Proof of Life After Death? Meet “The Spirit Artist” Reverend Rita

Reverend Rita Berkowitz

I first learned about Rita at a bookstore, when my eyes were attracted to her bright orange book titled The Idiot’s Guide to Com- municating with Spirits. At that time, I was experiencing many random visions from the other side, but was looking for a way to sharpen my skills. What I love most about people is their senses of humor, and I knew by the title that author Rita Berkowitz was a fun lady!

Rita is a Spirit Artist, a Medium, as well as a minister in the Spiritualist Church. As a Spirit Artist, she draws portraits of a deceased loved one she sees by your side. She also tells her clients any messages she receives from that person.
I had first met Rita several years ago at her church in Quincy, Massachusetts. I was fascinated that as part of the normal Spiritualist Sunday church service, the minister gives messages from departed loved ones to people sitting in the church. She perfectly described my grandfather and gave me a special message, and gave my friend Bob a message that could have only come from his deceased mother.

In 2011, almost a year after my father had passed, I chose to meet with Reverend Rita as a client. Grief is tough. Even though I believed that my father’s spirit was still around me, I missed him terribly and wanted evidence.

Rita is a lovely, warm, compassionate woman. She immediately saw and described my little grandmother Betsy who had passed away two years before. She saw my grandfather, complete with his light blue shirt, grey pants, a cane in his hand, and his German shepherd dog by his side. I hadn’t spoken a word either. Then she said, “Dad is here.”

Rita picked up her pencils and began to sketch an image. His brown eyes came first, followed by the rest of his face. She drew a picture of my dad in his younger days that looked very close to a photograph I have of him while he was in the US Air Force in the 1960s. Apparently, when we pass from this life to the next place, we can be any age we want to be.

Rita also told me specific information regarding the last year of my dad’s life. It seemed as if Dad were telling her the story and she was just conveying the message. She knew the month he first had pain in his back, she described the tumor that was in his spine, she told of him going in the hospital, the hospice, and the nursing home. Then she pointed to her abdomen and said that Dad described his pain as, “It feels tight,” which is exactly how Dad described it to me so many times. She then demonstrated how Dad would lift himself out of a chair, which was very difficult for him to do with the damage to his spine. He would lean far over, put his hands as far back on the seat of the chair as possible and push himself up. She knew that I had an older brother and sister and a younger sister. There was no question in my mind that Dad, Grammy, and Grampy were in that room with Rita and me.

A big question I had for Dad was why, even at the end of his life, he kept on fighting to live. As his adult children, we all knew there may not be too much time left in his life, although Dad kept speaking of treatment to beat his cancer right up to the end. I often wondered, was Dad afraid to die? Rita smiled and said, “Oh no. Your dad knew he was going to pass, he wanted to make sure you kids knew to never give up on anything.”

Check out some of the AMAZING portraits Rita has drawn and compare them to the actual photos of the people as they lived (CLICK HERE).

No CHOCOLATE in Heaven??? Tell Me What YOU Think!

Oh, I am getting into a lot of hot water from the readers of my book about this topic. Yes, I tell people that from what gather, that the only place we have our 5 senses is HERE ON EARTH. Here on earth we get to see, touch, smell, hear and taste. Here on earth we get to taste chocolate.

I believe Heaven surely is magnificent, with experiences we cannot even imagine, but we lose our 5 senses. Experts and many of those who have had Near-Death Experiences agree that Heaven is spectacular, however the things we experience as our “senses” here on earth are only memories in our next existence.

Imagine you have a dream of eating chocolate, or feeling the warmth of a hug, or smelling a rose. In our dream they are familiar and enjoyable, but when we wake up and experience those things…ooooohhhhhh…then there is an incredible feeling.

I don’t want to scare people that Heaven is not grand, because I believe it is!! However, I want people to LIVE LIFE and EXPERIENCE now!

How often to we see people so caught up in technology (texting, being on the internet, talking on the phone) that they are not experiencing what is happening around them? I’m definitely guilty of it too! However, what would it be like to be living in the present moment and really experience fully every sound we hear, everything we taste, every sight we see, etc? In that present moment do you think we’d have more joy and fulfillment? Would we see life as magical?

As Albert Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Want NEW Results? Break Out of the Invisible Chains that Stop Us

“Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life. If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted. If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten. If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.”
~ Unknown

My friend Dr. Jacques Dallaire, author of Performance Thinking, has worked with high-level athletes, race car drivers, occupational specialists and business professionals for over forty years, giving them the tools to stop negative thoughts and increase their mental sharpness and focus. I absolutely love how he describes our beliefs, comparing us to elephants and fish:

Circus example. When a baby elephant is born into the circus, the elephant trainer tethers the elephant to a chain that is attached to a stake driven into the ground within the elephant enclosure. The purpose of this restraint is to teach the elephant to remain in its enclosure, and when it is small, the chain actually prevents it from wandering outside of the relatively restrictive space defined by the length of its chain. The baby elephant pulls on the chain, but it cannot escape its confines because it is limited by that restraint. It effectively learns that pulling on the chain is futile and that its confinement to a small enclosure is a permanent condition of its life. Over a relatively brief period of time, it stops pulling on the chain altogether. It comes to accept an internal representation of itself as a captive creature that is incapable of breaking free, and it continues to reflect this belief in its behavior. As it grows to become a full-size elephant, the elephant does not pull on the chain, because it has learned that it is futile, even though it could pull the stake out of the ground with ease as a full-grown elephant!

Aquarium example. When a city aquarium was looking to create a new marine exhibit that featured large, somewhat aggressive game fish, it ran into a problem. As the marine biologists sought to introduce smaller fish into the exhibit to fill out the natural ecosystem, it was like ringing the dinner bell. As soon as the small fish were introduced into the tank, the bigger fish treated them like a meal, and the biologists could not keep small fish in the tank because they would constantly get eaten!

One enterprising individual thought of a creative solution to their problem. They took a number of small fish and put them in the water, within a glass bell jar that they then suspended into the water of the exhibit tank. Within minutes the large fish in the tank would take a run at the small fish, expecting to get a meal. Instead, what they got was a snout full of hard glass. They smashed their sensitive snouts against the sides of the glass jar and were denied their prize. Over time, the number of strikes by the large fish was reduced to zero as the large fish in the aquarium came to learn that they could not eat the small fish. It became clear to them that their inability to eat these small fish was a condition of their life and that, if they tried, it would only cause them discomfort. They learned to become helpless. After a period of time when no strikes were recorded by big fish on the glass jar, the aquarium handlers took the bell jar out of the exhibit and poured the small fish directly into the big tank. The problem was solved as the large fish continued to believe that they could not eat the small fish, and this belief was reflected in their behavior. Indeed, the large fish in the tank would starve themselves to death even though they were surrounded by a plentiful food supply. Their behavior is based on a false belief, but the consequence of that belief is as powerful as if the small fish were still protected by the walls of the glass bell jar.

What are the results you want in your life? Is it possible that like the elephant and the large fish you have limiting beliefs keeping you from achieving what you want? Is there an unlimited supply of little fish available to you, but you believe you cannot have them, so you may not even see them in front of you? You bet there are! We all swim in those waters.

I’m Declaring a WAR on GRIEF!

Today I am MAD!!! Most people have never seen this side of me but today it is visible. You can see my title that I am declaring war, on the emotion we call “grief.”

Grief wants us to feel sorry for it. Our bodies cannot help but be flooded with this painful emotion when we experience the death of someone we love. However, grief does much more than that…GRIEF DESTROYS FAMILIES.

How often have heard about siblings that no longer talk after a parent dies? GRIEF is to blame. Have you heard stories of how family members fight and become greedy going after money or possessions? GRIEF is to blame. Did you know that over 1 million people per year commit suicide after a loved one dies? GRIEF is to blame.

Grief is sneaky…has remained in the background and people feel very compassionate for those grieving, and we should! Grief is the most painful emotion that I have ever felt. However, grief sneaks in when we don’t expect it. It arrives when we lose a job, lose a relationship such as a breakup or a divorce, it sneaks in when a kid leaves the home and goes off to college, it arrives when we lose our home due to catastrophe or due to our financial situation. When we are told we or someone we know has a life-threatening illness, grief is right there on the scene. When we are struggling financially and cannot pay the bills on time, grief is in our minds.

Most people know the stages of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) but have never considered that grief arrives with the things that happen that I just mentioned in the last paragraph! Grief 101 is NOT taught in school although it is something we all will have to deal with.

What most people don’t know is that grief does not only bring painful emotions but it wreaks havoc in our brains. Grief causes our neurotransmitter “serotonin” to drop drastically and causes a dysfunction in the area of our brain that we use to communicate, remember and perceive. When you lost someone you loved, do you remember that your memory was awful? That is certainly part of it.

However, what you may not realize is that the things you saw happening around you occurred like reality to you, didn’t they? Here’s the problem: what you saw or heard, might not have been real. Grief plays with our memory and our perception of the events happening around us.

Here’s an example: before my dad’s death I had a horrible fight with my sister (the anger of grief was present). She asked me a question and she was going to report my answer to my sister and brother. I asked her to repeat what I had said and she got it all wrong!! Twice I gave her my answer and when I asked her to repeat it, she still had the information incorrect! Finally, she repeated my words correctly to me, but what version did she give to my siblings? The incorrect version. This led to continued fights and ultimately I haven’t spoken to my siblings since my dad died in 2010! Was my sister to blame? No, GRIEF was to blame. Grief causes our brains to function poorly.

Yesterday on Thanksgiving, my dear friend had shared with me the events that happened after his parents’ deaths and the fact that he hasn’t spoken to his sisters in almost 3 years. It broke my heart to know about this open wound. It is bad enough to grieve the loss of a dead person, but it hurts even worse when the person or people are still alive! Who is to blame? GRIEF. I attended a dinner party and 6 out of the 8 of us at the table had not spoken to our siblings since a parent died. Again, GRIEF is to blame.

I am declaring a war on this emotion called GRIEF. I want to educate people what grief is and when it appears. I want people to know the signs and have compassion for each other when grief sneaks in without families and relationships coming apart. I want to stop the million suicides and teach people that what they are feeling, although terribly painful, is simply GRIEF.

How to get educated about this nasty emotion before it hits? I have a free audio called How To Survive Grief that can be downloaded here. Also, Ken Stoller, MD has an ebook about Oxytocin therapy to help grief. It can be found at

Who in your life has experienced the loss of from a death, a relationship, a job, a home, an illness or is suffering with their finances? I ask that you share this article and let them know what their feeling is GRIEF. Will you join me in the cause to stop families from coming apart and stop the suicide?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. -Sandra

Grief and Oxytocin – A Hormone for Pain Relief?

I had the awesome opportunity yesterday to spend an hour on a Skype face to face call, with my friend, Dr. Ken Stoller, founder of and author of Oxytocin: The Hormone of Healing and Hope.

Dr. Ken was kind enough to read my book, We Don’t Die, and give me a great endorsement. He has also been sharing my How to Survive Grief, free audio, on his website. Finally, we got to virtually meet yesterday and am I sure glad we did. Ken opened my eyes to a hormone we all produce, called “oxytocin.”

Oxytocin is a hormone that we naturally produce when bonding with another person such as while breast-feeding, hugging, holding hands, snuggling, close dancing (with a partner)  and love making. It provides us with feelings of relaxation, contentment, generosity, compassion and forgiveness. It helps us build trust with others and form bonds. It also helps decrease feelings of fear and anxiety.

In 2007, Dr. Ken Stoller received first-hand knowledge of using “oxytocin treatment” for grief. His 16-year old son had been killed in a train accident, leaving him in deep sadness and despair. His fear, anxiety and panic seemed to take on a life of its own. He felt as it was “suffocating and debilitating.”

Dr. Ken administered himself oxytocin in the form of nasal spray. He said, “The panic and fear dropped away from me as if I were shedding clothing. If I wanted to think about my son’s train accident, I could. But the moment I didn’t want to think about it, the accident faded into the background of my mind. It wasn’t there hammering away at me as if it had a life of its own.”

Dr. Ken Stoller has been on a mission to inform the medical community on the results of oxytocin therapy he has found with his patients. He says “To date, I have never prescribed oxytocin for a patient in grief who did not report significant benefit from its use. As for myself, after just a few weeks I was able to completely stop using oxytocin. In that short period of time, it gave me the ability to deal with the worst kind of emotional pain without getting completely swallowed up by it.”

I am grateful to Dr. Ken for this information. Knowing first-hand the agony of grief, from the death of my father, I am happy to share with people the news about oxytocin therapy. He is also successfully using oxytocin therapy in the treatment of addiction, autism, sexual dysfunction, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

I am interested in trying oxytocin myself and will try it in the form of sublingual tablet (placed under my tongue to dissolve) as opposed to the nose spray. As a woman who as always battled my weight and often obsesses about food, I’m interested in seeing if the thoughts subside and the entire box of cookies does not get eaten! As a single gal, I don’t have a person to hug to produce the oxytocin on its own. I will keep you posted when it arrives!

Taking oxytocin is not harmful and there are no side effects, in fact there are some helpful benefits to women for preventing bone loss and decreasing risk of breast cancer. He advises that anyone interested interested in oxytocin therapy to download his free booklet, Oxytocin: The Hormone of Healing and Hope on his website.

When Do I Start Loving Again?

September 5th was a horrible day. It was the day I had to say goodbye to my sweet cat, Millie. Millie had shown up on our doorstep, on a cold winter’s night, almost 11 years ago. I was a woman who hated cats and had no desire to ever pet one or certainly would never own one. But Millie showed up, snuck into my house and into my heart.

As you may know, I have been on a journey to understand “grief” since my dad died in 2010. My book, “We Don’t Die” dedicates a very special chapter about grieving. Regardless of my beliefs about life after death, our bodies will still have to grieve and it hurts.

The day my aunt and I put Millie to sleep was also the day I had to do the final proofread of my book, before it went to print. There, in the depths of my own pain, I was quickly lifted to a new, better place – with hope and a knowing that I will see her again. I also knew this was her final gift to me, to know the value of my own words. In just the few weeks that I have had the book, readers have shared how fast their grief was lifted after reading my words.

It has been just over two months and we have gotten rid of every trace of cat paraphernalia. No more cats. Until a couple of days ago. My aunt’s friend had a stray show up on her doorstep. A good kitty, loves to be held and petted and is currently living in a box, outside, under this woman’s porch. She cannot keep the cat, as she already has a house full. Right now, 9:43 am my aunt is on her way to meet this kitty and see if he is a match for us. He’s been nicknamed “Cousin Harry” and, if my aunt likes him, I told her he could live with us.

I am ready to love again.

Instant Relief For Grief: The Present Moment

Quick, pick something in the room around you to pay attention to. I’m seeing a sneaker under the coffee table in my living room. Notice the size, the color, the laces, perhaps the dirt…all the intricate details and textures of that sneaker. Fully investigate that sneaker thoroughly, how it feels to your fingertips. (You may not wish to smell it, but you get the idea!) You know what you just did? You re-circuited some brain patterns in your mind.

Anytime you get flooded with seemingly unbearable feelings of grief, bring yourself to the present moment. First, recognize what your body is doing. You might think something like, “I’m producing a lot of tears, I can hardly breathe. My heart is racing, my stomach feels sick, I feel like I have pressure on my chest.” Then find something outside of yourself to concentrate on. Like a sneaker. Or, focus on the input from only one of your senses. For example, you can listen intently to the world around you, hearing every creak of the building, or note in a song, and pay 100% attention to every sound you hear. Try this with your other senses too.

We develop habits of grieving like we develop any other habit…good or bad. You may have a good habit of brushing your teeth and you may have a bad habit of feeling guilt. Do you have a repeating “should” about something did or said? Something you should or shouldn’t have said? Or should or shouldn’t have done? The more you think that thought, the more it becomes implanted as a habit. In fact, neural patterns are forged in your brain the more you repeat something. So, if you want to reduce your grief, remember that anytime you repeat a negative thought, you are in effect increasing your grieving time.

The more you practice being in the present moment, the more you will find new thoughts coming to your mind. Pay attention to the ones that inspire you as you begin to find your way out of grief.

Why Do We Experience Grief When We Lose A Loved One?

Some say it starts on the physical level. When we spend time with another person, our body and our subconscious mind recognize the sounds they make, their touch, their look and even their smell. Our bodies produce specific neurotransmitters and hormones that comprise the identity of the other person and that eventually creates that ineffable emotional bond.

When that person dies, our neuro-endocrine system goes into a turmoil, searching for the sights and sounds that match our image and memories of them. Depending on the degree of the bond, the body may even go into shock. Memory can fail, perception can be distorted and other chaotic emotions like fear, anger, disbelief, denial, and sadness can set in. It’s all part of the grieving process.

I want to mention this physiological aspect of grief to remind you to be gentle with yourself and your loved ones who may be grieving. The body response to loss is automatic. It  doesn’t have a choice. Therefore, you don’t have a choice. Whether or not you feel that you should or shouldn’t grieve, you will.

What you do have a choice in is how you handle your grief.

So I want to remind you to let yourself grieve and let yourself cry. Crying is an integral part of the healing process. There will come a day when the weeping and grieving are no longer needed. The body and subconscious mind become stable once again and calms down. Until then, allow yourself to experience this natural response to your loss.