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

August, 2003
Issue #8
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 November issue. I am sending the newsletter in HTML this month, and I have no idea what that will do to any of you who accept only text messages. If it looks all jumbled, PLEASE let me know and we will figure out how to fix the problem. Likewise, if any of you who are receiving the HTML version are having problems with it, TELL ME. I am computer challenged and need your feedback. Thank you!

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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
The Garden of Grief, Sandy Goodman


About a year after Jason died, I decided to approach our local city council and ask their permission to develop a piece of city land along our recreational path. Plan in hand, I explained to our town leaders why I wanted to create "Jason's Park" and begged their approval. I expected a lot of questions and at best a "MAYBE" at that first meeting. But as the now popular song goes, I know what I was feeling, but what WAS I THINKING???

Here I was, a bereaved mother, asking permission to develop and take over the upkeep of a 200 foot strip of land that was nothing but weeds and rocks. Grass was afraid to grow there. Water had never touched it. And not only was I wanting to do the work, I was willing to PAY FOR IT. They said "Yes. Yes, you may do that Mrs. Goodman . . ." and Jason's Park was born.

It is now six years later, and the park looks better than it ever has. In the beginning, nothing good grew there. Strewn with rocks and litter, only weeds thrived in the dry cracked ground. There was nothing visible that suggested a positive outcome. The first two or three years, improvement was slow. As soon as one weed patch was taken care of, another one would overwhelm me. When one flower grew and flourished, three shriveled and died. The sudden appearance of wind and torrential rains often destroyed all progress.

Years passed, things began to change. Barren ground began accepting new growth, new attachments. Trees became stronger, flowers brighter, and life came back to visit. The need to be sole owner of Jason's Park began to wane. Soon, there were other lives being remembered there. A wall was built, not as a barrier, but as a celebration of lives that mattered.

As I stood in the middle of the wild flowers this morning, I realized that the transformation of this piece of land has mirrored my own grief. In the beginning nothing good grew in my heart. Filled with despair, the only thing that flourished in my soul was pain. There was no semblance of hope, or signs of improvement on the horizon. I would just make it over one hurdle in time to see three more pop up in front of me. The sudden appearance of reality destroyed any progress I had pretended to make.

But as years passed, things began to change. An empty heart began accepting new thoughts, new relationships, new priorities. Love became stronger, days brighter, and life came back to visit. The need to be only "Jason's Mom" began to wane, and others regained their importance in my life. Gifts appeared, not as replacements, but as reminders that love never dies.

I began the journey of grief, just like Jason's Park, with nothing. Time alone would not have produced the change I needed to make. I have to work hard, plant new things, get rid of the old stuff, nurture what I plant, and pour out enough love to grow a garden. I have to accept that the task at hand, be it grief work or building a park, will never be over. I must find joy in the "now" of it. And most importantly, I must ask for help. No one should walk the journey of grief alone, and well . . . while they are walking, they might as well be pulling weeds.


POETRY
Your Name, Sandy Goodman


No need to scan the newspaper
for your name
on the dean's list
or in the traffic fines . . .
no sign of it on a business card
or a marriage license
or even in the phone book.
instead your identity is marked
in stone
at the local cemetary
and at your park
and on our living room wall
beside a rose and your fishing pole.
no need to search for you
wrestling with your brother
or on the couch. . .
no sign of you at the dinner table
or in your car
or even on the telephone.
instead your presence is noted
in the wave of love
that sweeps in
when
the wind . . .
whispers your name.

RESOURCES
(Books, Links, etc.)


    AfterLife: Answers from the Other Side, John Edward
    Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle

    Both of these books will be released SOON. Order them now. I have not read them but have enough faith in the authors to recommend them. If I'm wrong, I'll apologize next newsletter. :-)

    Websites:
    No recommendations this quarter. Please send suggestions.


    NEWS AND TIDBITS


    As noted above, John Edward's new book will be out in September. What's NEWSIE about that is that I'm in it. Okay, JASON and I are in it. It is only a couple paragraphs (I did request neon green typeface) but we are very proud to once again be a part of John's work.

    I did an internet interview for The Great Shift at Kirael and was having a good time visiting with the host who was quite amused by what I think was Jason's voice in my book (??). Just as I was telling a great story (you can hear the interview here about how to help someone who is dying, we lost our connection. So, I'm going to bring you . . . the rest of the story. (I'm not sure when the actual disconnect happened because I was really on a roll and I don't want to go listen to myself on the website to find out.)

    This young man who had decided to stop chemo was extremely depressed and it was enough "out of character" to worry his mom more than his disease. Mom's sister had read Love Never Dies and had "gotten" from it (which I did not intentionally "put into" it) that it would be helpful to her sister's son if they told him how they planned to keep him involved in their lives after he passed. And so they told him. They talked to him about how they would remember him and talk about him after he passed, and it worked. He heard them. And it may seem pretty simple, but when have I ever done that? I haven't, but...I will. You can count on it.


    TIPS AND IDEAS


    It's back to school again. Remember that mom or dad or grandma or little brother in your community who loves a child who won't be going back to school. Call them. Send a card. Let them know.

    Grieving? Start a journal, make a scrapbook, plant a garden. Do something creative with your energy. Grief takes your energy, but a loved ones death leaves you with energy to USE. Use it in a positive direction.


    PONDERINGS


    I asked Jason for assurance of his presence early on in July. I reminded him that July was a tough month for us, and that we needed to know he was around. I specifically asked for a message in a dream. Remember that, "a MESSAGE in a dream." That night, I dreamt I was in a hotel bathroom. It was huge, very nice, and I had locked the door to keep out the noise of what seemed to be a wrestling match between Dave (husband) and the boys. I heard a tap-tap at the window and looked up, wayyyyy up, and saw a younger Jason bent down at the window. I went over, climbed up on the the toilet, and opened the window the slight amount it would open. Jason was able to pass a small folded up piece of paper through to me, after which he waved and left. I unfolded the note and read "I will be at the sixth grade dance."

    Now, this dream was important to me for several reasons. One, it was full of symbolism. I tried to interpret it myself, and asked everyone I could find who might have input. Two, it was one of those vivid, bright, "I will NEVER forget this dream" dreams. Three, Jason was wearing clothes that he had actually worn in 6th grade, but ones that I had forgotten about until I saw them in the dream.

    I pondered the possible meaning and questioned the "dream vs. visit" thing for several days. And then, when I couldn't come up with the exact meaning myself, I told Dave about the dream and was surprised with his response. He laughed.

    "What? Why are you laughing? What's so funny?" I asked. Being male and able to think simplistically instead of from five different emotionally and hormonally wired centers at the same time, he said, "He did exactly what you asked him to do. He brought you a message. That's all. You asked for something, he did it. And that is so cool."

    *****


    Ocallah came and spent a couple of very short days with me this month. It was soooo wonderful to be with her after an entire year, but it is amazing how that entire year disappears as soon as we are back in each others shadow . . . . or light? Anywayyyyyyyyyy . . . on the way to our home she asked Jason for a sign. She asked for a very specific sign which she later received, but while she was sleeping the night of her arrival in Riverton, Jason showed up in her dream. And...yep, he handed her A SIGN. A wooden one. She turned it over in her hands to read it, and it said, and this is SOOOOO Jason--

    "Born Cool."

    Sometimes, we look for the most difficult answers, and we miss the really blatant in your face messages. Instead of longing for out of body experiences and full fledged materializations of our loved ones on the other side, we need to remember that sometimes they do exactly what we ask them to do. And we only need to laugh with them and say thank you.


    FROM OUR READERS


    I cannot possibly include everything I have received this quarter for the newsletter. If you sent me something and don't see it here, please be patient and keep watching. I have it all on file. And I appreciate the tremendous response.

    A question from a reader about solar lights:
    I also have a solar light at the cemetary and also in (girl)Ryan's garden at my house. I love it. We were looking for solar powered christmas lights but couldn't find any. Maybe you could ask your readers.-- Tracy

    If anyone can offer resources to this reader, please email her from her daughter's memorial website:

    Sandy, can you please do a special newsletter on drug abuse, help for the addiction, and names and addresses of parents who have been down that road.--Sylvia S. Thompson

    Anyone have stories to share for Susan?

    Hi Sandy, Shortly after my husbands sudden, unexpected passing, I saw movement in his picture that I was holding on to for dear life. Was this real? Also, does spirit manipulate email? --Susan

    Grace sent this advice for loss from miscarriage:

    I don't know if you have ever done a piece on loss from miscarriage. This is the major loss in my life my unknown babies. People don't know what to say there is no formal grieving process. Sometimes your own husband doesn't even understand. A couple of things I have done to cope that have helped...Planted a tree in the yard. A flowering shrub for each baby. Then every spring I am reminded that life renews itself. I also named the babies.

    >From Ocallah:
    Sandy,
    A dear client of mine shared this prayer she uses for her loved ones on the other side. I asked her for it because, during our reading, many people on the other side were lining up to thank her. Some, people she never knew in life. For instance, a man identified himself by name and thanked her: turns out he was simply the man on the gravestone next to her family and she had included him in her prayers. This is amazing! Anyway, I think you might want to consider including this in your next newsletter? It's beautiful. Maybe even use both versions?
    Lovingly,
    Ocallah
    And from Ocallah's client:
    Hi Ocallah! Thank you for your response. I would love to share the prayer(s) for the loved ones in Heaven. It is not too personal, I would love for anyone who wishes to, to be able to benefit from it. I don't know if there are any copy right issues. I adapted my version from a prayer I got from a book. I will give you both.
    My version:
    I first say: (BTW people do not need a candle or to light one to say this, I just like to utilize candles with prayer)
    I light this candle in continual sacred prayer. I light it for my family and friends who've touched my life, who are now a part of the Eternal Light. Named or unnamed this prayer is for you. Named or unnamed, (God/Trinity/Spirit) knows who you are, just as Spirit knows the name of each and every star. (Then I name the names of all who I want and/or know to name. I like the above because it kind of covers anyone who I might have "forgotten") Then I say: I honor you, from the dawn of your birth to the sunset of your death. I honor you from the missions you completed to your duties left undone. I honor you from the seasons of your being through the cycle of your life. I honor you. May the angels support you, May Spirit surround you, May my healing love reach you. From this moment and throughout eternity, I honor you. (Then I personally say it in the name of the Holy Trinity, Holy Father, Holy Mother & Jesus Christ the Son and Savior)
    Adapted from "Halloween" by Silver RavenWolf
    Rhiannon Azurite (that is my spiritual name)

    The Original Version is from a book "Halloween" by Silver RavenWolf
    Her version goes like this:
    From the dawn of your birth, To the sunset of your death, I honor you. From the missions you completed, To your duties left undone, I honor you. From the seasons of your being through the cycle of your life, I honor you. From your time beyond the veil 'Til your entrance back again. May the angels support you, May Spirit surround you, May my healing love reach you from this moment until the end of time. So mote it be.

    Ocallah, I am a strong believer in reincarnation. However, I did my version of the prayer so I could give it to family and friends as it is more "general." Maybe this also is something that you can share with others if you think it may benefit.

    I truly hope these prayers can benefit others as they have me. I REALLY believe that although anytime we talk/pray up to our loved ones it is definitely heard - the I honor your prayer is just really nice. I just really think it does something! :)
    Thank you again Ocallah for allowing me to share.
    Blessings, Love & Light to you and yours,
    Rhiannon Azurite (Lisa B)


    And a poem:
    In Loving Memory of Morgan, 08/06/02

    When angels tuck you in at night
    do you say a special prayer
    to keep your mom and daddy safe?
    Is it the same up there?
    Do you know how much they miss you?
    Do you hold them as they grieve?
    Did you fill them with that strength and peace
    the day you had to leave?
    You're their little angel, how lucky they both are.
    For in your special time with them,
    In their darkness you hung a star.
    You taught them special lessons
    In your time here on this earth.
    They grew so much to make you proud.
    They know what life is worth.
    They learned such terrible sadness.
    You helped them handle it with grace.
    For now they smile a special smile.
    You're in a better place.
    No more pain for you sweet child.
    No more tears for you to cry.
    All that sadness ended
    When God gave you angel wings to fly.
    So rest at peace Dear Morgan
    To your memory they'll cling.
    Each day they say a special prayer
    And send it to God on Baby wings.

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



    Sandy Goodman
    Love Never Dies
    sandy@loveneverdies.net