Helping Parents Heal: Join Us For a Meeting in Your Area!

Click on the location nearest you to find a Helping Parents Heal group in your area, or join the online group. New groups are starting for siblings, too! Click here to find a Helping Siblings Heal group.

Please also check out our newest Online groups; Helping Fathers Heal, Moving Forward After Suicide, Parents of Children who have passed of an Addiction, and Parents of Special Needs Children. Click the Online button below to be automatically redirected to these four groups.

Dawn Richards and Mary Bertun are our Affiliate Directors.  Please contact them at: if you are interested in starting an affiliate of Helping Parents Heal.

Alaska: Matsu Valley
Organizer: Jean Pretorius and Dawn Harris [click to email]

Jean Pretorius:

My name is Jean. My son and only child Matthew, transitioned on 8/21/2010 forever 20. I saw a television interview where the focus was on Helping Parents Heal and I joined their Facebook group, and found so much healing from reading others posts. I started opening myself up to signs and synchronicities; I began to hear songs on the radio which reminded me of him; picking up pennies, often with specific dates; seeing repeating numbers like 8/21 and each time I would feel a warmth and know this is a sign from my precious Matthew. Healing and personal growth comes from sharing and interacting with other parents who have experienced a loss and I hope to make this a place where parents can find support, love and empathy on their journey of healing.

Dawn Harris:

My name is Dawn and my eldest son Jacob passed away in February of 2017, when my greatest fear became my reality. He transitioned to Heaven after being killed in a tragic snow mobile accident here in Alaska at the young age of 19. I look for him in rainbows, shooting stars and special signs and wonders. He was born on 6/22 and passed on 2/26. I find special meaning in these numbers and believe that, unbeknownst to his family, it was his time to leave and his mission here on Earth was accomplished. After receiving the gift of love and support from many fellow bereaved friends and family, it has become the desire of my heart to give back that love and support to other grieving parents and to offer hope and a helping hand in the healing process.

Arizona: Cave Creek
Organizer: Carol Allen [click to email]

Helping Parents Heal has been an amazing and powerful tool for me during this difficult journey we call grief.  My husband and I raised our boys in Cave Creek, AZ.  My oldest son TJ is 24 and my youngest son Tyler is forever 19.  Tyler gained his angel wings on May 14, 2015 when he was hit by a car on his motorcycle.  Tyler is always with me, as are all your children; he has proven it many times. I am honored to be able to share my wonderful experiences with parents and siblings. I look forward to helping each other heal.

Arizona: Cave Creek/Scottsdale Helping Siblings Heal
Organizer: Gina Zoulek [click to email]

Gina is the mother of Zachary forever 22 years, Garrett 21 and Emma 14.

My husband Tom and I raised our kids in Rio Verde and most recently the last 6 years here in Cave Creek. Zachary gained his angel wings on April 20, 2017 after being hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. I was devastated and heartbroken, living my worst nightmare ever. I reached out to another angel mom Carol Allen, who introduced me to Helping Parents heal, I found support through other angel moms and would like to offer that same support to my kids through other siblings who have angel siblings. I am starting a monthly helping siblings heal support group in Cave Creek.

Arizona: Flagstaff
Organizer: Janean Quigley and Dana Middlebrook [click to email]

Janean’s Bio:
Searching for answers this past February 2017, I was online considering going to a conference by Susanne Wilson.  When I realized it was booked and I’d have to be placed on a waiting list, I said out loud to my son,  “OK Sean, if I’m supposed to do this, get me into this conference”.  Within 30 min, I received a phone call from the coordinator that there was a cancellation and I was in.  Thus began my introduction to Helping Parents Heal.  I was embraced that day by Elizabeth Boisson and Carol Allen and so touched by many others like Ernie, Kristine and Quinton, and of course by the love and healing touch of Susanne Wilson and her team including Camber Wilson.

Arizona: Mesa
Organizer: Glenda Pearson [click to email]

Glenda is a Reiki Master, Munay Ki practitioner, Intuitive Guide, Stephen’s Minister, Author and Certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist.  Reflected in her book, “But Should The Angels Call For Him”, she speaks of her personal loss through the death of her only child, Chad, and believes there is healing available for everyone.

Arizona: Phoenix / Scottsdale
Organizer: Elizabeth Boisson [click to email]

Elizabeth is the President and Co-Founder of Helping Parents Heal.  Two of Elizabeth’s children have transitioned; her daughter Chelsea two days after she was born on January 21, 1991, and her son Morgan at the Base Camp of Mount Everest due to severe altitude sickness on a student trip to Tibet on October 20, 2009.  Immediately following Morgan’s passing, Elizabeth founded the Facebook site, ‘Parents United in Loss’  and began holding monthly meetings in Arizona.  In March, 2012, she joined forces with Mark Ireland to found Helping Parents Heal.  She also publishes the monthly newsletter.  Elizabeth is a certified yoga instructor and teaches yoga for healing grief.

Arizona: Scottsdale Book Club
Organizer: Lynn Hollahan [click to email]

Lynn Hollahan is a Shining Light Parent whose son, Devon, transitioned in November 2009 at the age of 22. She was fortunate enough to become a part of Helping Parents Heal early on and today many of her best friends are also Shining Light Parents.  She enjoys being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Some of her passions include traveling, photography, adventures, cooking, and reading.  Books about the afterlife are of specific interest and she looks forward to sharing these thoughts and ideas with other like-minded parents.

Arizona: Sedona
Organizer: Leslie and Jean-Marc Zuczek [click to email]

Little did we know, that on March 18, 2017, our only child, our beloved son André, 15, ever curious, and fearless, had decided to try LSD for the first time with several of his friends. This experimentation quickly turned into a terrifying trip for André, one that ended with him falling from a 3rd-floor balcony, and consequently suffering massive brain trauma.

During the 3 days André remained in coma in the hospital, Jean-Marc was blessed with a profound spiritual experience, a download of information as it were, that made it absolutely and immediately clear that nothing could’ve prevented that tragic experience, as it had been planned and fully agreed upon, within a soul contract the three of us had created while still in spirit. Following this experience, were a steady series of messages from any open channel that André could find. These experiences brought us much comfort and further validation of his continuing loving presence in our lives.

We recently have moved to Sedona, AZ, and when we found out there wasn’t a HPH group in this community we felt a strong inner prompting, to start a local chapter. We both come from a strong spiritual/metaphysical background that significantly helped us cope with our tragic loss. We also both have an extensive background of study and practice in the healing arts.

We love our son with all our hearts and we could not be prouder of him in life and in heaven. His persistent efforts to communicate with us have been simply amazing and deeply touched and inspired our hearts! We know he will be attending our meetings and possibly coordinating efforts with the children of our group members on the other side!

Arizona: Tucson
Organizer: Terri Petz and Sandra Daniel-Hassel [click to email]

Terri Petz’s Bio:                                                                                      

I am the mother of 2 children, my son Justin, 36, and my beautiful, intelligent, funny, determined little girl, my daughter Sheridan, who graduated to heaven just after her 15th birthday in March of 2014, from a head injury she received during a cheerleading stunt. She was the center of my world, and I couldn’t imagine living in it without her. I came very close to giving up many times. But from the very beginning, she made it known that she hadn’t gone anywhere! Thru visions, and messages, and unmistakable signs, she pushed me to keep walking thru my grief. Determined to continue my relationship with her, I dug into afterlife research. I found myself on a spiritual path that has brought both healing for me, and the desire to be of service to others. I am now certified as a Spiritual Life Coach, Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, and an ordained minister. I plan to study Past Life Regression Hypnosis later this year, as well as Reiki healing, working on developing my spiritual gifts, and to build my practice in Holistic Wellness. Thru a series of wonderful synchronicities, I have found amazing friends who brought me to HPH. I am very excited to be an affiliate leader for the Tucson Chapter of HPH, with the hope of sharing the knowledge that our loved ones are with us, every step of the way!

Sandra Daniel-Hassel:

My middle son, Ethan, at age 21, passed from an accidental lethal interaction of heroin and Xanax on February 11, 2011. It was just days after celebrating his daughter’s 1st Birthday on January 30th as well as living a healthy lifestyle for over 3 years. My husband, myself and his two brothers were in complete shock and devastated by his sudden passing.

I fell into HPH by pure coincidence, after attending a workshop in Prescott on April 2016 by Suzanne Giesemann and HPH was mentioned. On the last day of the workshop, Suzanne Giesemann delivered a message from my son. It was so comforting and healing to hear his message, to feel his love and to feel hope. Shortly after that time, I was asked to co-lead the Affiliate Chapter in Tucson. Over the past 3 years, co-facilitating this group has helped me in my journey through grief by serving other parents along the same path, by providing hope, comfort, support and validation.

I will always miss my son Ethan and I will speak his name daily. Through the pain of his passing I have grown spiritually, personally, as well as, professionally in helping other parents going through the passage of grief and loss.

Arizona: Tucson West Side
Organizer: Janice Crowder-Torrez [click to email]

Janice Crowder-Torrez:
Wanting to honor her son’s spirit, courage, and the many gifts he left behind, Janice discovered Helping Parents Heal in Scottsdale, AZ.  Opening the door for other parents to grieve their loss, while offering support to small groups, Janice decided to start a chapter in Tucson where she resides and her son Anthony, aged 31, took his life. Janice worked in health care for many years before turning to other healing modalities such as meditation and healing energies. Janice is writing a book about her son’s amazing life and the many challenges he faced.
Janice’s meeting will be a small-group format at her home.  Please email for exact location.  The meeting days and times are TBA.  She hopes you will join her!

Organizer: Karyn Jarvie [click to email]

I am a mother of one child who resides now in the spirit world. Emma was 15 when she died on 29th December. I have no other family apart from fur babies. I have a degree in Social Work, Business, and Repair and Grief Reattachment psychotherapy. I have post graduate qualifications in Clinical Rehabilitation. I am a trained Past Life Regression and LBL facilitator and therapist. I also have attained the level of Master in Reiki. I am a first responder and am on an Australian Red Cross Disaster team. My working life I specialised in trauma, grief and education. I have developed many training programs and authored and co-authored several training programs for health professionals and clients. I volunteer for IDigitalMedium, Flint Trust and AREI with Wendy Zammit with whom I am presently developing education and development programs. I teach people to do EVP and am actively involved in research both with AREI & Sonia Rinaldi. I also conduct communications via EVP. I believe very strongly in empowering people to take control in their own lives. I strive to be a role model that one can grow positively from the death of a child. I hold no religious views. I have a blog


California: Eureka / Humboldt County
Organizer: Nancy Courtemanche [click to email]

The loss of my son Robb, 29, has made me painfully aware of the need for parents to have a group setting that is safe and confidential. Healing occurs. Out of my loss I dedicated myself to service for others in volunteer Hospice patient care and grief support, as a Hospital Chaplain, and healing work.  This has prepared me to lead an HPH group now.

California: Redlands
Organizer: Heather Evatt [click to email]

My name is Heather Evatt, and I am a single mother to two boys. I lost my six year old son, Aiden “Ace” on March 1, 2016 to SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood). My younger son is turning six this year. My boys are my life, and losing Aiden shattered me but also started me on a journey to explore the more spiritual side of life. I was introduced to HPH Online after hearing a podcast interviewing Tracy Soussi about her experience with Suzanne Giesemann. Prior to that I was doing my own research and healing by reading, listening to NDE’s and other afterlife videos, and connecting to my son through mediums. I have received unbelievable signs early and often from my son, and I know he is with me. I also practice meditation, yoga, and I am studying Reiki. After being a part of the website, I decided I wanted to try to give back by starting a local chapter for parents in my area.

California: San Diego
Organizer: Catalina Flores and Dawn Richards [click to email]

California: San Luis Obispo
Organizer: Michele and Bill Tillery [click to email]

Our daughter, Jordan Brooks went home 08/28/16. She was 32, our only child & my best friend. Jordan had a rare disease called Gastroparesis. Her stomach & intestines were paralyzed. There is no cure & few treatments. She asked to stop her IV nutrition & go on hospice June 2016. We had no idea the heartache that lay ahead. Jordan was always an old soul. We understand what that means now, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Within days of her transition, she was working hard to get our attention. We knew she was in Heaven, but we had no idea what she was capable of in spirit. In the past two years she has taken us on a spiritual journey we never imagined possible with signs & synchronicities daily.
In April 2017 we attended the HPH conference in Arizona as very bereaved & broken parents. For the first time since Jordan’s passing, we felt at ease meeting new people. We had found our tribe. This past year we have become Shining Light Parents and are excited to be a beacon of hope in our county of San Luis Obispo, Ca.

California: Ventura County
Organizer: Gloria Burciaga [click to email]

About Gloria:

On November 24, 2011. I lost my son Anthony Martinez at the age of 6 on, “Thanksgiving Day,” he was fatally hit while riding his bicycle. The journey of a bereaved parent has forever changed my family’s life. Hypnotherapy has helped me deal with the guilt and hopelessness. The loss of a child is something a parent does not know how to cope or move forward from. It is unaddressed and ignored.

With my personal experience and background. I know I can help family’s move forward, be mindful, and gain control of their everyday life. I have been trained in bereavement and I have walked and will continue through this path for the rest of my life. I would be honored to assist others, that would want my assistance, through hypnosis.

Canada: Ontario, Ottawa
Organizer: Patti May [click to email]

I am a mother of 3 wonderful children and have been married to their father for 30 years. I lost my son Adam in 2006 in a tragic auto accident. Since Adam’s passing I have had afterlife signs that have helped me.  I began to search for like-minded parents to share our experiences. I came across the wonderful group Helping Parents Heal and asked if I could start a group here in Canada.

Canada: Toronto
Organizer: Teresa Cernigliaro and Karen Wilson [click to email]

Teresa Cernigliaro:

My name is Teresa Cernigliaro and I am blessed to be the mother of 3 children, 2 daughters here with me and my son Joey, forever 19, in Heaven. Shortly after Joey’s passing on November 25, 2017, I couldn’t sleep and I was on the internet looking for resources to help me navigate this horrible journey I now found myself on. My search was primarily about the afterlife and I came across the podcast that Tracy Soussi did on We Don’t Die Radio and therein my journey led me to Helping Parents Heal. The resources and support I find in Helping Parents Heal have aided in my healing and shown me hope. I am from Ontario, Canada and Ottawa (4 hours away) was the closest affiliate group. It is my desire to have a place where parents in my area who find themselves in this unimaginable situation of child loss, have a place to come where they are met with compassion, support and provided an accepting, safe place to begin to heal. I have no doubt my precious Joey directed me here and I am forever grateful to be a part of this community.

Karen Wilson: 

Hello to all of the loving parents on this journey.  My name is Karen, and my only son Nick transitioned on March 25, 2017 at the age of 22 years old in a car accident. I knew almost immediately that Nick was “out there” somewhere and that there was more to this life than just physical life.   “Death” could not be the end.  I felt a very strong pull to explore this and here I am.  Whether you believe, you are not sure or you need proof, first and foremost I want to be someone who can do some good and help other parents.  I feel like we become  a different breed of people once we have a child that has left the physical world, and sharing our feelings and experiences is of paramount importance to healing.  For myself, I know that Nick is with me all the time.  The signs, feelings and just knowing can’t be denied. Also, I have been to well respected Mediums and there is no doubt in my mind Nick is “here”. I hope we can connect and help each other.

Connecticut: Central
Organizer: Sharon Cavanaugh and Denise Del Favero [click to email]

Sharon’s Bio:

Our world was turned upside down twice. First when our fiery red headed daughter Sarah was diagnosed with a rare cancer just before her 20th birthday and on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016 the day she left this earth at 24 years old. Even though her intense adventure with cancer took years her passing, with her dad and me by her side, literally took seconds and totally caught us off guard. Since then we have been trying to figure out how we fit in this world. A wonderful medium suggested we attend the Helping Parents Heal conference. We were worried that being with so many people in that much grief would be impossible for us but we took a chance and went. HPH has been a huge inspiration and lifeline (the online group as well). We continually work to make a stronger connection with our daughter. Knowing she is still right here is good but really feeling and believing it with our whole heart is the ultimate goal.

Denise’s Bio:

“There is no death, only a change of worlds” Chief Seattle

I always believed that those who die actually become closer to us than they could be in the physical form. I believe that in a split second of thought, of saying their name, of recalling a memory, of feeling our love for them and their spirit is immediately with us. It is what has brought me the most comfort since the moment my sweet middle child, 22-year-old son Nicholas left his earthly body on April 24, 2018. Holding his hand as he lay in Smilow Cancer Center’s MICU and took his last breath I immediately experienced his peace and lightness as he transitioned. I glimpsed at the time…11:11 pm…his first of many signs conveying that he is ok and still very much with us. For me, healing is through celebrating in every way, in every day the subtle or obvious ways that Nick communicates how very close he is. It is what brings me hope, it is what gives me life, it is what heals my heart.

Connecticut: East Connecticut
Organizer: Louis Weingart and Bob Perry [click to email]

Louis Weingart:

My wife, Maria, and I are the parents of 4 children. On December 28, 2010, our youngest son, Joe, graduated Earth School. At first, the pain and grief we were experiencing seemed so overwhelming. As we searched for answers we looked to afterlife for hope and healing. As my understanding of where our son is changed from being buried in the cemetery, to a soul full of life. Our burden started to lift. Still much grief work to do, but now there is hope to share with other parents.

Bob Perry:

On February 18th, 2014 our journey through this life took a turn we did not see coming, my wife Erin and my worst nightmare for a parent came true, our son Robert transitioned in a car accident at 7:30 in the morning. We also have a daughter, Taylor, who currently resides in New Mexico and I have a daughter from my first marriage and 3 grandkids who reside in Florida.

We have always thought that there is “more” than us here, now we know. Since that day we have experienced many signs. I was always the type that needed to touch it feel it before I would fully believe in something to be true. Well, with some of the physical signs we have experienced on our own and with the help of others who believe and can deliver messages from Spirit, we have found so much comfort in our grief journey. We want to help others find their comfort on their journey, After attending the 1st HPH conference we were so uplifted and shown a path that all on this journey should be shown. With Peace, Love and healing to us all and our children.

Florida: Citrus County
Organizer: Tina Babloski-Anderson [click to email]

Tina Babloski-Anderson is a greiving mother who has learned to laugh again since the loss of her son Paul G. Babloski, on October 1st, 2009. Her efforts to find comfort led her on a journey that not only helped her heal, but also brought smiles to the faces of other greiving parents. Tina said, “There is no one in Citrus County, Florida that can understand the loss of a child, except other parents who have experienced the same pain. So we formed a group that supports and celebrates each others’ children. We find that by supporting each other, we can learn to laugh again.”

Florida: Fort Myers
Organizer: Laura Baltodano [click to email]

Laura is a proud mother of 4. When her second child, Andrew Connor, died by suicide in June 2018 at the age of 17, her world was turned upside down. As a health and wellness coach, mindfulness teacher and registered yoga teacher she was able to use her skills to pull herself out of the darkness that threatened at the initial stages. She quickly searched for additional resources and was introduced to Helping Parents Heal Online. The group was very instrumental for her as she realized it was quite different from the other grief and loss groups she had encountered. Through resources in the group, she began the journey into learning more about the afterlife and was comforted by communications she received from her son. Knowing he was well allowed her to begin the healing process and learn so much more about the spiritual world. HPH deeply resonated with her and she was so grateful for the new connections and resources that she felt led to share it with others in her local region.

Florida: Miami
Organizer: Anabel Alberni [click to email]

My name is Anabel and I am the proud mother of 2 beautiful daughters. On January 20, 2016, my youngest, Tatiana (29 yrs old) was involved in an accident on the Julia Tuttle Expwy in Miami Beach where she took her last breath. My world was cut in half and my heart was in pieces, but my soul didn’t permit my earthly being to be in the darkness of the pain for too long. I have been blessed with a beautiful spiritual awakening, unknown until then in my life and gifted by the Universe that has permitted my daughter to communicate with me immediately after her passing. This painful event has opened for me a new life, and a new vision to the future where my main goal is to assist all that has gone through the same experience. Through my niece, I was guided to Healing Parents Heal Online and after reading and researching (something I love to do), I finally found the perfect group I was searching for to begin my new venture with love and understanding to those who carry the same pain.

Florida: Orlando
Organizer: Chris Lowe [click to email]

I am a single mother to three children, aged 19-23.  On July 26th, 2017, my 20-year-old son Hudson took his life.  Immediately after our loss, my spiritual friends were giving me messages from him, assuring me that he was okay and also that I was indeed getting messages directly from him. Every day I got a clear message and It was this that gave me constant comfort and helped me to get myself, my daughters and his friends through this tragic time.
When I was just recently invited to a HPH meeting, I knew this was a place I needed to be and to start an Orlando Affiliate.

Last month, one of my stories was printed in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul, Messages from Heaven and other Miracles.  The story is titled Hudson Phones Home, and is now featured around the world to help give parents hope.  I also have become a keynote speaker on the topic of suicide prevention, to help save lives in his honor. He was an incredible person and it’s now my purpose to help parents and children heal through his non-profit, Our Green Future, with the slogan, Love yourself, love the earth, love each other.

Thank you, Chris Lowe, President,

Our Green Future, Inc., 407-782-6155

Florida: Pensacola / Gulf Breeze
Organizer: Kristen Brown-Sanders [click to email]

My daughter transitioned from this life due to a careless-distracted driver just days after her 16th birthday.  Sarah continues to be my greatest teacher.   She led me from a lifetime of not believing in anything I couldn’t see, to a much expanded perspective of awareness.  What a gift! She showed me that our relationship could continue; that we are forever connected.  This process continues to be the best grief therapy I could find. And in 2010, I started a group called The Next Step to share what I was learning with others so we could explore together.  My journey has included becoming a Reiki Master and I also teach a meditation class at our local college.  Honoring her by living my life in this way brings me great relief.  The Next Step, now linked in with Helping Parents Heal, meets the first Wednesday of each month in Gulf Breeze, Florida… just outside of Pensacola.

Florida: Pinellas County
Organizer: Laura McCullough and Kelly Hughes [click to email]

Laura Grimme McCullough

Laura Grimme McCullough is a wife, mother of 3 and has over 30 years of experience as an ER/Trauma nurse. This did not prepare her for the sudden death of her oldest son, Devon Grimme, who drowned in 2015 while on a trip to Hawaii. Devon was 27 years old with an MBA, a sense of humor and a sense of adventure and much to live for. Laura found out about Devon’s death by a phone call and gave consent for any organs to be donated while still trying to absorb the shock of his death. Laura finds that her relationship with Devon is still very much ongoing and believes that they are working together on her life’s purpose. 

Kelly Hughes

Kelly’s son, Joseph Patrick Hughes was born on 11/03/1983 and overdosed on prescription medication March 17, 2011 – he was 27 years old.  The pain of his loss was compounded by the recent loss of her mother and active alcoholism.  Existence was dark and lonely, with not much hope for the future.  Financial pressure forced her to get help and get sober in order to survive. The long slow crawl out of a deep hole began.

Kelly attended her first meeting of Helping Parents Heal in Tampa with only a feeling that she belonged there.  At the time, her feelings about Joe were anger and bewilderment – “where are you?” and “why did you leave us?”  These feelings have been replaced by peace and pure love.  Kelly has the strength today to put her arms around a parent with a recent loss and let them cry and share their pain.  She recently remarked, “The journey has been beyond imagination, there is so much to learn and experience”.

Kelly is originally from Annapolis, Maryland and has lived in Safety Harbor, Florida for 25 years.  Her older son, Jason lives nearby with his wife Stacy and their 3 children.

Florida: Tampa
Organizer: Marla Grant, Amy Diehl & Cathy Zimmerman [click to email]

Marla Grant’s Bio:

I’ve found my way through the grief process. I have been convinced, by my unseen helpers on the other side, who guide me to the right people, the correct information, and have helped open my heart to recognize the falsehood of death and embrace the reality that our spirit endures forever. It’s been a long and predictably painful journey for me—one that I’ve had to navigate three times, beginning with the death of a newborn son from a delivery complication in 1976, followed 14 years later by the passing of my daughter, Nicole, from leukemia, and within the last two years, the loss of my beloved youngest son, Ryan to suicide. Each has taught me in their own way that life is eternal. I hope to help others gain the measure of peace I have as they navigate their very unique and personal losses.

Amy Diehl’s Bio:

Greetings everyone, It is pleasure to be so welcomed into this wonderful organization. It felt like this was the natural progression of the remarkable journey I have been on ever since Chris passed.  Chris’s death was the hardest, most soul searing experience I have ever gone through and continue to go through. However, it is also the most loving, heart opening, soul expanding experience I have ever had as well. I am so appreciative of Marla asking me to join her in this vital community offering and hope to help her build this program so it reaches anyone in need. The death of a child can be so crippling and if we can help grieving parents feel some sense of hope and relief, I’m in!

Cathy Zimmerman’s Bio: 

My husband and I raised two wonderful, smart, and caring boys.  Unfortunately, our younger son, Ross, became addicted to drugs in his teen years.  For nine years we did everything we knew possible to help him including sending him to numerous rehabs.  During those years Ross advised me to seek help for myself in a support group for family members of people with addictions.  Thankfully I took his advice.  Twenty months after I joined that support group, Ross grew weary of fighting the battle against drug addiction and chose to leave by suicide.  I feel at peace knowing he finally has the peace he couldn’t find here.  Helping Parents Heal has taught me that I can still have an on-going relationship with Ross and that our love continues on and grows stronger every day.

Florida: The Villages
Organizer: Tami Brooks [click to email]

My first child, Heather, passed in 1976 when I was just 18. I had no help then. Even though she only lived 8 months, she has been a loving guide to me on my journey. I moved to The Villages in May, 2016 and during that month my neighbor of 10 years in Georgia lost her daughter – age 22. I cried for her grief, knowing the brokenness she is experiencing. I have become a Helping Parents Heal Affiliate leader to give others hope – to know their children are whole/safe and cared for on the other side can help them lessen the years of grief I endured. I know of 3 people just this year who have lost children. I don’t think that is a coincidence. Helping others is a great honor and blessing to me – knowing that the connection to the divine is always there.

Georgia: Atlanta
Organizer: Tammy Wardemann [click to email]

I am the mother of two sons, Christopher and Sean.  Chris transitioned to the other side 8/12/2014, forever 32.  I lost my only brother in 1976 which sent me on a Spiritual quest to understand what happens when our physical life ends. I was only 16 years old and inconsolable until I read Dr. Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life.  His book changed the trajectory of my life from religious to spiritual.  Even though I never received any signs from my brother, I had total faith in the afterlife.  When I lost my son 40 years later, my life was changed forever.  Once again I found myself on a Spiritual journey to find my son and how to connect with him.  One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned about deep grief that comes with losing a child is it breaks you wide open.  I received my first sign from Chris less than a week after he transitioned which was tremendously comforting.  I still receive signs and continue to learn everything I can about the afterlife.

After moving to Atlanta, I knew I wanted to start a group for parents that would acknowledge our children are still alive in Spirit.  When I found Helping Parents Heal, I knew it was a perfect fit!  I’m excited to be a part of this very special group and looking forward to walking this journey with other parents.

Georgia: Atlanta - South Side
Organizer: Jean Felts and Pat Rudd [click to email]

Jean Felts:

My name is Jean Felts, I have four children, three walk this earth and one lives in spirit. Joseph, my precious second child, lost his battle with heroin on May 2, 2017. I learned about HPH when his friends mom reached out to me to tell me that a medium said he was with her daughter who left just a few weeks after Joseph. I was intrigued, amazed and skeptical all at the same time. I’ve since had many confirmations and learned that Joseph sends me signs all the time, I just had to be open to receiving them. My first and most amazing sign was just weeks after his leaving when I was at the darkest point in my life. I truly believe that’s what has given me the strength to walk this journey.

I believe we all get signs and I look forward to continued learning, growing and healing with other families in the south Atlanta area.

Pat Rudd:

My husband Mark and I are parents to three children. Jenna, Tyler and Brian. Tyler transitioned on 10/16/2013, at the age of 20, from Methadone intoxication. After Tyler transitioned, I dealt with my grief by reading every article, every book, every posting I could get my hands on about Death, Near Death Experiences and the Afterlife. I wanted a glimpse of where my son was. I wanted to feel close to him, I wanted to find some confirmation that he was ok. I had my first reading with a medium 8 months after Tyler’s transition. I left that session feeling like I had spent an afternoon talking to Tyler. Every question I had that was spinning around in my head was answered. I felt a lightness that I had not felt since the day Tyler transitioned. This was a turning point in my grief.  Finding Helping Parents Heal and meeting others that believe in the afterlife is just the place I need to be right now. I want to continue my quest for knowledge of the afterlife and where else to do this better than with other parents who are going through the same grief and searching for more understanding of where our children are.

Illinois: Chicago
Organizer: Alicia Moag-Stahlberg [click to email]

My daughter Kirsten, at the age of 26, died on March 3, 2012. Kirsten died by suicide after two-years of traumatic events associated with a bipolar disorder. I was lucky to have a very close relationship with my daughter. I am blessed with my son John (30 years old) and husband Scott (married 33 years), however, I struggle to regain my footing and purpose in life. Since I found Helping Parents Heal, I have much more than a glimmer of hope. Hearing parents’ experiences connecting with their children has strengthened my resolve to help others and my belief that I am finding my way to Kirsten.

Indiana: Indianapolis
Organizer: [click to email]

On September 15, 2016, our lives changed forever. At approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, as we sat in traffic on I-75 near Brooksville, Florida, a distracted driver slammed into the back of our vehicle, instantly killing our 9-year old son, Logan. As any bereaved parent understands, the bottom fell out from underneath us. Immersing ourselves in grief support groups was the only way we knew how to begin coping with our loss. It was through this we found the Tampa Chapter of Helping Parents Heal and began attending the monthly sessions held by Marla Grant and Amy Diehl, who—along with guest speakers and both local and national members—set us upon an amazing new life journey into the metaphysical; one where we not only know Logan still exists, but has also given us promise for the future.

In July of 2017, we decided it was best to move our family back to our hometown of Indianapolis. Having realized the tremendous role Helping Parents Heal has played in our healing process, we welcomed the opportunity to be leaders of our own chapter. Through this, we aim to provide others what has been so powerfully given to us: Hope.

Along with what we believe is now our path in working with other bereaved parents, we have also embarked on a personal—and public—journey to create awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Please visit to learn more and to join our cause.

Iowa: Cedar Rapids
Organizer: Sharon Thomsen [click to email]

I attended a Helping Parents Heal Group last September 18, 2016. It was my first time to Unity of Phoenix and I was completely filled with deep grief as my son transitioned April 26, 2016. His birthday was September 25th and he would have been 25. Elizabeth Boisson and some other very caring, compassionate women were there and at the end of the group, came out to the waterfall on the court yard and talked with me. I finally felt that someone else really knew the “broken glass” it felt that I was crawling on every moment of each day. Losing my son physically is deeper pain than I have ever known in my life. Thank you for reaching out to let me know I was not alone!!

I had to come back to Iowa to complete my licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. There are no groups here like Helping Parents Heal and it had such a profound impact on me. I am now in the process of adding a chapter of HPH here in Iowa.  I know how completely devastated and lost I felt. I would like to offer others what Helping Parents Heal group can offer.

In Love and Light,
Sharon Thomsen

Louisiana: Northshore
Organizer: Jason and Kristine Durham [click to email]

Jason Durham is husband to Kristine, father to Bailey, Kinnedy, and Cole and Stepfather to Nick and Marley. He is a Marketing and Creative Director and has been an active advocate for the disability community throughout Louisiana for over 23 years.

On October 1st, 2014 his daughter Bailey transitioned from her earthly shell due to complications neurological disorders. Jason discovered Helping Parents Heal by a referral from Nicole Reilly and the synchronicity of his recent experiences with his daughter aligned with the mission of HPH. Helping Parents Heal has been a tremendous support structure during his growth and awareness of after death communication with Bailey.

Jason currently runs the Helping Parents Heal Northshore Affiliate in Mandeville, across the lake from New Orleans. They hope to offer support and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a child and help parents communicate with their children in ways that aid in their journey of grief.
Facebook: HPHlouisiana

Maryland: Rockville
Organizer: Christiane Robbins and Debbie O'Connor [click to email]

More about Christiane:

Hi, my name is Christiane Robbins, I am the mother of two beautiful children, Gabrielle and David. My son, David was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in April 2014 and fought this horrific disease for almost four years. After exhausting countless clinical trials and numerous alternative healing methods, David transitioned on November 30th, 2017 at the age of 18. I am comforted with the knowledge that David is now with his father who transitioned 12 years earlier and have received countless signs that both are still with us. My dear friend Sandi H. told me about HPH and even before attending the first annual HPH conference, several of the “souls sistahs” reached out to me providing me with much-needed support. I would like to offer a space for healing as we share signs from our children, learn and teach one another how to become shining light parents.

More about Debbie:

My name is Debbie and I am a wife and mother of 2 children, my daughter Kerry age 25 and my son Danny who was 19 years old when he left this earth way too suddenly, on February 16, 2015, from an accidental drug overdose. Danny’s tragic death was so unexpected and we now suspect that his recreational drug use might have led to an opioid addiction. Danny, very soon after his death, let me know he is definitely still here, very alive, and shows his love and humor with undeniable signs and messages! Being on this new unexpected path of life, alongside an unwanted companion named ‘grief’, I gratefully have found renewed hope, healing, compassion, and joy. This amazing spiritual awakening and continued strong connection with my son has been instrumental in my healing. It is my hope that I can hold sacred space and be ‘a healing presence’ for others on this same journey. I am an intuitive holistic energy healer and have been trained as a: Medical Reiki Master, Grief Reiki Master, Usui Reiki Master, Biofield Immersion Healing practitioner, Healing Touch (level 3), Crystal energy healer, and am currently a local Hospice Volunteer.

Massachusetts: Kingston
Organizer: Teresa and Scott Lally [click to email]

Scott and Teresa are parents to Diane, age 25, and Michael, who passed in a motorcycle accident at age 23 in 2014. Since Michael’s passing, they have come to see that, though he is no longer here physically, he is still very much a part of the family’s lives, sending many signs and messages from the other side. Their journey has brought them to a place of wanting to help others navigate the difficult, tumultuous storm that grief presents every day. Though a shattered heart cannot be put back together in the same way it was, the pieces can be gathered and knit together to enable one to go on; sorrow and joy can exist simultaneously, and we honor our loved ones when we continue to live a good life.

Michigan: Coldwater
Organizer: Louise Crist [click to email]

My name is Louise and I am the lucky mother of three beautiful girls. I live in Coldwater (which is very close to where Michigan, Indiana and Ohio all merge together) and have worked as an RN at the same local hospital for over 32 years.

Growing up in a close-knit community, I was deeply touched by the coping skills that the parents of several classmates we lost before graduation demonstrated by their examples of faith and love. Those experiences gave me the opportunity to show compassion in my career as a nurse, but more importantly, they prepared me for November 19, 2011; the day that my 19 year “old soul” middle daughter Jillian suddenly went Home in a car accident.

In April 2018, I attended my first HPH worldwide conference (a life-changing experience) and hope to help others become Shining Light Parents. I wrote a book about the journey (7 years in the making and due out in February) and the incredible signs that Jilly sends to assure us that without any doubt, the end is NOT the END. I will be holding online meetings a few times a year to start and am also willing to host a potluck Candle Lighting Ceremony once a year so that we can meet in person. I am looking forward to walking with you on this difficult journey towards Home, where our beloved children wait for us.

Michigan: Marine City
Organizer: Gloria Bertrand [click to email]

I am a mother and grandmother. I had a career, I knew the direction my life was going. On Feb. 8, 2015, I lost my youngest son, my baby. His passing has made me take a look at what I thought I knew, and where I was going. Since his leaving I have been advocating for Mental Illness, and have started the non-profit “ I Can Hear You From Heaven” an organization the gives toys to little ones going through the grieving process, which has turned into a book. I have rediscovering my art, and am doing Art is Healing workshops. I have also been advocating for Grief Awareness. I am now on a new path, searching for a new life, job…a new spirituality. My journey is taking me on a road of discovery. Finding the afterlife, finding my life’s purpose. I now share my discoveries and my experiences with other parents going through their own journey. I am doing seeking engagement – “ I AM & I CAN” ~ just something to overcome hurdles, motivation. I am almost finished training to do spiritual coaching and life coaching – but with more of a motivational flare….and working on getting my first book published, and am writing my second one.

Michigan: West Branch
Organizer: Rhonda Gene Williamson [click to email]

I’m a single mother of 3 beautiful girls Miranda, Brianna, Sky and one handsome son Christopher that transitioned in Feb of 2016 due to an auto accident as a passenger in a car at the age of 16. I’m also a grandmother to precious Kinsley. I’m currently engaged to my son’s biological father, Tony Boles, a retired professional football player. I work in Home Health Care and specialize in Alzheimer’s. I’ve also worked in end of life care with hospice. I also have a sister, 2 brothers and my father on the other side. I have definitely had my share of loss, but nothing has ever hurt as bad as losing my child. Through this journey, I have learned there is no walk in life that I can not walk. That our children are right by our sides every step of the way. That he is forever with me, just one call away. I am so blessed to know and to be able to feel and communicate with my son Christopher. I’ve been working on mediumship to someday help other parents to communicate. I have learned that things you do not think are possible, are possible. I’ve learned not to give up, but to excel, to be all you can possibly be. I know without a doubt my son has led me here. Has shown me things, and is teaching me on this journey. And is wanting me to be a blessing to others.

Minnesota: Minneapolis/St Paul - Twin Cities
Organizer: Lynn Argetsinger and Pam Demars [click to email]

Lynn Argetsinger:

My name is Lynn, and my husband and I are the parents of two beloved children. Seth was stationed with the Air Force in Louisiana where he contracted severe Lyme disease and became very ill; he took his own life and transitioned on September 20, 2017, at age 24. Throughout this winding and excruciating journey, I always felt that Seth continued to be right here with us. But it took my attending the Afterlife Conference in Orlando in November 2018 to finally be open to doing a reading with an evidential medium here in Minneapolis. From that day forward, both my husband and I have unequivocally known that Seth is still here, having only shed his earthly shell. His beautiful soul continues to shine brightly. We wanted to start a chapter in Minneapolis-St. Paul to offer other grieving parents a place where they can find support, hope, and kindness.

Pam Demars:

Christmas Day of 2017 my middle child and only son, Brandon, 35, died suddenly and unexpectedly right next to me of a massive heart attack. Wanting to know why this happened to my family and me, where did he go, and what he is doing now, I stumbled on this HPH group; with Brandon’s help of course. I had watched a video of Irene Vouvalides explaining what has helped her with her grief and reached out to her. She lovingly and so caring recommended a compassionate and evidential medium that changed the course of my grief journey. Now I would like to give back and spread the love for helping parents in my area to become shining light parents.


Mississippi: Gulf Coast
Organizer: Donna Tasker [click to email]

Born in New Orleans, I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Earning undergraduate and master’s degrees, I found my dream job providing educational and vocational services to Veterans at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs for 41 years. In 2007, I joined VA Central Office to develop national policy and provide training to field vocational staffs.

I am blessed with amazing children, Dustin (1983) and Danielle (1986) who excelled academically and in life-being kind, compassionate, standing-up against injustices.  During college summers, Dustin cared for children of migrant farm workers. After earning a master’s his employment was to protect and improve the rights of hotel workers and servers.  My darkest day (4/28/15) was finding Dustin, not sleeping but having transitioned.  Without a doubt, Dustin unled me to HPH which has provided me hope and light beyond measure.  I aim to walk with bereaved parents on their journey to Shining Light parents.

Mississippi: Jackson
Organizer: Jason and Kristine Durham [click to email]

Jason Durham is husband to Kristine, father to Bailey, Kinnedy, and Cole and Stepfather to Nick and Marley. He is a Marketing and Creative Director and has been an active advocate for the disability community throughout Louisiana for over 23 years.

On October 1st, 2014 his daughter Bailey transitioned from her earthly shell due to complications neurological disorders. Jason discovered Helping Parents Heal by a referral from Nicole Reilly and the synchronicity of his recent experiences with his daughter aligned with the mission of HPH. Helping Parents Heal has been a tremendous support structure during his growth and awareness of after death communication with Bailey.

Jason and Kristine currently run the Helping Parents Heal Northshore Affiliate in Mandeville, across the lake from New Orleans, as well as the Helping Parents Heal Jackson Affiliate in Mississippi through Zoom Conference meetings. They hope to offer support and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a child and help parents communicate with their children in ways that aid in their journey of grief.
Facebook: HPHlouisiana

Montana: Missoula
Organizer: Jan McArthur and Joan Freedman [click to email]

Jan’s Bio:

Jan is a retired psychiatric nurse and music-thanatologist (hospice bedside musician) who has been involved in end-of-life care for the past 20 years. In 2014, the sudden death of her 28 year old son, Curtis, served as the catalyst for a deep journey of discovering that we are truly eternal, and that we will always have a relationship with the people we love – even after they leave their physical body. With this new understanding that death is simply a biological event that marks a transition, Jan feels a calling to serve other bereaved parents in their journeys of discovering that any sense of separation between ourselves and our loved ones is an illusion – there is only One Consciousness, that of Love.

Joan’s Bio:

Joan relocated seven years ago to Missoula, MT to be closer to her family following her retirement from a 30 year career in human services in New Hampshire. While in New Hampshire, Joan worked primarily with children with a variety of developmental disabilities and their families. She provided case management, in-home support services and early intervention to young children and their families. She worked in the schools as a counselor with elementary age and high school age children and also worked as a case manager with adults who had a variety of developmental disabilities and mental health issues. During her professional career, Joan provided therapeutic support groups to families of children with developmental disabilities. Some of these children had chronic, life-threatening medical issues, and in some cases parents were dealing with the loss of their child due to a terminal illness. She also was involved with establishing a Hospice in the region. As a result of Joan’s intimate friendship with Jan, she became a fellow traveler on the journey of exploring the Afterlife, as well as the deeper meaning of our own existence. Joan now feels called to use all of her experiences in supporting grieving parents to heal.

New Hampshire: Southern New Hampshire
Organizer: Susan Lynch [click to email]

I am the mother of two boys, Matthew and Kevin. Kevin, my youngest, transitioned in October of 2015 at 25 years old. Somewhere along my grief road, I realized that I felt better when helping those in need and became a hospice volunteer. I learned that being connected in people’s lives during such a delicate period can have a positive impact for all involved.
I can’t think of a better way to honor Kevin’s spirit than by reaching out to grieving parents and offering hope.

New Jersey: Bergen County
Organizer: Marla Kallin and Irene Stuart [click to email]

About Marla:
I am the mother of three sons: Jon, Seth, and Doug. Doug is my youngest, in a hurry to come and in a hurry to go (to quote Jake Samoyedny.) Doug was born at home by accident in January 1990 and passed by suicide, secondary to drug addiction, in February 2015. This journey is one no one should ever have to take alone. I am so grateful for the people who came into my life seemingly by accident. They helped me to breathe when it seemed impossible to stay alive. Eventually, they introduced me to HPH and to the hope of seeing my boy again. My wish for this group is that we can help others to learn to breathe and maybe even to smile again. My brother died at 29 and I often think of my mother, forced to deal with this pain by herself. I can’t imagine how she did it. We are “luckier” now: we can hold space for each other and can hold each other up.
About Irene:
My husband and I have a beautiful daughter, wonderful son-in-law and two amazing grandchildren. We lost our beloved son, Jono, forever 34, on May 1, 2017. After many years of fighting drug addiction, he was living in Florida, was clean for over a year, had a loving girlfriend and was managing several sober living homes. He loved what he did and it seemed like he had finally found what he was meant to do. He had been complaining to me and several of his friends of chest and stomach pain and according to his last texts, he was on his way to the ER, but never made it. He was healthy, ate well and worked out so nobody ever thought it was his heart. After eight months of crying, barely working, lying on the couch and staring mindlessly at the tv, a chance encounter at the grocery store led me to Helping Parents Heal and eventually to Marla, who has helped me tremendously. A group reading with medium Craig McManus made me believe in the afterlife when he told me things about my son he could not have known. He told me Jono was happy and for the first time in almost a year I felt I could breathe. It has now been 17 months and when Marla mentioned starting a Bergen County, New Jersey affiliate group, I wanted to help her.

New York: Binghamton
Organizer: Rosanne Norris [click to email]

My name is Rosanne Norris. I am the proud mother of five children and six grandchildren.

On January 9, 2018, our middle son, Lee, age 30, left this earth plane due to a carbon monoxide poisoning in his home.

Out of this most unimaginable pain was born a seeking of the truth which lead me to Helping Parents Heal.

I want to dedicate my life to helping other parents suffering from the crushing loss of their child. Together, we will support and guide each other on our journey to becoming shining light parents.

New York: Long Island
Organizer: Terri De Pinto, Patricia McHenry, Zsaz Rutkowski and Diane Wilshere [click to email]

Terri De Pinto

My name is Terri De Pinto from Valley Stream, NY. I am married with three daughters, Michelle, Deborah, and Mary. My youngest daughter, Mary, transitioned in December 2015, at age 14, from bone cancer.

Shortly after Mary passed, she began connecting with me through Mediums. These experiences opened up a whole new world for me. I attended a psychic medium development course to learn more about connecting with the afterlife, as well as, learning level-1 Reiki. All of this has enlightened me, and guided me on a spiritual journey, which has helped with my grieving.

As I was receiving a reading several months ago from my friend, Diane Wilshire, my daughter came through requesting that we begin a meditation and fellowship group for parents who have lost children. She was very specific as to where, when, and how it will be conducted! Hence, we started “Mary’s Circle of Angels”. It’s a small group, but will hopefully grow now that we are joining the HPH family!

Patricia McHenry

Although my profession is a personal trainer and Holistic Health Coach, first
I am married to Mike and I am the Mom of two children, Michael 24, here physically and Melissa, forever 18 spiritually. Melissa transitioned 2 years ago suddenly from a heart condition but has let me know since that time she is still right here with us. I have received many signs, EVP’s and visions from her letting me know she is a breath away. With the help of medium readings so validating and synchronicities that have risen my awareness even more, I have been told of the comfort I have given to people who miss her so much or who have had their own loss. I have been given a calling to heal others which in turn has helped to heal my own soul. Love never dies and I know we are forever family. Life is a journey and our paths cross each other’s for a reason and I want to help heal the hearts of grieving parents to let them become more aware that there is an afterlife.

Zsaz Rutkowski 

I came to know my fellow co-leaders through my participation in a mediumship development course. I began the course with the idea of strengthening my connection to spirit and came out the other side with a new-found passion, perspective and friends that have changed my life. Following the reading between Terri and Diane where Mary’s Meditation/Fellowship circle was to be established – I received a reading with Diane and the message from Mary was clear: I was to provide healing music for Diane’s channeled meditations.

As a cellist, I have performed internationally as well as in New York at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the NY Historical Society. I have performed, composed and orchestrated for Theatre and teach cello and chamber music at The Spence School and The Third Street Music School Settlement. I can say with certainty that there has been no venue or audience more important, profound and fulfilling than the group at Mary’s Circle and I’m overjoyed to be a part of its expansion. Through continued spiritual development – I have awakened and continue to strengthen my healing abilities through music. With focused, heart-centered intention, my passion is to inspire and uplift all hearts. Through the commitment to give my very best to the HPH parents I have recently completed the Sound Healing Therapy course at the Globe Institute in Soma California where we learned to work with sound, vibration and work extensively with the Tibetan Singing Bowls. My mission is to serve, inspire and uplift with music that heals heart and soul – I’m honored to be a part of the new Long Island chapter of Helping Parents Heal.

Diane Wilshere

The death of a child is one of the most devastating things a parent could ever experience. It causes a profound sense of loss and grief which never truly goes away. My journey here all started with a beautiful young woman named Mary. Mary’s Mom, Terri, and I went to high school together but hadn’t seen each other until we met up again at a mediumship class that we were both in. I was there to develop my gifts but she was there to learn how she could connect with her daughter without the use of a medium. When the class was over, Terri asked me if I could give her a reading. During the reading, her daughter, Mary, came through and specifically asked us to begin a Meditation/Fellowship Circle for parents who have lost a child. The goal was to have parents connect with their deceased children through a guided meditation. The connection would be unique to each parent in how and when they would unite with their angels. Mary instructed me that I was to channel and recite these meditations each month. She also told us that the Circle would grow as we joyfully welcome all who wish to find peace and comfort with our spirit family. It was through this reading with Mary’s mom that Mary’s Circle of Angels was born. A place to find comfort, understanding and support after losing a child. A place to find hope and inspiration. A place to share stories and memories. I look forward to helping other parents connect with their beautiful Angels.

New York: New York City
Organizer: Franciska Bittan [click to email]

My name is Franciska and I’m a mother of two sons and a daughter. My eldest son Matthew, born May 30, 1991 transitioned two wks after his 25th birthday, on June 12, 2016 from an accidental overdose. He had gotten addicted to pain killers and other easily prescribed meds, after minor injuries and minor surgeries in his late teens, which eventually led to an addiction in his 20’s while at ASU. Matthew is still, such an amazing soul and spirit. His transition has taken me on a spiritual journey, that I feel I had started many years ago, without recognizing it. I feel deeply that Matthew and I are now on this journey together and I’m hoping that I can give hope to other parents or people who have lost a loved one, especially a child, that they are not only still with us, but helping us grow.
In hindsight, I believe the universe was preparing me for the most unimaginable loss one can go through. I don’t think I would have survived if I truly didn’t believe this. From my own signs to many amazing evidential medium readings to reading books on the afterlife and connecting with new friends through HPH, workshops and other groups, sharing stories I have grown.
I credit our kids to making all these connections for us, so we can help each other.

New York: The Hamptons
Organizer: Franciska Bittan [click to email]

My name is Franciska and I’m a mother of two sons and a daughter. My eldest son Matthew, born May 30, 1991 transitioned two wks after his 25th birthday, on June 12, 2016 from an accidental overdose. He had gotten addicted to pain killers and other easily prescribed meds, after minor injuries and minor surgeries in his late teens, which eventually led to an addiction in his 20’s while at ASU. Matthew is still, such an amazing soul and spirit. His transition has taken me on a spiritual journey, that I feel I had started many years ago, without recognizing it. I feel deeply that Matthew and I are now on this journey together and I’m hoping that I can give hope to other parents or people who have lost a loved one, especially a child, that they are not only still with us, but helping us grow.
In hindsight, I believe the universe was preparing me for the most unimaginable loss one can go through. I don’t think I would have survived if I truly didn’t believe this. From my own signs to many amazing evidential medium readings to reading books on the afterlife and connecting with new friends through HPH, workshops and other groups, sharing stories I have grown.
I credit our kids to making all these connections for us, so we can help each other.

North Carolina: Asheville
Organizer: Chuck Mallory [click to email]

My son Max transitioned in 2015 at age 22 from testicular cancer. It was unexpected and since I had been the primary parent in his young years, and he’d lived with me for six months while battling cancer, I thought at first I’d never make it. Within a month, however, I had three lucid dreams that were unlike any dreams I’ve ever experienced. These were directly from Max and helped me learn to live with an angel son.

I was a tough skeptic. The July 2017 Helping Parents Heal newsletter had the story my validation through a medium. I had expected fakery but came away with irrevocable conviction that we can communicate beyond the veil. Max knows I won’t settle for seeing a cardinal or a butterfly. He has given me very distinct signals since I’ve had the dreams–so unusual they can’t be chance.

I am a full-time writer, and the rest of my life is devoted to helping parents who have had a child transition. Currently I’m preparing a podcast, and write about my experiences as a Shining Star Parent on

North Carolina: Raleigh
Organizer: Shannon McDonald [click to email]

Shannon McDonald

Hello all, my name is Shannon. I found out about the Helping Parents Heal group in early spring of this year (2018) after reading Suzanne Giesemanns book Still Right Here. I’ve always felt there was more after we passed from this life but didn’t delve too much into finding out until my youngest son, Logan, only 12 years old, crossed by suicide in Aug 2017. We have 3 older boys also ages 21,22 & 23.
When things go awry in my life, I go right to the self-help books! I’m so very grateful for having been directed to Suzanne’s books and this group.
We have received so many amazing signs from Logan and my dad who was there to help him when he crossed. We have a sign to prove it. My heart hurts not having my child with me physically, but knowing he really is still with me brings much-needed peace.
I vowed my son’s life wouldn’t be in vain so I help others, where I can, who are on various parts of this journey.

Sincerely grateful, Shannon McDonald, Logans mom

Ohio: Akron/Cleveland
Organizer: Christine Moncheck and Sylvia Christian [click to email]

Christine’s Bio:

My name is Christine Moncheck, wife and mom of three amazing children with one in Spirit at age 18, our Andrew, as of July 2014.  Early on, Andrew would connect with me through signs and synchronicities.  I could also “hear” him in my thoughts, but that did not make sense to me at the time.  I knew there had to be more! I have been blessed with a wonderful local support system and believe they are my earth angels who ultimately led me to Helping Parents Heal.  HPH has provided a safe place for me to openly share about my child in Spirit and find validation with like-minded individuals lighting the way on this journey.

Because of Andrew’s transition, I continue to grow and to search for purpose and meaning. I know it is possible to have a relationship with your child in Spirit and to know peace and joy again. I want to help other parents in our area know this too and help them grow from bereaved to Shining Light Parents.

Sylvia’s Bio:

Hello, my name is Sylvia Christian. I am a Heartfulness Meditation Trainer and am married with four wonderful adult children. I found HPH when seeking grief support after the loss of my beautiful daughter, Bethany Cocco. Bethany transitioned from this physical world to the spiritual realm on October 10, 2014 at the age of 35. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of 2014.

The online HPH group has been a great help in my healing journey. It’s a place I have felt safe in expressing myself without fear of judgment. I look forward to starting this local affiliate with Christine Moncheck, who I met through HPH. These meetings will facilitate us coming together to share our experiences, our tears and our deep love for our children. In sharing together we can help each other to become the Shining Light Parents we are meant to be.


Ohio: Cincinnati
Organizer: Brian and Tywana Smith [click to email]

Brian and Tywana Smith are leaders of the Cincinnati Chapter of Helping Parents Heal.  Their daughter Shayna Elayne, whose name means “Beautiful Light”, transitioned on June 24, 2015 at 15 years of age. Shayna was a force while on Earth and continues to be a force after her transition. The couple has had many visits from Shayna, including sessions with mediums where she came through loud and clear. After her passing they began experiencing a series of synchronistic events that led them to Mark Ireland, Elizabeth Boisson, and Mark Pitstick. The unique connection of events was undeniable and helped them understand that it was their destiny to start a chapter of Helping Parents Heal ln Cincinnati.

After Shayna’s passing, Brian and Tywana started attending the Unity Church in Cincinnati. The couple subsequently met with the pastor who agreed to host Helping Parents Heal meetings at the church. The inaugural meeting will be held on August 7, 2016 from 7 PM – 9 PM and will take place on the first Sunday of each month thereafter, at the same time. Here is a link to the Cincinnati group Facebook page.

Online: Helping Fathers Heal
Organizer: Mike Edwards [click to email]

Our son and only child, Dylan, passed from a heroin overdose on November 28, 2016, just after his 24th birthday and just before receiving a chip to celebrate six months of continuous sobriety. My wife, Allyson, and I were devastated and really struggled to release the new hope we had from the enormous progress Dylan had made. We attended various grief meetings and two things always stood out – the meetings weren’t designed to help parents continue to live when they came out of “the fog” and very few fathers ever participated. So we turned to an evidential medium to hopefully find some answers and that reading put us on a path to attend the 2018 Helping Parents Heal Conference. The conference provided even more validation and a venue to share with other parents who were searching for answers. For the first time, we left a meeting feeling lighter and more hopeful than when we arrived. 

We will always remember and miss Dylan but now understand that we’re living and learning what is meant for us. I’ve decided to help other parents, and particularly fathers, learn how to have good lives after their loss and come to know their own “truth” which will certainly help me to do the same.

Online: Helping Parents Heal - Moving Forward After Suicide
Organizer: Janean Quigley [click to email]

Janean’s Bio:
Searching for answers this past February 2017, I was online considering going to a conference by Susanne Wilson.  When I realized it was booked and I’d have to be placed on a waiting list, I said out loud to my son,  “OK Sean, if I’m supposed to do this, get me into this conference”.  Within 30 min, I received a phone call from the coordinator that there was a cancellation and I was in.  Thus began my introduction to Helping Parents Heal.  I was embraced that day by Elizabeth Boisson and Carol Allen and so touched by many others like Ernie, Kristine and Quinton, and of course by the love and healing touch of Susanne Wilson and her team including Camber Wilson.

Online: Helping Parents Heal - Parents of Children who passed of Addiction
Organizer: Sandra Daniel-Hassel [click to email]

My middle son, Ethan, at age 21, passed from an accidental lethal interaction of heroin and Xanax on February 11, 2011. It was just days after celebrating his daughter’s 1st Birthday on January 30th as well as living a healthy lifestyle for over 3 years. My husband, myself and his two brothers were in complete shock and devastated by his sudden passing.

I fell into HPH by pure coincidence, after attending a workshop in Prescott on April 2016 by Suzanne Giesemann and HPH was mentioned. On the last day of the workshop, Suzanne Giesemann delivered a message from my son. It was so comforting and healing to hear his message, to feel his love and to feel hope. Shortly after that time, I was asked to co-lead the Affiliate Chapter in Tucson. Over the past 3 years, co-facilitating this group has helped me in my journey through grief by serving other parents along the same path, by providing hope, comfort, support and validation.

I will always miss my son Ethan and I will speak his name daily. Through the pain of his passing I have grown spiritually, personally, as well as, professionally in helping other parents going through the passage of grief and loss.


Online: Helping Parents Heal - Parents of Special Needs Children
Organizer: Lisa Wilcoxson [click to email]

I am the mom of two beautiful boys, both in spirit. Michael Angelo was born in 1988 and crossed in 2000 at the age of 12 from pneumonia. Michael was born very healthy, but had special needs due to having had a severe toxic reaction to his first DPT shot at the age of 4 weeks. Michael never spoke or walked, but taught me more about love than any other human possibly could have. He was as beautiful in life as he is in spirit, and being his mom remains to this day to be the greatest privilege I’ll ever have on this earth. Anthony is my other shining light, and I know he was born as a golden gift. Anthony was six when Michael crossed, and everything I lived for was in Anthony’s eyes. Anthony told me when he was two that he was waiting forever to be born so I could be his Mommy. Then, when he was four, he was crying. He said he was sad because he was going to leave me when he was 18. I thought he meant he was going to college. He was a freshman at Arizona State University when he transitioned from being poisoned by a synthetic drug at a party in 2013. During this dark night of my soul I was able to find my boys again in meditation, and have since learned that Spirit has chosen to use me through mediumship to prove that love never dies. My boys are at my side 24/7, and with this I’ve learned to live peacefully and joyfully having one foot on this earth plane serving Spirit and one foot in the spirit plane with them.

Online: Helping Parents Heal Meditation Group
Organizer: Allison Alison [click to email]

Allison and David Alison are the parents of three amazing adult children: Jocelyn, Davey and Julia. Davey transitioned on July 20, 2016; he was involved in a solo car accident at the age of 24. This is documented along with their journey in David’s book Finding Davey ( We felt Davey right away and knew he was not gone. We found out about HPH and it has helped us heal and connect with other patents. We enjoy talking about the signs we get from Davey and hearing about other parents’ experiences.   Being a “Shining Light Parent” has helped us find meaning. Now with the HPH Meditation group, we would like to help others through positive energy and love with the help of our children on the other side.

Online: Zoom Support Group
Organizer: Brian and Tywana Smith, Tracy Soussi and Beth West [click to email]

Please join our Online group on our Facebook Page, Helping Parents Heal Online.

Brian and Tywana Smith’s bio:

Brian and Tywana Smith’s daughter Shayna Elayne, whose name means “Beautiful Light”, transitioned on June 24, 2015 at 15 years of age. Shayna was a force while on Earth and continues to be a force after her transition. The couple has had many visits from Shayna, including sessions with mediums where she came through loud and clear. After her passing they began experiencing a series of synchronistic events that led them to Mark Ireland, Elizabeth Boisson, and Mark Pitstick. The unique connection of events was undeniable and helped them understand that it was their destiny to start a chapter of Helping Parents Heal in Cincinnati and now to help lead the Online group.

Tracy Soussi’s bio:

I am a grateful mother of three children, Aymen, Nadia and Laila.   On February 28, 2016, my loving son, Aymen, transitioned in his sleep from Central/Neurological Sleep Apnea, at the age of 29.  Aymen is amazing in so many ways and continues to amaze me by coming through the veil to send love and messages to me and loved ones.

As I embarked on this journey, I devoted my energies to learning about evidential mediumship, and immersed herself in the study of spirituality, including the works Dr. Mark Pitstick and Suzanne Gieseman.  This in turn led me to Helping Parents Heal, a place where I felt welcomed and understood.  I am honest, this path is not easy, but I know for certain our children are eternal and cheering us on to move forward.

Part of my journey is to keep my son’s memory alive by doing as much as I can to honor him.  As an online HPH affiliate online leader, I am honored to help Help Parents Heal.  I know Aymen is proud!

Beth West’s bio:

April 2, 2015 was the worst day of my life. That was the day my only child, Tyler, transitioned to spirit at the age of 17 due to suicide. I was two months from retiring from my military career and I was completely lost. I immediately began a spiritual journey to find and connect to my son. He came to me pretty quickly with signs, in dreams, through meditations and with the help of wonderful mediums. While my life will never be the same, I find hope by maintaining a relationship with my beautiful child. Spirit seems to lay the path out for me. I simply need faith and to follow. This is sometimes hard for all of us, but especially for those of us used to such structure and rules of being in the military.

I continue to learn something new each and every day. I look forward to walking side by side with you all.

Oregon: Lake Oswego
Organizer: Liz Bounds [click to email]

I am my Angel Parker’s Mom. I am my dear daughter, Breanna’s Mom.  My wonderful husband is Dan and we have been married for nearly 32 years. We have been through it all together. And we are facing the most difficult and devastating challenge of our existence. You know what that’s like because you are part of this club, too.

It is coming on 2 1/2 years since he shed his skin. I am only now beginning to emerge from this black crevasse of grief and it has take its toll on me physically and completely rocked me off my foundation. But I realize that to honor my boy and to be a present for my Breanna and Dan, I must not just breathe in and out, but truly and fearlessly live. Parker is continuing to teach me and others in a new way as he is now free from his earthly human chains. I have had much personal evidence that he is present and actively involved within our lives–helping me–helping us– find our way.

“Serendipity” led me to this astonishing organization called Helping Parents Heal and directly to Elizabeth Boisson and Mark Ireland. Thank you.

Pacific Rim
Organizer: Beth D'Angelo [click to email]

After the unexpected death of my second child, I found myself on a path that I never expected to travel. I am the one who comforted others; the one who reached out to those who were shattered.  Certainly that was my purpose, to be of service to others when their lives changed.  But this life had other plans for me—and I found myself trying to find purpose and meaning after experiencing my own loss.

I reached out to someone, and they reached back to me, and then Helping Parents Heal found me.  That connection created a bond that has proven to be indestructible, steeped in love, purpose, and a sense of direction that has taken over my heart.  My son has guided me to recognize that I have always had the courage, strength, and resiliency to hold another’s story despite what I had to experience.  That has given me the inspiration to “grow hope” in others.

I am currently organizing a Helping Parents Heal support group on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii and would love to have you join.  Email:

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
Organizer: Keri Bernstein and Mandy Dorfman [click to email]

About Keri Bernstein:

My name is Keri Bernstein and I am the mother of three beautiful children Jake 24, Dylan forever 20 and Carly 21.  May 20, 2016, the day before Dylan was to come home, he gained his angel wings in a tragic accident while he was a student in Prague. He was my middle child and we were extremely close. I could not find a therapist or group that could help me.  How could anyone help me if they haven’t lost a child?  They couldn’t possibly understand the devastation I was experiencing, the burning hole in my heart. The pain was physical, emotional and constant.  I was angry, sad and lonely. Nothing helped. I was lost.  When I was at one of my many low points I found Helping Parents Heal and I feel so blessed. Their message is spiritual and positive.  The ability to help parents during their time of distress is very powerful.

About Mandy Dorfman:

Hi, I am Mandy Dorfman. I have been married for almost 30 years to my husband Michael. We have 3 amazing children together, all boys!! On November 5th, 2016, my husband and I went out for a little, to come home to our son Ryan, then and always 23, lying in his bed lifeless.  Since that horrible night, I have felt emotions that I didn’t know existed. The grief was and still is unexplainable (as you all know). I felt disbelief (and often still do), denial, pain, numbness, loneliness, not wanting to be or see anyone and hating GOD.  The anger I felt towards our local police was another emotion I never before felt, the anger consumed me! We told the detective that our son was an organ donor and to please tell the coroner, however, the detective never did! By the time we found out it was too late for our son’s tissues to be donated; it felt like another loss for us.

The days and nights ran into one another, and often still do. I couldn’t sleep, all I could do was search for answers: What happens when you die? Where is our son? Is there really a soul? Do they really send messages?  I needed to know, and on some level, I still do.

Through my research, I came across HelpingParentsHeal Org. The organization caught my eye. My husband and I went to the conference in Arizona. For the first time, we felt ok. It wasn’t a conference of just bereaved parents being negative, angry, and bitter. It was a conference filled with bereaved parents talking about the afterlife, the soul, spirit, and signs. We were drawn in. I knew from that moment we needed to be part of this group, organization for US, Ryan and You.

Together, through sharing our experiences and resources we can celebrate our children and learn how to heal! I do know, all working together we can all be better than we are now. We will ALWAYS grieve our sons and daughters!

Pennsylvania: Pittsburg
Organizer: Tracee Slagel [click to email]

Hello Shining Light Parents! My name is Tracee and I lost my son April 25, 2017, due to cocaine laced with fentanyl. He is forever 18 and survived by 2 younger brothers and 1 younger sister. I joined this group shortly thereafter and my journey, although consists of many ups and downs, has been better because of the support of this group. I went to the HPH First Conference in Arizona last year. I cannot explain the amount of love, support and energy that being there provided for me. I have been toying with the idea of starting a group in Pittsburgh because there is none here and my son has been pushing me, many times through mediums that I need to be helping other parents in this situation. Well, I am finally ready to begin this journey.

For now, I am going to run a small group format, very casual. I want others to feel comfortable to share, to be themselves, and to bring whatever grief, frustrations, or suggestions to help all of us heal.

I have actually felt my son in spirit touch me. I know he is still here without a doubt. And although we miss his physical body we know he isn’t missing any of our lives. He constantly is giving me signs and I thank him for that!

Pennsylvania: The Poconos
Organizer: Caroline Chang [click to email]

My name is Caroline Chang; my only son Kyle transitioned on July 1, 2014 at the age of 29 years old. The last 3 ½ years of Kyle’s life experience here was an Awakening for me. I was completely at Peace when he did transition because I KNOW he is not gone and he is still always with me and I KNOW this was a Soul Plan he and I had made together. Six months after Kyle’s transition I was inspired to launch my own Internet Radio show/podcast, Awake 2 Oneness Radio and found a non-profit organization in Kyle’s memory, The KYLE Foundation (Keep You Light Expanding). The mission of both, Awake 2 Oneness Radio and The KYLE Foundation is to inspire the world to awaken to the Universal Truth of Oneness.

I want to help other parents heal by inspiring them to KNOW that their child is not gone and that their child wants them to know this Truth. Their child is ALWAYS with them and that is why I want to become an affiliate leader in the Poconos for Helping Parents Heal.

South Carolina: Hilton Head/Bluffton
Organizer: Irene Vouvalides [click to email]

I  lost my best friend, my only child, my beautiful 24 year old daughter Carly Elizabeth Hughes to esophageal-gastric cancer on February 17th, 2013. Like so many of us who have experienced this devastating loss my daughter’s passing sent me on a spiritual quest. I have found friends and comfort through this remarkable group Helping Parents Heal. In the short time since Carly’s passing I have had definite proof that consciousness survives physical death, that Carly is well,and with me always. I have been fortunate to speak with mediums who were able to provide absolute evidence of the afterlife, indisputable information relayed bringing comfort and helping to lighten the heavy weight of grief. With family and Carly’s friends we have created a foundation in her honor- Carly’s Kids A Foundation For Education, I hope you will take the time to read about us and what we are doing in Carly’s memory. Visit:Carly’s Kids

Tennessee: Nashville/Brentwood
Organizer: Maggie Spaulding [click to email]

Hello, my name is Maggie Spaulding. I currently live in the Nashville/Brentwood, Tennessee area. I have three sons. My youngest son Mitchell’s physical death came as an accidental overdose to “opioid” prescription drug on May 26, 2015, at the age of 27.

This event catapulted me into an “inspired quest” of finding answers to questions about life after death. I was not ready to give up my relationship with my son. My first reading with a Spiritual Medium comforted me immensely and confirmed my son was still alive, just in a different form.

This connection inspired me to broaden my knowledge about life after death. Also, through my Yoga Teacher Training, I learned how to meditate. Through this daily meditation, I found peace and joy in my life again.

Out of all the books I read, Suzanne Geisemann’s “Message of Hopes” inspired me the most. This book indirectly led to me the HPH organization.

Wednesday Monthly Meetings – 6:30pm – 8pm

Brentwood Library, 8109 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027


Wed Dec 5, 2018, Wed Jan 9, 2019, Wed Feb 13, 2019, Wed March 6, 2019, Wed April 3, 2019.

Contact Maggie Spaulding @

Texas: Austin
Organizer: Becky Yatsu and Daisy Dongieux [click to email]

Becky Yatsu:

Hello, My name is Becky Yatsu and I am here because of my sweet son Ben who left us way too soon in July of 2011 when he was hit by a car. He was only 15 years old at the time and had recently stated on his driver’s license application of his wish was to be an organ donor. After his accident, Ben gave the gift of life to 7 other people with his precious heart going to a 12-year-old girl. Knowing Ben, I know this makes him over the moon happy to have helped in such a big way. I live in Austin, Texas where I grew up and where I work as a Nurse Anesthetist. My daughter Katie is 19 and lives in the area as well. Since the time of Ben’s transition I have been in touch with mediums and have come to believe that our souls never die. I am excited about connecting with our children in the afterlife and am so blessed to get so many signs from Ben in spirit. I am excited about helping other parents do this as well and look forward to starting meetings in the Austin area!

Daisy Dongieux:

One month after losing her son Crayvon Corpening at age 20, in a motorcycle accident on March 29th 2015 Daisy started a meetup group called Mothers with Angels. Her mission was to help grieving mothers bond together through friendship and support. She is now partnering with Becky Yatsu to start an affiliate in Austin.

Texas: Dallas
Organizer: Asta Daniels [click to email]

Asta’s Bio:

My name is Asta Daniels and I am a native German. I am the mother of two beautiful children Natasha 27 and Tyler forever 20. Tyler transitioned February 1, 2014 due to an accidental overdose, but have learned through 2 mediums that he was poisoned which I had suspected all along. I fell into a deep, dark hole and could not find comfort anywhere, no Therapists or Grief support groups. I searched the Internet excessively to read anything I could find about child loss and the Afterlife and came across HPH. Every night after work I would read the new posts and slowly started to have hope. Tyler sends me signs and I know he is around us all the time and I will keep his memory alive. I am honored to be a part of the HPH Dallas Chapter and walking this journey with other parents.


Texas: Houston
Organizer: Pam Hidinger [click to email]

I am a mother of three beautiful girls. My oldest, Michelle “Emjay” transitioned on February 28, 2018 at the age of 20. Before my Michelle crossed to the other side, I didn’t put much thought into the afterlife or spiritualism, but her passing started me on a spiritual journey and guided me to Helping Parents Heal. Michelle has made it very clear to me that she is still here and we have work to do together, including meeting other shining light parents and their shining lights so that we may all continue the relationships in love.

United Kingdom: London
Organizer: Kathleen Baillie [click to email]

Kat Baillie joined Helping Parents Heal in March 2018, following a series of synchronistic events, that led her first to meet Mark  Ireland and Laurie Savoie in January 2018 and then Elizabeth Boisson in March 2018, followed by other affiliate leaders in April of the same year.  A mother of one herself, Kat lost a child in 2014 mid pregnancy and has held a great empathy with parents who have lost children every since.

In 2005 following a diving accident, Kat suffered PTSD, which led her to explore and study holistic routes to emotional healing, spanning from clinical hypnotherapy, guided meditation, yoga, aromatherapy and reiki healing, for which she is now a master.   It was this same incident in 2005 that would also trigger her own spiritual awakening.  In May 2017, after becoming a qualified psychic medium Kat would conduct a reading for a father, who had lost 3 children under the age of 5.  This reading would be a key turning point for Kat and the parent of 3, one that would force her to reconsider her priorities.

Now a fully qualified and Mark Ireland certified medium, Kat regularly supports parents who have lost children both through mediumship one to ones and with guided meditations and demonstrations of mediumship.  She is now thrilled to be taking on this larger role and responsibility, supporting HPH as an affiliate leader in London and the UK and is looking forward to meeting and supporting more shining light parents.

United Kingdom: London - Helping Siblings Heal
Organizer: Anna Buckmaster [click to email]

Anna is an actress born in Surrey, UK. Her brother and only sibling Pete passed in 2014 in a car accident. Being left as an only sibling, she realised there were no support systems or communities, specifically for bereaved brothers and sisters, and struggled to find people in similar situations to confide in. After her parents joined Helping Parents Heal and gained a great deal of comfort in the community, she felt compelled to create a sibling branch of the group to allow a space for people to connect and talk openly about their experiences. She hopes that this group, as the first of its kind, will provide hope and comfort to those who are told to stay strong for others and often struggle alone.  Please visit our Facebook page; Helping Siblings Heal.

Virginia: Leesburg
Organizer: Colleen Smith [click to email]

My name is Colleen and I am the mother to four children ages 26, 23, and 11 year old twins. My oldest son Austin passed over August 28th, 2016. He had just finished the hardest part of medical school and was completing his specialty rotations; he planned to become a cardiologist. The “end” of his future life dreams and physical presence thrust me into the world of pain and grief. I was a psychotherapist, skilled at helping clients work through pain and now here I was trying to find a way out of my own. Within days of Austin’s passing I began to feel him, hear him, and get signs. He helped me survive the unthinkable. Together we are healing and we want to help others in their grief journey. His contact has been the single most powerful element in the healing process so we aim to create an environment where parents can nurture their awareness of their child’s contact. Our hope is as we highlight our children’s continued presence it will deepen our trust that love and the soul are eternal. Creating a Helping Parents Heal group in Leesburg/Northern Virginia is our way of serving spirit, our community, and grieving parents.  I can be reached at 703-930-4333 or

Love & Light, Colleen Smith & Austin

Washington D.C.
Organizer: Julia La Joie and Rita Kozushin [click to email]

Julia La Joie’s Bio:

I joined Helping Parents Heal in April of 2012 when I met Mark Ireland and Elizabeth Boisson at a conference in Phoenix, AZ on After Death Communication. There were many parents like myself who had lost a child and had discovered the healing that comes from ADC and other forms of spiritual growth. I am eager to join hands and hearts with other parents in the Baltimore – Washington area to grow our network and support each other in healing and spiritual growth.

Rita Kozushin’s Bio: 

My name is Rita Kozushin. I immigrated to the USA in 1977 from Russia, the former Soviet Union. I am married and have two children. My younger child, a daughter, passed away from a prescription drug overdose in September 2011. After her death, I discovered HPH.

I worked as an information security analyst until my daughter became ill. After her death, I tried to return to work but could not function and quit. With my daughter’s help and guidance, I found a job at Kennedy Center for Performing Art as an usher. This job was a real lifesaver for me. This is what I am doing now. I met Julia shortly after my daughter’s death; that’s how I got involved with the Helping Parents Heal organization, which also had a huge impact on my life. I am Julia’s co-leader for the Washington DC chapter. When she is out of town, I will replace her as a chapter leader.

Washington: Seattle
Organizer: Beth Newkirk [click to email]

Beth is a mother to three beautiful children, two have passed away; her son, Steven when he was 8 years old from cancer and her daughter, Erin at 21 from suicide.  

She is looking forward to meeting other parents on this journey and bringing Helping Parents Heal to the Seattle area.

Wisconsin: Madison
Organizer: Mary Bertun and Tava Wilson [click to email]

Mary Bertun:

I am an instructor and writer. My 19 year old son Chas took his life and passed on April 3, 2012. Deep grief, healing and spiritual growth are all part of my journey forward. Chas is always with me, and I hope to help other parents who have suffered the loss of a child. I have attended a Serving Spirit class with messenger of hope Suzanne Giesemann and continue to attend her webinars.

I believe that if we share our experiences, resources for healing such as Suzanne, and celebrate the life of our children, we will move onto pathways of light and love. I am honored to be starting a Helping Parents Heal chapter in Madison, Wisconsin and honored to be meeting other parents.

Tava Wilson:

Hello! I am a Mental Health and School Guidance Counselor (currently not working in this field), and the mother of Nico, age 24, Christina, forever 17 (6/24/97-3/5/15), and Wilson, age 5. I was trained in grief and loss, and my professional career involved working almost exclusively with individuals struggling with the “loss” of loved ones. None of it prepared me for 3.5.15, when the person I most admire and with whom I was the closest, ‘moved’ to a different level of consciousness. I have no idea how I functioned those first months. My healing journey began when I read Wolf’s Message by Suzanne Giesemann, and subsequently spoke with her between May and August of 2015.

When Suzanne learned of Helping Parents Heal she told me about the group. To say that it has been a blessing would be an understatement. I can say today that I have experienced more joy and peace in the past 2 years than at any time prior to my daughter’s physical death. This is in large part due to the HPH family: meetings, online support, online meetings with experts in a multitude of healing modalities, the amazing conference, and new, special friendships. I still have rough patches, difficult days and I still miss the physical presence of my sweet peanut, but I am so blessed to have an ongoing relationship with her and feel so proud to be her mother. Helping Parents Heal is literally my heart. When I do things involving HPH, I feel joy. So, being a co-leader of the Madison affiliate group just makes my heart sing. I look forward to meeting many new Shining Light Parents. Our kids seem to bring just the right parents into my life at just the right time. They never cease to amaze me!!!

With love and so much gratitude, Tava Wilson


Helping Parents Heal – Madison meets online using Zoom once a month on the second Monday evening of the month. For more information contact:
Sometimes we host speakers, but more often we discuss our experiences and our children. So we learn about miracles and we hear about love.

Meeting time is 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Looking for more? Browse recommended books →

Our Second Helping Parents Heal Conference | April 2020