Category Archives: death

Day 342: The Value of Refuge


Come and rest here come and lay your burdens down.

There is nothing more powerful then knowing that you are not alone in your sorrow, loneliness, struggles, pain and grief. I often listen to this song, Here, by Kari Jobe when I need of comfort. It makes me feel embraced by God. As I lay my burdens down especially the things I have no control over I am able to fill myself up with the power of Gods grace to carry on.

Come and rest here come and lay your burdens down.

Peace my friends!

Day 295: The Value of Our Mortality


“An awareness of one’s mortality can lead you to wake up and live an authentic, meaningful life.”

~Bernie Seigle

What could there possibly be to value about our mortality? Perhaps the most remarkable thing about contemplating our mortality is the value it gives us for living out our best life. Irvin Yalom, a clinical psychologist who deals with existential issues, has written about how contemplating mortality on a deeper level can have positive psychological effects. He has argued specifically that people who accept and face death develop a more “authentic” life in which their behavior and goals more align with their values.

I remember often talking with my Dad in his later years of life about his own mortality. He knew he was getting up there in year’s and he would say to me, “I’m not afraid of dying or death, but I do fear the vehicle of death, how I will die.”

When my mother-in-law found out she was dying, at first, she cried and then took a deep breath and said, ok, then this is it, but she didn’t give up. Instead, she made the best of the time she had left with the people she loved the most and showed us how to let go of life with grace and dignity.

People don’t like to talk about death; they say you are gory, a downer, or too depressing. Even people my age don’t want to talk about it, which is sad because we could be helping each other the way we always have through the various stages of our life. We could be helping each other live the best life we can with the time we have left. What would you do today if you knew it was your last day on earth? I would wake up in the earlier morning hours and write one more value like this one to leave you with, then spend the rest of the day with the people I love thanking them for being a part of my life. Why wait for an ultimatum? Why not do the things that matter most to us with each new day we awaken.

Reflection: As I awaken each morning to a brand new day, I am aware of my mortality and what a gift it is to have one more chance to live the most authentic life I can for myself.

Day 201: The Value of Being Alive


Life itself is a privilege, but to live life to the fullest…well…that is a choice.

Andy Andrews

I went to a viewing yesterday evening with one of my grown children. It was the mother of a close friend of hers. A mother I remember sitting on the bleachers with as our girl’s played basketball together in school. It felt surreal to me, so much that it was as if I was watching my own funeral. I was watching my children cry, seeing their dad standing lost and alone. I don’t know why this was different. I’ve been through the loss of my own parents and good friends. But this one reminded me more so of my own mortality and how precious the time is that I have left to love my family, enjoy life, and make every day count.

It’s funny how one thing leads to another, but as I did some research for this post, I came across the book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” By Bronnie Ware. Good things to think about as we are trying to live our best life.

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Reflection: No one wants to talk or even think about death, but sometimes it is the reality of our morality that brings out the value of living every day the best we can.

For more information on Bronnie Ware’s book, see the sites below.

Day 196: The Value of Remembrance


The year’s my pass, but still you stay…as near and dear as yesterday.”

Today the value of remembrance came to mind as I was working in my garden. The house we live in used to be my dad and his wife’s home. One of my dad’s favorite things to do was working in the same garden I love to play in. When I was a little girl, I remember my dad pulling the weeds out from around the house we lived. When I asked what he was doing, he said he was going to plant a flower garden. “Can I help I asked?” He smiled and said, “sure.” It must have been after a rain because the weeds came out easy, and the rich dirt smelled good to me. I don’t remember us talking much. There was a peaceful, calming satisfaction to what we were doing, and it was the first day I fell in love with gardening. Working in the same garden my dad once took joy in is a pleasure for me as well.

The grief of his loss, while it still hurts, is not as painful as it once was. While I miss his hugs, I feel his presence always with me. I hear the words he would say to me, and I have the advantage of feeling his embrace every time I walk inside my home where he once lived, too.

Reflection: Valuing those who have passed on before us gives honor to their lives. Even with the complicated life I lived growing remembering the better good of both of my parents has added more value to my own life.

Day 151: The Value of Memoial Day


I cannot think of any more incredible honor for men or women than to lay their life down for the better good of each other, our country, and the freedom it stands for.

I’ve been trying to honor the meaning of Memorial Day this weekend in my post these last few days. It’s hard to write about something you have never experienced. But I am a mother of a son, a mother-in-law, a grandparent, a sister, cousin, daughter, and friend of many who have served our country. I know what it’s like to worry about them being in harm’s way. I can only imagine the heartfelt pain of losing anyone of them. But the memorial is not about the living. It is a day for honoring, morning and celebrating the people who’ve died while fighting to keep us safe.

Reflection: Franklin D. Roosevelt put the value of Memorial Day into perspective when he said, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” Today in every way, I honor those who have given their lives that I might live in peace, safety, and harmony with my fellow Americans.

“Finding My Way”


Today is the 15th Anniversary of my Dads passing. I miss his smile, his wisdom, and most of all his hugs.

Parents are like God in a way. They hold, care, tend, and love us even though they have their own agendas in life. At some point they have to put us down so we can walk on our own. Dad’s death was a time for me that felt as if I was wondering in the desert all alone. I wondered how I would know how to do all that was yet to come without him to talk it over with. What I learned was that just like God’s word had been planted in my heart, mind and soul. So had the wisdom of my Dad’s words. Two fathers working together to teach me how to stand on my own and live the best life I could.

Those that we love in this world will leave us one day. Cherish the time you have now with them. Learn from the wisdom they have to share. And as my Dad would often say to me, “take what you can from my words that resonate with you now, and leave the rest behind for another time.”

” I Can See Clearly Now”


At the end of the mini series “Genius,” Einstein is dying, and as his long time secretary looks at him with sadness, he takes a flower from an arrangement and holding it in his hand says, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” 

I looked at Tom with a childlike excitement, and said,  “I learned that all by myself!” 

Just a few simple lines, and yet they hold within them a great awakening, opening up a whole new world for us. You don’t even have to be a genius to discover it yoursełf. It reminds me of when my father-in-law had his cataract surgery. He said he could see things with such clarity and crispness, and the colors were so vivid. When our own blinders are stripped away we can also say, ” I can see clearly now.”

“My Dog Gone Grief”


img_0267On October 23, 2016, we laid our sweet Ollie dog to rest, and our hearts have been broken in these last few days without him. I think about how ironic it is that this happened on the same day that I always posted “Sundays with Ollie.”  For us it was literally our last “Sunday with Ollie.”  I kept thinking he was 13, but after looking at his papers he was actually 12. He became a part of our family in October of 2004. I remember the day we picked him out. I was going to take home the first puppy that came up to me. They say it’s their way of picking you out, but Ollie was too busy chasing his brothers and sisters around the yard, and he was the runt of the liter. I fell in love with him right off the bat. He was 6 weeks old and so tiny I could hold him in my two hands. As we took him away from the only family he knew he was scared, but he melted in my arms as I began to hum softly in his ear. Our bond began, and while Tom wasn’t much of a dog person, it made him happy to see me so content. Ollie, being the personality that he was warmed his way into Tom’s heart as well.

As I was looking through his papers I found the receipt for a dog training class I signed him up for. It made me laugh remembering how totally uncooperative he was. Ollie was more interested in playing with the other dogs then learning how to behave and listen. He had no fears of other dogs, he’d let the biggest ones know that he was no push over. By all accounts some people might consider him an irritating dog with his loud bark and his piercing stare, but it was his charismatic personality that overshadowed anything else. I would do anything to hear that bark one more time right now. As Tom said, Ollie was one of a kind, and surely our most favorite of all pets.

God has a way helping us through our losses. We simple must be open to what he has for us to receive. As we left the pet emergency, taking Ollie home to bury him in our back yard. A woman appeared out of nowhere seeing how distraught I was she said to me, “peace be with you sister, you’ll see your furry little friend again someday.” Then she took my hand and prayed that God would bless me with his loving peace. I felt like she was an angle placed right where and when I needed her. The next day as I was sitting in my sacred space, the void of Ollie was overwhelming.  His presence always played an intricate part in helping me to become centered. Feeling unable to concentrate on anything, I started flipping through my “Science of Mind” Magazine stopping at an article called “Dog gone grief.” I couldn’t help thinking how much the title sounded like something Ollie would say in one of his post. The author Stef Swink was writing about the recent loss of her own 13yr old dog. She was reminded by a friend, that it’s ok to allow ourselves to feel life’s heartbreaks. “Deep love,” she goes on, “is worth the pain! If you are in anguish, allow it and honor it.” That’s what Tom and I are trying to do. It feels like we’re on roller coaster of emotions, same as we were when we lost our loved ones. There’s the ups and the downs, the twist and the turns, and the downhill screams allow me to cry as loud and as hard as I need to, letting my tears heal my heartbreak. I talk about my grief, because I can only share what I feel. But both Tom and I know by the grace of God our “dog gone grief” will slow down when the time is right. It is then that we can sit with the treasured legacy that “Sundays with Ollie” has yet to offer us.

Tom tries to lighten the mood by telling me that Ollie is with our other dogs now, his brothers, and knowing Ollie he’s probable chasing them all over the place in heaven.

I can hear him saying his favorite line, “I’m a lucky dog, indeed!”