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HELPING THROUGH THE GRIEF

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"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."
--- Thomas Campbell

 

It's been awhile since I sent you anything. I have been pretty busy with school and volleyball. But when I saw that you were looking for quotes and poems that helped people get through the rough times when a loved one or friend died, I knew I had to write.

I have had 2 friends die, the most recent one in May. That was especially tough since I am young and no one should have to deal with death when they are still a child. But here are a bunch of poems that have really helped me.

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones,
And a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Contributed by Amanda Grier --- Ohio

 

UPHILL

Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From mourn to night my friend.
But is there for the night a resting place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labor you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

Christina Rosseti
Contributed by Amanda Grier --- Ohio

 

When an emotional injury takes place,
the body begins a process
as natural as the healing
of a physical wound.
Let the process happen.
Trust that nature
will do the healing.
Know that the pain will pass,
and, when it passes,
you will be stronger,
happier, more sensitive and aware.

Untitled by Mel Colgrove
From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Contributed by Amanda Grier --- Ohio

 

Here is the last poem. It is the verse they put on the inside of the little pamphlet they handout at calling hours along with the person's name and the day they were born and died. I think it is really pretty and it is my favorite.

It is in loving memory of:
William "Arthur" Battin (06/05/83 - 5/03/98)

God hath not promised skies
Always blue,
Flowers-strewn pathways all
Our lives through;
God hath not promised sun
Without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace
Without pain.
But God hath promised strength
For the day.
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help
From above,
Unfailing sympathy
Undying love...

Author Unknown
Contributed by Amanda Grier --- Ohio

And just to go along with this, I have a couple quotes. They may not be inspiring, but they are about death and they are very true.

" Never complain about growing old because so many never get the chance!."
--- Unknown


" The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired."
--- Southey


" Losing someone when you're young is the greatest pain anyone can face."
--- Amory Blaine


"Sometimes no matter how much faith we have,
We lose people.
But you never forget them.
And sometimes it's those memories
That give us faith to go on."
--- Early Edition on CBS

Well, hope some of this has been helpful.


Love,
Amanda Grier --- Ohio

I was told Mum was hanging in there, waiting for me...I could see this in her eyes as we held hands...then she passed away.

This helped me deal with her death, being there.

I don't know how I would of coped not being there to say goodbye for the last time. She knew I was there and I knew she was waiting for me to say goodbye.

Lex Reynolds --- Sydney, Australia

Haiku

News of a loved one -
Butterfly in the garden
Shedding its cocoon

Author Unknown
Contributed by Jeff Logan

"For what is it to die,
But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind?
And when the Earth has claimed our limbs,
Then we shall truly dance."
--- Kahlil Gibran


"The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity."
--- Seneca


Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come."
--- Rabindranath Tagore


"A man is not completely born until he is dead."
--- Benjamin Franklin


"What we commonly call death does not destroy the body, it only causes a separation of spirit and body."
--- Brigham Young


"While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil."
--- John Taylor


"For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity."
--- William Penn


"Be of good cheer about death and know this as a truth--that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death."
--- Socrates


"Is death the last sleep? No--it is the last and final awakening."
--- Sir Walter Scott


"We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream...it may be so at the moment of death."
--- Nathaniel Hawthorne


"Each departed friend is a magnet that attracts us to the next world."
--- Jean Paul Richter


"The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again."
--- Joseph Smith


"Nothing can happen more beautiful than death."
--- Walt Whitman


"Death is the most beautiful adventure in life."
--- Charles Frohman


"In a beautiful blue lagoon on a clear day, a fine sailing ship spreads its brilliant white canvas in a fresh morning breeze sails out to the open sea.

We watch her glide away magnificently through the deep blue and gradually see her grow smaller and smaller as she nears the horizon.

Finally, where the sea and sky meet, she slips silently from sight; and someone near me says, 'There, she is gone!'

Gone where? Gone from sight, that is all.

She is still as large in mast and hull and sail, still just as able to bear her load. And we can be sure that, just as we say, 'There, she is gone!' another says, 'There, she comes!!!' "
--- Unknown


"Life is eternal and love is immortal;
And death is only a horizon,
And a horizon is nothing
Save the limit of our sight."
--- Rossiter W. Raymond


All of these quotes were contributed by Joslin in Colorado

This is a church song I have always loved, I don't know who wrote it. My favorite part is the verse:

Tell me friend, why must you die?
Why must your loved ones stand
With empty arms and ask the question why?
Help me know, so I can go on,
How when your love and faith sustained me
Can the precious gift be gone?
From the depths of sorrow I cry,
The pains of grief within my soul arise,
The whispering of The Spirit still my cries.
Didn't he say he sent us to be tested?
Didn't he say the way would not be sure?
But, didn't he say we could live with him forever more,
Well and whole if we but patiently endure.
After the sorrow we will be blessed,
But this life is the test.

Author Unknown
Contributed by Laurel Tyler --- Arizona

Every sympathy card I've ever sent has had this quotation:

" As David and his men looked at the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, they wept until they could weep no more. David was seriously worried, for in their bitter grief for their children, his men began talking of killing him. But David took strength from the Lord."

Scriptures --- 1 Sam 30:3,4,6 (Living)
Contributed by Dennis Volz --- California

A TRIBUTE TO A BELOVED FRIEND

I remember thinking a long time ago that it was impossible to have an agape sort of love--a love that is absolute and all encompassing--an unconditional love--a love that transcends all else. I have found it with my friend, John. What a wonderful gift we have given ourselves in the friendship we share! I hold this friendship very dear to my heart.

Do you know the love you feel at the first sight of a newborn baby after waiting a long time for it to be born? When we talked on the phone or saw each other in person that's the kind of feeling we had towards each other. I know this love as beautiful, as powerful, and as strong. It is a love that is all accepting: without conditions or limitations or prejudices. It just is...and it's WONDERFUL!

We really grew together. It was through him and through church that I learned to receive total and absolute unconditional love. He was and still is my greatest fan, and I have been learning to nurture self-love. My greatest desire now is to show others what a beautiful experience it is and that love is all there is. Nothing else matters.

John and I talked in February about my moving back to his home from Colorado to California in September. We talked about how judgment has played out in our lives and we made an agreement that we would work on this together-to try to take judgment out of our thinking because we knew it didn't serve us very well. When his health was beginning to fail, I remember telling him that he couldn't afford the luxury of a negative thought. Well, none of us can. These were things that we were going to work on in our behavior and thinking. On September 26 John made his transition into spirit.

I had been observing my feelings through my grief and just accepting that this is a process I need to experience. I was filled with intense feelings and emotions: anguish, fear, anger, frustration, and guilt. They had also been the greatest spiritually uplifting weeks!

The movie, Ghost is pretty close to some of what I have experienced. These are 2 examples: Two days after his transition I was grieving again and remembered the last thing John said to me after my August visit and repeated it back to him; "I miss you already, sweetheart!" I heard: "The thing is now I can visit you any time you need me or any time I want. I am always here for you."

In another dialogue the following transpired when I said, "You know I gave my notice at work today and I'm going through another agency to find a better paying job. I'll get back on my feet again." And John responded by saying, "You wouldn't let me take care of you!"

Well, John found a way to communicate with me and he found a way to take care of me (of course, with my help... once I opened my mind). When his health was failing rapidly and the doctors were telling me that it was a matter of time, I decided not to make the move to California after all, but I did leave my contracted job.

During times of stress, I have felt this reassurance from God; "Relax and the Truth will be shown to you. Don't be attached to outcomes. Enjoy the journey."

His last visit was in a dream. We were sitting at his dining room table and he was laughing louder and harder than I ever remembered. I finally asked, "What's up John?" He leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head like he always did when he wanted to make a point, and he responded, "You were absolutely right! There is no pain. There is no judgment. There is no fear. There is only love... only love... only love..." and the dream faded.

I have a dream! My dream is to put together a publication of people's spiritual experiences when they have felt God's Presence, been touched by angels, and random acts of kindness called Golden Moments. Till now I have made a couple feeble attempts to get started on this endeavor, and I recognize now that I was to experience my greatest spiritual adventure in this life. The person I am today is more open and receptive to hear stories of faith from others.

John, I know that you were instrumental in some of the events that happened. Your love has strengthened me. It has been my support and it has been my salvation in times of need. It is a Godsend. I cherish it and I cherish you. You will always be with me in my heart and I feel so blessed. I know now that you are experiencing your highest expression of your divinity and I know you are at peace. You see? There is no pain, judgment, or fear--only love.

What an adventure in faith! Thank you John! Thank you God!

Copyright © 1997 Bobbie Gonder

When my friend Carmen died in 1993 at the age of 42, these words were on the back of her holy card. Through the years they have helped to comfort me and remember her with a smile through my tears.

REST IN PEACE

You are not forgotten loved one
Nor will you ever be
As long as life and memory last
We will miss thee.
We will miss you now
Our hearts are sore
As time goes by
We miss you more
Your loving smile
Your gentle face
No one can fill your vacant place.

Author Unknown
Contributed by Marlene Blaszczyk of Motivating Moments

I read this at my grandmother's funeral.

LETTING GO

When I am gone, release me, let me go,
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears,
Be happy that we had so many years.

I gave you my love,
You can only guess how much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you have shown,
But now it's time I traveled on alone.

So grieve a while for me, if you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away for life goes on,
So if you need me call, and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me,
I'll be near and if you listen with your heart,
You'll hear all of my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you must come this way alone
I'll greet you with a smile and say,
"Welcome Home."

Author Unknown
Contributed by Amy, Age 17 --- Pennsylvania

I want to dedicate this poem to my cousin Matthew Brian Freeman Guice who was killed in a car wreck in Jackson, Mississippi on July 26, 1998, who would have celebrated his 21st birthday September 25th. He was a very loving and caring guy who always had a smile on his face. The wreck was a tragic one, that also killed his best friend Josh, but the driver lived.

Please REMEMBER, don't ride with someone who has been drinking, it could have cost you your own life. I know that being a teenager is a "fun" time. I drink and I drive, but after you experience a death that could have been avoided by just saying i"I don't think you should drive", you might want to think it through. Even if you are not drinking, someone else might be. And their car wreck was a one car accident, they fell off a side of a bridge onto the road below. Just be careful and always think before you ride with someone. I love ya Matt. :-)

THE PAST IS MADE FOR REASONS

The Past is made for reason,
all throughout the seasons.

Matt was put on this earth
for the good and bad
But was taken from the
goodness he had.

From the days at the beach,
To the nights he was asleep.

Through his parents were not together,
Their love was in him forever.
Hearing his mother say:
"Matt clean up your room",
and him thinking
"My Life is doomed."

He used to play rough and
Try to be tough and,
Miller, Emily, and SarahBeth thinking he is a guy
He doesn't know how to play girlie stuff.

In Gulf Shores, playing putt-putt
And trying to teach us not to hit it in the rough.

When we had just begun and,
Matt yelling at the top of his lungs
" I just hit a hole in one"
" I just hit a hole in one."
Jumping up and down,
making a scene all around.

From burying him in the sand and ,
From holding him holding my small little hand.

Me being scared to walk to the sand bar,
Him saying, "We won't go out far."

Matt loved his family so very much,
Even at times when it was tough.

From going through the teen-age years, and
His mom taming all of the fears.

He had a loving heart,
and a very smart mind, and
Even to his mother a
Cute little baby behind.

From him learning how to drive,
And taking the scary big wheel,
Thinking what a thrill.

His life was taken oh so quick,
and hitting us like a ton of brick.

Like they say, "The Good die young",
And his new life has just begun.

As we say good-bye for one last time,
Remember Matt,
One day we will be together,
Forever,
One day at a time.

Copyright © 1998 SarahBeth Wild

A very special friend died this past May. After sharing several chapters from the book "Gentle Closings -- How to Say Goodbye to Someone You Love" with her, I chose to include one of those chapters in her eulogy at her memorial service. We all have special remembrances of our friends and family members. This just reminds us to embrace and celebrate them.

BUTTON AND BLOSSOM'S PONY STORY

Button and Blossom sat on the beach and looked out across the ocean. The sun was setting and its golden light was reflected in the crystal tears that streamed down their cheeks. They could not speak because there were no words to say how sad they were and how much pain they felt. They had so loved Pony, that when he died, they had wanted to stop living as well.

The waves lapped at the shore, and pink shells floated up in the sea foam and rested a few feet from where Button and Blossom sat. But all they saw was the darkness of their pain, and all they heard was the sound of their own tears.

"Hello" cried a small voice from a distance.

Button and Blossom looked up and saw a tiny sea horse bouncing up and down in the waves. "Hello, my name is Jasper. Who are you?" "I'm called Button and this is my sister, Blossom."

"How very pleasant to meet you. I don't get to meet many boys and girls under the sea, but I heard you crying and I thought I should come and see what the matter was."

"Our friend Pony died," said Blossom, "and we are very sad."

"We miss him terribly," said Button. "He was a wonderful friend and things just won't be the same now that he's gone."

"That's what the King of the Ocean said," remarked Jasper. "Of course he wasn't always the King of the Ocean. He used to be the King of the Hills and Valleys until his daughter died."

"Then what happened?" asked Button and Blossom.

"Well, he cried, of course. He cried streams and then rivers and then pools of tears. Nothing comforted him. He kept weeping until pretty soon, the land began to disappear under all his tears. When the Maker of All Things saw what was happening, he went to the King of Hills and Valleys and told him he should stop his crying. Well, the King of Hills and Valleys stopped crying but his kingdom was already completely submerged, so that's how he became the King of the Ocean. The King was still sad about the loss of his beautiful daughter, so the Maker of All Things gave him a wonderful gift. The Maker of All Things gave the King a remembrance."

"A what?"

"A remembrance. You know, beautiful things that would remind the King of his daughter. He made the ocean as blue as her eyes. And seashells as rosy pink as her cheeks. and in the morning, when the sunlight filters through the water, it shimmers like her hair. When the King saw all these things, he felt close to his lovely daughter and was never lonely again."

"But he would never hear her voice again," said Blossom.

"Oh, but he could," said Jasper. "When a brook babbles, that's her giggle. When the sea laps against the rocks, that's a tune she hums. She's all around him - in his remembrance."

"That's very nice, Jasper, but Pony was different. And I doubt that even the Maker of All Things could give us a remembrance of Pony."

"But he already has," exclaimed Jasper. "It's there, inside your head, forever. Close your eyes and you'll see Pony. If you listen to the wind, you'll hear him. If you truly, truly loved him he will always be there. That's the gift of remembrance that the Maker of All Things gives to those who love."

Author Unknown
Contributed by Kathy --- North Carolina

A friend of mine sent me this one when my dog died - it really helped me out...

RAINBOW BRIDGE

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth.
It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors.
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge,
There is a land of meadow, hills and
Valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.
There is always food and water and warm Spring weather.
Those old and frail animals are young again.
Those who have been maimed are made whole again.
They play all day with each other.
But there is only one thing missing.

They are not with their special person
Who loved them on Earth.

So, each day they run and play until the day comes
When one suddenly stops playing and looks up.
The nose twitches, the ears are up, the eyes are staring,
Ad this one suddenly runs from the group.

You have been seen,
And when you and your special friend meet,
You take them in your arms and embrace.

Your face is kissed again and again
And you look once more into the eyes of Your trusting pet.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together,
Never again to be separated.

Author Unknown
Contributed by Amy Yates --- Texas

 

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