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July 31, 2011

Reset your clock ~

Reset your clock ~ When a child dies, there is only Before and After. There is your life Before the death and now there is your life After the death. It's as if your internal calendar gets re-set to mark the significance of your loss. Many grieving parents can tell you, without thought or consciousness, exactly how many years, months, or days have passed since their child died. These new ways of keeping time are perfectly normal. You are not crazy! Your mind and your heart have simply come up with a new system to mark the Earth's relentless rotation. It's also ok to mention your new timekeeping system in every day conversation: "Thanksgiving's coming, my son died four Thanksgivings ago." Comments such as these let others know that it's important to you to remember and to continue to tell the story. Write two columns on a piece of paper. Before and After. In ten minutes, brainstorm as many adjectives or feelings that you can think of that define each time period. Share with another how long it has been since your Before. (from "Healing a Parent's Grieving Heart" by Alan D. Wolfelt, PH.D.)

July 30, 2011

When I must leave you...

by Helen Steiner Rice

When I must leave you
For a little while-
Please do not grieve
And shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
Through the years,

But start out bravely
With a gallant smile;
And for my sake
And for my name
Live on and do
All things the same,

Feed not your lonliness
On empty days,
But fill each waking hour
In useful ways,

Reach out your hand
In comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you
And hold you near;

And never, never
Be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!

July 29, 2011

For Those Of You Who Believe You Could Lose Your Child Tomorrow and Still Be Who You Are Today.

In response to those who have not lost their child yet believe they could and would grieve a certain way, at certain times, would schedule it around their lives and ultimately get over it and move on, I wrote the following:

Time moves on. It... always has and it forever will.

What you do not understand, is that a lost parent does not move on with time. Like an antique watch, whose owner forgot to wind it and its gears ground to a halt, a lost parent stops at that moment in time, however, no winding will ever begin the gears turning again.

Nature, and the cycle of life, prepares you for the death of your grandparents, your parents, aunts and uncles and even siblings and partners. Nature, along with the cycle of life, says that time stands still for no one and naturally we live, learn, love, grow old and ultimately die. This is natural and expected and so we are somewhat prepared. This is life and everyone dies.

Everyone but your child...

The cycle of life says that a child buries their parent. Period. Even though children die everyday, still, it only happens to others, not to me, not to mine. Your heart says that it is an impossibility. And even after the impossible has happened, your heart and mind refuse to accept it. Why? Because it is not natural. It is not a normal part of the cycle of life.

Do we not create our children? Do we not physically and even emotionally create our children? Are they not true, physical extensions of our own being? How do you think you could possibly go on and be the same as you were if half of yourself is dead?

Why is it so hard for some parents who have not lost a child to understand? Why do some of you insist on pretending you know and can relate to what we are going through and what we feel? Why do you assume you would act any differently? Why is it so easy for you to assume that we can and should just get over it and move on? How can you believe that it is even possible let alone probable?

If you have a bereaved parent in your life and you believe that he or she needs to get over it and move on after a little bit of time has passed, please do something for them:

Look at your child today. Stop what you are doing and thinking and take a moment to really look at your son or daughter, no matter how old or how young they are. Close your eyes and imagine, really and completely imagine, never again for as long as you live seeing their beautiful face, their incredible smile, the mystery in their eyes. Imagine, never again, not for as long as you breathe wrapping your arms around them and giving them a hug. Imagine, really think about it and imagine, never, not even if you live to be one hundred years old, never again hearing the music of their voice say, "I love you mom" or "I love you dad."

Try, really try to image planning your child's funeral and then standing there next to a gaping hole dug into the Earth while your child's casket sits there waiting to be lowered into it and then buried.

Really try to picture yourself in a cemetery, kneeling over your child’s grave on Mother's or Father's Day, talking to and kissing a headstone that lies over your child's Earthly vessel. Or speaking to an urn that carries your son or daughter's ashes!

And for those of you who believe that our dead children are in a better place, answer this one question to yourself and answer it honestly:

If it were possible, would you trade your child for one of ours because they are in such a better place?

I personally do not find even the tiniest bit of comfort in that thought, and it is not because I do not believe in God! It is because Larry was just beginning his life. He was young, healthy, happy and just starting to live life. There was still sooooo very much he had to experience and he was just on the verge of spreading his wings and flying.

Please do not expect a bereaved parent to magically wake up one morning and be returned to the person they once were. It cannot and will not happen. It is an impossibility.

I met a friend last week who lost his son TEN years ago. His words to me were this, "We are heading into our tenth year without Jason but it is still as raw today as it was then. It never gets easier."

Do not think you would know what to do with, or just exactly how you would handle, the pain and sorrow of being a lost parent. Even those of us who belong to this horrid, unwanted club do not know these things. We just do our best to get to the next moment, and that is all we need to do...

Tammy Brown - Larry's Mom<333

July 28, 2011

How Sad is it...

That a Grieving Mother had to post this on her facebook?  I have met & interacted with Thousands of Grieving parents over the last 15 Months... It is nothing that we are proud of, in fact it makes us Sick! Knowing that some of our own family members... {Parents, Siblings, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Spouses, Children, etc}, Really Don't Care! ●▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬● It's True! Some say, "I Love You" - but do they mean it? When was the last time they called? Us Grieving Mothers seem to always be the one to call & chat, but we don't wanna be a bother, so we won't call again...
Everyone that I know on facebook is (or should be) aware of what has happened in my life. My new reality is something that I wish on no one...not even my worst enemy, although I have no enemies that I am aware of, save one. But, that reality is something I cannot change, as badly as I want to.
I joined facebook originally at my child's urging. I saw it as a way to keep in touch with family and dear friends I never get to see, as a way to reconnect with friends who held an important and special place in my heart at some point in the past, and in a few cases as a way to get to know some who were only aquaintences in years past. And lastly, to make a few new friends of strangers. those special people whom I just happened upon, for one reason or another. Lately those have been the most amazing.
I am not here to "collect friends", or to be a part of someone else's collection. What is the point of friending someone here if you have no intention of interacting with them? In the past I have said that I would never delete "family", regardless of our interaction here. Well, things have changed folks. Life is just too damn short, as I have learned recently, to be ignored by those that I have tried to treasure because of blood. I simply do not have time anymore to wait and watch to see if anyone will ever give a shit.
It has become apparent to me that, since my happy, chipper, normal "good morning y'all" status's have become fewer, that some people with whom I would interact on a daily basis may have either blocked me from their newsfeed, or simply choose to ignore my new reality. I now have a small, precious group here with whom I interact, who acknowledge my pain. Do the rest of you have any idea how important that is to me? Apparently not, and that's ok. There are quite a few "family" here who have never once commented, or responded to anything I may have posted to them in all the years I have been here. There are even a few who have never acknowledged My Child's death. How low is that? I would never do that to anyone I care about.
I'm so sorry that my pain and my unending sorrow makes some of you so uncomfortable. NOT. Newsflash folks: this is my new reality...my new "normal". I didn't ask for it and I cannot change it, as much as I would like to. I am grieving, and I have chosen not to try and hide my grief. Those who give a damn understand, and those who don't can go to hell. If my pain makes anyone uncomfortable here, let me tell you what to do...on the blue bar at the top of the page, it says "Account". Put your curser on that, then "edit friends". Find my name and there is a little black "X" to the right. Click it. I plan on doing the same. Save me the trouble.
I have found a (closed) group, many actually, of Angel Moms here on facebook who have helped me tremendously on this awful, painful road I am on. It is with them that I spend most of my time. They care, even though they don't know me. And they understand. It is a club I never wished to join...no one does. But they are there, day or night, when I need them. I am never ignored there.
So, in short, I will be cleaning up my facebook, again. But it will be quite different than times past. Priorities have changed, and my reality has changed. Anyone who would care to be a part of my "new normal" that may have disappeared over the last couple of months might want to say something. If I haven't heard from you, and I don't with this blog, I can probably safely assume you don't care one way or the other. That's fine, but I hope you realize how hurtful it is, particularly those with whom I used to interact. But this is life folks, and I need to get on with mine.

July 27, 2011

You're Not Alone...

Those who have suffered the loss of a child find themselves thrust into a strange and lonely existence. The world continues to go about its daily business.

How can it when your own world has crumbled?

The fact is you are not the person you were before. You may no longer enjoy the things that you once adored. Things that were once terribly important to you may now seem abhorrently insignificant. You may now be incapable of experiencing unbridled joy. Some describe living in a sort of parallel universe, existing everyday not knowing for what purpose. Some lose their faith. Many are very angry with a God that they were taught to believe was all-protecting. Others describe finding a new spirituality, some new understanding of the universe and their relationship to it.

The fact remains; many thoughts that you are having, those that seem totally unique to your own "tormented" self, are the same thoughts that many in your situation also share.

July 26, 2011

In The Beginning...

(It’s been 15 months today, since my youngest son died at the age of 18 yrs, 7 months, & 24 days, in a car accident. He will always be Loved, Missed, & Remembered...)

¸.·´¸.·´¨) ¸.·*)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ .·´ ¸¸.·¨¯`·.

˙·٠•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠♥Hugs♥٠•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠·˙

Your child has died. As a newly bereaved parent you have experienced the most devastating life-changing event. Your whole world has been shattered and you are in a new world now. You will be relearning how to survive when at times you won't even want to survive. The only hope I can give you is that we in The Compassionate Friends have survived and we are here to help you. It won't be easy but keep in mind, if you hadn't love so much you wouldn't hurt so much now. "How long will it last?" is probably the first question we hear from ones like you new to grief. It is a very important question to us at the beginning. Professionals have managed to place timetables based on their studies and you will hear "two years" quoted, but those of us who have been the road a number of years will tell you that you will not "get over" the death of your children in two years. You probably never will "get over" his or her death, but you will learn to live with the fact of it and rejoin life and lead a normal life again; it will just be different from before.

There is no timetable on grief. Some work through the process sooner than others but for us who are bereaved because our child died, grief is no longer and more devastating than grief from any other death in our lives. We operate on our individual timetable; we cannot judge our progress or lack of it by anyone else.

Grief is a process, a moving through. Sometimes we go forward, but sometimes backward, and sometimes we get "stuck" for a while, but keep in mind it is a process and eventually you will move through it. Within this process there are "stages". We're told those stages are shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. They don't necessarily come in that order.

Most of us do experience shock and denial or disbelief first. We can't believe it has happened! There must be a mistake! This happens to other people...not us! That shock is so tremendous that it affects us physically as well as psychologically. It is marked by a lowering of blood pressure, coldness of the skin, rapid heartbeat and an acute sense of terror. That shock insulates us and allows us to go through our duties and do things at this time that we never could have done otherwise. I praise that shock because it keeps us from dying too. That shock allows some of us to carry on with grace and skill during the days surrounding the death and the funeral. That same shock knocks some of us into merciful oblivion and we don't remember a thing during that time. We are all individuals and we react differently during grief, but there are common reactions we all share. This is why you will find very quickly that the only one who really understands what you are going through is another bereaved parent.

Anger, another stage, may come at any time. It is very natural, normal reaction; don't be afraid or ashamed of it. Know it is okay, you won't always feel this way, there is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way - most of us feel some anger toward something, someone, even at God, even the child in some instances. You have been hurt beyond your wildest imaginings. I have described my own anger as rage. Society frowns on anger so don't expect always to be treated kindly when you display it, but remember you have a right to be angry. Anger is often unfocused and we sometimes take it out on innocent people. Medical personnel are often the first to receive this anger and funeral directors are next in line. Later that anger can attack anyone who crosses our paths. It is good to recognize anger and try to focus it, learn to use it as a tool. Take up social issues, find healthy outlets for it. It is important to do something physical about anger. Hard work and sports are ways, and we've heard many stories of chopping wood, breaking dishes at garage sales and breaking them when we need an outlet. Scream in the shower, in your speed boat or closed up in your car, but get it out. Anger turned inwards becomes depression.

With the death of our child everything we ever believed in is shattered. In my own case I had to struggle for a long time to even figure out what I did believed in; I was so confused. Our egos, our beliefs in ourselves, were badly shaken because, as parents, we truly believed we could protect our child from anything. We were careful, good parents, and now our child is dead. WE HAVE FAILED TO KEEP OUR CHILD ALIVE and our ego tells us we are a failure! This devastates us; we can no longer believe in ourselves; we feel that obviously we are incapable of doing anything right We have no self-confidence, no longer any self-esteem: These are all natural, normal responses to the horror of your child's death. Given time and care these feelings will pass. We will achieve a balance in our personal life again Remind yourself to be patient, to be kind to yourself. You are not a failure, you did the very best you could, and you would surely have given your own life to save your child's. You did not fail; life just isn't always fair. These feelings, and others as bizarre, may cause you to think you are going crazy. Ask any bereaved parent of some years and they will all tell you they thought the same thing at some time. You are a changed person now, you will never again be the same as you were before your child died. Someday you will accept that fact: Out of the ashes of grief you can grow, if and when you choose to do so. Look around you to the other bereaved parents; you will find role models and hope in them. There will be many tears, allow them, they are healing and necessary to survival and recovery.

Many of us suffer from the lack of ability to concentrate. It is a common complaint. We can't think, we can't remember from one minute till the next and we have no idea what we've read when we finish a page. Be patient, given time and some effort you will return to normal.

Hang on to any shred of your sense of humor that you can, even a small chuckle now and then can break your tension and give some relief. It may be a while in coming but one day you will laugh again. I know you can't believe it now but you will. You will have a strong need to talk. You will find that you can talk more than one person can listen, so seek out several good friends who will let you talk to them. You will find some at the Compassionate Friends meetings. You will need to tell your child's story over and over again. You will need to talk about the whole life and death and what you are going through now. Talking is therapeutic. Talk and talk, and talk, until your story is told. At night you may go over the events again and again and again, night after night. This is called obsessional review. Sleep disturbances are not unusual. We either can't sleep or sleep too much. We suffer guilt real and imagined. We recall punishments and in turn punish ourselves with them when at the time the punishment was probably fair. We through the "if onlys." If only we had or hadn't....

Beware of isolation. We need to be with people, not alone. When we isolate ourselves with no one to talk to about our feelings, we become depressed: and isolation plus depression equals suicidal feelings and that spells real trouble. We are fatigued, lack motivation, we suffer numerous physical complaints, headaches, stomach disorders, we are either nervous or feel dead inside... many and sundry are our complaints, most of which are normal and to be expected in this time of enormous stress and always we ask ourselves and others, ""Why?" "Why me?" "Why my child? Simply because life isn't always fair, my friend....

Your world is topsy-turvy now, nothing makes sense, nothing fits....family balance is upset, the numbers are all wrong, there is one too empty chairs at the table now, so you choke on your food and think of the empty chair. Grocery shopping is a nightmare because your child's favorite food greets you from the shelves of every aisle; you don't dare think of holidays because you know you'll never survive them without your child. Your child's birthday and the memory of all the joy of that day looms like a mountain far too high to climb. ...some days all you want is for the pain to stop. Some days you just can't get out of bed. Some days you work hard and fast like something has possessed you. Every day you cry. You find you are very lonely even in the midst of a crowded shopping mall. You want to scream at the busy, happy people, "Don't you know my child is dead?' How can they go on as if nothing has happened?" No matter how many people you are with, you are lonely. Compassionate Friends understand: each one of us has had a least one child die. We know what you are going through. We don't pretend to have all the answers, but we want to share this time of your life with you. We want you
to know you are not alone.

A Candle is being lit for your child today...
.¸.☆¨¯`. (
¸.☆¨¯`|♥♥♥|Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ May you feel a gentle breeze, Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
¸.☆¨¯`|♥♥♥|☆As your child whispers in your ear... ☆
¸.☆¨¯`|♥♥♥|Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ I know you miss me Mommy, Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
¸.☆¨¯`|♥♥♥|☆but I'll be watching over you now ☆
¸.☆¨¯`|♥♥♥|Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Go look up at the stars, Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
¸.☆¨¯`|♥♥♥|☆I'm the one, Glowing right above your head...☆
{John 16:20-24}
☆♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♥☆ Peace, Comfort, & Hugs... ☆♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♥☆

July 22, 2011


On the first day, God created the dog and said:

'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.'

The dog said: 'That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?'

So God agreed...
On the second day, God created the monkey and said:

'Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span.'

The monkey said: 'Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?'

And God agreed...
On the third day, God created the cow and said:

'You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.'

The cow said: 'That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years.. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?'

And God agreed again...
On the fourth day, God created humans and said:

'Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years.'

But the human said: 'Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?'

'Okay,' said God, 'You asked for it.'

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the
Grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

July 21, 2011

Do any of my family & friends have a clue??

What "IT" Is (borrowed from another grieving Mother)
It's been a year, you should be over it. What exactly is "IT"? But do people who have never suffered loss really know what "IT" is? To us, the bereaved... "IT" is five days after the funeral, and your world caves in with reality of the loss. "IT" is ...Thanksgiving Day. trying to find something to be thankful for. "IT" is Christmas without the merry, and New Years without the happy. "IT" is your first day back to work when every minute you are afraid you will burst into tears. "IT" is their birthday, but there is no them to celebrate. "IT" is Valentine's Day, only this time no hearts and flowers to share with them, and your heart is broken. "IT" is your birthday, and there is still no them to celebrate it with. "IT" is springtime when everything comes alive except you, that is. "IT" is Easter and everyone is singing "Let us Rejoice and be Glad" but there is no rejoicing and no glad in your heart. "IT" is Mother's Day and you sadly remember how happy being a mother made you feel, or how you rejoiced with your spouse over the birth. "IT" is Father's Day and you sadly remember how happy being a Father made you feel, or how you rejoiced with your spouse over the birth. "IT" is the 4th of July and the celebrations remind you just how little you feel you have to celebrate now. "IT" is vacation time and you just stay home, because there is nowhere to go to not feel so empty. "IT" is Halloween and you pass out candy, but you remember all the memories of past happy times together and make you sad. "IT" is seeing milestones in your life progress and pass and your loved one is gone, never to share them with. "IT" is looking at the moon and wondering if they see the same moon like the two of you always did in the past. "IT" is receiving the first wedding invitation to their friend's wedding and knowing that life goes on without your loved one. "IT" is going back into that church for the first time and remembering, but not remembering and feeling that all eyes are on you. "IT" is going to another funeral for the first time and feeling yourself shaking all over, too distraught to stay, but unable to leave. "IT" is doing all the things you always did, plus all the things you had hoped to do together, and doing it all when all of your energy has been used for grieving. "IT" is being strong when you really feel weak. "IT" is dealing With all the legality of estates and such when all you want to do is hibernate . "IT" is a whole big bunch of stuff you didn't ask for, didn't want and can't even give away. "IT" is going to the cemetery and seeing the monument with their name or even face. and it hits you in the face that THlS IS REAL! "IT" is feeling like a traitor when you get rid of their personal belongings. "IT" is approaching the first anniversary of their death and reliving it all-oh yes, some things might be better but the void is no less. "IT" is people forgetting and you cry, and people remembering and you cry. "IT" is a future of unknowns and uncertainties and emptiness. "IT" is in the first glimpse of sunrise and in your last waking breath, and even finds ways to creep into your sleep and your dreams ... So maybe when someone tells you that you should be over "IT" by now, you should just tell them what "IT" really is!

July 20, 2011

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me...

Author believed to be
David Romano
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me,
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
and each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
and all the fun we had
If I could re-live yesterday
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

July 19, 2011

MARRIAGE - A Must Read...

MARRIAGE by Vicky Gray Deaton
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you.
If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate... - Matthew 19:6

July 18, 2011

Am I Losing It?

by Sherry Sharon © 2000

When we lose something very precious to us it can be painful beyond words. In fact, it can be agony. There is no vaccination against loss. We cannot build up an immunity to it. It is like a deep wound. It takes time to heal. If you do not allow time for a physical wound to heal, it can become infected. The same is true of a grief wound. It is normal to wonder if you could ever heal from a grief wound. In the process you may even wonder if you are "losing it." Good news there are normal, healthy responses to grief that can aid the body’s natural healing process. We will list the appropriate (natural) responses to grief and the inappropriate responses to grief. We will show you how you can survive a crisis of loss. It is normal to experience the peaks and the valleys. You may experience a peak (good day) and then without warning you hear a song, pass a place that had special meaning to you and the deceased, and it seems like you plummet to the valley below. Holidays, anniversaries, seasons of the year, fragrances can trigger emotions. It is good to set time aside for weeping (shedding tears from an overwhelming emotion). It is good to set time aside for mourning (a period of time during which a death is mourned.) "To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die...a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance..." (Ecclesiastes 3) You may experience some of the following reactions to grief. They are to be expected. If you defer them, it may prolong the grief process.

Anger | Appetite changes | Confusion | Denial | Depression | Disorganization | Disorientation | Emotional pain | Empty feeling |Error prone | Fatigue | Fear | Feelings of panic | Feelings of rejection | Feeling overwhelmed | Forgetfulness | Guilt | Heartache | Hurt | Inability to concentrate | Irritability | Loneliness | Loss of identity | Loss of motivation | Mental pain | Numbness | Peaks & valleys | Physical pain | Relief | Shock | Sleep disruptions | Stress | Tears | Thinking you see or hear the person who died | Weeping | Weight gain | Weight loss |

Some of the reactions listed as appropriate can become inappropriate. The difference is in the degree, intensity, duration and frequency of these responses.
Prolonged depression that immobilizes you for weeks at a time
Anger that is out of control
Repressed feelings
Substance abuse
Thoughts of self-destruction
Failure to take care of your basic needs
Isolation - withdrawal from other people
Not wanting to get out of bed
Despair - "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh it is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)

Talk about your loss
Use the deceased’s name. Let others know it will make you feel better if they do likewise. Encourage others to share memories with you of what the deceased meant to them. For example, "I remember when..."
Record your thoughts in a journal
Record your thoughts, special memories, the things you wish you had said and done, what you miss about the deceased.
Record your feelings: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Record the special things someone has done for you that meant a lot to you during this difficult time. Children can make a treasure box of their memories of the deceased.
Get plenty of rest
Pace yourself. Get plenty of rest, good nutrition and exercise.
Take a walk.
Eat something even if you do not feel like it. Take vitamins.
Consider a living memorial: Plant a tree, shrub, rosebush or a rose garden in memory of the deceased. Put flowers on the altar, or make a donation to a worthy cause in memory of the deceased.
Avoid making major decisions immediately following a loss
Beware of scam artists that prey on those going through crisis. Before making major financial decisions talk to someone: your pastor, your banker, an investment counselor, etc. Before you sell your home consider renting it out for a period of time. Before quitting a job think about taking a temporary leave of absence. Before moving in with family go for an extended visit with the family. Before changing geographical location vacation there for a period of time to see if you can adjust to the climate changes, etc.
Don’t worry about tomorrow
Get through the day an hour at a time. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34)
Give yourself some tender loving care
Pamper yourself. Take a warm bubble bath. Read a good book. There will probably come a time when you may want to get a new hairdo, or a new outfit.
Find someone who has been through the experience
Take time to mourn
If your child has been killed, bring purpose out of a tragedy. For example, form a group like MADD, establish legislation like Megan’s Law, etc. Turn your mourning into creative energy. For example, if you sew, make a memory quilt. Use scraps of material taken from the deceased’s shirts, jeans, etc., to make the quilt blocks. If you make doll dresses, make dresses from the deceased’s clothing and give them as a gift to a special friend of the deceased.
Reach out to others
Stay active. Become a volunteer in a hospital, senior center, nursing home, hospice organization, widowed persons service, soup kitchen. Read books for the blind. Pour coffee for stranded travelers at a bus station, train depot, or airport during the holiday season. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
Take a trip you have always wanted to take
If you are financially able, join a tour group or remodel a room in your home.
Allow the Comforter to come

Isaiah 61:1-3 - "He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted...to comfort all who mourn... and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..."

II Corinthians 1:3,4 - "praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

Isaiah 49:13 - "Shout for joy, O heavens, rejoice O earth, burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones."

Psalm 56:8 - "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?"

Isaiah 53:4,5 tells us that Jesus is "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief... that "he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows..." The Hebrew word for the word "sorrows" here is used of both mental and physical pain.

Psalm 30:5 - "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

John 16:20-24 - "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."
{I know I really need to do some of the stuff on this list, but right now, I seem so down in the dumps... Oh Yeah, I can act happy & react happily over the phone, but inside I'm still so broken}

July 17, 2011

I'm Sorry...

I’m sorry, I thought I knew.
I’m sorry you lost your child.
Surely time will heal your hurt,
...Your suffering, your pain.

I’m sorry, I thought I knew.
How deep it must hurt.
The sadness of losing your child…
The ache in your heart will go away.

“Oh, it will take time,
You need to mourn, it is good for you.”
“I’m sorry but it will get better.”
“I’ll be there for you.”

I’m sorry for how long it’s taking.
I didn’t know you were still grieving
And your thoughts were consumed
Every moment of every day.

I’m sorry I didn’t know that
You don’t get over it.
Time may soften the pain but
You never completely heal.

I’m sorry, for now I know
Of your true pain,
Your true loss,
Your true sorrow,
For I too have lost my child.

By Stewart Levett - TCF Colorado Springs, CO

July 16, 2011

Our whole being...

Our whole being takes a hammering when we are grieving - everything is in turmoil and we feel battered and bruised and very fragile. This weekend think about one thing you could do that will sustain you and give to YOU! It could be a simple bubble bath, a trek through the forest, a beautiful cup you saw in the shop window that you really want for your tea, there is an endless array. The answer will be there if you listen for a quiet moment to the stillness inside you. Then follow through, choose it and do it. - Stepping Through Grief

July 15, 2011

Without you!

by Shari Soklow

I can't do this life without you!
It's too hard for me to be strong!
I am broken in too many places,
and will be now, the rest of my life long!

Nothing has prepared me for this journey...
Never before, have I felt this excruciating pain!
My most precious gift in life, my child, was taken!
You are gone from me, and now your heavens gain!

Tell me, how do I just go on living?
Everything around me seems the same!
But I am now a very different person!
Cursing the fate that took my child and was to blame!

Friends and family really do not get it!
They think I can handle this, and in time move on!
My very heart and soul forevermore is broken,
It is no wonder to them I seem so withdrawn!

Some days I feel so very angry!
Anything at all can make me seethe!
When I think too deeply how I miss you...
My child you were the very air I breathe!

I wish the years of my life to go by very quickly,
so I can join you and once again feel whole.
When you left, all my joy of living, went right with you.
Now I am just an empty shell without a soul!

If God truly had a little mercy...
HE would ease the pain of a mothers, shattered, suffering heart!
Torture and torment is what I am left with...
Just a little mercy, until the day we never have to part!

July 14, 2011

Empty Chair

The holidays have come around,
But the house has no familiar sounds,
No whispers in corners
Of what might be,
Waiting for someone under the tree.
Your brother, your sister,
Are just not the same,
They smile sadly, as they
Mention your name.
They do their best to cheer one another,
But in their eyes they are saying
“I miss my brother”.
I stand in the kitchen, and hum to myself,
As I bring the ingredients down from the shelf
To make holiday cookies,
Like all the years past
When you were here, they never did last
But that’s what made baking them fun,
You know,
It was always because
You loved them so.
Preparing the turkey, I started to think
Of the way you’d stand peering into the sink
Every year when I’d do this, unwrap this big bird
“Oh man, that’s disgusting”, were your favorite words.
Then I’d wiggle the legs at you,
Like the turkey was dancing,
And we’d look at each other,
And both break out laughing.
But this year I stood at the sink alone,
Remembering these moments, and trying to hide
From everyone as I wiggled the legs
And instead of laughing I cried.
Christmas morning came, and we opened our gifts
With a measure of holiday cheer,
But I could not stop missing the way the way that you would
Always hang your new socks
From your ears,
Making me laugh,
Year after year.
As evening fell we gathered round
The holiday table to share
Our Christmas meal, this time we all love
And I truly did try, I swear,
But I simply could not, try as I might
Bear the sight of your empty chair.
I miss you my son
I love you my boy
Why is it that we are apart?
I know of nothing that will ever fill
The hole in this mother’s heart.

Kelly Cummings

July 13, 2011

Miss Me But Let Me Go

Author Unknown
When I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set on me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little--but not too long,
and not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
miss me--but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take,
and each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
miss me--but let me go.
This is me with my youngest son Gregory Jr.
He died in a fatal car accident on 4-26-2010.
He was 18 Years, 7 Months, & 24 Days Young...
I'm not able to let him go just yet...
But he is gone from this earth already...

July 12, 2011

I Tried...

Tried to call you today to say I love you but I couldn't find your number
so I tried the operator, she said sorry I have no number for you. So I
tried to go to your house but you don't live there anymore, the post
office has no forwarding address. I guess heaven is just too far away!
I love you and you are in my heart always and forever!

July 11, 2011

Think Before You Speak

Dear Friend, today you broke my heart,
In a place that was unbroken.
You did it with your thoughtless words
That should not have been spoken.

You know that I am grieving,
That my pain is deep and real.
Your hurtful words pierced like a knife.
How do you think I feel?

You may not suffer from my loss
Or share this lonely grief,
But I'm mourning my baby,
Who's life was much too brief.

I'm sure you don't know how I feel,
I don't expect you to.
Don't ask me to get over it....
That's something I can't do.

Without grief, there's no healing
It's a journey I must make.
It's not the path that I would choose,
but one I'm forced to take.

No matter how you choose to see
What I am going through,
I need compassion and support....
I'd do the same for you.

written by Gwen Flowers

July 10, 2011

The River

In the early days of our great country, a father and his young son were making a journey into the nearby village to acquire some tools and supplies. Starting early in the morning, the two set forth on their assignment.

To reach their destination, they had to cross a narrow stream and proceed through the woods, the countryside,... and finally into the center of town.

After completing their mission, they began their return trip home. As they walked along, a severe thunderstorm erupted.

With the heavy downpour of water, the stream that was virtually nonexistent in the morning swelled to twice its size, and the waters swirled viciously against tree roots and rocks and rolled furiously downstream.

Fear rose within the child and the wise father offered to carry his son. Into the open arms of the father climbed the youngster, and experiencing safety and security, he quickly fell asleep in his father's strong and protective arms.

On arriving home, the father placed the sleeping child into bed. In the morning, with the sun shining through the windows, the youngster awoke in pleasant and comfortable surroundings.

Safe, comfortable and content, no longer fearful, he inquired, "Am I home? Did my father carry me across the raging waters?"

His mother responded with, "Yes, my child, your father brought you safely home. You are in your room in your father's house, snug and unharmed."

So it will be with each of us as we cross "the river" and awaken in a special room in a very special house.

~ Author Unknown ~