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Love Never Dies, A Newsletter about the Journey from Loss to Love


February 2006
Issue #18
Sandy Goodman, Editor


Welcome to the "LOVE NEVER DIES" newsletter. Please e-mail me after perusing this issue with any ideas, submissions, or questions for the May issue. Thank you!

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IN THIS ISSUE

=> From the Editor
=> Poetry
=> Resources
=> News and Tidbits
=> Tips and Ideas
=> Ponderings
=> From our Readers
=> Inspirational Quote(s)
=> Copyright and Subscribe/Unsubscribe information

FROM THE EDITOR

Death from a Front Row Seat
By Sandy Goodman

I have wanted to write this article (my very own view of death seen through my very own eyes with my very own rose colored glasses) for an eternity. However, every time I began writing and tried to create a piece that would be appropriate for both the newly bereaved and those who have walked the path for years, my creative juices turned to muck.

I hate to accept, much less admit, that I was intimidated. However, in hindsight . . . I was intimidated. Allow me to explain why. First of all, I was a bit anxious about the fact that my ideas on dying do not come from experience with the actual process. I have not held the hand of someone who was dying, nor have I led a recently crossed soul to the light. Many of my family members are on the other side, but they traveled there without my assistance, directions, or company. Secondly, there is the difficulty I have with writing "woo- woo" jargon. If my article was published in a new age magazine, they might complain that I write, and speak, too practically. I do not use words like transcendence, ascension, or manifestation, but have been known to utter "cowboy up" more than once. Lastly, I tend to color outside of the lines. If my opinion about death and dying was published in a mainstream, conservative magazine, the odds are good I would alienate a few readers. So after careful thought, I did what any gifted writer would do when the dreaded block appears. I procrastinated.

I was able to do that with little effort, since at that time, my part of the world was cold and bleak. There were just enough pleasant days to create a slushy mess and everywhere I looked, I saw nothing but shades of brown. Brown snow, brown trees, and brown grass. Brown does nothing for writer's block. Then, about a week ago, a change occurred when a thick blanket of fog rolled in and enveloped our little valley. The heavy mist shrouded us for days, while the earth solemnly held its breath. It became impossible to stay warm and dry, and our wide-open spaces shrunk to less than a square mile. For the first few days, the neutral grays were a welcome change but after nearly a week, I had to accept that my juices were still muck.

I was just about ready to proclaim myself an expert in procrastination, when I awoke this morning to LIGHT. Overnight, the incessant cloud had vanished as silently and swiftly as it had appeared and the fog had turned everything it touched into pure white radiance. As I stared in wonder, overcome by the masterpiece before me, a thought broke into my solitude. I clearly heard "Transition" and the words I have longed to share with you on paper, or in this case, online, came.

It is often said that death is a transition. Those of us "in the know" can accept this without much pondering. But are we to perceive death only as a transition? Or is what we need to learn a little bit more complicated than that. Perhaps death, like the fog that rolls into our world, is the catalyst for change. And like the cloud of fog, it changes everything and everyone it touches. It may appear in the blink of an eye, loud and sudden, stunning those who witness its arrival. It may wait, suspended in the distance, slowly developing until the time and conditions are right for all who wait. Regardless of the speed of its approach, death, like the fog, cannot be bargained with. It comes, and it transforms.

In 1996, my 18-year-old son grabbed a high voltage line. His heart stopped three hours later. Losing a child is a traumatic loss and there are no adequate words to describe the horror I found myself trapped in. An unfathomable darkness surrounded me, and I had only one decision to make. Would I stay and start over, or leave? I chose to stay.

I allowed myself to grieve Jason's death. I knew (perhaps it was a memory I brought with me into this lifetime) that if I did not feel the pain, grief would wait until I could. My journey soon began and I was swept along on the path toward healing. I often started over, fell into the pits along the way, and sometimes stood at forks in the road for months deciding which direction to take. I threatened to quit often and there were days when all I could do was lie alongside the road and whimper. But I survived and after nine and a half years, the path still stretches out before me.

As I let go of the pain, I found love waiting to take over. While getting through the loss of my son, I was at the same time searching for and finding him again. Jason and I began communicating, both directly and with the help of mediums, and I found what I so desperately needed to know. That death is a change in form, another stage of life.

When death touched me, it made me new again. It took all that I had, ripped every emotion, every feeling, every false belief and perception out of my heart, and forced me to begin again. Looking back, it is easy to see that Jason's death instigated a "transition" for my soul. A gift in disguise, an opportunity . . . no, not an opportunity . . . a mandate to start my life over.

The son I found on the other side of that imaginary line we draw in the universe, was not the son who threw his dirty socks in a corner or used Black Cherry Kool-Aid to turn his blonde hair red. Jason has grown, or more likely has Re-membered who he really is. His wisdom amazes me, and his "transition", has been my inspiration.

On the other hand, the new Jason has been difficult to accept. The mother in me wants to mother. I want to nurture, guide, and teach. Instead, Jason has become the parent. Once again, a "transition" in our relationship. I had to change my perception of love and realize that its strength is not determined by a biological link. Love simply is. No conditions. No exceptions.

When the emergency room physician shook his head and said "I'm sorry . . . " a fog descended and changed everything it touched. Death lunged into my tidy little life and erased all that came before. It changed Jason, our relationship, and me. It changed the ENERGY that surrounded us. As I sat with the fog, with death, and learned to understand it and appreciate its purpose, it slowly transformed everything into crystal clear light. Occasionally, the radiance of that light is so intense it nearly blinds me. Sometimes, it hurts to look into it and I turn away. But always, it radiates warmth.

And so instead of death being a transition, I believe we need to take it one step further. I believe that death causes transition. Like the fog, it rolls in and transforms the browns into brilliant white and silver, the mundane into enlightened, and fear into a knowing that even in death . . . love remains.

You can read this article and more from other writers in the Living With Loss: Hope and Healing for the Body, Mind, and Spirit magazine. Formerly Bereavement Magazine, this "support group in print" is full of tools and resources for the bereaved. With a new format and new editor, the next issue comes out in May.


POETRY

funny

isn't it funny
when time stands still
and a memory we feared long gone
comes bubbling through
the slime and sludge
of all that has come since
and suddenly
there they are
in all their glory
smiling
laughing
being.
isn't it funny
that we
still
cry.....




RESOURCES

I'm thrilled to announce that Spiritspace is up and running again. Their intent is to have readings (spirit led) on Wednesday and Friday evenings. I heard a rumor that their student mediumship classes are returning also.

***********************************

John Edward Cross County, the new WE show, starts in March. Read more here.

***********************************

Neale Walsch has a new book coming out this spring. Home with God: In a Life that Never Ends
"Nothing has riveted humanity's interest more -- nor has anything been more frightening or awe-inspiring -- than the experience known as death. In Home with God, the final installment of his bestselling Conversations with God series, Neale Donald Walsch asks the questions that everyone has longed to ask and receives the answers readers have all been waiting for."


NEWS AND TIDBITS

In my last newsletter I announced my intention to present at The Compassionate Friends National Conference this summer in Dearborn, Michigan. Unfortuntately I counted my chickens before they hatched and I am now announcing that I will NOT be doing a workshop. This year was my fifth failed attempt at convincing the TCF National office that I should volunteer my time, pay my own expenses, and share what I have experienced at the national conference. After much pondering, and a little bit of huffing and puffing, I have decided that it was also my last attempt . . .

***********************************

On the other hand, I recently presented for the Ft. Collins chapter of TCF and cannot say enough good things about Kathy, Joyce, Mike, and everyone else I was able to meet there. What a wonderful experience! Thank you folks!!

***********************************

I am also presenting a workshop (or two) at the Bereaved Parents USA Gathering in St. Louis, June 23-25th. Let me know if any of you are attending!

***********************************

A couple post-its (visualize now....little yellow slips of paper) Subscribe to John Edward's newsletter, Evolve.

Visit and register at the Love Never Dies Forum

Read Love Never Dies in its entirety (FREE) at Jodere Group, Inc.

TIPS AND IDEAS


I've always wanted to sneak up to Jason's Rock late at night, in the fall, and plant daffodil bulbs all over his grave. It's against the rules you know, but if they came up before they mowed in the spring it would be so awesome to see. Anyone ever done anything like that? Just curious.

***********************************

Spring will be here before you know it. As I do every year, I want to remind you that the change of seasons brings new "firsts", new memories, and new feelings. Be prepared and just flow with it. Grief is not easy, you deserve the extra time to nurture it.

***********************************

My only tip this time is a nudge to you to meditate. If you never have, start now. If you are a regular, let me know what that is like for you. How does it help you?

PONDERINGS


About a month ago, as I was falling asleep at night, I "pictured" Jason in my head as I always do before falling asleep at night. What was different is that in my "picture" that I was fully conscious of "creating" he had on a cowboy hat. I remember arguing with him in my thoughts and saying "YOU don't wear cowboy hats, your BROTHER wears cowboy hats. You have NEVER worn a cowboy hat!!" I am smiling as I type this. It's no wonder people think we are nuts. Anyway, a few days later, I realized that the reason this probably happened was so I would believe that even when I am doing the creating, visualizing my son, it is still "him" that I see. He is still a part of that creation. Are you with me? Jason was showing me that it's not just me making it up, he is involved. Okay.....

A couple weeks later, I was falling asleep and actually seeing faces...profiles....real people. These were not daydream images, created by me, but real images in my head who I did not know. They were strangers as far as I could tell. Suddenly, Jason "appeared". He was very clear, right there on my little "movie screen" that lies between my eyes and my eyelids...but there was a problem. He was dressed for the occasion.....as a Ninja. Yep. A Ninja. And probably the funniest looking Ninja I've ever seen.

I knew it was significant. I was sure that something was going to happen in the next couple of days that would relate and I would be astounded at the message. But.......it didn't happen.

A few days later I was sharing the story with Kristy and in the middle of a sentence, I realized that the answer to the riddle was quite simple. Jason had worn a cowboy hat to show me that my "daydream" images of him are real. He showed up in a Ninja suit to show me that my pictures that come without my help, the strangers (yeah right) and my loved ones, the clear actual pictures that just pop into my head, are just as real as the ones I create. Very simple. Thank you Jason.

***********************************

I had a dream about my boys this week. Jeremy, Josh, and Jason. It seemed to go on all night, it was a fun dream, a crazy dream. Weddings and parties and shannanigans. I woke up feeling wonderful, realizing that I can still remember Jason just as he was, or as he would be, without any problems. (For those of you who have not lost someone you love, there is a universal fear that we will forget what they looked like, what they sounded like, etc.) SO even though I know the dream was not a visit....although it remains in my memory right now like it happend only an hour ago....and it was clear and vivid....but even though I do not feel it was a visit, I still remember my son as if he were here now, after ten years. Interesting that he appeared to be the same age as Josh in the dream...he looked about 27....28....hmmmm.....


FROM OUR READERS

From Michael T Smith
Fort Lee, New Jersey

Life is a Bag of Frozen Peas

A few weeks after my first wife, Georgia, was called to heaven, I was cooking dinner for my son and myself. For a vegetable, I decided on frozen peas. As I was cutting open the bag, it slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor. The peas, like marbles, rolled everywhere. I tried to use a broom, but with each swipe the peas rolled across the kitchen, bounced off the wall on the other side and rolled in another direction.

My mental state at the time was fragile. Losing a spouse is an unbearable pain. I got on my hands and knees and pulled them into a pile to dispose of. I was half laughing and half crying as I collected them. I could see the humor in what happened, but it doesn’t take much for a person dealing with grief to break down.

For the next week, every time I was in the kitchen, I would find a pea that had escaped my first cleanup. In a corner, behind a table leg, in the frays at the end of a mat, or hidden under a heater, they kept turning up. Eight months later I pulled out the refrigerator to clean, and found a dozen or so petrified peas hidden underneath.

At the time I found those few remaining peas, I was in a new relationship with a wonderful woman I met in a widow/widower support group. After we married, I was reminded of those peas under the refrigerator. I realized my life had been like that bag of frozen peas. It had shattered. My wife was gone. I was in a new city with a busy job and a son having trouble adjusting to his new surroundings and the loss of his mother. I was a wreck. I was a bag of spilled, frozen peas. My life had come apart and scattered.

When life gets you down; when everything you know comes apart; when you think you can never get through the tough times, remember, it is just a bag of scattered, frozen peas. The peas can be collected and life will move on. You will find all the peas. First the easy peas come together in a pile. You pick them up and start to move on. Later you will find the bigger and harder to find peas. When you pull all the peas together, life will be whole again.

The life you know can be scattered at any time. You will move on, but how fast you collect your peas depends on you. Will you keep scattering them around with a broom, or will you pick them up one-by-one and put your life back together?

How will you collect your peas?

***********************************

From Dean Luddon
Dixon, Illinois
Synchro's Poetic Thoughts

August 16

Ignition...on
and in an hour, it was over.
One slash of time made ridicule
of caution, for the silence that he chose
was not enough; he hated it,
chose death instead,
and that without regret.

I wonder just how long it was
the engine poured its fumes
into his ambience,
and he beyond a care...
how many passed just yards away,
how many chronicles raced
past the brute unconsciousness
of the undead, as they sped by.

It was a double silence that prevailed
upon the darkening day--
a double irony as that frail candle
smoldered when its destiny
was light.

***********************************

From Deb Kosmer
Purplescarf@new.rr.com
Oshkosh WI

REAL

In my dreams
You wait for me
Free from death
We talk, we laugh
We hug, then hug again
Time stops for us
You hold me
I can feel you
You are real
Really real
Life is good
You never left
Until… I wake up

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE(S)

"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come." -

Expect Miracles,
Sandy

COPYRIGHT INFO
Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved

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