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 →
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.
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 →
It’s Your Conversation That Really Matters
In Canada, all you hear about in the media right now is Physician Assisted Death (PAD). It makes me want to turn off the radio or throw the newspaper in the recycle bin before I even read it. The most important conversations around this subject don’t take place on the radio, in papers, on the Internet or even in books. The experts can say all they want and give their opinions ad nauseam, but this conversation is one that needs to take place in the closed community called “family”. And no one has permission to tell my family what to think unless I invite them into its membership. Continue reading →
Ovarian cancer. That’s the big “O” that I’m talking about. That’s what my first wife Pam was diagnosed with at age 42 and died of 5 years later. I think it’s the only cancer that guys can’t get but are hugely affected by relationally if they have a significant woman in their life that has been diagnosed with it. Continue reading →
Our youngest granddaughter, Ella, showed us around the farm. There was a calf that had died. “Grandpa, the calf died. But it’s okay, it’s in heaven,” she said. She kept on reassuring me that it was going to be okay. She’s only 2 1/2 years old. Continue reading →
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?
I don’t know yet – I can’t speak from my personal experience but I can share from my professional perspective.
There is life in dying. And if there is life, there is a purpose. Believing that your life has meaning and significance helps you to engage this last life chapter from a different angle. Continue reading →
Do you really want to keep things to yourself?
We recently published our first children’s book, I Want to Play with Sun. It’s about a boy who grabs the sun out of the sky and keeps it to himself.
He soon realizes that by keeping it to himself he has created a problem. His choice not to share the sun with anyone means that his town is in an uproar and nobody wants to play with him anymore. You can probably guess the outcome of the story, but I won’t reveal all the interesting challenges that occur throughout the pages before the final life lesson. Continue reading →
Holidays are a wonderful time to get away from our normal activities, but have you ever considered your holiday travels as a time to educate your family on death and dying?
Continue reading →