Welcome to
The Afterlife Advocate
 A Conversation  about Conscious Dying, Conscious Grieving
and the Journey of the Soul
Issue # 26 - February 2017

Published by The Afterlife Education Foundation,
producer of the Original Afterlife Conference  
Events we


Santa Rosa, CA
Feb. 11
with Terri Daniel 


Naples, FL., Feb. 8
SMALL GROUP READING with Suzane Northrop


Anaheim, CA. Feb. 18

with Hollister Rand 


Mt. Laurel, NJ - Feb. 22
with Suzane Northrop 

St. Louis, MO. March 3-5   SHAMANIC PRACTICES
with Linda Fitch


Costa Rica, April 22 
with animal communicator
Danielle Mackinnon 


Faber, VA. April 21
with William Buhlman


New Brunswick, Canada 
March 28  
John Holland
and Shawn Leonard 

Working with Grief on
Valentine's Day

If you are mourning the death of a loved one, living with your grief during holidays such as Valentine's Day can be overwhelming. Everyone around you is celebrating togetherness, but you're struggling with the fact that your loved one is no longer physically present in your life.   

Methods for coping with grief are studied by psychologists and social scientists, but you may be surprised to learn that there is very little research on resilience in the grief process... at least in modern Western society. The fact is that loss and bereavement does not have to devastate us, and we may be more resilient than we think.

The term "grief work" was  coined by Sigmund Freud in his 1913 essay, Mourning and Melancholia. He proposed that the mourning process should result in an eventual detachment from the memories and emotions that linked us to the departed. This letting go process is extremely painful, but without breaking that bond (said Freud), we are not able to heal.

Freud was not a fan of spirituality, and what he didn't realize was that those bonds CANNOT be broken.  If he'd followed the lead of mourning practices in other cultures, he might have learned that maintaining those bonds produces healthier outcomes. Most of today's grief counselors know this, and we now understand grief as a series of tasks that include what researcher William Worden calls "relocating the deceased" in one's life.

Think about how powerful that word is... relocating. It has both a physical and a non-physical application. In the three-dimensional world where we gather with family during the holidays, send Valentine cards or light birthday candles, the departed is not physically present in that location. But from a metaphysical perspective, many of us sense or understand that the person has merely moved to a different location in time/space. And knowing this can help us create meaningful rituals to make the milestone dates a little less heartbreaking.

So this year, instead of focusing on the absence of your loved one, focus on their presence by inviting them to the festivities. Create symbolic representations and rituals, for example, making a Valentine card and then burning it in a ceremony that sends your love "up" to the spirit world via the smoke. Or cook their favorite dinner and invite friends to share it with you. 

Sad feelings are more easily healed and balanced when we invite them in rather than push them away. Recognizing that our loved ones are still very much a part of us can provide some relief from pain and open the possibility of finding joy in life again.  

Rev. Terri Daniel, MA, CT
Founder, The Afterlife Conference
Interfaith Chaplaincy, Bereavement Support


The Broken Heart Syndrome

Many us were amazed -- but not surprised -- when actress Debbie Reynolds died the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher did. Both deaths were unanticipated, and many experts attribute this to something called " the broken heart syndrome," where someone dies within days, hours or minutes of a loved one's departure.
Here   you'll find a wonderful commentary from a hospice nurse describing how common this syndrome is. I know that many parents who've experienced the death of a child wished for something like this to happen to them... I know I did when my son died. But now, ten years later, I know so much more about life, death and the journey of the soul, and I know that resilience -- and thriving -- is not only possible, it is what our loved ones want for us. 

Palliative Care Not Readily Available
for Many at End-of-Life 

"The average life span has nearly doubled during the last century. But while people are living longer, they're now facing health challenges that were less prevalent before - severe chronic illness, cancer, lung disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's-debilitating conditions that often cause great pain and suffering."  


What Hospice Chaplains Do

There are many misconceptions about the role of hospice and hospital chaplains (Hint: we don't try to save your soul). HERE is a great interview with a very competent hospice chaplain who gives an excellent overview of chaplaincy work.


Take our new survey
and get 
$25 off general admission to the Afterlife Conference 

Many thanks to those of you who completed our survey back in August (by now you should have received your discount code). We're launching another survey this month, and invite all our subscribers to participate.

In return for your time, you'll receive a $25 discount on general admission to the 2017 Afterlife Conference (one discount per person). Thanks for your support! 


Grief as a Mystical Journey
Coming to California
Many of you have asked when Terri Daniel's  Grief as a Mystical Journey workshop will be returning to the west coast. We're delighted to announce that it's scheduled for Feb. 11 in Santa Rosa, CA.  Please click below for details.


Portland, OR., June 1-4, 2017 


Congratulations to our 2017 scholarship recipients,  Ann Gillespie, Donna Ronio,  Aimee J Mattila, and Mira Luna.  Thanks to a generous donation from our friend Ellee Green and the Easley Family Foundation, we are able to give these four partial scholarship to help defray some of the costs of attending the conference.  We look forward to seeing Ann, Donna, Aimee and Mira in Portland!


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