To Bethany, With Love: Coping with a Child’s Death

“I need to excuse myself to make a quick phone call to the hotel. I’ll be right back” I excitedly told the group. I was in paradise, aka Sicily, leading my most recent Transformational Journey to Italy. We were in the middle of one of the best days we had had yet: an extraordinary cooking class with a Countess in her majestic Palazzo when I suddenly remembered I had to call my hotel and make some arrangements. Alone in one of the rooms, I picked up my phone and saw a Facebook notification pop-up; my husband had just updated his Facebook status and it read, “The Heavens opened-up today and took back one of its sweetest Angels. Took her way too early. Did not get enough time to play with her, to see her run, or to call me uncle. I hope to one day get that chance, LOVE YOU Bethany.” My heart immediately sank; I threw the phone on the bed. I could not believe it. My baby niece, Bethany, had passed away at only 9 months old from a rare disease called “Biliary Atresia” just two days shy from her liver transplant. I went into the room where the cooking class was being held and called my colleague, Dr. Sarah Larsen. “She’s gone!” I told her and I threw myself in her arms, tears streaming down my face. For the next several hours, I cried, screamed, or simply sat in silence. My heart was broken.
Having grown up in Sicily, Italy, I learned that family was everything. I watched as all of my cousins marry their childhood sweethearts, have exquisite weddings, buy gorgeous homes and start beautiful families. Their entire lives revolved around good food and family. Every weekend, we would hang out with our close and extended families. I knew that when I grew up, I wanted the exact thing. So I attracted just that: a man with an amazing family (The Gomez) and with the same set of values I have. The Gomez family is very tight. All of our kids are growing up together and we love to hang out almost every weekend. The death of one of our own was something that none of us expected, or knew how to deal with.
This led me to ask deeper questions about death. These days I’ve been reading Alan Cohen, Leo Buscaglia and talking a lot to Dr. Sarah Larsen. As a Spiritual person, I know that our soul never dies. Alan Cohen says, “There is no death. What was never born can never die. That which is truly alive lives eternally.” Our physical bodies are simply vessels, but that is not the essence of who we truly are. We have a beautiful spirit that lives on for eternity. Cohen continues, “Death has no power over the spirit. Nothing has power over the spirit. We are spiritual beings, and no matter what seems to be happening in the physical world, who we truly are is always very much alive, whole, and in love.” The sacred book, A Course in Miracles, states “Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem. Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end?…it is one fixed, unchangeable belief of the world, that all things in it are born only to die…and no one asks if a benign Creator could will this.”
Bethany lit up every room she was in. Even in her discomfort due to the disease, she was constantly laughing at everything. Her smile made everyone’s heart melt. Her energy and essence were beautiful.
And the best part of all: she is STILL all of that and more! She is now happier and healthier than ever, and we are blessed that she is now watching over all of us. We are fortunate to have the extraordinary medium, Dr. Sarah Larsen, in our life who was able to have Bethany communicate with her parents. They talked for close to two hours, and in those two hours, Bethany’s parents truly got that their child was alive more than ever. This brought them an enormous amount of peace and happiness. Recently at a wedding, I overheard a mother complain that her daughter was crying too much. I immediately thought of my sister-in-law, and how she would give anything to hear Bethany cry again. If anything, death should teach us to not take each other for granted. Any of us can go at anytime. Think of all the petty arguments we get into with our loved ones. At whom are you currently mad and not on speaking terms? What if you knew it was that person’s last day on this earth? What if this was your last day on earth? We often ignore this fact, thinking it won’t happen to us but guess what? It happens to all of us. It’s just not worth it. If anything, this experience teaches me to be kinder toward those I love. How many times are we too hard on our own kids? Yelling, screaming, belittling, judging them and loving them only conditionally (if they do what we say). What if today was the day we stopped all of that? What if today we accepted everyone as they are, truly forgave, and learned to love everyone unconditionally? American author, Leo Buscaglia, puts it beautifully, “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.”
Are you ready to love – today?
Sending you lots of love & positive energy,
Connie Costa

How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

In the United States, we have many issues: obesity, diseases, autism, depression, cancer, etc. Most believe these issues arise due to genetics or “just because,” but what if I told you that despite genetics and “bad luck,” these could be prevented and even cured in a natural and safe way? Harmful chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis and foods are major players when it comes to our health. Yet, most Americans don’t know the basics of eating healthy and protecting their family from harmful chemicals. Although I could write an entire book on this subject alone, I will give you the very basics that will dramatically change you and your family’s life.
One of the most powerful books out there is, Natural Cures “They” Don’t want you to know About by Kevin Trudeau. Do yourself a favor and go to his extraordinary website http://www.naturalcures.com . One important chapter is, “How to Read Food Labels.” Before you purchase any food, read the label and do not buy products with the following: 1. anything you can’t pronounce 2. Monosodium Glutamate 3. Aspartame 4. High Fructose Corn Syrup 5. Hydrogenated Oil or Partially Hydrogenated Oil 6. Sugar 7. Natural & Artificial Flavors 8. Spices 9. Artificial Color 10. Palm Oil 11. Dextrose, Sucrose, Fructose 12 .Sucrulose-Splenda 13. Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour, and Enriched Bleached White Flour 14. Soy Protein Isolate.
You’ll notice that most of your current food contains these ingredients. So what should you do? Trudeau, like me, doesn’t shop at regular supermarkets and never buys brand names. The bottom line is that they’re trying to make a profit at all costs, thus use the cheapest products that aren’t good for you. Personally, I only shop at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and farmer’s markets. And even at these amazing places, I read labels and make sure I’m buying organic. Whole Foods can be quite expensive and not available in all areas. Fresh & Easy is a great alternative, but once again, you must read the labels regardless. If I had more space, I would go into detail as to why all these products are harmful, which means you have homework to do.
According to the Holistic Medical Doctor, Dr. Sarah Larsen, (www.drsarahlarsen.com) “since 1940, over 75,000 chemicals have been created and added to our food chain.”
Here is another tip that will save your life: stay away from fast food- period! Please google revolutionary Chef, Jamie Oliver, who is 100% committed to educating the U.S on healthy eating. I recently read about a campaign Oliver is heading to change McDonald’s recipes. The documentary description states that, “according to Oliver, the fatty parts of beef are “washed” in ammonium hydroxide and used in the filling of the burger. Before this process, according to the presenter, the food is deemed unfit for human consumption.” Oliver says, ““Why would any sensible human being put meat filled with ammonia in the mouths of their children?” I ask the same question. We claim we are “treating” our children by taking them to fast food chains, but how is poisoning them a “treat?”
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see people just following the masses. When I ask people why they make certain choices, I often hear, “because that’s what everyone else does,” or “I saw it on TV,” or my favorite- “because my Doctor said so.” My question is, “who cares?” Just because a Doctor said so does not make it true. Listening to your Doctor, old wives tales, the media, or the masses can be extremely dangerous. Do the research. With the internet at our hands, there is no excuse. Educating yourself on health is one of the most important things you will ever do. Dr. Larsen says, “one small step you take today can have a massive impact in your life. Switching soda to water, fried to baked, or from bread to brown rice can add years of vitality to your life.”
My favorite health expert, Arnoux Goran’s advice is, “don’t believe what your doctor says. Their information is at least 40 years old. There is new information that doesn’t get into medical schools fast enough that can save your life.” (http://thmastery.com)
Homework and tips:
-Do you vaccinate your kids? Why? Because a doctor said so? I strongly recommend you review this website: http://vaxtruth.org
-Cleaning products: go green! It’s not only extremely bad for the environment, but the fumes are terrible for you and your baby: http://healthychild.org. Check out Jessica Alba’s line of products for your house and baby, which in my opinion are the best: https://www.honest.com
-Purchase deodorant, toiletries, and make-up, at a health store.
-Sick? Don’t run to the drug store. I go to Whole Foods and they recommend the best remedies. They are more powerful than drugs and have no side effects.
-I don’t recommend flu shots or mammograms. Instead of mammograms, (which can be dangerous) I recommend BREAST THERMOGRAPHY. More info: http://www.thebreastthermographycenter.com/
Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research; it’s so much more powerful. Hopefully I have at least sparked some interest. Start by checking every single website listed above.
Are you ready to start leading a healthy life?
Connie