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

May, 2003
Issue #7
Sandy Goodman, Editor



Welcome to the "LOVE NEVER DIES" newsletter. Please e-mail me after perusing this issue with any ideas for the August issue. You are receiving this newsletter because you expressed an interest in it. If you would like your name removed from this mailing list, please see the instructions at the end of the newsletter. This subscriber list is not made available to other companies or individuals. I value every subscriber and respect your privacy.

IN THIS ISSUE


=> From the Editor
=> Poetry
=> Resources
=> News and Tidbits
=> Tips and Ideas
=> Ponderings
=> From our Readers-
=> Copyright and Subscribe/Unsubscribe information

FROM THE EDITOR
That Don't Look Like Grandma, Sandy Goodman


When I was asked to compose an article about kids and grief, my pompous ego spoke up instantly with You can't. Never one to argue with that soft, still voice in my head, I readily agreed that I couldn't. After all, I usually only write about what I myself have experienced, and small children were never a part of my grieving. Jeremy was 22 when Jason died and Joshua was 18. I felt unqualified and incapable of telling others what they should say or do to help a bereaved child.

However, it is now three weeks later and I am feeling the need to write. I tapped out a few lines about grief triggers, a couple paragraphs about sudden versus anticipated loss, and a title for a piece about the first six months of bereavement. None of it felt right because my heart wants me to address that which I have avoided. Since that which we resist, persists, I see only one way out of this dilemma. I am going to talk with you about what I believe when it comes to talking with kids about death and dying and all that goes with it. But allow me to preface this with my own admission that what I am going to say we should do is not what I did.

Kids are more intuitive, more loving, and more compassionate than adults. But when a death occurs in a child's life, we haul out the blindfolds and earplugs. We allow them to watch violent murders on television (because it's NOT REAL), but we shelter them from deaths that occur in their lives. We fear they are not mature enough to understand, but I am here to tell you that maturity alone does not make death understandable.

I want to address this issue proactively, not reactively. Rather than looking at how to help a grieving child, I'd like to discuss how we can better help children understand death. What can we do, as parents and as human beings, to take away the fear and hopelessness that surrounds death? How can we give our children a different perception of death so that when they have their first experience of loss, they will have our shared wisdom to wrap themselves in?

If I had it to do all over again, I would have talked to my children about who we really are and explained over and over again that we are not our bodies. When they were very small, I would have questioned them about the place they came from, and listened more intently when they played with their "imaginary" friends. I would have told them bedtime stories about angels and guides, and taught them early to listen to the voice that whispered to their heart. I would have discussed feeling rather than thinking, and assured them that love is constant, never ending, and much more powerful than fear.

If I could go back in time, I would raise my children to know that death is not an end. I would explain what I believe happens when one's body wears out or is damaged beyond repair. We would have talked about being met by Grandpa Joe or Aunt Gladys, and about white light and all of the exquisite colors we don't have here in the physical. We would have talked about the unconditional love and unending laughter in the next place and I would have shared experiences that validate death as simply another stage of life.

When Grandma died, we would have all attended the services, not just the adults, because we would not have gone with the intention of saying goodbye. We would have gone to celebrate the life she had shared with us. When one of the boys would have inevitably remarked, "That don't look like Grandma..." I would have said, "It isn't." Then, I would have explained that the Grandma they loved was free of her body, happy, and closer to them than she had ever been before. I would have told them they could still talk to her, and I would have listened to them when they spoke of her visiting them in their dreams.

If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would have stood at my son's side as he left his 18-year-old body behind, breathing in his fear and breathing out pure unconditional love. I would have told him to fly free and to never doubt my belief that even in death, love remains. And lastly, I would have realized from the moment I looked into my first child's eyes that our children are not given to us to "own," but come so that each of us can know love. I would have known that they are never really "ours," and that they may not stay as long as we hope. And understanding all of this, I would have done it all anyway, because the joy of the journey is so much more then the pain of an illusory loss.

I began this article with the intention of assisting in the never- ending job of parenting. I end it with this. Your children will give you more than you can ever hope to give back. Listen, come from love, and accept. They come bearing gifts, you need only hold out your hand.


POETRY
Anniversary, Sandy Goodman


it's coming.
the month . . .
the day . . .
you left.
your presence
fills my soul
but still i ache.
perhaps it is my
presence
that
is
missing.

RESOURCES
(Books, Links, etc.)


Book Picks:
--We Are Eternal by Robert Brown, Peter Close
--Born Knowing by John Holland, Cindy Pearlman
--Karmic Relationships: Healing Invisible Wounds by Charles Richards, Ph.D ( I gave this book the wrong title in the last newsletter. Sorry!)

Websites:
--Survival Science and The Kevin Nunan Foundation
--BeliefNet

NEWS AND TIDBITS


Bereaved Parents of the USA
NATIONAL GATHERING 2003
St. Louis, MO June 26-29
Gateway to Healing
I will be presenting a workshop at this conference. Please let me know if you are attending so we can meet!

I was honored to lead a workshop at the TAPS conference in D.C. on Memorial Day weekend . TAPS is a grief support organization for military survivors. Emotions ran high all through the event, some of them very painful, and some of them very healing. Seeing the Pentagon right across the street, Arlington National Cemetary out the window, and 22 year old widows crying in the hallways, was one of the most powerful situations I've ever found myself in. To say that it was an eye opener does not do it justice. Perhaps heart opener is the correct adage.

I worked at Jason's Park this week, and spent a great deal of time pulling weeds. This afternoon, sweating and breathing like an old woman, I pulled a huge alfalfa "tree" from the ground. As I shook the loose dirt off of the yard long root, I looked down to where the soil was falling . . . and saw a dime. Thank you Jazz, I needed that.


TIPS AND IDEAS


Ever light fireworks at the cemetary? I have. It's a little risky,a little like being sixteen again, but I love it. Make sure you are in a safe place and send your loved ones a bit of your 4th of July celebration.

A while back I asked about solar lights and if anyone had placed one at the cemetary. The response was very positive and I bought one (they are very inexpensive) to put by Jason's rock. Another bereaved mom told me it is a like a beacon at night. NOW...do any of you have any knowledge of solar fountains?

PONDERINGS


For whatever reason, and we know there is ALWAYS a reason, I started wondering a couple weeks ago about my first "OH MY GOD! THIS IS PROOF THAT THERE IS MORE AFTER THIS LIFE!" experience. It was nearly a year after Jason died, and I had that phone call from John Edward that totally blew me away. Anyway, as I went back and kind of relived that experience I realized that I had not immediately found my grief experience easier. In fact, looking back, I think I did some of my most difficult grief work after that experience. In other words, it did not immediately become easier for me. Why?

I think it's because up until that point the only think I KNEW was that my son's body was in the ground decaying. I KNEW it but I certainly couldn't ACCEPT it. I couldn't think of it, couldn't consider it "just the way life is", couldn't even go there, no way, no how. I needed more.

Once I knew that Jason was still around and still a part of our lives, I was able to begin grieving the loss of his physical body. It was fathomable, it was within my reach. Make sense?

FROM OUR READERS


**Sent to me by Ocallah ( http://www.ocallah.com )**

HOW TO BE A BUTTERFLY
You have to be willing to pupae and larvae about.
You have to crawl
slowly,
inch-wormy,
on leaves,
And eat them.

If you want to be a butterfly,
You have to give up eating
(after eating a whole bunch).
You have to spin a web of darkness around you.
You have to be alone.

If you want to be a butterfly.
You have to wait.
And grow hungry,
and empty,
and completely confused.

You have to let things happen to you,
Without trying to fix them,
In the dark,
in chaos,
cocooned,
If you want to be a butterfly.

And then you have to be born.
Biting through and destroying
the one thing you know you've made,
That you can touch and believe in.
You have to give up that safety.
Come out into the sun.
Let your wings dry.
Believe in them.
Try them.
Fly.
If you want to be a butterfly.
    by K. Denham


**Sent to me by Kelle (thank you Kelle)**

LIFE'S ECHO
A son and his father were walking in the mountains.
Suddenly, the son falls hurts himself and screams:
"AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain:
"AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"
He receives the answer: "Who are you?"
Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!"
He receives the answer: "Coward!"
He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"
The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."
And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!"
The voice answers: "I admire you!"
Again the man screams: "You are a champion!"
The voice answers: "You are a champion!"
The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
Then the father explains: "People call this Echo, but really this is Life. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give you back everything you have given to it.
Author Unknown

COPYRIGHT INFO


Copyright 2003, All Rights Reserved
Please pass this newsletter on, in it's entirety, to your friends.

SUBSCRIPTION INFO


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August 2003 Newsletter

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.
                  ~William Penn



Sandy Goodman
Love Never Dies
PO Box 1158
Riverton, Wy. 82501
sandy@loveneverdies.net
http://www.loveneverdies.net