Welcome to Grief 2 Growth
Nov. 6, 2022

Terri Daniel- Her Son Died Now Death Is Her Business


I've known Dr. Daniel for several years. We have worked together on workshops and teaching courses. I've learned so much from her during our time together. 

In today's interview, we discuss toxic theology and how it can complicate the dying and grief processes. We also discuss her incredible book, A Swan In Heaven. The audio version of the book has just been released on the sixteenth anniversary of her son Danny's death.

Dr. Terri Daniel is an interfaith hospice chaplain, end-of-life educator, and grief counselor certified in death, dying, and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling and in trauma support by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. She conducts workshops throughout the U.S. and teaches at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Terri is also the founder of The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief and the Ask Doctor Death podcast. She is also the author of four books: death, grief, and beyond.
Over the years, Terri has helped hundreds of people learn to live, die and grieve more consciously. Her work is acclaimed by hospice professionals, spiritual seekers, therapists, theologians, and academics worldwide.

Terri has a BA in Religious Studies from Marylhurst University, an MA in Pastoral Care from Fordham University, and a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Terri's websites:
https://www.deathgriefandbelief.com
https://www.deathgriefandbelief.com
https://www.spiritualityandgrief.com
https://www.danieldirect.net

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Transcript

Brian Smith:

Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life the causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we've been buried, but what if, like a seed we've been planted and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.

Announcer:

Hi there. Before we start, Brian would like to share a couple of things with you. First, did you know that Brian is a life coach, a grief guide and a mental fitness trainer? Brian would love to help you with whatever life issues are challenging you. Brian has years of experience as well as training. You can contact Brian at WWW dot grief to growth.com to learn more. Brian is the author of the best selling book grief to growth planted not buried, which you can get on Amazon or Brian's website. This is a great book if you're in grief or to give to someone you know who is dealing with grief. Lastly, Brian creates free and paid resources for your growth. Go to www dot grief to growth.com/gifts www.gr IE F to growth.com to sign up for his newsletter. Choose a gift just for signing up and keep up with what Brian is offering. And now here's today's episode. Please enjoy.

Brian Smith:

Hi, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I've got with me my good friend Terry Daniel. Terry is an interfaith hospital chaplain. She's an end of life educator and she's a grief counselor certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of death education and counseling and trauma and trauma support by the International Association of trauma professionals. She conducts workshops throughout the US and teach at the graduate theological union in Berkeley, California. She's also the founder of the conference on death, grief and belief and the Ask Dr. Death podcast. She's the author of four books on death, grief and beyond. And over the years Terry's helped hundreds of people learn to live dying, read more consciously. Our work is acclaimed by hospice professionals, spiritual seekers, therapist, theologians and academics worldwide. She has a BA in religious studies from Mara hearts, Merrill hearts University, an MA in pastoral care from Florida University, and a Doctor of Ministry and pastoral care and counseling from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Terry is I've worked with Terry for a long time we've spoken at a conference. And I'm really happy to have you here today, Terry,

Terri Daniel:

thank you, my friend. Glad to be here. Happy to talk to your audience.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, you're, you're one of the foremost experts on death, grief and belief that I know of. So I'm always glad to get here to have you here and pick your brain. And today, I want to just talk to you about like, what's been going on in your life recently. And anything you have on your mind you'd like to share with the audience?

Terri Daniel:

Well, I think a lot of your audience probably already knows me from the afterlife conference. So I guess we could start with that. So I started the afterlife conference in 2010. At the time, there were no such conferences at all, where people could get together and talk and learn from experts about nd ease out of body journeying after death, communication, and all of that. And so it was pretty radical new idea at the time. And that conference went for 10 years, 11 years, quite successfully, even through COVID, you know, we became virtual. And during those 10 years, I personally went through a lot of different changes a lot of evolution, I guess, in my interest in my work. So starting the conference in 2010. Right about was the same time when I went back to school, to get trained as a grief counselor and a chaplain. And so through that training and through the internships, and the the clinical supervision, training, blah, blah, blah, that I did over those same 10 years, my views started to change a little bit. And I got very interested in how people's religious beliefs influence their experience of death and grief, and that became the topic of my doctoral dissertation. And long story short, the afterlife conference changed into the conference on death, grief and belief. And our focus shifted away from being so heavily on nd ease and out of body and mystical stuff over to a little bit more analytical, academic stuff. Looking at religious in dark Your nation religious orientation, and how no matter what you believe today, how the influences that you've accumulated through your life as a child, and through the culture, whether you were raised in a heavy duty religious cult, or not, are actually when it comes to end of life, and you're sitting there on your deathbed are actually going to have some influence on how you experience that not for everybody, obviously. But for many people who, unlike you, Brian, and me and most of your listeners, many people who have not stopped to explore and question their inherited theology or a chosen theology, and never thought about any of this spiritual stuff, until they, they come into my hospice, and they're dying. And I walk in there as a chaplain, and they're like, am I gonna go to hell, because I'm gay, or because I'm a sinner, or because I didn't go to church, because I'm an atheist. I mean, it all starts coming up. So I found that to be an incredibly interesting field of study. And that's where the conference is right now.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, that that is so important. And just tell you a real quick story. I was with some friends a couple weeks ago, I've only met these people a couple of times, a group of parents who have all lost children. And we're sitting around, we're having a conversation and that whole thing about what we believe about the afterlife came up and a couple of people, you know, some people were still in the camp, that there's a God and judgment and eternal hell. Now the person because their child had passed away had rejected all notion of any kind of afterlife or anything that wasn't, quote, material, and gotten to a very heated discussion for quite a while about, about how, you know, these beliefs become very important when you're faced with death.

Terri Daniel:

Yeah, they become the most important thing, maybe not the most important. I mean, everybody's death facing experiences is very different. But not only when you're faced with death, of your own death, but somebody else's death or grief, really, of any kind. So that's kind of what I want to talk about today. You know, I had a conversation with my 95 year old father yesterday, he had this caregiver who took care of him for a couple years that he really liked, and she quit the job she left. And he's really sad and really bummed that she's gone. And all he talks about is I'm so sad that milk has gone, you know, she was the best, I'll never find anybody. And he's really sad. And I said, Dad, you're grieving. And he got really pissed off. He's a Holocaust survivor. And he said, Don't tell me about grief. I know about grief. You know, many people I lost in the Holocaust, you know, I'm not grieving. Grieving is only for dead people. And I said, All right, well, you know, don't listen to me. I'm just a grief counselor, what do I know? But it really got me to thinking he doesn't understand that we grieve many, many kinds of losses, even a million things throughout the day, if your dog gets old, and you have to put them down, of course, you're going to grieve. If your car breaks down, you grieve, if you lose a job, if you lose status, if you lose love, if you lose a particular role, or identity, grief is everywhere. And it's in every single loss that we have. If you break your leg, and you have to hobble around on crutches, or worse, you get really seriously ill, and your life is totally changing. you're grieving the function of your body. So it goes across everything you can imagine. And so I after talking to my dad, I got this idea to write a paper about this. And I actually did an episode a bonus episode on my podcast, which is called Ask Dr. Death. And it's called, there are no stages of grief. And so I kind of if you don't mind me going on a rant for a minute about this. So everybody knows the quote, five stages of grief and nobody in professional grief circles uses that anymore. It is not a viable theory, and I'll talk about why. But historically, we all know this that Elisabeth Kubler Ross came up with it in, I think it was 1969. Her book on death and dying, which was a breakthrough, incredible, amazing book, it got us talking about death in this culture for the first time ever, so it's all good, except for what happened to it later. So what she did is she interviewed about 200 people in a hospital who were facing death, they were had terminal diagnosis. And it wasn't a formal study. It was just kind of casual interviews for material for her book. And what she found was of all the possible responses they could have to their death. There were five most common and those five most common ones, as we all know, are denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. So she put that in her book and she called them The stages of grief. That caught on pretty big, but it got even bigger many years later, when in 1995, a guy by the name of David Kessler, who many of your listeners know, came along, and got connected with Elisabeth Kubler Ross and said, Why don't we take your five stages of grief and put them into a book called on grief and grieving. And so they did. And that's when it really went platinum. And all of a sudden, the five stages of grief became this big thing. Everybody was talking about it all the psychologists were doing it. And it just snowballed, and it got so big. And it was never useful. It was never meant to be about going through grieving the loss of something it was about these people who were facing their death. But more importantly, it was just about the five most common responses that people had. So a lot of psychologist and you know, the top grief, researchers in the world started digging into this and researching it. And they said, you know, this doesn't work. There's so many things wrong with the idea of five stages, most obviously, that it suggests that, that it's sequential. First you go through this stage, then you go through that one, and that one and that one. So people are so busy looking at these stages and expecting to go through them, that they're actually missing all the other responses that they're having. So one of the things that I'm proposing now is that we ditch that language of stages, and we start calling it responses. So think about when you're faced with a loss, your spouse dies, your child dies, your dog dies. There's all kinds of responses, you can have tons of different ones, like for example, shock. That's a response. How about guilt, regret, shame. When we've lost a child, we almost always have guilt, even if we're the most perfect parent in the world. There's a response of blame, wanting to blame something or somebody for the loss. There can be resentment, like you, you know, you did so much work and you spent so much time in the hospital and you did everything you were supposed to do or you prayed to God and you were faithful, but God failed you, the medical establishment failed you. So there's resentment, disappointment, anger about that. There can be obsession, and per separation, just obsessing and obsessing about the event that happened. Fear, anxiety, Dread, sometimes there can be relief, if the person you were taking care of was very sick and suffering and then they died, you're relieved, they're out of pain, now they're not suffering and you're not a caregiver anymore. Along with that can also be guilt for feeling relieved. If you're terminally ill, and you're sick, and you're suffering, and you now know that you're going to die. You could be happy. You could have exhilaration, anticipation, you could have spiritual expansion in response to any of these things. Or you can shut down your spirituality and have a crisis of faith and throw spirituality out altogether. You could become withdrawn and less social, less connected to people or you could become more connected. So the point being, that there's a whole lot more responses than just the five that Elisabeth Kubler Ross named. And that's really the primary problem with the stage theory. And so all the psychologists just, you know, they basically say, if you're looking to match your experience up with those five stages, you're going to just get yourself stuck in a quagmire, and it's not going to lead to healing, like, certainly, maybe you've experienced any of those. Maybe anger, maybe depression, but it's not a nice, neat little package. And, and if you go to a counselor who talks to you about these stages, we say run, don't walk to another counselor, who doesn't and there's all these other new theories. There's the tasks of mourning, there's the phases of mourning, there's the six R's of mourning. There's all these new things that are much more functional than that.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, yeah, I think you're absolutely right. The thing about the five stages of grief, it's interesting how that evolved because it was virtually the five stages of death and dying. Right. And as you said, she interviewed people who were terminally ill so it was about them accepting their fate. It wasn't even about grief. And then somehow when she and David Kessler got together, they kind of got pushed over into the grief thing and people said witness work for grief and it doesn't, you know, as you and I both know, it does does not work for grief. at all.

Terri Daniel:

Yeah, it definitely doesn't work for grief. And in fact, it's harmful. And it's interesting, because here's another misconception that people have about grief. And this is also, you know, very common in the literature, in the research is, there used to be this assumption, that when you're grieving that you're supposed to be completely devastated that there can be no positive thoughts, no happy moments. No, none of the, you know, positive responses, like relief exhilaration, you know, none of that. This all comes from when grief theory really began was with Freud in 1930, he wrote a paper called mourning and melancholia. And he laid out this pathway that he called grief work. And according to him, you're supposed to be very, very destroyed and very sad. And you get deeply into the emotions. And you work through that, with the end goal being that you separate from the thing, you've lost the person, I say, the thing you've lost, because it isn't always a person. And that was really popular in psychology for a long time. But starting in the 60s, this idea really began to change. And part of the reason that that happened, this is my theory now is that we started to get exposed to Eastern thinking, to Buddhism and Hinduism in the 60s. And that happened because in 1950, China invaded Tibet, and all the monks fled. They burned the monasteries, and the books, and they fled to Europe, and eventually to the west to America. And they introduced us to Buddhism and ideas like reincarnation. And that seeped into psychology. And now we have a whole other idea, which is you don't have to separate from the person who died, you can stay connected to them through what they call continuing bonds, which is what we're all doing. And you know, which is what your audience is doing. And in fact, that is far more healthy than thinking that you have to go through these stages leading to ultimate separation.

Brian Smith:

You know, it's interesting, because I get to work with you. I've learned so much over the years that you and I have known each other and continuing bonds to me only makes sense. And, you know, both part of the organization helping parents here been associated with it. And so that's kind of the whole model of helping parents heal. But I'm not sure the medical world is there yet. Because the DSM five just came out with prolonged grief disorder, which we all just kind of laugh at. It's like, no, no, there's no such thing.

Terri Daniel:

Actually, there is such thing. Prolonged grief disorder is real, but it has nothing to do with continuing bonds. But I think what you're talking about, yeah, yeah.

Brian Smith:

Well, and just to say, Yeah, and I agree, there is such a thing, because there could be grief that can be pathological could be a problem, right? But the thing is, it's what the thing that really got me was when they said, we can treat this like an addiction. And we're thinking maybe we can find a pill that can cure grief, to to break the attachment. Who said that? This was I'd have to find it, I'd have to find the quote, but it was something to that effect. When I was reading.

Terri Daniel:

I think I saw that too. I think I saw some post somewhere or some blurb somewhere online about that. Yeah. But that's that is not considered good science or viable.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, then I'll have to find the article, I'll try to find instead of kind of trying to summarize it, but they were there was some excitement that it's like, if this was really like an addiction, we can maybe find something that we can use to break the addiction.

Terri Daniel:

Well, I think what you what whoever wrote that may be saying so so let's talk about complicated grief for a minute. So yeah, there is a normal trajectory of how grief is supposed to go there is normal grief and not normal grief, except it's constantly influenced by all these other intersecting things that can tweak it one way or another. So if your 95 year old grandmother dies, in a few months, you're gonna be just fine. You might be fine in a week, you know, and that's, that's fine. That's normal. If it's a tragic death, like your child gets hit by a car, you know, you're not going to be fine in a few months. It's going to be a long, long process because it shakes up your assumptions about reality, you not only have to adapt to life without your child, but your belief about how reality works and your role in the world completely changes. It's and it's a trauma. So obviously, that's going to have a different trajectory than what you have when your grandmother dies. But there are people but even let me back up. But even as you know, Brian, and me too, as people who've lost children, we do regain equilibrium. We do regain normal functioning. You know, life is just different. We never stopped being sad, we never stopped missing them. We never stopped grieving. But we can function and not only can we function, we very often get better because of it and become teachers and healers. Sometimes people don't regain function. And you've probably seen people who, even if their child died in a horrible, tragic way, five years later, they're still angry. They're still venomous. They're clinically depressed, they still cry every day, they still can't get out of bed in the morning, they're still blaming the medical establishment, their relationships are failing, their health is failing. That's what complicated grief is, or prolonged mourning disorder. Um, you know, I've talked about that and written about that a lot. So the problem with the DSM, is not that they came up with a diagnosis for it, but they said that it's okay to diagnose that if the person is still having the symptoms of sadness, and crying and obsessing in six months, and the six month thing is the problem because that's ridiculous. You know, because if your child died unexpectedly, like yours did, six months later, you're still going to be obsessing and crying. I mean, we this is what we expect to happen. Or if your kid gets killed in a drive by shooting or some horrible, you know, traumatic thing that crying and obsessing is going to last at least a year, you can't put a time stamp on it. So that's the problem with the DSM thing. And I think the reason that the helping parents heal people object to it, assuming they've even read it, is that it says that one of the symptoms of prolonged mourning disorder is that you think you're talking to your dead person, that could be considered pathological. And of course, we know that that's not pathological. Right. Right. So it does conflict a little bit with continuing violence, for sure.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, well, and yeah, it's and I oversimplify it, when I said there's no such thing because there's, you're right, there's clearly grief that's not healthy. And I have met people 10 years out, what I will never forget one of the first meetings, briefings I went to it had been 10 years for this woman. And she was just, it was like it happened yesterday, she was still angry, she was still bitter, she was still telling the story the same way. And I was still Earl, I was really early, my grief journey. And I didn't even know if I could heal. But I knew I did not want to be like that. So she was a great example for me of what not to be.

Terri Daniel:

Yeah, and I hear that all the time. And I mostly hear it from people who have had a recent loss. And they go to a meeting of the compassionate friends. And then they come back and they say, I saw people in there whose last was 10 years ago, and they're still just like you described Brian, and they go, I don't want to be like that in 10 years. If that's the example of where I'm going to be in 10 years. I don't want anything to do with this group. You know, I want my grief, I want to tell my story differently. You said it beautifully. They're still telling their story the same way. Right. And the idea is to tell the story a different way over time, right?

Brian Smith:

Yes, hopefully we do change and grow and develop a perspective and integrate the loss into into our life to go forward. That's what I try to work with people to do to give them hope that, you know, we can never as you said, we continue to grieve, we continue to be sad, we still have it's still up and down. It's complicated is back and forth. But for the most part we're functioning and we can actually be better, which I know freaks some people out, but you can use it as a growth opportunity.

Terri Daniel:

Absolutely. And there's you know, there have been bonafide academic studies on bereaved parents, and how they've grown. I mean, look at you look at me look at a lot of people that we know. And speaking of my own loss, my son died at 16. And that's now been 16 years ago. In terms of the grief stages, I never went through any of those. Not even anything close. I mean, he was diagnosed when he was 10 years old with a life threatening disease. He was given five to 10 years to live. I never had denial. I never had anger. I never had bargaining. Who am I going to bargain with? I never had depression, I went straight to acceptance. And I did that because I did all the research. I read everything I could about this disease. I connected with other parents who had kids with this disease. I you know, I educated myself. And I understood the facts, you know, which is like, here's what's going to happen with disease, this disease, yes, there is an intervention, but it doesn't stop the disease from progressing. It just delays it. And so I knew what I was dealing with. I never had denial. I never said no, this isn't true. Let me go to another doctor. I never did that. Well,

Brian Smith:

Terry, I'd say that's very unusual to do not even have anger. I mean, wow, that's What would I be angry at? I, you know, that's a great question that people get angry at the universe. You know, it's interesting because people, even people who are total rational materialists that say that things just happen. They still get angry when things happen to them.

Terri Daniel:

They get angry because it didn't, you know, have life didn't happen the way they wanted it to.

Brian Smith:

And the guy was talking to the other night was really interesting because he was a religious person when his daughter got sick. And then when his daughter when his daughter died. Now, he denies that there is a God. And it's really interesting, because I would say he's angry at God so angry a guy that he's denying God's existence, it's like, I'll show you, you don't even exist anymore.

Terri Daniel:

That's exactly right. Anger at God is where we're that most of the anger is, is your anger at the medical establishment. You're angry at your spouse, because somehow it's their fault. You know, I mean, it's silly to say this, because all these deaths are so different, right? But or, or you're angry at God, it's usually angry at God, which is the same thing as just being angry at life didn't happen the way I wanted it to. Maybe for me, it was a little easier because I had always had a Buddhist outlook since I was a teenager. So I understood impermanence. I understood non attachment, I'm, you know, someone else would have a completely different reaction. But for me, that was really true. But it was it was an easy death. I had six years to prepare for it. Not like you.

Brian Smith:

That's that is the goal of Buddhism. I would say most people don't get there. That's yeah, so that's, that's cool. That's cool that you were able to get there and have that experience. You know, for for, I guess, I think for a lot of people, at least for myself, I didn't go through. I didn't go through anger. I went through sadness, definitely. There was no denial. It wasn't there wasn't an option. There was no bargaining. So yeah, yeah, it was. I'd have to say, Yeah, I went to acceptance, too. So

Terri Daniel:

there you go. See, it's not that hard. Yeah.

Brian Smith:

But with profound sadness, you know, so that's not one of the stages. Yeah,

Terri Daniel:

no, right. Exactly. profound sadness, and then regret guilt. Surely, you had guilt, I had so much guilt, I still have guilt. He's been gone 16 years. And guilt is my big issue that I get stuck on all the time. So yeah, all those other responses that I mentioned earlier, those are much more relevant. You know, when you see your loved one dead, there can't be denial. There can't be bargaining. There can certainly be anger. There can certainly be depression, but that comes later. Right? Did you have clinic? Did you go into clinical depression after Shayna died? I did not No, no, neither did I, you know, it's not a given. And that's one of the discussions that goes on a lot about switching from Freud's model of grief to the new ones that we have is that intense suffering is not a given. We actually have resilience. And that's where the new direction and all this is going. So an author that I would love for your audience to read is a woman named Lucy Hoan, h o n e, she wrote a book called resilient grieving, you can find her TED Talk, she's going to actually be in our symposium that we're doing in January. And also George Banano is another one who writes about resilience. And the idea is that we in, in this culture, which I will define, as you know, Judeo Christian, Western American culture of privilege, let's say, Just throwing that out there. We have these assumptions that this isn't supposed to happen to us. Everything you know, we're gonna have a good life, we have a good job, we'll be able to buy a house and have health insurance and get have some kids and get a dog and go to work every day and everything will be secure, we can achieve security, that is a complete illusion. We can never achieve security. But if we didn't think we could we would never buy a house or get a dog or do anything, right. So when we lose that, we just fall apart. But if you have a cosmology and an understanding that you can't achieve security and that everything is you know, can fall through your fingers at any minute. You have some somewhat different response when it falls through your fingers. And so if we look at other cultures, where death is not medicalized is not pushed away. They have a lot more resilience than we do. If you go to a third world country where every family has six kids and three of them die. That's kind of normal. In Some places in the world, they have a resilience that we don't have. And you know, they also have rituals and ceremonies and processes for allowing death and impermanence to be part of their existence that we don't have. So we're so shocked when somebody dies.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, but that is an excellent point. And that kind of goes to the fact that I think you because of your outlook, and maybe me, because of all the work I've done, because I had the meta phobia for most of my life, and it studied it so much. It's kind of a preparation for this thing for a lot of people in our culture. It just comes out of the blue because we assume it's never going to happen to us. And when it does, something must have gone wrong. You know,

Terri Daniel:

where do you think you got your fear of death from? Church? Yeah, and that's true for most people in this culture.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, absolutely. 100% It was from churches from going to church every day, from the time I was, before I could speak and hearing about, you're going to die someday, you're gonna go to heaven, you're gonna go to hell, Jesus is coming back any minute now. So even if you don't die, Jesus is gonna be coming back. So you'd better be ready. It was a I hate to say it was a death cult. So that's pretty much all we talked about was what was going to happen. We died.

Terri Daniel:

Wow, it is a death cult. And it's interesting to think about religions, because most of them emerge from curiosity, and fear of death. It's, I mean, if you look at every religion, it's really kind of designed to address death, like the big scary, unknown thing I imagined for primitive people. When they saw someone die, and like, one minute, they're there, they fall down, they hit their head on the rock, and the next minute, they're dead. Must have been absolutely baffling. To see what happened. You know what, what happened to him? He was just here, right? Oh, he's not that. I mean, of course, you're gonna make up a theology or some sort of meaning to explain. Where did he go? Yeah, it's just here.

Brian Smith:

Yeah. But you know, what's interesting about religion is it's supposed to bring us comfort. And we, you and I know is can often do just the opposite.

Terri Daniel:

Yeah, big time. Well, you know, that's my big, passionate thing. And, you know, as a hospice chaplain, I am with people every day. Who who struggle with that, you know, that's, I mean, they're not, it's interesting. I mean, because I live in Oregon. So it's pretty progressive thinking here around Portland, Oregon, but I don't have as many people as I thought I would, who are afraid of going to hell, if I out in the rural areas, I encountered that a lot more when I worked in a hospital in a rural area, and I'd have patients who were dying and they had, you know, they would say, hey, Chaplain, can you help me? I'm really afraid I'm gonna go to hell. I was a sinner all my life. I was a drug dealer. I beat up women, I raped some people, you know, really bad guys. And am I gonna go to hell? I mean, they would ask me this question. You know, thankfully, my chaplaincy training taught me how to answer that question, which is not to answer it at all. But to turn it back on them and say, Well, what is your belief system tell you? Oh, well, I'm a Christian. to I believe in hell. Okay. So what does that mean? Tell me, tell me what your Faith says about what happens when you die? Well, if I believe in Jesus, then I'll be forgiven. And I'm like, Oh, what are you worried about? You're good to go, man.

Brian Smith:

Yeah. Yeah, well, that this is interesting, because this reminds me so much of the conversation I had the other night and I was, I was between the guy who was the atheistic materialist. And I'm trying to bring him back into there might be something more. And then the other side, I had one person who said that she was spiritual, but not religious, but she believed in eternal hell. And the other guy was just like, it's all about Jesus. And if either have either Jesus and you go to heaven, or you don't have Jesus, and you go to hell, how did you get with these people? They were parents who've lost children. So that was one thing that we all had in common. And as I was going through their theology, it was just amazing. And I used to do this, the knots that they would tie themselves up in, like, for example, God's response. I say, Your God is a loving God is going to send people to eternal torment. Well, no, God doesn't do it. Well, who does it? Well, Satan does. And I'm like, so Satan is more powerful than God. Well, no, of course he's not. And I'm like, Well, if he's not more powerful than God, then God could stop it. And if God could stop it, then he's responsible for Well, no, God is not responsible for it. And the end it'll be the lake of fire and the lake will be the one responsible for torture pupae says So now the fires responsible. It was just, it was just incredible, you know? And then, and then it was like I said, Well, what rational could and then it's like, well, no, it's your choice to go to hell. And I said, What rational person would choose to go to hell? And they're like, Well, you know, it exists. And you know, you didn't do the right thing. I said, I don't know what exists. I don't see it. Do you see it? You know, it was it was it was almost.

Terri Daniel:

And what's the right thing? In that question? You know, what exists? So you know, to do the right thing. So my next question is, will tell me what the right thing is?

Brian Smith:

Well, one guy would have said, Believe in Jesus, you know, you have to believe in Jesus.

Terri Daniel:

So everybody who doesn't believe in Jesus burns in fiery lake for eternity, all the Hindus and the Buddhists and all of us.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. How, you know, that theology. Again, people wrap themselves in knots, you know, and then it just comes down to what you just you just have to believe, you know, and the one guy is like, what do you got to do? You go to church? I'm like, Yeah, I used to go to the church that you go to, I don't go anymore.

Terri Daniel:

Wow. Yeah. It's really It's so convoluted. And it's convoluted because it was made up by people. You know, I was talking to a client the other day, who was, you know, dealing with questions about suicide. And she was very Catholic. And I said to her, you know, you may not have received this bulletin, but the Church no longer says that suicide is a sin. You don't go to hell for suicide, the Catholic Church has rescinded that rule. I didn't know that. Okay. Yeah. A lot of people don't know that. It's not something that they announce. And so, and what they say is, you know, because this is their rationale, because if you commit suicide, you're mentally ill. And that's an illness, and therefore, you can be excused. It makes sense. And so my point in telling her this is, if the church can just, you know, change the rules, then obviously, the rules weren't made by God.

Brian Smith:

Yeah. Hello. When I was a kid, they talked about the, and I even got into this with these guys who said, so all the people in the Hebrew Bible, they call it the Old Testament, but other people in the Old Testament, they all went to hell. And now, they didn't believe in Jesus. Well, they were under the law. I'm like, okay, so but if any, keep the law perfectly does that, you know, it just it really starts to get, you know, go crazy. And I said, Okay, so if if there is an eternal hell, and God was warning Adam and Eve in the garden, why didn't he tell them about that? Why did he just say you're going to die? I mean, putting the health thing be pretty important. It's never ever mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures at all.

Terri Daniel:

Right? What do you say to that?

Brian Smith:

I don't remember what his what his answer was to that particular one. So as I said, you know, this is the thing I don't I'm not a chaplain. So I can do this, I can, I can say, Okay, your faith doesn't make any sense. Because again, I've got this other guy sitting over here, he's looking at me going, this is why I don't believe in anything anymore. Because this is what they're telling me. And I'm like, There's something in between, you know,

Terri Daniel:

there's depth, there's all kinds of stuff. In fact, ever, all of everything is in between, that's where everything is, there's nothing on this end, or that end, it's all right here. And it's constantly evolving and changing. You know, it's, you don't arrive at a certain place in spiritual growth. It's, you know, you acquire it, you exercise it every hour of every day. And that's how it's supposed to be. And that's one of the flaws with this, you know, kind of Christianity is that they feel like they've arrived at something. Yeah, 2000 years ago, by the way, yeah, we've arrived, and we're done. We don't need to know anything else. We've achieved Christian nirvana. And we know what it is. And the rest of you don't I mean, the arrogance of that is, is beyond description.

Brian Smith:

It is. And that was one of the points I brought up. Also, I was like, you know, the fact that you think that everything that there is to know is in this in this book that was written by men, that stopped being written 2000 years ago, that that's the end of the knowledge was 2000 years ago, nothing else can ever be added to it.

Terri Daniel:

And most of them haven't actually read it. They've only heard it dictated, you know, spoken by their pastor. Yeah. Because, you know, education is the enemy of faith. And so, that's the reason why I went and got a degree in religious studies because I wanted to study scripture. And you know, here's, I'll give you an example. Most people who will, you know, slam in the Bible at you will never know this. So Cain kills Abel. Right? And what happens to him after that?

Brian Smith:

He gets the mark.

Terri Daniel:

And what's the mark? I don't know. There you go see you and you know the Bible really well. And you're actually it's real. It's right there. You know what the Mark was? It was a mark of protection. So Cain kills, so he couldn't be killed. Yes. So he couldn't be killed. And because so he never got punished. What happened is he went to the next village, the land of Nod, East of Eden, where he met a wife, and had a family and became an ancestor became a builder of great cities and one of the fathers of the tribes. So for his crime of killing, he was, he was banished. But with this mark of protection, God said, no, no, people are going to be pissed at you when you come into their village because you're a stranger. So this mark, will you protect you from being murdered as a stranger, the other thing thinks is where was he banished from?

Brian Smith:

I don't know the answer to that. Well,

Terri Daniel:

everybody thinks he was banished from Eden. Right? Well, yeah, it wasn't. Right, because Cain and Abel were born after the left Eden, but most people don't know that. I mean, that's just kind of the you know, Bible thumping. People who have never even you to all you have to do is read like three sentences. It's right there. Well,

Brian Smith:

yeah, not to take this over. But this I want to continue this, this conversation I had the other day because I was the poor guy who had become atheistic. He's like, well send me something about you know what you believe that? So I said in my interview with Bernardo Castro, where he talks about idealism versus materialism, so I'm gonna start with that. So today's is a what do you believe about the Bible being literal? So I sit in a allegorical view reading of Lot's wife, you know, when she was turned into a pillar of salt. I said, this was a story that makes no sense on a literal level. But read is an allegory, it makes perfect sense. And so I sent him an hour long video to watch. So we'll see how that goes with them.

Terri Daniel:

Yeah, you know, it's funny, I wasn't raised with any religion. But when I was 16, I found a Bible in a thrift store, a really cool old beat up antiquey looking one, so I bought it and I said, you know, but I'm going to read this, just to see what everyone says all the fuss is about. And I started reading it right at the beginning. And I knew by the time I got to like the fourth chapter of Genesis, that it wasn't supposed to be literal. I was 16 years old. I mean, it was so obvious, like, Oh, I get it, you're supposed to read between the lines. This is symbolic. This isn't literal, even as a 16 year old, with no exposure to the Bible at all. From my parents. We didn't even have a Bible in my house. I was able to just figure that out. And maybe because I had this innocent virgin mind that had never been polluted.

Brian Smith:

Because it was because you were already 16. And because you hadn't been hadn't indoctrinated into you. Because for most people, for people like me, they never question I did, because it didn't make any sense to me. That guy was gonna send everybody to hell. That was my big sticking point. And so I started examining it, but it's that that indoctrination that occurs at a very early age before you have reason before you can read these stories, and say, Wait a minute, God killed everybody in the world, except for no one has family. That's not cool. That's, that's, that's, yeah, that's like a Tyler showing up their toys, because they're mad at him.

Terri Daniel:

That's exactly what it's like. That's what that God is, is a petulant toddler. You know, Brian, at our conference this last July, where you were a speaker, and you have all the links to all the recordings. And if anyone listening wants them, they can email me. Did you happen to listen to the talk from Jamie, Ed? I'm pretty sure I sent it to you. I don't see. You have got to hear that. She's amazing. Her name is Jamie e add why? She's, she's a grief counselor and a scholar. And she talks about something that when I heard her, I was floored, because I should have known this. It's something I never thought of before. She said, then in the Bible stories, where there's trauma, like wiping out the world with a flood, or all the times that Yahweh commanded the the armies to go into a village and murder everyone. And you know, murdering the Ammonites, genocide, tech, killing all the children and the men and keeping the women for the soldiers there, the murder of the firstborn, and both the Hebrew and Christian Bible, all of this stuff, traumatic mass murder. It is never identified as trauma. It's never named as bad. It never says. And so God did this thing and he killed 30,000 people and they and all the soldiers kidnapped the Virgin women and kept them for themselves, and never says, and this was a bad thing. cause pain, people grieved and mourn and cried. None of that is in there. So what happens? This is what Jamie teaches, you know, if trauma isn't named, then you can't you don't know what trauma is. You become desensitized to it. So now in our world, where we've got school shootings, and all this horrible stuff, it's almost like we, I mean, we know it's trauma, we know it intellectually. But if you're a Bible believing Christian, because your mind has been trained that God does this, and we don't know why, but we love God, and we trust that he knows what he's doing. You can't really get behind how terrible these things are. And that's why the Bible believing Christians will not have a conversation about gun control. You know, don't take our guns away. You know, I mean, obviously, you know, was a terrible thing that that guy walked into the school and killed all those children. But nothing wrong with having an AR 15 is available for anyone who wants one. Where's that disconnect coming from? And her idea is, it comes from this belief that mass murder is okay with God. Because God did it all the time. And there was nothing if you read those stories, there's no chapter that's talks. You know, there should be like, 27 more chapters, about how the people grieved, how did they bury their dead? What were their ceremonies? How did they live without their women? And their children? Not even mentioned?

Brian Smith:

Well, we that Yeah, it's like, everything's okay. If it happens is somebody else? And that's, that's, God does it? Right, right. And if God does it, but also, you know, think about for me, and I could speak to this personally, the idea of eternal hell, it's like, well, you're okay. You know, it's kind of like a, why are you worried about it, you're not going to go to hell. And I'm like, Okay, let's assume that I can't escape. You know, it's still not cool to God, it's gonna kill my uncle, and my cousin and the neighbor across the street. And the person that happened to be born in India, who was raised as devout Hindu, and did the best that they could do. And then they started making up the exceptions. Well, it's like, well, if you didn't hear about Jesus, then you're okay. It's only if he rejected Jesus. And then you're excused. Well, maybe we should start telling people that right? Because there's, there's actually the old joke where the this missionary goes to a guy, and he tells them all about Jesus. And the guy says, So you're telling me if I accept Jesus, then I'm okay. And and go to heaven? He goes, yes, it goes. And if you hadn't told me, I would still go to heaven. He goes, yes. Is the Why did you tell me?

Terri Daniel:

I would love to hear the apologetic answer to that question. Well, let's see. Let's play that out. I told you because I'm trying to save you to make sure you're going to heaven. Well, you just told me I would be going to heaven anyway. Right? So why did you have to save me,

Brian Smith:

but now you've put this this thing on me. So now I've got this responsibility to respond. So it's abuse, emotional abuse. It's interesting that to me that you came at, you know, where you've come from, from a totally secular background, and I've come from a deeply, deeply, you know, steeped in IT background. And we've kind of come to the same place, I think, at this point.

Terri Daniel:

Well, it's really the logical, intelligent place to come to, isn't it?

Brian Smith:

I think so. You know, I

Terri Daniel:

mean, it's like, if you spend any time looking at this, using reason and critical thinking skills, there is no other place to come to, you can't come through that process. And take these Bible stories, literally.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, I don't even mean that. I mean, I'm saying like, I'm sitting here with the other guy on the other side of me. So we address the evangelical people on one side, and you got the other guy that says, well, then I don't believe there's anything anymore. And so it's like, I there's, there's nothing if God if God doesn't exist, and he and I've been going back and forth, the whole week, this happened last weekend. And he's been, you know, sending me questions, you know, what do you believe about what is God? Would you be believed by taking the Bible literally, so he's still got that curiosity. But I was telling him, I said, my belief, I don't even like the word belief, right conclusion that I've come to is based on evidence.

Terri Daniel:

And for many of us, we have evidence of other dimensions of consciousness, which has nothing to do with God. So this is the problem I run into with, with my atheist followers, you know, that same thing, they don't believe in anything. And so they dismiss near death experiences and deathbed visions and after death, communication and out of body journeying, because they don't, they have rejected the idea of God which we will define as the God in the sky of the Hebrew Bible. Right? And for some reason, they think that all that other stuff has to go with it and I've never understood that that has nothing to do with that image of God. Right? You know if the definition of belief in God Is that you believe in that God? Well, I don't believe in God. But I have been to other dimensions. I have evidence I've seen it. And, you know, I know that other dimensions are there. It's not that hard go to sleep and have a dream you've been to another dimension. Yeah, it's a big mystery.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, I've and I've been studying this now, because of my religious background. I've been studying this for probably 3540 years, you know, near death experiences. Mediumship you know, after death, communications signs and synchronicities, you know, all the stuff out of body experiences. I've talked to people who just spontaneous out of body experience, not even near death experience, this guy was like, I was sitting in my room and and suddenly, I was out of my body. I don't know what and he was a total atheist before it happened. And he's like, I don't know what to tell you. But now I can tell you, there's definitely something else out there. I've been there.

Terri Daniel:

Yeah. You know, and that's the argument that I have with a lot of you know, atheists, people who identify as an atheist is, I'm an atheist, too, you know, I but I know that this physical dimension in which we have flesh, cannot possibly be the only dimension that exists in this universe. The universe is not only physical, there's got to be dimensions of thought, of energy, of sound, and light, all these things that you can't, you know, define physically. And why throw that out as well? Well, they say because I'm scientific, well, we already have science that shows that people have gone out of their body and come and begin somewhere. They've been somewhere and then they come back and talk about where they've been. And Greg, shushing, who I mentioned to you earlier, who you should have on your show, talks about these accounts that they find in old records and antiquity of people way before the Judeo Christian world. Talking about these experiences, that's where we get our religious ideas from, by the way. Yeah, because someone's been there.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, I shouldn't read something. They there's a theory that some of the people that wrote the Hebrew Scriptures, were actually using some I can't remember the word now for drugs is not the What's the word for their drugs that can induce like a spiritual experience like Iowa?

Terri Daniel:

tropic drugs?

Brian Smith:

Yeah, there's a deluxe app. It's got it's got the word garden. I can't remember this antigenic I can't remember the word. But yeah, there, you know, there are people can do ayahuasca and have experiences. And it's interesting, cuz I was I was talking to one woman I interviewed on my show. And she was doing wasn't diabolical. She was doing some trip with a guy, that guy down in South America. And she sees these beings like going up the mountain. And he goes, Yeah, everybody sees them. It's like, so this is not a subjective thing. He's like, Yeah, when you when you get the drug in your system, everybody sees those beings.

Terri Daniel:

Wow, I love that. And who are the guides, ancestors? Something?

Brian Smith:

Yeah, it's these other dimensions. And as I said, there's so much evidence that they're real. And the people that that when people say they're scientific, I'm like, I am, too. I'm a chemical engineer. But one thing about sciences, you don't deny something because you don't understand. You don't say that's impossible. Because you don't understand I use, I will use the analogy. Radio waves. If you told somebody 300 years ago, we're going to have this thing called Radio, and we're going to have wireless, you know, internet, you would say, well, that's magic. There's no such thing as waves bouncing around that we can't see. When the first guy proposed viruses, people said he was insane, because there aren't these little invisible things that are causing our illnesses. And I'm like, there's so much that we we don't understand as scientific approaches. I don't know, I don't know how this works. I don't know how people die. And suddenly, they can see their sister across the country driving in her car, and be able to tell you what they're wearing. But I know somebody who had happened to

Terri Daniel:

we know lots of people that that's happened to you in one form or another and it's been scientifically proven. I mean, look at Sam corneas work, you know, his, he did one of the first massive worldwide studies on near death experiences, and, you know, verified that people. I mean, he couldn't verify where they were. But diver taught this might be worth mentioning, if it's too long, you can cut it out. But his study was called the AWARE study, aw, Ara, and that's an acronym that stood for something. And this was probably like an early 80s. I'm gonna guess. He did this in major hospitals in England, Australia and America. So imagine you're in you're in a hospital room and you're looking at the ceiling and the ceiling has like those square acoustic tiles with little holes in them, you know, like all ceilings. And so what he did, is he He got these like squares of, let's say cardboard. And like this, and on it, he would draw a picture of an object like a cow. And he suspended these from the ceiling on wires. So that here's the ceiling up here and six inches below the ceiling hanging on some wires is this little flat piece of paper with a picture of a cow on top. So the only way you can see the picture of the cow is if you're up on the ceiling between the paper and the ceiling. Right, right, you understand. And so he put those all over the hospital for a year. And people would get resuscitated, and come back. And they would say, Oh, I saw a cow. You know, or what if they were in the ICU, it was like all towers. And if they were in the emergency room, the picture was like baseball or something. And if they died in the emergency room, they'd come back and say, Oh, I floated out of my body and I saw a baseball. There's only the only way they could have seen that is if they were up in the ceiling looking at it. So that was his. He's done a lot of really amazing experiments since then. But that's like the most famous one. That's science.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, yeah. Well, we could go on and on. Because I just I just tell people, there's so much evidence, you just have to open up a book, I just read it. I just read a really good book that was a philosophical argument for why in the ease are real and prove the afterlife. And it was a great argument. I mean, the guy just he laid it out. I do want to talk to you. Because you and I have known each other for a long time. And you're you've written a fantastic book that I want to tell people about. Oh, yeah.

Terri Daniel:

That's, that was my, what was my first book in this genre, it's actually was my third book, but it's called a swan in heaven. And it was published in 2007. And it was based on my son's, basically my son's death, and how he started talking to me 30 minutes after he died. Now, when when I wrote this book, which was actually in 2006. These kinds of books of parents hearing from their dead children were not popular, there were only two that I knew of at the time, which was an per yours book and Sandy Goodman's book, which I found out later, after my book came out. That's how I found out about it. So this was kind of a new thing at the time. And it's just this beautiful story it takes it starts on the day that he died, and how, you know, I was lying in the bed next to him and holding his body and said, I said to him, where are you? Show me a picture of where you are. And he did. And that's kind of how it started. And we began to converse for years. And that book, really, it covers the first, I guess, the first year of my conversations with him. And then my next two books, were also channel this more or less. And, you know, by the time I got to like the third or fourth year of communicating with him, I didn't think it was a big deal anymore. It was like, Yeah, of course, I of course, I'm communicating with him. And I knew that it was him because it didn't feel like me. You know, I'd be just driving in my car. And I could feel I know this sounds hokey, but it felt like my body was being taken over. It was just funny bodily sensations. And all of a sudden, all these thoughts would come to me that were not my own thoughts. And I carried a little tape recorder. This is before we could record on our cell phones, right. 16 years ago, that doesn't seem like that was that long, but 16 years ago, we couldn't do that. At least I couldn't. I didn't have the right kind of phone or they hadn't come out yet. Yeah, I think so. So I had this little silly little handheld tape recorder that I carried with me. And I would just pull it out and start talking. And it was him talking. And he would be telling me all these amazing truths about what happens when we die and all these other dimensions and plus information about my own life and stuff that was happening. So that was my first book. And that's kind of what launched me into this work. And so, this year 2022 marked the 16 year anniversary of his death. So he died when he was 16. And now he's been dead for 16 years. So that equal I call it the 1616 Equinox. He was here for as long as he was gone. I knew I had to do something really special to commemorate that. So I decided to finally do an audiobook of it. And so I recorded an audio book. I wanted to publish it on the anniversary of his death September 8, and I missed it by one day. You came out on Amazon and September 9, but there it is. It's called a swan in heaven you can get the audio book or the ebook or the print book on Amazon.

Brian Smith:

Yeah, I think you sell the book short though. Terry. You talk about you know a book with people having their son dying communicate with their with their person after they died and There are a lot of those, and I've read a lot of those. But there's a lot more in your book, you said you use the word channel, because there's a lot of really deep spiritual truths that came through to you that that come through in the book. So it's I, you know, me, I've known you for years. And I was like you, you asked me about the audio book. And and I was like, well, I need to read this book that Terry wrote, but she said, it's just about, you know, her son, Danny and stuff, and I start reading. I'm like, wow, this is a lot more than you said. It was.

Terri Daniel:

Thanks. Thank you. I think so too. You know, I play that book down a lot, because everybody's got a book like that now. And I kind of don't want to be lumped into that category. But I think you're probably right, like most of the books that, you know, people will write a book about the signs that they got. This is definitely not about signs. This is about long, detailed teachings. And I'm one of the things that's in that book. I remember, as a good example, my mom came to visit me where I lived in Sisters, Oregon, which is kind of a little cowboy town in Oregon mountains. And there was a rodeo, and she wanted to go to the rodeo. I've never been to a rodeo. I hate the idea. But we weren't because she wanted to. And the very first thing they did is they open up the gate and these little baby cows, these little calves come running out, and the Cowboys rope them around the neck and yank them back. Like whiplash. And I started to some, I was like, hysterical sitting there in the stands. And I just said I the pain of watching this is unbearable to my soul right now to see these animals tortured like this. And so I called out to my son, and he said, Help me, help me understand what's happening. Right now, with these, why are they doing this to the animals. And I literally saw in front of my eyes, a picture of a scroll, like an old, ancient scroll unfurling in front of my eyes with words on it. And I grabbed my little tape recorder. And I started reading the words off the scroll or just dictating. And it was him telling me this whole thing about what our relationship with the animals is, while we are here on Earth, and it's in that book, and it is, I'm pretty sure it's in that book, we think it is. Maybe it's not I don't know, might not be. It's just an example of the kind of stuff that he told me about, you know, how we incarnate together, and everybody has a certain purpose. And the animals agree to serve us by being food, and labor, and companionship and all the things that the animals give us. And they're okay with that. They're okay with us eating them, as long as we do it in a certain respectful way. And we have violated that agreement. Yeah. You know, so that's the kind of stuff as an example of what's in that book.

Brian Smith:

Yeah. Well, that's Yeah. And it right. And that's an example of what's in the book. So I would tell people, if you've read a lot of books about people who have communicate with our kids, which I don't mean to minimize those books, because those books are tremendously healing for people to find out that we can have that communication and everybody's got a different story. But there's, there's so much more in your book, and I'm really glad that I read it. So I wanted to, I wanted to make sure

Terri Daniel:

that you read it too. And it's you know, I was surprised that you didn't even know that I had that book. And it's because I don't talk about it very much.

Brian Smith:

I knew you had it, but you always minimized it. Yeah. Yeah.

Terri Daniel:

Because it's, you know, it's, to me, it's not a book about my dead kid. It's a channeled book, from a master of some kind, you know, so I kind of want to keep it in its own special little place. And there aren't, it doesn't have any signs. Actually, think about it. There were a couple of signs in the beginning. But it's not about it's not about signs and proving that that you can talk to people, it's about these teachings, which carried over into the next book called embracing death, which is actually my favorite of my four. And so that that goes with it, too, that there won't be an audio book on that one. But yeah, listen to the audiobook of this one and heaven. It's really good. And it features as a guest star, our very own Brian Smith, who is doing the voice of one of the spirit guides who comes through in that book.

Brian Smith:

I was I was glad you asked me to be part of it. Well, we could talk all day, but we probably should wrap up now. So tell people about what you have upcoming and where people can reach Oh

Terri Daniel:

yeah. I have every year I do a holiday season grief support group online, and you can find that at spirituality and grief.com. This year. It's going to be two sessions November 7, and December 4. Of course I have the big conference every year which you can find at death grief and belief dot Calm. And pretty much those two websites will get you anywhere you need to go. If you want to connect with me, and I assume you'll put that in some show notes or something. Right? Links, okay? Yeah, great. So, um, the grief group is really wonderful. It's, you know, many years I've been doing this now in the holiday season. It's a really hard time for people, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, or Solstice or nothing, or Kwanzaa, or whatever. None of that matters. What matters is it's you know, our culture makes a big deal out of it. And if you're grieving, you don't feel like you're included in that. And there are ways to work through that. And we can do that.

Brian Smith:

Terry, thanks for being here. It's good catching up with you.

Terri Daniel:

Thank you my friend. I love you Brian. Thank you

Brian Smith:

don't forget to like, hit that big red subscribe button and click the notify Bell. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Terri Daniel Profile Photo

Dr. Terri Daniel

Hospice Chaplain, Grief Counselor, Educator

Dr. Terri Daniel is an interfaith hospice chaplain, end-of-life educator, and grief counselor certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling and in trauma support by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. She conducts workshops throughout the U.S. and teaches at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Terri is also the founder of The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief (formerly The Afterlife Conference), and the Ask Doctor Death podcast. She is also the author of four books on death, grief and the afterlife.

Over the years Terri has helped hundreds of people learn to live, die and grieve more consciously. Her work is acclaimed by hospice professionals, spiritual seekers, therapists theologians, and academics worldwide.

Terri has a BA in Religious Studies from Marylhurst University, an MA in Pastoral Care from Fordham University, and a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.