I’ve known Elizabeth for three years. I consider her to be a good friend. How we met is just one of dozens of synchronicities in my life and in hers. There is no way it was an accident.

When we say “Shining Light Parent”, we’re talking about Elizabeth who practically glows when you see her. She’s a bundle of energy and all of it is focused on making a difference in the world.

Elizabeth has two children who have crossed to the other side, Chelsea and Morgan. In this episode, Elizabeth tell us how both children have played a major role in the founding of Helping Parents Heal, an international organization with well over 10,000 members and growing. Helping Parents Heal provides resources and support for parents whose children are on the Other Side.

An hour isn’t enough time to do justice to Elizabeth’s story. But, we did the best we could in that time. I hope this episode lifts you up.

Thanks to everyone who thought of me today and reached out. It’s gratifying to know how many remember. Today is Monday, June 24th, the fourth anniversary of Shayna’s passing. As I head out for my walk this morning, it’s a day very similar to that day four years ago when I did the same thing. I now know that as I walked, Shayna was in her bed, spirit already gone from her body, and I wonder how I could have taken that walk without knowing, without somehow sensing that she had slipped away.

I’ve received cards, calls, messages from many people. People continue to remember and honor Shayna and I am proud and humbled at the same time. Many of the parents I know say their families and friends don’t acknowledge these days and they feel alone because of it. They are not alone in this regard,  not a single biological family remember has reached out to me. My family doesn’t read my blog. They don’t listen to my podcast. They don’t even comment on my Facebook posts. This isn’t uncommon. We have to find our new tribe. We have to focus not on the friends we have lost and the family that has either forgotten or finds it too uncomfortable to reach out. I choose to concentrate on the blessing of my new friends, my new non-biological family like the members of Helping Parents Heal and Voice of Our Angels.

I try to tell myself that the 24th of June is a day like any other day. It’s just one of three hundred and sixty-five on the calendar every year. Ty has put it on the calendar this year. I don’t need to have it on the calendar. I know June 24th as well as I know January 13th, the day Shayna joined us on the planet.

Last night as we were heading off to bed, Ty said to set an intention to have a dream of Shayna, a sign that she’s still here with us. I don’t think any of us had a dream with Shayna in it. But, I had two dreams that were heavily influenced by her.

In the first dream, Jay Leno is at our house interviewing us. For those of you who are a little younger, Jay Leno had a late night talk show, like Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon. Jay was asking us about Shayna and I remember him saying, “It’s so great that you keep her memory alive.” I replied, “It’s not just her memory that’s alive, Jay. Shayna is still right here with us.” He said, “Well, it’s cool that you believe that.” And, I came right back with, “I don’t just believe, I know. Shayna existed before this universe began and she will exist after the universe stops. I don’t know if the universe will exist another day or another trillion billion years. But, I know that consciousness is fundamental and precedes the material, as Max Planck said over 100 years ago.”

The scene shifts and I’m in a large room sitting at a soundboard like in a studio. I’m preparing for a radio broadcast. Someone walks up with a t-shirt that says “Anon Bible  College”. It’s a misspelling of Aenon Bible College, a college co-founded by my grandfather, in 1940. When I wake up, I remember that my father and my uncle used to man the sound booth on Sunday mornings, recording Pop’s sermons for broadcast and I think of how, due to Shayna’s passing, I’m following in his footsteps with the launch of the podcast.

Thursday and Friday of last week I recorded two interviews for my podcast. Friday, I spent three hours with Sandra Champlain, one of the first people I listened to after Shayna’s passing. Two hours were me sitting in on a demonstration of mediumship. The third hour was me being interviewed for her show. I’m on We Don’t Die as a guest! Over the course of the past few days I’ve listened to podcasts with Susanne Wilson, Suzanne Giesemann, and Elizabeth Boisson, all Sandra’s guests and all people I know very well now and I think of everything that had to happen over the last four years to bring me to this point.

The image that headlines this post is what I think of when I think of Shayna. She was two years old when I snapped this. I walked in to see her making this phenomenal tower. We knew the first day with us she was going to be special, determined, focused, and indomitable. The nurses at the hospital told us. We had no idea we’d only have 15 years with her here, physically. We knew her life would have an everlasting impact. We did not know how.

As I reflect today, four years after her transition, I am awed by how her ripples continue to spread.

The year Shayna passed, someone put purple bows on the stop signs in the neighborhood. By the first angelversary date, the ribbons had become tattered and faded. Then on June 24, 2016, they were replaced. They were replaced again in 2017 and 2018. One year, I know they will not be replaced. Maybe this will be the year. As I leave the neighborhood, before seven AM, the old ribbons are still there. That’s OK. Then, as I’m coming home, around 8:30 AM, I see this sight.

There is a group of girls that played a big role in Shayna’s life. They call themselves the Shayna Six. They graduated from high school last year. They are off at various colleges and in the military. They’ve made it a tradition to come by the house on her angel date. Again, I know one year this will stop. But, yesterday, Taylor comes by to pay her respects. She apologizes that she can’t come on the anniversary day. But, she has to be back in Columbus on Monday. This evening, the other five come by and spend over two hours at the kitchen table talking to Ty and Kayla, telling stories about Shayna and wondering where she’d be right now had she stayed with us.

I watch television while they are chatting and head upstairs after a while. My new friend Daniel John is doing medium readings on a Facebook Live. So, I listen in for a while, watching others get incredible validations that their loved ones are still here with us. It’s a great way to end the day.

As happens so often, this morning a song came to mind as I thought about this day. After all, it’s just another day, day number 1461 without her to be precise.

It’s another milestone along the road Home. I am proud of Tywana, and Kayla for how far we have all come with our little angel leading the way back. It’s not just another day. Each of these milestones shows just how far we have come. They are times to reflect and to celebrate our resilience.

Mornings alone
When you come home
I breathe a little faster
Every time we’re together
It’d never be the same (it’d never be the same)
If you’re not here
How can you stay away (how can you stay away)
Away so long
Why can’t we stay together
Give me a reason
Give me a reason
I, I don’t wanna say it
I don’t wanna find another way
To make it through the day without you
I, I can’t resist
Try to find exactly what I missed
It’s just another day without you
It’s just another day oh

In today’s episode I spend just a few minutes talking about the roles of death and illness. But, this all came about as I thought about healing.

A few nights ago on Helping Parents Heal, we had an amazing healer speak to our group. This healer has had three near-death experiences and been miraculously healed herself. When you have a healer speaking to a group of people who have each had a child transition, you’ve got a built-in conflict because clearly our children were not “healed”. When a healer is telling you about what they have seen and done, you tend to ask why not my kid? Why did my kid die? Why wasn’t she healed of her illness? Was her guardian angel asleep?

These questions, posed by some of our parents, started the wheels in my head turning. As I thought about healing, my thoughts turned to the greatest Healer who ever lived. And, I thought about why there are death and illness at all.

Michelle Clare is a three-time Near Death Experiencer, a certified evidential medium, and an intuitive life coach. I met Michele as a test sitter for her mediumship certification.

In this episode, Michelle shares with us three very different Near Death Experiences. I believe that NDEs are tailored for the individual having them to provide them with the lessons they need and that they need to share with the rest of us. Michelle’s experiences support my hypothesis as each experience came at a time in her life, with a lesson that she needed.

Michelle, as an evidential medium, delivers messages, with evidence, that she is connecting with your loved ones in spirit. As an intuitive life coach, Michelle connects with your spirit guides, angels, loved ones in spirit, etc. to bring you guidance for your life. This was a fascinating conversation covering a wide range of topics.

You can find Michelle at https://www.michelleclare.net

Yes. This is that awkward episode in which your host is the guest. This feels weird because I don’t want to make this podcast all about me. But, I think this episode is necessary. In case you don’t know me, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you so you know what to expect from this podcast. A lot of things had to happen to lead me to the point of sitting in front of this microphone, speaking to you on this topic, today.

Grief 2 Growth came about because of the things that happened in my life to lead me to this point. I hope that I can share some of that experience in the coming episodes. We will have guests who will talk to you about how they have endured what life has thrown at them and thrived. Their stories will inspire and uplift you. And, we will have guests who can help you along your way.

In this episode, I tell you a little about my history; hopefully not more than you want to know. And, I share my vision for the podcast.

After the loss of a very close loved one or after a deeply spiritually transformative experience such as an NDE, many people feel an intense longing for Home. If we verbalize this, it can be seen as morose. It’s a taboo subject, but I wanted to explore it. I asked Peter why he chose to stay after his NDE(s) where he experienced pure bliss. Nearly 40 years after his first NDE, Peter is still here. Reverend Peter Panagore is a 2x Near Death Experiencer, Professional Speaker, Best Selling International Author and broadcaster with 30 million Views Annually.

Peter is the author of Heaven is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Is Just the Beginning and Two Minutes for God:  Quick Fixes for the Spirit.

Peter is a former pastor. But, he continues to minister to people and is a regular guest speaker in churches.

I invited Peter to talk to a group that I volunteer with. During our conversation, he mentioned something that I wanted to go deeper into. I called him up and he agreed to this interview.

Peter has had two near-death experiences. After the loss of a very close loved one or after a deeply spiritually transformative experience such as an NDE, many people feel an intense longing for Home. If we speak of this, it can be seen as morose. It’s taboo to talk about wanting to die. But I wanted to explore it and Peter was kind enough to explore it with me. I asked Peter why he chose to stay after his NDE(s) where he experienced pure bliss. Nearly 40 years after his first NDE, Peter is still here.

You can reach Reverend Panagore at:  https://www.peterpanagore.love/

What you’ll need:

  • A decent quality microphone.  The microphone on your laptop or built-in on your desktop will not suffice. Sometimes they are almost good enough. But, a better microphone will give you more consistent results and improve the quality of your voice.The sweet spot for me, is the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone.  It’s the one I have and I love it. It’s around $50. I’d classify it as a pro-sumer microphone, professional quality at a consumer price. The link below will take you to it on Amazon. If you buy using this link, I’ll get a small commission.

  • Audacity– free software for both PC and Mac. Depending on what you’re trying to do, you’ll probably have to download one or two free software add-ons.

Yes, you’re going to need a decent microphone. My podcasting platform has an app that lets me record from my phone. I have one word about that – don’t. Garbage in, garbage out. Unless you’re doing podcasts from remote locations, record from a good microphone.

You should try to find a quiet place where you’ll have a minimum of disruptions. The room doesn’t have to be completely silent. A good microphone will not pick most of the background noise because of the directionality. We’ll go through an initial step that will remove any ambient background noise. Learn the settings for your microphone’s directionality and take a look at the tips as to where your mouth should be positioned relative to the microphone. Invest in a pop filter. I got one for my microphone for less than $10. These little things will make your podcast sound professional.

Step 1: Record 5+ seconds of silence.

First of all: Before you begin to speak or sing, you should always make sure that you record at least 5+ seconds of silence with your Blue Snowball microphone. This “silence” will allow you to generate a profile of the background noise around you.

Step 2. Noise reduction.

Because it is possible that the microphone picked up some ambient background noises, we will need to remove these noises by using the Noise Reduction effect:

  1. Highlight and select the silence at the beginning of your recording (click and drag your cursor).
  2. Go to the Effect menu at the top of Audacity.
  3. In the Noise Reduction screen, select the Noise Removal / Noise Reduction option.
  4. Click on Get Noise Profile.
  5. Highlight your entire track. You can do this by double-clicking the track.
  6. Go back to the Effect menu and click on the Noise Removal / Noise Reduction option again.
  7. In the Noise Reduction screen, click on OK.
  8. Delete the silence at the beginning of your track.

Step 3. Normalize.

After removing our background noises, we will use the Normalize effect:

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Normalize option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Normalize screen, set the dB value to -1.0 and make sure that the checkbox beside Remove DC offset is checked.
  4. Leave the checkbox beside Normalize stereo channels independently unchecked.
  5.  Press OK.

Step 4. Compressor.

Once you’ve normalized the track, you will use the Compressor:

  1. Make sure that your Audacity track is completely highlighted.
  2. Select the Compressor option in the Effect menu.
  3. Do not change any of Audacity’s default Compressor settings unless you know what you are doing.
  4. Press OK.

In the past, I have had success changing the Threshold value to -18 dB, so you might want to test that out. Just try it, listen. If you don’t like it, undo the effect.

Step 5. Equalization.

Now, we will add bass boost and treble boost to our recording. This is where the magic happens.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Equalization option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Select Curve dropdown menu at the bottom, choose Bass Boost.
  4. Press OK.
  5. Make sure that your entire Audacity track is still highlighted.
  6. Select the Equalization option in the Effect menu again.
  7. This time, in the Select Curve dropdown menu, choose Treble Boost.
  8. Press OK. Equalization is done.

Step 6. Normalize again.

After applying the bass boost and treble boost, you will need to Normalize your track again. To do this, simply follow the exact same directions that were listed in Step 3.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Normalize option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Normalize screen, set the dB value to -1.0 and make sure that the checkbox beside Remove DC offset is checked.
  4. Leave the checkbox beside Normalize stereo channels independently unchecked.
  5.  Press OK.

Step 7. Limiter.

Finally, you can use Audacity’s Limiter effect to reduce limits that exceed a certain threshold:

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Limiter option in the Effect menu. On some versions of Audacity, this effect may be called Hard Limit.
  3. Choose Hard Limit in the Type dropdown menu at the top.
  4. Set Input Gain (dB) mono / Left to 0.00
  5. Set Input Gain (dB) Right channel to 0.00 as well.
  6. Limit to (dB) should be set to -4.00
  7. Hold (ms) should be set to 10.00
  8. The dropdown menu for Apply Make-up Gain should be set to No.
  9. Press OK.

Listen to your track again. After each step above, you might want to listen to a sample to get to understand what each step does and adjust to your liking. You might like more or less bass or treble boost for example.