Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday's Trust - A Grieving Father Writes...

Tuesday's Trust

A Grieving Father Writes...

Victor Hugo: I will see that instant until I die

[Written at Villequier, on the Seine, 4 September 1847, where his 19-year-old daughter was buried near where she drowned in the Seine, four years earlier]


Now that Paris, its cobblestones and marble,
and its mists and its roofs are quite far from my eyes;
now that I am under tree branches,
and can daydream of the beauty of the skies;

Now that I am coming out, pale but victorious,
from the mourning that made my soul dark,
and I feel the peace of great Nature
entering my heart;


Now that, seated at the edge of the waves,
moved by this superb and tranquil horizon,
I can examine deep truths inside me
and look at the flowers that are on the lawn;

Now, O God! that I have the somber calm
to be able from now on 
to look with my eyes on the stone where I know in the shadow
she is sleeping forever;

Now that, touched by these divine sights,
Plains, forests, rocks, little valleys, silvery river,
seeing my smallness and seeing your miracles,
I come back to my senses before their immensity;

I come to you, Lord, father who must be believed in;
peaceful now, I bring you
the pieces of that heart all full of your glory
that you broke;


I come to you, Lord! confessing that you are
good, merciful, indulgent and kind, O living God!
I admit that you alone know what you do.
And that man is nothing but a reed that quivers in the wind;

I say that the tomb that closes upon the dead
opens the heavens;
and that what we here below take for the end
is the beginning;


I acknowledge on my knees that you alone, awesome father,
own the infinite, the real, the absolute;
I acknowledge that it is good, that it is right
that my heart has bled, since God willed it!

I resist no more whatever happens to me
by your will.
The soul from grief to grief, Man from shore to shore,
rolls to eternity.

We never see but a single side of things;
the other plunges into the night of frightening mystery.
Man bears the yoke without knowing why.
All he sees is short, useless and fleeting.


You make loneliness return always
around all his footsteps.
You did not want him to have certainty
nor joy here below!

As soon as he owns something, fate takes it away.
Nothing is given to him, in his speedy days,
for him to make a home and say:
Here is my house, my field and my loved ones!

He must see for a short time all that his eyes see;
he grows old without support.
Since things are so, it’s because they must be so;
I admit it, I admit it!

The world is dark, O God! the unchanging harmony
is wrought of tears as well as of songs;
Man is but an atom in this infinite shadow,
night where the good rise, where the bad fall. 

I know you have far more to do
than to feel sorry for us all,
and that a child who dies, to its mother’s despair,
is nothing to you!


I know that fruit falls to the wind that shakes it,
that birds lose their feathers and flowers their fragrance,
that Creation is a great wheel
that cannot move without crushing someone;

months, days, billows of the sea, eyes that weep
pass under the blue sky;
grass must grow and children die;
I know it, O God!

In your heavens, above the sphere of the clouds,
deep in that still, sleeping blue,
perhaps you are making unknown things
where Man’s pain is an ingredient.


Perhaps it is useful in your numberless plans
that charming creatures
go away, carried off by the dark whirlwind
of black events.

Our shadowy destinies go underneath huge laws
which nothing disconcerts and nothing moves.
You cannot have sudden mercies
that would disturb the world, O God, calm spirit!

I beg you, O God! to look at my soul,
and to consider
that humbly as a child and gently as a woman,
I come to adore you!

Consider again how I have, since dawn,
worked, fought, thought, walked, struggled,
explaining Nature to Man who knew nothing of it,
lighting everything with your clarity;


that, facing hate and anger,
I have done my task here below,
that I could not expect this wage,
that I could not

foresee that you too, on my yielding head,
would let fall heavily your triumphant arm,
and that you who saw how little joy I have,
would take my child away so quickly!

How a soul thus struck is likely to wail,
how I could curse,
and cast my cries at you like a child
throwing stones in the sea!

Consider how one doubts, O God! when one suffers,
how the eye that weeps too much is blinded,
how a being plunged by grief into the blackest pit,
seeing you no more, cannot contemplate you.

And it cannot be that a Man, when he sinks
under affliction,
has in his wit the sober serenity
of the constellations!


Today, I who was weak as a mother,
I bend to your feet before your open skies.
I feel myself enlightened in my bitter sadness
by a better outlook on the universe.

Lord, I realize that Man is crazy
if he dares complain;
I’ve stopped accusing, I’ve stopped cursing,
but let me weep!


Alas! let the tears run down from my eyes,
since you have made Men for this!
Let me lean over this cold stone
and say to my child: Do you feel that I am here?

Let me speak to her, bent over her remains,
in the evening when all is still,
as if, reopening her celestial eyes in her night,
this angel could hear me!

Alas! turning an envious eye on the past,
while nothing here below can console me,
I keep seeing that moment in my life
when I saw her open her wings and fly off!

I will see that instant until I die,
the instant, no tears needed!
where I cried: the child I had a minute ago—
What? I don’t have her any more?

Do not be irritated that I am like this,
O my God! this wound bled for so long!
The anguish in my heart is still the strongest thing,
and my heart is submissive, but not resigned.

Do not be angry! Brows claimed by sorrow,
mortals subject to tears,
for us it is not easy to withdraw our souls
from these great griefs.


You see, we really need our children,
Lord; when one has seen in one’s life, some morning,
in the midst of cares, hardships, miseries,
and of the shadow our fate casts over us,

how a child appears, a dear sacred head,
a small joyful creature,
so beautiful one thinks a door to heaven has opened
when it arrives; 

when for sixteen years one has watched this other self
grow in loveable grace and sweet reason,
when one has realized that this child one loves
makes daylight in our soul and in our home,

that it is the only joy that remains here below
of all that one has dreamed of;
consider that it is a very sad thing
to watch it going away!


                                --Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Poem found at


Monday, May 30, 2016

Blessed Memorial Day

Blessed Memorial Day

So thankful for our Vets, both those who serve 


who have so faithfully served...

This is a day to lift prayers of thanks for you and your sacrifice...


A day to pray for the families with an empty chair...


Thank you to

Benjamin Allen at
Grief and Healing in the Afterloss
on Facebook

and to 

on Facebook

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday's Sorrow - Honoring Fathers Grieving Loss of Child - Part One

There is a sacredness in tears. 
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. 
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. 
They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, 
of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. 

~Washington Irving

Sunday's Sorrow

Honoring Fathers Grieving Loss of Child

Part One

Those who think
there is a

Lost a piece
of their


Grieving people are fighting
the most aching fight of their lives.
Stand with them.
Be with them.
Love them in your willingness to admit
that you don't know the answers.
Your presence contains more love
than any answer ever will…

~Tim Lawrence




(Anxious, Scared, Sad; 
Hurting, Drained Hopeless;
Lonely, Dysfunctional, Weary;
Apathetic, Exhausted, Lost, Stressed;)

I wish you would 

Read between the lines.


You are most helpful
when you stand with
me, without
changing it, without
making assumptions.
It is okay to not have 
any answers.

~Megan Devine


Nothing will ever be the same.
Your life has been forever changed.
Grief is uncovering what that
change is and how to deal with it.

~Benjamin Allen


The ground beneath us
that collects us is too
sacred and when I enter
another's life I know to
take off my shoes for I
am on holy ground.

We are on holy ground,
the sacredness of
sorrow's healing ground.

~Benjamin Allen


The answer to the mystery of
existence is the love you shared 
sometimes so imperfectly and
when the loss wakes you to the
deeper beauty of it, to the
sanctity of it, you can't get off
your knees for a long time.

You're driven to your knees not by
the weight of the loss but by
gratitude for what preceded the 
loss. And the ache is always there,
but one day not the emptiness."

~Dean Koontz


It is within my darkest moments where I 
have found myself without words to 
describe the most brilliant presence of
love. In the heights of my joy and the
depths of my sorrow I have come to
believe that there is only love. No matter
where I go, how I feel or what I
question, I have found this presence
waiting, waiting to love me, waiting to love.

~Benjamin Allen

Title Picture:

2nd Picture:
~Grieving Fathers

3rd Picture:
~Grieving Fathers

4th Picture:

5th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Tim Lawrence)

6th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Benjamin Allen)

7th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Benjamin Allen)

8th Picture:
~TheAfterloss.com (Dean Koontz)


9th Picture
~TheAfterloss.com (Benjamin Allen)


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday's Trust - "The Sharp-Edged Remains of Our Shattered Dreams"

"Sometimes stories don't have happy endings. 
Even love stories. 
Maybe especially love stories." 

Tuesday's Trust 

"The Sharp-Edged 
Our Shattered Dreams"

How then shall we "live"?
Our child has died---died---dead---gone!
Does not anyone understand our devastation?
We who love---no crime is it?--our beloved child
Seem left to sit in the ashes of her remains
To awaken every day only to face---
She is not here!
From this sweet earth, she is gone!
All dreams for her seemingly dashed upon the ground!
Why would we not be devastated?
Of course we are!
We are left to flail away in "the sharp-edged remains of our shattered dreams."

What a destiny for parents whose continued love 
for their child is now deemed a "crime."
"Let it go. Move on. Stop the tears."
No way! We will always love our child, 
and therefore we will always miss her, long for her, and always know she is gone!
And with that missing, and longing, and knowing,
we will cry. There will be tears.
Of course there will be tears.
Our love does not stop . . .
while we try to find our place now
amidst these 
"sharp-edged remains of our shattered  dreams."

And where is our LORD in all this?

He is there---amidst the pain---
Amidst her remains---
Sitting with us, weeping with us, loving us, 
comforting us, and drawing our hearts, our faces, 
our lives upward to see Him, to see the 
Hope that He has promised…

"She is with Me ---
I am holding her
even as I am holding you ~
She is safe,
She is loved,
She is with Me…
Longingly awaiting you.

"The love is still there;
Bask in it.
It is deeper, stronger, more understanding.
She sees your pain. She knows your pain.
She too longs for you.
Bask in that love.
Bask in My love.
Bask in your love for one another,
a love that grows deeper every day.
And know, that love will blossom
into fruition that you cannot imagine.
That love is not in vain.
That love is from Me---it is sacred---and it will remain.
Bask in that---even as you are in pain . . ."

Poem- "The Sharp-Edged Remains of Our Shattered Dreams" - Angie Bennett Prince - May 15, 2016


"Love had turned into loss… but… love had remained.  
…love… Immutable.  
Unbearable but unbreakable."





"Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain." 

"The Sharp-Edged Remains of Our Shattered Dreams" ---
The title of my poem is from a quote by writer Ken Gire:
"But until the day when we return to that place (Paradise)
or the day when Jesus returns to take us there,
we must live our lives under the rainbow . . .
where the road ahead is not paved with yellow bricks.
Sometimes it has no bricks at all,
only the sharp-edged remains of our shattered dreams."
(highlight, mine),
from his book, 
The Divine Embrace: An invitation to the dance of intimacy with Christ. 
One exhilarating, ennobling, uncertain step at a time.
~Ken Gire, (2003), page 32.


Quote 1 - pp, 379-380 The Nightingale ~Kristin Hannah

"Sometimes stories don't have happy endings. 
Even love stories. 
Maybe especially love stories."

Quote 2 - p. 368 The Nightingale ~Kristin Hannah
"Love had turned into loss… but… love had remained.   
…love… Immutable.  
Unbearable but unbreakable."

Quote 3 - p. 438, last words of The Nightingale ~Kristin Hannah

"Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain."

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Mother's Day Lament ~ A Song and a Poem for You: Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom ~Bessie Griffin / "Holy Darkness" ~Dan Schutte

"No one understands my pain like Jesus, 
who suffered as one of us and came back 
{via His Holy Spirit into our hearts} 
to comfort us in our sorrows." 

Sunday's Sorrow

A Mother's Day Lament 
A Song and a Poem for You:

Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom 
~Bessie Griffin 

"Holy Darkness" 
~Dan Schutte

"Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom" 
edited version of "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child"

~Bessie Griffin 

(with lyrics edited for child-loss parents)

Sometimes I feel like a child-loss mom 
Sometimes I feel like a child-loss mom 
Sometimes I feel like a child-loss mom 
A long ways from home
A long ways from home

Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone
Sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone
Way up in the heavenly land,
Way up in the heavenly land.
True believer
Way up in the heavenly land,
Way up in the heavenly land.


Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels…

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"Starry Sky over the river Rohne" 

~painting by Vincent van Gogh


Yesterday, a precious fellow-grieving-mother/fellow-psychotherapist loaned me one of her favorite grief books, on the road to emmaus: A TRAVEL GUIDE THROUGH GRIEF (2008) (134 pages) written by Myrlene Hamilton Hess. I read the following entry today and had a really good cry, so I thought you fellow-grieving-mothers might "enjoy" the poignancy of this poem as well on this, your special day ~ Mother's Day. Warning: it did draw many tears from me today….

Excerpt from on the road to emmaus, page 50:

It's often true that a poem or a song or a picture communicates truth and emotion far better and quicker than many words in a narrative. The following song by Dan Schutte is one that communicates great meaning to me, and I hope it will to you as well. Think of it as God speaking to you into the dark night of your soul. Don't just read it; drink it in, and let it seep into your heart as you read it and ponder its meaning for you.

"Holy Darkness" 

~Dan Schutte

Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

I have tried you in fires of affliction
I have taught your soul to grieve.
In the barren soil of your loneliness,
there I will plant (M)y seed.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

I have taught you the price of compassion;
you have stood before the grave.
Though (M)y love can seem
like a raging storm,
this is the love that saves.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

Were you there 
when I raised up the mountains?
Can you guide the morning star?
Does the heart take flight
when you give command?
Why do you doubt (M)y pow'r?

Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

In your deepest hour of darkness
I will give you wealth untold,
When the silence stills your spirit,
will (M)y riches fill your soul.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.

As the watchman waits for morning,
and the bride awaits her groom,
so we wait to hear (Y)our footsteps
as we rest beneath (Y)our moon.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
(H)eaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace (Y)our holy night.


May you have a very Blessed Mother's Day!

The painting of Jesus comforting a mother is thanks to

"M" Words and the Christian Woman (on Facebook)

Lament Song: "Sometimes I Feel Like a Child-Loss Mom"
edited version of "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child"

Lament Painting: 

"Starry Sky over the river Rohne" painting by Vincent Van Gogh

Lament Sentiment by Longfellow:

"Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven 
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels" 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lament Poem: 
"Holy Darkness" 
~Dan Schutte
(Daniel L. Schutte, Holy Darkness (Portland, OR: Oregon Catholic Press, 1988, 1989).
found in the book, on the road to emmaus: TRAVEL GUIDE THROUGH GRIEF, page 50

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday's Sayings - Mother's Day Messages of Love from Across the Veil…

Saturday's Sayings

 Mother's Day Messages of Love from Across the Veil… 

Messages of Love
To, and From, 
Our Child in Heaven…

Parent to Child in Heaven:

Now that you are gone, 
my heart is broken.
But because you were once here,
it is completely filled with Love.


Child in Heaven to Parent:

Don't weep at my grave,
For I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly
To dance in the air.
I'll be singing in the sunshine,
Wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind,
While I'm waiting for thee.

~Angels of the Heart
Picture, Author Unknown

(This particular writing makes me tear up; I can just see my Merry Katherine saying this…)


 Parent to Child in Heaven...

I heard your voice in the wind today
and I turned to see your face;
The warmth of the wind caressed me
as I stood silently in place.

I felt your touch in the sun today
as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace
and my spirit soared high.

I saw your eyes in the window pane
as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell
it quietly said your name.

I held you close in my heart today
it made me feel complete;
You may have died...but you are not gone
you will always be a part of me.

As long as the sun shines...
the wind blows...
the rain falls...
You will live on inside of me forever
for that is all my heart knows.

~ Bonnie Breuilly-Pike, 
"Under Orion's Sky...You Live" from "Dancing with the Spirits of Shadowplay"

"Holding Hands" painting by Judy Mackey


Child in Heaven to Parent:

I'm no longer by your side,
But there's no need to weep
I've left sweet recollections
I'm hoping you will keep.

Eternal joy and memories
stay in our hearts forever,
strengthening our special bond
That parting cannot sever.

And if times of loneliness
bring sorrow and dismay,
don't despair, for I am there
Just a memory away.

~ Rita S. Beer
Painting by Claire Clements


 Parent to Child in Heaven...

When I close my eyes
You are here
Your charisma, your cheer, your tenderness
I feel you here

When I close my eyes
You are with me
Your spirit, your beauty, your charm
I feel you with me

When I close my eyes
You are in my arms
Your warmth, your compassion, your love
I feel you in my arms

No matter how far apart
Nor what the circumstance
I feel you here with me, in my arms - always
When I close my eyes

~ W. Jason Duncan 
Painting by Hyatt Moore


Child in Heaven to Parent:


Your heart may be heavy and aching,
Now that I'm no longer here.
But, though you may shed many tears,
Let memories banish your fear.

My arms are no longer around you.
My lips cannot speak of my love.
But, I'm with you in spirit each day,
As I look down from Heaven above.

The house may be silent without me.
It doesn't mean I can't be there.
And, every night that you sleep,
Our love, in your dreams, we still share.

As you continue, alone on earth,
I'll be with you each step of the way.
I can still be the strength that you need,
To carry you through each new day.

Although, I know you can't see me,
Our spirits are joined as before.
So, whenever you feel uplifted,
Know it's me just loving you more.

In Heaven, we're given a gift
To still tend to the ones left behind.
So, smile when you think of me.
I remain in your heart and your mind.

~ Marian Jones
Painting, Author Unknown


 Parent to Child in Heaven...

I remember everything about you
Your voice, your smile, your touch
The way you walked, the way you talked
The way you looked at me, meant so much

I remember all the words you said to me
Some funny, some kind, some wise
All of the things you did for me
I see now with different eyes

I remember every moment we shared
Seems like only yesterday
Or maybe it was eons ago
It's really hard to say

You are gone from me now
But one thing they can't take away
Your memory resides inside my heart
And lights up my darkest days

~ Author Unknown
"Mother and Child" painting by Claire Szalay


Child in Heaven to Parent:

You think I've gone, that I am dead, and life has lost it's will,
But look around, I am right there, living with you still
I watch your tears, I feel your pain - I see the things you do
I weep as well, each time you cry, my soul, it lives with you

It gives such joy to hear you laugh, and do the things you do
And when you smile o'er by gone days, I smile right with you too
For we're still one, just you and me, one mind, one soul, one being
Walking forward into life, though only you are seen

And in the stillness of the night, when the pain it really starts
Stretch out a little with your mind and draw me to your heart
For I am always right in there, always by your side
For you have been, all my life's days, my joy, my love, my pride.

~ Author Unknown
"Souls Journey" painting by Janice Chrysler


Parent to Child in Heaven:

It seems like only yesterday
I rocked you on my knee,
With dreams about the future and
What you were going to be.

You were so bright and happy
Such a precious little boy,
You gave your love to everyone
And filled our hearts with joy.

Strangers would admire you
And stop to say hello,
"He'll break a lot of hearts," they said,
"In twenty years or so."

But less than twenty years from then,
What they said came true,
As we were forced against our will
To say goodbye to you.

A life so short and unfulfilled,
With so much left to go,
"Why, oh why?" we ask ourselves,
When we all loved you so.

Life shows us many options,
But whichever path we take
The destination's still the same
Whatever choice we make.

So many questions flood our minds,
"What if, and Why and How?"
If we had done things differently,
Would you still be with us now?

I don't know what the lesson was
That you were sent here to learn,
But now your purpose is fulfilled
It's time for you to return.

When I hear the phone ring
I expect to hear you say,
"Alright Mom? What're you doing,
Can I come 'round today?"

But you don't need to ask now,
You're with us every day,
Within our hearts, our minds, our souls,
Your memory will stay.

No fear, no pain or sorrow,
Can touch you anymore
But the love you've left behind,
Will live with us forever more.

~ Jan Andersen
"Mother and Child" painting by Karen Reitsma


Child in Heaven to Parent:

...But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before…

When you're walking down the street and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind…

There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time…

And when its time for you to go...from that body to be free,
Remember you're not going...you're coming here to me.

~ Ruth Ann Mahaffey
Painting, Author Unknown


Parent to Child in Heaven...

So go and run free with the angels
Dance around the golden clouds
For the Lord has chosen you to be with (H)im
And we should feel nothing but proud

Although (H)e has taken you from us
And our pain a lifetime will last
Your memory will never escape us
But make us glad for the time we did have

Your face will always be hidden
Deep inside our hearts
Each precious moment you gave us
Shall never, ever depart

So go and run free with the angels
As they sing so tenderly
And please be sure to tell them
To take good care of you for me

~ Author Unknown
"Angel Light" painting by Marina Petro

(Capitalizations of Deity pronouns, mine)

Thank you to The Far Side of the Rainbow/Facebook 
for all of the writings and paintings used today!

You may find the individual entries below:



~Angels of the Heart
Picture, Author Unknown

~ Bonnie Breuilly-Pike, "Under Orion's Sky...You Live" from "Dancing with the Spirits of Shadowplay"

"Holding Hands" painting by Judy Mackey

~ Rita S. Beer
Painting by Claire Clements

~ W. Jason Duncan 
Painting by Hyatt Moore

~ Marian Jones
Painting, Author Unknown

~ Author Unknown
"Mother and Child" painting by Claire Szalay

~ Author Unknown
"Souls Journey" painting by Janice Chrysler

Writing: ~ Jan Andersen
"Mother and Child" painting by Karen Reitsma

Writing: ~Ruth Ann Mahaffey
Painting, Author Unknown

Writing: ~Author Unknown
"Angel Light" painting by Marina Petro