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Words that inspire.....

I could do no less than grieve as strongly as I love her.
Don't feel guilty for hurting so badly.
You love your child with all your heart.
It is only right that you should hurt for them as much.
That was a hard part for me to get around.
I felt guilty for grieving until someone pointed out that
I could do no less than grieve as strongly as I love her.

Connie, Cassy's mom

(added 12/26/01)

"Spiritual progress is like detoxification.
Things have to come up in order to be released.
Once we have asked to be healed,
then our unhealed places are forced to the surface."

Marianne Williamson

(added 12/26/01)

"Life . . .
It takes courage to enjoy it"

Eleni, Manny’s mom

(added 12/26/01)

"When we meet real tragedy in life,
we can react in two ways --
either by losing hope
and falling into self-destructive habits,
or by using the challenge
to find our inner strength."

The Dalai Lama

(added 12/26/01)

For your loved one the song of life has ended,
But the music of the soul is forever.
In the days to come, during your lonely hours,
May you sometimes hear the music from above,
And know that all is well.

- Lois E. Stewart

(added 12/26/01)

"Every time I think of you,
I hug you in my heart."

- Gini, Bobby's momma

(added 12/26/01)

"Don't go around with a frown on your face,
You never know who might be
falling in love with your smile....."

- Dustin James Ellis
Sent by email to his girlfriend

(added 12/26/01)

“We are all visitors to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe,
to learn, to grow, to LOVE...
and then we return home.”

- Aborigine philosophy

(added 12/26/01)

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal"

- Anonymous

"It is never to soon to act out of kindness,
because one never knows when
too soon it may be too late."

- Anonymous

“Love is that condition in which
the happiness of another
is essential to your own.”

- Anonymous

“My parents worked hard to give us
everything money could not buy.”

- Anonymous

“Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt, and
Dance like no one's watching.”

- Anonymous

“Sob, heavy world,
Sob as you spin.
Mantled in mist,
remote from the happy.“

- W. H. Auden

"The tears streamed down,
and I let them flow as freely as they would,
making of them a pillow for my heart.
On them it rested."

- Saint Augustine

“Adversity introduces us to ourselves.”

- Author unknown

Spoken by George W. Bush
President of the United States

Day of Prayer and Remembrance
National Cathedral
Washington, D. C.

September 14, 2001

“If tears could build a stairway
And memories a lane,

I'd walk right up to Heaven,and
Bring you home again.“

- Author unknown

My Prayer And Wish For You Today:

“I Wish for you
Comfort on difficult days,
Smiles when sadness intrudes,
Rainbows to follow the clouds,
Laughter to kiss your lips,
Sunsets to warm your heart,
Gentle hugs when spirits sag,
Friendships to brighten your being,
Beauty for your eyes to see,
Confidence for when in doubt,
Faith so that you can believe,
Patience to accept the truth,
And love to complete your life.”

- Author Unkown

"How long will the pain last?
All the rest of your life.

But the thing to remember is that
not only the pain will last,
but the blessed memories as well.

Tears are the proof of love.
The more love, the more tears.

If this be true,
then how could we ever ask
that the pain cease altogether?

For then the memory of love would go with it.

The pain of grief is the price we pay for love.”

- Author Unknown

Submitted by Amy
Amanda's Mom

"What the caterpillar calls
the end of the world,
the master calls
a butterfly."

– Richard Bach


"Since early times, the butterfly has symbolized renewed life.
The caterpillar signifies life here on earth; the cocoon, death;
and the butterfly, the emergence of the dead
into a new, beautiful, and freer existence.
Frequently, the butterfly is seen
with the word ‘Nika,’ which means victory.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross movingly tells of seeing butterflies
drawn all over the walls of the children’s dormitories
in the World War II concentration camps.
Since Elizabeth believes in the innate intuitiveness of children,
she concludes that these children knew their fate
and were leaving us a message.

Many members of The Compassionate Friends
embrace the butterfly as a symbol --
a sign of hope to them that their children
are living in another dimension
with greater beauty and freedom --
a comforting thought to many."

- The Compassionate Friends
Facilitator Handbook

“Without friends the world is but a wilderness ...

There is no man that imparteth his joys to his friends,
but he joyeth the more;

and no man that imparteth grief to his friends,
but he grieveth the less.”

- Francis Bacon

"You don't get to choose
how you're going to die,
or when.
You can only decide
how you're going to live.

– Joan Baez

"The sea rises, the light fails,
lovers cling to each other,
and children cling to us.

The moment we cease to hold each other,
the sea engulfs us and the light goes out."

- James Baldwin

"Those who bring sunshine
to the lives of others
cannot keep it from themselves."

- Sir James M. Barrie

If I Had Only Known

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner
even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the "GOOD" living room
and worried much less about the dirt
when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather
ramble about his youth.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children
and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television
and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick
instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern
if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose
before it melted in storage.

When my kids kissed me impetuously,
I would never have said,
"Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's"
and more "I'm sorry's"

...but mostly, given another shot at life,
I would seize every minute....
look at it and really see it ... live it ...
and never give it back.

- Erma Bombeck

“It inspires me to be in the space
inhabited by our children's spirits
and by our shared grief,

a sharing which helps us all heal
and continue living.”

- Bill Brown,
Elizabeth’s Daddy

Suggested by Kathy,
Forever Karen’s Mom

“Don't walk behind me, I may not lead
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow
Just walk beside me, and be my friend.”

- Albert Camus

“Where there is great love,

there are always miracles.”

- Willa Cather

Celtic Blessing

“She does not leave, she is not gone,
she looks upon us still.
She walks among the valleys now,
she strides upon the hill.

Her smile is in the summer sky,
her grace is in the breeze.
Her mem'ries whisper in the grass
her calm is in the trees.

Her light is in the winter snow,
her tears are in the rain.
Her merriment runs in the brook,
her laughter in the lane.

Her gentleness is in the flowers
her sigh in autumn leaves.
She does not leave, she is not gone,
'Tis only we that grieve.”

Submitted by Taffy Todd
In Memory of Jill

“Here is a quote ...
it is one of my favorites.
Some of us may feel this way,
and some of us believe
our children would feel this way.

If so, we are their voices.”

- Karyl Chastain,
mother of Arlyn

"If you ask me
what I came into this world to do,
I will tell you:

I came to live out loud."

- Emile Zola

"It will take mind and memory months and possibly years
to gather together the details,
and thus learn and know
the whole extent of the loss."

- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
after the death of his daughter Suzy

“Each of us are angels,
with only one wing.
And we can only fly
by embracing one another.”

- Luciano De Crescenzo

"It's toughest to forgive ourselves.
So it's probably best to start with other people.
It's almost like peeling an onion.
Layer by layer, forgiving others,
you really do get to the point where
you can forgive yourself."

- Patty Duke

“Eleonora [Duse] said,
“Tell me about Deirdre and Patrick,”
and made me repeat to her
all their little sayings and ways,
and show her their photos,
which she kissed and cried over.
She never said ‘Cease to grieve’,
but she grieved with me, and,
for the first time since their death,
I felt I was not alone."

- Isadora Duncan

"God be between you and harm
in all the empty places where you must walk."

- Egyptian blessing

Submitted by Taffy Todd
In Memory of Jill

"Perhaps they are not the stars,
but rather openings in Heaven,
Where the love of our lost ones pours through,
and shines down upon us,
To let us know that they are happy."

- From an Old Eskimo Legend

"Everything can be taken away from a man
but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms --
to choose one's attitude in
any given set of circumstances,
to choose one's own way."

– Viktor Frankl

“All of us have a special place in our hearts
for our loved ones who are no longer with us.
Remember that and do as your heart tells you
since it may be a loved one speaking to you.”

- KAThy Friedberg
Mom to Harlan

“Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.”

- Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet”

“If we can choose where to cry,
at home or with a few people
who will be fully understanding,
perhaps we will feel easier.
But if we can’t --
if we are in church and a hymn catches us off guard,
or at a football game and we remember being there
with a son or daughter now gone --
well, the earth is our home and
we can cry where we want.”

- Martha Whitmore Hickman

“If you wish me to weep,
you yourself must first feel grief.”

- Horace

“I was in a garden at the Rodin Museum.
For a few minutes I was alone, sitting on a bench
between two long hedges of roses. Pink roses.
Suddenly I felt the most powerful feeling of peace,
and I had the thought that death,
if it means an absorption into a reality
like the one that was before me,
might be all right.”

- Irving Howe

“The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow
from which we refuse to be divorced.
Every other wound we seek to heal,
every other affliction to forget;
but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open;
this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude.”

- Washington Irving

“O God!
Put back Thy universe
and give me yesterday.”

- Henry Arthur James

"Courage is the greatest of all the virtues.
Because if you haven't courage,
you may not have an opportunity
to use any of the others."

- Samuel Johnson

“Let yourself feel good again,
laugh with friends, have fun.
Living your life to the full
is not betrayal of a memory
but fulfillment of a promise to someone
who would want only the best for you.”

- Karen Katafiasz

“Remind yourself of your reasons for living.
You have a future worth enduring for,
and you deserve to have
a renewed sense of purpose and pleasure
in your life.”

- Karen Katafiasz

“You will reach a point where
you can finally go for an hour, or a day, or a week
without painful reminders of absence and emptiness.
Look for new awakenings.
Be open to rebirth.”

- Karen Katafiasz

“Because of her,
he had learned to look for the birds --
the darting flight of wild canaries
(yellow sun on yellow wings),
the chesty preening of redbirds and bluebirds,
the blackbird with the red-tipped wings
like startling epaulets.”

- Terry Kay

“My wife of 57 years was buried today beside our son,
who died in 1941 as a result of a truck accident
when he was hitchhiking to take a job.
She has longed for him all these years,
and now she is with him.
I know they are embraced in happiness.”

- Terry Kay

“When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne,
let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted
into which our grief has given us entrance,
and inevitably, we will feel about us
their arms, their sympathy,
and their understanding.”

- Helen Keller

“But, Gran, is everything really all right? Really?”

It is completely cosmic questioning,
coming from a small girl in a white nightgown
with a toothbrush in her hand,
sensing the unfamiliar surrounding the familiar ...

I must answer it for her,
looking down at her serious, upturned face ...

“Yes, Lena, it is all right.”

And the two little girls and I
climb into the fourposter bed
to sing songs and tell stories.”

- Madeleine L’Engle

“Something quite unexpected has happened.
It came this morning early.
For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious,
my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks. ...
And suddenly, at the very moment when, so far,
I mourned H. least,
I remembered her best.
Indeed it was something (almost) better than memory;
an instantaneous, unanswerable impression.
To say it was like a meeting would be going too far.
Yet there was that in it which tempts one to use those words.
It was as though the lifting of the sorrow
removed a barrier.”

- C. S. Lewis


"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the sky on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds--and done a hundred things
You've never dreamed of........

High in the sunlit silence
And while with quiet lifting mind I've trod
I've chased the shouting wind along
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

- J.G.. Magee

A young airman, during WWII, describing his experience flying.
Sent to his parents who received it after he died in a training mission.

Submitted by Taffy Todd
In Memory of Stuie

“... how complicated and individual mending is;
the time required for healing
cannot be measured
against any fixed calendar.”

- Mary Jane Moffat

“I was wholly at peace, at ease and at rest,
so that there was nothing upon earth
which could have afflicted me.
This lasted for a time, and then I was changed ...
I felt there was no ease or comfort for me
except faith, hope and love,
and truly I felt very little of this.
And then presently God gave me again
comfort and rest for my soul ...
And then again I felt the pain,
and then afterwards the delight and joy,
now the one and now the other, again and again,
I suppose about twenty times.”

- Julian of Norwich

“Real grief is not healed by time ...
if time does anything, it deepens our grief.
The longer we live,
the more fully we become aware
of who she was for us,
and the more intimately we experience
what her love meant for us.
Real, deep love is, as you know,
very unobtrusive, seemingly easy and obvious,
and so present that we take it for granted.
Therefore, it is only in retrospect -- or better, in memory --
that we fully realize its power and depth.
Yes, indeed,
love often makes itself visible in pain.”

- Henri Nouwen

“When everything is dark,
when we are surrounded by despairing voices,
when we do not see any exits,

then we can find salvation in a remembered love,
a love which is not simply a recollection of a bygone past
but a living force which sustains us in the present.

Through memory, love transcends the limits of time
and offers hope at any moment of our lives.”

- Henri Nouwen

"When we walk to the edge of all the light we have
and take the step into the darkness of the unknown,
we must believe that one of two things will happen.

There will be something solid for us to stand on,
or we will be taught to fly."

- Patrick Overton

Submitted by Kathy,
Forever Karen’s Mom

"What you leave behind is
not what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others."

– Pericles

“We are healed of a suffering only by
experiencing it to the full.”

- Marcel Proust

“I know my Brian has been there through it all with me.
Giving me strength when
I didn't think I could do it one more day.

My heart and my soul still ache so much.
I miss him incredibly.

Taylor, Brian's son, starts school this year.

He wants a ladder so he can go visit his daddy.”

- Rena,
Brian's mom

“Grief is a solitary journey.
No one but you knows how great the hurt is.
No one but you can know
the gaping hole left in your life
when someone you know has died.
And no one but you can mourn
the silence that was once filled with laughter and song.
It is the nature of love and of death
to touch every person in a totally unique way.
Comfort comes from knowing
that people have made the same journey.
And solace comes from understanding
how others have learned to sing again.”

- Helen Steiner Rice

"You can gain strength, courage and confidence
by every experience in which
you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing
which you think you cannot do."

– Eleanor Roosevelt

“What is there to do when people die
-- people so dear and rare --
but bring them back by remembering?”

- May Sarton

"Sometimes our light goes out
but is blown into flame by another human being.
Each of us owes deepest thanks
to those who have rekindled this light."

- Albert Schweitzer

“Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.”

- Dr. Seuss

“Everyone can master a grief
but he that has it.”

- William Shakespeare

“Give sorrow words;
the grief that does not speak
Whispers the oe’r fraught heart
and bids it break.”

- William Shakespeare

“ Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
That sees into the bottom of my grief?”

- William Shakespeare

"Some men see things as they are
and ask why.
Others dream things that never were
and ask why not."

– George Bernard Shaw

"Faith is the bird that sings
when the dawn is still dark."

- Rabindranath Tagore

“In desperate hope I go
and search for her
in all the corners of my house.
I find her not.
My house is small
and what once has gone from it
can never be regained.
But infinite is thy mansion, my lord,
and seeking her
I have come to thy door.”

- Rabindranath Tagore

“Let it not be death but completeness.

Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.

Let the flight through the sky end
in the folding of the wings over the nest.

Let the last touch of your hands be gentle
like the flower of the night.

Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment,
and say your last words in silence.

I bow to you and hold up my lamp
to light you on your way.”

- Rabindranath Tagore

“Excessive mourning is nonproductive,
someone remarks. A social inconvenience,
downright inconsiderate in the public eye.
Life, according to my Orientalist friend,
is a passage, a corridor, and she bids me
to rid myself of morbid brooding.

$%&$!*#! I’m angry.”

- Toby Talbot

“And the consequence of our existence
Is the reason for our being.”

- Ted Todd

Submitted by Taffy Todd

"When someone dies, a life is done,
but the relationship goes on."

- From the movie
“Tuesdays with Morrie,”
starring Jack Lemon

“I feel a strong immortal hope,
which bears my mournful spirit up
beneath its mountain load;
redeemed from death, and grief, and pain,
I soon shall find my [child] again
within the arms of God.”

- Charles Wesley

“Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

- Walt Whitman

"As we are liberated
from our own fear,
our presence
automatically liberates others."

– Marianne Williamson