Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MUSINGS FROM THE REFLECTION BENCH


THE REFLECTION BENCH








There are more than signs and synchronicities that validate when our Loved Ones are near. I invited Matty to take a walk with me this morning on a beautiful stretch of conservation land in our town. The landscape of my mind and heart are a bit monochromatic at the moment as I sit patiently waiting to sort out the tug between the two. Grief lessons are familiar to me.
Uncomfortable is my silent partner at the moment. No worries or concerns. I'm trusting the process which culminates in a blessing requiring a bit of time and reflection to see the bloom.
I love being out here. I'm writing from my reflection bench, listening to nature's symphony. In my heart it stands shoulder to shoulder, adagio to allegro with our great works of classical music. I hear the winds whispering to the leaves, their rustling sounds in answer. The tall, thin, wispy trees creaking in laughter. The birds' chirpingss making me aware of the unseen life that surrounds me. The brook ripples, moving all melodic notes forward.The flapping of a butterfly's wing as it performs its dance in the tall grass that graces my path, nudging me to lift my eyes. Taking note of the spots of color breaking through the browns and tans all around me, I know that Matthew is with me. He shows me that Hope is the color that marks my way out of the uncomfortable-ness. He shows me the beauty in a safe, sacred place where more than one are able to grow when side by side. He dappled sunlight onto my heart. He's making me smile, internally as well as externally as we spend time on our reflection bench . . . together.


GROWING SIDE BY SIDE IN SHARED SPACE
A reminder of how we help each other when we walk together in grief to healing

A HEART SHAPED ROCK
Dappled by a ray of sunshine, brought to mind a metaphor for Hope in the midst of grieving

A SPOT OF COLOR
Brightens the mood and lifts the emotions, experiencing a moment of joy
I am grateful my son for the awareness you're teaching me, allowing these gifts to come through. Your signs always comfort, your nudgings bring me a world of peace. I Love you. 

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

THE PAST WORN AS A NECKLACE






Matty inspired words, delivered to me as a reminder of the importance of self-care and self-love. I wish these two "selfs" came as easy to me as brushing my teeth, but I find I have a tendency to place myself last in line. 

I'm craving balance in my life these days and I am choosing to make changes. I'm working on becoming my greatest fan instead of my harshest critic. Acts of self-care that meld together in benefit of Body, Mind and Spirit are of great importance. Starting the day in meditation, I'm discovering my 5 minutes with God/Source/Divine is naturally expanding to 30 plus and more. Tuning in to the sounds of silence, I'm made aware of a buzzing, in stereo from my ears; a vibration and heaviness that lies on my forehead, my third eye chakra. My intuition and perceptions come to bear with more clarity.  I am aware of the depth of each inhale of breath and the resonance of the exhale. Nature walks on NH's Rail and hiking trails bring me to the center of wonder as I am surrounded by color, scent and beauty. Healing emotionally and physically with essential oils feels innately guided. I’m feeding my creativity through cooking and baking; finding life again in the colors, tastes and textures that feed all senses. Life flows organically, seamlessly it seems at times, a complete contradiction to my awareness or rather lack of for Time—the hours, minutes and seconds that accumulate and construct one of my physical days "After Matty"— ultimately creating more occasion for myself, family and friends
—a reentry to life of sorts.

Funny/ironic thing is, I do have a necklace from Matthew. A gift from the beyond, purchased and delivered by a very dear friend; a gift that came about via multiple, layered synchronicities. A most treasured gift. I wrote about this beautiful necklace in my November blog “The Gift—The Grief—The Lesson”. It’s a physical piece from Matthew, something I needed to hold, to look at, to remember by as I walked my journey. The necklace, when held in my hands, brings forth a homecoming of memories—the past.

Matty and Paulette’s gift serves as a symbol of how strong and present Matty is in spirit. When I try and imagine the pieces that had to fall into place, what it must have taken to orchestrate the announcement of the gift, the purchase and delivery, I am transported  to my heart center—that place where I can always connect with my son.

This wondrous gift has brought me much comfort in the past and will continue to do so in the future. At present though, I find a tug to my heart is directing me to where I’ll meet my deepest connection to Matty. This lesson has come full circle. Healing for me is about experiences, shifts in perception that touch my soul; awaken it from a deep slumber, anticipating the “collateral” beauty that remains to be discovered. Healing is becoming more comfortable with the joy and the ache.


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Monday, May 15, 2017

HAPPY NURTURER'S DAY!






Mother’s Day, that special day honoring Mothers is recognized in many countries around the world. Today, it can be viewed as a profitable day for card companies, florists and chocolatiers; having lost the true meaning that sits dormant beneath its veneer of commercialization. The true story behind the Mother’s Day holiday often times remains unknown, untold. The original First Lady of Mother’s Day was Ann Reeves Jarvis, a woman with a big heart and a socially conscious spirit. She started movements in her adopted home of West Virginia and created Mother’s Work Clubs where women were trained to work for families whose mothers who were too ill to solely care for their children. Through her Work Clubs, she also was able to enact change in the improvement of health and sanitary conditions, especially of food and milk handling in her community. The success of Ann’s Mother’s Day Work Clubs gained the attention of local doctors, who in support, formed work clubs in other areas. She worked tirelessly for Mothers’ causes. She suffered the deaths of eight of her twelve children and knew heartbreak intimately. She was a woman with a brave heart, a sharp mind, a determined charactera woman who lived through unimaginable personal pain and suffering and channeled that force into care, love and attention for her fellow sisters. 

Her daughter, Anna Jarvis knew of her Mother’s wish of one day seeing a memorial day set aside to commemorate Mothers for the “. . .service she provides to humanity in every field of life”. Anna was twelve years old when she heard her Mother’s words, a prayer she closed her Sunday school lesson with. Anna made that wish come true for her Mom. After many years of campaigning for a Mother’s Day, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed May 09, 1914 the first official Mother’s Day—the second Sunday in May to be celebrated as future Mother’s Day holidays.

Anna’s dream was short lived. The profiting from the sale of goods marketed to the public in celebration of Mother’s Day was so upsetting to her that she spent the rest of her earthly life trying to rescind the national holiday.

This story and this holiday have given me pause this year. For all the Moms that are celebrated, there are a great number saddened by the death of a child with no desire for celebration. For others, the lack of love they longed to receive was never given. The damaging effects of abuse is held hostage in some households under the lock and key of silence; the empty arms carrying the weight of lost hope is sheltered within four walls and under one roof for some, and the beautiful hearts that choose a different path other than motherhood, they never enjoy a day of celebration yet still possess that Love of child and perform acts of caring and attention showered onto the Little Loves of their extended family and friends.

I’ve asked myself the question “what is the makeup of a Mother Heart”? Mother hearts to me, are hearts filled with love, care and attention for another. My family has been blessed with having experienced acts of this kind of Heart Love from many over the years. On this day, to all the ladies and gents in my life and for Anna Jarvis that wished so desperately to stop the commercialization of Mother’s Day, I give thanks for all the Mother Hearts who’ve touched mine and my family’s—I wish you a Happy Nurturer’s Day. May you honor Love and Life as it has blessed yours. For the less fortunate of heart, may you discover the path to Self-Love and nurturance—healers of your own hearts. May the disappointment felt be renewed with a Love so big that you have no choice other than to let it flow freely from the once broken.  In so doing, may you no longer feel the crushing loss, but rather experience the newly discovered multiple directions in which your Love now flows. I am Love. You are Love. Together we can begin to shine our heart light and nurture our world—honoring, celebrating Love & Life through our nurturer’s hearts.

*Mother’s Day history was gathered from information from the State Historical Archives of West Virginia and Wikipedia.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

AN EASTER REFLECTION

What does Easter mean to you?

Easter 2015 was our family's first Holiday (Holy Day) with Matty in Spirit. I had heard Kelley Mooney's rework of the song Hallelujah and the power of the lyrics and cords touched my soul.  I was brought back to the faith of my childhood.  I spent time reflecting upon the meaning of Easter and how the tenets of this Holy Day as observed by my family — Love,  Sacrifice, Faith and Renewal, were now intertwined with grief as I searched for answers and understanding to combat my deep sorrow.  I'm reexamining my feelings on this, my third Easter without the physical presence of my beautiful boy. I have learned on this journey that grief has a Master Plan and will show me parts and pieces when it feels my heart is ready for delving into my journey at a deeper level; when a new lesson needs revealing; when growth and healing can be seen on the horizon.

Today, I find myself in the throws of reflection on renewal. I'm searching for clues on the road to my personal transformation that will reveal how I mourn and grieve another loss—the loss of Me—critical factors in discovering my newly recast version.

I go into meditation with a knowing  that in Love, Sacrifice, Faith and Renewal; I can't see them, I can’t touch them, but they can touch me. The constant in all four elements, whether viewed through the eyepiece of a child's faith or the heartbreak of grief--is Love. It always comes back to Love!


Wishing you all a Blessed and Peaceful Holiday.

Diane 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

THE SWEET ONE, THE SOUL LIGHT: WE CALL HIM BEAR BEAR


BEAR'S SWEETNESS, CAPTURED BY HIS MOM, NIKKI

A new phase of my life started when my kids gave life to kids. I was presented with an opportunity to find a new name for this next chapter. My chosen moniker for my Grandmothering days is Gammy—
Grammy without the 'R' because of the troublesome nature that specific letter brings to the mouth of babes. Actually, whatever comes out of their mouths is loved and suits me just fine.  Gammy has been shortened to Gams, on occasion changed to Gamma and my favorite term of endearment . . . Gamma Goo. The two year olds have my heart at the moment with Gamey. Their pronunciation escorts my thoughts directly to our outdoor freezer, the holding space for frozen wild game—venison, red stag, elk—courtesy of our resident hunter gatherer. Grateful for the bounty that Nature has bestowed. Grateful for my little family bounty, whichever name they choose. My little Unconditional Loves.

My familial signature needed a bit of a backdrop before I could tell my story. This short, sweet narrative is about Bear Thomas Matthew Allard, Matty and Nikki’s youngest. What happens when the words of a 2 year old touch your heart, tap on the window to your soul?  A spiritual light is turned on illuminating another of the chambers of the soul's darkness—the spaces of the "I can't remember".  Memories awaken. Unconditional Love is greeted with a new understanding, guided to the heart—taking up residence and clearing out any old beliefs I once held about Love.

Bampy and I had an overnight this week; time to let Nikki catch up on some school work. The morning after with Bampy long gone, in the flurry of activity it takes one Gammy to get two Little Ones out of the house and to daycare at a reasonable time, I saw Bear Bear tug on his ear. Ear infections and strep throat seem to have taken up seasonal residency in Nikki’s household. By the time we walked through the front doors of “school”, Bear was letting me know that his ear “hoited”. Never shall the word hurt, once it enters Gammy’s ear canal, lead to anything other than action—he’s hurting, I must take him back home!

It was a special day with my Bear Bear. We built the tallest block towers; took in the adventures of Thomas & Friends, spending time with the talkative trains and the lessons of nice that one can learn while on the Island of Sodor. We spent time in the home office playing numbers on Bamby’s calculator, read books and fell asleep to lullabies. We ate healthy and not-so-healthy snacks, marveled at the crazy hair of the dolls his sister and his girl cousins seem so enamored with. We had a rather quiet, loving day. He talked up a storm—some I understood, some I did not however, many times I was asked from this beautiful tiny soul light, “You happy Gamey?” “I am Bear”, I’d reply. “I happy Gamey”. . . and my heart would skip a beat and I’d become filled with the softest, most gentle, totally enveloping sensation—unconditional love.

Unconditional Love I define as the strongest form of Love. A Love given freely with no expectation of receiving anything in return. A Love hard-wired with forgiveness. A fearless Love, a total giving of the self Love. A Love disconnected from ego. A Love that enters the heart as a sensation yet leaves as an action. A Love existing solely to bring happiness and joy.

A two year old, with his life experience consisting of having his every need and want cared for and met; a toddler learning to share, to talk, to run, to maneuver the ups and downs of a staircase is concerned with my happiness. Participating in this moment, listening as Bear Bear communicates his heart, shows me he is made of a natural, true, pure form of organic love.

It's important to nurture that which has been given to the heart from the soul. I can accept my part in this calling to our Village; in this responsibility of helping, teaching Bear to hold onto Love by allowing this special moment to change me. Special—a word Matty used oftentimes in describing his children. “Mom, my kids are going to be special”. I’d shield an internal smile, agree with him wholeheartedly. I've learned and observed objectivity seems to fly out the window when it comes to our own children—and don’t we all think our children are Special!

The happiness in you is the happiness in me is what I was sensing from Bear Bear. Seeing life with my heart eyes; sharing through his innocence, seeing, feeling a glimpse of our Divine gift of birth. The soul holds the mysteries of life; the answers to the questions who am I, why am I here—remembered rather than forgotten. Bear comes to this life with unconditional love remembered. He is a gentle child who is genuinely happy, loving; a child who learned a way to communicate through song before words paved the way. He would hum a few bars of his favorite TV cartoon signaling to us a channel change was needed. Our bundle of pure joy.

In the past, I’ve associated unconditional love with the parent-child-grandchild relationship. I’m more familiar with Conditional Love, prefaced with an Un- on good/better days for the rest of my heart connections. I seek Knowing, grief has ensured the seeker’s path. To feel a Love so deep that a moment of trauma shatters a family, breaks hearts, turns the meaning of life on its head—I walk a path to greater understanding, to awakening, to peace, to comfort, to joy, to a renewed perspective, to the experience of Knowing. My grief, carrying the added weight of Matty’s family left behind, brings me to this moment of Special. I am beginning to see what Matty sees. Special is a Love remembered and not forgotten. Special blesses me with an awakened view from the eyes of a child—eyes to the window of the soul. Can the practice of unconditional Love lift the sorrow of Matty’s passing; a sorrow generated from a deep Love? Will healing come in the form of a greater Love, a bigger Love, a more true form of Love? Have the pure words of a two year old presented me with the key to a greater spiritual understanding?

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE WHISPERS
Look for me
Find me
See me
Feel me
I live deep within your BE-ING
Grasp me
Hold me
Release me
Share me
Give me
I am Endless
I am Source
I can never be taken away
I was the first gift you ever received
Ah! Is the memory coming back to thee?


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Thursday, February 23, 2017

REACH—REALIZE—REAP MOVING FORWARD IN GRIEF

REACHING THROUGH THE DIFFICULT DAYS IS OFT TIMES REWARDED
WITH A SHIFT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GRIEF. THE INTRUDER
BECOMES THE COMPANION, THE SHARER OF OF YOUR  UPS AND DOWNS,
YOUR TEARS AND SMILES, YOUR ACHES AND YOUR JOYS,
YOUR SPOKEN AND UNSPOKEN.

Dearest Matthew:
As I become more and more acquainted with grief's journey, the stops and starts, the amount of ground needed to cover; I release my hold on expectations. I'm liberating myself from the expectation that all the shattered pieces of me will find their way back. My brain shorts out, my thinking is sometimes fuzzy, muli-tasking has evaporated—yet my heart overflows with your Love, your lessons, your guidance in my spiritual growth. No cares, no worries—I’m finding more substance, more truth, more of what matters.  I'm letting go of the expectations of how and when spirit connections will happen. I'm letting go of the urgency I carry in my mind to do, do, do. As I learn to be, I become more open, free to accept the flow that each life offers. I recognize that I am living in two worlds at the same time. Life continues, differently with 'some assembly required'.  I am healing. Gratitude continues to grow. I am grateful for seeing, feeling and living in moments in time called Now. They push Later out of my vocabulary into a doublespeak, for Later steals the Now. I am grateful for friend and family gatherings. In reflection, looking back to measure the distance I’ve traveled and to glimpse how far I may have come, I realize these are the times that filled you with enjoyment, laughter, Love—with all that you needed in this lifetime and no more. These are our happy times. You and I share that love of watching people creating memories though nurturance, good food, good friends, good times. I realize I feel you most, the physical sensations I desperately crave, in these moments of Love, affection and true connection. Of course this would be your time to visit! It was always the ecstasy contained in your soul that would burst through your human-ness, shining your Light so bright—making us, your tribe, love being around you.  The unpredictable soul visits from you, my son arrive in a burst of joy and surprise at times we are gathering. The “Mom” I heard you say on your first anniversary; the stroking of my hair at the restaurant on Mother’s Day; the pressure of a deep hug felt on my back as I lay with the Little Ones when putting them to sleep; that flash of time frozen at Brunch this past Sunday when Jake’s body seemed to morph into a taller version of you as he knelt to hug your brother who lay on your combined favorite sofa, incapacitated by a fractured heel. The air in the room stood still. Your presence was felt. You needed to hug your brother, he needed to be hugged by you.  I am grateful and no longer have a need to carry the expectation for I now know where to find you. I am grateful for my life, my loves—past, present, future.  I am grateful for the other pathfinders I meet along the way, keeping me company as I grow through the pain into my new center.  I hold dear the birth of a Knowing that souls connected will lead to a greater understanding of life's cycle. Birth and Death—joy and misery or a new perspective for me—two new beginnings; the end of dualities.
Heart Loving you forever—

Mom

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Friday, February 3, 2017

SEAMLESS/ AN ADDENDUM TO MY JANUARY THAW



A SEAMLESS PATTERN
WHERE DOES IT BEGIN? WHERE DOES IT END?
@CANSTOCKPHOTO.COM/HOMY DESIGN


To the cherished souls who read my blog posts, I find myself in a choreographed dance with synchronicity. Spirit works in mysterious, comforting ways! I asked so many questions in my last post, "My January Thaw" just a few days ago, exposed my struggles with doubt and trust. 

Matty has a way of connecting with my heart when I need it most. My dear friend Rachel Slagle Pearson and I were engaged in a conversation last night about how spirit is with us. That physical feel that I long for, look for, however is not always there. It is in these times when trust in the Love that my son has for me, I for him, continuing across the veil . . . in Heaven, will shine through. I must accept it, believe in it and with my heart eyes open, I  will be guided to the comfort that at times only Matty can provide. 

Rachel is an Evidential Medium and sees Matty to my right when I am blogging at the computer. We've talked about how close he is to my physical being. How the words that come across the keyboard aren't always mine. How he wants good to come from the trauma of his passing. How he wants hope instilled in my grief journeys that may resonate with others. How I cannot discern through the physical senses where my words end and his begin. Yet, when I reread some of the blogs, I can see the change in flow where he is guiding me. 

"He's 'seamless with you' he says" . . . 


This is a fresh example of a validation that came through a synchronicity. Last night Matty came to Rachel with a message for me regarding his closeness in spirit. Rachel passed on the message "He's 'seamless with you' he says" . . . and this morning, in my Facebook newsfeed, beautiful words that describe the closeness, the seamless-ness of our loved ones in spirit. 

Jeff Foster's words lit up my heart. Please click the link below to access Jeff's words, his beautiful poem titled "WE ARE SO CLOSE THEY THINK WE ARE GONE". 

Grateful for the Love from family, friends and spirit.

Be open to the signs from your loved ones. Grief can use all the comfort and uplift it can get!

Sending much love to all of you.
Diane Laflamme Romagnoli