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Sharing the Journey from Bereaved to Shining Light Parent
Deb Behrendt's Validation with her Daughter Phoebe

Deb Behrendt's Validation with her Daughter Phoebe

  • Posted
    • Dec
    • 8
    • 2019
by Elizabeth Boisson

I want to share with you the incredible reading I had with Christine Salter on Sunday, September 8th. Our daughter, Phoebe, transitioned from this world on August 5, 2019. She was 21 years old, my wife and I are devastated, I am devastated, beyond belief. I have long had a deeply spiritual life and connection. I wish I could say having this connection has helped me, as I faced the most intense grief and sadness I have ever known; it did not. It did, however, make me more open to signs and experiences that those who have passed before send us.

When Phoebe passed, Michelle Ziff, was one of the first people who came to my side. She also led us to Helping Parents Heal. I knew I could survive this terrible experience, this gut-wrenching pain because I saw Michelle not only survive but reemerge even stronger after her son, Garrett, passed on 3 and a half years ago. My wife, Rachel, and I attended our first HPH event just 2 weeks after Phoebe passed. It was hard, there were lots of tears, but also relief at having every person in the room know what we were going through. Not one person was afraid of our tears, our grief; something that is rare to find outside of HPH.

Four weeks later, I returned with Michelle to hear Christine speak. Michelle and I sat in the second row; what happened before and after Phoebe came through I can not recall, but the moment Christine asked about a female girl with long hair I knew it was my Phoebe. Michelle knew it was Phoebe too and was ready with her phone to record the reading. I had so many questions, so much guilt, so much guilt over my daughter's death, I was lost in my guilt; I was lost. Christine said it perfectly, “beating the shit out of yourself with guilt, all day, every day, a buffet, you just keep eating it, you just keep wearing it, it's your identity, I am not willing to forgive myself, for whatever I am supposed to forgive myself for. It is dragging you down, it's weighing you down and it's stealing your joy.” BINGO!

I felt a release, a ton of bricks removed from my grasp, I had lost my joy and our Phoebe could see that and understood only she could release me from the guilt so that joy might someday reenter my life and spirit. Christine reminded me I have the ultimate life coach on the other side in my daughter. Christine felt that Phoebe’s passing was, “here on this earth, then as quick as a snap, she is in bliss,” Christine continued, “I have to tell you I just went to sleep, I went to sleep, just peace.” This helped me so much, it reinforced what Rachel, a nurse, had told me about Phoebe’s passing. Even with Rachel’s reassurances, I feared that Phoebe had a painful, horrific, lonely passing. Hearing Phoebe tell me the same thing Rachel shared, gave me peace in my heart, the first peace since she’d passed.

Garrett was there, waiting for her, walking the path with her. Knowing our children are together has relieved a lot of the anxiety I had about Phoebe’s passing. I learned that my daughter’s passing will grow my soul and grow my compassion and self-love. This was her path, my beautiful, amazing child reminded me that this was HER path, it was not alterable, it was like signing on the dotted line. Through Christine, Phoebe let me know that she is so sorry I am in so much pain. Today, I feel Phoebe everywhere, I hear her. Christine told me that this loss will grow me exponentially as a soul, evolve me, the path that I am on is going to be about compassion and self-love.

As the days pass I reflect on the power of the reading Christine gave me and recognize the truth in her words; I am moving in that direction, through the sadness and the loss I am evolving; the compassion I have for others is a reflection of my self-love. Thank you, Christine.

-Written by Phoebe's Mom, Deb Behrendt

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