This piece of well-written wisdom is circulating the internet. The author long lost to us, as so often sadly happens after an article becomes public. It is a wise way to help reframe some of our thoughts about the challenges that face us today. I would like to share it with you, for those who may not have seen it.
This book compiled by Sheri Perl Migdol and members of the Prayer Registry Team is an excellent little resource for grieving parents as well as those who seek to support them in their grief.
Access this book and more of Sheri’s work through this link: http://www.sheriperl.com/
Once you have gone to Sheri’s page click on the picture of the book to download a free copy of it. There are also more resources on Sheri’s page that may be helpful for you to consider.
Well, you cannot say we didn’t do our best, in the end, we got them all floating (incoming tide under a full moon), but the candles would not stay alight because of the breeze. We could not do it from the reserve as there was no place to access the water without going in. Far too cold at our ages for getting wet feet. Our first attempt was from the boat ramp, this would have worked fine only there was a log in the way of their progress. Like the intrepid determined women we are, we went to plan b. A carefully thought out one in which we tried to move the log. Now we all know we have to go to the mountain the mountain will not come to us. Nor would a log. Cynthia’s determination was fearless.
I jokingly said oh Em’s probably sitting on the log laughing at us. It was not until we got back home did we see all the orbs and we have an unexplainable light in one photo which I have not shared. There is a particularly nice one with the blue boat surrounded by orbs. Emma’s favourite colour is blue!
So then we decided after being so well prepared for the dark without a torch, we would go to the steps, which we could vaguely see. So off we go after retrieving the boats. Tried lighting them again that was just not going to work, so we sent them off. They worked beautifully, the last photo I took all boats were floating in a line up the mighty river. Now lest you think my photography appalling (you are partly right) my little camera picked up these photos in the pitch black with me aiming at around about the general direction in which they were. So considering the circumstances my little point and shoot did well.
I thank Jenny so much for the hardiness with which she made Em’s boats; you did well Jen thank you. The determination of Debra was evident in the photos which I have in her interests edited out. One does not like to have some things broadcast, but the determination was given to us by Debra’s unceasing insistence on trying to get a boat to the water with a lighted candle. Thanks to Cynthia’s belief that a log is just a log and can be moved, her positivity unshakeable Cynthia put muscle to the log insisting we could move it, it most likely has been there a hundred or so years and has a well-developed sense of being in its place for eternity. We respected that and moved along to a more congenial set of steps.
I like to think Em and her spirit pals were laughing their heads off and creating too much wind.
I hope that I have helped you to share in our little night at the river celebrating Ems forever 15 Earthday. We do not think we are quite to the standard of the Buddhist Floating Lantern Ceremony, but one has to start small before one can run (or keep a candle lit on a floating boat)
We returned home to share Em’s chocolate Earthday cake, safe in the knowledge that we had done a pretty good job, okay not perfect, and okay photos are a bit how you are going, but at least we gave it a go. The best part of all was we had a great night. Maybe next year we will do something a bit easier like jumping from a plane.
Thank you to all of you, beautiful friends who in some way helped me get through the day, bless you all.
Love & Light
“Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. It can ease a variety of mental conditions, including feeling bored, anxious or worried about a task. Mindfulness teaches us to make a conscious effort to stay in control and focus on the here and now. It teaches us to stop and concentrate on our breathing for a few minutes before continuing, paying close attention to the task at hand. It means our minds aren’t flitting from one subject to the next while we are doing one particular thing. From the Little Book of Spirituality by Gilly Pickup.
Mindfulness for some is difficult and needs lots of practice. Our brains process and an extraordinary amount of information every minute. Most of which we are unaware of, but it goes on and on and on processing information.
When in the grieving state mindfulness is often very elusive, however, it is just at that time where mindfulness comes into its own.
Grieving takes a lot of energy and often our thoughts constantly wander into thoughts of what, why, what if, how can I go on and a million other repetitive thoughts. Some of these thought processes take over our lives and can create a world devoid of colour and energy.
Anxiety looms large from these thoughts and feelings, and one soon begins to spiral or at least seem like being spun viciously out of control through a constant plethora of negative emotions, feeling helpless. Ultimately one begins to consider they are at the at the mercy of their misery.
It is when thoughts run rampant where the getting into the practice of mindfulness can come into its own to help your mind and body take back some control. Mastering mindfulness will put you in charge of your grief and not render you a victim to its darkness.
Another excellent resource that I have come across and personally used is “Mindfulness – a practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World”, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. It is a book that teaches you what is happening to you and how to go about finding that piece of peace. It also comes with a handy little CD. Check it out; it might just be one of the best investments you make in yourself on your journey through life.
Child loss is a loss like no other. misunderstood by many who take the actions of a grieving parent personal. remember that even my “good” days are harder than you could ever imagine. Compassion and love, not advice, are needed. There will never come a day, hour, minute or second I stop loving or thinking about my son. I want to say and hear his name just the same as non-bereaved parents do. I want to speak about my deceased son as normally and naturally as you speak of your living ones. I love my child just as much as you love your the only difference is mine lives in heaven and talking about about him is unfortunately quite disturbing to others. my friends are not great hearing about my son gone too soon, but that doesn’t stop me from saying my son’s name and sharing his love and light everywhere. My son’s life was cut irreversibly short, but his love lives on forever. i met and talk to other bereaved parents. I have seen that Strangers become kindreds in mere seconds a look, a glance, a knowing of the heart connects us, even if we’ve never met before. No matter our circumstances, who we are, or how different we are, there is no greater bond than the connection between parents who understand the agony of enduring the death of a child. It’s a pain we suffer for a lifetime, and unfortunately only those who have walked the path of child loss understand the depth and breadth of both the pain and the love we carry. There is no “moving on,” or “getting over it.” There is no bow, no fix, no solution to my heartache. There is no end to the ways I will grieve and for how long I will grieve. There is no glue for my broken heart, no exilir for my pain, no going back in time. For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my son with all my heart and soul. There will never come a time where I won’t think about who my son would be, what he would look like, I wish people could understand that grief lasts forever because love lasts forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that unfolds minute by minute over the course of a lifetime. Every missed birthday, holiday, milestone– should-be and he would be that will never be; an entire generation of people are irrevocably altered forever. This is why grief lasts forever. The ripple effect lasts forever. The bleeding never stops. This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known. And yet we all wish we could run away that we could have met another way any other way but this. these shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate, grounded, loving, movers, shakers and healers I have ever meet They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors and thrivers. Warrior moms and dads who redefine the word brave. Every day loss parents move mountains in honor of their children gone too soon. They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism. Why? In the hope that even just one parent could be spared from joining the club. If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with— watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy. Love is the most powerful force on earth, and the love between a bereaved parent and a child is a lifeforce to behold. Get to know a bereaved parent stop making excuses to not talk to them or see them because you don’t know what to say You’ll be thankful you did. Empty chair, empty room, empty space in every family picture. Empty, vacant, forever gone for this lifetime. Empty spaces that should be full, everywhere we go. There is and will always be a missing space in our lives, our families, a forever-hole-in-our-hearts. Time does not make the space less empty. Neither do platitudes, clichés or well-wishes for us to “move on,” or “stop dwelling,” from well intentioned friends or family. Nothing does. No matter how you look at it, empty is still empty. Missing is still missing. Gone is still gone. The problem is nothing can fill it. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after heartbreaking year the empty space remains. The empty space of our missing child(ren) lasts a lifetime. And so we rightfully miss them forever. Help us by holding the space of that truth for us. No matter how long it’s been, holidays will. never become easier without my son. Never, ever. Have you ever wondered whyevery holiday season is like torture for me Even if it’s been 5, 10, or 25 years later? It’s because they really, truly are. Imagine if you had to live every holiday without one or more of your precious children. Imagine how that might feel for you. It would be easier to lose an arm, a leg or two– anything— than to live without your flesh and blood, without the beat of your heart. Almost anything would be easier than living without one of more of your precious children. That is why holidays are always and forever hard for bereaved parents. Don’t wonder why or even try to understand. Know you don’t have to understand in order to be a present in my life. Consider supporting and loving me as you did before my life changed. Because I know deep sorrow, I also know unspeakable joy.
Though I will grieve the death of my son forever and then some, it does not mean my life is lacking happiness and joy. Quite the contrary, in fact, though it took awhile to get there. It is not either/or, it’s both/and. My life is more rich now. I live from a deeper place. I love deeper still. Because I grieve I also know a joy like no other. The joy I experience now is far deeper and more intense than the joy I experienced before my loss. when the joy comes, however and whenever it does– it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body. I feel all of it, deeply: the love, the grief, the joy, the pain. I embrace and thank every morsel Being his mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given.
About the author
Stafford Betty got his Ph.D. in theology from Fordham University, where he specialized in Asian religious thought and Sanskrit. Today he is a professor of world religions at California State University, Bakersfield, and a researcher on death and what follows. In 2011 he published The Afterlife Unveiled, which maps out the afterlife as described by seven discarnates communicating through mediums. The Imprisoned Splendor, is a novel set in the world beyond. Heaven and Hell Unveiled: Updates from the World of Spirit is a non-fiction work which outlines a more fully fleshed out presentation of the afterlife. His 2016 fictional work, The Severed Breast is published by White Crow Books. Betty’s latest non-fiction work, When did you ever become less by dying? Evidence for the Afterlife from Philosophy, Religion, and Psychical Research is published in summer 2016. Stafford writes a blog for The Huffington Post and White Crow in an attempt to reach non-specialists. Many of his articles are available at academia.edu.
My review as posted on Amazon UK & USA
Professor Betty’s studied examination of the evidence of life after death through its many forms using as a guide a beacon of the physicalist, materialist, dualism and what can only rise above these restrictive philosophies to that of his theory of Qualified Monism. I propose this work will move forward and come to be a classic in the literature. His evidential case for survival after death proven beyond doubt, something that had I not been brought up with the aforementioned societal guides I may have fared better. I know that walk. In late December 2012 as I cradled in my arms my dying 15-year-old daughter with utter devastation I had no idea of what was to be a monumental journey, to satisfy a grieving mother’s desperate need to know where her child was and more importantly was she safe. My journey follows Professor Betty’s book so eerily that I have no doubt it came to me for a reason. From hell to the whole, I too researched and researched almost chapter by chapter of this book for the evidence of continuity of survival after death and the type of survival I could expect she was now in, and I now communicate through EVP’s. I wish no-one to have their paradigm shift the way I did but to gain the best benefit of life on earth that are as Professor says is what is so needed; the benefits outweigh our present reality neatly summed in the later pages with the keen eye of a man who can see a different paradigm. This work is not above the average reading ability for the Professor has distilled science to a reachable state for us all. Other reviews detail precisely other angles of the book. I understand completely Professor Betty’s final story of the woman whose child perished in the war because I am there now.
In this book Professor Stafford Betty pulls together the best evidences for survival of death. The very best, he maintains, come from psychical research. The near-death experience, deathbed visions, reincarnational memories of children, communication from the so-called dead through mediums, apparitions, poltergeists, spirits that reach out to us through electronic instruments, spirits that attach themselves to our bodies, and episodes of terminal lucidity in Alzheimer’s patients are all included.
But philosophy has a lot to say as well. In simple terms Betty lays out the evidence against reductive materialism that claims all our experience is generated by the brain and that we perish at death. Viewing the brain as an instrument put to good use by the immaterial self is much more consistent with the evidence.
Finally, he surveys the universal affirmation by the world’s religions that we survive death.
Betty brings together memorable examples and careful analysis of each type of evidence. Each type is imposing enough by itself, but taken together they build a case for survival of death that is insurmountable. He shows that life after death, as mysterious as it is, should no longer be regarded as a hypothesis, but, like dark matter, a fact.
One of the most difficult conversations that one can have is with a bereaved parent. Some people find it so difficult to do that they will cross the road rather than talk to you and upset you. Do not think that we did not notice it because we did.
As I was on the internet today I found a piece of writing that struck me as a positive way to approach this uncomfortable situation. Unfortunately, the author is unknown. I made enquiries but drew a blank as to whom it may be. So I am posting it here and if the author or someone who recognises its genesis, please let me know so that I can amend the “author unknown” status.
So now you know how to gift a bereaved parent. At all times it pays to remember we were given two ears and one mouth and they really be used in that proportion.