December 1, 2017

Honoring the Loss of an Amazing Human Being and Her Family

I was sitting at the breakfast table the morning of Nov. 11, 2017 when I got a call from former C.H.E.K Instructor, Janet Alexander. She called to inform me that one of our beloved C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 4 students, Annie Niewenhous Fairbanks, her two beautiful children and husband had all died tragically the night before.

I won’t go into the details of her death because I think it is more important to keep our hearts open to Annie and her family as they make their transition in the afterlife.

The C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 4 class – January 2010


Annie is someone I really enjoyed teaching and working with over the many years she was a student. She completed C.H.E.K Level 4, and much of her Holistic Lifestyle Coach training with me personally, so I had a fair bit of time to interact with her personally and get to know her.

Annie was highly intelligent, had a sense of humor and she was always honest with me. If she didn’t agree with me, she would challenge me and give me an opportunity to help her see my perspectives clearly, or she would study the resources I suggested for deeper understanding and dialogue with me from there.


Annie cared a lot about people, their health and their well-being, and she was an excellent teacher. The piece of art shown above was created by Annie during her C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 4 training.

It shows me clearly that she understood the polarities of the complementary opposites that create life. It shows me clearly that she understood the importance of offering a helping hand. It shows me clearly that she understood the importance of working together and growing together in life.

Annie Niewenhous Fairbanks

We were honored to have her speak at the CHEK Conference in 2011. Also, she wrote an excellent thesis, Sugar: Caloric White Trash, for her final requirement to become a fully qualified Master C.H.E.K Practitioner.

Though I will miss Annie, and feel deeply sad about the loss of her beautiful children and husband, I know that she is in the hands of Great Spirit now.

I know that she and her family can now rest from the turbulence of earthly life and its many challenges. I know that they will now experience Unconditional Love, heal wounds and find meaning together.

As sad and scary as death is for us, I trust in the universe and the Great Spirit that breathes every NOW into existence. I know that what happens in the afterlife has to be just as beautiful as life itself, for the Grandeur of universal and worldly design speaks for itself.

I am blessed to know Annie was my student, colleague and friend.

I am blessed to know she lived and loved fully while here with us.

I am blessed to know that she is as close to us as our thoughts, and even closer when our thoughts express the love of our hearts for her and her family.

Please join me in sending love and blessings to Annie, her husband, her kids and her remaining family as they all go through this transition period.

Love and chi,