Thank you to all the presenters, speakers and performers who so graciously gave of their time and resources to share their wealth of knowledge with everyone.

Thank you to all my volunteers who gave of their services and time.

Thank you to my family and friends for the support, encouragement and love.

Thank you to everyone who so courageously came and shared their story with us.

THANK YOU-I am forever changed by the love, strength and support between everyone involved in this event.


It is a week since a gathering of over 100 people attended our Life After Loss Symposium. I am still in awe over the amount of love, compassion, and healing that took place over the two days. As I stood on the stage for the opening ceremony, I looked out and was rendered speechless as I became overwhelmed with gratitude for all who sat in friendship, grief, and gratitude with me.

We opened the two days with a beautiful performance by Love In Motion signing the National Anthem TBTB0031followed by an inspiring keynote from Alan Pedersen on hope. Throughout the two days, our venue filled with mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins, spouses, friends and family of loved ones who are no longer a physical part of our lives. They searched the workshops and found a variety of offerings, which reached out to different areas of the journey all offering tools, hope and inspiration. Some visited our wellness room and was able to have their blood pressure taken and speak to a DR. and RN about stress reduction. Depression screenings were available, and a nutritionist was also on hand to speak about eating habits and stress. Reiki and energy healing was also available for those seeking a more holistic healing. Video screenings were ready for use showing clips from Open To Hope TV, The Grief Tool Box, Love In Motion, A Day with Mitch and Alan and other inspiring messages. The air was filled with energy, love, gratitude and compassion. Old friends reconnected, and new friends found comfort with each other.

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If I said the event went of exactly as planned, I would not be truthful, but I do believe it went exactly as it was supposed to! I loved that there were surprises throughout the two days. Alan Pedersen performed his new song HOPE and invited a newly bereaved Dad up on stage to play guitar with him. Alan spent about an hour teaching Bob the song. It was a beautiful moment for all involved in this performance. There was a surprise, non rehearsed but dynamic performance of Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes by a dear family friend. It brought tears to my eyes to know the love that went into the performance.

Our Candle lighting was beautiful with performances by Love In Motion and Alan Pedersen.  Four candles were lit, one each for Hope, Love, Faith and our own intention followed by members of Love In Motion lighting a candle at each table.  Darcie Sims then gave a beautiful talk about the meaning of our candles and how to blow them out!  A very moving  and memorable night filled with love and light

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A testimonial to Sandy Hook became apparent as attendees brought offerings for the victims families.  A woman from Minnesota made a quilt which had a name of each of the victims on it.  Another woman from San Diego made a bear representative of each victim.  Survival packs for the families and bereavement bags came from across the country. Another woman made lovely frames with photos of each person.  The love that went into the beautiful memorabilia added a heart tugging aspect and a reminder of those who walk this journey with us!

Mitch Carmody presented a tribute to the Sandy Hook victims and their families during our lunch period on Saturday

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I could go on and on about all the beautiful happenings, the sweet moments, the love shared, courage gained, friendships made and lessons learned.  I am still amazed at the beauty of the souls in attendance!


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There will be a 2014 Symposium-Check back often or subscribe to our email to keep posted!  A slide show of the event will be posted just as soon as we go through all our photos!

A very special thank you to Open to Hope, the staff at The Crowne Plaza Hotel  and all our contributors, presenters, and volunteers!  

We could not have made this event a success with out your generosity!

Workshop Presenters:                                                 Volunteers: TBTB0215

Alan Pedersen                                                                        David Brown

Glen Lord                                                                                 Dan Brown

Darcie Sims                                                                             Dave Crumb

Tanya Lord                                                                              Rachael DiJulio

Tony SIms                                                                                Julie Markarian

Doug & BJ Jensen with Love in Motion                          Charles  & Sharon Kochan

Andrea Rudolph                                                                      Colleen Tompkins

John Henkels                                                                           Maysoon Shaham

Dave Roberts                                                                            Donna

Kristina Berano & Kat Wynn – Brown                              Lisa McCarthy

Mitch Carmody                                                                        Rebecca Deadrick

Cathy Seehuetter                                                                     Jeff Castaldo

Anna Raimondi

Mary Lemley

Sue Rhodes

Debbie Barbiero


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