We've Only Just Begun

We've Only Just Begun
More Books Beyond Our Trilogy : We'll Be Filling All These Bookshelves!


Holidays and Grief: The Anniversaries of the Heart




Chapter 38 



Every grieving mother knows how old her child would be today. You probably know how old I would be now and how long I’ve been gone. The heart remembers everything. You are connected to me by the love that we share, a love that tugs at your heartstrings at special times. You might find yourself thinking about me continuously one day. You just can’t get me out of your mind! Maybe you even have a dream of me or receive an extraordinary sign. You look at the calendar and realize that it is the anniversary of my passing or my birthday. The heart remembers everything. 


“One day without him...” 

“He was still here this time last week.” 

“I’ve made it through the first two weeks.” 

“I can’t believe she’s been gone a month.” 

“It’s been 2 months, 2 days, 7 hours, 35 minutes.” 

“3 months have passed now.” 

“4 months.” 

“5 months...152 days” 

“I’m coming up on 6 months.” 

“It’s my first holiday alone.” 

“This would have been her birthday.” 


We’ve been through one round of all the anniversaries of the heart. 365 days of “first times.” Oh, but it’s still complicated isn’t it? Leaving the first year behind, it’s like we lose that too.

The anniversaries will keep coming. There will be days when you just aren’t feeling so strong. Maybe you go a park or a restaurant where we used to go and even though you might have a new friend with you, you are filled with tears and memories of our days together. It’s okay. Let them come. Those were the days my friend... 


Creating new traditions is a very good way to move forward, to honor me and to honor the special days of the year. Sometimes you need to create new traditions for yourself when you are faced with loss---or if you are struggling with family issues and disappointments. 


Anniversaries and holidays can be difficult at best when your life feels empty or incomplete. One of the things you can do for yourself during these times is to celebrate the life we shared. Do not mourn my loss. Celebrate my life. Create a lovely altar, light a candle. Say your prayers. Invite me to visit you. Talk to me. Tell me about your hopes and dreams. Reflect on the good times. Tell me you love me over and over again. Soak in the happy times of being blessed by someone in your life who loved you and who loves you still. Someone who taught you the meaning of love, not fear. Celebrate our love. Know that love never dies. 


When you are visiting people over the holidays who might not understand what you are going through, take something tangible and subtle with you; something that you can wear or hold in your hand when you are you are longing to be with me instead of them. It's okay to talk about it if it feels like the right thing to do for you. It’s okay to not want to talk about too. Just tell them that. It can also be quite handy to excuse yourself so you can go to bed early. That's okay to a point too. You have a very good reason and you are learning at last to take care of yourself. Balance the holiday and try to stay balanced within yourself as you move forward to the next anniversary without me. 


Balance is the key to all healing. Time and support will take care of the rest. 

When you are surrounded by joy and celebration it can actually make you feel worse when you feel worse. If you want to avoid parties and celebrations altogether you can volunteer at a soup kitchen or some other charity event. It often helps one to feel better when they help people less fortunate. You can also opt to stay home, but I will be hoping that one day you will be willing to share the holiday with someone you love and trust. Someone who lets you be you. Go easy on yourself. 


"The first of every month would loom ominously. She braced herself every time a new month approached. The August 1 anniversary was tough. Then a funny thing happened. December 1 arrived; sixteen months. The day came and went. On December 2 she realized she had not noticed. She felt guilty at first until she realized it was a sign of her healing. My life was the important thing and our relationship, now on new terms, was all that mattered. She forgot February 1 too! And March! She didn’t remember until after a whole week had passed! Who knew what would happen on April Fool’s Day? Well! She fooled me and remembered! This is how it will happen for you too, in your own time and in your own way."
Return from Rainbow Bridge, Chapter 62


Michelle Has a Poppy and Then Finds Another Poppie from Another Woman Named Michelle

I got Poppy from a farm not far from me; from a really old couple who were farmers. Her mum, he herded sheep. They said "Don't go for the quiet pup at the back," but I did. I just loved her. We went back to get her two weeks later and bought her back home aged 8 weeks old.

She was a very destructive puppy, walked terrible on her lead, but when I took her into the fields, she was a different dog, she became my best friend, she understood the whistles I did. One whistle for stop, two to come back etc.  She grew into a dog that sat by me all day , if I went to the bathroom she would wait outside the door. She was my shadow.

At age 11 she developed a limp, I had it checked out, which disturbed her as she had to stay at the vets, because she fretted for me. I got the dreaded call , Poppy had bone cancer in her front leg, she was given 5-6 months to live. 

To cut a long story short, I gave Poppy Golden Paste(turmeric) & coconut every day. She lived for two more years. Her limp disappeared. But one day her nose started to bleed , it was secondary cancer. The bleeding became more frequent, I was scared she would choke on the blood.

This photo of Poppy in her bed was her last photo, that same day I held her head, told her I loved her and that I will miss her. She did not lay down while the vet put her to sleep, she stood proud, facing me , looking straight into my eyes, our eyes never left each other.

My poppy was gone. My shadow.

As you can see on Facebook I share a lot of pictures to help dogs get their forever homes. That's how I saw another "Poppie", in a terrible state, bought over to the UK after being rescued. A lady called Carmen in Romania went & fed her over three nights to get her to trust her. Poppie lived in a graveyard all on her own, in the snow, the wet, the cold. Carmen knew she had to save her, it was now or never. The dog catchers were out just up the road catching a male dog. They catch them & destroy them.

Poppie was taken to the vet. She had a rope embedded in her neck. Her skin was terrible. She was malnourished. She was fed, spayed, got her passport to come to Foster in the UK. The journey took 3 days in a truck.

She was fostered in Derbyshire by a lady called Michelle. I went to see her , it was a two hour drive.

I saw her eyes, her soul....I just had to have her, although I couldn't take her then. We paid the charity money for her that then goes to saving another dog. We brought Poppie home and she ran and jumped around with Daisy & Rosie. She loved it , it's like she truly knew this was home. She lays in the garden where my old Poppy used to lay.

I swear Poppy sent her to me . X

As the holidays approach, we embrace Poppie as well as the cherished memories of Poppy. Represented by doves on the tree, it is so important to continue to honor the relationship of those we have loved. Surrounded by the colors of the Rainbow on the holiday tree, this is the perfect example of how to move forward in faith and in love.  

God love the Poppies! 

Contributed by Michelle Risely
Are you the UK and  interested in adopting a Romanian Miordic Shepherd? 
Contact Michelle through her group on Facebook at Miortic Shepherd Dogs UK


How to Go Home to the Home in Your Heart

No doubt you are familiar with the popular old movie The Wizard of Oz. A movie filled with so much information, insight and truth. 

Do you remember how Dorothy was able to return home?  She had to quiet herself. She closed her eyes, clicked her heels together three times (meditation + faith) and focused on what she wanted. Next thing she knew, she woke up at home in her bed in Kansas. 

She had to get herself out of her head and into her heart. She had to have faith and confidence and trust in the guidance she was being given. This is how you learn to connect with your loved ones on the other side until it's time for you too to cross over back into our Heavenly Home. 

Quiet yours. Close your eyes. Believe in the power of your intention. Ask for what you want. Believe. 

It will come.  


Life Is A Highway

"...Our Master can see it all. If you drive down a long curvy road, you don't see the twists and turns until you are on top of them. But when you see things from a higher perspective you can see the whole road and the twists and the turns and the beginning and the end. In Heaven we can see where you are in relation to where you're going and we can make things happen at the intersections of life. We can create the right time and the right place and we can already see how it all ends. We can see the whole story of your life while you live it in little bits and pieces..."  

"Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge"


How To Help Others in Their Grief

How do we help others in their grief? 
Give the gift of understanding. 
Don't offer advice. Don't tell them what to do. Just be fully present with them. Just like we taught you to be. Don't tell them how they should be feeling or how to "behave." Just give them permission to feel whatever they need to feel and to express it. All feelings are accepted and appropriate. Validate them. Reassure them that their grief will not last forever even though it feels like it will. 
Tell them, "You're not crazy at all, it's the grief." 
"Grief is a temporary state. 
You're going to be okay once you work through this." 
Let them know you're there for them 
and say your prayers for them. 
This too shall pass...


The Spirit that Moves Us to Love Again

It's okay to get another pet if the spirit moves you. 

Don't you know, I am the spirit that moves you?

You can't replace me, but you can bring in a new kind of love. You've had her now for almost three months. You see her healing. You feel yourself healing too. It has taken this long for you to trust each other. She no longer runs from you. She comes to you seeking love. You are healed enough now, to give her everything and more. But I know. I know you still love me. I still see you cry when you don't think you have everything, but you do. You do have everything.