When I find it hard to go on without those who’ve gone,
I turn to songs.
I mix a potion to heal my wounded heart by melding
lyrics to those songs.
When I seek to bring hope and peace to others,
I write words that rhyme.
But when I try to say how you touched my life,
I find the music is out of tune and out of time.
I know this dissonance surely can’t be right.
But I know One who can calm the troubled shores~
One who loves no matter what – and then even more~
One who says, “You don’t have to do it all alone.”~
I’ll stay with you through the darkness of the journey home.
I can feel when we’ve turned the corner into light.
I reach deep inside for the music that strengthens my heart.
I listen quietly, the prayers take rise, and the music starts.
With your memory close inside me for the lonely times,
I’ll come back again and sing to you the words I’ve I turned into rhymes.
I glanced at the calendar this morning. I don’t really need to do that to know what day is near. Each year I begin to feel it permeate my thoughts for weeks before. I need no calendar for that purpose
It’s been a few years since a friend of mine left this earth. Among my circle of family and friends, we have had time to experience life without that precious presence.…it doesn’t seem right…it doesn’t seem fair… it doesn’t make sense…
There’s not much of anything you can do about it when a person’s time is up. Obviously, you can mourn. You can stop living yourself. Or, you can decide to do your best to carry on. But you are not the keeper of time or extender of life. You have no input or vote on that.
But then you ask yourself:How am I going to get through this world without them?
You need an answer for that, so you dig into your psyche and you try to reach into your heart and you can find nothing that really explains why it happened and what you are supposed to do about it.
Then, with time, comes the answer. In a moment of clarity and perception you understand the simplicity of that answer.There’s nothing you can do about the fact it happened & most likely nothing you could have done to prevent it.
Your job is to continue on without them. Maybe you can make a memorial to them; perhaps continue a legacy they began; you can live your life…that’s all. The choices are few but it’s evident the only plan left for you is to honor the person with a permanent place in your thoughts allowing and not rejecting those thoughts. It’s not a bad thing to think about a person who is no longer breathing on this earth.
I’ve discovered one way to honor your loved one is to talk about that person. Think about that person. Tell your family about that person. Especially tell your children about that person. Share with someone else who knew them in a different way and you’ll have a new light shed on the person you loved. It’s OK to have all those feelings because you still love them. That doesn’t have to die–it can live on in you and those with whom you share your memories.
The only way I’ve been able to make it through such losses is to remember the good things, and time itself takes care of the bad things–they begin to move to the rear of your thoughts. Oh, sure, you can harbor them and hang on to them but to what end? That is no honor to your lost one.
When the thought of their absence is so real it hurts, that’s okay, too! Spend a moment in that thought…and then think about another time, another memory, another story. Perhaps a smile will cross your face or you might even laugh out loud at what seemed a silly thing back then. Allow yourself those beautiful and funny thoughts…that’s okay too.There are no rules, no guidebook, no right, no wrong. It never gets easier—it just gets different!
That’s what I’ve learned from experience. My hope for you is that you find people around you who allow you to talk about your loss and your feelings. I hope you have special memories that become more precious now that they have been entrusted to you to keep. That’s a big job…to keep the good of a person going. But you can do it—with love, hope, prayer, faith. Then trust in all the memories you have to become the stories for others and create that as the legacy for your loved one.
If you are reading this and you have lost a friend or loved one, I am sorry for your loss.May you find peace in the midst of your pain.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ If you need more help than you’ve been able to find, there are professional people for you. Look around your community for churches or organizations that offer counseling, or call your local hospital or contact your minister/rabbi/priest. For those related to a military member/veteran, contact your local Veteran's Affairs office or your military base commander/chaplain. Here are three organizations online where you can find help immediately.
Are Our Resolutions Real Goals
…or Just Empty Promises?
Traveling Through This Life
I count them—like the numerous sunflowers of a Kansas field—Those people who pass through my life for a moment—or longer;
I treasure them—like the rare shell found after the ocean’s tide—Those people who emerge victorious through life’s turbulence;
I acknowledge them—with an engraved plaque “for services rendered”—Those people who take the time to inscribe on my heart a new song;
I wish for them—like those wished on a hundred falling stars–A lighthouse on the shore to guide them away from life’s dark, lonely places;
I invoke for them—like the sacred prayers of intercessors—The courage to create from a shattered past a future that is undiminished and abundant;
I promise them—with the assurance of experience—The powerful force necessary to mold a life of health , beauty and happiness lives inside your own spirit.
Van Hess, 2004
It was 2004 when I wrote the message of Traveling Through This Life at a significant juncture in my life. Since then, like all of us, I have been dealing with other things; and I must admit I’d forgotten the promises I made in my heart for people who came into and through my life.
Digging in a bottom drawer the other day, I found an old file folder. You know, the kind we all have where you toss things you probably won’t need. I was about to throw it out, but reached to retrieve it and nearly fell out of the chair! When my hands touched it, I looked at the words and was immediately overcome with sadness. What had happened to cause me to let these penned promises pass me by unfulfilled. I felt as if I had failed my friends and associates. Tears formed in my eyes making it hard to read to the end.
Would I have ever admitted what a failure I had been–as a friend, guide, intercessor, supporter–if I had not run across these words? Probably not since “ignorance is bliss” and we can’t fault ourselves if we don’t think about it at all.
- I had forgotten to make people feel the way I promised them.
- I had not prayed for them or treasured them or helped them.
- I had not even thought of some of them for years now.
My heart began to feel empty and the tears streaked my face because I knew by not living up to my promise to them, I had lost opportunities—to be a friend and to have a friend. In some cases, I had even lost the chance to make a difference because they had left this life. My negligence may have caused hardships for some without the encouragement they needed or were expecting.
Do I even have the right to ask someone to help me if I failed those I had promised to help? If we get another tomorrow, we get another chance–the chance to fulfill those promises. This time I must act upon it.
Many of us will make decisions in the next few days and develop a plan of how we want to change our lives. We think about it, make lofty goals, tell everyone what we will accomplish…then somewhere along the days or months they fall by the wayside. How can you concentrate on people in your everyday life if you are constantly focused on the “lofty goal” that awaits somewhere in the future.
Let’s admit, few of us would ever make a statement like this:
I can’t listen to you right now because I have a goal of making myself more available to people in the coming year !
Sadly, that’s exactly what we are telling people if we have tunnel vision about our goal. We might just miss the opportunity to experience a blessing or fail to be used for a blessing.
You can still do something for others. It’s not too late. Maybe spend the next day or two contemplating how you can help and just do it. If you just plan it, that’s all it is: a plan. But if you do it, it becomes something more. It becomes a blessing or a kind word or just a hello to someone who needs it. Give it away…it’s easy…just do it!
Forget past mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it.
Please visit here often and “Leave a Comment” about how you are dealing with life’s struggles and winning some victories. I, too, pledge to leave you messages here as to how it’s working for me.