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


Summer 2006
Issue #19
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 Fall 2006 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

I was fortunate enough to spend some time this summer with my friend Becky. She and I became friends a hundred years ago when we attended cosmetology school together. Our friendship grew through both of our marriages, the births of my children and one of hers, one divorce, another marriage, and then another childbirth for Becky. It withstood our move to Wyoming in 1986, and continued as if only a few miles separated us. However, above all of this, it grew even stronger when Jason died. Even when I fell apart, mutated into a stranger, changed all that I believed, and sometimes acted utterly maniacal, Becky only listened and nodded her head. Instead of growing apart, we grew together. We grieved together. We learned together. (....so here's to you Becky.... we rock.)

Anyway, I'm rambling. Let's get back onto the subject here. While Becky and I were cooling off in the South Dakota pool (which we pretty much didn't leave for three entire days this June) I was talking about my upcoming trip to St. Louis for the Bereaved Parents USA conference. I was defining the four days I would be gone as my Jason time. Since I no longer have the opportunity to sit with Jason and visit, I tend to substitute time spent at things like the conference for the time that I miss physically being with him. However, what I hadn't really thought about until that moment in the pool was that any time I am away from my ordinary day to day life...whether it be sitting in my back yard at dusk, lying on an air mattress in that pool, or driving my truck into town, is Jason time.

Stay with me, I know this is going somewhere. Before Jason died, I was never away from my ordinary day to day life. Neither was I ever reflecting on "now". My thoughts revolved around what had happened, or what was going to happen. The present moment was something I ignored.

After Jason died, early in my grief, the present moment became all I had. Routine became something of the past and every step I took, every tick of the clock, every breath I sucked in, was a struggle to move through. I couldn't look at yesterday because of the hurt. I didn't look at the future because Jason was not there. My awareness was definitely focused in the present, but it was a very toxic place to be.

As time went by and I worked through the loss of my son's physical body, I began looking for him again. Not with my eyes, but with my heart. As my emotions settled down and I learned to quiet my mind, I began learning to "be" instead of "do". I can not do for Jason anymore. I cannot fix his supper, wake him up, give him money, clean up his mess, do his laundry, or watch him sleep. However, I can "be" with him by thinking of him. He is in this moment. He is now.

I do not have to be speaking at a bereaved parents conference, writing a poem, sitting at the cemetery, or pulling weeds at Jason's Park to be spending Jason time. When my mind is quiet and the world fades away, when my candles dance in the breeze and the water I float in sparkles like diamonds, I am spending Jason time. Whenever I can think of him, free of distraction and ordinary day to day pressures, and I can feel his presence as strongly as if he were standing next to me, that is Jason time. That is love.

POETRY

The Walk

i walked for you
i put your name on my back
your soul in my heart
and i walked with others
who know
each ste
each thought
each breath
each bubble sent skyward
was for you
a walk to remember
is what they call it
but
i do not need to walk to remember
i remember every minute of every day
i walked to celebrate
to thank you
to acknowledge you
to scream your name to those
who forget
i walked for you
for love



RESOURCES


The book, The Hole in Me Since the Day You Died, developed by David Labrum, features the artwork of seven adults who experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one or ones. They used their art as a way of communicating their thoughts and feelings about their loss. Painting and drawing became a tactile process in which they were able to express emotions too painful or too overwhelming to voice.

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PSYCHIC HISTORY to air on the History Channel - August 30, 2006
“Psychic History” is a one-hour special featuring John Holland using all his psychic abilities on some of the world's most confounding mysteries. For more Info!! The special will air: August 30 at 11.00am EST

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Hospice of the Valley Discussion Groups-Another open and welcoming grief support resource. Check them out.

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There are student readings in the Chat Room at Shrine of Hope on Monday and Friday evenings and occasional readings in the Spiritspace Chat Room on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

NEWS AND TIDBITS


Okay, here we go. I told you in an email on July 21st that I was approaching a couple bereavement groups about what I perceived to be a prohibition against mediumship, other forms of after death communication, and basically any belief system or healing modality that is "outside of the box." I will not go into detail about what I asked or how they answered, except to say that both The Compassionate Friends (TCF) Executive Director, and the Bereaved Parents USA (BPU) President is satisfied with the status quo. I have posted my final email to the two groups on my website for your perusal. If you have questions of your own to ask of them, or suggestions to improve the situation, the email addresses that are publicly available on the organizations websites are also posted there. I would encourage you to make your feeling known, softly, even if they are not the same as mine. Remember, we also give our loved ones a voice when we speak from love.

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Over 100 of you emailed to say you were thinking of Jason on his 10th spirit birthday. THANK YOU...I am sure he felt all of the gratitude going out into the universe! I know I did.

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The LND forum has been too quiet. Please stop by and let us all know how you are doing.

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As I've mentioned before, the BPU Gathering was in St. Louis this year. After the closing ceremony on Sunday, my friend Vicki invited me to her home for supper. I accepted, of course, and spent the afternoon packing so that I wouldn't have to do it later that evening. I emptied my purse out on the bed (to see how much money I really had) and put all my loose change in my zippered wallet. I still had spare time after packing what I could, so I spent some time meditating. I had a chat with Jason about the weekend of "Jason time" and reminded him that I needed a sign before I returned to my ordinary day to day routine.

Vicki picked me up and I had a great time visiting with her and her husband Kevin. Kevin has a very interesting job . . . but I digress. After supper and a wonderful glass of wine (okay, maybe two glasses) in their gorgeous back yard, it was time for me to go. I had been in my hotel room for maybe half an hour when Vicki called. It seems that after she let me out of the car at the hotel, there was a dime in my seat. She had cleaned her car before coming to get me. There was no dime . . . then. Thank you Jason!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. But . . . how do you DO THAT???

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I had a dream the other night. John Edward was there. We were in some kind of a meeting room before one of his events...just talking...laughing. Energy was high....and my mom and dad (both passed) were there. I remember wondering "What is my dad thinking about this whole thing?" We are going to see John in Denver in September. Maybe mom and dad will be there too!

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I had another dream last night. I was at a Bereavement Conference. There were lots and lots of doors we had to go through to get to where we were going. The building appeared to be under construction. Two participants were begin loud..or obnoxious..or something. Out of control. Someone who was in charge chased them down, tackled them, and gave them shots of something to calm them down. But then they grabbed a friend of mine, another bereaved mom, and gave her a shot also...but she didn't need it. She was being totally appropriate . . . then I woke up. Hmmmmmmm.

TIPS AND IDEAS


At one of the workshops I did in St. Louis, I asked the participants to close their eyes, invite their child into the room with us, and then to thank them (out loud) for something they have received. I could actually feel the energy rising. Try it and see how you feel afterward.

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Buy a dozen small canning jars, a dozen of those 2-3 inch pillar candles, and some wire. Twist the wire into whatever shape it goes into easily, wrap it around the jar, under the lip, and make a hook on top for hanging. You now have a dozen candles and unique holders to hang in your trees around your garden for less than $15.00

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A friend of mine mentioned that each year, on her child's birthday, she pays for a local individual to come in to her grief support meeting and lead a guided meditation. What a wonderful way to celebrate your child's life!

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Get your subscription NOW to Living with Loss Magazine. It's good stuff folks. I promise!

PONDERINGS


I had a reading with Ocallah in May (a Mother's Day gift, thank you Jason) and as I expected, it was uplifting and full of love. Jason was his usual talkative self, offering messages for his dad, his brothers, and me. It still truly amazes me when I realize that even after ten years, the connection is as clear and as strong as it has always been. Thank you Ocallah!!

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If I have to sit and ponder something before I send this out, it may become the Winter issue right before your eyes. I'm fresh out of things to ponder. If something comes to me in the next few days, I'll send it out as an addendum!

FROM OUR READERS


Our son Brad, died on July 1, 2000 from complications of an asthma attack two days earlier. He was a healthy, very athletic 12-1/2 year old boy. After we got word that there was no brain activity, we were approached by a Gift of Life representative and we consented to donating some of Brad's organs. Both of his lungs went to a woman in Detroit, his kidney/pancreas went to a woman in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and his corneas went to a man in Pentwater, MI. We sent a generic letter to Gift of Life, which they forwarded on to the recipients. Eventually, we received a letter from Pam, the woman who has Brad's lungs. Included in her letter were the lyrics to the song, Wind Beneath My Wings. She said Brad was the wind beneath her wings.

The following summer, our whole family attended a Gift of Life function in Lansing to honor the donor families. A special speaker that day was a double lung recipient, named Pam. We had no idea what would happen at this point. Well, at the end of the program, as this last speaker walked up to the microphone, she said instead of speaking, she'd rather sing a song in honor of her donor. We sat there, wondering, could this be the woman who has our son's lungs. I said to my daughter, "if she sings that one song, it's her." Singing acapella, Pam started to sing Wind Beneath My Wings. Tears flowed from all of our eyes as we sat there. There was not a dry eye in the room, but, no one knew our story.

Fortunately, the program ended when she finished her song. We walked up to her and my husband said quietly to her, "I'm Brad's dad." Pam burst out in a scream and hugged my husband for what seemed like an eternity. One of the first words out of her mouth was asking if Brad was allergic to peanuts. We suspected it, but his doctor never had him tested. She said since her transplant, she had become allergic to peanuts. With all the commotion, people were just standing around wondering what was happening. We chatted for a few minutes and decided to get some lunch that was provided. Pam accidently grabbed a peanut butter cookie and took one bite. Before long, she was in a full fledged asthma attack. I found myself getting medical attention for her and felt like Brad was smacking us in the side's of our heads telling us, through Pam, that was what caused his death. She was transported to a hospital and was fine and released.

My husband and I host a hockey tournament, since our son was a hockey player and Pam sang the National Anthem at the beginning of our first tournament. It was incredible. We also host an annual golf outing. Both functions raise money for scholarships that we hand out in Brad's name. We continue to stay in contact with her and she attends every tournament and golf outing to help out. Pam and her husband, David are wonderful people and so thankful for Brad's lungs.

This year, Brad was to graduate from high school. I just awarded one of his best friends with a scholarship and the graduation committee has made arrangements for Pam to come up to Flint's The Whiting auditorium to sing at commencement. Our whole family will attend the ceremony and hear Pam sing once again. Friends of Brad said they wanted him to be a part of the celebration and this was one way he could.
Sincerely,
Sharon Stone
Linden, MI

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A Journal Entry:

Take a Deep Breath
For months I was barely breathing. Short, shallow breaths, conserving energy; struggling not to break down, to stay strong for our family and her friends. I lived downstairs in her room, as if in a bag of cotton balls, insulating myself from the world; dwelling in my love and memories of my Robin. My mantra was “Be thankful Margaret. You wanted a girl; you got your girl in spades, she’s okay, you know she’s okay; feel her love, feel her love, let her feel yours.” This very real cocoon protected me through that first raw time period. I needed to retreat and lick my wounds. I scoured the house for anything “Robin;” school essays, notes, birthday cards; underneath her bed, in the deepest part of her closet, the drawers in her nightstand -- smelling and touching all that I could. Her perfume was like oxygen to me. I found a treasure trove and drank it in. Unable to put two thoughts together, I could think only of her. Her dogs became a solace of sorts; hugging them was hugging her. They licked my tears, lay next to me in her bed with their ears laid back and tails tucked in. At times ears would perk up, stubby tails move a bit, as they’d look off into the distance. They knew my pain and they sensed her spirit. It would be a long time before I was aware of myself enough to take a deep breath. She was still with us. My Robin would never leave me; this is my lifeline.

Margaret Sylvia, Robin’s Mom
June 22, 1977 - Forever

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The Weight of Remembering

Another year, as the weight of remembering
Presses down upon my heart.
Five years or seven, my heart still yearns
For that which cannot be, we are apart.

You both touch my mind and dreams.
My heart cries out for your laughter;
My soul for your embrace.
Time has no meaning for those who grieve.

A mother’s voice to sooth my spirit,
Or a daughter’s warm embrace;
Would that I could be there once again
In that distant memory place.

Now, left with empty promises,
Such a slender thread to hold
In the hopes we’ll be united
When my time comes to go home.

Heaven must be bursting
With the power of your love.
I can almost feel, at moments,
Your warm presence in my soul.

Till we embrace again in Heaven,
I will search for bits of joy in every face.
I’ll remember as I live that you are with me,
Though the tears will sometimes give my heart away.

Brenda Penepent
© 7-7-05
For Mom and Carrie

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE(S)


"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death." - Robert Fulghum

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"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow."- Alice Walker

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Expect Miracles,
Sandy

COPYRIGHT INFO
Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved

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