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, June 16, 2012

Funerals are Important: Whether an Adult or Child

It was so hard to see my son's casket closed. Looking upon his face as that door went down, is something that I will never, ever get over. I'll never forget the first time seeing Tommy, after having left his body in the hospital, and crying so hard when I saw him in that coffin. To see your little one like that, it just hurts so much, there are thousands of bone crushing blows against your soul that tear you apart piece by piece. As I type this with tears in my eyes right now, and out of my free will, it is imperative that everyone understand the importance of a funeral service. Ever since Tommy's passing in 2009, I have been exploring death, and how various cultures handle it. This has included being part of one agency's Crisis Response Team, along with being on call with a private, hospice based group as a volunteer. Death is an uncomfortable topic to many, and I used to be afraid of it, even though the adage of "no one gets out alive," is so true.

There are funeral homes that I trust, who's workers show nothing but compassion. Sure, they are for profit, but they provide a service that helps with the loss of a loved one. It doesn't matter if it is an adult or child, what method of interment, what religion you are part of or not, but funerals are necessary to begin some form of healing. Many of the funeral home folks have told me, "a lot of people, just don't do funerals anymore." To those whom request that, we must honor their wishes, but I cannot stress the importance of this sad event. People that deal with end of life/hospice issues, who are not affiliated with funeral homes, have told me similar statements about how funerals help people not get over, but move on eventually to some sort of peace.

Tommy's funeral was cathartic in many ways. At the time I did not realize it. Seeing so many people who were a part of our lives and or his, I think back to that night in November, and am immensely grateful. We formed a circle, people paid their respects to my son, and while we chose a private burial, I am very thankful to those who showed up, or who were with us in spirit. Looking around the room that night, even though in the throes of pain at the time, I can say without hesitation, I felt love and an understanding at a basic human level, that life would continue on even with it being different. It also helped me to know, that the hardest part was yet to come. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I am thankful that his service was so beautiful, and that room was full of family, friends, and teachers and other people, who were a part of his life. His doctor even showed up, which I thought was very classy, and our family is appreciative of all.

Funerals are not cheap. That is why we must not only help a family that's very much in our hearts if we can, but also continue to do so always. A family recently lost their precious angel, and it is imperative that we help them with these final expenses, at a time when they must continue on. I think Tommy's funeral and burial costs were close to $7,000 with everything included. We were very fortunate at the time, and are still blessed. There is also going to be time, that this family needs to be away from work. Their grieving does not EVER end, but they will not be in any position to be anywhere, but with each other, as it should be for those nights of just holding each other and crying.

There is no closure, when you lose a child. Yet there is comfort. The beginning of this, can begin at the funeral home. That is why I ask you, if you can, even a few dollars, to help a family in Maine that has already shown that it would be of great help, to support them at this time. It is not something I am generally comfortable with, but I feel compelled, to speak up and say that to help them during this time, is something you will feel better about later. You will have done your "good turn," as a family weeps and spends time with each other, devastated but united by their love and sadness. I am confident that the kind neighbors in the small town of Lowell, will bring those lunches and dinners by, as I am that people of the Angelman family, will step up for them at their time of greatest sadness. This will be another way to be there for them, and as the years unfold as the months of calendars are flipped, we must always continue to have their backs.

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