Category Archives: Grieving

The Greatest act for the soul, is Kindness

What a week it has been. There have been many high’s and lows. But above all, there have been more lows, as I sit here today my thoughts are with a wonderful woman who is fighting her battle against cancer. My heart is sore, in fact, the thought of her lying in the hospital bed, unable to do anything breaks my heart, and all we can do is pray for her miracle, or that the Lord’s will WILL be done and she is comfortable.

I have wanted to write all week, but to be honest, I have not had the capacity to actually want to do anything, other than spend time with my family and leave my thoughts clear for my lovely sister in law.
I wanted to leave you with this today, we are uncertain of the future – that we are certain of. Yes, there are many who seek fortune tellers, or hopes of seeing into ‘their future’ by different myths and beliefs, but in all truth, none of that is for certain.
Today is certain for you are here, tomorrow lies waiting for another story, another page to turn and my hope is that it is a great story for each of you, that the only tears you will shed will be tears of joy and happiness.

Today, if you have not done it yet, or haven’t acted out a moment of kindness to anyone in a while, I ask you to do it today, before the sun goes down, find at least one person (or ten!) and show some kindness toward someone, even if it is a stranger. Change your course of direction into a more positive one today, because you can! Do not let today finish before you have done something ‘nice’ for someone else, and I assure you, your day will end far happier than how it started – even if your day did start out greater than normal! I am positive of that!

May today be a wonderful day for you, and perhaps your act of kindness toward someone else will send an avalanche of great expectations your way that will over whelm you with extra ordinary gratuity.

May God Bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

The Photos have been carefully packed away

As I am sure many of us have experienced grief in some way or, may still be living through the process of grief – it is a journey many of us handle differently. Perhaps our faith, circumstances, relationship, sickness or tragedy – these events define our reason for experiencing grief in our own way. Each person deals with the pain of losing someone differently and there can never be a right or wrong way of dealing with our loss, and there is no time limit for when grieving begins or ends.

The other day I was going through my cupboards, you know, challenging the “annual spring clean” event and I came across my photo albums again. At first I was hesitant to page through as I knew there were pictures of my late husband and my children when they were very small – I put the albums aside. They had been locked away for so long and I didn’t feel like going down memory lane. In truth, I didn’t know how I would feel being reminded of öld memories, some were good and some I did not want to remember. I didn’t know what to expect. It had been so long since I had seen my pictures – a life I lived, so long ago, but what seemed like just yesterday.
A while later the curiosity got the better of me. I made a cup of coffee and started paging through the many photos I have.
It was the most amazing time I had experienced in a very long time. No longer was I angry, or bitter with all the events that had taken place during and after his death, there were no tears, and the memories were sweet – as I once remembered.
As I sat on my own, in my own little world, I enjoyed being reminded of how beautiful my children were when they were so tiny – their pictures took my breath away. I had forgotten how precious time really is. I remember like it was the other day when I used to bath them, now they bath on their own, I bottle fed them, now on some days they prepare lunch for us! My mind had somehow forgotten I had nurtured my two little people since they were born, yet we see them every day!
Time has gone by, not too fast, but slow enough for me to remember their tiny little bodies and the realization that there is a wide world still for them to experience and each day is vital to make the best of our time together as a family for one day they will spread their wings and leave “óur nest”.
Life has since been kind to us. The journey I once thought I would live forever changed lanes and a new change of direction took place. Today we are blessed, and I am grateful.

I do not have to feel guilty for living my life. I no longer feel saddened to look at my children’s photos and wonder where time has gone – in fact it was the most amazing moment I have felt in a long while. There was this feeling of release and I enjoyed the peace I felt while remembering my estranged past with fond memories.
As I paged through the albums again and saw my late husband my heart was at peace. He was a kind man who loved his children, he loved life, his hope to watch his children grow up was his ultimate wish, unfortunately God had other plans for him, and of course for us, and in that moment I was reminded that he was once a huge part of my life. There have been times I had forgotten that. His time with us had ended and I could once again look at him in those photos with beautiful memories and know that life does continue on this earth and to enjoy every day we have with our loved ones, as one day we too will pass from this earth.

Grief in itself can never ‘go away’. It can not be shelved and forgotten, for our loved ones will always remain with us, even in the little things we experience in life. But as you move on, do not forget that you are alive and you are “allowed” to live the life you were given. Guilt should not have a place in grieving, as I am reminded that when God created us He knew the exact number of days each of us have on this earth, and nothing we say, feel or do can change the plans God has for each one of us.
NIV Verse : “A person’s days are determined, you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed”. (Job 14v5)

Time has taken its place and time has changed me in so many ways. It is touche’ to say, “time is the greatest healer”, but to be perfectly honest, it is only time that heals and closes the wounds – but it can only be done in your time, on your clock, do not rush for the pain you may feel now, will in time be kinder to you. Give yourself that time, and soften your heart.

May God comfort you every day. Live your life to the fullest and enjoy each day with the people who you have close to you.
Love them unconditionally.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Is there ever enough time?

Sadly, a very dear friend left this earth a few days ago. He had been battling brain cancer for just over two years. I understand it is part of life – a day we are born and there is a date to die. My dad always told me, there are two things in life you can never hide from, 1. paying taxes and 2. you are going to die.
But this week has got me thinking, do we actually have enough time? I mean, we all save for that fancy holiday, or find our self saying, “one day when I have this I will do that”. But what if today is the only day you have left?
Okay, I am not going to get all depressing here – death is a fact of life, whether you are fighting a terminal disease or you are as fit as a couch potato, or you run the annual comrades – or every marathon event you can partake in, it doesn’t matter – the truth is, we all have today, we had yesterday, and we may have tomorrow. That truth will not change until the end of time.

After hearing about his death, I have been very down. His life was so full of goodness, so real, his laugh was contagious, his smile was beautiful, his group of friends were vast, his family were his everything and his heart was as pure as gold – for that, a man can only be proud of his life and the legacy he leaves behind.
I asked myself, what have I done differently for someone else? How do I make a difference in this big world, and if I don’t what can I do to be better? And then through all the questions, I realised that there has been so much in life I have taken so seriously. I could not remember the last time I did something so crazy – but packed with fun! The last time I broke my diet and indulged myself in a big cream cake – so I decided to bake one over the weekend! My family and I had the greatest time whipping cream, cutting strawberries and spreading the caramel – thicker the better, and for the first time in a long time I never felt guilty to eat something so deliciously naughty! It was delightful!
The kids thought Christmas had come earlier than expected!

Today is a new day. We woke up with the sunrise. I watched my family get ready for work and school, we had breakfast, fed the dog, washed the plates, I noticed the laundry basket had overflowed over night – again, the lights outside hadn’t been switched off and left on overnight – but through the same routine I was grateful.
I don’t want to think that losing a dear friend has made me realise the small things in life is what really make the big things count, but it has kicked a gear in me to start waking up and realising the small things is what makes my life great. There is no need to live my life waiting for anymore.

You have today. I won’t get any more philosophical about life in general and what’s good or not, but for what it’s worth, when did you last bake that cream cake? When last did you smile when you saw the sink full of dishes… let’s change that visual around, instead of seeing the sink filled with dishes, be grateful that you had food in order to wash those dishes! Makes one think doesn’t it?
No matter what you are facing today, if it is ill health, the death of a loved one, a divorce, you have emigrated and miss your family – today is all you have, smile at the circumstances because no one can make it better, but you!

Happy Wednesday! Let it be whacky as craziest ever all day long!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Grieving with your young children

A friend asked me the other day how I was able to tell my children their Dad had passed away, as they were quite young when he died. I couldn’t answer her! I replied by saying, “I don’t really know. I just had to”.
It is not unheard of these days that people are dying at a young age. Children are being raised by one parent or their grandparents, a youngster will become a widow from an early age – as sad as it is, it is unfortunately what is happening around the globe. Illness, stress, road accidents, relationship murder or addictions are some of the major reasons for youngsters dying at an early age, and then there is the other reason, suicide.
It seems like there is no control, or lack of self control, in our younger generation.

As I thought about it, my mind went back to the day my late husband died. I can remember the day as though it happened yesterday. Once I received the phone call from the hospital, I had my melt down, but nothing really sunk into my mind that it was all real. I contacted my family and I remember my Mom saying to me, “I will come pick you up from work, take you home and we will sort out what needs to be done, but please leave the kids at school, where they are safe and you can concentrate”. My front door did not stop buzzing that day. There were visitors, flowers being delivered, phone calls, tears, food and drinks being made from one side of the kitchen to the other – but I remained as calm as possible. When the kids arrived home, I asked everyone not to say anything. The news that their Daddy was no longer on this earth, had to come from me. My friends and family who were with me, all agreed and we chose to celebrate the afternoon in his honour.

The following morning as the kids were in the lounge watching TV, I went and sat with them. I switched off the TV and asked them to give me their undivided attention. When I had all four eye balls staring at me, I started to explain to them how sick their Daddy was. That he had lived in a Home and I reminded them of the nurses who cared for him and our visits to the hospitals and home, his medicine he had to take and the days we spent with him. We discussed that one day he would fly to Heaven and be an Angel, and live with Jesus. As I watched their eyes, I could see their little faces change. I knew in my heart they already knew their Daddy had become an Angel, but I had to still deal with the process. When I told them that he was no longer with us, I remember my son, who was 4 years old, did not respond too dramatically. His eyes were downcast, but he said, “at least He is flying Mom!” My daughter, who was 5 years old, took it harder. Her outburst broke me. In fact, it was the first time they had seen me cry for my husband. It was uncontrollable. He was gone forever.
That day, once we had settled and I had answered as much as I could and we chatted about the good moments, I took them shopping. We did everything and anything their little hearts desired, and what my pocket would allow for the expense, and we enjoyed our time together. It was only the 3 of us now. I remember walking through the mall thinking, “I am a widow”. My children no longer have a Daddy. I was numb.
As time went on, I never changed the kids routine. There were nights they wanted to sleep by me, which I accepted, in fact, I think I needed them more. I had been alone for so long, but now I was really alone. I answered any questions they had as honest, and for their age level, as I possibly could. Dealing with grief is not easy for anyone, at any age. If you have lost a partner, or loved one, and have children, don’t despair. Take each day slowly and be kind toward yourself. There are no right or wrong answers, and each one of us handles grief differently.

Here is a list of steps I took to help with our Grieving. Grieving never stops. I don’t think a person ever stops grieving the loss of a loved one. You can never forget. However, time does make the pain less, and laughter cleanses the soul with joy once again.

1. Try not to change your children’s routine too much. If there is no ‘fixed routine’ – start with one. Bed time must be the same time each night. You are now a single parent, and you need your strength. You also need time alone to gain your strength and sanity.

2. Answer your children’s questions as briefly, but as honestly as you possibly can. It is okay to ‘make up’ a ‘fantasized’ story, but remember, they will grow up, and ask more questions. Keep your answers simple, yet truthful.

3. The “WHY” questions will come. Again, answer their questions at their age level. My daughter is at the age where any question goes, but I am still very cautious what my answers are to her. There is a time and an age for everything!

4. Get in touch with a group for family counsellors. I had a group of counsellors who came to our house on a weekly basis to watch my kids play and socialise with us. I made it a ‘fun day’. We would have snacks, play games, chat, the kids would have free play, they would connect with the kids, and it was time for me to talk about how I was doing as well – in the comfort of my own home, knowing my children were nearby playing in their environment.

5. Along with the counsellors coming to our home, my kids and I were also booked in with a psychologist on a weekly basis. We had three sessions of six meetings held at different stages of our grieving. In fact, this started during my husband’s illness, and followed for almost 18 months after he had passed away.

6. Allow your children to see you cry. They will more than likely cry with you, but don’t avoid showing emotion. The saying, “big boys don’t cry” is a lie! Children should be able to learn to deal with their emotions. It is a vital part of grieving. If you are consciously throwing things around the house in an angry state, then perhaps that wouldn’t be the time to show your kids ALL the emotion you have bottled up inside, but there will be days you will be angry. It is normal. If you feel you are having a really rough day try vent when your kids are sound asleep or when you are alone, or with a friend who does not mind hearing your outrage about how unfair life is, and sitting next to you feeding you tissues and drinking cold coffee with you until early hours of the morning! (Keep those friends close!)

7. Don’t put away all the photos too soon. I knew of a lady who lost her husband and the next morning all the photos she had of him were packed away in the cupboard. Time is a healer. As I said, we all deal with grieving differently, but take time for your mind to settle.
As time went on I changed pictures in the house, and when we moved I made the kids their own frame for each of their rooms. They chose the pictures of their Dad they wanted in their frame. They will need to talk about their loss. It is part of the process. Memories should always be held sweet.

8. Make jokes and discuss the memories of their lost parent. If there is a place that reminds you of your loved one, talk about it. If possible, visit occasionally and make it an outing for the day. Laugh about the special moments you shared. Your children need to know that their parent will always be valuable and hold a special place in each of your lives. Even though they are no longer present, they will never be forgotten.

9. If your children are at a suitable age, give them chores to help out around the house. It will also give them a sense of security – as though they are contributing towards keeping the home together. But be careful not to hand too much responsibility onto your children. My son automatically went and sat in my late husband’s chair at the dinner table, and said, “now I am the head of the home!” He was 4! As cute and innocent as it was, I asked him to return back to his seat and tried to explain to him that he is only 4 and does not need that responsibility upon him! (I think that one caught me off guard!!)

10. Give yourself time. Don’t spare the hugs with your children. Love more, laugh more, and enjoy one another. There will be good days and bad days, but if you have respect for one another, and remind them that you are still their parent and they need to obey you more now than ever, you will find the process does have a positive release in your lives.

May God bless you and comfort you. May His light shine upon you and give you strength every day of your life. In times of difficulty, lean on Him. He is just a prayer away.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

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Please don’t ever forget me

I don’t think there is one single person on this earth who has not thought about “what the future holds” for their life. I often wonder what it would be like to own a looking glass and keep updated with my future highs and lows. Personally for me, I do not believe in reading “Star Signs” or seeking Fortune Tellers to advise me for my future, as it is written that only God alone knows the plan and every detail of our life, so I will leave it at that.
But the thought of knowing what tomorrow may bring somehow leaves a comforting thought in my mind! But what if the hopes of a wonderful future are darkened by a lost hope? Somehow that comforting thought has left my mind. So for this reason, it is wiser to live each day and worry about only today, as the Bible tells us to!

Most people dream of a ‘happily ever after’ life. This phrase takes me back to my childhood days when life seemed so much easier. Mom had dinner cooked for us, school lunches were waiting on the table every morning, television and later nights were only for the weekends and holidays, riding bikes in the street was the best fun on the planet, pocket money was only spent on ‘me treats’, and school term holidays were the best time of our lives! When we are young, ‘getting older’ is for “old people” to worry about, and a child believes they will never grow old.
As I am getting on in my age I realise that my ‘youth’ is not going to be around forever and the questions of aging are on my mind.
Will I reach old age? Will my hair turn grey? Will I see my children’s children grow up? Will I have my memory? Will I look ‘a young’ old? Will I be fat or slender? (I hope I will not be grumpy!)
But what if a person gets old before ‘their required time’? What if a person you love so much starts to die long before their ‘old age is due’?
Scary thought for anyone… The time has come to pack away my wish for my own personalised ‘looking glass’ far far away.

I am talking about alzheimers and dementia illness. The illness that preys upon a person at any time of their life. In my personal opinion, and experience, this illness is worse than cancer or aids. The reason I say this is, because as we get older we treasure the memories of our previous years. The stories to tell are what keep our memories alive. When a person is ill, they usually want to hold onto the ‘good times’ which assist in keeping a patient strong and positive, but for a person who suffers with dementia and alzheimers, well, there is nothing left to hold onto because the very person they are, the people they have loved and known so well become strangers to them, and the life they have lived is no longer their own story to tell.

When my late husband started to become ill I noticed strange patterns in his behaviour. He would spend every afternoon at the bottom of the garden crying. When he came inside the house and I asked him what was making him sad he would respond by shrugging his shoulders at me as if to say, “I don’t know” and walk away. He was always hungry and could never remember that he had eaten. He did not know the year we were living in and his memory wouldn’t last longer than 5 – 10 minute intervals. At night he would face his head down towards the pillow and stare at the wall. There was no reason behind his new method of craziness other than, it is just what he did, and he did not know why, and every day it worsened. His personality became withdrawn, his words became few and his eyes became his ‘telling mechanism’. If he was happy his eyes showed his enthusiasm, if he was sad, we could see that too, if he was afraid or alarmed we could sense his frustration. But his words were no longer in sentence. Doctors could not find a reason for his change in life style. Doctor after doctor, hospital after hospital, different medication scripts, different diets, more tests and diagnosis brought us no further. He was in his early 30’s. He was young. After months of speculation and tests, a doctor diagnosed him with Dementia. There was no medicine or treatment that would take him back to the person he once was – the person we knew so well. The doctor’s reason for his illness was due to his long term substance abuse in previous years. I am by no means a medical practitioner so their professional words made no sense at all. All I remember in my mind was that his illness was irreversible and in time he would degenerate. She continued to say to me, “your husband is not ill physically, but has lost his memory, which will continue to decline over the years, but he could also live like this for another 20 years”. Those words will ring in my ears for the rest of my life. How could she tell me he is not ill physically, but ill mentally? He was not the same person. He was not of sound mind. How could a person live with this condition for so many years without suffering? How do the loved ones survive this condition for so many years without being affected? Nobody can answer those questions. The patient along with the family members suffer in silence.
From the day my mother walked me out of the hospital after meeting with the doctor the start of my grieving begun. His diagnosis was irreversible. No amount of money or medicine on this earth would be able to bring him back to the man he once was.
I did not have any medical knowledge about dementia, I do not know anything about alzheimers, the only fact I knew was that in time (short or long term – each person is different) he would no longer ‘know’ me, the kids or anyone else close to him.
But I do believe that through it all, through his silence he did remember us. He may not have been able to speak, or tell us a story, but I do not believe (in my heart) that his mind was completely shut off from us. He knew me. He knew his children. He remembered his joy.
As time went on, during his stay in hospital, and even when he came home for visits, the only source of understanding I had was the story in his eyes. When the kids became noisy I saw the frustrated look he would give to them, if the kids laughed he would stare uncontrollably at them with a hint of laughter dancing in his eyes, and I would wonder what went through his mind when he watched them. When I showed him pictures of the kids when they were small and I asked if he remembered where they were born, he would shrug his shoulders and look away. Sometimes tears would roll down his face as he shook his head. His frame was existent, but his mind seemed blank. It was as though he was an empty shell and I could no longer share our life history with him.
The past for him was gone, and the future was no longer filled with laughter, but emptiness of the unknown fear that lay before us. Life didn’t have a reason to continue. Even for me. A part of me also died. How does a person live comfortably knowing a person you love dearly is suffering in silence?
He never lived for 20 years after his diagnosis. In fact, it was a year later that he passed away. When I think about it now, to some it may sound sad and I have no heart, but I don’t think I could have lived my life for another 20 years watching him live in silence. Knowing the man he once was, I believe he would have said it was a blessing that God took him when he did, and not later.

If you know someone who has lived a long life and reached ‘old age’, perhaps your own parents or grandparents, who still have their memory – all I can say is, they have had a good life. No life on earth is always easy, or fair, but in my personal opinion if you are honoured to know someone of age and you are able to, go give them a huge hug and kiss! For they have been blessed with a good life.
If you are a person who is afraid of growing old, well all I can say is, “don’t be”. Enjoy each birthday you are blessed with because it is another year you are able to share with your family to create more memories. Don’t stop living your life.

Unfortunately, if you are living with someone who has been diagnosed with the dementia or alzheimers disease, my heart goes out to you. When the days get tough, as you will experience, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is not your fault they have this disease. Don’t think or allow yourself to believe they do not remember you, because I could never accept that. But, for what it is and some sort of comfort, if they no longer remember you, have peace in your mind that you will never forget them – for they will always be a part of your life, your history and your future with all the memories. May God give you the strength each day to be supportive and understanding. May His face shine upon you and keep you safe, all the days of your life.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

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Farewell … Beautiful Lady of God

Last night as I said Good-bye to a friend of mine who came to visit, I went inside, locked up the house, checked on the kids who were fast asleep in ‘lala land’, got into bed and started thinking about all the beautiful people in my life. Good friends who live near and far, distant friends who I have met – keep in contact, and in a special way they have touched my life some way or another. I felt guilty that I hadn’t kept in contact with many of my friends, you know, the same old excuse story, “oh gosh, life has been so busy!” I am guilty of it, as that has been my excuse.
Life is so short – I should know better.

This morning I received a very sad message to be informed a friend of ours had passed away after a long illness with cancer. We have prayed so long and hard for a miracle, funds came streaming in for further medication, and now, she is gone to spend her eternity with Jesus. Her name is a sweet memory on our lips, her legacy will live on forever, but for some reason it is not enough right now.
I feel broken, to say the least.
Is it because I have experienced the same loss? Living with a spouse enduring long illness, having two small children, coming home to an empty house with a new marital status, “widow”. Wrestling with the fact that this is the next chapter of life…
I don’t know. My emotions overwhelm me right now.
Have I been the best Mother and Wife I can possibly be to my family?
Is it because I believed with all my heart that the miracle of healing would take place – and it didn’t?
Where did my prayers go?
As I sit here I can barely comprehend the exact purpose of life. We are born, we live, we experience hurt, pain, laughter, love, we plan for old age (if we reach old age), we work in order to fund medical and life insurance, get into debt, work to pay off debt, reach retirement early enough to enjoy a wonderful and free life after years of work, and then “prepare” for death. (Well, that is how the course of life’s plan should be – but clearly it isn’t).
Okay, forgive me if I am feeling like I can not rise from the gutter right now, but my stomach stings with pain.

I read through the messages on Face Book, and there was the message from her husband. His love adorns his wife through out their life together, and after death, his words are sweet – humbling. He said that “she was not afraid to die, but told me that she was excited to see Jesus”.

My heart grieves, as we all do when we lose someone near to us, but the peace that fills my heart when I read that is a confirmed reminder of what life is really ALL about! It is NOT just about being born, life’s struggles, good times, hard times, a broken heart, loss, gain, death – it is about the time we live on this earth, the choices we make, and the hope to live in eternity with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – who was, who Is and who Is to come! The peace that surrounds a person when we live in the certainty that if a person chooses LIFE on earth, he will die in flesh, but his spirit will live for eternity with Christ.
Words are never enough for a person who grieves, or mourns the loss of a loved one, I understand that, and grief is not to be taken lightly – we all deal with pain differently, but time does help in the healing course. Time can never replace the pain, or the person who has left us, but it can relieve some of the sadness in which a person carries each day.

I am not going to continue with the ‘lectures and what to do’, but one thing I will most certainly do, and what I do every day is, when I get home I can not wait to give my precious family more than one squeeze, hug and love! To be able to hold our loved ones close is the most treasured healing medicine anyone can take in.

sunflower
This Sunflower is in Memory of you Farrah-May, until we meet again…

To each and everyone of us, May every day you live be sweet. May your words be like honey on your lips when you speak to your spouse, children and loved ones. Never forget the importance of family, and the people close to you. YOU are worth it in every way. Your life is valuable and you are a treasure, whether you believe it or not – don’t live without means, life is too short. Live to leave a legacy and choose life for eternity.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

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Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Include your Children in Life’s Priorities

On my way to work this morning I thought about a friend of mine who is battling cancer. She is young, her husband is young, and their little princess is 11 years old. The other morning her husband noted on their “Journey Wall” on Face Book that he had sat his daughter down to explain to her how sick her Mommy really is, and as much as they are trusting for a miracle, her Mommy may live to see old age, or she may die very soon.
Just writing this, I am in disbelief. Life can be incredibly difficult at times… Which just seems so unfair.

My mind went back to the day I had to tell my two small children that their Daddy was very ill. Fortunately, or unfortunately (which ever way you would like to look at the matter), my children were still very young. My daughter was 4 years, and my son was 3 years old when my late husband started to become ill. From the beginning we visited every hospital and doctor we were advised to see, he had almost every test screen possible to see what it was he was suffering from. As difficult as his condition was, I never thought he would die at such a young age. However, as time went on the doctor’s seemed less positive about his situation. I had to start preparing myself and my children for our future, without him. In the natural, a person prays for a healing miracle every day, but in reality, if the miracle does not ‘happen’, one has to prepare for the ‘rude awakening life offers’ – being alone with two small kids, losing a parent and spouse, and facing the future as a single parent. Personally I don’t think any person can ever prepare enough for that next season in a family’s life.

As small as my children were, they didn’t understand everything, and I certainly didn’t believe I had to explain everything in detail to them either, their minds can only take in a little at a time, but I learnt something very quickly during that time, and it was, “do not underestimate your children! They feed off your emotions, whether we like to believe it or not, and they are more aware of what is going on around them that we as adults would like to think, or choose to believe.”
When I think about it now, it was during my hardest days, the kids would play up more and it felt as though they were intentionally working my last nerve to see how far they could test me, but in fact, it was my emotions that gave them their sense of insecurities – and in those intense moments it is very difficult to separate the two. Emotions and perfect parenting skills don’t always go hand in hand – even on the best of days! None the less, I continued to speak to them positively. If their Dad was having a bad day, I would try my best to change the pace in the house and would take them outside to play, or sit with them and read a book – my main focus was to ensure them each and every day that it was not their fault their Dad was ill, or by any means was he angry with them. He was sick. I spoke to them about heaven and earth, being born and going to live with Jesus, and I encouraged them every day to hug and love him even though he was not of ‘sound mind’ any longer. He may not have ‘remembered’ them completely, but I do not believe for one single minute, that deep down in his heart, he had forgotten them entirely. His eyes would tell a story when he saw them and as much as he couldn’t express his emotions, he was still alive and he was their Dad.
In my opinion, as much as the children needed to be safe and secure, I answered as many of their questions that I could answer for their age group to understand. Their little minds could not comprehend his drastic change in behaviour (none of us could), but I still believe (in my opinion) if they noticed a change, and they had questions – those questions needed to be answered, as sensitively and honest as possible.

As time went on, his stage deteriorated, and as difficult as it was I kept both my children updated. The days we went to the hospital to see him I would sit them down before and explain to them that they should try and be well behaved and love him as much as possible. I always ensured their bags were filled with things to do, which also occupied their inquisitive little minds and kept them calm – and in turn, kept me calm!
Perhaps, I could have done more, maybe it was all I could do. I have no regrets to this day, but I do believe that through it all, I included my children with everything until he took his final breath.
The day of his passing, I picked the kids up early from school. I told them nothing. Family and friends visited, and the kids enjoyed the visitors and special attention they were receiving. The following morning, once the three of us were up and had finished having breakfast I sat them down. They were so small. But calm. There were 4 big eyes staring at me! I explained as much as I could and told them that their Daddy had gone to live with Jesus.
In that moment – the saddest moment of my (and their life) had become so real…
My daughter reacted quite hysterically. I was certainly not prepared for her outburst, but knowing that I had been honest with them from day one, it was easier. She had to grieve, as we all did.
My son was sad, but he was calm. What went through his little mind that day I will never know, but it was as though he had already been prepared for it. Or simply, he just didn’t understand the fact that he would never see his Dad alive ever again. His time with his Daddy had come to an end, but the memories he has stored in his mind will last a life time. I am sure of this.
His Memorial was beautiful. It was everything he had always wanted and spoken to me about, plus more. The kids had planned their own little farewell for their Dad and his life was celebrated by everyone who knew him – which is what he wanted.

Today, my kids still talk about him with a smile on their face. They knew he was sick, they knew he loved them, they knew it was not their fault he got sick, and they are not angry with God. Their peace lies in the truth, that each of us have a journey, we are born and one day we will die. I encourage them both each day to love their life and have as much fun as they possibly can!
Do they have their sad moments? Of course they do! I don’t think it’s possible for anyone not to have sad moments after a loved one has gone.
But for me, my personal belief, is that we did it together. We faced the challenges together, we cried, we laughed, we got frustrated, we prayed – we worked through it as a family and I included them with everything I possibly could. I am so grateful that as much as I was there for them, they were there for me too.

If you are facing a similar situation in your family and dealing with a family member who is ill, only you will know what to do and when the right time will be to have the critical discussions, but throughout everything, I want to encourage you to do it together. There will be stages of anger, tears, resentment, sorrow, mind boggling decisions, but if you do it together, it does make the situation slightly easier. After all, if there is no miracle for healing, you will be left together afterwards to grieve – I couldn’t think of a better way than to grieve WITH your loved ones.
During this time be kind to yourself. There are no right or wrong answers, but remember each day is a new day, you are doing a great job – even if there is no one else to tell you this, “Keep strong – you will make it through, I promise”.

May God comfort you and keep you close. May His face shine upon you and give you all the strength and love you need.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Being in your own company does not mean you are alone

Christmas is over, kids are still on holiday, the bank account is diminishing (as though a tap had been left on and nobody has closed the leaking drip as the cash flow leaves the bank balance), the gifts are starting to be packed away in the cupboards, kids may be bored of their gifts already, returning unwanted gifts at the shops that do not fit, duplicated or are not needed is always a nightmare, the food in the fridge is running on empty – or you don’t want to see food for at least another week, you may have started work again, or still fighting the crowds with the holiday makers, but slowly the routine of every day life is getting back to normal.

I am still on leave from work and have really enjoyed the time I have been blessed with to spend with my husband and kids during the festive season. However, I am feeling rather sorry for myself on this Old Year’s Eve – the end to 2014. The kids are fast asleep, exhausted after a long day, my husband is working away and I am sitting in my room listening to the rain outside and writing my final post for this year. I have phoned everyone of my ‘local’ contacts to have a chat, or message my far away friends to wish them for the new year, but by this time of the night I have to respect the fact that people do have to sleep or they are partying the night away into the early hours of the morning. I have gone to check on our two sweet Angels sleeping and thank the Lord that they are safe and sound in their beds. As I sit with my laptop once again my mind wonders off to individuals who are alone – every day. I understand there are different types of loneliness. Perhaps you are going through a divorce, you are a widow, you may be experiencing empty nest syndrome, living the single life, a single parent raising your kids, perhaps you are the only child and have no siblings, or your siblings are older and moved out, or you are in an empty marriage which causes you to live a lonely life regardless of the fact that your spouse lives in the same house as you, or your spouse travels regularly and you are left running the household on your own and most of the time you are raising your kids as a single parent.
Whatever the reason is, each of us experience loneliness in our life. Some of us, more than others.

As important as each individuals personal lives are, tonight my mind travels to families who may not be as fortunate to see their loved ones ever again, in the physical. The parent who will never see their beloved child sleeping peacefully in their own bed again. The widow who will never have his/her spouse walk through the door again in the evening after a long day and greet him/her with a kiss and the famous question we all long to hear, but so often take for granted, “so babe, how was your day?” The child who has lost their parent/s and will never experience the true joy of seeing the love shared between both parents.
I feel anxious, to say the least.
To think I am feeling lonely and rather emotional that I have to spend Old Year’s eve alone seems selfish, when in fact, I am not really alone. The truth is, my husband is working in another town in order to pay the monthly bills and provide for us, our children are sleeping soundly in their beds – they are alive and healthy, and as for me, the thought of spending my nights alone, even though it is not the ideal for any marriage, the reality is, my husband will be home in a few days to be with us again.

I am sure each of us have experienced some sort of loss of a loved one, if you have not directly been affected, you may have a family member or close friend you know who is dealing with the loss of a loved one. I have experienced loss first hand. It was probably the darkest days of my life, but today, as much as the memories never fade, time does heal some of the pain, eventually. Personally, for me, it does not make a difference if we are heading into a new year – it doesn’t change a thing, it is just another day we have to deal with the challenges we faced today, the heart ache, and a new day to get life back on track in order to live in peace and carry on with the plans that have been destined for you. No matter how hard it looks now, time does move the dark shadow hovering over you further away and allow you to breathe once again.

I am by no means here to bring a negative vibe into the New year, I welcome 2015 with open arms, but as much as the festivities are being celebrated around the world, there are also many people facing difficulties at the same time. They are not to be forgotten.
As you read this post, if there is someone in your thoughts who you may know who is facing a difficult time right now and is alone, take the time to give them a call, or pray for them. Don’t stop praying for them – they need it more than they may even admit that they do.
Personally, from me, if you are alone and missing a loved one my heart goes out to you. I hope you will find comfort and strength to face each day. Be encouraged that your life is still right here in front of you, don’t give up, don’t feel guilty to live. You have a right to be here on this earth. May you find your peace, may you find your joy once again and take each day in your own time.
May God bless you each and every day and may His love wrap you tight and keep you safe.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Dealing with Miscarriage

Miscarriage. This is a discussion many woman like to ‘put on the back burner’, never to discuss – or try to forget. There are so many emotions that identify with miscarriage. The sense of loss, failure, mindless confusion and questions, death – these are just some of the emotions that a woman / or couple learn to deal with and one can not comprehend it unless you have experienced this unforeseen circumstance first hand.

In conversation, I have heard a person ask, “why does a woman get so emotional after a miscarriage? After all she hasn’t even seen the baby, it probably doesn’t have a heart beat yet.” I guess almost every individual on this earth may have a comment or reaction to that statement, and we are entitled to our opinion, however, a miscarriage represents a life lost. A Mother’s instinct kicks in the minute she is aware of a child growing inside of her – whether it is for a few weeks or full term until baby is born. A woman has been designed to carry a child, give birth and nurture her baby until the time comes when the child is ready to leave home and take care of his/herself, but even then a Mother’s love, care or worry never stops, it continues right up until the time comes and she takes her last breath.

Before I had my two children, I was advised by a doctor that I may never be able to fall pregnant or carry a child. I was horrified by his ‘out of the blue diagnosis’. During that time I was single, and being a parent was my last thought, but I knew from a young age that one day I would be married with kids. I suppose that is every little girl’s dream. After hearing that news I was not happy. It bothered me that a Doctor could just express a diagnosis without running the correct tests or explaining himself in detail for his reasons. On my way home from the Doctor I phoned my sister, and popped in to see her. I explained to her everything that the doctor said and after our conversation she took my hand and started praying. She knew my heart, and knew that all I ever wanted was to be a Mother one day, and the negative words spoken over my life by the Doctor were not suitable, and as we believe, God’s report is always the final report! He had given me the desire to bare children, and that was the last say!
Case Closed!
Time went on and I never thought about that day again. My single life was enjoyed, and for what it is worth, I never visited that Doctor again! Eventually the thought of having a family and settling down became a priority for me.
When I saw my results and it showed positive I was shocked – to say the least. I was pregnant! Once I had confirmation from a new Doctor, I tried to do everything right to ensure good health. However, my pregnancy did not last long. There was a change in my body – I knew it. I just knew something was wrong. On the way to the hospital I prayed that the doctor would give me good news so all my worries and concerns would be flushed away. As I lay on the bed, watching the monitor, I could not see the little beat – it wasn’t there. There was no movement.
The doctor looked at me and said, “I am sorry”.
What had just happened? How did the little heart stop? When did the little heart stop? Was it a boy or a girl? What would he or she have looked like?
I remember telling the doctor to check again. Just to make sure. I mean, my first experience with a doctor had been incorrect, now I was pregnant, so perhaps there was a problem with the monitor.
For my sake, the doctor scanned my stomach again, but for only a short while. I had to understand that this was not his first experience with a patient and miscarriage, but it was mine. Time felt as though it stood still. There was cold silence.
The doctor signed a script and advised me to go to the front desk where the nurse could book me in for my ‘procedure’. Everything seemed so quiet, so dull, there was no expression on anyone’s face. It was as though they knew what had happened to me by the code the doctor had given them on the script, and it certainly did not make me feel any better, or comforted. I guess nothing in that moment is comforting, or real.
Late that evening I was home. Still trying to get my head around all that had happened earlier in the day, and my loss. My little baby was no longer with me. I was still not feeling too great after the anaesthetic, but I was happy to be in my own surroundings. All I needed was rest.
After a few weeks I went in for another check up. The doctor confirmed that everything seemed ‘in order’ and he advised me that if there was anything positive that came out of my loss, it is that I was able to fall pregnant, and not to give up! This was a good sign!

Four months later it was confirmed that I was pregnant again. My pregnancy was not easy, but I did what any Mother does, I did my best to look after my unborn baby and hope for the very best 9 months. My little girl was born, full term, in perfect health and my prayers had been answered.
If you have experienced a miscarriage/s, you may be able to relate to this post today. If there is one piece of advice I can give to you, it will be, do not give up hope. Close your mind to all the negativity that has surrounded your thoughts, upset and emotions. Take one day at a time to Grieve your loss, and believe that if your body has allowed you to fall pregnant, believe that you will be able to do so again. Clear your thoughts, rest your mind, watch your diet and life style. Stress does not assist very well in the matter, so in order for your body to heal and build up its strength once again, you need to prepare yourself slowly and in a healthy manner. Speak life into your body, in your mind and believe with all your heart that what you desire will come to pass. If you require time out – do it. If it means some ‘alone time’ – book time in your day to make that “Me Time”.
I am not a Doctor by any means, but I do know what it feels like to be told that your unborn baby did not ‘make it’. I do know what it feels like to go home alone – feeling separated from the world, and blaming yourself for ‘what if’ and ‘if I had done this or that’ – trust me, those questions don’t make a difference, it just tests your emotions and makes you feel worse. I do know what it feels like to wait – hoping your body will give you another chance. Time is a great healer, try not dwell on the past circumstance as it only adds more pressure on yourself which is certainly not required. Nature has a fine way of dealing with life’s matters.
Believe that what happened, happened for its own reasons, and for the positive side – believe that the fact you fell pregnant, it can very well happen again!
Be encouraged… Expect miracles, they do come true! After all, YOU are one of them!

May God comfort you and give you peace, and I hope and pray all your dreams come true!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

The healing process continues with the good memories

There are so many emotions a person has to deal with after a loss of a loved one. In my personal experience, after the shock of my late husband’s death, it felt as though my body took over its function and the brain knows what it has to do to go through the motions of life to get us through the days. Nothing seems real, and the transport that I moved in felt as though I was being shifted in a cloud. I could not focus on much, but life still had to continue, regardless of my late husband’s passing, and the life changes we were facing as a family.

Perhaps in my situation, things were slightly different, as my late husband was ill for a very long time I had time to plan bits for the future while he was still ill. I could move house, I had counselling for the children, but, the realization that sets in, “he is gone and will never be coming back” is a feeling too surreal to come to terms with. The cold truth is, “death is final”, no matter how we look at it, what circumstances surround us, the facts, the stories, I suppose even the facts of event we never hear about, no matter what happens we are left behind to pick up the pieces again.

Grief is probably the most “mis-diagnosed illness” a person can live through, as we all deal with the circumstances around death differently. The emotions I felt, even though many feelings were of anger, and as I sit here today, I am not ashamed of the feelings I had. I was very angry. I was angry with God for taking away my husband and the father of my children at such a young age. I was angry in the way he got sick – he was robbed of his mind, he did not know much about his children near the final stages of his life, he could not speak – which made me bitter that I could no longer hear his voice again, we could not hear him laugh, and we were not able to hear him say, “I love you” for the last time. I was angry at him for his lies during our marriage; for the truth I had to learn about his life after he had passed on, a part of me felt as though I didn’t even know who I shared my life with; I was angry for the way I was treated by his family after his death – because of money – money I didn’t inherit – money my children didn’t inherit, but they were certain I was going to be filthy rich after their son died; and above all, I was angry that I had to face my future with two small children and be a single parent – a widow – my children no longer had their earthly father to watch them grow up and experience their lives. I no longer had a husband to enjoy my life with. He was gone, forever – and nothing was bringing him back.

Time is the greatest healer of all. As time moved on, I chose to move forward, I seeked professional counselling and worked through areas of my grief. My children received my full attention and I learnt to work on ME all over again. I had to take time out of the “single parent” life style and make time for me on my own, and as time went on, my heart was ready to find love again. The next Anniversary of his passing is coming up shortly, and the feeling of anger has long gone. I do not torture myself with questions and asking, “if only” and “why”? But, as I think about his life with us, I am overcome with joy! I remember his sweet presence, the first time we met. His amazing smile – the look he gave me the first time we met through the crowds of people, he stared me straight in the eye! As I close my eyes I can hear his laugh again – I haven’t been able to picture that for a very long time. I can visualize his clothes – his favorite takkies he loved to wear and I can recall his ringtone he had on his mobile! It seemed like forever ago that he was standing next to me, and how he would greet me as he walked through our front door and shout, “Hello Doll!” Wow, he is so vivid in my mind. (Tears stream down my face). He was so full of life, he oozed love towards others and he loved us so much.

But the truth is, I am no longer angry. We were so blessed to share his life with him, I was honored to bear his two beautiful children – he lives through them today – and he would be so proud of his children and the little people they are growing up to be. I always have this imaginary thought that if God let him visit us for a little bit and we were to sit and have a chat, I imagine him to hold my hand and say, “My love, I am so happy with all that you have done”. That is my peace I live with today. The way life has turned out to be, is exactly that which is all meant to have happened. We do not know the number of days we have on this earth, only our Heavenly Father knows. My peace lies in the truth knowing the years we spent together were good – even through the bad – I learnt so much from him and I learnt about the person I wanted to be – and the Mother my children so deserve.

If you are experiencing much difficulty after losing your loved one, only time will give you the strength you will need each day, but if there is anything I can share to help your grieving just a little bit, it would be : don’t be so hard on yourself. The emotions will come, it is natural. Work through them carefully. Take all the time you need. If you are not ready to talk about your loved one’s life, then don’t. However, in saying this, you can not expect others not to either – some people find this part of their healing very therapeutic to talk about their loved one’s life. If you are having trouble sleeping, perhaps take something natural to aid you in relaxing at night (and no, I really don’t believe in resorting to drugs and alcohol to be a solution – trust me, it will just take longer to heal and get on with life, and along the road with drugs and alcohol usage it just brings a whole lot of other problems to deal with – and I don’t encourage that!), spend time around people that truly love you, and if you are a person who lives more privately, then I suggest you get yourself a small pet – anything to give you company and some extra love and attention. Pets are natural healer’s, I believe, anyway!

When you are ready to talk about your loved one’s life again, then take that step! It is a positive step in the right direction! Remember the good times and talk about them. Time will come when you will speak about them without the tears and heartache. I don’t believe a person ever forgets (but then again, why would anyone want to?), but as time goes on the pain becomes easier to bear and their memories remain sweet forever in the heart.

May God Bless you and your family always and forever.

Love and God Bless,

Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email: lifetotell.com@gmail.com