Category Archives: Death

The Edge of Forever

It’s my Hallmark’s Signed, Sealed Delivered marathon Saturday!  Just finished watching episode 5: The Edge of Forever.  As a mother’s last wish is to unite her daughters after her death is realized by words in a letter.  Part of the letter is read aloud: “A treasure waits for you to find, but only if you leave behind whatever each has in her heart that kept two sisters so long apart.”

Story of love, family, forgiveness, respect and moving on …  and the power of heartfelt words.

The final lines of the letter implore the two sisters to disperse their mother’s ashes together; to take the hike they never got to and find the edge of forever. As the sisters walk through the forest they come upon a breathtaking clearing where mountains rise above the valley. As the sisters open the urn and prepare to disperse the ashes, they realize they should say a prayer. Shane looks to Oliver, saying as a man of faith he would be the perfect person to deliver a final prayer. As the two sisters join hands and disperse their mother’s ashes, Oliver speaks:

“Whenever I have sorrow, Whenever clouds arise, when songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow and I know… He watches me.”

What beautiful words … finding hope and comfort with faith in God in any given situation … yes, we must keep doing so.  Timing is everything.  Trying to remember that God walks with me … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.

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Yes … Jealous of the Angels

Three of my heroes are in Heaven … missing them like crazy.   I heard this song and more truer words have not been spoken ….

“In a world where heroes come and go
Well God just took the only one I know … ”

 

I didn’t know today would be our last
Or that I’d have to say goodbye to you so fast
I’m so numb, I can’t feel anymore
Prayin’ you’d just walk back through that door
And tell me that I was only dreamin’
You’re not really gone as long as I believe

There will be another angel
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me,
And I will hold on tight
It’s not my place to question,
Only God knows why
I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne tonight

You always made my troubles feel so small
And you were always there to catch me when I’d fall
In a world where heroes come and go
Well God just took the only one I know
So I’ll hold you as close as I can
Longing for the day, when I see your face again
But until then

God must need another angel
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me
And I will hold on tight
It’s not my place to question
Only God knows why
I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne tonight

Singin’ hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne
Tonight


In Lieu of Flowers …

The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued being, human or animal. There are five stages of grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”

In our bereavement, we spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stage with different levels of intensity. The five stages do not necessarily occur in any specific order. We often move between stages before achieving a more peaceful acceptance of death. Many of us are not afforded the luxury of time required to achieve this final stage of grief.

If truth be told, I have been lost, grieving for over 10 years. I have moments, stretches of time where I smile more than I cry.

Lately though, I am just waiting … desperately wanting to feel healthy again. And I almost can’t remember what that is like again.

Yes, been thinking a lot about Kübler-Ross’ model of the five stages of the grieving process …

Grief of losing a loved one …
Grief of someone who is dying themselves …

Coming to the conclusion there is no real difference … tired from dying the slowest of deaths …

In lieu of flowers … grace in my step, hope in my heart.


Every second, everything changes…

They say cats have nine lives…well, I am beginning to believe so do I. I know I have had many health scares. And it has changed me in a way I am still fully learning to understand and accept. But today, once again, I got some positive news from my doctors. For months, I feel like I have given up. I just don’t have the best support system. Easy to give up – when you feel so alone. Picking out headstones, finalizing my living will, giving away my clothes, furniture. But today, doc told me the cancer stopped spreading. And although I am far from out of the woods, I may, just may, once again outlive my prognosis. I sit here, outside in NYC at Central Park crying as I try to write this. I don’t think many can understand how I feel. I almost completely gave up. I know I did. But I am over the moon happy that this stupid smiling depression of mine didn’t get the best of me. I was born a preemie and I will always be a fighter. I know this deep down inside. I just lost sight of it for awhile. I was barely hanging on. But I am finding the strength somehow to keep moving forward. Living with a death sentence hovering is, was, will be – my own prison. Few things in life, can forever change a person. Getting a diagnosis of cancer just puts things in perspective but then pain can make us lose that just as easily. Focus shifts. Goals change. Desires lost. Seconds turn into years. Cramming a lifetime into days. I have been doing this all my adult life. Pushing people away. Begging them to stay. Cursing. Praying. Hoping. Letting go. Learning. Crying. Screaming. Accepting.

Many don’t understand that tomorrow is not a given. I lost my way for a bit, as I always do. But I remain hopeful that tomorrow will come. …that many tomorrows are still here for me. I feel like I am cheating death. And maybe I am just living life…to the fullest. Not looking backwards. Time. Timing. Timeless. Who knew the aggressive cancer would respond so much better than expected to my last course of treatment? I didn’t. I would have bet all I had – oh wait, I did. I am still in shock I think, as I write. Not sure why, I have been here before. This should be home for me. Being sick has been my stability. Sounds crazy but that has been my label for too many years. Immune system shot. I get sick at the mere mention of a cold. But today’s news, and the way I have been feeling the last couple of weeks, has me happier than I dare to believe. Do I dare hope? One minute I am fighting to literally breathe, the next I just give up, resign myself to dying, and now I can’t stop smiling. Life. This is my life…the pain, loss of strength, nausea, weight fluctuations, exhaustion, and shortness of breath are beginning to gradually fade. I know my body is healing…I can go up and down the stairs without gasping, less pressure from the tumors in my chest, weight stable, can enjoy food again, more positive outlook is evolving. Weeks have turned into months, and I pray against all that my next scan will show that the cancer is in remission. A girl can dream. Yes. Now I just have to figure out my life. For months, my life meant dying. I have been preparing for death. I am ruined financially. I am fragile. I am happy but shocked. I don’t know what to do now. I wasn’t expecting to be brought back from the edge of death. Learning how to live. *sigh* That is always my dilemma. Do I allow myself the luxury?

So I will never stop thinking or asking my doctors, “Am I dying?” I’m just not quite sure where I am and what I should be doing. I understand that the cancer will at some point take my life but not today. Sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers. Only God does. And He spared me once again. I guess my job here on earth is not completed. And for that I am grateful. A huge part of me apprehensive. So I am going to go out there and continue to live my life. Trying. It’s almost like I have been living in reverse somehow.

On a logical level, we all know life is short. We say this all of the time. But few of us actually live accordingly.

“We are all dying, every moment that passes of every day. That is the inescapable truth of this existence. It is a truth that can paralyze us with fear, or one that can energize us with impatience, with the desire to explore and experience, with the hope- nay, the iron-will!- to find a memory in every action. To be alive, under sunshine, or starlight, in weather fair or stormy. To dance with every step, be they through gardens of flowers or through deep snows.” ― R.A. Salvatore

Truer words have not been expressed … LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

I remain forever hopeful, crying through my tears with grace in my step …make that dance steps.

Today…everything changed.


I know I will see you again …

I get so more melancholy and turn more quietly inward – especially between August through September. I have lost so many people I truly loved. For the past 13 years, I dread today. I dread the anniversary and the repeated replays of the planes, the impacts, the fireballs and the collapsing towers.

It truly is like ripping off a Band-Aid … but my heart feels this open wound. Today, 13 years ago, I lost four true friends, one my irreplaceable heart, my soul mate.

The days will always be brighter because he existed. The nights will always be darker because he’s gone. And no matter what anybody says about grief, and about time healing all wounds, the truth is, there are certain sorrows that never fade away until the heart stops beating and the last breath is taken. Always my heart ♥mm♥ …(Excerpt from Tiffanie DeBartolo, God-Shaped Hole)

I have come to realize that destiny can hurt a person as much as it can bless them, and I find myself wondering why – out of all the people in all the world I could ever have loved – I had to fall in love with someone who was taken away from me.

One day he was there and then all of a sudden, he is gone. There’s less of him each passing year. And you wonder where that part went – if it’s living somewhere, outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you’ll get it back. And then you realize…it’s just gone.

Many say it’s easier to burn than to build; many say it’s easier to hurt than to heal…But I say you lose when you give up what you love…And I’ve lived my life without that long enough.

I hold pieces of him; I hold them so tight that they eventually become pieces of myself that am still learning to grow from but never away from. I hold onto them so tight that they eventually become the only pieces that can hold my shaky bones together. They become the only pieces that can keep this broken heart of mine held together…

Have you ever thought that if one thing hadn’t happened, a whole set of things never would have either? Like dominoes in time, a single event kicked off an unstoppable series of changes that gained momentum and spun out of control, and nothing was ever the same again. Don’t ever doubt that a mere second can change your life forever. It can. It has. Everything does really happen for a reason.

I’ve got no more illusions…I know I’ll see you again…but for today, I am allowing myself to fully experience the full impact of my loss. Grieving all over again. Grief…I am following it, crying when I want to, yelling at God, screaming into my pillow, and avoiding most people and definitely the news.

Grief is itself the only medicine I need right now. And anyone who doesn’t understand this or who can’t accept, stay away from me. So fake better stay away from me.

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. You learn that loving doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security, and you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. After a while you learn to build all your dreams on today because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for dreams, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn to accept your defeats with your head held with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child. After a while you learn to plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really are strong, that you really do have self worth, and you can endure, and you learn and learn, with every “goodbye” you learn…” (Veronica A. Shoffstall)

“I am not the happiest person. In fact, in the battle between joy and misery, I’d say that the latter often seems to prevail. I don’t like this, and every day I refuse, for the eighty millionth time, to put up with another minute of it. But the world does what it does, and I often find it disagreeable. After all these years, I’m kind of resigned to that. But I do have one thing on my side: I have enormous faith. And hope. I am not speaking of the kind you find in church or in the afterlife or in heaven or in the Saint James Bible or in the Hare Krishna’s that we all encounter changing flights in the airports of the world, I am speaking of a simple faith that says that one way or another, no matter how many times I stumble and stub my big toe, somehow life is going to work itself out.” (Elizabeth Wurtzel)

candles


Beverley Mitchell – Angel

Play Song
“Angel”

Have you ever met an angel
Whose smile is like the sun
Whose laugh is like a melody
That reaches everyone

Have you ever hugged an angel
Swept up in their embrace
And swear there’s nothing in this world
That makes you feel that safe

[Chorus:]
Have you ever really loved an angel
Once you have you’ll never be the same again
Have you ever had to let go of an angel
Say goodbye, let ’em fly, my angel, my best friend

Have you felt the strength of an angel
When you needed it the most
Lifted by those gentle wings
You know you’re not alone
Every now and then I feel the peace inside
Wherever life may take me, I’m guided by that light

[Chorus:]
Have you ever really loved an angel
Once you have you’ll never be the same again
Have you ever had to let go of an angel
Say goodbye, let ’em fly, my angel, my best friend

Cause I have really loved an angel
How could I ever be the same
Cause I have had to let go of my angel
Say goodbye, let ’em fly, my angel, my best friend…♥


Heaven has another angel…

Came across this poem below and really needed it today. We lost yet another family member, my first cousin, Germancito, after a very long battle with Cancer. He put up a good fight, but God has decided to relieve him of his pain and suffering. It was time for German to join God as one of his angels in heaven. My heart breaks for my aunt, Rosa, his siblings and for his 2 beautiful children. I pray that God gives my family the strength to deal with this immense loss. This was a man that I admired, he was, and always will be such an inspiration to me, his strength was incredible. Rest in peace. Life is so fragile. I wish more people, especially in my immediate family, could see and appreciate how short life truly is and take time to care about others, show more compassion. I feel at times, I care too much, I hurt too deep, but my heart is ever expanding and always forgiving. The sun shines yet again as God took another angel into heaven.

The loss of a love one is so hard to face,
you just want to hide,
go somewhere and escape!
But death is something,
we all must go through,
I know it’s hard,
when it’s someone you loved and knew.

Just know now,
he is in a better place,
no more hurt or pain shall he face.
It seems unfair and yes this is true,
but he is in Heaven now
watching over me and you!

God has called him home to rest!!
And he’s being well taken care of
Because God knows best!

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ― Leo Tolstoy


Sympathy, empathy…Grieving…

Another sad day as the sun shines bright bringing another angel to Heaven. My second cousin, who died June 11, 2013, left a hole in our family; but now he is being joined by his only son, his namesake – who died a hero at the age of 24, trying to save a friend. Both young men drowned this weekend. My heart is broken and aches for my cousin’s wife, the mother of this selfless young man.

This death marks the second for me in less than two weeks. But this one hits me so much harder. My feelings are a mix of sympathy, empathy, selfishness, grief, guilt, confusion…so many jumbled feelings.

When my cousin died last June, I was so afraid to see him in the casket. My cousin looked so much like my brother growing up. My brother passed away when he was only 25 years old, twenty years ago; but there isn’t a day that I don’t think about him, miss him. I think I was filled with so many anxious feelings of having to relive the moment of seeing my brother in the casket again. And now thinking of how my cousin’s son died…due to drowning and he was only 24 – almost exactly like my brother. It’s surreal. I feel like my heart is being ripped open again, emotions so raw, jumbled. Feeling like I did 20 years ago.

I know I can’t fully understand how my cousin-in-law feels – losing her husband, now losing her only son. I am sympathetic. I worry how she will survive, and find a way to move forward. Although, I feel sorry for her loss, I am also feeling strong pangs of empathy, and reliving my own personal loss from many years ago. It may be impossible to be fully empathetic because each individual’s reactions, thoughts and feelings to tragedy are unique. But I am not just feeling sorry for, I am sorry with and have placed myself in the midst of someone else’s emotional reactions.

Learning that grief takes on many forms, and never goes away fully.

“You don’t get over it, you just get through it. You don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it. It doesn’t ‘get better’; it just gets different. Everyday… Grief puts on a new face.” – (Wendy Feireisen)

“Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross) ♥


Life is fragile…RIP Rodney ♥

Today I received another sad reminder of how short life truly is. Lost another friend today, on this cold, rainy April day. So deeply saddened to hear of my friend, my classmate, my fellow Piscean – Rodney’s passing, for his family’s loss.

My heart is heavy and I am compelled to write, to attempt to unleash some of my feelings, my sadness. But words somehow also seem so hard and inadequate to express the sadness I am feeling. Rodney’s sudden and unexpected death is a painful reminder of how fragile and short life truly is. Try to live in the moment. I have dealt with too much death, passing of loved ones. And it doesn’t get easier; if anything it gets harder. Constant reminders of how mortal we are. Any time there is a tragedy, a sudden unexpected death I am once again reminded that life is so fragile. It also reminds me to focus on the present, to let the hurts and disappointments of the past slip away, and let go of the concerns and fears of the future. Life is way too precious to hold onto regrets, bitterness. Plans, our upcoming June school reunion, now just seem so trivial by comparison. Need to re-evaluate my personal priorities. What becomes more precious is the time spent with loved ones. My friend’s passing is yet another wake-up call to take care of ourselves, emotionally and physically. We need to treasure every moment, take notice of the value of time…time waits for no one.

Rodney’s sudden and unexpected death is a painful reminder of the extreme fragility of life. Rodney was such a strong, vibrant person. I will miss his daily Facebook uplifting quotes and funny posts. As I sit here, staring at the words as I type, attempting to make sense of this profound sadness I am feeling, it grows darker outside the window. Words and sentences, like me, have difficulty breathing in this space. One of the most important things any of us can do now is to try to find some meaning in tragedy, and to honor and offer our gratitude for those who have been taken away from us too early.

Heaven has another angel. Holding tight onto my memories and letting them guide me through this sadness and realization that life and health are fleeting. ♥

October 2013 Reunion - RIP Rodney ♥

October 2013 Reunion – RIP Rodney ♥


Still hear my heart breaking…

Just observed the first moment of silence today…stood still, my vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break…all over again.

My friends try so hard…and I am forever grateful to them. As much as I appreciate all the usual words of comfort, I need to surrender to my grief…and people should respect that we all grieve in different ways. I don’t need pithy sayings, I need space. I need understanding and acceptance. Claiming my grief…

My friend shared this earlier today: “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama XIV

And I am trying to take my sadness and keep moving forward. But I can’t pretend….and ignore the sounds of my heart…with each break, each tear, I lose a part of me…still. I continue to smile through my tears, embracing change, embracing life’s setbacks, remaining compassionate, finding strength in places, people…holding onto hope.

Second moment of silence…

Thinking of all the bravery… grieving all I need to, letting it take over until I find that small inner space I call peace, never discounting the love of your friends….trying….

In honor of today, September 11th and National Suicide Prevention Week…faith, hope, love…

As I remind myself…Always remember even on our weakest days we get a little bit stronger…And we learn that we really are strong, that we really do have self worth, and we can endure, and we learn and learn, with every “goodbye” we learn…

♥mm♥


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