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Awakening Through Grief & Loss in a Time of COVID

--- Humanity Rising Day 258 - Friday May 28, 2021     (GoTo Bottom)
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Worldwide, people have lost loved ones who have and are dying alone, family members unable to be at their bedside. One in four Americans have lost someone to the coronavirus, many loved ones dying alone. Globally, rituals and ceremonies in existence for millenniums, designed to help the departed and the grieving, have been interrupted, leaving many in a worsened state of despair.  Hearing from others who have also experienced profound loss, who are in different stages of their healing process, has been shown to provide comfort and relief. Grief experts agree, the death of one’s child is the most tragic and most difficult. Today’s expert panelists represent this group. Each panelist will share their journey: their child’s gifts, what was most difficult, ceremonies and rituals that helped them heal, their beliefs about the afterlife, and ways they found meaning in their loss. Joining our parent panel is a medium and grief psychologist.


  • Paula Petry, PhD, Convener, is an author, presenter, and energy medicine practitioner whose life has been shaped and transformed by both her daughter Alexandra’s birth with a severe disability and her death at the age 12 in 1996. She is the founder of Parent to Parent of Miami, Inc. and co-founder of Lightwork Education & Wellness Center, a virtual elementary and middle school based in Miami, Florida; she teaches her Mindshop and Medicine Wheel & Me™ curricula. Her book, A Mother’s Courage to Awaken was released through Mango Publishing in October 2020.
  • Lori Beth Blaney resides in McDonough, GA with her husband, Sam, and their two sons, Jake and Shane. Sharon Baptist is their church home. She founded Rachel's Gift in 2008 after an automobile wreck caused the death of her daughter, Rachel, with whom she was in her 8th month of pregnancy. Her passion is to assist other mothers through this often "silent grief" and to empower hospital staff to become more confident and comfortable caring for these patients during their time of crisis. She is most thankful for all of the others who have come alongside her to advocate and assist in many ways with this mission.
  • Ronnie Botwinick Londner, M.Ed. lives in Miami, Florida where she is a medical writer and researcher. She has coauthored several books on disability issues and written for many national and local publications on science and medical topics. Her book, unstoppable heart, tells the story of her son Mikey, born 11 weeks premature, who upon his death at age 8 became an organ donor. Her book explores tough issues including premature birth, infant surgery without anesthesia, disability, the death of a child, organ donation and the impact that educational, religious and medical institutions have on our choices, decisions and lives.
  • Al & Kathryn Davino live in Delhi, New York. Al is a retired financial advisor whose avocations include writing and composing. Kathryn is a retired high school science teacher, an avid bird watcher and gardener. Their only child, Cassie, died in a car accident at the age of 19. Following this life-altering tragic event, they became active members of the Oneonta Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, serving on the steering committee and facilitating monthly grief-sharing meetings. A huge focus of their lives is helping others who have experienced a similar kind of loss.
  • Bertrand W Farr is an empathic medium, psychic, and educator who began his training at age 17 at the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp in Florida. He holds a master’s degree in Transpersonal, Humanistic and Parapsychology and Ed.S degree from West Georgia College. Bert has served as an education specialist in community services with an emphasis on grief & loss, death & dying, and trauma for four decades.
  • Diana Friedell is a wife, mother, psychic medium, minister and co-founder of the Institute for Spiritual Development in Oneonta, NY. In 1995, her son Jamie passed into spirit quite suddenly after a sledding accident. In her seeking, she experienced a deeper understanding and an awakening that brought a sense of clarity and purpose back into her life. She is committed to helping others discover the divine spark within their selves and live with greater joy knowing there is an abundance of love from the ‘other side’.  

Recommended Readings/Links



  • A Mother’s Courage to Awaken: Hope and Inspiration from My Daughter’s Journey in the Afterlife by Paula Petry, PhD
  • Blue Nights by Joan Didion
  • Books by David Kessler
  • Final Gifts by Maggie Callahan
  • Grieving Dads by Kelly Farley with David Dicola
  • Journey of Souls, Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton, PhD
  • Shattered, Surviving the Loss of a Child by Gary Roe
  • Unstoppable Heart by Ronnie Botwinick Londner


  • Jim Garrison, President, Ubiquity University

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