A Newsletter about the Journey from Loss to Love

August, 2002
Issue #4
Sandy Goodman,Editor

Welcome to the "LOVE NEVER DIES" newsletter. Please e-mail me after perusing this issue with any ideas for the November issue.


=> From the Editor- Connecting
=> Poetry- Lessons, by Sandy Goodman
=> Resources
=> News and Tidbits
=> Tips and Ideas
=> Ponderings, Memories
=> From our Readers-"Please Understand", by Bonnie J. Bertelson
=> Copyright and Subscribe/Unsubscribe information

From the Editor, Sandy Goodman

Those of you who know me also know Ocallah. If you don't, you can meet her online here. Ocallah (aka Cynthia) and I spent some time together this month while she was visiting her parents in Jackson Hole. We hadn't seen each other for two years and it was incredible to be able to connect with her while we talked about life and love and spirit. If you have a friend whom you haven't touched base with for a while, call them. Life is too short. note: I have an article posted (or soon to be) at John Edward Friends Org.that delves into this subject a little more thoroughly. It's about communicating... appreciating...and validating....

I was walking down the center aisle at the National Compassionate Friends Conference in Salt Lake City. A woman stood up and grabbed my arm. "SANDY?!" she said. "SANDY GOODMAN??!!" Nodding, I pointed to my nametag. After introductions, she told me that she had a story to share. And now I need to share it with all of you.

Lisa's son had died in 2001. She had read and read and read until she didn't want to ever open a book again. But Love Never Dies kept coming into her life. Email recommendations, friends, etc. Finally, she bought the book but waited until the anniversary date of her son's death to read it. She had the day to herself and read the entire book alone. At supper that evening, she read parts of the book to her other children as a part of the anniversary "ritual" for Shane's death. Her children wanted "to talk to Shane too!" After much conversation, Lisa decided to make an appt. with Ocallah and did so. It was a month away.

During that time, she talked to Jason. "Jason, FIND SHANE." She asked him to help Shane communicate, to bring him to Ocallah, to assist him in the reading. Still with me?

On the day of the reading, Lisa called Ocallah. Ocallah began with some information that did not apply to Shane. Finally, she said "Did Shane enlist in the Navy?" Lisa answered "No." but immediately figured out what was going on at the same time Ocallah said "Oh. Never mind all of that. This is a friend's son who's here." Lisa immediately said, "Oh! It's Jason, isn't it?" Shane was soon up to the "mic" and Ocallah proceeded to give Lisa his message.

That's not the end of the story. I sat down in my chair, and tried to connect with Jason. I "saw" him peeling potatoes at a campfire, dressed differently than he ever would have dressed here. I asked him what he was doing, and he said "We're having REAL food tonight." (You can figure this one out yourself...) I thanked him for helping Lisa and Shane. He then said, "Tell Ocallah and John that I am a medium here for LIVE people."

Isn't that awesome?!

LESSON, Sandy Goodman

In times of confusion
I look for you
Seeking your knowledge
Wanting the solace of your words
Somehow our roles have switched
It is now I who reach to you for wisdom
Like a child approaching a parent
Rather than you the son
depending on your mom
But perhaps your lessons
Were always there
and I was unaware
of what you had taught me
until my need for your teachings
became greater than my desire to teach.

RESOURCES (Books, Links, etc.)

Book Picks:
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (Fiction)

John Edward Friends


HELP ME! I need REVIEWS!! If you've read Love Never Dies, and you have a minute, please visit one (or all) of the following sites and write a short review. THANK YOU!
Readers Club
Virtual Bookcase

I've updated my website.There are new links, new information on the "What's New" page (imagine THAT!) and even an interview you can listen to online with "Contact Radio." Check it out!


I will be chatting about LND on September 15th at 9pm EDT at (go ahead of time to register) and on October 1st, 9pm EDT, at (directions for irc access and java on site). Please join me!


Know a bereaved parent who's child won't be going "back to school" this year? Call them up and offer to take them to breakfast, BEFORE the school bus pulls up in their neighborhood


I recently attended a workshop on scrapbooking. I'm not "there" yet, but the ideas presented definitely have my interest piqued.

Basic tasks:
1. Noone but you sees the scrapbook
2. Write/represent EVERYTHING about your loved one's life, good and bad
3. Spend time on it.
4. Leave blank pages for filling in later as you remember important events.

If you think you'd like to start this project, email me for more specific directions. I have the actual list of what is included. This is a therapeutic tool, not a hobby. Think about it.


I was caught up in a memory the other day. As Jason flashed in my head in his orange hunting vest and a gun on his shoulder, I felt the now familiar sadness creeping in. Lump in throat, tears ready to leak out, I suddenly heard:

"Why is it a sad thing?"

"Well...duh. Because you're dead."

"Well...duh. Because I'm dead, the memory changed from love to sadness?"

I hate it when he's right. Of course the memory hasn't changed. That picture of him in my mind is still the same, still has joy and anticipation stamped all over it. If anything, it's a little clearer, a little more intense. But it's not sad. It's love.

So why did I feel sadness? Why do I insist on labeling things as good or bad based on their relationship to Jason's death? Because I choose to perceive them that way. I choose to feel sadness before I feel joy. I choose to feel fear before I feel love. And I will choose not to. When I'm ready. And so will you.


"Below is a poem I wrote right after Leon's body was found. People seemed to have a lot of strange notions about how I should feel, act, etc. Some couldn't handle my emotions and tried to keep me from crying, tried to cheer me up by telling me it would be all right. It will never be all right; my heart aches for one more hug, longs for the grandchildren that will never be. I know you understand, but there are those who don't...thus, the title of my poem:"

Please Understand

Let me cry, donít divert me, but donít walk away
There is nothing you can do to stop this pain
Let me weep with deep, bitter sobs of grief
My heart will heal, but it will be scarred

When my tears dry and you see me smile
Understand that smile will be different
Part of who I am in this world died with my son
And I can never go back to how I use to be

I donít know where this journey of loss and grief goes
The road to recovery seems twisted and rocky
I canít see around the bend and you canít guide me
Itís not your fault, itís just the way it is

So just be patient with me and allow me to grieve
I donít know when Iíll find solace, I just know not yet
Donít push me or try to make me better,
Just love me, stay close and catch me when I fall

If I seem unreasonable, itís because I am
There is nothing reasonable about losing your child
I do love you all, could not get through without you
But I must mourn until God turns it into dancing

So please let me talk all I want about Leon and his death
Let me talk all I want about his life and laughter, too
Some day, Iíll spot the shore and go on with living
For now, I am only his mother drifting in a sea of tears

Please understand
      - Bonnie J. Bertelson
If any of you have questions or advice for others, please send it to me so I can add it HERE!! I will also accept appropriate original articles, anecdotes, AND poetry for the newsletter. Send all correspondence to me at and note it as a submission for the newsletter!!


Copyright 2002, All Rights Reserved

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November 2002 Newsletter

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.~William Penn is maintained by
Sandy Goodman
PO Box 1158
Riverton, Wyoming 82501