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Welcome to the February issue of our Helping Parents Heal Newsletter!
Hello! 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 have many affiliate groups available throughout the country. There is information about upcoming meetings in this newsletter. Photos and bios of all of our affiliate leaders are available on our website, www.helpingparentsheal.info.
Many new and exciting things are happening throughout the country! Dr. Mark Pitstick, a board member of HPH and the affiliate leader of our Columbus and Sarasota groups has been asked to serve as the Director of Education of Eternea. You can learn more about Eternea by visiting www.eternea.org. Mark will be passing the baton of affiliate leader to Lavaughn Margaff as well as Rick Colby and Marcia Wasielewski in Columbus and to Sandi and Sandy Crea in Sarasota. Please be sure to attend the upcoming meetings if you are in the area and say hello! Plus we will soon have three new affiliates; in Fort Lauderdale, FL with Ana Fernandez, in South Kona, HI with Beth D'Angelo and in Tampa FL with Marla Grant. And Janice Crowder-Torrez has changed the meeting location of her Tucson affiliate to be more central. Her upcoming meetings will now be at 1510 E Grant Road. Please join her if you are in Tucson!
Sending love and light 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 Phoenix/Scottsdale.
Psychic Medium Susanne Wilson-The Carefree Medium
Please join us for An Evening With The Carefree Medium on January 28th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at New Vision Center for Spiritual Living! Our Guest Speaker will be Susanne Wilson, Psychic Medium, Author & Spiritual Teacher. Susanne has been a strong advocate of Helping Parents Heal since our group started over 6 years ago. She is also a close friend.
Susanne will be speaking about the many ways in which our children continue to communicate directly with us. They want us to know that they are doing well, and they continue to be part of our lives. Susanne will do a live demonstration with a volunteer parent about how to make our own connection with our children in spirit. Then Susanne will provide readings at random to a few of the attendees. No one is guaranteed a reading at this event.
Susanne Wilson is an evidential medium, intuition development expert, and spiritual teacher. She has been tested, verified, and written about in books and scientific journals by world renowned afterlife researchers. A natural born medium, Susanne hid in the “psychic closet" for many years while she had a successful career as a corporate executive and university director. She was nurturing her gift of mediumship in secret, when a near death experience shifted her focus about what matters most in life.
We kindly request a 'love donation' of $5 per person that will be split between Susanne and New Vision♥ Seating is limited so please come early-doors open at 6:00 pm! Hope to see you there. Please RSVP here. You can learn more about Susanne at her website, www.carefreemedium.com.
Dr. Mark Pitstick and his book 'SoulProof'
Evolved Souls Don’t Need Long Earthly Lives
by Mark Pitstick, MA, DC
Welcome to the Helping Parents Heal Q & A. The death of a child is very difficult, painful, and sad. At the same time, it can be a spiritually transformative experience. You can—moment by moment—choose to heal by awakening to your and their true nature (much more than the physical body), honoring their lives, serving others, and enjoying life again. That’s the balance Helping Parents Heal seeks to maintain.
I recommend reading the Foundational Articles for Healing and Transformation that form a basis for my answers. Links at lower left of www.soulproof.com home page.
I’ve also created several products with information and strategies for surviving and even thriving amidst your suffering. http://www.soulproof.com/shop/ If you truly can’t afford them, let us know and we’ll send them to you at no charge. Then, when you are doing better, you can “pay it forward” and help others.
Q: I know everyone grieves differently. I used to go to the cemetery everyday, sometimes twice a day. I could not wait until his stone came in. I designed it JUST THE WAY I KNEW HE WANTED IT. But now that it's there—seeing his picture, date of birth and date of death—I literally have to force myself to go there. Has this happened to anyone else? – Jackie
A: You’re not the first, Jackie, but thanks for sharing this. It’s possible that designing the stone—just the way he wanted—gave you something to focus on. You believed that you would feel more peace and closure when you saw the memorial stone in place. But actually seeing it magnified the reality of his passing even more, thus your lack of desire to go there now.
It all sounds normal to me. Trust your feelings. Don’t go to the gravesite if you don’t want to. Your son’s soul certainly doesn’t care if you go there or not. His unneeded physical body isn’t who and what he is. His real self—spirit, love, awareness, light, personality, intelligence, etc.—is alive and well and very near you. He is urging you to remember that life and love are forever. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Mark
Q: My son had a ring given to him the other night by a complete stranger. My daughter passed away in July 2014; then three months later, my son joined the Army. He is set to deploy next month. I personally believe this is a sign from his sister that he will be OK. Any thoughts or am I going crazy? - Cheryl
A: It’s not crazy to have hope and believe in miracles. We couldn’t scientifically prove that the ring was a sign, but if it works for you—great. Life sends us clues and signs to remind us about seeing the big picture. I’ve never had a ring given to me by a complete stranger, so there’s probably something to your belief, Cheryl. Keep looking for signs of hope; they’re common and we can detect them when we keep our eyes open. Blessings, Mark
Q: Today is my 45th wedding anniversary. We married in the years when twenty-year olds got married and never really thought about what "for better or for worse" meant. We have gone through plenty in those years, but it all pales in the face of losing our son fifteen months ago. No day and no family celebration will ever be the same. It feels hollow without Aaron. I know my husband feels the same, but I can't keep telling him how sad I am. He can't help me; no one can. This "new normal" is our life. It is so very difficult. – Judy
A: I know it is, Judy. It is the worst. And yet, if you’ve followed Helping Parents Heal for long, you know that you can be helped and your grief can lighten. One way to begin that process is by using more conscious language. For example, instead of “losing our son”, you could say “our son graduated” or transitioned or changed worlds. Those words convey a very different sense versus ‘lost.’ I know that you can’t see his physical body and that is very difficult. But that body was much less than 1% of who and what he is.
Likewise, a statement such as “no one can help me” will make you feel hopeless. How about “I feel like no one can help me, but I hope I’m wrong.” Say those two statements aloud and see which one feels better. Please read Foundational Article #6. You and your husband can discuss the points as a way to communicate and learn. Especially pay attention to point 11 in that article and get a NRT evaluation. That is a very powerful way to avoid a breakdown and have a breakthrough. Peace, Mark
Q: I am feeling like I am in a very dark place. It has been two years since I lost my thirty-one year-old son Chris. The holidays were a distraction with my daughter and grandson visiting. Since they left, each day has gotten progressively worse. My husband has been in somewhat the same place. The weather is blah, holidays are over, etc. I have had some really bad days since losing my son, but I haven't had this many days in a row that are this bad since early on. Can any of you give me any tips on how to get out of this rut I am in? – Linda
A: I am very sorry that you and your husband are going through such darkness, Linda. There’s no “one size fits all” for bereaved parents. I know a couple who were doing pretty well and then had a tougher time at the five-year anniversary of their son’s passing. And, as you say, lack of sunshine can be a factor. You and other readers can email me for a free copy of “Are you SAD? 5 Natural Solutions for Seasonal Affective Disorder.” I would also definitely get a NRT checkup as discussed above. Finally, are you in a HPH group? If there’s not one in your area, consider starting one. Those three steps should move you toward a more energetic spiral.
Last week, I was honored to talk with a mother who has had three children die. It was very, very difficult, she said. But she read and did everything she could and somehow survived it. She contacted me to ask how she could help me help others. I’m working with her to start the first HPH group in Tampa. She greatly inspired me and is a shining example of how we can always choose to take the high road. It’s not easy, but it is possible. Love and Light, Mark
Q: I am a mother of four who lost my youngest child, on 6/11/13. My son Derek was eighteen. He passed away at home; I found him and tried to revive him, but failed miserably. I am and always will be lost; the pain is very unbearable at times. I hate my world without my son. I hate knowing that I will never again be completely happy. How could I? My heart is broken forever. - Diane
A: Wow! I can feel the pain in your words, Diane. And yet, as discussed above, you can come out of this over time. How do I know? Because other parents have done it. It doesn’t happen overnight. It does happen one day at a time and requires focusing on higher energy thoughts such as:
- I will see him again someday
- I know he is alive and well in spirit
- I am going to honor his life and death by recovering and helping others
- I and the rest of my family and friends deserve for me to heal
As for failing with the resuscitation, it will fail if it’s a souls time to go back Home. You did all you could so please don’t beat yourself up over it. I worked in hospitals for six years and saw people die every day—sometimes due to mistakes, poor decisions, or other factors by doctors. Death is an essential part of life. How else can an advanced soul in a young body move into the next phase of forever except by what appears—from a limited human perspective—to be a horrible accident, injury, or accident? To you and all the other parents and family members, please let us know how you’re doing in a few months after reading the Foundational Articles and applying some of the information and strategies. Love and life are forever, Mark
Note: This information is not designed to replace medical or psychological care. Dr. Pitstick’s recommendations are based on his forty-three years of professional training and experience in hospitals, mental health centers, and holistic private practice.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, clinical psychologist, chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and workshop leader who helps you know and show that—no matter what is going on around you—this earth-experience is a totally safe and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit www.soulproof.com for free radio shows with top consciousness experts, newsletters, and articles addressing life’s toughest changes and challenges. Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask him your toughest and most challenging questions
-Dr. Mark Pitstick is a Board Member of Helping Parents Heal and an Affiliate Leader of our Columbus, Ohio HPH Group and our Sarasota, Florida HPH Group.
Words to Inspire from Ernie and Kristine Jackson
Ernie and Kristine
I love to share and be of service. With my recent promotion and transfer back to Phoenix, the little and annoying voice in the back of my head was concerned that I wouldn’t have as many opportunities to do so. At the same time, I understood and had faith that opportunities would present themselves; I just needed to pay attention.
Within a few short days of this thought; well it might have actually been within a few short hours; I found myself talking with a co-worker. Her husband’s grandmother had just passed; she and her husband are both about twenty-eight years old, they had never been to a funeral and he was tasked with delivering a eulogy. She shared that they were both quite nervous.
She had lots of questions such as “am I supposed to wear a black dress with a veil”, “should the services be a sad affair”, “just what kind of eulogy should my husband deliver”, and “do you have some examples”? While I realized and shared with her that I am not an authority and that there are certainly different approaches, here is what I told her: There are no rules when it comes to a funeral. I suggested that they go with their hearts and realize that most times it is or should be a celebration of the person’s life. Because of this, play their favorite music, wear their favorite colors, laugh and tell stories about their lives. Remember, our loved one will be there in spirit! When Quinton transitioned, although Kristine was injured, she managed to spread the word that we all should wear Quinton’s favorite colors – red and blue.
While discussing the eulogy, I again told her that her husband should speak from the heart. The eulogy is more for his grandmother than it is for anybody else and it certainly should not be delivered from an analytical perspective. They should not worry about whether those in attendance might judge or criticize; a eulogy is meant to come from the heart. I directed her to my first Vimeo conversation was recorded a mere six weeks after Quinton had transitioned. Though it was long, within it I shared my eulogy for Quinton and the obituary I wrote for the newspaper. Both times the words flowed through me, coming from another place, but each was an uplifting remembrance of our son. This should be the case for any loved one who has passed.
She took this in, still nervous but visibly a bit more at ease. She was still worried about what people would think. She later told me that at the service, her mother-in-law had a list of very sad songs that she wanted to play. However, the minister, who had known her grandmother for 15 years, politely declined because he got it! He knew grandma and the bright light she is – and only played music celebrating her life.
Remember, our loved ones have simply crossed through a doorway! Yes, it is painful; damned painful, horribly painful – but they still exist. This is where the rubber meets the road. Our children, Moms, Dads – all of our transitioned families still exist and we still have an opportunity to interact with them in an uplifting way.
-Ernie and Kristine Jackson
-Ernie Jackson is a Board Member of Helping Parents Heal and the proud father of Quinton. His two books,"Quinton's Messages' and 'Quinton's Legacy', are available at www.quintonsmessages.com.
Please also view Ernie and Kristine's video of their June presentation at the Phoenix/Scottsdale Chapter of Helping Parents Heal here.
Gentle Yoga to Heal Grief
Tuesdays from 12-1 pm in Cave Creek, AZ
Elizabeth Boisson - Co-Founder of Helping Parents Heal
Hello, wonderful Parents! For those of you here in the Phoenix area, I have just completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through Yoga Breeze on Carefree Highway. I now will be giving 10 free gentle yoga courses at the Desert Broom Library, 29710 N Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek, AZ on Tuesdays from 12 - 1 pm starting on February 2nd to complete my certification. The dates are as follows: 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12 and 4/19. No prior experience is necessary. We will be connecting with our breath, opening our hearts, going through gentle physical movements and easy meditation. Please join us if you can! Space is limited to 9 so be sure to sign up on the Desert Broom website here.
Helpful, Healing Books
The Helping Parents Heal website lists many good books about grief that have been read and recommended by other bereaved parents. Please click this link to view the different books. Also, please email your own favorite healing book so that we can possibly add it to the list. The address is: email@example.com.
Affiliate Updates -
Hilton Head Helping Parents Heal - January Meeting with Psychic Medium Jake Samoyedny
Affiliate Leader Irene Vouvalides and Psychic Medium Jake Samoyedny
The January Meeting of Helping Parents Heal - Hilton Head was awesome. We were 26! Jake was an amazing speaker, everyone loved listening and he was able to connect with so many children in readings over the weekend. -Irene Vouvalides
January 20th, 2016 Article from the Blufton Sun about Irene's Affiliate Group
Irene leads a group meeting of Helping Parents Heal Photo: Amy Coyne Bredeson
Group Offers Parents New Way of Coping with Grief
Irene Vouvalides lost her 24-year-old daughter, Carly Hughes, to esophageal-gastric cancer in February 2013. But the Bluffton woman feels her daughter is never far from her side.
A special song plays on Pandora and she is reminded of her presence. A session with a medium revealed things only Vouvalides and her daughter would know.
Like probably most parents who have lost a child, Vouvalides thought she could not live without her daughter. After finding a group online called Helping Parents Heal, she realized maybe she could.
Helping Parents Heal is a nonprofit organization that gives grieving parents the opportunity to meet with other parents whose children have died. The group provides resources to help parents through the healing process and encourages them to share their spiritual experiences of their children in the afterlife.
"I truly believe that consciousness survives death of the physical body, and if consciousness survives, there must be a place that we go," Vouvalides said. "What if you thought of death, instead of being an ending, as being stepping through a doorway into the afterlife?"
Vouvalides has started her own chapter of Helping Parents Heal, which meets from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Sunday of every month in the Seaquins Ballroom in Bluffton. (Note: The next meeting will be held Feb. 7 instead of on the second Sunday.)
The group, along with this alternative way of thinking about death, has given Vouvalides peace. So has starting a foundation in her daughter's name.
During her time at Boston College, where she earned a degree in education and mathematics, Hughes led a service trip to the oldest African-American Catholic School in the country, Holy Family School in Natchez, Miss. The school was and still is struggling with finances, and Hughes was dedicated to helping the children.
After Hughes' death, her boyfriend, Mike Hughes (coincidentally, they had the same last name), and her mother started Carly's Kids - A Foundation for Education.
Carly's Kids supports Holy Family School as well as esophageal cancer research at Columbia University Medical Center.
"I'm just looking to be able to help other people, to offer hope, to say, 'Yeah, we've got dealt the worst possible deal,'" Vouvalides said. "There could be nothing worse that happens to a person than losing a child ... But maybe we can open our hearts to other people, and maybe we could help some other people."
Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. Please see original article by clicking here.
Helping Parents Heal meets monthly at the Seaquins Ballroom meeting space at 1300 Fording Island Road in Bluffton. For more information, please contact Irene Vouvalides at 201-233-6015 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can RSVP for the February meeting by clicking here.
Phoenix/Scottsdale Helping Parents Heal -
LeAnn Hull of Andy Hull's Sunshine Foundation at Unity of Phoenix - December 10th
Our December meeting with LeAnn Hull, the founder of Andy Hull's Sunshine Foundation (www.Andyssunshine.com) was a wonderful evening. LeAnn has a warm, outgoing personality and she shares her difficult journey after her son, Andy, took his life with courage, compassion and humor. She has spoken to young people all over the US to spread her messages, 'You Matter!". In this picture we are showing off the yellow bracelets from her foundation with the same uplifting message. Thank you LeAnn, and thank you parents for attending!
-Elizabeth Boisson, Co-Founder of Helping Parents Heal and affiliate leader of the Phoenix/Scottsdale group.
Wisdom and Quotes from The East Coast
Sheri’s Corner-Wisdom and Quotes from the East Coast
-Written by our NYC Affiliate Leader, Sheri Perl Migdol
“The body is always in time, the spirit is always timeless and the psyche is an amphibious creature, compelled by the laws of man’s being to associate itself to some extent with its body, but capable, if it so desires, of experiencing and identifying itself with its spirit.”
This amazing quote puts into words how I see myself. I know that I have a body and that it is always in time, but I also know that I am spirit and that spirit is not limited to the experience of time. I have come to realize that my consciousness, or as it is called above “psyche,” dwells in the middle of both my body and my spirit, and essentially can swing both ways. I can look out through my physical eyes, see the sunset and think, “Oh yes, the sun is setting and it is evening now,” and it’s very rooted in a reality where time is experienced and observed. But I also know that I can receive a gut feeling from inside myself, from the spirit side of myself, which provides a different kind of information and perception, one not rooted in time at all.
I believe that we are very capable of experiencing and identifying with our spirit side and by so doing are able to make connections with others on the spirit level, in other words, our children-in-spirit.
Sheri will be speaking at Roland Comtois' 10th annual Living Beyond Loss Conference coming April 9, 2016 in Rhode Island. You can learn more by visiting his website, www.rolandcomtois.net. Please visit Sheri's Prayer Registry here.
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. We receive all and do not judge people or their children on the basis of life choices. -Mark Ireland, Cofounder, Helping Parents Heal
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.