Poems and Reflections

Ten Hard Truths About Grief

by Thom Dennis

#1 Some things are beyond our control

We would all prefer to live with the illusion that we are in control of our own lives, but a sudden change in the weather, an unwelcome diagnosis or a random act of violence reminds us that no one is the master of their fate. The truth is: In this life there is very little of real consequence that we can control. The challenge is to accept this reality and refocus attention on what is within our power to change. We can acknowledge our feelings and choose how we will respond to whatever life has thrown in our direction.

#2 There are consequences to being mortal

In our office there is a beautifully illustrated book called, Lifelinesby Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen. We use it to explain death to children. When it comes to grief, we are all little children needing comfort, reassurance, and gentle age-appropriate explanations. The sad truth is that people die. In fact, everything dies. Death is a natural part of life. As much as we would like to believe our parent, spouse, sibling, child, fried or loved one will live forever, they will eventually die. In the end, even you and I will die. It’s not fair, but it’s part of being mortal.

Continue reading “Ten Hard Truths About Grief”

Bereaved Parents, Poems and Reflections

Growing Together

by Cathi Lammert, RN

• Your relationship as a couple is the most important relationship. Let it take precedence over all others.

• When a baby dies, the grief affects both of you at the same time. Other stresses in a relationship usually do not impact both individuals simultaneously. Therefore, your closest support is not always able to respond to you because he/she is trying to cope with his/her own grief.

• Each person in the relationship will grieve in individual ways. Learning to understand your partner’s ways may take some time and may be difficult.

Continue reading “Growing Together”

Poems and Reflections

How Long Will It Take?

How long will it take me to get over the feeling of sorrow?
A lifetime.
How long will I continue to feel guilty?
As long as it takes you to realize you did nothing wrong.
How long will it take me to get over my anger?
As long as it will take you to stop blaming yourself and others, and realize it was  the combination of unpredictable happenings that occur in one’s lifetime.
Why do friends give such horrid advice?
To cover up their own inability to handle the situation.
Will I ever be happy again and be able to laugh?
An emphatic YES!
How long is long?
As long as it takes for you to go through the process. Each individual has his or her own time-table, but it is up to you to make the decision when to start healing.

~~The Compassionate Friends, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Poems and Reflections

If Tomorrow Never Comes

by Norma Cornett Marek

If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I would see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time that I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would videotape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day. Continue reading “If Tomorrow Never Comes”

adult sibling grief, Poems and Reflections

I Had a Dream

I Had a Dream
by Donna Fields

Sharin Childress
Sharin Childress

On Monday, February 23, 2015, as Sharin Childress drifted off into a deep sleep, she was having a dream of dreams. She was at the Orange County Beach standing by the shore where she stirred the darkest waves. As she reached for that far tide with its powerful sweep, Sharin buried her troubles in the shore where no mortal could see. Sharin began to pray, humbly making her supplications known. While making her supplications known, she began to imagine Heaven and what it would be like.

Sharin began to walk along the shore. As she walked the shore, she noticed a set of footprints in the sand. She followed the path. The footprints led her to the end of the Orange County Beach. Upon reaching the end of the shore, Sharin saw a Fisherman. He was gathering fish from the shore. Continue reading “I Had a Dream”

Bereaved Parents, Poems and Reflections

What Makes a Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today,
I asked, “What makes a Mother?”
And I know I heard him say:

A Mother has a baby,
This we know is true
But, God, can you be a mother
When your baby’s not with you?

Yes, you can, he replied
With confidence in his voice,
I give many women babies,
When they leave it is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for the day,
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there’s no need to stay.

I just don’t understand this God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath,
And cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear.

I wish I could show you,
What your child is doing here…
If you could see your child smile
With other children and say,

“We go to earth to learn our lessons
of love and life and fear,
but My mummy loved me so much
I got to come straight here!”

I feel so lucky to have a Mum who had so much love for me,
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My Mummy set me free.
I miss my Mummy oh so much

But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow is where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,

And whisper in her ear,
“Mummy, Please don’t be sad today,
I’m your baby and I am here”
So you see my dear sweet one,

Your children are okay.
Your babies are here in My home,
And this is where they’ll stay.
They’ll wait for you with Me,

Until your lessons there are through,
And on the day that you come home,
they’ll be at the gates waiting for you
So now you see

What makes a Mother,
It’s the feeling in your heart,
It’s the love you had so much of
Right from the very start.

by Jennifer Wasik
In memory of Zachery Wasik

Poems and Reflections, The Road Less Traveled

Avoiding the Clichés of Grief

by Sasha J. Mudlaff, M.A.

“I know just how you feel.”
Possible Alternative
If you have had a similar loss, you can give tremendous support to the grieving person, but don’t suggest that you know exactly what they’re going through.

“Time will heal.”
Possible Alternative
Moldy oldie! To the bereaved, each day can seem like an eternity. Besides, how do you know that “time will heal” them? Time alone doesn’t heal, but what one does with their time can help the healing process.
Alternative – “You must feel as if this pain will never end…”

“Life goes on.”
Possible Alternative
“Life has dealt you a terrible blow. I know it will be hard for you in the months to come to live with this pain.” Continue reading “Avoiding the Clichés of Grief”