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Why Souls Choose Short or Difficult Lifetimes

Afterlife TV Interview: Taken from the vault, this interview reveals brilliant insight from my wise-beyond-her-years guest, Terri Daniel, including her discerning understanding of why some souls choose to have a brief lifetime and others choose to experience a challenging lifetime. Terri’s insight comes from her spiritual experience communicating with her son after he lost his ability to speak due to illness and then again after his youthful passing.

We cover a lot of ground in this interview about the afterlife that I’ve discussed in other Afterlife TV episodes. It’s wonderful to hear an amiable voice saying it. A few items discussed include: why a child’s death is not lost potential, the conflict between ego and soul, the simple path to spiritual surrender, and Terri Daniel’s comprehension of the shift in consciousness we hear so much about.

This is not an episode you want to miss. You might want to take notes during this one. The healing photos in video gifted to us by Melissa Olson. Enjoy the ride!

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Bob Olson – and

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Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

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Hey, everybody. Bob Olson here with “Afterlife TV.” This is where we talk about the big questions you have concerning life and death. You can find this and every episode at

Now before I get to the point I want to make, I appreciate you letting me mention that our sponsor today is the online resource I created after my father died in 1997. Which inspired me to use my skills as a private investigator, my full-time career at the time, to investigate the afterlife. I wanted to learn where my father went when he died. Unfortunately because I didn’t know what I know today about psychics and mediums, in my effort to learn about the afterlife from a psychic reading I was scammed by psychics even though I was a private eye. My ignorance about how psychics work and what to expect from a reading led me to be ripped off. Now today, more than 20 years later, I’m an expert on psychics, mediums, animal communicators and tarot readers and I’ve tested and researched thousands in order to create my online resource where you can find legitimate incredible psychics and mediums. Because I believe that people like you shouldn’t have to become an expert on this subject in order to safely get a great reading and this is why I created and operate daily, again that is


Bob: Hey, everybody. Bob Olson here with Afterlife TV. You can find us at This is where we search for evidence of life after death and ask the meaningful questions around that subject. Today’s subject is . . . Well, I’m just calling it “A Road Map to the Afterlife.” I got souls, pre-birth, planning, spirit communications, soul group, spirit guides. I think we’re going to talk about a lot of things here today.

I have been introduced to this amazing guest that I feel a kinship with. So many things that I read in her book, I was jumping up and down celebrating. You know it’s a good book when I keep stopping my wife, Melissa, and reading passages to her. All day yesterday . . . I always wait to read these books right before the interview, so it’s right on my mind. Yesterday and even this morning, Melissa couldn’t get anything done because I keep reading to her. So anyways, our guest is Terri Daniel. Welcome to Afterlife TV.

Terri: Thank you. That’s such a compliment. Thank you. I’m honored. Thank you.

Bob: Well, it’s the truth, and I noticed that. I notice that whenever I’m reading these books, and if I find myself doing that, I think, “Wow, if they only knew.” So I wanted to tell you about that. I think I’m going to read a couple passages today, and we’ll be able to talk about those passages because there were some things that I just got really excited about. Now, you call yourself an Afterlife Awareness Educator. Right?

Terri: Yes.

Bob: You . . . What’s the other word. You’re a Certified Transition Guide. I’m curious about what those two things are to you, your definition of those and how you got there. I know it’s quite a story.

Terri: Well, first of all, I was always intuitive my whole life. I just took it for granted that I had a strong intuitive sense. I was always metaphysical. I didn’t come from a traditional background and then discover this stuff. I’ve been interested in this since I was twelve.

Bob: Wow.

Terri: So that was sort of built-in. When I was in my 50s, I had a child who was severely disabled, severely ill. He died when he was 16. During his illness, I found ways to communicate with him telepathically because he lost the ability to speak, because of his disabilities. After he died, he began talking to me in great detail ,30 minutes after he died.

During that period, I was doing deep meditations and really working on talking to guides, just looking for divine guidance, and I was so into my connection with the other dimensions that it became just incredibly comfortable and easy for me. I was directed to write these books and go back to school and start the afterlife conference. Everything just pushed me in that direction, starting in about 2006.

Bob: That’s a fascinating start right there. I don’t want to brush by. First of all, your son’s name is Danny. Right?

Terri: Yes.

Bob: It wasn’t until the end of the book . . . I hate to give it away, but I just loved when I read that that’s how you ended up with your last name. Right?

Terri: Yes. I changed my last name to Daniel after he died. That was his first name.

Bob: What a nice tribute. You mentioned several different types of tributes that people can do. That was one that I’d never heard of before. First of all, I love the name. It’s very easy to remember. Terri Daniel. I’d known about you for years, and then all of a sudden, to learn that, I just thought, “What a beautiful thing to do.” I’d never heard of it, and I think it’s a great example of how far we can go with remembering our loved ones in spirit. Now, I don’t want to brush by. Danny was diagnosed with this rare degenerative disorder at age ten. Right?

Terri: Yes.

Bob: Then he passed at age 16.

Terri: Right.

Bob: You had said after two years, so when he’s twelve, he now can’t even communicate in full sentences. He can understand you. He just isn’t able to talk?

Terri: Yes. It’s very much like ALS, and I always thought of him kind of like a computer, where the monitor is shut off. So everything’s going on inside, but it can’t be projected outward, except for telepathically. One of the reasons I got so interested in studying death and the afterlife was because I was trying to teach him to have a fearless, conscious view of death.

I realized that most children, all children, probably in America, their idea of death is what they see on television, in video games, in movies. It’s violent. It’s people screaming. It’s blood flying everywhere. Granted, some deaths are like that, but I knew his wasn’t going to be like that. So I tried to educate him about what death really is so that, as a little kid, he wouldn’t be afraid.

Looking back, I realized that on a soul level, he was the one who was educating me. I learned it all from him, and I also know in terms of soul agreements and why we come here the way we do is this was all a magnificent pattern of perfection for us, because I know for certain that he was here in this condition, in this situation, so that I could be here right now talking to you about this and teaching and doing what I do.

Bob: Where did you get this idea though? I mean, most people are afraid to talk to their kids about death, because most of us were not taught how to do that. We weren’t taught . . . Nobody talked to us about death when we were growing up, certainly no classes in school about that in junior high and high school.

You come along, and here you have this child, and instead of avoiding the subject altogether, which adults do . . . You talk about your father. I know lots of people d on’t talk to them about death. Doesn’t matter. He could be 103, and they’re not going to be talking about death, but you’re talking to . . . I know you’d read the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Was this an influence to you? How did you get this idea to do this?

Terri: It was a huge influence to me. I read the Tibetan Book of the Dead when I was 19.

Bob: Whoa.

Terri: I hung on every word, and I kept thinking, “This makes more sense to me than anything I’ve ever heard about death and the afterlife before,” from everything I’d absorbed living in a Judeo-Christian culture. As soon as I picked up that book, 19 years old, I said, “I know this is what it is.” I think that’s how I got started in my whole path of studying theology and spirituality and doing this work. Nothing, as you know, happens by accident.

Bob: No, no. Exactly.

Terri: The path was there from the beginning.

Bob: Why don’t you tell people . . . You speak very well. When I write, I always write better than I speak, so well and so briefly explains what the Tibetan Book Of The Dead is really all about and how it’s supposed to be used. Could you tell us about that?

Terri: Sure. In ancient Buddhism, still used today, it’s a guide book. So when somebody is dead or very close to death, the priest or the monk will come and read this book. It basically says . . . It’s a map of where you’re going. It basically says things like, “Okay. Now you’re going to this realm. If you look over here, you’ll see some white light and if you look the left, you’ll see yellow light. If you look over there there’s some monsters and demons,” and it’s all mapped out.

So what it does is it guides the soul to make . . . I hate to use the term “the right choices,” but it says, “Here are your choices.” The soul will very often be drawn to the dimmer light or to the monsters and demons or to the other things that are there. So the priest will kind of try to direct it to always go to the highest states.

However, it doesn’t make a judgment that the state over here with the demons is necessarily bad. Because if the soul is attracted to that, it’s going there for a reason. There’s work that has to be done in that state. Now, those demons are not external. They’re your own projections. So that’s kind of like a life review.

We hear people, every once in a while, say, “Oh, I’ve heard of people who’ve had near-death experiences and went to hell.” We know what that really is. That was just a very challenging life review. So the Buddhists know this too. So the place you go where it’s dark or scary or demons is your own stuff coming up for you to look at and heal, just like it would in a life review.

People who come back from NDEs, talking about scary experiences, going to hell are because . . . This is true of all NDEs. They didn’t really die all the way. They just went to the threshold. So they just kind of went to the life review stage and a few other things,and boom. They’re back in the body.

So nobody can really tell us, from an NDE, what really happens, because they didn’t stay there long enough to know. They only know the first entry phase. The mediums and the channelers are the people who can tell us.

Bob: Well, depending on their beliefs. Right? Because sometimes they’ll interpret things . . . If they believe in the demons and if they believe in hell, they might interpret the experiences they’re having with their clients with communicating with spirit. It’s a belief that that was something they experience.

But let me just . . . With that said, I’m jumping up and down inside here with excitement, as I was throughout the book because you explain that. It’s so important. It’s such an important thing, and that was a very difficult thing that I was trying to talk about in my own book, about why we have these hellish near-death experiences. I said it in my own words, but I pretty much said the same thing. These people came back.

It’s such an important point. These people came back. You know? They weren’t there long enough to play it forward, so that they could change their experience. Many of them were, and they did change their experience even before they came back. A lot of that is about these people who just sort of called out for help. Calling out for help, in my mind, there’s hope. That means there’s hope.

That means you’re starting to believe that there’s another possibility. When you think there’s another possibility, the way I understand people who have had NDEs, you think about something, and boom. You’re there. You think about being in a field. You’re in a field. You know?

Terri: Exactly.

Bob: You think about being with your loved ones, you’re there. Right?

Terri: Yes, and that’s what the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and there’s also an Egyptian Book of the Dead, and a Celtic Book of the Dead, by the way, and that’s what they do. They make that suggestion that you can think of another possibility.

So they say, “Okay, now you’re on Level 42,” or whatever, “and there’s this stuff over here and that stuff over there. Go to that stuff.” The soul will go wherever it wants to go or where it needs to go. The interesting thing about mediums and hell, and I say this all the time, I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard a medium say, “Oh, yeah, I was talking to a dead person the other day, and he said, “Help me. I’m burning in hell.” That just doesn’t exist in real death, in real, deep death.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: But a projection of that does exist in near-death experiences.

Bob: Yeah, yeah. Like you said, sometimes the life review can feel like hell, if you didn’t live a very good life. All right. I just want to talk about your book here. I didn’t show it, and I want to show it. I’m going to show it more than once. Embracing Death: A New Look at Grief, Gratitude, and God. Terri Daniel. Take a look at that book. Check it out on Amazon. In the show notes below this video, you will see a link to it, and I’m excited about this book.

I’m so glad that you came out with it, and it’s interesting, the title, Embracing Death. I actually thought about it. I’m like, “I don’t want people to think it’s necessarily just about that.” They have to really understand what that means. Tell us about that title. What did you mean by that?

Terri: I’m not sure I know what I meant by that. I guess I meant to not be afraid of death. I was doing a lot of hospice work at the time, and it’s just a matter of understanding that there is no death. So if we embrace this life as we know it, and we think it’s wonderful, we’d have to open our minds to understand that there are many other forms of existence, that this isn’t the only one. The other form that most people know is called death. So we want to make it part of our embracing of all experience. It doesn’t just end with this physical life.

I was talking to a young man yesterday, 22 years old, who is a natural-born shaman. He’s doing a lot of shaman training, and he asked me this amazing question. He said, “Is everything that exists on the Earth now all there ever will be? Or will there ever be new things? Will there ever be new life forms or new plants? And where would they come from?” I never thought about that before, but what we concluded was in order for new things to exist, the old things have to die.

So the only way anything new could ever exist on Earth is like the Earth will blow up or nuclear devastation or pollution, or whatever will kill everything off, and stuff will burn and turn to carbon or whatever happens scientifically, and new stuff will grow out of those chemicals. So death is like that, too. Death is just the breaking down of the old to make fertile ground for something new. It’s never-ending. Energy never, ever stops.

Bob: Yeah. Right. Wow. I love that. So well-said. Great question that he had, a really wonderful question. It makes me think of some other things that you talked about in the book, and I’m looking for it in my questions. I think we’ll get to it. I just want to finish off on that.

So Embracing Death . . . You gave the answer that I expected, but I think it’s so important to really emphasize that embracing death . . . This is a concept about living. So it’s not like looking forward to death or, “I love death.” It’s none of those things. It’s about embracing death. So it changes the way you live. That’s what I think your book helps people do by understanding death in the way that your experiences, my experiences, helped us do to not fear death, for one, to understand it a little better.

It changed my life. I can tell by reading your story, it’s changed your life by thinking about death differently. Because we both embrace death in the way that you’re talking about here, it is about living. It’s about living differently because of the way we look at death now. We look at death differently. In fact, there’s the subtitle. Right? A New Look at Grief, Gratitude, and God. Okay. So we’ve come full-circle.

Terri: Fear of death is at the root of all neurosis. If you look at human behavior, you can boil everything down to the fear of death. I was, again, talking to this little shaman kid yesterday about environmentalism. In rabid environmentalism, political activism, and, “We have to save the planet.” Is the fear of death at the root of that thinking as well? Are we afraid of the planet dying, which is really being afraid of ourselves dying?

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: It really all comes down the ego’s fear of disappearance. I will disappear. Everything I know will disappear. That’s a big fear. Humans don’t like that.

Bob: That is a big fear, and you and I were talking about it a little bit before we started this interview. Perfect. So now we’re talking about the new consciousness, that conversation we had about that. Continue with that a little bit more and tell us about this idea that people have about the shift that’s going on and that somehow, it’s different than it has ever been in history.

Terri: A lot of what I teach is different than the New Age party line, if you will, and I do get a lot of criticism for that. People are always walking around, saying, “Oh, wow. We’re in the shift of consciousness, and we’re coming to . . . Consciousness is raising. We’re coming to this new place because humanity is so messed up, and the world is so messed up.”

Whenever people tell me about this shift, I have to say, “If we were living in the Roman Empire or in the Middle Ages or in Africa during the slave trade or anywhere, we’d be saying exactly the same thing. We’d be saying, “Wow, life is so messed up. They’re crucifying people. There’s the crusades. Everybody’s dying in the streets from the plague. We’re living in really terrible times.”

But there’s new hope coming. There’s going to be a shift. There’s a new religious teacher, preaching on the corner. There’s a new way of thinking. Now we have books or whatever it is. It’s absolutely no different now than it ever was in human history. It’s the same story. It’s the ego suffering and having these experiences that create conflict and pain, which are absolutely necessary to kick us in the butt and move us to awareness. That is how the system works, and that’s always been happening.

There’s absolutely nothing different going on today than there was in 700 B.C. or 1642 or any other time in history. It’s arrogant to think that we’re so special that we’re living in a special time, and that we’re so special that we can stop that from happening. So there’s a shift now. Yes, there is. The shift is the Internet, in my opinion. Now we have this amazing tool that is helping us spread information, but there was a time in history when it was the printing press and people learning how to read.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: Evolution happens all the time.

Bob: Well, that’s it. I love that. I also love that you talk about . . . I may open myself up to criticism. I do it all the time. I do the same thing. I think it takes people who are willing to take that risk to come out with new ideas, to have a paradigm shift. Otherwise, we all think the same. We’re like drones, and we never grow in that way. So it takes different people. Sometimes we’re wrong. Fine. You know? You and I will be the first to admit it. I said this. This is what I believed, and now I’m wrong. This is what I believe.

That’ll happen, but people need to share their views about things that are different and not be fearful of that, because it helps other people to open up their minds and think about it as well. I took a big risk with my book. I talk about suicide, and I talk about murder, and I talk about abortion. I cover all the subjects that I probably . . . When I was thinking about it, maybe I should leave these out. I’m so glad that I didn’t. Those are the chapters that people get the most out of, and I know they have the most depth. I’m grateful for that.

I’m grateful for you, that you have whatever it takes to come out there and share your views in a risky way, even though you may receive criticism. You talk about the Internet. That’s where we’re going to get the most of it, is right there.

Terri: Right in those comments on the YouTube video.

Bob: The YouTube comments, yeah. I was just talking about that in my last interview. All right. So let’s go back. You talk about that you communicated with Danny, your son, both during the process, the last four years before he passed, and 30 minutes after, in a whole new way. Well, it wasn’t in a whole new way. But you talk about the IPS as opposed to the UPS. Tell us what the IPS is and how it is that you communicate with Danny now.

Terri: Well, it’s interesting. My communication with Danny has changed over the years, as all inter-dimensional communication does. So I’ll come back to that in a minute. Danny was a very articulate kid. He always said really funny things. He was great with words, and he was even better that way from the other side.

The IPS . . . He was trying to explain to me how communication happens across dimensions, and he said, “It’s like the UPS trucks, the United Parcel Service, and they come and deliver packages to your door. Well, the IPS, the Inter-dimensional Parcel Service, works exactly the same way.” Sorry for that sound going off in the background. That’s my phone.

Bob: Can’t even hear it.

Terri: The packages are delivered to your door. You just have to open the door and sign for them in order to receive the messages that are coming. Actually the “open the door and sign for them” just came to me just now. You have to open the door by opening a conduit, by doing meditation and studying and practicing this to open the door. Signing for it is . . . I swear Danny’s telling me this right now . . . is making a commitment. I am committed to believing this is possible. I am committed to signing on the line and putting my name and my life and my work and reputation on the line for my belief in this process.

Bob: Beautiful.

Terri: You’re witnessing this live, folks. I’ve never said those words before. That just came. So that’s what the IPS is, and I forgot what the second part . . . Oh. How it changed.

Bob: Well, like today, I know it’s changed, how today do you communicate with Danny, or just how did you do it at the beginning? Whichever one you want to tell us about.

Terri: Well, this is interesting, because this is actually the topic of my next book that just came out, Turning The Corner on Grief Street, talking to all the bereaved people who are suffering so much and wanting communication. Just like we were talking earlier about the pain of life and humanity opens a door to wisdom, the pain of grief opens your heart to inter-dimensional communication. The wound in your heart is not a wound. It is an opening. This is a different way of perceiving pain. This is kind of like what embracing death is as well.

If we can see these experiences as gifts from the divine to open us up to all that is out there trying to come to us, trying to be delivered by the IPS onto our doorstep, everything changes. Our pain is transformed. So when we’re open to this, communication comes easily. It comes to everybody.

Sometimes it comes in dreams. Sometimes we’ve all heard the person. . . . Mom’s favorite bird was a red bluebird, and the red bluebird is now coming to my window after Mom died. I mean, we hear this all the time. But people don’t sign on the dotted line and make that commitment to believing that’s real. They think it’s a coincidence. So they think they’re not receiving messages.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: The favorite song comes on the radio. There’s a million of these little things. These are the messages, and it’s up to us to make the commitment to completely believing it. The more you believe it, the more clearly it comes. Now, communication changes over time. This is what I’m going to be teaching at the Afterlife Conferences, when channeling changes.

My communication with Danny is nothing like it used to be because he is gone on to do his further work on the other side, and he’s not as close to me as he once was. He kind of operates in the background. He jumps in and gives me something like he did a minute ago. But for the most part, he’s off doing his thing, and I’m here launched on my path.

He was very close to me. He helped me write these books. He helped me go to school and start the afterlife conference, but he’s like a teacher, and a teacher . . . If you’re a teacher in a classroom with third-grade kids, you go up to them. You show them how to do the math problem, and then you walk away. Go help some other kids, and you let that kid figure it out. That’s what Danny is doing with me now. Our relationships with our dead people change over time, just like our relationships with live people do.

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. What’s interesting . . . We’ve had . . . Paul Selig was on one time, and he was channeling for us. But I even find with my father, when I was writing my book, I mean, there was things that were coming out onto the paper that . . . I felt the same way, like, “Okay. This is not me.” I’ve never claimed to be channeling anyone, including my father, but there’s no question in my mind that someone, and I believe it was him, was helping me to write that book. There’s just certain things that come out. I love that. I love that you’re chatting, and all of a sudden, there’s Danny. “Let me make sure to get this right, Mom. Say it this way.” Beautiful.

I think so many of us do that, and we don’t even know we’re doing that. I think there’s a lot of people who are channeling a lot of things, their artwork, their writing, music, whatever it may be, or just when they’re having a conversation with somebody. How many of us, and I’m really talking to the audience here . . . How many times have you sort of walked away from a conversation, given someone some advice, and thought, “Where did that come from? I don’t even know. That was good advice. I don’t even know where that came from.” Right? That’s all channeling. Would you not define it as such?

Terri: Absolutely. We’re all channeling all the time, and the word “channeling” is a great word because if you think of what a channel is . . . I think of it in terms of like a river or irrigation channel. It’s a connection from Point A to Point B. When we’re here on Earth, and I think I talk about it in that book, it’s not like we come from Source and then get cut off completely and are here all alone. We’re like little children at pre-school, and this is the school, and the teachers have the phone number of mom and dad at home in case we need them. We’re always connected. It’s always on.

It’s like a television. When your TV’s turned off, the signals are still bouncing around or coming through the cable or through the broadcast frequencies. You just have your TV off, but it’s still live. It’s still always there. We’re always part of it. Some of us can slam that conduit shut if we want to. Anger. Blame. Really limiting religious beliefs. A lot of things can close that down. Not all of us are open to it, but it’s always there if we want it. The interesting thing about the religious beliefs that tell people, “You’re not supposed to do this,” or, “You’re not able to do it,” is, if you study the Bible, everybody did it.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: It was the most natural thing in the world. It wasn’t even . . . Mostly the prophets and the sages, but there’s a story in the Old Testament where even a donkey is talking to angels.

Bob: Hey. There you go.

Terri: They’re everywhere. We’re part of it.

Bob: If the donkey can do it . . . Yeah. You actually saying . . . I can’t find it. I wish I could. It was fairly early on, and you talk about . . . It’s amazing how there are so many people in this world who believe in life after death. And yet, it’s hard for them to make the leap into believing that we can communicate with those on the other side. It’s funny how we have these different limitations within our belief systems sometimes, where we can believe one thing, but we can’t believe in another thing. That’s certainly one of them.

So many people, and I know a lot of . . . I think if they’re watching Afterlife TV, most people believe in the afterlife, and yet some people draw the line when I have a medium on, and they have an issue with it because they just can’t believe that people are able to do such a thing. I think that probably comes from religion. Do you not? Do you agree?

Terri: Absolutely. I was just going to say that’s a uniquely Western thing. It’s a uniquely Judeo-Christian thing. If you look at other cultures, for example, China, when somebody dies, they build an altar to the ancestors. They leave it up in their house for a year, and they put little flowers and things for the dead people to still be present in the home.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: In Africa . . . I spent a weekend at an African grieving ritual. That was amazing. They’re always talking to the ancestors. It’s called “ancestor worship,” but the ancestors are on the other side. So that’s what they’re talking about.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: Always they call in the ancestors to be with them in their prayers or to help them in their work or whatever. Most other cultures completely take this for granted, and it’s really interesting. If you look at the Day of the Dead in Mexico, which is a Catholic culture and is based on a Catholic tradition, but it’s mixed in with the native indigenous culture there. They completely believe this.

On one day of the year, the veil is thin, and the dead people come, and they hang out in the village, and they stay for 24 hours, and you give them food. That’s where the tradition of kids going door-to-door dressed like skeletons, getting candy, comes from. It represents the visiting of the dead people. So this is widely believed.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: I think the majority of people on Earth do believe in this kind of communication.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: The rest are just afraid to admit that they do.

Bob: Yeah. That’s right. Exactly. That’s right. If you don’t mind, I’m going to read a little passage from your book here.

Terri: Sure.

Bob: It’s paragraph two. So I didn’t even get too far before I got excited about something. I’m going to read this because I think it’s awesome, and it’ll take us maybe in a little bit new direction.

“I’ve spent a lifetime studying metaphysics and spirituality, and I believe unequivocally that there are no good or bad experiences, only the soul’s constant craving for growth and expansion. In this view, illness and death are not experiences to be avoided, but to be embraced with gratitude for the shifting of perceptions and gifts of growth they provide. In a state of gratitude at this level, we accept every experience with love, because we recognize it as one of our soul’s creations. Even something as painful as the death of a child can be seen as part of a flawless pattern of perfection that moves the family and the entire soul group forward in unexpected ways.”

You know, for someone who has lost a child, to be able to write that shows that you have wisdom beyond your age, really. You know what I mean? This is lifetimes of wisdom that you’ve brought in with you, and here you are. So many other lifetimes preparing you for this, and I just think that’s the leap of understanding that we’re hoping for people. Is it not?

Terri: Yes. Again, that whole speech is about the pain of grief. That’s why the next book that I wrote is called Turning The Corner on Grief Street, because that’s the message I wanted to put across to so many people who are grieving, especially if they had a child die. From the view from space, from the 30,000-foot view or whatever the expression is, there are no bad experiences. When I’m teaching this in a workshop, someone will inevitably raise their hand and say, “Well, what about Hitler?” You know? I always get that question.

Bob: Yeah, I know.

Terri: Hitler volunteered for a very difficult job, for human consciousness. He volunteered to be the bad guy, so that we could all wake up one notch further. Another thing that I teach, I think it’s also in that book, is about the kaleidoscope. If you look at everything in the universe like it’s on a kaleidoscope and every event that happens, plane crash, a Holocaust, a tsunami, a butterfly landing on a plant, it’s just click, one turn of the kaleidoscope. All the little pieces fall apart and get put back together in a different way.

The pieces are not separate. They appear to be separate, but they’re contained in one unified space. That’s how everything in the universe works. So when we back off, and we look at it like that, a death, a political uprising, an earthquake, a million people die, a plague, whatever you’ve got, it’s just a turn on the kaleidoscope. The soul is not attached to the form that that life takes on Earth, because it recognizes that it’s all about the turning of the kaleidoscope.

This is useful teaching when helping people work through trauma, where they’re so attached to the bad thing that happened to them. That’s when it gets into forgiveness. Forgiveness really just means the releasing of attachment to the experience, the releasing of obsession with the experience. It has nothing to do with the other person, the perpetrator.

Bob: Incredible. You talk about Hitler and all the people who died at the hands of Hitler. Is there a word for those types, those people? Or are they just part of the puzzle? How does that work?

Terri: Danny calls them “unconditional volunteers.”

Bob: That’s what I wondered. Yeah. I have that here as one of the questions. I love that. Explain that a little bit.

Terri: Well, we’re all . . . First of all, we’re all volunteering to sponsor the growth of each other, on a soul level, using Danny for an example. Here comes this kid with this terrible disease. He was in diapers at 16. Why would somebody choose a body like that?

In his case, it was because we were buddies up there in the inter-life, sitting around the planning table, and apparently I said, “Well, I want to be a spiritual teacher in my next incarnation,” and he said, “Okay. I can help you with that.” We slapped five and to Earth we go.

I think we all do that for each other. Sometimes, we come just to do that, to come to earth. I think where you’ve got millions of people who died under a political regime as a group, they have volunteered for that experience to support the growth of the collective, because those souls are so advanced that they recognize that it is a collective.

Now, once we make this decision, when we’re planning our reincarnations, it’s no big deal to say, “I’m going to come to Earth, and I’m going to be in a concentration camp.” Once you get to Earth and you’re there, of course, you forget the view you had when you were not in a body, and it’s the worst, horrible thing you can imagine. We forget. There is that disconnect that happens. If we remembered life between incarnations, we’d never want to incarnate. We’d never want to be here. We’d want to go back all the time.

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. Right. What do you say to those people who try to argue this point? “There’s no way I would ever choose that.” Obviously how do you answer those people? There’s no way I would ever do that to myself.

Terri: There’s no way your ego would ever choose that. There’s no way your body, Jane Doe, living in New Jersey, would ever choose that, but the soul of Jane Doe is not the same as the personality. The soul has a whole different list of requirements, if you will. Do you remember in the 1970s, the boy in the bubble?

Bob: Yeah. Yeah.

Terri: I saw a news story about him in 1973, and he was this kid who had to live in an isolation room because he had an immune disease. I asked myself even then, 40 years ago, “Why would somebody be in that body?” That was when I started to really channel, because I instantly got the answer, which is, “Oh, well he volunteered, so that you could be sitting here watching him on TV right now and ask this question and get this information, and be talking about it with Bob Olson, 40 years later.”

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: It’s all connected. It’s all the kaleidoscope. Why did that kid come into Earth in that body? Somehow, on some level, he chose it.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: It’s not random, and it’s not accidental.

Bob: That’s right. Well, let’s expand upon that. Let’s see. On page 12, still haven’t gotten very far into the book yet. Page 12, you write, “I know a man whose son died in a train collision at age 16. The boy was a talented actor and compassionate animal activist. The father laments that his son died before he could fulfill his potential in these areas and sees his son’s death as the tragic waste of a life that could’ve contributed so much to the world.” I hear this a lot about lost potential when young people die, and I think you’ve got a great message for them. What would that be?

Terri: Well, there’s no such thing as lost potential. Those young people who died are contributing even more from the other side. That particular man you’re talking about wrote a book. He visited a medium and had numerous sessions, talking to his son. He wrote a book channeled through that medium from his son. So he now knows that his son is continuing to contribute.

When a child dies, if the family is doing their spiritual work and paying attention and doing their healing work, they will be raised up, so to speak. Their lives will change, and that soul of that child is still contributing by the changes that he’s helping the parents to make. But it all depends how you look at it.

I see a lot of parents who are still angry, who have shut down their lives, who have shut down their growth, who have decided that God is punishing them, and that’s just where they want to live. They’re not seeing that they have an opportunity to shift their perceptions. Pain has a purpose, and the purpose is to shift our perceptions. If you don’t let that happen, you’re going to just be stuck in pain.

Bob: While that pain is always a great catalyst for growth, my understanding of the soul is that if that’s where the people want to stay, that’s an experience as well. The soul’s okay with that too. Right?

Terri: Absolutely, because we can’t judge it. You know? So the family that’s stuck in anger and bitterness, if they reach out for help, if they come to me for counseling, I will do what I can to help them, but I will also just release them to their path and let them be where they are. It’s so frustrating to hear people say, “How can I help so-and-so?” My answer is, “You can’t.”

Bob: Right.

Terri: You can present whatever information you have. You can be there with love. You can listen, but then you walk away, and you let go. Our dead people do that with us too, which is why . . . That’s why Danny’s not breathing down my neck all the time. He’s presented what he has to present. Now he’s going on and doing other things and leaving me to work with it.

Bob: Yeah. Yeah.

Terri: That’s what they’re all doing, because we’re all still connected.

Bob: Yeah. Right. Exactly. I think serving an example of the best thing anybody can do. You know? I have not lost a child. I can do what I can based on my investigation of the afterlife to pass it on, but there’s a lot of people out there who have lost children. They want to hear what you have to say, because you know that experience. You serve as a great example of what is possible when we turn this tragic experience into something that we might call growth and maybe getting away from the pain. You don’t ever really get away from all the pain. Or do you?

Terri: No. I have typical human mother pain. I have a lot of guilt about things I could’ve done different during his life. Of course, I have pain. I went to that African grieving ritual a few weeks ago, and I was down there on the floor, screaming and crying with everybody else, doing the ritual, because there’s always going to be pain. You know?

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: Conflict is what makes us grow. I want to say something else about parents who’ve lost children. The whole reason I started the afterlife conference was because there’s a national organization for grieving parents. I won’t mention their name, but they have a very firm rule against talking about any of this stuff. They have rejected many of us in this field, including me, Bill Guggenheim, Evan Alexander. Many of us are not allowed to speak at their conferences, because they feel that talking about after-death communication will upset the grieving parents in their audience because some of them will have received signs, and some of them won’t. The ones who think they’re not receiving it will feel left out.

I was so disturbed when I heard that their policy is to not allow this. This was back in 2010 that I decided to start my own conference, so that there would be a place to talk about this, and that’s how the afterlife conference came into being.

So again, born out of pain. It was so painful to not be able to reach that group because, as you say, I have something to give to those parents. That’s where I thought my audience was supposed to be, but I very quickly found out that I wasn’t allowed to talk to that audience through the biggest platform that exists in America for them, and neither do the other teachers. So I have to start my own.

Bob: That’s right, and they will find you, and they have found you. How many years? You’re doing one in June 2015. How many years will that have been when you do that?

Terri: That will be the fifth one.

Bob: The fifth one. Amazing. Isn’t that amazing?

Terri: Yeah. Yeah.

Bob: I was going to give it at the end, and we will again. We’ll remind people, Again, all the show notes are going to have all these links underneath this video, but is the place. June 4th through 7th, 2015 is the next one, and that is in Norfolk, Virginia. You’ve done them in Virginia before. You like Virginia. Is that a good venue for people?

Terri: Well, we did it in Virginia Beach one year because we work with Edgar Casey’s organization out there, the ARE. So they’ve been a sponsor before, they’re going to be a sponsor this year. So is Afterlife TV, by the way. Thank you for that. Virginia Beach is lovely. This time, it’s not . . . It’s going to be in Norfolk because there isn’t a hotel big enough for us in Virginia Beach.

Bob: Oh, wow.

Terri: Because we keep growing. So we move it around the country to enable more people to come.

Bob: Yeah, that’s nice. Yeah.

Terri: Yeah.

Bob: Exactly. Where was it last year? I forget.

Terri: It was in Portland, Oregon, where I live, last year. That was the first time I had it in my own backyard. But if you live in Florida, it’s hard to get to Portland.

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Terri: So that’s why we keep moving it around.

Bob: Now also, since we’re on the subject . . . So certainly there’s nothing like being at a live event, and this is true whether it be a concert, or a book author is doing readings, or even when you go see a medium or something. It’s always more exciting to do things in-person, to be at the live venue. But for those people who can’t make it, for whatever reason, children or disabilities, you make it available to them as well. Do you not?

Terri: Yes. We have a live stream that will be available, and that’s produced by Beyond Words, which is a publisher. I don’t have a link to give right now, but it’ll be on the website eventually.

Bob: Yeah. Okay.

Terri: You can buy the live stream, and you can watch it live as it’s happening, and you can also watch it again later.

Bob: That’s great. Beautiful. All right. We’ll talk about that, remind everybody at the end. So we’re talking about . . . The last thing we were talking about was lost potential. I want to take this . . . So the biggest question I could possibly ask of you . . . People were asking me this over the summer, promoting my book, and I always thought, “Ugh. You can’t answer this in a radio interview.” Right?

Same thing here, but you do such a beautiful job in the book, and so I want to ask you. How do you answer this question: “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” Your answer seems to begin with a definition of God. So if you want to start there, fine, however you want to answer it.

Terri: Yeah, so I have in the book the question, “Why would God let this happen?” My answer is, “It depends what you think God is.” This is very interesting, because I’m studying this in school right now. I’m actually in school, working on a Masters in Pastoral Care. But we form our image of God as children, and it is usually based on . . . This is the Freudian view . . . the father, the protective father who provides and punishes.

That’s one theory that that’s where we get our image of God, in the Judeo-Christian world. So that’s what people think God is, a protective father or mother that rewards you when you’re good and punishes you when you’re bad. This is what people are taught in Sunday school. By the time you’re five or six or seven years old, this is what you believe.

So now, you’re 37, and some terrible thing happens, like your child dies, and all you have to refer to is that Sunday school image of God. You’re still thinking like a seven-year-old. I see so many bereaved parents who are like that. I have one client who thinks that . . . Her child had cancer, and he died. She thinks God is punishing her because many, many years ago when she was in college, she had an abortion.

Bob: Ah.

Terri: So to payback for that life, God took the other life.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: That’s the way a seven-year-old would think in Sunday school. So she never developed her theology beyond that, and most people don’t. We’re stuck in Sunday school theology because that’s what our parents gave us. That’s what the culture gave us. By the time you’re seven, it’s all set in stone. No one thinks about it anymore until something bad happens, and then you ask that question. “Well, why would the protective Father God let this terrible thing happen to me, to you, to anybody?”

You can’t answer that question if you see it as a protective Father God. You have to change the way you see God. If you allow that change to happen, your pain will be relieved, and your understanding will expand.

Bob: Yeah. I mean, that’s the biggest question, I think, in the work that I do and the biggest question in the work that you do. If people can understand that, they can get to that place where they understand that. Everything else sort of falls into place if you get that. It changes your life because when bad things happen to you, you’re no longer feeling like a victim. You’re no longer feeling like you’re being punished or ignored by God. You’re recognizing that this is part of life. Oh, can I find this? Oh, all right. Here’s . . . I’m going to read again. Do you mind?

Terri: No, I love this. I’m very flattered. Thank you. This is great.

Bob: All right. Page 95 and 96. Here we go. Read this to my wife this morning. So it starts off you’re talking about . . . If you lose your job, you grieve, you worry, you have fear, and that’s okay.

“The guides would never tell you to judge yourself for being fearful, but they would tell you to be with the fear, to breathe into it. Allow it. Process it. Learn from it. Feel it. Then walk through it to the new reality that awaits you.”

You talk about surrendering, which is really what that is all about. You answer the question, “How do you surrender?”

“You stop projecting. Stop broadcasting fear. Stop everything. Stop trying to survive. Stop working so hard. Just stop. Then broadcast one sentence, one word, one thought of surrender, and it will shift everything. Don’t ask to be rescued. Don’t ask God to fix it for you. Ask only to see the truth and lesson in the situation. And here’s the real trick: You say it with gratitude, with love, not with fear, cynicism, or anger. You say, ‘I surrender with love. I surrender with trust. I put myself into the arms of the angels, and I will stop and just be exactly where I am.’”

Ah! I got chills right now. I got chills reading that.

Terri: Me, too. I can’t believe I wrote that. It’s been a while since I looked at that.

Bob: Isn’t it beautiful? Sometimes it’s nice just to have somebody else read your words. You know?

Terri: Yeah.

Bob: That’s pretty good.

Terri: That’s great.

Bob: That’s brilliant. I don’t even know how else . . . How would you add upon that? You don’t need to.

Terri: Well, that’s a very Buddhist practice, what I was describing there. I learned that during the time I was writing my first book, A Swan In Heaven, when I was first beginning to communicate with my son, and I was still in the first year of grief. My heart was very open, and there was a lot of suffering. I lived in this little cabin on top of a cliff, overlooking a river, and I would go out and stand on top of the cliff.

I had done this seminar with Richard Groves, where he taught us a word. It’s an arabic chant called “Insha’Allah.” It means, “Allah’s will be done.” It’s a Muslim prayer, and I just means “I give it up to God.” I would stand on the edge of this cliff, and I would scream, “Insha’Allah!Insha’Allah!” I would just cry. You just give it. Give it away. The Christians say, “Give it to God. Give it to Jesus.” It’s the same thing.

But then you have to be comfortable being with the anxiety. Because when you give it away, you still have it. You’re just releasing your clinging to it. This is what Buddhism teaches. This is what Pema Chodron teaches, a wonderful Buddhist teacher, that it’s all about being with uncertainty. Sit there with your angst and breathe and know that it will pass.

At some point, you have to stop trying to control it. If you have a Judeo-Christian outlook, then you are going to ask God to fix it for you, because that’s that protective Father thing. If you look at the way people pray traditionally, they’re begging God to fix it.

Here’s something that will rub some people the wrong way. It’s Christmas time right now, and I was watching some kids sitting on Santa’s lap, asking for Christmas presents. I always say this. You know how you never see Clark Kent and Superman in the same place at the same time? You never see Santa Claus and the God of the Old Testament in the same place at the same time because they’re the same guy.

So asking Santa for presents . . . These little kids are like, “Please give me an airplane!” It’s like the way people ask God for presents. “Please get me this job. Please find me someone to love. Please help me have some money.” God doesn’t work that way. God is not Santa Claus. When you stop seeing it that way, you’ll end up turning into your own strength and your own connection with spirit to find the gifts that you’re seeking.

They may not look the way you want them to look. You know? You have to accept it the way it is. So for example, in my own personal life, I’ve been divorced for eight years. Part of me would love to find somebody. You know?Sometimes I ask the Universe, and I just say, “Look, if it’s the right thing for me right now, I know I’ll run into this person at some point.” Then I give it up. You know?

I still try. You know? I still flirt a little and try to do stuff like that. You have to trust. You have to accept the gift in the package that it comes in.

Bob: You also talk a little bit in Embracing Death about when we ask for something. Let’s say we ask for a new career. Well, it’s very likely things need to be torn down before they can be built back up. I’m paraphrasing you, but I love that vision. So in this case, you might get fired or laid-off. How are you going to have that new career? Sometimes, we need to be pushed into things. Your great story about your friend there who’s with the wrong guy, and she has quite a . . . needs a push, needs a real push.

A friend of mine used to talk about, “We hear the whispers at the beginning, and then if we keep ignoring the whispers, eventually the Universe is screaming at us.” That’s what happens. But yeah, when we ask for these things, we have to understand that sometimes things need to be torn down before they get built back up. I loved how you wrote about that.

Terri: Well, it doesn’t get our attention if it’s a whisper. You know? Now I think for some of us, when we’ve really done a lot of spiritual practice, I think we can hear the whispers because we’ve tuned ourselves into that. You know? I think my mother said, “It starts out as little pebbles falling on your head, and then they get bigger, and then it’s a boulder.” You know? The message comes when you do lose your job, or you get a serious illness, or somebody dies.

It’s not a message saying, “You’re doing something wrong, and you need to be corrected.” It’s a message saying, “Your soul has requested something. Your ego body doesn’t know what that is, but here’s how that request is going to come.” So for me, apparently on a level I wasn’t conscious of, I requested to write these books and be a spiritual teacher and do the work that I’m doing now. The way I got here was through a lot of trauma, including the death of my son.

Now, I look at it, and the words I say to my son all the time are, “Thank you. Thank you for doing this for me. Thank you for giving me this amazing gift. I owe you one.” You know? Then I laugh, because it’s like I’ve done this for him in many lifetimes. It’s a swap. We’re doing it all for each other, all the time.

Bob: Yeah, and even in this lifetime. I’m sure that the gratitude is coming back at you, because he’s working through you. So you’re both . . . You’re a team. You’re doing this together. So I’m sure that the gratitude is going both ways. That’s another lesson in itself right there, is to recognize . . .

Terri: That’s a whole other conversation. Yeah. One thing about that is I try to help people to see that the perpetrator in your life, the abusive ex-husband or the molester or whoever you have, ultimately through some processes of forgiveness that I teach, you have gratitude for them, too.

Bob: Yeah.

Terri: If it was not for this traumatic event, I would not be blank, whatever it is. That’s how we forgive. We find the gift.

Bob: Yeah. Well, that’s beautifully said. I had so many more questions I wanted to ask you, but . . . Well, maybe another time. Maybe we could do this again.

Terri: Love to.

Bob: Because you have a lot to teach us. I do want you to mention your other books. Your first book was what? What was the title of that?

Terri: The first book is called A Swan In Heaven, and it begins on the day my son died, and it’s very autobiographical. It talks about his journey and my life at the time and how we started talking to each other across dimensions. Then the second book is the one you have, Embracing Death.

The third one is called Turning The Corner On Grief Street, which just came out a couple months ago. That’s all about what we’ve been talking about, about what I call “conscious grieving,” to understand that your losses and your trauma have a purpose and how you can heal by following those little whispers and those messages to see what that purpose is.

Bob: Yeah. So with that said, the website that people can learn more about your books is …


Bob: We’ll have that. Again, all these links in the show notes, and then the Afterlife Conference at I’m so happy to have you with us today to share all this wealth of wisdom with us that you’ve learned in your experiences before and after your son’s passing. Let’s thank Danny, too. Thank you, Danny.

Terri: Thank you, Danny. Thank you, Danny. Thank you, angels and spirits and everybody.

Bob: That’s right. Thank you, everybody, for watching Afterlife TV. Please leave us comments here on, on our Facebook page. You can write to me on Twitter, and I really, even on YouTube, love all the comments that are left. I respond to a lot of them, as many as I have time for, but I read every single one of them. So I want everybody to know that. So thanks to them.

Well, thanks again, Terri, to you. Maybe we’ll be honored with your presence again in the future.

Terri: Any time. I would love to.

So that’s another episode of Afterlife TV. Thank you for joining us. Please like us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or sign up for our newsletter at so you don’t miss our next episode. See you next time.

Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

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