Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Cycle of Grief - God is so AMAZING!!!

First and foremost, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers, acts of kindness and support over the past years. It has been my esteemed pleasure and honor to be a caregiver to my Mom and she has now passed on to her heavenly home. God is so AMAZING! He put everything in place for me to be able to take care of my Mom. He has allowed every provision so that my son and I were able to live without having vital needs. Yes, our circumstances changed drastically but thanks to godly teaching, we saw a blessing in every aspect...where there was loss, there was also gain. Our time with Mom was an immeasurable gift, so precious, and I thank Him for each and everyday. Having time to be close with my family in Ohio has also meant so much.

Now, I am going through the cycle of grief. God allowed Chapter 11 in my Psychology book (The Journey of Adulthood, by Barbara Bjorklund) to be about Death and Bereavement. As I turned in my final exam at the Tri-C Eastern Campus, I got the 911 that Mom was slipping away. He has been lovingly preparing me all this time and what a special gesture it was to equip me with information from this class. Yes, I freaked out when I got the call initially but He kept telling me to get a hold of myself, breathe, calm down. I knew in my heart I could do this....driving to get to her....don't have an accident. I made several calls because I felt I needed to talk to someone but kept getting voicemail until I called my classmate Scully.  She was sweet enough to give of her time and her nurturing manner.  She sweetly stayed on the phone with me for the entire 20 minute drive until I reached my Mom. She was the one God wanted me to reach. We never know who God is going to place in our lives or why. I am forever grateful.

This is specifically what I learned from Chapter 11 about the stages of grief (p. 345) but the entire class, taught by Prof. Quentin Kuntz is amazing. I hope it will help you:

Going through each stage of grief is important. You cannot skip a stage and go back to it.  You must go through it when it comes.  Everyone may not experience grief in exactly this manner but the majority that loses a loved one will have "grief work" to do. The stages presented by Psychiatrist John Bowley are numbness, yearning, disorganization and despair with a period of reorganization as one returns to normalcy. (It has also been noted via other studies that there are some that have resilience and simply move on with no grief work needed.)

The timing is different for everyone so don't let anyone tell you 'get over it already'. For some it may take a few weeks; for others years.  I pray you will eventually find joy, happiness and peace in the memories.

I definitely experienced numbness initially, and am finding the yearning stage has manifested for me with peaks and valleys. There is some disorganization as I am trying to sort through thoughts in my mind, items left behind and what I should do with my life to some extent. I only relocated to care for my Mom and that has been my primary concern since November, 2004. She lived with me in VA for six months and then because she really wanted to be in her own home, and I wanted her to have that comfort, we relocated to OH May, 2005. God was also amazing in encouraging me to create a life for myself once I settled in with Mom, via The Mom Squad, church, going back to school, GETTING REMARRIED. LOL What a miracle that He sent me a wonderful husband via an encounter at The Whole Foods just as my son, with his supportive loving ways, went off to college. hahaha I will never forget that encounter. As I work through these stages, I know I will be just fine because that is what God wants me to be. And if you lose a loved one, He wants you to be just fine too. Always, pray, talk things out and if you need a professional to go through things with you, do that. I wrote an article several years about Cornerstone of Hope, a grief counseling organization on Brecksville Road. Give them a call (216) 524-4673  www.cornerstoneofhope.org.

I am in VA right now, just taking a little break before school begins again. Enjoying the peace, smells, cleanliness of the neighborhoods, all that VA means to me.  VA embraces me in many ways because my life there was a goal accomplished, so it will always have special meaning for me.  I encourage you to find your solace and just sit for a while after a devastating experience.

Lucinda Outler was such a sweet, loving, supportive person in my life. Forever encouraging, intelligent, spiritual. Her hands nurtured, cooked everything from scratch, showed compassion as she ironed, gardened, made homemade meds to help us back to good health, and oh how she prayed and counselled us. As my sister says, "She cherished her family." That is it in a nutshell and because of that, we cherished her and do our best to take love into the world. She lived to be 96 years old. Incredible. My Dad, George, passed 32 years ago. He was her one sweetheart on this earth. I can't think of one without the other because they worked so well together with the purpose of raising a loving, productive family. I am eternally thankful to have had these two individuals as my parents. Thank You Lord. I pray to carry on their loving legacy via my children.

The story of the creation of Hospice was told in Chapter 11 and what an amazing story it is. I will share it at another time. I must tell you that CrossRoads Hospice was our lifeline. They were with us, off and on for approximately 2 years. The care and support they gave to my Mom and I and eventually my entire family is more than I ever imagined. What a marvelous organization. Tamika Jones, Aide and Tammy Carrington, Nurse were our primary contacts. If I could give CrossRoads a million dollars, it wouldn't be enough to represent how much I appreciate them. IF YOU EVER FEEL LED TO DONATE TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT TRULY SHINES THE LIGHT OF THE LORD VIA THEIR HANDS ON ABILITIES, IN SO MANY ASPECTS, FOR THOSE THAT ARE ILL AND THEIR FAMILIES, I THOROUGHLY RECOMMEND HOSPICE.

Bless each and every one of you.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Vote For Lisa!! Let's Show Our Support!

Lisa is a Mom, just like you. She is a part of our Fish Family, just like you, but Lisa has multiple sclerosis and is getting to the point where she needs a newer vehicle, particularly a handicap accessible one soon. 

May is National Mobility Awareness Month and there is a contest for winning a new accessible vehicle.  Lisa needs to be in the top 10% of entrants with the most votes to move on to the judging.  The voting is open thru May 13.  People can vote once a day, everyday, from any IP server.  Lisa is on a mission to find a cure for MS. You can help. Read her story and more about the contest at http://www.nmeda.com/mobility-awareness-month/heroes/ohio/euclid/1257/lisa-morek


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The City Mission...Bringing Awareness and Healing

Anytime I attend a seminar or event at The City Mission, I am blown away. Just when I think I know all that The City Mission does, I am surprised by yet another wonderful thing. During a seminar entitled, "Where's Papa?" on Wednesday, April 18, Dr. David Stoop spoke candidly about:

A) His relationship with his father that was very damaging. Dr. Stoop realized later in life, that his father had been damaged by his relationship with his own mother;

B) His relationship with his children and the revelation God blessed him to have, in that there is more to being a good father than simply being present; and

C) The fatherly role and statistically the positive impact having a father present in the home  can have, as well as, the negatives of not having a father present.

As the seminar drew to a close, Dr. Stoop spoke of a class he had participated in thanks to The City Mission entitled, “Debt Canceling”.  It has nothing to do with finances. This is a life awareness journey, that can be rather emotional, and is very instrumental in helping a person reach a level of healing by being able to forgive someone that has hurt them. In many cases, an individual is in need of healing from a difficult parental experience or from an abusive spouse, etc. This class can help someone to reach a powerful break-thru that will grant them the opportunity to end generational curses, remove the stress built up by emotional walls and to deal with bitterness that has prevented them from moving forward to obtain the abundant life that Jesus Christ wants for them. Gaining these tools removes the stigma of the negativity, and pain can no longer be a stronghold. It is a priceless gift!

For more information about the Debt Canceling class, to find out more about all The City Mission is doing, to donate your time, money and/or talents to this worthy organization and to learn more about Laura's Home (the live in center for women & children) and Pathways (the center for children), please go to their website at www.thecitymission.org or call (216) 431-3510.
To purchase a copy of Dr. Stoop's latest book entitled, "Making Peace With Your Father", go to www.amazon.com.