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From the Fall/Holiday 2007 issue of For Those Who Give and Grieve.

Some people say that with time comes healing. Have you found this to be true? As time marches on and a new year approaches, what "gift" of hope can you share with others who are newly grieving? Have your celebrations or your approach to the holidays changed over time?

Posted by: Maribeth Duffy


It's been 3 years now since my father passed away the day after my birthday and this year has been tough. Each day and year is getting easier and the memories help me through. Like finding an old birthday day he sent me at the right time.

Because of his health problems dad was not able to be an organ donor like he wanted to be. We learned from the nurses at the hospital that there was another program that was just as important. That of tissue donation. This is what the family choose to do.

We learned that this program has requests from scientists for certain tissue samples for research. Our family is proud to support ongoing research such as this. Plus there was much needed help for cremation costs.

We were told later that some of his tissue samples were requested for research, from Switzerland.

A big thank you for the nurses and staff who went out of their way to tell us aobut this other vital project for donors.

Posted by: Becky J Dunlap


September will be 5 years since my son Johnny died. I can hardly believe it's been that many years already. The intense grief and physical pain I felt for the first 6 months after he died has softened. I still cry,but not as often. There will always be an emptiness, but it is much less painful. I am able to enjoy things in life again. I've learned that although my world stopped, the rest of the world goes on as if everything is normal. "Normal" is very different for me now, I am certainly not the same person I was when Johnny was alive. I have survived his death; initially it was one minute at a time, one day at a time, and then one year at a time. Now I know that I will survive his death as a much stronger person. Someone once said to me that " it doesn't hurt any less, it just hurts less often" The grieving process is very intense,and has no time limits. The holidays are still very difficult, but I have found that the anticipation of the holiday is often worse than the holiday itself. I still hang Johnnys stocking on the mantle. I do find it very hard to get in the "holiday spirit" I enjoy being with my family for the holidays, but do not really enjoy the holidays. Mothers Day is the most difficult for me. It breaks my heart that my son is gone.

Posted by: Karen Legieko


No, with time comes healing isn't true. The gift of hope I share with others, is to make a living memorial so that person seems to still be with you. I created a memory garden in my yard, with an arbor, and in it have momentos of his life, with a sign over my arbor, "Memories bloom in my Garden of Life". I have solar religious statues throughout, and a bench where I can sit in solitude reminising of our times together. I also have religious stepping stones in it. At Christmas I hang a "Memory Stocking" with his name, birthdate & date of death, and on Dec 1st I have my grandchildren each drop notes daily of things they loved about him. Christmas Day the notes are retrieved and read aloud as the family is gathered.

Posted by: Dona Whitehead Yunker


In December it will have been 10 years since my youngest son Joseph passed away after being struck by a car. I don't think I'll ever heal from losing Joe but as time passes it allows me to get through the pain that scars my heart. The pain has eased from the initial shock but the hurting will always be with me. For people who are newly grieving' I encourage them to immerse themselves with family and friends. Don't make the mistake I did and withdraw from your loved ones. Remember the memories the deceased gave you and try not to think about the "what ifs". Grief has no rules to follow. It affects people in different ways. Go about it on your own terms. Joe died a few weeks before Christmas. In the first few years after his passing, I wanted nothing to do with the holiday. The only reason I celebrate it again is because of my grandchildren and it was Joes' favorite time of year. It's still not the same and it never will be. I celebrate the memory of the 8 wonderfull years that God allowed me to spend with my son Joseph.

Posted by: Tony Zubia


It will be 10 years that my husband Bob died in a work accident. It's such a different world now. Time brings a healing of sorts, I suppose, but for me, it was a phrase I heard from someone else that helped the most: You get the hang of it. Everyone finds their own way to getting the hang of it. In the meantime, you live and love and laugh, never forgetting what in my life that Bob would've loved or laughed over or marveled at or scoffed at, or scolded me, or just cried with me. Even now, there is a part of me that feels very separate from the rest of the world and even from my closest friends and family. For Bob's sister and brother and his best friends, it is a different separateness, a different way of getting the hang of it. Advice? It is what it is. And for each person, I suspect it is different.

Posted by: Allison Hepler


I lost my 12 yr old son 5 yrs ago this month.The question you ask is quite timely because for some reason I thought it might get easier after 5 yrs.That is not the case.The Dixie Chicks sing a song that sums it up for me, the lyrics go like this:
"They say time heals everything....
And I'm still waiting..."
I am still waiting.I think the grief of losing a child can never heal.You learn to put it some place within yourself that makes it bearable, but it doesn't ever go away.I hope that I will one day accept this loss and find peace whatever that may feel like and whenever that may come.I know this may be of little comfort to other's who grieve,but losing a child is too unbearable and healing for me is far far away...I'm still waiting....

Posted by: Tammy Colatruglio


reee

Posted by: tammy


Yes, I believe that with time, the grieving will lessen. While thoughts
of our loved ones never go away, the pain we feel does and will get easier! Everyone told me that when I lost my dear brother, and I found it hard to believe. But now I can honestly say, that life will go on. Our loved ones will forever remain in our hearts. Not a day goes by that we do not think of those we loved so dearly!

My celebrations/holidays have not changed. The first year was very difficult, but by keeping yourself surrounded by those that love and care for you, it takes your mind off the pain.

Posted by: Angie Pomykala


I'm not sure if it was the "time" passing so much as it was what we were able to do with that "time".

It's been over 10 years since my 14 month old grand daughter Kierra was shaken and slammed to death.

The first two years were a nightmare and the pain very real and always very fresh. But when I was able to begin to refocus the pain and anger into efforts locally and nationally about shaken baby awareness and prevention and reach out to other families who were experiencing the same thing, the healing became more obvious to me.

To also know that there is a little girl named Katie who carries Kierra's heart also confirms that the loss of her life was not in vain.

Posted by: Pamela Rowse, RN, BS


My son Paul died in a car accident on December 2, 1990, that is kind of hard to answer in a way, because when you lose a child it is like your heart has been ripped out,very painful. It has been almost seventeen years and I still miss him very much. I guess you could say the pain is not so intense as it was the first year, but family occasions are still difficult to deal with. I made the mistake of letting family talk me into doing things that I didn't want to do after Paul died. I should have stood my ground but they did it out of love. My gift of hope is my faith that I will see him again in heaven. My memories make me smile now instead of cry. I still have bad days but they don't come as often and when they do I just thank the Lord for the eighteen years that I had with my son. My approach to holidays is this now. I give Christmas presents during the year, and give monetary gifts in memory of my son. Takes the pressure off. I still have trouble with family reunions, but that is part and parcel of the grieving process. As time goes by and other parents lose children you can help them. But I must stress everyone grieves differently even if the circumstances might be the same as yours.(like my son was killed in a car accident). That I have learned from experience. I did not use any kind of medicine to help me through it, but I tell people it is o.k. if you need help it is an individual choice. I hope this makes sense, when something means alot to me it is hard to put into words. As one mother said to me and I agree I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy. Just remember LOVE doesn't die.

Posted by: Linda K. Capler


I think my mother said it best. Grief is like a new pair of jeans, they are stiff and hard but with many tears like washings they become softer and if not comfortable at least
easier to wear. We are still getting used to our loss 5 years after our sons death and each holiday and event that he doesn't share with us is always missing something, him. Life does go on and we each find our little ways to celebrate his contributions to our lives. We will never "get over it" and don't want to but the pain is softening like those jeans.

Posted by: Linda Ross


I really hope that I can say something (anything) to bring solice to a newly grieving person. I know how hard the first few years are. To answer the question, Yes, with time comes healing. Of course not total healing, you wouldn't even want that, the scars left behind are the memories. You still feel pain but with time you can also incorporate the positive memories that will diminish the pain some. Also, with time you feel less quilty (I think everyone who loses a child, as I did, feels some quilt)and more blessed for the time you did have with your child. Holidays also get easier. Instead of being such sad occasions because your loved one is not there, it becomes a time to reminise about holidays they were with us and funny things that may have happened. The only advice I can give to a newly grieving person is to be patient with yourself, and try to smile as often as possible.

Posted by: Betty Young


On February 14, 2002 I lost my only son Jonathan, in a skate boarding accident. Time does help, but the pain never seems to go away. You learn how to go on with your life, and to grieve in private. It helps to have friends that keep after me to lead a normal social life. Holidays are difficult, so we try to change old traditions and make new ones. What has helped me the most is a close relationship with the beautiful young woman that has Jonathan's kidney. She has become a special part of my life. I thank God every day that something good came out of this horrible accident.

Posted by: Patricia Honeycutt


We lost our daughter, Alison, ten years ago. Alison was 25 years old and died of a stroke. We donated her organs and tissues.

In the past ten years we have participated with various support groups, we have read various books about grief, grieving, and mourning. We have experienced all stages of grief, i.e. • Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
• Anger (why is this happening to me?)
• Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
• Depression (I don't care anymore)
• Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)
• Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)
• Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)
• Reorganization (re-entry into a more 'normal' social life.)
Suffice it to say, over time and with all of this help, we can say that healing has to come from within one's own self, in one's own way, and in one's own time. This is not to say that on Holidays and/or anniversaries there are no longer any exacerbation of anger and self pity, but dwelling on happy memories comes easier. Making meaning out of her life rather than out of her death nourishes our hope and allows her love to remain in our daily lives.
St. Paul tells the Corinthians (Ch. 13, 4 –7/13) “Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.”

Blessings to All

Pat & Will Wesley
for Alison

Posted by: Patricia & Will Wesley


It will be 4 years October 5th since I lost my beloved 17 year old son Cody Duncan. Doeas time heal? Yes and no. The hurt is still there but for me it is now different. The first year or so was almost unbearable pain. it was hard to find anything to be thankful or happy about. But as I started searching and began my spiritual journey I started to notice a gradual change. I also started spending time remebering my son, the way he lived life, saw the good in others and was always happy. I found peace in remembering him and also felt the best way I could honor him wass to celebrate his life and try to live the way he did. I found instead of thinking about the loss as much I was able to be thankful for the gift of his life for 17 years. I've also realized that my life is forever changed. I can't go back and have the life we use to have. It's different but that's o.k. There will and are still things to be able to be grateful and thankful about. there will be times of happiness again. This doesn't take the pain away. I still have those days where my heart feels as though it's breaking. but I also know I can feel happiness too and I now accept that this is just the way it will always be.
We have chosen to make some changes in the way we celebrate the holidays and for us that has helped. They can't be the same as they were so we don't try to make them the same. We always light a candle on Christmas eve for Cody that we let burn thru till Christmas morning. We do this on his birthday and anniversary of his accident also. In this way he is with us. We also have not yet used our same Christmas decorations. I'm not yet ready for the memories all those ornaments hold but some day that may change. Also, every year for his birthday we celebrate his life and let off balloons in his favorite school (UNC) colors-baby blue & white. These things help us remember, and although they may bring some tears those memories also make us smile as we remember and celebrate his life.

Posted by: Anita Duncan


Though the thought that time could possibly heal my broken heart from losing my teenage daughter, it is true. Her face and laugh have not faded, but the pain, the tears and the emptiness have lessened through the years. I have not fulled returned to celebrating the holidays and probably never will, but they too have become less painful. My gift to those who are newly grieving is the promise that time will be an ally. The day that the sun shines again for you will be a surprise because now you can only see the dark clouds. My prayers are with you.

Posted by: Billie Lomonaco


I am not so sure about time brings healing because the hurt and sadness are always there for me. It becomes easier to talk about my son Dave and his organ donation and the activities he loved but there are some days that it hurts so bad especialy during this times of year when the boys are playing baseball and he loved it so and was so good at it. I would like others who are greiving to know that itis okay to grieve as long as you want and that there is still love in yoru heart even though you don;t feel there is. Take your time and give yourself time to grieve and heal and don;t try to push your self too hard even if other people want you to get on with your life like it used to be it will never be exactly like it used to be. Don't close your eyes to other people who may be hurting too or need you to love them. I didn;t want to celebrate holidays after he died but my oldest son helped me because he kept saying Dave knows we always have cinnamon buns on Christmas morning and he wants to smell them and see you cooking them and eating them. But holidays are really hard when you look at the ornaments he made on the tree and stuff like that. I still can't deal with putting the ornametns on the tree. I go and cook cookies for my adopted daughter and her family and they put the ornaments on the tree and I go and look at the tree up close after they leave.

Posted by: Tricia Abel


Yes, with time the pain eases.
Does it go away? No.
To this day [12 yrs later] I can be driving and a memory surfaces. A hole opens in the back of my throat and my soul falls through. I then must stop, reel it in, patch the hole, pet the memory, put it back on the shelf and go on.
[Christopher M. Gardner
1981~1995]

Posted by: Steve Gardner


Time alone does not heal. What does heal is making the conscious effort to do what brings you joy in some small way each day. That's it, just one day at a time (no cheating, worrying, or guilt allowed). Whether it's sleeping in, calling a friend, gardening, exercise, meditation, prayer, or whatever. No one can give you the perfect advice because all of our needs and losses are different. My 14 year old daughter was killed in a van rollover on her way home from a church mission trip. I am an RN and plan on going on a surgical mission trip this winter because that is what makes me happy and honors my daughter. But mostly, be kind with yourself because no one has this grief thing mastered.

I have also rewritted all of our holiday traditions. I notified everyone (nicely) that I don't want to exchange gifts and, instead, I celebrate those oh-so-difficult-times-of-the-year by, for example, having a casual dinner together in lieu of gifts. I even had Thanksgiving one year on a Saturday with roast beef because everyone had other commitments elsewhere, and no one cared! What a stress reducer! Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely self-absorbed in doing my own thing. Just the opposite. I have found creative ways to appreciate what I do have around me that is alive, and in doing so, have discovered what really creates healing in my life.

Posted by: Kelly LaDuke


I remember when I was newly grieving and someone would say that cliche "Time will heal" and I would respond that I did not have the time! That was 1981 and I was 33. Now at 59 and 26 years later, I seldom cry over the loss of Jenny and Greg and I do know that each anniversary gets a little easier. I believe that they live on through organ donations and that my lifetime is so small compared to the eternity I will have with them. I speak of them around their birthdays, how old they would be, what life may have been like, but I live on to celebrate what I am supposed to do with my life without them.

Posted by: Sue (Steidle) Clones -donor mom


When my Dad died in 1983 a friend said you never get over it but you learn to live through it. Since 2000 I have lost 2 brothers and my Mom. I have learned that God will not bring to anything that he will not bring you through. My faith in God has seen me through. There will always be days and memories that bring tears, but the memories are good.

Posted by: Deborah Tutton


My husband was a Houston Fire Fighter he gave everytime he jumped on that Fire Truck so when the Lord took him suddenly at the age of 49 on July 1, 1999. I was right there on my knees trying to save him and in my heart I knew the Lord was saying not this time Becky. This man has lived on earth now he is coming to my kingdom. I had a 13 yr old daughter and yes she was my light. I jumped in to raising her because I had no help anymore. We stayed busy for almost 2 years and at night I will tell the Lord to please help me to carry on and be a good Mom and Dad to my daughter and he did. HE is my co pilot and always at my side. After a couple of years a nice gentleman ask me out to dinner and I ask my daughter what she thought and these words sunk in and I smile every day and know my baby taught me something that day. Mom....Dad is gone and he is not coming back! Your life is not over and you need to live and have fun and be happy. So I am living and his photos still adorn my shelves but he is gone and not coming back. Your loved ones would not want you to grieve for them forever...they want you to LIVE and be HAPPY!

Posted by: Becky Listi


We lost our son, Jamie, 5 years ago in Feb.It has been very hard some days just to get through, but through time it has gotten a little better. There is never a day that goes by that I don't think of him. I talk to him all the time almost as if he is an angel watching over me.
He had taught us so much about life after his car wreck in 1998. He was driving and not wearing a seat belt. He lsot control and flipped end over end 2 or 3 times. While flipping he said he felt his neck hit the pavement and pushed him back in saving his life but leaving him paralized from his shoulders down. His life had been changed forever and so did mine. We were told he would never be able to care for him but, a year later after rehab he came home. We went through some very trying times. He soon became pretty independent and achived alot of good things. He went back to school got his ged, went to voc-tech and got a degree in computers and had started to work for about 3 weeks.
His strive that he had to deal with life such as what it was now made such an impact on our lives now.
I get through knowing where he is and that some day I will see him again. He is in heaven with no more pains and is probably walking again. That is what gets me through, I know God is taking care of him and that he has a plan for each of us. Jamie's gift to us was how he changed my out look on life, never give up and live each day to the fullest.
I now do volunter work for LOPA, LOUISIANA ORGAN PROCUREMENT AGENCY. I am on the council for our ORGAN AND TISSUE DONOR FAMILY COUNCIL, speaking to people about my experience with death of my son and just listening to others with their pain. I do not think i could have done this type of things before my son. I feel now helping others helps me.
I lost my father on Dec.22,2006 and my best friend on Feb.7,2007. There are days I just want to cry when I think of all three. Life is not easy but, we have to keep going on. Holidays will never be the same, we talk to our grandchildren about their Uncle Jamie, they know when we go to the cemetery who is there and now my dad is there too. We now go to church where the cemetery is and I feel even closer. We have a close relationship with his liver recepient, she is from Maine. She has took on some of his likes and dislikes and his disposition. This makes live a little easier. Life does go on after the lose of a child.

Posted by: Judy Rayner


Indeed Time seems to be the special agent that brings us our greatest Healing.
Time allows contact with others Bereaved and awareness that we are not alone.
With Time comes bits of closure to the many facets of our grief.
We realize that we had no control in the parting of our loved one, it was truly out of our hands.
We learn that we have no control in the greatest sense.
Hope is found in Faith, that we are forever a part of our parted's "being."
Our relationship is renewed in a "spirital" and eternal sense free of the physical
that we knew.
The relationship has changed but the Love is what remains.
Celebrations continue in the essense of that love and our physically parted are included along with our remaining physical relationships.
Our Loved ones are Loved and Remembered and this brings peace, contenuity and most of all HOPE.

Posted by: CindyJo Greever


I lost my mom in April 2007 she was only 49 and I am only 21. I have learned that the only way that the pain gets better is to have faith that you will see them agian one day. Also surrond yourself with family and friends you need support. One more thing don't be afriad to cry scream throw things if you have to. Get all those things out so happiness can once agian shine through

Posted by: Brittany Thornton


This is still the first year for my family we have several birthdays during the holidays and the son that died is one. Time is ticky because it does not always work one way, some days time has gone by, but others I wake up back wards and have to come out of the fog to get to the here and now. We have had some gathering as a family since the son died.
we set a place for him like always but light a candle on his plate it lets everyone there, know it's ok to talk ok not to, and he is always here in our hearts. God be with all of you it's not easy but you are not alone my best virginia

Posted by: vrginia l dupew


The holidays are a time of celebration and remembering, and we have not changed the elements that are most precious to us as that is our way to keep our loved one near in mind and heart.

The one tradition that is most dear to us, is the hanging of the holiday stockings. Since my husband passed away, we continue this tradition including the hanging of his stocking. The only difference is that, the stocking now has a very special "remembrance" ornament attached to it. In this way, we feel that his memory is still an active part of our holiday celebrations.

Posted by: Mary Schuler


The loss of my first husband and son was 15 years ago. I always hated it when people told me to give it time, that it would get better if I just gave it some time. I had to live every minute of that time and it was incredibly difficuly. However, I have found that over time I have learned to live with them gone. As I live my life, I have learned that they will always be a part of me and who I am and I am at peace even though for a time I am seperated from them. I think that each individual has to decide that they want to experience healing in the loss and decide that they want to continue to live even though their loved one is gone. Time in and of itself doesn't heal anything - the biggest factor is a person's decision to want to experience healing.

Posted by: Merry Smith


Our daughter Amy died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in December of 2002. Her son was 14 months old at the time.
My husband, I her mother and her sister were in Africa doing mission work. We had been there 10 months. Her other sister age 19 was with her in the States. Amy was an organ donor. Grieving is such a personal process for each person. The first year it is difficult to see healing yet as each day brings with it a new beginning. The death of a family member especially a child tears at the very core of the family. Life is never the same. Everything changes for everyone. There is the physical pain, the emotional pain, the spiritual pain. I think grieving for me has been a process. The physical pain has lessened. At the beginning the pain is so raw and hurts like your heart has been ripped out. Even 5 years later there are moments I think about a memory and feel the pain but to a lesser degree. Time helps the emotional pain but in my case this is because I choose to give it over to the Lord every day. I still miss my daughter daily and think about her daily. The first 3 1/2 years we weekly cared for her son. What an extra joy and this brought incredible healing. His father married this past 1 1/2 years and has moved away so we don't have access to our grandson any more. His new wife doesn't want us to be a part of his life; an unreasonable
immature demand. Now we are grieving his loss which is very different because he is still living. Daily I need to choose to pray for our grandson and his new family.
Spiritually I have learned to trust the Lord in many ways and lean on Him. He brings me memories of Amy of which does bring me happiness. Our years with her son also bring memories of joy which no one can steal away. I have chosen to treat each day as a gift and each day and memory I had with our daughter and grandson which was given to our family. This attitude of thankfulness actually gives me a better outlook on the many things I venture into. I choose to be more compassionate about those I meet and treat each moment and each person I am in contact with like they are the most important person in my life when I am with them.
You never get over the loss but life has new meaning for each of us.

Posted by: Patti Knight


My son was Steven killed in 1998 in a snowmobile accedent with brain injury .as time goes on it get easy for me but he is still in my heart I feal that he is still with me I can hear his laughter and the love that he had for everyone I can see his smile. When he got up in the morning to get ready for school he would turn on the stero and dance to the music.Stevie was so much fun to watch.Stevie just turned 17 He was loved by many. In 2004 his 2 year old niece joined him in heaven she was also killed in a accedent.I am sure he is talking good care of her for us. We miss them We Love you ^A^ Stevie and Bethany. ^A^ Mom@ Dad Sherrie and Steve

Posted by: sherrie shanor


I do not believe that time alone has helped the healing of grief. While grieving is a process. it is easy to get stuck. Casey's (my son)death was over four years ago. Some days is seems like yesterday and others it seems like forever ago, time becomes irrelevant to grief. I have decided that since he is in the "eternity" time frame that it makes sense that time is irrelevant. Moving through, shock, anger, sadness, acceptance, and celebrating his many gifts to my life has been a journey. I am grateful that now mostly I can celebrate his many gifts to my life and to the amazing men who became his recipients. They know his transforming gifts like I do. My grief has been greatly helped by thier sharing of their transformation back to healthy lives.
I make plans for holidays that include Casey. Once I have embraced the loss and plan for remembrance, the grief does not hit me like a ton of bricks anymore. Mostly this is done privately, unless my daughter is home and she wants to share in his celebration.
My heart goes out to all of the other families who have experienced a sudden death. We have no time to prepare, so we have to do all of our adjustment without the perosn who was dying. (Unlike those who have cancer or some illness, and can prepare with the person still here and say final good-byes) The lack of closure/good-gyes will always be hard, but I know Casey knew how much he was cherished EVERYDAY!!
Thank you Julie

Posted by: Julie (Dinsmore) Myers


My husband died of a very sudden heart attack in 11/05. I was happy for him because he hated being sick. I realized early on, that I had to get on with business of life. I miss him, and still, during the most odd times, I break into tears. But I am proud of myself about how I have handled business affairs and found my way. There are some questions I still live with, but I am content. I believe attitude is everything and that I can be as strong as I choose to be.

Posted by: Barb Zimmerman


H, EVEN THO I AM IN A GRIEF/SHARE CLASS, I AM NOT DOING AS WELL AS I FEEL I SHOULD. MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN GONE NOW THREE YEARS AND I MISS HIM SO VERY MUCH AND FEEL AS THO LIFE HAS NO MEANING, IS THERE ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE WHO FEELS AS I DO AND IS THERE ANYONE ELSE GOING THRU THIS WHO HAS A SUGESTION? I SURELY WOULD APPRECIATE IT. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Posted by: MILLIE Springer


I am not sure how to answer this question. All the time in the world could never heal my broken heart. I miss my son so much. I do have one thing that I am very thankful for, which is that I donated my sons’ organs. I wasn’t going to donate them but “thanks” to my daddy I listened to him and I signed the donation consent forms. We have had the pleasure of meeting Jeffreys’ heart recipient, Allen. We have talked to his liver recipient, John. My Mom and I spent the weekend with Allen and his family. They have gotten very close to us, like an extended family. I created this website to deal with my grief. http://www.jeffreybotw.com Yes, the holidays have changed. I don’t enjoy them anymore. I lost my father 5 months after my sons’ death so that has made it a lot more difficult to deal with.

Posted by: Cindy Harrison


Hello, I am from Indiana and my name is Sally, I lost two older brothers one to suicide and the other to amyloidosis. My brother Roy who took his life was on june 1st 1999,this was awful, I miss him alot his smile his eyes,he also was a organ donor,he served in the Army,my brother left a letter of how he wanted to be buried,he asked to be creamated so we all did, that was so hard for me he was six feet and to see him in that box was so devastating to me,he will always be in my heart,its hard there isnt a day that has went by that I havent thought of my brother.then I lost my oldest brother in 2001 lived a short 6months passed away Jan 25,2001 he left us a music cd of his favorite songs, I play this every week, I miss his voice so much oh my gosh! he would call me Runt I loved them both so much, thank you for listening, and peace to all. Sally

Posted by: Sally Carroll


I lost my 25 year old son 30 days ago to a motorcycle accident. He survived for nearly 7 days in a coma, before his brain died. I prayed for his comfort and healing. I believe that a compassionate God took him in his arms and comforted him knowing that he would never survive and regain a normal life. The family is grieving over the loss, but are comforted that his organs are giving someone else a chance to lead a healthy life. Fred Grinnell, Wasilla, Alaska

Posted by: Fred Grinnell


Yes, time does heal. But I have memories all the time and still talk about Virgil a lot. He really hasn't gone away. He was so well known in this area that it's hard to forget someone like him.

Posted by: Alice F Petrik


Some healing has taken place but the Holidays are still the hardest and my husbands Birthday and our Anniversary.
It will be 5 yrs next month and I am still a little numb and can't believe he is gone.
I still have trouble with our 31 yr. old sopn because he and his fther were like brothers.
So as I know that life goes on I am still lonesome and feel very empty.

Posted by: Sharon Tracy


I am not sure how to answer this question as we will be celebrating our first holidays this year without our son, Travis. Travis was killed January 27th in a car accident that was not Travis' fault. All I can say is that day to day time does not seem to be helping things. It gets harder and harder to deal with losing Travis each day because it becomes more of a reality that he is no longer here each day. We always celebrated the holidays together and we are going to travel this year, especially at Christmas. Maybe I can add more insight next year, but it is just so difficult to even fathom being without him at the holidays.

Posted by: Tami Smith


My gift of hope would be that no one can sustain the rawness of the pain they are currently feeling. Open your life to anyone who is willing to spend time with you. As hard as it is to even think about, you must move forward with your lives, even if that means just getting out of bed. The shock of what has happened does lessen over time however I am not sure "with time comes healing" is the right saying. You move forward. You are a different, "new" person. Your life has changed and you must change with it. It takes time but life does go on. Memories never die, not does our love.

Posted by: Colleen Sullivan


This month will be 3 yrs since my dad died suddenly. Each member of my family still has difficult days. The best thing someone told me was it gets a tad better each day but never goes away. We were a very close family and the loss was very great for us. God and family has helped us through this time. Time does help with the pain. Also helping others who have had losses since your own loss also seems to help. We have made some changes to the holidays that helps to shelter us from the empty spot his death left us with.

Posted by: Lisa Thompson-Warren