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  1. <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?><?xml-stylesheet href="http://www.blogger.com/styles/atom.css" type="text/css"?><feed xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom' xmlns:openSearch='http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearchrss/1.0/' xmlns:blogger='http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008' xmlns:georss='http://www.georss.org/georss' xmlns:gd="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005" xmlns:thr='http://purl.org/syndication/thread/1.0'><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491</id><updated>2017-02-08T23:50:47.449-05:00</updated><category term="life"/><category term="death"/><category term="grief"/><category term="loss"/><category term="depression"/><category term="love"/><category term="God"/><category term="loved ones"/><category term="suicide"/><category term="Ben"/><category term="Remembering"/><category term="amazing life"/><category term="ben stokes"/><category term="challenges"/><category term="cousins"/><category term="fear"/><category term="friends"/><category term="sorrow"/><category term="understanding"/><category term="Amish"/><category term="Days"/><category term="Halloween"/><category term="Italian"/><category term="Kindness"/><category term="Survival"/><category term="accomplishments"/><category term="alcohol"/><category term="anniversary"/><category term="belief"/><category term="compare"/><category term="compassion"/><category term="destiny"/><category term="different"/><category term="dream"/><category term="failures"/><category term="fall"/><category term="forgiveness"/><category term="get  going"/><category term="get out"/><category term="get up"/><category term="joy"/><category term="laughter"/><category term="legacy"/><category term="listening"/><category term="new normal"/><category term="obituary"/><category term="pain"/><category term="paths"/><category term="peace."/><category term="plans"/><category term="rememberence"/><category term="sadness"/><category term="seize the day"/><category term="serendipity"/><category term="sing"/><category term="successes"/><category term="tolerance"/><category term="walk"/><category term="zombie"/><title type='text'>A Life After Loss</title><subtitle type='html'>Thoughts on surviving the loss of a loved one and how I survived and learned to live again after the suicide of my son.</subtitle><link rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#feed' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default?redirect=false'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/'/><link rel='hub' href='http://pubsubhubbub.appspot.com/'/><link rel='next' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default?start-index=26&amp;max-results=25&amp;redirect=false'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><generator version='7.00' uri='http://www.blogger.com'>Blogger</generator><openSearch:totalResults>31</openSearch:totalResults><openSearch:startIndex>1</openSearch:startIndex><openSearch:itemsPerPage>25</openSearch:itemsPerPage><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-4930681489111652754</id><published>2015-05-02T08:38:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2015-05-02T08:48:59.811-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Nine years of grief lessons!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;It has been quite awhile since I posted here. I was thinking it is time to start again and share what I have learned in the nine years since Ben passed away. Many things have &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&lt;img alt=&quot;My son Ben&quot; src=&quot;http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tmAm6wUZgqA/TEY7qbf9JNI/AAAAAAAAAAg/A8Q4Tkbq1rg/S374/Ben+and+Coco.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;changed and many have stayed the same but I have learned how to restart and find that new normal.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I thought there were stages of grief but learned that is just crap. Grief is ongoing and how you deal with it changes daily. Nine years later and sometimes I still can&#39;t believe Ben in gone, I get mad that he killed himself, I question everything and wonder if I could have changed things, And from time to time I plunge back into depression. I am able to move quicker through all of this but accepting what is, is not happening. I am use to what happened, I understand that it happened and there is nothing I can do about it but accept it? That is not happening. I don&#39;t accept it and don&#39;t want to accept it. But I do go on and live.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you lost your loved one a month ago, five months ago, two years ago, eight years ago, twenty years ago, and you wonder if you will ever get over it just be assured that you won&#39;t and this is perfectly normal. You will be able in time to go on. But you will have those days when the grief will arise within you and you will feel like you can&#39;t bear it, like you did when you first suffered your loss. Remember you are normal and it&#39;s ok to cry, it&#39;s ok to be mad, it&#39;s ok to bargain with God. Your going to be ok and your going to keep going and yes life will never be the same, you will never be the same, but you will keep going.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Grief is an amazing teacher. I feel like it has made me a better person, I see what is really important now. I work daily to be a better person than the day before. Many days I fail but I keep on trying. Never giving up.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;We who have suffered great loss live with a knowledge that many don&#39;t have. We have a quiet understanding that life is fleeting. Life is temporary. Life is a precious gift. &amp;nbsp;Taking this journey together lightens the load. Here on my blog we can share our thoughts, feelings and stories on survival after the loss of our loved one&#39;s. Together we can help ourselves and others gain understanding and knowledge on surviving. Please share your feelings and share my blog with your family, friends, Facebook page. Someone out there may need it. You just never know what daily battles people are facing.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;As always Peace &amp;amp; Love to all,&lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/4930681489111652754/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2015/05/nine-years-of-grief-lessons.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4930681489111652754'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4930681489111652754'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2015/05/nine-years-of-grief-lessons.html' title='Nine years of grief lessons!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tmAm6wUZgqA/TEY7qbf9JNI/AAAAAAAAAAg/A8Q4Tkbq1rg/s72-c/Ben+and+Coco.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-7488823943201914687</id><published>2013-09-05T10:34:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2013-09-05T10:34:30.443-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Here it comes again-October 1st.</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EzaThDzxRR8/UiiV9iOGKuI/AAAAAAAAAJI/cjnyyPO9o0c/s1600/etsy+sun.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;208&quot; src=&quot;http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EzaThDzxRR8/UiiV9iOGKuI/AAAAAAAAAJI/cjnyyPO9o0c/s320/etsy+sun.jpg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;Today I realized we are less than a month away from October 1st. That has been a dreaded day for me these past six years and now going on seven. But today I also realized that I have not been thinking&amp;nbsp;about it or dwelling on it like past years. That date is the day my son Ben&amp;nbsp;made the fateful decision to take his life changing mine and all the lives close to him. Our lives have changed in ways we never thought they would. We are hardened and softened at the same time. All of us in different ways. We are a family with a hole that will never be filled. Recently we suffered another loss. The loss of my stepsons mom. Watching them go through the grieving process is hard. They want to feel better now, not realizing that it will take time, months, years to find a new normal without their mom. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Their loss, my loss,&amp;nbsp;your loss will never go away. Grief takes time. It&#39;s not a get over it already kind of thing. Now almost seven years later I am&amp;nbsp;able to look at October 1st and not cringe that it is almost here.&amp;nbsp;I will always grieve for Ben, I will always&amp;nbsp;remember that day but along with the grieving and remembering I will&amp;nbsp;be healing. Taking it one day at a time for the rest of my life.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;September is suicide awareness month. Did you know that up to 2009 car crashes were the leading cause of death by accident but in&amp;nbsp;2009 suicide&amp;nbsp;became the&amp;nbsp;leading cause of death by accident. That is such a sad statistic. Mental health&amp;nbsp;has been&amp;nbsp;so overlooked. It is time for a change. Let&#39;s all do something this month to help make that change. Help a friend who is suffering, donate your time or $$&#39;s, attend a prevention walk. Take action now and maybe we can help prevent another family from going through the pain of&amp;nbsp;the suicide of a loved one.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Peace,&lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Remember I am here for you so if  you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/7488823943201914687/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2013/09/here-it-comes-again-october-1st.html#comment-form' title='1 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7488823943201914687'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7488823943201914687'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2013/09/here-it-comes-again-october-1st.html' title='Here it comes again-October 1st.'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EzaThDzxRR8/UiiV9iOGKuI/AAAAAAAAAJI/cjnyyPO9o0c/s72-c/etsy+sun.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>1</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-4204979368441738025</id><published>2013-03-21T22:49:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2013-08-19T11:23:27.362-04:00</updated><title type='text'></title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;When I look back now on losing my son I feel a profound sadness. Sadness at the loss of such a special, loving,&amp;nbsp;bright young man. Sadness that I will not see him grow up completely with a&amp;nbsp;career and family of his own. I don&#39;t dwell on the sadness any longer but it is still there and will always be there. Some days it engulfs me but not as many as before. I function now, I work, I cook and clean and do everything I did before that fateful day in October. I miss him daily and think about him every day. But I move forward and know that is what I have to do. But the sadness is still there lying ever so slightly beneath the surface. I wonder if he is watching down over me. Sometimes I get a sign or two that let me know he is around. I hope they are not coincidences. I pray he is at peace and in God&#39;s heaven. I pray he will be waiting for me when it&#39;s my time to leave earth. I pray God keeps me strong enough each day to keep moving forward and living the life I was ment to live. It has been almost 6-1/2 years since the day my new life began. That is how I think about it, the day my new normal began. I can tell anyone out there grieving that you will get use to your new normal. It will take time and how long it takes is not the same for each of us. Take all the time you need. You will know when you are ready to move forward. So I may not blog here much anymore because the hurt is healing. And that is a good thing. If anyone needs to talk I am always an email away and will be here to help anyone needing support. Peace &amp;amp; Love to all, Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Remember I am here for you so if you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/4204979368441738025/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2013/03/when-i-look-back-now-on-losing-my-son-i.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4204979368441738025'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4204979368441738025'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2013/03/when-i-look-back-now-on-losing-my-son-i.html' title=''/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-5160758735348386830</id><published>2012-07-27T09:52:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2012-07-27T09:52:26.901-04:00</updated><title type='text'></title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;As you go through your weekend remember everyone is fighting some kind of battle so be kind to all you meet. &quot;Kindness is Free&quot;. And if you are having a hard time making it through another day know that God is the constant, he is always by your side helping you through the challenges of life. Never give up hope that tomorrow will be better.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;&quot; aria-busy=&quot;true&quot; aria-describedby=&quot;fbPhotosSnowliftCaption&quot; class=&quot;spotlight&quot; height=&quot;554&quot; src=&quot;http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/387155_396142987114026_2039247012_n.jpg&quot; style=&quot;height: 520px; width: 520px;&quot; width=&quot;554&quot; /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Have a great weekend everybody!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Love &amp;amp; Peace to all---Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Remember I am here for you so if you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/5160758735348386830/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/as-you-go-through-your-weekend-remember.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5160758735348386830'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5160758735348386830'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/as-you-go-through-your-weekend-remember.html' title=''/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-8091284050315418460</id><published>2012-07-23T12:33:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2012-07-23T12:33:26.638-04:00</updated><title type='text'></title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;h2 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: cyan;&quot;&gt;&quot;Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble&quot;. Frank Tyger&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;How often do we quiet the voices in our heads and really listen when people are talking to us? Do you ask someone how they are and then really listen to their answer? In my line of work I am constantly listening to&amp;nbsp;what people are saying&amp;nbsp;and really listening is something I always find myself working on.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;When Ben died I didn&#39;t really want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to be left alone. But you know what, there were people in my life that left me alone and at the same time&amp;nbsp;quietly nudged me along so that when I was ready to talk they were there. And even though I was in an extremely depressed state I still knew who I could talk to when I was ready. And I did talk to them and they listened. It was a part of my healing and so appreciated then and now.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;Remember that when someone is grieving they need time to process their grief.&amp;nbsp;You can gently nudge them along by letting&amp;nbsp;them know that when they are ready to talk you will be there. And next time you have a conversation with someone be present and focus on what they are saying. Being a good listener is one of the best gifts we can give one another. &lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;Remember I am here for you so if you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/8091284050315418460/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/be-good-listener.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/8091284050315418460'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/8091284050315418460'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/be-good-listener.html' title=''/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-2631259279331583402</id><published>2012-07-20T12:44:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2012-07-20T12:44:43.126-04:00</updated><title type='text'></title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Thank God it&#39;s Friday. As you go through your weekend think about this:&lt;/div&gt;&lt;h2 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: cyan;&quot;&gt;&quot;KINDNESS IS FREE&quot;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Let&#39;s spread it around and make this world a nicer place.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Remember I am here for you so if you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/2631259279331583402/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/thank-god-its-friday.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/2631259279331583402'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/2631259279331583402'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/thank-god-its-friday.html' title=''/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-7805233619976638273</id><published>2012-07-19T14:35:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2012-07-19T14:35:32.176-04:00</updated><title type='text'></title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;blockquote class=&quot;tr_bq&quot;&gt;&lt;h3 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white;&quot;&gt;I&amp;nbsp;saw this quote today on facebook. It was posted by a friend that has had some challenges in life but he keeps moving forward. I just wanted to share it with all of you. Wouldn&#39;t life be better if we all could do this?&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/h3&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;h3 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: #ead1dc;&quot;&gt;&quot;Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror&quot;.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/h3&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white;&quot;&gt;&lt;h3 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;I think so. How about you?&lt;/h3&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/7805233619976638273/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-this-quote-today-on-facebook.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7805233619976638273'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7805233619976638273'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-this-quote-today-on-facebook.html' title=''/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-451094612560164922</id><published>2012-05-25T11:37:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2012-05-25T11:37:47.040-04:00</updated><title type='text'>A loss of any kind just plain sucks!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JJ-Qi0JNLXE/T7-k-oWl-8I/AAAAAAAAAGk/UYHB5fILRbY/s1600/102_0701.JPG&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; cssfloat: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; qba=&quot;true&quot; src=&quot;http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JJ-Qi0JNLXE/T7-k-oWl-8I/AAAAAAAAAGk/UYHB5fILRbY/s320/102_0701.JPG&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;Last week I lost my cat Chatter. I know what your thinking, &quot;it was a cat&quot;. But like most people&#39;s pets Chatter was more than a cat. He was my friend, my buddy. He was a connection to Ben. He was born to Matty. She was a cat that Keri talked me into taking after our neighbors said they could no longer keep her. She roamed the neighborhood and was a really nice cat. And little did I know she was pregnant. A few weeks later out come three little kitties. All three were different. One was white with black spots which we named &quot;Moo&quot; cause she looked like a cow. Then there was the common tabby who Keri while painting her nails came up with the name &quot;Pinky&quot;. The third was a little different, part main coon and part tabby but real furry like a main coon. I knew from the start we would be keeping him. He was sweet right from the beginning. He couldn&#39;t meow and you could not hear him purr. His meow sounded like a caw and you only knew he was purring when you held him close and felt it. His name didn&#39;t come to us easy. We tried for days to think of a good name. One day Ben was standing at the kitchen table (I have no idea why I remember that) and he said he had the perfect name. He said &quot;we should name him Chatter cause he can&#39;t meow&quot;. As soon as he said Chatter I knew we had his name. Now I know it&#39;s stupid to feel this as a connection to Ben, but I do. I feel like I lost something when Chatter died. Another connection to something Ben and I shared together. We all loved that cat and he loved us right back. We talked to him like a person. One of my last memories of Ben is him walking in the door and looking down at Chatter and saying &quot;hi Chat, how you doing?&quot; And of course Chatter cawed back at him as if to answer. I love those memories. I need them to survive. Chatter died in my arms after 15 years of unconditional love. I still look for him when I come home from work. I wait for him to come running to me. I wonder when I will get it and stop looking. But then it&#39;s been almost six years and I still look for signs from Ben. Losing someone---we never get over it, it never goes away, we just get use to it. It&#39;s not time that makes it easier, it&#39;s our magnificent brains that take over and help us cope.&amp;nbsp;And then there is hope, the&amp;nbsp;hope for a better tomorrow, a better future and a chance to again meet up with the people (and animals)&amp;nbsp;we love.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AOxhe2vo_f4/T7-lOEvU2hI/AAAAAAAAAGs/k1sZ7kdsYZI/s1600/yard+photos+011.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; qba=&quot;true&quot; src=&quot;http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AOxhe2vo_f4/T7-lOEvU2hI/AAAAAAAAAGs/k1sZ7kdsYZI/s320/yard+photos+011.jpg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;Love &amp;amp; Peace---Annette&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;P.S. Thanks to Linda at &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.talktherapybiz.com/&quot;&gt;www.talktherapybiz.com&lt;/a&gt;. Today she got me thinking about hope. Check out her blog, it&#39;s a good one.&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: cyan;&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/451094612560164922/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/05/loss-of-any-kind-just-plain-sucks.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/451094612560164922'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/451094612560164922'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/05/loss-of-any-kind-just-plain-sucks.html' title='A loss of any kind just plain sucks!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JJ-Qi0JNLXE/T7-k-oWl-8I/AAAAAAAAAGk/UYHB5fILRbY/s72-c/102_0701.JPG" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-1794296237440426778</id><published>2012-02-22T20:31:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2012-02-22T20:31:01.483-05:00</updated><title type='text'>Thinking of Ben</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache06774110188232536=&quot;1825&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Knysnasunset.jpg&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;English: colourful sunset. knysna, south afric...&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a6/Knysnasunset.jpg/300px-Knysnasunset.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache06774110188232536=&quot;1825&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 300px;&quot;&gt;Image via &lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Knysnasunset.jpg&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;Lately I have been thinking alot about Ben. About when he was growing up and how special he was. He was my little buddy and as he grew up I always thought of him that way. I still do. He will always be my little buddy. I miss his everyday and losing him sucks. There is no other way to describe it, it just plain sucks. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;People say time heals. I don&#39;t agree. I think we will never heal, we just get use to the loss and so it becomes a part of our new normal. We are faced with so many challenges in life. Getting over the death of a loved one is a huge challenge. If you are facing a loss in your life remember to give yourself a break. Take time out for you. Do what you want to do and not what others think you should do. You will find your new normal and eventually you will get use to the changes in your life. But take it from me there will still be moments when life will really suck so be sure to enjoy the moments that don&#39;t. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Love and peace to all. Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=fec85ff9-ef97-45e0-ac88-eddbeabc36f0&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/1794296237440426778/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/02/thinking-of-ben.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/1794296237440426778'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/1794296237440426778'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/02/thinking-of-ben.html' title='Thinking of Ben'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-4556366332603700130</id><published>2012-01-24T20:08:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2012-01-24T20:08:36.370-05:00</updated><title type='text'>8 Minutes. A guest post by Keri Stokes</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache018923460320546237=&quot;2289&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WWStoryRome.jpg&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;The original Angel of Grief in Rome.&quot; height=&quot;201&quot; src=&quot;http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/WWStoryRome.jpg/300px-WWStoryRome.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache018923460320546237=&quot;2289&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 300px;&quot;&gt;Image via &lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WWStoryRome.jpg&quot;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; sizcache05795967478554524=&quot;15766&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;This is my first guest post. It is by my daughter Keri and although she does not have a blog as of yet I wanted to share this facebook post with all of you. She has a very special way of putting her thoughts into words which touch me in a very profound way. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;8 minutes.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I guess I&#39;ve always just been naive to think that we all feel that. I mean, don&#39;t we? After your dad or mom or sister or grandma or friend or uncle... Don&#39;t you feel that grip on your throat, like you&#39;re being taken by a mysterious force you&#39;ve always tried to avoid? And then you may begin to avoid it, so that grip goes away? But it&#39;s possible that the only way to loosen the grip each time their name comes up or you see a movie about the 8 minute idea, is to actually let the grip grab a hold, let the tears forcefully drip out of your eyes. Until you let that grip come a little undone. I don&#39;t think you&#39;d understand unless you were me or someone who has been struck and liquified by the devastating loss of their loved one. Or maybe you would get it, if you had a break up. Grief is everywhere, not just accompanied with death. I used to think that no one understood grief unless they had something really awful happen to them. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The 8 minute idea is this: it takes light 8 minutes to reach us. That means that the sun could explode and we wouldn&#39;t know for 8 minutes. We&#39;d still be warm and cozy for 8 minutes. Lives would go on, until the end of 8 minutes. So the idea is when someone you love, care about, or even know dies, you struggle to hold onto them for as long as possible by exaggerating pretty much everything. My brother didn&#39;t move out of my dads house until it went into foreclosure, I still haven&#39;t went up to my grandpa&#39;s bar where my brother died, my mom still smells my brother&#39;s pillow that she keeps in an air container. So does this mean that even after 5 years we are holding onto 8 minutes? Is that grip never going to loosen, until we have the &#39;closure&#39; we &#39;need&#39;? I think this has made me softer towards people&#39;s situations. But sometimes I think that&#39;s the only good thing it&#39;s done. I just know that the grip will probably loosen if I do go to my grandpa&#39;s bars parking lot. To witness where ben&#39;s last breaths were taken. But that would be letting go of another minute, and I think sometimes I like the grip.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Guest Post by Keri Stokes &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Thanks to Keri for letting me share this.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Peace&lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt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class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=27408ce3-0644-4924-9c1f-5c1ff93b6891&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/4556366332603700130/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/01/8-minutes-guest-post-by-keri-stokes.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4556366332603700130'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4556366332603700130'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/01/8-minutes-guest-post-by-keri-stokes.html' title='8 Minutes. A guest post by Keri Stokes'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-4415746530851858986</id><published>2012-01-15T21:25:00.001-05:00</published><updated>2012-01-15T21:58:05.714-05:00</updated><title type='text'>Five years is a long time to mourn!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;I will always mourn the death of my son. That is a fact of life for me now. People say it gets easier with time&amp;nbsp;but that is not really true. I think we just get use to losing our loved ones and that makes us able to move forward.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Recently I have been thinking of taking this blog in a different direction. I will still be here to help others through their grief but in a positive way, sharing stories, thoughts and&amp;nbsp;ideas on how to move forward after the mourning eases.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you have any ideas on things you would like to hear from me let me know in the comments below.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Onward we go, together.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Peace---Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might benefit from my blog please share&amp;nbsp;it with them.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/4415746530851858986/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/01/five-years-if-long-time-to-mourn.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4415746530851858986'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/4415746530851858986'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2012/01/five-years-if-long-time-to-mourn.html' title='Five years is a long time to mourn!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-5131784371414102944</id><published>2011-09-28T11:20:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2011-09-28T11:25:45.394-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="alcohol"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="amazing life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="death"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="depression"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="peace."/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="suicide"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Survival"/><title type='text'>I Survived Death!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;34502&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_with_funnel_clouds.jpg&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Red sky at night, sailor&#39;s/shepherd&#39;s delight.&quot; height=&quot;212&quot; src=&quot;http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/92/Sunset_with_funnel_clouds.jpg/300px-Sunset_with_funnel_clouds.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;34502&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 300px;&quot;&gt;Image via &lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_with_funnel_clouds.jpg&quot;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;So I rarely post on this blog anymore. I survived the death of my son, I survived three hellish years of depression after the death of my son and now I can&#39;t bear to live it over again in words. Is that understandable? Have any of you felt the same way? &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;On Saturday it will be 5 years since my son died. Five years! At times is doesn&#39;t seem that long ago and then other times&amp;nbsp;it seems like a lifetime ago. I miss his face, his smile, his sense of humor. I miss seeing him grow up into a man. I miss the things I think he could have accomplished, the things he could have been. I miss everything about him on a daily basis. Mostly I just miss being with him. Seeing him walk through the door. Eating dinner with him. Watching a movie with him. I miss seeing how he would have been with Andrew at 18 and Phillip at 16. I miss hearing him and Keri talk about their dad and their youth. I miss the life he could have had. I miss it all. And sometimes I want it back. I want to go back to that time before he died and I want&amp;nbsp;to reach out to him and help him through his troubles. Depression, drugs, alcohol, it all affected him. And the end result was not something I willingly accept. But accept it I must and do daily. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;So five years and I&#39;m still standing. At times I didn&#39;t think I would be. I didn&#39;t know how I was going to make it through. With God&#39;s help and the help of my family I am here. Some days I&#39;m hanging on by a thread but I am still here. Do you feel that way? Does it seem like life is never gonna start up again? Do you feel like you have had enough and your ready to leave along with your loved one? I did. I felt all those things and I lived to tell about it. I&#39;m writing this today because I made it through. I survived a devastating loss. And you can too. Hang on to your memories, hang on to yourself, hang onto whatever you need to hang onto to make it through. You will make it through and life will resume. Life will never, ever be the same but you will be able to smile again, laugh again, live again. I am living proof that this is true. I am a survivor of death, suicide, life changing events. I promise if you can hold on, you will be able to start living again.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;As always, love and peace to all. Thanks for reading and remember I am here to help so if you need help just ask and&amp;nbsp;be sure to leave your comments below. &lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want&amp;nbsp;to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=5f0a600f-a3a9-4e4c-8919-5056524c5e98&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/5131784371414102944/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-survived-death.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5131784371414102944'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5131784371414102944'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-survived-death.html' title='I Survived Death!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-7779276253130568429</id><published>2011-05-16T09:34:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2011-05-16T09:34:07.138-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="destiny"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="grief"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="obituary"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="rememberence"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="serendipity"/><title type='text'>WHAT! YOU WANT ME TO WRITE MY OWN OBITUARY?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;&lt;iframe align=&quot;right&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; marginheight=&quot;0&quot; marginwidth=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot; src=&quot;http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=alifeafterlos-20&amp;amp;o=1&amp;amp;p=8&amp;amp;l=bpl&amp;amp;asins=B00003CY6M&amp;amp;fc1=000000&amp;amp;IS2=1&amp;amp;lt1=_blank&amp;amp;m=amazon&amp;amp;lc1=0000FF&amp;amp;bc1=000000&amp;amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;amp;f=ifr&quot; style=&quot;align: right; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;&quot;&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;Did you ever think about your obituary? No really, did you? How will people remember you? How do you want them to remember you? I read the obits.&amp;nbsp;Really I&amp;nbsp;just skim them, checking to see if anyone we know has died.&amp;nbsp;We have a lot of clients so I like to send a card&amp;nbsp;if they experience a loss just&amp;nbsp;to let them know we&amp;nbsp;care. Years ago I&amp;nbsp;went to calling hours when one of my clients&amp;nbsp;lost his mother and they never forgot it. I know this is true because it was quite a few years later when Ben died and the first thing I received was a peace plant from them. I still have it and I think of them every time I water it. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Sometimes a certain obit will&amp;nbsp;catch my eye and&amp;nbsp;I read&amp;nbsp;it all the way through.&amp;nbsp;Like today when I was drawn to the obit&amp;nbsp;of a 95 year old man. During the last days of his life he told his family to not be sad for him because he lived a good life. He also told them that&amp;nbsp;they should always remember to be good to each other.&amp;nbsp;At the bottom of the obit&amp;nbsp;was a poem, a tribute written by a family member. Telling of his life and now his death. He was loved! You could tell by the words in his obit. He was truly a wonderful man. When I read something so wonderful I think about writing my own obit.&amp;nbsp;What&amp;nbsp;would I say about my life? How would I like to&amp;nbsp;be remembered?&amp;nbsp;Some of you might&amp;nbsp;be thinking what a morbid thing to do.&amp;nbsp;I like to &amp;nbsp;think of it as a guideline on how&amp;nbsp;I live&amp;nbsp;my life in the here and now. For me it&#39;s not morbid at all because&amp;nbsp;I have experienced death from an early age. I was 3 or 4 when my Aunt Margaret came to live with&amp;nbsp;us&amp;nbsp;in her last days of dying&amp;nbsp;of cancer. She died shortly after, right in the spare bedroom&amp;nbsp;of our house. I remember them burning the mattress afterwards. It was the sixties and we really didn&#39;t know much about cancer at that time, just that it was a definite death sentence. At the age of six my father&#39;s mom, my&amp;nbsp;grandmother Ann died. After that there were older relatives, friends of the family, and many many more.&amp;nbsp;Eventually we moved in with my grandmother Carrie. It was the same&amp;nbsp;house my mother was raised in. We lived in the Italian section of town where everyone knew everyone by their first name. We were personal friends with the local funeral director and the funeral home was only one block from&amp;nbsp;our home. It seemed like we were always going to calling hours for someone. You might be&amp;nbsp;thinking &quot;what does this have to do with writing your own&amp;nbsp;obit&quot;? I think that those of us who have experienced death for most of our lives have a different perspective on it and writing your own obit does not have to be a depressing, grim, horrible&amp;nbsp;thing. We write in journals and diaries about our&amp;nbsp; lives and loves. Why not&amp;nbsp;think of it as writing your&amp;nbsp;future?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Write a story of how you want people to remember you. No one has to see it, you don&#39;t have to share it with anyone. Think of it as a guide for living your best life now. Do you want to be remembered as the person who was successful in his/her work? Or maybe a kind generous soul who always took the time to help a friend? Or the grampa everyone would want&amp;nbsp;to have? An employee who always did his best and was willing to go the extra mile to make his company better? The best father, mother,&amp;nbsp;friend, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, cousin etc...anyone could ask for? What is most important to you? What would you write? There is no right or wrong. How you are remembered is up to you in the here and now. So will you do it? Will you set a plan in motion for your life? Will you write a tribute to you and live your life fulfilling it? Just think how better your life&amp;nbsp;would be or could be if you lived&amp;nbsp;the way you hope to be remembered.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;No matter where you are in life or how old you are, it&#39;s never to late to rewrite your destiny. Your words, your obit will help you to define what is most important to you in this life. Try it. You might just surprise yourself and realize what you thought was important to you is something totally different than what really is.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Love &amp;amp; Peace,&lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;P.S. You might be wondering, &quot;Why the link to Serendipity&quot;? In Serendipity Jeremy Piven&#39;s character writes an obit for John Cusack&#39;s character who is still living.&amp;nbsp;A great movie about destiny and worth watching. Enjoy!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/7779276253130568429/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-you-want-me-to-write-my-own.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7779276253130568429'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7779276253130568429'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-you-want-me-to-write-my-own.html' title='WHAT! YOU WANT ME TO WRITE MY OWN OBITUARY?'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-161069735524677742</id><published>2011-05-01T09:41:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2011-05-01T10:53:40.228-04:00</updated><title type='text'>I AM DEATH AND I WILL SHOCK YOU TO YOUR CORE</title><content type='html'>&lt;div dir=&quot;ltr&quot; style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot; trbidi=&quot;on&quot;&gt;Shock! Numbness! It&#39;s what you feel after you hear that your son, your daughter, your partner, husband, friend, relative has died. Most times the shock fades away quickly but when it is a close family member it can last awhile. Our brains are amazing machines. I think our brains take over in times like this and they protect us from the reality of what we are actually facing. When Ben died I immediately went into shock. I was doing everything I had to do-Talking to friends and relatives,&amp;nbsp;planning his memorial and any other things I could think of that needed to be done. I did them all and I don&#39;t remember much of it. I remember not feeling, not wanting to feel. It took a long time for the shock to wear off. I guess looking back now I should be glad that my brain stepped in when I was not able to function. It was like being on autopilot. You do what you are suppose to be doing and all the while you don&#39;t even realize you are doing it. I was hurt by my son&#39;s suicide. I felt guilty that I could not protect him from the demons he had fought for so many years. I&amp;nbsp;will always feel that I should have done more. But I didn&#39;t know how to help him and he always snowed the doctors and me&amp;nbsp;into thinking he was fine. I always felt I would lose him early on in life. So when it happened, when he died, I dealt with the shock of knowing, knowing that this was what I had known would happen all along and I still didn&#39;t stop it. How could I his only mother not stop the hurt, not save him from himself. If I told you I was up all night the night before he died and I knew something was wrong, would you believe me. I was and still I didn&#39;t know what to do.&amp;nbsp; I knew something was wrong and still I did nothing. And as I type this &quot;Imagine&quot; by John Lennon comes on Pandora. I used quotes from &quot;Imagine&quot; at Ben&#39;s memorial service. He loved the Beatles and he had a very peaceful soul. I felt this song was ever appropriate for him. He wanted only to be loved and accepted. He was a gentle giant fighting demons daily. Shock, shock of him dying, shock that I knew&amp;nbsp;that someday it would happen and now it did. Shock kept me&amp;nbsp;almost sane in&amp;nbsp;a most insane&amp;nbsp;time. Shock kept me busy. Shock saved my life because without it I would have withered and died right along with Ben. &lt;br /&gt;So when you brain puts your mind and body into shock all you can do is go with it. Let the brain take over because it is saving you from&amp;nbsp;a reality that you can&#39;t handle. We all have challenges. We experience many things through our lives. We are lucky to have these amazing brains to protect us in our time of need. It seems God created our brains with&amp;nbsp;a &quot;what if&quot; in mind. What if this happens or that happens, will this brain be able to take care of it&#39;s owner? And most of the time it does, it saves us from ourselves, it protects us in times of need. God&#39;s work is a mystery but an amazing one indeed.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Love &amp;amp; Peace&lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/161069735524677742/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-am-death-and-i-will-shock-you-to-your.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/161069735524677742'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/161069735524677742'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-am-death-and-i-will-shock-you-to-your.html' title='I AM DEATH AND I WILL SHOCK YOU TO YOUR CORE'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-605566996702683958</id><published>2010-12-15T11:52:00.001-05:00</published><updated>2010-12-15T11:55:28.738-05:00</updated><title type='text'>Dear Santa, why can&#39;t I get what I want?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;6986&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Clifton_Mill_Christmas_2005.JPG&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;A Christmas market in Clifton Mill, Ohio, Unit...&quot; height=&quot;225&quot; src=&quot;http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6b/Clifton_Mill_Christmas_2005.JPG/300px-Clifton_Mill_Christmas_2005.JPG&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;6986&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 300px;&quot;&gt;Image via &lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Clifton_Mill_Christmas_2005.JPG&quot;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;Last night I dreamt of Ben. He was younger and I was telling him that his cousin Dominic had died. He just went off crying. I don&#39;t know what that means. I was confused in the dream because he was older when Dom died and of course he was still alive. Sometimes I still feel like my life is in a state of confusion. I am much better than I was but there are times when I feel myself slipping back into the dark hole of depression. I know it&#39;s this time of year. When Ben and Keri were growing up I did everything I could to make Christmas special. I know they always thought it was a magical time. And I enjoyed it so much back then. This year I am just not feeling it. I can&#39;t seem to get in the mood and am just going through the motions. Baking cookies is next and I&#39;m not looking forward to it.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Dear Santa, I&#39;m missing Ben and this year&amp;nbsp;I want a big bear hug from him. I didn&#39;t hug him enough and now I can&#39;t hug him at all. I want him back, I want to see how he is doing. I want to know his life is good and he is teaching college like he wanted. I want to sit and talk with him again and enjoy a glass of wine with him. I want to watch a movie with him. I want him back and I can&#39;t have what I want the most this Christmas.&amp;nbsp;Instead, his ashes are in a&amp;nbsp;box in my basement and I can&#39;t make a decision about what to do with them. I don&#39;t want it to be this way at all, I don&#39;t like it.&amp;nbsp;I don&#39;t have a choice but I don&#39;t have to like it.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;As we go through this holiday season, there will be memories, challenges and happiness. I will try to grab on to the happiness and hope it carries me through. Ben&#39;s stocking still hangs with the others, Inside are five&amp;nbsp;little boxes. We each have one and every year we are suppose to write a note to him, telling him how we feel. As I look back on previous years I can see that I have progressed and that&#39;s good. But I still want him back and I don&#39;t like it one bit that he&#39;s not with me. I hope he&#39;s with my mom and grandma and there is some celebrating going on. I hope he comes around and let&#39;s me know he&#39;s here. I hope so many things and mostly I hope I can get through this holiday feeling good and OK that I am still here and he&#39;s not. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Happy holidays to all. My hope for all of us is that we can start 2011 better than we&amp;nbsp;started 2010, that we can&amp;nbsp;find&amp;nbsp;joy&amp;nbsp;and have good things coming our way, that we can remember our loved ones and know they are at peace.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Love &amp;amp; Peace,&lt;br /&gt;Annette&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you like what you see here just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=5d7f4724-9e14-48cc-93c7-90127fae1c59&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/605566996702683958/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/12/dear-santa-why-cant-i-get-what-i-want.html#comment-form' title='2 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/605566996702683958'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/605566996702683958'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/12/dear-santa-why-cant-i-get-what-i-want.html' title='Dear Santa, why can&#39;t I get what I want?'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>2</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-5799315258854876438</id><published>2010-11-16T09:07:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2010-11-16T09:07:31.212-05:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Amish"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="challenges"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="death"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="God"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="grief"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loss"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="understanding"/><title type='text'>Hey God, where are you, are you listening?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;12225&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5181786056&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Trip to Mt Takao&quot; height=&quot;155&quot; src=&quot;http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/5181786056_7b18cf2573_m.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;240&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;12225&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 240px;&quot;&gt;Image by &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5181786056&quot;&gt;diloz&lt;/a&gt; via Flickr&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #0b5394;&quot;&gt;Do you sometime ask God where he is, is he listening? When you lose someone close to you it is very easy to also lose your faith. &lt;strong&gt;LIFE IS HARD!&lt;/strong&gt; Really it is. It&#39;s not a picnic for&amp;nbsp;alot of us. I often wonder how some people get so lucky to never have anything challenging happen to them. How does that happen? They go through life and things just seem to fall into place just right. I know everything is not always as it seems but for the most part there are some people out there that have it all together. Life is one big party with good things all around. I guess being through the ringer has it&#39;s advantages. Like the fact&amp;nbsp;that not much shocks&amp;nbsp;me anymore.&amp;nbsp;Stuff happens and I just go with the flow. I hardly ever get angry. I accept the things that come my way. Hoping and praying that I can make it through the challenges and have the strength to handle them. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #0b5394;&quot;&gt;Yes, I&#39;m jaded, I&#39;m hardened and I am sometimes untouchable. But I&amp;nbsp;am still human.&amp;nbsp;In spite of &amp;nbsp;it all I am surviving. A survivor. A warrior in the face of adversity. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #0b5394;&quot;&gt;I wonder about the survivors of 9/11. I wonder how they go on each day after the horror that they experienced. The loss was so great, so unfair, so sudden. How do they do it? I wonder about our Amish friend whose&amp;nbsp;brother lost three small children last year in a buggy accident. He along with his whole family&amp;nbsp;are having a hard time, and of course&amp;nbsp;that is to be expected.. He and his wife are expecting another child in a few weeks. David, his brother hopes it will help a little. A new child will not make up for the loss of the others but maybe it&#39;s God&#39;s way of helping them cope with the loss. I wonder about the man who hit the buggy and took the life of three&amp;nbsp;innocent children. How does he get through the day? I can&#39;t even imagine what he must go through.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #0b5394;&quot;&gt;When you ask God where he&amp;nbsp;is, know that he is everywhere. He is with us daily and that is how we make it through. When bad things happen I always&amp;nbsp;remember &quot;It can always be worse&quot;! And then I say a prayer for others who are going through a tough time. I ask God to watch over anyone in need right now. He knows who they are. I kept my faith through it all and never asked why me? I just kept going. That&#39;s what we have to do---just keep going!&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #0b5394;&quot;&gt;It&#39;s up to you who you believe in. I choose to believe in a higher power and call him God. I believe in faith and the power of prayer. I have seen it working in my life more than once. How about you? Has God touched your life lately?&amp;nbsp; Has your faith helped you through a tough time? Share your thoughts&amp;nbsp;with me in the comments below. And remember, you are not alone.&amp;nbsp;&lt;strong&gt;We&lt;/strong&gt; &lt;strong&gt;will&lt;/strong&gt; get through this together. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #0b5394;&quot;&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them.&lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=3c44f235-2ef2-4049-bc80-d0932b5319ea&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/5799315258854876438/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/11/hey-god-where-are-you-are-you-listening.html#comment-form' title='2 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5799315258854876438'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5799315258854876438'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/11/hey-god-where-are-you-are-you-listening.html' title='Hey God, where are you, are you listening?'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/5181786056_7b18cf2573_t.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>2</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-2835202272878582837</id><published>2010-11-01T17:13:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2010-11-01T17:13:13.026-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Ben"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="death"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="grief"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="laughter"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loss"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loved ones"/><title type='text'>LAUGHING TILL I CRIED!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;12625&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/263762505&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE!&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; src=&quot;http://farm1.static.flickr.com/116/263762505_5244f852f9_m.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;180&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;12625&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 180px;&quot;&gt;Image by &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/263762505&quot;&gt;imchaudhry photo&lt;/a&gt; via Flickr&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;Did you go,&amp;nbsp;are you going or&amp;nbsp;are you gonna go to bereavement classes?&amp;nbsp;My daughter Keri and&amp;nbsp;I went. It was good, not great but good.&amp;nbsp;I still use a few of the things we learned. It was interesting to hear others loved ones stories. There were a few funny parts. &amp;nbsp;Like when we brought mementos of our loved ones to share---pictures, stuffed animals, medals, awards, ashes...yes I did say&amp;nbsp;ashes. It was OK that one person brought her loved ones ashes. They were in a very nice urn.&amp;nbsp;With all the misery we were going through I have to say this made me giggle. Well, Keri would say I downright laughed till I cried but&amp;nbsp;I hate to&amp;nbsp;admit that. After all she was just sharing her memories and her loved one. OK Keri, you know you were laughing too and &amp;nbsp;I admit it!&amp;nbsp;I did laugh till I cried&amp;nbsp;but you know what? It felt good. I had not laughed like that in a long time. I felt bad it was at the expense of another but it was exactly what I needed at the time. &lt;br /&gt;Have you heard the saying &quot;Laughter is the best medicine&quot;? It&#39;s true. It can take a&amp;nbsp;stressful moment and make the&amp;nbsp;stress dissolve. Sadly I have learned to laugh at myself and life&amp;nbsp;only after going through the pain of losing Ben. I look back on all the seriousness in my life and wonder what if---what if I would have reacted differently, what if I would have just laughed, what if I just didn&#39;t take myself so seriously. How different would my life be today. I will never know but for now I will be living my life laughing. Laughing at the mistakes I make, laughing at the stupid things I do or say. Laughing all the rest of my days.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;In remembering your loved ones take time to laugh at something they said or did or something you recently experienced. Laugh till you cry if that&#39;s what it takes. Afterwards you will feel better for a little while. And a little while is better then not at all. Keri and I still talk about that day and remember it as the day we remembered how to laugh again.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=03402d47-9454-481d-988e-15b47f5e6a98&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom-style: none; border-left-style: none; border-right-style: none; border-top-style: none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/2835202272878582837/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/11/laughing-till-i-cried.html#comment-form' title='1 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/2835202272878582837'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/2835202272878582837'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/11/laughing-till-i-cried.html' title='LAUGHING TILL I CRIED!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/116/263762505_5244f852f9_t.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>1</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-5311696302681812455</id><published>2010-10-22T09:54:00.004-04:00</published><updated>2010-10-22T11:14:34.992-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="dream"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="get  going"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="get out"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="get up"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="seize the day"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="sing"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="walk"/><title type='text'>SEIZE THE DAY!   YEAH, RIGHT!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;18860&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/452252783&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Daydream Farm #1&quot; height=&quot;159&quot; src=&quot;http://farm1.static.flickr.com/187/452252783_9a551b74f5_m.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;240&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;18860&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 240px;&quot;&gt;Image by &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/452252783&quot;&gt;mindgutter&lt;/a&gt; via Flickr&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;You may have recently suffered a loss or it may have been awhile and you are moving through your grief. Either way, &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;you are grieving and life seems hard. It sucks right now and you don&#39;t see it getting better. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;It will get better, I promise, &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;but for now, for today, for this weekend---&lt;strong&gt;SEIZE THE DAY!&lt;/strong&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;1.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; GO OUTSIDE&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;2.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; TAKE A WALK.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;3.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; MEDITATE/DAYDREAM&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;4.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;5.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; RELAX IN WATER---SHOWER, BATHTUB, HOT TUB OR POOL.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;6.&amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp;GO THE THE LIBRARY/BOOKSTORE AND BROWSE.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;7.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; TAKE A DRIVE AND ENJOY THE FALL COLORS.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;8.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; HAVE LUNCH WITH A FRIEND.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;9.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; SURROUND YOURSELF WITH FAMILY.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;10. LOSE YOURSELF IN A GREAT BOOK OR MOVIE.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;11. VISIT A CHURCH/PRAY.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;12.&amp;nbsp;DANCE/SING/LIVE&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;The point is! &lt;strong&gt;Get up---Get out---Get going! &lt;/strong&gt;Today is Friday. Take one day this &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;weekend---&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Friday or Saturday or Sunday and &lt;strong&gt;LIVE!&lt;/strong&gt; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Fake it if you have to but do it anyway. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Afterwards, let me know what you did. How did you feel?&amp;nbsp;Do you think it helped?&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;If you have any ideas to add to the list please do so in&amp;nbsp;the comments below.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;We are all in this together. And&amp;nbsp;together&amp;nbsp;we will get through the challenges we face.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Peace and love to all---Annette&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=27c35b72-f540-4378-8710-14747fd0655b&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom-style: none; border-left-style: none; border-right-style: none; border-top-style: none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/5311696302681812455/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/10/seize-day-yeah-right.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5311696302681812455'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5311696302681812455'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/10/seize-day-yeah-right.html' title='SEIZE THE DAY!   YEAH, RIGHT!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/187/452252783_9a551b74f5_t.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-5873451488062699235</id><published>2010-10-19T20:21:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2010-10-19T20:21:03.430-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="compare"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="compassion"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="death"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="different"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="listening"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="understanding"/><title type='text'>My loss is bigger than YOUR loss!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;10673&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2492945625&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Apples &amp;amp; Oranges - They Don&#39;t Compare&quot; height=&quot;165&quot; src=&quot;http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2123/2492945625_e7f1c078b3_m.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;240&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;10673&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 240px;&quot;&gt;Image by &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2492945625&quot;&gt;TheBusyBrain&lt;/a&gt; via Flickr&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;Can we compare our loss with someone else&#39;s? Some people I talk to seem to discount my loss and make theirs the focus. &quot;How do you think I feel? You don&#39;t know what I went through? My life will never be the same!&quot; All of those statements are true but different for each and every one of us. These are some of the&amp;nbsp;things&amp;nbsp;I have heard when speaking to others about losing my son. It saddens me to think that others have to make their loss seem more than mine. No matter what the loss is we all still suffered and there is no way to compare because each of us is different. One person I know made it seem like a popularity contest. She made me feel like she was saying &quot;my loss was bigger than yours, &quot;nananananana&quot;. And she did have a traumatic experience, I don&#39;t want to discount that, but what makes her think her loss was more than anyone elses&#39;. What the heck is wrong with this picture?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Do we live in such a self absorbed world that we have to compare the tragedies in our lives to feel like we are something or someone? Is it right to make ourselves feel better by discounting another persons loss. Death is non comparable. &lt;strong&gt;IT IS&amp;nbsp;a great equalizer&lt;/strong&gt;.&amp;nbsp;It changes us forever,&amp;nbsp;and makes&amp;nbsp;us different. And sadly, it links us.&amp;nbsp; To compare one loss to another is a sad way of making yourself feel better. When you are faced with a friend who does this, what do you do? How do you respond. I stopped talking, listened, and then&amp;nbsp;made a mental note to not discuss my son with her again.&amp;nbsp;The thing is, we are all unique, we all matter. And what happens to us is what makes us who we are. We are uncomparable, as is the things we go through, including death. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;As I travel this journey of healing, I am becoming more compassionate and understanding. I am learning to listen more and talk less. I am&amp;nbsp;learning to forgive myself and others.&amp;nbsp; And I will remain uncomparable for the rest of my life. How about you?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If you want to join me on this journey just scroll over to the right and subscribe to my blog. If you know someone who might need help dealing with their grief please share my blog with them. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=2849f391-b356-4338-82e0-95d23756f1e5&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/5873451488062699235/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-loss-is-bigger-than-your-loss.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5873451488062699235'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5873451488062699235'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-loss-is-bigger-than-your-loss.html' title='My loss is bigger than YOUR loss!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2123/2492945625_e7f1c078b3_t.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-7606885680159877994</id><published>2010-10-10T18:08:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2010-10-10T18:08:40.173-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="accomplishments"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="amazing life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="challenges"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="depression"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="failures"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="successes"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="suicide"/><title type='text'>Life&#39;s amazing journeys!</title><content type='html'>&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;I took last week off from posting to just reflect on my life and the last four years without my son, Ben. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;It may not seem like it to some but my life has been an amazing journey. I have seen and done many things. I have had my share of challenges, successes and failures. But all in all so far&amp;nbsp;it has been an OK life. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Today I read a story about a family that lost all three of their children.&amp;nbsp;Two to suicide and one to a drug overdose. The story hinted at&amp;nbsp;family problems as the cause and&amp;nbsp;maybe that&#39;s true but a mother and father still lost three children. What comes to mind when I read or hear about things&amp;nbsp;like this---It can always be worse! Yes! I have been challenged. Maybe by the greatest challenge a mom will ever face. But, it could always be worse.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;My&amp;nbsp;greatest accomplishment in life&amp;nbsp;has been birthing two children. Two small human beings to nurture, teach, protect and let find their wings.&amp;nbsp; My son always needed reassurance that he would be OK, that he was a good boy, that I loved him. My daughter is strong willed and determined. She just knew all those things from a very young age.&amp;nbsp;I knew she would succeed and I didn&#39;t worry as much about her. My son was another story. I worried about him constantly. Two children from the same parents and so different. My two stepson&#39;s are the same way. It&#39;s a mystery I will never understand and when I speak with other parents they experience the very same thing. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tmAm6wUZgqA/TLIxsFgctAI/AAAAAAAAABk/gLlLM2Kyfw0/s1600/ben+n+keri.bmp&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; cssfloat: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; ex=&quot;true&quot; src=&quot;http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tmAm6wUZgqA/TLIxsFgctAI/AAAAAAAAABk/gLlLM2Kyfw0/s1600/ben+n+keri.bmp&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tmAm6wUZgqA/TLIxsFgctAI/AAAAAAAAABk/gLlLM2Kyfw0/s1600/ben+n+keri.bmp&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; cssfloat: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Some days I beat myself over the head wondering if I&amp;nbsp;would just&amp;nbsp;have given Ben more of what he needed would he have been better&amp;nbsp;able to cope with the challenges he faced. He was smart. He had an incredible memory. He was kind and compassionate. And in spite of all these things he was tormented. He lived for 24 years with me as his mother and I&amp;nbsp;feel privileged for such an honor.&amp;nbsp;I will always be his mother and he will always be one of my most amazing accomplishments.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;My daughter Keri is smart, beautiful, compassionate and kind. She is a treasure and sometimes I am amazed I am her mother. She has faced her challenges and moved forward choosing to see the glass half full instead of half empty. I see her now choosing happiness and working on living her best life. I could not ask for anything more for her.&amp;nbsp;She is my second greatest accomplishment.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;How often do we move through our days grudgingly. Looking at life as a challenge instead of a gift. I felt that way for almost three years while working through the suicide of my son and my own depression. If you are feeling that way just hold on, eventually it will pass. And someday you will be able to look back and see just how amazing your life&amp;nbsp;is&amp;nbsp;too.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple;&quot;&gt;Peace---Annette&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: purple; font-size: small;&quot;&gt;If you know someone who would benefit from my blog please share it with them. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/7606885680159877994/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/10/lifes-amazing-journeys.html#comment-form' title='7 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7606885680159877994'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/7606885680159877994'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/10/lifes-amazing-journeys.html' title='Life&#39;s amazing journeys!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tmAm6wUZgqA/TLIxsFgctAI/AAAAAAAAABk/gLlLM2Kyfw0/s72-c/ben+n+keri.bmp" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>7</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-3646607434109630055</id><published>2010-09-28T16:57:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2010-09-28T18:16:45.329-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="belief"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="God"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="joy"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="love"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="pain"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="paths"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="plans"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="sorrow"/><title type='text'>Has your faith been tested?</title><content type='html'>&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;I believe we all are on our own path.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;And that God has a plan, but for each of us it is different.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;And how we intersect with each other is a part of God&#39;s plan.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;I believe we all have a purpose.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;And that losing our loved ones&amp;nbsp;can bring&amp;nbsp;us to a greater purpose.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;And the sorrow, the joy, the pain and the love&amp;nbsp;will lead us to that purpose.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;And that&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white;&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;God will guide&amp;nbsp;us in finding&amp;nbsp;our new purpose.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;I believe...&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;This video moved me&amp;nbsp;and I wanted to share it with all of you.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;background-color: white; color: #3d85c6;&quot;&gt;Watch it and then tell me what you believe.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.andiesisle.com/creation/magnificent.html&quot;&gt;http://www.andiesisle.com/creation/magnificent.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Peace---Annette</content><link rel="related" href="http://www.andiesisle.com/creation/magnificent.html" title="Has your faith been tested?"/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/3646607434109630055/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/has-your-faith-been-tested.html#comment-form' title='3 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/3646607434109630055'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/3646607434109630055'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/has-your-faith-been-tested.html' title='Has your faith been tested?'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>3</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-3639918993339134425</id><published>2010-09-22T12:52:00.004-04:00</published><updated>2010-09-22T14:55:47.161-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="anniversary"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Ben"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="fall"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="God"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Halloween"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loss"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="love"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loved ones"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Remembering"/><title type='text'>too busy to notice!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;6&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;a href=&quot;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Autumn_leaves_in_Gek%C5%AB.jpg&quot; sizcache=&quot;5&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Autumn leaves in Gekū&quot; height=&quot;200&quot; src=&quot;http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/5d/Autumn_leaves_in_Gek%C5%AB.jpg/300px-Autumn_leaves_in_Gek%C5%AB.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;4&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 300px;&quot;&gt;Image via &lt;a href=&quot;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Autumn_leaves_in_Gek%C5%AB.jpg&quot;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;As the anniversary of Ben&#39;s death comes close, I&amp;nbsp;find myself so busy I don&#39;t know which way&amp;nbsp;to turn. JB Dollar, my job that pays some of the bills has just introduced two new products and wow is it ever exciting. Hat&#39;s need to be sent out to three locations, listed on Etsy and E-bay. Orders for crochet items need to be made. Halloween jewelry and&amp;nbsp;OMG the list goes on and on. I wonder If God is giving me all of this so I can focus on other things.&amp;nbsp;Today on the way home from the craft store (looking for Halloween charms for the jewelry) I started thinking about Ben and how much he loved Halloween. I cried.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;It was the one holiday his dad was into and we all enjoyed it together. I loved making his and Keri&#39;s costumes. My favorite was the year Keri was Tinker Bell and he was a pirate, AKA Captain Hook. Keri had a store bought costume but we made Ben&#39;s&amp;nbsp;and it was cool. Another year he was a the hunchback of Notre Dame. Of course, when he was little he&amp;nbsp;was Batman and Superman. Keri was bat girl one year. Never any clowns. We didn&#39;t like clowns. Even as an adult Ben was scared of clowns. Makes me laugh thinking about it but every time I see a clown it reminds me of him. And sometimes I laugh and cry at the same time. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I use to love fall. Now, I dread it&#39;s beginning because it reminds &lt;iframe align=&quot;right&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; marginheight=&quot;0&quot; marginwidth=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot; src=&quot;http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=alifeafterlos-20&amp;amp;o=1&amp;amp;p=8&amp;amp;l=bpl&amp;amp;asins=0783233477&amp;amp;fc1=000000&amp;amp;IS2=1&amp;amp;lt1=_blank&amp;amp;m=amazon&amp;amp;lc1=0000FF&amp;amp;bc1=000000&amp;amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;amp;f=ifr&quot; style=&quot;align: right; height: 248px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 138px;&quot;&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;&lt;br /&gt;me of that fateful day when we lost Ben. Four years,&lt;strong&gt; &quot;doesn&#39;t it go by in a blink&quot;.&lt;/strong&gt;&amp;nbsp;That quote is from Anthony Hopkins character in the movie &lt;strong&gt;Meet Joe Black&lt;/strong&gt;. As death is waiting for him at his 65th birthday he is speaking to the guests and closes with this---&quot;65 years, doesn&#39;t it go by in&amp;nbsp;a blink&quot;. I had watched that movie a few times before but recently when I heard him say that it made me think how precious little time we really do have. Life truly is fleeting. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;As the fourth anniversary of Ben&#39;s death approaches I reflect on his short life. He touched many people in his 24 years. He was a good friend, son and brother. He would bend over backwards to help you if you were in need. Generous to a fault and loyal.&amp;nbsp;Of course there were problems but this post is not about them. This is about my memories of fall and the fun times we spent planning a favorite celebration. How God is giving me so much to focus on right now that I am not dwelling on October first. And the fact that life is short, so we should remember to live each day to the fullest, become more than we ever thought we could be and love the ones closest to us with reckless abandon.&amp;nbsp; &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Peace and Love,&lt;br /&gt;Annette &lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=83ee455f-9797-422b-9cf0-17338062b32c&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/3639918993339134425/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/too-busy-to-notice.html#comment-form' title='6 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/3639918993339134425'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/3639918993339134425'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/too-busy-to-notice.html' title='too busy to notice!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>6</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-553188588993580350</id><published>2010-09-15T16:45:00.002-04:00</published><updated>2010-09-15T16:47:17.416-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="ben stokes"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="death"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="fear"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="grief"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loss"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="love"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="loved ones"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Remembering"/><title type='text'>Have you thought of me lately?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;5244&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2396694894&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;In Memory of&quot; height=&quot;147&quot; src=&quot;http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2235/2396694894_899ba21990_m.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;240&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;5244&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 240px;&quot;&gt;Image by &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2396694894&quot;&gt;evoo73&lt;/a&gt; via Flickr&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;One of my biggest fears is that I will forget my son! People fade when you don&#39;t see them and as we all know our memories are what keep them alive. My family very seldom speaks to me about Ben. I think they are afraid to bring up his name. I don&#39;t even know how often they think about him. After four years you would think it would be easier to talk about him but I guess it&#39;s not. I love hearing stories from his friends about things they experienced with him. It lets me know he was really here. When I feel him fading away I picture him in a good situation. The last time I saw him we went out to dinner and he was funny and stressed all at the same time. I hate that that is the last time I saw him. He hugged me when we parted and I hated leaving him two hours away from home. I wanted him to be young again and with no worries. I knew he had to grow up and for the time being it was better this way but I still didn&#39;t like it. Less than a month later he was gone. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Now the only thing left is the memories. October first is the day Ben died. Every year I think we should do something to remember him on that day but it usually passes as just another day. I would rather remember his birthday, it was a much happier occasion. We still hang his stocking up at Christmas and probably always will. I write notes to him and put them inside. It&#39;s a small gesture but it makes me feel a little ok that he isn&#39;t there.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;How do you remember your loved ones? Do you do special things on their birthdays, Christmas or the day they died? Share with us how you remember your loved ones so maybe we can find a better way to remember ours.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/553188588993580350/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/have-you-thoght-of-me-lately.html#comment-form' title='2 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/553188588993580350'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/553188588993580350'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/have-you-thoght-of-me-lately.html' title='Have you thought of me lately?'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2235/2396694894_899ba21990_t.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>2</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-3698008033833716923</id><published>2010-09-01T08:45:00.001-04:00</published><updated>2010-09-01T08:47:18.593-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Days"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="depression"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><title type='text'>It&#39;s one of those days!</title><content type='html'>Some days I just don&#39;t feel like dealing with real life. Does anyone else ever feel that way? On days like that should we just sit back and let the day happen or push ourselves to get things done? &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Being self employed it&#39;s sometimes hard to motivate, especially on days like today. It scares me a bit because I think maybe I am slipping back into depression. And I really don&#39;t want&amp;nbsp;to go back there. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Anyone out there have any suggestions on how you get through the day when it&#39;s one of those days?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;All comments and ideas are welcome.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Peace&lt;br /&gt;Annette</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/3698008033833716923/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-one-of-those-days.html#comment-form' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/3698008033833716923'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/3698008033833716923'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-one-of-those-days.html' title='It&#39;s one of those days!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6795868694244482491.post-5444658499443512686</id><published>2010-08-30T18:46:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2010-08-30T18:46:45.661-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="cousins"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="death"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="fear"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="grief"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="life"/><title type='text'>Fear of the Unknown!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-img separator&quot; sizcache=&quot;7306&quot; sizset=&quot;0&quot; style=&quot;clear: right;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Forest_in_Cantabria.jpg&quot; style=&quot;clear: right; display: block; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Foggy forest of oaks in Cantabria. In the lush...&quot; height=&quot;225&quot; src=&quot;http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Forest_in_Cantabria.jpg/300px-Forest_in_Cantabria.jpg&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; font-size: 0.8em;&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;zemanta-img-attribution&quot; sizcache=&quot;7306&quot; sizset=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; width: 300px;&quot;&gt;Image via &lt;a href=&quot;http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Forest_in_Cantabria.jpg&quot;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;Like all new things we have a natural &lt;a class=&quot;zem_slink&quot; href=&quot;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear&quot; rel=&quot;wikipedia&quot; title=&quot;Fear&quot;&gt;fear of the unknown&lt;/a&gt;. My stepson Phillip started his freshman year of high school today. Tomorrow his brother Andrew starts his senior year. Both are fearful of what is to come. Phillip because he is at a new larger school and Andrew because this is it, his last year then it is on to the real world as he calls it. But for both boys it is a new beginning. So maybe we should look at death that way. As a new beginning in the spiritual world. I was taught at a very young age that our souls live on. I would like to believe this is true. There are countless experiences of people being contacted by dead relatives. I had an experience with this when my cousin Mary&#39;s son Dominic&amp;nbsp;died at the age of 26. We were all very upset by this because he was so young and we didn&#39;t even know he was sick. He had flu like symptoms for a few weeks and it turned out he had lymphoma. One day in the hospital and he was gone. The youngest loss ever experienced in our family. That afternoon I was crying and overwhelmed with grief when I sat down on my garage steps, it was around 3 pm. My mind wandered to another place. I saw Dominic peeking his head around a corner, my mom and grandma were there and looked shocked to see him. Then my mom said something like &quot; Dominic! we didn&#39;t know it would be you, come on come on&quot;. Now you may be thinking &quot;the mind gives us what we think we need&quot;. But there is more to this story. Shortly after my vision I called my cousin Debbie and told her about what I had seen. She asked me what time it was when this happened. I told her about 3 pm and she said: &quot;I saw the same thing at the same time&quot;. Still gives me chills to this day and that was 11 years ago. Some call it coincidence but it&#39;s too real for me to discard that easily. After&amp;nbsp;Ben died he&amp;nbsp;came to my dad in a dream. He was young and had a big grin on his face. Makes me think he is happy wherever he is. It also gives me a sense of peace towards my own death. I know in my heart that he will be there to greet me when it is my time to leave my body behind. Maybe that&#39;s part of why I am not afraid of death.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I read a lot of books after Ben died. Many things stood out, but one in particular. I think it was from James Van Praagh, (I read so many it is hard to keep track of who said what). He said something like this: our loved ones spirits are all around us but they can&#39;t let us know, because if we knew then we would want to spend all our time with them and it&#39;s our job right now to spend our time living.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I would like to know what everyone thinks. Have any of you had similar experiences to mine? Forget the experts, let&#39;s share our feelings and experiences. Maybe together we can take some of the fear out of dying and learn to live our best life now.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;zemanta-pixie&quot; style=&quot;height: 15px; margin-top: 10px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-a&quot; href=&quot;http://www.zemanta.com/&quot; title=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Enhanced by Zemanta&quot; class=&quot;zemanta-pixie-img&quot; src=&quot;http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_e.png?x-id=e3fef941-6d84-4487-b4ea-edf968602e59&quot; style=&quot;border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; float: right;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/feeds/5444658499443512686/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/08/fear-of-unknown.html#comment-form' title='2 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5444658499443512686'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/6795868694244482491/posts/default/5444658499443512686'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://alifeafterloss.blogspot.com/2010/08/fear-of-unknown.html' title='Fear of the Unknown!'/><author><name>Annette</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/05988459001191620804</uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='32' height='18' src='//4.bp.blogspot.com/-loXeN_MBZaQ/V6TXEy5i9sI/AAAAAAAAAu8/mcYXYUrwPSQmA2Wwuk8E7Vnl3M5McjdfQCK4B/s220/Key%2BWest%2B2016%2B222.jpg'/></author><thr:total>2</thr:total></entry></feed>

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