This Might Help
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Reading this book might be your first step in the long walk through the valley of grief. Hopefully, you will discover new strengths along the way. We invite you to keep a journal of your passage through this valley. As you write, you might discover your own healing occurring.

Published: Sam Turner on
ISBN: 9781476351407
List price: $3.99
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This Might Help - Sam Turner

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DEDICATION

To members of the Tucson Chapter of The Compassionate Friends who continually remind us that we need not walk alone.

And…all of our children and siblings who watch over us.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Phyllis and I wish to express our sincere thanks to

Sara Danielski, a fellow traveler and contributor to this volume and the butterfly cover designer of Volume II. http://www.smokeartbysara.com/

Harvey Stanbrough: Publication advisor, http://www.harveystanbrough.com/

Debora Lewis: Formatting for CreateSpace,

http://arenapublishing.org

Julie Shulick: Number One daughter, website designer and tweaker of programs for us.

Sheila Bender: Author, poet, mentor, teacher, contributor to this volume II and fellow traveler through this valley. http://writingitreal.com/

The Quail Run Writers Group: for their constant encouragement in the many read-throughs of our drafts.

Sue and Karl Snepp: who in teaching us the workings of The Compassionate Friends, have had a profound influence on us from the beginning.

Carl, Maureen and Rain (a hearing-ear dog) Luikart: having experienced multiple losses prove that helping others, helps themselves.

Audrey Russell-Kibble: who walks hand-in-hand with us reminding us that, when our refrigerator fails: If that's the worst thing that happens, you'll be just fine.

INTRODUCTION

What else, I ask, can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? After fourteen years of membership in The Compassionate Friends, most of which as editor of Walking This Valley, and after publishing Volume I of This Might Help covering five years of columns, what can I possibly add?

The answer has been staring me so closely in the face that I couldn’t see it:

FRIENDS!

The lasting friendships that have evolved through the years are actually what The Compassionate Friends is all about. It happens so subtly that one hardly recognizes the change.

That your address book changes after the death of a child or sibling is a given. Some friends whom you knew before the death tend to drift away. They may be uncomfortable when tears come. However, the devastating reason why we are brought together provides mutual understanding and new friendships are made.

When new persons enter our meeting they are greeted with, We’re sorry for the reason you are here, but we’re glad you found us!

Many of our compassionate friends are found in these pages… members… some (thankfully) not members. For privacy, some of the names are changed.

I wish to thank my dear wife Phyllis of fifty-four years: my editor, my walking companion, my inspiration and my love. We hold hands as we walk this valley.

Sam Turner, 2011

FOREWORD

The theme of this book is the title: This Might Help

It’s true: Reading this book might be your first step in the long walk through the valley of grief. Hopefully, you will discover new strengths along the way. We invite you to keep a journal of your passage through this valley. As you write, you might discover your own healing occurring.

The police call: Your son has been in a motorcycle crash.

BREATHE OUT

Is he hurt?

HOLD YOUR BREATH

Ma’am, he is dead.

BREATHE IN

Oh, my God! This can’t be. There must be some mistake. Not my

son….

BREATHE OUT

We did everything we could. We couldn’t save your daughter. The cancer was just too far advanced.

BREATHE IN

But she was so young. If I’d only…

BREATHE OUT

Let’s place the flowers here, beside the road.

BREATHE IN

You may turn the ventilator off.

BREATHE OUT

I just can’t sleep anymore. What if…

BREATHE IN

I don’t want to go to some meeting where everyone is crying. I don’t see how anything can help. They can’t bring our son back.

BREATHE OUT

We want to welcome you to The Compassionate Friends. We are so very sorry for the reason you are here but we are glad you found us. This is an important step in your grief journey.

BREATHE IN

I’m John’s Mother. Our son died by suicide.

BREATHE OUT

My name is… Our daughter died of an accidental drug overdose.

BREATHE IN

Our son died of SIDS.

My sister died of cancer.

Our daughter was killed in an auto crash.

Our daughter took her own life.

My son was killed in a bomb explosion in Iraq,

… died of a sleep disorder.

… died of thyroid cancer.

… stopped breathing.

… drowned.

… was killed by a drunk driver.

… fell off a cliff.

… died of a heart attack.

BREATHE OUT

Our children, grandchildren and siblings have died at all ages from many different causes, but our love for our children unites us.

BREATHE IN

Your pain becomes my pain as your hope becomes my hope.

BREATHE OUT

At first your breath comes in gasps.

BREATHE IN

I hurt so much. When will the pain go away?

BREATHE OUT

...whatever pain we bring … it is pain we will share just as we share with each other our love for our children..

BREATHE IN

Gradually, your breathing slows. After a few meetings you can say your child’s name without crying.

BREATHE OUT

How comforting to see familiar faces at The Compassionate Friends meetings.

BREATHE IN

It’s always sad to see new faces.

BREATHE OUT

Six months, a year, two years go by and you find yourself still breathing. You are sleeping through the night. You are helping newly bereaved attending the meeting for the first time.

BREATHE IN

We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends!

BREATHE OUT

This Might Help

OCTOBER 2004

I watch the students returning to school and I think about our daughter who would be a senior. I look for her in the crowd—hoping—but she isn’t there.

There are moments when, seeing my wife’s tears, I get so angry—angry over the unfairness of it all—angry over why it should happen to us—angry that we should be put through this when we did everything right.

‘Time heals a broken heart but people heal a broken spirit.’ You quoted that in the September Walking This Valley and it suddenly made sense. Your newsletter means a lot to me.

I went back to teaching and faced students who were just the age of my child. It was hard, but I did it. Then, in the summer, with no school, I broke down.

We celebrated the life of our child with friends in a local park. Over a hundred people arrived! We sang and hugged and gave thanks for her spirit.

I made a scrapbook to honor my child. I’m still not finished. It really helps me.

I keep a journal of my feelings two or three times a week. It helps.

I find that I have to put on a face while I’m working and people think that after only four months, I am so strong; that I am over it—NOT!

I was not so long in this grieving process and, suddenly, I found myself in a helping role to a friend who had just experienced a death. She was so appreciative that I was there for her. It felt good to know I could help.

These are just a few of the thoughts expressed by our members. Whether you are a newcomer with only a few weeks of beginning grieving or a regular who is months and years along the path, The Compassionate Friends meetings allow you to let go of what’s really bothering you deep inside. Here you can express yourself knowing that we understand—that we have been there; done that. You may find yourself suddenly helping someone else. That’s what it’s all about: healing and helping.

NOVEMBER 2004

Hanukkah, Christmas and a New Year are facing us. At some point—maybe several years down the path—many members find these days easier to face.

How is it that some of us seem to get through our grief so soon and others remain stuck in a black hole of depression? What prevents some people from going back to work, or if they do, their performance is so low that they lose their job? Yet, another will continue struggling with the job, and continue productivity? What is it that sucks us into a state of immobility?

I want to get on with my life; I just can’t seem to move, anymore.

"I can’t