Welcome and please explore . . .
Warm congratulations to the six winners in our Goodreads Giveaway Contest; your books have been mailed as of October 16th. We deeply appreciate your interest in Life Came to a Standstill. Our Goodreads' profile is available here
With the end of October in sight, there's still time to enjoy autumn before the snow flies. Nature holds a hopeful soothing power: walking through the leaves, strolling, biking, or simply to sit in the middle of its quiet can help us to breathe.
For a moment, let's talk about "you:" why you are "here," and how you are you coping day-by-day.
While no one would willing choose grief, how can we help ourselves when grief chooses us? And how can we learn to live with this pain?
Following, please find suggestions and simple insights from me and my fellow writers in "Life Came to a Standstill." Allow us to share with you a few of the coping tools we've gathered while walking our own journeys. Even though everyone's grief is unique, commonalities exist for us all.
As you cope, day-by-day, keep your expectations of yourself realistic. If you can be gentle to "you," compassion will spill onto others, while it circles back to you:
"Compassion is language the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
In your sadness and loss, it can feel as if life in general should come to a full stop; yet, in the world "outside" we see that everything moves as normal, with traditional celebratory times continuing throughout the year. These special days, laden with memories, can blind-side those of us who grieve with unpredictable emotions. When an unexpected roller-coaster-ride of pain feels unstoppable, move with the wave rather than fleeing emotionally. The darkest days hold tiny shimmers of light, if you can bear to let the light in. Deep breaths, as you bring your loved-one into your day.
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." - St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Along with your grief, you have been coping with a world pandemic while enduring stressful world and local news.
Here we are in the last quarter of 2021, and absolutely no one has escaped the affects of this difficult time.
While encouraging hope, grief remains a complicated journey rather than a destination. When some days are too sorrowful to bear, hold onto wise people, wise words, and empathetic quotes. Certain quotes can feel as if they have been written for you. Following is just one:
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness. They are the messengers of unspeakable love." Irving Washington
Please reach outward rather than bottling-up your hard feelings. Grief-work is a pivotal part of your journey. Allow yourself to be who you are in your sorrow rather than attempting to wear a false mask. It helps to share your story with those you trust. Isolation and pretense are not comforting for you. Foster meaningful contact with friends and family by phone, text, internet, safe visits, and closer connections with your healing circle. Snail-mail too can offer some of the help and support you need.
Above all else, and as hard as it is please don't give up.
If some of your friends and family don't understand your sorrow, share how you feel and ask for what you need. Often we must walk a "similar path" to fully comprehend another's heartache. As a bereaved person, you may need to teach those around you how to help you best. Definitely you deserve from yourself, and others, the same compassion you would offer to a special friend.
Bereaved moms give back with courage: Consistently it inspires me of what beauty and hope a grieving heart can give.
Following are examples of just two: Dawn Hembling wrote her inspiring poem "Comfort" (photo to your left) to honour her beloved son: Neil Warren Hembling: July 25, 1969- January 12, 2000.
Dawn confides, "My daughter planted a seed in my head, as we faced our first spring after losing Neil. These words came a few days later, as I looked out of my windows at branches against a blue sky. Valerie had commented on the fact that our grief was matched by the joy of the recipient families, as her brother was a multiple organ donor."
Barbara, bereaved mother of Nathan, crafts her beautiful work from parachute silk (photo left): The Story of the Dragonfly begins: "Once in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle . . ." Barbara weaves key chains, in her son's honour and memory, generously donating them along with this timeless legend. If you have an interest in these comforting tributes, you can reach Barbara at email@example.com
Although the pages of our book do not "speak" to the complications of Covid-19, or the recent realities of 2021, we hold out a helping hand for your grief. "Life Came to a Standstill" is dedicated to every heart impacted by loss. We "get it" that your grief continues to impact you, sometimes to the point of paralysis, while world events attempt to overshadow your personal sorrow.
Your loved-one remains an essential part of your life. Honouring him/her by relaying the stories, which are an integral part of you both, helps. Trust your heart . . .
To learn more about Life Came to a Standstill: photos, a piece of the Introduction, and to read the first paragraph of each chapter click on: "author & contributing writers." To view the opinions of others, please open "reviews." Moving through our site, under "more" you'll find 2 free support-booklets ready to print, than scroll further for 14 book tips. Grieving a loved-one is the hardest work. We'd like to help you . . .
Various communities offer bereavement support. One valuable resource is Bereaved Families of Ontario-York Region (BFOYR).
Click here to access their website. While face-to-face support remains suspended for now (due to Covid-19) peer support by phone is available upon request, as well as certain virtual support sessions. Leave a message at (905) 898-6265, or contact through the website link above. Your well-being is an important focus of this compassionate volunteer-based organization.
"Life Came to a Standstill" is available through many venues, including libraries. To see where you can purchase your copy (with no obligation to buy) look under "order your copy." Follow our FB book page by clicking the FB symbol below, or send us a note anytime at all.
During each and every day, may you have hope, health, strength, safety and love.