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IN THIS ISSUE
=> From the Editor
=> News and Tidbits
=> Tips and Ideas
=> From our Readers
=> Inspirational Quote(s)
=> Copyright and Subscribe/Unsubscribe information
FROM THE EDITOR
My friend Kristy called the other day to share an incredible after death communication. Kristy lost her four year old daughter, Kassie, in 1992 in a horseback riding accident, and so in addition to being my friend, she is also a member of our local Compassionate Friends. I'd like to share her adc with you now.
Kristy had spent several days attempting, and attempting, and attempting to quit smoking. She was tired, stressed, and frustrated. She knew she was "biting everyones head off" and finally decided to just stay at home, away from everyone. While locked in her apartment with her cat, Angel, she spent the day chatting with Kassie. She asked her for a sign, she told her she needed a sign really bad, she even told her to get help from Jason, since he was more experienced. She told her she could get help from anyone, it wouldn't matter. Mom would know when the sign came. If Kristy were using my words, she would have said she was being relentless.
The next morning, Kristy received a phone call from Alice, another bereaved mom in our support group. Alice and Kristy hadn't visited for quite some time, and Kristy was surprised when seeing her name on her caller i.d. After hellos and how are yous, Alice got right to the point. She was calling Kristy to tell her about the dream she had the night before, and I guarantee you won't need a dream interpretation book to figure this one out.
In the dream, Alice remembers first that she was walking down a dirt road. At some point, she noticed a little girl up the road ahead of her. She didn't recognize her, but noted that she was facing Alice and waving her little hand at someone behind Alice. She turned around to see who it was . . . and of course . . . it was Kristy . . . huge smile . . . waving back at her daughter.
Dave (husband) and I attended the Bereaved Parents USA Conference in Las Vegas this summer. On the last day, we were both lost in our own little worlds as we made our way through the casino to the closing session. About half way between the elevator we had to get off after coming down, and the elevator we had to get on to go up, Dave stopped to pick up a dime by the Black Jack table. If you have read my book, you know that Jason seldom misses a chance to nudge us into seeing his dimes. Dave showed me what he had found, and we both smiled as he slipped it into his pocket.
We made it through the emotional video tribute of all of our children, and began saying our goodbyes to new and old friends. First in line was Carla Blowey and her family. (Note: Carla and I, along with Mitch Carmody and Judy Collier had presented an adc workshop together the previous day. Carla's daughter, Amber, was in attendance and one of the things we discussed was finding coins in strange places.) After promises to stay in touch, Carla told me Amber had something to tell me.
Sitting down beside Amber, I listened as she shared her "something".
"I was sitting downstairs on a stool by the Black Jack table this morning, when I decided to ask Kevin for a sign. I closed my eyes and told him I needed something strong, something that would tell me that he was with me right there, right now. When I opened my eyes I was looking down at the floor, and there was a dime right beside my feet. A wave of warmth came over me as I picked up the dime, and I felt that "I KNOW this is real feeling in my heart, in my gut, like we talked about yesterday. I felt Kevin on one side . . . and then just as strong, I felt Jason on the other."
I don't think I even need to tell you that I was crying by then, or that the emotional whoosh that Jason uses to get my attention was in full force. While I recovered and wiped mascara off my face, Dave reached into his pocket and pulled out the other dime. Handing it to Amber, he said, "Here's your other dime. I found it this morning . . . downstairs . . . by the Black Jack table."
"But . . . don't you want to keep it?" Amber asked.
Shaking his head, and smiling just a little, Dave whispered, ". . . no . . . i think they need to be together."
(Thank you, Amber!!! Not just for the dime experience, but for being who you are.)
When you were new
and you fit in my heart
like a soft baby doll curled up in a basket,
My love for you took my breath away.
Then you grew
into a little boy that laughed and smiled
and sometimes cried simply from the perils of growing up
and my love for you wanted to keep you small.
When gangliness arrived
and you stole hearts
and pretended to be your brother
and drove a car
and got a job,
My love for you tried to build you armor.
When you became a man
and still carried the little boy's softness
and still asked to have your back tickled before you fell asleep,
I knew my love for you
would never be enough to keep you here.
And now you have outgrown your body.
You have no boundary
to hold you
and your spirit flows and radiates
into mine, into the universe...
and once again,
my love for you takes my breath away.
Watch for news about John Edward's new show coming in the spring of 2006 on WE, the Women's Entertainment Channel. WooooHooooo!!! Way to go John!!
Medium, Season Premiere Sept. 19th (Mondays 10/9c)
Ghost Whisper, a new fall tv show starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, focuses on a young newlywed endowed with the unique ability to communicate with spirits . . .
Ever wish you could find bereavement cards that are for MORE than the week of the death? Last month and again this month, I included some poetry written by Deb Kosmer. Deb sent me here, where she is the designer/writer of the notecard listed as "Butterflies", and possibly more by now. What a wonderful resource this is. Thank you Deb!
NEWS AND TIDBITS
I will be presenting in Denver on September 23rd for the Longmont Compassionate Friends. If you live in the Denver area and are a bereaved parent, grandparent, or sibling, contact me for more information.
I am also presenting a lecture and a workshop (following Suzane Northrop) in Spokane on October 1-2, 2005 at Celebrating Miracles, Mystics & Magic. For more information, you can visit the Conscious Living website HERE
TIPS AND IDEAS
As you will read in the PONDERINGS section, I often forget to stop and feel. To help me out with this problem, I have placed a small sticker on the face of my watch to remind me of my passion. Every time I check the time, the sticker reminds me to take a few minutes to breathe, say "hey" to Jason, or "thank you" to the universe.
I am running out of tips and ideas to share with you. However, with nearly a thousand of you reading this newsletter, I know I can count on you to help me out. Please write to me with the
"things that we do" to get through the day, to celebrate a life, to CONNECT with that which we can no longer see. I would especially appreciate ideas for the upcoming holidays.
I sat in my back yard today, enjoying the first cool day we have had in a couple of months, and found myself talking to Jason. I told him how much I miss him, and how I wish he could just "stop in" for a bit, sit down and talk for a while . . . answer my questions, tell me what he's been doing, laugh for me, smile for me, be here for me. I explained that I just want to be in his space for a while, to soak up his energy.
"You can do that any time you want to. And you know it."
Damn. Once again, he's right. I do know it. I know that he is only a thought away, and I'm in control of the thought. Even then it's not that he's separate...away...on the other side of the "veil" or whatever. At least I don't think so. I think he's right here...and when I think of him his energy shifts to meet mine...something like that anyway.
Soooo...why do I always spend most of my time doing things that are on the bottom of my "important things to do today" list, and then fall asleep bemoaning the fact that I haven't connected with my son all day. Why do I refuse to take a 20 minute break from doing, to just be? To meditate. To breathe. To smell the breeze blowing across my garden. To write a poem. To daydream. To be right here, in this moment, aware of all that is going on around me and feeling the flow of it inside myself?
Is it procrastination? Do I put it off and put it off until there is no time left in the day and I am too tired to even hold my eyes open? No, I don't think so. I know when I'm procrastinating. I procrastinate when it's time for this newsletter to go out because I always think I won't know what to write. I procrastinate fully conscious. No, this is something different.
I think I let others, and my "programming" from earlier years, dictate what is important. I go through my day doing the things that HAVE to be done . . . first. Job responsibilities (for my employer and our clients), personal responsibilities such as paying the bills (for the people I owe), preparing meals and cleaning the house (for my family and any company we may have), putting on makeup and fixing my hair (for the people I come into contact with), and I could go on and on and on but the riddle is already solved. I do what I need to do for everyone else because these things are at the top of their "things that need to be done today" list. And when those things are done, for them, I am out of time.
It is certainly not their fault that their list is different than mine. If I want to spend time soaking up Jason's energy, then I need to stop waiting for him to knock me in the head and simply TAKE the time. If I want to meditate for ten minutes every morning then I need to turn off the telephone and sit in a quiet spot right after I've had my coffee. If I need to write at least one poem a week for a month or two, then I better have paper and pen by my side so that I can write what I have when I get it.
There is more than enough time in every day to do what I want to do. I only have to remember that my passion comes first. It is what allows me to be the person I am.
FROM OUR READERS
Once again, I am sharing some of Deb Kosmer's poetry. Deb is a Bereavement Support Coordinator for Affinity Visiting Nurses Hospice who provides grief services to Hospice patients and families as well as to other grieving individuals in the Fox Valley in WI. Services she provides include grief group facilitation, individual counseling, grief education and support mailings to grieving individuals and families and professionals who work with the grieving, community presentations on grief and loss. Deb has a bachelors and a masters degree in Social Work and is currently working towards certification in Thanantology. In a 3 year period Deb personally experienced the accidental deaths of her 14 year old son (Oct. 1989) and 31 year old sister (Feb. 1989) and her father (Jan. 1986) at 56 from a massive heart attack . Her personal losses led her to return to school and to the work she now does. Her grief poems have been published in Grief Magazine, Bereavement Magazine, and The Compassionate Friends national magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone. Deb also writes for the families she works with and for local agency newsletters. Deb can be reached by email or toll free at (866) 236-8500.
JUST FOR TODAY
Just for today
I will envision the future
Rather than dwell on the past
Just for today
I will live in this momen
Not the ones before you died.
Just for today
I will turn myself around
And walk forward, not backwards.
Just for today
I will believe hope exists
And open myself to its presence
Just for today
I will let love refill me
And flow from me.
Just for today
I will reach out to others
With more than my pain.
Just for today
I will live my life fully
And embrace one more day.
GRIEF, MOURNING, DARKNESS, and LIGHT
Someone turned off the lights.
It is so dark
How can I see?
How can I find my way?
Everything has changed.
What can I hold unto?
My pillars of support have crumbled
I am afraid.
Unless you have walked in this hell hole
This absence of light
Do not tell me I shouldnít be afraid
Do not tell me I shouldnít be angry
Do not tell me to be thankful for what I have
You who walk in the light
Who still see and feel the warmth of the sun
You who merely guess at the shadowy path
That leads one to here.
You have your theories, your words, and your idea
I have the truth
You do not ask for
Because you are afraid.
So, who really walks in darkness?
Perhaps, we each have our own
If you would listen
I would enlighten you
And then the darkness
Would lessen for each of us
As you cross over
Into my world.
And from Eileen Stein, Higher Ground, who writes: "The messages I've received confirm those that you have received, and yours serve as a validation of mine. And that is a wonderful, miraculous thing when this happens. We truly are all connected. Here is something I wrote/channeled for the bereaved, which you may include in your newsletter, if you like."
WHAT IS LETTING GO?
You may have heard it said: At some point you have to let go.
Why do you suppose people say that? What is it you have to let go of? The person? Your beliefs? Something else?
Well, they might say you have to move on, but basically it means the same thing--moving away from the relationship with the deceased. If we could come to a new understanding about this it could change our perspective on this issue forever.
Sure, you need to go on with your life--that is clear. But not necessarily completely without that person. Oftentimes it is the people closest to us that have the hardest time accepting that that type of a relationship is possible with us after we cross over. But love never dies and we are always around you, whether or not you "believe" it. And, please know, these words are not meant to be confusing or alarming, but reassuring and reaffirming in as gentle a way as possible. Some of you will actually be relieved to know that YOU DONíT HAVE TO LET GO. Consciousness does survive physical death.
Of course, if you donít want us to interfere, we never will. But we are available to comfort you, to encourage you, to remind you to not give up, and that you are loved. It really doesnít matter so much what you do (unless you have a specific agreement with someone), but more that your lives are happy and fulfilled, and that you live each day with thankfulness and love in your heart.
And more than anything we want you to be happy. Yes, we respect that you grieve for us (although from our perspective it is not necessary), but we hope that you will not let it hold you back for too long. Donít hold back your grieving process and you will be able to find peace sooner. Seek counseling if you need it, but make sure they donít tell you to get over us! Please DONíT get over us. LOVE IS FOREVER.
And an invitation for all of you:
What: Dreams4Healing Chat with Carla Blowey, bereaved mom and author of Dreaming Kevin: The Path To Healing
When: Second Monday, September 12, 2005
Time: 9-10:30 pm ET
Where: Access chat at: http://www.afterdeath.com/chat/index.htm
Host: Carla Blowey with ADC staffer Jeannie.
Purpose: Join Carla Blowey, bereaved mother and author of Dreaming Kevin: The Path To Healing, for open discussion and bereavement support, using your dreams as a tool for healing grief. Share personal dream symbols, archetypes, and ADCs as a means to reconciliation, personal healing, and self-empowerment. Open forum for bereavement support. Share your dreams, insights, wisdom, and healings!
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."
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Love Never Dies