Grief the Real Talk – D.G. Kaye in her First Introductory #Podcast

I finally did it! I’ve put up my first #podcast on anchor.fm, and Spotify, and Soundcloud. I’ve had pre-written episodes ready for over two months now, but had to spend some time learning some recording ropes on the anchor platform. I’m no novice when it comes to sharing my thoughts and experiences, but recording was a whole ‘nother experience.

Because I’m quite the amateur when it comes to recording, I am SO not well-versed in the editing part of recording. Editing, yes, this is the part when while recording and a blip comes out of my mouth that I don’t wish to share with the universe. This could be anything from a missed word, a missed pronounciation, a ding notification coming in from nearby computer, or anything. As it turns out, I attempted for hours to record from my laptop, but it just wasn’t working with interruptions. So I went to my phone and did the recording there. I was concerned the sound wouldn’t be that great, but was pleasantly surprised that the quality sounded just like my laptop’s recorder – despite my never liking the sound of my own voice. Okay, maybe not radio quality, but pretty acceptable, I think.

I hope you will take under eight minutes, when you have some minutes, to listen to my podcast. I’d be interested in comments about suggestions, or your opinions on how you felt about episode one, the context, and what you thought about the quality of sound.

Also, I wasted another few hours trying to do a simple thing like try and load the video to Youtube. At first it was because I had to convert the file to an acceptable form for Youtube, that entailed another hour or so looking for a good file converter. Then, for no valid reason it still wouldn’t download. I wasted more hours Googling the problem, to no avail. No solutions or helpful videos, wasted hours of my time. What I did see in support groups were angry people at Youtube’s changed downloader, giving them all the same grief, but no solutions. So if any of you Youtubers here have any ideas why it kept telling me ‘process abandoned’ while in the creating video download stage, I’d welcome your thoughts. The video is in the correct format, it’s under the fifteen minute mark and has all the right speeds, so I’m baffled.

Thanks for listening.

x

Episode One – Introduction to Grief – The Real Talk

On Anchor.FM

On Soundcloud

https://on.soundcloud.com/74Uik

Voila! Update! Finally got it on Youtube!

Grief the Real Talk

©DGKaye2022

Goodbye my Friend – In Memorium

In memorium to my brother-in-law ‘Bill’ – William Gies who left a void September 13, 2022 – a legend in his time.

Rest in peace my lovely brother-in-law. I will miss our conversations, and your checking up on me every few weeks as a dutiful brother-in-law and friend, and all the laughter we shared for years in our monthly card club get togethers, parties, picnics, and Christmases in those so very golden days.

©DGKaye2022

God Bless our Queen Elizabeth II

I felt compelled to pay a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history. This woman has served as a Constitutional monarch, head of state for 70 years. She was coronated reigning Queen at the age of 25 years old in 1953 after her father George VI died in 1952, as the eldest heir to the throne. She was the longest reigning monarch of 70 years, and the only one who has reigned during my lifetime. Only Queen Victoria came closest serving almost 64 years on the throne. To this day, Canada still celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24th – affectionately known as ‘May 2-4’, first long weekend of summer.

Elizabeth lived and reigned through decades of change, far from the times of her ancestors who’d previously reigned. As a teenager during WWII, she became the first royal to join the active war efforts in the women’s British army as a truck mechanic. As Queen, her family had gone through numerous scandals, starting with the one that gave her own father the title of King with the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII’s reign, stepping down to marry a divorced American woman, Wallis Simpson. Power was passed over to his brother George, and following through, the Queen lived through plenty more scandals from her own family – sister Princess Margaret and her sordid affairs, down to her own sons, Charles marrying and divorcing Lady Diana and his ongoing affair with Camilla, and Andrew, recently having some of his royal duties and perks taken from him for his current shenanigans in the Jeffrey Epstein pornography scandal, even grandson Harry and the racist issues that came about with his marrying bi-racial Megan. Queen Elizabeth modernized the monarchy like no other royal.

The Canadian Connection to the Monarchy:

Although my country, Canada, is an independent country, the Queen remained our nation’s head of state, despite no active role in our Canadian politics, and despite our Canadian government legislative and parliament, run in similar fashion to the United Kingdom’s. She was our Consitituional monarch, who remained politically neutral. Our parliamentary system began from the British, Westminster system. Canada was originally a colony of the United Kingdom, thus, our Constitution was created by the United Kingdom in 1867, beginning our federal system of government, and is still one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world. Our Governor General is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation to the UK’s Prime Minister. Our Prime Minister and each provincial Premiere (equivalent to the American governor of American states), hold office only as long as our House of Commons (legislative branch), support them. Our government acts in the name of the Crown but our authority is derived by the Canadian people. The face of Queen Elizabeth has been on our Canadian currency since she was eight years old. She was also the Queen of Canada.

Not surprisingly, in this last year of the Queen’s life, she lost her husband who stood by and supported her for almost all of her 70 years reign. Despite her getting Covid and adding to her body’s immune response, and her age, 96 years old, as one myself who lost her own husband last year, only two days before the Queen lost her own beloved, and knowing how my loss took such a toll on my own health, it isn’t surprising to feel that the glorious monarch has taken too much on in the last year of her life between grief and illness to add to her 96 years on earth.

As a Canadian who grew up in her school years singing, God Save the Queen, I have always felt she was my Queen too. Perhaps as I grew up and my curiosities grew, became my fascination with the monarchy and its lineage of British history.

My heart is heavy for such a grand loss. As a personal note, I’d like to add my opinion about the fact that Prince Charles will now become King. Personally, I truly wish he would have abstained as the Queen’s uncle Edward did when her own father inherited the kingdom. I would have wished the kingdom would go directly to William, and can’t help but wonder how many others think the same way. But traditions remain, and now Charles will be the oldest monarch ever to take the throne. My heart goes out to the royal family.

God bless the Queen. My heart is heavy with this great loss of a reigning monarch, for myself, my country, and for the United Kingdom, and all the royals left behind. May she rest in peace with her beloved husband, and be remembered for centuries to come for her glorious reign. Amen.

~ ~ ~

Note: There was a heavy rainfall in London before the Queen passed, and shortly before her death was announced, a double rainbow was formed over Buckingham Palace:

https://people.com/royals/rainbow-appeared-over-buckingham-palace-shortly-before-queen-elizabeths-death-was-announced/

©DGKaye2022

The Grief Diaries – From This Side of Grief – #Depression – A Silent Killer

I don’t wish to sound like a broken record sharing my moments of grief here, but besides the fact that writing about it somehow eases the weight of my grief, I know that there are plenty of us out there who are living it and may feel an ounce of comfort or kinship with these posts. And also, undoubtedly, everyone has lost a loved one, or ultimately, will, so my thoughts here may become beneficial to others somewhere down the road. This is why I’ll soon be starting my podcast on Grief – The Real Talk, for exactly these reasons.

But know this God honest truth – not five minutes of any day since the day my husband left me here, goes by that I’m not thinking of him or speaking to him. That man was woven into my soul, and not thinking of him would be like forgetting half of my body or forgetting to put on clothes. But today, I figured it was time to share more of my thoughts here in what I like to call my Grief Diaries series. In this series I’ve been discussing thoughts and/or moments that strike hard, baring my soul so to speak, but sharing not just because I need a place to vent, but sharing my realizations in hopes of spreading awareness.

Let me start by saying that this post might seem a little dark, but grief isn’t a sunny topic. And let me also state that this post isn’t me crying out for help, but more for recognition for the so many in this sometimes dark world who can’t summon their voice. Yes, I am one of grief’s victims, and I have been working diligently with books, videos, spirit and meditations since I lost my husband so that I can try and learn how to dig my own self out of the darkness that reigns because if I want to survive and find life again I must find the life boat back to the light. It’s a difficult thing to do one’s self, but I have spent my whole life since childhood ‘finding a way’ to get through adversity. I share my struggle on this journey, and I am not ashamed to admit it. But there are the so many out there who may not be able to search for or find their strength to want to go on, no matter what their traumatic issue is.

I’m a strong woman. I built myself up that way throughout my life. I’m strong-willed and minded, but I will tell you honestly, this grieving business is a Goliath of a beast. I know what it has taken from me and can tell you, it’s not difficult to see how the weaker sometimes can’t pull through. So I felt that besides letting off a little personal steam in this post, that once again, I wanted to spread the awareness to others and want to speak up for those who may have family going through some tough times who choose not to speak about their pain, so that family may clue in.

What sparked my wanting to share this post came from my scanning through a book of material I’ve written in draft to put into a book on my grief. I am suddenly getting inspired to read through just some of the material I’ve written as I witnessed my husband’s health decline to after his passing. For now they are in a Word doc temporarily titled – Conversations and Observations, and, Obituary. I currently have oodles of permanent titles on a page listed that I will have to work with once the book is put together and I find the most fitting title.

From this side of Grief:

I am a strong woman who has lived through some terrible shit in my life but nothing, I mean NOTHING is as painful as the grief I carry with me daily from the loss of my beloved husband.

It doesn’t matter that I could almost lift park benches from the strength I’ve acquired through difficulties in life, this enormous strangle hold that suffocates daily is an opponent bigger than life. And many days it can be emotionally crippling.

I often go to the dark side since losing my other half. And no, time doesn’t ease. When the grief monster and the bubble of sadness that comes along for the ride appear, I find myself in yet another duel. These duels become more and more trying and they don’t dissipate with time, despite everyone else in our circles forgetting we are in this grief for life and it can take a long time – or forever, to climb back into joyful living. Our grief never leaves. Even with however much time it may take for it to come to a slow simmer that resides within without constant bubbling over, mine never seems to leave, I am only still learning how to temporarily suppress it. So we are forced to find a way to continue on with our lives or merely just exist. I am choosing life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and that it some days doesn’t knock the actual wind out of my breathing sails.

The loneliness is overwhelming. I am naturally a tactile, social being, often dubbed a social butterfly. Nobody is physically here for me, and I’m not one to cry for help to burden others. But I can’t help but wonder, where are the people who used to be in my life? Why did family forget me after such a traumatic event that goes on daily? There I said it, and I’m going to leave that one alone – for now, because, honestly, the people I’m related to by blood give me enough fodder to write a book, erm, make that a tome.

semi colon heart

Some days I’m living on the precipice between living and existing. I am, me, myself and I. I was never that person who got depressed, but I can surely say I know what so many in this world struggle with as this visiting sadness that looms large over me has given me new understanding. I don’t want to call my sadness depression, more like PTSD. My mind too often drifts in a continuous cycle of visionary reminders of watching my husband die daily before my eyes. This is some tough shit to erase from the play list of home videos. It’s a repetitive cycle that is easily triggered by a memory, a random object in my home, or just plain looking at photos of my husband (which surround my home like a mausoleum because I need them to be all around me). I’ve thankfully, never been a depressed person despite some of the awful things that have happened in my life, and knowing depression does exist on my maternal side, I am grateful I didn’t inherit that dis-ease. I may get temporarily depressed, knowing that’s the wrong word I sometimes substitute for sadness, but I don’t allow myself to live in darkness and I fight back with all my might not to allow myself to let a sad day turn into many in a row. Perhaps I’m lucky that way? But there are plenty of people who live in deep depression and can manage to keep that under a cloak when around others. This can lead to dangerous outcomes.

I’m not that person who calls people to wa wa my troubles and moan. Instead, I am silent and solitary. My cries for help will come in subtle ways, maybe talking to a friend and almost begging them to come visit, invading that fine line with my silent cry for help so as not to sound desperate, when in fact there are days when I am.

People are busy. We don’t wish to act sucky so we stuff down our silent hell when all we are craving is some human connection, a hug, an ear for us to cast off our fears, fears that sometimes keep us in the dark and have us questioning ourselves on why are we still here. Why am I here where nobody has time when I could be with one who my heart aches for?

Often it’s the crushing, suffocating pain of having to tolerate our own existence that leads to the many suicides labeled as mental health issues. Funny how I see in my own life how nobody has the time for a cry for help, even when it is deafeningly silent. But they make time for the damned funerals.

Depression, like grief, is a silent thief that traps us at its will. It comes like a tornado sweeping over us, leaving us nothing to grab hold of in its wake, it can often be called a silent killer.

Us grievers, the sad, lonely, or depressed, don’t typically cry for help.  And for the some that do, they aren’t always heard. This is why so often these people commit suicide. They don’t feel they are being heard, loved or cared about. They’re misunderstood for craving attention when in fact, they are, and sometimes that attention  they didn’t receive could have been the very lifeline that saved them. Connection and companionship are a crucial need for a griever, especially one who lives alone. Those who don’t understand how depression can take hold of someone in their darkest moments should pay more attention to the signs, without judgement. We watch movies and news reels about people who feel there’s no help for them and choose to end their pain, all too often. And their loved ones sit in question. Asking themselves, why didn’t I see the signs? Because you don’t always see signs as many depressed are clever at masquerading their pain with smiles and jokes with their pretended happiness. But if you listen and learn not just to the words, but the silences in between, you can learn how to read between the lines and you just may hear.

I remind you all that if you have a person in your life suffering from a situation, to give them a thought once in awhile. If you noticed their silences, patterns, or dispositions have changed, check up on them. If you noticed they don’t show up like they used to or don’t call you, take that as a sign they are in retreat mode and could use a little company, even if they say they are fine – because they are not. If they are going through an ordeal in their life, pick up a phone and make a point to get together with them or just go visit them. Take it from me. I will never beg, and neither will many others. Please have compassion for someone in your life going through a difficult time. Most of the time, their silence is not a good thing. Take it from one who knows.

I wrote a post awhile ago about the symbolism of the semi-colon not just being a punctuation mark, but a survivor symbol – we are making it through, or have made it through, after a life-altering pause. Our story is not over because we choose to fight on.

Semi colon pause

©DGKaye 2022

Sunday Book Review – Second Firsts by Christina Rasmussen – Grief, Loss and a Path to Healing

Welcome to my Sunday book review. Today I’m reviewing one of the most important books I’ve read yet on grief and loss and a path to healing by Christina Rasmussen – Second Firsts. She received her masters in bereavement in 1998, and as she claims, when she had to live in her own words in 2006 when she lost her own husband at age 35, nothing she learned had prepared her for such loss. She knew her husband’s fate, yet when she lay with him in his final moments of life listening to his last heartbeats, she felt like she had died with him. This is my life! She explains how she came to write this book, questioning herself how she could tell people their hearts would someday mend when she felt her own would never. “Grief takes us into the Waiting Room but our Survivor fear of losing it all again is what keeps us there.” Below, I’d like to share her message to the reader in the beginning of this book:

“I have lived in the shadow of loss-the kind of loss that can paralyze you forever.

I have grieved like a professional mourner-in every waking moment, draining every ounce of my life force.

I died-without leaving my body.

But I came back, and now it’s your turn.

I have learned to remember my past-without living in it.

I am strong, electric, and alive, because I chose to dance, to laugh, to love, and to live again.

I have learned that you can’t re-create the life you once had – you have to reinvent a life for yourself.

And that reinvention is a gift, not a curse.

I believe your future self is a work of art and that science can help you create it.

If you’re lost . . . if you’re gone . . . if you can barely absorb the words on this page . . . I want you to hold this truth in your heart: when it’s your time to go, you won’t wish you had spent more time grieving; you’ll wish you had spent more time living.

That’s why I’m here. And why you are, too. Let’s live like our lives depend on it.”

Blurb:

A widow and therapist explores grief, loss, and our innate resilience in this updated guide, drawing on neuroscience and personal experience to lead the bereaved through the five stages of healing

After studying to become a therapist and crisis intervention counselor—even doing her master’s thesis on the stages of bereavement—Christina Rasmussen thought she understood grief. But it wasn’t until losing her husband to cancer in her early 30s that she truly grasped the depths of sorrow and pain that accompany loss. Using the knowledge she gained while wading through her own grief and reading hundreds of neuroscience books, Rasmussen began to look at experiences in a new way. She realized that grief plunges you into a gap between worlds—the world before loss and the world after loss. She also realized how easy it is to become lost in this gap.

In Second Firsts, Rasmussen walks you through her Life Reentry process to help you break grief’s spiral of pain, so you can stop simply surviving and begin to live again. She shows you that loss can actually be a powerful catalyst to creating a life that is in alignment with your true passions and values. The resilience, strength, and determination that have gotten you through this difficult time are the same characteristics that will help you craft your wonderful new life. Her method, which she has used successfully with thousands of clients, is based on the science of neuroplasticity and focuses on consciously releasing pain in ways that both honor suffering and rewire the brain to change your perception of the world and yourself.

Using practical exercises and stories drawn from her own life and those of her clients, Rasmussen guides you through five stages of healing that help you open up to new possibilities. From acknowledging your fear, to recognizing where you stand now, to taking active steps toward a new life, Rasmussen helps you move past the pain and shows that it’s never too late to step out of the gap and experience life again—as if for the first time.

My 5 Star Review:

This book should be on every griever’s reading list. A raw, compassionate telling begins this book of Rasmussen’s own experience with a great loss precedes the premise of this book, a path to healing through her 5 Stages ‘Reentry Model’ – how to enter back into the world of the living from an abyss of grief and loss and a feeling of loss of our own identity. The author will tell us about ‘the Waiting Room’, a space where us sufferers are stuck between the inseparable past and the unfathomable future, and our ‘invisible losses’. As she states in the beginning of her book, she got her masters degree on bereavement in 1998 and had to live her own words in 2006 when her own husband died, claiming, nothing she’d been taught prepared her for her own grief and loss.

The author tells us that grief makes us question our reality, our safety, and our abilities. “You are more than your loss; you are a whole human being waiting to come back to life.” Rasmussen explains she wrote this book to help us see the light and build a bridge from our past to where we are now. When our identities have been ripped from us through grief and uncertainty and despite our wanting to move forward, we get stuck, and this book will reignite parts of us that have been shattered by loss.

This book is about the five stages of self-guided discovery and reentry process. It teaches us how to use the brain’s ability to rewire itself to help move past fear and sadness that looms over us. “You can live as you grieve.” Teaching us that we can meld our two worlds of grief and living. “Starting over isn’t only about the life you leave behind. It’s about the life that lies ahead of you.”

She speaks at first of the three stages to recover from loss by creating new habits to rewire our brains instead of staying stuck in grief and making it our default mode. Focus on new things to move forward. Loss forces us to leave behind the life we knew and we can’t just push out the old life, so we’re stuck in a gap between two lives – the ‘waiting room’, where we reside while afraid to take steps forward in our new present life because we’re safe in that grief. “It’s not the grief that stops us from starting life over, but fear of losing that life all over again.” Fear keeps us stuck in grief. She teaches us to create a ‘launchpad’, not staying in survival mode for distraction, but to move forward. “Loss can be a launchpad into a new dimension of living.”

Five stages of Reentry 1. Get real – losses are real, grieve and acknowledge and validate your loss and feelings to begin getting real about our new life. Explore and confront our grief, write out our invisible losses. The more we understand our invisible losses (loss of security, support, identity, etc.), the better we leave ‘the waiting room’. Instead of reflecting on our futures, the grieving brain stays locked in the past – the ‘infinite loop of loss’. 2. Plug in – learn to replace fear induced procrastination with action. Reconnecting with life in small steps, ie: going out, making plans, inviting life back into grief. And letting go of what no longer serves us – including relationships. 3. Shift – “When the dream that was, no longer can be, you have to dream a different dream.” She explains how switching ‘Survivor’ thoughts back to the living by getting ready to join back into life, using positive thoughts to overcome the voice of loss. “The goal is to end the habit of repeating thoughts of loss by instead repeating thoughts of life.” How to face the fears that block our happiness. How to shift our thoughts using affirmation and visualization because “Grief creates habits and beliefs in our minds that don’t serve us.” She demonstrates methods to learn to love ourselves again by focusing on people who lift us and our positive attributes and offers us to take ten minutes to visualize us in a brighter future. “Evolution does not take place when our hearts break but when they mend.” Advising us to create a new relationship with ourselves and find a supportive tribe. 4. Discover – she reminds that our ‘Survivor’ self needs to get out of the ‘Waiting Room’ with our false sense of feeling wanting to remain comfortable there and get back into a mindset of connecting with the ‘Thriver’ self that remains within us buried. Relearn how we overcame and triumphed over losses of the past to create a happy future. 5. Reenter Life – Finding your new life, dreaming big, and setting goals. The author instructs us to write out goals we want from our new life, and affirm those aspirations daily, as we get what we focus on. She speaks about the certainty that we will have moments of guilt and betrayal as we venture on to a new life, and possibly a new relationship, reminding that ‘Survivor’ mode will occasionally surface – “Because of your sadness, you have more depths in you to feel joy.” And adds, we also gain the compassion to help mend other’s broken hearts. We are told to create a separate place for the grief and guilt that will occasionally push through and to envision a separate housing unit for those feelings to dwell in. It’s okay to visit there when we need, but we know the way back, and not to stay there. Once we’ve processed our grief, “Reentry doesn’t mean we forget those we once loved or forget our pain. It means we remember how to live.”

Rasmussen concludes by saying some pieces of our old life are now scattered in the universe, never needing to be found again, but tells us our hearts will give birth to new pieces. The new ‘me’ is born from loss, every cell changed in us when our hearts broke.

This book is a most helpful guide to help grievers learn to separate grief from getting on with living, in stages.

Poignant Quotes:

“The heart remembers the past by loving in the present.”

“There are no words to describe the experience of losing someone you love more than life itself. You cannot know the feeling unless you have experienced it.”

“Loss is not something that keeps happening to you; it’s an event.”

“In the midst of his death, I lost my life too…we were both in a place between two worlds.”

“He died on July 21, 2006 at 2:00am. I died with him at 2:01 am.”

“The silence of grief attacks your body.”

“Everything about me changed, and everything about the world around me was altered forever.”

“Why hadn’t the world prepared me for this agony?”

“Mending is the ability to reenter life with a broken heart, while it’s getting fixed.”

©DGKaye2022

Signs – Suddenly, #Dragonflies

On my weekly visit to my husband’s (our) grave last week, I saw something I’d never seen before. Oh sure I’ve seen the odd dragonfly in my lifetime, but this time I saw five of them.

Whenever I visit my husband, I plant myself down on our grave to have a chat with him, or read to him. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t actually feel him there as much as I do when at home, but there is usually always a sign he gives me that he hears me and knows I’m there. Every time I talk to him while there, a light, or sometimes gusty wind will blow. I know this is how he communicates with me while outside.

Once, when I had gone there to visit, shortly after his funeral and the snow had melted, I couldn’t find his grave. I drove over to the office so they could pinpoint it for me. I was all flustered in my already anxiety and still shocked state when I couldn’t find him, and when I finally did, I sat down on his holy ground and cried.

Another time I visited, it was a rather calm day weather-wise, but a huge wind picked up when I looked up at the sky, as though the wind was a messenger, letting me know, he knows I was there. After the visit when I got back into my car, I turned on the radio that had been off during the drive there. The channel switched to the 50s station on Sirius XM on its own – his favorite, and one that I never appreciated listening to. The song playing was Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line. My husband loved Johnny Cash. I stopped the car and from my tears, broke out in laughter and said out loud, “You little bugger, I know that was you.” And my heart felt at peace in that moment as I drove off.

I have experienced this wind or breeze many times in many different places outside when I speak out to him. I also find various feathers on my path when walking outside and various coins show up at home when I’m looking for something else . But last week was something different. As I cleaned up the dead flowers I’d laid there two weeks before, I looked up at the sky, and for a good ten to fifteen minutes, I watched in splendor, as five large dragonflies circled back and forth and round in circles way above my head. Their beautiful gossamer wings sparkled through the sunlight. It was mesmorizing. They kept flying, but never left my orbit. I’ve always been drawn to dragonfly symbols, knowing they have a magical connotation, but not knowing exactly what they represent. So of course, I had to look it up:

Most definitions will tell us that the dragonfly symbolizes spring, rebirth and renewal. And different countries around the world seem to have their own specific definitions. The Celts relate them to fairies, in Japan they represent transition from summer to winter, in China they represent good luck and love. In Vietnam they say dragonflies are weather predictors. But collectively, most people deem them a spiritual symbol of rebirth and transformation, not unlike the butterfly, that emerge from larvae and turns into something beautiful.

Dragonflies only live for a short time once they are transformed, signaling, life is short so live it up. With their near 360 degree vision, they see all around them, offering the ability to see beyond what any human can. Ultimately, all interpretations will tell us that when we see a dragonfly, it’s a reminder to break free, reinvent, transform into what we want to be, reminding there is beauty in freedom, and freedom is short-lived so live in the now. That is my interpretation from all the information I’ve taken in.

Seeing five of these beautiful creatures way above my head circling around for all those minutes felt like, once again, my Puppy was sending these messengers to let me know it’s okay to go forth and transform. I know this in my soul. I just feel stuck still in my heart.

One more sign: As I mentioned earlier, I believe my husband announces his presence to me through wind. Another day last week while at the pool, surrounded by nature, he greeted me with a very welcome breeze on a steaming hot summer day. I thanked him for the beautiful, much needed breeze, and asked him to let me know it’s really him communicating with wind by sending me a butterfly. An hour later a baby Monarch butterfly flew right onto my left arm close to my shoulder. I sat there for a few minutes while my heart felt joy as we communed together, knowing very well that my husband answered my call.

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – My Beloved Son by Martha Perez – #Memoir

My Sunday Book Review today is for Martha Perez’s raw and loving memoir written about and to her beloved son Rudy who tragically died suddenly, and much too young. In this memoir, Perez bares her soul about the life she had with her son Rudy and his passing that crushed her soul.

Blurb:

Oh, Son, I can feel your heartbeat when I’m lying in my bed, too many memories going around in my head. I can see you in my dreams, holding me, protecting me. You would text me every day, “I love you, Momma, it’s going to be alright.”

MY BELOVED SON WHY DID YOU HAVE TO GO?
MY PRECIOUS SON WHY DID YOU HAVE TO LEAVE ME ALL ALONE?

When you think life is calm, a storm comes to wipe away your hopes and dreams. My son, Rudy Andalon passed away on March 14, 2017. He was the love of my life; I carried for 9 months–280 days, 40 weeks, and raised him to be an amazing young man. There is no love greater than the love a mother has for her child. As I write this, tears roll down my cheek, tears of joy and sorrow. I miss him so much. I’ve written this book to help me and others who lost a child get through the aching pain burning inside, and to let you know you are not alone. This book is a memoir, inspirational, and a self-help guide. I’ve searched for answers to why God took my son, and there were none to be found; why good people die young, and the mean ones live on. All I know is Rudy’s in a place where there’s no pain, just happiness–an angel up in Heaven. He leaves behind a mother, father, sister, and two nieces.

I will always be brokenhearted, and will always love and adore my son. God bless him.

My 5 Star Review:

This is the heartbreaking story of a beautiful boy, Rudy, the son of Martha Perez who was sadly, laid to rest long before he ever should have been.

Perez tells her story with such rawness in recounting from the birth of her beloved son, spanning through the time of raising her children, often alone, as her sad marriage at the time with her then alcoholic husband, kept her lonely, yet her determination to be a good mother despite everything else in her life, never faltering. She tells her story with such love and compassion we can’t help but feel her pain.

Martha came from hard knocks when it came to her childhood, she was an emotionally neglected child. Her only fulfillment in life began with the birth of her beloved son, Rudy, and then later her daughter.

The author expresses her full heart of emotions for the love she held and holds for her son with no holds back. A moving and telling about the joy and ultimate heartbreak in one mother’s life. Near the end of the book she shares her loving advice about love and family and compassionate words to grievers as she endeavors to describe the depth of her grief. For those of us who’ve walked this journey of love, loss and grief, there is only so much we can reveal that can never be understood of such loss until it happens to us, but Perez conveys her loss so imperatively that one who reads it can’t help but taste the pain.

©DGKaye2022

Colleen Chesebro Announces The Word Craft #Poetry Contest Winners

Colleen Chesebro ran a contest in June using syllabic poetry, using the theme, ‘dreams’. There were certainly some fantastic entries, and winners. Congratulations to Diana Peach for her gorgeous entry. Today I’m sharing my Tanka prose and poem I wrote for the contest. Tanka is written in 5 lines in 5/7/5/7/7 syllables, and the prose relates to the poem.

~ ~ ~

When love is deep, there can’t be measure. The longing for lost lovers never dissipate, but linger in shadows of dreams as we live out the rest of our lives, awaiting glorious reunion.

Waiting

Lost love yearns for time,

Space where all is linear.

Grief seeps into dreams.

Undying love never fades.

Clocks echo love eternal.

..

Visit Colleen’s blog to see the list of winners and their entry poetry.

I’m thrilled to announce the winners of the Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest held to honor the Summer Solstice. The theme was dreams, and the syllabic form to write was tanka prose. Many thanks to all the poets who entered this contest. Thanks for being part of our poetry community… Please visit Colleen’s Word Craft to view the winners and their poetry at:

https://wordcraftpoetry.com/2022/07/13/announcing-the-winners-of-the-word-craft-poetry-syllabic-poetry-contest/#comment-116380

©DGKaye2022