A Story of Healing -- Love Never Dies
A Grieving Parent's View by John Pannell
"Almost four years ago, I was just surviving being a bereaved parent of a child that has passed away. It was a daily struggle getting through a day without a total meltdown and the overwhelming feeling that I didn't want to live the rest of my life in the role of a grieving parent. It was in the midst of one of my many meltdowns that I remember my wife coming upstairs, in tears, telling me she got a message from Nate, our son that had passed away at the age of 13 from an AVM. I tried to listen to what she was trying to tell me, but it seemed Greek to me because I couldn't get past my own doubt in what had happened. She tells me that she got an email message from this lady in California about how strange it may seem, but she thinks she has a message for us from our son. If we were willing, we could give her a call. Denise called her and spoke for almost an hour. Denise was trying to relay the information from the four pages of notes she took while Kiersten talked. The only comfort this brought to me was that for the first time since Nate's death, I had seen tears of joy versus tears of sorrow. Denise and Kiersten had kept in contact, I kept my distance. One day, I remember Denise telling me that Kiersten was going to be in the area and wanted to meet with us. Out of obligation to Denise, growing skepticism, and just a dash of curiosity, I agreed to meet with Kiersten. My anxiety level that day was extremely high. I remember when Kiersten showed up at our house and sat down with us at dining room table. It was my wife, our younger son, Jack, my wife's aunt Sally, Kiersten, and myself. There was a lot of small talk and I listened intently trying to find what the catch was. Over the next three and a half hours, what I got were answers, hope, and explanations. I had questions to authenticity as to who Kiersten was and what were her motives were. I found Kiersten to be one of the most genuine persons I have had the pleasure of meeting. She spoke from the heart. She relayed to us information as it was interpreted by her. What I found was she spoke with a gift. Her heart was pure. Her interpretation spot on. She offered validation that was unquestionably accurate. She gave us peace knowing that our son was fine. Kiersten taught me that events that occur are not just coincidence.
Kiersten opened up a form of communication between my son and I that allowed me to go from being a grieving parent just existing to being a bereaved parent that is allowed to live. She has helped us by being a conduit for question and answer sessions, she has taught us what it means to look for the hidden meaning, most importantly, she gave us our youngest son back. You see, until that time, there wasn't much communication between him and his mother and me. I know a large amount of time that first night meeting Kiersten, she spent talking with Jack. I have never asked either one what exactly was said, but I can say whatever it was, it made a difference in a young man's life.
Meeting Kiersten and being open to her gift has not taken away the fact that we lost our oldest son. That is something we live with everyday. Having Kiersten reaching out to us, opening herself up to us, putting it all out there, all for us and never asking for anything in return, has given us peace.
Kiersten, I know that my statement doesn't even start to do justice to what you have given us."
-- John Pannell
LLP Founder's View by Kiersten Hathcock
"Four years ago, I was starting to think I was going through some sort of mid-thirties mental break. And I was completely unaware of just how much my life was about to change. Being a very scientific person, I was the LAST person you’d find looking to become more spiritually tapped in. It wasn’t a conscious choice to start connecting with those in spirit, it just started happening. I had no control over it and frankly, it was freaking me out! Things like kids in spirit appearing in my kitchen, hearing “Mom” when no one was home, seeing things move from one place to another became common occurrences in our house. This is where Nate steps in and I’m forever grateful.
Nate Pannell was one of the first kids to come through to me with messages for his parents. Passing messages can be nerve wracking enough but to add insult to injury, I really didn’t know Nate’s parents. I knew of them from high school – they were two years older than me -- and we were Facebook friends but I’d never thought of reaching out to them let alone reaching out with a message from their son who passed on from an AVM. I was literally reading a Facebook post about Nate’s memorial, not even aware that they had lost a child, and was immediately visited by Nate. I took notes. I wrote down everything I could and tried to make sure I was accurately receiving what he was saying and showing me visually. At the time, I had never reached out to a family in this way. I was a mom, a furniture designer/carpenter, and a woman searching for answers as to why this was all happening. I pushed my fear aside and reached out after sitting on the information for a day or two. I knew I needed to try, even if it would soon get around my whole hometown that I’d lost my marbles.
I am eternally grateful for Nate and his beautiful family. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have founded The Little Light Project. And I certainly would not have trusted my intuition and learned to value the ability to connect with spirit. As a child, I experienced spirit but was terrified by it so I shut it down and even blocked memory of it. For that part of me to awaken again at age 36 and still be terrified, speaks volumes about how much we need to help people understand that having the ability to connect is not a curse, it’s a gift we ALL have. Just in varying degrees. And that we’re so much more connected than what we can see with the naked eye. Nate facilitated healing for his family and for me and it had everything to do with both sides trusting that love never dies. Thank you to John, Denise, and Jack for being open to trusting that Nate is around you, loving you and guiding you for eternity. You have changed my life forever and I love you all dearly."
-- LLP Founder, Kiersten Hathcock