Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy… A Letter for My Friend

October 29, 2013 · Filed Under Healing Grief & Loss · Comment 

I awakened today to a phone call from Debbie, the daughter of one of my oldest, dearest friends, Lee, informing me that her mother had died. Lee, who was was days away from her 85th birthday, lived with the spirit and gusto of one at least twenty years younger.

Some might say, She was blessed to live 85 years, a good thing. Yes, she was blessed and it was a good thing. But, selfishly, I knew she loved me and I knew how much my love for her meant to her. What I knew for sure was that I could no longer meet her for lunch, something we did very infrequently – because I knew she was always there and we would always be able to make it happen. But that is not so anymore.

I can't hug her, hear her voice, or explain to her why I did not get back to her when she worried that something terrible had happened to me because she was unable to reach me. This time, it was Lee who had something "terrible" happen to her. My grief is deep , my heart is heavy and I feel alone, though I have such a beautiful husband and family to support and sustain me.

I immediately felt Debbie's pain and that of her family. I know their hearts are broken and that they are devastated. I also felt a deep sense of personal disappointment that Lee would not be physically present to see our son, David, who had been her Montessori student for three years, be married in just a few weeks. What contributed to my sadness was the realization that David would never have that special reunion with his first school teacher who had lovingly kept him in her heart.

Lee's spirit is vital, filled with compassion, humor, joy and love. Everyone will miss her, of this, I am sure. I ache for her precious Chester, her golden doodle and her beloved companion. I know Chester is confused, hurting and dearly missing Lee, though he is protected and safe as he now shares his life with Debbie, her husband and their dogs. Yet, I feel his pain for his "mom." I know how deeply animals grieve their loved ones.

After hanging up from Debbie, the tears just kept coming, until I could hardly breathe. My heart ached and felt as though it had been broken into smithereens. I began having flashbacks of all the others in my life that had died relatively recently, including my parents, other friends and my patients with whom I had worked for many years.

I have always known that with each present loss we experience, the vibration of our pain causes our cells to reverberate with similar vibrations of multiple past losses. Somehow feeling the pain we felt in the past paradoxically hurts and soothes us in the present moment. It reminds us of how heartbroken we were and that we had wondered how we would ever be able to go on. It also reminds us that, somehow, we did survive. All of this rose up for me as I released my pain and felt my sorrow.

What kept coming to mind was how much she had loved and cared about me, and how fortunate I had been to have her in my life all these years. But saying goodbye is neither acceptable nor easy. How grateful I was that we had our lunch together just weeks ago. We had never had such a long lunch – three hours – and it went so quickly! We probably would have kept going if the restaurant had not emptied out while we were chatting, leaving us feeling a bit conspicuous.

I found it comforting to learn that Lee died in her safe room, upstairs in her home, with her Chester by her side, surrounded by photos of her family and her husband, Walter, who had died many years before. And while I knew that her Guardian Angel was with her to lovingly guide her on her journey and that she would be assisted, as well, by Walter and loved ones, I felt sad that no one was there to hold her hand or give her a hug. Yet, I felt that her God was good to her in that she died in a place she loved and that her death was quick. She was not one to ever wish to be a burden to anyone else. She died as she lived – with her dignity in place. I knew this was a good thing.

I know, too, that as I write this, she is aware of everything I have been thinking and writing, and she is listening to the vibrations of my heart. She is Love and I know she will always be available to me. I will always smile – my heart will always smile – whenever I think of this beautiful, delicious, leprechaun-like soul who loved life, loved humanity and always made you feel you were special. What an amazing role model she has been for those of us who loved, admired and have been inspired by her!

Lee, I know your love and spirit will be with me through eternity. I love you, dear, sweet Lee, more than I can possibly ever express in words.

For those of you who are reading this and presently experiencing the challenge of loss, my heart goes out to you. May you balance your pain with light and joy, enabling you to find peace and healing.

Love & Healing,

Susan Apollon
©2013  Susan Barbara Apollon

Celebrating the Seasons Growth, Change & Miracles

June 2, 2012 · Filed Under Creating Miracles, Healing Grief & Loss, Healing Stories · Comment 

Finding Miracles in Growth & Change

With another spring behind us and the promise of a beautiful summer ahead of us, I am reminded of how much "change" can add to our lives if we allow it to be the natural, eternal progression that it truly is. And, although the changes that take place in our everyday lives may not always be as predictable as the turning of the seasons, they are certainly no less significant. 

With every change we experience there is always a period of letting go of the familiar and the comfortable, followed by a period of uncertainty and, very often, grief. Whether it be a loved one who has transitioned, a job that has been lost, a marriage that has dissolved, a home that we must leave, or even one of our children going off to college, all change requires a period of adjustment to our new circumstances–an adjustment to a space that was once filled and is now seemingly empty. And, as difficult as these adjustments are for some of us, this is the time that miracles often become part of our lives; if we will only open ourselves up to the beauty of the unknown by embracing the very personal experience of letting go.

Sooner or later, most of us will feel the profound pain that comes with losing a friend or family member. But grief isn't all tears and suffering. It’s also a pathway to spiritual growth, the birth of hope, and a deeper capacity for peace and joy. At some point in our lives, many of us have lost a job or a home or a way of life that was familiar and comfortable to us. And, these losses, too, are no less difficult to adjust to than the loss of a beloved friend, pet or family member.

What can help us most through any loss is knowing that others have experienced what we are experiencing, and that we are not alone. And what can help us even more during these changes, is hearing the inspiring true-life stories of others who have also walked the path of loss, grief, and uncertainty–finding their way, healing, learning, growing and, finally, understanding that change is an integral part of life. Their heartfelt stories of synchronicities, answered prayers and miraculous events help us expand our own awareness of the beautiful journey of Life, bringing us an astonishing sense of joy, acceptance, and inner-peace.

In celebration of the coming of yet another beautiful season of growth, expansion, and becoming more, I have reduced the price of both of my "Touched by the Extraordinary" books (Kindle Editions) to just 99 cents each:

 

Embracing Growth & Change through Touched By The Extraordinary

 

TOUCHED BY THE EXTRAORDINARY: BOOK ONE
(Paperback: $15.56) . . . Kindle Special: $0.99 until June 3, midnight

www.amazon.com/dp/B007VTJRHU

All Countries:
www.amazon.com/dp/B007VTJRHU
www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007VTJRHU
www.amazon.de/dp/B007VTJRHU
www.amazon.fr/dp/B007VTJRHU
www.amazon.es/dp/B007VTJRHU
www.amazon.it/dp/B007VTJRHU

TOUCHED BY THE EXTRAORDINARY: BOOK TWO
Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope
(Hardcover: $24.95) . . . Kindle Special: $0.99 until June 3, midnight

www.amazon.com/dp/B00540ZAJM

All Countries:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00540ZAJM
www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00540ZAJM
www.amazon.de/dp/B00540ZAJM
www.amazon.fr/dp/B00540ZAJM
www.amazon.es/dp/B00540ZAJM
www.amazon.it/dp/B00540ZAJM

It is my hope that these books will bring you much comfort in uncertain times, as well as many moments of joy. If you already have the hardcover or softcover editions, this special Kindle edition would make a wonderful gift for anyone who is experiencing a difficult loss of any kind.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and beautiful summer!

With Blessings of Warmth & Love,

Susan

p.s. All comments left in the “Customer Reviews” section on Amazon.com are greatly appreciated… not only does your feedback help me to better understand the feelings of my readers, but more importantly, each and every comment offers tremendous insight and valuable information to others.

PLEASE REMEMBER *** YOU DON’T NEED A KINDLE TO ENJOY A KINDLE BOOK! FREE APPS for your Android Phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7 are all available for instant download at www.Amazon.com. The link to FREE Kindle Reading Apps can be found right below the green “Buy Now” box on the product page:

BOOK 1: www.amazon.com/dp/B007VTJRHU
 
BOOK 2: www.amazon.com/dp/B00540ZAJM

Grief Help For Healing Mind, Body And Soul: Healing Stories Of Love, Loss And Hope Create Miracles

March 25, 2012 · Filed Under Creating Miracles, Healing Grief & Loss, Healing Stories · Comment 

Healing Stories for Grief Help Create Miracles

Are you dealing with grief, have you experienced the loss of a loved one or do you wish you had the power to experience a miracle because you are not sure how you will survive your circumstances? A given in life is that there are aspects you can't control, be it the weather, the economy, people, life and death. Furthermore, the twists and turns of what you can’t control impact your health, relationships, finances, identity and lifestyle. And, it is all about loss of something or someone near and dear to you, including your sense of purpose. If you have experienced any of these circumstances, then you are in need of hope. Hope is an energetic force which sustains life. It is for this reason that I chose to write Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope. It is my gift of hope to you.

"Never deprive someone of hope — it may be all they have." ~Anonymous

A healing tonic for the soul, hope is something you lose when overwhelmed by life’s events or failed attempts to achieve your goals, but which can be easily restored through the awareness of what others in your position have experienced. Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope is an inspirational collection of healing stories of those dealing with loss, like you. It was written for those who found reason to believe they could survive and recover because miraculous events had taken place which assured them of the power of love and that they were not alone, as they had previously thought.

I have watched, often in astonishment, during the past two and half decades, the changes in my grieving, ill and disappointed patients as they would tell me their healing stories of stunning miracles and improvements in their situations. I observed that with the sharing of their stories, they would experience a transformation and a healing of their souls and, at times, even their bodies. In fact, while recounting their healing stories, their shift in energy would become remarkably more apparent as they would smile, laugh, and exhibit greater energy.

The power of the stories of my patients and others whom I interviewed is that not only do they experience well-being while telling their healing stories, but you, the listener, also feel what they feel, be it joy, love or amazement – and you always come away feeling lighter and better.

Healing Stories for those in need of hope…

I wrote Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope while being guided by a specific vision and intention. Recognizing the destructive power of the loss of hope, I visualized a collection of stories that would accomplish two goals: First, each story would comfort and touch the heart of the grieving reader — Second, each would provide the reader with main characters who would serve as role models who were dealing with situations similar to those of the reader , enabling the recognition that if the character could get through such difficulties, there could be hope for the reader as well. Actually, there would be more than hope. The reader, I felt, would recognize his or her ability to reclaim his or her inherent power.

You are powerful. However, what I have discovered is that as a normal human being, you lose the awareness of your power as you navigate your way through the journey of life – but you always live with the intention of eventually reclaiming it. I believe that every story in the collection is a testament to how resilient you are as you meet the challenges of life which contribute to your healing and personal growth.

My personal hope is that as you read healing stories of answered prayers, angelic protection, healings, wondrous synchronicities, the wise guidance of intuition and visits, communication and signs from deceased loved ones, you will allow your heart to open enough to remember the powerful energy of love and to entertain the thought that you are able to create miracles in your life.

My research and clinical work has taught me that you are not only touched by the extraordinary, you are extraordinary! Once you choose to focus on what brings you hope, you experience a wonderful sense of empowerment. With empowerment, comes the intuitive knowing that you are not alone and that you are born with resources which enable you to reclaim your purpose and your identity.

This is the power of healing stories: they remind us of our resilience in the most difficult times, while inspiring, motivating and deeply touching our souls with much needed hope.

"Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles." Samuel Smiles

Love & Healing,

Susan Barbara Apollon
Author of Touched By The Extraordinary Book 1
& Book 2 Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope

©2012 Susan Barbara Apollon

p.s. Please share with us here or on Facebook your healing stories.

 

Healing Grief: Remembering Loved Ones Who Die During the Holidays & New Year

December 31, 2011 · Filed Under Healing Grief & Loss, The Power of Love · Comment 

Remembering Ones We Love While Healing Grief

Holiday lights, beautiful decorations, the hustle and bustle of shoppers, snowflakes falling in some areas, vacationers collecting seashells on pink sandy beaches– and, all the while, loved ones may be dying, detaching from life and preparing to say goodbye to their physical attire and their loving families. For some reason, there are so many who die and leave us during December and the New Year — so many whom we dearly love.

Healing Grief – How do we say goodbye to those we love?

For some, the process of a marriage dissolving is akin to the loss of someone or something you have loved and cherished — and will also require that you take the time to grieve and say goodbye while healing grief.

Whether you are presently experiencing — or have in the past experienced- the death of a family member or friend, know that it is extremely important that you stay in the moment with them while you are actually in their presence and, even later, when with others, when you are not with your dying loved one. Staying present wherever you are serves you and your soul.

Remember Your Loved Ones -- Healing Grief.

Being fully present is a powerful gift for you and also for the soul with whom you choose to spend time. If you have a loved one who is in hospice (be it a facility or their home) or who may be in a hospital (or any similar type of caretaking facility), make time to visit. While there, be sure to listen to him or her with your heart and not your head. If it is you who needs to speak (because they are unable to do so), then speak from your heart. If you are there to sit with them, visualize your heart filling with love and then send it to your loved one, while you are in a relaxed state. Energy lovingly sent from one heart to another has the healing power to bring serenity and peace to one who is not well. You may even envision blue-green ocean water gently flowing over their body, washing away all negativity, while soothing and comforting them.

If you are wondering what to speak about, just travel through your "treasure chest" of stored shared memories that the two of you have, picking something light and amusing or something that has heartwarming significance for both of you. Each of you will be healing the other as you speak.

Do not be afraid to gently hold their hand, touch their shoulder or give a hug, conveying your love and compassion. If you are trained in Reiki, absolutely bring this loving healing energy to your family member or friend. If your loved one appears to be confused or having difficulty remembering, then use props, perhaps photos or special touchstones, to bring the recall of special times into the moment.

Whether you are filled with great love or with regrets, be conscious of what you choose to focus on. By focusing on healing grief with memories of warm connections and sweet, positive thoughts, you will feel so much better and even experience healing of your own.

If your loved one is very ill or much older and appears to have stopped eating and speaks of having seen visitors during the night, it is possible they are experiencing a sense of awareness of their impending death and are truly seeing deceased loved ones who may accompany them to the other side.

When you see your loved one, be it your parent, grandparent or child, struggling to live (not eating or able to communicate with you), and your inner wisdom speaks to you, letting you know they are trying to hold on just for you, then use your intuition to know the right moment to speak with them.

Let them know how much you love them and that you know they feel the same about you. In a relaxed but genuine manner, gently tell your family member or dear friend that you recognize they are having a hard time fighting to live, and that if they are worried about how you will be if they leave, they need not worry. By conveying to them that though you will miss their physical presence, you will be alright — especially because you know they will always live in your heart and be just a thought away.

You might even suggest to them that they can give you a sign or two to let you know that they continue to be with you. For some, this might be a breeze that comes up each time you say or think their name. For others, a sign might be the frequent and persistent presence of a visitor in the form of a ladybug, dragonfly, butterfly, feather or cardinal. And, for even others, a sign might be a light flickering or a musical toy or glove starting to play — without anyone turning it on. All of these signs, including turning on the car radio and hearing a mutual favorite song playing, come especially when you are thinking of your loved one or on an anniversary such as a birthday or on the holidays — such as Christmas, the New Year or Easter!

After your loved one has died, how you will remember him or her and healing grief is a choice you make. The choice is yours. Of course, you will miss this remarkable soul. However, by choosing to honor and celebrate their life, you will begin to create healing for you, your family and your friends. Be sure to continue to dialogue with your loved one, sharing your thoughts and feelings.

So often, we continue to lovingly care for our loved ones who have died by visiting their resting place, often making sure it is lovely and in good condition, starting a charity in their honor or creating a foundation or scholarship in memory of them. Funerals can be special way of commemorating their life. Always, always, the choice will be yours. There is healing in how we choose to remember those we love and healing grief..

What I have learned is that grief is a part of life but it is not what we are here for. Be sure to process the pain of separation from your family member, friend, pet or dream. Do this by familiarizing yourself with an understanding about grief, perhaps by reading about it or speaking to a counselor or therapist. (Try reading a book like How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies by Theresa Rando.) But, be sure to lighten your grief with levity; humor is a good thing, especially when grieving and healing grief..

Many wish to better understand and have some insight into what the afterlife may be all about. Consider reading books that share the near-death experiences of those who have died, experienced heaven and have returned. For example, Dr. Melvin Morse, a pediatrician, has written books about his little patients and their experiences after they died, as well as conducted impressive research in the area of NDE's. Betty Edie's Embraced by the Light is one of the best described NDEs ever written. Recently, Heaven Is for Real, a young boy’s true story, reached the top of the best seller charts. The Touched by the Extraordinary series also describes and documents the research dealing with life after life. Healing grief…The choice is yours.

Know that grieving takes time. Yet, you are here to heal — rather than carry your grief as a lifelong burden. And, if you so choose, in time you will feel and grow stronger and feel it is alright to release the pain of missing your loved one, healing grief and to remember him or her from the loving core of your heart and inner being with the greatest of joy and gratitude for them.

Love is among the highest of vibrational energies. The energy of love does not die, despite the physical death of the body. Love is the essence of your soul’s energy. Whether you ask or not, your loved ones are with you on anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. Be sure to include them in your thoughts and prayers. Your heart's desires and your thoughts are vibrationally known to the universe. The spirit of your loved one will always be with you — always. Just ask and it shall be so.

Love  & Healing,

Susan Barbara Apollon
Author of Touched By The Extraordinary Book 1
& Book 2 Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

p.s. Please share with us how you are processing and healing grief!