Archives for January 2015

The Other Side of Grief

Grief…it’s not really a very pretty word. We see it, read it, and we know it means something bad has happened. People don’t realize it, but we can grieve for many things. The loss of a loved one, a job, a house, a friend moving, a break up, a divorce. Grief has many faces. Recently though, I have come face to face with the reality of death. I lost a very good friend before Christmas, and two beloved uncles shortly after.My uncles were older and had lived a good life. My friend Anthony was only 42 and had so much yet he needed to do. Alas, that was not God’s plan. As a therapist, I knew how this process works. What I learned, is that when you are in the middle of such deep grief, that none of any of it makes any sense. So  I sought out things to help comfort myself and my friend’s mom, as losing a child is one of those heartbreaks that  one can never heal from. I would like to share with you a few of the inspiring things I found. For grief, as hard as it is in the beginning, will lessen. It takes time. Sometimes lots of time. As humans, we don’t often like to let time take time. We all grieve differently. How each person chooses to grieve  is up to them. The important thing is that you have to go through it. I always tell clients, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it and you can’t go around it. The only way to deal with grief is to go through it. And always remember to give time, time.

Here are a few inspiring quotes I found.

There is another side of Grief

Where the tears still flow

Not as often

Where memories bring smiles

Not just sadness

Where blessings are recognized

Not just struggles

Where joy and peace are present

Not just sorrow

Where you are remembered

Not just mourned


The reality is that you will grieve forever.

You will not “get over” the loss of a loved one.

You will learn to live with it.

You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.

You will be whole again but, you will never be the same.

Not should you be the same, nor would you want to.

                                                                                    …………….. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler

“Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day,

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear,

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

…………From a headstone in Ireland

To my dearest family, some things I’d like to say.
But first of all, to let you know, I arrived okay.
I’m writing this from Heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here there’s no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I am with you every morning, noon, and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said,
“I welcome you. It’s good to have you back again,
You were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they’ll be here later on.
I need you here badly, you’re part of my plan.
There’s so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.”
God gave me a list of things, that He wished for me to do.
And foremost on that list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day’s chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you…in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years,
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, if it were not for the rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you, you wouldn’t understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over,
I’m closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb,
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who’s in sorrow and in pain;
Then you can say to God at night…”My day was not in vain.”
And now I am contented…that my life was worthwhile,
Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you’re walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind;
I’m walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when it’s time for you to go…from that body to be free,
Remember you’re not going….you’re coming here to me.

…………………..Author Unknown

and finally a quote I had sent Anthony 5 days before he died. He was having a rough day. I’ve had a few of them myself lately.

Having a rough day?

Place your hand on your heart.

Feel that?

That’s called purpose

You’re alive for a reason!!

Don’t give up.

If you are suffering loss, and a know that I have friends and family who are. I hope this brings you a little comfort, and some hope that this won’t hurt quite so bad as time goes on.

In Loving Memory of Anthony


May the Peace of God go With you


God Speaks To Us

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

                                                                                                                            John 10:27

Have you ever wished God would speak to you directly, like we read about in the Old Testament of the Bible?  When I pray, sometimes I wish I would hear a deep, booming voice that clearly answers my prayer or gives me words of wisdom and comfort.  We may not hear a concrete voice, but I’m convinced that God still speaks to us in a variety of ways.  I was witness to this over the past two weeks, as I grieved the loss of two very special Uncles.

My Uncle Claude had been admitted to the hospital and despite bouncing back many times, it seemed that he was getting weaker.  I was not ready to say good-bye and I felt so sad one evening.  It was then it came, a text out of nowhere, with a number that was not in my contact list,  saying, “Hey, how are you?”  I almost didn’t answer, but decided to ask who it was.  It turned out to be an old childhood friend that I hadn’t talked to in a while.  She was always around my family growing up and she knew my Uncle and even cleaned his house, so she was in the loop with what was going on with him, probably more so than me.  That night we texted back and forth and she shared some things with me about my Uncle and some conversations that they recently had that truly brought me so much comfort.  I knew that it was no coincidence that she texted me that night, she was sent to me by God to bring words of comfort and peace.

The next day, my Uncle Claude passed away.  I learned the news while I was at work and I did my best to hold it together.  Once my students had left for the day, I sat at my desk and was gathering my things to go home.  I wanted to make it to my car before I started crying.  Then my desk phone rang.  My phone hardly ever rings, unless it is an emergency and I had a silent debate in my head whether or not to answer it.  I decided to answer it but knew it was a mistake when my voice cracked and the tears I had been holding back all afternoon poured out.  Again, God sent his special message of comfort to me though this phone call.  It was my teaching partner I had worked with for five years, who was now at another school calling to say hi and see how I was doing.  She was just the person I needed at that moment to give me words of comfort and cheer.

I lost my Uncle Herb a few days later.  When we got the news, it was the same day we were going to the funeral home for my Uncle Claude.  We were all together as a family, grieving this loss and I could feel God there so close in the hugs from loved ones, the words spoken and the shared memories.  Being with my family helped sooth my heart.  Again, God provided comfort when I needed it most.  At my Uncle Herb’s funeral, the Pastor read many passages from the Bible that I felt spoke to me and offered comfort admist my grief.  The words were like a balm to my hurting heart.

I will miss both Uncles so much.  They were such kind, happy,  hard working men.  Both were farmers, treasured family and loved God.  I know they are at peace, home with the Lord and re-united with those who have gone before.  I find comfort in the promises of God during this time of grieving and am thankful for the way He sent a message of love and comfort to me during this difficult time through some very special people and His Word.

A few days before this loss, Little One and I saw this phenomenon, I later learned is called a Sun Dog, on our way to work and school.  It was like a rainbow coming right out of the frigid morning sky next to the rising sun.  It was brilliant and beautiful and looking back, I realize it was just another way God was letting me know He loves me and He is in control.  What an awesome God we have to give us such beauty to enjoy!  I also like to think that just maybe this was Heaven preparing a big party and celebration to welcome my Uncles home.