#grief

VISITING HOURS IN HEAVEN

 

 

The young son came to his father…not long after his Grandpa had died…with tears still lingering in his eyes…eyes that were open wide.

 

“I know that Grandpa’s gone,” he said, “and at the funeral we said goodbye…but is there anyway to visit him in heaven…or do I have to wait until I die?”

 

“There are always visiting hours in heaven.” Dad said. “But to heaven you don’t have to climb…because heaven has made it easy to visit Grandpa…any place…at any time.”

 

“If you close your eyes and think about Grandpa…quickly you will see…you can visit him anytime you want…where he lives…in your memory.”

 

“And if you ever have a question for him…here’s what you need to do…ask your question…close your eyes…listen…Grandpa will answer you.”

 

“You see, heaven is not just the place people go when from this world they depart…I believe each of us has a little piece of heaven…right here…inside our heart.”

 

“It’s the way we were created…the way we were designed…it’s where those we love, before they go, leave a piece of themselves behind.”

 

“And when we want to visit them…this moment…or long after they have died…we only need to close our eyes…think about them…and take a look inside…”

 

“Look inside your heart…right now…that’s what I’m going to do…that’s where you’ll find your Grandpa…waiting patiently for you.”

 

Dad held his son’s hand in his…said, “lose your eyes”…and with their fingers interlaced…

“Hi Dad!”

“Hi Grandpa!”

You could hear them whisper…

as a smile lit up each face.

 
 
 
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A LITTLE GOOD NEWS

 

 

Today…a little good news…news that, hopefully, makes you glad…

even though this good news…originated from the bad.

This story begins five years ago…it takes its initial breath inside a women’s sadness…grieving her son’s death.

 

Move ahead five years…her son’s birthday is today…

and her grief resurfaces as it always does…for it will never go away.

 

She wanted a way to deal with her grief…in the best way that she could…

Hoping from her sadness…she could create something good.

 

She thought and thought searching for an idea…and when her thinking was done…

She decided to find a way to give…to another mother and her son.

 

Move now to a mother picking up her son’s birthday cake…tears of joy and sorrow she cried when she opened up the cake box and read the note inside.

 

It was from the mother of the son who died…Tyler was his name…written to the mother of the son who lives…whose birthdays are the same.

 

She paid for the cake in honor of her son…to keep his memory bright…

The note said…enjoy the day…make special memories and hug your children and loved ones tight.

 

She chose this way to commemorate her son..to help keep his memory awake…

Because as a mother she loved birthdays…while her son loved birthday cakes.

 

The words were written lovingly…they were compassionate and kind…

Love, Toni, Tylers mom…is how the note was signed

 

I like to think it was the best birthday…and best birthday cake…that family ever had

As one woman found a way for something good…

to come out of something bad.

 

 

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THE STGRANGER

 

 

He wasn’t a regular customer…at least I hadn’t seen him here before.

The store was empty, save for me, when he walked in through the door.

 

He purchased a couple books but instead of taking them and walking…he looked me in the eyes…and then he started talking.

 

It was a free association of his thoughts…from one subject to another he would hop…and there was a time, I’m sorry to admit, when I wished for him to stop.

 

But I felt bad for thinking that…so I whisked that thought away…and I began to actively listen…to what he had to say.

 

Once that initial negative feeling I was able to reverse…I learned a lot about this young man in the hour we conversed.

 

I learned how old he was…about his family…and the reason he purchased his two books…It’s because he’s living on his own now and he wants to teach himself to cook.

 

I learned about the food he likes…how he’s really into spices…And now that he’s buying his own food…how he’s amazed at the high prices.

 

I learned about his job…where he goes to work each day…and amidst this plethora of information he was sharing…I learned his father had recently passed away.

 

It was here, for me, the pieces fell into place…all the clues were there….all the reasons…he was so willing, with me, to share.

 

All the stories of his family…of his mom (also passed) and his dad… 

He was a just little lonely…and he was just a little sad.

 

And in our moment of time together…in this uninhabited space

I found myself not only listening to his words but watching the expressions on his face…

 

And realizing, once again…not knowing what’s around the bend tomorrow….there is no substitute for joy in life…and there is no cure for sorrow.

 

And I was glad I chose to listen…glad he walked in through my door…

And glad that when he left…we were not strangers anymore.

 

 

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SOME THOUGHTS ON GRIEF

Today…some thoughts on grief because I am of the belief

just as life can give us joy…we can’t escape its grief.

 

When we lose someone we love…life will never be the same it was before.   

It’s as if, in that one moment, our world is not in balance anymore.

 

Grief can come out of nowhere…at first it makes us seethe..

It causes endless tears…it makes it hard to breathe.

 

When we’re overcome with grief…it can bring us to our knees as we feel the weight of scars…scars that no-one else can see.

 

It’s as if a window to our hearts has broken allowing in the arctic, frigid air and the person we want most to talk to…is no longer standing there.

 

Grief can come in waves…it matters not if we’re a mother, father, son or daughter…and sometimes the best that we can do is keep our heads above the water.

 

Then one day in the midst of our sadness we begin perceiving how the world around us does not stop…just because it’s us who’s grieving.

 

And we begin to think during those moment when we’re feeling blue…about the person whom we’re missing and what they’d want us to do.

 

And it’s our thoughts of them that help relieve our sorrow and our doubt and from the forest we are lost in…help to guide us out.

 

It's their voices that tell us grief is not a sign of weakness as each day another path we cross…It is the price we pay for loving…it is the price we pay for loss.

 

It’s their voices that remind us if it is balance we’re trying to achieve… then the only way to deal with our grief…is to allow ourselves to grieve…

 

It is their voices that are telling us…reminding us with ever breath

to live in the sunshine they created…not the shadow of their death.

 

 

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A VACANT ROOM

At first the sadness’s overwhelmed her…

It was with her everywhere she went

She couldn’t remove it’s ringing from her years

It’s taste

it’s feel

it’s scent

 

She knew if she was ever going to move on…

eventually she’d have to find

a way to deal with her sorrow…

a place for her sadness to be confined

 

She discovered a vacant room within her heart…

it magically opened one day

and slowly little by little she began

to pack her sorrow away.

 

She knows the sadness will revisit 

but no longer does she fear

the moments it returns…

the moments it appears…

 

For those times when it seeps back out…

those feeling of sadness and doom

she will visit with them a while 

then store them back inside this room.

 

Now she able to smile as she closes the door…

no longer is she mad…

for she remembers what made her so happy to begin with…

 

that now makes her so sad.


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GRIEF

We have witnessed grief first hand

It’s in the news for us to see.

We see sorrow seeping from out their pores.

We feel their agony.

 

A life was taken senselessly

one second there…and now it’s gone.

Their story ended prematurely

only their memory lingers on.

 

In time their grief will soften

they know not where or when

but when they do remember

the grief will rise again.

 

For the moment someone is taken from us

the moment their life is quelled

a part of those who loved them

dies that moment as well.

 

I imagine their only consolation

ss they wear their grief like a glove

is to remember grief is but an outcome

 

of the depth and wonder of their love.


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TEARS

I saw a tear escape her eye…

when she whispered out his name

and I remember thinking why…

and wondering what tragedy she overcame.

 

She suffered a loss I did not know…

a loss she couldn’t disguise

It happened a long time ago…

I could see it in her eyes.

 

I imagine a tear is how our heart speaks 

when we can’t find words to explain

when a memory has made us weak…

when we’re overcome with pain.

 

I wonder when we hold back our tears…

suppress even one teardrop

If it’s because we have a hidden fear…

once they start…our tears won’t stop.

 

That once the dam is broken…

and our tears start falling down

a terror goes unspoken…

that in our own tears…we will drown.

 

For suffering sometimes fall like rain…

a word, a smell, a thought can bring it on

and we’re reminded by our pain 

how grief is not a sprint but a marathon.

 

Perhaps that’s why we have an ocean of tears…

for in any dark days we have ahead

when a memory stirs and grief appears

we’ll have unending tears to shed.

 

I wonder…how many of us harbor a fear

that at the end of any minute…any day

a relentless stream of our own tears

are but one memory away?

 

At the time I offered her a smile…

to give her strength for a sadness I’ve never known

knowing all the while

 

some griefs we’re meant to bear alone.


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WITHOUT HER

With the memory of her death still fresh in his mind

he pauses to think about her…

and he wonders…

if the world will always be this quiet

and this lonely…

 

without her.


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SOMETHING ABOUT HER SMILE

He was looking at a picture of his wife…thinking of their first date… first kiss…

and now that she is gone…all the things that he will miss…

 

“You look sad.” the young girl said to him as he sat upon ‘their’ rock

“Sometimes I get sad too.” she said…but he didn’t want to talk.

 

“Why are you here all by yourself?” He asked.

“What are you doing talking to me?”

“Don’t you have someplace else to go?”

“Someplace else you need to be?”

 

“Do you like ice cream?” she asked

“How long since you were born?”

“How dangerous is it to pet a snake?”

“Have you ever seen a unicorn?”

 

The old man tried his best not to answer…but there was something about her smile he adored…

and as the questions kept on coming…she was too hard to ignore.

 

“I’ve never seen a unicorn.” he said

“Snakes are dangerous…you know.”

“I like my ice cream chocolate…and I was born a long, long time ago.”

 

She kept asking questions because that’s what a little girl does

and as the old man kept responding he forgot how sad he was.

 

After a while from atop that rock he was now happily sitting on

he turned to thank the little girl

but he couldn’t

she was gone.

 

He looked but could not find her.

Where was she?

He didn’t know…but she took with her his sadness 

she took with her his woe.

 

“It can’t be…can it! he wondered after sitting there a while

and returning to the picture of his wife he nodded,

 

“I thought I recognized that smile."


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