Today’s offering is on the 22nd birthday of my daughter Shayna who passed away in 2015. This is the seventh birthday without Shayna here with us.

The birthdays of someone who has passed are bittersweet. Birthdays are not only a time to celebrate someone coming into our lives, we celebrate the fact they have made another trip around the sun. The birthday of someone who has passed from this realm is missing half of that celebration.

Today, I feel sad. And, that’s OK. Notice, I said I feel sad, versus I am sad. There is a subtle but important difference. I am sad today would indicate that I have changed. I feel sad means that sadness is an emotion I am experiencing. Emotions pass through us. They do not define us.



Brian Smith 0:02
Hey there, everyone, this video and audio is going to serve actually three purposes. So if you’re hearing this now, it means you’re either watching my YouTube channel, you’re listening to the podcast, or you’re taking the 30 day challenge that I’m teaching. So I’m going to post this in all three places. This is a special day. This is Shayna my daughter, behind me. It’s her 22nd birthday. So for those of you who may not know, Shana was 15 years old when she passed away. This is the seventh birthday that we are celebrating without her. And I was talking with a mother the other day, whose son it transitioned. And she was saying that we birthdays maybe the hardest day and I think it’s true. Think about a birthday as we there’s a two fold thing about a birthday. It’s your day. For one thing, it’s like, you know, for Shayna especially, it was her special day and everybody had you know, it’s all tension her. So it’s the one time of the year that we have, you know, it’s our day. And we celebrate the fact that is the time that someone came into the world. But we also celebrate the fact that someone’s still with us, right? When we light the candles on the cake. We’re celebrating another trip around the sun another day here. So we’re celebrating the birthday of someone in spirit, there’s an element of that that is missing. And that’s the fact that they’re still here. And that’s especially difficult when it’s a child who passed away, in our case at the age of 15. So, birthdays are bittersweet. They are probably the hardest day for us parents to get through. Because while we’re thinking about the fact we had the great times with them at a wonderful wonderful 15 years with Shayna. Awfully blessed to have her in my life. Got to spend a lot of time with her. I homeschool we homeschooled her. I worked from home so we spent a lot of time together. But there’s that thing about I haven’t had her for the last seven years. So as I was thinking about it this week, her birthday week Shana didn’t have a birthday. She had a birthday week. You know it was it’s a double edged sword thinking about her not being here but also thinking about the great times we had together. Now Shayna’s birthday comes right after the holidays in the middle of January. And the winter is especially difficult time for me. I live in Ohio. It’s dark and it’s cold here. The only thing I like about winter is football. Football is usually over by this time. I’m a Bengals fan. So this is playoff times we’re not usually in the playoffs we are this year. But Shayna has birthday in January was kind of a ray of sunshine. You know and kind of the end of the holiday season for us. Kayla’s birthday is November 22. Then we’ve got Thanksgiving, we’ve got Christmas and then we get Shannon’s birthday to kind of wrap that all up. So this is an especially difficult day and I noticed for my wife and for my daughter Kayla as well. And we do the best we can with it. So for us, what we usually do is we have a meal in honor of Shayna. Usually it’s pizza that’s just always been pizza. We’ll have some sort of dessert because Shayna loved dessert. So we do that. But like this morning, I got up, I still took my walk. I haven’t I’m kind of taking the day off today. I did work with a client a little bit on her website. But I’m taking it easy today. I’m recording this. I haven’t done a podcast in a while I’ll talk about in a second. But on days like this, I think we all need to do what it takes to take care of ourselves. I’ve been a little bit of a break from the podcast, frankly, I’ve been a little bit burnout. It’s again, the end of the year, kind of a difficult time. 2021 was a tough year for everybody. I’ve had a couple of people that I had scheduled to interview that canceled, done a couple special broadcasts where it’s just me. But I decided I’m just gonna take a little bit of a break. So first of all, I’ve taken a break in the two and a half years that I’ve been doing the podcast. So I’ll get back into it. I’ve got some people scheduled for next week. So if you’re waiting for the next podcast to come out, that’ll be coming out. The thing is, you know, frankly,

I put out a couple of podcasts during this time and there wasn’t much response to them. That’s okay. That’s the way it goes. Sometimes things go better than others. Last year was interesting. I, the viewership or the subscribers for the YouTube channel actually tripled last year, which was great. So definitely on course for hopefully, a better 2022. And I’ll be doing some different things this year, some new offerings, and I’ve been taking this time off to work on putting those things together. So expect to see those coming up soon. But back to you know, Shayna, this birthday and when I’m when I’m going through it, my wife and my other daughter going through, I appreciate everybody reaching out to us. We’ve gotten so much support, people making comments on Facebook, people sending us messages. That’s all really great. But you know there is times when we just kind of feel sad and the thing is for the lesson for today and the 30 day challenge that we’re doing was about feeling sad, and the lesson yesterday was about toxic positivity. So the thing about toxic positivity, that’s where you’re pretending to be happy when you’re not and that’s when you are even maybe trying to fool your into thinking that everything is okay. When frankly things kind of suck at the time. And then today’s and I did not do this on purpose. When I set this up, it just happened to fall today, on Shayna’s birthday, which is the day that I usually feel pretty, pretty sad. Today’s lesson was, he told me I look sad today. I’m sad most days, today, I just don’t have the energy to hide it. And that’s okay, maybe tomorrow. And I want to say to people, it’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to show you feel sad. Now, for me, it’s difficult, I am a coach, I’m a father, you know, I’m a husband. And sometimes we don’t want to show that to our spouse or to our other or to our other children, or to our clients. You know, frankly, nobody wants to go to a grief coach, that’s sad all the time. But there are times when we do feel sad, and it’s okay. And you know, it’s one thing for a coach or someone to model strength, that’s great. But we also model being human. So I decided to be vulnerable today, which is something that’s kind of outside of my comfort zone. And everybody know that this is a tough day for me. So what I did is I said, I tried to make it as normal as possible with going for my walk and doing my yoga and doing a little bit of work. But I’m also going to take a light day to day, I’m gonna take a day to celebrate Shayna, I’m gonna take a day to conserve a little bit of energy. And that’s okay. And then you know, get back up and get back to it tomorrow. And that’s the thing about, you know, life life is a series of ups and downs, good and bad. We are not meant to be here to bypass, you know, certain emotions, and always so happy all the time, we’re here to feel all the emotions, which are what we call the, quote, good emotions, and we call the bad emotions. Those are all part of the human experience. So what I want to do to say to wrap up is, you know, for you that are listening, if you’re always feeling like you have to be up, if you’re always feeling like you have to be on for everybody else, give yourself permission to feel sad, and so that you’re sad. And I know our friends want us to be happy and always try to encourage us. And that’s okay. Because sometimes frankly, people encourage us because they feel bad that we feel bad. But you know, we’ll get over we’ll we’ll get by, I’ll get by, I’ll be back into it. I’ve got some big plans for this year, I’m going to say publicly, which I haven’t said before, I’m doing too much. And I’ve got like I have three jobs, I work for a software company where I help them sell software, I’ve got treasure locks, which is a retail company, and I’m doing the coaching and consulting. And it’s just it’s too much. But I want to put some of that down. And this year, my goal is to stop working on Treasured Locks, and to maybe stop working in the software business, and work solely on coaching and consulting. That’s what I really enjoy doing. And I need to make that that grow to be able to do that as a full time kind of gig. So that’s my goal for this year. And I’m putting that out there publicly. Hopefully, we’ll see. We’ll see. We’re where I am in December. But anyway, I really thank you for listening. I thank you for indulging me in this. I thank you for your support, both with my business and personal thank you support for support over the years. For those of you who built me over the years for those that are new. There won’t be much more of this type of stuff. But I’ve thought for Shayna’s 22nd birthday, I could take this time to honor her. Everything I do. Everything you see me doing is for Shayna, it’s because of Shayna. If she had not come into my life, I wouldn’t be doing this. If she frankly if she hadn’t left my life when she did. I wouldn’t be doing this. I believe that this is actually part of my life plan. And that’s what that’s what keeps me going. So have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon.

Transcribed by

This blog post is also a podcast and a Youtube video.

I’d like to take a few minutes to talk to you about the care and feeding of content creators.

What’s a content creator? Anyone who produces a podcast, writes a blog, creates YouTube videos, writes books, etc. If you’re not a content creator, you are a content consumer. This is for you too. 

We live in a time of abundance when it comes to information that we can consume. We live in a time where everything we want to know is at our fingertips, most of it offered free or charge. Being able to upload a video from your phone to YouTube, the ease of creating a website, self-publishing of books has made it possible for anyone to be a content creator- to take our ideas and share them with the world. Yet, not all content creators are created equal. This can create tension between content consumers and creators. This article is for both. If you’re a consumer, I will tell you ways you can support your favorite creator. If you’re a creator, I will tell you how to help your audience help you. Make sure you stay to the end because in this case, I’m saving the best for last.

On one extreme, you have content creators with sponsors or with paid advertising, or work for a company. On the other end of the spectrum, some people blog just for fun. Some people drop a YouTube video every once in a while for friends and family. 

And, in the very, very broad middle, you have content creators who do it for passion, similar to the people who do it just for fun. However, they would like to create more content and have day jobs. Therefore, they must find a way to “monetize” their content. Monetize should be a four-letter word. Content consumers don’t like feeling like they are being manipulated into spending money. And, content creators don’t want to feel like they are constantly selling or begging for support. Creators can wind up resenting to audiences who they feel just take and take. Or, they may feel no one is even listening because they aren’t getting any feedback.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. No content creator is creating content for “free.” Some sort of exchange is expected, no needed. It doesn’t have to be monetary. Often it’s not. Several years ago, my daughter Shayna asked me to if she could make a blog. She knew I blogged and loved it. She had a passion for writing. So, I set up a blog for her. A few weeks later, she asked me to shut it down. The reason was there was no interaction. She was pouring her energy into her blog and not getting anything in exchange for it. 

Recently, I listened to a podcast that told content creators we need to tell our audiences how they can help us. Most, or at least many, content creators are hesitant to accept ads, ask for money, or even ask their listeners to support their endeavors in other ways. Yes, some viewers don’t care about supporting the creators. But, many do want to provide and don’t know how to do it. 

Financial Contributions

Let’s not beat around the bush. We’ll get the hard one out of the way first. Financial contributions.


This is the most obvious way to support a content creator.  However, our society has become accustomed to information being “free”. Television and radio are supported by commercials. The internet has a seemingly infinite amount of information for free. Who among us has not clicked on an article, hit a paywall and searched for a free version of the article? We don’t want to pay for a podcast or to watch a YouTube video. Yet, we complain when YouTube forces us to view ads..

As a content consumer, consider making small financial contribution(s) to your favorite creators. It doesn’t have to be a large amount. It doesn’t have to be ongoing. For many content creators, it’s not the amount that counts. Let me repeat that. It’s not the amount that counts. It’s just the fact that you took the time to make the contribution that lights us up. 


As a creator, make it easy for your consumers to send money to you. There is nothing wrong with asking for money. You are spending your time creating content. You have to eat. You have expenses. I’m on my third microphone for my podcast. There are hosting fees, etc. Podcasting is not free.

I recently set up a “tip jar” that I am promoting in my e-mails and YouTube videos going forward. It’s an easy way for an audience member to contribute one time, in as small or as large an amount as they want. So I’ve included that link in a button in the footer of my webpage.

You might also want to consider a service like Patreon for supporters who want to feel like a part of the show. You can provide exclusive content for your patrons. I post exclusive content for them monthly. They are charged monthly until they cancel. Don’t get your hopes too high. The vast majority of your audience won’t be interested in supporting you in this way. But make it available for those who are.

Non-Financial Support


When you finish watching that YouTube video, take an extra few seconds to hit “Like” (the thumbs up). In addition to the thrill you’ll give to the content creator, liking a video helps in tangible ways. YouTube recommends videos that people “like”. Just liking the video in your head isn’t enough. Hit the button. That helps the creator reach a wider audience.

Subscribe to your favorite YouTube channels and podcasts. But, once you’ve subscribed, you have to hit the “bell” to get notifications when new content is there. So, remember, Like, Subscribe, and hit notify.

Reviews are the lifeblood of podcasts. Getting reviews on a podcast is one of the most difficult content creators attempt to do. I have approximately 85,000 downloads of my podcast and fewer than 40 reviews on Apple Podcasts. If you’ve listened to more than a few episodes of a podcast, please write a review.

Just as important as liking and subscribing is sharing your favorite podcasts and YouTube channels with your circle of friends. We all take something much more seriously when it comes from a trusted source. Creators can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on advertising. But, the best and most effective advertising is when one listener tells another potential listener, “Check this out.” 


Have a prompt somewhere in your video or your podcast telling people how to like and subscribe. I encourage you to include this as a midroll or read it at the beginning of the episode after your intro. People will tune out at the end of your episode. Anything after your “goodbye” with the guest won’t be heard.

I recently purchased a service called “rate this podcast”.It provides an easy and memorable link for listeners to rate my podcast. Apple doesn’t provide you with a deep link to get consumers to this point easily. Include this link in every email you send out and on your social media pages. Mine is

Provide Feedback

Remember when I said I was saving the best for last? This is it. When Shayna started that blog, she gave up because she didn’t feel as if anyone was listening or she was having any impact. 

Most content creators aren’t doing it to get rich. We can spend hours a week doing this. It’s more than just a hobby. It’s more than creating the content. We do it because we want someone to consume the content.  And we want to know we are making a difference.

Recently, I was in a Zoom meeting with a group of people from England. I had never met any of them. But, several of them told me that they listen to every episode of my podcast. Some said if they were having a rough night dealing with their grief the podcast helped them tremendously. However, I had not heard from a single one of them in a comment or an email.

Many of my videos get hundreds of views. But, they often won’t get a single comment. But, even a negative comment is better than none at all. All it costs to provide positive reinforcement for your favorite creator is a few moments to drop a comment or write a quick email. These are like gold for us. If I had to make a choice, I’d take more comments/emails over more financial support.

Just a couple of days ago, I received this:

Hi Brian, Sometimes we are unaware of how we help others. I just felt compelled to tell you this morning how often you have helped me. Even at times saved my life. I still wake up often wishing I wasn’t on this earth to face another day without my son. I immediately go to your podcast and listen to my favorites. I often listen to the one where you answered my question about our loved ones being given a chance to stay or leave. 

I also like your interviews with other shining light parents. There are more but those are especially endearing. 

As we approach Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you and your gift of your book and the podcast. Also, for all the times I reached out to you, and you quickly responded. 

Please know you make a huge difference in so many lives and especially in mine. 

Many thanks,

Name withheld

That’s the stuff that keeps me going. There are times when I feel like I’m wasting my time producing content, and I think about doing something else with my time. But, I create because I feel the need to share. It’s so nice when someone lets me know that makes a difference to them.


Whether you’re a content creator or a content consumer, I hope you found this useful. If so, leave a comment or drop me a line. 

If you’d like to leave a review for me, visit https://www.ratethispodcast/grief2growth

If you’d like to throw a few bucks into my tip jar, visit:

I spoke with Crystal about life after the suicide of her sister Gina, in 2019. Crystal was raised Mormon and the suicide of her sister tested her faith and caused her to wrestle with guilt. It ultimately led to Crystal forming two businesses to help others deal with these same things.

Crystal Partney is an author, speaker, suicide grief coach, and founder of Scattering Hope and Owl & Thistle.

She is also the host of the upcoming You Are Loved Podcast. The day before her 32nd birthday in 2019, would be the day that changed her life forever. Little did Crystal know; she would receive the devastating news that her sister Gina had taken her life that morning. After this tragedy, Crystal needed the next steps on how to begin the healing process. She discovered that the first 30 days are often the most important step when it comes to healing after suicide. Crystal wants to thank you for saying, “Yes” to beginning your journey towards healing.

Reach Crystal at

I’d like to ask you for three favors. You can do one, two, or all three.

1.) Make sure to subscribe to the podcast through your favorite podcast app, so that you don’t miss an episode.
2.) Please rate the podcast at
3.) If you’d like to support me financially, go to


Brian Smith 0:01
Now that you’re here at Grief 2 Growth, I’d like to ask you to do three things. The first thing is to make sure that you like click Notifications, and subscribe to make sure you get updates for my YouTube channel. Also, if you’d like to support me financially, you can support me through my tip jar at grief to growth, calm, it’s grief, the number two jar, or look for tip jar at the very top of the page, or buy me a coffee at the very bottom of the page, and you can make a small financial contribution. The third thing I’d like to ask is to make sure you share this with a friend through all your social media, Facebook, Instagram, whatever. Thanks for being here. Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that cause us the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me crystal party. I’m going to read her bio, and then we’ll have a conversation like we always do. Crystal partner is an author. She’s a speaker. She’s a suicide grief coach. And she’s founder of scattering hope, and Alan ficil. She’s also the host of the upcoming you our love podcast. Now the day before a 32nd birthday in 2019 would be the day that changed her life forever. Though, Crystal now that she received the devastating devastating news that her sister Gina had taken her life that morning. And after this tragedy, Crystal needed the next steps on how to begin the healing process. She discovered that the first 30 days are often the most important step when it comes to healing after suicide. And she wants to say thank you for our say yes. Or Thank you for saying yes to beginning your journey towards healing.

So with that, I want to introduce crystal party.

Crystal Partney 2:24
Thank you, Brian. I’m so glad to be on. Thanks for having

Brian Smith 2:28
me. Yeah, it’s good to have you here. I know. Suicide is a sensitive subject. It’s a tough subject, I work with a lot of people who are survivors of people who have taken their lives, even the language around it, you know, we have to be very careful with the language that we use. So I want to let everybody know that we’re going to you know, we want to talk about the subject because it’s it’s a subject that we don’t I don’t think talk about enough and it’s kind of it’s kind of hidden away. So first, I’d like to ask you about your sister Gina, tell me about Gina.

Crystal Partney 3:00
Oh my goodness, Gina. She was just a ball of energy. And you know, it was interesting because we both work for the for my family business. And she worked out of a different location. And when my coworker met my sister immediately came up to me and said, Oh my gosh, Gina like doesn’t slow down. She’s like the Energizer Bunny. And like I Yeah, yeah, that’s my sister. And that was how he described her it. It was such a beautiful tribute to her because it was that’s exactly how she was she hardly ever slow down. Whenever you saw her. She was, you know, going from one thing to the next and just constantly, you know, busy and just a ball of light. Mm hmm.

Brian Smith 4:00
So is she, your older sister younger sister tell me where she fits in the family

Crystal Partney 4:05
is my oldest sister. Yeah.

Brian Smith 4:07
Okay. And so if you don’t mind, what how did you find out about her taking her life and tell me? Do you know the circumstances around it or?

her passing?

Crystal Partney 4:22
I do. And, um, so she was newly divorced. And her children lived, who they wanted to live with their stepdad and their stepdad lives about, oh, golly, I’d say at least three hours away. So it was really hard on my sister to watch her transition from the married for over, you know, 20 plus years to be newly single and having children that were in their teenage years and not Having them be with her not having them be around her on a daily basis was really, really hard for her. And so when she was making that transition to being newly single and divorced, she came to live at my parents house. And she was just struggling. And we knew that as a family and so we, you know, tried our best to get her the help, that she, we knew that she needed, whether that was, you know, going to see us a counselor. And, you know, making sure like, Okay, so you’ve been prescribed medication, let’s make sure that you’re taking it consistently. And we really thought as, as a family, we really thought we were turning a corner that she was turning a corner. And that we got to sneak glimpses of her, her old self. And it was so it was such a breath of fresh air for us, because we will see these moments of her being her usual self, her usual bubbly self. And we’d say, Ah, she’s back. She’s back, we got her back. Because, you know, I’ve never been divorced. And I don’t know what that’s like, and having to not see my children, if months a month, if that. And I just knew the turmoil that my sister was in. And that was really what I would say, you know, conspired her to take her life, at the end of the day was that longing to have that love in her life, and it wasn’t from us, as a family as your siblings, as you know, my mom, or even, you know, my dad passed away. But even from someone like my dad, it wasn’t that she didn’t need that connection, because we were very present. And we’re very active in her life. But she really needed it from her children. And so I think that’s, that’s where the breakdown started to occur.

Brian Smith 7:20
Yeah, yeah. So when you when you got the news of your sister’s passing? How did you how did you react to that? How did you take that I know one of the things you said and information you sent me earlier, and we read it in the bios that you the first 30 days are really important on that healing journey. So what were the first 30 days like for you? And did you discover this during that time? Or was it afterwards that you discovered how important that time was?

Crystal Partney 7:49
Well, I would say, you know, especially suicide, it’s unique to every single person that is tragically experiencing it. And for me, when I found out, I had the very painful decision that I had to tell my my daughter, who was three at the time, that her aunt Gina had passed away. And of course, that opened up a whole plethora of questions like, What do I say to my three year old? In regards to you know, what do I tell her? Do I say that she took her life in if I say that, how to how do I say that, and being in a very open and transparent way, but also recognizing the fact that she was three. And so I couldn’t just, you know, say, say what I really wanted to say and be open, as opposed to, you know, some of my, you know, cousin, or some of my nieces and nephews who are older, in their in their teenage years. So I’ll just share with you the the morning that I had to tell my daughter, and it was actually a really beautiful story. But so my daughter, she was noticing that I was crying a lot. And if you you know, have children, especially as young as three, they pick up on things. And I didn’t think she noticed me I thought, Oh, she’s not noticing this, this change this tragedy. She hasn’t picked up on it yet. Well, I was in the bathroom, and then she came into the bathroom. And she kind of blindsided me because she just said, Mommy, why are you crying? And I said, Oh, honey, I’m sad. And she goes, why? And then I decided, okay, I need to tell her. I can’t keep this from her. And so I told her, I said, You No, honey, I’m really sorry. But at Gina has died. And she looked up at me and said, Mommy, why? And I said, you know, and then lovingly and honest way that it could I just told her I don’t know. I said, I don’t know, honey, I just know that she was really sad. And then it was so beautiful because she got really quiet. And then she started to smile. And I was like, wait a minute, I just told you that your aunt Gina has died. And now you’re smiling. Us. I said, Honey, where are your smiley? And she says, Well, does that mean that she’s with grandpa? Lanie? That’s my dad. And I said, yeah, yeah, she’s with Coco Lanie. And she said, okay, and she ran out of the bathroom. And it was in that moment that I realized that everything was going to be okay. It was going to look dramatically different. But that she was my sister was in good company, that she wasn’t alone, that she was, you know, safe, and that she was surrounded by people that I love and miss dearly. But she wasn’t on bone. And, and that brought so much peace and so much comfort. And, you know, to have my daughter react the way that she did. Now, granted, I didn’t go into detail. I simply said exactly what I just shared, that she had died and to have her, you know, have her three year old brain understand that. But then very lovingly, you know, respond. It okay. And that just like I said, it’s brought me so much peace.

Brian Smith 12:05
That is really incredible. You know, and a lot of times we underestimate first of all the sensitivity of children, we think they don’t know what’s going on, you know, with us emotionally and stuff. And they do they perceive so much. But the wisdom that she had to say, Okay, well, she’s okay, you know, she’s with she’s with grandpa. And that was good enough for hurt, right? We don’t need to sometimes we overly think overthink how much detail we have to share with children and really just give them enough till they’re satisfied. And, you know, she didn’t need to know the circumstance. That’s, that’s awesome. But can only imagine the piece as you said, that must have brought to you. Because her perspective is so much wiser than most of us adults. You know, we worry about ourselves. Oh, yes. Not the person that’s that’s made the transition. So that’s awesome.

Crystal Partney 12:51
Yeah, it was, it was completely remarkable. I was just completely astonished at her response. But I was, I was very pleased. And like, you know, reberty said, it brought me a lot of peace to say, okay, like, I don’t need to go into any more details on that. And, and she, you know, accepted it. And now she’s, she’s five. And so she is asking more and more questions just about death and about grief in general. And so, but, you know, thankfully, I’m, I’m kind of on the forefront, and I can say, Okay, this is how we’re going to approach this. This is how I’m going to handle these questions. Because let’s be real, they’re not going to go away. They’re only going to continue as, as her life continues.

Brian Smith 13:43
So I’m curious as to what you had said to her about death prior to this, if anything, and what were your beliefs about the afterlife or where your sister was? Or how your sister was?

Crystal Partney 13:58
Yeah, oh, my goodness. That’s a beautiful question. And to be fully transparent, I don’t recall talking to her about deaths up until that point, because she hadn’t experienced it. So she wasn’t born when my dad passed away. And so, to have that discussion, and to have her response, be the way that it was it was it was quite, you know, like I said, shocking, to say the least, but in a good way. And, and it was shortly after, you know, my sister passed away that that we had to put our dogs down, and he was 16. And so for me, she had more questions about shorty than she did about Gina And I think it was just because she was so little at that time. So, but I definitely, and I was talking with my husband after my sister passed away. And I was very transparent and having the conversation with him and saying, I’m not keeping this under the rug. I am bringing it into our everyday conversations. And as she asked questions, I’m going to do the very best that I can to answer them, and be honest, and make sure that it’s age appropriate for her. And so even my mom, in fact, we were she was driving, it was just her and my mom in the car, and they drove past the funeral home. And she said, Well, that’s where Aunt Gina died. And my mom was kind of startled by it. She goes, yeah, yeah, that’s right. And, and that was the extent of the conversation. Like it wasn’t, it didn’t go any further than that. But I remember my mom sharing that with me. And it’s, again, it was so astonishing to see that because and to hear that from her, because, in my mind, it’s like, Did she really understand what was going on? Could she conceptualize what was going on at that time? And, and again, it’s that constant reminder of, she does, and she’s remembering and she’s way much more aware than I’m giving her credit. But I do, I do find ways to remember my sister and, and my dad and shorty. And like, I have pictures of them all over the house. And, you know, she can ask me questions. And for my sister’s birthday, we go out and we get her favorite ice cream. And so she knows that ice cream is, you know, at genus favorite. And so I find these little moments to really just embrace the beauty of it. And not, because it’s so easy for me. And for everybody that’s experience a loss to suicide to just be like, Nope, didn’t happen. It didn’t occur. We’re not gonna talk about it. But like I was sharing earlier, I really talked over with my husband and said, I’m not hiding this. I can’t, because in like going back to the, the experience of having to first tell her, it was in that moment that I realized something so profound, and that is that she was going to look back whenever she experiences a tragedy in her life. She was gonna look back at that moment, and ask herself, well, how did mom handle it? How did mom, like approach it? Did she cave? Does she, you know, not get out of bed? Does she, you know, find something that brought her happiness. And she continued forward. Because it was in that moment that I was like, Oh my gosh, it’s not just me. It’s not just me experiencing this tragedy. We as a family are experiencing it together. And we get to decide what our next steps will be.

Brian Smith 18:41
Yeah. Well, I I think that children, especially around before the age of five or six, they’re still connected to the other side, they come in and, you know, because I asked you that question, what did you talk to her about before because we all assume that children are blank slates and they only know what we tell them. But I think they have memories, you know, for big on the other side, and I think they’re still somewhat connected. So, you know, that’s, that’s just such a profound it’s photolysis profound but for her, it’s probably just like routine. It’s like yeah, I just came from there. And that’s where Grandpa is and that’s for all right Gina wet. So I’m curious as to what your thoughts were at the time about about the afterlife or spirituality, you know, when your sister password, this is something that you had thought about or given much, you know, or what was your thoughts?

Crystal Partney 19:30
Yeah, I, you know, I grew up in a very, you know, Christian household that was predominantly Christian. You know, we were LDS and, and that’s just how I was raised. I was raised in a predominantly Mormon household. And so faith was was natural for me to say, okay, and, you know, my husband was completely opposite. He didn’t he didn’t grow up. Having a really, I guess, strong and bold face, he just knew that he would see his loved ones again. He just he has that deep rooted Ness in his face that even though you know, some might consider his face to be, you know, quite small, he has that, that knowledge and that perception of, well, why won’t I see them again? And and if that is truly the case, like if I will never see them again, I don’t want to go there. You know what I mean? Like, like, oh, well, in that case, I don’t want to go there. Because if that means that I can’t see them again. I mean, I can’t think of a greater hell than that. And personally, but it really it to be quite honest, Brian, it shook my face. Because it just leave, you know, remembering the events that led up to my sister’s death. And then having experienced her death, it really just was like, Okay, if all of these events still occurred, and yet, my sister still passed away, she still took her life. Why? And so that, you know that the million dollar question is why. But no answer is going to be sufficient to fill that question of why. And it doesn’t matter. You know, she did leave a letter. But even then, we were still like, yes, that made sense to you. But we want you we don’t want this piece of paper explaining. We just want you back.

Brian Smith 21:55
Yeah. Well, what you said is very common, you know, we have a faith a religion. And then when something like this happens, something so tragic, something so close, it does shake our faith, and sometimes, you know, people will actually even get angry at God, you know, it’s like, why did you let this happen? So I think that’s, that’s a very common occurrence, when something that just so out of out of left field or out of order, or just doesn’t seem, you know, it’s not the same thing as when, like, your grandmother passes away or something. So it causes us to question, you know, everything. So I think your spots is actually very, very normal. So in terms of your faith, did you did you somehow reconcile that?

Crystal Partney 22:43
Yeah, yes. Yes, I did. I had to, and to be, you know, fully transparent. I really wrestled for it for for a couple of months, I would say after she passed away. And, and I just felt like, okay. And also order for me to live the life that I know, my sister would want me to live. I need to address this, I need to be able to say, yes, there were events leading up to her death, that unknowingly, you know, maybe maybe could have prevented her from taking her life, I don’t know. But, again, I was reminded of my daughter and her words of just innocence of saying she’s, she’s with dad, she’s a grandpa. So there’s nothing to worry about. There’s nothing to cry about. That’s like, okay, yeah, she’s right. And I’m, again, just knowing my sister and what she would want for me. She wouldn’t want me to just like, I keep using that word cave, but she wouldn’t want me to just settle and just be like, This is the new normal, it is a new normal, but I don’t have to stay here. I can choose to continue forward with my life and knowing that she has my back and she’s supporting me in every decision I make. And it’s only because of my face and reevaluating and saying okay, this was, you know, not my fault. It wasn’t, you know, God’s fault. But, you know, it’s not even my sister’s fault. Like, just accepting things as they really are. allowed my faith to be reignited and say, Okay, this is this is how we’re going to approach it and to really look for those signs that she still present. She’s just not The physical form that I want her to be in, but make no mistake, she’s here. She’s experiencing life with me.

Announcer 25:07
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Crystal Partney 26:04
I often joke I said, you know, I’ll talk out loud and then I’ll say Gina, you know, I’m sorry, I’m kind of boring. But you’re more than welcome to hang out with me. I’m kind of boring, I’ll just be honest. And I’m sure she’ll just censure she just laughs like okay, well, too bad. I’m gonna hang out with you anyways.

Brian Smith 26:25
Curious, how does that align with your faith? Because I know some people think that Christianity teaches that when were quote, dead, were asleep or were in heaven were somewhere else. So it’s interesting to hear me say here, you said that your sister is still living life with you.

Crystal Partney 26:43
Yeah, I, it’s just again, it’s just me being aware of the signs that are that she’s present. Like, I’ll hear I’ll hear a Garth Brooks song. And I’m like, Oh, okay. There’s my sister and, or I’ll see her name in the most random of places. It’s like, Okay, those are those are signs that she’s reminded me, Crystal, I’m here. I’m here with you. And, and yeah, I know that she’s probably busy and doing other things. And, but I know that she’s still here. And she’s experiencing life with me and my family. So it’s really beautiful to not have it be. I don’t want to say so black and white. Because I feel like our faith can tend to be that way, at least in my own experience, where it’s like, well, let’s either this way or that. And there’s no, there’s no gray. But when I think about it, not just conceptually, but from a spiritual standpoint, sexual Why wouldn’t they be here? Why wouldn’t they be, you know, doing both whatever it is that they’re doing, and still be present, you know, finding moments to remind me that they’re still here.

Brian Smith 28:06
Yeah, I totally i That’s my view also. And it’s interesting, I just I someone just, I have a video that I did with someone who had a near death experience. And I it’s funny, the comments I get I get so much pushback from people who are there have been taught to be fearful by religion. And as you said, it’s either this way, or it’s that way. It’s black and white. No, they’re not here. No, you can’t communicate with them, etc. And I personally find that very sad. So I was really intrigued to hear you say that, you know, your sister, you still talk to her. You still had that communication with I think that’s, that’s awesome. So how, how, what’s How long since your sister pass? Did you start cuz I know you started two companies. So tell me about the company you started and how that happened?

Crystal Partney 28:57
Yeah, well, after, you know, my sister died, it was about a month later, I was graduating college. And that in itself was a victory. My book because I was in my senior year, and I was left with a decision do I graduate or do I not? And I just told myself, okay, what would my sister want? No, she would absolutely want me to still graduate. And even though at that point, you know, grades really didn’t matter. Because I was like, I just need to go through. And I have the, you know, the full support of my professors and I’m so grateful for them that they were, you know, encouraging me and, and they shared, you know, I had one professor that actually shared with me, a very sweet story she said of another students very similar to me in the sense that she had a You know, lost a sibling to suicide, but that it broke her heart as a professor to have to give the student a failing grade, because she never returned. And she shared very openly with me that she didn’t want that for me. And I said, Okay, you know, I appreciate it. Thank you for telling me. But I’m finishing. And I, there was that strong conviction in me that I’m like, I just need to finish I’ve worked so hard up until this point, you know, the sleepless nights and the, the tears and all of it. So I just need to finish. And so when I did, I finally graduated. And I told myself after that, that I was going to take a year off, and just heal, whatever that looked like, I didn’t know what the heck that looks like. And like, I don’t know how to do this. I mean, yes, I did it for my dad. But but this is different. This is just naturally different for me to to lose my sister and to lose my sister in that way. It was just completely different for me. And so in that years, timespan, I kept getting this download from my sister that I can only say it was her because she just kept, she just kept coming. And she just wouldn’t be quiet. Just kept saying, Crystal, I want you to help other families that are going through a similar situation. Like, like we’re experiencing right now. And I remember sitting there kind of arguing with her. I was like, but Gina, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to be a coach. I don’t know how to do anything like this. And she’s like, It’s okay. Just do it. Yeah. I’m like, Okay, and again, it circles back to my faith and saying, I don’t know the how, but something tells me I wasn’t meant to know the how I just, it was a matter of me just simply saying yes. And stepping forward and saying, Okay, if this is the the dream and the mission that you’ve placed on my heart, well, I have to accept that and say, Okay, I don’t know what it’s gonna look like. But yes, yes, I’ll do it.

Brian Smith 32:24
Yeah, cool, answered the call. So tell me about scattering hope. What? What is scouting hope? What do you offer to people?

Crystal Partney 32:31
Yeah, so scattering help helps families heal after losing a loved one to suicide. And we offer just a variety of different things. Like you mentioned earlier, I offer grief coaching, I offer a subscription box that is monthly, that includes different items that really reflect me and how I began to heal on a monthly basis. And then I also wrote, I’ve written a 30 day journal, that walk somebody through the first 30 days after losing a loved one to suicide. And I really, I wanted it to become something that a tool that someone can use that even if it’s been passed up three days, if they’re just wanting to simply start the healing process, to be able to pick up the journal and just know like, Okay, for the first for these next 30 days, regardless of what month it is, regardless of what day it is, we’re just gonna take one day at a time, and begin to process and heal and, and so that illustrates, just again, just a very simplistic, very bite sized pieces, to how you can begin to process your grief. And so that is what scattering help is all about, and helping helping families begin to heal after their own tragedy to suicide. And the sister company, really in my sister’s memory is called owl and thistle and it focuses on suicide prevention. And it again offers a subscription box for those for those people that are struggling. And I really wanted it to be able to, to touch the people in our family to say, Hey, I see you and I see the struggles you’re going through. But I love you and to just remind them that they are loved, and they’re not alone. They’re not alone in their struggles. They’re not alone in their pain, but they have an army of support that want to help them and really, you know, just provide the love that they so desperately need in those moments where they don’t feel like they’re enough and they don’t feel like they’re

Brian Smith 35:00
Yeah. So when it comes to suicide prevention, how would you recommend approaching that subject?

Crystal Partney 35:10
Well, I believe it’s it, as you mentioned earlier, it’s a very, very difficult conversation to have. But I’ve watched it with my own sister. And see, I don’t want to say the signs. But just simply telling her that, that I see her. And I’ll share just briefly, a quick story that illustrates this, this idea of letting the people know in our life, how much they’re loved the Christmas unknowingly before my sister passed, I was at Christmas shopping. And I’m the I’m the youngest of eight. So you can do the math, we all have kids. And that’s a lot of Christmas gifts. So needless to say, we, you know, we stopped buying other Christmas gifts a long time ago, because I quickly got expensive. But just whenever I was out, you know, this particular time, I was out Christmas shopping for my family for my daughter, my husband, and and I saw this little wooden sign. And as soon as I saw it, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I have to get one for Gina. So I did. And I gave it to her before Christmas. And I walked downstairs into my parents basement. And I said, Gina, I got you a gift. And she’s like, what, you got me a gift. And as a kid, I got you a Christmas gift. She’s like Chris, like, you know, we don’t do that. I know. But I saw this. And I immediately thought of you. And I just said, you know, just shared very openly and said, Gina, I see you I see the struggles you’re going through an even though I don’t know what it’s like to be newly divorced and have your children live three hours away. And, and, you know, dating again, and having, you know, time with your children be divided between actually being present and being on their phones. Like, I don’t know what that’s like, but I just want to let you know that I see you. And Brian, she started to cry. Because in that moment, I realized it was a long time since someone actually saw her, let alone a family member. And kids, you know, really meet her where she’s at and acknowledge, Hey, I see you. And that’s the the inspiration behind Alan pistol, was remembering that beautiful moment with my sister and just saying, What if I shared that with other people? What if I allowed other people to have that same experience as me? Where they could see that? Hey, I know you’re struggling. I know you’re going through a difficult time right now. But I just want to let you know that I’m here. And I see you. And you are so loved. Please stay. That’s that’s what I am inviting people to to happen in their life. I’ve to get that opportunity for them. Yeah, you’re Alan Cecil.

Brian Smith 38:36
Yeah, and this is where this is a very sensitive question. It’s a very sensitive subject, but I want to bring it up because I’m hesitant to talk about suicide prevention, because I know so many people who are survivors of suicide, you know, in their family, and they feel guilt. They blame themselves. And they say, Well, I could have done something, I should have done something. I should have seen this. I should have stopped it. And so when we talk about suicide prevention, it could put the idea in someone’s head. Well, I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. So how would you respond to that?

Crystal Partney 39:14
I would respond but the only way that I know how, and it was from my own experience is you got to give yourself grace. And know that your loved one wouldn’t want for you to carry this brick. Have I could have should have, how could I? This guilt, ashamed, even the anger? They wouldn’t want you to carry this around for the rest of your life. And it’s understandably you’re sad, you’re heartbroken. But I think every loved one and what they would want for you in that moment and saying, Okay, I’m choosing to to process my grief, and choosing to not blame you, and, and allow just love and compassion, and just, again, grace into your life again, no matter how small and especially help, always hold on to hope you only need a sliver of it. That’s all you need. And if that’s enough to get you out of bed, fabulous. And just know that that’s what your loved one would want for you, your loved one wouldn’t want you to just sit and be in the heaviness of your pain and your grief, they would want you to find these moments, these these slivers of hope to continue to be able to, you know, have a very fulfilled and joyful life, even though they’re gone. But like I shared earlier, they may be physically gone. But don’t mistake that they’re not with you on a regular basis daily. In fact, you just got to, you know, ask him, ask him to show up, ask them to be there, ask him, you know, if you need to release a lot of that anger, you know, find ways that you can release that anger, right? I have a friend she said, she was watching a show. And they were they literally went outside in the show. And they were showing the scene of this, this girl at the lake and she just started screaming. And then she was like, oh, okay, they feel better. Like, even little things like that to just helps release some of that that pent up. Just, you know, I call it anger, I call it grief. You know, it’s all a cumulative. But we need to have these little moments where we can say, okay, it’s gonna be okay. I may not know what tomorrow is gonna bring. But right now, this is how I’m going to, you know, go about this. And just, if I can emphasize one thing, it’s, please don’t, please don’t push, please don’t like shove it under a rug, and act like it didn’t happen. And finding these daily. Whatever it is for you, whether that’s journaling, or, or screaming or whatever it is just finding these little moments where you can slowly begin to heal this key.

Brian Smith 42:42
Yeah, I think that was beautifully said. And I’m glad that you answered that way. Because I do find a lot of times people that that frustration, the the will be turned within the anger will be turned within. And we’ll blame ourselves for the actions of someone else. And we think like we I should have, I have control over the situation. And I deal with a lot of parents, particularly parents of children who have taken their lives the parent will want I mean, its parent, we always think we’re responsible for everything happens with our child. So I appreciate your answer. And I love the story you told about Gina and, and and the Christmas gift. And you saying you saw her because you did exactly the right thing. You know, and sometimes we can do all the right things, and we still just can’t prevent the action someone else is going to take. So we have to do what we can do. But we can’t control the outcome is the way I look at it.

Crystal Partney 43:43
Yeah, I agree. I agree.

Brian Smith 43:46
So when people if someone wanted to work with you, how would they go about getting started? Should they go to your website and get the journal? Should they sign up for the gift box to coaching? How would you recommend someone get started with you?

Crystal Partney 44:01
Yeah, that’s a beautiful question. They can reach out to me on my website, either scattering help calm, or Owl and the And there are links to you know, this subscription box, there are links to the 30 day journal, you can reach out to me via email. And both of my emails are on both corresponding websites. And we’ll make sure to get those over to you. But yeah, I would love for people to connect and just reach out and share their heart or their story. And I think that’s one of the most powerful things that we can do is to you know, share our story and not but our loved ones truly be gone. Because they don’t want to be gone. They don’t truly want to be gone to they want you to remember that. And I’m constantly reminded of my sister and she You know, telling me like, don’t forget about me. Don’t forget about me, like, find ways to remember me and you know, laugh and smile and continue with your life. But please don’t forget about me. And I would just encourage your listeners to do the same. Don’t forget about them. Find ways to remember them, celebrate them. honor their memory. But But please don’t. Don’t let them die. Permanently.

Brian Smith 45:38
Yeah, yeah, I love what you just said about Don’t forget about that. And I get the same message my daughter, which is why she’s in my background, when I when I do my podcast and stuff, because everything I do, I do, you know, because of her and for her. And I hear constantly saying, you know, you got it, you got to keep doing, you got to keep doing this stuff this. So I think, you know, people will sometimes ask, you know, can people be sad in the afterlife? And I don’t know the answer to that question. I think it’s kind of complicated. But I know the one thing I think would make them sad, it’s, we’re sad. I think if they look at us, and we’re not living our lives to the fullest, and we’ve let their their passing destroy us. I think that’s the one thing that could make them sad. And I think we have an obligation, as you said, to keep their memory alive and to to live to the fullest for them.

Crystal Partney 46:26
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

Brian Smith 46:29
So any, any final thoughts you want to get before we wrap up today?

Crystal Partney 46:35
Just like I was mentioning earlier, just hold on to that hope, whatever that looks like if you are in that dark place, and you just feel as if you know, I’m not loved. I don’t feel like anybody would care if I’m gone. I just want you to know that that’s not true. There are people out there, they may not express it. They may not even show it. But I promise you from the bottom of my heart that there are people out there that need you that live here. And they would just be absolutely devastated if you were gone. And like I said, some people have a really funny way of showing it but make no mistake you are that.

Brian Smith 47:23
Wow. Yeah. Great. Great. Thank you Crystal. Well, just let everybody know. There’ll be links in the show notes also but the are your website is scattering and Alan fissile calm and your name is Crystal part ni P R T n EY. Sometimes people are listening they don’t get they don’t see the show notes. I want to get that on the audio. Crystal. It’s been great having you on grief to grow. Thanks for being here today. Thanks for what you’re doing. It’s It’s incredible that you know, only a couple years after your sister’s passing, that you’re carrying her legacy in the way that you are. So I know she’s really proud of you.

Crystal Partney 47:54
Oh, thank you so much. And thanks for having me and, and I hope your your listeners, you know, found some some help, help and my story and that they can, you know, find themselves in it and know that there’s always that, that hope to hold on to.

Brian Smith 48:13
Awesome, thanks. Have a great rest of your day.

Transcribed by


Not everyone has a Lifetime Television biopic starring Heather Locklear. But, my guest for this episode does.

Kristine Carlson is a New York Times bestselling author and renowned speaker recognized worldwide for the global success of The Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book series she co-authored with her late husband Dr. Richard Carlson.

Her latest book, Heartbroken Open, a life-changing memoir, has become a Lifetime Television biopic starring Heather Locklear. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story had its premiere on the network on October 16, 2021.

With over 30 million books in print, Carlson has emerged as a leading mindfulness expert and transformational guide who has been featured on national radio and television broadcasts, including The Today Show, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2010, she was awarded the Kennedy Laureate Award by John F. Kennedy University alongside the iconic chef Alice Waters and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

In addition to her books Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love, and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms, Carlson’s other titles include An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love (a tribute to her husband), and her seminal self-help book for leading readers out of the pain of loss and into a new future — From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero’s Journey to Joy.

Through her beloved women’s retreats, including her signature What Now? program, Carlson serves as a guide for women navigating transition and change of all kinds — showing them how to live their most vibrant, joyous, and fulfilling life in their next chapter.

Through her popular podcast Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Live the Big Stuff, Carlson’s depth, realness, and ever-present humor shine through each memorable episode. Her popular video-based, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Happiness Training Courses (on teach people how to find inspiration and direction right in the midst of life’s uncertainties — helping individuals around the world to move from overwhelming anxiety to an abiding optimism and trust in life. These courses feature exclusive video footage of her late husband, Dr. Richard Carlson.

She is on the advisory board of Modern Widows Club and on the Global Leadership Council of Challenge Day.

Carlson has two daughters and five grandchildren. In her spare time, she loves to exercise – boot camp fitness classes, yoga or hiking. She also is an inspirational speaker and leads women’s retreats all over the world. Her mission is to show people that it is possible to love your life again after profound loss and major change — and to discover that more laughter, love, and happiness await you.

You can find Kristine at: and


As the parent of a child who survived the passing of her sister, I know one of the biggest concerns, when a child dies early, is, “How do I help my other child?”

Michele Benyo is a mom of two, a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, an early childhood parent coach, and the founder of Good Grief Parenting. After her 6-year-old son died of cancer, her 3-year-old daughter said, “Mommy, half of me is gone.”

This heartbreaking statement defined Michele’s life purpose. Her mission is twofold: to help parents through the unimaginable challenges of parenting while grieving the death of a child, and to help parents meet the unique needs of a child who has lost a sibling in the early childhood years.

The desire of Michele’s heart is to see families live forward after loss toward a future bright with possibilities and even joy.

As the parent of a child who survived the passing of her sister, I know one of the biggest concerns, when a child dies early, is, “How do I help my other child?”

Michele Benyo is a mom of two, a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, an early childhood parent coach, and the founder of Good Grief Parenting. After her 6-year-old son died of cancer, her 3-year-old daughter said, “Mommy, half of me is gone.”

This heartbreaking statement defined Michele’s life purpose. Her mission is twofold: to help parents through the unimaginable challenges of parenting while grieving the death of a child, and to help parents meet the unique needs of a child who has lost a sibling in the early childhood years.

The desire of Michele’s heart is to see families live forward after loss toward a future bright with possibilities and even joy.


If you enjoy this episode, you can leave a small tip at:

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You are going to love this guy! I enjoyed this frank conversation with Jerry about what it is to be a man, the ultimate nature of reality, the role of drugs in spiritual development, and much more.

Jerry is a self-described:


Jerry is the author of:

A shadow therapist with 25 years of clinical experience, Hyde rejects many of the conventionally held views of the mainstream psychotherapy world.

He works with couples and individuals and leads the largest men’s group practice in the UK.

An outspoken advocate of shamanic plant medicines he believes for some people a combination of deep psychotherapeutic work and psychedelic entheogens to be the most powerful way of bringing about real, lasting, and positive transformation.

Find Jerry at:



Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what if the things in life to cause us the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey, everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me a fascinating man. His name is Jerry Hyde. And Jerry, I’m going to read a list of who he is. He’s a mentor. He’s a best selling author. He’s a filmmaker and a podcaster. He’s a psychedelic integrator, he calls himself a denim freak. He’s a coffee fiend and a provocateur. He’s the best selling author of blainville dream machine, play from your fucking heart, the book of sin, the short end, the forthcoming book, empathy for the devil, it’s Sherry tells me he’s going to be at about the end of this week, and recording this on October 26, of 2021. Jerry is a shadow therapist with 25 years of clinical experience. He rejects many of the conventionally held views of the mainstream psychotherapy world, which I do too. So this should be an interesting conversation. Jerry works with couples and individuals and Lee’s largest men’s group practice in the UK. So with that, I want to welcome to greater growth. Jerry. Hi.

Jerry Hyde 1:41
Thank you, Brian. It’s nice to be here.

Brian Smith 1:44
Yeah, Jerry, it’s really good to meet you. I’m looking forward to our conversation day. I know you’re a psychotherapist. But you say you reject many of the mainstream thoughts of the psychotherapy world. And why is that?

Jerry Hyde 1:55
When I say reject, I don’t mean to reject them, they can do whatever they want. And I’m sure they will. I mean, in terms of my own practice? Yeah, I mean, my, my background training is as a psychotherapist, but I don’t, I think I might have even removed most of that kind of terminology from my website, I try and distance myself. Maybe it’s a little bit like Groucho Marx, you know, I don’t want to be part of any club that would have me. Yeah, it’s, um, you know, it’s a complex thing, when you when you get into plant medicine, for example, then you know, I think medicine and psych, you know, psychotherapy are going to become more and more entwined. Over the, you know, the next few years, there’s already this thing called the psychedelic Renaissance, this phrase that I hear more and more must have been involved for almost 10 years. So it’s been pretty underground. And I think there’s a lot of people have been very underground. But if you want to call yourself a mainstream psychotherapist, then you can’t, you can’t be involved in what’s, at the moment seen as close a narcotics, you know, there’s no distinction between crack and I asked her. So, in that sense, I reject it. I’m also not a big fan of ethics. And I know what it’s like, in the rest of the world. In the UK, if you go to any of the kind of directories or places where therapists list themselves, you’ll almost always have a little foot thing saying, you know, I abide by the UK, CPS, you know, code of ethics. While I don’t, not because I don’t think people should be ethical, I think it’s really essential that at the core of your practice, you’ll be an ethical human being. But if I follow a rulebook, I think there’s a danger there. Because if the rulebook says Thou shalt not hug your client, then what if they need touch? And there are people I’ve worked with 1516, maybe 20 years, I’ve never touched them, probably never will. I’m, I can read that of them, as other people are hug at the end of the first session. And occasionally, I get it wrong. No, but not very often. But that’s called being human and doing your best as opposed to, like I was listening to a doctor or a different field. I was listening to a doctor on the radio, and he said, when I go to someone’s bedside, to tell them that terminally ill my human impulse is to sit down and hold their hand. And that’s the legal I’m not allowed to be within four feet of that person. So I have to shout across the room, you’re dying rather than be human. And I think when we take these, you know what, there’s health and safety or boundaries or ethics Whatever to that extreme, we’ve lost our humanity. So I think it’s very dangerous to operate without a code of ethics, I understand why people operate with a code of ethics. And I would understand if someone called me arrogant for not choosing to do so. But I do my best to be human rather than to follow orders. just following orders can get us into all sorts of trouble. But you’ve got to be a little bit more alive. I mean, our show I’m a fan of our show, the Indian lunatic guru. And he said morality is so that people don’t have to think for themselves. So you go, Okay, what does the Bible say? Or what does my culture say I should do rather than what if I listened to myself psychotherapy is about having a relationship to yourself. So how can I possibly follow a code of ethics? So in that sense, I’m, I would be I hope I’m considered outside, maybe I’m fooling myself, maybe everyone thinks I’m just mentioned. But um, that’s really my point. It’s not meant to be a kind of screw you to them, because hopefully, they’re doing a great job. But that’s, you know, I’ve been doing this 27 years, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve upset people. I imagine if I was a plumber, I would upset people and made mistakes and flooded people’s housing. You know, hopefully, it’s not that bad psychologically. You know what I mean? You just try and say, sorry, when you screw up, and you try and be alive.

Brian Smith 6:20
Yeah, I totally agree with everything you just said. It’s really interesting. My daughter just graduated this year with her master’s in psychology and psychotherapy. And she’s, she sees me doing the work that I’m doing. And she’s like, what, Dad, you’re not really a psychotherapist, which I’m not I help people through grief, but I’m not I’m not trained in that. But I watch it. And she says, Well, we’re not allowed to do this. We’re not allowed to touch our clients, you know, for example, she’s working with children. And you know, but you know, she’s got to follow the rules, because she’s, you know, she said, ethics and stuff like that. And, you know, you’re not supposed to talk about yourself as a psychotherapist, you know, and she’s like, well, sometimes, you know, occasionally we can, I’m like, well, then you’re not being human being. Because you’re, I think your clients want to be able to relate to us like, I want, I want to feel like I’m talking to someone who can who’s experienced what I’ve experienced. So I think that as we grow, we kind of realize humanity is more important than that set of rules.

Jerry Hyde 7:18
Yeah, I mean, no, I’m not, not hung up on right and wrong, and who should do what I think there is, for some people, there’s definitely value in having a completely blank canvas in who they talk to. That’s never been my thing. From day one. The first time I’ve once when a sort of therapist, I felt very reassured by the kind of work as you’re saying, the human contact of that person being willing to share their experience with me. And, again, in terms of rejecting conventional therapy, I’ve kind of made good almost call it a brand. That sounds a little bit cynical, but I’ve made a career out of being the fucked up therapist, and being very transparent. Because I don’t like the guru model. I always say to people, you have to be my teacher, I’m not your teacher, I’m not the leader here. I’m your companion, and I have my issues. And you really want to work with me on something that I haven’t completely resolved, because then I’m going to be very alive to that struggle. If you work with me on a subject an issue, like drug addiction, you know, I had a drug habit in my 20s, I’m in my late 50s. Now, it’s not an issue for me anymore. So I’m probably not the best person to talk to us as a drug addict, because I’m like, just stop man. You know, if it’s something I’m really grappling with, ideally, you want me to be like two steps ahead of you. So I can say, Yeah, I’m in this has been something I’ve really struggled with. But this is what I’ve learned. And I’m very kind of alive and passionate about it. I think that’s the best way to work with me. But, you know, it’s, it’s whatever your choice is really.

Brian Smith 9:00
Well, I, you know, I’m speaking as a lay person, but I did go see a psychotherapist several years ago, I was going through a crisis and it to me, I love the fact that she was human, that she you know, she could relate to what I was going through. I don’t want to talk to a blank canvas, Canvas. And frankly, now there’s, we’ve got computers that can do that I could get I could get on with an AI and have someone that says Yes, I’m listening, you know, but I want to work with someone who was who was human who knows my struggle can relate. I love what you said also, you know, some of that’s a couple steps ahead of me, you know, not this perfected. And you know, when I was going to church I remember there was a pastor I really liked this guy because he would stand there and say, I’ve you know, I’ve got the same issue as you do. I’m a DD ADHD you know, I’ve got this issue. I’ve got that issue. I’m like, that’s the guy I wanted. I wanted

Jerry Hyde 9:52
Yeah, I was I run a lot of groups. And I was running a group the other day with a bunch of guys that they must have been working with, together with me for about 18 or 19 years and one of the guys, I can’t even remember now what he said he shared something quite painful. I couldn’t honestly tell you why there was silence, but no one responded. There was like a pause, and his fucking watch went, I’m really sorry to hear that. And everyone burst out laughing, which is that? You know, it’s like, oh my God, these watches are listening to us. And then they kind of responding. I’m really sorry to hear that, John, before we got a chance, you know, so God knows where it’s going, ultimately. But yeah, I totally agree with you. You know, it’s if that’s what you’re looking for, that you want someone to share, then there’s plenty of us out there that do that. And if you I tried the blank canvas thing for a few years, I thought it would be a good thing for me to do. I went to a union psychoanalyst, and I think I broke him actually started sharing stuff with me. It wasn’t for me, you know, I’m glad I tried it just to see what it was like. It made me understand. But it’s not for me.

Brian Smith 11:01
So I do want to ask you about this is a little bit off subject, but I read a book called Lost connections. Ever familiar with it, by a guy named Johann Hari, and he talks about basically, you know, a lot of not psychotherapist with psychologist, psychiatrist, they’re like, everything’s about brain chemistry, you know, so all we got to do is fix your brain chemistry, you’ll be fine. So we’ll just give you these antidepressants, and you’ll be okay. What are your thoughts on that model? Where it’s like, you know, we’re like, our medical our mental health is pretty much like our physical health, we just fix it mechanically, then we’ll be okay.

Jerry Hyde 11:40
So really good question. I’m not a fan of the terminology, mind, body and spirit. I don’t hear it so much these days. Actually, I don’t know if people use it in the same way as they used to, you know, that when the kind of whole new age thing was really exploding, but mind body and spirit suggests to me that there’s three things that are kind of traveling in one vehicle somehow, I don’t say it like that. I think our mind is our body our body is our spirit. Our spirits are, you know, with we are one. And as far as far as kind of brain chemistry. I’m not a biologist, I don’t know enough about it. I just think that again, the splitting of these, you know, medical from psychological, even. I mean, I know very, very little, if anything at all about quantum physics, but when I’ve tried to understand it, I’ve thought this doesn’t seem very far from spirituality or religion. So I’m not very interested in splitting it out my explorations with plant medicines, which have been incredibly powerful and healing for me. If someone were to come to me and say, all of the spiritual stuff you experienced is merely a chemical reaction to this plant, and the alkaloids and, or whatever in this plant. And it’s giving you hallucinations, and it’s doing certain things to your neural pathways. Okay. Okay. And if someone comes to me and goes, no, that’s God. Okay. What’s the difference? Who cares? You know, it’s I’m not a fan of indiscriminate medication of people, especially you know, you mentioned it a DD or ADHD I’ve had a DD my whole life because that’s what you don’t get it just for a little bit. I was prescribed Ritalin when I was a kid. It’s not a medication that I feel did me any good at all. And I hear from some people that it helps them. Even that one, I’m a bit sketchy on because I’m thinking who’s helping here the kid or the teacher, the kid or the family, you know, who’s actually getting help. So I’m, I’m a bit more cautious around the way things these things are prescribed. You know, I know someone who was prescribed fairly hardcore medication about 25 years ago. For what I see is his sensitivity. I think if his sensitivity had been embraced a bit more rather than, no, you’re oversensitive. So we need to shut you down. That would be my approach. I understand that a psychiatrist approaches. We have these pills, and this will solve your problem. Yeah, who doesn’t want a pill that’s going to solve their problems, right? I mean, that just sounds great. Does it exist for some people if you if you’re going to go out and you’re gonna stab someone to death unless you’re medicated? I’m all in favor of that. You know, if it’s about safety, if it’s a bad extreme, even that, I think if you gave people a bit of love, probably You know, you might need to medicate Molly given the love but so yeah, yeah, well, you know, so much of this is cultural, so much of this is, is because of our culture that we inhabit that people don’t get the care that they need. And so they do develop mental health problems. And then I’m not sure that pills ultimately the answer to a cultural problem.

Brian Smith 15:20
And that’s kind of the point of the book that I was referring to. It’s like, you know, we have, I think we have a cultural problem in the West. And people are, that’s what the books titled lost connections, we feel lonely, we feel separate, we feel isolated. And, you know, I’m not a biologist, and I’m not a psychotherapist, even. But I think there’s, I think it’s a feedback loop. Right? So people look at the brain and say, Oh, it’s because you’re missing this chemical in your brain. And all we do is pump up this chemical, and you’ll feel fine. What if it’s the other way around? What if it’s that our thoughts and our emotions are driving our brain chemistry to a certain extent, and, and these, these drugs that we’re giving people aren’t very effective, they if they are effective for a few people, for a short period of time, but over a long period of time, they’re not really, you know, really helping. So that’s just my thought on I was just wondering, curious what you

Jerry Hyde 16:11
know, you know, the whole I mean, I remember going to see my doctor when I was 28. And being told the classic, you have an imbalance in your brain, and you need to be on antidepressants for the rest of your life. I think I tried them for about a year and then thought, this isn’t the way for me. But I always think of the chemical imbalance thing, again, as a lay person, I’m not a doctor. So maybe they could dismiss this analogy. But for me, I think about when we had to do sports, when I was a kid, and you’re, you’re all in a line, and you’re going to run 100 meters or whatever. And you gotta you got to try and be first and there’s some teacher though, with a pistol who fires it and you run as fast as you can. And I’m cranked in that moment. I’m full of fear, anxiety, adrenaline, cortisol, that because I’ve got to be the fastest in this race. Is that a chemical imbalance? Or am I responding to my environment, which is particularly stressful in that moment, and then I think about growing up in a domestic violence household with an alcoholic parent, mother who was medicating to deal with that situation, and the stress and anxiety that I lived with perpetually, is that a chemical imbalance? Well, at some point, it might because you’re, you know, again, very basic understanding of brain chemistry and that your brain starts to almost crave these, these these releases of cortisol and adrenaline so you can get hooked on on fear and anxiety, and maybe a short term burst of some kind of correcting medication can redress that. Personally, that never worked for me. As I’ve said, I’ve I’ve had Ritalin I’ve had SSRIs magic mushrooms and ayahuasca helped.

Brian Smith 17:54
Yeah, well, let’s talk about that one. It’s what I love, because I actually went on an SSRI for a while I actually did a couple of and I told my therapist, I would, as long as you know, my doctor prescribed him and she green, I need to be out. But I said, I want to plan to get off of them. So I looked for ways to get off of him. So I was having major panic attacks, which I very rarely if ever have anymore. And this was like 20 years ago. But I decided I went to work with my mind more than working with this, this chemical that made me feel basically like a zombie. It’s like, I wasn’t depressed anymore. I just didn’t care about anything. And I did not like that feeling. So how are plant medicines? How are they different from, say, the SSRIs and Ritalin and stuff like that?

Jerry Hyde 18:41
I mean, I don’t know. I guess if you go, you go see a doctor, you get a pill, you go away, you try and live your life. I guess if you gave people plant medicine in the same way it might be that might not be so effective. I think part of it is that it’s ceremonial. Or, or other times I’ve been involved, it’s been it’s been ceremonial, there’s been a ritual to it, there have been a group of carers there who will take care of you will guide you through the experience will help you integrate it. You know, that’s something that I’m involved in myself. I have occasionally run ceremonies with ayahuasca and I do a fair amount of preparation work and integration work with people to help them make sense of the experience, which is often very difficult to comprehend. You know, it’s a big download people is this kind of myth that iOS goes like 10 nights of therapy 1010 years of therapy in one night. I think there’s some truth to that. But if you imagine getting 10 years of therapy in one go, you can’t process that in process that immediately you need quite a while to, to digest that. But I think it’s the whole way that it’s administered that is, is much more profound and deep than giving someone some pills and saying here, this will make your anxiety go away. Whatever, you know.

Brian Smith 20:05
Yeah. Yeah, for minor See, I totally, completely agree, you know, and it’s interesting because I’ve looked into plant medicines and it’s funny to me many years ago, guys, I do a lot of reviews on Amazon. So guys, would you review my book, and he sent me a book and I’d never heard of ayahuasca and he had gotten an experience down in South America and gone through the ceremony and everything. And I thought, this is really cool. And I’m hearing more and more about it, and then looked into it a little bit. And I know people here in the US like, oh, yeah, I took magic mushrooms. I took psilocybin, you know, and the thing is, but it’s not the same as the experience that you talked about, like you said, you do the preparation, you’ve got a guide there to go with, you get someone to help you integrate it afterwards. So it’s kind of like both things, right? It’s the it’s the thing that opens up your mind, but also someone to guide you through it.

Jerry Hyde 20:56
Yeah, I’ve got some, a couple of ceremonies happening. middle of next year, I’m already talking to people, I’m really getting people ready. And I kind of used the analogy of running a marathon, it’s like, this is very challenging. And you and I could do it, but we couldn’t do it tomorrow. You know, we can’t say let’s get our running shoes and go out and run a marathon. But if you take x amount of time, and build up a program and prepare yourself, right, in three, four or five months time, we could probably run a marathon. So when you embark on a big, psychedelic experience like that, I would always recommend, you know, the only time I hear of real problems with these things is when again, people are indiscriminate with it when they don’t prepare. There was I’m laughing because not because of what happened. But a lot of people started sending me this awful story of a guy who stabbed someone to death in a retreat in South America. You know, I think if you look into the backs, background story of that those the ceremony wasn’t held very well, I did hear someone saying that. They these guys had been doing a lot of cocaine beforehand. So that’s really contraindicated. Yeah. But at the same time, you know, I don’t mean to be defensive, but people send me messages go see iOS is dangerous. Someone got stabbed to death on it. Yeah. How many times a day? In your country? In my country? Did someone get stabbed to death because they drank too much vodka. It never makes the papers, how many times because of crack, or cocaine, or meth? Is someone murdered? Everyday God knows how many people. So this is, you know, the events like that are phenomenally rare. And it’s when the whole situation is mismanaged. And you know, you alter your consciousness, there’s always risks. So it needs to be done with huge respect, a lot of humility.

Brian Smith 22:55
So how did you get into shamanic plant medicine? Was it versus I assume as experiencer? First?

Jerry Hyde 23:05
Yeah, I hit 50. I’m 57. Now I hit 50. And I recognize there were issues that even though I’d been in therapy as a client for most half of my life, at least, I couldn’t seem to get access to. And my instinct was, this is something so buried in my unconscious, that talking therapy isn’t going to get there. Or maybe it will, but I haven’t got another 25 years to, you know, hope. And I think, you know, we’ve got, we’ve all got offenses, we’ve all got blocks. talking therapy, which I practice is a fantastic tool, but it’s not the only one. And it’s not very good at dealing with pre verbal trauma. Because you don’t have language for pre verbal experiences. So I Alaska was something I’d known about for maybe 15 years or more. And always thought, yeah, maybe I’ll do that one day. And it just became clear that I needed to do something that would take me into my unconscious rather than talking about what might be in that, to actually have the what I was gonna say the courage that probably actually driven more by desperation than courage, but you know, I can’t keep living like this, I need to try something different. So with you know, all the respect, I really do have, you know, for talking, talking cures, if you want to call it that, they don’t do everything and sometimes you have to jump in and see what’s really down there, you know, in the abyss as Joseph Campbell and many other people have rightly put it is terrifying. You know, I’m not I got no bravado with this stuff. I find it very frightening. I’m a control freak. I want to cling on to my sanity and I find letting go and tumbling into that experience where I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I find it really frightening. And it’s been, you know, some of the most healing experiences of my life.

Brian Smith 25:11
Yeah, you know, I have a friend that did I did ayahuasca and I was telling her I’m, I’m a control freak. Son you already have. I’ve had panic attacks, you know, I’ve got anxiety and stuff. And I’m like, I’m scared of like, you know, letting go. I don’t know what I don’t know what’s gonna happen. It could be really bad. What if I have a bad trip? You know, one of those kind of things? And she tells me, yeah, I had a major, you know, panic attack where I did, I’m like, well, there we go. I’m not doing it. She said was the best thing that ever happened to me. And I’m like, wait a minute. So it’s interesting for us that are like, scared to like, go, we know what, what that experience would be like, or what what might happen, it’s, it can cause a great deal of fear.

Jerry Hyde 25:52
Again, I think there’s cultural beliefs that need to be navigated. I’m a nice, I had a panic attack two days ago, that’s still something I have on occasion, you know, it always takes me by surprise. I was with my family. I was with my children, I was in probably what you could call one of the safest places in the world. And I had a panic attack that came out of nowhere. And there are times when I’m running around, holding a high Wesker ceremony with 30 people or doing retreats with you know, 25 guys doing extreme anger work. I’m fine. I’m rock solid. So it’s a strange thing. But by reframing the cultural beliefs, I mean, you know, there’s certainly, I think it’s important to challenge the idea of a bad trip. You know, what is a bad trip? A bad trip is an unpleasant experience. Why is that bad? Like the title of your, your podcast, grief to growth, you know, we have a terrible, terrible relationship with grief and sadness, and pain and death in our culture. And I think that kind of quadruples for pain. If you say this is a bad thing, rather than no grief, Grief is a natural process. If you give people permission to grieve. I think they have. It’s hard to find language, it’s not an easier ride. But acceptance is hugely important. If you say to someone you shouldn’t be grieving, that’s not gonna help. Right? Right. So so if you if you if you allow someone to go through, and same with a bad trip, if you say this is a bad trip, bad experience, it’s gonna be bad. If you say, I’m in some really difficult, painful, scary stuff. Here. I’m confronting my control issues. And I’m panicking because my ego doesn’t want to die. And I’m being presented with an opportunity to really transcend my ego, but my ego is going no, whatever you do, don’t do that. Because I’m, I want to be in charge. Is that a bad term? So if you educate people and prepare people, and they still might have a really challenging time, but you take away the idea, this is a bad thing happening to you. And I think it helps like I worked with a Mexican Shaman. And he was always saying to us, because a lot of these medicines make you vomit. He was always saying, don’t talk about getting sick, talk about getting well, you’re purging, you’re releasing the things you don’t need. And I still throw up. But it helped because I didn’t feel like I was ill. Right. You know what I mean? So that’s the subtle or not so subtle things you can adjust. I think that help.

Brian Smith 28:31
Yeah, everything’s a matter of how we look at it. Everything’s a matter of perspective how we frame it. So I love what you just said about the about the throwing up, because none of us wants to wants to throw up, right? But if we say, well, this is a purging experience, this is this is the things that need to come out of you then it becomes a different, different way of looking at the same thing that makes it more palatable, more acceptable.

Jerry Hyde 28:53
And appreciate it appreciate the system, man, you know it no one, you’re right, no one none of us wants to throw up. But it’s an amazing an effective system. So you eat some bad food that’s gonna really poison you, your stomach will reject it as quickly as possible to make you safe. And if you go, okay, my body’s on my side, rather than oh my god, I’m so sick that I ate that oyster. And it made me really ill. Yeah, but your body? Got you through it.

Brian Smith 29:19
Right? Yeah, your body knows what you need. So in terms of the plant medicines, I’m just curious about your beliefs. I’ve heard people refer to ayahuasca for example, as Mother Ayahuasca and it’s, they think it’s a spiritual experience, and they’re actually experiencing another dimension. I know you as a psychotherapist, you talked about earlier about unlocking the unconscious. So is it either is it or is it both? When we were having these trips? Are we seeing real realms? Are we just going deeper within ourselves? Or is that the same thing?

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Jerry Hyde 30:50
Like I said, if some neuroscientist explained it to me, I’d be like, Okay, I’m not opposed to that. All I can say is my experience, which is all I have to go on is that I encountered another higher intelligence that maybe gave me access to people talk about higher self in 12 Step programs. Maybe it gave me access to my higher self, but my personal experience was I met a feminine deity or feminine intelligence. And I’m really, I quite like all this questioning of gender and social conditioning. I accept a lot of that. But I tell you, what’s interesting is some of these plants have gender. And that’s not social conditioning. Maybe it is maybe I experienced that as a feminine because of my own social conditioning. So I could accept that. But I’ve taken a Boga which is from Gabon, in West Africa. Everyone says it’s a very male it’s, it’s what I had a disguise like meeting your stern stern father. Hmm, totally my experience. Very male, very direct. Not cold but but strict. I was kind of conformed to the stuff I know about Kali, you know, very wild, very, very powerful, feminine energy. And I think you know, anyone’s got any misogynistic issues they want to deal with Go and take Ayahuasca because you will come out with huge respect for that feminine, you know, presence and wildness.

Brian Smith 32:28
Yeah, that’s, that’s really fascinating. So, um, yeah, I asked the question, I realize I’m asking this my very, you know, I guess Western, maybe, perspective. You know, we talked about culture earlier. And I was I was interviewing a woman who’s done several plant medicines. And one thing about her experience that really jumped out to me, she said, they looked up and they were they saw these beings like coming down the mountain. And so but not only does she see it, but the people with her side. And the guide said, Yeah, that’s what people see when they do this. So I’m like, Oh, well, this is great. Because this makes it objective, right? Because multiple people saw it in different places and stuff. But and so we, we I am saying sometimes I judge that is more valuable, right? Then it just that just subjective experience, because people can just say, well, that’s just the best just the medicine messing with your head, you know, that’s just controlling your brain chemistry. So it’s not really real. But like your perspective, it’s like, what is the result? You know, what do you get out of it? So what can someone expect when they do something like a plant medicine, what what type of changes can do people see?

Jerry Hyde 33:38
I mean, I must have, let me let me just bracket this with saying I’m not an experienced plant medicine person. Compared with a lot of people I know, you know, I’ve taken iOS seven times I’ve taken a BOGO once I’ve taken peyote, once I’ve taken DMT a few times, I’ve taken both photos, which is five Meo DMT, one time, and, and quite a lot of psilocybin and LSD. So compared with people that I’m involved with, I’m very much an amateur and a lightweight. So I said, say with that kind of caveat, I’ve, as a psychotherapist, I must have guided, I got maybe 200 people through these experiences, maybe more. So there’s 200 Completely different responses from being operated on by alien cultures somewhere, you know, on the other side of Jupiter to people falling asleep and getting nothing. Hmm. I had a friend I went with a friend once she was a dancer, and we went into separate rooms. And we came out the next day and I was really excited to hear what her experience I was like wow, you know, that was amazing. I had all the anacondas and the vomiting gargoyles and all that kind of time. Travel, how was it for you and she went, I just fell asleep are really shit. Oh, I’m really sorry. She went no, I woke up this morning. And it’s literally the first time in years, I didn’t wake up in physical pain because as a dancer, she was constantly managing the pain of that. Like, I felt amazing this morning. So the old kind of cliche, if you don’t get what you expect to get what you need, I think it’s pretty valid. And the people who go to sleep probably just need a good night’s sleep and for it to work on their physicality. Personally, I, I do get a lot of time travel. And by time travel, I mean, what feels like, it’s not like a dream or a memory. It feels like talking to you now. And I’ve been taken back in time, which I know is quite common. I’ve heard other people have to the most mundane. I mean, honestly, this is one of my favorite iOS stories, because there’s no there’s no anacondas or dragons or anything. It’s the most mundane, boring Ayahuasca story I could possibly share with anyone. And definitely one of the most profound, which I was taken back to about probably 1969 1970, I was sitting in the bath as a child, nothing bad happened, no one came in and abused me or shouted at me or shamed me or anything like that, I was just sitting in the bath, and I saw the cracks in the tiles on the wall. And I saw the wooden boat and the rubber duck, and the carpet and the sink. Nothing happened. But it was amazingly transformative because I could feel the atmosphere in the house. I could. I knew my mother was downstairs doing the washing up crying, hiding from me and my sister that she was trying to hide that she was upset, I knew that my father was in a hotel with his secretary, you know, in bed with his secretary or some other lover. And the atmosphere in the house was so incredibly painful. And in being taken back there, I was told, this is what was going on. Between your parents, they were doing their best to protect you from it, but they couldn’t. The pain that you felt that you absorbed from that atmosphere, you know what it’s like, you walk in a room and someone’s been having an argument, they pretend that everything’s okay, you can feel that vibe, right? But this this atmosphere that you absorbed as a child and thought it was your fault was not your fault. You know, this had nothing to do with you the fact that you thought, oh, it’s because my mom’s upset. My dad’s not here. It’s because I’m a bad kid. That wasn’t the truth. And that was amazing. Because, you know, back to our conversation earlier about talking therapy. It’s very hard to remember an atmosphere from 45 years ago, 50 years ago. You can remember I lived in this house, this is what car we had, this is what we did, but to remember the feeling of being in that house is not so accessible. Sometimes I might get it I listen to a piece of music, you know, the Beatles comes on the radio and I’m back for a moment. But that kind of prolonged being taken back and and shown. This is how it was I never thought that would be the kind of thing you know, I would expect the alien abduction ship with with Ayahuasca, but sometimes it’s the really simple stuff. And that was that was a whole load off. You know, that really changed me.

Brian Smith 38:16
Yeah, I compare it from the little bit I know about it seems it’s kind of like a similar or similar to what I found about Indies. People have Indies and they’re all different. And I always say people, you don’t, you don’t get what you want. But I think you get what you need. And some people have we call negative Indies. And those they’ll say it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. And I’ve heard of people that have positive, what we call positive Indies. And then they come back and they have trouble integrating because they don’t want to be back here. And it’s like, This place sucks. And they just realize how bad how bad it does suck. Yeah. So there is I think there is something to you know, getting what you need from from the experience, there seem to be some parallels. And I want to talk about the integration that you talked about earlier. Because again, I’ve interviewed PMH Atwater, who’s the biggest researcher there is on near death experiences. And she says the average adult takes like seven to 14 years integrated into IE, they come back. They’ve got this download, and it’s like, what do I do with it? So it sounds like it’s a parallel maybe there with some with Ayahuasca trip.

Jerry Hyde 39:24
Yeah, I mean, I, I tried to be non judgmental, but when I see people going to iOS seminars, every weekend, I kind of, I questioned the value of that, because, for me, the amount of time that I’m older, when I was younger, I would be running around doing every therapy workshop, I could, you know, trying to get knowledge and, and healing and so I think that there’s, there’s advantage to getting older in that sense, and that I’ve slowed down and I really appreciate, like, just taking the time to digest a meal before you eat Another one you know it, that’s what it feels like to me and I have not drank ayahuasca for five and a half years now. kind of feeling like I might be ready next year. But I’ve taken that time to really posted, you know, the Dalai Lama was asked this, you know, are these new psychedelics? Do they offer instant enlightenment? Anyone? Yeah, they do. But unless you’ve done 1520 years of preparation, meditation therapy, whatever you do, you won’t be able to process that download. So there’s no bypassing, there’s no shortcut, really, you have to have done the work. And I certainly felt much more equipped as a 50 year old to manage the experience than when I used to mess around with LSD or mushrooms when I was a teenager. Or I just didn’t know what the hell was going on. So I think that to have the respect to really digest and process. To me, again, I’m veering into judgmental territory. But if if you keep going back, because you want that high, you want that intensity, that’s a little bit like being given a Christmas present, saying things and putting it to one side and asking for another one, before you’ve unwrap the first present in, take your time. Unwrap it slowly. Explore it before you go asking for another present. Otherwise, I’m not sure I think you’ll lose as much as you get. And, you know, I still have revelations from experiences I did 567 years ago.

Brian Smith 41:34
That sounds wise to me again, never having done it, it seems like something and I think even the and I’m most familiar with Ayahuasca, so I think about it, but even then they weren’t, they’re not doing it every day, you know, they’re not doing it every weekend. And it’s and it’s certainly not a recreational thing. And, you know, in America, we’ve got this this problem with drugs where, you know, we, we use the recreationally, so we look at something like plant medicine. And it’s, I think I’m young for the 60s and 70s. But I remember, you know, hearing about LSD and stuff, and people were, I think, reaching these levels where they could have been enlightened, but they were just doing it for fun. You know, they were just, they were just having trips. And I don’t think we’ve learned to respect the medicine yet. Hopefully, we’re going to get there.

Jerry Hyde 42:17
Yeah, I mean, you know, when I say I, I’m not sure that it’s good idea to do it all the time. If you’re from Peru, if you’re from the Amazon, if you’re, it’s your culture, and you’ve been raised in that, drink as much of that stuff as you want. Because you know that you know how to navigate that. And you know how to integrate that into your life. But I totally agree with you. Because as Westerners, we newbies with this, we don’t really know what we’re getting into this, as this has recently emerged into, you know, it’s not mainstream still. But it’s, it used to be, you know, when I first heard about it, you had to take a plane, all the way to Brazil, or Peru, then you had to get another plane to summon the jungle, then he had to take a boat for, you know, up to up the river, and then he had to walk for two days. Whereas now, you know, I can get on a train and go and do it this evening, you know, very, very easily from London. But it doesn’t mean we know how to navigate that those experiences. They aren’t ours. They’ve been gifted to us. You know, some people talk about cultural appropriation. I’m not sure that is actually cultural appropriation, I think indigenous people are going, you people are messing this world up really badly, and we’re gonna bring this shit. So it’s not a coincidence that I ask these different things are emerging as the world is kind of burning up, you know, around them, we’ve done it, they haven’t done it, we’ve done it. And we’re doing it to them. So I think it’s a last ditch gift from from them to us.

Brian Smith 43:45
Yeah, I don’t know how you feel about this, but I’m gonna put it out there. Because for me, I think that there’s a reality that we as especially Westerners are forgotten that we’re all connected, that we’re all one that we’re spiritual beings. And I view the plant medicines as kind of opening people’s minds to that and nature, like you know, and I love because this term plant medicine I just heard pretty recently and I love that term. It’s a it’s a it’s a medicine. It’s not it’s not something to be recreational, it’s something to help us heal. But it’s helping us heal our lack of connection with each other and with the land.

Jerry Hyde 44:25
Yeah, it’s an important distinction, I think, because I think it was Michael Pollan, the author Michael Pollan, I was listening to recently and he was saying, you know, back to ritual and ceremony when you use something with that kind of respect. With a degree of ritual or ceremony, you rarely get problems. It’s when you use plants or narcotics or anything recreationally, which I’m not against, I think I had great times. I think people, people can have great times but once you become comes avoidance, once it becomes shutting yourself down, once it becomes self medication, then you get into problem areas. And so we need a lot more education and a lot more support for people for not to be problematic. But plant medicines, potentially a very, very powerful healer is also really dangerous. So know what you’re doing. Don’t, don’t just rock up because you had something’s going on and you want to go and see if it’s, you know, if it’s gonna be fun, because it probably won’t be.

Brian Smith 45:31
Right. Right? Well, it’s kind of like the exact opposite of recreational drug use. That’s, that’s like you love it’s avoidance. It’s shutting down. And sometimes we need that right. Sometimes we need to numb out and shut down. So I’m not saying that I don’t I don’t just disagree with that. But that’s the opposite of what this is. This plant is about it’s about opening up, right. It’s about going inside and, and having revelations and, and confronting our stuff that we might not be able to confront. on a conscious level.

Jerry Hyde 46:00
Yeah, I always say I’m, I’m pro drugs, I’m anti drug abuse. So you know, you can you I’m not so sure about crack or meth. I’ve never, you know, I’ve never seen any great benefits that you can use a lot of things to heal yourself, but it’s about your attitude. And it’s about having respect for yourself and what you’re doing, you know, the whole set and setting thing. I think it’s very valid, that Timothy Leary, and people like that used to talk about, you know, be careful.

Brian Smith 46:30
Yeah, I do want to talk to you, I want to shift a little bit because I don’t get to talk to many men on the podcast, and in my world and work doing spiritual work and grief work. It’s like that it’s mostly women, I find that men tend not to open up my clients, very, very few men, mostly it’s women. So you being a male and leading the largest male group in the UK, what’s your experience been with the differences between men and women? And I know we’re getting into stereotypes and stuff here. But we’ve talked about some gender things before. So what’s, what’s your experience with that? And why do you think it is?

Jerry Hyde 47:08
I remember a Tantra teacher years ago saying Tantra is teaching men what women have always known. Like that. You know, there’s, you don’t need to I’m not very interested in gender, that’s not my thing. But I, I’m interested in culture, and like you say, I’m interested in those stereotypes. I’m interested in how we’re all stereotyped, I’m interested in the messages that were were given as children that form us and define us. And I would say that, you know, again, back to rule breaking my, my men’s groups feel quite rule breaking to me, because there are unspoken rules about what you can and cannot show as a man in our society. And in my groups, those rules don’t apply. So you can cry, you can ask for support, you can show your fidelity and your vulnerability without being shamed. And that’s not so easy in mainstream, and I do it because I’ve learned how to do it. But I understand it’s very risky, you know, for a lot of guys to do that. So they feel very limited in how they can connect. And that then has knock on effects in their relationships. So I have plenty of women clients, but my, my groups are men, because I think there’s more urgency with needing to address some of these things, you know, women have all that shit that they have to deal with. But I think they’re better on the whole, like getting, you know, exploring that asking for help men, because of the rules we live with are told to man up, man up and manage it on your own and, you know, suck it up, push those feelings down. And that’s dangerous, right? That’s if there’s such I don’t believe in that masculinity is toxic. But I do believe in toxic masculinity as much as if you squash those feelings down. Men will become dangerous, and they will act out in toxic ways. And it’s really fucking simple. Just give them permission to talk and share their feelings. You know, you could say that, whatever I’m doing is offering a feminine space for men to inhabit because men will get in this mode. This might be I don’t know, I think it’s probably social conditioning. But men will tend to isolate women will tend to commune. So I’m encouraging men to commune in order to change their behavior. There’s no program. There’s no structure, just we get together. I’ve got four groups that meet every two weeks for an evening every other week. It sit down and we talk and we talk about the things that are touching us and things we’re struggling with, which is mostly relationships. So most most guys are struggling with how do I be in a relationship that’s healthy and fruitful? I think for all of us,

Brian Smith 50:01
yeah. So why do you think it is that men? Because you’ve, you’re running this this large group, why do you think men are attracted to, to your group or to you?

Jerry Hyde 50:09
Devon got a lot of competition. You know, it’s not much of this in the UK, very, very little men’s, it’s growing. People hear about me, I mean, I’ve got a film about my work that’s out that people can check out, I can give you the link to that later. So that that alerts people to what we do. But I don’t think that’s the source of it. I think word of mouth in, I appeal to a certain kind of person as another therapist will appeal to a different kind of person. You know, I come from music and film business background, and I work with a lot of people in the arts. And in that sense, I guess I stand out compared with, you know, more conventional therapists. But yeah, you know, there’s just so much of it.

Brian Smith 50:56
Yeah. I think for my experience, you know, the differences between men and women or their culture, I don’t, I don’t, I mean, there’s, obviously their biological differences, too. And we could talk about the effect of testosterone versus estrogen. But also men are not given permission to show their feelings or even have feelings. And I’ve, you know, I find talking a lot of times in men, you’ve asked them how they feel, and they’re like, hot, cold, and it’s like, you’re talking about you got first you have to kind of frame the question for them. So I think is really needed. And in our, in our culture, I don’t know how different it is there, I think it’s similar to how it is in the US to just give men permission to open up and even calling it that calling that feminine is going to trigger a lot of men because they’re like, feminine is bad. You know, I can’t I can’t be feminine, I can’t have a feminine side.

Jerry Hyde 51:47
You know, I mean, I don’t want to go back to plant medicine. But I’m going to just remember I smoked before Toad venom. And that took me most people that I talked to, they have, it’s kind of like a near death experience, very, very similar by the sound of it. I’ve not had a near death experience, but sounds pretty close. And most of the people I’ve spoken to go to a kind of state of oneness with the universe and a very blissed out experience I didn’t, I went to an incredibly painful, very, very, very dark place where I experienced my emotional pain at its most acute, and voice said to me, you are very fragile, you are very delicate, you are very sensitive. These are not feminine traits, even though even though that’s what culturally, we will say, if you’re sensitive, you’re very feminine, if you’re delicate, it’s very feminine thing is actually quite a misogynistic way of labeling those things. They said to me, these are not feminine. These are the qualities that the men have denied for millennia, and these need to be reclaimed as masculine qualities, also. So I think there’s something to that. And that was really good, because I was raised with a very kind of John Wayne macho image of what a man was that I instinctively knew I wasn’t and didn’t want to be. And therefore, I felt like I didn’t really qualify as a man. So I just accepted Well, I’m not a real man, but, and felt ashamed of my fragility of felt ashamed that I can have panic attacks of my the level of sensitivity that actually is very useful in my job. So I think, you know, reframing of that is really, really important. And to we have to learn to celebrate these things and honor these qualities in us otherwise, we will keep pretending to be Rambo or Tommy, you know, even if it’s on the outside.

Brian Smith 53:44
Yeah. And that’s, that’s toxic, not only from a personal view, but also culturally, I mean, we’re destroying the planet because of because of that, that view that we can control everything, and we need to conquer everything. So I we’re running out of time, but what there’s a few questions that you had, I just had to ask you, because you asked me for some questions earlier. I just want to hear your answers to them. So you talked about the misogyny of climate change, what is what does that mean?

Jerry Hyde 54:11
If you go with the idea that, you know, we are if you accept that Mother Nature, you know, this planet we inhabit we have gendered by calling her mother nature fact that we’re raping the shit out of her abusing her, you know, being her. Surely that comes from a misogyny our cultural massagin ism, misogyny. I mean, you know, that that’s a no brainer to me that that attitude that we can just take what we want, and not give back and not consider the impact. I’m making an argument that that comes from a misogynistic attitude within us. I’m fine if people would disagree with that, but it was just an interesting, you know, the Add mindset, I can go off on kind of a little, you know, kind of jazz improvs in my Brain. I thought that that works for me. That makes sense. I think it’s a very masculine thing or male thing. Maybe masculine is, is tripping into the, you know, man shaming thing, but it’s that destructiveness that violence we’re doing. I think it’s coming from that place within us.

Brian Smith 55:21
Yeah, I would not argue with that at all. So you also mentioned that the agricultural revolution and what a mistake you think that was, what’s your What are your thoughts on that?

Jerry Hyde 55:34
I was listening to do you know, Gabor, matta is work. I was listening to him yesterday. And he was saying, put it very, very beautifully said the minute that we started to farm and moved away from kind of egalitarian hunter gatherer existence, which we have, you know, the agricultural revolution happened 1000 years ago, and we’ve been around in some kind of human form for about 2 million years. So it’s a very small amount of our existence. He said that we essentially became like zoo animals, we became caged. And the guy who wrote Sapiens, I can never pronounce his name. He said, We didn’t. We didn’t domesticate animals, they domesticated us, suddenly, we had to be that attended, we thought, oh, this will be easy. If we put some cows in a pen, we can get free milk every day, rather than have to chase them around the desert to try and catch them. But then you got to get up at four o’clock in the morning to milk them, and you got to feed them, and you got to look after them. And you got to make sure that the fence is intact, so they don’t escape, and you got to make sure that your neighbors don’t come and steal a cow. So that that changed the world. And then you got you had four cows, then he had eight cows then he had, then you had a whole lot of cash, and he had a lot of wealth. So suddenly, people had more than other people, you know, suddenly needed police forces to catch the people who stole from the people who didn’t have so much. And then you had cities to, you know, spend all our wealth. And I think it’s really it’s not reversible, unless, unless that’s what climate change is for.

Brian Smith 57:11

Jerry Hyde 57:13
But we we have lost an awful lot. You know, we’ve caused massive protests, you know, hunter gatherers have massive problems in live very long. And it was an incredibly hard life. I’m not romanticizing it. But I think with every major change, you have to look at what is the impact on us? And have we really use this change? You know, in the best way for us? You know, there was a million people on this planet 8000 years ago, is now seven and a half billion, right? That’s the fuckup of the agricultural revolution, we have flourished because of this. So very few people would see that as a negative. We have flourished, we have blossomed as a species. But it’s not sustainable. A million human beings on this planet. Yeah, we’re gonna get on fine with the other species. Seven and a half billion.

Brian Smith 58:06
Yeah. Yeah, I would say sometimes we’re almost like a cancer on this planet. We’re growing out of control. And, you know, and I was reading about capitalism. And you know, the whole, the whole model is built on growth. And they’re like, We have to keep growing, we have to keep growing. And even like the United States, they’re upset because our birth rates are down. And we need more. I’m like, why do we need more people? I don’t understand why we think we need more people on the planet.

Jerry Hyde 58:32
Capitalism is a direct consequence of the agricultural revolution, you know, and we are consuming this planet. Bill Hicks, the comedian Bill Hicks had we’re a virus with shoes.

Brian Smith 58:43
Yeah, yeah, in a very real way. So I have to ask you, I love the title of your upcoming book, empathy for the devil. So what’s that about?

Jerry Hyde 58:52
I, you know, to put it simply, it’s, it’s self compassion, because we all have dark sides. So if you demonize your dark side, chances are you’re not going to want to look at it. And until you look at you know, we’re back to talking about toxic masculinity unless you’re willing to look at your own toxic, toxic behavior. You’re not going to change. But if you’re committed to the idea, you’re a nice guy, which most of us want to be a nice guy, then how you gonna look at your darkness and I think to be a whole human being is a fantastic quote. It’s actually written on my wall in chalk cover at the end of this room that Carl Jung quote, he said, Do you want to be good or whole? Huh? So I think it’s, you know, the, you know, mostly riffing on the Rolling Stones song but for me, it’s having that empathy empathic view of your own darkness and developing curiosity and befriending your demons. So you know, I like to be the boss. And so if I have a demon that let’s say the demon of obsessive compulsiveness, that can take me into addictive behaviors that are very self destructive, I can also harness that demon. And I can write a book with it. Because you can’t write a book unless you got an obsessive drive, you can’t, you know, you must know this with your podcast, there’ll be days when you don’t really don’t want to do it, but you do it because it’s easy to have that drive to create and produce. Right, I’m just using that motif of a demon, it doesn’t really matter what you call it, you could call it a sub personality, if you like, you can call it a side of yourself. I’m just using that image because I find it quite a, you know, a vivid image to work with. And I think of my I think we’re all again, I think it was Michael Pollan’s new book. He He’s, it’s called symphony of selves. And he explores, or he dismisses, which I also do the idea of the true self and says, We’re all a cast of characters. And within those characters, they’re going to be ones that are going to be more attractive and appealing to us. And they’re going to be ones that you go, I really don’t want to look at that guy. You know. But you need to know yourself in order to be safe, in order to be hold. So if you do have a murderer in in you, which most of us have the capacity to kill, I think it’s better if you know that part of yourself and other must have that part of yourself rather than go, No, I want to be a nice guy. And then you flip out in some kind of road rage thing, because that part of you has been denied. Hmm.

Brian Smith 1:01:30
So this is what just what people mean, when I talk about doing Shadow Work is is facing these internal parts of ourselves that exact rather, say don’t exist.

Jerry Hyde 1:01:41
Yeah, but you know, that there’s another book called sex at dawn, where base a couple of anthropologists and they make a brilliant point in the first paragraph, I think they say, We are not descended from apes. I mean, what is an incredibly arrogant thing to say we’re not descended from apes, we are apes. We are one of the seven ape species. And we’re very kind of pleased with ourselves that we’re so much better than the all the other, you know, animals on this planet. But if we stop being so fucking smug and accepted, we have some very dark sides. And most of that is because it’s denied. If we can just accept it a little bit, you know, and go, Yeah, on a bad day, I can be positively dangerous. Certainly mean or cruel, or nasty or selfish. That doesn’t make me the worst person that ever lived. Just means I need to look at that. And by acceptance, I don’t mean go, Oh, it’s okay to be selfish. I mean, accept yourself enough to have the willingness and the courage to look at your selfishness and what might that might, you know, be driven by what life experiences have created that how you might become a little bit more generous in yourself?

Brian Smith 1:02:58
Yeah. Well, it’s kind of brings us right back around to the beginning with you know, I think this is one of the things we can do in psychotherapy, we can figure out who we are, why we are the way we are, which I always talk about, and people who listen to the podcasts are going to get sick of hearing this. But I took a course many, many years ago called Who you are is where you were when. And the guy talks about the fact that we’re all product of our environment, his sense. And this was 35 years ago, I took this and I look at people now I’m like, Okay, who was a guy? What happened to him? I don’t see someone as a 50 year old man or a six year amount. What happened when they when they were six years old? You know what happened to them when they were 20 years old? Because we’re all composites of all those things that happened to us, we have to look at ourselves to and say, Yeah, I’m like this, and I don’t like this about myself. But maybe it’s because I was taught this as a child. Or maybe it’s reaction. It’s something that happened to me, and then I can accept that it’s there. But it doesn’t mean I have to give into it. Right? I don’t have to just go with it. I’m just an angry guy. So I’m gonna go run around and yell at people.

Jerry Hyde 1:04:03
Yeah, I mean, I think this is very pertinent, especially with, you know, the kind of work movement that’s happening at the moment, which, you know, is good sides and bad sides to everything. I think if you get work to the point where people are frightened to talk about their darkness in case they get cancelled, it’s almost collapsed in on itself. So in most of my writing, certainly this new book and the book of sin, which was the one before I do a fair amount of exploring my own misogyny, my own racism and sexism, you know, the hatred that I’ve absorbed, and, you know, part of this was, I was woken up to by a brilliant friend of mine, who’s was raised in the bosom of feminism, and she said to me, because women are really misogynistic. I was like, whoa, whoa, we’re back up, man. What the hell yeah. I mean, if I said that, you know, I’d

Brian Smith 1:04:53
be Yeah, he’d be canceled. Yeah. She’s like, well, the

Jerry Hyde 1:04:57
minute a woman says to a man, man up You’re so sensitive anything like that. That’s a massage Nick view, misogynistic attack on his feminine what we see as feminine, right? So, I was like, Ah, okay, so okay, that makes sense because I remember when I started working as a psychotherapist being shocked at how homophobic the gay guys I worked with were, and then I was like, but of course they’ve grown up in a homophobic world, it’s just their homophobia tends to be turned in on themselves rather than outwards, but they’re still homophobic. Why wouldn’t a woman who’s been raised in a misogynistic world have internalized that? And I think to have the courage like I, in the last book, I was, I was sitting on this couch writing one day, I was really, really getting into, I was on quite a rant about Nazis and what, what had happened in Nazi Germany. And then I got in my car, and I drove down the road to go and get some lunch through a very, very Jewish area. I’m not sure which is the Hasidic Jews, they were quite flamboyant hats and robes. And I remember driving through going, you look fucking weird. And it’s like, Oh, my God. 10 minutes ago, I was writing about the Nazis. And I just found my Nazi who’s alive and well, in me, you know, so. It’s

Brian Smith 1:06:25
I’m sorry, your sound just cut off. It just came back. I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Jerry Hyde 1:06:28
Um, yeah, we have to somehow find, you know, ways that we can talk about these things. Otherwise, they get buried, and then they get acted out.

Brian Smith 1:06:36
Yeah, I’m so glad you said that. You know, it’s interesting, because being a black person in America, you know, we I deal with racism all the time. And there there are times when I find myself saying and doing, you know, racist things, and I hate that about myself. But I have to face it. You know, I have to, I have to admit that that that is that’s in me, you know, and that’s the only way I can overcome it. And that’s, and that’s the difference between, you know, someone that just goes with it. And someone that says, I don’t like this about myself, I’ve got to find a way to work on this.

Jerry Hyde 1:07:08
Yeah, no, it’s you know, I’m very good at pointing out the problem. And I have no idea how we bring about these changes. But I guess the first thing is to highlight the issues and try and work together to come up with for my groups are bad. And these are the kind of discussions I’m trying to have. Yeah, someone’s going in audio.

Brian Smith 1:07:33
Can you hear me? You still there?

Jerry Hyde 1:07:34
Yes. Good. Yeah.

Brian Smith 1:07:36
All right. Cool. All right. Well, Jerry, we’re coming to the end of our time anyway. But I want to tell you, I have really, really enjoyed our conversation. It’s been great meeting with meeting you. You’re fascinating, man. So tell people where they can find out more about you about your books about your work? Where can people contact you?

Jerry Hyde 1:07:54
Yeah, I mean, yeah, just cherry Hi, my name, which is Jerry with the J high. That’s been Dr. Jekyll, H Y. D. It’s quite a good name for a shrink really, absolutely works with Shadow stuff, Jerry and links to films and books and things are all on that site.

Brian Smith 1:08:14
Okay. And I will I will link to that in the show notes. And you can send me a link to one of your films, I believe, so I’ll put that in there. It’s awesome. Yeah.

Jerry Hyde 1:08:20
Yeah. Lovely. Thank you, Brian. I

Brian Smith 1:08:22
really enjoyed that was good. Thanks for being here. Enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks, man. See you again. But that’s it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you got something out of it. Please stay in contact with me by reaching out at www dot grief to growth calm. That’s grief the number two or you can text the word growth to 31996. That’s simply text growth gr o WT H 231996. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, please make sure you subscribe. So hit the subscribe button and then hit the little bell here and it’ll notify you when I have new content. Always please share the information if you enjoy it. That helps me to get more views and to get the message out to more people. Thanks a lot and have a wonderful day.

Transcribed by


Shelley F. Knight is a positive changes expert who can help you through her written and spoken words. Shelley has been intuitive for her entire life and comes from a family that encouraged her spirituality.

She has worked as a nurse for decades and uses that experience along with her intuition to help others make positive changes, even around the subject of grief and death.

Shelley passionately shares her years of clinical, spiritual, and holistic experience in her books, podcast, coaching program, newsletter, YouTube, and social media work.

Shelley F. Knight is the author of Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Book (November 2018) and Good Grief – The A to Z Approach of Modern Day Grief Healing (24th September 2021), and the host of the award-winning mental health show, Positive Changes: A Self-Kick Podcast


You can find Shelley at: ℹ️




Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what if the things in life to cause us the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Everybody this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. I’ve got with me today, Shelly F Knight, and Shelley as a positive changes expert who can help you through her written and spoken words. She passionately shares her years of clinical spiritual and holistic experience in her books. In her podcast on your coaching program, in our newsletter, on YouTube and on social media network. Shelly Knight Shelly F Knight is the author of positive changes, a self kick book that came out in November of 2018. And Good grief, the A to Z approach of modern day grief, grief healing that came out in 2021. And she’s the host of the award winning mental health show positive changes itself kick podcast, Sally connects and works. Connected with Shelly has a wonderful opportunity to work righteously and start creating your positive changes as she brings with you and she brings with her an entire toolbox of qualifications and experience to support you on your journey of growth. In terms of her clinical expertise, Shelly holds a first class degree in adult nursing it and postgraduate studies in palliative care and life limiting illness, patio, patho psychic pathophysiology of cancer cytotoxic chemotherapy, and clinical hypnotherapy that’s hard to say all together. In addition, she has a plethora of holistic and spiritual qualifications, including transformational regression therapy, spiritual coaching Spiritual Development Teacher, holistic diagnostic skills, diagnosis skills, mindfulness Neuro Linguistic Programming, herbalism, and Dream Therapy. She’s also an intuitive tarot card reader and intuitive Tarot coach with Cliff’s gifts, a clairsentience, clairaudience and clairvoyance. That was a that was inherited from her ancestors. So with that, I want to welcome to grieve to Grace Shelly F night.

Shelley F Knight 2:39
Thank you so much, Brian, thank you so much.

Brian Smith 2:42
Thank you, Shelly was, you’ve got a awful lot of experience an awful lot of tools in your toolbox. One of the questions I was going to ask you before we get started was how you got started in this, but it sounds like there’s some background, your family of intuitiveness. So how did you get started on this, this journey that you’re on?

Shelley F Knight 3:01
So my family are really open. And I think when we’re growing up, we think our family is normal. And it’s only when we have conversations like oh, you don’t speak about no spirits, death and things like that. But I was raised very open about spirits being around us and like psychic, aunties and grandmothers. So it’s always been my norm and talking about death. And grief has always been like a kind of did a conversation for us. So it’s probably one at ease with it all.

Brian Smith 3:30
So are there mediums in your family?

Shelley F Knight 3:34
My great grandmother was But since then, no one really I think some of us have the gifts or thing but we don’t work actively, we just kind of tap into that intuition that knowing for our own benefit and our loved ones.

Brian Smith 3:48
So yeah, that’s that’s your right. That’s kind of unusual. I think a lot of us know avoid the topics of death and grief and stuff like that. So you said this was normal in your family? When did you discover that it wasn’t quite so normal for everybody outside of your family?

Shelley F Knight 4:03
Whenever we went to college, you know, like, you’re on the train going off to college, and you say like what happened at home last night. And it’s just like, other people would watch a sort of soap opera will do their homework. And we’d have been talking about a haunted house, my dad was renovating or something like that. Or somebody died because my grandparents were a huge part of my upbringing. So there was always quite a lot of death around. That’s not to McCobb to say, but yeah, like when you go to college, and you have those sort of conversations and you’re like, Okay, maybe not.

Brian Smith 4:36
So you obviously decided to take your gifts and turn them into what you’re doing now as kind of as your life’s work. So how do you help people to make positive changes?

Shelley F Knight 4:48
I break it down into like steps and I never want anyone to do like a massive change. I think when we make big changes, it’s just too much and if it’s not a successful change, we feel more of a failure and more stuff. In life, so I just do like small but mighty changes, and is just like looking at your current reality, what area of your life you want to move forward in. And, you know, my mom always used to say to me never get stagnant in life. And I never really knew what it meant at the time. But it is that like, if you’re unhappy, or you know, you have a dream, but if you’re 1000 miles away, don’t stop do something each day. And you know, I just say, like, 10 minutes a day of being with yourself working towards a dream. You know, I know, we say we’re busy, but I think everyone can spare 10 minutes a day to try and move on from their current reality.

Brian Smith 5:39
Yeah, I think that’s really important. That people, you see, sometimes people take on too much. And they just say, I’m gonna do all these things and make these big changes that are, first of all, they’re not sustainable. And secondly, they’re not achievable. And then we get frustrated, and we stop. So I like your approach of doing things that are that are small and sustainable. That you bring that into the work that you do. So you do coaching with people to help them make these changes.

Shelley F Knight 6:08
Yeah, so I don’t really like the word coach. And I said, I am a coach, but I prefer the word mentor. I think coach is quite harsh. And I’m not here to judge anyone I prefer, like sort of spiritual mentor, like just someone who has your back. And it is I sort of start with like a magic wand, because people, you know, they have that in a nickel that search like, is there more to life, this was good as it gets kind of thing. And I want them to sort of just start on one area, because you might hate your job, be unhappy with the relationship, not like your body, your plans are falling apart. And that’s just too much. So just I always say start with yourself, because I think Self Love is a huge thing very underrated. But yeah, sort of look at what area of your life needs to change. And if there are loads, just choose one. Because as you say, otherwise, we’re just going to get stuck and be ourselves up to being a failure. Not working out. Not going to try again. become our own worst enemy. So yeah, start small and one area of your life.

Brian Smith 7:04
Yeah, so yeah, absolutely agree with that approach, because we’re our own worst critics. Right? So if someone’s abusing someone, what’s what’s wrong with you? They’re gonna give you a list of 100 different things.

Shelley F Knight 7:15
Yeah, but what’s good about you? What do you love about yourself when it’s like? Well, I don’t you know, and it’s just small steps.

Brian Smith 7:23
And so how does this help and when people are dealing with grief, because I know you wrote a book called Good grief, the A to Z approach of modern day grief, healing. So how does that help? How does this approach help with that.

Shelley F Knight 7:38
So it’s still about creating positive changes. And I just want people to sit alone for 10 minutes a day, really, Brian, if I’m honest, I want an hour. But I just want people to sit with their grief. And just allow stuff to come up. Because I’ve seen time and time again, that people just push it down. And it doesn’t work, you know, the sticky plaster approach the band aid, it doesn’t work, you just need to dig out the wound and move on from it. So with grief, it is 10 minutes a day. And like in Good grief, the age set approach of modern day grief healing is like it’s made up of different parts, is what goes into live life stages die in death after death. After life, and it’s got a big section on communication, then the largest part is the A to Zed the tools. And in there, they’re just loads of tools you can do at home, and around your local community. Because not everyone’s for talking therapies, not everyone wants medication. And I just get really passionate that I think we forget, or we’ve never been told just how powerful and amazing we can be. And the tools are just to chip away at your brilliance that I think you know, we have grief, which is traumatic enough, but a lot of us come from, you know, a childhood or relationship or a job where I’ve been spoken down to, we don’t feel worthy of healing or worthy of being heard or, you know, worthy of anything sometimes. And so the tools you can start to do in your own home and some of them are spiritual because you know, I am a sucker for oracle cards and tarot cards, like in a candle grabbing a crystal, but it’s other things like journaling, yoga, because, again, it comes down to just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference while we’re just sitting there in your grief is saying in our family, like you only get what you’ve got. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you only get what you got. And other people used to visit and they sort of know to check on you up. But it’s true that if you keep doing what you’re doing, nothing’s really gonna change whereas 10 minutes a day, half an hour, one hour of trying something new will have a ripple effect.

Brian Smith 9:59
Yeah, So how would you define what is grief? What would you say that grief is?

Shelley F Knight 10:04
So, I’m a little bit feisty about this, Brian. Because I think people think that grief is death of a loved one, when actually, that’s bereavement. Grief is the loss of anything with which we have an emotional connection. So we would have all experienced grief in the pandemic. So it’s like loss of finances, jobs, health, dreams, plans, freedom, you know, a sense of security, a sense of control, when we lose something, that we have a connection with something it’s part of our daily life, that can trigger the grief process. So I suspect many of us, if not all of us, around the world, have had grief on some level in the last 18 months.

Brian Smith 10:45
Yeah, I think that’s really something that a lot of people don’t recognize that that we are, most of us, I’d say we’re in some sort of grief right now. Most of us experienced some loss of freedom, financial things, a lot of us experience a loss of a person, but the loss of a job the loss of a relationship. So when people sometimes hear about grief, they’ll say, Well, I’m not in grief, but because I haven’t lost anybody. So what are some signs and symptoms that people have when they’re going through grief so we can recognize that we’re in grief.

Shelley F Knight 11:18
They are so vast, it’s a little bit like people think grief is no death of a loved one. They think grief is like this emotional journey. And it’s mental health. But it’s more than that. It’s like really multifaceted. So it is like physical, your social behavior on spiritual to like physical. You might just think you’ve had a hard day at the office because you might have a headache or migraines or dizziness. You might have changes in skin, I get really sore skin when I’m sort of stressed and grieving. Things like sore throats, dry mouth ulcers. sensitive to noise, light, that’s nothing I’ve experienced. And then the heart I know, is a very emotional thing. Grief, like we said, but it is like the heart palpitations or just like a pain in your chest and things like that. So yeah, to meet grief is huge. And I think a lot of us, you know, just say, Oh, I’ve eaten something wrong. I didn’t agree with me. I think I’ve got no chest pain, or I’m just tired. We’re naturally These are all signs of grief. And the body, you know, the immune system has taken a knock. So yeah, there’s so many signs.

Brian Smith 12:23
Yeah. Well, that’s, that’s good for people to know. Because as we were saying earlier, sometimes people don’t recognize there’s they know there’s something off, but they might not realize during grief. So they might look at a book like yours and say, well, that’s not really going to apply to me because again, I’m not I’m not. I’m not in grief, but you could quite possibly be. So we’ve covered grief, and we’ve covered bereavement, bereavement, how would you define mourning?

Shelley F Knight 12:45
So mourning is more like when it’s stipulated by your religious beliefs. So like certain people and certain faiths believe they should mourn for a set amount of days. So someone like 100 days, some of the month and a day, someone’s 100 times a year. And that’s when your grief process kind of dictated to you

Brian Smith 13:06
in line with that religion. Okay, yeah.

Shelley F Knight 13:09
But I met a lady the other day, and I found this fascinating, because while we’re awfully English over here, and we try not to grieve, stiff upper lip, you know, chin up, be strong before it’s over here. But I’m a lovely lady the other day, and she was speaking about morning. And she absolutely loved it. Because she said, like, you know, English people, you sort of say things like, Well, you never get over it your life’s over. And she goes, but we just totally commit to how we feel in those 30 days. And we celebrate them, remember them, and then we carry on. And it’s really interesting about I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s more of an observation that you can kind of control your grief, you can put it into little compartment, or you can no spend the rest of your life trying to overcome it. But yeah, morning to me, I find fascinating.

Brian Smith 14:03
Yeah, and it’s interesting to have that that time. And there are cultures that have like a set time or at least a time when you’ve given you’ve been given permission to grieve, right? So you might wear different clothing or something. So people realize when you’re acting this way, it’s because you’re, you’re in bereavement or you’re in some sort of grief. So I think that is nice. You know, the I guess the flip side of that might be well, you’re passionate 30 days so let’s get over it on. And I How do you feel about grief is grief common? Like one size fits all? Just like is it the same for everybody?

Shelley F Knight 14:39
No, I always say that your grief is going to be unique as your fingerprint. Because how you grieve will be based on how you’ve seen your parents grieve how I’ve been told at school, all your life experiences up to that point, any loss you’ve had before it. And then if you’ve got sort of current health issues or mental health issues and things like that, then it’s your community, do you have a good support network? So it’s so diverse and how you grieve. But then there’s like 17 different types of grief as well. I mean, when I did my nursing degree, 20 years ago, there was three, you had like normal grief, absent grief, or delayed you have a cry in wasn’t or you would in the future, there was that was it. But now, I think this is before the pandemic, even, you know, medical world has changed, and we’re living longer, and we’re sort of treating more conditions, we’re always having clinical deaths, and on and on it goes. And so different types of grief, like anticipatory grief is a new grief. Because, you know, there’s still the physical presence, and they want to physically die, right. But you’re grieving that person, the way you remember them and things like that. So yeah, grief is huge. It’s huge, because we’re all different. And what’s causing the grief is unique as well.

Brian Smith 16:02
Yeah, like, would you touch on it? You know, it seems like our understanding of grief has really changed over the last maybe 100 years or so. And as you said, we’ve started breaking down different categories. And I know like the psychiatrist used the DSM, and they’ve kind of redefined grief. And, and people that are grief experts were there were used to be three types. And now they’re, you know, 17 types. And I was speaking with someone just a couple days ago, who knows that their child is going to pass and they know pretty much when they’re going to pass. And they were like, well, I but I’m not in grief yet. Because you know, she’s still here. And I said, Well, you actually are it’s, she said, It’s something called anticipatory grief, when we know that something is coming, we can still already start the grieving process before they’re even gone.

Shelley F Knight 16:53
Yeah, you do is you see it sort of like in dementia, or when you’ve got that diagnosis, like my own dad, I say, biological dad, because a lot of my grief work stemmed from my stepdad dying, but my biological dad, you know, got antasari great grief for him at the moment, because we know, you know, it’s got a limited life. And, yeah, and you sort of like grieve everything that’s gone before, like, you know, so we’ve missed out on many years together, my father and I. So it’s like everything that we’ve missed that we could have been doing, it’s the fact that the future is limited as well, but he’s still physically here, but you can get anticipatory grief, you know, through medical conditions, and some people even have it like, when their partner walk works away, back in service, you start to grieve that loss because that relationship has changed. So I think, again, it comes down to probably a lot of disagreement, but don’t recognize it.

Brian Smith 17:47
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And that’s why I like that expanded view of grief because I talked to a woman whose son had been estranged from the family, and she didn’t know whether he was alive or dead. And I’m like, from your perspective, just as if he’s dead, it’s the same thing you don’t know if you’re going to see him again, you don’t know when you’re going to see him again. And then there’s this added component that it’s his choice. So and that just kind of goes back to the point like you said, every grief is an individual’s our fingerprint, because we’re all different people. And we’re all in different circumstances. I did want to ask you, cuz I did talk to you. You mentioned earlier that you know, your family has the intuitive abilities, and your family talks about death and dying a lot. But a lot of times when people get into this work, there’s there’s like a triggering event or something that happens. That says, Okay, this is why I want to dedicate my life to this. Was there something like that in your life?

Shelley F Knight 18:43
Yeah, so even though I grew up with my family being very open about spirituality, you know, psychic, Granny Joe, and things like that. I never really used it. And it was only really when I started to experience loss, and probably just life in my own journey that I started to become more open to it. So even when I went into nursing, I went into health care, and didn’t realize actually, it wasn’t all about health. There was a lot of death in that health, Brian, and I wasn’t well prepared at all, no student nurse was and that’s why I love Good grief. It’s the book I wish I would have had as a student nurse. So I went into healthcare, and there was people dying, I worked in a very busy acute medical ward. And then I had the news. My beautiful stepdad died, but really suddenly, no goodbyes. So it’s probably my biggest life traumas losing him such a beautiful soul. And so then that was like the first positive change really, that was on a wall that I didn’t really love because I went into hematology and oncology. And it’s kind of a strange reason. It was kind of like my own grief healing, but I wanted to know what it was like when you do have that time to say gigabyte lender live, what would I have done differently with that and things like that. And I loved it, I truly loved it. But then the last continued, like my grandfather died, my grandmother died my own infertility, we lost many children. And with each loss, I just became more spiritually aware to the point like fast forward a decade, and it was very hard to nurse having felt and witnessed so much spirituality around like, death, to be honest, it wasn’t that sort of Western medicine woman, you know, we sort of give you this treatment, but that and that’s a sort of no drop the secretions this once or do your pain. To me, I started to see a change in the room would be softer, like the walls, temperature changes, colors, and body would look different. And so many spiritual differences, not just the clinical decisions I had. And that’s what happened really, though, as I experienced my own grief in work, and personally, I realize we’re more than the physical body. And it’s quite hard to nurse with that mindset. Or for me, it was,

Brian Smith 21:07
yeah, yes. So that we started working in palliative care at that pointer.

Shelley F Knight 21:14
So sadly, as a chemotherapy nurse, you know, we do a lot of active treatment, but sometimes, you know, we don’t respond to the treatment, or we caught the cancer too late. And so that’s how I ended up doing my end of life and learn about palliative care. And it is them but you can see in acute medicine, I just started to see like these bodies, like we’d all be standing around morning. But the body looked different. I just knew the soul had gone like self protection, I don’t believe it’s there. While we’re crying by the bedside, I think they’ve already gone, you know, you’d have nonverbal patients talking to people that have already passed, that’s going to allow me to go now you know, it, it just can’t put it into that, you know, nursing degree.

Brian Smith 21:59
Yeah, so as as an intuitive did you experience anything when people were transitioning anything? Like, you know, seeing the soul leave? Or, or having communication with someone who was non communicative? Yeah,

Shelley F Knight 22:14
so that happens a lot, my own grandmother and patients time and time again, they would just say it’s all right, or Okay, or hello or ongoing. Now, energy wise around the chest area, there would always be like a mist or like an aura. And they just felt like some it was going up towards the head and leaving. There is a really lovely tradition here in the UK, for nurses, political and spiritual like that when a patient dies, we open the window a little to let the Spirit out on its journey. But that’s about as clinical and spiritual as it is. We agree really. But yeah, I become aware of like mist around the body, the skin always looks smoother to me. The eyes kind of look empty. I really believe that we do. You know, leave before you know the families there.

Brian Smith 23:03
Yeah, yeah. So um, you’re kind of talking about the tension, I think, between the clinical and the spiritual. And so for you, it sounds like you just decided you needed to move into more of the spiritual. So I know. And as a former nurse, people probably expect you to be more, you know, clinical. And, you know, spirituality is a big part of what I do in my grief. Or in fact, that’s, that is 90% of what I do in my grief work is, is convincing people that this is not the only life we have. So do you. Have you experienced pushback on that? Or how are people how do people react to you being so spiritual in your in your approach?

Shelley F Knight 23:45
I think they find me fascinating, but I don’t think they always believe me, Brian. I was recently away on a retreat just before Good grief came out a few days off. And I was speaking to like this lady, and she was just like, you know, open mouth and starstruck because she says, I find you fascinating. But that was that kind of that’s fascinating story. But yeah, I think she just went back to her daily job. I just don’t think people believe it. But I’m nearly 50 So you know, if I doubted it’s like once spirit new universal throw it back at me until I got the lesson. So, you know, at the end of the day, you know, if you believe in anything, believe in yourself, and I totally believe you know that we come down here to learn lessons then we can go back at the end we just keep learning and learning and learning. And that brings me comfort that’s what I wanted to get across in good grief that you know, try all the tools just find what brings you comfort, what resonates with you what doesn’t resonate with you, but just do something and sit in your grief.

Brian Smith 24:45
Yeah, and yet the thing is, I tried to tell people you know, you could try on different stories. You know, you can you can try on different things that you want to tell yourself so, if you want to believe that we are just biological accidents that’s happened appear on this planet that you were born one day you die one day and that you cease to exist. That’s a story that you can tell yourself and you can find evidence to support that. Now, how does that make you feel? And how does it? How does it give? Does that give you any purpose in your life? Does it give you joy in your life, and I’m not here to tell you whether it should or not. Or you could try on this other thing that says, I am a spiritual being that came here to have experiences. And when I when my body dies, I go on and and therefore I find some sense of purpose in that. You can you can try that on. And so, you know, it’s funny, because I will get people that have listened to my podcast, and then they’ll they’ll call me up for a consultation, they’ll say, Do you really believe that we know that we really live on? Do you really believe that? Like, my, this is my daughter behind me? Who passed away six years ago? Do you really believe you know, and I’m like, Yeah, I really do. That’s why That’s why I do what I do. But I’m also like yourself, my background is science. I’m my background is chemical engineering. And so I’ve I’ve studied this, and I’m like, if you studied the evidence, you would believe it, too. And that’s, that’s what I’m here to do with people. I know. That’s what you’re trying to do with people is share this, you know, bigger picture of who we are.

Shelley F Knight 26:12
Yeah, I love the fact you’ve got science background, there’s we’re seeing more and more of it, aren’t we? Is it like even Alexander, and welcome you to the past life and things like that. And I love it when, you know, you can put science and spirituality together?

Brian Smith 26:27
Well, you know, a lot of people, and again, being a scientist, I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that materialism equates to science and it doesn’t. And you know, some of the guys some of our most famous scientists, Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Heisenberg, all these guys believed in something beyond just the body. And they all believe that they’re that we are they are, we are spirit. And these are some of our greatest scientific minds we’ve ever had. And it wasn’t just that they made it up. I mean, they looked around and they saw evidence for it. So it’s really been something where humans have lost over the last 100 200 years that we’ve fallen into this materialism which, you know, people like yourself, are helping people to understand this. This is just not true.

Shelley F Knight 27:16
Yeah, and I think, you know, we need to find something to believe in. I had this conversation with my son just now at dinner. Because they were talking about religious education at school is that what I don’t believe in God? And I was like, well, that’s okay. But what do you believe in me? You know, and he is that isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be Saint like was talking about morning when it no particular religion, but you do have to believe in something whether it starts with yourself believing yourself, your local community, volunteering, afterlife, you know, whatever you believe in, but I think in life, it’s always, you know, just comforting. To have that purpose. That belief. You know, the reason you get out of bed every morning, we all need.

Brian Smith 27:58
Yeah, it’s interesting. My daughter’s she’s 24. And we just had this conversation a couple of days ago, because she’s, she says she’s an atheist. And I’m like, so what does that mean to you? You know, but she believes she she has spiritual beliefs. She believes that we still go on after we after we pass. So we we have to really be talked to people like you did with your son and say, What is what does that mean to you? Because I don’t believe in the guy that a lot of people believe in either. But I believe there’s too much evidence to to go to the extreme. I call it throwing the baby out with the bathwater. People will read the Bible and say, Well, this guy doesn’t exist. Therefore, no, God exists. Therefore, there’s no spirituality, there’s no soul. There’s no higher be. I’m just this body. And that’s, that’s an extreme point of view. That’s, I think it’s faulty.

Shelley F Knight 28:46
Yeah, no, I think my younger self would just think I’m just this body. But then my older 47 year old self thinks I am this body, I chose it in the life between life, you know, goes far beyond my teenage ideas.

Brian Smith 29:01
Yeah, well, it’s for me, it’s been an evolving thing. And I think, you know, we need to encourage young people and older people to keep exploring, you know, because we’re so much more is being revealed to us. You know, in terms of even our scientists, like you mentioned, Eben Alexander, which I was so grateful that he came out as a neuro neuro surgeon, who was a strict materialist, who said, This is impossible. It’s an artifact of the brain. And now I see him, you know, all over the place going, No, no, I was, I was wrong. And we need people like that out there. And again, people like yourself who get that clinical background, who have the experience, you know, with with the people that are transitioning, to say no, but you know, it’s not what, as it appears on the surface,

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Shelley F Knight 30:44
Yeah, and I think, obviously, it’s a comfort to us to have this belief in here like the science, you know, telling us that it’s more, but I think it’s reassuring for the dying as well, you know that? It’s not final for them either. You know, so I think everyone just needs I think everyone’s so scared of living, which is why we’ve become so scared of dying is what I’ve observed. People always got this fear of failure and making a change is no wonder we fear death as much because we’re even fearful in life. And I’d loved for that to be a huge shift in the world. I really would.

Brian Smith 31:17
Yeah, so in terms of dying, is there any such thing as a as a good death?

Shelley F Knight 31:24
Yeah, I think so. I think one of the key things if you’ve had a good life, so you’ve like lived that adventure, got all of those, you know, bucket list things out and felt loved given love, I think you know, had a good life, then you can have a good death because you don’t die with all those regrets within you. Because I terrify my husband, Brian, if I’m honest, because I, you know, wanted to publish your book, I want you to large family, I want to travel the world, you know, all these kinds of things. And I’ve done it Oh, and I think people have heard me speak before or know that my last pregnancy was very traumatic. And I had like a semi colon moment and wanting to take my own life. And, you know, I’ve got through it, my daughter’s now seven. And it was another big huge spiritual thing for me as well. But because I’ve come through so much, I, you know, obviously I don’t want to die tomorrow, but I don’t have a fear of it either. Because I’ve had such a good life. Quite difficult, hence all the wrinkles. But that aside, you know, it’s kind of been a blast as well. And so I think it can have a good death. If you’ve had a good life. And then you know, even if you haven’t had a lovely life, you know, again, those medical advancements over 100 years, we can make, you know, death dignified as well, for those who might still have things they want you to do. Sadly, that is often the case we don’t live fully. But I think you can have a good death. You know, if you’re not in sudden death always like my dad, I don’t what his dying wishes were because we never knew. But I think you know, are you sort of like, you know, reconnected with the family, what your papers in order, you know, and had a dignified death. Within line with your wishes. I think we can have them. Yes,

Brian Smith 33:11
yes, yes, I agree. And, you know, when you’re saying that, you know, you’ve had a good life, and you kind of scare your husband, you know, we’re very shy about talking about death, you know, in general. And if you say, I’m not fearful of death, or, like, I know several people because I’m part of an organization called helping parents heal. And so it’s all parents whose children have transitioned, and you’ll hear a lot of us say, I’m looking forward to death. And people go, Oh, that’s bad. That’s terrible. You should never look forward to death, because death is something to be avoided at all costs. And it’s scary. And the more that you the more that I study it, the more the fear goes away. And the more I hear people tell about their near death experiences. And I talked to intuitives who can speak with people on the other side and everything I’m like, I know. There’s nothing to fear, it’s, it’s, it’s natural. It’s built into our biology, you know, again, being a nurse, you know, this body is not designed to live forever. And there’s a reason for that. So what’s what’s the reason for it? Because this is not where we’re supposed to be. This is not our home. So saying these things for people can be shocking, you know, even to even to our loved ones sometimes.

Shelley F Knight 34:24
Yeah, but I just want to be really honest with him. I mean, I don’t know. To me, it’s really simple. It might go back for like my upbringing or my nursing degree or having lost so much I don’t know. But for me, it sounds really McCobb now I’ve thought in my head but you know, death is already certainty in life. And I think we’re just kidding ourselves thinking it’s not going to happen to me if we don’t talk about it. You know, it doesn’t come any sooner than talking about it, but it makes it easier. When it comes if you have spoken about it. I just don’t. I people don’t talk about I talk about my Kids, you know, we’re really open, probably to open actually, because our teenager went for a sleepover. And obviously, the siblings couldn’t see him. And they said, Oh, is he gone? Do we just make another one? Now? What? No, he’s literally on a sleepover. To open, you know, when when someone’s out of sight, I think they’re dead? And do we just replace them? Yeah. So maybe I’ve gone to the other extreme, but I just think we shouldn’t fear it. Because it’s like, anything is new. Like, you know, if you want to be a certain job role, if you don’t go for it, you’re always going to fear it. I think when we face our fears, they no longer have fears, they’re just thoughts that you’ve told yourself, which have come a belief. So, you know, just tap into it.

Brian Smith 35:45
Well, I can say, as someone who suffered from from that a phobia for most of my life, you know, fearing death, that the only thing that got me over that was facing it. And as you said, and people don’t like to hear it, but it’s an absolute fact. You know, there’s, we have a saying, at least in the US, the only thing certain in life are death and taxes. But the only thing certain in life is death. And the only thing that once you’re born, it’s it’s certain you’re going to die. So it’s just a matter of where and when. But you know, you were right. I know, I put up buying life insurance for a long time, because we think it’s a jinx. If I if I buy life insurance, I’m going to die or people don’t want to work on their wills, you know, I know people that are in their 40s and 50s, that haven’t done a will yet because they don’t want to think about death, because it’s this vast, unknown. But it’s like, it’s like driving at a wall at 100 miles an hour with no brakes, you’re going to hit the wall at some point. So but it’s not bad. I mean, that’s the thing. That’s the thing that’s so fascinating for me is once I started studying it, everything I’ve found has been good. I mean, everything I’ve found about about what we call death has just been it’s just a transition. So I encourage people lean into it, you know, if you have a fear of death, don’t try to avoid it, because that’s not going to happen. Just really dig into it.

Shelley F Knight 37:03
Yeah, and I think, no, I’d absolutely love to do that. But I’ve been really blessed because my was a chemotherapy nurse for many years. And so I get to see people when they’re diagnosed with cancer. And when you face your own mortality with a life changing diagnosis, you have, well, I suppose you do have a choice, but not many people choose not to think about their own mortality. So some people might think, Oh, I give up but very few. I honestly don’t know who in my entire nursing career, most people are facing your own mortality. Because you think you’re bumbling along and you’re never going to die. And you’ve got told you’ve got this cancer. You know, that’s facing your own mortality, you know, life just got real. And you have to really look at your life. And I think the pandemic’s on that, if I’m honest, you know, that we’ve really, you know, if we lost jobs, so I hate that job anyway. Or, you know, anything, when you face your own mortality, or start to lose things which you thought were given, that’s when you can lean into that sort of death. Just think actually, what do I want from life? Because you know, the life lessons I learned from the dying I still apply to my life now I’ve been really privileged in my career, when they face their own mortality or their end of life or through the cancer Yes, so simple how to live your life. But we don’t we live in fear of life and actually, it’s really simple. It just comes down to a few things that matter and it’s not money.

Brian Smith 38:29
So what are some of those lessons you’ve learned?

Shelley F Knight 38:33
The first one which I always found quite sad is used to say just be happier you know, if we achieve things we don’t celebrate them we just play it down to someone else to having a bad day. You know, just allow yourself to be happier. And I thought it’s a given but apparently it’s not you know, loads of different generations has married a girl they thought they should because she got pregnant or she was a nice girl. That’s not they wanted but you know, allow yourself to be happier. Another one similar to what we seen earlier about belief was dislike connect to something bigger than yourself. You know, absolutely love yourself. But no, you’re more than that. So whether that’s local community, you know, research in the afterlife, always connect with st bigger than yourself. Which is lovely, because then you know, you know, that you’re part of the universe your star Das, which I think is beautiful. Speak your truth was a real poignant one for me. I’ve nursed men and women, but I must say a lot of men with esophageal cancer slide around the voicebox. And that, and they used to say about speak your truth. And there was one patient if you ask a nurse, we always remember one patient. And mine was this gentleman with a song with your cancer, whose whole life again hadn’t been happy as he could be. And never spoke out of line. He had like a nagging wife or dominant father, you know, he just had all these Before was just silence. And he was allowed, you know that you’d never used his voice and he was about to lose his voice. And he said, like, just always speak your truth. And it might not be the ultimate truth, but it’s your truth and you’re valid. And that sticks with major. I mean, that must have been 20 years ago, but you know, yeah, speak your truth. Simple things like do more of what you love. And sadly, I don’t know if we do know what makes us happy and what we love, but they always said, do more of it. And similarly to the others, it was sort of like live your life and I thought you are this, like we’ve been slightly don’t really live your life, you just Bumble along and then you might get a diagnosis or someone might die, or here we are, you might get a pandemic, you didn’t see it coming in. And then when you face your own mortality or things, you know, you hit rock bottom, and your rug is pulled from beneath you. That’s when you start to live your life, you start to rebuild, you know, you get the job you want the qualifications you want, you have no money. So you start small, by creating my with things you’re passionate about. So they’re all very similar, but just be happier connections, speak your truth, do more what you love and things like that, which isn’t rocket science. But I think we’re so fearful of failure that we don’t, you know, allow ourselves to be happier, go for that job, that man, that car, whatever it is you want. So yeah, simple, but they’ve stayed with me.

Brian Smith 41:26
Those are really important lessons. And they are simple. And the thing is, I’ve heard people say this, you know, the illness that I got was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it really caused me to reevaluate. And this pandemic is an illness for all of us. And it’s interesting to see how people are right now, here in the US, we’re having trouble finding people to fill certain jobs, because a lot people said, I’m just not going back to that job. I hated it. It didn’t pay enough money anyway, you know, I’ve been living this life that I don’t want to live. And I’ve realized because of looking at my mortality, and realizing that I’ve got other options, I’ve just, I’m not going back. And it’s really kind of thrown the whole system, a monkey wrench, as we call it. And the whole system, people are like, what are we going to do when people don’t want to work at these these terrible jobs. But people are realizing Life is short. And almost all of us now know someone who’s lost her life do this to the pandemic, and a lot of them young, healthy people that we thought were gonna live, you know, for forever.

Shelley F Knight 42:31
Yeah, and I think that’s key what you said there, that, you know, we have this saying here in the UK, that when people die in their old, like my grandparents, people say things, or at least they had a good innings, which means they’ve had a good life, or so it’s assumed that because they’ve had many years, but you know, the pandemic showed us that actually, even teenagers have had to face their own mortality, something they might not have done. And we’ve been bumping along on that sort of not truly living our life. So it’s been a real wake up call. I know a lot of people say it’s been a global spiritual awakening. But we don’t always get to look at our own mortality into our health taken from us. And I think, you know, as you said, so many people walked away from jobs they didn’t want to do. But were there done that without the pandemic? Probably not.

Brian Smith 43:15
Right. Well, and the thing is, the reason why I asked you earlier if there was a grief event that triggered you on this journey is almost everyone I’ve interviewed is doing this type of work. There’s there’s something or some things that kind of like, bumped him off of the path they were on onto the path they’re on now. It’s like, I think human beings almost kind of need that wake up call. If we talked earlier, we come here with a lesson and a plan and certain things but we get so caught up in the game that we’re playing, that we forget, we’re just playing a game, and we need something to kind of remind us.

Shelley F Knight 43:49
Yeah, so my was the trigger was my beautiful stepdad died. And then my grandparents, my husband, I have no grandparents, like, we’re only in our 40s. But we have no grandparents. But it was my infertility loss and infertility, like I was pregnant and have miscarriages. And it is one of those sort of disfranchise Greece because no one knows why you’re grieving. But you said it right. If you’re a morning you were black, but as people don’t really know you were pregnant. No one really knows why. You know, they just think you’re a miserable cow on dates next to her in the office kind of thing. But it was again from that hitting rock bottom from you know, in a nutshell, it’s quite a long story in itself. But basically my last pregnancy I was pregnant with triplets. And then I lost and it was twins and a lost and now we’ve got seven year old Daisy, who’s amazing, but she didn’t really break me dry and she didn’t really break me. Yeah, and it is from that. So basically, we’ve had many losses. We’ve had seven miscarriages, many of them multiple. And when we had our 20 week scan, we was told that his baby wasn’t going to last beyond 28 weeks of gestation. And they told us to terminate we’re doing it now. But having had So many pregnancy losses, I was like absolutely no way because my success rate isn’t very successful. And I’m probably going to lose her anyway. So clinically, they gave up on us. And so I didn’t have anything else to go on. But I’d had a vision for 18 months, two years absolute clear vision, the tiny, dark haired baby girl to come. You know, we had these blonde children, but had this dark haired girl to come. And so clinically was told to terminate, that was never going to be a choice of mine. And so I just went all in spiritually, I’d have a spiritual vision for 18 months, two years, like weekly then getting more and more frequently. And so I went all on in and every day I would do like an affirmation teller she was well work with color. With every single book miracles you could ever imagine. I had Reiki every two weeks. Somebody did psychic surgery on me. I called in mediums, daily walk Mother Nature, absolutely everything. And she’s seven now. And so, you know, clinically, she had one in 80,000 chance of making it. Wow, maybe less. But yeah, I mean, I just read so many books, never thought she was ill coding guides, everything. And it worked for me. And that’s why I get so passionate. Now, if you’re sitting there and you’ve had loss in your life, whether that’s death of a loved one and miscarriage, job, direction, confidence, you know, just try a spiritual tool each and every day. Yeah, because at the end of the day, no matter what the outcome is what it was like, for me my daisy journey, no matter what the outcome, I knew I would have tried, I didn’t want to die with those life lessons in which I learned, you know. And just always try because you’re never going to know. But just don’t sit there and your grips. I nearly broke me. But that’s how I went very strongly then from the clinical to the spiritual, because clinically, they didn’t believe in me. And as I said, you always have to believe in something. So I believed in myself.

Brian Smith 47:06
Yeah. And, and you know, again, as a rational, skeptical kind of person. The more I talk people, the more I realize that the miracles happen. There was a woman you were telling remind me of a story of a woman I interviewed who had this vision that she was going to die in childbirth, and she kept telling everybody, she was gonna die in childbirth, like over and over. And of course, people weren’t listening to her. You’re having visions, you’re having dreams, you’re just hysterical because you’re pregnant. And she ended up having an indeed, during childbirth, she died, and they were able to bring her back, but only because she insisted on telling them over and over again. So the anesthesiologist last moment, brought in like an extra crash cart if it hadn’t been there, she would not have come back. But she kept listening to that spirit that was telling her this is what you need to do. And yeah, I hear a story like this. And it’s funny, I was talking to me the other day, and they said, you’re gonna think I’m crazy. I’m like, No, not at all. Because I listen, I love about what I do. I get to talk to people like this all the time. And I’m, I’m like, I’m here to tell you this this to God thing happens. And, you know, Miracle children, like Daisy do come about because you insisted on following your spiritual, you know, intuition.

Shelley F Knight 48:19
Yeah, I still do. I mean, nowhere on the level of days, I think I’m hoping that was my biggest lesson in this life. But in November 2019, I’ve been an RN for about a year really about giving up nursing because happy to real realization, I was a bit kooky to the average nurse. And it was a year on after positive changes itself keep book came out. And I’d always had this people that have a spiritual career. But in November 2019, it was so strong literally, like get out kind of thing by this boy, they were kind of shouting at me spirit. Well, I thought I was just that leap of faith, which I do quite often to scare my husband leap of faith and just going to have a go. So I left nurse in this real strong sense. And then, you know, January, February, we started to hear about this Coronavirus. And here we are, and I’m so glad I left. I mean, absolutely love and gratitude to those that still lay on the front line. But again, it was listen to my intuition. I thought why now, you know, I’ve been debating for about a year about getting out and it was so strong, and I listened to it got out and thank goodness I did for me personally.

Brian Smith 49:27
Yeah, it’s important, I think to listen that. I do want to ask you though, because I’ve talked to several nurses, and this is a stereotype but it seems to play out to be kind of true, where nurses will believe a lot of times in the spiritual. It’s the doctors who don’t and I don’t know if it’s because the training or the doctors aren’t there as often. But a lot of time nurses are the last ones there when a person is actually transitioning and they see and hear things that other people don’t. So do you find there’s still pushback against that in the UK that against the spiritual

Shelley F Knight 49:59
Yeah, and it’s been there for absolute decades. And it wasn’t even acceptable. The name used to be that it’s like the nurses know, but now it is called, like the nurses intuition. And I remember I was newly qualified and you might be quite quiet. That was before I learned the lesson of speak your truth, I was already doing it. And remember, this doctor had started a patient on a new type of intravenous antibiotics. And I was like, Yeah, I think we should call the family and he was like, No, absolutely not. We’re changing the treatment. Absolutely not. I’m a bit feisty. So I called the mean, and they traveled from overseas. And she did she she died. I mean, they got there in time. But she, they were in UK, they flew from Germany. And it’s just like, it’s just that intuition that doctors will never have it, because they’re very western medicine. You know, I mean, now it’s getting a bit soft. And we do maybe they might mention hypnotherapy for anxiety before surgery. And, you know, if you’ve got cancer, they didn’t have these like, holistic therapy units attached to them here. Now we can get sort of, I don’t think get Reiki but you can get massage in that. But still, the amount of times I absolutely defied these very strong personality doctors to call him family and I was never wrong. Maybe I was just a jinx, Brian, but no, I like to think it’s my intuition.

Brian Smith 51:21
Oh, yeah. And again, I know, at least here most of the nurses are women and women do tend to follow their intuition more. I don’t know what the reasons are. But it does seem like nurses generally believe more than than the doctors, at least to hear. And so it’s good to hear someone who’s who follows her intuition. And it’s really good for people to hear this, you know, because, again, I think especially in the West, we’re like, we have to be rational and everything. So you, you say you’re gonna do something people ask you what, what are your reasons for doing that? And what are your odds of success, and I find the people that tend to be most successful, if you want to call it you know, I use that with air quotes. But the people tend to be happiest or people do learn to follow their intuition. And they’ll just say, I’m doing this because I feel like it’s the right thing to do. And so many times, it turns out to be the right thing. So someone like your, your story can help reinforce our own belief in our own intuition.

Shelley F Knight 52:18
Yeah, I honestly believe in it. I just think like, is this inbuilt Sat Nav tells you where to go, you know? Now, if you’re walking out a night, there’s a dark alley, and your intuition says don’t go down there and really don’t go down there. Don’t think I’m going to walk a little bit taller, you know, got this amazing safety mechanism within us. Why wouldn’t we use it?

Brian Smith 52:39
Well, you know, the thing that would you say, it reminded me we do have we talked about five senses. But I’ve actually heard biologists say we have more like 17 senses, we’ve got we’ve got all these different senses, like sense of balance sense of where we are, you know, spatially stuff like that. And I believe we have we will call intuitive senses. And, again, this has been studied, people have taken in the lab, and people have pre cognition, they can, they’ll show them images, and they can react to the image before they actually see it, or something called Remote remote viewing has been studied, where people can draw a place that they’ve never been, and this is not, quote, woowoo stuff. It’s the stuff that’s been studied. So we do seem to have a sense, sometimes a little bit of what’s upcoming, we’ve all been sitting there and we’ll think of somebody and then the phone will ring. And we’ll say, you know, I was just thinking about you. And we we write that off as coincidence. But again, this has been, it’s not it’s not coincidence. So I love what you’re putting out there for people to say, you know, start to trust your own intuition a little bit. I’ve heard people, even with exercises, develop your intuition. I remember one guy was saying, like, if you’re in a office building, there’s a bank of elevators, see if you can figure out which one’s going to open first. So we can exercise that just by playing little games with ourselves.

Shelley F Knight 53:54
Yeah, I love that. Again, that is so quick. Don’t make it busier. So can do that in their daily routine?

Brian Smith 54:02
Yeah, absolutely. Well, shall we, um, I want to tell people where they can reach you. What I want to remind them what your books are. This will be in the show notes but like to have it in the audio just in case people are listening whether driving or walking or something.

Shelley F Knight 54:17
Yeah, so I’ve got a website which is Shelley F And over there you can find the books and the podcast newsletter. Any articles I’ve written and then Good grief, the age set approach one day grief eating is kind of everywhere. It seems. Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble online retailers that’s out now.

Brian Smith 54:39
Yeah, awesome. Well, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you, thanks for being on grief to growth. Any any last thoughts before we leave, you’d like to leave with the listeners?

Shelley F Knight 54:48
No, other than just, you know, maybe after this show or when you’ve done the school run, you know, just tap out 10 minutes every day just to sit, you know, get to know yourself a bit better. allow whatever it is to come up

Brian Smith 55:02
like that. Thanks. Have a great rest of your day. Thank you Take care, Brian. That’s it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you got something out of it. Please stay in contact with me by reaching out at www dot grief to That’s grief the number two or you can text the word growth to 31996 That’s simply text growth gr o WT H 231996. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, please make sure you’re subscribed. So hit the subscribe button and then hit the little bell here and it’ll notify you when I have new content. Always please share the information if you enjoy it. That helps me to get more views and to get the message out to more people. Thanks a lot and have a wonderful day.

Transcribed by

In Part 3 of our conversation, I ask Alba questions to fill in some of the details of her experience. We learn what the accident is that caused Aurelia’s passing. We learn more details about her dreams that predicted the event. And, we learn where Alba is today, after having had the experience.

Alba Monn is an author and a mother who had a fascinating experience with the birth of one of her children, Aurelia. Alba had a near-death experience that changed her life. It was, in actuality, a shared death experience, as you will learn when you hear her story. I’ve broken this very special episode into three parts. In parts 1 and 2, I get out of the way and let Alba tell her story as she recalls it. It might be a bit confusing in parts because the story doesn’t begin on the night her daughter was delivered in an emergency situation, it begins years earlier.

In part 3, I ask Alba to go into more detail and we discuss the lessons from her absolutely amazing experience. In her experience, Alba learned:

  • Forgiveness is absolutely essential for our soul’s well-being
  • Souls have no age
  • Humans are all flawed equally and differently,
  • A life can have profound meaning no matter how short the time here on Earth
  • Something prepares us for the tough lessons we’re about to encounter if we pay attention
  • Tragedy is less of a punishment and more of an opportunity

Her book tells the story about healing after the loss of her child, PROOF OF ETERNITY by Alba Monn. It is intended to give hope to everyone who has lost a loved one, especially their own child. It’s available on Amazon as an ebook.



Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

This is part three of my interview with Alba Mon. And as you found out if you listen to parts one and two, and if you haven’t, I suggest you do. Alba had an incredible experience a shared death experience with her daughter or William, who taught her a lot about life in a very short amount of time. So in this part, what we tried to do is go back and fill in some of the things that you might have questions from on the first two parts and also to explain a little bit more about the dreams that Alba had. And I got to ask her some some more detailed questions as we got into this third part. So hope you enjoy.

Okay. Hey, everybody, this is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth. And the day I’ve got a follow up interview with Alba mine. And I want you to go back and listen to the interview I did with her recently, where she talked about her joint near death experience or shared death experience with her daughter, Amelia, who died during childbirth. And it was a really amazing experience. Aba had some some precognitive dreams where she knew this was going to happen or had dreams that that kind of envisioned it beforehand and learned some really valuable lessons in her in her nd and her in the he was so detailed and so rich that we actually ran out of time. So I’m having her back today to tell me a little bit more about the premonition shed and fill in some of the gaps that so make sure you go back and listen to that. And I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. But with that, I want to welcome back again to grief to growth album on.

Alba Monn 2:21
Hello, everyone. Brian, thank you for having me. Yeah, I’m happy to talk about Yeah, yeah. Thanks for being back. And as I was saying in the intro, your your experience was so rich, we were so I was so in wrapped and so fast that listening to I didn’t get a chance to ask you many questions. But you want to fill in some gaps about some of the preeminent some of the pre cognitive dreams, you had some of the premonitions you had. And then I’m going to ask you some more questions just to fill in some of the gaps.

Yeah, well, I described three of my premonition dreams in my book, proof of eternity. But actually it started at around the age of 12 years, when I was swimming with a friend during summertime. And she and I were talking about what ideas we had for our future. And she mentioned that she would like to have children when she was old enough to have them. And she asked me what I thought about that if I wanted to have children later on. And I said yes, but definitely not, you know, a single child should, I would like to have two or three. And for some reason, I had this distinct feeling that one of my children would die at some point. And it was such a strange thought and such a weird feeling of being absolutely sure about that was going to happen in my life at some point in the future, that

at the age of 12, I just decided I must find a solution for this problem. And my first solution was, well, I would try to try to get around that. And I had this idea, well, I wouldn’t have any children. So I wouldn’t have to, you know, get in trouble with this whole topic. And I would just put it aside and live my life without any of those problems. And the second thought that I had was, well if I decided to have children, then I would definitely not have just one because with this strange feeling that one of my children would be dying while I was still alive. I didn’t want to run this risk of just having a horrible experience with just one child. So I decided that would be kind of a you know, emergency situation I would just met try to make sure it wouldn’t be that bad. But I thought I forgot about it. Pretty soon. I didn’t think about it that much. And it was just a very strange, you know, feeling and I actually wasn’t a interested in that at all? When I was 17, I did a lot of paintings and one of the paintings, I decided I want to make a painting about my life like about my future life. And I didn’t plan anything about it, I just put some colors together and out of nothing. I painted different people standing at one side of this picture, and it was sure that they had distinct features. So I had this feeling that they were real people, but I had no idea who it was. And there were two of them at one side, and then there was a little gap. And then there were the ones on the other side. And I had no idea why there was a gap between them. But I found this painting after my daughter had died, and it was a real shock to me to find it, because I could see the personal features of all of my children that were alive. At that time, I saw that, you know, just, I could recognize all of my children on this picture. And I even saw that there was this little gap between my second and my fourth child where my third child should spend where we’re already or should stand, and there was no nothing. So there was a little place for her a space left, so that she wasn’t forgotten, but she wasn’t among my children that were alive. And this was really, yeah. It shattered me to see that, that I had had some foresight at the age of 17, without any idea what it actually meant. And I remember that one of my friends asked me who these people were that according this painting, and I said, I have no idea. And I think it’s, you know, nice people, I had this impression that it was holy people that were praying for me, that was my impression at the time, I had no idea why they would pray for me, or you know, what they would pray for. I just knew that they meant well for me, and that they were nice people. And I was glad to have them on this picture about my life. But I had no idea that this would be my children. So this was very remarkable at the age of 17. And at the beginning, at around 20, I had another premonition, but it was the flashback, I saw the the line of my life. And it looked a little bit like

DNA, it was twisted and turned, but it was kind of aligned that was in motion. And there were three red dots, big red dots on the three different spots on my line of life. And I realized that, you know, we’re rare I’ve had already a child born at the time. So my first child was one of those dots. And I saw two other dots in the future. And I realized that this meant that I would have three children. And I saw at what age they they would be born, which seems strange at the time, because there was no logic behind it. And I asked myself why I would, you know, have them born in this pattern, it seemed kind of strange. But it later on, I realized that this is exactly the years that they were born, I just saw them in, in the right place at the right age, in my life. And I knew that out of these three children, there was one son. And I had a son already at that time, I knew that one of them was a son, and one of them was a daughter, but I couldn’t tell anything about the third one. And I knew that two of them in the future when they were grown up, I knew in what direction they would, you know, go go to work and live later on. So I had this idea that one of them was in the west of where I’m living, and one of them was going to study a little bit of the east side of of where I was at, but about the third child, I couldn’t tell anything. And I was trying to grasp, where is this child? You know, where is it going to live at that time when the others are already out of our household and already grown up and studying somewhere else. And I couldn’t even tell if it was a boy or a girl. I I didn’t know anything about this third child. And I realized that this meant that this child is the one who is going to die and I had no idea which one of those three It would Yeah, you know, it would be. So it actually was a pretty stressful situation for me to be confronted with this kind of facts and not being able to, to put it in a timeframe or put it in an illogical mind mindset. If it was my first child, my second or my third, this, this was a little bit stressful for me at the time. But I didn’t think much about it anymore. I had a lot to do at that time, I was still studying. So there was a lot on my mind. And I didn’t really think about it for a long time, I’ve just forgot about it. And the year after that, or maybe the second year after that, about eight years before, really, I would be born and dead. I had this very strange dream that shook me to my core. I, I remember, I woke up in the morning, and I had this idea that this was such an outstanding dream of such importance that I have to make sure that I don’t forget any little detail about it. And so I went downstairs, and I wrote it down on a piece of paper, and actually was several pieces of paper because it was a long dream. But I realized that it had a meaning for the future for my life. But I couldn’t understand anything because I couldn’t relate it to my life at that point. But I knew it would be very important in the future. And I would want to get back to it. And this dream was when I found it already after or really had been born. When I founded it, this was the most revealing thing that ever happened to me except for my near death experience. Because looking back from that point in my future, I understood every little detail that was in the stream. It showed me the emergency operation. It showed me the grief, it showed me the recovery from the grief, the physical recovery from the grief, that emotional recovery from the grief, the philosophical recovery from the grief. And it told me, for instance, it was so specific, it was mind blowing. At the time, when I found it, I was

at the one hand, I was relieved because I realized that this meant that all of it was already planned in a way that was so specific, that it was appalling to me at the time when I found it. And there was two angels in it. One Angel was mentioned during my pregnancy. So before she already was born, there was already an angel touching my belly, it said, and the explanation was right in the next slide saying that this angel was trying to warn me and to console me both at the same time. And when I read that, it was so emotional, everything meant a connection to reality. And this was unbelievable to read it. And there was another angel at the end of the dream that healed me. And again, it was such a unbelievable, unbelievable thing to hear or read that there was at the beginning of the dream, a wound in my belly, like the CCRN section, it was the size of a fist. And it was just, you know, just in the middle of my belly, and you could see through me, so this meant that there was a big wound that, you know, would tear my whole life apart, actually, you know, it was such amazing details that are meant one part or the other of the little details that came to life in reality later on. And I just found a dream, among other stuff that I had put aside since my student years. So this, this was a dream that I was shocked at when I had it, but I didn’t think about it for years, nearly a decade until I found it again. And there were two other dreams that I had that were very specific about the pregnancy and the birth, and one of them was recurring. So it recurred every week and it showed me the way that my baby would be born that you know that she wasn’t able to live a long life but she was too weak to actually live on and that she had to be cared for by other people that she would be taken from me that I wouldn’t know the people who would take her and that I would get her back when she was not alive anymore. So that was actually also the truth. At the time when I had her for the first time, when I was embracing her for the first time, she was already dead for a week. And I had to, you know, wait until I was released from the hospital. And that’s when I saw her for the first time. And in my dream, it was it was a little package that had been sent to me, so that I would get her back because my, my deepest urge was to get back together with her and find her. And I got her to my name to my address, and she was already not alive anymore at that point, and everything was in the stream. But unfortunately, I didn’t understand it. And I was talking about it with other people with friends, but nobody could explain any of these details. You know, for instance, my child was very small at the time in the dream, whereas she was already like, in the fifth or sixth month, and she was a lot bigger than than she appeared in this dream. And nobody could give me any explanation of what this was supposed to mean, right. And then there was a very peaceful dream, that was the last dream that I had. It showed details of her funeral and very beautiful details. One of the details was that my mom took all her flower buds in her garden and went to the grave at the date that the funeral was supposed to happen. And with too heavy baskets, she went to the cemetery all by herself, not telling anyone about it. Not even me and my husband and at the

at the moment when I was standing next to the grave, and I saw that her little coffin was laid down so that she would rest on the ground. And, and at that moment, when I saw all these flowers, and she was resting on a bed of flowers, I was really touched, because, of course, I remembered my dream and the sequence in my dream where she was actually really laying down on a bed of flowers. And it was unbelievable, to have this memory. And to know that I had never told my mom, I had never told my husband, because by that time, he was already fed up with anything that was a dream that I had. So I didn’t tell him about this dream. And I didn’t tell my family. It because I didn’t want to make anyone upset. And so it was really touching that. So many of those details actually happened in reality later on.

Brian Smith 17:56
Yeah, well, and for people that are listening, if you want more details about the three most recent dreams, Apple did mention those in our first interview. And it’s just it’s incredible to me, that this kept coming back to you over and over again, as you said, from the time you were like 12 years old. So I have two questions for you. The first is what do you think the purposes of these premonitions? And secondly, do you think that our lives are planned? Or would these just possibilities that you were seeing?

Alba Monn 18:29
No, I, I don’t think it was just possibilities. To me, actually, in hindsight, all these premonitions were a huge help to accept my fate, because it was a very difficult time for my whole family. And I felt blessed to have had all those premonitions that obviously seem to prepare me for that huge loss in the future. And I think it was just something that was given to me because obviously, I have a, an ability to intuitively look a little bit behind the veil, or, or to the other side, as it also happened in my near death experience. And I don’t know why that is. But to me, it was a huge help. And even though it was kind of not really easy to explain, when all these premonitions took place. Later on, I realized that they were given me to help me and to prepare me for what was going to happen in the future. And I don’t think it was only possibilities. I have. I’ve been thinking about how much was already, you know, unchangeable in the future out. I tried to figure out what my near death experience meant. Because in my own opinion, I think My child had free will, either to come back and give us some more time and try to heal this whole situation that was unbelievable. For both of us, my husband and me, nobody really understood what was going on why our child was taken to another clinic, what really happened to her or to me, my husband had heard that we were still in life danger, but I had no idea about it. And I think this was kind of a bonus time that my daughter was actually given out of her own decision out of her own free will. And I think she was able to see into the future and see those possibilities, the bad ones, if she wouldn’t come back, all this crisis and conflicts that my husband and I would have to face without her help. And even me, being in a situation after an emergency operation and still bleeding internally, still being in this process of dying, if she would not have come back and bought a little bit of time, so that we could connect to each other because she was obviously trying to reach out to me, because I was in a way, the only person that could change anything about it, because my husband actually didn’t blame me for anything. But I was blaming him. So actually, I was the only person that she had to reach to change the situation. And she did. And I think that’s a bonus that she gave our family to come back and explain every everything and try to change my mind. And that was not foreseen, I think this is what she actually did. Just out of love for us, to be honest, to help us. And at some point, I realized that maybe she was even thinking about her future siblings, because at that point, you might have seen those different possibilities on the other side and, and might have even realized that the life of future children depended on me, realizing all those insights that were lacking in my attitude at the point before dying. So I think actually, everything was planned with a probability of 99%. That’s my opinion. At that point, I’m of this opinion that nearly everything was already decided. And there was a little, little, little gap out of nowhere out of freewill in this little tiniest moment when I had this feeling of bliss and, and happiness and euphoria wash over me just right before getting up and and actually the accident taking place. And I think this little timeframe of euphoria might have been the only moment where I could have changed the whole setting and maybe this accident wouldn’t have happened. But it could have happened in another way or at another day. I don’t know. I think it was supposed to happen in at some point.

Brian Smith 23:16
Yeah, I think this is a fascinating subject. And people are very, very strong opinions one way or the other, on freewill versus things being predetermined. And there’s really good evidence for both and, and I and I know people in fact, I’m thinking of a friend right now who says, Well, you can’t have both. It’s got to be one or the other. And I’m really have the opinion it is somewhat but that’s

Alba Monn 23:39
not true. But that’s not true. Because with those six premonitions, sorry, with these six premonitions, it means to me that a lot of it was already going to happen anyway. So it was planned. But still, there was a little bit of freewill in it. So I would say maybe 1% of choice that was still left. And there wasn’t any any more freedom in this whole situation as I look at it now. And I think, too, I think to be honest, losing a child is, I think, the, the utmost complication in life that anyone could ever face. And I think it’s a spiritual test of some sort. And a lot of people feel that if they believe in God, they feel like God has deserted them or or disappointed them or even, yeah, maybe put them in a bad place because of something like that. And I want to say that I, I think it’s the other way around, I think as Dr. Kubler Ross put it, God is a great teacher, and we are all his students. And some of us just learn how to to read and write, and, you know, some of us are going to graduate soon. And some of us are writing their master’s degree at the point and some of them are busy with their PhD. And I think there’s nothing higher as a test that anyone could be put through than the loss of a child. And I think this is the ultimate PhD of the University of life. If you want to put it that way,

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Alba Monn 26:28
It’s it’s a question of why does it happen? I think that it isn’t just a coincidence. It’s not just a, you know, happening for no reason. But it is actually, God is trusting us with the hardest problem on earth that ever could occur. And he’s giving us this. I don’t know how to put it, it’s like it’s a bonus. He’s, he believes that we can face that situation and overcome it. So it’s, I think, a bonus trust from God, you know, in everyone who is facing the situation, and I think it’s a privilege, in a way, it’s it’s hard, and it’s difficult. And it must, at some point, must even feel impossible to overcome it. But healing is possible and overcoming the grief and overcoming the pain is possible. And I think it just means that God believes that we can do this, and we can get out of it in an in a good and healthy way. And, and healing is important. And I hope to make a contribution with my book, to people who are grieving for a loved one. It doesn’t have to be a child, but just grieving for someone that you have lost and and try to grasp what this means for the future in your life. And I hope to make a big difference in people’s lives with my book.

Brian Smith 28:06
Yeah, I think you will, I think you I think you definitely will. And it’s so as I was listening to you talk, I was thinking about a mother that I met with just a few days ago. And as a as parents and my daughter passed away when she was 15, you know, six years, six years ago? You know, the first question we always ask is why me? Why did this happen to me? And am I being punished? Did I do something wrong? Did I not have enough faith? You know, those types of questions. And I love the way that you just completely turn that around to the other the other. It’s more like, no, why not me and we’ve you know, the the way that you’ve taken this and you’ve grown from it, I think is inspiring to all of us. And hopefully parents that are listening to this will start to realize that it’s not a punishment, it’s not a bad thing. It’s not even a random thing. It’s not just didn’t just happen and, and your dreams show us that this this was in the cards for you. From the time, you know, probably before you came here that this was always going to be your path.

Alba Monn 29:10
Yeah, and something is also very important that I wanted to mention exactly this friend of mine that used to talk with me at the age of 12 years old. She was pregnant at the same time with her first child when I was pregnant with my third child already. So we even had the due date in the same week. And this was shocking to me that to realize that if she had been in my place, she would have died. Because when I came to the hospital after having some tests done, the midwife told me to go back home because my child would be fine. And there was nothing to worry about and only because I had already some experience as a mother, and it was my third child. I knew instantly that nothing was it as it was supposed to be, and there was no way I was leaving this room, and I told her, I’m not going to leave this room unless I have seen how my child is doing and I want an ultrasound, and I’m not going to leave without having got it. And this ultrasound was actually the reason for me to survive, because if I would have gone home, the doctors told me I would have bled to death within two hours. So if she would have been in my position, she would listen, she would have listened to these people, and gone home and died. And so I will never forget when she visited me with her pregnant belly, and I was in this ICU unit, just in intensive care. And she came to see me and it was such a relief to see that she was trusting my feelings as a friend enough to come and see me, because other friends told me, you know, on the phone, how can she even show up? If you have just lost your own child? And she has? Has her child still alive and kicking in her belly? I said, why shouldn’t she, you know, come to visit me because I was happy to see her and connect to her. And we even talked about it that she was happy that in a way that she could still see me and talk to me because she of course knew that I could have died instead of getting rescued in time. And so there’s a big bit of controversy controversy about this topic, and about what friends should do or not do. And in my book, I gave a lot of examples, what was helpful for my friends, and also some examples of things that didn’t help at all. And what I found is that anyone who visited me and told me what this loss should mean, to me, every single sentence about any religious or physical, philosophical interpretation of the loss of my child, it hurt me, as if someone would stir with a knife in an open wound. And at the point, then I just had this feeling that this was too much for me, if somebody would want to define what my fate should mean to myself, it felt like overbearing, and later on, I found that the problem that I had with it was actually just because people were trying to Yeah, to interpret my own relation to God, or to the future of my life, with their own mindset. And this was just something that I couldn’t accept at the moment when when it happened, and also not later on, understood that they meant well, but I wanted to be as there’s a saying to be the captain of your fate. I just didn’t want to have anyone meddle with what anything in my life should mean to me. And I definitely didn’t want for them to, to try to decide things for me.

Brian Smith 33:25
Yeah, yeah, I can definitely understand that. And one of the things I wanted to do, we talked before I started recording, I want to fill in a little bit. And I know there’s some some very, very personal details, so you tell as much or as little as you want. But we talked earlier, I wasn’t clear what type of accident you had that led to a rally in a being delivered early. So as much as you want, can you fill in what the accident was, I think it’s important as to where you are today in your life. So just go ahead and fill that in place.

Alba Monn 33:55
The accident happened at home. When I went to bed, it was pretty late. And my husband and my little toddler, my my other daughter was already asleep and he had forgotten to change her diaper. So I was trying to get him to you know, change her and just do his duty and he was too tired to do it. So I actually just stepped in and and I decided to get up and not just leave her like that. And when I was in the bathroom, and had changed her diaper, I just slipped and fell onto the side of the bathtub with my belly and with my whole body and unfortunately, the placenta was up front, on the belly outside. So if the placenta would have been at the backside of my uterus, nothing much would have happened. That’s what the doctors told me later on. It was just a combination of very unfortunate search circumstances, and I blacked out immediately. As I had hit the bathtub, and I fell down, and I was unconscious for some moments, but as, as soon as I could, I try to force myself to open my eyes because I heard my toddler cry. And I wanted to make sure nothing that happened to her. But I wasn’t even able to get up, I had so much pain, I wasn’t even able to sit up. So I had to, you know, reach out my hand and try to touch her to calm her down. And I was talking to her. And my husband came in and trying to find out what had happened because I had been screaming at the moment when I fell. And, and he took our daughter outside, but he didn’t know how to get to dress, I had told him, We must go to the hospital, and I need an ultrasound at once. But unfortunately, we have four doctors in my family. So I meant to say, Our child is in life danger, we have to get to the hospital, right now, please get our toddler dressed because she was just you know, in her nightgown. And in her pajamas. So I told him, just get her dressed. And we must go immediately and go to the clinic. And he just heard me say I want to go to the hospital, he didn’t have any idea why I had told him that our daughter wasn’t moving. But in his opinion, that didn’t mean much. Because, you know, sometimes babies in the belly just don’t move. So he didn’t make this connection to realize that we were in a life threatening situation. And I wasn’t even able to stand up. So I, I pulled myself up to the side of the bathtub trying to get up but I had to sit down. And my whole belly was absolutely hard, unnaturally hard. And the doctors told me later that this is something that happens when the placenta is pulled away from the uterus, the uterus has an instinct reaction to, to try to get as hard as possible to, you know, to save to trial. And when my husband came back in trying to get me outside, so that I would get our daughter dressed, I told him, I can’t do it, because I’m in too much pain. I told him I just fell and you know, I just can’t do it. I can even stand up. And he said, I don’t know which clothes to get for her and stuff like that. And I was getting angry with him. And I just told him take the take the the top one thing from every pile and you will get addressed in no time. And then he asked me can you do that? And at that point, I said just Where is she now? Don’t I hear a cry? And he said yes, she’s in the bedroom, I put her down on the, on our carpet on our soft carpet in front of the bed. And I said how could you leave a baby like a toddler at her age? How could you leave her in another room and just go and talk to me without taking her with you? You know, she’s in shock because I had been screaming. So we had this little conversation that was actually a discussion. And I told him just get her ready and and go back and get her in the car. And he felt that I was too unfriendly in my tone talking to him. So he slammed the door shut of the bathroom and he left. And

I heard my daughter cry. And I didn’t see what had happened to her if he if he was trying to console her or not. So I had this impression that he didn’t do much to console her because she was screaming in the other room. So I forced myself to get up and you know with my both hands on my belly because I was in a lot of pain. I was walking very very slowly to the bedroom and I’m trying to console my daughter and on my way there I heard that our front door was slammed shut and I was thinking maybe he went outside to to smoke a cigarette but I was calling for him and he didn’t respond. So I had to get my daughter ready. And when I was downstairs in the front of our house, I realized that our car was gone. I realized maybe he went out of the driveway so I even walked with my daughter out of the driveway to check if you were still just around the corner and there was no one there. And when I wanted to call him I realized that my phone was on the second floor in the bedroom and I had forgotten to take it with me. So I had To get upstairs again, still bleeding heavily internally. And I think that’s what was the reason why they couldn’t stop the bleeding in the first place because I had had too much pressure on my body in this situation. And I, I couldn’t really recover from it for hours, until after my nd when I had the second emergency operation, and that was the time when they actually stopped the bleeding and saved my life.

Brian Smith 40:32
So I know about that. And again, people can go back to the first interview, because there’s so much to cover here. But you were at that night, you were you were done, you’re planning on leaving your husband, and one of the lessons you learned from relia Was that was forgiveness. And so you did forgive your husband and your Are you still with him today?

Alba Monn 40:56
Yes, we are still married and together. And what I learned that night was that, of course, from my point of view, I was in anger and rage, I was full of hatred. When I was in this ICU, I was counting the minutes that everything had taken from the accident to my operation emergency operation in the hospital. And I didn’t, I didn’t know how to ever be able to forgive what had happened. And I was blaming my husband, from the bottom of my heart, I couldn’t ever imagine that there would be any reason how or why I should ever be able to forgive him. And in my near death experience, my daughter came to talk to me. And we had this long, telepathic discussion where she was constantly asking me to forgive him. And I had no idea why I should do that. And I didn’t see any consequences for myself or for my inner peace in the future, no matter if I would die. Or if I would survive, it was crucial for me to find inner peace, because otherwise, the whole time that I would have left of my life would be wasted because of these negative emotions. And talking to my child, I realized that her biggest argument in favor of my husband was that he didn’t have any bad intentions. So he his intentions were pure and good. He just hadn’t not realized what was going on. And that was when she told me maybe he didn’t do it on purpose. So this was the sentence that really tried to turn around my attitude. And it was in my best interest to forgive him, not only in his because it wasn’t something that I was doing as a favor for him. It was something that I was actually doing to save myself in this situation and my near death experience. I was in a spiritual life danger, because of all these accusations all this negative emotions against my husband, in the in the hour of my impending death. This meant that I would Yeah, I don’t know how to say it, I would waste my life, my life would be covered in these negative emotions forever. The purpose of my life would have never been fulfilled if I wouldn’t have been able to forgive him. And, of course, I didn’t realize that I was in life danger until in my near death experience. I had a situation when it was actually shown to me, unmistakeably, that my path was going to end right here right now, if I was not able to change something so profound, that it would change the course of my destiny. And this was forgiveness. I just realized it in this situation that only forgiveness has that power to change, not only the present situation, but also our view of the past and our possibilities in the future. And if you ask me, I think forgiveness is the one biggest sign of freedom being a free person and not having a ball and chain of bad emotions of accusations or hatred or, you know, anger against another human being. And being forced to take that with you every day of your life. This means imprisonment to me. And being able to forgive means freedom because without forgiveness, we are always bound together with the person that we can forgive It’s like a chain. It’s like a huge chain that that binds us together for the rest of our lives up until this point where one of us can forgive the other one, where, you know, hopefully both of them can forgive, but without forgiveness, we are imprisoned, spiritually and present.

Brian Smith 45:20
Yeah, about that, I think such such an important lesson. And you know, if anybody you know, and I think about people that have lost loved ones, and we blame the doctor, or we blame the person that sold our child drugs, we blame, you know, the, the worse, the drunk driver or whatever, we blame the other person. And we hold on to that, and we think it’s a righteous anger. And we think we have the right to carry that with us. But your near death experience so so so poignantly that we that’s not it’s not just not only our right, but it’s holding us back. And if you could forgive your husband, and that’s why what I thought was important to go into the accident, and why you were so angry. If you could forgive that the we should be able to forget pretty much anything.

Alba Monn 46:11
Yeah, that’s, that’s something that I found. Looking at it later on, I said to myself, why should I not forgive small mistakes of my husband or small events that that hurt me, if I was able to forgive him for that, I shouldn’t hesitate to forgive him for anything that happens later on. And something else that is important is that a lot of people who are be reef parents, they not only blame others, very often they blame themselves, saying maybe I should have done something different. Or in this situation, I shouldn’t have reacted this way, or I wasn’t the perfect parent that I wished I would have been for my child before it has passed. And the blessing that my near death experience was for me, was actually hearing it from my dying daughter, that she told me, she can forgive everything related to the circumstances of the accident, and everything that happened before that, and everything that happened later on. So I heard it from her personally. And it was such a big relief to know that she was at peace with the situation. And I think my daughter is not an exception. I think all this is children wish for their parents to know that they have forgiven them, no matter what had happened. On the other side, they are given all explanations, all the insight that is missing here on Earth, and they have understanding for us much more than we can ever imagine. And I think the biggest wish is for us to find peace with what had happened, know that they are fine that they are well and alive in eternity. And their only wishes for us to have a good life until we meet again. And they don’t doubt that we will meet again, it’s for them. It’s it’s a fact. And on the other hand, blaming ourselves, knowing that we could have done things differently is okay. But blaming ourselves means actually, we are repeating the hurt of the past. We are bringing it up in every single day in the present and also in the future if we are not able to forgive ourselves as we forgive others. And hearing my daughter telling me, you are free. I didn’t understand what she meant when she told me that. But later on in a book about family and family relations, I read that sentence and it was you are free. And then in brackets from guilt. And I realized that what my daughter had tried to tell me was that I am absolutely free of guilt, even though it was actually my mistake that led up to the accident. And up to the the fact that she had to die because she was so severely damaged physically from how this accident happened. And I want to stress something else about forgiveness. We always think forgiveness isn’t important. But thinking about the most important prayer, our Lord’s Prayer. If you believe in God, then it’s important to know our prayers. And in this prayer it says, God forgive us the way that we forgive others. And there is a spiritual law behind it. I think that God wants to forgive us everything. But if we are not willing to forgive others, it’s as if his possibilities are bound to the content of our own forgiveness. I can’t explain it differently than if you just have a very small cup and your cup is empty. You can’t ask for a full cup. from God, you have to fill your cup of forgiveness to the brim, as much as you can, you know, with the capacities that you have in life, and try to clean your heart, I can explain it in any different way, actually, not forgiving yourself or not forgiving somebody else. It’s like a stain on your clothes, a stain in your back. You can, you don’t see it, it doesn’t bother you, but everybody else sees it. And you have to try to get rid of it before your time is over and your life is gone. Because after that, I don’t think it’s so easy. I think life on Earth is the most important thing that we have. Because it’s our preparation for the life after this life. And if we don’t give our best in this life, I think it’s hard

to explain later on, when you have a life review, it’s hard to explain why we didn’t do any better. So I think all of us should just try to live our life to the fullest and give it everything that we have, especially trying to find forgiveness for ourselves and for others, because this is the only way to get rid of the stains of the past.

Brian Smith 51:17
Yeah, absolutely. Although we’re we’re out of time again, and I I so appreciate you coming back and and filling in some gaps for us and talking about the lessons of your Indie and being so generous and open with your experience. I know it’s going to touch a lot of people. And the book is out now. And the book is called Proof of eternity. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle format. And by the time this comes out, it should be out in paperback also. And the author his album on it’s a lb a mo n en. And that’ll be in the show notes. So as we wrap up any any last thing you want to say to the people that are listening?

Alba Monn 51:59
Well, first of all, for all the reef parents, our children are safe and fine, we don’t have to worry about them, we just have to worry about us. And it’s a blessing to have been together with our children in the first place. And I would like for every one who is grieving for a child that has passed. Just think of the good times that you had together. Try to keep up the things that your child loved. Try to give the good that you have touched with your child in your life and in a lot of other people’s lives. And try to put that into the future in a in a way that your child is honored by it and try to see the good of the past and continue on because our children wait for us to do the best we can until we are united again.

Brian Smith 52:52
Absolutely thank you so much all but you have a great rest of your day.

Alba Monn 52:56
You too. Thank you for having me.

Brian Smith 52:59
So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Transcribed by



In Part 2 of our conversation, Alba continues the story of her experience with Aurelia. Alba Monn is an author and a mother who had a fascinating experience with the birth of one of her children, Aurelia. Alba had a near-death experience that changed her life. It was, in actuality, a shared death experience, as you will learn when you hear her story.

I’ve broken this very special episode into three parts. In parts 1 and 2, I get out of the way and let Alba tell her story as she recalls it. It might be a bit confusing in parts because the story doesn’t begin on the night her daughter was delivered in an emergency situation, it begins years earlier.

In part 3, I ask Alba to go into more detail and we discuss the lessons from her absolutely amazing experience. In her experience, Alba learned:

  • Forgiveness is absolutely essential for our soul’s well-being
  • Souls have no age * Humans are all flawed equally and differently.
  • A life can have profound meaning no matter how short the time here on Earth * Something prepares us for the tough lessons we’re about to encounter if we pay attention
  • Tragedy is less of a punishment and more of an opportunity Her book tells the story about healing after the loss of her child, PROOF OF ETERNITY by Alba Monn. It is intended to give hope to everyone who has lost a loved one, especially their own child.

It’s available at Amazon as an ebook.





Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.

This is part two of my interview with Alba mine. If you haven’t listened to part one, please go back to the previous episode and listen to the opening. This experience with Alba is how her unborn child was born. And they shared a near death experience and how it saved her life and led her to a life of forgiveness. So

if you have listened to part one, please go back and listen to part one. And with no further ado, here’s part two.

Yeah, yeah, I can only imagine how tough that there had to be.

Wow. So what do you think the purpose of this experience was of a rally as coming to you? And this this whole thing that you went through? Do you think that that serves a purpose?

Alba Monn 1:34
My near death experience with her? Yes, yeah, I think, to me, the purpose was pretty clear, because she,

I realized that she had been without a heartbeat for more than an hour. So he was on the other side for quite some time. And in my understanding, she was given a choice if she wanted to stay, or if she was prepared to come back for some time, or a small timeframe, to try to change everything for the better. And the situation when she was actually dead was before my emergency operation. And I was still in the process of dying. And between my emergency operation and my MD, I always had flashbacks of my husband having a deadly car accident on his way home. So because he was on his way home in the in the night, it was raining, it was

dangerous, and he didn’t get any sleep for a long time, and he was sleepy. And

I have this concept that if she hadn’t come back, I wouldn’t have had the d&d, I wouldn’t have had the second operation because I had a second emergency operation right after my daughter had died. Because they had to check on me before they would let me go to the other clinic to see her for one last time. And so they found that there was so much fluid in my body that they had to operate again and try to stop me from bleeding to death. And my concept is that my and he was

actually my only helped that I got in a situation where nobody could reach me. And my daughter decided that she would give us some more time to try to change the whole situation so that it would not be destructive for both of us, for not even me because I would be dying in the clinic without anyone noticing. And my husband could have had an accident, maybe, I don’t know, in what timeframe, but I guess the same day. So I had two older children and they would have not only lost a sister, but also their mother and their father. So they would have been orphans within a day and would have lost three family members. And I think that was the way it was supposed to be or was going to happen. And she decided to come back and end change First of all, the moment of her death. So she would come back for a couple of hours to to reach me and to change my attitude because if I would have got the message of her death in this attitude of anger to incite hatred, and and all these accusations that I had, it would have been detrimental for my spiritual survival To be honest, even if I would have survived I would have accused my husband for the death of our daughter for the rest of my days. And when I was in this room, feeling those four emotions love and and grief and remorse and this desperate, desperate feeling that I want to be forgiven. I realized that the grief was in the future it started now, but it was stronger in the future. And I sensed that there was something like a very heavy burden in the future that I would have to carry. And I was grieving about that. I think it was also something in the future of my husband and my children, of course. So all of this was changed with my near death experience. And my daughter tried to make me understand in the telepathic discussion first, and I think if I had understood what she wanted, and if I had forgiven him, the rest would have never happened, it would have been easy for her. It felt like when you start a car, and you take the gear, to the first to the first gear, and it’s just starting to go. And that’s how easy it was for her. As it felt to me, the telepathic discussion was the easiest way for her to reach me. And then all the other changes were always harder for her or for me, I don’t know, it was harder, it felt like second year was when she appeared, and it freaked me out. And she saw that it was not doing any good. And so she tried to

change the setting, I think, with this whispering sentence that she said, trying to reach me so that I wouldn’t fall asleep because I was about to fall asleep out of a loss of strength. And then in this room in, in eternity, I saw the truth. And later on, I call it like the Chamber of truth or a hall of truth, because everything that I saw was the truth that I didn’t want to accept. But that was presented to me in a way that I finally understood. And the last scene seen just before transitioning through this gate, through this wooden fence, I felt like it was gear number four, it was going very fast. And I, I if I would have been a little bit faster, I would have just gone through this fence and been on the other side. And so I was to put it back before that could happen. And it, it wasn’t my decision. But it was a decision in my best interest and also in the best interest of my children. Because when I heard that, the doctor told me that our failure had died. I remember thinking I want to be with my child. And if she’s dead, I want to be dead also. That was the first thing that came to my mind. And then within seconds, I realized I can’t do this to my two older children, because they would be in my place, they would be exposed to all these feelings and difficulties that I felt too weak to encounter, to be honest, if it felt too much for me to go on. And then I realized I can do this to my children. And that’s when I decided I have to stay strong and stay alive and get well again to take care of my children, my young children because they were pretty young at the time. So I have

Brian Smith 8:09
to ask you, I know you had some other premonitions about the passing of earlier is that true before before this, you had some premonitions that she was going to not live very long?

Alba Monn 8:20
Yes, that’s true that this day that changed my life forever. And it was actually two difficult instances within a few hours, the death of my child and the near death experience, which was a huge help on the one hand, and on the other side. It was tremendous difficulty because I couldn’t tell anyone about it. I couldn’t tell anyone in the clinic and I couldn’t tell anyone at home, I didn’t want for family and friends to know what had happened, what my husband had done, so there was no way to explain it to anyone. And the thing that consoled me was that I had three different dreams before or alias birth and death that had warned me and unfortunately I hadn’t understood what they meant. One of them was even eight years nearly to the day before she died. And so it was just a couple of days away. And I had written it down because it was so it felt so special and extraordinary that I thought I have to write this stream down so I wouldn’t forget it. I didn’t understand anything about it. But it showed me the details of the emergency cesarean section. So I had a hole in my in my belly that was the size of a fist and you could look through my body and then there was a little a little sealable thread coming out of it. That was pulling me along. And so there were a lot of different details that reminded me of her emergency operation of, of the grieving process. For instance, I got two messages about the physical healing and emotional healing. And I didn’t understand any of it because I didn’t know what what incident was it was pointing to. So there was nothing in my life at the time that made any sense in the stream. But when I found it a little bit, after a really a staff, I was shocked. I was so astounded that so many details were so clear and describe what I was going through eight years later that I realized that this was unbelievable, to be honest. And at the same time, there was one angel with a sword, and it said, I never saw him. So I had written down, I never saw his face, but he touched my belly very, very softly. And he wanted to warn me and to console me. So this was obviously before the pregnancy was over. So even during the pregnancy, there was obviously an angel trying to console me and warn me and I just hadn’t understood what it was all about. And the second train started when I was about in the fourth month of pregnancy, and it recurred every week. And it was horrible. Because in the in the beginning, I didn’t think there’s something like that was possible. It was in the middle of the week. And I think it was Wednesday, anytime, anywhere, I had three or four days that I was afraid of destroying to come again. And then I had three or four days after it when I was just recovering from the shock of it. And this train showed me I was standing at home, in my living room, I was standing with my pregnant belly. And out of my belly button, a very tiny baby came out, it was so pale that I understood at one set, it wasn’t really able to be healthy. And I tried to put it into something that looked suitable for for her to be kept in. So that would it would remind her of my belly and I went into the kitchen, and I put a soft cloth in my salad bowl and I put the baby inside and draped little cloth around her and around her head. And I was looking at her totally started what this should mean because the belly was huge, and the baby was so small. And I didn’t know how to care for her. I was thinking, how should I make sure that she isn’t too coward. And it felt like I couldn’t provide the surroundings that she needed to survive actually, or at least to be okay. And at that moment.

The mailman was pressing my my doorbell and I ran downstairs to get the mail and I had to sign a little form that said I had gotten a package and I took the package and went back upstairs and I put it away on the kitchen counter. And a few steps away from the salad bowl, I realized that this whole cloth was rearranged while I was gone, somebody must have opened it up. And my baby wasn’t there anymore. And I was I was in such a state of horror. I was running through the whole house, looking for my child everywhere. And coming back to the kitchen realizing that she was nowhere I started to open all these all these counters, everything where I could look for her, or the cabinets or the doors, I ripped everything open, I put everything on the floor. And I was in a frenzy going for the whole house, nothing was in its place anymore. Everything was torn down. And when I was finally going back to the kitchen where I had started, I was so exhausted that I lent my the back of my head against the coolness of this refrigerator door. And I remember that it felt so cool and and my heart was beating so fast in the stream that I felt relieved that I was at least having some help from this coolness of this refrigerator door and then I was thinking I can never find her again. Because if she’s not in the house and she’s so tiny, where should I ever look for her and I will never be able to find her. And I was in a state of resignation. So I I felt like an endless sadness came over me and I realized there’s no way I could ever find her. And I had lost her and now she’s gone. And I was so sure that she was somewhere in the house for some reason. And I hadn’t found her and then my my eyes fell on the so I looked at this little package in front of me and there was my name on it. And without even moving anything. Not even my head without even moving Anything of my body, I realized that my babies in this little package bundled up for me, sent to me. air tight, and I was starting, I was thinking, I’m going to go crazy. And I was starting to yell like, I’ve never yelled in my whole life. And I was thinking, this is it. And I felt my heart racing such a beat that I didn’t know. And I always woke up at that point. And this dream kept coming back. And I told it to my husband, he said, this is a stupid dream, don’t take it seriously. And I was trying to analyze some different details of it with some friends of mine, but we couldn’t get any explanation. For instance, why is the baby so small, of course, as the birth as the time progressed, and birth came nearer, I realized that it must have another meaning it must not be actually that the baby starts small, but it must have a meaning that says, The baby is not in a state where it can survive outside of the womb, that was the meaning of this detail. Do you know what I mean? So all these details made sense. Looking back at it, I realized that the salad bowl was the incubator where my daughter was put in, and the people who had taken her out were the medical personnel and the other clinic. Because I wasn’t there, I was gone. Like in the dream, I was gone to talk to the mailman. So she was alone with others, and they took her out and took care of her. So in every little detail, I found some meaning that came through later on. And in the stream. I don’t know, I was prepared for all those emotions that I was exposed to after she had died. So it was kind of a preparation dream. And I had this feeling that if I would understand what it meant, I wouldn’t have to dream it anymore. And I was trying to figure out what it meant. But I never really figured it out until it was too late. And so this was the second dream. And the third dream was a positive dream. It was a dream of, I should say contemplation, it was a dream of her being buried in a very beautiful way. Because for instance, I saw myself in, in a dark church, everything in discharge was gone. There was no altar. There was nothing anywhere in this church. So the church was totally stripped down from everything that was inside. But there was a little circle of small white canvas.

And they were lit and it was a circle of mild light. And within those candles, there was there were flower petals, orange, and pink, and white and, and kinds shades of reds, and a little bit of purple. So it was girls colors. And I was holding my daughter in my hand. And then everything was peaceful. And there were people standing around the circle of Canvas, so that the whole space of this church was filled up with people being present at the ceremony. And it was a very, very solemn but also peaceful and very respectful setting. So everything was peaceful and nice. And I gave my, my little daughter into the hands of my best friend who was standing next to my right. And she put her down on a soft on a soft, small carpet that was dark wine red, and she put her down, and my daughter was asleep. She had her eyes closed, and she was bundled up and we were standing there. And then as I felt that everybody’s waiting for me to do something. Um, we were standing there for a very, very long time. So it felt like one or two hours. And then I felt like I’m an actor in a movie. Everybody knows the script, but I have no idea what my next line is. And I couldn’t figure out what everybody was expecting from me. But I did something that I felt was the next natural thing to do. So I I walked past at the side of this little carpet where my dad gave a little baby was resting on. I stepped over all those parents, I stepped over to Kansas, the people made way for me so I went to a little door that goes behind the altar. And strangely enough it was when I went through it. I came into the same church again. The church was dark, it was empty, and all the people were gone. It was totally empty except for one chair that was sitting in the middle of it. And I knew that it’s my Chair, just my place. And I went, slowly, I went over it over to it. And I sat down. And I was sitting down. And then I was so sad. And I started to cry. And I couldn’t stop. And I was crying and crying in the stream. And I realized I didn’t know why I was so sad. And so I was trying to figure out, how can I be that sad? And what could be the reason for me to cry so much. And as I was thinking about it, I didn’t have any clue what could be so devastating that I would cry so much. And as I realized that there is no explanation for it, I woke up, but this train was just, I just rant once, and the other one was recording every week. And later on, I felt like this stream had more or less the same content as the other one,

Announcer 20:56
we’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at WWW dot grief to www dot g ri e f, the number two gr o w th calm. If you’d like to support this podcast visit slash grief to growth slash g ri e f, the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Alba Monn 21:52
But the other one was a little bit scary for me. And this one was calming me down and and showing me the ceremony that we had arranged for her for her birthday. And actually, I had never told anyone of my family have this dream. And at the time, when the day came when my daughter was to be buried, my mom went outside in her garden and she cut up every flood flower in her garden. So she went to, to the grave with too heavy baskets full of flowers. And she didn’t tell anyone, she had no idea that I had dreamt that. And she put the flowers onto the you know, onto the soil inside the grave. And I had to have another emergency operation the day before a radio was buried. And I had to fight to be able to be there in a wheelchair. And I was only allowed to stand up in front of the grave. And to sit down right right away again. But when I was standing up, and I looked into the grave with all those flowers, and enter a little coffin being you know, lay down on on a bed of flowers, I was so moved because I realized this was exactly what I’d seen in the stream. So I had seen that she would be cared for not only by me, but by other people they would love her so much to to make such a present for her. And my mom wouldn’t even tell me for another two or three days, that it was her who had done that as a last gift for her granddaughter. And the only one I had told her that I’m going to ask all of my friends who it was because I was so grateful for that person. Then she admitted that it was actually her. And I said, You know, I can’t put it in words how thankful I was for her to do that. And what a beautiful sight to see that your baby is laying on a bed of flowers. And so this was another detail that I had seen in the dream that came true.

Brian Smith 24:02
Yeah. So Alba, I want to ask you have you had communication with the railroad since then, or she come to you? either in dreams or visions or anything since since this time?

Alba Monn 24:15
Yes. The first time that I had been contacted by her was when I was in the funeral home. And I had been in the clinic in the hospital for about a week. And when I was finally released from the hospital, I told my husband I want to arrange everything for her to to be you know, cared for and and to be buried and in a way that shows that. We love her as much as if she would have been 70 years old. It didn’t matter how much people think that she had an impact on us or on our family that she meant as much to us as anyone else in the family would have meant. And so I was I was eager to finally see her again for once, and secondly to arrange everything so that she would have a very beautiful funeral. And when I was seeing her for the first time, she was laying in her coffin and I had picked out all the clothes that she was wearing. And we had arranged for soft

for soft lining in her coffin because it was bare wood as we had picked it out. And so we put some baby blankets in it. So I had a couple of baby blankets from home that we had bought for, and we folded them up and put them inside so that she could lay on it. And I had decided to spray everything with my favorite perfume because I thought she never was able to turn out to sense my perfume I wanted to get as much from myself as I could. And I took a sweater that I had knitted myself my favorite sweater, and I put it in, in I had liked it put in, in that little coffin in her coffin. And a man who had dressed her because she was cut up from a procedure to make sure what was the cause of her death. So she was cut up, but she was dressed beautifully. And I had the man who put her in the coffin, I had asked him to put my favorite sweater underneath her and so that it would end just utter neckline. And when we would close her coffin, we would wrap the sweater around her body and and wrapped it just rapid like to answer from other that would cradled her, you know, one side to the other. And we had beautiful flowers for her for each hour that she had left one flower and we said a prayer together. And before we close the coffin, I said to my husband, I want to hold her in my hands, because I have never been able to ever hug her in my life. And I just wanted to get her as close to me as possible. So my husband didn’t want for me to lift her out of the coffin because of the procedure that she had been actually cut up and sewed back together. So I didn’t, I didn’t want to get in a discussion with him. So I agreed. So I had arranged that there was a little seat for me to sit on. So because I couldn’t carry her because I had just had another operation. So I had to sit down. And then my husband, put her into my arms. And when I looked at her, I, I was so happy, I don’t know how to explain it. But in the deepest grave, I was so happy that I was finally together with my daughter, the way that I should have been together from the start, in a way, you know, right after the birth. And, and suddenly I heard her telepathically Tell me, Mom, don’t be so sad, because I’m so happy that it’s all over. And I realized that it must have been hard for her to, to live for those couple of hours when she was in the ICU, in the children’s ICU. Because it must have been hard for her to come back and go through it all, just for the sake of us and and I realized that this meant that she didn’t want for me to to grieve, you know, for forever, but it meant that she wanted for me to know that she was okay with the situation. And that she was fat. It was a big source of consolation for me actually.

Brian Smith 28:53
Yeah. There’s just so much in your experience that you know, it’s just, it’s so informative, I guess for all of us, you know that because we sometimes wonder like, if someone comes in and they’re only here for a couple of hours or a couple of months or a year or a few years, could they really have made an impact and obvious, you know, your daughter, she, she saved your life in a way I guess. And you know, the fact that people say well,

Alba Monn 29:23
definitely, because Yeah, well I was thinking about the actor. He was a little pain medication she was without any brainwaves. She was without normal breathing. She had to be on a respirator. He or she had to have everything else. So she wasn’t she wasn’t having any other vital signs except for her heartbeat. But in fact, in the spiritual realm, she was a grown up person, she was totally, I felt when I talked to her she was so forgiving. She was she was so much better than me as a, as a person, she was so way ahead of me that I had the feeling that she was actually my coach, she was my teacher in this situation. And she was like a mentor, taking someone else by the hand and showing them the way to go. And, and later on, I realized I had this strange thought that maybe she didn’t stay among us for that long, because what could I ever have told her like she couldn’t have learned anything from me anymore. It felt like it was just a gift that I had had the honor to meet her actually. And, and this just this was just so unbelievable, because I had never felt that little baby could have actually spiritually such a, such a personality that brings so much hope and, and goodness to the lives of others. And just to think about what her impact was, she not only saved my life, because of her death, right after the end, he I was checked. And if I hadn’t been checked, right after she had died, because I wanted to see her, nobody would have realized that I was still bleeding internally and in the process of dying. So I had to undergo some more checkups. And then they found the source inside my belly, and then they fixed it. So I would definitely have died. And as I said, I’m afraid that even my husband would have died, maybe just out of a lack of concentration on his way back home. And the whole family would have been destroyed and away. Yeah, because I couldn’t even I couldn’t even start to imagine what it would have meant for my two older children.

Brian Smith 31:54
And the other thing I think is really important in your, in your experience is the power and the purpose of forgiveness. I mean, a lot of times, and I love the way you went through this process where you, you knew philosophically The best thing to do is forgive but emotionally, you still couldn’t do it, until you realize that forgiveness was really for yourself.

Alba Monn 32:15
Yeah, that was the problem before I went into this realm in the spiritual realm, it felt like forgiveness was a service that I would do for others. It felt like it was a way to stretch out the hand for my husband, but it did not have any meaning for my own well being I couldn’t make this connection that my well being was actually also connected with my husband’s well being and then I would also hurt myself the same way I would hurt him. Because if you imagine if I wouldn’t have been able to forgive him, even if I would have survived and wouldn’t have died because of the internal bleeding. If I would have survived for the rest of my life, I would have carried this burden. And this burden would have been huge, just like this huge boulder that I saw in the other room, it would have been impossible for me to to move it, I would have been stuck for the rest of my life with this accusation against my husband and not forgiving anyone. And to be honest, what astonished me the most is that I had felt in this chamber of truth that there was no way that I could ever change even one little inch of the outcome of my life result at this point. So there was no way to change it. But the only way to change it was forgiving someone else. So this meant I had this huge urge all the time that I would be forgiven. This was a desire that was as strong as you could imagine somebody who is who is nearly dying from hunger and thirst. It was like somebody being hungry and desiring something to eat and to drink. This was how much it is. These emotions were so strong, I could hardly think of anything else. And this desire was so great that I would be forgiven, but I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t change anything about it. And and only when I forgave my husband, automatically, it felt automatically in the same moment. I was forgiven everything that I had done wrong. And that was the thing that astonished me the most when I was actually back in the ICU as I was thinking to myself, how, how much power is in forgiving if even in eternity when when you decide you would forgive someone else, you would change your own life result. I mean, this is huge. And if you think about it in, in the prayer that Jesus had taught his disciples, it says God Please forgive us, the way we forgive others. And it’s also there, the connection is there that, in a way, it seems to me as if it was impossible for God to forgive us everything he would wish to, if we were stuck in not forgiving others, there’s, there’s some connection there that I experienced. And it it was heartbreaking before I finally got around to forgiving my husband. And even on the other side there still, this power of forgiveness, it was unbelievable, to be honest, when I came back and thought about it.

Brian Smith 35:37
Yeah, it’s it’s really, really incredible. Wow. But I want to thank you so much for sharing your your experience with me today. It’s just, it’s just incredible and fascinating. And I know the listeners are going to love it. I want to let everybody know that Alba has a book out. And the book is called proof of eternity. And her name is spelled al ba and the last name is m o n n. that’s available now on Amazon. And I’m sure there’s a lot more in the book. But I really appreciate you sharing this very rich, very enlightening experience.

Alba Monn 36:13
Well, thank you so much for having me. And I have written my book, actually to reach out to all other parents who didn’t have an MD and would be interested in hearing what I had been through and what my daughter had actually done for me, and I’m sure my daughter is no exception. So I’m sure that the children that die are very early in their lives, they have a very huge impact on all of us. But the impact should be the goodness that they had brought to us. And one last thought that I would like to share with you is at some point, when I was very sad about the death of my daughter, I asked myself, if it was up to me, if I could have decided, did I want for a rally to be born to be in my life, and bring so much sorrow together with the happiness that we had about her? Or would I decide to not have her and just not experience any of the sadness and all of the emotions that came with her death. And I decided, no matter what I would always make the decision to have my daughter in my life because of what she meant to me. And that was a point of no return. That was the point when I started to be more thankful for her being in my life than being sad about the grief and the loss that I had to experience because of it. And so I just wanted to share that with your viewers as well.

Brian Smith 37:43
Yeah, beautifully said beautifully said. And you know, you’re right for all of us that have had children that have come in and left early. And we ask why? We can look, we can see that they love gems in our lives, and no matter how long they were here, and I’m so grateful that you shared this with with me today. I’m really I’m honored to have you here.

Alba Monn 38:05
Something else because of the you mentioned that we often ask ourselves why we had to lose our children. There’s a little explanation that comes from Elisabeth Kubler Ross. And she was answering a question from a little boy that was dying of cancer. And he asked her why does why is it that little children have to die? And what how does God think about that? And then Elisabeth Kubler Ross told him that God is a great teacher, and all of us are his pupils. And some artists starting to learn how to read and write. And some of us are in our final exams, and just, you know, before graduation, and she said, If God had a very, very hard problem to solve, to which pupil do you think would he give it? And then the boy said only to one of the best. And he smiled at her and he was able to accept his fate as something that was extraordinary. And I think this is the truth for all of us. All the parents that have lost a child, they are actually getting their PhD from the University of life. And they are about to graduate when they are able to finally accept their faith and find some goodness in it and the strength to go on.

Brian Smith 39:32
Wow. Wow. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Well, I’ll bet you enjoyed the rest of your day. Appreciate your time.

Alba Monn 39:40
You too. Thank you so much. Bye, bye.

Brian Smith 39:45
There you have it. That’s the end of part two. Now please proceed to part three, for our answer a lot of questions that I have her and fill in some of the blanks that you might have missed as she told her story earlier. So that does it for another Episode of grief to growth I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you liked this content, make sure you subscribe so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all. That way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

Transcribed by

Alba Monn is a mother who had a fascinating experience with the birth of one of her children, Orelia. Alba had a near death experience that changed her life. It was, in actuality, a shared death experience, as you will learn when you hear her story.

I’ve broken this very special episode into three parts. In parts 1 and 2, I get out of the way and let Alba tell her story as she recalls it. It might be a bit confusing in parts because the story doesn’t begin on the night her daughter was delivered in an emergency situation, it begins years earlier. In part 3, I ask Alba to go into more detail and we discuss the lessons from her absolutely amazing experience.

In her experience, Alba learned:

  • Souls have no age
  • Forgiveness is absolutely essential for our soul’s well-being
  • Souls have no age
  • Humans are all flawed equally and differently,
  • A life can have profound meaning no matter how short the time here on Earth
  • Something prepares us for the tough lessons we’re about to encounter if we pay attention
  • Tragedy is less of a punishment and more of an opportunity

Get Alba’s book here:

Proof Of Eternity





Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Everybody, I want to set up this interview with you. I’m going to break this into three parts. So this is part one. And it’s what the woman named ABA, mon ABA was telling me a story about her daughter being born, and includes elements of a near death experience with incredible rich educational experience while she was on the other side, with pre cognitive dreams to go back two years before her daughter was born, there’s a lesson of forgiveness in here, there’s just so much in here, there’s a lot of richness. So it took us about an hour and a half to get to the first part. And we went back and recorded a second part that actually fills in some of the blanks when Allah was telling me her story. So I do encourage you to listen to all three parts, there is so much in here that I think it’ll be really beneficial to you to go ahead and listen to all of it. So ABA did not want to be recorded on camera. So there’s no video of ABA on this one. But it’s definitely worth getting through. Thanks a lot and have a great one. Hey, everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me a woman who has gone through a journey of the loss of a child is a journey that we both share. Uh, her name is Alba mon, and her daughter really passed. And Alba had a really interesting experience with the raelia when she passed I was going to tell us about today. So with that brief introduction, I just want to introduce ABA to brief degrowth and say welcome, and thanks for being here today album.

Alba Monn 2:13
Thank you so much for having me. Yeah,

Brian Smith 2:16
it’s really good to, to get to know you and to hear your story and have you share your story with with my audience. I know that your daughter passed away, and I noticed you had a particularly spiritual experience when your daughter passed. So tell me about what what happened.

Alba Monn 2:31
Yeah, I had an lifethreatening accident together with orelia. And the thing was that she was actually clinically dead, she had to be resuscitated. And she was brought to another clinic about an hour away from my clinic where I was to stay because I had to have an emergency operation. And unfortunately, it took it should have taken them about half an hour. But the procedure showed that there was something else going on, they couldn’t stop the bleeding. So it took about two hours instead of half an hour. And while I was in the operating room, earlier, was resuscitated, and she had a heartbeat. She had been without a heartbeat for more than half an hour because they had done some other procedures instead of the ones that she actually needed. And after having had this emergency operation, I was left in the ICU. And I was not with my daughter because she was taken away. And so I was thinking about the whole circumstances and trying to guess if she could have a normal life still, after all that what was going on after the accident. and in this situation, I had a near death experience together with my daughter. And to be honest, it was something that I would have never expected. And I was just laying in my ICU bed and thinking about the state that she was in and and trying to figure out how many minutes she had been at a loss of oxygen. And suddenly I felt that somebody was standing behind my bed. And I just felt a presence. And that’s how it all started essentially.

Brian Smith 4:37
Wow. So I just for some little bit of context. It was a really at the time of the accident.

Unknown Speaker 4:44
Actually, she was a newborn. And so the emergency operation that I had was actually an emergency emergency cesarean section and I was and I wasn’t Physically aware of everything that was going on because I was still in full anesthesia. And she was taken out, they tried to resuscitate her with the help of specialists from another clinic, they were on the phone with the specialists, and they told them what to do and how to try to resuscitate her because she was clinically dead when she was born.

Brian Smith 5:20
Okay, so you felt a presence behind your bed. And then what happened?

Unknown Speaker 5:25
Well, I, I was fully aware, I hadn’t been asleep at all during that night, because it was that was all around midnight when I had emergency operation. So I was in my bed after one o’clock or so in the evening. And I just felt that a presence was right behind me. And I remembered that I was asking myself Who is that? Who could that be. And at the same moment, I realized that my daughter, it’s my child. And I actually was really puzzled because I felt that this person was a grown up person. So it didn’t seem to make any sense. And before I could grasp what this was all about, she was actually already trying to communicate with me. And we had a fairly political discussion. And it was all around the circumstances of the of the accident, because my husband actually left right after the accident in his car, I had told him, we must go to the hospital at once, because the baby’s not moving, and I need an ultrasound. And he had just woken up, he went to bed a lot earlier than me. And so he didn’t understand what was going on. And we had another child that was not even two years old. And I told him to get our older daughter dressed so that we could go to the hospital. And t got mad at me because he didn’t understand what was going on. And he just left in his car, because I told him to get my other daughter dressed. And he just, he was too sleepy to realize what was what was really going on. He didn’t understand anything. And so I was in this situation where I knew that I was blaming him for everything that had happened, because I had to get my little daughter dressed, I had to go down downstairs with her, our house has three stories. So I had to go outside look for him, his car was gone. He wasn’t anywhere to be seen. So I was in shock at that time, because I knew I had to go to the hospital at once. And he wasn’t anywhere to be found. So I had to go back upstairs with my older child with my toddler on my hips. And I had to go to stories up to find my phone and finally call him. And then I had to convince him to come back because he said he went, he was going to go to his parents house because he didn’t understand what I wanted for him to do in the middle of the night to get our toddler dressed. So he obviously didn’t understand anything. And I had to decide if I wanted to call them for emergency medical emergency. And I decided not to do that, because I needed for him to look after our toddler daughter. So I knew that I had to stay in the hospital, or car seat wasn’t his car I had I didn’t see any. I don’t know, I didn’t see any solution to this problem. So I told him, he must come back at once and, and get me to the hospital. And that’s what he did. But we I think it was between 20 and 30 minutes until we actually arrived in the hospital. So it was a big delay. And I wasn’t ready to tell anyone in the hospital what was going on because I didn’t want to put my husband in the back place. And anyway, I just realized I’m talking to them about the circumstances wouldn’t make any any sense because all I wanted for them is to rescue my daughter essentially. So I was really upset with my husband, I had this huge anger inside I that I couldn’t articulate because I wasn’t with him. I couldn’t even talk to him or communicate with him. I didn’t want for anybody else to know. So I wouldn’t try to talk to anybody else in the hospital. And I was in this inner turmoil of anger and hate to be honest, because I was blaming him for all the medical problems that are taught Who would ever have in the future now and in the future. And I was also blaming God, to be honest, I was in an inner rage. I was thinking how could this ever happen to me? How did I deserve something like this to happen in my life? I didn’t. I didn’t find any reason for me to go through something like that. and in this situation, my daughter was standing behind my head looking down at me she was grown up and she didn’t hesitates, she just started to talk to me. And her first words were forgive him. And I, I was so upset, I just answered, No way, I’m never going to get forgive him, because what he has done is unforgivable. And so she talked back to me, and she’s

Unknown Speaker 10:21
dead now, forgive him. And she repeated it between seven and 10 times. And during these moments, I started to try to analyze what was going on. And I was thinking, What’s this? What’s this conversation? Who is? Why is she standing behind my bed? Why does she want for me to forgive him, it just didn’t make any sense to me. And I also felt like she was putting pressure on me extra pressure in this situation, because as I was trying to understand what was going on, I felt like she should have understood my point of view. And my point of view was that I was going to separate from him as soon as possible, as soon as I was out of the hospital again, and, and able to take steps, legal steps to get away from him, actually. And so she repeated, forgive him. And I was not ready to even talk about it. And so we had this telepathic discussion, and I always brought forward some more arguments, why I wouldn’t forgive him. And she was trying to explain to me why I should, for instance, she told me if you don’t forgive him, it’s going to be over your marriage is going to be over. And I said, Well, no problem. I am planning on doing this anyway. So this is nothing that will be in my way, I’m not going to hesitate to separate from a guy that doesn’t protect his family that doesn’t protect his baby, actually. And so she told me, for instance, on maybe he didn’t do it on purpose. And we had been talking for a while before that. And that was actually the point when I started to think it all over. And I realized that she was right. So he definitely didn’t do it on purpose. And this calmed me down. And we had some more parts of the conversation where she finally convinced me that forgiving him was something desirable. So I, I understood from a philosophical point of view, like, totally theoretically, I understood that it was fine. Could be something good for me to do to forgive him. But I told her that I’m not willing to do it, because the circumstances had caused too much pain and anguish for me. And I didn’t want to just look past that. And she tried to make me see why I should forgive him for some more other reasons. But I just, I just didn’t think that I would want to make that effort. It was an emotional effort that seemed to be so huge that I couldn’t do it. Yeah. So I finally told her that I knew what she meant, I knew that she meant well, and that I was just not willing, and not capable of forgiving him at that point in time. And to be honest, I also told her that I think it’s unforgivable. So no matter what, I would never forgive him, like for the whole future. As long as I live, I would never be able or willing to forgive him. And then she was quiet. And

Unknown Speaker 13:53
after that, it was over. So this telepathic discussion was over. And I was thinking so finally, she understood that there is no way that we could ever agree on something because I was not willing to do what she wanted for me to do. And so I was kind of relieved that this pressure on me was gone. And I was fine with how the discussion had ended. But suddenly she was sitting on the visitor’s chair right next to my bed about maybe, I don’t know how much it is in inches, but maybe between four and five feet away from me. Hmm. So there was a visitor’s chair and everybody who comes to visit is allowed to sit in that chair and the chair was in front of the door. So behind the chair, you could see the door to my room. And so she was sitting down and she was holding her hands like she was praying and she was looking at me with this very pleading. look in her eyes, and I knew that she was trying to make me see that it was serious. So I was in a serious situation. And I would, I should at all. I don’t know, under all circumstances, no matter what the circumstances had been, I should forgive him. But I was irritated because of what she looked like. And I didn’t want to start this discussion, and he get anymore and I was just looking at her and I was not ready to get into a telepathic discussion anymore. So from my point of view, this was settled. Wow. Yeah, it was actually very irritating because I was laying in this bed, thinking to myself, What is going on here? I could see the the medical personnel behind the class window, looking at different kinds of medical. How do you call it,

Brian Smith 16:04

Unknown Speaker 16:08
machines that they were checking my oxygen in my blood and all that, and I was looking at this person at the same time, and I was thinking What is going on? I knew that it was my daughter on the chair. But it didn’t seem to make any sense. First of all, she was grown up. Secondly, she looked very strange, like her hairdo was reminded me of the roaring 20s. So she had these waves in her hair. Her hair cut was very short. And also what she was wearing, like her clothes, they looked like something people people would be wearing in the roaring 20s. So I was, I was puzzled, to be honest. And I, I felt that I’d like to reject what I was seeing, because I was starting to think that’s weird. I mean, that’s even weirder than the discussion that we just had, because the discussion felt kind of normal. Or at least, it made some kind of sense. But in this situation, I was I was ready to shut her off in a way. So I was thinking about her hair to what kind of other hairdo would look a lot better on her. And I was thinking about her clothes, thinking that they looked old fashioned Jesus Christ, why was she wearing something like that. And for instance, it was way too tight on on her upper body for what seemed appropriate to, to me. And it was the shirt was too tight. And her skirt was a strange kind of length. So it all looked awkward. And, and also her shoes, I was just thinking about what I would tell her to wear and how I would make maybe to influence her to have another hairdo or stuff like that. So just rationalizing how I would change her so that she would fit in everyday life. Interesting. Wow. Yeah, I was actually I was at that point, I was really shocked. Because I realized that after a couple of minutes, when I was looking at her, she looked absolutely normal, like solid. But when I was concentrating, maybe on an on an element on her shirt or something, I saw the door behind her shimmering slightly through her upper body. And that totally freaked me out. I was thinking, What is going on? How could I see part of the door, not behind her, that, you know, just behind her. And I was I decided I’m not going to go go through with this. And I’m not going to try to listen to her anymore. And it just, it just seemed too weird. And I remember I turned my face away to the other side because I didn’t want to look at her anymore. And the important thing is that I had no idea that I was actually in the process of dying. I was splitting it internally. And they had just decided to sew me up after two hours trying to get the bleeding stop, which they couldn’t and they decided they would just, you know finish the operation and what they were actually not allowed to do. But they told my husband that either I would bleed to death on the operating table, which they didn’t want to happen where they would just finished the operation and and just charge it up because they didn’t put it in any records. So they didn’t write it down. That operation didn’t go well. And I’d had no idea that I was about to die. And my husband actually knew it but he was sent home so he wasn’t allowed to talk to me anymore. And and the thing is that I explained the whole setting to me as my daughter trying to reach me because she knew that I was in the process of dying. And if she wouldn’t reach me and change my attitude and change the emotional turmoil that I was in, I would die in this state of anger and all negative emotions that you can imagine. And I had no idea what he wanted, because I didn’t realize that I was in any danger. And I was thinking, I’m on the way to getting Well, again, I just had my operation. And now I’m going to be home in about a week or so. So that was my belief system at the time. And when I turned my head away from her, because I was just, it was too much for me, to be honest, I was

Unknown Speaker 20:49
I was feeling that I had no strength to be put under any pressure from her anymore. So I turned away. And I actually heard her say, a sentence, she whispered a sentence that was audible. And when she said that sentence, a kind of flash went through my whole body, I can describe it, just I can just say it was like fire or lightning flash going through the inner part of my bones. So I felt a flash of energy, just rushing through me. And at the same time I was in another room. It was just an instant. And I think it was just her sentence that just took me out of the whole situation. And what she was whispering was that, but he’s actually my daddy still. And I heard that sentence and I remembered that it was this energy bolt of lightning going through me in a split second. And then I was in another room, and I was standing upright, I was full of energy, I didn’t feel weak anymore. And I was in, in a room that had no edges. And no ends. I don’t know how to describe it, but that was how I felt it was it was without ends and without edges. It was kind of a round, lengthy round room. And it seems like a huge Hall maybe like inside of a church, but just without the edges and without anything that would disturb the, the the shape of the room. And in this room, I I felt all emotions that I felt were like, intensified by, by 10. Like by tenfold. And I had a huge heat in my chest area. I felt it felt like fire burning like fire and I saw myself and my husband standing about seven meters seven. I don’t know what this is, and

Brian Smith 23:13
it’s about 20 feet, but

Unknown Speaker 23:15
Okay, okay, yeah, about 20 feet away from me. And I was standing on the left side, my husband was standing on the right side. And the way we were standing is that we were holding our hands up in an 45 degree angles towards each other so that just our fingertips would be about to meet above us, and it looks like a doorway like an ancient doorway.

Announcer 23:41
We’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at WWW dot grief to www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w If you’d like to support this podcast visit slash grief to growth slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th today make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth. And

Unknown Speaker 24:41
as I was watching what I was presented with, I realized that this is the door of life. So my husband and I had been the door of life for our daughter. And I first I was irritated. I had no idea where I was but I realize that this meant that I was presented with the door of life, which means that we had a both equal on input into, into her and into her life and into our future. And I saw that my, for my heart there was coming a light out of it. And this light was on, how should I say it? It was enlightening the whole room. So there was no other sources of light, but the light that was coming out of my heart. And I was wondering how this was be possible. And I looked down at myself. And when I looked down, I saw that there were two different pipe pipe pipelines of light, went out of my chest area out of my heart, one was going towards me, and one was going towards my husband. And I was overwhelmed by all these emotions, there, I could analyze four emotions. One was love. And one was remorse. And one was sadness or grief. And the fourth one was a very strong desire for being forgiven for everything that I had done wrong. In in my whole life. I don’t know why. But it was a very, very strong emotion. And I was puzzled by everything I did, I was presented with in this in this room. And I was starting to understand that I had to ask myself some questions. And I asked myself, What is this that is coming out of me like light or fire, because it had little fibers in it that were like, little strings of fire, so it was just little fibers, and then about five feet away from me, it would separate so this pipeline would kind of crack crack open, and some of these strings would look out. And then it was just like, very strong flashlights from every one of the two pipelines was just white light, pure white, light, netboot, enlightened the whole room. And the answer that I was given was that love, what is what is shining in this area. So that’s love that comes out of me. And I was, in this moment, I was so overwhelmed that I realized that I was seeing the situation, from my daughter’s point of view, I realized that this is not my only point of view, because I, as I was analyzing it, it was, I was seeing the whole situation from her point of view. And I don’t think that I’m such a good person to be able to enlighten the whole room by myself. But I, as I was watching it, I realized that it may, and that her love to me and her love to her dad, were exactly the same. And in the situation, when I was so angry with my husband, it seemed unbelievable that she would love him just the same as she would love me. And so that got me thinking. And while I was thinking about this equality of the love, I realized that it’s the same with the door of life. Also with us, we are both 50% of the door of life, like genetically and in every other way. And at the same time, her left to us, was also either 100% for both of us, or you could say 50% for me, and 50% for her dad.

Unknown Speaker 28:50
Yeah, while I was looking at this, what was presented to me, I, I reached a point where I got it that she wanted for me to see that I shouldn’t think that I was any better than my husband. Because in our discussion, in our telepathic discussion, she told me that one sentence was, no one is better than the other one. So this was one of those sentences, and it looked as if she would show me in this spiritual round, that this was the truth that none of us is more important to her, and that she has the same for both of us, and that it was not fair of me to think that I was any better than my husband, because he just didn’t understand what was going on in this situation. Do you want for me to go on? Yes, yes, please. I had reached a point where i, where i thought that I had understood what the store of life was about. And I had reached a point where I realized that she loved my husband. The same that she loved me And I was shattered, I was so overwhelmed by the thought that you had so much understanding for him and so much love for him that I was, I had the feeling that my whole concept of life was, was tumbling down. And as soon as I had the idea that I understood what this was all about, I saw in the distance, about 20 feet further away from my husband and knees standing towards each other, I saw huge pharmacy scales, they were at least three times bigger than we were. So I am automatically met the mathematician, but it must have been huge from the perspective that I was in because it was a lot further away. And the scales were in balance. And there was a little bit on one side, and then there was a huge bed on the other side. And I, I was actually I was shocked when I saw it. Because as soon as I saw those scales, I had the feeling that this was really serious. And that was something that looked like authority, so that I couldn’t, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have a say in what was presented to me now. That’s how I felt to me. And the one side was a little bit spiky, like little black spikes, and the other one was like jelly fish. So it was kind of gooey and soft. And, and I realized, when I saw that those little piles, or bunches, I realized that it was what came out of our lives. Like the that was the thing that didn’t fit in with what we should have lived our life like. And it felt like it was like, if our life was something like Earth, we would be put through a grid. And those big things wouldn’t fit through the grid. So everything else was fine, it fell through. But these things were the things that couldn’t get through. So they stood out. And I, I was trying to analyze later on what what did those punches mean. And I think it’s the things that that we have to carry, like the psychological things that are kind of a burden for each of us, there’s something that that we carry with us through life. And I realized that this little spiky things, they were something like inner harsh criticism, maybe even if you don’t say it out loud, but inside you, you criticize others, and you have judgment about others, and it’s hurtful in a way, like it’s hurtful as if you would step on something like a little spiky thing that is in your foot and it hurts really, really bad. And the other thing behind my husband was this jellyfish kind of thing. And I intuitively realized that it meant that the things that he had to work with or or try to

Unknown Speaker 33:27
try to change was that he was too soft like this jellyfish, it has no backbone, you know what I mean? It is it’s it’s very adaptive to to some surface, but it doesn’t have any strength in it. Hmm, okay, yeah. And so it meant that this kind of sense that I had done and my husband had done, it felt like bunches of sense that were sipped out of our lives, and analyzed. And what I hadn’t explained before is that when I saw my husband and me standing before me, there, there was a point when I could see inside of us, it was like, a psychological analyzation of all our strengths and weaknesses. So there it was, as if it was percentages, for instance, empathy, for instance, 60%, and other things like hope 70% were patients 80%. And each one of us was, was analyzed at the same time. So simultaneously, I could look inside of us and realize what the strengths of my husband were, and what my inner character looked like it, it seemed as if I would just be able to look through us so that the body didn’t matter. But I would look through all everything on the surface and just the character would stand out. And at the same time, when I saw the scales, I realized that the scales were Even meant that there was no way that in. In reality, this could be even because the jellyfish was a huge pile and the little spiky things were just very small. And I knew that they didn’t have a lot of weight. So it, it seemed strange that this case would be even. And then I realized that that’s how I explained it to me in the situation, I realized that it must be a process that first sees the potential in both of us. So it’s like a mathematical potential of our character traits. That is accurate. And then behind us is it’s like plus and minus. It’s like an equation. So in the front, that was plus, like all our potential. And in the back on the scales, there was the outcome, like the life result of both of us. And the life result. was even so there was no one of us better than the other one. But of course, it meant that we were both not very good. And when I saw it, I was devastated. Because I realized that with what I have had seen in both of us, there was so much more potential, and what was the outcome in that situation. So it was really embarrassing, it was shocking, and, and I was, yeah, I was devastated. I was ashamed of what I saw in front of me. And I think it was all those negative emotions that I had been in. That resulted in this equation, and it was horrible. I, I had constant thoughts about how, how I wish to change it, I had this urge to make everything better, and prove that I could do better. But I had this feeling that there was nothing I could do any more like it was final. It’s like if you have a test that you have, if you are in your final year in high school, and you have to do the final exams, then if you hand in the test, it’s done. If you want to rush up to your teacher and say, Oh, my God, I just got this idea how I could do this one part better and and change this one because it’s wrong. And the teacher says, Well, I’m sorry, everybody has said it in their, their stuff, and you can’t change anything anymore. And that’s how it felt. So I had this feeling that my life result was done. And no matter how much I understood how I could have done it better, I I couldn’t change a thing about it anymore. And this was the most horrible thing that I felt the finality of it. And that being able to understand everything in this room was too late, it felt too late. And I reached a point when I was thinking I understand everything. And in this moment, I was in a totally different area I was on on my favorite mountain, about 2000 meters high, just below the the peak. And there was a little fence a wooden fence in front of me. And it was actually the real whether that was

Unknown Speaker 38:17
real at that time of day. So it was in the very early hours of the morning. And I was walking the path and I had been on that mountain first couple of times. So I had been there with my family and friends, but always on the very good weather conditions. So always in sunshine and always nice weather and with a future view and and as I was looking around me I realized where I was because I knew the setting. But the weather was just horrible. Like it was very windy and foggy and I could hardly see where it was going. And then I saw a huge boulder in front of me. And it was way taller than I was it was about eight feet tall and eight feet in diameter. And it was very spiky with sharp edges. And it freaked me out. I was just going on this little path, this narrow path. And then there was this huge boulder in front of me and I tried to find a way to go around it or, you know, pass by it. But there was no way because this path was so narrow. There was a stone wall next to me on the left side. And on the right side there was a very steep hill, hillside down. So there was grass and everything but it was way too steep to try to go there because you would fall and as I was standing there I realized for the first time that I’m in danger, that’s the first time when I realized it’s about me it this whole thing is about me and I’m standing with a huge A huge thing in my way I can never get around it, I cannot escape it. If I go back down, it will roll down the hill on the path and crush me. I cannot go to the left, I can’t go to the right. And there’s no way to escape in any direction. And that’s when I realized that it was I was in life danger. That’s that’s the point when I realized there’s no way out. There is absolutely no way I can get out of this situation. And I had been in this other in this round where I was enlightening the whole round with the fire in my heart. But when I was standing on this path, I realized that everything that I hadn’t understood was true. Everything was final, I couldn’t change anything about my life anymore. I couldn’t change my feelings that I had been in, I realized that this My life was over, I realized that my path is gone. I cannot take any step further. And I was so frightened that I wasn’t able to have one more thought. And I just stared at this huge folder. And I was thinking this is it. There’s no way out. And I’m, I’m not able to change anything anymore. And this is it. And then I had no thoughts in my in my mind anymore. And suddenly, I heard like a little echo the things that my daughter was telling me before I was catapulted in this room, and I remembered her voice saying, forgive him, forgive him. And so this was just like an acoustic echo that I heard, like therapy telepathically. And in this moment, I realized what she meant was that there was just one way out of the situation. And that was to forgive him. And all the sudden, it seemed so easy. I don’t know it. As I felt that I was in life danger, I didn’t mind to forgive him. It seemed like the most natural thing to do. And I realized that this was my only chance of escaping this horrible situation where I was stuck in. And so I said, I forgive him. And I meant it. And I was breathing in and out. I remember that very clearly. And all of a sudden, this huge rock was starting to roll downhill to my left to my right. And I was so startled that I watched it I turned over and I watched it as it was gaining momentum going down the hill. And it even pulled out little pieces of dirt and, and grass, or throwing them in the air as it went down. So it was totally realistic. And I was so astonished. I didn’t dare making another step. And I was I was thinking, oh my goodness, what just happened and just saying that I forgive him took this huge powder away and out of my way. And so I realized my path is clear again. And I wanted to go over between the fence because there was a little

Unknown Speaker 43:17
doorway so that you could go through the fence. And I wanted to reach that little wooden fence and go up to the mountain to the very top. But as I went ahead for maybe two or three more steps, I was catapulted back in my ICU bed, and tears were running down my cheeks because for some reason, I felt the strangest things, I felt uplifted. I felt forgiven, I was totally happy. I was totally okay with everything in my situation. And I was, um, I felt that I had been blessed and that I had been forgiven everything actually. And that I remembered part of the scripture that says that you should be forgiven. As you forgive, I don’t know, but there’s a connection. And I realized that because I had forgiven my husband. For some reason I felt like I was going through a spiritual washing machine. It felt like I came in dirty, and I came out totally clean. And it felt. I don’t know, I felt so relieved. I can’t put it in words. And I didn’t want to wait for any other moment. I sent my husband a short message. And I wrote to him that I’m sorry that I was thinking that it was his fault. What had happened and that I’m sorry that I had accused him of silently and that I was okay with everything and that I didn’t have any accusations for him anymore. And I told him that I was sure that our daughter was I’m disabled, because she told me in our telepathic discussion, she told me when I told her, this is going on for the last two years, I, I can’t forgive him so much, you know, this amount of time that there was disappointments and broken promises and everything I said to her, I can’t forgive any of it. Because I told her if even if I could forgive what happened today, it would still amount to, I couldn’t forgive everything that he had done for the last two years, so it’s too much. And that’s when she told me, I can also forgive. And for me, it’s not only about two years, it’s about my whole life. And at that moment, I realized that she must be talking about some mental or physical disability. That’s how I interpreted it. And I was sure at that moment that she was very badly harmed by this accident, and that I was 100% sure that she was handicapped, severely handicapped, but I didn’t mind at that stage, I just, I was just happy that she would survive, actually, to be honest. And, and after that, I told my husband in the short message, that I’m sure that our daughter will be severely handicapped. But that I think that if we have understanding for each other, and if we stick together, we can overcome everything that is, in our way, any anything. So no matter what it is, we could, so more or less, we could overcome everything. So there is no obstacle in our way anymore. And this huge boulder seemed like the symbol for all these obstacles that were in my way, all these negative emotions, and that I had against my husband. So I had written this short message, and I was feeling totally happy and in, in total place, and everything was alright, and I and I had the feeling that now everything was fine, forever, to be honest. So it, nothing could ever change that. And I was thinking now I should go to sleep because I was awake for the whole night. And as I wanted to fall asleep, I realized that my heart rate was was increasing. And as I felt my heart beating, ever and ever faster, I realized that this meant that the heart of my daughter, one hour away from me in the other clinic was beating like that, and that I felt what she was going through. And so I pressed the button for,

Unknown Speaker 47:40
for the people to come in for the medical personnel to check on me. And I told them that I have this notion that I think that my daughter is in stress, and could they please call the other clinic to make sure that she was okay. And the lady told me that only the doctor can make these phone calls, she’s not allowed to. And the doctor is busy with another operation. So I would have to wait. And after maybe another five or 10 minutes, I was in such a state that I was about to cry. So it was so horrible. But I felt it felt like my daughter is going through so much pain and distress. And so I asked again for them to call the other clinic. And when they declined again, I asked him for a Bible because I was thinking maybe I could find a clue in the psalm of the, of the date of the birthday of my daughter, like, in a way like a message from her to me. If I read the psalm of her birthday, then maybe I could realize what’s going on at what, what she would like to tell me that was my intuitive idea at this very strange because I hadn’t looked in the Bible for years, to be honest. But in during that night, my mom had been on the phone with me, asking me to Yeah, to pray with her. And I said, I’m not going to pray anything because that’s, that was before my near death experience. And I was so in anger and turmoil. I was not ready to pray anything. And I said to her, no prayer is going to be okay with this situation. So there’s nothing that I could ever pray even if I wanted to. And she said, Oh, there’s one prayer. God’s will, should be done. And I said, I’m not going to pray that I said, Nobody asked me if I was okay with it. And it’s going to happen anyway. So there’s no purpose for me to join in this prayer at that time. And in this moment, when I felt all the distress that my daughter was going through in the other clinic, I felt that I needed some message from her that would reassure me Actually, I was hoping that there was something in Psalm saying, I’m in distress, but everything will be fine. Because that’s what I was hoping for. And so someone gave me the Bible from another section in this hospital. And I looked up her Psalm, as quick as I could. And, and it started with, I’m calling to you, God are listen to us, when we call to you in distress. And so I was going down to some as fast as I could, and the end was God, down here, as when we are calling for you and yours in the hour that we are calling for you. And in the Catholic tradition, there’s a prayer that you say, for Mary, and there’s one line in it saying, our God have mercy on us in the hour of art death, actually in the last hour before we die. And this little line reminded me of this other prayer. And I realized that this was the hour when she was dying. So that’s, that’s true, in a way what I felt. So this was it. And of course, I asked them to call again, but they just came in an hour more than an hour later. And they told me that my daughter died about an hour ago. And I knew the time when I had looked at it. At the time when I had read the prayer, and this Psalm and I realized that it was the same time when my daughter was actually dying, when I was reading this line that said, Listen to us when we call out for you. So this was, in a way was very touching. But in another way, it was very hard to be an hour away and to feel that your daughter is dying in another clinic and you can change anything about it.

Brian Smith 52:02
Alright, that’s the end of part one. Stay tuned for part two. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

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