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Sharing the Journey from Bereaved to Shining Light Parent
Focus on our Affiliate Leaders: Kathy MacMannis, Co-Affiliate Director, Chat with Irene & Kathy, HPH - Northern Virginia

Focus on our Affiliate Leaders: Kathy MacMannis, Co-Affiliate Director, Chat with Irene & Kathy, HPH - Northern Virginia

  • Posted
    • Apr
    • 24
    • 2024
by Elizabeth Boisson

Andy & Kathy/Jack, Aiden, & Conor

Hi!  I'm Kathy MacMannis proud mom to 3 incredible sons, Conor, Jack and Aiden.  Aiden was 15 years old when he passed in March of 2013.  Conor followed in November 2013.  He was 20 years old.  This, as you all understand, led my husband, Andy, our son, Jack, and I on the most profound journey of awakening filled with pain, miracles, and so much love.  Of course, as individual as our relationships and love for each other is, our journeys have been individual as well.  We knew to give each other space to walk this in our own way.

The boys both showed up immediately letting us know that they were still here.  They left and yet they stayed.  They had only changed form, became more of who they are.  Their personalities, silly antics and deep wisdom came pouring through.  Andy, Jack and I just needed to catch up.  I had always had an interest in the afterlife and read books about NDE's, miracles and Angels.  But, now with the boys living in spirit I felt like my interest turned into a master’s degree.  I researched, as we all do as parents, we find our children.  

It took me a few years to find HPH.  I was involved with other organizations, which were helpful on my journey with grief.  But they were not enough.  My true hope and peace came when I could talk about my continued relationship with my children.  That's what HPH has done, helped me to fill that gap.  My journey is one of healing and hope. Grief is a part of it, but not the whole of it.   I found my tribe where I could share stories and validations with other parents.  Time and again our kids have shown us that they are together working to bring us together, to bring us hope!  The more I've experienced on this journey, the signs and the messages, the ongoing conversation with Conor and Aiden, I’ve come to realize that I am not learning and discovering a greater reality.  I'm uncovering and remembering what my soul has always known.

"Birth is not a beginning and death is not an ending. They are merely points on a continuum." - Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I love this quote. It is what we have learned since Conor and Aiden ran on ahead. Conor was always like that, so curious and full of adventure. He never looked back, he'd take off to explore and oh boy, he was fast! Aiden was adventurous in a different way. He was not shy about having different interests and expressing his opinions. Even when they led to some heated debates, which I think he really enjoyed! He always knew home was a safe place to be yourself. I like to think their confident explorations were due to the trust that we were never far behind and always supported them. They trusted us to be a warm safe embrace, our love the only home they'd need at the end of the day. I am so very grateful that Conor and Aiden have taught us that this has remained the same. They've trained us with constant patience that we can still keep them in our sights as they keep us in theirs. Only now, they are our warm safe embrace. Their LOVE, our home. We searched and gratefully found that HOME is not so far away. Home, LOVE, is always right here. Like Dorothy and her ruby slippers, Home is just a thought away and we've had the power to get there all along. Their LOVE is eternally present.

Andy and I became Affiliate Leaders in the Fredericksburg, VA area in 2020.  During covid we joined our Affiliate with Colleen Smith's in Leesburg, VA and formed the HPH - Northern Virginia Affiliate group.  Andy and I continue to hold monthly meetings.  We have truly found that it is in giving that we receive.  We just give a little of our time but receive so much more in return from our HPH family.  We are so blessed and inspired by them always.  Our meetings are a combination of zoom and in-person. (  

During covid Irene Vouvalides started doing an HPH Afternoon Chat group and invited me to co-host with her.  It became such an honor, a sacred part of my week to sit and share with parents however we all showed up.  We continue to do this chat on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 3:00 pm eastern time. Please join us!  You can find the zoom link on the Helping Parents Heal FB page under the events tab.   Most recently I've joined with 2 amazing shining light moms, Rosanne Norris and Patti May, together we have formed the Affiliate Leader Director Team for HPH.   It has been wonderful working alongside these two women and their awesome children in spirit.  If you are interested in learning more about starting an affiliate in your area, please reach out.

~Kathy MacMannis



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