Our True Heritage


 

 

 

Our True Heritage

 

 
The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.
 
It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.
 
You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms.
 
 

 

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Mother’s Day Poems For Grieving Parents



A week before Mother’s Day; I have lamented on what to say to all mothers who have lost their children on this occasion. Alas, I realized that I do not have the words as I have never yet had children of my own. Who am I to bring words of wisdom on a subject regarding feelings that I cannot begin to comprehend? Still, one of the reasons for the articles written on this blog is to bring solace to those who are seeking a brief reprieve from their grief. With this in mind, I decided to post poems by those who have expressed the loss of a child.

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Here are the poems I chose in dedication to every mom missing their child. Please read and enjoy, or cry, or yell, or smile. . .or whatever feels right in your heart. I wish I could hug each one of you to know that someone out there cares. As long as I shall exist, this blog will always be here and I hope it brings you some relief to know that you will never be alone in your grief.

A Peak Into Heaven
by Callie Sanders Thornton

;

Just one little peek into heaven,
Is all I’m asking for today.
I just want to know how she’s doing,
And heaven seems so far away.

Is she playing on the clouds with angels?
Is she laughing and running today?
Does she miss me?
I guess only she knows.
Oh why does heaven seem so far away?

If you just let me look for a moment,
To catch a glimpse of her sweet smiling face,
I promise I won’t try to take her,
I know, she’s in a better place.

Just one little peek into heaven,
Is all I’m asking for today.
I just want to know how she’s doing,
And heaven seems so far away…

Just For Today For Bereived Parents
by Vicki Tushingham

;

Just for today I will try to live through the next 24 hours
and not expect to get over my child’s death,
but instead learn to live with it, just one day at a time.
Just for today I will remember my child’s life, not just her death,
and bask in the comfort of all those treasured days
and moments we shared.
Just for today I will forgive all the family and friends
who didn’t help or comfort me the way I needed them to.
They truly did not know how.
Just for today I will smile no matter how much I hurt on the inside,
for maybe if I smile a little,
my heart will soften and I will begin to heal.
Just for today I will reach out to comfort a relative or friend of my child,
for they are hurting too,
and perhaps we can help each other.
Just for today I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt,
for deep in my heart I know if there was anything in this world
I could of done to save my child from death,
I would of done it.
Just for today I will honor my child’s memory

by doing something with another child
because I know that would make my own child proud.
Just for today I will offer my hand in friendship
to another bereaved parent
for I do know how they feel.
Just for today when my heart feels like breaking,
I will stop and remember that grief is the price we pay for loving
and the only reason I hurt is because
I had the privilege of loving so much
Just for today I will not compare myself with others.
I am fortunate to be who I am
and have had my child for as long as I did.
Just for today I will allow myself to be happy,
for I know that I am not deserting her by living on.
Just for today I will accept that I did not die when my child did,
my life did go on,
and I am the only one who can make that life worthwhile once more.

For All Parents
by Edgar Guest

;

I’ll lend you for a little time,
A child of mine he said.
For you to love there as he lives
And mourn when he is dead.

It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty two or three.
But will you , ’till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you,
And shall his stay be brief.
You’ll have his lovely memories,
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from Earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn.

I’ve searched the wide world over,
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labor vain.
Nor hate me when I come to call
To take him back again?

I fancied that I heard them say,
Dear Lord, thy will be done.
For all the joy thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
We’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known
Forever grateful stay.

But shall the angels call for him
Much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.

For those grieving their mothers on this occasion, I will post something for you this week as well. You are not forgotten. And for those of you who are blessed to have your mother’s presence today, appreciate her while you can. After all, we only get one in our lifetime. There is no love like that of a mother. . .
. . .which reminds me, I need to go buy my mom her Mother’s Day gift!
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Happy Mother’s Day mom. I love you.

What to Do When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life (via AFSP)


When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life

Most suicidal individuals give some warning of their intentions. The most effective way to prevent a friend or loved one from taking his or her life is to recognize the factors that put people at risk for suicide, take warning signs seriously and know how to respond.

Know the Facts

PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS

More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders, in particular:

Depression and the other mental disorders that may lead to suicide are — in most cases — both recognizable and treatable. Remember, depression can be lethal.

The core symptoms of major depression are a “down” or depressed mood most of the day or a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed for at least two weeks, as well as:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns

  • Change in appetite or weight

  • Intense anxiety, agitation, restlessness or being slowed down

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Decreased concentration, indecisiveness or poorer memory

  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, self-reproach or excessive or inappropriate guilt

  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

PAST SUICIDE ATTEMPTS

Between 25 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made suicide attempts are at higher risk for actually taking their own lives.

Availability of means

  • In the presence of depression and other risk factors, ready access to guns and other weapons, medications or other methods of self-harm increases suicide risk.

Recognize the Imminent Dangers

The signs that most directly warn of suicide include:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself

  • Looking for ways to kill oneself (weapons, pills or other means)

  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide

  • Has made plans or preparations for a potentially serious attempt

Other warning signs include expressions or other indications of certain intense feelings in addition to depression, in particular:

  • Insomnia

  • Intense anxiety, usually exhibited as psychic

  • pain or internal tension, as well as panic attacks

  • Feeling desperate or trapped — like there’s no way out

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Feeling there’s no reason or purpose to live

  • Rage or anger

Certain behaviors can also serve as warning signs, particularly when they are not characteristic of the person’s normal behavior. These include:

  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities

  • Engaging in violent or self-destructive behavior

  • Increasing alcohol or drug use

  • Withdrawing from friends or family

Take it Seriously

  • Fifty to 75 percent of all suicides give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member.

  • Imminent signs must be taken seriously.

Be Willing to Listen

  • Start by telling the person you are concerned and give him/her examples.

  • If he/she is depressed, don’t be afraid to ask whether he/she is considering suicide, or if he/she has a particular plan or method in mind.

  • Ask if they have a therapist and are taking medication.

  • Do not attempt to argue someone out of suicide. Rather, let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone, that suicidal feelings are temporary and that depression can be treated. Avoid the temptation to say, “You have so much to live for,” or “Your suicide will hurt your family.”

A hug can do so much for someone that's hurting

A hug can do so much for someone that's hurting

Seek Professional Help

  • Be actively involved in encouraging the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately.

  • Individuals contemplating suicide often don’t believe they can be helped, so you may have to do more.

  • Help the person find a knowledgeable mental health professional or a reputable treatment facility, and take them to the treatment.

In an Acute Crisis

  • If a friend or loved one is threatening, talking about or making plans for suicide, these are signs of an acute crisis.

  • Do not leave the person alone.

  • Remove from the vicinity any firearms, drugs or sharp objects that could be used for suicide.

  • Take the person to an emergency room or walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital.

  • If a psychiatric facility is unavailable, go to your nearest hospital or clinic.

  • If the above options are unavailable, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Follow-up on Treatment

  • Suicidal individuals are often hesitant to seek help and may need your continuing support to pursue treatment after an initial contact.

  • If medication is prescribed, make sure your friend or loved one is taking it exactly as prescribed. Be aware of possible side effects and be sure to notify the physician if the person seems to be getting worse. Usually, alternative medications can be prescribed.

  • Frequently the first medication doesn’t work. It takes time and persistence to find the right medication(s) and therapist for the individual person.

For more information, visit http://www.afsp.org

Rising Above Hopelessness And Despair


i swear.

Image via Wikipedia

A great enemy we all face is a cruel, punishing, debilitating tyrant– despair. Despair is caused by an absence of hope.  If you lose hope, despair is the cruel bully that quickly follows.

Despair leads us to many self destructive decisions and life choices. Despair leads us to addictive behavior and abusive actions , not only to others, but to ourselves. Despair robs us of our desire to move forward, have healthy relationships, or our desire to live.

Losing hope is the warning sign that we need help to restore our hope and to put a road block in the pathway of despair’s march to destroy us.

Our key to restoring hope is to get help.  Isolation kills.  People need people, especially in crisis.  All of us need an informal or formal support group of people we can reach out to when despair makes its march against us.

Do you have someone you can reach out to? As all of us should have a disaster survival plan in the event of an emergency, we should have a crisis intervention plan when we lose our hope and see the ugly head of despair glaring at us. Make a list of people today that you can reach out to, and reach out.  Do it today, ahead of despairs cruel offensive against you.  Don’t wait until despair has its ugly arms clutched around your throat, choking the life out of you.

With the help of people who care about you, you can rise above hopelessness and despair!

(For more help, please click on any of the organizations located on the left hand side of this blog. They are all free services and completely anonymous.)

Japanese man streams his suicide ‘live’ online and nobody came to help him.


Commonwealth: Analog Chat Room

Image by tima via Flickr

A 24-year-old young man who recently had problems with his banking job reached out to an on-line community chat room, complaining about life and work problems, until ultimately confiding that he wanted to kill himself.  The audience from UStream, a website that allows users to stream their videos live, sent him mixed messages as he threatened to follow through last Sunday. While some users tried to help by sending him messages to not follow through with his plan, others actually dared him to do it, sending foul comments such as, “Die now” and “Please die quickly”.  By the time authorities showed up at his Sendai apartment the following Tuesday morning at 8am, it was too late. After his first failed attempt to hang himself with a twisted sheet off the balcony of his apartment at 4 am, the footage showed him succeeding the act at a different site less than 2 hours later.

While I admit to being a big fan of new media and social media technologies, this story absolutely horrifies me. Why weren’t any authorities, hospitals or professional experts notified? With over 2,000,000 million registered users on UStream, how did so much time pass without any intervention from the site’s administrators?  Unbelievably, the footage briefly made it to youtube before it was removed at the final hour. In response to the footage revealing his second attempt while still streaming live, the Japanese newspaper, Sankei Shimbun stated, “We guess his live feed was not that live any more and there was no longer anything to see.”

Normally, I leave my posts fairly unbiased, letting the news speak for itself. However, this is a story that I feel compelled to throw in my two cents. This kind of behavior on behalf of the many participants who could have stopped this is indicative of how much work is needed for suicide awareness and prevention. While I recognize that some people did ask him not to follow through with his death wish, I don’t understand how they didn’t report it to anyone. Website owners need to take responsibility for their content. More importantly, people need to own responsibility for helping one another. To sit by idly and let a young life end so tragically is unacceptable. If we learned anything from this tragic death, it’s that we need more education on how to help people in need of emotional and mental health.

Finally, I must admit that of all the articles I have seen about this story, most seem to come across as food fodder; merely another gossip article to generate more hits. What about his family? His friends? My heart goes out to the loss of this young man and his cries for help. There’s an adage that I live by: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Suicide rates in Japan have been the highest among developed countries and the fourth highest in the world. One of the major factors to this number has been attributed to economic distress. Suicide is now the leading cause of death among men aged 20-44 and women aged 15-34 in Japan. Befrienders Worldwide, run by the Samaritans, provides a network of helplines in 39 countries including Japan. The Samaritans can be contacted in the UK 24 hours a day on 08457 909 090.

“The hottest place in hell remains for people who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Dr. Martin Luther King

AFSP’s “Out of the Darkness Walks”


I’ll be joining the Peekskill Rotary’s 40th Annual Horse show on behalf of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s chapter of Westchester.  They’ll be promoting their 7th annual “out of the Darkness Walk” at Croton Point Park on October 3rd. If anyone is interested in attending or learning more about the Westchester chapter, you can find information here:AFSP Westchester

AFSP also has a site that will bring you to walks and events all over the country. These walks help to promote advocacy in suicide prevention and awareness. By participating, we are helping to save lives. Wether you have lost a loved one to suicide, have considered it yourself, or want to help AFSP in their quest to help others, this is a wonderful activity to participate in. For more information or to find a walk in your community: Out of the Darkness

May is Mental Health Month


May is Mental Health Month” began in 1949 by Mental Health America. This year’s theme “Live Your Life Well,” challenges us to promote whole health and wellness in homes, communities, schools, and inform those who don’t believe it’s attainable.  

May is Mental Health Month

“The heart of the program is theLive Your Life WellSM website—that provides 10 research-based, straightforward tools and ways to apply them in everyday life. From relaxation techniques to journaling exercises to simple ways to get better sleep and improve eating habits, the materials offer a wide range of resources to build resiliency and well-being.”

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