Monday, May 30, 2016

Blessed Memorial Day









Blessed Memorial Day








So thankful for our Vets, both those who serve 

and 

who have so faithfully served...


This is a day to lift prayers of thanks for you and your sacrifice...


and



A day to pray for the families with an empty chair...









Pictures:

Thank you to


Benjamin Allen at
Grief and Healing in the Afterloss
on Facebook


and to 

on Facebook



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday's Sorrow - Honoring Fathers Grieving Loss of Child - Part One







There is a sacredness in tears. 
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. 
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. 
They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, 
of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. 

~Washington Irving





Sunday's Sorrow

Honoring Fathers Grieving Loss of Child

Part One













Those who think
there is a
TIME LIMIT
when
GRIEVING

Have
NEVER
Lost a piece
of their
HEART




~~~~~






Grieving people are fighting
the most aching fight of their lives.
Stand with them.
Be with them.
Love them in your willingness to admit
that you don't know the answers.
Your presence contains more love
than any answer ever will…

~Tim Lawrence




~~~~~





"I'm...

Fine"


(Anxious, Scared, Sad; 
Hurting, Drained Hopeless;
Lonely, Dysfunctional, Weary;
Apathetic, Exhausted, Lost, Stressed;)


I wish you would 

Read between the lines.




~~~~~





You are most helpful
when you stand with
me, without
changing it, without
making assumptions.
It is okay to not have 
any answers.

~Megan Devine
www.refugeingrief.com
facebook.com/refugeingrief




~~~~~





Nothing will ever be the same.
Your life has been forever changed.
Grief is uncovering what that
change is and how to deal with it.

~Benjamin Allen




~~~~~





The ground beneath us
that collects us is too
sacred and when I enter
another's life I know to
take off my shoes for I
am on holy ground.

We are on holy ground,
the sacredness of
sorrow's healing ground.

~Benjamin Allen




~~~~~





The answer to the mystery of
existence is the love you shared 
sometimes so imperfectly and
when the loss wakes you to the
deeper beauty of it, to the
sanctity of it, you can't get off
your knees for a long time.

You're driven to your knees not by
the weight of the loss but by
gratitude for what preceded the 
loss. And the ache is always there,
but one day not the emptiness."

~Dean Koontz




~~~~~





It is within my darkest moments where I 
have found myself without words to 
describe the most brilliant presence of
love. In the heights of my joy and the
depths of my sorrow I have come to
believe that there is only love. No matter
where I go, how I feel or what I
question, I have found this presence
waiting, waiting to love me, waiting to love.

~Benjamin Allen









Title Picture:
~FarSideOfTheRainbow



2nd Picture:
~Grieving Fathers

3rd Picture:
~Grieving Fathers
https://www.facebook.com/131616930235995/photos/a.131661973564824.24127.131616930235995/1065748773489468/?type=3&theater

4th Picture:
~GriefDiaries
https://www.facebook.com/GriefDiaries/photos/a.306861159476121.1073741828.298729270289310/553268601502041/?type=3&theater

5th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Tim Lawrence)

6th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Benjamin Allen)
https://www.facebook.com/TheAfterloss/photos/pb.447234425404141.-2207520000.1464042767./858083234319256/?type=3&theater

7th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Benjamin Allen)
https://www.facebook.com/TheAfterloss/photos/pb.447234425404141.-2207520000.1464042767./860097287451184/?type=3&theater

8th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Dean Koontz)


https://www.facebook.com/TheAfterloss/photos/pb.447234425404141.-2207520000.1464042767./860098970784349/?type=3&theater

9th Picture
~TheAfterloss.com (Benjamin Allen)

https://www.facebook.com/TheAfterloss/photos/pb.447234425404141.-2207520000.1464042767./860101534117426/?type=3&theater




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday's Trust - "The Sharp-Edged Remains of Our Shattered Dreams"



"Sometimes stories don't have happy endings. 
Even love stories. 
Maybe especially love stories." 




Tuesday's Trust 


"The Sharp-Edged 
Remains 
of 
Our Shattered Dreams"










How then shall we "live"?
Our child has died---died---dead---gone!
Does not anyone understand our devastation?
We who love---no crime is it?--our beloved child
Seem left to sit in the ashes of her remains
To awaken every day only to face---
She is not here!
From this sweet earth, she is gone!
All dreams for her seemingly dashed upon the ground!
Why would we not be devastated?
Of course we are!
We are left to flail away in "the sharp-edged remains of our shattered dreams."

What a destiny for parents whose continued love 
for their child is now deemed a "crime."
"Let it go. Move on. Stop the tears."
No way! We will always love our child, 
and therefore we will always miss her, long for her, and always know she is gone!
And with that missing, and longing, and knowing,
we will cry. There will be tears.
Of course there will be tears.
Our love does not stop . . .
while we try to find our place now
amidst these 
"sharp-edged remains of our shattered  dreams."






And where is our LORD in all this?

He is there---amidst the pain---
Amidst her remains---
Sitting with us, weeping with us, loving us, 
comforting us, and drawing our hearts, our faces, 
our lives upward to see Him, to see the 
Hope that He has promised…

"She is with Me ---
I am holding her
even as I am holding you ~
She is safe,
She is loved,
She is with Me…
Longingly awaiting you.

"The love is still there;
Bask in it.
It is deeper, stronger, more understanding.
She sees your pain. She knows your pain.
She too longs for you.
Bask in that love.
Bask in My love.
Bask in your love for one another,
a love that grows deeper every day.
And know, that love will blossom
into fruition that you cannot imagine.
That love is not in vain.
That love is from Me---it is sacred---and it will remain.
Bask in that---even as you are in pain . . ."





Poem- "The Sharp-Edged Remains of Our Shattered Dreams" - Angie Bennett Prince - May 15, 2016




~~~~~



"Love had turned into loss… but… love had remained.  
…love… Immutable.  
Unbearable but unbreakable."



~~~~~








~~~~~









~~~~~








~~~~~




"Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain." 










"The Sharp-Edged Remains of Our Shattered Dreams" ---
The title of my poem is from a quote by writer Ken Gire:
"But until the day when we return to that place (Paradise)
or the day when Jesus returns to take us there,
we must live our lives under the rainbow . . .
where the road ahead is not paved with yellow bricks.
Sometimes it has no bricks at all,
only the sharp-edged remains of our shattered dreams."
(highlight, mine),
from his book, 
The Divine Embrace: An invitation to the dance of intimacy with Christ. 
One exhilarating, ennobling, uncertain step at a time.
~Ken Gire, (2003), page 32.




~~~~~



Quote 1 - pp, 379-380 The Nightingale ~Kristin Hannah

"Sometimes stories don't have happy endings. 
Even love stories. 
Maybe especially love stories."



Quote 2 - p. 368 The Nightingale ~Kristin Hannah
"Love had turned into loss… but… love had remained.   
…love… Immutable.  
Unbearable but unbreakable."


Quote 3 - p. 438, last words of The Nightingale ~Kristin Hannah

"Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain."



Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Mother's Day Lament ~ A Song and a Poem for You: Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom ~Bessie Griffin / "Holy Darkness" ~Dan Schutte







"No one understands my pain like Jesus, 
who suffered as one of us and came back 
{via His Holy Spirit into our hearts} 
to comfort us in our sorrows." 




Sunday's Sorrow

A Mother's Day Lament 
A Song and a Poem for You:

Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom 
~Bessie Griffin 

"Holy Darkness" 
~Dan Schutte













"Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom" 
edited version of "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child"

~Bessie Griffin 

(with lyrics edited for child-loss parents)




Sometimes I feel like a child-loss mom 
Sometimes I feel like a child-loss mom 
Sometimes I feel like a child-loss mom 
A long ways from home
A long ways from home



Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone
Way up in the heavenly land,
Way up in the heavenly land.
True believer
Way up in the heavenly land,
Way up in the heavenly land.




~~~~~





Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels…

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

~

"Starry Sky over the river Rohne" 

~painting by Vincent van Gogh



~~~~~


Yesterday, a precious fellow-grieving-mother/fellow-psychotherapist loaned me one of her favorite grief books, on the road to emmaus: A TRAVEL GUIDE THROUGH GRIEF (2008) (134 pages) written by Myrlene Hamilton Hess. I read the following entry today and had a really good cry, so I thought you fellow-grieving-mothers might "enjoy" the poignancy of this poem as well on this, your special day ~ Mother's Day. Warning: it did draw many tears from me today….


Excerpt from on the road to emmaus, page 50:


It's often true that a poem or a song or a picture communicates truth and emotion far better and quicker than many words in a narrative. The following song by Dan Schutte is one that communicates great meaning to me, and I hope it will to you as well. Think of it as God speaking to you into the dark night of your soul. Don't just read it; drink it in, and let it seep into your heart as you read it and ponder its meaning for you.




"Holy Darkness" 

~Dan Schutte





Refrain
Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

1.
I have tried you in fires of affliction
I have taught your soul to grieve.
In the barren soil of your loneliness,
there I will plant (M)y seed.

Refrain
Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

2.
I have taught you the price of compassion;
you have stood before the grave.
Though (M)y love can seem
like a raging storm,
this is the love that saves.

Refrain
Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

3.
Were you there 
when I raised up the mountains?
Can you guide the morning star?
Does the heart take flight
when you give command?
Why do you doubt (M)y pow'r?

Refrain
Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

4. 
In your deepest hour of darkness
I will give you wealth untold,
When the silence stills your spirit,
will (M)y riches fill your soul.

Refrain
Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

5.
As the watchman waits for morning,
and the bride awaits her groom,
so we wait to hear (Y)our footsteps
as we rest beneath (Y)our moon.

Refrain
Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.



~~~





May you have a very Blessed Mother's Day!











The painting of Jesus comforting a mother is thanks to

"M" Words and the Christian Woman (on Facebook)

Lament Song: "Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom"
edited version of "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NDwW8onaoA

Lament Painting: 

"Starry Sky over the river Rohne" painting by Vincent Van Gogh
https://www.facebook.com/farsideoftherainbow/photos/a.265765910132193.59124.259827837392667/993523370689773/?type=3&theater

Lament Sentiment by Longfellow:

"Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven 
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels" 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lament Poem: 
"Holy Darkness" 
~Dan Schutte
(Daniel L. Schutte, Holy Darkness (Portland, OR: Oregon Catholic Press, 1988, 1989).
found in the book, on the road to emmaus: TRAVEL GUIDE THROUGH GRIEF, page 50




Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday's Sayings - Mother's Day Messages of Love from Across the Veil…







Saturday's Sayings


 Mother's Day Messages of Love from Across the Veil… 














Messages of Love
To, and From, 
Our Child in Heaven…





Parent to Child in Heaven:



Now that you are gone, 
my heart is broken.
But because you were once here,
it is completely filled with Love.




~~~~~




Child in Heaven to Parent:




Don't weep at my grave,
For I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly
To dance in the air.
I'll be singing in the sunshine,
Wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind,
While I'm waiting for thee.

~Angels of the Heart
Picture, Author Unknown



(This particular writing makes me tear up; I can just see my Merry Katherine saying this…)




~~~~~




 Parent to Child in Heaven...




I heard your voice in the wind today
and I turned to see your face;
The warmth of the wind caressed me
as I stood silently in place.

I felt your touch in the sun today
as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace
and my spirit soared high.

I saw your eyes in the window pane
as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell
it quietly said your name.

I held you close in my heart today
it made me feel complete;
You may have died...but you are not gone
you will always be a part of me.

As long as the sun shines...
the wind blows...
the rain falls...
You will live on inside of me forever
for that is all my heart knows.


~ Bonnie Breuilly-Pike, 
"Under Orion's Sky...You Live" from "Dancing with the Spirits of Shadowplay"

"Holding Hands" painting by Judy Mackey




~~~~~




Child in Heaven to Parent:




I'm no longer by your side,
But there's no need to weep
I've left sweet recollections
I'm hoping you will keep.

Eternal joy and memories
stay in our hearts forever,
strengthening our special bond
That parting cannot sever.

And if times of loneliness
bring sorrow and dismay,
don't despair, for I am there
Just a memory away.


~ Rita S. Beer
Painting by Claire Clements





~~~~~




 Parent to Child in Heaven...






When I close my eyes
You are here
Your charisma, your cheer, your tenderness
I feel you here

When I close my eyes
You are with me
Your spirit, your beauty, your charm
I feel you with me

When I close my eyes
You are in my arms
Your warmth, your compassion, your love
I feel you in my arms

No matter how far apart
Nor what the circumstance
I feel you here with me, in my arms - always
When I close my eyes


~ W. Jason Duncan 
Painting by Hyatt Moore




~~~~~




Child in Heaven to Parent:





ALWAYS WITH YOU

Your heart may be heavy and aching,
Now that I'm no longer here.
But, though you may shed many tears,
Let memories banish your fear.

My arms are no longer around you.
My lips cannot speak of my love.
But, I'm with you in spirit each day,
As I look down from Heaven above.

The house may be silent without me.
It doesn't mean I can't be there.
And, every night that you sleep,
Our love, in your dreams, we still share.

As you continue, alone on earth,
I'll be with you each step of the way.
I can still be the strength that you need,
To carry you through each new day.

Although, I know you can't see me,
Our spirits are joined as before.
So, whenever you feel uplifted,
Know it's me just loving you more.

In Heaven, we're given a gift
To still tend to the ones left behind.
So, smile when you think of me.
I remain in your heart and your mind.


~ Marian Jones
Painting, Author Unknown




~~~~~




 Parent to Child in Heaven...




I remember everything about you
Your voice, your smile, your touch
The way you walked, the way you talked
The way you looked at me, meant so much

I remember all the words you said to me
Some funny, some kind, some wise
All of the things you did for me
I see now with different eyes

I remember every moment we shared
Seems like only yesterday
Or maybe it was eons ago
It's really hard to say

You are gone from me now
But one thing they can't take away
Your memory resides inside my heart
And lights up my darkest days

~ Author Unknown
"Mother and Child" painting by Claire Szalay




~~~~~




Child in Heaven to Parent:





You think I've gone, that I am dead, and life has lost it's will,
But look around, I am right there, living with you still
I watch your tears, I feel your pain - I see the things you do
I weep as well, each time you cry, my soul, it lives with you

It gives such joy to hear you laugh, and do the things you do
And when you smile o'er by gone days, I smile right with you too
For we're still one, just you and me, one mind, one soul, one being
Walking forward into life, though only you are seen

And in the stillness of the night, when the pain it really starts
Stretch out a little with your mind and draw me to your heart
For I am always right in there, always by your side
For you have been, all my life's days, my joy, my love, my pride.

~ Author Unknown
"Souls Journey" painting by Janice Chrysler


~~~~~




Parent to Child in Heaven:




It seems like only yesterday
I rocked you on my knee,
With dreams about the future and
What you were going to be.

You were so bright and happy
Such a precious little boy,
You gave your love to everyone
And filled our hearts with joy.

Strangers would admire you
And stop to say hello,
"He'll break a lot of hearts," they said,
"In twenty years or so."

But less than twenty years from then,
What they said came true,
As we were forced against our will
To say goodbye to you.

A life so short and unfulfilled,
With so much left to go,
"Why, oh why?" we ask ourselves,
When we all loved you so.

Life shows us many options,
But whichever path we take
The destination's still the same
Whatever choice we make.

So many questions flood our minds,
"What if, and Why and How?"
If we had done things differently,
Would you still be with us now?

I don't know what the lesson was
That you were sent here to learn,
But now your purpose is fulfilled
It's time for you to return.

When I hear the phone ring
I expect to hear you say,
"Alright Mom? What're you doing,
Can I come 'round today?"

But you don't need to ask now,
You're with us every day,
Within our hearts, our minds, our souls,
Your memory will stay.

No fear, no pain or sorrow,
Can touch you anymore
But the love you've left behind,
Will live with us forever more.

~ Jan Andersen
"Mother and Child" painting by Karen Reitsma




~~~~~




Child in Heaven to Parent:





...But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before…

When you're walking down the street and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind…

There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time…

And when its time for you to go...from that body to be free,
Remember you're not going...you're coming here to me.

~ Ruth Ann Mahaffey
Painting, Author Unknown




~~~~~




Parent to Child in Heaven...





So go and run free with the angels
Dance around the golden clouds
For the Lord has chosen you to be with (H)im
And we should feel nothing but proud

Although (H)e has taken you from us
And our pain a lifetime will last
Your memory will never escape us
But make us glad for the time we did have

Your face will always be hidden
Deep inside our hearts
Each precious moment you gave us
Shall never, ever depart

So go and run free with the angels
As they sing so tenderly
And please be sure to tell them
To take good care of you for me

~ Author Unknown
"Angel Light" painting by Marina Petro

(Capitalizations of Deity pronouns, mine)










Thank you to The Far Side of the Rainbow/Facebook 
for all of the writings and paintings used today!

You may find the individual entries below:



#1)
https://www.facebook.com/farsideoftherainbow/photos/a.265765910132193.59124.259827837392667/1075743665801076/?type=3&theater


#2)


#3)
~Angels of the Heart
Picture, Author Unknown



#4)
~ Bonnie Breuilly-Pike, "Under Orion's Sky...You Live" from "Dancing with the Spirits of Shadowplay"



"Holding Hands" painting by Judy Mackey



#5)
~ Rita S. Beer
Painting by Claire Clements



#6)
~ W. Jason Duncan 
Painting by Hyatt Moore



#7)
~ Marian Jones
Painting, Author Unknown



#8)
~ Author Unknown
"Mother and Child" painting by Claire Szalay



#9)
~ Author Unknown
"Souls Journey" painting by Janice Chrysler



#10)
Writing: ~ Jan Andersen
"Mother and Child" painting by Karen Reitsma



#11)
Writing: ~Ruth Ann Mahaffey
Painting, Author Unknown



#12)
Writing: ~Author Unknown
"Angel Light" painting by Marina Petro

https://www.facebook.com/farsideoftherainbow/photos/a.265765910132193.59124.259827837392667/1008157489226361/?type=3&theater