Tuesday, September 27, 2011

After Death Communication, Continued

[Note: Since its original appearance, this post has been updated ~ most recently on September 4, 2017.]

In earlier posts (After Death Communication and After Death Communication: A List of Resources)  I’ve shared my own special interest in this topic because, in my role as a grief counselor, I support grief-stricken individuals in their efforts to maintain loving connections with their deceased loved ones ~ including such post-death encounters as After Death Communications (ADCs).

I am drawn to and continually amazed by ADC stories, as the bereaved discover and describe the many ways their deceased loved ones still manage to communicate with them, sending messages of comfort and hope from beyond.

In addition to the resources listed in my earlier posts, I want to recommend two more books I’ve just finished reading. Both authors beautifully acknowledge the power of love in navigating their way through grief to hope, and describe in detail how they cultivated their ability to recognize the ongoing presence of their departed loved ones.  Their stories are personal, convincing, uplifting and life-affirming.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Caregiving and Hospice, September 18 - September 24, 2011

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Understanding and Managing Grief, September 18 - September 24, 2011

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Coping with Pet Loss, September 18 - September 24, 2011

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  • Grief expert Wendy Packman, JD, PhD discusses profound impact of petloss in Open to Hope radio interview, http://j.mp/pm8CmL

Monday, September 19, 2011

Voices of Experience: He Died Two Years Ago

The human organism knows how to heal itself, once it knows its symptoms are normal. ~ Gail Sheehey, in New Passages

This moving post was written by the mother of two teens; she was suddenly widowed when her husband of 17 years was killed in a tragic accident in the summer of 2009. It is reprinted here with her permission.

Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan
He died two years ago tomorrow. Sometimes it feels like he surely can't be gone and at other times it seems like a century since we last held each other.

Two whole years. I have been trying to figure out what I've been doing for two years. The first month or two I was numb and I only remember cleaning everything over and over again, trying to keep busy and needing to escape reality. I didn't dare sip a glass of wine, I was so sure it would lead to a fifth of tequila. I sold my husband’s business, filed for social security for the kids and learned that I might be losing my job. Oh, and my husband’s father found out he had cancer and almost died too. In my spare time I remember spending a lot of time curled up in a ball on the floor or screaming in the shower hoping the kids wouldn't hear me. I was wrong.  They heard everything and I probably have scarred them for life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Caregiving and Hospice, September 11 - September 17, 2011

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Understanding and Managing Grief, September 11 - September 17, 2011

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Coping with Pet Loss, September 11 - September 17, 2011

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Hospice Volunteer ~ Weaving a Fabric of Faith

Source
Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless. ~Sherry Anderson  

The following tribute to hospice volunteers was written by Joyce Marie Sheldon, author of From Fear to Faith, a Caregiver's Journey, and is reprinted here with her permission:


She came very quietly into our lives -- the hospice volunteer.  It seemed as though someone had chosen a friend for us -- out of a catalog -- matching her sweet and sensitive spirit to our deep despair and emotional fatigue.

She sat quietly in the living room on the days when I was unable to speak.  She lingered with me over a cup of tea when all I needed was her silent presence.  And when my needs grew -- especially my need for words of faith and trust -- she drew a small book from her purse and read a passage that touched my heart.  She didn't lecture or preach -- simply shared a few comforting words that seemed to fill every ounce of air that had previously hung so heavily over the room.

Oh, I loved that hospice volunteer!

On the morning my husband died, all of a sudden she was in the living room, sitting quietly and sedately in a chair near the window.  Who had called her?  Not me ... but there she was.  Her sacred presence, her respectful demeanor, the way she remained outside the circle of family and yet, an integral part -- oh, I am so grateful.  I knew she was there, and yet, the blessing of her presence was not fussy or loud or directing or controlling.

She was part of the fabric of our faith.  She had seen me cry, watched me move thru doubt and despair.  When I didn't think I could go on, her hand on my shoulder gave me strength.  When I was sinking physically and emotionally, she lifted me up.  Her heart reached out to me with understanding and compassion -- a stranger who had become a friend -- a single thread of hospice which had become part of the fabric of my days.

Hospice and Home Care have become like another child to me since the experiences of those care giving days 12 years ago -- a child to whom I am totally dedicated -- a child I am committed to nurturing and inspiring -- a child whom I love -- and will love -- forever.

Thank you to each and every hospice volunteer.  You have woven the fabric of my life.  Every stitch in the fabric of my faith has been bound tightly so that I might serve others.  Every thread you wove, with vibrant colors of blue and red and gold, has made me who I am today -- a hospice and home care advocate -- and a woman who loves you ... always.

About the Author – Joyce Marie Sheldon is an inspirational speaker who specializes in keynotes, conferences, retreats and workshops for hospice and home care agencies. The half-day retreat she designed especially for hospice volunteers can be arranged by contacting Joy at 704-663-4815, email joy@myjoytoday.com, website www.MyJoyToday.com. Her free weekly newsletter offers words of inspiration, updates on her speaking schedule, answers to your questions, excerpts from her books, and other special announcements.

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 4 - September 10, 2011

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Friday, September 9, 2011

September 11: Coping with Aftershocks

[This is] one of these days that is going to live in infamy, a day of collective remembrance.  ~ Frank M. Ochberg, MD

A reader writes: With all the focus on the anniversary of September 11th, I find myself weepy all day as I remember all those who died that day (including a former colleague who perished in the World Trade Center), as well as other loved ones who've died but not on September 11th. Can you offer up any insight into this kind of collective grief?

My response: You are not alone in the sorrow you're experiencing, my friend, as on this day our entire nation is called to remember the anniversary of September 11th. For many Americans the feelings of grief associated with this event may seem as new and as raw as they did when these terrorist attacks first happened in 2001. A newscast or film clip from September 11 can catch us by surprise, acting as a trigger, and it's as if we're confronted with the event for the first time, all over again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: Alzheimer's: A Mother Daughter Journey

Consider clearing some space in your heart for Alzheimer's: A Mother Daughter Journey, a photojournalistic memoir about the journey of Celia Pomerantz, a woman who embraces the role of caregiver for her mother. At first ambushed by the demands of caregiving, Celia anchored herself by developing a series of compassionate mission statements to meet each phase of the disease, remaking her initial anguish into a blend of marketing, Zen Buddhism, and salsa dancing.

Like many caregivers, her journey begins with the struggle of convincing her mother to move out of her home and into an assisted living facility, while struggling with the Latina guilt of institutionalizing an elder instead of keeping her at home. Shortly after taking that courageous step, she finds creative ways to manage her mother’s daily living activities like showering, swallowing pills, and general hygiene.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 28 - September 3, 2011

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Caregiving and Hospice, August 28 - September 3, 2011

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Coping with Pet Loss, August 28 - September 3, 2011

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