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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Kids Camp offered through Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation

Do you know a child who is grieving due to a recent loss?   We still have openings for our Kid’s Camp sponsored by Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation!   Our camp is overseen by credentialed and licensed Clinical and Master’s level Social Worker and Psychology staff.  Our camp staff and volunteers are highly trained and specialize in grief and loss.    Kid’s Camp has designed fun, interactive activities for the children, age 6 to 12, to bond and share, play and gain tools to help them with their grief.

For some reason I couldn’t get the link to copy…so please go to the following website for more information. Sorry!

https://crhcf.org/Crossroads-Kids/

A place for grieving children to connect.

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puzzle-vector[1]

What do we do when our life falls apart and we can’t put it back together the way it was? It’s as if we worked all weekend putting together a puzzle with 1000 pieces. We only have about 20 pieces to go when the dog runs through the family room chasing the cat, slams into the card table sending the puzzle pieces flying through the air. Pieces land everywhere; in the fish tank, in sis’s plate of food and glass of wine and even between couch cushions! We realize we’ll never be able to put the puzzle back together.

Isn’t that the way it goes in our lives sometimes?

It may be an earthquake, flood or tornado that scatters our material possessions all over the place. Or a divorce that scatters family members into several different states. Perhaps there’s an illness and an early, unexpected retirement surfaces. Or what about an accident that causes someone to become a paraplegic. They can no longer drive their dream car.

So now what??? First we must go through the grieving process and come to accept our loss. Maybe then, instead of seeing our glass half empty we can see it as our glass half filled.

When our material possessions are scattered from a natural disaster, we may find the sugar bowl and creamer set from our fine china that was intact. We might place it on the mantel or table as an even more cherished item. In a divorce, or death of a spouse, it may be establishing a better relationship with our children. In other life altering situations from illness or an accident, it may be giving up a career and going back to school for more education to pursue another passion.

For the paraplegic who had to give up his job, perhaps with a settlement, he’s able to pursue a passion for painting and become an artist. Having the funds to travel the world and paint the most amazing paintings. These are goals to give us hope. It’s finding a new path in life and viewing new scenery along the way.

So like putting a puzzle together, we have to put a plan together….

For some, we may need a life coach to get us started or to guide us through the process. It’s a matter of making goals and breaking it down into one step at a time and “To Do Lists”.

In a divorce or family death, a goal may be getting counseling for the children. What would be the first step? From experience, my first step was to research professional counselors. Step 2 was calling and setting up an appointment. The third step was taking my children to the appointment. Once we managed to get there, the counselor then had steps for us to meet our own goals.

I’m sure most of us have had a life detour at one time or another. As we made a new normal, it was like taking a different path on our journey and experiencing new scenery.

In my situation of becoming a widow, I had to give up my job. This led me to go back to college at the age of 37. You’re never too old for an education! I took an Anthropology course and traveled to the Yucatan in Mexico. I was able to climb the incredible Mayan Ruins and sleep on the Guatemala beach listening to the howling monkeys near by in the jungle.

This only enriched my life as I began putting my life back together with new pieces and making a new picture. So despite our life detours, we can always regain our hope in a new journey!

 

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Taken from a facebook friend, Mary Kate Cranston, who has a blog “Cry Laugh Heal”:

How do you deal with change? Here’s a new post about when life pushes us in a new direction. It sounds funny to say but change is definitely a constant of life. As David Bowie wrote in his classic hit song, Changes, you not only have to turn and face the strange but you also have to turn and face the strain because life is making you move on by rewriting your script.

On a morning walk in my neighborhood yesterday, I came upon a middle-aged man standing inside a huge moving van parked on the street. He was calmly…
crylaughheal.com

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stock-photo-46786344-woman-at-cemetery[1]Top 10 Rights for anyone grieving:

  1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief.
  2. You have the right to talk about your grief.
  3. You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions.

See more…..

For anyone who is going through grief, it’s an individual experience. Each person, who is grieving, has a set of rights. If others can understand this, and allow the griever these rights, they can move along in their grief healthier and possibly sooner than if they are prevented from experiencing these rights.

Check out the “Mourner’s Bill of Rights” from grief expert, Dr. Alan Wolfelt. This was posted from a blogger friend who has a fantastic website Heartache To Healing, from JoAnne Funch. JoAnne’s website  offers, “Compassionate Grief Support to Heal Your Heart and Soul”. She has many guest bloggers who offer HOPE and INSPIRATION

People who are grieving need to know that they’re not going crazy but have their own “rights” to allow them the freedom to grieve however they need to!

 

 

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I hadn’t thought about it until my daughter was engaged and the wedding plans began. Then it occurred to me one day, “I should be the one to walk my baby down the aisle. I spent the most time raising her!”

All my sweat and tears, for 14 years as a young widow, doing the best I could for my daughter. I was so proud of her, not to mention how much I loved her. I was honored to walk my precious daughter down the aisle and give her away to the man of her dreams. It was so beautiful and bittersweet!!

Down the aisle

 

 

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footprintsHard to believe… 20 years ago my first love passed away. I became a 34 year old widow with 2 daughters, 6 and 7 years old. My life changed in a matter of weeks when my husband died of pneumonia. This wasn’t what I planned. My plan was to continue living in our Florida home, going on yearly vacations, and enjoying our children as they grew up. But apparently, it wasn’t in God’s plan. He had another plan for me.

As I look back over the last 20 years, life turned into a journey where I never thought I would travel. It took a couple years to work through my grief before I could see the light of day again. But once I pulled through, with continuous faith in being led by God’s peace and guidance, I emerged as a new being.

I went to college and found a career to help others going through grief and hard times. At 37 yrs old, I started my adventure in social work. My children came first so school took awhile. I received my bachelor’s degree (BSW) when I was 46 and 4 years later, I received my master’s degree (MSW) followed by a Licensed Master’s of Social Work degree (LMSW). I was 50 years old with an education and life experience.

I raised my children for 14 years on my own. I refused a marriage proposal because if I had taken it, I would have regretted it. My children did not need a replacement and didn’t need any other grief in their lives. I wanted them to know that they came first until they were adults and on their own.

Today, at 54, I’ve been remarried for 5 years. My oldest, at 27, is in nursing school and working in the hospital as a nurse tech. My youngest, at 26, will be getting married in a few months. She completed her bachelor’s degree and then moved to California. We live on opposite sides of the country but my main concern is that she is happy. And I believe she is!

To sum it up, this year I finally obtained a full-time job position as a social worker for a home health agency. I actually pursued my dreams and I’m able to serve others now that are having a difficult time with illness, grief and loss. It comes full circle and down to one thing…..

II Corinthians I: 3,4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

 

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images[9]Sometimes I can’t help but think…is this life on earth all there is? I want to believe, that when our loved ones die, there has to be something else! I admit that if I didn’t have faith in an eternal life, I wouldn’t be as at peace that I am now. Knowing I’ll see my loved ones again in Heaven, goes a long way in continuing on in this life that’s filled with pain, sickness, loss, etc.

Just thinking about Heaven puts life in a different perspective. I live my days knowing that this is not my final home. Just as in the book I wrote, “A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief“, life is also about finding purpose to help others through their grief. And to know there is another final destination. It’s not here!

For widows/widowers this can be painful because we won’t be married in heaven. However, we will know our loved ones in heaven….”At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30) I’ll also admit that I didn’t like this verse for quite a while. I began to accept this more when I read a Billy Graham book, “Hope for the Troubled Heart”.

Excerpt from “A Widow’s Pursuit“:

Reading books brought comfort, too. I read Billy Graham’s book, Hope for the Troubled Heart, and then focused on the last two chapters that pertained to death and heaven. He regarded death of not being final, but another phase of life. That lifted my hopes.

“Someone has said that death is not a period, but a comma in the story of life.” Graham continues, “Everything that happens prior to death is a preparation for the final voyage. Death marks the beginning, not the end. It is our journey to God.”

 Going into Graham’s last chapter, he talked about what heaven could possibly be like through quotes from the bible.

In Revelation 22: 3, John wrote: “His servants will serve him.”

Graham adds,

 “Each one of us will be given some task that we will enjoy doing. Some may be the cooks who prepare heavenly dishes, some may play with the children. Perhaps we will be called upon to tend the gardens or polish the rainbows. Our imaginations are limitless. Whatever we do, the Bible says we will serve Him. Just think – loving the work you are doing and never getting tired!”

 This must be where Nicole serves the food!

Heaven felt like a whole new world opening up for me. I found these chapters exciting to read. He described heaven as, “The Ultimate Family Reunion.” However, one part remained hard to digest.

“We may not be married in Heaven. Some of us who love our wives and husbands very much may find that sad, but the more I think about the promises of Heaven, the more I believe whatever God has in store for us will be unbelievably more joyous, more delightful, and more wonderful than what we now enjoy.”

 Maybe when our reunion comes, it won’t matter. Until then, my wedding bands stay on.

I wore Nelson’s wedding ring on my left hand next to my ring. This notion of not being married in heaven persisted as the most sensitive area to talk about in my grief. Our wedding song had been, “Always and Forever.” In Graham’s last chapter, he concluded with a poem from an unknown poet that touched my heart.

 “Together Forever”

In this dark world of sin and pain

We only meet to part again;

But when we reach the heavenly shore,

We there shall meet to part no more.

The joy that we shall see that day

Shall chase our present griefs away.

 I can’t wait for that day to come. Heaven will be my eternal home and Nelson will be there waiting for me!

Please visit my friend Ferree’s blog, Widow’s Christian Place, and watch an amazing video, Knowing What I Know About Heaven!

 

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