Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blessed Christmas! Spending Christmas without Merry...

Blessed Christmas!

Spending Christmas without Merry

There are no halls decked with holly
There are no people looking jolly…

There is no door bedecked with a wreath
Just two people swamped with grief…

There are no packages under a tree
And there's no tree, just you and me…

Life is not a bowl, and it has no cherry
Since we lost our child, our darling Merry…

There are Christmas cards from a few friends
Though you find friends are few when your child's life ends…

We do order movies, but they are all about grief,
For shedding our tears does bring us some relief…

There is no shopping, for we find we need no presents;
We just need mourning time as we long for our Merry's presence…

There is no church we can attend,
For, filled with Child-Loss Grief, we find there's no room in the Inn…

But, we do find our Savior hovering near
He brings us grace and even lends His sweet cheer…

For you see, tastes all change when your child dies;
All we need is comfort, and our Lord to wipe our eyes...

He surrounds us with constant reminders of His love
In His scriptures for the brokenhearted filled with Comfort from Above…

He reminds us there's sweetness in our grief with echoes from Above
Because when each tear falls, it's all about the child we both so deeply love…

And somehow He lets us know He understands
For the Son of God was also the Son of man…

For our Lord who was born on that first Christmas night
Was surrounded from day one with Death's horrendous blight…

He too was wounded and acquainted with grief
He knew the feelings of despair that brought Him no relief...

His Father, too, knows our pain from the very bottom of His heart
Because He too lost His precious Child, and the whole world turned dark…

The Holy Spirit comes and joins us in our pain;
He recognizes our grief in each wordless groan He makes…

So somehow, as this Christmas day draws near
Though our hearts are torn without our Merry here,
Our hearts are comforted as God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
So tenderly draw near…

Merry, precious Merry, how we miss you our sweet child
Though seasons come and seasons go,
Whether spring winds, summer rains, fall chills, or winter snow,
Our Lord understands that without you our darling child,
Our spirits, this side of Heaven, will be forever riled…

So my bereaved friends, amidst your grief and pain,
May you remember that our God and Savior do truly understand...

With our Lord's sweetest blessings,

 Merry Christmas to all 
a God-Blessed and -Comforted New Year!

Poem - Spending Christmas without Merry ~Angie Bennett Prince - December 18, 2014

Top picture, thanks to

Bottom picture, thanks to

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday's Woe - Family Doubts

Wednesday's Woe

Family Doubts

Family Doubts 


Veiled Threats to add to our Troubles 
their Troublesome Holiday "Gifts"

There are no words to help you understand
What this life of Child-Loss grief and trauma is all about;
If you really knew, you would not command
Me to prove my love for you beyond all doubt.

It is all I can do each day to survive
Now going on eight years without my child;
I work hard each day just to stay alive
As my heart-soul-and-spirit have been left in a pile.

How can people be so clueless
As they puff up their chest in self-righteousness,
While we child-loss grievers are left to mourn,
Our souls by their self-righteous arrows now left further battered and torn...

We do not have sufficient words 
To explain this raw grief and trauma to ourselves,
Much less do we have the energy to find defensive words 
To explain ourself to their self-righteous selves.

Is it any wonder we withdraw from the world
When we have lost our hearts 
Along with our boy or girl?

Poem - Family Doubts ~Angie Bennett Prince - December 2, 2014

Grief picture, thanks to

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday's Woe - 8th Year "Angelversary" of Merry Katherine Commemorated or "Uncle Nary"

Wednesday's Woe

8th Year "Angelversary" 


Merry Katherine 



"Uncle Nary"

8/2: It was her death date
What could I say?
Words alone could not relate…

But then through my son I got the word…
My only grandchild's
words were heard…

Her mother, on the phone,
The child, my 3-year-old grandchild's
Words would atone…

Emulating her mommy, she too spoke
On her imaginary phone
to "Uncle Nary" (our grief she'd stoke... )

She told her mother, she had talked
to "Uncle Nary,"
But her mother balked…

"Who is that?!" she quickly said;
The child pointed to a picture
of Aunt Merry, 8 years now dead…

The aunt she'd never actually met
She had "talked" to...
Accompli fete *

Merry Katherine's daddy, today, to this poem aptly replied…

"2/8, the day I was born,
8/2, the day that I died…"

Yes, my child, though our hearts still moan 
As you are 8 years away from us, the heart of our Heaven-sent 3-year-old grandchild
Sends a sweet reminder to us ~that your spirit indeed 
.....does live on...

May God our great Comforter, and your great Rescuer, grant us the strength to 
.....continue on…
It gives my heart much sweet peace to know that you are safely There,
And our God, as ever, still upon His Throne!

*" accompli, fête " - poetic-licensed version of French phrase, 
"fête accompli"  loosely translated: 
"Feat accomplished," 
"Commemoration perfectly accomplished"!

Poem ~ 8th Year "Angelversary" of Merry Katherine Commemorated, or "Uncle Nary" ~ Angie Bennett Prince - 9/2014

Drawing Artwork: 

'peace'  ~Loui Jover 

via ~Saatchi Online, found on Pinterest:


In writing my poem...
Before writing this 3-line stanza poem about my child, I was inspired as I read that Edward Hirsch, one of my favorite modern poets, in writing about the loss of his 22-year-old son Gabriel in 2011, 

"(h)e found an organizing principle in the model of three-line stanzas. He liked that each stanza had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Usually, the three-line stanza is 'a dialect of the underworld,' Eavan Boland pointed out to me. 'A signal that the poem is about grief.' This is mainly because it invokes terza rima, the three-line rhyming scheme of the 'Divine Comedy.' Dante’s lines rhyme aba, bcb, cdc, and so on, but Hirsch’s lines are unrhymed."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

8 Years Ago Today... Your "Heaven Day" ~ A Poem to Merry Katherine on Her 8th Year in Heaven ~ "Your Living, Loving Smile"

8 Years Ago Today...

Your "Heaven Day"

A Poem to my Baby Girl in Heaven

Today, a precious Treasured Sister-of-the-Heart sent me this enlarged picture of Merry Katherine and her beautiful smile which inspired the following poem to my baby girl about our hearts after eight years of missing her. 

Thank you to Melody Robinson Hill {{{Adam}}} for your loving "Heaven Day" gift to me; I treasure your faithful friendship and your loving heart toward this fellow grieving mother!

Your Living, Loving Smile

Eight years ago, you went from our home to His,
from our hands to His,
but what I am thankful for is this:
Though you left our home, you never left our heart:
You're here to stay, from now through all eternity,
for Love never ends!
Come what may, it flows and it bends
though the trails become weary
and the strength becomes weak,
the eyes remain teary
and our Lord we continuously seek,
the Love remains;
it is God's gift...

The heart is strained,
but Love gives it a lift,
For Love is of God
and thus Love is eternal;
Though through Grief we still trod
(God knows its depths are infernal),
our hearts are alight
when we "see" your sweet smile,
for despite our dire plight
you still walk with us each mile:
In the depths of my tears,
you sense my deep pain;
then you simply "appear"
and my pain quickly wanes,
for I know you are There
(which quells my despair)
and I sense your new peace
which quashes my pain~
I sense the release
in your soul from all strain!
Thank you for coming
each time Mommy's so sad;
it's hard to endure
when I'm feeling so bad.

But your love is sure
to bring Mommy back
from the agony of loss
to the ecstasy that you're back (!)
walking hand in hand with me
in the face of grief's attack,
ever reminding me 
you are now in a Place
that is ever full of sweet peace
as daily, our Lord, you see face to face,
enjoying constant companionship
as there's no distance There,
but an intimate relationship
like living in prayer,
where no want or need
ever crosses your mind
for His love intercedes,
and His perspective you find.

I long to be There,
but I'll walk this road,
carrying my cross
bearing Grief's load,
for I know my Lord
will walk with me here,
fighting Grief's taunts with His fiery sword,
and through each of my meltdowns,
He'll lovingly meet me, to wipe every tear,
Soothing my heart, removing each frown,
for I know He has His work He wants me to do,
and He'll provide His strength
that will surely get me through.

And then one sweet Day,
He'll bring me Home too
when I'll hear my Lord tenderly say,
"Your baby's Here waiting for you!"
Until then, thank you sweet baby
for walking with me
and smiling so radiantly
until finally that Day when together we'll be!

Mommy loves you,
Daddy does too,
Rollin and Nathan are missing you too.
(What a wonderful reunion we will enjoy
when God opens up Heaven and restores all our Joy!)

Meanwhile God's love, and our love for each other will see us through,
While loving other parents whose angels are There today, playing with you, 
awaiting their Great Reunion with their loved ones too!

So up through the Heavens I'm blowing this kiss,
reminding you till Then, your presence we'll miss.

Thank you again for walking with me through each mile,
Loving your mommy by revealing your living, loving smile!

Poem - Your Living, Loving Smile - Angie Bennett Prince - August 2, 2014

Jesus said to her, 
"I am the resurrection and the life. 
He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; 
and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die."

John 11:25-26

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday's Mourning Ministry - O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go ~David Phelps / Grief Writings from ~Megan Devine

I have feared grief,
I have hated it, 
I have looked into its eyes, 
and I have cursed it. 
after many years in the darkness, 
I've made peace with grief. 

Now I know, 
with certainty, 
what is contained in my heart 
bigger than grief.

Death is not the victor.

Love is.

Monday's Mourning Ministry

O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go

~David Phelps


Grief Writings from ~Megan Devine

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go  

~David Phelps

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That Morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

O Love that wilt not let me go


Bound By... Pain and Love

My heart is where
Joy and Sorrow
Forever bound
By the music 
Of pain

And love

~Tanya Lord

Grief Video:


Death is not the victor

Bound by Pain and Love

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday's Soothing Scriptures - He is There to Lead Us Home

I said, God I hurt
And God said, I know
I said, I cry a lot
And God said, That's why I gave you tears
I said, Life is so hard
And God said, That's why I gave you loved ones
I said, But my loved one died!
And God said, So did mine!
I said, It's such a great loss!!
And God said, I saw mine nailed to a cross!!
I said, But Your loved one lives!!
And God said, So does yours!!
I said, Where is he now??
And God said, My Son is by My side and
your son is in My arms!!

~author unknown

Sunday's Soothing Scriptures

He is There to Lead Us Home

He is There to Lead Us Home

Matthew 18:10-14 NIV

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father in heaven. [11] For the Son of man came to save that which was lost. 

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 

13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 

14 "In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish."


As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after My sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 


"Indeed, the Son of man has come to seek and to save people who are lost."


9God showed how much he loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.  

10This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.


John 3:17 NIV

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." 


Over Slippery Stones
and through
Swirling Streams
He is There to Lead Us Home.

NIV = New International Version
GWT = GOD'S WORD Translation
NLT = New Living Translation

Graphics, thanks to

...your son is in My arms!!

Over slippery stones and through swirling streams HE is there to lead us Home.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday's Faith - "Not in What I Understand"

Friday's Faith

"Not in What I Understand"

Messenger of God

Oh, Little Butterfly,
Messenger of God,
When I see you in the sky
I cannot help but nod.

You bring me respite
From grief and despair
Every time I see you
Sailing through the air.

You renew my faith
In all God's wondrous plan,
And I know it's all in FAITH,
Not in what I understand.

~ Kathryn Poland

Butterfly painting by Abbie Blackwell

Post, thanks to
on ~Facebook

Poem, thanks to Kathryn Poland, via 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday's Therapy - "Breaking Bad" Grief Therapy ~Dr. Joanne Cacciatore alerts...

Thursday's Therapy

"Breaking Bad" 

Grief Therapy

~Dr. Joanne Cacciatore alerts...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

(massman: noun,  an average, typical, or ordinary man :  a prototype of the mass society especially when regarded as lacking individuality or social responsibility, as drawing his stereotyped ideas from the mass media, and as easily manipulated by economic, social, or cultural elites)

Every week, I have the privilege to hold a discussion about grief with colleagues Dr. Geoff Warburton & therapist Megan Devine, two dear friends who simply 'get it.'

Both have experienced grief from the inside during the course of their lives and have now devoted themselves to the practice of grief counseling.

We share a sentiment about grief in Western culture. That is, in general, grief is widely misunderstood, castigated, affronted, and bypassed in practice, theory, the media, and even in some spirituality.  Most recently, we discussed the spiritual bypass, and a more thorough triadic diatribe about this topic is forthcoming. I digress (as usual)...

Fast forward to today.

Another dear friend, a medical doctor and researcher in Canada working in refugee health (note: plenty of grief and trauma in this population), recently attended a conference in the U.S.  One of the days in this conference was devoted to "bereavement care".

She was so upset by what she'd heard that she abruptly exited two workshops that were intended to help grieving parents.

She sent me some of the materials to review and I shared her deep concerns. Actually, I was mystified and astonished.

Two clinicians who were presented posited "therapies" which were not only (less than) pseudo-science but more than that: They are potentially harmful to the bereaved.  Their suggested "interventions" may even further disenfranchise, stigmatize, and pathologize normal, albeit painful, traumatic grief.   Their strategies promoted the "unfeeling" and "unseeing"and even medicating of grief... precisely the opposite of what research in traumatic grief suggests as most efficacious, and it was some of the most 'unmindful' and experientially avoidant propaganda I have ever seen.

Experiential avoidance (that is the chronic turning away from or distracting of painful emotions/memories unconsciously), in fact, in the SCIENTIFIC literature is closely linked with substance abuse, physical illness, and other maladaptive behaviors and affect. 

Look, I get it.

Clinicians are not often researchers so they may or may not be able to discern the rigor of a study's outcomes. Many of them don't even have time to read the research and may not understand methodology.

So, herein lies the dilemma: Bad therapy happens. And bad therapy isn't just bad therapy- it's not like a bad haircut. These are people's lives. And not just any people. The most vulnerable population on earth.  Very, very dangerous, indeed.

So here is a rare offering of advice - maybe an invitation - for bereaved persons: caveat emptor.

Be careful with whom you share your grief.

Be careful with whom you share your grief.

Be careful with whom you share your grief.

And be wary of advice wielding, arrogant "clinicians" who think they know it all.

The clinicians who know best are the ones who admit they know nothing. The best therapists are the ones who admit their impotence in the face of such trauma and suffering. They are the ones who say, "There aren't words... I have no cure... And I will join you in the abyss..."

They are some duplicitous charlatans who are out to exploit. But there are also many well-intended who can harm you and me and us all. They often don't read or understand the research, they believe what others in positions of authority tell them without question, they may not be prone to dialectical thinking, and they often pretend to know the unknowable. Even if unwittingly, they end up preying on those who are desperate for any help, presenting themselves as the experts.

They are on the internet, on Facebook, at conferences, in clinical interactions, and in the grocery store.

Western culture, by its nature, promotes the use of nearly any strategy to bypass grief. Drugs, sex, alcohol, shopping, food, gambling, exercise, work, any distraction you can name. Even therapy.  But the sages knew what we seem to have forgotten in contemporary society: No 'intervention' and no interventionist can 'cure' your grief.  There is no panacea. You are not broken, you are broken hearted. And as Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk said 'there is no more whole heart than a broken heart.' 

You are not in need of repair. No alphabet soup intervention (ABC therapy, XYZ medication) and, certainly, no drug can assuage your grief.  The only way is through, and the only way through is with loving, nonjudgmental support, good self care and self compassion, and some other things demonstrated in the literature to be helpful in coping with, not eradicating, grief. And frankly, the source of many concerns about the prolongation of grief resides within our own social groups- others pressuring mourners to 'get over it,' 'move on', 'feel better.' Others who do not remember with us. Others who ostracize us and treat us as lepers. This kind of social reaction is not helpful, and actually is quite isolating and harmful for grievers. So let's focus on an intervention for a sick and intolerant culture that coerces us into believing we are entitled to happiness and comfort and immortality at all times and at all costs.

So if you need some extra support because you are feeling lonely, withdrawn, and confused, that help can come from those who are innate helpers from within your circle of friends/family/faith community and/or from those trained to help you to integrate your grief..., not push it away, decry, avoid, repress, or otherwise deflect it.  Surround yourself with others who have a "PhD" or "MD" or advance degree in common-sense and loving kindness.

Hell, I've seen animals give better 'therapy' than plenty of 'therapists.'

Again my unsolicited advice: Do not believe everything a so-called professional tells you. If it offends your soul, follow Whitman's advice and "dismiss" it.  Rather, trust the wisdom of your own grief. Get help if and when you need it from others who will embrace and uphold you and who understand what SCIENCE says about trauma, grief, and love. Yes, love.

Little in this conference's literature I read as it related to grief was based in science. And, nothing in any of the literature I read from this "conference" felt like love. And this saddens me beyond words.

Because in the end, grief is not a medical issue. Grief is not an issue to be solved or cured. Grief is an issue of the heart. 

Heed Goethe's harbinger: Beware the massman, the troubled guest on the dark earth.


Thank you to Dr. Joanne Cacciatore for her heartfelt words or warning to us so that we may protect our grief-torn hearts and souls as best we can in choosing wisely to whom we open our hearts.

Dr. Cacciatore's article:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday's Woe - Child-Loss Grief Compounds with Unresolved Childhood Pain ~Tommy Prince

Wednesday's Woe

Child-Loss Grief Compounds 


Unresolved Childhood Pain

~Tommy Prince

Now that the double doors have been thrown wide open with my Child-Loss Grief, childhood pain spots a weakness in the surface through which it can gush, screaming, 

"Me, too! Me, too!"

All my pain ~ every bit of it ~ now screams for relief...


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday's Trust - Heart Scars in The Lepers' Colony

Tuesday's Trust

Heart Scars


The Lepers' Colony

Heart Scars in The Lepers' Colony

We of the lepers' colony know who we are;
We limp, we falter, we need to hide…
We notice: our friends, too, retreat afar…
So to tend our wounds, in our Lord we abide ~
He is our safety: He accepts where we are;
He embraces our honesty; He comes alongside.

We of the lepers' colony know who we are;
Our wounds, too deep, others run far and wide
Yet we know deep love must bleed out, though it creates scar after scar,
So our own wounds we tend, and to other lepers confide.
As we groan and we limp and cannot run far,
We narrow our world, and make time to abide
In the deep Spirit of God who comes alongside.

He too knows deep grief as His Son left His side
To go and love others, and suffer Love's scars
Even to death, so He could bring us alongside
To come to His Father, and in His love abide.

(He suffers when each of us lambs, running afar,
Afraid of our own needs, in fear we hide,
Not letting Him come near to see who we are,
And yet, we need a Savior both to rescue and chide
To draw us to Him, and to face who we are.)

Without facing our pain, and our own hurt denied,
We cheat ourselves, allowing Him to bear all our scars,
Till with Love He o'ercomes us and opens our eyes
To know we need Him to help us face ourselves, and carry Love's scars.

So now too we cherish our pain gushing from inside,
Though it torments and wounds, healing over into each scar,
For each scar represents the Love we still have for our child
And reminds us of our mothering and fathering, for that's who we are.

With all the joys and the pains, we come to our child's side;
In embracing all the emotions, we feel our pierced side,
Yet we know it's all worth it, for that's who we are,
Mothers and Fathers who love, rendered lepers with scars…

We of the lepers' colony know who we are,
But we rejoice despite pain, knowing the love treasured within each scar!

Jesus, despite His perfection in Heaven, today still retains Love's scars!
So when we see them in Heaven, we'll be reminded each time
Of such love poured out for us, surpassing any other love by far…

So perhaps, when sprung into Heav'n from our lepers' colony, we too will still bear Love's scars…

Perhaps our children will be overjoyed to see the depths of our love poured out for them within each of our Love-filled scars.

Poem - Heart Scars in The Lepers' Colony - Angie Bennett Prince - June 24, 2014

Top Graphic, thanks to


Graphic #2, thanks to 


Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday's Mourning Ministry - Broken Hallelujah ~The Afters

Why Jesus came…

To grant those who mourn in Zion, 
Giving them a garland instead of ashes, 
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. 
So they will be called oaks of righteousness, 
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. 

~Isaiah 61:3

Monday's Mourning Ministry

Broken Hallelujah

~The Afters

Broken Hallelujah

The Afters

I can barely stand right now.
Everything is crashing down,
And I wonder where You are.

I try to find the words to pray.
I don't always know what to say,
But You're the one that can hear my heart.

And even though I don't know what Your plan is,
I know You make beauty from these ashes.

I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
And on my knees, I call Your name.
"Here's my broken hallelujah."

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken 
Here's my broken
Here's my broken

You know the things that have brought me here.
You know the story of every tear.
‘Cause You've been here from the very start.

And even though I don't know what your plan is,
I know You make beauty from these ashes.

I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
And on my knees, I call Your name.
Here's my broken Hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken 
Here's my broken
Here's my broken

When all is taken away, 
don't let my heart be changed.
Let me always sing, 

And when I feel afraid, 
don't let my hope be erased
Let me always sing 
(Let me always sing)
Let me always sing, 
I will always sing
I will always always sing
(Here's my broken)
Here's my broken

I will always sing
I will always sing
Here's my broken
Here's my broken




1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me 
To bring good news to the afflicted; 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 
To proclaim liberty to captives 
And freedom to prisoners; 
2To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD 
And the day of vengeance of our God; 
To comfort all who mourn, 
3To grant those who mourn in Zion, 
Giving them a garland instead of ashes, 
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. 
So they will be called oaks of righteousness, 
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. 
4Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, 
They will raise up the former devastations; 
And they will repair the ruined cities, 
The desolations of many generations.

~Isaiah 61:1-4


17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 


20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21And He began to say to them, 

"Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

~Luke 4:17-21 NASB

Graphic, thanks to