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 1 
 on: April 13, 2015, 09:42:47 AM 
Started by TC - Last post by TC
Hello, I am the sole survivor of my immediate family. I lost my brother, father and mother. I am currently seeking individuals who are also sole survivors who would like to open up and share their story for a book. When my last immediate family member was dying, I sought out materials or support groups for those who had no immediate family left and could find none. So when I became a sole survivor I wanted to make sure that those going through this situation could find solace in the stories of others.

I am seeking individuals whose parents are gone and they have no siblings (either through loss or from being an only child). You must be willing to tell your complete story. You will remain anonymous. You will not be compensated monetarily but will receive a free copy of the book upon its completion should I include your story.

I desperately sought others in my situation and could find no one. These stories would be beneficial to those that, at this very moment, are also on a search for others like themselves.

If this is you and you are interested in sharing your story, let me know here. 

 2 
 on: April 06, 2015, 12:10:13 AM 
Started by danagoodman - Last post by danagoodman


Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare
 
 
I am always reading about grief-to help others, to help myself, to learn what it means to truly grieve and step into it bravely and not cower away.  Someone recently commented after watching a TV interview about In the Cleft that I am grieving too much.   Yes, I thought, you are right-most definitely you are right.  I am grieving too much.  But, I’m healthy, I love other people, I care about injustice, I wake up every day and see beauty around me.  Yet, in the midst of it all I grieve.  That is my right.  Joy and grief kiss each other.   Pain is what makes joy more sacred and beautiful.    Beauty is more poignant because I have walked through the fire of adversity.   To know your heart, the fullness of its expression, is to be true to yourself.  If you’re sad, feel it deeply.  If you’re joyful, let it burst out without limits.   The worst condition of all is numb apathy.  I’ve been there too and that’s the condition that scares me most.
 
I was reading some articles by grief expert Alan Wolfelt and one in particular impressed me.  His articles can be found at http://centerforloss.com
 
He says, “As a bereavement caregiver, I am a companion, not a “guide” (which assumes knowledge of another’s soul I cannot claim).  To companion our fellow human beings means to witness and learn as opposed to playing the “expert.”  Wolfelt’s 11 tenets of companioning the bereaved are as follows:
 
Companioning is about honouring the spirit; it is not about focusing on intellect.
Companioning is about curiosity; it is not about expertise.
Companioning is about learning from others, it is not about teaching.
Companioning is about walking alongside; it is not about leading or being led.
Companioning is about being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.
Companioning is about the discovering the gifts of sacred silence it is not about a filling every painful moment with talk.
Companioning is about listening with the heart.  It is not about analyzing with the head.
Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away or relieving the pain.
Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.
Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.
 
I appreciate and give thanks to Alan Wolfelt for the work he is doing in changing how people look at grief and mourning.

http://www.danagoodmaninthecleft.com/#!Mumford-and-Sons-William-Shakespeare-and-Remedies-For-the-Brokenhearted/c1q8z/552203090cf2aa1811855b3f


 
 
 

 3 
 on: April 06, 2015, 12:05:55 AM 
Started by tsoccer126 - Last post by danagoodman
I am sorry.  I lost my oldest son, but not my only one.  I can't fully relate to what you are going through, but I stand with you in your pain.  I am so very sorry you lost your precious child.  There are no words for this kind of pain.  I send you my love,
Dana

 4 
 on: April 06, 2015, 12:02:51 AM 
Started by quiltartist - Last post by danagoodman
I am so very sorry.  I was so saddened with all you have endured.  I lost a husband and son to cancer, but your losses have happened without warning, which is a whole different kind of grief.  So sudden and shocking.  I'd love to connect with you.  My email is danagoodmaninthecleft@gmail.com  I send you all my love.
Dana

 5 
 on: April 05, 2015, 11:55:50 PM 
Started by Josephs-Mommy - Last post by danagoodman
Such a beautiful post.  Joseph would be so pleased with the way you continue to honour him.  Much love to you.  Dana

 6 
 on: April 05, 2015, 08:43:05 PM 
Started by Josephs-Mommy - Last post by Josephs-Mommy
Life 10 years ago...
Easter where and when we were normal ---craft project at preschool with bunny ears, hiding and balancing eggs on a spoon,
getting too many jelly beans before breakfast!?!!

and celebrating Passover holiday where we shared with friends near us that are not even our friends anymore!
But they were your God parents when you were alive!
 
....and life was still oh so magical and wonder-filled with you here Joseph Aaron...

Here and would be turning 4 May 30, 2005;
i was planning your birthday party with your friends from play group and preschool...
Soccer party with Spiderman theme mixed in! had to do early because we were then going to travel and we were gone for your actual birthday at your oldest half sisters graduation from college.
 
Daddy getting ready for traveling to your oldest sisters college graduation in Maine...
he was preoccupied planning  the road trip we took with Grandma and younger older sister with us. 

Life then - so innocent, long days that were normal.

Life then juggling you my only son, Han and Rebecca being 2 older step daughters in college and your daddy, my husband.

It is surreal to believe I was planning birthday party and 2 day a week preschool schedule for my almost 4 year old.
Joseph now dead for almost 10 years...?
How can this amount of time have really passed??

Lately there have been triggers of then relevant to when you were with us ----alive and never thinking anything but 24/7 planning normal living life for us and you.

Last week I started a new client with 2 darling kids. The son is age 5 and his older sister 7.  They are outgoing children and really darling to get to know.  Engaged and communicative a definitely interested in the new front yard we are there designing and getting ready to plant.

It is particularly interesting to not go there with my clients now and share that you died and this is why I am a landscape designer.
And the triggers of my mommy days are more present when seeing more up close the younger age children.
It is a lot to manage in the moment that I am drained and sadder after feeling this age child reminding me so vividly of your living days when here.

At moments I feel like you are this little boy--even if you were taller at 4 than he is at age 5! It is striking to see he is normal height and you were tall for your age.

Friday when he was playing on the pile of new soil with a small shovel and I instinctively grabbed the camera and shared aloud to his mom you should get yours...how adorable he was putting his attention on this huge pile to dig up and play on...
or later the mom texted me to share he was there outside talking to the guys all afternoon and not interested in going inside
but wanting to watch or help or both...

God does this remind me of the good ol days here!!!
When we hired workers that used to come here to our home or garden
and how you were the exact same way chatting and engaged and fascinated with anything they were here to do. Painters, fence repair, weekly gardeners, housekeepers, appliance repair man, then the tractor for redoing our backyard...the porta potty as your preferred toilet..
the list could go on and on and on...
how chatty and following them around in a non-annoying and adorable to them also.

I can't picture you now about to be 14. 
Even when I see the junior high kids walking or biking after school gets out or in a restaurant
and I imagine this is the age you would be

but I can't get past that part and expand how tall you would be or what you would be like now. 

It feels impossible to make that transition to age you up to age 14 when you are forever 4.

Saturday invited and attended my first child's birthday party.
My wonderful 3 year long clients where they only know me as Kim the gardener -
not Kim the bereaved mommy of only child that died in 2005.

Now Kim the admired, talented, hard to describe the garden I've created even to the regulars that live across the street, or grandma who comes regularly and looks at the garden closely every visit to see what is going on in it.  Always something new to see and so unique and fascinating flower or unique combined. 
Each sharing with me "Kim - there is something here that I can't put into words..." As i smiled quite normally I could hear myself want to say well I work with angels.  Angels are here helping me...I have helpers that make what I do way prettier than me alone?!  But i could not say that!  Nor was it appropriate if i did at this little girls birthday party with adorable little children having fun dying eggs and collecting in their goodie bags...

No I am Kim the gardener now and not the mommy that did the adorable party decorations or food for the grown ups and kids...I was the invited guest and the bereaved mommy in disguise that purchased a gift for my clients daughter for her Fairy garden that I created...and is already cherished and amazingly adored. How did I think of that?  Magic...Divine guidance..Huh...

really how can it be already almost May....Huh



Kim







 7 
 on: March 02, 2015, 07:06:40 AM 
Started by quiltartist - Last post by Karen0909
 Hi Annie,

Thank you for the details of Ali's dream visits.  I know how healing "in the moment" contact in present time can be.  For me,  this is what keeps me going many days when I fall back into victim mode and feel like I'd rather have this life over.  I thought I'd share another Hawk message a couple of years ago.
Every year around our birthdays we always hope to get some kind of little hello from Naomi.  I think all of us here on this forum know the difficulties that holidays and birthdays can present.  It was my husband Steve's birthday and he was really hoping for a message.  We had gone out to dinner with friends and enjoyed a lovely dinner and a few drinks.  The evening ended and Steve was disappointed that there was no sign from his wee one.  The next morning we were up and enjoying our morning coffee.  I happened to walk over to the kitchen window and glance out to our driveway below. As I looked down I had to really focus as a small bird was moving strangely.  As I looked closely I realized it had a huge red tail hawk feather in it's beak.  The bird seemed to be jumping up and down as though it was trying to fly away with the feather.
I laughed and called to my husband that he better come quick, a little bird was trying to steal his birthday gift from Naomi.  Steve raced down and retrieved his feather which we have added to our collection.

I'm so sorry for the painful time you've had dealing with the legal system. There really is no such thing as justice the way we have our world set up.  I really hope you may find a sense of peace as you move forward from such trauma.  It is such a wonderful gift to have some grandchildren to help heal the emptiness that can be so consuming.  It must be comforting to have your son Gregg as a companion/guide for Ali both now and before her passing. Was Ali quite young when she became aware of Gregg being with her?  I wonder if your grandchildren will have similar experiences?  It's my understanding that children are very open and naturally connected with the spirit world until about the age of 8 yrs.  This seems to be the time frame the "veil" between the two worlds closes.

I'm happy to continue our conversations, I too have not found many others with similar beliefs, curiosity and willingness to discuss topics such as this.

Warmly,

Karen

 8 
 on: February 28, 2015, 07:27:20 PM 
Started by quiltartist - Last post by quiltartist
Karen, I am beyond thrilled to have such a full response from you.  Your experiences are very similar to mine, highly symbolic and numinous.  My experiences have led me to construct a notion of how this all works similar to yours.  The story of the dog and Naomi's response, the hawk circling over the dog's head after he managed to struggle onto land with your daughter's help made every hair on my head stand up and brought tears to my eyes.  It's very rare for me to find someone who has these kinds of spiritual experiences and articulates them with such care and clarity, and I have badly needed this.  Most of those I'm close with are very open to
hearing about my experiences of connection with our children who have passed on (or whatever...I struggle profoundly with the terminology; none of it, short of poetry, seems to work very well: words don't work very well and I'm a writer by profession!)...but none of them has the dreams or synchronies I do.  Yes, the dreams are not only in color, they're characterized by what I can only call 'living' color...brilliant luminosity, as if everything in the dream were lit from within and the color vibrating, like a plasma, more alive than anything literally alive.  Ali has visited in dreams many times, and these visits have been my salvation as I've gone through losing her (and Dann; he has visited me too).  But one set of Ali visit dreams about five months after her death, when I was in black despair, was mysterious to me for awhile.  In each of these she appeared in black, but the black was dazzling, breathtaking in its depth and radiance.  In the first of them,  I was traveling in a car (a common metaphor for my life going along in my dreams), and I turned around and there she was, wearing a black voile dress which glowed.  She looked at me deeply and her gaze was telling me to pay attention to the 'black'.  In the next one she was wearing a long black sequined dress that threw millions of bursts of light and was so stunning I had the thought in the dream that I'd never seen any clothing so beautiful, that it rivaled anything we consider a designer masterpiece.  Again she looked deeply into me: the black, pay attention to the black.  I was so frustrated in the days afterwards: what are you trying to point me towards?  Finally she appeared in a nun's wimple.  I actually laughed in the dream.  We adopted Ali and had an open cooperative adoption.  Her birth family was Catholic.  Her husband, her childhood sweetheart, was Catholic.  She was by nature a skeptic, keenly, brillianly intelligent, an almost savage critical thinker, but  she had a highly personal spiritual life that included the experience of her brother (my firstborn Gregg, who died when he was 13), whom she'd never met here, as her companion and guardian.  Ali as a nun...I couldn't help but laugh: god help the Church.  (I was raised indifferently Protestant and converted to Judaism, and remain like many in modern day Judaism, a lover of my Judaism and also spiritually independent and ecclectic.  My husband is a pantheist...or something Smiley )  In this dream, in her wimple, Ali seemed good naturedly impatient with me, as I clearly wasn't getting the message, hence the extreme of having to appear to me in a wimple.  Mom! Hint! This has to do with spiritual reality!   Two days later I opened a binder in my office and there was my copy of a piece I had read at her wedding.  She'd asked me to read something and she couldn't think of anything and neither could I until I found Fra Giovani's Christmas Eve Letter to His Patron, 1513, given to me by a friend when she was dying.  There's conflict over the origin of this, but the message is commanding.  I didn't think Ali would go for it but emailed it to her anyway and she loved it.  That day when I opened the binder where I'd filed it (and since forgotten it), my eyes fell directly on "...there is glory and radiance in darkness, could we but see; and to see we have only to look.  I beseech you to look."  So there I was in my darkest darkness and there she was saying, "Look closely at this darkness: the mystery I've 'disappeared' (from the material standpoint), into and your bleakness. Both are in fact (to quote the piece again), "a living splendour...Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty...the gift is there..." 
These dreams are full of teaching as well as reassurance.  And...I go for stretches forgetting most of what they've taught me!  I often feel thoroughly split between this reality of the dreams (and other synchronies ), and my quotidian material existence.  I am hoping the spinner at the core of my being will weave these two realities together in some sense of peaceful knowing at some point. 
The second year after Ali's and Dann's deaths (and Dann has visited me too, as has Gregg again with Ali), was all about the criminal trial for the woman who hit Ali and her husband in a crosswalk.  It was on again, off again, on again.  I think what that's called is re traumatizing and it surely was.  I had badly wanted a personal process with this woman (I had one with the young woman Gregg collided with in a blind intersection and it left both of us feeling accepted, cared about and free of any feelings of blame or shame), but she refused, and I had hoped the trial would really be (even expected it to be), about justice--a fair, respectful examination of what happened.  It was a circus, full of theatrics and distortion (on both sides), indifference, disconnectedness, corruptions, lies...utterly demorializing.  We're just coming off of that and what stares at us now is 'now what?"  What do our lives look like now?  What are we here to learn, do, understand now?  Two young grandchildren provide us with the delight of 'new life'.  And we are resting, still grieving, listening to hear what our work is now. 
Thank you so, so much for your input.  If you have any interest in continuing our conversation, I'd love to hear anything more you want to tell.  Many blessings, annie (quiltartist)

 9 
 on: February 25, 2015, 08:06:56 PM 
Started by quiltartist - Last post by Karen0909
Hi Quiltartist,
Thank you for the supportive words, I'd be happy to share how my spiritual beliefs and experiences keep me connected with Naomi. My husband shares a similar belief system with me and I know this has helped both of us deal with our loss.
I believe that each of us is an immortal soul having an earthly experience at the moment. This includes the belief in reincarnation and that we have groups of souls that we tend to reincarnate with.  I believe I have had many lifetimes with both my husband and Naomi.  I also believe that we spend time with loved ones when we are back in spirit after death.  This life between lives is where we decide when, how and who we will return to an embodied life with to have specific experiences and learning opportunities.  We both believe that Naomi was only meant to be here for a short time and she affected soooooo many lives in this short time.
The most meaningful symbol for us from Naomi involves the hawk.  When I was pregnant with Naomi my husband was out on a bike ride in the country.  He looked up and there was a red tailed hawk flying overhead and a large tail feather floated down right to him.  When he came home he had the feather and  I told  him that the hawk is considered a messenger from spirit.  At the time I had a gift shop and a woman who made dreamcatchers was at my shop.  She made us a beautiful dreamcatcher with the feather and this was the beginning of our connection with Naomi and the hawk.  Whenever we see a red tailed hawk we feel like it is a hello from her.  A powerful experience happened a few years back when we were out for a walk in a favorite wooded area along the river.  We are always asking for a sign from her, it sometimes feels like whining but it always makes us feel better in the moment to get a hello.  On this particular day it was after a spring thaw and the river was flowing fast with icy edges all along the riverbank.  On the other side of the river was a walking trail as well, and we could see a woman walking a couple of dogs.  One of the dogs was a little one and the other a lab. The lab went into the water and I immediately felt like this was not a good thing.  We stood watching a terrible scene unfold as the poor dog was swept into the current and not able to get up onto the riverbank because of the thick ice at the edges.  Time after time the dog would try to get back onto land and then be swept back into the fast flowing water.  It was so sad to watch feeling helpless and thinking the poor dog was going to drown.  Naomi was a dog lover and as I stood helpless I called out loud to her "Naomi if you can help this poor dog from where you are please get help".  Within a minute the dog was finally able to climb onto the ice and get back to land.  Out of the trees swooped a big, beautiful red tailed hawk and circled above the dog's head. It was an amazing sign and a great day to know both the dog and Naomi are fine.
Occasionally we get dream visits from Naomi, but this is rare. Are your vivid dream visits in color?  I've heard that being in color means it is present time visit?
If anyone is interested  we have found great comfort reading the material contained in books by Dr. Michael Newton, Dr. Brian Weiss, and all or any of Neale Donald Walsch and the Conversations with God books.

Happy to Share,

Karen 


 10 
 on: February 23, 2015, 08:15:45 PM 
Started by quiltartist - Last post by quiltartist
Hi Karen,  I'm in tears.  It's impossible to understand how these things can happen, how after your sorrow at losing your first baby, and the scare of Naomi's heart problem, you could then lose her in her childhood to a brain tumor.  A terrible blow.  My experience, and I can't reconcile it with how much we suffer in these losses, is that in another state, beyond life, these things don't seem to matter, as if life and death are a continuum and we in 'life' are unable to quite get that, to quite connect with that, but to our loved ones who've 'passed' it's a given.  And when we do connect across what we experience as such a great divide,  it is so powerful and gratifying.  Yet we still continue to feel the loss of the literal beloved so acutely.  It's a strange and a hard journey.  But like you my husband and I are determined not to be victims of these experiences.  We have remaining children and grandchildren and a life together; if we're going to be here we want to be here fully and appreciate our lives.  It's not always easy, but it's our commitment. 
My connection, with each of our children who've passed, comes most strongly in vivid dreams which are not ordinary dreams and which I call 'visit dreams'.  I wonder if you would be willing to tell me a little about how
your spiritual structure connects you to Naomi
Thank you for connecting.  Blessings. 

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