The Light Beyond Helping you through grief and bereavement, one step at a time... Why not visit our site, with its bereavement forum, store, movie and grief library? You can send one of our free sympathy ecards too.
Grief and loss on Squidoo The Light Beyond is now also on Squidoo. Visit our grief and loss lens for further resources, inspiration and help.
So many of us are losing our parents and perhaps we can help each other. That is a real gift. I was my Mother’s caregiver and at her side the last days of her life. I am also a songwriter and singer and wrote a song about my experience. I have heard from some that it helps them and I would like to share it. I have posted it on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sI_RLR7jFs
"The Servant of Her Servant" comes from the time my Mother and I spent together during the last eight days of her life. Over the course of those days, my Mother taught me important things: How to be still, how to listen, how to forgive. We slept with my hand on her heart. I am very grateful.
I thought perhaps people might wish to hear my song. Please pass it on as you wish. Listening to it might help others as creating it helped me.
A gentle, nurturing week-long course for anyone who has lost a loved one, not necessarily by death. We will look at ways to cope with grief and explore the paradox of letting go while staying connected and forging continuing bonds.
Facilitators are Frances Crampton and Elizabeth Brown, both trained counsellors and healers and members of Quaker Retreat Group. We work in Claridge House at Lingfield in Surrey, a Quaker healing place because of its lovely, healing atmosphere. The place is open to people of all faiths, denominations, or none. See http://www.claridgehousequaker.org.uk/courses.php
It’s a unique feeling, when it finally dawns on you that someone who has been a part of your life for such a long time is no longer there. It’s a sickening realisation that stops you in your tracks. In your mind you can visualise the person, smiling, talking, living, but when the vision fades you realise that this is now your only connection to them. Through memories, photographs, anecdotes and, on a higher plane, through a kind of subconscious imprint of their being on your inner self.
This is what happened to me when I lost my Grandad. He was called Matthew but to me he was always just “Grandad”. He was the stereotypical perfect Grandad and could have come straight out of a childrens book. He was bald, smoked an old pipe and had that reassuring smell that emanates from people who have lived long enough to have seen it all and done it all. We played chess, cribbage and talked for hours about anything and everything. He passed away on the 24th of August 2000.
I’ve spent almost all of my adult life travelling from place to place. I spent 9 years in the armed forces, then I worked internationally as an engineer, more recently I’ve worked throughout the United Kingdom. This “on the road” lifestyle is very detrimental to a number of areas in your life, your friendships, your relationships and your waistline. After 16 years of travelling, I finally made the county of Fife in Scotland my home.
Life has a habit of keeping you guessing and over the years I’ve lost quite a few good friends. Occasionally, and inevitably, my thoughts turn to the friends I’ve lost. It would be wonderful to be able to have a quiet moment with them when this happens. That is why I developed Friends At Rest. It’s a place to go to in our busy lives to just spend a few precious quiet minutes remembering.
Unfortunately, in June this year (2009), I lost my Grandma. She knew I was working on the Friends At Rest website and she also knew that I was going to create a memorial to my Grandad. They are now together on my site and I visit them regularly. Having a distant resting place used to mean that I rarely visited my Grandad. Now, I see him all the time.
Just heard from this very worthwhile foundation and thought it would be helpful to spread the news:
"We have a foundation that helps provide low-income families who have a lost a baby with funding for a permanent memorial stone for the gravesite. We have been around since 2003 and have helped 6 families just this year alone in getting headstones for their angel babies. (See www.dempseyburdick.com)
We would love it if you would pass on the word to your readership that we are giving away a free mp3 of the song, "Too Good For This World" by National Recording Artist (and founder of the charity) Kevin Burdick on the home page of the website. This song has provided comfort to tens of thousands of people across the country who have lost children. We hope that by hearing the song your readers will be inspired to donate or create more awareness for the charity. We hope, at the very least, it helps provide some comfort."
The Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation team is approaching 2009 with eager anticipation. We look forward to seeing you at the first EVER National Conference on Widowhood. We have an exceptional line up of speakers who will be speaking about topics YOU care about. Visit http://www.sslf.org/c_speakers.html for information on our fantastic speakers' panel.
We have partnered with the San Diego Symphony to bring you a "Musical Evening Under the Stars," featuring the fabulous San Diego Symphony, who will be joined by a variety of musical guests. Proceeds will benefit a unique initiative in support of improving the condition of global widowhood and your ticket to this amazing evening is included with your registration (for as long as tickets last).
Professionals in need of continuing education credit can join us for our Pre-Conference event scheduled for Friday, July 17th. We welcome Tom Golden LCSW, Dr. Michele Reiss Ph D, Pamela Gabbay MA FT, and Carla Fine, author of No Time to Say Goodbye; Surviving the Suicide of Someone You Love. Each workshop presentation will be three hours in length, and our bookstore, run by the Centering Corporation, will be available during the lunch break. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for workshop topics and registration information.
Whether you are a new widow/ widower, a widow/widower who has walked a bit further down the path, a widow/widower who has remarried and is living a new and full life, a support person of a widow or widower, a bereavement professional, or a member of the clergy, we have something at this conference that will touch and inspire you. Together our energy can make a positive change in the world. Join us as we put one foot in front of the other toward the goal of living life with joy and hope.
Early registration ends 1/15/09. By registering now you will save $100, guarantee your spot at this fabulous event, and help provide the upfront funding an event of this scale requires. Many hands make the load light, sign up today...
With bright hope for the year ahead,
Michele Michele Neff Hernandez Executive Director Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation 2828 Cochran St. #194 Simi Valley, Ca 93065 877-671-4071ext 706 www.sslf.org www.widowsbond.com
Just a reminder of our book, If There's Anything I Can Do. An immensely practical ebook for the friends and families of the bereaved, it shows you exactly how to help without getting in the way.
It isawful when someone you love goes through the unbearable pain of bereavement. You feel distraught and completely unable to help. You can't take away the grief, but there are many things you can do to make everyday life more bearable. And no-one knows better what those things might be than people who have been bereaved themselves.
This guide explains how it feels, and also passes on the advice of many other people who have been bereaved. These people know exactly what helped them most (and what was well-meant but not helpful) at the time, and in the months, weeks and years afterwards.
Look no further. You have just found the most comprehensive and thoughtful book of sympathy poems, quotes and readings available, with the insights of many of the world's finest authors on life, love and loss. You need never be lost for words again...
You may well have been called upon to write a eulogy or speak at a funeral at very short notice, leaving little time to find a suitable poem or reading, so oureasily navigable book is available for instant download. Whoever you have lost, this book contains the perfect words to help you express your sorrow, pay tribute to your loved one and do justice to a life lived.
Our free sympathy ecards are now available for you to use. They show various images from our inspirational movie and are a great way to show someone who has suffered a loss that you care and are thinking of them. And if you're not sure what to write, we've included a link to our helpful article on How to write a sympathy card...
We'd like more good quality content, and if you have a website you might like a link from our site to yours, so this is the solution we've come up with:
The quickest and easiest way to get a link from The Light Beyond to your own site is to go to The Light Beyond bereavement forum and sign up (it's fast and free). Then read these simple guidelines and create a forum signature which includes a link to your site. After that, you can post on the forum as often as you like; your posts don't have to be very long, but please do make sure they are useful, helpful, informative, comforting or inspiring for our readers. Each time you post you will get a link back to your site automatically.
Please note that a forum post itself is NOT the place to advertise your site or services - that's what the forum signature is for, and this appears at the bottom of every post you make. Posts are for genuinely useful, helpful content. We read every single post and will remove inappropriate entries.
On The Light Beyond bereavement blog, we also blog about sites which are particularly useful and relevant to our readers. To recommend a site for the blog, the Links page or to contact us about any other ways we could work together, please use the Contact Form. We look forward to hearing from you!
In the course of creating The Light Beyond, I've come into contact with many other wonderful websites and resources to help people on their journey through grief, and I'd like to start sharing them with you all. I don't benefit from suggesting them in any other way than knowing that you too will find them helpful - and that makes me feel good...
So let's start with one of my favourites: www.griefhealing.com. This is the work of hospice bereavement counselor Marty Tousley, whose work I highly recommend. GriefHealing.com has many articles and books, poems, quotes and discussion groups, as well as Marty's own healing courses.
Here are Marty's own thoughts on grief:
As one who's been studying attachment and loss and specializing in bereavement counseling most of my professional life, I'd like to tell you how I came to be interested in the subjects of loss, grief and healing, and what qualifies me to speak to you about them in a way that I hope will be meaningful and helpful to you.
Having experienced, struggled with and come to terms with my own particular share of "necessary losses" over the years, I've come to realize that those losses have taught me some of life's most valuable lessons.
One of my earliest memories was seeing my mother's reaction to the news that her father had died. I was four years old at the time, and my beloved Grandpa had been my only living grandparent. I remember too how heartbroken my parents were when my baby brother was born prematurely and died when I was six. I learned very early on that no matter how much I may have wished it otherwise, death was part of living in this world, and it could happen to the very young as well as the very old.
At the age of five I was diagnosed with progressive curvature of the spine. Just as I was entering my teenage years, I underwent extensive spinal surgery that left me flat on my back in a body cast for eight months, homebound and separated from my eighth-grade classmates. Barely two years later I shattered my knee in a horseback-riding accident and spent three months hospitalized with my leg in traction, once again separated from my classmates and missing the second half of my sophomore year in high school. I've learned some things about loss of body image, loss of relationships and loss of freedom.
As an adult I've gone through more than a dozen operations to surgically correct or alleviate various problems with my bones and joints. I've learned about aches and pains, loss of physical strength and mobility, and loss of independence.
Since I chose to place the demands of my husband's career ahead of my own, in our 38 years together I've moved many times, each time having to up-root and re-establish myself personally and professionally in several different states. I've learned about the difficulties of leaving comfortable homes and familiar neighborhoods, and the sadness of saying goodbye to family, friends, colleagues and positions I have loved. I've learned about losing the pride and comfort of being known, respected and valued in my work, and the challenges of having to start all over again.
My husband Michael and I were just out of college when we married in 1965. Less than two years later we were mourning the unexpected death of our second son, David, who succumbed to a blood disorder when he was barely three days old. A few months later Walter, one of our nearest and dearest friends suffered a heart attack and died. Two years after we moved our young family to New Jersey in 1976, my physician father Harry collapsed while making a house call in northern Michigan and died of cardiac arrest. Later that same year Michael's sister Delores died, followed by his mother Beatrice. Soon after our move to Arizona in 1992, both Michael's father Ralph and my mother Evelyn died. I've learned about the pain and sorrow of losing loved ones to death.
An animal lover all my life, I've loved and lost— in every way imaginable — every pet I've ever had. But when my very special little dog Muffin died suddenly in 1986, I was absolutely devastated, and totally unprepared for the intensity of my reaction to losing him. I've learned about the important roles that animals play in our lives, how we can become so attached to them, and why it hurts so much when we lose them. I've learned about the pain of losing treasured animal companions.
In my work with bereaved individuals, families and groups, I have witnessed over and over again the triumph of survivors over their deepest sorrow, suffering and pain. I have seen them experience profound moments of healing and growth. I've learned about surviving and transcending grief.
I've learned that losing someone or something we love can remind us not only how fragile and temporary life is, but also how important it is to appreciate what we do have: life, health, family, friends and loved ones. And I've learned that the difficult process of healing through loss can leave us with greater emotional strength and self reliance, and a greater awareness of what really matters in life.
Lucie Storrs The creator behind The Light Beyond, Lucie lives in Italy's wonderful region of Tuscany. This project combines her two passions: the world wide web and helping lots of people!
Nancy Adams Nancy is one of our wonderful writers, drawing upon her own extensive experience of grief and loss. She lives in a truly idyllic, inspiring location at the heart of a forest in Michigan.
You...? Why not share YOUR story with all our readers, so that others can learn and grow from your own experiences of grief and loss? Simply click on one of the Contact Us buttons to send us your story.