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Archive for the ‘Caregiving’ Category

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I’ve been hearing a lot about, and experiencing triggers in grief lately…that sudden and unexpected transition into yesteryear. You’re going along doing ok and something happens to set off your grief.

Inevitably, if we look for a connection, there is something about the event which hits a sore spot.

For me, my most recent experience was when my sister could have died in a house fire, (she’s fine), but it immediately brought me back to the first year after Bill died, along with the fear and reminder of how life can change in the blink of an eye.

I like Jenny Lee’s kind attitude towards herself, as she deals with triggers after the death of her fiance’. She says, “I am normal. I am moving forward in the best way I know how with God’s guidance and love. I am where I am supposed to be and moving at the pace I am supposed to be moving…there’s no rush and no “moving on” or “getting over” grief…it’s part of me and I am growing into a stronger woman.” (to read her full post, click on GriefTalk at the top of this page).

What triggers your grief? How do you take care of yourself in the midst of it?

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Several Sundays ago, my “forever” pastor*, Bob Myers (http://www.covenant-church.org) preached on the difference between a metaphor often quoted to the dying (Make peace with dying), and Jesus Himself, the author and enabler of our peace.

Bob questioned whether my husband, Bill would have wanted to hear this metaphor as he lay dying eleven years ago. He claimed that Bill, if he had been told he needed to make peace with dying, would have responded with an indignant, “Don’t give me a metaphor, give me Jesus!”

I agree. Bill knew first hand, what would bring him true peace, because he experienced this when…paralyzed and with tangled speech…all odds were against him.

When he had nothing left, he learned Jesus was enough.

God’s Son saw Bill through with His peace to his very last breath on this earth. For in Philippians 4:6 & 7 we are given this direction and promise, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The closer Bill came to his death, the more I witnessed this peace in his face and demeanor.

Of course the peace of Jesus is available to those of us left to grieve on earth too. For these verses in Philippians end with this peace being for all those “in Christ Jesus.”

Who or what brings you peace in your grief?

*Bob Myers is the pastor who loved us through Bill’s illness with his near-constant presence and reassurance.

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Recently, I came across the verses our pastor used to bring comfort to my husband while he was ill. What refreshment these must have been for his parched soul, since  Bill was paralyzed and could no longer read the Bible for himself.

All he could do was look Pastor Bob straight in the eye and say,  “I’m dyin…”

The next day, Bob came back to the hospital & shared these words with him:

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” 2 Corinthians 5:1

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little whle you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials…for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  I Peter 1:6 & 9.

“Never again will (you) hunger; never again will (you) thirst…And God will wipe away every tear from (your) eyes.” Revelation 7:16 &17b.

Living water which brought radiance to Bill’s face and hope for his future.

And ours.

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One of the doctors who cared for my husband during his final illness, has died.

As head of the medical team, this doctor spent a lot of time at Bill’s bedside in the hospital, diagnosing  his illness. She also took the time to talk with him about their mutual love for running and oh yes…as I ran around like a crazy hen caring for Bill 24/7, she took the time to make sure I was okay.

After Bill died, she and I kept in touch.  Now she too is gone and this loss takes me back to those difficult hospital days.  But more important, I am brought back once again, to the care and comfort God lavished on Bill and me, through this doctor-turned friend.

I will always be grateful for her care. May God bring comfort now to her family in their grief.

A question for my readers: In your loss, in what way(s) does God bring comfort to you?

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Grief Weary?

Today I have no desire to look at the battered helm of grief in my life; those shards of glass imbedding themselves in my skin for all time, on the day Bill died.

During the early days of my loss, I went numb when I could no longer handle the grief. No sorrow, but no joy either.

There has to be a better way.

I am reminded of the 1991 movie, “What About Bob”, where the psychiatrist, Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Richard Dreyfuss) gives a prescription to his multi-phobic client, Bob Wiley (Bill Murray): “Take a vacation from your problems.”

So today I rest…distract myself with a frivolous book, a good friend and a browse through my favorite cottage shop…to give my mind, soul and body a reprieve.

Just for today.

Are you grief weary? How do you care for yourself on the days when it’s all just too much?

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I was never her daughter-in-law; always her daugher-in-love.

Last Sunday, “mom” would have turned 98, had she lived that long. As it was, she died five years after her second born son…my husband.

When she was told of Bill’s imminent death, she laid her head on the dining room table and cried, “Oh, why couldn’t it be me!”

Within a few short years, her body became frail and weary of this earth. She was forgetful and knew it.

I sat on the edge of her bed. “You’ll soon be with your son, mom. In Heaven.”

“But, how can I be sure,” she looked up at me; her eyes pools of worry.

“Do you believe in Jesus?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Then even if you forget Him, He’ll never forget you.”

She drifted off to sleep; her face creased in peace.

They’re together now…mother and son…for all eternity. Someday, this daughter-in-love will join them.

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