Yesterday

Yesterday, I drove from Dallas to Houston to attend the funeral of my dear friend’s mother. I had only met Ms. Shirley a couple times but I knew her through her daughter, my friend of seventeen years. I knew her through her legacy of her children, and grandchildren; their compassion and yet strong character, their will to succeed as humans and as citizens in a society that can be flawed and heartless at times.

The ministers announced that we were there to celebrate Ms. Shirley and her life. And it truly felt like a celebration.

All those who came to speak, knew Ms. Shirley personally. They referenced, “It takes a village” and said Ms. Shirley had a devotion to her “village” which included not only her kids, but her extended family; nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and even those in her community. Two people from the neighborhood stood up to speak on behalf of the neighbors. One woman, a childhood friend of Ms. Shirley’s daughter, who grew up in the neighborhood, shared that Ms. Shirley often times led that village. Ms. Shirley looked out for her neighbors and was there for the kids in her community. She always had food to share, an ear to listen, and a home that kids could visit and feel safe. She was the neighborhood friend, mother, or grandmother that helped keep her community strong. The woman then expressed her gratitude to Ms. Shirley and asked all those villagers from the neighborhood to stand, which they did so proudly.

The minister referenced “the dash”.  He asked if we all knew what the dash meant and then went on to explain. On our tombstone, we have a date of birth. Then we have a date of death. The dash between those two dates represent all the time we spend in between life and death.

Ms. Shirley, who married, had six children, was widowed, and became a single working mother, was still able to find food, time, and money for not only her family, but also for her village. Her nephew declared that her faith carried her through difficult times.  Then he joked how Ms. Shirley sometimes would say that the younger generation didn’t know how to stretch a dollar. As a single mother myself. I could appreciate that. Although, I only had two mouths to feed, mine and my son’s, I still understood what it meant to be on your own and how to make a dollar stretch.

As I sat there in the pew, I heard one minister say how Ms. Shirley would not come back for anything in the world because she was at home, in peace with her father in heaven. While I do mostly agree, in my ear, I heard her say that she would give one more day to be with her kids. I couldn’t help but wonder if Ms. Shirley whispered this in my ear so I could share her words with her children. And what loving mother wouldn’t give to have one more day with her kids. Being a mother myself, given the chance, I would. And no doubt in my mind, that Ms. Shirley would also.

As mothers, we try to impart our wisdom, our teachings, and our lessons to our kids so that we can prepare them for their future. Our legacy is not only in their genes, but in our words spoken to them and in their childhood experiences and memories. Every moment we spend nurturing our children carries on to future generations.

The same is true for those in our community. Our kids are paying attention. I remember on two different occasions my sons acknowledging me for something I did for another person, a random act of kindness. Afterwards, they said, “That was really nice of you”. Funny, because I don’t remember what I did, but I remember their response. It touched me greatly. I thought to myself, these are lessons I want my sons to remember. No doubt, that Ms. Shirley’s children were impacted by her generosity and outreach in her community. I know that my friend, her daughter, is one of the most generous and giving persons I know and I feel truly blessed to call her friend.

In a world where we hear too often about mass shootings, hatred, bigotry, and divisive opinions, it is so refreshing to hear about one woman who loved her family and her community and how that community grew, bonded and became stronger because of her.

 

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass

 

The Dash Poem, by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning…to the end

He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little line is worth

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering this special dash
Might only last a little while

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?

National Adoption Awareness From a Birth Mothers View

National Adoption Awareness Month just ended. And the internet was flooded with adoption videos. Most of which were from one side. The happy side. The gifted side.

I am a birth mother. I will always see adoption through my side. Through loss. So as any awareness campaign, please know that there are two sides to adoption and actually three sides because as the adoptee grows, they have their side as well.

Please take the time to watch this video. Share these stories too. And know that adoption almost always is based off of loss and sometimes trauma.

This year and this month marks 18 years that I had a heart-wrenching choice to make. When my son left my arms and my home, and I didn’t know if I would EVER see him again.

This video expresses what women experience just before they make their final decision. Just before they terminate their parental rights. When there is no crystal ball into what the future holds.

 

May God Bless the grieving birth mothers and heal their broken heart.

Think You Want To Be A Birth Mother? Think Again.

I met Maureen at work.  A growing bank chain had begun to acquire another nationwide bank.  Maureen, who was from Long Island, was offered a position Texas.  She had worked for her bank 15 or more years when she relocated to Texas.  Maureen had experience, expertise and vast knowledge.  She was well respected, attractive, and witty.  She was an asset and the new purchasing bank wanted her on their team.

Maureen knew about both of my sons.  I had pictures of them on my desk.  And I had even brought up Noah and his family to the office one time.  Jaren had been up there many, many times.  I had talked about both of my sons in the office.  So I wanted my coworkers to meet Noah and I wanted Noah to meet them.  It was a proud moment for me to have both Jaren and Noah at the office.

I always wondered who was judging me.  It was a mind game, whether real or imaginary and I am certain it was a little of both.  I felt like my diverse family made others feel awkward.  My family was not neat and tidy.  There were complicated pieces.  This contributed heavily to my emotions and imbalance at times.  It’s why I understood that sometimes it’s easier to just move on as best you can and put the birth and the adoption behind you.  And when I say, “behind you,” I mean to not speak of it.  Birth mothers can never totally forget or put giving birth nor their child behind them.  They keep it reserved in a portion of their mind and their heart, hiding it carefully as if they are protecting a small child from a scoundrel.

After Maureen began to reconnect with her lost daughter, I learned she was a birth mother too.  She and I had other things in common.  We were both from the upper east coast, both raised Catholic, both with Irish roots.  So finding out that she too was a birth mother made me feel closer to her.  Besides that, her New York accent reminded me of my grandmother, especially when she said my name.

Previously, she was private about her adoption experience.  Maureen was regal and conservative.  She was not at all open about her choice to relinquish her daughter.  I say choice but I doubt she had many options or choices.  She was young, Catholic and not married; the perfect recipe for the adoption industry.  But when she reunited with her daughter, things changed.  I don’t think she confessed to everyone about finding her daughter.  But she felt safe with me and another birth mother who also worked in our department.

Maureen, who never had any more children, was so happy to meet her daughter.  I could see the love she had for her daughter. She was so proud to show off her pictures.  Her daughter looked so much like Maureen and just as beautiful.  They began to connect on Facebook.  Then, they arranged to meet; secretly at first.  Her daughter didn’t want her adoptive parents to know.  She didn’t know how they would take it.  Maureen flew back to the east coast.  Her daughter was recently engaged.  So Maureen got to meet her daughter’s fiancé as well.

After their first meeting, they stayed connected.  It was not always easy.  Her daughter was having a difficult time with the reunion too.  Maureen felt her daughter would retreat from the relationship sometimes.

Maureen would talk to me about her feelings.  I would try to share as best as I could.  Although she had been a birth mother much longer than me, I seemed to have more experience because of  my open adoption relationship with my son and his family.  Maureen was unprepared for the emotional toll this new birth/adoption/reunion was about to take on her.  While my situation was a little different than hers, we were both still women who gave birth to a child and relinquished our parental rights.  We have a similar experience.  That, in itself, is enough.  I had gone through with the reconnecting and disconnecting a couple times.  That’s what it felt like whenever Jaren and I got together with Noah’s family.  I had to say good-bye over and over again.  It’s a very strange feeling because you don’t know who you are to your own child.  Or who they want you to be.  You don’t want to be too aloof and give the impression that you don’t care.  But you also don’t want to overly show love or affection or appear “too clingy” and give the impression you are trying to take over.  You have this natural instinct and need to mother and to protect.  It can feel as if your every move is being judged and nothing will come off as appropriate, as if you are on trial without a character witness for a choice you made and nothing will erase what happened and there is a consequence that every person amidst you will consciously or unconsciously bestow on you.  It’s an emotional tight-rope.  And you feel as if one wrong move could end drastically and possibly severe the relationship for good.

For the first time, Maureen’s emotions began to show.  This very cool, collective, admired soul began to show insecurities and self-doubt.  The beautiful woman, who walked with her head high, began to take a second-class position.

Maureen got invited to her daughter’s wedding.  Maureen took her mother, the birth grandmother, to the wedding.  And they even stayed with her daughter’s adoptive parents.  Maureen shared some of her feelings about that experience.  I understood.  We shared our stories and our feelings.  I wanted her to know that what she was feeling and experiencing was very normal.  Birth mothers don’t always know that unless they talk with other birth mothers.  We can feel as if we are weird or strange for feeling a certain way.  And if we are not careful, we can have family or friends convince us of the same.  It never seizes to amaze me how many people will try to counsel another person without having a similar experience, no education or degree in the field, no work experience, nor any research done on the subject matter.  And yet, they will speak as if they are the expert.  If we are not careful, we can lead a person down a deadly path.

After the wedding, Maureen and I got a little closer.  She gave me a Willow Tree Angel, called Friendship.  I treasured it.  We went out for happy hour a couple times with some co-workers.

In the spring of 2012, we made plans to go see October Baby.

Hi Karen
The 2:45 show will be fine, we can meet at Cheddars at 1PM, please call me after
Church to confirm. Enjoy your morning and will see you later.

October Baby

Maureen, who now had almost twenty-five years of service, seemed to be changing more.  I had worked with Maureen for nearly five years so I knew her work ethics fairly well.  She had begun to appear intoxicated at work.  I never knew for certain.  It was a feeling.  I thought maybe she was taken some medication.  Her eyes and her speech were sluggish.  I wanted to help her but I didn’t know what to do or say.  I mean, what DO you say?  “Hey, Maureen, are you drunk?  Is everything okay?”  I didn’t want to make false assumptions or offend her; especially during this difficult time in her life.  But I also didn’t want her to feel alone.  At the time, I didn’t know of any birth mother support groups.  I didn’t find one myself until 13 years after my son was adopted out.  That’s a long time to go without any counseling or support. Even though the adoption agency was required to offer me counseling after the birth and relinquishment of my infant, they did not. Even when I was at my lowest point a couple weeks after the birth and called them in despair for some counseling, the woman who had been so available to me none stop during my pregnancy and even made special arrangements to meet me on Christmas Eve day so I could sign relinquishment papers for the agency, now seemed unconcerned for my mental well-being and said, “Do you think you really need counseling?” So I had to figure it out on my own, as did so many other birth mothers.

I resigned from the bank in 2012 and had lost contact with mostly everyone.  I did keep in contact with Maureen via email and sent her a link to my blog in hopes it would help her.

Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 8:03 AM
Subject: New blog
Hello Maureen,
I started a new blog.  Here is a recent one I posted.
TO MY BIRTH MOTHERS

Sent: Tue, Apr 16, 2013 8:33 am
Subject: Re: New blog
hey Karen, sorry I haven’t been in touch, love you , miss you. nice story…….just going thru some rough times, will be okay tho

Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:16 AM
Subject: Re: New blog

I understand Maureen! I really do. And that’s why I want to be there for you. I think of you often. And I thought about you (also) while writing this piece. I thought about all of us birth mothers!!!
Please try to come to our next birth mothers support group. We can go together.  Just try it once.  Some of the girls/women don’t even say anything. So you don’t have to vent. You can just listen and see how we birth mothers experience all the same emotions.
Miss you chick!  🙂
Keep in touch.
Karen

Sent: Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 10:43 AM
Subject: Re: New blog
thanks Karen, I appreciate you and your thoughts, will be in touch, maybe meet for lunch some time soon.
That was the last time we talked.
I tried reaching out a few more times but got no response. Two years came and went, and I decided to check on her again. When I got no response, I wondered if maybe she changed her number.  So I sent a text to another mutual coworker that I also kept in touch with about once a year.  I thought maybe she knew how Maureen was doing or had her current contact information.  
She said, “Sorry to be the one to tell you, Maureen passed away from Liver disease.”
I was shocked. And deeply sadden. Maureen passed in 2015.  She was only 49 years old.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

Angel

Dear Sissy

Dear Sissy,

It has been almost six months and I do miss you dearly.  I think of you often.  I wonder how things are where you are.  How is Ray?  We sure do miss him too.  And Jeanna.  And Patti.  And your family?  I am sure they were so happy to see you.

I wanted to catch you up on what is going on.  I can just picture us sitting in your living room and talking.  You always were a great listener and story teller.

Jaren and I are well.  We found a nice apartment and I am almost certain you guided me to it; so many coincidences.  The best part about our new apartment is I am only 4.8 miles from work.  I know you would be happy to know that.  You always worried about my long drive.

Work is going well.  I really like my new department and coworkers.  You know how nervous I was at first.  I started my new position a couple weeks after you passed.

Jaren’s graduation went well.  I know how proud of him you would have been.  He is taking online college courses and he hopes to be in a dorm soon.  He really wants to experience the college life.  I am glad he is with me a little longer.  With your passing, my new job position, Jaren graduating high school, moving out of the house and into our new apartment, I think it would have been difficult to be without Jaren too.  So thankfully, he is with me a little longer.  But I know he is ready to explore.  And I am just about getting used to the idea of him leaving home.  I can hear you giving me advice in your kind and gentle tone, reassuring me that everything will be alright.  And you are right.

So many changes in such a short time, Sissy, but considering everything, I am doing well.

Noah and his family came down for Jaren’s graduation and they stayed with us at the house.  I told Noah that he was there shortly after he was born for Christmas Eve.  Of course he doesn’t remember but maybe somewhere subconsciously it is in him.  It did feel like we came full circle.  It meant a great deal to have them stay at that house.  Noah’s parents felt right at home too.  The only thing missing was you and Ray.  But somehow, I think you both were there.  Everything in that house reminds me of you two.

The kids all seem to be doing well.  It’s hard because everyone is scattered but we do talk or txt now and then.  I know you would be very happy to know that most everything you had went to the kids or close family and friends.  I know how much you treasured your belongings.  We had fun going through your things and sharing some stories to go along the way.  Of course, you know I have many of those to share.

Sissy, you would be so proud of how your kids handled your estate.  They were so generous to Jaren and me and honored your final wishes and request.  I really got to know Danny more in those last few months then I did over the twenty plus years of knowing him.  I see what made him special to you.

Tell Ray that Jaren did his best to keep the yard looking good and he took good care of your flowers too.  We all worked together to get the house ready for market.  Danny and Judy labored hard getting the house ready for the estate sale.  And ready for the new buyers.  I even got to meet of few of the neighbors.  I guess having a garage sale is a good way to get to know the community.  One lady bought a book shelf and she said her son would come get it later.  When he came, I saw he was wearing a hearing aid.  He is in his early twenties.  I told him I was hearing impaired and we got to talking about it.  I just thought, “Wow, what are the odds.”  They were a nice family.  It made me realize why you loved your home and your neighborhood so much.

Well, today Sis, is your birthday.  And in your honor, Jaren and I are going to meet Karen at BJ’s.  I hadn’t thought about doing this until mid-day today.   I can’t think of better way to honor you and your memory on this special day.  We will be sure to put a glass of tea on the table for you, with extra ice and lemons.

Happy Birthday, Sissy.  We love you and miss you dearly.

Melancholy Christmas

Last week, our church had a family friendly Christmas service mid-week.  There was a short Christmas play, Jesus There’s an App For That, performed by the kids, which included my sixteen year old son, Jaren.  And, we had a Christmas sing-a-long throughout the service.  When the congregation began to sing Silent Night, tears unexpectedly filled my eyes.  My soul wanted to weep and I strongly held back a cry that my spirit wanted to release.  I was remembering a time from my childhood.  It’s the one time of the year that was almost always good and pure.

Each Christmas Eve we gathered over to my grandparents’ house.  This was a tradition that had been going on for many years, which started with my mother, her siblings and cousins at my great grandparents’ home.  Because they were chicken farmers, they had to get up early in the am to collect the eggs from the hens.  So they gathered with their families, celebrated the spirit of Christmas with good food, delicious, traditional German sweets and schnapps, opening their Christmas gifts on the Eve of Christmas.  Long after they retired from the chicken farming, this very special Christmas Eve tradition continued for the next several generations, with four and five generations all gathering in one very small country home.  As children, we always wondered how Santa made it to our grandparents home so early.  Santa didn’t drop by our home until sometime in the middle of the night.  Our grandmother secretly disclosed that she had a special arrangement with Santa Claus.

One of the most treasured memories of the evening was singing Christmas carols.  The last song was always the same.  Silent Night.  After singing all the holly jolly and jingle bells songs, this one always settled us kids and somehow magically transformed us from “Santa’s gifts” to “Jesus’s birth”.  We lit the German tapers on the tree, turned the lights out and sang Silent Night.  Then we would sit silently as the elders would sing it once more in German.  As we gathered to go home, the children would gaze up to the evening sky and try to get a glimpse of Santa on his sleigh.  Surely we saw him a time or two over the years.  Then we would stop off at the Catholic Church for their midnight service; kneeling, praying and paying tribute by honoring Mary and her precious baby boy, Jesus while giving thanks to God and all His glory.

Of all the times in my youth, this one night is what I miss most about my childhood.  If I could relive one moment or one day, I would surely choose this night just so I could experience the magic and our family tradition and listen to my grandparents sing Silent Night in their native language one more time.

Most people equate this time of the year with goodness, happy, treasured, and cherished moments.  But sometimes the holidays can bring somberness and sorrow as well.  It seems this year, many of my loved ones are experiencing this holiday in a way they have not experienced it before.  And I cannot remember another year where so many of my extended family and friends have experienced such great losses.

Parents have lost sons; siblings have lost brothers, wives have lost husbands, and children have lost parents.

My son’s godfather lost the love of his life, Jose earlier this year.  Jose was someone who loved life and he especially loved Christmas.  But Jose’s health had been failing him over the past several years.  My son’s godfather had cared dearly for his partner of nineteen years as he witnessed his partner’s health decline.  This year, our dear Robert will spend Christmas for the first time without his loving partner, Jose.

For my son’s grandmother, she lost her soul-mate; her husband earlier this year.  For the first time in forty plus years, she will not have her husband by her side Christmas morning.

For my dear friend, Sissy while her husband is still with us, he is suffering with severe Alzheimer’s; she has lost the man that she fell in love with more than thirty years ago.  His loved ones have all become unrecognizable to him.  Seeing him deteriorate every day is a struggle for us all.  This may very well be the last holiday that he will spend in his home among family and friends on Christmas Eve.

For me, this time of the year is filled with mixed emotions.  While I’ve enjoyed being able to see Christmas through Jaren’s childlike eyes through the years, this is also the time of the year when my second son, Noah was born and I said goodbye to my infant boy.  While I have a wonderful relationship with Noah and his family, it seems every year I unconsciously still re-live that moment and loss to some extent.  I feel guilty sometimes because I think about the mothers who will never be able to see their children again or share another Christmas holiday because their children are gone forever.  And I think of the birthmothers who never get see their child, and the ones who wonder if their child is alive and well.

But the most heart wrenching of all was yesterday as I heard my coworker fall to her knees and cry out with disbelief that her husband of many, many years had just died unexpectedly.  One of our very own, my cube neighbor, just got the hardest news only three days before Christmas.  Her cries echoed throughout the third floor among hundreds of workers and there wasn’t anything anyone could do.  With every cry she released, another person felt her pain until just about every eye in our office had tears.  I realized today more than ever before how one does not have to directly experience hurt to feel pain.  Pain can be seen. Pain can be heard.  Her cries lingered on in my mind long after she left the building to be with her loved ones.  Her life changed in one moment.  This year and every year hereafter, she will take this experience with her for the remainder of her years here on earth.

I love Christmas.  I love the lights, the songs, and the jolly atmosphere.  I love giving more than receiving.  And I love the true Christmas story.  But I also know the truth; not everyone experiences the Christmas holiday the same.

So as you jingle through your holiday, and ho, ho, ho through this Christmas, please be kind to those who have experienced a great loss and help those in need find their way back to the spirit of Christmas.  You might not need to say anything.  All you may need to do is look compassionately into their eyes and give them a warm, comforting hug.

May God richly bless each and every one of you and may you have a very Merry Christmas!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.    Luke 2:14

The Grief Club

Jaren and I recently volunteered at a Thanksgiving dinner for a non-profit organization for men.  Charles, a handsome black man who works there walks up to me and my son, introduces himself, and begins to chat about all the ways this Christian based non-profit helps in their community.  He tells us that some of the men are homeless, some are veterans, others are men who participate in their discipleship program to help mentor in their communities and some are just learning how to become better men and fathers.  Charles, a true gentlemen, is confident, warm and sincere.  Something about him seems vaguely familiar.  Out of the blue, he looks over to Jaren and says, “You remind me of my son.  I lost my son when he was thirty years old.”  He glances over to me and tells us he also lost his wife a few years later.  Then he looks directly back at Jaren, lays his hand on Jaren’s arm and humbly proclaims, “I know pain.”

Instantly, I know what is familiar.  It’s that place of pain.  It’s a place that only those who have experienced such a great loss can enter in and out of as if we belong to a club that no one ever really wanted or wants to belong to; a place that is usually caused by a great loss.  It’s a place you don’t wish on your worst enemy.  It’s heartbreaking to see a new member enter into this club.  It’s written on their face.  Their eyes shine differently and the scar has already made it’s imprint on their grieving heart.   While others will sympathize, The Grief Club members will empathize because they understand all too well the road that lies ahead.

There’s a strange comfort when meeting someone who can look you in the eye and say “I understand.  I know pain.”

A friend of mine recently lost her father to suicide.  It’s never easy to lose someone, whether it’s a loved one dying from Cancer, from an accident of some sort, or from old age, whether we were preparing for the event or the loss was felt unexpectedly.  No death or loss is easy to experience.  It is said that losing a child is one of the greatest pains to bear.  But losing a loved one to suicide must also be a great burden to bear.

When my friend told me about her father, he was in the hospital, holding on for dear life.  He lived several states away and it was important for her to see her father before he passed.  She had previously confided in me that her father had not been there for her as a child, something that I am all too familiar with, and they had a troubled relationship.  She and I have much in common when it comes to our fathers; but now her father was lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life and her heart was about to break open.  Truth is, her father is still her father and she still loved him dearly, despite his imperfections.

I immediately recalled my dear friend Mark who committed suicide back in the early 80’s.  We were both around nineteen years old.

I ran into Mark when I drove into town, after he had been up all night on a speed enhanced drug.  He asked me for a ride home.  I invited him to breakfast at the fast food restaurant I worked at.  He went along for the ride but declined on eating.  He was still crashing from the speed that invaded his body.  Food was the last thing on his mind.  Apparently he had a lot more on his mind than he led onto.  When I pulled into his driveway, Mark said, “It’s been nice knowing you.”  I smiled, gave him a light hug and off he went.

Part of me wondered if he was really talking about suicide but mostly I thought he was using the phrase as a metaphor or at the very least, it was the drugs talking after being up all night.  Surely, once he went to sleep and crashed all day long he would feel refreshed and be back to his good ole self.  I didn’t know what his home life or love life was like.  I knew he came from a blended family.

Mark ended his life the next day with a rifle shot gun.  I remember getting the call about Mark but for the life of me, I don’t remember who called me.  We all (my friends and our families) had already experienced so much loss.  Our friends were dying from drugs or alcohol related car accidents and overdoses.

Mark and I had gone to the movies just a week or so before.  We saw An Officer and a Gentleman.  At the time of his death, I never thought about the movie and the suicide scene but later looking back, I saw a much bigger connection.  I’ve thought about my actions many times over the years.  Was there something I could have said that would have caused a different outcome?  Was I being naïve or insincere?  Mark’s death hit me hard.  I felt partially responsible; like there was something I could have or should have said or done.

Mark didn’t leave a note that I am aware of.  His family invited us over to the house and let us read through his poems and allowed us to take which ever one we wanted.  You can tell a lot by a person by what they write.  Many of us feel more comfort in writing than verbally speaking how we feel.  Maybe that’s because when we do share our deep feelings and hurts, there are those who try to minimize our pain or tell us we should focus on being positive and happy or that we should be thankful for what we have.  Truth is we are all those things and more…most of the time.  But we still need time to grieve.  Grieving is a process and something you cannot resolve within three days or three months.

I think this poem says it best, a scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral