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



Monday, January 30, 2017

MY JANUARY THAW



The thaw. Warmer days, snow melts, misty air, ethereal light.
Nature in progress.
Dearest Matthew:
 Where are you? I’ve woken up on the other side of the second anniversary of your death from what feels like a deep sleep—a state of slumber that perhaps only Rip Van Winkle can describe. A frozen heart, a confused mind, not recognizing the familiar, feeling a feeling beyond empty that I can’t put my finger on. The holidays are over. It’s the first week in January and the tree is still up, giving off its scent of pine yet withering. Withering—am I withering? Where am I? Is the better question to ask. I have pneumonia. Feeling physically weak is not helping my shaken emotional and spiritual tone. Chinese medicine believes grief is held in the lungs. I would have to concur.
Instinctively I turn to reading but instincts are not guiding me, something—someone else is—spirit is. I’m drawn to a new memoir “Losing My Breath; From Loss to Transformation by Cindy Weaver. I find myself in a place with no words to define my current state yet I can see that hers are illuminating the tiny bit of Hope that I am holding on to. I read, I cry, I laugh, I breathe. I am still alive. I have found yet another Mother who has walked this path and found the other side. I have found another Mother by her simple act of compassion. By clicking the ‘Like’ button on the Voice of Grief page, synchronicity and I are embarking on a journey once again. She has identified that feeling beyond empty that is consuming me—VACANT. Yes, that’s it! Like a big, old red neon Motel sign flashing my heart condition to me. Vacancy, vacancy, vacancy.
A message from the book pops out at me “Be with me now, know the person I am in the present”, a spirit whisper from Chloe to her Mom. Whispers. My mind has been so loud I have been unable to hear your whispers. This is what I am missing. I am in the existence of “After Matt” yet I am missing knowing you in spirit. I carry my human Love for you but do I really know, enjoy the experience of divine Love? Where are you? What are you doing? Do you work in the Hereafter? I know you’re happy—you could never be anything but! Do you miss me? Do you feel sad when you see me cry? How different are you now in personality, wisdom, patience, Love, understanding? Do you feel my sorrow? Does it pass through you? How do you reach me? How do I reach you?
The answer is right in front of me. You send me books and the books hold messages. The books have been coming from the very days after your passing. One book leads to another and another and this is how my library is built; my understanding nurtured, my knowing strengthened, my doubts diluted, my fears assuaged. I’m so very present when I read. Grief grabs an afghan and we settle comfortably into someone else’s words, someone else’s journey. New thoughts enter my mind. I pause, take a moment to create a highlight or a note when words speak directly to me—mini meditations as I carry the reflections into my heart. This is one resource that has allowed me to put one foot in front of the other.
I have closed one chapter on grief and you are taking me to the beginning of another. There is nothing to fear about being dropped in the middle of Griefland. She’s lost all her color once again. I’m tired, exhausted. Grief is hard work. I want to close my eyes but not my heart. I want to rest. This place, all these Vacancy signs—this will not be my resting place. This is a reminder of a place I’ve visited a few years ago. I’m looking around. I can’t seem to remember the lessons I’ve learned here. Not important. My mind needs a rest. No thinking—being. Just be. How can I know you if I don’t know me? My slate has been wiped clean; preparing me for more understanding, more knowledge, more wisdom.
What have I lost and what have I gained in the first two years of your passing? Two years Matthew—I’m entering my third year without hugs, phone calls, dinner collaborations, watching your heart expand over the love you have for your family, enjoying the feeling of contentment that our family has grown to the perfect size for us. Three years, I can’t even . . . how about one year and 13 months. One year and 13 months of watching your children grow. Breathing in laughter and love and exhaling the fear that carries darkness in tow that wants to mark the time of you having physically left us.
I’ve been able to sit with my sorrow. It’s been work—hard, exhausting work. What comes after this kind of labor? A vacation, a rest . . . do I need a time out? Do I need to rediscover the comfortable in my uncomfortable-ness? I’ve come to a wall. This wall surprises me. It’s tall and long and blocks my view. What to do now? I’m tired, not enough strength to go over—can’t go through. It’s made of stone. The sun is shining on the other side and it has warmed the stone. Maybe I can close my eyes and not my heart and rest awhile. I dream about the hands behind me that have accepted my extended hand on this journey. I see many hands above the wall. Hands from those who’ve figured out a way over. It is my path yet I am not alone.
It is time for me to reach out for help. I’ve traversed grief blogs over this journey and have found a home in a few of them. This is where my heart is leading me; where you, our children in spirit are guiding. The synchronicities validate this is the right path for me now. Two women—bloggers/ teachers/ authors/ Mothers of children in spirit whom I have read and followed since your passing, Matty; they have posted one directly after the other this day. The synchronicity! They are my beacons of light and I instinctively knew the knowledge to be shared, the wisdom to be gained from their new blog posts would be powerful. Comfort and solace are but a few keystrokes away. I bare my soul.
Chris and Sara’s comments to my SOS for help add to what I am already mulling over.
Chris Mulligan shares with me “. . . so many feelings in one post that you wonder how they can all fit in the same place (one’s heart) all at the same time. I certainly remember the feeling of juggling feelings/ experiences/ learning/ feeling certain and doubting. I was going to write a blog post about the Wolf’s Moon tonight and had a page of my yoga journal (Maxx wisdom) open to “How to Move Up”."  

Chris’ message from Maxx, her Spirit Guides, gifted me a mantra that will accompany me on my next leg of this journey—“Open you, notice you, trust you” Open me, notice me, trust me. I will allow this mantra to flow through me. I will work on staying open, seeing me, and oh! that difficult one . . . trust. “Don’t let painful hands distract you from allowing the opening of you”. This is where I am. My hands—no need to scale that impenetrable wall on my own. A choice. My left hand accepting the hands of those behind me on this journey, my right hand reaching up and grasped by the hands of those who are ahead of me. A detour around the roadblock after your Second Anniversary.

The signs and synchronicities abound. My goodness—Matty you ARE with me! Let my doubt take a back seat. I had just hung up from a phone conversation with Jason. He’s in Florida for a family vacation. He had just witnessed the most incredible moon ever and wanted to share. It was superimposed by a cross. The moon on the 12th of January is named the Wolf Moon—your beloved nickname—the name of Chris' blog post! In further validation, your Aunt had asked for a sign from you and Sarah, wanting to know that you are both OK in your new Home. A gardenia bush, planted outside of your Aunt’s condo that is not supposed to be in bloom this time of year, yet on January 12th, held two beautiful, big white blossoms. Thank you for your connections in spirit, showing up when the heart needs you most.
The lesson continues Matty, with Sara Ruble’s January blog, Death Teaches | The meaning of life and death . . . from a Mom’s perspective. Her words create an Aha moment, moving me several more steps forward.  We exchange emails, I type: “This morning I sat down at the keyboard and started typing to see if Matty might send a little clarity my way. I opened my email to fetch Notes that I had penned and sent to myself and instead of that email, I found yours. Synchronicity! When you said “”I did not always hear him and was on my own much of the time . . . “” I had just finished writing about how the loudness of the chatter of my mind was drowning out Matthew's whispers. Validation. I'm smiling and shaking my head in awe once again. How fortunate am I that we connected. That your words ALWAYS resonate. I'm feeling that Separation is one of the lessons I’ve not fully learned. . . Separation and Just Being. If I don't know myself, how can I expect to know Matty in spirit . . . my very huge griefhurt at the moment? I believe I'm being guided in a different direction than the first two years of this journey. I'm going to have to live with the no beginning and no certain end to the lessons grief hurls my way. They are going to come tumbling in . . . I am really gaining an awareness of this vacant feeling child loss has left in my heart and the aftereffects of its discovery."  

I feel a current, the energy of Love from these women and from my on-line grief buddies.
What is the nature of grief pain? It is acceptance of its permanent residency of the heart. No longer a squatter, nor the sole inhabitant. One of the many that must learn to live in harmony as the heart makes space for all its emotional denizens. It is not good, not bad—it just IS. It morphs from foe, to ally, to teacher as our relationship garners greater understanding. It breathes. I find a way to match its breath, in sync—working together with no resistance, patiently waiting while grief pain relaxes its tight grip on the heart muscle—softening, lessening. I trust. It feels at home.
There is no vacancy in my heart after all. My tears this Holiday Season and their rippling into the month of January have cast a mist; covering my heart, obscuring my view of what resides in this  beating organ. The warmth from my tears settled in the cooling of my heart. A coolness that resulted from a distortion in time; in living in two worlds—the Before you, the After you, Matty. I’d been cradling the Before and my inability to find you in the After brought me to the wall. I desperately wanted the Before & After to be the same experience, but how can they be?
My Mother’s heart cries out “Matthew where are you? What and where is this veil you live beyond? Why does it make me sometimes happy, sometimes sad? Where are you going? How will I meet you again? I see my new starting point, The Wall. I will climb it. All those extended hands—trust speaking to me in a language I understand. When blind belief and faith force me to pause; my soul stirs and I am sent a vision of Hands, of Hope of Trust. When all the other feelings could no longer be sensed, Grief the mighty Sentinel was holding the door to my heart open. She teaches me about strength and courage, perseverance and tenacity along the way. She holds my Hope in her hands knowing it will be the first thing I see when I peer through the open door to my heart. Hope refurbishes my will. It rejuvenates my heart. It cleanses the lens of my eyes. It carries my breath. It cherishes my life. It safeguards my joy. It dissolves my fear. Its alchemy changes my anxiety to courage, my self-doubt to trust. It is self-love—Love of family and friends. Love from the heart connections that are waving to me from above the wall and those from behind. Beautiful hands extended . . . if I ask for help, If only I ask.
I hear your voice— “you must walk through your darkness before you can be guided by the Light”.
A prayer Matthew:
May signs from you, my beloved, comfort me.
May the synchronicities planned from beyond the veil awaken my soul.
May the trust I am opening up to transform my grief.
Come back to me Matthew, in Spirit—my Love for you lives on.
Forever and always. I am adding a new sign off, J Rose’s words. Your six year old niece is a wise one at such a tender age . . . I Heart Love you,
Mom



GET ACQUAINTED WITH CHRIS MULLIGAN & SARA RUBLE
Chris introduces herself . . . Like many parents, my life was fulfilled with my children’s births. My life was completely altered and I entered the unknown with the death of my youngest son Zac. And it was recreated with the lessons learned as the result of a newly developed continuing relationship with him. Having and following an interest in spirituality prior to my children’s births and their early years provided a foundation of knowledge but the grief journey provided the wisdom to rebuild and recreate a new life. Receiving guidance, support and love in an unfamiliar yet truth-filled way helped create a new trust in life, living, myself and love.
Chris continues a relationship in spirit with her son Zac and Guides Maxx. You can read all about their philosophy and journey in her blog and newsletter Living Differently, accessible via her website Peace After Grief and learn how you can journey through grief to peace within and without.
Sara Ruble’s life was forever changed in 1994 with the sudden death of Scott, her beloved only child. Scott died in his sleep due to issues created by strep throat, seizure disorder, dehydration, and elevation while working in a Colorado national park for the summer. Sara’s complex grief journey and her continuing relationship with Scott created a deep need to help other parents. Three years after Scott’s death Sara created a support group for bereaved parents at a local grief center in Stow, Ohio and was the facilitator for many years.  
In 2001 she founded the Christmas Box Angel of Hope Children’s Memorial in Stow and continues to lead that heartfelt foundation Presenting at In Loving Memory Conferences (for now childless parents), Bereaved Parents of the USA National Gatherings, the Compassionate Friends National Conferences, Restoring a Mother’s Heart Retreat, and more has allowed Sara to know this journey has great meaning and pushes us to see more than we ever could have known before.  She is co-author of Surviving and Thriving: Grief Relief and Continuing Relationships and a contributor to Grief Diaries: Loss of a Child, and Grief Diaries: Hello From Heaven…Fascinating true stories about after death communication and the power of love.
Sara’s blog is titled Death Teaches at www.deathteaches.com, where she openly shares her spiritual relationship with Scott and channels his profound words for growth and clarity of the soul journeys we all experiences while on earth. 

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