#85 Annette Marinaccio: Your Soul Focus And The Afterlife
#Johnny Burke: Welcome to closer to Venus I’m Johnny Burke. Today’s guest is Annette Marinaccio. She is a certified public accountant and accomplished healthcare executive and author of Your Soul Focus. Today, we will be talking about how Annette’s mother-in-law led her on a path after she died to prove to Annette that there is an afterlife. Annette, welcome to the program.
Annette Marinaccio: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me, Johnny. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Johnny Burke: the story of your mother-in-law, is well documented in your book. When did you first become interested in the afterlife?
Annette Marinaccio: Well, that’s a great question. I would say that when I was very young, like in my teens, I became interested in, metaphysical and astrology and near-death experiences and things of that nature. Like many people, I just continued on with my life and then it sort of took a back burner to everything else I was doing. I became a CPA, an accountant, got married, and had a family. So I never really thought about it after that, until my mother-in-law passed.
Johnny Burke: Many intuitives have experiences, sometimes they see or feel spirits or ghosts and have that kind of contact with the unseen world. Did you have any of those experiences when you were younger?
Annette Marinaccio: No, not at all. I would say. Even now I would say that my left brain is very dominant, not so much my right brain. When your left brain is very dominant, those kinds of creative and metaphysical and possible sightings are a little bit more prominent but when you’re left-brain dominant, that doesn’t typically happen. That’s not what spurred my curiosity. What spurred my curiosity is when you’re younger, is there really more to life than just going to work and getting a job and that kind of thing?
Johnny Burke: So how did you how did your mother-in-law- I believe her name was Lucille? how did she get you started on the afterlife journey?
Annette Marinaccio: It was a series of synchronicities, and she started them. The first thing she did after she passed was, she gave a physical sign to my daughter, who was 13 at the time. So she physically gave her pompoms, and my daughter was very earnest and innocent. You know about it. And she’s just sort of said in a very matter-of-fact way, “you know, Grandma Lucille gave me pompoms yesterday.” And I was like, really?
Then she proceeded to tell me the story of how she received these pompoms. And so that I found incredulous, and I sort of thought to myself, maybe she’s got some coping mechanism going on there. Maybe this is bothering her that her grandmother died. So I was very concerned about that. I then started talking to a lot of my friends and family about the pompom story and one of my very dear friends, when I spoke with her about the afterlife, she was just like, “well, Annette, you believe in the afterlife, don’t ” , which is the subtitle of my book. That’s really what started my journey because now I had my daughter saying something and a very dear friend who I trusted, who was, very matter of fact about the afterlife, which I am now.
At that time I wasn’t. Then my girlfriend, Maria, who I named Donna in the book, told me a story about a medium on long island, which is where I live, that she frequented on an ongoing basis to get real worldly advice. Like, should I name my son this? And should we move mom here, And she was tapping into her deceased father to get like conversational advice from. So she mentions this medium’s name to me, and I was like, well, that’s sort of interesting. Synchronicities -that following weekend, I was out to dinner at a place on main street in my town, and there was this big sign in the window that said, dinner and show with Josephine Ghiringhelli, who’s the medium that my girlfriend had just mentioned.
So basically my mother-in-law was like leaving breadcrumbs for me. The pompoms for. My daughter, had me tell Maria, Maria mentions Josephine. We go out to dinner, Josephine’s name is there. So we ended up going with two of my girlfriends and that’s where my mother-in-law was so insistent on coming through to me with just evidential information that was very eye-opening to me. And that’s sort of what started my journey.
Johnny Burke: If I remember correctly, the pompoms different colors. That’s what kind of flagged that incident- you saw two pompoms that were not the colors of the other pompoms. And you thought ‘where did that come from?’
Annette Marinaccio: Yeah, that’s right. My daughter, who was 13, told me a story that she was in art class the day before. Her project was to make a 3d card and she decided to make a card with pompoms on it. And so she decided to go with a red and green pompom. So she went to the art class closet, pulled out the bin of pompoms, counted out 11 and she counted out 11 green and 11 red. She double-counted to make sure before she put the thing back and came back to her work area. And there were 11 green, 11 red, one lavender, and one ivory or white. Same shades as the colors of the balloons that we had just let go at my mother-in-law’s grave site on Saturday, this was, the following Wednesday. So I said, well,” how do you think they got there?” She was just like,” I know” she was so fascinated. “They must have either flown through the air or maybe they just appeared there. I’d love to know how they got there. I said,” if you really got these from grandma Lucille, then you better be buried with them when you die in your coffin. Because that is like amazing! I was just so shocked, but that was the story started.
Johnny Burke: I think it’s interesting, there seems to be a lot of mediumistic activity in Long Island; The Long Island Medium. Her name is Theresa Caputo. We’ll talk about her later- some of her stories and anecdotes are among some of my favorites. But you were skeptical at that point; you started thinking, these people, were they planted there by the medium just to make, make her look like she was really good. Isn’t that true?
Annette Marinaccio: Absolutely. It’s interesting because it’s not that I was skeptical of the afterlife; I just hadn’t really thought about it, but certainly going into a medium situation, I just thought it was like a magic show. So I figured if she was reading anybody, they have to be planted there, and it always seemed very emotional for the people being read, firefighters, police officers, a lot of September 11th, which is, I think why there are a lot of mediums on the Island- we were so close to September 11th.
What happened on that day, which was the last Sunday in April of 2007. My mother-in-law had been gone about six months at that point. Right outta the box, Josephine read some other family; the police officer, firefighter, and people crying and I’m thinking,” oh, they’re planted there. That’s sort of really cool.” And then second reading, she came right over to my table and said,” Is there somebody here who has a Lucille on the other side?” and I was – I froze. There’s no way I’m going to pick up this microphone and my girlfriend was kicking me under the table. She knew about the afterlife, and she was just like,” you know, that’s your mother-in-law, you gotta take the microphone.”
And I’m like, I’m not taking that microphone. Then she backed off a little bit. She was like “any L name, maybe Lou? And I think she died of stomach cancer.” My mother-in-law had died of pancreatic cancer. ” I think she died of stomach cancer or something like that. She’s holding her stomach. Like it was very painful” which is all true of my mother-in-law, but I did not take the microphone. I was afraid. So she then retreated started reading somebody else, went to another table, and read somebody else. And about 20 minutes later came back, and that’s the persistence of my mother-in-law because if she hadn’t come back, I don’t know if that would’ve opened my eyes.
So she came back again and she said,” okay, this woman is still here. She’s got very dark hair and she’s holding her stomach and if it’s not Lucille, it’s something with an L. ” So that’s when I said,” okay, fine. I’ll take the microphone.” And so I took the microphone and the first thing she said out of the box was the thing that changed my mind was just like, ‘oh my God, this is real.’
In my mind, I was racing. I made reservations. Did I put a credit card down? Could they have Googled this in any way? But I made the reservations. I called up, I said, “Annette party of three.” That’s it. No phone number, no credit card. No last name. Nothing. So I was thinking to myself, unless my girlfriend ratted me out that this is really happening here, you know? But the thing she said,” How’s Rita? Rita’s still here, isn’t she? She’s asking how she is.” Now Lucille is an uncommon enough name and she got that. But my mother’s name was Rita. In the book, I named her Margarita.
Now my mother and mother-in-law were both diagnosed with cancer a week apart from each other in 2005, my mother breast cancer, my mother-in-law had pancreatic. They spent that following year going through treatments, surgeries, and radiation. It was a horrible year. We got such an education in various types of cancers and treatments. It was overwhelming for my family. My mother-in-law succumbed to pancreatic cancer, which most people do. My mother lived another 15 years. She actually just died on April 30th of this year. But during that year, when we would visit either one of them, they would always ask about the other one because they were going through something similar.
So if I would go to my mother-in-law’s house, she would say exactly that;” how’s Rita, how’s Rita doing?” And when I would go to my mother, she would say, “how’s Lucille doing?.” So, Josephine this medium in this restaurant in April of 2007, says to me, “how’s Rita, she’s still on this side isn’t she?” I was like, I’m done. There’s just no way this woman can peg Lucille and Rita.
Johnny Burke: So that was the moment?
Annette Marinaccio: That was the moment for me. She’s asking how Rita is, she’s still here isn’t she? There was no coming back from that. I had to figure out how this woman would know this.
Johnny Burke: So that’s what put you on the journey of doing research. That put you on the path. Let’s talk about the book. I would imagine this had a lot to do with inspiring you to write Your Soul Focus. Were there other factors involved as well?
Annette Marinaccio: That was just the tip of the iceberg, that eye-opening situation. Because my deceased relatives on the other side, and, and even my spirit guides, which at the beginning of this, I didn’t want have to believe in spirit guides, but now I understand, they’re true. They really methodically over the course of the next four years, opened my eyes one thing at a time to little tidbits about the afterlife so that I could get a great handle from an accountant’s perspective. I could make sense of not only the afterlife but this life and how they connect to each other.
Johnny Burke: The spirit guides; when did those experiences start and what was that like?
#86 Annette Marinaccio: A lot of the reading I did would of course speak about spirit guides. But I was thinking, ‘well, maybe I don’t have any, even though everybody has them because I’ve never seen them or experienced them until one night it was about, I’m going to say 2010. So maybe three years into my research. I had, a very vivid.with a spirit guide that that actually changed my life. I’ll tell you about that dream in a minute, but that sort of path, that my deceased relatives and spirit guides led me on. It was like every couple of months they would open another tidbit of information for me that allowed me to really get a handle on,” oh, this oh, oh. ”
Once I had a great understanding of the afterlife, which took about four years, I was pretty satisfied. I was like I’m just going to live my life differently. And I understand what life’s about and that’s it. But as the universe would have it, it kept placing me in the path of people in my life who needed a little piece of what I had learned. So I was constantly saying,” oh, this may help you or this may help you.” and after a lot of that, I was getting such thanks from people who I helped through either grief, or they were curious. So after that kind of thanks and praise that’s when I said,” you know, something, I think I’m supposed to put this into a book.” I need to get what I’ve learned into a very digestible format so that any lay person can pick it up and make sense of this elusive afterlife topic like an accountant would. That’s how I came to writing the book.
Johnny Burke It’s amazing how these things happen. I just had a conversation with someone; one of his books was written at the behest of his spirit guides. Almost everyone I meet that comes on, to the show here is talking about spirit guides in one form or another.
As you dive into the metaphysical, the unseen world, that journey that you’re following, do you start to remember platitudes when we were young? when people said” this is God’s plan”,” things happen for a reason”, this person’s put in your path for a reason.” Does that make any sense?
Annette Marinaccio: Yes, absolutely. When you’re very, very busy in life and you’re trying to be successful or whatever, or just live your life, you sort of don’t focus on those kinds of things. Then once you understand about the afterlife, which I understand now, it opens you up to all those things that people have said to you all along or you’ve read, or you’ve heard. And all of those things really start to make sense. That there is a plan, although I think it’s more than God’s plan. It’s your plan, your soul’s plan, but there is a plan for your being here. There’s a purpose to what you’re doing. there’s a purpose to what everybody’s doing.
There is no soul on this planet, not one that’s not here to learn. life lesson for themselves. You can see it because it’s very interesting, especially with media, it’s very easy to be jealous of very famous people, very rich people; all kinds of people who seem more successful than you might be. But when you really get to know them and dive into them, you see everybody’s struggling; a drinking problem or a drug problem, everybody is trying to conquer their inner demons. It’s very interesting when you start realizing that we’re all connected and we really are all equal.
Johnny Burke: You believe that the spirit guides, which you refer to as souls in the book, that they will not interfere with anyone’s growth path. They’re here to help but speaking of your plan- if that’s your plan, they have a hands off policy. Did this come to you in a dream or from the spirit guide? How did you discover that?
Annette Marinaccio: Although spirit guides are souls, there are souls that are not spirit guides too. So your souls could also be deceased relatives. We all have souls, but I will tell you the dream that I had with one spirit guide that, was very eye-opening to me. So my daughter was at this point probably 16, maybe. She was in a dance troupe with a friend and they would go traveling and they’d bunk together and hang out together.
And she became very friendly with this one girl. They had danced together in away dance competitions for three years. And this one night I was falling asleep. So I was in that sort of semi-lucid stage. And my daughter came into my bedroom and she said, “guess what? Michelle has been promoted to a higher level dance troupe.” my first reaction was for my daughter, now you’re not gonna have Michelle to hang out with, at all these dance competitions- my first concern was for their friendship. I was not happy about this, so I said to my daughter, ” what do you think about this? What do you feel about this ?” and she said, ” I’m very happy for Michelle. “So I fell asleep that evening playing over and over in my head, how I was going to approach the owner of the dance studio and ask for my daughter Diana to maybe be promoted also.
I had a very powerful visit from a spirit guide. So this fellow came to me in my dream. He looked probably about 35 years old. He had a fur clasp kind of vest on like a hunter might have. He had straight brown kind of hair. He looked like Keanu Reeves. He was someone who I’d never met before, but he looked at me with piercing, dark brown bullet eyes. Forceful, but not mean. And he just said, “drop it !”Like that. And I looked up at him and I said, “what?” and he said, “drop it. You cannot recreate the living spirit. “And I could see that he was coming from the place that my mother-in-law resided in, but it wasn’t my mother-in-law, but it was like her essence. So I looked at him quizzically, and he pointed down, he showed me. And what I looked down- it looked like I was looking down the inside from the top of a cyclone or a tornado. It was this swirling light brown material. Super, super swirling. And outside of it was just black, like infinite So it was this brown tube almost inside this infinite blackness.
Afterward I saw something that sort of reminded me of it called the Whirlpool galaxy, but the Whirlpool galaxy picture is flat, and this was a cylinder kind of thing. I could see how fast it was going. There was nothing that could stop it he then said it again,” drop it. You cannot recreate the living spirit. “And in that second, I knew exactly what he meant, was that this living spirit was this force that was swirling, everybody’s living spirits and souls altogether- mine, yours, my families, your families, people in Asia, people who’ve died already. It was like the whole universe’s spirit all together is one. And, and with every millisecond it was moving forward. You had no choice, but to go with it. Because even if you weren’t changing, somebody was changing somewhere in the universe, and you cannot go backward.
In that split second that I looked down in there. I understood everything and I woke up, it was the middle of the night. It was like three 15, which happens often when you have visits, you wake up right afterward because the spirit guides want it to be very intense, so you remember it or even your deceased loved ones. If they visit you, you will wake up right afterward because they want you to remember it. So I woke up, and ran into my closet. I wrote down,” you cannot recreate the living spirit” even though I didn’t need to write it down -this was 10 years ago. From that, I woke up feeling absolutely fine about the situation with the dance troupe, because I knew you can’t go backward.
So I had a whole new outlook on grief, life, everything. Because I understand not only has my life changed, but people all over the world have changed and we’re all part of this connected thing. So it was a very powerful eye-opening dream visit, an experience that changed my life going forward.
Johnny Burke: I’ve always noticed when people talk about these dream visitations and similar experiences, they always make the comparison with most dreams, you forget about the minute you wake up, but with these experiences, the same thing with past life memories. You remember them forever.
Annette Marinaccio: You hear that also with the people who’ve had near-death experiences. When they chronicle their near-death experience, it stays very vivid for them.
Johnny Burke: As it should, that’s probably for a reason, so they can make the distinction between what is a real experience versus, a non-linear dream that makes no sense. okay. this is one of my, more interesting discoveries in the book. You volunteered at a Laura Lynne Jackson reading once, and you noticed something about several of the child souls that came through. Tell us what they said, and what did Laura say about that when you brought it up?
Annette Marinaccio: That was really interesting. So, I volunteer for the Forever Family Foundation. The Forever Family Foundation is a not-for-profit whose mission is to scientifically prove there’s an afterlife.
So I met them in 2007 and I volunteered for them- I’m actually on the board now also, and we do a series of, events to raise awareness about the afterlife so that people more openly talk about it and discuss it. A lot of the very famous mediums, including Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium have made their, I’ll say initial debuts through Forever Family Foundation. They become certified and they are very talented.
Johnny Burke: Can you briefly tell us how the mediums are certified?
Annette Marinaccio: The mediums are certified with sitters. We have a very elaborate grading system and a variety of sitters over a span of time. They do readings for these trained sitters, and they would qualify if the readings are accurate and significant. Like for instance, when I mentioned the dinner that I was at, you would consider somebody saying Lucille and Rita as very accurate readings. If you say ” oh, I see your grandmother here.” Well, that’s not as accurate.
Johnny Burke: Right.
Annette Marinaccio: So there’s a very elaborate system involved for certifying mediums there. So, Laura Lynn Jackson is one of our wonderful mediums and is featured at our grief retreat, which is our main event right now. It was featured in a Netflix series called Surviving Death, which is a wonderful six-part series, so we were doing a grief retreat in Florida. It was during the time when I was really learning about this stuff. Being a volunteer at Forever Family Foundation, I was the one running around with the microphone and the tissues if they were crying -that’s my role.
The medium in those kinds of events is really very focused on doing justice to the messages that are coming through. They’re not really concentrating on what they’re saying person to person, they’re really concentrating on just getting the message through for that person. From what I understand from the medium, it’s a very draining experience. It really drains their energy. They have to really be ready to channel those messages as accurately as possible.
So I had a different kind of what I call a bird’s eye view because for the two hours that Laura Lynn was reading, I was going around from table to table and just hearing the messages. So she did maybe 15 readings. Everybody there has had a loss and is hoping to hear from someone in particular, whether it’s a mother or a father or a grandmother or an aunt or a sister or a friend or a child. What I found interesting after probably the first six readings, everybody that’s come through has been a child of someone in the room. Some of them are young, like eight years old, some of them old, like 30 years. but they’ve all been coming through children to parents.
So I was really in tune to listening to each of the stories on how they died and what was going on. What I also found very interesting was in four distinctly separate situations, the children said to their parents who were sitting in the room, ” you were not responsible for taking care of me and protecting me; your responsibility as my parent was to love me unconditionally, and I would not have chosen anyone else for that. ”
So in one case, there was an eight-year-old girl who had a fever. On a Friday night and her mother said, you know, “it’s just a fever we’ll see how it goes.” Nobody really wants to go to a hospital. And then Saturday, it got a little bit worse. So she called the doctor. The doctor said you have to go to a hospital. She went into the hospital; she had some rare situation and she died on that Monday. Now that woman, Laura Lynne’s reading her, the girl is coming through, she was so upset that maybe she should have gone to the hospital on Friday, maybe that would’ve made a difference. And here was this young soul on the other side who was saying,” I didn’t want you to do anything differently. You are the one I wanted to be my mother. I wanted you to love me uncontrollably. I wouldn’t have chosen anybody other than you. So stop beating yourself up over this”. So to have these souls say, we didn’t pick you so that you could be responsible for us.; We chose you to be our parent because we wanted you to love us.
So the next morning, I had the occasion to go over to Laura Lynne and say, I was absolutely fascinated. All the people that came through were children of people in the room, and four of them said, they wanted the parents to know that it wasn’t their responsibility to protect them in that situation where they ended up dying, that it was only their responsibility to love them unconditionally. Laura Lynne said she hadn’t realized that it was just children that came through and when I told her that, that message, it resonated with her entirely. She’s like,” absolutely. That’s why they pick us. They pick the people that they know are appropriate for this lifetime. And our role is to love the children unconditionally.” It made total sense to her, but for me, it was another big learning experience.
Johnny Burke: So in other words, you hear people say, “well, you can’t choose your family, or you can’t choose your parents”. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard it that we do choose our parents and we do choose our family, I think that’s known as the soul family or the soul group.
Annette Marinaccio: When people say, ” there’s no way I chose them”. I tell everybody when you’re here, it’s not all about just your happiness. So you may not have chosen the parents or a family that you think you want, but you certainly chose the parents and the family that you need.
Johnny Burke: Very good point. The ones that you’re going to learn from, right?
Annette Marinaccio: and that may not be the ones that make you the happiest. You don’t always get the parents you want, but you always get the parents you need.
Johnny Burke: In your book, you also touch upon how those on the other side view our grief over their death. tell us a little bit about that.
Annette Marinaccio: It came partially from that, spirit guide dream that I told you about because that led me to understand more about grief also. So what I tell people is they don’t understand that they’re crying and grieving here tremendously and ‘why am I not getting a sign from the other side? Why is my mother not showing me she’s here? Why can’t we just see them all the time if they’re here?’
We’ve all been in the experience, whether we’re parents, aunts, uncles, or just seen it in a store, you’ve seen a child throwing a horrible temper tantrum. So let’s say he wants a candy bar for breakfast and he’s screaming, crying, begging his mother, because he wants this candy bar for breakfast and she’s thinking, I’m not giving you a candy bar for breakfast. I’ll give it to you after lunch, but you’re not having it now. And the kids just have a meltdown.
So you empathize with him, but you’re not going to give him the candy bar because it means nothing. That’s how the other side views us because their perspective is broader than ours. So they understand that our begging and screaming and crying for the candy bar, begging and screaming and crying for signs from them or begging and screaming and crying because they’re gone. They empathize with us, but they also know it’s not what it’s about. It’s not really that big a thing; you’re going to be here back on the other side before you know it. You’re going to have choices to come back to the earth if you want to grow. I can understand now how the other side may view us differently because I view a child who’s having a temper tantrum over a candy bar differently.
Johnny Burke: When you understood this- how the other side views our grief over death, it seems to me that this is just one act in a play or a movie that goes on literally forever. How did you come to understand that?
Annette Marinaccio: Yeah, that’s a great question because I will say that when I first started learning about this, I did not want to have to believe that, because I like to think that this is all very important here and this is what it’s about. And this life of mine is a big part of my life. But as I learned more and I understood that this particular life is a sliver, a teeny tiny sliver of our whole soul’s existence. It didn’t take a lot for that to resonate with me. I didn’t want to believe it going in, but once I accepted it, it makes a lot of sense.
I didn’t want to have to believe in spirit guides. I didn’t want to have to believe in reincarnation. All that stuff seemed very woo-woo to me. But once you start learning about it, if you really sit with it in your soul, it makes a lot of sense. So you’re right. what we’re going through here is a teeny sliver of our soul’s existence.
Johnny Burke: I’ll leave our listeners with this since you brought it up, Theresa Caputo, in one of her books said “life is like an episode of Saturday Night Live. Everyone is constantly changing costumes and roles, but at the end of the night, they all get together and hug.” Annette, that thanks so much for joining us. How can our listeners learn more about you online?
Annette Marinaccio: My website is annettemarinaccio.com. So if people want to learn about the afterlife and things like that. My book, it’s on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my Instagram, @Annettemarinaccio