Grief Made Me an Introvert

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And that’s Just Fine!

My wife, Erica, has had laryngitis for over a week now and I don’t like it all. I want to hear what she has to say, but it’s difficult to hear her soft whisper. So I’m forced to be more extroverted and carry the conversation. Or conversely, we’re both resigned to being quiet introverts together – side by side – at least until she regains her voice. Continue reading →

When a “Cherry Blossom” Becomes a Good Reminder

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I was away for Mother’s Day this year and was unable to pay a visit to my mom.

I was on a speaking tour in Ontario and had forgotten my toothbrush. I stopped at the drug store to pick up a new one. As I went up to the counter to pay, I glanced at the treats next to the till and knew I had to buy it…a Cherry Blossom® chocolate.

You can’t always find a Cherry Blossom® in the candy counter, but whenever I see one, I often buy it. Why? Because it always reminds me of my mom.

When I was a young boy growing up, I did not have much money, but on Mother’s Day I would always make a homemade card and give it to my mom along with a Cherry Blossom®.

It’s amazing how an object can take us back to a memory, a story or an experience linked with a person, isn’t it?  I picked up that chocolate bar, paid for it and thought about my mom.  My mom is turning 80 this fall, and in the back of my mind, I wondered how many more years we would have her around – at least in this life.

I have been so blessed.  I missed her that day and when she dies, I will miss her even more.

But I know that when she is no longer with me in this life, I will pass by a candy counter, pick up a Cherry Blossom® and remember her fondly.

I am going to see my mom this weekend and take her the Cherry Blossom® that I bought for her.  And maybe even attempt to make a homemade card again.

 

 

 

 

Have you had a chance to tell your story lately?

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The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”

Henry Green

Many people don’t know what to say the first time they meet an acquaintance that has recently been bereaved. So often one hears the proverbial, “I’m sorry for your loss.” “My condolences.” Or worse, the famous platitudes that are not at all helpful: “At least they’re not suffering anymore.” “He’s in a better place.” “Now you have an angel in heaven.” These attempts at empathy make the speaker feel better but not the one grieving the loss. Continue reading →

Even Jesus Wanted to Be Remembered

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How about you? 

This day, Christians around the world reflect upon the last event prior to Jesus’ death on the cross. Many churches will hold services to commemorate the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples.

As they shared this meal, Jesus took a loaf of bread, broke it apart and passed it over to his disciples. He said, “Every time you eat this remember me.”  And then He did the same with the wine.

Jesus wanted to be remembered. And he wanted to be remembered for what he was about to do the next day. He wanted them to remember his death on the cross – and the resurrection that would follow three days later.  He wanted each one there to recall the meaning of those events as they continued to live life without his physical presence. It also served as a reminder for them that they too would all die one day.

Today my family remembers someone who was special in our lives, but who is no longer physically present with us – my wife Erica’s father died two years ago today. And through story, we are remembering all the special events and memories of our relationship with him. We remember the footprint he left in our own lives and those around him. We are thankful especially that he remembered in his life to trust God for what was next. 

All of us should consider the footprint we leave following our death and consider what is next for us. 

How will you be remembered?

How do you want to be remembered?

I know for me on this day, I am pleased that God remembered me and still does.

 

 

Thinking of my Son and his Mom

 

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Have you crossed over a river lately?

You need to cross over some water following the death of a special person in your life. Sometimes the water is running fast and can be somewhat scary or frightening. You will need to sit for awhile and think, reflect and ponder. You feel deeply inside as you miss and wonder what life will be like from now on.

I could not help but think about my son and his mom today as we celebrated Landon’s 25 birthday. It’s been over 8 years since his mom died. It’s not fair to only have a mom for 17 years. I know Landon is thinking of his mom today. But I also know he is thankful for her and who she was and always will be in his life.

It’s healthy to remember. It’s not wrong to stop missing. It’s good to keep loving. It’s okay to celebrate life now too! And Landon does that so well. He has crossed over the river to find joy and ongoing happiness.  Of course he still misses his mom like all of us do.

But all of us need to transition at different times in our lives. We live in a world of ups and downs… a world that’s filled with mountains and valleys and yes, the occasional river that all of us will need to cross over.

Have you crossed over a river lately?

 

 

 

 

Following the Bunny Prints

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When we were young, my first wife Pam used to cut out bunny footprints for Easter. When the kids would wake up early Sunday morning, the bunny prints would lead the way to the Easter baskets and treats. The “Easter Bunny” had been in our home the night before and had hidden all those little chocolates all over the house.

Keeara, our oldest daughter, does the same thing each Easter with her children.  This year, Erica and I got to witness our grandchildren running excitedly all over the house, gathering up their treasures. Continue reading →