If you ask most people why they have not achieved their goals or the level of success they desire, they will usually respond with some built-in excuse (negative belief) that is holding them back. Underlying this excuse or negative belief is usually a fear or worry. How many times have you attempted something new, only to stop before you ever got started because you were afraid of what others may think? Or you don't think you have the time or money or both? Or because you believe are inexperienced or lack the knowledge to succeed? Someone once defined F. E.A. R. as False Evidence Appearing Real, which means we have chosen to believe in something that is not really true. But because it is our belief, it is our reality. Worry is nothing more than a sustained fear caused by indecision. Sometimes we need to ask some tough questions to determine the cause of these worries or fears. Once the fear is identified, a simple formula can be used to overcome that fear. The first step is to clearly define what you are afraid of or worried about. Write in down. Put in on paper. Half of your worries and fears will be solved the instant you can define them clearly by putting them on paper. What once seemed big in your mind will look small and insignificant on paper. For the other half, you need to move on to step two. Ask yourself, what is the worst possible thing that can happen if this fear or worry becomes true? Make a list, yes, write it down on paper underneath your clearly defined worry. Keep writing down everything that comes to mind until you have identified the worst possible outcome. Do you realize that 90% of what we worry about never happens? Think about how much time you spend on worrying about stuff that never will happen. This list will help you see that. Once you have completed your list, resolve in your mind that you will accept the worst possible thing that can happen. Since 90% of those things will never occur and generally the other 10% will not kill you, realize you will survive. Accept the worst possible thing by telling yourself, I can handle it, over and over again. This will start to turn things around. Finally, begin now to make sure the worst never happens. Put together an action plan of exactly what you need to do to turn things around. By focusing on positive changes and implementing your action plan, your focus will shift to the positive outcomes and away from your fears. You will begin to feel better because now you can DO SOMETHING! Positive action is the only cure for fear and worry. Try this formula today and see if it will work for you. It has worked for me. To Your Success! Steve Scoresby
The loss of a loved one is the hardest thing that you will ever have to go through in your life, and you might find that at many times you feel hopeless. There are lights at the end of every darkness in life and the death of a loved one is no exception. There are many ways to deal with the death of a loved one, and there are many things that you can do to help yourself or to help someone else who is dealing with death. The use of bereavement poems can greatly help someone, or yourself, cope with the loss that is facing them. A bereavement poem is a poem that you can use in a eulogy, a remembrance service or on a memorial site as a way to deal with the death of a loved one through imagery and words. When you are having a service, when you need something to get you through it, or when you are looking at words to have posted somewhere in memory of your loved one, a funeral or memorial poem is something that you might want to think about. There have been many in memory of poems that have been written in the past for many situations. There are funeral poems for the loss of parents and grandparents, or children, or friends or other family members. Each memory poem has the potential to speak to your heart and to the hearts of the people who have lost loved ones. A memorial poem is designed to help with the coping process. When you are thinking about poems for funerals, there are a couple things that you want to remember. Poems for memorial services should somehow have reference to the person that you have lost – their life, their loves, their faith or something that they loved. You want to be sure that the poem you have chosen is one that is going to speak to you and speak to the other grieving family members. A well-chosen funeral poem can be something that you hang on to for a long time. You may want to consider printing copies of the memorial service poem to keep and to give to others who want to keep it. By having this poem with you and keeping it along with photos of your loved one either in a scrap book or on an online memorial website, you have words that you can always go back to for a memory. Writing down feelings either in prose or in poetry is highly recommended as a way to deal with severe grief. All of the memories that you have wrapped up in a certain person can be easily expressed with a well chosen funeral poem and you will be able to keep these words as a memorial for a long time to come. Share a poem with others in hopes of helping them deal with their grief over losing a loved one. It is only by dealing with the grief that comes with losing a loved one that you can truly come out on the other side and learn to live your life again. ~ Ben Anton, 2007
Grieving a lost loved one is never easy. One of the best therapies for this grief is to honor their life and give them a memorial service. Most people don’t think beyond the traditional memorial service. There are many alternative, or untraditional, memorial service options. These can range from simple memorial poems to elaborate funeral memorials. When searching for the perfect memorial for a loved one don’t forget some of these other options. Some people opt for the traditional memorial service at a funeral home or graveside. These can be enhanced by a nice memorial poem. Poems for lost loved ones can range from simple, emotion-filled lines to elaborate, flowing pieces with imagery and structure. These poems may be read at the service, posted online in honor of the lost loved one, shared with family, or simply kept with other mementos. The simple act of writing one’s feelings has a very therapeutic effect and can help the healing process. Others may be having the same feelings and emotions and by reading the poem it may help them work along the grieving track. The internet offers many other options, as well. Posting the obituary online or online funeral messages may help spread the word. Online memorials set up for a loved one can help to speed the healing. This offers the opportunity of celebrating their life. Posting their accomplishments and pictures will allow all those unable to make it to a service to grieve, also. A collage of photos, favorite quotes, favorite song clips, and even links to their favorite causes can fill this online memorial. This can be an evolving memorial. Allowing others to post their memories and special times with the lost will truly celebrate their life and honor them. Open it up and allow others to post favorite pictures or quotes from the person and watch as the memorial takes new shape and memories blossom. Some people take this even farther and have an online funeral. This allows everyone to reach out and help each other heal. Those who are limited due to disability, geography, or other hurdles may attend an online funeral and share in the sadness and joy that may accompany a celebration of the loved one’s life. Video feed from the actual funeral service can be placed online or fed live during the service. Others will feel as if they are right there and feel a part of the process. This allows everyone the opportunity to be involved with laying the person’s soul to rest. When deciding on how to remember a loved one the possibilities are endless. Imagination can go a long way when planning an untraditional memorial. A video showing clips and photos of the person with voice-overs from family and friends is a good option. Planning a celebration of the person’s life centered on things they enjoyed can help everyone remember them as they were in life. A memorial service for an avid scuba diver might take place in a favorite dive spot, or even underwater. The memories, and tears, may flow freely but the cleansing nature will be helpful. Share joys and favorite times and honor them in a place where they found joy. Another popular form of memorial for a loved one is to give to a charity or favorite cause in their name. Taking this theme a little further, some families have volunteered, as a group, to assist the cause. A trip to the local Red Cross Blood Donor Center in honor of a lost loved one who volunteered with Red Cross would make a great tribute to their accomplishments in life. Whether giving money or blood, this is a true memorial to a loved one. Whether holding a traditional funeral service or an untraditional online memorial, the most important step after the death of a loved one is to start the healing process. This involves going through the grieving process and finding a way to honor and remember the person. If posting their history and memories to a public website does not feel right, make a special, password-protected site that only family can access. It becomes an intimate memorial but allows those separated by geography to share in the grieving, and healing, process. Remember, a memorial for a lost loved one can be a simple poem or an elaborate memorial service, but the most important factor is the celebration of their life and accomplishments. ~Ben Anton, 2007
Losing a family member or close friend can be devastating and can have a lasting effect on all who knew the person who has passed. Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be difficult and may require talking about your feelings, expressing your condolences to a family member or writing about your grief in a diary or blog. Funeral or memorial services are also a means to share in the pain and express love for the deceased in order to heal. One reason for the elaborate ceremonies around death is to help with that loss. Funeral rituals are designed to help ease the transition. In many cultures and religious traditions, part of these rituals is the delivery of a eulogy – a short memorial message celebrating the person’s accomplishments and important moments. If you have been asked to deliver a eulogy, appreciate the honor you have been given. You may feel that you are too sad or that you don’t have the skills to write and deliver an appropriately moving tribute at a funeral or memorial service. If giving the eulogy is overwhelming to you, remember that while it may seem daunting, there are tips that can help you manage your anxiety and help you provide a service to both the living in their moment of loss and to the one you have lost. If you are asked to deliver a eulogy for someone you know, take a moment to sort out your feelings about the deceased and gather your thoughts. A eulogy is designed to memorialize and celebrate the good things in the person’s life. Pulling together a selection of memories and comments about those things can be a remarkable way to begin to deal with your own grief. Also, ask other family members and friends to share their memories, anecdotes and stories of how that person touched their lives. Hearing and sharing these memories can help you create a more complete picture of the person for those who are hearing you. Once you’ve gathered your information, decide how you will organize it. Eulogies can take a chronological approach, where the eulogist traces the person’s life in the order in which it happened. They can also be given as a story of a variety of portraits of important moments – snapshots of tender times, gently humorous anecdotes, and the like. If more than one person is delivering a eulogy, coordinate with them so both approaches are used. If you find it hard to think of moving things to say, you may want to look at various sources for inspiration or short quotes to include in your speech. From the Bible or other religious texts to anthologies and websites of eulogy poetry and inspirational quotes, you may find the words you seek. Be careful, however, your own words are more important than anything you can find elsewhere. Keep the tone of the eulogy personal and use simple language so that the listeners can connect more directly to your words and the memories it conveys of the deceased. Typically, a eulogy runs around five to ten minutes in length. Giving a eulogy is an honor. It is a chance to help others begin the transition to a life after the person’s passing. The eulogist has a chance to ease the pain of others by providing them with a picture of the best things about that person, something they can hold on to in the difficult days to follow. To be asked to deliver a memorial tribute is to be given the responsibility of assisting many. A little time and preparation in the writing stage can make a huge difference in the impact of your delivery and can help you and your friends and family in their time of need. ~ Ben Anton, 2007
Have you ever lost someone close to you to death? We go through a grief process that was best described by Elizabeth Kublar-Ross in On Death and Dying. In it she talks about the five stages that people go through---denial and isolation; anger; bargaining; depression and finally acceptance. The dying, as well as those who love them, go through these stages although rarely at the same time and these stages are not predictable. You may think you are in the anger phase, then jump to depression and then, back to denial again. There is no rhyme or reason---only what feels right for each individual at the time. No one can predict how long a phase will last. If you are grieving and some well-meaning person suggests that you shouldn’t be feeling what you are feeling, kindly thank them for their concern but know that you are exactly where you need to be. However, with grief, sometimes you will become aware of something not feeling right. You may think, “I should be over this by now” or “I don’t like feeling this way.” When you, yourself, recognize that it is time to move beyond where you are at, then trust that feeling as well. I’d like to talk about grief from a Choice Theory perspective. This will probably take several posts to make sense of it all. I need to start with the Choice Theory expression that all behavior is purposeful since grief is really just a behavior in choice theory terms. Choice theory tells us that everything we do at any point in time is our best attempt to get something we want---some picture we have in our Quality World that will meet one or more of our needs in some way. Grief is no exception. Once you understand that all behavior is purposeful and that grief is a person’s best attempt to get something they want, then it becomes easier to know what to do about it. What could we possibly be trying to get by grieving? Most people would say that there isn’t a choice. When someone we love dies, we have to grieve. I say it is natural that we will miss the person’s presence in our life but it isn’t inevitable that we have to grieve, not in the way most people think of grieving. The first thing I believe that we are trying to get with our grief is the person who died. When we grieve, it is our best attempt to keep that person alive, at least in our perceived world. We know they no longer exist in the physical world as we know it. However, if we continue to think about them, pine for them, grieve their presence, then it keeps the thought of that person active in our perception and it feels better to us than the total void or absence of the other person. Another possible advantage of grief is that it shows others just how much we cared for and loved the person who died. I’m not suggesting that people are being manipulative in their grief. What I am saying is that there is a side benefit to grief in that it shows others how much we cared. It also says, “See what a good ___________ I was.” Fill in the blank with husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, sister, brother, etc. Grief is also instrumental in getting us the support we need from others during our time of bereavement. People do things for us that we would normally be expected to do ourselves. Again, please don’t think that I am suggesting that a grieving person wakes up and “decides” to grieve so someone will stop by the house with a meal. None of this is conscious but I’m merely pointing out the potential advantages of grief. Once we become totally conscious and aware of what our grief does and doesn’t do for us, then comes the hard part. We need to make some decisions about how we want to live. There are always at least three options in every situation and they can be framed up in terms of---leave it, change it or accept it. With death, you may wonder how someone is going to “leave it.” Well, some possible ways would be major denial of the loss, suicide, drugs and/or alcohol abuse, or sinking deep into mental illness, among others. When we get caught up in changing things, we may continue in our grief as our best attempt to get the person back. That might look like constant trips to the cemetery, frequent conversations with the deceased, refusing to believe he or she is truly gone, constantly talking about the one who’s gone. There are many things we can do to attempt to change the reality of the loss. If and when we come to accept it, we can experience some measure of peace and rejoin the living. A healthy step in this process is finding a way to somehow maintain that person’s presence in our lives. Now, this is a very individual thing and you must be very careful not to judge the choices of the bereaved. Most people saw Meet the Parents. In it, Robert DiNero’s character kept the ashes of his mother in an urn on his mantle. Many people do this with the cremated remains of their loved ones. Others place some ashes in a necklace and wear it around their neck. Some will set up scholarship or memorials. When my husband died, his family and I created a wrestling scholarship fund for a local high school wrestler. When my friend lost her 8 year-old son, she had the Houston zoo name the frog exhibit after him! There are all kinds of creative ways to maintain the person’s presence. There is no wrong way. Whatever brings comfort to the bereaved should be supported by those around them. Remember that just because a person is choosing something that may be distasteful or wrong to you, doesn’t make it wrong for that person. When acceptance occurs, then the grieving person can begin to reassimilate back into their life and the lives of those around them but it won’t happen overnight. We need patience and loving understanding for those coming back from grief. Another possible choice is the person who doesn’t appear to grieve at all. There may be many explanations for this behavior. The person may be very private and won’t do his or her grieving where others can see. Another possibility is that the person is trying to be strong for everyone else. I know I wanted my children to KNOW that I was going to be OK. I didn’t want them to believe that they had to take care of me. To some, it seemed that I wasn’t grieving enough. If you are grieving, or you are involved in the life of someone who is grieving, please don’t judge yourself or them. Understand that all behavior is purposeful and the person is getting something out of what they are doing. When they become conscious that there is a choice, then they can make a conscious decision about which of the three choices they want to make. Once they know the direction they want to go in, they have to flesh out the details of their plan.
We all know that it is in one’s highest good to grieve the loss of a relationship. Healthy grief releases feelings rather than allowing them to get stuck in the body. Healthy grief allows the griever to heal the loss and move on with life. Yet grief is not always healing. Many of us have known people who were stuck in their grief, seemingly locked into the past and unable to move forward in their lives. What is the difference between those who feel their grief and move on and those who get stuck in it? The difference lies in what they believe they have lost. When people believe they have lost their source of love, their grief will feel unending. Gary had been in a three-year relationship with Samantha when Samantha decided to end the relationship. Gary was devastated. In this relationship, like in his past relationships, Gary was a taker – always trying to get love but unable to give love or share love. Samantha gave him a lot of love, but she often felt very lonely with him. Gary was devastated when she left because his source of love was gone. He was not grieving the loss of Samantha as a person he loved. He was grieving the loss of her love for him. He was grieving as a lost wounded child rather than as a loving adult. As a result, Gary became stuck in his grief. He was stuck in feeling like a victim – stuck in “poor me.” Gary had never done the inner work to develop an adult part of himself that could bring love to himself and share it with others. He felt lost, abandoned, and hurt. No matter how much he cried, no healing occurred. Because he was abandoning himself, he just continued to feel alone and despairing. Sometimes he was angry at Samantha for abandoning him and other times he was angry at himself for not being a better partner. He had many regrets that plagued him, and a constant inner refrain was, “If only I had……” “If only I had listened to her more, maybe she wouldn’t have left.” If only I had told her how beautiful she is, maybe she wouldn’t have left.” Frank, on the other hand, was in deep grief over the death of his beloved wife, Beth. He had loved Beth with his whole heart and he missed her terribly. Yet Frank’s grief was totally different than Gary’s grief. Frank missed Beth’s laugh. He missed her joy, her caring for people, her sense of wonder. He missed her as a person, and he missed being able to share his love with her. Frank had no regrets because he had not been a taker. He had loved Beth totally and was deeply grateful for the time he had with her. But Frank was actually fine. His grief came in waves, and he cried when it came. Then it washed through and he was fine again. Frank was fine because Beth had not been the source of his sense of self. Frank had a strong loving inner adult who was connected with a spiritual source of love and wisdom. This was his Source, not Beth. Frank was a person who took full responsibility for his own pain and joy. He had never made Beth responsible for his feelings or his wellbeing. Because he had never abandoned himself, he could miss Beth and grieve for her without feeling abandoned, lost, victimized and alone. Gary, on the other hand, was not fine, no matter how much sadness he released, because Samantha had been his Source of love, his Higher Power. He had handed to her the job of defining his sense of self, so when she left, all he could feel was abandoned. Gary had handed his Inner Child – his feeling self – to Samantha. He had made Samantha responsible for his feelings, so when she left, he felt like an abandoned child. His Source of love had gone away. Because Frank knew how to love himself, he knew how to love others. Within a couple of years, Frank was in another loving relationship. Gary found another relationship within six months of losing Samantha, and six months after that was again alone. Until Gary decides to learn to take responsibility for his own feelings and needs, he will likely continue to lose relationship after relationship, and continue to be stuck in feeling like a victim of the women in his life.
You may envision going out to a beautiful spot and scattering your loved ones remains. While this can be a beautiful, ceremonial and a very healing way of returning a loved one to nature, it can also be a disaster. The following guidelines, will make the experience a positive one and make the final wish of your loved one, “I just want my ashes to be scattered” to come true. To begin, often the word “ashes” is used to describe cremated remains. The media portrays it as light ash. The reality is the remains are bone fragments that have been mechanically reduced. They normally don’t gently flow into the air. It is more like heavy sand That being said there is some dust or ash that can blow in the wind, so when scattering cremated remains make sure to check the wind so they don’t blow back in people’s faces or onto a boat. You will also want to consider the legal requirements to scatter remains. In no state is it legal to scatter remains on private property without permission from the property owner. Many parks also have rules and permit requirements so you will want to check into the requirements. If you do plan on scattering the remains, many people are choosing to keep some of the remains in a keepsake container or mini urn. Some people feel they still want a part of the person and sharing the cremated remains is a way to still have a part of the person with you. Keep in mind, you will want to make sure the partial remains are in a sealed plastic bag inside the keepsake or mini urn. A funeral director can handle this for you. Many products are also available such as diamonds that are made out of the remains, jewelry that is designed to hold the remains or hand blown glass paper weights. Techniques for Scattering Casting Casting is a way of scattering where the remains are tossed into the wind. As I mentioned previously, you will want to check the direction of the wind and cast the remains downwind. Most of the remains will fall to the ground and some of the lighter particles will blow in the wind forming a whitish-grey cloud. One person in the group may cast the remains or scatter some and hand the container to the next person so everyone has a chance to ceremonially cast the remains. Another option is people are given paper cups or casting cups and they cast simultaneously in a sort of toasting gesture. Trenching Trenching is digging a hole or trench in the ground or sand and the remains are placed into the trench. The remains can be placed directly into the trench or placed in a biodegradable bag or urn. At the end of the ceremony survivors often rake over the trench. A deceased name can be drawn in the dirt or sand - perhaps inside of a heart. The remains could also be placed inside this name and heart. You may consider taking a photo of this for a memory book. If done at the beach, it can be timed that the tide comes in and ceremoniously washes it out to sea. Family and friends may want to join hands and form a circle. If not too windy, candles may also form a circle around the site. The candles are then given to each person as a keepsake. Raking Raking involves pouring the cremated remains from an urn evenly on loose soil and then raking them into the ground at the conclusion of the ceremony. It is important to keep the urn close to the ground when pouring out the remains due to wind. Survivors may wish to take turns raking the remains back into the earth. If you choose to do this at a scattering garden at a cemetery this is how they will perform the scattering. Green Burial This is done either at a “Green Cemetery” or at a traditional cemetery. Often cemeteries will allow you to place a biodegradable bag or biodegradable urn on top of a gravesite or a family member as long as it is buried. Obviously, you will want to check with the cemetery and see what their requirements are. Water Scattering Water scattering involves placing the remains into a body of water. A biodegradable bag or urn is recommended. This is most often when cremated remains can blow back into a person’s face or get washed up onto the side of the boat. Both experiences can be traumatic and not the everlasting peaceful memory you envisioned. If you search on the internet or in the phone book you can find people that have boats and are experienced. There are urns on the market designed to gently float away and then quickly biodegrade into the water. Many people throw rose petals or flowers into the water after the urn. If the remains are in a biodegradable bag they may sink so you also may wish to throw a wreath of flowers into the water and watch the wreath drift away. Air Scattering Air scattering is best performed by professional pilots and air services. The airplanes are specially designed to handle the cremated remains. Some professionals will arrange for family and friends to be on the ground watching as the plane flies over and a plume of remains can be seen from the ground. If survivors are not present, the service will provide the specific time and date of the aerial scattering. Often it can be arranged that close family and friends fly along. While scattering cremated remains can be emotionally very difficult, hopefully by knowing your options and being informed it will make a difficult time a little easier.
With less than twenty four hours to go before hurricane Katrina hit land my wife and I started to pack up the car to leave St Bernard Parish Louisiana. We had to have the brakes repaired only an hour before we left. We had to depend on the kindness of a neighbor who was frantically working on the car as we loaded it with those things the officials said we should take with us. We loaded a few changes of clothing our important papers and our dog, Patches. We went to pick up an older gentlemen whose daughter could not pick him up because she lived north of Lake Ponchartrain which was already nearly impassible. He was a member of our church and we faithfully picked him up for every service because he could hardly walk on his own. Looking back now we know he would not be alive if we had not gone to get him out of his house. We drove through the night. At first we could not go over fifteen miles an hour across the twin spans, an eight mile long bridge across the lake a bridge that today is largely destroyed. The winds came just behind us only hours later and washed the spans that weigh thousands of tons into the water like toothpicks in a bathtub. In time we got up to about fifty but not once did we ever reach the speed limit. We arrived at a friends house near Birmingham Alabama where we stayed for two days. We contacted the old gents family and arranged for his family to come and pick him up. The power went out several times throughout the second night as the winds gusted and threatened Old Birmingham. On the third day only hours after Katrina had moved above Jackson Mississippi did we began the 450 mile trek to my wife’s sisters house in West Baton Rouge Parish. We listened to the radio reports with some measure of hope that all was not that bad. Our hearts began to sink as hour by hour reports came in about broken levees and rising waters. Over the next two weeks we followed all the news reports and searched for friends and pictures from our neighborhood on the internet. During the first week it was totally impossible to get a call through to anywhere from Alabama to East Texas. It was a long dark moment of knowing nothing at all about anyone or anything we ever knew. The news began to trickle in slowly but none of it was good. We saw pictures of our neighborhood with water up to the roofs. We slowly got reports from people we knew who were scattered all across the country in places they had gone to take refuge. Some of them said they would never return. Next came reports and pictures of toxic laden mud through out our Parish and talk of houses that needed to be bulldozed into the ground that was said to be uninhabitable. Rescues of people, animals and the retrieving of bodies went on with all the pictures being shown daily on Baton Rouge TV stations. If things weren’t glum enough then we began the business of trying to call FEMA and Red Cross. My wife must have dialed FEMA over 500 times before getting through. Then we were promised a packet in the mail after they took our information. We have still not reached the Red Cross and they are still talking about gathering 40,000 volunteers to help answer the phones. The insurance company that covered our house informed us that their coverage would cover our house only and no more but they are not sure they can do anything without seeing the house. But no one is seeing our house not even us. The St. Bernard Parish President Junior Rodrigues held a news conference in the capitol building here last night and spoke of months before residents could return, not weeks. Only hours before this bad news came in we went to get shots to protect us from a host of diseases that we could get if and when we do return. Our bank accounts were not accessible and money doesn’t grow on trees even in this fertile Mississippi valley so I thought I’d make an appeal on my own little one page website. Now we feel as if we are caught between the warnings people are hearing about fraudulent sites collecting for Red Cross and other organizations and indifference. No one as yet has responded to the appeal but then only 35 or 40 people a day click on my site. My wife volunteered her help in feeding some 200 people in a shelter here. She helped prepare the food and serve it. The food was provided by a small Baptist church in Erwinville Louisiana. Later we visited the people in the shelter and are continuing to do so when we are not knocking our heads on the wall in the biggest communications nightmare in the history of the telephone. We asked one family if there was something we could get for them in the shelter, they asked for a bible. We purchased it the next day and delivered it to them in person. That warmed us greatly, not the giving of the bible but the request for it. Unlike stories out of the Superdome this was a wonderful family of black Americans that had a different set of values. And thousands like them are suffering and waiting to begin their lives again, just as we are. We have had several invitations to go and live with family and friends in other towns and in other states but we are staying close to New Orleans to attempt a look see and to retrieve what we can. So far all we are hearing is “stay away” and of course the endless buzzing of the busy signal from the aid organizations. We are a praying couple, and when we talk to Jesus we are sure he is saying, I love you and I will take care of it all. We believe Him and we are very grateful that his line was not busy.
Do you ever ponder the meaning of life? Why are we here? Perhaps these questions surface when we receive news we'd rather not receive, the passing of an uncle, a beloved aunt, a friend's spouse who died for the wrong reason. I'm not sure I believe myself when I justify the news by saying this is the circle of life. I don't make a habit of reading the obituary columns in the newspaper but occasionally I read about strangers. Many have experienced a long and full life, contributed to society in a meaningful way, were visible within their community. I think how proud their family must be, I also imagine the hurt and grief they are experiencing. I read about the 42-year old father who has succumbed to cancer and leaves behind a wife and two children and I wonder how this is fair. My heart aches when I read about the young child tragically killed in an accident as my eyes fill with tears. I'm no stranger to death. It scares me and I don't deal well with it. I find death emotionally overwhelming. It is hurt, compassion, sadness, pain, empathy, love all rolled together that hits like a tsunami. I've lost high school friends to accidents, drugs, and disease. I've seen first hand the impact on a family when their young daughter took her own life. Like so many others, I have said goodbye to relatives only after they have gone. I don't know why I’m so impacted by death. Its not that I think about it all the time. Maybe I subconsciously fear the loss of a parent, a sibling, a family member. Perhaps I'm selfish, a coward who doesn't want to die. Young people seldom think of death, they are to busy living life as if they are invincible. Old people tend to prepare for death and accept the event as a natural and inevitable occurrence. Experience and reality have tempered their emotions. The grief and hurt is still there, so is the reflection on the positive aspects of the individual's life. For some, their biggest worry is if they will out live their friends, who will attend their funeral. Maybe this aging process will help me to become less sensitive to the loss of not only those I love, but to those I have only read about in the newspaper. I am thankful my fear of death is more than offset by my passion for life. So it should be. So where does this discussion of death take us? It could be to the end of a journey, or the beginning of a new one depending on your beliefs. If you were to have a tombstone, what would it read? Here we are back to the question, what is our mission, our purpose, our goal? One accolade might read, "Here lays an honest person who cared about the people around her, respected others and made a positive difference in the lives of everyone she encountered." If we envision how we want others to remember us, it might provide a valuable compass to aid us down the path of life. In a perfect world, perhaps caring and understanding might extend well beyond our community and our country. Imagine a common bond based on a desire for truth, justice, peace, and mutual respect. We can’t do a lot about death. We can very much impact life - our own and others.
We all want to live a life that has an impact on the people around us and the family that comes after us. Often times the best way to learn about those around us, our family history and those people that shaped our lives, is by reading their life story. So much can be learned by reading someone’s obituary but that sometimes only scratches the service of how a person lived, what they loved and how much they were loved. An online memorial can help keep a memory alive and help you celebrate the life of a love one. An online memorial website is more creative than an obituary and is a great way to share memories and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us. You can spend minutes, hours or days creating an online memorial for someone you knew and loved. There are many online services that are designed specifically to host such tributes. To get the most out of a life story page, find one where you can share memories, photos, videos and access it from anywhere in the world. Creating a life story page is simple. It does not take any special computer skills or expensive equipment to put one together. The virtual memorial that you create should remain online for an indefinite period of time. This allows friends, family and even future generations to view the memorial and leave their own personal tributes and condolences. Many services do allow online memorials to be created and password protected, for added privacy. Grieving over the death of someone you loved is one of the most difficult and emotionally wrenching experiences you will go through in your lifetime. To truly move on from such a powerful and devastating experience, each person must find what allows them to move through their grief. Many activities and coping techniques are found to work for people, but each person will need to find a way to do so in a way best suited for them. By providing a place of remembrance for a loved one, a virtual memorial can give the strength to be able to heal and move forward with our lives. When becoming overwhelmed by an emotion, whether it is sadness, regret, guilt, or even happiness at certain memories, visiting an online memorial to the deceased can help. These sites host information about family history, anecdotes about your loved one’s life and pictures of key moments you shared with them. Remembering these things and spending a moment appreciating the times you did spend with them can have a significant effect on your mood and overall long-term healing. We all create a life story we hope will live on after we are gone and effect generations after us. By writing these stories down for family, friends and sometimes strangers to read, acknowledge and appreciate, we are ensuring that a loved one’s life lives on after death. We all want to celebrate the people who have made a lasting impression on us. ~ Ben Anton, 2008
Often times when a relationship ends there are things left unsaid and questions left unanswered. Through the use of this technique you can resolve these issues and allow yourself to move on and let go of the past. This technique can also be used with those that are now deceased. Sit yourself in a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Ideally have an empty chair or seat opposite you. Close your eyes for a moment, and take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to relax and let go. When you open your eyes imagine that you can see the person with whom things are left unsaid sitting opposite you. All you need to do is to pretend they are there, so if you think you are having problems visualising just pretend. Say to the person whatever is on your mind, whatever you want to release. If there is a situation that you want to resolve, for example the break down of a relationship then talk about that. When you have finished you may want a response from them. If so then go and sit in the other chair and pretend you are them answering back. Keep your mind focussed on what was said when you do and allow the answer to flow. Remember that if you consciously say what you want to hear rather than what you really hear you are only cheating yourself, no one else. When they have finished speaking, sit back in your original chair. Keep up the conversation, moving from chair to chair assuming the other person's persona when in their chair until the conversation comes to an end. Then return to your original chair and thank them for their time before going about your business. This technique is incredible valuable for letting go of pain, guilt and hurt from any sort of relationship, not just romantic relationships. Often when performing this technique you will be surprised by the answers that you receive from the other person. You can engage your sub-conscious in releasing the past through the Releasing Emotional Blocks Audio CD and the Karmic Cleansing program.
: Flowers have been displayed at the time of one's passing in nearly every culture throughout time, and their importance continues today. At funerals, wakes, memorials, and cremation services, flowers and plants are a sensitive way to commemorate the life of the departed, express heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family, and provide an important element of natural beauty in an otherwise somber environment. Family and friends often comment on the artistry, color, and fragrance of sympathy flowers, helping to aide conversation and soften the sorrow. An outpouring of flowers or a particularly striking floral tribute may be remembered long after the funeral as one of the most uplifting symbols of support. In the weeks that follow, flowers, gift baskets, and other expressions sent to the home are also important, as family members adjust to their grief. If you would like to express your sympathy to someone but are unsure what types of flowers or other gestures may best fit the situation, here are a few suggestions from experts to help. Showing You Care The most important consideration is to show you care, for the deceased, the bereaved family, and other loved ones who will be gathered. Flowers are one critical component, because they show tribute and honor to the life of the deceased. When considering what type of sympathy flowers may be most appropriate, consider that life. Bright flowers may be best to describe a fruitful life and convey the joy of fondest memories. Pale pastels are appropriate for a soft, feminine touch, while Autumn tones convey a more masculine theme. Pure white blossoms denote purity, grace, and peace. Roses, especially red ones, express undying love. Making It Personal If you'd like to personalize your tribute even more, your local florist can help. You might consider incorporating a favorite flower, personal item, or picture of the family. For someone who loved gardening, you might consider a gathering basket of garden fresh flowers with a just-picked look. For someone of faith, you might prefer a cross, Madonna, or other icon. Funeral flowers can be designed in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including insignias and sports items, as well as more traditional wreaths and sprays. Of course, flowers aren't the only way to show you care. Other gestures are important as well. Providing dinner for the family some evening can be so helpful, especially for families including children or elderly. A thoughtful letter, informal outing, or contribution to a favorite charity are excellent options, too. These additional gestures compliment the thoughtfulness of your sympathy flowers, adding an extra personal touch that will be greatly appreciated. Knowing How Much to Spend The cost of funerals is steadily increasing. Fortunately, there are flowers for almost every budget. You can express yourself eloquently with something as simple as a single perfect rose, as economical as a modest mixed arrangement, or as striking as a grande standing spray of elegant roses and lilies. For gifts to the funeral home or memorial service, fresh flower arrangements in vases and fan-shaped sympathy designs are usually best, because they provide the most impact for your money. Sympathy flowers come in a broad range of sizes and price ranges. The choice is up to you, but remember there may be other floral tributes displayed in close proximity. So, you don't want to skimp on size. For a nice table arrangement, plan on spending about $50 to $70, with fancier styles running $75 and up. For a larger standing piece, $100 to $150 is common. For gifts to the home, both flowers and plant are popular, with prices typically in the $35 to $60 range. What about "in lieu of flowers?" At the suggestion of well-meaning friends or advisors, families sometimes include a phrase in the obituary announcement such as, "In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to..." Of course, most families sincerely appreciate all personal expressions of support and may later regret having too few flowers at the funeral. A more appropriate phrase for many might be, "In addition to flowers..." or simply, "Contributions appreciated to..." Use your best judgement, but keep in mind that the "in lieu of" terminology is usually intended to encourage charitable gifts rather than discourage other expressions. Tasteful sympathy flowers are almost always appropriate in addition to charitable giving. I didn't find out until after the funeral! Even if you didn't know about the funeral until after it was over, you can still convey your love and respect. Family members need your thoughts, prayers, and personal expressions long after the funeral is over. Flowers and other gestures are a sensitive and appropriate way to let them know that they are not alone. After all, one of the best ways to honor those who have passed is to support those they have left behind. Are there other ways that I can help? The best thing you can do is to let family members know that you care. Help with meals, provide child care, drop by with a gift or card, or simply call. Everyone responds to loss differently, but reaching out reminds people they're not alone. You're care may help distract them from their grief allowing an easier transition into a normal routine. In other words, just being there is the best thing you can do to help. From the people at 1-800-Florals and the Society of American Florists. For additional information and floral tributes, visit Sympathy Flowers online. Permission is granted to republish this article in its entirety on the Internet, as long as the credit and link above are included.
Below you will find many memorial and remembrance ideas that you can use to keep the memory of your loved one alive. After the funeral, memorial service or life celebration many people wish to have something permanent as a reminder of the person that they loved and lost. It may help to think about what was important to the person you lost. What did they value? What made them smile? Perhaps by beginning there, the appropriate memorial will present itself. Here are 10 ideas that may help to guide you. - You can plant a tree in their memory. You can find tree seedlings on the internet. You could also buy a tree at a local nursery. - Have your love one's photo placed on a stamp. This also would be ideal for the thank you notes you will be sending for the flowers, donations and the help you will be receiving. Get more information here photo. stamps/PhotoStamps/learn-more/. On the anniversary of their death or on their birthday, consider sending a card or a memorial gift to close friends and relatives. - Donate a memorial bench, if they loved golf, their favorite golf course may welcome the donation of a memorial bench. You may also consider purchasing a plaque or a brick in their name to help fund a community project. - Have a star in the sky named after your loved one. - Plant a section in the garden each year with their favorite flowers, you also may want to add a stepping stone or rock with their name on it in their special section of the garden. Consider each year sharing flowers from that section of the garden with the family and friends of your loved one. - Start a college scholarship in their name. - Create a video or DVD from photos and video or movie clips. This video can be played at family gatherings and on the person’s birthday or anniversary of their death. You can also easily make copies to share with close friends and relatives. - Create a book of memories for the deceased’s family. Have friends and family write on note cards and include the note cards with photos in the book. You may also want to include newspaper articles about the deceased, the obituary etc. - Create a memorial on the web – there are several websites that allow loved ones to memorialize the deceased through video, pictures, and voice recordings. - Keep a journal of your memories, your thoughts and what you learned from your loved one. Dealing with a loss of a loved one is so difficult. It’s important to do what brings you peace-of-mind. Focusing on a memorial may help you through the grief process and allow you to focus on the unique and positive aspects of your loved ones life and how that life can be remembered and celebrated for years to come.
One of the most common mistakes in a relationship is the rebound. For those of you who do not know what a rebound relationship is, let’s start with that. The definition of a rebound relationship is jumping into a committed relationship very quickly after the end of a committed relationship. Many people fall into this type of trap as they are trying to move on from a break up. There are healthy ways to get past the dissolution of a relationship and a rebound relationship definitely does not belong in that list. There are many reasons not to rebound with someone right after a committed relationship. Some of them include trying to replace an ex, not enough time to heal, and you can hurt the person you start dating. First of all, dating someone on the rebound is not a good idea because many people who date on the rebound are trying to replace their ex. Many people in this position have low self-esteem and rebound in order to have someone to be with. Loneliness can be a very motivating factor to push someone into a relationship before they are ready. Do not let this happen to you. The break up of a relationship is painful and there is not a quick fix to get over it. Respect yourself enough to just take the time you need to get over this hurtful experience. Rebounding will not help you get over the breakup or replace your ex significant other. It will only cause problems in your life. Another reason you do not want to try to rebound is that you will not have enough time to heal. This was talked about briefly when discussing trying to replace your ex. Respecting yourself and getting to know yourself again is the only way to get over being dumped. Jumping into another serious relationship does not allow enough time for you to do either of these things. Take some much needed time to grieve over your relationship, and then you can decide what type of role you want to have in the dating game. There is no hurry, so don’t rush. Playing it safe and smart after a break up is always a good idea. A final reason that you don’t want to get immediately back into a relationship when you get dumped or break up with someone is that there are other people’s feelings to consider. Think about if you jump into a serious relationship and then realize you aren’t ready for it. The person you are dating might be extremely hurt by this. Considering others’ feelings is very important as you do not want any more hard feelings between you and another person. If you move too quickly into a relationship and then back out, that leaves the other person possibly devastated. Moving more slowly into a relationship can help better the chances that someone else may be hurt. Obviously rebounds are not a healthy way to get back into the dating scene. So many things can go wrong if you do this, and risking more pain when you are not over the first heartache will not help. Take time to get over your broken relationship, learn about yourself and who you are, and what you want out of a new relationship. By doing this, you may spare yourself and someone else the pain of another break up.
: There is so much emphasis on emotional intelligence these days that it appears that people are suppressing their emotions and problems in an effort to "fit in," to keep their jobs, and using "positive self-talk" to muscle through the rough spots in their lives. Recently, I had a friend over who has suffered enormous job stress during a time when his wife's father was dying of cancer. Of course, quitting his job didn't seem like an option during this difficult period, particularly since his wife returned to her parental home for many months to say good-bye to her dying father. That left him at home to take care of their children, pay the bills, and so on. Who can forge positively into a new job-search with all that going on? After his father-in-law passed away his wife returned home and he lost his job - as did many of his colleagues - and his wife decided she no longer wanted to remain married. What else could go wrong? OH! Of course! His father could be diagnosed with cancer: He was. Now he is living a complete hell, with all of this turmoil, and two sweet children looking to him for stability. Is it any wonder that people are cracking under the strain? He is all alone and he tries to be "emotionally together" but that only causes more harm than good. We (society), in our need for order and stability, don't want people with all these problems in our lives. We don't want them working in our office. They're broken! Well, the truth is, our (society) expectations around emotional intelligence, and together, full-functioning adults, is what is breaking them. I spent three hours with him the other night, acknowledging his horrific circumstances, his emotional turmoil, and gave him permission to embrace it all. He's not broken, he's experiencing emotional pain and it needs to be expressed, embraced, and worked through (processed.) It's not enough that he embrace it eithermunity is required to surround, love, heal, and regenerate. So, when we see hurting people, don't look at them as broken people who haven't got their act together. Look at them as someone who needs a bit of kindness, generosity, and loving support. Watch the power those simple things can have in their life. Caveat:This does not condone people remaining disempowered victims for the rest of their lives. Our role is to embrace and still to empower, leaving the "wounded one" to take responsibility for their recovery. Embrace, love, and challenge.