Proactively Grieving Helps Heart and Mind !

A Day With Mitch and Alan Flyer

Greetings My Compassionate Families

If you have ever felt overwhelming grief and wondered
HOW
IF
WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO
MAKE IT THROUGH TO EVEN  ONE MORE DAY
Then Attending
A DAY WITH MITCH AND ALAN
is a Gentle Gift to Give Yourself.The Event is being hosted by THE TONY BROWN FOUNDATION

~represented by  Anne Castaldo, our friend, fellow bereaved mom, Forever Tony’s mother and the founder of The Tony Brown Foundation ~
in Shelton, CT on April 21, 2012.
There is a cut off day of pre-registration by April 1 to receive a special fee of $20.00 per person.I KNOW Mitch and Alan.

They are my friends
and Mitch is actually a member of our Advisory Board ~ the only non-Connecticut person that we invited to our Board.
Each of these men are amazing in their separate workshops, but together, their energy is so strong, so powerful, so profoundly deep that you will be promised a day that will impact you in ways that you can not yet imagine.
Their friendship forged through the loss of their children, Ashley and Kelly.
Mitch is also a bereaved sibling, having experienced the death of his twin sister who left the plane in a horrific car accident.
Mitch and Alan live what they bring to their guests in the gathering.
You can trust these dads.
They “get” deep loss.
They live it…..
AND they CAN HELP YOU.
This event is NOT  only for those who have lost a child, grandchild or sibling,
but for anyone dealing with grief and loss in life.
Bring yourself.
Bring a Friend.
But GO.
Do This for yourself.
Save the date.
Register NOW.
Registration is limited.
Sending hugs to all,
~Bettie-Jeanne,
Forever RobyApril’s Mom

I Don’t Count the Days Anymore ~ Going On After the Death Of My Daughter


A couple of weeks ago, as I performed my morning torture of weighing in on Nintendo wii previous to ignoring my exercise that I should be doing for the day, but wouldn’t, the scale informed me that it was the 800th day since wii came to our lives.
800 Days.
I remember the day it was given to us the December after Robbie died.
I turned to Jim, in slight amazement, and said
“It’s been a little over a  year AND 800 days since Robbie died …” 
It occurred to me that it had been a while since I knew the Amount Of Days.
I was Well Aware that it was 38 months plus; just a few days short of 39 months,
but I didn’t know, until the  wii told me so that it was 800 days plus about a year.
I didn’t know how many DAYS.

I don’t count the days anymore.

In that first year, I always knew exactly how many days, every day, that she was gone.  And because I have figured it out
(there are Date–Duration Calendars on line that make the math so easy:
timeanddate.com )
I know that on her 39 month anniversary, it was 1,186 days since she left the earth plane.  And ten days later, on the day that we should be celebrating her  32nd birthday, it is 1,196 days.  But, I had to use the duration calculator to figure it out.  What I do remember, firmly ingrained in my heart,  is that she lived 10,493 days; or 10,795 days if I count her seemingly-never-ending-10 month-throwing-up-everyday-pregnancy-from-hell  (That I’d-relive in a second to have HER again!  She loved to tease me about those most uncomfortable-for-me-ten months ~“I decided to live in, Mom!  Whaddya’ kick me out for!  It was warm, cozy and safe in there!”)

Sometimes when I need to provide comfort to myself, I will figure out the percentage of time that she has been gone, compared to how long she was alive in my life.  On her birthday, March 14, 2012 she will have been gone from the earth plane only a mere 11% of the time that she lived.  I figure that I am “allowed” to be sad and grieve.  11% is such a small percentage to “get used to” being without her.  When others try to push me to “get over it”  (as if it were possible!) or “move on”, I just think that if 100% is a place of WHOLE, that it is perfectly OK for me to be at 11% NOW.

But, mostly, I don’t count the days anymore.

That isn’t to say that I have securely “found my footing” again after having life turned upside down, inside out, and shredded to barely recognizable bits.  I haven’t, quite

BUT there ARE CHANGES.

I have found that I no longer sigh every few minutes, I am starting to sleep better (though not GOOD), I have longer periods of concentration, my memory is a bit better than a year ago, there is less ”fog” and though I am not who-I-used-to-be and may never be again, I do laugh more honestly and feel less deeply sad all of the time.  The other day, I used the word “enjoy” to describe my day, and was shocked, not only to hear the word pass my lips again, but more so, to realize that I MEANT IT.   It is not the same level of ENJOY that I used to experience, but compared to the deep and often overwhelming sadness that has enveloped me since my daughter’s death, it was a different and more peaceful feeling…and that was a Surprise.

When we were working on our The Compassionate Friends meeting room activity last month and checking off anything on the list that we had experienced since the death of our loved one, I was amazed to find that though I had felt all but one of the AM I GOING CRAZY experiences, that many were no longer every day occurrences.  Some of them I remember quite clearly, but they are no longer the emotions that my day is built around.  It has been getting lighter in my heart…slowly, very, very slowly…but the shadows are less a densely black void and more grey with some translucent light peeking through.

Change has been occurring.  Living Life has been slowing resurfacing, though if you had asked me a year ago, I not only wouldn’t have thought that it was possible but I wouldn’t have wanted it.   I am still not embracing Life, or Joy, or able to Dance or wear funny shirts and hats (sorry to disappoint you, Daughter-Mine, but your death has broken me and rebuilding is monumental), but I do recognize that I AM GOING ON.  Life is continuing…and I am continuing all with it.  I still resent it, but not as deeply as I did this time last year.  I still cry, but not every day.  I still long for my daughter nearly all of the time, but I am able to see beyond my own personal pain long enough to reach out to help, validate and comfort others.  Among the tears, I can smile and laugh when I tell her stories and look at her pictures.  I can remember Her Life, before I remember Her Death.

I am no longer the “Perky-Pain-In-the-Patootie” that she sued to tease me about being, especially first thing in the morning, her least favorite time of the day.  When I wake up each morning, I still can’t look at the clock and sing the time followed by “And all is well” that had been my morning ritual before my daughter’s death.  It still isn’t.  Life is not yet In Balance.  Life is Not Yet “Well”.  I still long for her to be the first morning phone call, and I do wake up feeling sad, most every day.  But I am no longer listening for her ring on my cell phone or waiting for her texts.  Her absence still hurts, but it no longer shocks.

Life continues to be a jumble.

And not a day goes by that I don’t think about her, longing for her to be HERE.

I may not always like them, but
I Don’t Count The Days anymore.

I guess that I am beginning to endure them….
…and maybe even, live  them.♥

2003 Robbie and Grandpa's Last Birthday Together

 

14 March 2012
To My Daughter and My Dad

Today, March 14, is the anniversary of your both of your births.

I want to be sharing birthday cake with you both, not sending you letters to Heaven.

But know, my loved ones, that my life was better for having had you in it, and so much less, my darling daughter, since you have been gone.

I have been watching videos of days past, when death was not the giant cloud it has become.  I listen to the two of you laughing and living.  And I miss you both, and Gram, so very, very much.

You will, always, always have my hearts.♥

 

 

Supporting Other Parents During Their Immediate Loss

Dear Bettie-Jeanne,

[Perhaps] this is something that you would like to pass on to the parents in your group…
I would like to ask you to consider it.

You all know the pain of losing one of your kids. Its terrible.

Well, on Saturday, I attended the funeral of LT Col Budrejko, a US Marine native of CT who died serving his country while training servicemen in helicopter maneuvers, in US airspace.

If you ever want to do a service for a father and mother who have lost their son or daughter, if you have the opportunity, go to their funeral service, whoever it is!

We all thought that there would have a packed Church, but it wasn’t packed. At St Mary’s in Newington, a large Church, it was about 1/3 full. To me, all parents who lose a son or daughter have a very hard cross to bear. And when someone dies while in service to others, well, I just think we need to think about what they gave up for us,  and to honor that sacrifice with our presence. I would have wished that anyone who understands would come to pray with that family and to show their appreciation in some way.

It would be a very good thing to let every citizen know that these men and women are someone’s son or daughter who died for love of us.

God bless you.
Marge Banach
Newington Memorial Funeral Home
20 Bonair Avenue
Newington, CT 06111