Shelley F. Knight- Shares Life Lessons From The Dying

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.

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