Newsletter of The Compassionate Friends, Inc.

Atlanta Area Chapters

January - February 2001

 "The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families in the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child and to provide information to help others be supportive."

A Nonprofit Self-Help Organization for Families Who Have Experienced the Death of a Child


I wish you all a blessing 
As the New Year approaches us all 
May this year bring gentle memories 
Of our child that God has called

I wish you all some sunshine 
That clouds can cover on some days 
I pray your hearts will mend 
As mine has along the way

I thank God for our TCF "family" 
and the Online Sharing each day 
For so many are always there 
To help so many find their way

I wish I could take each one of you 
And show you what I've learned 
As time has helped my own heart 
Your feelings are my concern

The Holidays are the hardest 
As you all very well know 
Yet we can find healing 
As the New Year unfolds

May you all know I'm thinking 
About each and every one of you 
I give you all my blessing 
And hope the New year is gentle for you

Sharon Bryant, TCF Atlanta Online Sharing (Alabama) 


    Poetry has always been a release to me for feelings and thoughts that I could not always express in any other way. I was totally devastated when I first sat down to write shortly after my daughter died and found that nothing would come out. I was afraid I would never be able to get all of those raw emotions out. For 16 long months now, since the death of my daughter Krissy, That inner voice of mine that always found it so easy to write poetry has been silent. Not one word, until today. I would like to share this poem I wrote. 


I know who you are...I see your face reflected in mine.
Ravaged by tears, distorted by the pain of a lifetime
You are a parent of a child who now lives on in your heart
Joined in spirit, though physically torn apart

To live between two worlds is now our task
To be recognized by others, we all have a mask
But in the abyss, in the darkness of the in between
We often fall to our knees, tearing away the pretense and silently scream.

I know who you are, your voice sounds as familiar as mine.
It calls out, vibrating throughout all of eternity, searching. Trying to find.
"Where are you my child? I hear you in my mind, but I cannot find the way.
Somehow I have gotten lost, where are all of my yesterdays?"

In the void, a child's voice has fallen silent. Deafening silence, echoing cries..
We are left to follow each other in the darkness, always asking Why?

Into the unknown, we stumble along. The sun will rise and another day will begin.
But the only light I can see is in the outstretched hand of a kindred soul, another grieving friend.

I know who you are…your heart is shattered, your soul is broken, just like mine..
And though the pieces may fit back together, one tiny fragment at a time
We will never again be whole, for there is a gap in our lives where our child should be
The child that lives in our hearts, dances deep in our souls, laughs in our memories.

I know who you are...I can feel your pain
We will never be the same

I cry the same tears
We have the same fears
Alone in a crowd,
We both cried aloud

As our dreams came to an end.
I know you, my grieving friend.

You are not alone, look in the mirror and you will see
Standing next to a reflection of me.

Lisa Comstock, Florence, KY - TCF Atlanta Online

Book Review

Children of the Dome

    by Rosemary Smith

    Book review by Teal Snapp, Atlanta (Tucker) TCF

    Many of us have been "fellow travelers" for several years.  We have never
    missed a parent support group meeting, and we've read everything we can get our hands on.  We tend to feel as if we've said everything there is to say, and have heard everything there is to hear about grief for a child.

    Obviously, because I thought my child would live forever, I've been wrong before.  I was wrong again.  The first thing I learned from this book is that we should never become complacent about our grief.

    Twenty eight families have written chapters about their lives before, during and after the deaths of their children.  The children died at all ages and from many causes.  As I read each of these stories, I found myself constantly referring to the photographs of the children and, by the end of the chapters, I felt I'd been in sharing session with the parents and "knew" the children well.

    These parents described events in the lives of their children that helped me remember a forgotten moment, characteristic, or experience of my own child's.  Many of the parents' grief experiences were similar to mine, but they had different perspectives.  I found it healing to review my own grief processing from different angles.  I was able to reconsider issues I had previously dealt with, and to make new resolutions.  One story in particular helped me reaffirm that children are people who have choices to make; they make decisions for themselves no matter what parents say or feel or do.

    All of these families have found ways of coping, so readers will find ideas for their own lives.  There are new ideas for creating memorials.  Most of these families describe 'signs' or communications received from their children.  I would recommend this book to all bereaved parents.

    [The dome in the entryway of the Cumberland Inn in Williamsburg KY is painted with cherubs and symbols of children who have died.]


    --By Marilyn Heavilin TCF Redlands

    We are fast approaching Valentine's Day, filled with symbols of love ... hearts and roses. As a young schoolgirl, I can remember wishing I would get a valentine from someone special. My friends and I would count how many valentines we had received, feeling certain that the more you received, the more it indicated your popularity.

    As I grew older, I was thrilled when I received flowers from that special someone. Surely this was, true love. As a married woman, Valentine's Day was always special. Glen and I usually went out to dinner, and I often received flowers or a special gift that said, I love you! While those gifts were much appreciated, I would be hard pressed now to tell you what we did or what I received.

    However, one Valentine's Day will stay frozen in my memory forever, February 14, 1983. Glen took my arm and steadied me as I walked into a mortuary to view the body of our 17 year old son Nathan, who had been killed by a drunken driver on February 10. We had ordered a spray of
    seventeen red roses to be placed on his casket. When I ordered those flowers, I was stunned to discover how high priced roses are on Valentine's Day! At first, I had decided I would be content with carnations. Then the florist saw in my eyes how much I wanted my last gift to my son to be the very best…red, long stemmed roses. The florist promised she would provide us with roses, regardless of how little we could afford to pay.

    That afternoon, I drank in every detail of my boy, his hair, the bruise on his face, the National Honor Society pin on his lapel, those wonderful, strong hands. Then I pulled myself together for a very special appointment. I was the Academic Counselor at Nathan's high school, and we had arranged a special viewing for the students prior to the general visitation. I watched as young girls brought beautiful bouquets of red roses they had received from their boyfriends, but now they were placing them below our son's casket. Their final act of love for a very dear

    It has taken me a long time to be able to actually celebrate Valentine's Day in a normal fashion. In fact, I guess I never will be able to do that. Valentine's Day is no longer a superficial type of holiday where I just send cards or give candy or flowers without much deliberation beforehand. The symbols are still there; I just see them differently now:

    THE ROSE: A symbol of love that cannot be separated by death. 

    THE HEART: Broken, bruised, and bandaged, but not

    And now, there's one more symbol:

    The HAND: As we offer our hands to each other in friendship, in understanding, in strength, we are saying:


    May your Valentine's Day be filled with roses that will encourage your broken heart and give you strength to offer a helping hand to others who are grieving.


A Piece of Our Heart

When I met my wife to be,
I knew she was the one for me.

I wasn't sure about having a child,
Not that I was irresponsible or wild!

The world just seemed to be a mess,
My future, my plans…only a guess.

We planned, we married, decided on two,
Maybe a third. if our plans fell through.

I pampered and coached, and watched the birth,
No greater moments have I felt on earth!

Like a flower blooming, they unfold,
From mother's warmth to the outside cold.

Jessica then Sarah, we did have two,
Nineteen months apart but not a clue,
As to what these tiny ones could do!

They both grew and made us proud,
One kind of quiet, one really loud!
Both easy to pick out of a crowd!

Now we have one, the other we lost,
An accident they say, at what cost?

She left for school that morning, a drive so far,
A trip made easier in her red, sun roofed car!

A man in a truck stopped her journey that day,
A red light ignored …the police did say.

A daughter, a friend, no longer will talk..
Shop.. see a movie…go for a walk!

We have pictures and memories, but it's not the same,
As seeing her smile.. after saying her name.

A piece of our heart died that day,
No matter what's done or what folks say,
Our Jessica is gone…far, far away!!!

by Dan Bryl, Lawrenceville, GA TCF

In Memory of his daughter Jessica Lyn Bryl

January 19, 1977 - April 3, 2000


    The loss of an only child is neither greater nor less than the loss of one of many children.  However, the loss of an only child is experienced differently.  It is different because you lose your parenthood, which is such a large part of the life of any parent.

    1. With the death of an only child, you lose the one person who could use all of the love you had to give every hour of every day.

     a. One of the secrets of parenthood is that from birth, children teach us that we have a greater capacity for unselfish love than we thought possible.
     b. When your only child dies, you may feel that you are drowning in the parental love your heart continues to generate for the child you have lost.

    2. With the death of an only child, you lose so much of your own future that was tied to your child's future.

     a. The first day of school
     b. Sports
     c. Learning to drive
     d. A first crush, a first date, a first heartbreak
     e. High school
     f. College
     g. Career
     h. Marriage
      i. Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren

    Your only child lost all of this from his or her future.  And so did you.

    3. With the death of an only child, you suffer many tiny losses that cause pain only another grieving parent can comprehend.

    a. You have lost the joy of checking the cereal aisle to see if Cocoa Puffs are on sale.
      b. You have lost the reason to keep up with the top ten hits on the pop music charts.
      c. You have lost the joy of caring what prize is in a box of Cracker Jack.
     d. You have lost the joy of getting up early on a Saturday morning for kids soccer, basketball, or bowling.
     e. You have lost the reason to hope for a December snow.
    f. You have lost the person who thought you made the best cocoa on a cool December evening.
      g. For me, I lost a gentle, kind, generous child who loved, watched for, and shared beautiful sunsets.

    The loss of an only child is a devastating loss.  Your child has lost his or her life.  And you have lost an important piece of your own life, your parenthood.  The Compassionate Friends chapter near you is there to help you acknowledge and grieve these losses by sharing your pain with others who have known their own pain.

    by Bill Snapp, Atlanta (Tucker) TCF
    In Memory of his son Billy Snapp 6/23/81 - 2/25/96 

    "Human pain does not let go of its grip at one point in time. Rather, it works its way out of our consciousness over time. There is a season of sadness. A season of anger. A season of tranquility. A season of hope. But seasons do not follow one another in a lock-step manner, at least not for those in crisis. The winters and springs of one's life are all jumbled together in a puzzling array. One day we feel as though the dark clouds have lifted, but the next day they have returned. One moment we can smile but a few hours after, the tears emerge…It is true that as we take two steps forward in our journey, we may take one or more steps backward. But when one affirms that the spring thaw will arrive the winter winds seem to lose some of their punch. 

    "A Gift of Hope" How we Survive Our Tragedies Robert Venigna, 1985 (Provo Chapter TCF Newsletter)

The Piano Sits Silent

I etch her name in the dust.
Run my hands over the keyboard, 
too long untouched
by the pianist; 
The one no longer
physically here,
who played the songs,
badly at times, 
yet was unstoppable in
her need to make music.
As if it was her mission
to learn to get it right.
As if she knew there was little time
to master the melody. 
So she played and played.
Melancholy tunes
that spoke of lives gone too soon. 
I would call to her,
"You're playing too loud,
I can't hear myself think."
If I could just take back those words,
for I long to hear my 
beloved child play the music,
that once rang through these halls.
Those uneven strains would be
the sweetest music to my ears. 
I touch the ivories and hear
the foreign sound of this long 
silent instrument.
And remember my precious child,
remember the joy 
her efforts brought her...
Remembering, remembering....
Though my tears fall gently,
my heart smiles as I
recall the sweet sounds of her life.
And even as the piano sits silent, 
My memories resound 
and I recall the love, always the love. 

Cathy Seehuetter, TCF - St. Paul, MN.

    The Piano Sits Silent - I wrote this poem to share with all my Atlanta Sharing friends. I wrote it in memory of my precious Nina. She played piano, violin, and clarinet...not always well, but  she loved music. She seemed to always play sons from "Beaches", Terms of Endearment", "Philadelphia"...sad, sad songs. After she died I wondered why; did she know subconsiously what was to be? She lived life to the fullest, as if there was little time to accomplish all she wanted to, as if she knew. So many things make me wonder. ~Cathy Seehuetter

    Dear Cathy,

    Thank you for sharing your poem "The Piano Sits Silent".   It is a beautiful poem, and so sad, also.   But that is such a big part of our life ~ sorrows and beautiful memories.    Thank you for sharing Nina with us through this poem - the love you have for her comes through every line.     It made me think of so many things that I have of my son James'
    - the soccer ball that no longer gets kicked around, the books that are unopened and unread, the backpack that doesn't get packed anymore, the soccer shoes that no longer gather mud, the sleeping bag that is empty,..... 

    I could so relate to "if I could just take back those words" - don't we all say that for one reason or another.  So many things left unsaid, or things that were said and regretted....

    I hope you continue to share Nina through poetry.   She had the gift of music, even if, as you said, didn't always play well, but she had the love of the melody and the rhythm of sound and it seems as though her love has given you the gift of soul-reaching poetry. 

    Meg Avery, TCF, Lawrenceville, GA
    James' Mom

    Hidden Gifts - 
    Learning to Find Meaning Without our Missing Pieces

    After running across an oil painting I painted over 20 years ago, it reminded me of a story of a young woman. I would like to share that story with you now. 

    I was in my late twenties with two small children and taking life and all it is for granted. I have always loved "art" and as I passed an art store I saw the most beautiful oil painting of daisies and butterflies. The colors and texture were lovely. There was a sign with the painting "Oil Classes next week".

    I went in and inquired and they said the instructor would be having a class next week and we would be painting the picture in the window. I had painted a few pictures but certainly was only an amateur. I immediately signed up for the class. 

    Next week arrived and I was eager to get started. There were six ladies in the class. We all had our easels, canvas and paints ready to go. As our instructor entered the room, everyone became very quite. Jeannie, the instructor, was a beautiful young lady just a few years older than myself. We all knew Jeannie was a gifted artist, but what we did not know was Jeannie only had one arm.

    Jeannie was very aware of how people reacted to her physical appearance. I chose not to use the words "handicap" or "disability" because as the story continues you will realize these are not synonyms. 

    Jeannie knew we all were wanting to know her story and looking back on it now, I am sure she wanted to share it. 

    Jeannie had been diagnosed with bone cancer six years earlier. She was in her early twenties at the time and married. The cancer had spread and they had to remove her right arm about six inches above her elbow. 

    Needless to say this devastated Jeannie's life. This was the worst thing that had ever happened to her and she couldn't imagine anything any worse. She shared with us feelings of not wanting to live, anger, depression, isolation, denial, struggles and final acceptance. (Does any of this sound familiar?) She was broken. How do you recover? How do you learn to live again?

    She shared stories of how difficult the simplest things were. I remember her trying to demonstrate how she would curl her hair with hair curlers with only one hand. For those of you old enough to remember, it took two hands - one to curl the hair on the roller and one to hold it while the other hand would reach down and get a pin to hold the roller in place. Imagine doing this with one hand. Could you do it?

    Jeannie said it took a lot of practice but she did manage to learn to curl her hair with one hand. I went home and tried to do it and thought to myself - this is impossible and I am glad I don't have to learn how to do this because I don't think I could. I remember thinking "I couldn't do as well as Jeannie has done…I just don't know what I would do". (Has anyone every said that to your before?) 

    Jeannie was sharing that she stayed in denial and deep depression for several years until someone suggested her getting some paint and brushes and practice using her other hand making brush strokes. At first she said "no" but the friend purchased her everything she needed and Jeannie began practicing….learning to use her other hand. The more she practiced the better she got until four year's later she was painting the most beautiful oil paintings.

    In reflecting back on Jeannie's story, I can see so many things that are so similar to that of a bereaved parent's journey. After Jeannie's surgery, she was no longer physically whole as we are no longer whole after the death of our child. Her loss was visible though ours is not. All of us now have a part of our heart missing only it is not visible to someone else. 

    Jeannie's life changed that day as our changed when our child died. We all experienced similar emotions and feelings… denial, anger, depression, and guilt. We all have to work though those emotions. We all begin to "mend" the body and mind and soul with out the missing piece…..realizing it can never be like it was before. Jeannie's arm will never grow back, as our child will never return to us in this life, but she chooses to accept that and finds different means in which to function…to have quality and meaning back in her life in spite of her missing part. 

    She focused on abilities she did not know she had. She realized a Gift of Painting that she would never have discovered had her life altering experience not happened. We as bereaved parents can also relate to that. We now have the Gift of Understanding and Compassion to those who have lost a child which very few of us would have had if our life experience had been different. 

    Another comparison Jeannie also shared was even though her arm was gone she was still able to feel it. It would itch and she would reach to scratch it only to realize it

    was gone. We as bereaved parents also have those feelings. We can feel our child's presence only to look and realize they are not there. Gone only physically, same as Jeannie's arm, but NEVER to be gone in our minds and hearts and souls. (Maybe if Jeannie had been born with only one arm as if we had never had our children - ONLY then would we NEVER miss what we did not have.) 

    The holes in our heart and soul will never grow back, like Jeannie's arm, but we can chose to find alternate ways to find meaning in our lives. I think all of us, including Jeannie, would gladly give all these gifts back if we could have our children back or Jeannie could have her arm back, but since that is not an opinion, I think all of us want to find a way to find meaning to how our lives are now. 

    Reflecting back on this story, I can parallel so many emotions and struggles that we as bereaved parents go through. As I look at the painting of daisies and "Butterflies" I wonder if it was just a coincidence or was that part of a Master Plan. As I listened to Jeannie's story over 20 years ago, I could only try to imagine what she was feeling but yet I retained everything she shared. It has been stored in my subconscious and only until I pulled out that old painting several weeks ago did I begin to make comparisons of our losses.

    I feel I can understand Jeannie's loss much better now. I admired her determination to move forward back then and thus I am hopeful I will be able to use Jeannie as an example and I hope I can find my "hidden" strengths and gifts I did not know I had before my son died. Our lives here are Our Journey - most things we have little control over but we all have control over some things - things such as "finding meaning deep in our soul because of our child's death". 

    I hope I was able to share Jeannie's story in a way you could relate to. I hope we can all find our "hidden gifts and abilities" in spite of our missing pieces. I hope that those gifts will help ease the pain and make all of our sorrows softer. Search for your hidden gifts, and hopefully in that you will find a meaning and purpose in spite of our missing parts.

    Jayne Newton, TCF Atlanta
    In Memory of My Son Chad 5/21/72 - 9/3/96

    (A Child’s reply)

    Where I am now you cannot see,

    For I am spirit, fancy free.

    Where shadows end, no day or night;

    I am in heaven, in the light.

    And so wherever you may roam,

    Remember now that I am home.

    Quite different to the one I left;

    It’s sad to see you’re still bereft.

    So here I stay where there is peace.

    No hurt, no pain, just sweet release.

    I was the product of your love

    A child sent down from up above,

    To walk a brief time there with you;

    A life of hope and meaning too.

    I know you wanted me to stay

    And even though you knelt to pray,

    The angels came and lifted me

    High up above the clouds to see

    Another time, another space

    Where love surrounds this holy place.

    Remember me but do not grieve,

    I’m happy now, you must believe.

    So keep the faith although it’s hard

    For you to go that extra yard.

    I am at peace, I’ll say again

    There is just sunshine here, no rain.

    So live your lives so full and free

    And maybe sometimes cry for me;

    You’re only human proud and tall,

    Whilst I’m an angel after all.

    John Bartlett TCF Queensland Australia

    I just finished reading the book "Living With Loss, Healing With Hope" by Rabbi Earl A. Grollman and wanted to share these paragraphs. This last paragraph says so much!

    Death has led you to the edge of an abyss of desolation. It has threatened to overwhelm you with despair and meaninglessness. Now you must begin to build a bridge across the abyss through those things that count the most - memory, family, friendship, and love. Try to strike that delicate balance between a yesterday that should be remembered and a tomorrow that must be created.

    ~shared by Meg Avery, (James Mom) Lawrenceville TCF 

    "Angels Undercover"
    by Becky Sharpe, Atlanta TCF
    For all my angels - Christmas, 2000

    There's no one size fits all notion
    in the guardian angel rule book.
    It's plain as you can see.
    All you have to do is really look,
    It's very clear to me.

    See, people come in XXL, Petite, and in between.
    They're wrinkly, smooth and smelly 
    and sometimes they can be mean.
    They're sensitive and funny, serious and sad.
    They drink and smoke and swear a lot and yes
    sometimes, they're bad.

    So angels in this world are very, very flexible.
    Cause taking on the human form is so damned irresistible.
    What fun would it be to float to earth radiant light
    When blending in like one of  "them" feels just so
    awfully right?

    I think I saw one on the street just the other day.
    She smiled and said a quick "hello" 
    then hurried on her way.
    A clever one disguised himself

    with jeans and shoes with holes.
    But I saw right through his thin disguise...He knew
    the best fishing holes.

    Another angel I have seen reads books and goes to school.
    She works so hard and is so kind and follows all the rules.
    She watches and she listens to see who might need a friend
    And she steps in oh so quietly...
    Her compassion knows no end.

    Another angel comes to me when I am feeling down.
    Sometimes his hair is pretty wild and his clothes 
    much like a clown.
    With strange voices, silly faces and sarcasm that's just right.
    I recognize the angel and I make it through the night.

    Look out for angels all around ...
    Their disguises are so clever.
    And once you have identified them you have a friend forever.
    They have a certain chemistry I hope you will discover.
    They make a difference in this world, these angels

    "Get Over It?"

    Today when we were talking, 
    you said words that broke my heart. 
    That it was time to put the hurt away, 
    Move forward, make a new start.
    Don't you understand 
    I don't know how to put it all away 
    Why I'm doing the best I can 
    just to make another day.

    How can I forget the past? 
    Forget the child that is gone?
    How can I put his memories away,
    pick up and move along? 
    Is there some magic potion 
    I can drink to end this gloom? 
    So all my friends don't become silent 
    when I walk into the room.

    Or quickly change the subject 
    when I mention his name. 
    Don't you know your silence 
    only adds to my pain?
    If you truly want to help me 
    move toward a better day 
    Then stand by me, 
    and listen to all I have to say.

    When tears of sadness come, 
    don't walk away in fear 
    But just sit quietly by,
    let me know that you are near. 
    You don't have to say a word, 
    just by my side remain. 
    And then one day with time, 
    and you, my smile I will reclaim.

    I feel very lucky to have all the TCF friends here to share my son's memories 
    and no one tells me to "Get over it". 

    Steve's Mom Sheila Simmons Atlanta TCF 


    Celebrating Life Is a Better Way to Cope with Death

    Today marks a week since my youngest brother's birthday. But instead of recalling memories of the family all here together eating cake and ice cream and celebrating the joyous occasion, my mind conjures up images that only seem to surface twice a year, on Jeffrey's birthday and on the anniversary of his death.

    Seven years ago Jeffrey committed suicide. Though I was only 14 at the time and so many years have passed since his death, when his birthday rolls around each year, so does the pain. Today, how ever, is my last day for mourning. About three years ago I decided that instead of fighting back my emotions or feebly attempting to act as though everything is okay, on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death, I would allow myself a week to mourn and heal.

    I have even developed a ritual. On these two occasions I dress all in white, sit in a private place with the lights turned off, put on Bette Middler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" (the song she sang in the movie "Beaches," right after her best friend died), light a single white candle, and sort through old photographs of Jeffrey and the family.

    The color white, for me, has always represented light, rebirth and newness. So wearing all white is my way of saying, "Instead of mourning his death, I will celebrate his life," Lighting a single candle stems from our Catholic faith. It is a way of showing that the fire of his spirit is still alive. And with the heat of the candle I can feel the warmth of his presence.

    Listening to Midler's song helps me say all the things I didn't get a chance to say. Especially when I carefully listen to the words and realize how much they apply to Jeffrey and me. The song seems to have been written for us.

    When we were younger, I was the star of the family. The straight-A student who sang in the church choir and excelled in academic and athletic competitions. Jeffrey was the quiet one. He was reserved, an average student, and spent most of his time reading or practicing Ninjitsu. So it was no surprise that I commanded most of the attention from my parents.

    This didn't seem to bother Jeffrey, however. He was easy going, a good listener, and best of all, he always supported me in everything I did. I thought he was the perfect brother. Losing him was extremely hard for me.

    Everyone kept telling me to cry and let out the grief I was feeling. Someone even said that a year from now I wouldn't remember how painful this experience was. But even now I remember how hard it was to return to school and my everyday life and pretend that everything was fine, acting as though I was dealing with his death and would be okay.

    I know they meant well by sharing their condolences and advising me on the best way to deal with my grief. But in the end I realized that no one could truly understand what I was going through, and their remedies for relief may have worked for them, but for me, I needed something more.

    The first birthday after his death was especially hard, and I dealt with it in a very different way than I do now. I spent the entire month wearing black, closing myself off from everyone around me and crying every time I had the inclination. I don't regret dealing with his death that way, but I do find solace knowing that seven years later, 1 can silently mourn without wearing black, without shutting myself off from the outside world and without wearing a mask of happiness.

    I have healed at my own pace and in my own time. And I understand now that is the only advice I could ever give someone experiencing a similar tragedy: Take your time and deal with it in your own way. Only your way is the right way.

    Now I deal with Jeffrey's death the best way I know how--by celebrating his life. And in that, I am at peace.

    --Karma Lowe, Brazosport Chapter,Lake Jackson, TX

    Peter Smith, age 15; sibling to Gregory Smith

    Because of my status in society
    I can look below to poverty
    and realize no matter how frustrated I get,
    I will always be very lucky to have a family
    who loves and cares for me.

    But still the tears roll down my face
    and my cheeks are forever stained
    because I know as long as I live
    my heart will always be pained.

    I was left in shock, pain, and fear,
    left with your unspoken words which I will never hear
    But in my days of sorrow when I feel that I will fall
    I can only repeat the phrase to myself,
    "It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."

    A Beginning

    One day you wake up and realize that you must have survived it because you are still here, alive and breathing. But you don’t remember the infinitely small steps and decisions you took to get there. Your only awareness is that you have shed miles of tears on what seems to be an endless road of sorrow.

    One day – one glorious day – you wake up and feel your skin tingle again, and you forget just for an instant that your heart is broken…and it is a beginning.

    ~Susan Borrowman, TCF, Kingston, Ontario

    The Sower's Seeds

    There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, "What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?"

    Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, "Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life." The woman went off at once in search of that magical mustard seed. 

    She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me."

    They told her, "You've certainly come to the wrong place," and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them. 

    The woman said to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my my own?" She stayed to comfort them, then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hotels and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. She became so involved in ministering to other people's grief that ultimately she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, driven the sorrow out of her life.

    ~lovingly lifted from Provo TCF Chapter Newsletter - Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R.




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