Monday, April 13, 2009

Scott Peterson sits on death row for killing his wife and unborn child. According to PEOPLE magazine, his commissary account "has a significant amount of money" from people sending checks from all over the world.

Are you kidding me? I watch an amazing, dedicated group of volunteers struggle to help ensure that Tomorrow's Rainbow will be helping grieving children and their families for years to come. Money that could be spent to help so many worthwhile charities worldwide is helping Scott Peterson buy soda, candy and cookies.

Our economy is rapidly creating a new "death row." Non-profits that work so tirelessly to heal our communities are facing extremely difficult times. Many won't be able to withstand the storm.

How can people be so misguided? How much toothpaste can an inmate possibly need? I vacillate between anger and sadness over this total insanity. I'm so absolutely privileged to have those feelings balanced by the genuine goodness of those that dedicate their time and energy on behalf of grieving children and their families at Tomorrow's Rainbow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who Makes This Stuff Up?

I get absolutely nuts when people are praised for being a pillar of strength when a loved one dies. Who decided that strength and stoicism
were the barometers for successful grieving?

Oprah once had some gentlemen on her show that had experienced the death of their father at a young age. She was so impressed that the very next day they were back at school. Why was that deserving of praise?
Liam Neeson and his son's Michael, 13, and Daniel, 12, were recently praised for showing "remarkable public poise" after the death of Natasha Richardson. Who decided that public poise is something to be complimented?
In my opinion, giving kudos to those that grieve in nice, neat packages is hurtful and harmful. I suppose that it would be nice if volcanos never actually erupted, but they do. Their energy can't be contained forever. Well, grief energy can't be contained forever either - even if non-grievers would feel more comfortable with us being "poised." And does that make those of us that display our emotions more openly, a total failure at grief? There simply isn't a reason to applaud or judge how somebody grieves. Being open, supportive and present for them is a much better use of your time.
Accolades are for accomplishments. Grief is a part of life that hurts really, really, really bad. A grieving person does not need, nor do they deserve, a report card.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The miniature horses tend to get all of the credit around here! Riley and Little Bit are amazing therapy horses, too. We call them our "big girls" because when you're over 1,000 pounds, you're hard to miss.

People assume that I've been around horses my whole life. Not true. I just had great teachers in these two gals. I guess that makes me the teachers' pet!

Friday, April 3, 2009

We Don't Bite!

Walking a mile in someone's moccasins would sure be helpful! Especially if that person had just experienced the death of a loved one. Taking their footsteps would give us an advantage in knowing how to "be" with them. But each pair of moccasins has been uniquely worn, and no matter how hard we try, we won't know how that pair feels to its true owner. If the shoe fits, wear it. If not, ask!

I have the priviledge of learning each and every day from some very special children and their families. For young children, experiences such as being bullied because their loved one died, are common. Grieving teenagers are often annoyed by peers pretending to be supportive, or saying, "I know how you feel." And since I fit into the adult category, I will share from my own experience...unless you have E.S.P., you'll never be able to figure out what we want because at any given time, we could be dazed, confused or we'll change our minds!

I believe that empowering those that are grieving is one of the greatest means of support you can offer. Throw away those assumptions! Ask. Listen. Be present. You might just be surprised at how different those moccasins are than what you've been taught, experienced, or expected.

It makes me laugh when toddlers close their eyes to make someone go away!
It makes me sad when people that have experienced the death of a loved one are treated with the same naivety. Together, we can do a better job of supporting those in mourning. Will you please join me? My moccasin's feel amazing and your's can too!