I'm Martha Jo.
Welcome to my little corner of the internet.
I teach people about dying, grieving, and meaningful living.
In 2005, my mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, treatable but not curable. She did a wee bit of treatment and then opted for hospice.
A few days before she died, Mom had otherworldly visitors; her parents, grandparents, favorite aunt and uncle, and her son, my brother Jim.
I'd been doing death and dying work with children and families for 15 years. Even so, this experience was different. It changed me.
Those moments with Mom connecting to her people and me connecting with Mom while she connected with her people, haven't ever left me. I began learning all I could about deathbed experiences, crafting my PhD research and my new work in the world about them.
There is a trajectory of experiences that happen when someone is dying. How I understood this process before and after Mom died are quite different.
I clearly see patterns now in movement, language, and behaviors of the dying. What some describe as nonsense, I see as communication.
My work in the world is to lessen fear around dying, to teach people what they're seeing when they're with someone who is dying - what to listen and watch for, how to interpret things that seem uninterpretable. I do this because when you have information, when you have context, you can bypass fear and be more fully present in the moment.
Losing someone we love is so very painful. But being with them in the process, walking them out of this world, holding space in those sacred moments? There is nothing like it. It can be heart opening in ways nothing else can, the most painful and most profound experience at the same time.
What I want you to know:
It's possible to be sad, hopeful, brought to your knees, bone weary, and full of love at the same time.
There are things you can do and learn, conversations you can have before your beloved is actively dying that will change the experience to a more positive one.
What you believe about death affects how you grieve and live.
Your thoughts cause you pain or bring you peace.
Extraordinary and magical, meaningful and healing non-measurable experiences for the dying and bereaved happen every day all over the world.
Want a better idea of what I'm talking about? Have a look at the video below from the Martha Beck Coaches Conference in March 2012. I've also given a TEDx Talk by the same title with a little bit different content.
I mentor mental health professionals and coaches who are stepping into/deepening identities as death educators/healers.
I create safe places for people to talk about dying, and living after someone has died, and connections beyond what we can see or touch in our human-ness.
I talk about meaningful living with audiences large and small.
I invite you to have a look around my website and see what resonates. Read the blog. Watch a video. If you want to stay up to date, sign up for the newsletter and you'll be in the know.
If you get the nudge I can help, I'd be honored.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Ciao for now,
PS: I’m on Facebook. A lot.
My personal page: https://www.facebook.com/MarthaJoAtkins. Friend me. I love meeting new people.
My public page on Facebook: Dr. Martha Jo Atkins. I post new classes, articles, and an occassional pun over there.
I have a secret forum on Facebook where 500ish kind and generous shiny humans have gathered. Individuals in this group have experienced all kinds of loss. We are curious and engage in all manner of conversations around death, dying, life after death, and living life as empowered humans. Let me know if you want to me to add you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/lightafterdeath/