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From the Spring 2010 issue of For Those Who Give and Grieve.

Many grievers gain comfort by surrounding themselves with special things that remind them of their loved one. It could be an object, such as something they owned, or a souvenir bought together during a vacation. It could be something sensory such a piece of clothing that still has their scent, or a song that had a special meaning-- maybe even a special food that you enjoyed together. When your loved one died, what did you find that reminded you of them? What was it about that particular item that comforted you the most? How did you use the item, did you wear it, carry it with you, leave it in a special place, or use it in some other way?

THE ONLY THING I HAVE LEFT ARE MY PICTURES AND MY MEMORY BOX GIVEN TO ME FROM THE GIFT OF LIFE AND A FEW THINGS MY DAUGHTER HAS GIVEN ME THROUGHOUT THE YRS MY DAUGHTER WAS ONLY 26 YRS OLD AND SUDDENLY PASSED AWAY FROM A RUPTURED BRAIN ANORISM SHE LEFT BEHIND 4 BABY GIRLS SHE PASSED AWY ON 7/12/10 THIS YR I AM HURTING SO SO MUCH BUT YET AT THE SAME TIME AM HAPPY SHE DONATED HER ORGANS TO HELP SAVE 4 OTHER PEOPLES LIVES

Posted by: DEBBIE SMITH


Jeff passed away 04/2009- it first I place pillows on his side of the bed so I would not feel alone when I was having trouble sleeping. Now I can fall asleep all on my own but I have kept his Tshirts just in case I have a rough night. It seems to help. I also believe that seeing our 3 young sons on a daily basis helps remind me that he is only physically gone. He will always be in my heart

Posted by: Amy Geboy


MY SON HAL HAD JUST LANDSCAPE MY YARD. ALL THE FLOWERS WERE BLOOMING. I HAVE SAVED THE SEEDS AND REPLANTED EVERY YEAR. THEY ARE STILL BLOOMING AFTER 9 YRS. ALSO HAVE GIVEN FRIENDS SEEDS TO PUT IN THEIR GARDENS. EVERY TIME I LOOK AT THEM IT BRINGS GREAT COMFORT TO ME.

Posted by: EMMA NEVILLE


i need help finding my sons donor. i have searched all kinds of different things and never have success. I anyone has any advice please e-mail me. thank you and god bless.

Posted by: holly wells


when my dad passed on there was many things that reminded me of him,its just sumthing that u can never forget like his truck i now drive his truck around i wear his shirts time to time,wear his hats,maybe i do it just to feel his presents around me cuz he might be gone but to me i will always have him around me and always cherish his things. Love ya DAD

Posted by: Tim Boyd


It will be seven years in February since I lost my husband. There is so many things, items, places and acts which continue to remind me of Jeff. Most signifigant to me was when months after he was gone I found his house slippers under our bed, long after most of his clothes had been boxed and dispursed. I cried for precious hours on the floor with the dust bunnied slippers. There was a moment of reckoning in which I realized HE put them there, and HE was the last to touch and wear them. I found a healing ephipany amongst my chores. And I carefully tucked them back where he had placed them and I found them. I have since moved many times and I continue to place Jeff's slippers under my bed wherever I lay my head. I don't expect most, if any to understand this. I don't know that I understand why I do this myself. I simply find comfort in doing so. The special placement of his slippers was his daily routine and knowing that if he were still alive and with me, those slippers would continue to be placed by him...it just so happens to be me who does it now. And that's okay.

Posted by: Laura Puente


I have so many things from my Daughter!!!. Mostly good memories, none bad.
I kept and drive her Honda Civic 2000. Bought just for her. Still has the college parking sticker (35484) and a "Fly Girls" sticker on the rear glass.
The day before she went to heaven she asked me "Dada, is it true you are giving me a personalized license plate for Christmas?" Yes, indeed, I bought it, says "My Linda" and is on the "Little Spoiled Princess" frame she had bought for the plate.
I miss her, a lot, but I drive with her every day. She is with me...

Posted by: Miguel A. DeLeon-Blanco


My son Tom has been gone for 6 years, but I still miss him so much. I have so many things that surround me that remind me of him. The thing that comforts me the most is an old tattered and torn jacket he wore to work when it was cold. We live in the mountains and I wear the jacket when the weather is cold. I wear it when ever I go outside to the wash house, the barn, when ever I go out to feed the chickens or birds. The jacket is old and worn. Tom worked in construction and the sleeves have concrete splattered on them. I wouldn't trade that jacket for all the gold or money in the world. It keeps me warm no matter how cold it gets. I can feel his arms around me.

Posted by: Anna Parham


When my husband of 25 years died, I put his pillow in the vertical position and sprayed it with his cologne. Then, I would hug the pillow and smell his scent. That and sleeping pills helped me to fall asleep during the difficult first year. Now, in the second year, I do not need either one.

Posted by: Mrs. Leah Zenker


Megan our 21 year old daughter was described as a bright little bubble full of spunk, fun and endless giggles and smiles. So the sudden appearance of a Dragonfly the evening of her death (8-28-2008) appearing inside our home with the crowd of family and friends gathered, we later realized was not a coincidence.

The second appearance of a dragonfly came as we made arrangements for the repast at the restaurant. As we discussed the menu and my son talked about serving Megan’s favorite foods a dragonfly flew over the table and flew to the window and laid still while her boyfriend cupped it in his hands and walked to the exit door and set free.
An overwhelming feeling came over all of us. The restaurant had been closed for a few days and it was not open the morning we had the appointment.

The third sighting came at her burial in the cemetery. A pair of mating dragonflies landed on our dear friend, sons shoulder.
The fourth sighting came that afternoon after returning from the repast. Our back yard had a swarm of dragonflies flying gracefully all around the back yard.
Each and every time they appeared it seemed they graced our presence with a sign of approval. Our curious minds wondered so we did some research on the dragonfly, this is what we found.
In history the dragonflies ever have been connected with love and female, the names damselfly (English), Demoiselle (French) and Jungfer (German) are examples of some of these lovely associations. In ancient lore dragonflies were thought to represent transformation, adaptation and insight and were connected to Freya the Norse goddess of love and fertility. Freya was famous for her beauty. Uniquely, the paired bodies of mating dragonflies form the shape of a heart thought to be the source of the modern sign of love and are symbolic of women as when they are called the damselflie. Interestingly, the Swedish name for dragonfly is trollslända, which means "hobgoblin fly" in English. In ancient times the Swedes believed that hobgoblins, elves, brownies and such creatures lived in the great woods; hobgoblins and such are closely associated with Halloween.
Halloween was in fact Megan’s favorite holiday, how ironic.
We continue to be graced with dragonflies; I keep a journal of all the times they have appeared to us as well as the stories of family and friends that have had great stories of dragonflies coming to them for a visit, a great remembrance of her energetic spirit.
We continue to celebrate Megan’s life with family and friends. I have worked at scrapbooking her life with all her photos and school memorabilia. I have transformed her room with collages, pictures and artwork so we have a special place to sit and reflect. My son has made a CD of all her favorite music and her talented friend put together a DVD of her life using our family pictures and movies. What a wonderful gift this was! Something we can watch at a moments notice. Megan is with us 24/7 in spirit, in music, in pictures and always in our heart.
Michele and Richard Buske

Posted by: Michele and Richard Buske


Our most significant findings after our younger daughter Michelle age 9 was suddenly taken from us in an accident were her recent and her hidden artworks.
Examples most profound were a manger she made the night before she went to Heaven, with the star of David and salt shaker, a cute feathered turkey and quilted Christmas tree she hand stitched, even though it was only November 4th.
A Mother and Daughter wearing crowns and contained inside a crown found in her nightstand and a wind swept picture of her as though being ushered "up" which she drew shortly before she died and our older daughter found a few days after her sister parted.
A card that fell out of our pantry for Valentines Day and Easter (a rabbit holding a I LOVE YOU heart clutched in it's paws).
A Butterfly with glitter that she made which I found under our sofa on Mother's Day and especially the small HAPPY BIRTHDAY poster I had never seen before I found in my closet ON my Birthday ... Michelle always loved to draw and all the arts and to find something for all the special occasions upcoming after she had already gone to Heaven was especially intriguing and comforting for us all.

Posted by: Cindy Jo Greever


My mom (Umawatee Singh)use to wake me up to see the sunrise or the moon-lit (full-moon)sky and one day when she roused me up to see this gorgeous yellow full-moon I took out a sketch pad and right at her bed head I started to sketch the scene and she smiled -- I colored it in and showed her. It became a bond with us and the last scene she woke me up to see was again another moon scene where the moon was smiling and I was a bit angry and didn't go immediately to her room but something pushed me and I'm now grateful that I did. I continued after her death and now have a beautiful pad of some of the most gorgeous sunrises and moon nights. I've printed these out professionally and have hung them around my apartment so each time I see one or the other I can see her smiling at me drawing the scene.

Thank you for reading.
Leni (her daughter)

Posted by: Leni Singh


I purchased a small Mizpah coin. Half remains with my son and I wear the other half as a pendant. I have moved several times since his death and lived in different areas of the country. The little coin helps me feel "connected" to him and is my most highly prized possession.

Posted by: Diedra Thompson


From the moment my beloved son Nathaniel learned to tell time, he loved to wear a watch. I placed one of his three favorite watches on his memorial with the hands stopped at his time of death, I gave one to his favorite Aunt and I had the last one engraved with his name and dates and I wear it whenever I feel the additional need to feel his closeness to me and it reminds me that "although time marches on...my love for him remains the same." Signed, Jean Bolds

Posted by: Jean Bolds


My son Cory died Nov. 25th 2007 in a car wreck. He loved many things but especially food, even more than playing x-box. On corys 17th birthday, which is May 18th we decided to go out to dinner with our family and friends. I usually would cook a favorite dinner but this year cory had invited a Girl. cory has always talked to many girls but never invited one to a family function. We were very excited--see cory was raised not only by me, but his 3 older sisters.Any way it was just cory and me and a few hrs before it was time to go out Cory said "Hey mom how about fixing a Roast(carrots,potatoes,ect)for my birthday" he said it with that oh so charming smile, and I said "honey I dont have a roast big enough to feed everyone, and you can eat one by yourself" cory said "hey I got a ideal, you can fix one and we can sneak and eat it up in my room" I starting laughing and said oh a secret roast. he was all for it but I didnt fix a Roast that day, but from then on when ever I did cook a Roast--it was called Secret Roast.Not knowing that would be the last birthday cory would ever celebrate on earth, I was given a memory that when I think of that day fills me with,well a smile,and I guess excitment, because when I tell that story I'm told I light up as if it was only yesterday that we were in the kitchen. Now when we honor corys birthday and his death, I do so by serving SECRET ROAST. Carol-Corys Mom--Louisville. ky.

Posted by: Carol Ballinger


When our son, Ryan, died in 2004 at age 16, we were left with all of his clothing. Not wanting to discard of anything, but wondering what to do with all of it, I decided to give some away to family and friends. He was a collector of sports jerseys so I had each of his good friends come and pick one out for themselves. We gave some other jerseys to family members who had a love of that particular sports team. I have given a large amount of Ryan's clothing to a church friend who will eventually one day make a "Ryan's clothing quilt". In addition, I found a woman who makes bears from the clothing of loved ones. The first full year after Ryan's death, every family member received a Ryan bear for their birthday. I included his picture and a note about the bear which was tried around the bear's neck. Ryan was an organ donor and over the years, we have gotten to know 3 of his recipients. This past summer all 3 of his recipients also received a Ryan bear. My bear is made from Ryan's flannel pajama bottoms. My husband's bear is made from a special dress shirt, and our daughter's is made from the only American Eagle shirt Ryan owned. I take my bear with me when I travel as a way to keep Ryan along on all of our trips.

Posted by: Alison and Ron Mohn


I have a cd of my sons band
listening to his voice eveyday
singing and praising God
gives me a sense of peace and God's love. Thanks to the Michigan gift of life donor program,he's still here ,just rearranged.

Posted by: debi hennacy


I have made for myself and my son, teddy bears made from Amanda's clothes. Whenever I feel like I just need to hold her, I hold the teddy bear. I even sprayed it with the perfume she use to wear. I recently had a dear friend die from cancer and have made his family members made from his shirts.

Posted by: Linda Johnson


when my son jacob died 12/1/98 we gave each one of his cousins something of his i kept all his clothes that were left and 3 months before he died he wanted a special jacket which i kept and wear it when ever it is cold it makes me fell close to him i also kept his favorite shoes which he had his colone smell on them and to this day i am them with it just to remind me of special days i had with before he died i have everything that was sent to me from the eye bank and donation center i have kept evrything i have gotten from the transplant games i dont know why i cant get read of his things iguess i really dont want to i also have a grandson named after him and when i see him every weekend he reminds me of my son all over again i fell i like i am raiseing him all over again they ack the same,look the same, keep his hair the same i even have hid stero he had and still on the same station he had it on it doesnt seam like 11 yrs i miss him so much and love him very much thank you for asking these questions. phyllis

Posted by: phyllis


I found a pair of Jacob's blue jeans. I could actually fit in them. So I wear them once a week on my day off! (One leg of the jeans has two holes above the knee.) So they are perfect for running errands or working around the house. And it comforts me knowing I'm wearing his jeans!

Posted by: Kelly DeLine


My husband wore a Buddist religious charm that resembles the 10 Commandments. He never took it off. I now feel comforted in wearing it as I honor him and his love. It makes me feel close to him, and knowing what it meant to him brings me happiness.

Posted by: Roxanne Kuramoto


I lost my husband, David, 3 years and 3 months ago and I never take off the 20-year eternity band he got me. He was a hunter and I carry his backpack with all his hunting items in it whenever I go to our camp in South Carolina, even the bottle of water he put in the last time he used the pack. I will love him and miss him forever.

Posted by: Sherry Bowen


When Casey died (4/2003) I saved his beannie hat. He was 23 when he died, and it smelled of him, his cologne and even when I smell Nautica today I am reminded of his presence. I also recorded the last voice message he left me and play it when I need to hear him say, "Hi,Mom..."

Posted by: Julie Dinsmore


When our son died on 9/25/08, the sorrow was more than we could bear. Craig had been a songwriter and musician and we have considered ourselves so fortunate to continue to see him move and hear him sing through the many videos and cd's we have from him. At first I listened to his music just about every waking hour and watched his videos over and over. Now I watch them when I am feeling blue and need to see him. These things are a great comfort to me. I still have all his clothing and have one particular sweatshirt that continues to have his scent on it. I wear it around the house and will never put it in the laundry. Craig will always be in our hearts, but it is also a comfort to still see and hear him any time we want.

Posted by: Carolyn Manganello


I wanted Terry to be close to me at all times and anytime I felt the need to be close to him. Terry was cremated and I found a special jeweler and a special locket that they put his ashes in for me and sealed the locket so he would never get out and get lost. It will be 12 years in March and I still wear him when I need to be close. Later in life when the time is right I will then pass this locket on to his sister for her to wear and always be close to him as well.

Posted by: Kathy Snow


My Mom played piano and she made cassette tapes while practicing. When she passed, I found those tapes. When I get to feeling sad and lonely I play one of those tapes and the music reminds me of how happy the music made her.

Posted by: Debbie Hinkley


My best childhood memories are of cooking with my Grandmother. When she passed away and we were sorting through her tiems, I made sure that I got her corn bread pan and her big cooking spoon. We made many meals together using those items, and every time I use them I think of Grandma.

Posted by: Debbie Hinkley


As a donor mom, there are many things that remind me of Brian. I wear his favorite ring everyday. But there is one thing that lets me know that Brian is always with me wherever I go- a frog. Brian loved & collected frogs. No matter where I am or where I go, I am almost certain to see a frog somewhere- whether is be real or not, I know that it is Brian saying "Mom I will always be with you. "

Posted by: Susan Seidel


As I sit here at my computer across the room at a desk that was once my husband's but is now mine is a chair with his sweater hanging on it. It has been there for 11 years now and I see no reason to move it. His presence is felt everywhere in my house but especially in this ofice where he conducted business for many years. It's still his room and I like being in it with that gentle reminder of him.
Another special thing that I have is a gold bracelet which I wear every day. When he died I had our wedding rings melted together and made into a gold cuff bracelet with a symbol we both loved engraved on it. This way I can wear the rings in a way more suited to my life now.

Posted by: Terry Murray


Dear Arlene. I'm a recipient and I can say to the Donor Families that i'm eternally grateful for them and for giving me a second chance with life. May God's richest Blessing always be with them

Posted by: Rose M. Rozier


For the first three months after my husband's death, I slept with a tee shirt that he had worn over my pillowcase. It brought me great comfort.

Posted by: Darlene Andolsek


A favorite thing… …
As a donor mom that is a difficult question to answer because there are millions of things. Each season brings memories that hold special items/times that when I see or remember it - stopping everything for a moment to hug it with my heart and feel the way it felt when Bob was here … well it can bring a tear. Try it
Remembering ~ Joy is the gift each of our loved ones left with us. We must remember to take it forward and share it with others. Bobby’s smile could light up a room; I practice with my smile, sometimes it’s like he is right next to me because I never thought my smile alone could do the same thing. This new habit makes those days that tears win the emotional game, I now have a smile to meet the tears on their way down.

Posted by: Linda Coyle - Bob's Ma


I had my husband Gary cremated and it really was a great comfort to keep his cremains at home. My family and I have a very dark sense of humor. When we do or say something we know Gary would not have liked or approved of we always make the comment "Dad is rolling around in his jar". Our grandchildren like "Pa" to be at special occasions therefore i have a nice bag to carry him in. The first Halloween Gary was gone we took him trick or treating in a high end neighborhood wrapped in a blanket (the boys didn't want him to get cold)in a baby stroller. If those homeowners only knew. In closing when i need to yell at him i know where to go.

Posted by: Jean Brennen


I have a small throw pillow my son slept with. It has been covered with one of his t-shirts and yet again covered with a pillowcase. It is kept tucked behind my own bed pillow. I like to believe that his scent is still somehow captured in there and finds it's way into my dreams to comfort me. This is only one, as I have surrounded myself with his possessions but they are laid about my home in small out of the way spaces. I guess I need to confirm in some way he is still with me.

Posted by: Jodie L. (Schoening) Nicely


I have found comfort in meeting the man that owned the house where my son pasted away. It has taken me 5 years but something magical happen when I meant this man. And what is also even more amazing it that my son's recipant is the one that made it possible for me to meet him.

Posted by: Dawn Sheaffer


I still wear my daughter Georgia's. It will be 2 yrs. this year. I feel closer to her. Some of her clothes still have her scent. I have faith that I will see her someday, however it is very difficult some days. There is so much to share.

Posted by: Genevieve Medina


When I lost my teenager, Tiffany, I wanted to always have part of her with me all the time. I have two of her rings that I had sized to fit me and never take them off. I wear a charm of hers around my neck and hardly ever take it off. I wear a special t-shirt of hers of Greenpeace that says "You can't sink a rainbow". It makes me smile to know that her spirit will never be far from me. It gives me great comfort to keep Tiffany close to me and makes me happy to know so many people live on because of her organ donation.

Posted by: Billie Lomonaco


Judee bought me a gold chain and nugget in 1981 which I still wear today. I never take it off.

Posted by: Franklin D White


My 16 yr old daughter Tiffany died on Xmas Eve 1996. When I went back to work mid Jan after her death it was very hard. I carried a small photo album filled with pics of her smiling face. I was lucky that I worked a job that permitted me to be alone so that I could look at the pics and cry whenever I needed to. I would allow myself this time, then I would say to myself "OK now I have to work and not think about this." That worked most of the time and then of course something would remind me of her and my control would slip; it did help me a lot. I now keep the little album on my end table in the living room and I can look at the pics and remember her whenever I want to.

Posted by: Linda Brown


Nikki was 19 when she went to live in heaven may 25th will be 2 years she had this stuffed puppy called scamps since she was about 5 from the first day she left us i have kept it on my bed every morning i kiss it and say goodmorning and same at night on bad dasy it givesd me comfort to hold it i miss her with all my heart i know she is pain free and is waiting until we can all be together again.. love mom,dad, your sisters and brother

Posted by: Tina Ronning


When my son David passed, the slightest experience set-off an incredible surge of emotional sadness and pain. There is no quick relief, no way to end it, memories are etched everywhere. Trying to keep David alive, I adorned my entire home with photos of him, particularly the milestones made during his life. At the end of a long, darkened day, I find comfort in sleeping with my son's favorite tee-shirt --holding it until rest comes. The worn, faded tee-shirt hangs from my bedpost, quickly within my grasp, as my quieting mind drifts to memories of him. I imagine being held in his arms, as he is wearing his favorite tee-shirt.

Posted by: Patricia Nelson


ITS BEEN 2 YEARS, NOW SINCE MY MOTHER FRANCES HAS DIED. I MISS HER VERY MUCH. IN THE 2 YEARS I STILL HAVE TO STOP MYSELF FROM TRYING TO CALL HER ON THE PHONE.I KNOW SHE IS IN HEAVEN AND WATCHING OVER ME, AND MY FAMILY, BUT ITS HARD WHEN OTHERS AT WORK TALKED ABOUT THEIR MOM, I MISS HER VERY MUCH. ITS LIKE SHE IS STILL HERE. I GAVE HER MY KIDNEY IN THE SUMMER OF JULY OF 96. SHE LIVE WITH IT FOR 11 YEARS. I AM GLAD SHE HAD THE TIME HERE WITH ME AND MY FAMILY, THE DAYS GO BYE AND I STILL CRY I KNOW SHE IS AT PEACE,BUT WHY I CAN'T STOP THINKING ,WHY SHE LEFT ME.AS THE DAYS GO BYE IT GETS EASY TO STOP AND REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES SHE HAD HERE WITH US, BUT THE PAIN I HAVE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH ME. I MISS HER VERY MUCH SHE WAS A GOOD MOTHER AND GRADMOTHER. THE DAYS GO ON AND ON, I SEE HER IN MY FOURTH GRANDDAUGHTER KIANI, SHE IS ALMOST 2YRS OLD, KIANI WAS BORN AFTER HER DEATH. MY GRANDDAUGHTER KIANI HAS MY MOTHER SMILE. THE PAIN AND LOST I HAVE FELT IN THESE LAST 2 YRS HAVE GOTTEN BETTER FROM THE SMILE OF MY LITTLE GRANDDAUGHTER KIANI, I SEE MY MOTHER IN HER SO MUCH THAT THE PAIN HAS GONE BUT THE MEMORIES WILL ALWAYS BE WITH ME AND MY FAMILY, SHE IS NOW AT PEACE AND SHE WILL ALWAYS BE MISSED AND LOVED. SHE LIVES IN ALL OF US AND I AM HAPPY THAT I GAVE HER THE GIFT OF LIFE. FOR HER I WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN I WAS HAPPY AND PROUD TO HAVE DONE THIS FOR HER, SHE LOVED US ALL. I WAS WITH HER AT THE END OF HER LIFE I SANG TO HER IN THE HOSPITAL, THAT NIGHT OF NOV-27-07 I KNEW IN MY HEART SHE WAS LEAVING US AND THAT PAIN WAS WITH HER, SHE CRYED BUT HER TEARS WERE TEARS OF HAPPYIEST AND LOVE THAT SHE GAVE US, MY MOTHER HAD 6 CHILDRENS WE ALL LOVED HER.THAT NIGHT WE WATCHED DANCING WITH THE STARS, SHE LOVED THAT SHOW, THE NIGHT I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER, THE DUMB SONG THAT I TRYED TO SING TO MAKE HER HAPPY, I KNEW SHE WAS SLIPING AWAY FROM ME AND MY FAMILY, I TRY NOT TO CRY,BUT I DID AND THEN SHE DID, I SAID MOM THESE ARE HAPPY TEARS, HAPPY FOR YOU, YOU GAVE ME LIFE SHE THEN SMILE .I TOLD HER I LOVE HER AND MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS. ON THE VERY NEXT DAY, MY MOTHER FRANCES M OLIVAREZ DIED.IN LIFE WE LOVED YOU DEARLY,IN DEATH WE LOVE YOU STILL,FOR IN OUR HEARTS REMAINS A PLACE THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN FILL.IT BROKE OUR HEART TO LOSE YOU, BUT YOU DIDN'T GO ALONE.FOR A PIECE OF US WENT WITH YOU, THE DAY GOD TOOK YOU HOME. IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER, FRANCES M. OLIVAREZ. APRIL 17,1935--NOVEMBER 28,2007. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH. YOUR CHILDRENS,REBECCA,CATHY,ALICE,CIP JR,AND DENNIS.DONALD YOUR SON IS NOW WITH YOU.

Posted by: ALICEMARIE SIETE-NEVEL


Our only son, Michael, died 7 years ago just before Christmas at the age of 16. He was gifted and played sports. He was returning home from a game when it happened. For months afterwards, I carried a basketball pillow that he slept with everywhere. My sisters had a medalion of him made and I wear it daily on a gold chain. It is his junior class colored photo taken 2 months before his accident. I also had his t-shirts made into a quilt but the backing they used made it too hot to sleep under so we had another made from his cotton button down shirts. We enjoy sleeping under that. I remember listening to his cell phone's voice message just so I could remember his voice and we have a glass topped table with a lid made by a friend that we put his awards, baby shoes and adult shoes, jersey for track and basketball and other momentos we have saved. I rearrange it often so I can handle his stuff and remember in silence. I have yet to open and use his box of Christmas ornaments but maybe some day I will.
We also created a scholarship in his memory that we fund with a golf tournament each year on the first Saturday in June in Virginia. It has helped 5 needy and gifted students with 1000 dollars each year for 4 years. Thank you for allowing me this privilege to share our son once again with the world he never knew or experienced.

Posted by: Hope Casseri


Our daughter Kathy died on March 1992, and when she came home for her last Christmas with us she was wearing a white sweat shirt that a lady she worked with had painted a very pretty Santa on and had the words "Kathy belives in Santa" on it. I cut out the front of that shirt and had if framed and I leave it up all year around.

Posted by: Anna Sharon


I couldn't go anywhere without a small book that contained photos of my daughter with the love of her life, her baby son Alex... I also carried a book entitled "Healing After Loss" by Martha Hickman. There is hardly anything I own that my daughter and I didn't pick out or I was given as a gift. I am surrounded by her memory... I also had a bench installed by a lake near me with a plaque on it that reads 'my special girl...'

Posted by: Judy Moreno


After my wife Pearl's death I kept everything thew way it was at ther death as much as possible and now, six years later, I still have not been able to discard most of her clothing and other possessions. I have found it very important to keep as many of the belongings of my loved one as possible because I find the sense of presence of my loved one - especially her scent and her voice - the most difficult memories for me to retain. The keepsake I came to treasure the most was her voice on the recorded message on our telephone voicemail. I kept her voice on our voicemail and took comfort in hearing it for more than five years after her death despite expressions of concern from friends. I only erased it after copying the greeting to a tape that I plan to keep and play for myself when I want to recall her voice.

Posted by: George A. Dalley


OMG - when I received this e-mail so many things entered my head.. First of all my son, Christopher, was killed by a drunk driver 8 years ago at the age of 20 - he was my only child, I have three step-children who I adore like they were my own but they're not in the same way. At the time he passed, the song Hero just came out and we played it on the day of his funeral in the funeral parlor and we still dance to it today.... All his friends we very supportive during our grief.. they made T-shirts for our family w/his picture on it - the day of his funeral they let balloons go at his gravesite. He had a yellow motorcycle and they even had one made w/flowers. They were his best friends since gradeschool and they still keep in touch w/us which makes us feel special. We used to call him CL for Christopher Lee, one of his friends named his son Landon Christopher, opposite of CL so we now call him LC... very touching... A year after he passed, the family went to Wildwood, New Jersey where we went for 15 years - it was very hard for me and my husband, but we brought kites w/messages for him and let them go at the ocean which I'll never forget... Anytime we go on vacation, I always bring his picture w/me because he was always w/us on all our vacations.... His friends got tatoos... some w/his picture, some w/his motorcycle, some with his name or just his initials... very touching.... I even got a tatoo which my step-daughter designed when I turned 50 w/his name and birthday... I can go on and on about what a loving and caring son I had and how people still stop me and tell me how much they miss him.... Ohhh another thing, where he worked, they had a monument erected w/his picture on it.. he was one special kid and I'll always love him and cherish his memory... I can add more and more but I'll stop now.... thank you for letting me sharing...

Posted by: Wayne & Phyllis Roberts


Two and a half years before Michael passed away we took a vacation to Hawaii. He wanted to share his favorite place on earth with his 3 favorite people, his wife and two best friends. We spent 8 days cruising the islands. It was the happiest I had ever seen him in our eight years together. One of his favorite things to do was to go whale watching while in Maui. This was an activity we decided to do alone as a couple. I will never forget the look in his eyes, the child-like wonder as we watched the whales. That moment will always be frozen in time for me. When I think of Michael, I fondly remember that day and I like to believe that he is forever in Maui watching the whales.
About a month after his death I decided on a memorial tattoo. On my left shoulder is a Hawaiian sunset with a whale tale and a line from the song we danced to on our wedding day, “So close no matter how far…”. I love that no matter where I go, I will always have a reminder Michael and our perfect day.

Posted by: Jessica Giambra Rodak


Shortly after my husband died, I shared with the doctor that I was having trouble sleeping at night. She asked if I had any of his cologne at home. She suggested that I spray the pillow he would have slept on--just a light mist and then get into bed. It worked! While I did miss his presence, I really missed his scent. It's 4 years later and while I do not need to spray his cologne, I do keep a bottle on the bureau, just in case.

Posted by: Cheryl


A lil Tigger, from winnie the pooh that was we put on his 3rd b day cake, he past 11 days after his 3rd b day. He used to chew on it an i keep it with me or put on the dash in my car as a memory of Tommy.

Posted by: Elizabeth coles


A lil Tigger, from winnie the pooh that was we put on his 3rd b day cake, he past 11 days after his 3rd b day. He used to chew on it an i keep it with me or put on the dash in my car as a memory of Tommy.

Posted by: Elizabeth coles


I love this topic! When my Father first died, I held onto his Tshirt that he had worn that carried his scent. I remember being so devastated when my Mother through it in with the laundry, not knowing how special it was to me...exactly the way it was. I also have a pair of my Father's leather slippers and, even though they are big on me, I enjoy wearing them to this day. They always make me feel secure and safe. Like many people there are also songs that make me think of my Dad and recently I found myself singing "You Are My Sunshine" along with a roomful of others at a little, country restaurant with a couple of local musicians with their banjos, guitars & violins. I could almost hear my Dad's harmonica & voice singing along with all of us, as this was a very special song in our household.

Posted by: Tina Pierce


One of the most memorable for me is my husband's stunt kite.

We used to go to the Kite Festival every year in Long Beach, WA and fly our kites. So every chance I get you'll find me out at the beach flying his kite. It makes me feel like he's right there with me. So I keep his kite in my car for that chance to get out and fly his kite in the wind and remember how much fun we had together.

Posted by: Linda Smith


When I wife and I were newly together we purchased coordinated crosses to wear when we were apart as a reminder that God would watch over each of us until we were together again. When she died, I kept her cross in my jewelry box where I could look at it occasionally. Then, three years later, I met the man who received her liver. We spent an amazing weekend getting to know each other and sharing stories about the woman whose gift gave him continued life. At the end of the weekend, I was devastated by his departure--until I remembered the cross. As he stood waiting by the car, I ran inside the house and retrieved the cross. I pressed it into his hand with a brief explanation of its meaning. We both shed tears and hugs and he returned to his home--only to return again and again as our friendship continues to blossom and our families grow closer.

Posted by: Penny Reed


My husband always wore hats....and I gave one to each of my children as his scent was still there ...also...I had pillows made for my children and a teddy bear for my self...made from his favorite clothing...a plaid shirt, worn jeans, funny tie and even crazy suspenders. It gives me such comfort to hold his clothes next to me and I keep it on my bed.

Posted by: angela shinal


I have a song that I dedicated to my parents - You Raised Me Up by Josh Groban on my Wedding Day. The words speak for themselves. I wish they were there to share in my special day. Yes, I know that they were there standing beside me - I wanted them there in person.

Every year around Christmas time, I would give them a Christmas Ornament with all their grandchildren's name on it. Since they have passed, I have all the ornaments and I add them to my tree every year. I have also continued to buy a ornament every year because my parents now have a great-grandson.

Love & miss you Mom & Dad!!

Posted by: Yvonne Kuehn


There were many things that I found of my mom when she passed but interestingly enough it was not something she owned or an item. It was a butterfly that reminded me of her. Everytime I would think of her I would come across one somehow, there were times where I missed her so much and felt so sad that literally I was almost hit in the face by several butterflies. So to this day almost 10 years later I see butterflies and I just think of her.

Posted by: Josie Flores