Interested in a cure for seizures? Here's where you can immediately help.

Feel free to share any of these posts. There are no copyrights on any of them, they are for anyone, anyplace, anytime for whatever reason. All of my love, from a man who just simply misses his son, and believes in the decency of people around the world,

**To reach the author of this blog Mike, the best email account is a silly one, but goes right to my phone. Technology is so cool. Its Thank you for reading this blog, and its been such a good project, in that it has helped others and me as well. May you all live life to the fullest, we have no idea when it shall be our last "dance."

With much love, I am proud of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. If you can help them, and families with this condition, please consider donating to them at They are on Charity Navigator, and have done a phenomenal job over the years, on the awareness and research side.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Death of a Loved One-Reading For the Bereaved

Death. It is such an uncomfortable subject. This subject is usually talked about in hushed tones, or with a bit of shuffling of feet, or perhaps crossed arms as part of your body posture. It is inevitable. All of us have got to go, and there's no guarantees that we will live a particular number of years. Sure, we can exercise, eat healthy foods, and provide sustenance for our bodies, along with that for our minds and souls. Yet death lurks around the corner, a constant reminder of our earthly bodies, having limits of that ticking clock, that with each minute brings us closer.

What do you do if you lose a loved one? You grieve, of course, and remember those times you spent with them. Both good and bad, these memories can pierce your heart, make those tears flow as if powered by a river, or even provide smiles and laughter too. Life is such a mysterious ride, and as part of it, all of us are going to see loved ones pass away. It is so difficult, and while I'm not going to get into the arguments of which is the hardest, since there's no way you can put an empirical value on it, I lost my child on November 4th, 2009. The passing of a child, is even more taboo that the key subject of death itself, since we think "this could never happen to me." We are supposed to outlive our children, but that's not how the plan always works. Thankfully, for the most part it does, but there are no promises that this will be the case. So many have been through this tragedy, and here are some books that might be "soul reading", and provide some comfort.

Of course, I could say Bible or other religious text. These are obvious, and there are passages that can provide help or reassurance during the darkest of hours. The Shack is among the best with dealing with the "great sadness," that you will no doubt be going through. I am forever indebted to this book, for discussing such pain in an open manner, and that we must accept it. We must face our fears and the gut wrenching, soul tearing type of pain that the loss of a loved one can inflict upon the essence of your being. Tony Dungy's "Quiet Strength," is also a fine selection, as he has had to bury one of his son's. While this is not the main theme of the book, his character and faith are important, and provide a map of sorts to pulling yourself up. One day I hope to meet this great man, and thank him for what he was able to convey in this book, and about the importance of God in our lives.

Flight to Heaven by Captain Dale Black is a fantastic read. Here is a man who was in a plane crash as a young man, who died, and saw "the other side." That's right, he saw glimpses of Heaven, as the only survivor in that terrible event. Ever since then, after a long rehabilitation and numerous surgeries, he got his pilot's license, and has been flying across the world to help those who are impoverished. This is a really touching book, and while you will have tears, they are of the "good, healing kind."  Yet perhaps the most amazing is works by a sportswriter. Mitch Albom has a gift, that I simply cannot describe, but I am more than happy to recommend to anyone, who is in pain or just wonders about what they are doing in life.

A sportswriter from Detroit changed my life. In Tuesdays with Morrie, his dying professor taught me it is okay to cry and be a man. He also had so many valuable lessons in here, without being heavy handed, and plenty of laughs. I would have loved to have met Morrie, because he is a man, that you will want to emulate. A Little Faith talks about a eulogy for a religious leader, along with the story of redemption. This will pull at your strings, and open your eyes a bit, just about how much we have in common, whether in good times or bad. Finally, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is a reminder of how we can be there for others in life. You probably have five people or more in your life, who have shaped you, and helped you become who "you" are.

I like what Tony Dungy says about the loss of a child. He states, "I'm still grieving." That makes a lot of sense, as I will never ever get over the passing of my Tommy, but I am getting through it. This is with God, love of a strong family and friends, with a bit of resillience taught to me by a gentleman named "Brother Bill", who answered a prayer when most needed. Life is mostly good, and even when faced with tragedies, you can bounce back from anything, although it might not seem like that. It is perfectly acceptable to cry, to mourn those who you have lost in your life, but know that they are with God. I have felt his presence so many times, and while there are good days and bad, the better ones far outweigh the less desirable.

These books aren't a cure, and will not make the pain magically disappear. Anyone who says this, or therapy, or any other type of help, has obviously lost their mind. Yet, you can persevere. You can rise to what has been thrown your way, and go through the trial and tribulation with your head held high. Death is inevitable, and there is just so much, that is not in our control. The key is acceptance of your loss, and trying to deal with it step by  step. There is going to be anger, profound sadness, and a fog that just doesn't seem to lift off of you. Yet, day by day, step by step, you shall get through it.

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