LOVE NEVER DIES EZINE
A Newsletter about the Journey from Loss to Love
Welcome to the "LOVE NEVER DIES" newsletter. Please e-mail me
after perusing this issue with any ideas for the May issue.
IN THIS ISSUE
=> From the Editor
=> News and Tidbits
=> Tips and Ideas
=> From our Readers
=> Copyright and Subscribe/Unsubscribe information
Winter of our Souls--Sandy Goodman
It is winter today. There is no sun, not even a flash of
light to focus on. The air has become murky as if it has
solidified, losing its clarity. Ice covers everything,
smothering any life that might have been.
Staring out my window, I compare the bite of winter to my
grief: the coldness, the shadows, and my reluctance to
breathe in any more discomfort. Grief, like winter, appears
uninvited and unwelcome. We abhor the pain and wonder why
we must endure the distress, while all along we feel the
Winter compels the earth to rest. Everything stops struggling,
stops performing, and sleeps. Abruptly, nature's need to "do"
is gone and "being" is all that is necessary. All that was
living before appears lifeless. The leaves disappear from the
trees, flowers no longer grace our gardens, and the grass is
entombed by snow. But what is going on beneath that which we
see? Are the flowers really gone, or are they only changing
. . . becoming new, becoming different?
I ponder how much further I dare go with this. Can I contend
that grief, like winter, is a gift? Can I talk about the
metamorphosis of grief, and contemplate gratitude for its
presence? I do not know, but that is where my thoughts are
Knowing, Sandy Goodman
in times like these
when terror looms
that you are safe
must contend with
and i need not
about where you are
or what can happen
in the dark
all is as it should be
when all is said and done
and i only wish
i had re-membered...
There is a new song out by Diamond Rio called "I Believe".
It is wonderful, uplifting, and produces great zzziiinnggs!
Please keep your radio tuned to a country station until
you hear it. Trust me, you'll love it!
I am committed to reaching out to the bereaved, to their
friends and family, and to professionals, who have contact
with them. Nurses, EMT's, funeral service providers, etc.
are often the first people they see after learning of a
loved one's death. The ability to respond to their need for
direction is critically important.
To make that a bit less complicated, I have placed
two downloadable resource sheets on my
homepage.The link "Resource
Sheets for Professionals" is at the bottom of the page. One
sheet is specifically for parents who lose a child, (of any
age, from any cause) and the other is for any type of loss.
The sheets can be photocopied and handed to the bereaved.
The resources therein will be invaluable to them in the
weeks following their loss.
TIPS AND IDEAS
Valentines Day is past, but Easter, Spring Break, and the
change in seasons is coming up fast. Remember to take time
for yourself and your healing if you are grieving. Find a way
to celebrate your loved one's life. Plant flowers, blow
bubbles, take a long needed vacation. Just BE.
After Jason died, we felt the need to create something that
would cause people to ask, "Who is Jason Goodman?" It was
extremely important, and still is, to make a lasting
testimonial to his life. We approached our city council and
offered to adopt a piece of their land and turn it into a
park. They approved our request, and "Jason's Park" was
born. I would encourage anyone who is looking at options
for memorials to explore this option. It has been extremely
rewarding for our family to see flowers and trees growing
in Jason's name.
Now the weeds are a different story...
Rather than "ponder" something with you, I am going to
use this space to share a poem sent to me by email. I
(like all of you, I would imagine) have received several
messages in recent weeks about the pending war, the fear of
terrorist attacks, etc. None of them moved me the way this
one did. Read it slowly. And then take a minute to DO what
it tells you.
WAGE PEACE by Mary Oliver
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships
Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of
Swim for the other side.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.
FROM OUR READERS:
It's been a privilege to learn of your book Love Never
Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love. I can't wait to
receive & read it. In the meantime it has been wonderful to
discover & explore your web site. I would like to relate
some of our experiences.
We also lost a teen-age son, our's in a canoe drowning
accident on a lake in Nothern Minnesota on May 20, 2000. The
pain & grief has been incredible. There is hardly a waking
hour that we don't think of him, remember him, & still
sometimes grieve for him. I don't think, nor do I even hope,
that will ever change. Adam's passing was a life-changing
event, probably the most devastating that will ever occur
in our lives. That is harsh reality and the bad side.
The good side is that Adam's passing has set us on a new
journey in a positive direction. We have learned that human
beings encounter hardships to allow us to grow. In fact, we
believe all things happen for a reason. We can either learn
and grow from life's challenges, or we can see them
negatively and become bitter & unhappy. Whether it's because
of the influence of our spirit guides or loved ones that
have passed, we believe we have been led to seeing the
positive growth that can result and we are now going down
new, more enlightened paths.
Since our son's passing our lives have been touched in
wonderful ways. Adam has sent us many signs that he is still
connected to us. Objects have moved in the night, electronic
things malfunction in strange ways, favorite songs play on
the radio at unlikely times, cloudy areas appear in photos,
scentless objects smell again, we experience wonderful dreams
with him, synchronistic thoughts come in our head, and so on.
Noticing these occurrences & signs have become a way of life
for us. Also, very little has gone wrong for our family in the
past 2 1/2 years and we feel that is also not just coincidence.
We believe we get assistance from the other side. All of this
tells us our son and loved ones will always be with us, and
that the bonds of love are eternal.
Since Adam's passing our lives have changed:
- We've commemorated Adam in many places: trees planted, park &
library benches, plaques, etc. We do not want people to forget
Adam. He was and always will be extremely important to us.
- We set up a memorial fund which sponsors an annual college
scholarship to a soccer player and we give to worthy causes in
his name. We support the fund by holding a memorial rock
concert in the spring. We also get outside donations from other
friends and groups.
- We joined a Compassionate Friends group in Minneapolis.
- My wife, Becky, has joined together with other mothers in our
community who have lost children to form an impromptu support
- Becky has become a "Crossing Over" and "Beyond with James van
Praagh" junkie & advocate. She has put together a scrapbook
filled with beautiful memories of Adam.
- My daughter Emily's room is filled with pictures of Adam. We
speak of him regularly in conversations.
- I meditate & practice Yoga regularly. I do not get as
impatient or angry as I used to.
- I've become a grief counselor for a hospice group, as well as
informally counseling others through work.
- We've read dozens of excellent books and discovered many
wonderful web sites. People have been amazingly supportive and
- We've had readings with professional mediums that have given
us comforting reassurances and validations.
The result is that we've become more peaceful, happier people.
Human relationships are now more important- and we can now accept
people more readily without being judgmental. Importantly, we have
absolutely no fear of death and look forward to the day we will
join our son and loved ones on the other side. From near death and
through mediums' accounts, it sounds like a beautiful, wonderful
place. On the other hand, we now savor every minute and day God
gives us in our lives here on earth.
It has been a pleasure meeting those of you with similar
experiences and insight. We have much to learn.
Gene Van't Hof
THANK YOU GENE!
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
firstname.lastname@example.org and note it as a submission for the
Copyright 2003, All Rights Reserved
Subscriptions to this newsletter are free. Love Never Dies
is a quarterly newsletter. If you'd like to subscribe, go to
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May 2003 Newsletter
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death
cannot kill what never dies.~William Penn
LoveNeverDies.net is maintained by Sandy Goodman
Riverton, Wyoming 82501