PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Hardly a month goes by that we don't cover a story of tragic death involving a child. As a mom and someone who works in news, my first thought is how difficult -- impossible -- the road ahead will be for the families suffering that loss.
One mom here in the valley has experienced that grief twice. She lost two children, 20 years apart, but says she is able to connect with them in the afterlife and believes everyone can do the same.
It's been seven years since Elizabeth Boisson last saw her son Morgan, but she still feels his presence every day.
"He's always with me."
A high school football player turned University of Arizona cheerleader, he died while on a trip to the base camp of Mt. Everest with some fellow students. No one realized how sick the altitude was making Morgan until it was too late.
"It was 9:00 a.m. and they couldn't wake him up," said Elizabeth. "They got him on the bus.. he stopped breathing."
That's when she got the devastating phone call.
"Mrs. Boisson, I really have bad news. I don't think Morgan is going to make it."
"I said, Colin, would you put the phone to Morgan's ear? I know he's undergoing CPR, but I really need to speak to him... I told Morgan we were proud of him, we loved him.. and not to be afraid."
As unimaginable as it would be to lose a child, Elizabeth has been through this before.
"I've already had a child that passed. She was two days old."
Her heart, already softened from that loss, made her surprisingly calm as she absorbed the news and as Morgan slipped away in Tibet -- something magical happened to Elizabeth thousands of miles away in Arizona.
"And I just felt him a few seconds later just hug me from the inside and it was something.. that I could not be sad with this uplifting wave of love that came over me."
She called it a visit from Morgan and says those same visits continue to this day.
"From the minute this happened, whenever I got sad, I'd feel him hugging me from the inside and making sure I could still move forward."
So Elizabeth set out to change how parents grieved by starting Helping Parents Heal, a support group to help parents connect with their deceased children.
"He told me that I was going to be starting this group and I started it a week after he passed," said Elizabeth. "I know that people can heal from having a child pass."
As Elizabeth was helping other parents heal, across town, psychic medium Susanne Wilson was looking for a work space to rent. Little did these women know their lives were about to converge.
"A friend of mine told me about a yoga studio that had a room for rent. The yoga teacher didn't know what I did," said Susanne. "I was trying to explain it. She said, 'Here, look at this photo. Tell me what you see.'"
"She gave her a picture, of a Christmas card I sent out with the three kids," said Elizabeth.
It was a photo of Morgan and his two sisters.
"She saw Morgan shouting through a megaphone on a mountain top. I'm okay. She saw a black box up to his ear and heard everything that I said. She saw a band of brothers.. his two other roommates.. his friends who stayed," said Elizabeth.
"The yoga teacher didn't know if anything I was telling her was accurate, so she wrote it all down and called Morgan's mom," said Susanna.
"Angie said you would have thought that Morgan was in the room with me when she was saying these things," said Elizabeth.
"One of the things was that one of the boys had a rock.. Susanne drew a shape of it and the boys would be bringing back the rock with them.. and Colin brought back a rock a month later, that was something she couldn't have known," said Elizabeth.
And when Susanna finally met Elizabeth, she saw what Elizabeth had been feeling.
"She said 'Morgan is standing with his sister.. does he have a sister who is just a year younger than he is?' There was no way she could have had any idea," said Elizabeth. "It was incredibly wonderful for me to be able to validate that Morgan was with me through Susanne."
The two started collaborating to help other parents make that same connection.
"Some parents get so excited about going to psychic mediums that they almost feel like it's a drug," said Elizabeth. "What she feels that's really important is that parents learn how to connect for themselves."
That's what her support group does. Helping parents find happiness and connect them with their deceased children.
"They're working just as hard as we are to connect with us and the veil is becoming very thin," said Elizabeth. "We have Morgan who is still with us. We feel him. All of us feel him. The parents that I've met, who get it, there's this light that shines through them. And you can see the light.. it comes through their kids."
Helping Parents Heal support groups are in 15 states and three countries. They help parents develop intuition, learn meditation and use other techniques to connect to their loved ones.
Afterlife Research and Education Institute, Inc.
Afterlife Research and Education Symposium
4415 E. Paradise Village Pkwy South
Phoenix, AZ 85032