Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Take Time to Care’

You Can’t Run Away!

Discussing death is extremely difficult for most people and viewed as the elephant in the room in many cultures. Yet, beyond birth it is the only thing we will all encounter and eventually experience. Yet, we are not only reluctant but often flatly refuse to discuss or learn more about it until the inevitable happens to us. If we are at least somewhat prepared it helps. Some people say it is just too depressing to even think about and so they choose to avoid the topic entirely until a friend or family member is involved and they must face it head on. Then the questions and fear starts in their minds, ‘How do I handle these emotions? Will I ever get over it? What’s wrong with me? Is it normal to feel this way? I feel tired and depressed all the time.’

Unfortunately, in American culture the ‘average’ amount of time the outside world is comfortable with our grief is two to three weeks. After that we are on our own. People start to avoid us because they can see we are in emotional pain and it makes them uncomfortable. It is sad that after a death, when we need people more than ever to just sit with us and allow us to talk about our loved one, yet again, they are not there. Frequently we may hear people say, ‘I just don’t know what to say and I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing so I just can’t visit.’ It’s not about words. It’s about caring, your physical presence…it really is about listening and giving people your love and energy to make it through another day.

I have experienced the tragic death of my son, many family members and dear friends. I have lived the saying, “If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would climb right up to heaven and bring you home again.” I know how loss feels.

Now I volunteer for a ‘not for profit’ Hospice organization. Doing so I have had the opportunity to see a range of emotional responses to the impending death of a loved one. What has surprised me is that even when Hospice becomes involved often the family members still do not want to ‘go there’ to discuss the inevitable. Avoidance can be life altering – and freeze you in time.

That’s why I wrote my story on the topic of loss. It was my way to try to help people, who have experienced the death of someone close to them, understand that handling death is a process – a long and arduous journey – but one in which peace and acceptance can eventually be achieved. Hearing from a kindred spirit can give us confidence that eventually we will survive, even though we feel we have a hole in our hearts that will never heal.

I have been fortunate to receive emails from many people who have read my book. I am grateful to each and every one of you who took the time to respond. Recently, I have had two nurses contact me after reading it. Since both have experienced death in their own families as well as in the medical profession, I was particularly moved when they also took the time to write to me. A quote from one of them said:

“Anyone who has ever lost a loved one really needs to read Mary’s book, “Just Behind the Door.” It’s raw, it’s honest and one of the very best I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a TON of them.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with the loss of a loved one please consider
reading the book and then pass it on. When we help a fellow traveler along the way we help ourselves and that is what life is all about. As hard as it is to accept at times, ‘All is as it should be.’

Have a great few days!

A Perfect Example of Synchronicity!

Sometimes sharing a story does more for understanding than pages of detailed explanations. The following is a perfect example of synchronicity. A term that is complex in definition but simple in understanding through example.

As I drove up to my mailbox (one of those newly designed mail deliveries with 53 small locked boxes) I waited for two people ahead of me to pick up their mail. As I waited one person, whom I had never met before, introduced herself and began talking about her purpose for being there on this day. It seems her best friend’s son had committed suicide and she came to her winter home to support her as she goes through the grueling and gut wrenching process of burying her son on Saturday. We discovered in our short conversation many similar connections – geographical locations including states and even continents, deaths of a son, ways to support a parent who goes through such a shocking experience…just to name a few. It felt like the Universe just placed the two of us on a perfectly aligned course to meet. She said she had shivers on her arms as we were talking. I thought to myself, yes there certainly was a purpose – an unplanned event – that was designed to happen.

I mentioned to her that I had published a book on the loss of a child and it also included a section on suicide for people who experience such a traumatic event. As she looked at me with absolute surprise I knew, once again, this unintended meeting was set up by a force greater than myself. The force that Jung called Pure Consciousness or the quantum level of existence. One thing led to another and she came directly to my house and picked up three copies of my book.

What were the chances of being at the exact place at the exact time to be able to offer help to another human being who was wrestling with a profound life changing event? Remember the saying, when the student is ready the teacher comes along? We all fall into both categories of being either student or teacher throughout our life experiences.

Carl Jung, the noted Swiss psychiatrist, became fascinated with this phenomena he termed synchronicity in the early 1920’s. He defined it as the ‘appearance of seemingly random acts which have a significant meaning personally.’ Jaworski and Senge in the 80’s and 90’s also referred to this phenomenon in reference to leadership of organizations.

It seems to boil down to one’s willingness to be of service to others when the situation is presented. To choose, in effect, to momentarily set aside our personal agendas and schedules and take the time to truly listen with our hearts to someone. To do something to help another is a selfless experience of the Divine. By doing so we create a higher awareness and deeper understanding of reality and our place as servant in this incredible Universe.

Taking time to care about others in need creates the moments in life that change who we are and what our mission in this lifetime is all about. We begin to see more clearly the bigger picture of service. I want to be thoroughly used up before I leave this earth and am thankful every time I am able to add a word, ask a question or offer a word – a perspective even – that can help a fellow traveller along the way.

You might want to watch for these moments of synchronicity in your life. They will present themselves because we all have the power to make the world – one individual at a time – a little stronger in the process. We just need to be open and willing to set aside our personal agendas and adjust our time frames to offer support.

Have a great few days!

Remember Mother’s Day and Connect

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! It was actually started by the ancient Greeks and Romans and is now celebrated in over 46 countries around the world. It is a day that we take the time to remember and appreciate the gift of life and unconditional love that we have been given.

Many mothers will be receiving cards, flowers or calls from their children which will warm their hearts and put a grateful smile on their face. They will remember the special moments in life when raising their child may have been challenging but was such a blessing. Once a mother, always a mother, regardless of the age of your offspring.

For those moms who have lost a child the day can be incredibly difficult to face. They also remember, with an ache in their hearts, the times in their lives when their children would remember the day. Sometimes we hesitate to connect with these moms, afraid to upset them further. But fear not, out of sight is not out of mind and your connecting to them could be just what they need at this time. They still yearn to see that special smile or hear the loving voice of their child one more time.

I know that their loved one is still around them. They are trying to get their attention and to thank them for all that they did and to reassure them that ‘All is as it should be.’ I have walked in their shoes and know that energy cannot be created nor destroyed only changed in form. I am convinced that the energy of unconditional love never dies it just moves on to a different dimension.

If you know of someone who has lost their child please take a moment to connect with them over the next few days. Trust me, it will touch their heart to know someone remembers and cares. You might want to forward this blog to them. It may be just the salve needed to help heal their wounded heart.

From the distance of our separation
I see the whole of which I was a part;
I see the way, at times, I tore your heart,
And see the love that you maintain,
And know my leaving caused great pain.
But it was my time to move on again,
You could not change the destiny, the plan
I see the love that shaped our lives,
And am grateful for that and so much more.
Do not fear that I have simply disappeared,
Because I am forever in your loving sphere.
I am here, behind the door, watching and praying for
you to heal, to remember the good times, there were so many.
I chose you as my Mom for so many reasons.
I needed your strength, your love and belief in me,
I needed to learn the lessons that only you could teach me.
I am now free of anger, fear, pain and hurt,
And am surrounded by total peace and love,
The kind of love that you have for me,
Forever and eternally.
I will always be merely a breath and thought away,
Unconditional love just works that way.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tell Someone You Care

How many times have you thought about telling someone how important they are to you or giving them a compliment? In the last few days, I have received emails and a phone call thanking me for something I had done. Four people mentioned a recent blog that had made an impact on them. At first I was humbled and appreciative of the feedback and then I thought more deeply about the affect those messages had on me. I felt more positive energy around me. It changed a good day into an exceptional one for me. It made me think of the importance of ‘paying it forward.’

We often get so involved in our daily lives, the hustle and bustle of it all, that we may think, momentarily, of a kindness or help from someone and then let it slip from awareness as we quickly move on to the next item on our ‘to do’ list. Yet, when all is said and done, what really matters in life is our relationships, our love, concern and recognition of self AND others. People really don’t care how much you have or how much you know until they know how much you care.

Tuning into a T.V. program last night entitled, Undercover Boss, the message was, once again, so apparent. As CEO’s from various large companies disguised themselves so they could walk a mile – or in these examples – a week in the shoes of their employees, these CEOs were humbled by the passion and concern their employees brought to their jobs. All were shocked by the family challenges that so many of their employees endured. Yet, they came to work each day and did their jobs well. At the end of each vignette, the CEOs met with the employees and literally with tears in their eyes thanked them for a job well done. These folks beamed as their ‘top gun’ took the time to recognize them. The CEOs changed the lives of these employees as well as their own.

Conversely, during this election season, the T.V. adds are filled with negative messaging, and some are even designed to instill fear in us. I refuse to be entangled in this web of fear-based programming and will not accept the negative energy from these adds. Negatives just don’t get to me anymore. I will continue to search out truth, listen to the ‘fact checkers’ on the news and remember that I haven’t walked a mile in someone’s shoes. I will make up my own mind based on the facts I can discover and consider the amount of positive energy I feel when listening to a candidate. How incredible it would be if they decided to concentrate on hope rather than fear, on the positives of tomorrow rather than the negatives of yesterday. They could learn a lot from the CEOs that went undercover.

We all do the best we can do each day considering the challenges we face. I can’t believe that anyone wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, ‘I am going to have a very bad day’ and then purposely surrounds themselves with a negative mind set.

Positive energy is something we all need to survive. If we each take a moment to tell someone how important they are to us or how appreciative we are of a kindness shown or a lesson learned we will create a better world.

Maybe you can find an extra 2 or 3 minutes tomorrow to ‘pay it forward’ by complimenting someone, showing appreciation or just letting someone know you are thinking about them. It may help lift their spirits, walk with a little more confidence and have a better day. What a gift you have given them!

I’ll commit to making the world a little happier each day by taking the time to connect with someone for something. Will you?

Have a great few days!