"Turning pain into possibility" at Oprah's Path Made Clear

I had an amazing opportunity to attend OPRAH’S “Path Made Clear” session a few months ago. It was an evening filled with laughter, tears, courage and joy.  I wanted to share some of the moments that stuck with me and may connect with you. 

“Turn your pain into possibility” Oprah’s voice echoed out across the stadium.  It felt like she was speaking directly to me.  I am sure everyone in the audience felt the same.  That’s the interesting thing about life, we all have a story to tell.  More often than not our stories involve pain.  I couldn’t help but believe she may be right. We can “turn our pain into possibility”.  I feel like the last nine years of my life are living proof of this possibility.  There have been so many incredible people I have met, along this journey of losing a child. Each demonstrating that from such deep pain can come incredible good.  

Oprah went on to talk about the things in our life that we “didn’t love” or “our pain” and how they can fill our passions.  The hardships we endure, not by choice, can fuel our purpose and drive.  She shared that we all have the ability “to help others with the pain we experience and knowing what we didn’t get”.  I find this to be so true in grief support.  You see parents of loss bonding with one and other, connecting so quickly through a common pain and a common will to support those going through it.  I have personally experienced its healing and filling power to both support and be supported by others who walk this path.  Having the knowledge of what wasn’t helpful and what is helpful can be so valuable to share.  

Oprah challenged the audience to focus in on whether our intentions are founded in love or fear.   Those intentions will set the foundation for what we give out to the world and what we receive back.  She warned that one of the worst betrayals in life is betraying yourself.  Oprah shared, “When your intuition rises up and you ignore it you betray yourself.”.  Powerful statements.  I have heard her and other thought leaders share these concepts before but the reminder was timely and welcome.  


When Gary Zukav was introduced as the surprise guest speaker I was very excited.  Some of his books stand next to my bed in the pile of inspiring reads.  I burst out laughing and felt warm tears fill my eyes when the clip they selected from all his appearances on the Oprah show in the past played on the big screens.  From endless options of spiritual messages, relationship and career advice, the chosen clip was his conversation with a bereaved family from years ago.  I watched, listened and processed as he discussed the concept of the mother seeing her lost twin child as the soul and not just the body.  I felt a lump in my throat but a deep connection in my chest.  I too chose to believe that Marshall is all around us and always with us. I have included the link for you to have a peak and explore how you experience this.    

The Path Made Clear, was by no means focused on pregnancy and child loss but you can see how the grand themes flowed effortlessly into this clear pattern and focus for me.  I’m fascinated to hear how others who have attended may have interpreted the lessons and examples.  My dream is to one day meet Oprah “under the oaks” and share more of our stories and passions in life.  Feel free to share your insights or other messages that have rung true for you recently.

XO ~ Alanna

Branches of my heart

Trina trees.JPG

⁠Hidden in the woods⁠

In the most magical place⁠

A sacred tree stands tall and free.⁠

⁠Amongst its bark and moss and roots⁠,

you’ll find sweet memories that we hung for you.⁠

We stop there every chance we get. ⁠

Savouring your memory and the moment we met.⁠⁠

This tree is special for you and me,⁠

for the forest creatures and for all to see.⁠

Know that this is just one place⁠

where I dream of you and your sweet face. ⁠

Your every where and every day. ⁠

In my heart you’ll always stay.⁠

~ Alanna Knobben ⁠⁠

“It’s not okay” - An Interview with Dr. Terri Major Kincade

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In this interview we get a glimpse into what has inspired Dr.Terri’s career as Attending Neonatologist, CEO, Dr. Terri MD. We discuss what she has witnessed with the families in her care and begin to outline the repetitive disparities in African American perinatal loss support. ⁣

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An Oma’s perspective on bringing light and compassion into the world.

This article was written by my beautiful, loving and kind mother for the Tiny Footprints Gala this year. It brought tears to my eyes from the opening line and I am so proud of her for sharing her intimate perspective on this journey. The loss of a child has far reaching impacts and shapes the lives of ourselves and those around us. Sharing different perspectives acknowledges the truth and deep roots of loss. Empathy for ourselves and for those who ache, grieve, grow and remember with us.

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