guide and be given a gift. My husband (the former skeptic) was my guinea pig. He had a very deep experience, it was very positive. He goes into trance easily and is very visual and he really enjoyed it. A few weeks later I’d taken him to see the Celtic Women the night before his birthday but on the day of his birthday it popped into my head (inspiration, no doubt, from Olivia!) that I should take him on another journey, just like before, but that he should ask Olivia to join him. I had no idea if it would work. Well, it WORKED!!! I could tell the moment that he saw her---his face was overcome with such deep emotion. I told him that he could ask her anything that he wanted but he said that he was to overcome to speak. So, I just told him to sit with her. I left him there for quite a while. When I brought him out of trance he told me that she ran up to him and said, “Happy Birthday Daddy!!!” She hugged him, kissed him and, knowing how overcome he was with emotion, just sat next to him holding his hand. He told me what she was wearing, how her hair was in a ponytail, how her eyes looked into his. It was a deeply emotional and heartfelt visit. I was stunned and I got a glimmer of a thought: Could THIS be what I’m meant to do?
A couple of months later, when I’d kind of forgotten about the power of this visit, I got a huge validation from Olivia that this was indeed a true experience. Another grieving mom had popped me into a Facebook page that is run by a Medium. As I went through the readings that she’d done for my friend and another friend I saw that she was really good. I locked down my privacy on my Facebook account and posted Olivia’s picture. She gave a very good reading. I contacted her through her website to pay for a reading. I convinced her to Skype with me (she only does written, email readings---she’s shy). Right off the bat she asks, “Who is Harv?” That’s Harvey, my husband, Olivia’s dad. “He’s her HERO! She visited him in a dream.” No, I say, he would have told me… Can you imagine? I did not put it together with my taking him on a journey to meet with Olivia! She said, “No, she is adamant that she visited him” and again I said “No”. 45 minutes later after countless names and incredible validations this lady starts to laugh and says, “Olivia says, ‘hold on Mommy! This is going to be REALLY funny!’” Then she asks if my husband is “Irish”. I burst out laughing and told her that he WANTS to be Irish! He used to drive the kids crazy on long road trips listening to only the Chieftains. Then this lady says to me, “Oh! Yes! I love Riverdance and I love the Celtic Women” Then the DIME DROPPED!!! I asked her to say where she’d met with her daddy. Then I ran to where Harvey was and he gave me the exact description that Olivia had just told the medium! Olivia was determined to validate that what I was doing was very, very REAL. How funny is she and how wonderful that she was able to loop it back and make me put it all together?
My daughter Olivia was a pistol here on Earth. She had it all: Intellect, common sense, humor and the biggest heart I've had the privilege to know. Every wonderful thing our children were, when here, is magnified exponentially now. They want us to heal. They want us to live with joy.

-Written by Olivia's proud Mom, Michelle 

Gina Rouiller and her son, David
David Justin Waddell

Our Magic Number is 12
My son's name is David Justin Waddell he was born 3/3/93 and he died 3/12/15 just 9 days after his birthday at the age of 22.

We have created a page called David's Pennies Waddell for his friends and family to pay tribute to David's life. His older brother Paul wrote this about David:

On March 12, 2015 my little brother was involved in a fatal car accident. His name was David.David was a young free spirited, live in the moment, loving young man, with a heart as big as the universe. The day of his accident, I walked the crash site. Many objects had been thrown from the car, tools, a glove, his glasses, pieces of the car. For some reason I looked past all of this. Standing there trying to figure out how, why did this happen, I looked down and what I saw stopped me in my tracks! There was a penny, dime, and another penny spread about a foot apart. All of these coins were heads up. I took this as a sign from David, telling me his mom and his father to keep our heads doesn't end here. When I returned home later that day I was in my driveway talking with my father and best friend.I asked did I tell you about the coins I found? My father stopped me and said don't tell me it was 2 Pennies and a dime? I hadn't told anyone about this my father walked me to the garage, and melted through the snow were 2 Pennies and a dime in the same pattern and all heads about goose bumps. I told my family about this and since then this has happened once more to one of our mother's friends.

There is more to this; David passed away on the 12th, 2 Pennies and a dime is 12 cents, David's birthday is March 3rd 9 days before the 12th 9+3= 12, my daughters birthday is 3+4+1+4=12, David Waddell is 12 letters. This isn't coincidence. David's, and our magic number must be 12.

A piece of our hearts is gone, David will be missed forever, but our love for him will only grow stronger. 

-David's proud Mother, Gina

Helpful, Healing Books
The Upcoming Second Book by Ernie Jackson, Quinton's Legacy

Ernie Jackson is a member of the Board of Helping Parents Heal.  He has already published a wonderful book about his son Quinton entitled 'Quinton's Messages'.  

Losing a loved one is the worst.  Losing a child is worse than that.  When I use the word “losing”, I am talking about death and all of us part of this group understand it all too well.  It is awful, but then something happens, something magical if we are fortunate enough to recognize what it is.  All too often, our wonderful children make contact in some way.

Sometimes the ways they make contact are powerful and impossible to misinterpret. Other times, the signs they send are so subtle that we second guess what we are experiencing or worse, convince ourselves that they are figments of our imagination.  In either case, they are there; the signs are there which means that our children are there.  Suddenly, when the let the magnitude of these signs sink in, I mean sink in all the way to our souls, we understand there is no death. 

This was where the rubber meets the road, but it can be unbelievably challenging to recognize and acknowledge that our child didn't die, that he or she simply went through a doorway, though a veil and is still here.  One of the biggest challenges some of us must overcome to this realization is how our beautiful child left us.  Was it a result of cancer, a suicide, a drunk driver? Did we have to watch them suffer or was their transition caused by a careless or thoughtless act of another?  So many of us get stuck right here, in this painful place and that is okay.  It is a natural part of grieving and coming to terms with our loss, but the magic is still there!  Our kids are still here, just on the other side of the veil!

When our son, Quinton made contact, my first reaction when the magnitude of what he had accomplished pieced the dark place I was in, was elation.  As I explained in our first book (Quinton’s Messages), I went from imagining my son alone in a dark place to complete jubilation as I realized that he didn’t die!  My next immediate thought was, “why didn’t I know”?  Why didn’t I know that this was how death worked and why wasn’t I taught this and why isn’t this amazing fact discussed daily and everywhere from news broadcasts to newspapers?  My son, Quinton, sent me on an amazing journey of discovery.  It is my one wish that I could share this feeling of jubilation, of complete exhilaration with you. 

This is our reality and it does not matter how long it takes you to come to this epiphany or what specific aha moment opens your eyes to the simple fact that, there is no death for our transitioned children.  Also, it follows that there is no death for us!  We will see them again!  And it goes deeper than that.  The simple fact that we are still here in the physical world means that there something for us to experience and learn or maybe it is to help others; but in any case I am quite certain that our purpose is not to be filled with hate or checking out in some way.  That just is not what our kids want!

In our second book, Quinton’s Legacy, after spending the first three-quarters of the book lifting the reader’s energy with our amazing experiences courtesy of Quinton, and a multitude of visitations shared by others of their deceased loved ones making contact, I venture into this topic.  There is no right or wrong, it is different for each of us and there certainly cannot be judgment – but there is something there for each of us whether that is some manner of knowledge, some manner of growth, or some manner of peace.  In large part, this is a gift from our transitioned child!

It is up to us to experience the pain, to feel it and to purge it in order to make room for the epiphanies and euphoria!  Yell, scream and cry to the point of exhaustion; give this grief a voice and outlet so over time it may dissipate.  From this place, remember the good times, the fun times; remember the smiles and laughter – remember and let the signs come!  Don’t second guess them. Don’t talk yourself out of the simple understanding that life still is for them and for us, and when the time is right begin to tackle the reality that you being here without your child has some purpose (probably many!), different for us all, but purpose nevertheless.

Embrace it all and begin the journey your child set you upon.
-Written by Quinton's proud parents, Ernie and Kristine  

Quinton's Legacy will be available on June 10th, Quinton's 6th Angel Date. Ernie and Kristine will be speaking about Quinton's book at our June Meeting of Helping Parents Heal on June 25th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Unity of Phoenix.  Please click here to RSVP, and click here to learn more about Quinton and his legacy.

Would you like to share a story of validation or healing with other Parents? 
We are all able to heal when we share personal stories about our children with others.  Moreover, everyone benefits from validations that we receive from our children.  We love to hear about them!  If you have a story that you would like to share about your child, please let us know and we will include it in a future newsletter.  Please send it to Elizabeth Boisson at (Due to space limitations, please be sure it is no longer than 1 page.) 

Also, if you have not yet done so, please send me your child's full name, Birthday and Angel Date so that I can add him or her to our list of children on our Facebook Site. We pay tribute to our children on their special dates with a favorite photo and a description of their lives.  Please send all information to Elizabeth at

View our Events Page on Facebook
Upcoming Group Meetings
Helping Parents Heal - Pensacola, hosted by Kristen Brown-Sanders.  Please email Kristen for more information at Parents Heal - Ottawa, hosted by Patti May, May 10th.  Please visit the event page to sign up.Helping Parents Heal - San Diego, hosted by Maria Pe.  Please email Maria at for more information.Helping Parents Heal - New Jersey, hosted by Jennifer Amato and Christine Volpe Please visit their Facebook page for more information, or click on the event to sign up.
Helping Parents Heal - AZ April 23rd with guest speaker Dr. Lisa Strohman.  Please visit the event page to sign up.
Helping Parents Heal - AZ June 25th with guest speakers Ernie and Kristine Jackson.  Please visit the event page to sign up.
Helping Parents Heal - AZ August 27th with guest speaker Psychic Medium Jamie Clark.  Please visit the event page to sign up.  
New Group!  Helping Parents Heal - Boise, Hosted by Paige Lee.  Please email Paige at for more information.
New Group!  Helping Parents Heal - Cape Coral, Hosted by Lori Fina-Jennings.  Please email Lori for more information at or call: 614-563-8539
Helping Parents Heal - NYC, hosted by  Sheri Perl Migdol   Please email Sheri at for more information.Helping Parents Heal - Eureka and Fortuna CA, hosted by Nancy Courtmanche.  The Christ Lutheran Church, 2132 Smith Lane, FORTUNA CA 95540-Every MONDAY at 6-7:30 pm.  The (former) Grace Chiropractic Bldg, 2332 Harrison Ave and Buhne Ave, Suite #B, EUREKA CA 95501-Starting February 7th, SATURDAY 1:30pm. Please email Nancy at for more information.
New Group!  Granger, IN-Glenda Pearson  Please email Glenda for more information.
New Group!  Hilton Head, SC-Irene Vouvalides Please contact Irene at for more information.  
New Group!  Washington, DC-Lancy Carr. Please contact Lancy at for more information.


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