Be willing to open, soften, and connect with others on a Human level. No need to dominate, control, manipulate, terrorize, shame, or pretend. We are all equal. Every. Single. Living. Creature.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Patti DiMiceli.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, Patti entered this world through the Queen of Angels Hospital, a powerful portal. She is an Angel living in a Human “cloak” with a purpose and the power to elevate and inspire those who need it most: the living, dying, and grieving. From her “tiny home on wheels,” Angelina, she spends her time sharing her daughter, Amber’s, message of “Hope, Heaven, and the Miracle of Life & Death” to bring us a bit of joy, comfort, caring, and connection that we all need, especially now. www.EmbracetheAngel.com.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I knew I was chosen from a very early age but didn’t know why, until I gave birth to Amber. Her life and her death set me on a clear path to fulfill my Life Task… to share her message of “Hope, Heaven, and the Miracle of Life & Death.” I documented everything.
When she was 3½, I discovered a small lump behind her right ear. After nearly a year of trying to save her life, Dr. Bernie Siegel contacted me. “I’ll bring Amber to St. Raphael’s Hospital, assemble a team of surgeons, and treat her as my own.” While I waited for her to come out of surgery, I went to the hospital gift shop to get something special to ease her pain. I heard, “Turn around.” I did. I saw a rack of large golden keys. “Give this to Amber and tell her it’s The Key to Heaven. She can use it to open The Golden Gates.”
I brought her home to savor her last time on earth and give her the Rainbow Room she always wanted. Through the media, people around the world followed our story from the beginning and now they offered kindness, tenderness, and heartfelt caring to the little girl they grew to love and admire for her positive, uplifting attitude and bravery.
At 4½ Amber revealed the answers to some of humanity’s most pressing questions, including what happens after we die. A few days before she died, she called me to her side. “Mom, when I die, I’ll still be Amber, I’ll just be different.” She also told me why she was here on earth. “Mom, I know I’m here to help a lot of people!” Like God, she works in the world through me.
At midnight on my 27th birthday, she slipped into a coma. I dressed her in the clothes she picked out to “go to Heaven,” brought her downstairs, lay her on the sofa, put the Key to Heaven in her hand, tenderly stroked her, and pressed “Record” on the tape player.
As I told her everything I wanted — I needed — her to know, tears began streaming down her face. She wasn’t afraid to die; most kids aren’t. She was afraid to leave me. When I said, “I’ll be okay. I promise. Go now. Be with God, Amber. Be with God,” she stopped breathing and my whole body began tingling, buzzing as though I was electrified. I physically felt her leave her body, merge with The Light, and move through me! All I could say was “Thank you, God. Thank You!” I was left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, warmth, Light, peace, and the Key to Heaven.
After several years of speaking, holding workshops, and sharing Amber’s message, I wrote (typed, really) “Embrace the Angel.” Twenty years later, I was facilitating “Newly Bereaved” groups for the Bereaved Parents of the USA. I’d just learned how to paint silk and realized it came close to the feeling of skin. As I listened to the parents who desperately missed their children — especially their physical presence — I thought, “I wonder if I can paint a silk scarf with beautiful, Heavenly colors and put inspirational quotes on them so that mothers can feel their child and be uplifted when they are in the depths of despair.”
I got to work but sadly, the demand was far greater than my hands could fulfill. I needed to mass produce them. I took photos of Angels around the world and put them onto silk scarves, ties, and pillow covers. Thus, the birth of Tobias & Co. LLC (my son’s name) and the creation of “products made with love to inspire and transform!” It supports our Giving Back Division, Embrace the Angel, and our “Be an Angel, Comfort an Angel” global initiative which donates a silk scarf, tie, or pillow to a bereaved mother, father, or critically ill or grieving child for each one purchased. Like the Key to Heaven that Amber left behind as a gentle reminder that she didn’t “pass away,” I didn’t “lose a child,” she simply changed, they, too, can feel the Angels and their loved one and know they are not alone. They are still deeply loved, but differently. These Silky Angels provide the physical connection that they long for in their grief.
The most pressing needs of the dying are to be touched, listened to, honored for the life they’ve led, and the reassurance that their loved ones will live on and find meaning and joy once again. Those who are left behind long to see, hear, touch, and physically be with them again. Amber taught me how to live, how to die, and how I can use my God-given skills, tools, and talents to address the most pressing Human need: To be connected and stay connected to another Human Being as well as The Divine.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
Living in my “tiny home on wheels,” my 28’ Grand Design fifth wheel, Angelina, has been filled with peace, serenity, hope, and purpose. Before I sold my Sticks & Bricks and took the leap, I followed full time RVers for a few years to listen, learn, and grow my confidence. “Carolyn’s RV Life” is one of them. She held a contest during the holiday season to help small businesses and give them exposure. She asked us to donate a product that her viewers could win. I offered an Embrace the Angel silk scarf, tie, and pillow.
A few weeks later, I shipped the items to the winner, a woman in Florida who worked at a hospice. I received an email from her a couple of weeks later. She had decided to give the pillow to a sweet 5-year-old girl whose mother was dying of cancer in hospice. She was only 29. “She held the pillow as she crawled into bed next to her mother. It was so heart touching. I know, when she dies, this little girl will have this pillow to remind her of her mother. It will connect them.”
I knew that, like Amber’s Key to Heaven for me, this Angel-covered silk pillow will physically link her with her mother forever. She will know she is not alone. Her mother is with her, but different. She is still connected to her by love, beautiful memories, and Silky Angels.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
After months of hand painting Embrace the Angel silk scarves, my hand became like a crab claw. “How can I speed up the process and deliver these to more grieving mothers?” I bought a used 4-head screen printing press, set it up in my basement, took training, and began to figure out how to produce on a bigger scale. I invested a lot of time, effort, money, and heart into this endeavor. Then it struck me. “I bet there are companies who can mass produce my silk scarves faster and better than I can!” I spent another year researching North American companies, taking photos of Angels, and visiting screen printing shops.
The wholesale cost of silk from America was prohibitive. “Wait! We live on a globe. Dying is a universal experience that knows no borders or boundaries. People are grieving all over the world.” I looked at China and found silk factories that were happy to produce these for us and at a reasonable cost. I got samples from three companies and chose Sunny Long from the Suzhou Guoyun Silk Factory.
Lessons? Don’t limit your Dreams! If you see a need that isn’t being addressed and you have the skills, tools, talents, and perseverance to fill that need, widen your perspective. Define your work, your market, and your plan to deliver. Ask for help. Reach out to the world and the people in it who 1) Do want to help, 2) Can support you and your Dream, 3) Are willing to partner with you in many ways, not just money, and 4) Open and soften to accept help, advice, praise, and encouragement from those who care.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
Before COVID and the war in Ukraine, many of us were grieving a loss of some kind: A loved one, a job, a relationship, a marriage, a dream, a future, etc. With the isolation of COVID and the fear and uncertainty that we are safe in our country or even our homes, people are suffering in deep and profound ways. I am keenly aware of this sorrow and sadness. I know what Amber did and still does for me and many others. She gives us Hope and the knowledge that, yes, we have the power to choose. As we stand at the crossroads many times each day looking at the choices before us, we can choose good over evil, Light over darkness. Choice is where our power resides.
Like many other Light Workers, I know I am powerful but not on my own. I need to be connected to The Divine, other Human Beings, and myself. I also know I do nothing alone. I, and my beloved Circle of Angels, believe that we change ourselves and perhaps the world one small step…one choice at a time. Some of the ways I do this:
1) I give away small pewter Guardian Angel coins (“Pebbles”) with a Special Word on the back (Faith, Peace, Love, Courage, or Hope) which are attached to a card letting the recipient know they “have received this Angel from someone who cares. They want you to know they are at your side — despite time, space, and distance. Just as you hold this Angel in your hands, they are touching your heart, sending tenderness and comfort, and holding you in a warm embrace.”
I tell those who I meet, “I am a “Pebble Thrower in the still pond of Life,” as I hold out an open royal blue organza bag filled with cards/coins. “Take one for yourself and one for someone you love.” They do. Then they become a “Pebble Thrower,” too. I’ve given thousands of these Pebbles away as I travel through life.
These tiny coins are a gentle reminder that “many small acts of kindness, done many times, can change the world.” It doesn’t take grand gestures or forcing people or using fear to manipulate and control them. It takes love, laughter, trust, hope, and choosing to Live in The Light.
2) Our “Send the Angels!” program ships these coins/cards (10 per blue organza bag), as well as our Embrace the Angel silk scarves, ties, and pillow covers, from those who deeply care but cannot physically be present as their Loved One is dying or is grieving. We include a hand-written note from the sender — in their own words — to the receiver. These Embrace the Angel items transcend time and distance to bring physical tenderness, caring, comfort and connection.
3) Our Giving Back Division’s “Be an Angel, Comfort an Angel” global initiative donates an Embrace the Angel silk scarf, tie, or pillow to a bereaved mother, father, or critically ill child for every one purchased. “Grace’s Angels” is the latest pillow cover we’ve created for this program.
I met Grace when she was nine and I was collecting Angel drawings for our first pillow cover. She declared “I want to collect 100 Angels for sick kids around the world!” Four years later, she didn’t collect 100. She collected 164! It is a beautiful sea foam green, Grace’s favorite color, and is covered with Angel drawings from kids around the world. I placed words hidden between the Angels so that when children are lonely or afraid or sick, these words will “plant a seed” of Hope, kindness, joy, and inspiration. At fourteen, Grace is a great leader and an inspiration to me and many others.
We have future collaborations with hospitals, organizations, etc. in the works to create their own branded “Embrace the Angel” pillows covered with the Angels that their children draw.
4) As a Life Coach, an End-of-Life Doula, and a Certified Grief Educator & Coach, I work with people who are struggling with their life and their losses to help them move through their grief and perhaps find meaning once again. I honor and hold “Sacred Space” for them.
5) I deliver presentations, workshops, and talks to the public through various outlets and organizations to bring a bit of insight, Amber’s wisdom, and Hope to those who are grieving. And, honestly, who isn’t grieving in today’s world???
6) Planting a seed in the world, we will launch our “Choose to Live in The Light” global initiative in the next few weeks. It is the antidote for people who feel powerless, immobilized, devastated, sad, and hopeless in this very dark world. It is a choice they can make. A movement they can join. A connection to other Light Workers in the world that believe — as they do — that Love trumps hate, tenderness and caring are more powerful than violence, and that each Human Being is valuable, regardless of the color of their skin, their status, political affiliation, country of origin, or who they love.
We believe that our children are The Wise Ones. They come into this world pure, innocent, and knowing. They speak of what is true, not what is expected or demanded. Like Grace, they are here to do what they can to help others live a better, more fulfilling, and joyful life.
7) We are planning our “Power of Pebbles & Angels!” nationwide tour for 2023. I live full time in Angelina, my tiny home on wheels…my 28’ Grand Design 5th wheel. Larry, my Ford f250 Lariat, will tow her across the US. Leaving Annapolis, MD, the headquarters for my beloved Circle of Angels, we’ll head to the Angel Factory, Danforth Pewter in Middlebury, VT (they create the pewter Guardian Angel coins for us), then head West, South, East, and back home, stopping to deliver workshops and presentations to those who are grieving and want to feel Hope once again. They need to believe they have the power to “Live in The Light,” to be a Light Worker in this world, just like you and me.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
On my way to the Angel Factory, I stopped at a gas station along the New Jersey Turnpike. A gentleman came to my window to pump my gas. “Please fill her up with Super,” I said, as the man took my credit card and began pumping gas. He stood there looking wistfully into the distance. I got out of my car, approached him, and said, “Hi. I have something for you.” He looked bewildered and a bit dubious. I held out the blue organza bag filled with Guardian Angel cards/coins. “I’m a Pebble Thrower in the still pond of life and these are my Pebbles.” He looked at the open bag. “Take one for yourself and one for someone you love.” Hesitating, he looked deep into my eyes, realized he could trust me, and took the cards/coins.
He revealed his Special Word on the back of the coin. It was “Hope.” He burst into tears and embraced me, holding on for dear life. When he regained his composure, he told me about his daughter who had just died a couple of weeks earlier. His wife was unable to go on. She found nothing to live for. He told me she…THEY needed to feel Hope again.
I had packaged up some Embrace the Angel silk scarves, ties, and pillows to give away on my trip. I placed a gift-boxed set in a large bag and handed it to him. “Please…give this to your wife and let her know I care, along with many other Angels.” He embraced me again as he thanked me profusely. As I drove away, I looked in my rear-view mirror. He was literally jumping up and down in Peace and Joy then ran to show his work mates. Out loud I said, “This is you, Amber. This is why I’m here.”
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
- Be willing to open, soften, and connect with others on a Human level. No need to dominate, control, manipulate, terrorize, shame, or pretend. We are all equal. Every. Single. Living. Creature.
- Listen to The Wise Ones, our children. We all arrive on this earth knowing. As time goes on, we become indoctrinated (usually before 10 years old or so), “polluted” as I like to say, and begin to doubt, mistrust, manipulate, and tout the “party line” to whoever will listen. We stop dancing, playing, singing, being curious, dreaming, feeling content in our own bodies, minds, and hearts. We need to have much more respect and reverence for our children and our elders. How about a “Children’s Day” in addition to “Mothers & Father’s Day?
- Open the cultural conversation to include “Living, Dying, Grieving, Self-Love, Compassion, and Tenderness.” They are our greatest strengths and society’s greatest assets, not money or power.
Okay…one more. But it is the most important. I believe that we need to devote time, money, energy, resources, and will researching how men can grow people inside their bodies. They simply need a womb, a “Y” valve, and some hormones. If and when this is possible, our world will most definitely change. Life will be held precious and honored by all. There will be a lot less domestic abuse, sexual harassment, war, killing, raping, mistreatment of girls, women, and children. Living through the experience of growing a Human inside their body and delivering it into this world would change Humanity for good. I am not joking. I am serious.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership is “Living in The Light” with Grace, kindness, passion, devotion, and authenticity. It’s not preaching. It’s practicing, living by example.
Grace, the young girl who fulfilled her commitment of “collecting 100 Angels for sick kids around the world!” is an amazing leader. At fourteen, she never gave up! She has inspired, elevated, and motivated me when I feel down or upset or in distress, along with many others through her 45 second audio, available on our website, Embrace the Angels > Angels in Action. She talks about Angels like they’re her best friends. Now that is a true leader!
“What motivates you? Gets you up in the morning? Drives you?” are the questions I ask all leaders I meet, if given the chance. Motivation, for me, answers the burning question: “Why?” It is the fuel for action.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Be soft and strong. “Soft front, strong back.” Be open (and discerning) to receive help, advice, wisdom. Be less afraid. “Armoring up” protects you, yes, but it also restricts the flow of loving energy and goodness.
2) Know that, in addition to people who do want the best for you, there are people who do not want the best for you. In fact, they want the worst. Protect your heart, let go, learn, and move on. Past hurts will hold you captive.
3) It will take a lot of patience, gratitude, equanimity, time, and resources — more than you can imagine — to get you where you want to go. We always underestimate the cost and overestimate the rewards.
4) Ask for help. This is one of the hardest Life Lessons for me. SO hard! But people truly do want to help. They just need to know exactly how.
5) Only surround yourself with people who support, encourage, elevate, and uplift you. Those intimate relationships can withstand — even welcome — input, suggestions, ideas, differences of opinion, etc. without chipping away at trust, love, and empathy.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Choose to “Live in The Light.” Realize the power you possess is in your choices. Choose truth over deception, kindness over carelessness, helping over hurting, compassion over indifference, Light over darkness, good over evil, action over complacency, curiosity over ignorance, living over dying. Together, we can make the choice to diminish the dark!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“We are each of us Angels with only one wing and we can only fly by embracing each other.” ~Luciano de Crescenzo
This one sentence describes me, my life, my purpose, and how I fulfill it. Without a doubt, I know that I am an Angel wearing a Human “cloak.” I have limitations. I also know I do nothing alone. My beloved Circle of Angels — both here on earth and on The Other Side — is always guiding, enlightening, elevating, and showing me the way forward. They tenderly hold me as I soar through this lifetime.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to have lunch with Ken Hannaman, one of the most profound Teachers of our time. I met him while being interviewed for his podcast, “Ungraduated Living & Learning,” (Episode #18, July 4, 2021, “Patti DiMiceli, Turning Tragedy into Purpose”). I aligned with many of his beliefs, especially 1) We are all Human first, what we do for a living, second, 2) Our power lies in our choices. 3) We come into this world knowing, pure, and innocent and then we are indoctrinated, forced to conform… to believe certain things about ourselves, others, and “the way things are.”
How can our readers follow you on social media?
YouTube Channel, Embrace the Angel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxxlxN7pGUb14LHMZAHAxgA
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Patti DiMiceli of Tobias & Co Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.