During the search for Annie Schmidt, her mother, Michelle, was often criticized online for seeming to be unemotional about her daughter’s disappearance. But in the newest episode of All In, Michelle Schmidt, author of the recently released book Carried, explained why this was the case, and that even on the first day of the search, she knew her daughter had already passed away. In this episode, Michelle is joined by Jon Schmidt, her husband and pianist for The Piano Guys, and All In host Jamie Armstrong.
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JA: Michelle, you write in your book about a spiritual experience you had. I believe it was the day that the search started, just taking in the beauty of the surroundings? Can you tell us about that?
MS: The search was beginning that Friday morning, and Jon and [one of my sons] Spencer headed up earlier with some people to begin the search, and I came up later by myself in a car. So I was driving alone up the Columbia Gorge, and I had never been there before. It was the first time I was seeing it, and it was something Annie was really excited to show me because it was just something that she loved so much. And as I was driving up by myself, for the first time, I looked around me and just noticed the beauty of the place where I was, and it was overwhelming. The night before it had been raining, and this day was crisp and clean, and there was still some mist and clouds, intermittent clouds, as I drove up. And then the colors were just breathtaking—just vibrant blues and greens and waterfalls, and I was so overcome that I just said out loud, I just said, “Oh, Annie, I understand why you love this place so much.” And completely out of the blue, she just answered. She just said, “I know, Mom. I knew you would love it.” And it was real—it was an exchange.
JA: Was it in your head?
MS: It was in my head. Yeah, it wasn’t audible, but it was a clear sentence.
JS: It was amazing to see how sure—the certainty you had as you told me about that.
MS: It said to me, “Oh, she’s in the spirit world. She just spoke to me. She’s aware of me driving in the car, and she saw and heard me, and she’s in the spirit world.” And that brought so much comfort to me, even though great sadness also, but just, I wasn’t worried about her anymore.
JA: She’s not suffering somewhere.
MS: Yes. It was huge, and so that enabled me to then handle the search in such a different way, rather than if I had been so anxious and worried about her suffering.
JA: And the peace that you felt—didn’t you get a little bit criticized in the media for that?
MS: Totally, because then we had all of these interviews, and they were live TV interviews, and we were in a fog. It was so surreal, the whole experience, and so I hadn’t thought out anything, what I was going to say. It was just raw. Whatever I said, it was just raw, and it just came out whatever I thought, and I would just say, “I feel like she’s passed, and I feel like she’s okay, and we’re searching for her body.”
Listen to the entire interview with Jon and Michelle Schmidt here.
Lead Image Provided By Deseret Book.
On October 19, 2016, Michelle Schmidt's plane landed in Oregon, where she was meeting her daughter, Annie, for a camping trip. But Annie didn't show up at the airport to pick up her mother as planned.
Thus began a season of searching and coming up short, of miracles and frustrations, of love poured out and faith tested, until Annie's body was finally discovered more than three weeks later in the Columbia River Gorge, where she had fallen while hiking.
As Annie's mother opens her heart to tell her story, her husband's story (Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys), and Annie's story, she writes: "It is my hope that my journey of being tutored by God to trust Him more—not only through the loss of Annie but through some of my most vulnerable and personal past experiences—will be the means of bringing strength and hope to anyone suffering at this time."
When the unthinkable happened, Michelle Schmidt made a choice: to trust in God. This remarkable book will give readers the courage and inspiration to make that same choice.