Seeking With Robyn

Living Out A Prophecy: A Story of Love, Pain, Death + Life Beyond That Shows Us How to Really Live - Episode 13

August 02, 2020 Robyn Miller Brecker / Karen Loenser / Vanessa Lynn / L. Grey Season 1 Episode 13
Seeking With Robyn
Living Out A Prophecy: A Story of Love, Pain, Death + Life Beyond That Shows Us How to Really Live - Episode 13
iving Out A Prophecy: A Story of Love, Pain, Death + Life Beyond That Shows Us How to Really Live
Seeking With Robyn
Living Out A Prophecy: A Story of Love, Pain, Death + Life Beyond That Shows Us How to Really Live - Episode 13
Aug 02, 2020 Season 1 Episode 13
Robyn Miller Brecker / Karen Loenser / Vanessa Lynn / L. Grey

We are honored to introduce you to our dear friend, Vanessa Lynn. She has an important story to tell. It is a story about facing unimaginable pain, loving unconditionally, the power of words -- and life after death. It is her journey and it is her daughter L. Grey’s journey.

In Vanessa and L’s just published book, “Ravens and Rainbows,” they tell their story of triumphing spiritually when everything is lost.

“I am in every raven and rainbow you see. We’ll see each other again before you know it. It’s time for me to sleep now. Goodnight, Mommy. It’s time to say goodnight.” —L.

On July 22, 2018, fifteen-year-old L. Grey swallowed a bottle of prescription pain killers, and closed her eyes for the last time. Some would say she took her life, but it could be more aptly said that she took her life back.

As Vanessa describes, L had an unexplainable knowing from the time she was born. She looked at the world differently, as if she had one foot in this world, and one foot in another. She was able to express seeing energy and deceased loved ones from the time she was two years old. And as soon as she was able to write — her words were haunting, deep and wise beyond her years.

L knew exactly who she was from an early age. At age 10, she declared she was gay and proudly began to speak up within the LGBTQ+ community. Somehow she also knew she wouldn’t be on this Earth long — and that she would endure unspeakable pain. Unfortunately, she was indeed correct. At the age of twelve, L was diagnosed with the most painful condition known to humans, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

Vanessa takes you on the journey — and L pops in from beyond throughout the conversation. Vanessa shares their experiences during their harrowing 3-year ordeal with CRPS and other illnesses that ravaged L’s body. Throughout it all, L captured it all with her prolific writing and unwavering bravery.

Although L ultimately left the Earth, she is very present in this life. We believe you will walk away after watching with a new appreciation for life -- and life after death. Vanessa and L teach us all how to live each day to its fullest.

Visit to buy the book and to read more poetry by L. Grey.
All proceeds will go to the Burning Limb Foundation.

#seekingwithrobyn #ravensandrainbows #afterlife

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We are honored to introduce you to our dear friend, Vanessa Lynn. She has an important story to tell. It is a story about facing unimaginable pain, loving unconditionally, the power of words -- and life after death. It is her journey and it is her daughter L. Grey’s journey.

In Vanessa and L’s just published book, “Ravens and Rainbows,” they tell their story of triumphing spiritually when everything is lost.

“I am in every raven and rainbow you see. We’ll see each other again before you know it. It’s time for me to sleep now. Goodnight, Mommy. It’s time to say goodnight.” —L.

On July 22, 2018, fifteen-year-old L. Grey swallowed a bottle of prescription pain killers, and closed her eyes for the last time. Some would say she took her life, but it could be more aptly said that she took her life back.

As Vanessa describes, L had an unexplainable knowing from the time she was born. She looked at the world differently, as if she had one foot in this world, and one foot in another. She was able to express seeing energy and deceased loved ones from the time she was two years old. And as soon as she was able to write — her words were haunting, deep and wise beyond her years.

L knew exactly who she was from an early age. At age 10, she declared she was gay and proudly began to speak up within the LGBTQ+ community. Somehow she also knew she wouldn’t be on this Earth long — and that she would endure unspeakable pain. Unfortunately, she was indeed correct. At the age of twelve, L was diagnosed with the most painful condition known to humans, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

Vanessa takes you on the journey — and L pops in from beyond throughout the conversation. Vanessa shares their experiences during their harrowing 3-year ordeal with CRPS and other illnesses that ravaged L’s body. Throughout it all, L captured it all with her prolific writing and unwavering bravery.

Although L ultimately left the Earth, she is very present in this life. We believe you will walk away after watching with a new appreciation for life -- and life after death. Vanessa and L teach us all how to live each day to its fullest.

Visit to buy the book and to read more poetry by L. Grey.
All proceeds will go to the Burning Limb Foundation.

#seekingwithrobyn #ravensandrainbows #afterlife

Have you ever wondered about life's biggest questions? Like, why am I here? What happens when we die? Or what else is out there, but we have, and we love to talk about it. And if you're listening, we think you probably do too. I'm Robyn and I'm Karen and we've spent our lives searching for those answers.

And we're seekers, just like you talking to some of the most fascinating spiritual teachers, healers and scientists. And showing you how you can use some of their spiritual practices for yourself. We'll also be sharing stories of other seekers can motivate you to live your fullest life and we'll be translating it all.

So the spiritual stuff won't feel so out there. So if you're curious, get ready to rediscover why we're here together, Nicola, it cannot be life of the vibrations. They come over a force, they leap and twirl. Many rise, many pray. No, no, God we're okay. Leave the creatures of earth at their own level. They will rise to only the vibrations of love when time ends.

I'm so honored to introduce you to my dear friend, Vanessa Lynn, she is an important story to tell it is a story about facing unimaginable pain, loving unconditionally, the power of words and life after death. It is her journey and it is her daughter L's journey. And Vanessa Vanessa's just published book with Al Ravens and rainbows.

She tells this story. It is a must read Vanessa and I grew up in the same town. And while our paths have crossed a few times, yeah. Over the years, it was our mutual friend, Amy that truly brought us together in 2018. I remember Amy insisting that we meet and it wasn't until Amy's daughter's bat mitzvah.

That we really met. It was the first time you'd been out in public since Ellis passing, Vanessa. And I remember meeting you right before the service began and it was like seeing a long lost family member. I remember sitting with you during the service and just hugging you. And as people came over to you after the service was over, I just held your hand.

I know that Al made that happen today. We'll learn more about why this story needed to be told. We believe you'll walk away with a new appreciation for life and life after death, Vanessa. Welcome. We're so glad that you're here with us today. You are such a force, and I know that everyone who listens to this and then reads the book will know that we start with you first.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career and your life as a mom. So, first of all, thank you both. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for reading the book for being so instrumental, really in getting it across the finish line. It's it's not a small task and I really, really, truly appreciate it.

So, you know, I, I never set out to be a writer or an author that was not really ever part of my plan. It was clearly part of LA. And, and she's, she's the one who runs the show. So I do what she tells me to do, but in my, my day job, I'm a consultant. I'm an organizational psychologist by trade. So I do a executive development and executive team development and things of that nature and, you know, kind of living this corporate life.

And then I come home and I'm, I'm a mom through and through you talk about your background. Yeah, absolutely. So I'm a psychologist. You know, did my undergrad in psychology and then did a master's in clinical psychology. I shifted and then finished the rest of my graduate work, work on the organizational side, kind of applying so much of what I had learned about human nature and what makes people who they are and you know, what makes them do what they do.

But applying that in a, in a business setting. So I come at this with. With a psychological background, which now I can say in retrospect, I'm sure it wasn't an accident, but it felt coincidentally. Yeah. I have to agree. Not an accident at all. And that's why I do think it's important for people to know that long before Al got sick, really since birth, one of the things that kind of always drove me as a mom was understanding who your children are and meeting them where they're at.

As I look back now, and as we think about this story, and I think about where my relationship is with Al now and with my younger daughter, who's living that continues. Let's talk about your two daughters. So they're 20 months apart to the day. They're very, very different personalities, which was just fascinating.

And they were from, from birth, which, you know, kind of leads into this notion that I have a much greater understanding of now, you know, of just your, your soul and. But you come here to do so. Elle from birth was always right. G and witty and sarcastic and brutally honest and super sensitive to her surroundings and her environment.

So she's someone and I write about this in the book who just kind of had this knowing she could even as a baby, six months, nine months. Pre-verbal, she would kind of look at someone and you could see this look in her eyes and, and, and she would then immediately let you know, that was someone who she was comfortable with or not.

We would joke was always an old soul and moments of childhood innocence, but they were moments. most of the time you could see this just really deep knowledge and understanding in her eyes. And then her little sister is just this. How to lead lovey unicorn and sprinkles, girly girl, you know, she just her sister, but very, very different personalities growing up this time, kind of edgy deep child.

And then this kind of innocent wide-eyed soul. What's interesting. And I actually don't talk about this in the book, but what's interesting now, as my younger daughter is now older. Then Outlaws when she passed. And I see so much of Ellen her  that, that maybe that's the second book. I don't know. It's as if my younger daughter embodies both of them.

It's interesting. It's like this, this three legged stool. And now in the after phase, this kind of merging into one unit almost. What made you write the book? What made you actually sit down and tell the story? So during ELLs, Life. She, I mean, she was always a writer that was, there was no mystery around that.

And she would often talk about her desire to get published in the days prior to her passing, she really was very adamant about like, I have this compilation of works and I want to get it published. So it was always, it was, it's always her plan to get her work published. And it was always my plan to help her do that.

After she died, I spent several months just reading everything that she wrote over and over and printing it and then, you know, holding the paper and reading it. And I just sat with it for awhile. Yeah. And then one day, probably almost a year and a half ago now I was on an airplane, open my computer and I just started writing.

I mean, it was clearly L guiding me and I, I just started writing and I spent about three or four months, every waking moment that I wasn't busy being a mom or. Or working, just writing. And so, so it's a very long answer to your question. I did not set out to do this, but it clearly was what else needed me to do both for her and for her.

Well, and today we're specifically celebrating Elle's life because it's the anniversary of her death and the official launch of the book that you both wrote. And, you know, today we're going to talk about. The life and legacy of Al because there was so much that she taught you during her time on earth and continues to teach you after her death.

And there's so much that she wanted the world to know, and she left us all with her words and her wisdom. And while she's not physically here with us today, we know. But she's here with spirit. Cause I can hear her. You can feel her. And you know, just going back to talking about when she was young, what was different about L as you were saying that she felt those vibes, right?

She, you see, you had this. Unspoken language. And then I know you've told me stories. I know it's in the book about how she was really seeing energy know exactly what it was. I mean, when she was a newborn baby, you know, and everyone's coming over and visiting, you know, how it is when you have a newborn baby and everyone wants to hold her and this and that, and just would not have it even as a little itty bitty, she would not have it.

And I remember people holding her and just watching her. They, you know, kind of turn into this grimace and like, you know, counting to 10 and trying to be the good new mom and, you know, letting all these people hold her. And at some point just being like, I have to, I have to take her back. So that was everyone's Vanessa or was just certain people.

It it's a really good question. Definitely certain people, I would say most people, not everyone. And what was so interesting, Karen is there were certain people that she would be drawn to. So she just. Gave me these signs from a really, really early age around kind of what she was comfortable with and what she wasn't comfortable with.

And she was always very sensitive and very tuned in interestingly to her body and her body clock, you know, big holiday dinners, things like that, where, you know, you're a little bit off schedule and, and people would tend to say, Oh, it's fine. You know, they're kids and they're resilient. And all the things that people would say.

She w she was resilient in many, many ways, but in that way, she really wasn't like I had to honor what she needed. And so, you know, different family functions or, or large functions, even if they weren't family of, you know, Oh, all the kids are gonna go in the basement and play while the adults do that, there was just no way.

I mean, she would look at me and. There was no way that that would happen. You feel like people didn't totally understand. Oh, for sure. For sure. I mean, I think people thought I was probably this horribly over-protective helicopter mom. I mean, I know, I know some of the things that people said, you know, I can only imagine what was said, you know, kind of behind the scenes, but I'll made it very clear to me what she needed.

And my feeling as a mom has always been what my kids need comes before. What. Truly any extended group of friends or family thinks is socially acceptable. And you just knew, I mean, that's the, I think the thing that set you up, I think for your relationship this, so, wow. So that L trusted that even if I couldn't fully know what her experience was, cause I don't know that you can ever fully know what somebody else's experiences, but she trusted that I would honor it.

She realized why she knew you could write this book for her. Yes. Yes. Yes. And then can you just talk also about what she was talking to you about deceased, loved ones? She was little, so it was interesting L as, as you know, from reading the book, extraordinarily gifted intellectually, but actually slow to speak in full sentences.

interestingly, she had, you know, her code language as many. Babies do. And, you know, I could understand certain words. She was probably too, before she started talking to me the way that other people could understand, but be that as it may, as soon as she was, she described her great grandmother in exceptional.

Detail from what she looked like and how she dressed to her personality to things that she would say to, I mean, just extraordinary detail. And she had never seen a photo, right? There's no photographs of her in my home or in her grandparents' home, or, I mean, she had passed many, many decades prior to Ellsberg.

So, you know, it was just not something that was part of conversation. And she just described her completely. And I talk about in the book kind of the first time that that happened, but. But they maintained a relationship or years. What was your reaction was really odd and inspiration that here, this child, who I knew was profit in some ways, right?

From a very early, early age, you just knew she was different. And then for her to give words to what she had been experiencing and, and. It made sense. I mean, there were moments. So she had, you know, maintained this very close relationship with her great grandmother, but it was clear that she saw spirits and so moments where, you know, she would look off into the distance and you could see this look on her face and I'd be thinking what is going on.

All of a sudden, all of that. It started to make sense to me teaching you life after death at that early age. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. She was. I just, and I love the word that you used prophet, because that was the word that I was reaching for when I was reading the book. Because when I read that first poem that she wrote, the one that she got honorable mention, I think I'm looking at it right now and looking at the plaque that shows her honorable mention what went through my mind was like how roomy would write.

Like there was just that. That emotional feeling that was in her words and in her poetry from the very, very, very beginning. Can you talk a little bit about her poetry? Because this is such an integral part of the book. Oh my gosh. So she always wrote, obviously, as you can tell, you know, the early. The homes that you see in the book were written when she was eight years old, she was just always a writer, always a reader.

I've got some of her books behind me that she wrote when she was six, seven years old. That initial poem, that one honorable mention, you know, at the time when she wrote it, I remember thinking, well, I remember thinking this is unbelievable and you know, people would read it and write, I have to look up some of the words, you know, I'm not even sure I understand it all, but I remember, or because she had been so vocal about.

You know, her spiritual connections at that point, I remember thinking that this was clearly a spiritual home, but not really fully understanding the meaning of it until I went back and read it after she died. Right. And then all of the sudden the prophecy of it became abundantly clear. One of the things too.

That's so striking when talk about her poetry. As a young child that people didn't even believe she wrote it. I know that was, can you talk about that really? For the story? Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for raising it. So she wrote this poem and submitted it to a poetry contest and they had like a presentation where, you know, the.

People who had written poems in their families came and the judges, the panel of judges came up to me afterwards and they said, you know, are you sure that, that she wrote that poem? And I said, of course, why do you ask? And they said, well, the reason we gave it honorable mention is. We were really torn because it was so exceptional.

We had to recognize it in some way. And yet we thought there's no possible way in eight year old. And so we couldn't give it first place because we thought perhaps there was some sort of cheating involved. And I looked at the judge and I said, I can assure you, she wrote this poem. I could live my entire life.

And I would never be able to put those words on paper. And as she got older, you know, in, in some of the poems that she wrote before she was sick, that she did share with me, you know, at the time, you know, you could see a day to her, a darkness in some way, right. In that, you know, she was never a happy go.

Lucky. I would never describe Ellis this happy go lucky. Carefree. She was never carefree. And then of course her later poems, you know, describe as I, as I knew they would, you know, when she was living and she would say, you can't read them now. I honored that one because I honored her desire for privacy.

But also because I knew she was right. I mean, I knew she was protecting me and that as much as I was. Living with her and living with the pain and seeing it every day, she knew that I knew the power of her words. And I think there's something about seeing it in writing and reading her own description of it.

That is even though I lived it, I saw it at medium. Her own words is, is even deeper than that. And she knew that and the depth of that poetry really helped you understand exactly what she was going through. I mean, I was just blown away. How. Even in the midst of such pain and suffering, she was able to find such amazing words to experience.

Sorry, we went on her journey with her now that we have this, have this book, right? Because between your telling the story and her sharing the poetry, it's like, you could, you could feel every aspect of the journey along the way. In addition to foreshadowing athlete, like almost exactly what was going on, what ended up happening.

She was almost tortured with knowing that she was going to have to go through that she knew she was going to have to endure pain. I mean, you know, I think one of the things that on our seeking journey we are finding is that. Most people don't end up enduring the pain. Do you know what I mean? The actual pain in our human bodies.

I think one of the things that we've found talking to different healers and teachers is that most people, when they die, they leave their body before they feel the pain. And I so wish I could understand. Why she has a pain, you know, there's, you have them having to go through the pain of watching her. And then she had to actually physically endure such pain.

I wrestle with that every day. Like why did she have to. Go through such excruciating extraordinary pain for such a long time. Like it, that's the piece that, you know, people have said to me and, and there's no doubt it's true. Right. You know, there, there can't be anything harder than losing a child. And that's a true statement, but I will tell you watching your child suffer in pain and knowing that there is nothing you can do comes really close.

Yeah. Absolutely. You know, when you talk about, you know, her poetry and her depth, because clearly she was, and she was this soul and prophet, but she was also really funny. She was like, she had this dark humor and it makes me think about so many successful or whatever we deem successful comedians. But she did go on to do comedy.

Yeah. So she was part of before she got sick, she auditioned for a youth ensemble group at second city. So she was 11 when she started there turning 12 and they had this youth ensemble and you have to audition for it. And they had like, One or two open spots and it was for ages 11 through 17 or something like that.

And she got one of the open spots. I mean, it was, it was like this, this young, Saturday night live kind of, and she wrote for them and perform for them. And in fact, there's a video recording of her last performance, which was two or three days before her illness began. And it's a one minute clip and we actually played it at her Memorial service.

So that people could really see just the whole of, of who she was and who she is and her humor and her understanding of very adult things and her ability to make it funny.

you wish that you could grow a manly beard or that you could rock that snazzy bikini top? Well, now you can. With all new and improved puberty. When you're ready, you can watch your body and eyes, body, and mind change before your very eyes, both physically and mentally, and now a real customer testimony for puberty.

I used to look like this, but after

well, actually results and puree is natural and safe. Some common side effects may include acne oily skin. Opera talks with your parents with the purchasing of embarrassing products, so awkward crushes, and in the most extreme cases, the it's not a phase. Mom puberty your stay at any local middle school. I love that.

Let's talk about her sexuality. She came out to you at a really young age. Can you talk about that? Yeah, so she was 10 when she came out, we were sitting on her bed talking about, I don't know what, and just out of nowhere, she's like, you know, what would you say if I liked girls? And I said, I'd say, great.

You know, like, I want you to have loving, happy, healthy relationships, period, you know? And, and in her own characteristically Elway, she's like, you know, This isn't an experimentation. I'm not trying to find myself like I'm telling you I'm gay. And it was so funny because it didn't surprise me. And yet again, I couldn't tell you why, because she was such a unique person.

And I write about this in the book. It was like being straight would have been too pedestrian for her, but she's, but I think the point is, you know, she knew who she was from a very, very young age. She was unapologetic about it, unwavering about it. I have to say. I'm listening to you tell the story, what I'm hearing from Al right.

This moment is again, the pride in you of always meeting her, where she was of her being able to tell you whatever it was and knowing that you would always be there to support her. And I think the thing that. It's so important in this book, as much as this is her story. It's a, it's a mother story as well.

The story that you're telling before it reminds me, I think there's always that moment before life changes that we remember, we were talking about the video. What changed? Well, what happened like right when a few days after that performance, And she was 12 years old. What was it? Everything changed.

Obviously she had that performance was on a Saturday. She had gone to school on Monday and she's in sixth grade and she came home and I, you know, we were just talking, hanging out and almost as an afterthought, she said, Oh, by the way, I kind of twisted my ankle at recess. No big deal. Like it doesn't hurt.

Just. FYI. And she, she took, I mean, this is in the book, it's kind of a small point, but she twisted her ankles all the time, which we later learned how to do with her EDS. She said it like in passing, it was a really casual, like, you know, I was at recess and yeah, there was this ledge and I kind of jumped off the ledge and I landed funny and twisted my ankle and I looked at it and it wasn't swollen.

It wasn't, you know, she had full range of motion. Like it was fun. She was like, it's totally fine. I just wanted to let you know, it was kind of a nonissue that was Monday evening, Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM. She called me. She couldn't walk. She yelled from her room for me and she said, something is wrong.

She said, my whole left leg feels like it's on fire. And you know, I remember looking at her leg and there was no swelling. There was, you know, she could move. But it felt like it was on fire and it was discolored. It was like a purple. It was like, there's clearly something wrong. And so I fortunately, she was like, I didn't ask that I could carry her.

I carried her downstairs and into the car and into the ER and they, you know, they examined her and they basically said we don't, we don't, they took an X Ray, like everything was fine. Like, we don't know what's wrong. Here's a pair of crutches. Calling orthopedic. There was nothing that they could see that was physically wrong.

There was no torn ligaments. There was no, there was nothing. And so two days later we got her in to see this orthopedic. And the orthopedic said, I can tell you exactly what this is, but I can't treat it. And the orthopedic is the one who, who diagnosed it and said, this is what it is. I can tell you that without a doubt, I'm not the one to treat it.

What was the diagnosis? That again, complex it's regional pain syndrome. The initial CRPS is how, how it shows up. It's a neurological condition. Nobody quite knows why. But for whatever reason, it's often triggered by a minor injury, like a twisted ankle. One of her doctors had a patient who had it triggered in her hand because she slept in a Frenchie, a ponytail holder on her wrist, and it was a little too tight and she woke up the next morning and had it in her hand.

So minor, minor, minor injury to the body that for whatever reason, Causes the brain to think that there's a major injury. And so the brain starts sending pain signals to that part of your body as if there's major injury, even though there's not, and it gets caught in this loop and nobody knows why, but it gets caught in this loop and it just keeps sending pain signals nonstop.

And so your body acts like there's catastrophic injury. What struck me too was the level. And I think this is the piece, honestly, that is hardest for everyone to get their head around really myself included, because you think about like the worst part possible pain you could be in. Right. And then you think about it being worse than that.

So there's this scale called the McGill pain scale and it kind of. Rates right. Different levels, scale of zero to 50, 50 levels of pain. And so it's, you know, back pain, a sprained ankle, a fracture pain from cancer pain from childbirth pain, from amputation without anesthesia and CRPS is at the top of the list.

I say this without exaggeration, it's known as the most painful condition. To humankind period, like the most painful thing that someone can expand. So the pay, the particular kind of pain from CRPS is a burning pain. And so it creates the sensation that you're being burned alive. I mean, that, that is the only way to describe it.

It creates a sensation you're being burned alive. Just talk about what a typical case. CRPS is. And what else case was? Yeah, so there's typical for adults and typical for children. And she was 12 at the time. So she was a child. And what her doctors told us was typically in children. It resolves itself with physical therapy.

And typically within children, it resolves itself within a couple of months with intensive physical therapy. If you've had it, once you hit the two year Mark, the odds of it going into remission reduced significantly, the degree of kind of dysfunctionality and disability that it causes. Can vary, you know, it's always painful, but, but people can have days where they can function and do things.

L had no days. And it was talking to one of her specialists that we were working with. And I said, actually, it was L who asked him the question level with me, right. Enough of the platitudes. Am I typical? Like, is this what you normally I see. And he said, I've never seen anything like this. So you take what is known as the most.

Painful condition to humankind as a starting point. And then you realize that Al had the most severe intractable case that the specialist is one of half a dozen people in the country who are specialists in this has ever seen. And let's talk about. What the treatment is. And because I don't think people can understand stand that there isn't a pain medication that works on this.

What were the different types of treatments that you tried? So that obviously with the goal of eliminating it altogether, But at least dulling the pain. So we tried everything. The first thing they do is they try drugs for nerve pain, Gabapentin, Lyrica, no relief. Then physical therapy is, you know, kind of an approved treatment, which again, in children usually leads to resolution or remission and Elle's case.

It made it worse. There are spinal cord injections. We did probably six of those. Those didn't work. We did an inpatient epidural. Not only did that, not work, but the pain broke through the epidural. Which was shocking. so you imagine the power of this neurological pain. Then we did a series of ketamine infusions.

Ketamine is becoming a little bit more mainstream, even in these couple of years, you'll see commercials about it as an approved treatment for depression and things of that nature. It's an anesthesia on the street. It's known as special. K it's a date rape drugs. I mean, it's used in all kinds of interesting ways, but they do these infusions.

They basically. Knock you out, you do like a three day chunk and they knock you out and they give you increasingly higher doses of ketamine. And the idea is that it's somehow interrupts memory to no avail. She had spinal cord stimulators in place to surgically. There was just nothing. And the pain medication that you mentioned, not only do they not work, they actually can over time, make the pain talking about going back to the ketamine.

Because I know I was so struck with also what would come out of those sessions, even though it wasn't dulling the pain. It seemed to me that her soul was talking because there's something about it being almost like a truth serum of some sort. Can you speak to that? Yeah. Ketamine was fascinating. It was terrifying and fascinating.

The same time, terrifying to see your child. So, so when they give you ketamine, they couple it with propofol. So because it causes intense hallucinations. So they couple it with propofol so that you're not experienced. You're not conscious of that. And you're not experiencing it cause it can be frightening, but when you come out of it and you know, when she's waking up to see someone in that kind of altered state, It is frightening initially.

And then, you know, I kind of got used to it, but, first time was, was scary. What was so interesting about the ketamine is it really was a truth serum for her and, and one of the things ketamine does, and I, you know, she and I both learned this over time is it creates a very dissociative kind of out of body experience to your point, Robyn, it was like, Her soul could step out of her body for a period of time.

And she would wake up from these ketamine infusions and, and she had her, her ketamine voice, which was like this innocent little girl voice, but with her edginess and wit and humor in it, it was, it was just remarkable. She would talk about her fears. She would talk about. How guilty she felt of being a burden to me, she would talk about her fear of, of being abandoned.

You know, that what I would, I be able to care for her because she knew what a toll it was taking after her first kid. I mean, session and I show the transcript of this in the book. She really talked about it being on a different planet, like being on this purple planet and how. Everyone here on earth was alien to her because her homeless somewhere at the time.

And she had asked me to record it cause she was, you know, she wanted to document everything for science. So she's like recorded. I want to know what this is, you know, and at the time I knew ketamine was a hallucinogen. And so I just kind of assumed she was dreaming of this purple planet. But when I went back and listened, you know, There's so many things that I went back to and read or listened to after she passed and to hear her speaking, these words of wanting to go home and now I have the chills again.

And that's really what stood out in that transcript was her talking about how this isn't her home and I'm her mom, but this isn't her home. That, that like sums it up. I'm her mom, but this isn't her home. Wow. It really stuck with me. That part stuck. It felt so real, even though I think to most people talking about being on another planet, but that felt so honest.

It was, yeah, we did, but she wasn't home. And it like also, when you think back to that, that other poetry she wrote there was that this there's an uncomfortable feeling, not just. Because she's enduring the most painful thing you can ever endure, but there's just this discomfort with being on this planet.

This is interplays, but you're her person. Yeah. And that, I mean, that was what, you know, as I went back and listened to it. And as I think about it now, what stands out so much? It's exactly that this isn't her place, but I'm her person. How did you cope Vanessa with. Getting through this, because I think there was only one point in the book that at least stood out for me where you broke down, what kind of tools did you have to get through this?

So if there's other mothers out there that are listening to your story who are also suffering, it's a great question. I wish I could say I was consciously, you know, kind of turning to things. But as I look back, I walk and I've always said for years, that's my therapy and I would walk. A lot, certainly after, after she passed, but during her illness as well, any moment I could.

And, and I think what it represents, I mean, if I were to, to kind of extrapolate out and try and give advice to others, I think it, whether it's walking or whatever it is, it's finding. Something that puts you in kind of a meditative state. And it's interesting. I had not been, I'm still not as spiritual as I am.

I'm not a big meditator, which is not to knock meditation, but working for me, puts me in that state. And so I think my advice to people would be. Find that for yourself, whether it's walking, whether it's meditating, whether it's writing music, whether it's singing, whether it's swimming, whatever it is and make for that.

Cause I, I have said so many times and I mean, it, that saved my life and now, you know, in the, after, I mean, that's always with me always, but, but we walk together every day. So I think that would be, that would be one thing. Yeah. I think the other thing is having enough. Self awareness to know what you need and to be unapologetic and asking for that.

And what I mean by that is. I'm a pretty private, introverted person. I know that about myself and I'm glad that I know that about myself and during her illness, there were so many well-meaning well intentioned people who wanted to come by and bring us a pizza or who, you know, who wanted to talk or who wanted to do whatever they wanted to do.

And I knew myself well enough to know. But that's not what I needed. It's, it's what they could provide. And I totally understand it and appreciate it, but it's not what I needed. And then just talking yeah. About, you know, for those who haven't read the book yet, you're listening to this. It started with one leg.

Right. And then can you just explain the progression and then what are the other types of illness that really came in addition? Yeah. To the CRPS that you kind of had precursors, but would never have known. So CRPS. Is known to spread. So it began in her left leg below the knee. Within a couple of days, it had spread up to her all the way up her thigh, like to her hip in her left leg.

And then about three months in it spread to her right leg, further down the line in her final surgery, which was December of 2017, that surgery caused it to spread up her back. And that's what kept her confined to bed. Cause she could no longer sit. So the CRPS itself spreads. In addition, what we learned is that she had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is abbreviated as EDS, which is a connective tissue disorder where.

The tissue connecting your, your joints, your ligaments is, is very weak. And so it creates kind of a lot of hyperextension w pointedness. What I learned is I can create a tremendous amount of joint pain. It can cause your joints to dislocate. And it also, from a skin standpoint can cause very slow wound healing.

So in retrospect, I mentioned earlier, she, you know, she would twist her ankle all the time, what we learned as she, as her CRPS progress. And we don't know why, but those two things, there's a high comorbidity rate. Researchers don't quite know why, but they often coexist. And so while she was being burned alive, she was also having this incredible joint pain.

I mean, it was literally like her body was just kind of wobbling and falling apart. And it's also what created this slow wound healing. So incisions after she would have surgery would open up in a pretty graphic way. Then on top of that, We started to see a lot of her autonomic nervous system. So CRPS is your, your central nervous system, your pain EDS is your joints.

And then your autonomic nervous system is, you know, those things that are automatic, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, bladder, right. All of that kind of stuff. And we started to see that begin to decline. Cheery rate as well. Her whole nervous system really started shutting down. And one of the things, and I wrote about this in the book that, that Elle and I had both suspected for a long time was that there was some sort of autoimmune component to what was going on.

And there's, there's actually kind of debating medical industry as to whether CRPS is considered an auto immune disease or not. no one really knows him at all. I don't know if that matters, but we kind of said that there has to be this auto immune component. And it was in may of 2018, two months prior to her death that we finally got test results that confirmed that.

Yes. In fact, there were these significant neurological autoimmune antibody markers that indicated like, yes, in fact, this is your nervous system, you know, attacking itself. And it was incredibly validating for her. You know, all of these years of people thinking like, yeah, I know you're in pain, but walk it off more or less, right.

To have these results showing these markers that said unequivocally, these are antibodies that your body is producing, that are attacking your nervous system. I think for her, that knowing gave her the peace of mind to go back home because now she knew for sure. You had some premonitions about how that was going to leave.

Can you share that? Are you comfortable sharing that addition piece? You know, as, as I would be walking it, it started with me hearing her eulogy in my head. I could hear my voice eulogizing her and, and again, every time I literally, like, I would squish my eyes and shake my head and you know, like a little kid does to try and just.

Make that thought go away, but it kind of worked backwards. It was, I could hear my voice eulogizing her, and then I could see this sanctuary full of people at her service. And I saw myself walking into her room and, you know, finding her unresponsive. And screaming and, you know, trying to run by her and all the things that come after that, it just looped, no matter how many times I would try and, and like willingly put a different vision in my head, right?

Like willfully put this vision in my head ahead of her getting better and standing up and walking. Right. And I would. Literally try and create those scenarios in my head to replace this other one. Then what did end up happening? It was three years in may of 2018. You get this validation and then what happened between.

May and July, would you say of 2018? So we, so we got the solidation and we were starting to think about what are the treatments for that? So we were looking at IVG, which is IB immunoglobulin, which is a known treatment for many autoimmune disorders. And in the meantime, when she first got sick, she had had a test for Lyme disease that came out negative.

And for whatever reason, her doctor decided to retest her. And now it showed. And that she had an active case of Lyme, as well as the antibodies that would show a long drawn out case of line. And so, and that we got that diagnosis right after we got this autoimmune diagnosis. And so we were in the process of trying to get IVG set up when we got this Lyme diagnosis and her doctor said, One messes up everything and we have, and so the operating hypothesis was CRPS was the CRPS.

She was going to get that because that's her brain chemistry and what we believe. And we don't, we'll never really know is that. Somewhere around that time. She also contracted Lyme and her body mounted an immune response to the line, which then got out of control and created this auto immune auto immune and stuff.

This one it's called that was kind of our operating hypothesis was that these things were not unrelated. They were connected, but the idea was to. Start to treat the line with an antibiotic to get that under troll because the IVG wouldn't do what it's intended to do, unless that line was starting to be under control.

Right. So one without the other would have been pointless. So. In the meantime, she also had a port placed prior to that I'm diagnosis actually. And so, because she had the port, we said, all right, let's start her on an IV antibiotic for the line because we have to have her on that for a month anyway, way before we start the IVG.

So there were all of these big medical decisions being made in this may, June timeframe and this hope, and in July, she, for whatever reason, stopped being able to digest food. And we ended up going to the ER about 10 days before she died. And she had gastroparesis, which is not an unheard of thing. It basically means you're the, again, the autonomic nervous system, when you swallow food, that then causes your muscles to push it down through your digestive tract, which is a totally, obviously automatic thing.

Stopped working for her. We spent about a week in the hospital with them experimenting with different medications, and they finally found a cocktail that seemed to be working a bit, and she was able to slowly start digesting food and pushing it down. But, you know, but the question that they couldn't answer was, well, why did this happen?

You know, it was a period of time where Elle and I really communicated without words, you know, we were in the hospital and I knew. If she was going to be on a feeding tube, that she would not have the will to stay in this body. I mean, I knew that. And so they were able to get it under control temporarily looming question of why is this happening?

And can you tell me that it's not going to happen again? And when it does happen again, are you gonna be able to get an under control or is she going to need a feeding tube? But those questions couldn't be answered, sent us home on July 17th, five days before she died. We spent those five days in this haze of.

Kind of waiting. So it was this blur, right? Yeah. Of, of just devastation and the, the, the day before she died, she had texted me to come in her room. Well, the night and all of the lesions on her feet and on her legs that had scarred over simultaneously. All opened up and that hadn't happened before. And what were the lesions from?

Nobody really knows. they can happen with CRPS. Again, all of these are hypotheses that doctors have that has something to do with vascular constriction, but no one really knows and they would just spontaneously appear, but never all at the same time. And she had, and you see the photos in the book of just these scars covering her feet.

And every single one of those scars opened. And so her feet were just pools and pools and pools of blood. And then you have to imagine the pain, right? Imagine being burned alive and, and, and now, right, you've got these, these open lesions and that was the night before. And then the next day she, you know, she, she took her life, but.

So when I think about those two months from this kind of hopeful understanding that that it was auto-immune and that maybe there would be a path and then this kind of rapid fire losing the ability to digest food and then all at once all of these lesions opening up simultaneously, it was like, again, as I look back.

Now, I think it was Elle's body saying she was done. I mean, her human body was,

I'm just feeling for you right now. Thank you for sharing, but I just, I want to give you like right now, because I would take it. She was such a brave warrior through this whole thing. And so were you, I mean, are you this. Journey you have been on is going to change the lives of so many people. When you get to the other side and you and Eller together, you'll be like, okay, well actually, what, what else said to you when she left that day?

And I know you. Include a portion of what she said in the book I'll knew it was her time, but that she was going to be with you and we'll see you again. And which is also the name of the book comes out of this message as well. What she said was, you know, I'm, I'm in every Raven and every rainbow you see.

And we'll see each other again before you know it. And she wrote, you know, it's time for it for me to just say, good night, it's time for me to sleep and good night, mommy. I love you. The final thing that she wrote, which is, I love you, mama. Hello. That was how she signed her, her note to me and, and I, no, she's right.

You know, when she said, we'll see each other again, before you know it. When I read it, you know, my, my thinking was when it's, when it's my time to leave this earth. Right. She and I will see each other. And, and I've no doubt, but what I realize is when she said, we'll see each other again, before you know it, she meant before you know it right now.

Yeah. Like in my head, she's saying, that's my mama. Like, and she says, mama, like, you don't have to wait however long, you know, until it's my time. Like, we'll see each other again. Before, you know it, Vanessa, what do you think it Al could talk to us right now. If she was sitting down, we know she's here, but if we could audibly hear her, what do you think she would say?

Her message was with her life? You know, I thought about it and there's so much right. There's so much to her message around. Being believed and, and a message around chronic pain and medical research and sexuality and sexual identity. And, and I, and I try and I'm like, so what's the one thing. And what I realized is, is her one thing, I mean, there isn't one thing, but, but you know what I mean, her, her one thing is truth.

That is what she lives, present tense or is, she was an, is a secret of truth and a speaker of truth. That's who she is, you know, she wanted it to learn everything and she would joke that she's like, I want you to know everything there is to know. Right. Which is impossible. And so I think her message is around truth and the liberation that I know, she.

Feels in having found and having spoken her truth and therefore the liberation that she wants others to feel in finding and speaking their truth. And that, that was honestly my big revelation in writing this book is that she helped me understand my own truth and writing this. And I, you know, there, there's a reason why there's the saying the truth shall set you free.

Like it really, she knew that there's no doubt. There is no doubt that that is. The truth. Well, and also let's talk about what you want people to walk away after reading this, when publisher first read it. And she asked me, she said, what do you want people to feel when they read this? And I said, I just want people to feel it just to.

Feel something and be connected with that part of themselves. And actually in our conversation, we talked about the, why did she have to endure such pain, physical pain? You, you endured emotional pain. She also endured emotional pain, but she actually had this physical pain. And it's interesting to me that the word that you use is feel.

That you want people to feel that makes so much sense. I think that's why she came in and chose. I believe chose to experience so many different things at this time. This story is going to give people the courage to first feel because you don't know who you are until you look at your own pain and, and feel those feelings.

Right. And she was not given a lot of choice in some of the pain that she experienced, but look what she. Did with it. What she did with that is, is so profound. And I, I keep saying we'll touch so many people because of the level of pain that she endured, I think will give people so much courage. That's the hope.

And there's so much more to the story, which we will talk about. In our next episode, which is really, and you've talked a little, little bit about that today. And obviously Karen and I have also brought her in because she's with us. And obviously you, especially on a daily basis, I think that you can help continue to teach people is how we never really die.

So I dunno if you want to just touch on that really quickly. And then we, and then we'll really dive into it with both Lisa nit skin. Who's a spiritual medium and happens to be. One of our closest friends. And I know a lot of people who watch seeking with Robyn have met Lisa before, and then you'll also meet our friend, Amy.

Who's another one of our closest friends who was really a catalyst and certainly pivotal in this journey as well. Absolutely. You know, people ask me often, are you sitting up straight? Right? How are you, how are you even functioning? And my honest answer. Is, Al's the one who gets me through every day. And that's just the honest truth, because she does show up every single day to let me know that she's here and she's thriving and that she and I can and do have a relationship that is.

Current. And that is what gets me through every day. You know, I'm grateful for every single blessing that L has given me. One of which is that her energy is so strong and so intact and that she can show up for me every single day. I believe you say this somewhere in the book about how she's more alive now, what was it that you said, or that you thought the words came into my head in the fall?

Like maybe three months or so? After she, she passed, I would be walking and, and it was like, everything was in Technicolor and, and I would walk, talk, and I would just be overwhelmed with this feeling of her vibrancy. Right. And what, the words that came into my head was that she felt more alive and more vibrant now than when she was physically.

Here and living because she had been trapped. I mean, her soul was always doing its work, but it had been trapped in this body that was so profoundly failing her and free from that. There was just this vibrancy to her energy that was palpable and still is. And I feel that, I feel that now I just wanted to also say that when you were speaking, what I also felt that L.

Taught you is how to speak your own truth. It's no coincidence as we talked about at the beginning as well, that you have this foundation in psychology, you are so equipped to help so many lives along the way. Yeah. And it's so much more than, than a book it's so, so much more. And I think this is just the beginning and we're, we're so grateful that you've shared the story with us so that we can share it with others.

But I think. It's just the very, very beginning. I can't wait to see where this story takes you. And I look forward to continuing this conversation and really talking more about the actual signs and the actual conversations that we are having with El all of the time, because we can understand her. And there's really some specificity to that that I think can inspire others.

Who've lost somebody. To seek out some of that or session with someone that can help translate for them if they can't do it though selves. Although I think what you really are able to do is show people that. You can do this. You can have those conversations on your own. And I know when I'm with Vanessa, it happens entire time.

No matter where we are because in the pre Corona world we'd be out a lot. And it was in the songs. It was in the names of the waiters. It was in. Anything that we're, we're doing, it comes through. And so I, and I really actually hope that people listening to this or what read the book, if they would like to ask questions, we will answer some of those questions when we get together again as well.

I look forward to that cause the. The after and the, the, the way that she has shown up. And I hope the lessons that people can take from that around fact that, that people's energy stays in tack. My hope is there can be so much healing in that for people. You know what I know, Karen and I, what we set out to do from a spiritual perspective is translate, right?

Like we want to make things that feel out there. We want them to feel like that anybody can do them, that they're normal. And what you're able to do is take this really extraordinary, unimaginable, and reality for you. And you're able to make it accessible for all of us, you know, because even though. I hope that I don't have to do and go through what you went through.

I can understand it. And there's pieces of it. As we said, that we all can relate to. And that's what, that's what you did and what you're doing. You know, this is huge, what you've signed up for yet, but you're living your purpose and you were loving and honoring your daughter. More than you could ever imagine doing this.

You have to know that. Thank you so hard to do, but you're doing it. And it's going to be, it's going to have a major effect on this planet at a time when it needs, how much I love you. Thank you so, so much for you. Be continued. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Al. Thank you Al. Thank you Vanessa, for being so open and so honest and for speaking your truth and being one of my soul people, I love so much. .

iving Out A Prophecy: A Story of Love, Pain, Death + Life Beyond That Shows Us How to Really Live