Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Stephen Berkley | Ghosts And Grief   Stephen Berkley is a Writer/Director/Producer and Filmmaker whose PBS feature film, titled LIFE WITH GHOSTS, is a Best Documentary Film Festival winner. The documentary, which was inspired when Stephen’s father transitioned and his mother began reporting interactions with his father’s ghost, is the culmination of a seven-year investigation into the nature of love, loss, and ghosts. Be sure to tune in to hear Irene and Stephen discuss this enlightening documentary, which features three survivor’s quests for answers to questions such as “Are ghosts a real phenomenon or are they merely symptomatic of profound grief?”, Induced After-Death Communication, also known as IADC, which is a welcome alternative to traditional talk therapy and prescription drug use for the chronically bereaved, and more! IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:
  • How automatic writing helped Stephen’s mother connect with his dad.
  • The testing of Induced-After-Death Communication (IADC) at the University of North Texas, and the jaw-dropping results.
  • How IADC helps people suffering from prolonged grief disorder.
  • Stephen’s three reasons for putting “ghosts” in his documentary title.
SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS STEPHEN:
  • How effective is IADC as a therapeutic intervention for grief compared to traditional talk therapy?
  • Is IADC also known to work for skeptics?
  • How is IADC like EMDR, and how is it different?
  • What are your hopes for Life With Ghosts moving consciousness on this planet?
  • What synchronicities have you experienced since creating Life With Ghosts?
  • Why do you say, “Life is not an immortality project, instead it is a discovery of your true nature”?
Register for the screening of LIFE WITH GHOSTS here: https://www.livingwithghostsmovie.com/regwein

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Stephen Berkley: Are Ghosts a Real Phenomenon or Are They Merely Symptomatic of Profound Grief?

  I could not be more delighted to have this opportunity to interview Stephen Berkley, who is a writer, director, producer, and filmmaker who will be speaking to us from Connecticut. Stephen has worked in multiple capacities inside the entertainment media industry for over 30 years. Stephen and I will be talking about his first fully self-produced PBS feature film titled Life With Ghosts, which is a Best Documentary Film Festival winner inspired when Stephen’s father transitioned and his mother began reporting interactions with his father’s ghost. The documentary is the culmination of a seven-year investigation into the nature of love, loss, and ghosts. It features three survivor’s questions such as, “Are ghosts a real phenomenon or are they merely symptomatic of profound grief?” Life With Ghosts heralds a welcome alternative to traditional talk therapy and prescription drug use for the chronically bereaved. The film records the first-ever publicly funded attempt to facilitate contact with deceased individuals to determine if such contact can be used to reduce severe grief symptoms. In the documentary, a widow suffering prolonged grief agrees to participate in a research study that aims to reconnect bereaved survivors with their departed loved ones through a process known as Induced After-Death Communication, also known as IADC. It is rapidly gaining recognition among psychologists, academics, and bereavement professionals. Full disclosure, I have seen Life With Ghosts twice. I loved it and I resonated with it. I am also a big fan of Stephen’s Life With Ghosts, Let’s Chat interviews on YouTube. I’m looking forward to talking with Stephen about how he was inspired to make life with ghosts after his father’s death sent his mother into a tailspin, what is induced after-death communication and how it helps to heal grief, why Stephen used the word ghosts in his title, why life is about discovering your true nature, how automatic writing works, and so much more for what is going to be fascinating insights filled with enlightening interview that will surely ignite a desire within you to see Stephen’s groundbreaking documentary, Life With Ghosts. Stephen, a warm, truly heartfelt welcome to the show. Irene, thank you so much for inviting me to this and I love your introduction. I think I might want to use that in the future. You can cheat. I provide my cheat sheets. You’re all of what I said and I like letting our show audience know how special the people are who I’m interviewing and your bonafide why you know of what you speak. We’re going to enlighten a lot of people. Your documentary is wonderful and courageous. When I first came out with my book, I’m sure a lot of people were going, “Are you crazy?” We’re in the front of a growing wave of people who are becoming more aware. Let’s get them even more aware. Let me start to ask you about all this.   Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Stephen Berkley | Ghosts And Grief   The first thing I’d love to ask is about your background. You lost your dad. Your mom went into a tailspin and nothing helped her until her neighbor, Ethel, suggested automatic writing. Could you tell us about that? Tell our audience what automatic writing also and how it helped your mother to start to connect with your dad. What happened was when my dad died, my mother was completely lost. She was disoriented. She had been with him for half a century and suddenly he was gone. I didn’t realize that grief in and of itself is a trauma. I didn’t know about that aspect of it. I just knew that my mother wasn’t functioning and I didn’t know what to do. My siblings and I all flew down to Florida where she and my father were living. We did everything we thought we were supposed to do like grief support, grief counseling, support groups like the circles, religious services, and everything that we were taught we were supposed to do for the bereaved, and nothing had any impact. Luckily, the little old lady neighbor, Ethel, came over to the house and said, “We don’t talk about this a whole lot, but there’s something I do with my late husband that helps me. I write to him every night. It helps me.” She leaned in real close to my mother and said, “He writes back.” She said in a hushed tone. My mother did not know what to make of this. My brothers and I, none of us knew what to do with this information. For the most part, my mother was disturbed by it. She had not even buried my father yet and here’s Ethel saying, “Let me get you in touch with him.” My mother threw Ethel out of the house. I was interested in Ethel, not because I necessarily believed in what she was doing. I assumed she was schizophrenic, but there was something about what she was saying and what she was doing that seemed interesting to me. I was not a spiritualist. I’m open to things and Ethel intrigued me. I followed her over to her house where she proceeded to show me a stack of yellow legal pads. On those yellow legal pads, she explained were her conversations with her late husband over a 12-year period via automatic writing. I was like, “Ethel doesn’t look insane,” but of course, she must be. The more I got to know her and questioned her, I realized she might be one of the most grounded, pleasant, interesting, and innately smart people I’ve ever met. How could she be this insane and also be presenting as somewhat like a rational person? That inspired me to do a little bit of research, but the first thing I wanted to do was tell my mom, “Listen to Ethel. She seems to be happy. Whatever she’s doing is working for her. Suspend your disbelief for a little bit and see if you could try what she’s suggesting.” Getting back to your question, automatic writing basically is getting into a state where you can let thoughts into your head when you write. I think it’s called an ideomotor response. We’re so used to forming the letters post-kindergarten that we don’t think consciously about what we’re writing. Test results about Induced-After-Death Communication therapy are jaw-dropping and have put the film Life With Ghosts on the map. Click To Tweet If we start to write on a piece of paper, “Husband, are you around?” we then answer for him to start him off, then somewhere along the line, thoughts start coming into your head that seems like they are from the person you’re writing to. At first, you think it’s just you, but then at some point, you’ll realize, “This is something I wouldn’t think of, but my husband or my wife or my parent would.” That’s what automatic writing is.

That’s a good way for people because I’ve never heard it spoken about where you can start them off. That’s a great way to do that. It gets you in a frame and the message when you hear it comes through very quickly. They communicate quickly. Instantly, yes. If you take your time, that’s your thought, it’s not the one that immediately comes in. Now, you’re learning about automatic writing. What do you do? You walk home to your mother and go, “I think you’re going to make a documentary about this.” How did that go? I said to my mom first, “Mom, I think Ethel might be insane, but she’s happy. Why don’t you try this because it seems to be working?” Bless her heart. She was like, “Okay, I’ll give it a try. I will try writing to your father.” She did that and it did not work for her because it takes a lot of practice. If you read a book on automatic writing, and there are a couple I could recommend, but they pretty much say, “Do it every day for 30 days straight.” Sit down with a piece of paper, write to your loved one, “So and so, are you here?” and wait, or start them off with something that they might say and try to get into a rhythm. My mother did not have patience for that, so that didn’t work for her, but she ended up consulting Ethel privately and saying, “Help me connect” and Ethel did that.   Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Stephen Berkley | Ghosts And Grief   Ethel became a conduit for your mother. She was like a medium. Let’s talk about this concept because your documentary talks about induced after-death communication. It’s gaining recognition among psychologists, academics, and bereavement professionals. We need you to describe it and explain how it helps people who are dealing with prolonged grief disorder. I will describe it, but to go in chronological order, I want to tell you how I found induced after-death communication. Please do.   Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Stephen Berkley | Ghosts And Grief   I decided at some point that I wanted to film what was going on with my mother and with Ethel because they were two cute little old ladies who were friends and neighbors and they were experiencing grief very differently. One was on top of the world, one was in terrible despair. I thought by juxtaposing them, there was something to be learned from this. I didn’t want to necessarily preach any method of getting through grief, I just wanted to capture these two women and let the audience decide for themselves. I did that. I followed them around. I followed my mother to her grief counselor therapy session. In that session, my mother launched into, “My neighbor does this crazy kooky thing regarding automatic writing. Should I try that to help me through it?” The grief counselor was very discouraging. By the way, his mother’s name is Irene as is mine. The grief counselor said to my mother, “That sounds like a short-term solution to a long-term problem. That’s not the way out of grief.” I didn’t know anything about anything regarding after-death communication, but I knew intuitively that, here’s this 80-something-year-old woman who’s looking for some salvation, and she’s finding a glimpse of hope in this concept of automatic writing or communicating with the dead in general. Why would this grief counselor be disusing my mother of this notion? Even if it was like a placebo effect my mother was looking for, at this stage of her life, why should she be talked out of that? It may be a little bit defiant, is how I felt. I felt this is more than a cute little documentary about these two little old ladies having different experiences in grief. This is about a disconnect in our society because I knew that there was some research that had to do with the continuing bonds theory, with people getting better and improving from the grief with the belief that they are in contact still with their beloved. I knew enough to know that I had a reason to expand the picture. To get back to your question about IADC, what happened was one of the subjects of the film turned out to be Ethel’s estranged daughter-in-law. I was following a lot of different widows and widowers before making the film, filming them, and then asking who else they knew who just lost a spouse. At first, it ended up being about spouses. I was only interested in people who lost their spouses at the time. I said, “Tell me, do you know anybody?” Ethel turned me on to her estranged daughter-in-law, who was willing to do an interview. Also, Karen’s kids were willing to do an interview. I interviewed them. The process known as Induced After-Death Communication (IADC), is rapidly gaining recognition among psychologists, academics, and bereavement professionals. Click To Tweet Like I do with everybody who was in the film, I distributed information that I was learning about how to get through bereavement because I felt like that was my responsibility. I was learning new things. Let me tell all the people in the film how what other people have tried and been successful at doing. One of the things that the daughters found was something called IADC, which stands for Induced After-Death Communication Therapy. It’s because you show that in the documentary of one of the daughters discovering that. Yes. That’s very much based on facts. This film has no recreations except for that one scene because we were not there when she found that research, so we had her do research on her computer again. She found on her own. We let her there to some degree. She found this Induced After-Death Communication Therapy. She liked it. What it is is this, most people know what EMDR is. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I’ve experienced it. That’s how I know. The founder of this IADC therapy in the 1990s was a Chicago Veterans Hospital administering EMDR to some Vietnam vets. One of them had a spontaneous after-death communication in the session. The psychologist who was administering this EMDR said, “This is strange. This has never happened before. Let me try this again.” He did something a little bit different. He customized EMDR a little bit differently than what was standard. He wanted to know what happened in his session to prompt an after-death communication if that could be repeated. He was able to do that. He was able to repeat it. He said, “If I take EMDR and make these couple of tweaks, I’m able to repeat people having spontaneous after-death communications. I guess it’s not spontaneous anymore because I’m doing something, I’m facilitating something and it’s working.” He got very excited. He did a lot more research. He wrote a book called Induced After-Death Communication. Which I have by the way. His name is Allan Botkin. It was different enough from EMDR which he felt comfortable putting his name on it as the founder of this induced after-death communication therapy. Of course, everything is built on the shoulders of others. This is what happened. It’s funny. When I made the movie, nobody knew what this therapy was because he’s a very good psychologist but he himself will admit he’s not a good marketer. He always had trouble getting the word out that this therapy was available. When these girls found it, Karen’s daughters found it, and they decided to get me to get her mother into this therapy and have me film it, then everybody was on board and it was time to spread the news. What is cool is Cameron didn’t know for herself if it was going to work. The movie is very positive and graphic about how it did help her. I want to tell you to validate an experience that I had because when I had my spiritual awakening and I was getting messages from my book and all, I was in therapy and my therapist thought that I was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and she was trying to discourage me from all of this. I knew so much that something real had happened to me and she couldn’t resonate with it. I stopped seeing her and I ended up going to someone else because she was not validating my reality. It’s the same thing she was acting like. Now, I must say through this show, many psychotherapists have commented to me that this is helping them to open up to this additional way for people to process their grief and get help with their grief. It leads me to ask you, I know IADC has been tested at the University of North Texas with jaw-dropping results that put your documentary on the map. Have there been other studies? Do you want to talk about that and have there been other studies you’d like to tell us about? This is a real thing. One of the most exciting studies that I came across in my research for the film is something that also happened at the University of North Texas. There’s a researcher in there named Jenny Streit-Horn. She reviewed 35 studies published on after-death communication spanning 112 years. That involved 50,000 people in 24 countries. In crunching the numbers, taking a very objective viewpoint of all of this, she found that 75% of people report, one or more communications from their deceased in the first year following the death. We’re hearing from ghosts routinely. A lot of people will come back and say, “That’s a grief-induced hallucination.” I have a response to that. “Hallucinations” is a clinical term and it’s a very specific definition. First off, there is a different quality to it. Hallucinations, usually, they feel ephemeral. They usually are fairly distressing in nature and the memory fades quickly. After-death communication, as we’re calling it a post-mortem visit, a way to call it something, they feel very real to the experiencer. They are remembered distinctly by the experiencer and usually over a lifetime. It’s usually a very pleasant experience. The quality of this means that it should not fall under the same definition of hallucination. We need another term for something that is not in our physical reality, but to the experiencers, to the 75% of all people who have had a loss, to those people who need a new term for that. People referring to it as a hallucination is another way of saying, “It’s not real.” It’s another way of suppressing what it is.

Your term for it is? I call them post-mortem visits. It’s wonderful because when people learn this technique, they can certainly still go to mediums who are wonderful, but then they can get their own messages too from their deceased loved one. Precisely. By the way, I wanted to make sure when I put out this film that I wasn’t touting one particular therapy. I think IADC is the coolest thing in the world. It’s new, it’s exciting, but in five years, there might be another way to connect that’s even more exciting. I was very conscious of the fact and very deliberate in making the film that this was about continuing a bond. Whether it’s through mediumship automatic writing or IADC therapy, it doesn’t matter. If people feel they have permission without being accused of being an idiot, if people feel they have permission to reach out to their loved ones across the veil, then they’ll do so and they’ll be healthier for it. What we found with Dennis’ class and his fellow colleagues when writing continuing bonds is they found that this is healthier for us. We operate much better in the world when we take our loved ones with us. Why not? Our nervous systems don’t know the difference between making time for our friends in life and making time for our loved ones in spirit. We operate much better in the world when we take our loved ones with us. Click To Tweet By the way, we know the more that we learn that our loved ones are all around us, they’ve only discarded their bodies. They let their earth suit and they’re all around us. Why wouldn’t they be looking for ways to communicate with us? They still have plenty to say. They retain their personalities on the other side. Some of them are doing their own healing there, which I could go on and on about that, but not now. Many of them go across and they’ve had trauma and all and they continue to heal. Why wouldn’t they want to communicate with you? They’re all around. I also have been struck because I’ve been listening to your podcast and you had someone talking about how IADC as a therapeutic intervention for grief is in some ways even more effective than talk therapy. No offense to all the therapists reading this, but maybe it’s something that they want to incorporate in their practices because, in two sessions, it can accomplish a lot for a person. Is that true? Would you like to speak to that? Yes. According to my research, and I’m sure there are people who have other sources that would counter this with their own research. According to my research, talk therapy doesn’t work on grief. I think some people end up, at least in the University of North Texas study that were comparing traditional grief counseling to the IADC. Some people got worse with talk therapy. Statistically speaking, grief therapy does not work. IADC has a success rate of 80%. 80% of people who go through IADC therapy feel better or get a visit, I would say. They feel like they get a visit from their deceased loved one. If you speak to a therapist candidly off-screen, they will tell you that 100% of the time the person sitting for IADC therapy will feel better. They might not get a visit. Not everybody gets a visit, but they’ll feel like the trauma has been separated from the grief. Now, they could think about their beloved or their, whether it’s a child or a parent or a spouse, they could think about them without falling into that pit of despair that people tend to go into. They don’t feel as abandoned because now they’re learning the person is around them, they just don’t have their body. This person hasn’t been wiped out forever. They’re all around them. Also, I was struck in your documentary by your protagonist, Karen, who now I’m finding out was the daughter-in-law of Ethel. She was definitely helped through the IADC. By the way, the people who administer it are usually therapists, aren’t they? They’ve learned this new technique, right? Yes. You have to be a licensed therapist or counselor. It’s a very stringent process to become one. This is a wonderful new modality for a lot of therapists who adopt that can help their clients who are struggling with grief. How does this work for skeptics? Someone comes and they go, this IADC bs, do they get surprised? Is it known to work for skeptics when they come in? Interestingly, there’s a paradoxical effect, meaning that it works better for skeptics. The reason why is expectations block results. If somebody’s so excited to hear about this therapy, they go into the therapy room so excited and they’re finally going to get to see their late spouse or child or parent. That expectation can throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing. Expectations block results. Click To Tweet What is your favorite part of Life With Ghosts that lit your jet as you were doing this? All the people I was meeting were a lot smarter than me and they were believing this. For so long, I wasn’t delving into it because I thought people would accuse me of being an idiot. I think if anybody has seen Dean Radin put out something and it’s on YouTube, it’s called Stupidity Hypothesis. Have you seen that? No. It’s great. Dean Radin is a scientist from the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He’s a real scientist. I know that institute. He put on a video explaining that the stupidity hypothesis says that most people who believe in after-death communication or ghosts must be stupid. If you compare the data of people who believe in after-death communication and people with advanced degrees, it’s a positive correlation. The smarter people are believing in more than this physical reality. That should give people some permission to at least investigate for themselves. I know that there was some controversy about the fact that you used the word ghosts in the title of your documentary. What was that about? You’ve also experienced some synchronicities that I’m sure our audience will find very interesting. My favorite question is about the title. I got so much heat from the title than anything else that had to do with the film. Why are you accusing their deceased loved ones of being Casper, the friendly ghost? I grew up with Casper, the friendly ghost, so I assumed that was a safe title. Also, Patrick Swayze, I thought that came a long way in defanging the word ghost. People, I don’t want to say that I can’t blame them. I should say I can’t blame them because people don’t necessarily want to think of their deceased child, for instance, as a ghost. They don’t like that image. I don’t want to say they can’t. I feel bad for them, of course. I’ve used the term ghost for a couple of reasons. One is that ghost, unlike the word spirit, Life With Spirits is another possibility I suppose. Even though some people might think I’m talking about alcohol, spirit doesn’t have the connotations that ghost has. Ghost is used metaphorically, figuratively, and literally. It has all these different connotations. I wanted to take advantage of that because the widows in the film are in different places of their grief. One widow, like Ethel, the automatic writer, feels like she’s having contact with a phantom. There’s a ghost living in her house. Ghost is a literal interpretation for her. Others in the film, like her estranged daughter-in-law or the Irene character who’s my mother, are haunted by the memories of their husbands. Ghost works in both instances. If anything, I would think it’s more of a figurative use because since Karen’s a protagonist and she’s more haunted by the memories than anything else, in this case, the title’s a figurative title.

I thought it was very appropriate and it gets someone to, “What is Life With Ghosts? I think I want to hear that. What is that all about?” It’s provocative. It’s another reason. It’s a mainstream title. I’m trying to attract the mainstream to the film. I don’t want to preach to the choir. I want to invite the masses in and let them make a decision as to whether or not it’s worth investigating. It’s sort of like when I named my book, They Serve Bagels in Heaven, people are all like, “Do they really? What’s that all about?” Fantastic title. Brilliant. Thank you. Anyway, I had to get back to you. What do you mean when you say that life is not an immortality project, but instead it is a discovery of your true nature? I love that, Stephen. What are your hopes? I know you’re hoping that Life With Ghosts helps to move consciousness on the planet, which is something this show is also all about. Would you like to talk about that a little bit? First of all, I’m pretty sure that was Graham Maxey, somebody who was in the film who said that life is not an immortality project. He wrote a book. In his book, he talks about five things he’s learned from the dead in administering Induced After-Death Communication therapy. One of them was about ego. Whatever we do on this plane to try to preserve our name, it doesn’t matter over there. Whatever we think is important here, whatever we’re striving for, to make money, for recognition, to build ourselves, to build our names, that’s not important when you cross over. You lose that ego. I think that’s what he was referring to when he was talking about life is not an immortality project, which would be at least.
Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Stephen Berkley | Ghosts And Grief

Ghosts And Grief: Whatever we think is important here, whatever we’re striving for, to make money, for recognition, to build ourselves, to build our names, that’s not important when you cross over.

  Certainly, your documentary moves consciousness on the planet that we know that we go on. I have been told many times that we get life reviews. When we get life reviews, they don’t give us medals for how much money we made. Our egos or you get to feel and know how you treated other people. I don’t know if you picked up on this, but I tried hard not to proselytize in the movie. You did a good job. I’m not pushing an agenda. I want to show both sides. I want to hear from the debunkers. You have no idea that you’re either way. You don’t know that you subscribed to this mode? You did a wonderful job. In the podcast, I’ve decided to come out. I say, “I’m a believer.” For the movie, I wanted people to make up their own minds. Right, which is great because so many people will watch it and they want to make up their own minds. They want to see this for themselves. Karen is a very convincing protagonist with what happened to her. Now, I understand about Ethel, so that’s very cool too. Everyone now is reading and I cannot recommend and compliment you more on Life With Ghosts. You also did a TED Talk. Do you want to tell us about that and anything you’d like to share with the audience about how do they get Life With Ghosts? How do they see the documentary? Whatever you’d like to say. How do they get ahold of you? You’re going to provide a link to your audience that will let them go right to where you could get the film. Now, I’m raising funds for a PBS version. I have to make a 56-minute version of the film. It’s 90 minutes. I have to make a 56-minute version for PBS and that’s going to cost quite a bit of money. I’m trying to raise money for that. What I’m doing is because the film is still in the film festival circuit and I’m not allowed to show the film publicly, but I’m allowed to raise money and show the film that way. If you make a small donation towards my PBS Premier, then people will be able to watch the film that way. We’ll provide them with that link. We’ll provide all that information when we release this wonderful interview. I want to say also that the mission of the show is to educate, enlighten, and bring people healing choices. This is so in line with that. This is such a new modality and a wonderful healing choice. In what ways can grief sometimes crack us open? How do our deceased loved ones teach us? What do they teach us that promotes healing? Do you have any thoughts about that? I have thoughts. I certainly don’t feel like I’m in a position of authority because I’m not a medium and I’m not a healer. I’m just basically reporting what other people are doing. I have a feeling about it because I’m learning all the time as you are and I’m finding that I’m getting surprised by things. For one thing, I’m getting surprised by the fact that they’re people still. They’re not necessarily the most enlightened creatures in the universe I’m finding, sometimes they had the same foibles that the rest of us have on Earth. That was interesting to me that they’re not playing a harp on a cloud somewhere. They’re going through their own journeys. They’re just in a different space. That was interesting to learn about. It makes sense to me. How do they crack us open? Sometimes they get our attention, they’ll do something or they’ll, they’ll send us a message or they’ll show us something. Sometimes we can pick up on the messages and sometimes we don’t. If you’re ever in a position where you feel like, “I feel like I got a wink from my late husband or my late child or my late parent.” When you feel like you got that and it’s undeniable that it’s too much of a coincidence that it’s not them, that’s open-cracking. Our loved ones are actually going through their own journeys. They're just in a different space. Click To Tweet It certainly is. That certainly happened to me. They have a lot to teach that promotes healing. I had a very troubled relationship with my father and he has come through many times through mediums and all to say he’s healing on the other side. He acknowledges what he did and he apologizes. At one point in the early stage of when I had the accident and I was going through all this, he literally said, “I’m with you and I’m learning so much by hanging around you.” Talk about proof that he was around. At that point, I didn’t want him hanging around. Yes, it does promote healing. Stephen, tell me about the Stephen Berkley tip for finding joy in life. First of all, I love that I’m getting so much credit for being this guy on the mountain. People give me the same credit too, and I say to people, “I’m learning along with you, and whatever I can pass along from what I’ve learned, I’m glad to share.” I feel like what I’ve learned from me, and I don’t want to try to convert anybody from my way of thinking. What I’m learning is being of service gives me a lot of joy. I feel like it’s a way for people to get out of their own heads and their own drama. When you do something kind for another person, when you show them there’s a roadmap to where they might want to go, that feels great. In a way, it’s selfish of me because I’m doing something that’s making me feel great, but it does bring me quite a bit of joy as I’m sure it does for you. Being of service gives a lot of joy. It's a way for people to get out of their own heads and their own drama. Click To Tweet This is such a wonderful vehicle. When you’re in the world and you know that you’re helping so many people, it fills me with gratitude. I’m very grateful. Stephen, I have gratitude now because I want to thank you for normalizing the healing power of after-death communication through your groundbreaking documentary, Life With Ghosts, which can dissolve the fear of receiving after-death communication, help to heal prolonged grief, and inspire people to become open to what our deceased loved ones can teach us. May I also add, it can take away the fear of death. My heartfelt thank you, Stephen, for this important and very illuminating interview on Grief and Rebirth show. Here’s a loving reminder, everyone, that you can see the show notes and all Grief and Rebirth show episodes on IreneWeinberg.com. Make sure to follow us and like us on social @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, and wherever you get your podcasts, including YouTube. As I like to say, to be continued. Thank you so much, Stephen. Many blessings. Bye for now. Thank you so much, Irene. I had a great time being here. A lot of people ask me, if we’re faced with all this great information, we have statistics, we have scientists, they’re saying, “We have scientific support that we go on and that we’re able to communicate with those who have gone on. Why isn’t this more out there in the world? Why aren’t people accepting it?” I had to think about this for a while and I came up with my answer. My answer is this, let’s liken it to all those people out there who are being cheated on by their spouse and refuse to acknowledge it. It’s a very common phenomenon. The cheated-on spouse knows that there’s an extra cell phone in the house. They know that their spouse suddenly joined a gym, they’re getting fit, and they’re paying attention to how they look. There are all these signs that the cheating spouse is cheating, but it’s too hard to look at it too directly. It’s too disruptive. You have a kid you have to bring to soccer class. You have a party you have to plan. There are multiple reasons why. It’s too disruptive for your life, so you decide not to ask those questions. That’s why more people aren’t into the afterlife, especially for people whose professions are built on the physical world like doctors and academics. They’re immersed in a physical world and they can’t say, “Come on in. Lots of ghosts here.” It’s not going to work. You’re absolutely right. We’re breaking through that because more people are becoming open. My attitude is if they don’t know now and they don’t want to know now, they’re going to find out when they cross over. They’re in a very big surprise. To be continued. Thank you, everyone, for reading. This has been marvelous. Thank you so much. Thank you, Irene.  

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About Stephen Berkley

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Stephen Berkley | Ghosts And GriefStephen Berkley is a writer who began his career with the fledgling MTV Networks in the 90s. He later penned scripts for broadcast television but ultimately landed in the distribution side of the industry in business affairs. Years later, after his father passed and his mother reported experiences involving his father’s ghost, Stephen returned to the creative realm with the documentary Life With Ghosts, which features characters from his mother’s community who have reported similar experiences with their late spouses.  
It is therapy listening to Irene as I feel that we are both on the same journey of discovering our True Selves. Her podcast resonates with me so much that I reached out to her and introduced her to a local healer I have been using. To my delight, she responded with such grace and integrity. You are a true gem, Irene!

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