Love lives in the heart and not 
 separated through death
Although your loved
one is not where you would have them be they are forever in your heart, mind and Soul.

Celebrate the love
you shared.
Celebrate their life
Celebrate all the gifts and qualities they left you with.

When you think of them smile and recall all they were in this form

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.
Henry Scott Holland

If you feel you may benefit from support as you negotiate your healing path please contact me to make an appointment for an intitial free session to discuss your needs.

Once I was a Human Being
Death waits for no one
Now I am free
I am a butterfly
Loose from
My cocoon

I am a bird
Flying high in the sky
As you fill the dawn
With dis-ease
Think again
Of me

Once I was a Human Being
Now I am the clouds
Floating across the sky
I am the wind
The light
The stars

Can you not see
I am free?
Flying above the ocean
Soaring high
Catching the current of the
Gentle breeze

Once I was a Human Being
Knowing all, I needed
To know, walking the earth
Now I flow
Like a river

Do not weep for me
Can you not see
I am free?
I am free
Of my pain
My grief

Count the ways
You love me
Have me
in your heart
As you live, live on 
For the both of us .......

You are a Human Being
Live on
One day we will
Be reunited
Then we can reminisce
       Forever ...........

SJS July 2016

If you feel you may benefit from support as you negotiate your healing path please contact me to make an appointment for an intitial free session to discuss your needs.

Anniversaries and Special Days

Written By Susan Stubbings
Anniversaries and Special days

Human Beings are created with the ability to withstand and stand in the midst of chaos and catastrophe we are created to survive all manner of trauma, be transformed and changed by our experiences and live on.  The cultural society we live in for expressing grief is to sweep it under the carpet ‘as if’ by talking will trigger memories of the death of your loved one and will evoke those painful feelings to when your Loved one died the truth is, unbeknown to the outsider you have never forgotten the death of your Loved one and you live it every day and you never will or the pain that comes with your loss.  It is to our mourning which we can support and make less.

Anniversaries and special days which imply a celebration and in time that’s what they will become to you once you let go of the initial pain of shock, loss and grief.  Having realistic expectations of what may happen in the future regarding your grief may help you to work through the more difficult and intense days for example You can expect all ‘first’s’ to be difficult and your feelings may become as intense as if the death of your Loved one just happened if not more intense because the shock won’t be there to deflect your pain.  Life will be particularly difficult for the first two years following the death of your Loved one. 

After the first year has pasted you may find year two is often the most difficult of times. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, you will find a way which is best for yourself to get through these especially difficult days; you will be faced with your grief for years to come and anniversaries and special days will be more difficult.  These days are not stepping back into your grief but a reminder of all you’ve lost and how important your Loved one was and still is in your life. 

Anniversary reactions are normal and may last for just the special day or for days or weeks before and after, it is normal to feel sad and blue, it is normal to cry or not cry it is normal to feel lonely or fatigued all those feelings you had immediately following the death of your loved one may return again and with intensity.  Anger, pain of separation, yearning and anguish, loss of control, difficulty sleeping, despair and anxiety, allow your feelings to just be how they are on the day let them come as they are try not to fight them, practice your relaxations techniques to support any anxiety to make the day as easy as possible for yourself find what comforts you.

What you may need to consider is to give yourself ‘permission’ to not only grieve but also permission to go on with your living, accept your life will never be the same again without your beautiful Loved one -  accept your life will go on so your Loved one lives on and through you. 

Sadness will remain a part of you for all time; your memories will be the most beautiful of gifts and cherished joy of your loved one’s life and the life and love you shared together.

If your grief gets worse over time instead of more manageable or interferes with your daily functioning it may be time to seek personal counselling and/or to seek medical support through your GP.  ‘Ignorance is bliss’ but unresolved grief can lead to depression and mental health issues and it is both productive and healthy to be honest with yourself about how you feel so you can take the best course of action to ensure you’re healing and well-being is paramount.

Your aim is to bring your life into some sort of acceptable balance to your Inner Self.

God (Inner wisdom)
Grant me the serenity
To accept
The things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things
I can change
And wisdom
To know the difference.

Sadly we can’t control what happened - fighting against what happened won’t change it and will use all your energy and will lead to more suffering.   What we can do is take control of the days ahead prepared and planning what and how you will spend the time.

The first thing to do if you haven’t already is prepare and create a ‘coping tool box’.  A coping toolbox is a place where you keep things which can help support and calm you down in times of anxiety and distress this benefits you by:

  • Having all your personal tools in one place.
  • Your tools are easy to find without having to think about where you put this or that.
  • So you can have them to hand quickly when you need them the most.
  • It’s easier to remember to use them; your chosen tools will focus your mind, body and spirit thus avoid negative behaviours such as turning to alcohol.

Suggestions to include in a coping toolbox

  • Affirmations cards containing quote and phrases that really speak to you make your own or write inspirational quotes on index cards to re-read for a boost of motivation.
  • Thank you cards or cards from loved ones or colleagues with encouraging messages.
  • Crosswords, word search or Sudoku to focus your thoughts onto something else.
  • An IPod or MP3 player with earphones and pre-loaded music which relaxes you.
  • A meditation or relaxation CD to slow your thoughts, feelings and body.
  • A CD from an inspirational speaker for example Wayne Dyer or Eckhart Tolle “The power of Now”
  • A movie from your childhood one which affirms and validates your strengths Wizard of OZ does it for me every time.
  • A visualization CD to transport you to a stress free place.
  • A humorous DVD of your favourite comedian or film.
  • Crystals or Healing stones something to touch, ground you back into the here and now.
  • A notebook or journal to write out your feelings and thoughts.
  • A lavender bag or a handkerchief and aromatherapy oil to awaken your sense of smell.
  • A bottle of bubbles to blow your stress away and to slow your breathing.
  • Books to read make them easy such as little book of calm, confidence, and poems or from inspirational speakers Ram Das or Susan Jeffers or anyone who speaks to your inner You or make your own.
  • A set of colouring pencils, felt tips, chalks paper and/or a pre-printed colouring book or just doodle your anxiety onto a sheet of paper this will focus you and slow you down.
  • Fill a hot water bottle to hug close to your chest or a stuffed toy or hug a cushion.
  • Scented candles, incense sticks (and holder) scented soaps or favourite aftershave, perfume or bath bomb.
  • A stress ball, a Velcro dart board so you can expel your energy throwing the ball/darts.
  • A small bar of chocolate or packet of marshmallow, mints to awaken taste buds.
  • Your aim is to have a box full of things you can go to a quiet place with to look through which speak to you personally and help calm you down; this will bring your focus back to the here and now thus focusing and calming your adrenal glands, comforting yourself. Bringing you back to being the master of your anxiety so your nerves are not the master of you. Include something to hear, see, smell, taste, touch (feel) and of course not forgetting your inner spirit; awakening all your senses.

Another thing we can do for Anniversaries/Special days is to plan before the day arrives

Think about what you may like to do on a forthcoming Anniversary or Special day what do you need to prepare?  What do you need to plan to get through the day?

The emphasis is on ‘doing’ something productive in memory of and for your Loved one - symbolize and memorialize the deceased person.  Memorialize your Loved one and the love you shared with and for your precious beloved.

Suggestions to honour the love you still have and always will have for your precious Loved one, the emphasis is on ‘doing’ something meaningful to celebrate and honour your Loved one’s life

  • Think about letting others know Anniversary, birth or special days will be difficult, if you feel overwhelmed you will need to go or have others go if they are visiting you.
  • Plan a memorial service on birthday or anniversary of their death, it can be in a church, it doesn’t need to be religious a house or dinner party can be a memorial gathering.
  • Volunteer at a ‘soup’ kitchen for the homeless and serve their meals if you don’t want to be home on Christmas day or don’t want to join in families festivities.
  • Create new traditions by doing something different if you’ve never been away at Easter or Christmas plan a break away from all familiarity.If you can’t face a Christmas tree fill your room with poinsettias, flowers or fireplace garlands or buy something new for Christmas or Easter your Loved one would have liked to symbolize his or her presence Go to a place your loved one loved to go and celebrate the times you had there.
  • Visit the seaside and release some balloons over the sea to mark the day.
  • Create a collage of photographs or turn photos into a digital album.
  • Create a memory album of photo’s create little stories or add meaningful words.
  • Place a photograph of your Loved one in a prominent place and keep a candle vigil all day.
  • Introduce a bird feeder into your garden nurture the birds by feeding them every day.
  • Build a themed or special garden, or a rockery buy bright plants, bulbs, wind chimes, spinners and a bird bath or a small water feature, make a sign with your Loved ones’ name on it dedicating this garden in your Loved one honour nurture and sit in it often, on special days lay some flowers or make a wind chime, hold a garden party or invite other to put something special in the garden; or plant a tree/shrub add a plaque.
  • Create a memory box filled with reminders of their life include their possessions.
  • Create a ritual you can do every year for example make a card or write a letter to your Loved one include your feelings, your love for your Loved one keep them in your memory box.
  • Plan to spend the day with other parents who understand what you’re going through.
  • Donate to a charity or sponsor a child in a third world country.
  • Plan a charity Memorial Day in your community.
  • Create a face book page for telling the story of your Loved one’ life; only allow the people you want to see it add what feels right for you to share about your beloved.
  • Plan a day of pampering at a Spa a massage or a treatment so you can focus calmly on the qualities and gifts your loved one left you with.

Whatever you choose to do on the anniversary or special day fill the time with
love & connection
Susan Stubbings Doncaster