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Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

       September 11th used to be just another day.  Then, it became my son’s brother’s birthday.  Nine years later…September 11th became something else.  September 11th, 2001 became the day of the destruction of American innocence.  It became a day controlled by terrorists and their plot of destruction.  It became a day of horror and fear.  It became a day of mourning.  Then, it became a day of rememberance. 

         Each year the day brings anxiety, fear, sadness and depression…but it also, becomes a measure of time.  It becomes, almost a before and after measure in our country and in our lives.  The military men and women, the everyday people who traveled on the jets, the business people who worked in the World Trade Center, the people on the street…every life that was lost was precious; and the grief never becomes anything less than what it should be!  The grieving process is different for everyone…but, it is the bridge from a place of denial to an acceptance of a life that has been changed, due to a loss of the life of a loved one.  At some point, you either become a person cocooned in pain and loss or you move towards a place of healing and acceptance.

        How much time has passed since that tragic day.  How many things have those people who’s names are called out in the roll-call missed.  How many sons and daughters have marked milestones in their lives without parents?  How many spouses have witnessed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births & deaths without their partners by their side to support them?  How many parents, grandparents, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends have been forced to bear witness to life without those who were such a part of their lives?

          For those who have valiantly tried to heal from the deep wounds of September 11th; some have found some way of marching into the future…one difficult footstep at a time.  Others have been forever stuck in that moment of loss.  For those who have been able to move forward painfully…there is no lack of a sense of guilt, for surviving and beginning to enjoy the blessings in life again. 

          Each milestone of survival is marked by loss…that can’t be forgotten; and yet, to choose not to enjoy what’s left in life to enjoy; is a slap in the face to those who’s lives were lost.  Which of them, if given a choice would choose to live a life without thanksgiving, without joy, without celebration… of all the good things before them; if they were able to live again?  It does those who were lost no honor, to allow the terrorists to have more “dead” victims than they already stole from the world.

          So while we honor those who were lost…let’s not forget those who were left behind to survive.  Let’s honor the loved ones, of those who were lost in the attack.  At some point, peeling back the scab over and over again can only serve to prevent long-term healing.  When, might September 11th become just another day again?  Can it ever become just another day…probably not?  Should it ever become something else besides an acknowledgement of the terrorists deeds?  Or are we forever bound by loss and respect to the lives lost, to always carry the scar of history ?  Is it possible to take back some of the power that the terrorists stole from us by reclaiming that day as just another day?

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      Anyone who has lost someone to death realizes just how precious life is.  Anyone who has lost someone, due to suicide, realizes what a waste of precious life, suicide is.  No one wants to talk about the horror of suicide; there is no way, to make the subject easy to discuss.  When the media does a story on suicide…it seems that there is an increase in suicides attempts that take place.  It is a careful balance to bring awareness to a terrible tragedy that affects so very many people; and yet, not give it so much attention that it plants seeds in the minds of those who are most vulnerable.  Here is a site that can shed some light on the subject:  http://www.suicidology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=2

         This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.  It is important to bring the message of hope and restoration.  Hurting people need to have a reason to live; they need to know that someone cares and is listening to them.  Those same people need human intervention to help them when they are vulnerable.   It is crucial to educate the public on ways to observe and interact with individuals who are struggling in their life and may be at risk for a suicide attempt.  People experiencing loss, loneliness, physical or mental health problems, financial problems, depression or isolation are at risk.   Every life has value and is worth saving!  Won’t you take a few minutes to learn more?

        There is a team of committed people who are working very hard to educate and bring awareness to the public about the issue of suicide prevention.  The team is called Ken McArthur’s Impact Action Team; and they are trying to communicate the importance of teen suicide prevention.  Here is a glimpse into the combined efforts of the Impact Action Team : http://speakupsavelives.org/general/speak-up-save-lives-message-to-be-broadcast-live-to-15-million-people-wednesday-morning-at-730-am-on-comcast-cn8  Check out their message and their goals…witness the impact that individuals can have by joining together with like-minded people.  Have you been affected by suicide during your lifetime?  If you could do ONE thing to help prevent a suicide, what would it be?  Speak up…someone who needs to know could be listening! 

       

       

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          Suicide is not a pleasant subject.  It is a word that makes most people cringe.  People who have lost a loved one to suicide cringe too; they have more of a reason to be disturbed by the word.  Most of us don’t stop to think about suicide death on a daily basis…but maybe we should.  For those directly affected by a suicide…it is an especially difficult thing, to grieve…because there are so many added things to work through. 

          Loss is one thing; that is bad enough…but, add to that… justifiable feelings of abandonment, anger, denial, financial distress, shame, isolation, shock and even rage for being rejected by the loved one; for something as unknown and final as death, many times without any warning that suicide was being considered. 

           It is a hard subject to talk about because studies often have shown a correlation to discussions about suicide and the rates of suicides that have increased after say a media interview or article that is published in a large viewership.  So how do you address such a terrible thing as suicide without taking the risk of an outbreak of suicides?  I am not sure…but i do know…that listing some of the signs or risk factors is important…because it is possible to at least become aware of some signals that may alert friends or family to a person who is contemplating taking their own life. 

            Some of the obvious signs are:  sudden changes in personality or behaviors, drug or alcohol use, life changes such as loss of job or marriage, verbal comments such as life isn’t worth living…, depression, neglecting personal well-being or appearance, loss of interest in things the person previously enjoyed, extreme mood swings, sleeping excessively, giving away precious things, avoiding close friends or family, isolating themselves, gaining or loosing noticeable weight without trying, lack of effort at school or job, listless, a feeling of hopelessness or failure, lots of negative or sad comments, focussing on negative circumstances and obsessing about them.

             There are times when people are more at risk than others, for some it is during their teenaged years if they struggle with acceptance and sometimes depression, for others it is in middle age when possible sudden life changes are perceived as failures or loss such as divorce or forclosure, the elderly are often at risk of suicide because of health issues, isolation from friends and family and many times because of financial issues.   It is important to remember that some medications carry the risk of increased thoughts of suicide…so talk to your doctor about these issues if there is any concern at all.

            All ages and sexes are at risk of a potential suicide.  People must get better at listening to each other; and, they need to stay connected by communication on a regular basis.  No one wants to think of friends or family doing the unthinkable; but, it can happen to anyone. 

            Many people try to respect people’s privacy and back off when in fact, it is at these times that they are needed more than ever.  Fear of not knowing what to say or do is common.  When in doubt…it is always best to contact a professional.    Here is a national hotline to contact if you or someone you know is dealing with the idea or fear of suicide:   1-800-273-TALK.
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

                The impact of suicide is long lasting on those survivors who are left behind.  Every life that can be saved is a gift…every person has value.  We must begin to find ways to open the opportunities to share with one another the hurts and disappointments in life and find ways of overcoming the effects of those things in our lives and in the lives of people that we care about.  Do you know someone who was able to turn the corner and avoid the tempation of suicide?  How did they do it?  Do they share with others about their experience?  Many people in schools, nursing homes, and professionals in your local communities could benefit from that knowledge so that they can help others.  How can those experiences benefit others?

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        Ben Stiller, the talented and funny actor has a new movie coming out; it is called Tropic Thunder.  It is a movie he was instrumental in producing, by doing the writing and directing, among other things.  There is a boycott brewing by special needs advocacy groups because of a movie within the movie.  The movie is supposed to be a mocking satire of actors who will take any movie no matter how over the top or bizarre to make a name for themselves as an actor, without regard for the subject matter. 

         Is this something that is supposed to be funny?  The lower our standards of conduct go…the funnier it is supposed to be…is that the concept?  Instead of getting kudos by the industry for a financial success…there should be a call to accountability; demanded by the American public for standards of decency.  Controvery about the subject matter should not just be just a tool used by public relations departments to garner curiosity that translates to box office rewards; that is my opinion. 

         One of the movies within the movie called, Simple Jack, allegedly mocks and makes fun of people with disabilities.   Meetings with advocacy group leaders were held with Stacey Snider who is a chief executive at Dreamworks…the company that released the film to try to address the concerns about the movie.  The studio has refused to make changes to the movie.  Shame on them!  Their attempts at humor just aren’t funny when the laughs are at the expense of a population of people born with disabilities.  Where is the respect?  (more…)

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       Have you ever known someone who is in a totally disfunctional relationship and just seems destined to repeat patterns of negative and destructive behaviors?  I was thinking on this last night with a young teenaged couple that i know.  They spend all of their time together…fighting…hurting…crying…begging…breaking up…for-giving….manipulating…emotional arm wrestling…isolating…and starting all over again.  They are on the phone…or in person…tuning everyone else out..until they self-destruct.  Then, the explosion, they want everyone to feel their pain.  When counseled…all they can think about is “fixing it” and getting back together.  They get back together all right…but nothing ever gets fixed.  It is an emotional war that definately takes prisoners.

        Then today, someone else that i care about deeply…has decided to once again go up for a heaping dose of all you can eat at the salad bar of pain and abuse.  Taking a little taste of negativity, nibbling on a chunk of guilt large enough to choke a horse, a dip of put downs and innuendo, a spoonful of diced self esteem, add a sprinkling of despair, a serving sized dollop of loneliness, add a slice of isolation, a bowl of anger, and lets not forget a huge serving of accusation.  Hey, you’ve already paid the price…there is no limitation on how much you can have…it is there if you only want more.  (more…)

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      Once again the news has been covering a recent trend of crimes regarding an obsession with what lies within; another woman has been found dead after having her baby cut out of her womb.  This scenerio has been happening all too frequently over the last decade or so…women being killed for the babies that they carry inside of their wombs.  It leaves a terrible legacy of emotional difficulties for family and friends not to mention the child; if it miraculously survives the amateur delivery.

          In many of the cases, the women who do the killing have had an obsession with having a baby or being pregnant; often they have tricked those closest to them into believing they are pregnant and about to deliver.  Then, after they have stolen an infant, they try to pass it off as their own birth child.  (more…)

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       There is something special and unique about the bonding that takes place when people bond through their shared experiences.  Something that i noticed when my parents each went through their cancer diagnosis and treatment sessions…intense bonding with fellow cancer patients and their families.  That bond in those relationships was a lifeline at times.  The fear of the unknown, the medical traumas, the difficult side effects, the kindness of strangers it all blended to remind us that we were not in the situation alone.

         During hospital stays, during chemo treatments, and doctor appointments; my parents and other patients would share things about their families, about their experiences, their struggles, medical information, tips on how to overcome nausea, or how to cope with some of the side effects of the treatments.   Some patients were alone…they had no family or else their family members lived in distant places.  We would adopt them and visiting and trying to support when we could.   It was all very intense. 

        In what amounts to a, down in the trenches, fight for their lives; cancer patients bond in very intense ways.  When fellow patients would struggle…my parents would ask for prayer for them, from us.  We are blessed with a strong family unit.  We would honor the request …knowing that if we needed the favor returned…it would be given automatically by those same cancer patient friends and their families.   We were all in a fraternity; that none of us wanted to be in….but still, we were in it together.

       The losses hit hard.  The emotions were so deep for my parents and for our family.  Each loss, it was understood, could have been ours as well; but for the grace of God.  Each milestone was celebrated.  Waiting for the results of testing was, and is, filled with anxiety and fear.  It is no less worrisome to hear of others around the world who struggle with the same issues.  http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcinthenews.htm (more…)

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        We are all born into circumstances that we have absolutely no control over.  The best that you can hope for is to maximize the positive and to minimize the negative events, circumstances or experiences.  All of those things, both positive and negative, help to shape us into the person that we become.

        If we start to experience problems in our relationships at work, home, school, or on a personal level with someone special; often, we will discover at the root of the issue, are things left over from our very beginnings in life that are unresolved or unhealed.  When the past threatens to destroy your future you must take time to figure it out; for your well-being and for those who care about you.

        Understanding what the problem is and where it comes from is a turning point.  Don’t get stuck there with excuses why your life isn’t turning out the way you want it to…you don’t have to continue to be held hostage by the past!   (more…)

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           Singer Amy Winehouse was hospitalized several days ago after fainting following an autograph session with some of her fans.  She has been in the London hospital, since Monday after the collapse, getting tests done.   

           Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, says that Amy has apparently damaged her lungs by smoking crack cocaine and by smoking cigarettes.  Mitch Winehouse is asking some of her friends, the ones who use drugs, to stay away from Amy.  He says, what hope will she have if they are using drugs around her.  (more…)

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          I read today that the family of Steven Curtis Chapman lost a daughter to a tragic accident yesterday.  The Chapman family’s youngest daughter 5 year old Maria was hit by a car driven by her brother.  It happened at their home in Nashville.  Worse still, it was witnessed by other family members.  What a horrible thing to see.  Maria’s brother needs alot of prayer.  It is a heavy burden to be in the position of being the driver who didn’t see the child.   May God bless this whole family during this time. 

           Their daughter Maria was adopted from China.  The Chapman’s have three children born to them and three others who they adopted.  I remember reading in an adoption magazine a few months ago, how the family felt called to adopt a child from China.  The family’s oldest daugther encouraged her parents to do so.  The Chapman’s committed to missionary work in China a couple of years ago.  I am sure with the recent tragedy that China has been going through has affected them greatly. 

           Steven Curtis Chapman is a gifted Christian singer.  He has been a huge force in ministering through music.  The family also has created a ministry foundation for those wishing to adopt called Shaohannah’s Hope; it helps the families to be able to afford to adopt.  I am sure the whole family’s heart is heavy.  For a child makes a huge impact on a family whether they are adopted or birthed into the family.  A child’s death leaves a huge empty spot.  Please pray for healing during their time of grief.  You can learn a bit more here:  http://www.stevencurtischapman.com/

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