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BS: Bereavement

AllisonA(Animaterra) 22 Nov 03 - 07:08 AM
YorkshireYankee 24 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Nov 03 - 08:29 AM
Peg 25 Nov 03 - 09:03 AM
Joybell 25 Nov 03 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,pdc 25 Nov 03 - 04:28 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM
bbc 25 Nov 03 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,jaze 25 Nov 03 - 06:52 PM
YorkshireYankee 27 Nov 03 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,heather 27 Nov 03 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,pdc 27 Nov 03 - 06:43 PM
wysiwyg 27 Nov 03 - 07:02 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 27 Nov 03 - 07:43 PM
wysiwyg 02 Dec 03 - 09:10 AM
Raptor 02 Dec 03 - 10:38 PM
Jeri 03 Dec 03 - 02:56 PM
Menolly 03 Dec 03 - 04:23 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 03 Dec 03 - 07:10 PM
bbc 03 Dec 03 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,pdc 03 Dec 03 - 08:23 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 05 Dec 03 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Mato Nupai 05 Dec 03 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Mato Nupai 05 Dec 03 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Mato Nupai 05 Dec 03 - 11:19 AM
Raptor 05 Dec 03 - 11:42 AM
wysiwyg 05 Dec 03 - 11:45 AM
Raptor 05 Dec 03 - 12:22 PM
jaze 05 Dec 03 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Mato Nupai 05 Dec 03 - 08:06 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 06 Dec 03 - 01:29 PM
Little Hawk 06 Dec 03 - 06:46 PM
Escamillo 07 Dec 03 - 05:03 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 07 Dec 03 - 06:35 AM
jaze 11 Dec 03 - 10:23 PM
catspaw49 11 Dec 03 - 10:30 PM
Escamillo 12 Dec 03 - 05:04 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 12 Dec 03 - 06:05 AM
YorkshireYankee 14 Dec 03 - 10:47 PM
Two_bears 15 Dec 03 - 08:37 AM
*daylia* 15 Dec 03 - 09:14 AM
Helen 24 Dec 03 - 04:18 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 24 Dec 03 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,pdc 24 Dec 03 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Pistachio 06 Jan 04 - 02:43 PM
Raptor 12 Jan 04 - 06:44 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 13 Jan 04 - 01:07 PM
Amergin 13 Jan 04 - 04:01 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 13 Jan 04 - 05:14 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Jan 04 - 07:55 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 07:08 AM

I am just amazed at the love and support radiating from you all. I can't believe how you're keeping this thread alive. Know that all the good wishes and hugs and love are having an affect- my head is still above water, I haven't drowned and I have glimmers of hope of survival.
Guest L, thanks for the insight. I'm learning that I'm not just visiting this new planet, I'm a permanent resident.
Joybell, it blows my mind that there are loving hearts caring for me all over this planet.
GracieK, I thought I knew most of Steeleye Span. What recording has that song? I'd love to hear it!
Yorkshire Yankee, you've mentioned two songs that mean so much to me. Bob Franke has put so many things into words for me that I have struggled to say. "Thanksgiving eve" got me through the pain of the tragedy of 9/11, and it's been echoing back in my heart lately. The other Franke song that keeps coming back has the refrain,
"There's a hole in the middle of the prettiest life,
So the lawyers and the prophets say.
Not your father nor your mother nor your lover's gonna ever make it go away.
Now there's too much darkness in an endless night
To be afraid of the way we feel
Let's be kind to each other
Not forever, but for real"


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM

Animaterra,

It's good to hear that your suffering has begun to subside (even just a little bit), and that the flood of care and support directed your way have managed to provide some comfort. Because many of us have been fortunate enough not to have suffered such a terrible loss ourselves, it can be hard to know "the right thing" to say (actually, it is not so much trying to say "the right thing" as being very afraid of saying "the *wrong* thing...). In my case, I feel the best I can offer is the words, wisdom and eloquence of writers whose work has meant so much to me over the years (*decades* actually...).

So here are a couple more things that came to mind last night as I was thinking of you/your situation (again, you are probably already quite familiar with these, but perhaps you have not thought of them recently...):

From "The Velveteen Rabbit" (by Margery Williams)

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

====================================

From "The Little Prince" (by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near---

"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

"It is your own fault," said the little prince."I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you. . ."

"Yes that is so", said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.

"Yes that is so" said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all!"

"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields."
And then he added: "go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."

. . .

And he went back to meet the fox. "Goodbye" he said.

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince so he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose. . ."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

. . .

One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed . . .

. . .

"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--"

"What are you trying to say?"

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night . . . You--only you--will have stars that can laugh!"

And he laughed again.

"And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!' And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you . . ."
And he laughed again.

"It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh . . ."

====================================

Wishing you peace,

YY


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:29 AM

Thanks, YY- those are some of my favorite stories from long ago.

I'm learning that this New Planet has some paths that are fairly smooth and straight, but also land mines, ambushes, booby traps. Just when I think I'm getting "better" I get assaulted by a torrent of tears. Yesterday driving home from work there was no obvious trigger- I had to pull the car over, as I was wracked by sobs.
Those episodes are exhausting and take hours to recover from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Peg
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:03 AM

I hope a little advice on a more physiological level might be helpful. I am sure all the advice on breathing etc. is something you've thought of. You haven't said if you have much appetitie, and I would guess sleep is either hard to get or hard to emerge from.

May I recommend some things that are good for stress and may help even out your mood? These are all very subtle with no side effects or radical change. They are nice holistic ways to take care of yourself.

Calcium supplements. Take them an hour before bed and they'll help sleep come, and will help the physical symptoms of stress immensely. Most of them now come with magnesium and zinc added, which are also good. They absorb better with vitamin C, so taking a nice chewable or a bit of juice will help.

Herbal teas to help digestion (drink after a meal) and to calm your nerves. Chamomile, St. John's Wort, Peppermint, Red Clover, Lavender. I would be happy to make you up a batch and send you some (I have some of these herbs in bulk) if you PM me your address.

Consider St. John's wort capsules. It takes several weeks to kick in sometimes, but does have an effect on mild depression. It does not work like an anti-depressant but it might make your daily struggle a bit easier to bear. I find it helps me find the good parts of the day more easily.

Essential oils: in the bath, the shower, a diffuser, or mixed into your body lotion. All the citrus oils are very uplifting. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, etc. I can get these wholesale and also have lots of them around, so I could make up a blend for you of these, too if you like.

I hope it gets better for you but of course it will take time. The death of a beloved partner is, they say, the very worst event we can go through in terms of stress. Know that we all love you and are thinking of you here at the Mudcat. Maybe we need to plan a Northeast get-together for music and food and drink this holiday season?

peg


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 03:31 PM

Count me in for that get-together - in spirit because I'm too far away. Sending the sunshine that's outside our window to you Allison. Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 04:28 PM

May a non-musical stranger show up? I can't play an instrument, and can no longer sing (now denied permission by those around me), but I'm the most important person in the industry -- I love music, and buy it in whatever form I can, all the time!

Today my daughter would have been 33. How thin and paltry to light a candle under her photograph instead of putting candles on a cake for her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM

A Northeast Get together! Consider it done! Peg, do you want to start another thread, or is it just for the grievers among us?


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: bbc
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:49 PM

I would certainly see if I can attend.

love,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 06:52 PM

pdc: You light the candle because your care-better than any cake!

Allison, if there is a local support group for the bereaved, it may be helpful. People in similar situations who can lend an understanding ear. Sometimes people are afraid of "burdening" their frieds or relatives, but a support group may be helpful. Take care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 01:28 PM

Animaterra wrote:
I'm learning that this New Planet has some paths that are fairly smooth and straight, but also land mines, ambushes, booby traps. Just when I think I'm getting "better" I get assaulted by a torrent of tears. Yesterday driving home from work there was no obvious trigger- I had to pull the car over, as I was wracked by sobs.
Those episodes are exhausting and take hours to recover from.

For what it's worth... I know that this is not unusual(from talks with a dear friend who lost her husband very suddenly a couple of years ago). This is *not* to belittle what's happening to you -- rather to reassure you that your reactions are not "over-reactions". You are attempting to "tolerate" the intolerable. We are complex creatures; the event which turns a life upside down may take only moments, but it takes too bloody many of those moments to regain some small semblance of equilibrium. Life would be so much easier if it didn't... what can I say?

Just know that you are not alone -- in more senses than one.

Hugs,

YY


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,heather
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 05:20 PM

I lost someone very dear to me almost 30 years ago. It took me 20 years to get to a stage where I felt I had come to terms with it. I should probably have gone to therapy as a child, but that was not the done thing in the Uk all those years ago.

However, I was given one piece of advice that I believe helped me. I was told that one day I would wake up and it wouldn't be the first thing on my mind. That happened. To be honest it probably took a year for that to happen. But it did.

And I was told that the time would come when I would pass one whole day without thinking about the person I lost. That took a long, long, time to happen. But it did.

Bereavement can be a hellish thing. But it does hurt less as time goes by. I am amazed at how us humans DO heal and and how life DOES go on. Cry it all out. And cry some more. One day it will feel a little better. And another day it will feel a whole load better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 06:43 PM

Heather's statements are the truest ones you will hear, Allison. I remember the first time I didn't think about my daughter for a day, that I felt guilty when I realized it. Felt guilty the first time I laughed after her death. Felt guilty when I didn't dream about her, didn't think of her first thing in the morning -- all these things happen, and they are a sign of human resilience and health and healing.

The tears help more than anything else.

Good post, Heather.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 07:02 PM

Just thought y'all might like to know, Allison is with people today.

Also, she has been sharing with me how much all of you mean to her, individually and collectively.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 07:43 PM

Yes, I was with a good crowd of folks from the village church. Before the feast, I baked pies with my daughter (last year Byron helped me because Maggie was at her dad's; this year she was right by my side).
Dinner was busy and crowded, lots of good hugs and yes, laughter. Stayed after dinner and played a silly game. Came home and absolutely collapsed, but I'm getting to recognize these spells and I'm more or less over this one.
And I've given thanks over and over again for my planetary circle of loving hands that are lifting me up and holding me close. And I give thanks for the nearly 2 years Byron was the heart of my heart, and for all he gave me and all he taught me. For emails, phone calls, notes in the mail, and the amazing strength and that shines through each one of you. Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 09:10 AM

We're thinking of you, Allison. First Christmas season. Joys and heartaches. Memories and strange planet celebrations.

Ready to walk through it, with you.

love,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Raptor
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 10:38 PM

If you want to talk I know where you're comming from my wife died suddenly on friday night!

David


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 02:56 PM

I don't contribute more because I just don't feel like I can say anything or do anything that might help. I read every word that gets posted in this thread though, and I think of you. Now, it's both of you.

I honestly have no idea what you both must have gone and be going through, other than what's posted here. If internet hugs aren't too cheap, you both have them. I give 'em in real life and you've got all you want in whatever form I can give 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Menolly
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 04:23 PM

Jeri - I feel so like you! I have been in the situation but every one is so individual and my ways of coping do not suit everybody, but I keep praying for you both and wish you the very best possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 07:10 PM

Oh, David,
I'm so sorry to welcome you to this New Planet. Read through this whole thread if you can (I printed it out, but I must warn you that it's over 50 pages long!). I have PMd you and hope you'll take me up on my offer to talk.

WYSYWYG is right; it isn't getting easier in this "season-to-be-jolly". The black pit opens up unexpectedly in all kinds of ways and places. David, when it happens, try to picture all the candles burning for you and your wife. Come here when you can, tell us stories about her, or just come here to rant. We love you.

Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: bbc
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 07:25 PM

Oh, David, we are all so sorry. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that others care about your pain.

best,

Barbara in NY


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 08:23 PM

And any of you who know Alison or David personally, please don't make the mistake of avoiding the subject. To Alison, Byron's name is "music to her ears/tears to her eyes," and that's a good thing. David's loss is so new that he will be in shock for a while -- but please, please, don't forget to talk about his wife to him when he can function. There's nothing worse than acting as though the person had never existed.

I'm so sorry for both Alison and David -- sometimes life is just too hard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 06:34 AM

Refresh for David.
He called me last night- I'm so glad you did, David!
He's numb and still in shock- keep those candles and prayers coming, and also PM him, or phone him if you live nearby!
Hang in there, my friend.
Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Mato Nupai
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 10:44 AM

I wish I had some words of comfort, but, I have never learned to live with loss. The only comfort I find is in being quite sure we will all meet again in the spirit world on the other side of the veil. Byron is not dead, he has gone on ahead, and he's waiting for you.
-----

You are exactly correct. Your friend and family members are not dead. they have just transitioned from the physical world to the spirit world.

You do need yo remember there in the spirit world; there is no time. You may stay here another 60 years or more; but when you cross into the Sp[irit world; to your friend it will seem as is they were just waiting for you a minute or two.

Two Bears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Mato Nupai
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 10:58 AM

Well, yesterday I was wearing dress pants with those stupid "girl pockets" that aren't worth anything, and I've lost my pocket angel. Funnily, I'm not as shattered by it as I would have been even a week ago. But I do miss it

----

Do not worry about it. Someone else needed that angel more than you do.

I read in another message that your friends to not call often, E-mail me two_bears@mindspring.com and I will be in touch with you via E-Mail. If you are comfortable in sending your phone number in E-Mail; send me your phone number, and I will call you occasionaly to check how you are doing, and lend a shoulder to cry on.

Little Hawk and Daylia both know me, and they can tell you about me.

Aloha nui loa

Two Bears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Mato Nupai
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 11:19 AM

I don't contribute more because I just don't feel like I can say anything or do anything that might help. I read every word that gets posted in this thread though, and I think of you. Now, it's both of you.
----

You should never put yourself down.

There are many things you can do yo help Allison and David.

A simple message that tells them you are thinking of them. This way they do not feel alone.

Tell a joke to lift their mood.

A simple smile will lift their mood, etc.

Two Bears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Raptor
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 11:42 AM

Two Bears acquire my e-mail addy from Little Hawk

David


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 11:45 AM

Two Bears my friend, welcome to Mudcat. There is a diversity of beliefs and solid experience in this community; I think you will find that you will be welcomed to be part of that and to offer any wisdom you feel you have gained in life, to share.

I see that you have a particular gift of compassionate helpfulness. I write in the hope that such a spirit desires to grow in helpfulness and I offer some background experience in such matters, to enlarge your view of Mudcat just slightly, so that your gifts might be used most effectively.

I would like to encourage you to be very restrained about commenting on the appropriateness of individuals' advice/sharing in threads such as these. In a forum like Mudcat, a comment can become the spark for a debate, and debates have (too often) devolved into division and acrimony. Many Mudcat threads are fine examples of this, when topics seem to invite this. It's not unusual to see broad and energetic debate and the tools of rhetoric or exhortation employed freely and with great relish. But that kind of communication distracts from the spirit of open supportiveness that should characterize a topic like this one, and Raptor's, started with such personal intensity. Those of us who have been here for some time have learned to avoid debating what might be most helpful, because some of us have learned the hard way, at great cost, the result of preaching any particular view.

On the other hand, this is a community woven in diversity, by people who have the luxury of being able to know one another well for some time, in an atmosphere where we trust people to use what is helpful to them and simply discard the rest.... there is an atmosphere of expecting people to think well for themselves about what they need, and also of expecting people to share openly whatever they think might be helpful when support is asked.

What has usually proved most helpful is that folks have simply offered their own perspective, and I encourage you to do that. People for whom your perspective resonates as personally applicable will tune in; you can trust that in such circumstances, people will be in communication with you privately.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Raptor
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 12:22 PM

I would like to thank all for thier support, advice, and kind words!

Raptor

Between Little Hawk, Daylia, and family I will be OK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: jaze
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 12:53 PM

My deepest sympathies, David.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Mato Nupai
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 08:06 PM

I would like to thank all for thier support, advice, and kind words!
--

Aloha nui loa David; my brother.

Of course I will be glad to help any way I can.

Two Bears


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 01:29 PM

Let's keep this thread alive for David's sake. (I'm benefiting, too!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 06:46 PM

Allison, I would like to add my own voice to those many here who are sending you support and concern in your time of grieving. I've been kind of busy with David's situation, but have gotten around to reading most of this thread now. I don't think anyone truly dies, but they certainly leave this physical realm, and not necessarily when we expect it, that's for sure.

I believe all those we loved are just a heartbeat away, and we shall see them again in good time.

I don't know if you would see it that way, but I am sending my love and condolences. Blessed be.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Escamillo
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 05:03 AM

I've posted some words at David's thread, but I have to confess I entirely missed the threads on Allison's loss. Since I lost my dear wife Graciela on Dec 02, 2002 (incredibly, one year ago), I retired from musical activities and regrettably reduced contacts with many friends like those of the Mudcat. I lost the words to say, and the thoughts to share, and the light of my mind. After one year I still don't say that I want things to go better, because I don't feel the need for anything to go better, I consider my life was well done, and I was incredibly fortunate, and I still am fortunate by living and working for my sons and one grandson (hope to see more little critters).

Last October I participated in a chamber concert, and sung "Lazy Bones" and "Sometimes I Feel" (those who know me, will remember how I love Southern old songs) and felt again the emotional feedback of people. Next Friday I'll sing as tenor in the mass (organ and large choir) for her anniversary at the same church we married in 1972.

As unbeleivable as it may sound, a woman appeared very recently, she is lovely, is an artist of folk dance, she respects my wife's memory as if she was a friend of her. She got her divorce many years ago after many years of suffering (victim of some domestic violence). I've welcome her, as my wife told me to do, as myself would have told her to do. No celebration, no fireworks, just acceptance of this extra time I'm allowed to live, and try to be something good for someone, love and respect her, and be a father for my sons. How long? I don't know, nothing counts, everything was already done, the concert is over and the audience claims for some extra song. We can't be more grateful.

Hope this experience helps a little, Allison and David. My thoughts are with you. Un abrazo,
Andrés (Buenos Aires, Argentina)


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 06:35 AM

Thanks, Little Hawk, I absolutely agree with you about "those who have gone before".
Andres, I am so happy for you. I know Byron would want me to find love but for now I can't imagine there being another man of his calibre on this planet.
I'm learning that we are put here to love, but that love takes many forms. So I'm trying to learn to live without Byron's presence, but to live a life that's as loving as possible.
That doesn't mean there aren't moments approaching despair. They come daily. But the love of friends and of God and, yes, of Byron, is getting me through.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: jaze
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 10:23 PM

Allison and David--I just came across something someone said to me that I think is important to keep in mind. "Don't cry because they're gone--smile because they were here." Happy holidays to you both. Please try to smile. James


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 10:30 PM

ANDRES!!!!!! No one could be happier for you than I am!!! I remember that sad and almost inconsolate man I talked with by phone last Christmas and hoping that he would find reason for his life again. I am sorry we didn't meet those days in Florida.....

BUT----You have made my day and I am going to run down to the den right now and tell Karen!!!

Many Blessings My Friend

(And Allison you know I love you too)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Escamillo
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 05:04 AM

Thanks Spaw, you know what I mean when I talk about making someone a little happier, and how important is that for ourselves and our children, even when our grief will not find an end. I'll send you a PM. For David and Allison, all my wishes for them to find a reason to give themselves to someone or to many people, or to their faith.

Un abrazo,
Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 06:05 AM

Andres, I'm so happy for you.
Spaw, back atcha!
Jaze, it's early for us to smile, but I do, occasionally. One of the things that helps is how much Byron was loved by so many of our mutual friends. We can joke and tell stories and remember him.
But right now I can't imagine ever finding another man of his calibre. Maybe some day my heart will be ready but for now, it seems impossible.
Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 14 Dec 03 - 10:47 PM

I have been trying to remember the name/author of a book which a bereaved friend found of great comfort (quite a few years ago)... without success. I went to Amazon and did a search -- hoping that if I saw the name I would recognize it, but no such luck.

However, I did happen across a few lists of "best" books on the subject (compiled by people who appear to have some knowledge of such things) which I thought might be worth posting here. (Not surprisingly, there's a certain amount of overlap -- several books appear on every list.)

Animaterra and Raptor -- I realize I don't know either of you well enough to know whether you are likely to find some solace in a book, so I would not be so presumptuous as to "recommend" that you read one of these books. But I figured it couldn't hurt to let you know about some of the books that are out there (a number of them written by people who have themselves been through the anguish of losing the love of their life), so that -- IF you are so inclined -- it's that little bit easier to check it out... I've looked over titles & reviews, and have posted as well a little bit of info on those books I thought looked most promising (again, not that I think I know what's best for you, but just to give you a taste of what's available without making you spend time & effort to check it out).


Top books on Grief - by Sarah W (nurse)
includes:

I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
- by Brook Noel, Pamela D., PH.D. Blair
a couple of reviews:

"The death of a loved one is always an emotionally difficult experience. When it comes suddenly and unexpectedly it is even more difficult. In "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye" the authors take you through the grieving process as well as learning how to deal with such a tragic loss. The first part of the book deals with issues from how to survive the first few weeks to understanding the emotional and physical aspects of grief to dispelling myths about the grieving process.

The second part is mainly the sharing of the stories of various people who have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one. The stories include the loss of a friend, a parent, a child, a partner, and a sibling. This section examines the various related problems that sometimes exist as a result of a loss. For example, losing a partner but having surviving children, dealing with a suicide, and the difficulties of couples surviving the loss of a child are all discussed.

The third section discusses some of the pathways that people take through grief. Of particular importance is that is clearly dispels the myth that we all have a particular pathway that we use to move on past a loss. Each one of us is different and we all have our ways of dealing with grief. What may take one person six months to recover from may take another ten years, some may cry, some may not, some may experience forgetfulness, some may not, we are all different.

Throughout the book the authors discuss how to be a helpful friend for those who are going through the grieving process. The book finishes with a listing of support and resource contacts. For those dealing with the loss of a loved one, or for those who want to help someone who is, this is a highly recommended read."
_____

"I have never been so touched by a book as I was I WASN'T READY TO SAY GOODBYE. After I loss my son I felt like I was walking in a cloud or a haze. Everything seemed surreal. No one anywhere seemed to understand what I was going through. A friend who had lost a sister gave me this book. I didn't think i would be able to read with all the pain I was facing but I opened it and started reading. I found so much comfort and wisdom in the words of these two women. The experiences they each went through were incredible and shared with such caring. They covered every aspect of the grieving process and included many exercises and ideas for getting back on track with life at our OWN pace--not the pace of someone else. I can't imagine a more helpful book. Everyone who is grieving, or knows someone who is, should have a copy."

Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief - by Sherry Russell
from one of the reviews:
"..told me that this might be a very interesting little book. She was right on both counts. It was packed with information and ideas and at only 105 pages it was a quick read.

The author blends her personal insight with quotes from the interviews she conducted. She pinpoints the differences between men and women and how they deal with grief.

Early on she states that your grief is like a bridge that you must cross from what used to be to what now exists. That trip isn't fast or easy, but it must be taken in order to feel like you have regained some control in your life. Her references to the stepping-stones or stumbling blocks, rather than the phases of grief, are easy to visualize. She offers information on stress and how it can affect us emotionally and physically, along with some suggestions for dealing with it.

Chapter Eight is her Exercise in Truth. It offers a list of questions to analyze your relationship with the one who died as well as those around you. She also touches on family dynamics and the need to work together on the new reality you face.

And the last chapter of Sherry Russell's book offers some Pain Relievers and hope - two things I know we all long for. This is definitely a book I would recommend."

====================================

Excellent books on Grief and Loss - by Kathy Bosworth, Author/Reviewer
includes:

How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies - by Therese A. Rando
A couple of reviews:
"After our son died I was devastated. I needed to understand the feelings that I was now experiencing and how to cope with them. This book was the clearest and most compassionate resource on grief that I've found. Dr. Rando discusses every unique type of loss a person could face and then goes on to explain why you will feel as you do. The last part of her book is dedicated to helping you understand how to resolve grief and heal from such loss. So far I have given away 4 copies of this book to friends and family. I even gave one to my sons psychiatrist. They have all had high praises for the book. Personally, I don't know how I would have survived this past year without it!"
_____

"I have read numerous grief books, but this is one of my favorites. I underlined some passages in the section about how to keep the loved one "alive" appropriately. Seven months after losing someone I dearly loved, I'm still working through my grief. I pick up this book from time to time. For other situations, I also recommend Carol Staudacher's book on "Men and Grief." If I'd had that book several years ago when my late friend suddenly lost his daughter, I might have been able to help him more."

and:

I'm Grieving As Fast As I Can: How Young Widows and Widowers Can Cope and Heal - by Linda Sones Feinberg
One review:
" Being a young widower only 7 months into this hell I found that this book was very helpful in explaining that I was not alone in this world and there are many others like me. The many quotes used in the book have been said over and over in my mind a thousand times. It covers topics that no other books I have found does like dating, personal and family stresses, and many of the guilts we place on ourself and how other place their guilt onto us to ease their own. If you are not a widow or widower it is still a wonderful book to help you understand us and how we think.

This book is a must for any young person who has lost a spouse or someone who is close to them. If you know of someone buy it for them Don't make them find it on their own like I had to. It is noted in this book and I must agree that it is not for the newly widowed...wait a couple months before giving it to them."

====================================

The best bereavement books - by Sherry Russell (grief specialist)

includes:
Tear Soup - by Pat Schweibert, et al
one of the reviews:
"I am a Marriage and Family Therapist who recently lost my beloved Mother. Her death was sudden and unexpected. I received this book as a gift to help me through my first birthday without my Mother. This book is absolutely tremendous in it's ability to address the truth of grief. This is a must have for both the bereaved and any professional who works with clients both young and old. I particularly enjoyed the way the book addressed the responses of the people around the bereaved--it was very healing and I will be purchasing several copies to give to people who have suffered a great loss."

and (not surprisingly) her own book (see above).

====================================

A list of Grief Resources (also by Sherry Russell)
includes:

Awakening from Grief: Finding the Road Back to Joy - by John E. Welshons
Excerpts of reviews:

"If you are grieving, this book will comfort you. If not, it will prepare you for that which is not small stuff."
_____

"This book is exactly what you need to heal your aching heart . . . it will feel like a warm shower running inside of you where coldness previously lived . . ."
_____

"In my house I have a box in which I reverentially keep those few precious writings and items that most help me heal from the death of my daughter last year.
"Awakening From Grief" is in that box. Believe me, I've read a whole lot of grief books and this is one of the best."

====================================

Hope this "info dump" is not overwhelming -- just thought one (or both) of you might find something in there that might offer some degree of comfort and/or help you adjust to this "new planet" on which you -- so very unwillingly -- now find yourselves.

Wishing you peace,

YY


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Two_bears
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:37 AM

>But right now I can't imagine ever finding another man of his
>calibre. Maybe some day my heart will be ready but for now, it seems
>impossible.

Aloha nui loa Allison; my sister.

Never say never because life has a way of making one eat their words.

All the best to your and yours in theis holliday season.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: *daylia*
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:14 AM

Yorkshire Yankee, thanks for posting all that helpful info and those links too. I'm sure many people will find help and comfort in what you've offered here.

Two Bears, you're absolutely right about " Never say never because life has a way of making one eat their words. For this reason, I refrain from saying things like "Me hug an Octopus? NEVER!!!"   ;-)

Allison, how are you doing? Just checkin in ...

Love and blessings,

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Helen
Date: 24 Dec 03 - 04:18 PM

A Christmas wish for Animaterra, Raptor, and anyone else who is faced with the conflicting emotions, and emotional roller coaster of Christmas season.

Lots of love and hugs, from Oz, where it is 8.16 am Christmas Day. I'm thinking of all of you and I know how difficult this time can be, so remember the good times as much as possible, and allow yourself to grieve for the fact that your loved one is not here with you today.

Lots of love and hugs
Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 24 Dec 03 - 05:16 PM

I missed your post, daylia, thanks for checking in. Thanks for the hugs from the "future", Helen!

It's a bittersweet time, I miss my beloved so keenly, but I just had a blessing in the form of my dear friend and neighbor who has been in Arizona since August to be with her new grandson; she came home early and stopped to see me before anyone else. The night Byron died, when the EMT asked who to call to meet me at the hospital, she was the first one I thought of, even though she was 3000 miles away (so he called 2 other dear friends).
I've had a healing visit and can now face the candlelight service for the first year without my beloved. I don't promise not to cry, though.

Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 24 Dec 03 - 06:35 PM

Allison, of course you will cry, and of course you should -- it honors Byron and the relationship that mattered so much to both of you.

I hope the tears bring some relief, even if short-lived, and that your family and friends bring some comfort. Have a good Christmas.

-- pdc


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Pistachio
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 02:43 PM

It's nineteen years since my Dad died on his birthday, Dec 27th, and we held his funeral on Hogmanay...ready to start the new Year afresh. You can't forget your loved one and it's not easy to get over the 'first (or any) Christmas, birthday, anniversary without them there. Reminders are around everywhere...but SO ARE FRIENDS - Mudcatters too - who have filled these pages with such love and help. I hoped to meet an old pal next week after 14 years but sadly his Father died on Christmas Eve..and he's got a lot of sorting out to do. I felt able to talk to him about his grief and thanks to many comments made 'here' I was able to give helpful suggestions along with my heartfelt wishes. David was one who was 'there' for me after my Fathers death and when I sat night after night crying to him and Elaine about my Dad I always apologised for ruining their evenings. They always replied that though they hadn't been through the grief of losing a parent they'd be likely to experience it in the future and helping me through my grief might help them when 'their time 'came. Now it has! I shall get on the phone and maybe call in when I'm down their part of the country. All too soon we forget how much that message/call/thought/ really counted. KEEP IN TOUCH. The griever may not react to every call or offer of help. Remember they cannot be expected to think too clearly while still in shock. I believe Allison, through her sadness, still recognises just how much love is generating towards her and I hope David (Raptor) can gain from that same love. David, I offer you my hugs and thoughts. Take the time to keep in touch, give yourself time to grieve and don't be afraid to cry. It is allowed! Take care.
Hazel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Raptor
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 06:44 PM

How are you making out now Allison?

David


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:07 PM

Oh, David, how kind you are to ask. I've been thinking of you, too.

It's been 101 days since Byron died. I promised myself I'd stop counting after 100. I still cry every single day, I still can't really believe he's dead. I still miss him like I'd miss an arm or a leg. I am still so much in love with him.

I've lost nearly 20 lbs, but that seems to be stabilizing.

Most of my friends don't bring him up much in conversation anymore. He's part of their past, though he's still so much a part of my present.

But the daily existance part of this is easier. I can also laugh, joke, get through each day. I'm having the hardest time with getting ready for a new chorus concert season- just finding the time and collecting the music feels more like a chore. And Byron used to record my "teaching tape" for me, and I have to do it on my own with the lowest possible technology this year. That feels like more work than I feel up to.
But I sing with friends, and I'm learning to play the concertina, which feels like the instrument I've been lookng for all my life!

So, I'm surviving, despite my expectations. And I'm grateful for good friends.

Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Amergin
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 04:01 PM

Last February my Opa died from cancer...we were with him when he went...we knew it was coming....but it didn't make it any easier when it happened...Growing up he was always coming up the hill from his barn where he stored all of the tools...always holding something in his hand...always telling my dad to take a look at it...so we would go down to the barn and play with the tools and talk a bit...then we would go back up to the house and have some coffee...after he died...it was like the house was half empty...I would look towards the barn half expecting him to be coming up the hill...but he never would...Oma felt so lonesome there too....she would sit on the couch with her husband's favourite cat in her lap...and just cry...last summer me and my brother, Brady, were cleaning up the place to get ready for Oma to move...she was happy that we were there, for then she would have the company....she would always come down to give us water...and then fix lovely lunches for us...it was hard work....but we enjoyed doing it....it was for oma...

I still remember the day Opa died....the word was out the weekend previous to his passing that he didn't have long...just a few days...so we were waiting for the word that he had gone...

I was taking a bath and reading...but apparently the phone kept ringing...with my hearing problem I never heard it...but they called mom's cell phone...just as she was coming back...and she came back to the house and told me...i hurriedly got my jammies on (that was what i was wearing before the bath)..and ran out to the car...hopeing we would be able to make it in time....we got to the house and sat there holding his hand....talking to him...weeping for him...watching the breathing become less and less frequent....then finally it stopped altogether...he was gone...I held my tears back....seeing everyone else cry....and went downstairs...my mom was in there consoling my brother...and i went to them and broke down...sobbing and wailing...as I could not hold the pressure of the pain back...an hour later the mortician came for him...and I remember kissing Opa's forehead...and feeling how cold it was....an empty cold...lifeless...

At his memorial service I read a poem I wrote after he died...my voice breaking at each line...then during the reception people were coming up to me saying that they liked it...and how it made them cry too...and I went to my Oma and told her something I never have told her before I ehld her and whispered into her ear, I love you. She held my face and said Oh Nathan I love you too...I always have...I tell her that more often now...I only told opa that once...after he got sick...on his birthday...never hesitate to tell the ones you love that you love them...those three simple words can mean the world...My best to you both.

there are no goobyes

there are no goodbyes
I think as I see you lying there
Gasping, struggling for breath
Ruminating over things unsaid
Little things that mean the world
"I love you" "Thank you for the years"
"I always thought of you as my grandpa"
but there are no goodbyes

There are no goodbyes
I think as we hold each other
Wiping our tears from our eyes
Bodies shaking in deep sorrow
Rubbish bins filling with spent tissue
Quivering voices whispering their loss
Whispering farewell to your vacant shell
But there are no goodbyes

There are no goodbyes
I think as I softly kiss your forehead
Feeling the cold lifeless skin upon my lips
My heart trembling at the touch
But I know that was not you
The gods had already called you home.
So many things I wanted to say
But there are no goodbyes.

nt


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 05:14 PM

Nathan, that's beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I do know I'm learning so much about living and loving and cherishing each moment. I'm grateful to know that Byron and I did not take each other for granted, but I still wish for more moments with him.

Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 07:55 PM

Byron's birthday is this Wednesday, Jan. 28. I have a good group of friends to come over and sing our hearts out, maybe have a bonfire.

Yesterday I went to a family wedding. Cried copiously all through the vows and through the homily which was about finding love later in life, accepting it as a gift. Byron and I never got the chance to stand up and affirm our commitment to our community.

So it's been a bump in the process. But I'm also finding peace and healing along the way. The sorrow is like a lump of pain that never goes away, but I'm learning to live with it and around it, not to let it rule me all the time.

Allison


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