Sunday, November 28, 2010

When Tragedy Strikes at the Holidays, Grief Comes

I heard bad news. A friend woke early Thanksgiving (American holiday) to discover her husband had passed away in the night.

It makes you stop and think. If tragedy hits on a holiday when all plans are for celebration, the passing becomes more difficult.

Taps, Bugle, Army, Military Funeral, Arlington National Cemetery

Each person processes through grief stages in his/her own way when learning of death. But even if there are similarities such as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote in her book, On Death and Dying about the five stages of grief, grief is unique to the individual.

So what are you to do, if tragedy has struck you? Amid the shock, the anger, the denial--trust yourself to know what is best for you. Be free to process as you see fit, especially if others feel obliged to tell you that you 'should' be/do/feel something you do not. Of course, here I am telling you what to feel, so you are welcome to ignore me as well. I don't wish to add to your burden, but encourage you as you go through this difficult time.

The body is remarkable in its ability to assess needs and adapt to what it requires.

Grief may take much longer than society is willing to give. After a few months, people move on and no longer seem to remember that your heart is in pain.

It used to be society required mourners to wear black for seven years. Black bows graced houses. In the past, many found this constricting, but it did something for the grieving loved ones left behind.

funeral sisters

It informed society to be gentle because you were grieving. Remember Gone with the Wind? The heroine had to wear widows weeds—no color--and yet she broke tradition to wear the red dress.

Society doesn't have those markers anymore and people can be indifferent, not intentionally, mind you. Because distractions and life cause their focus to shift away, they forget. You don’t, however, so be good to yourself. Trust that you have needs and be willing to let people know. They’ll be a good source of help if you remind them you are still struggling with the loss.

For the rest of us, let us be thankful for yet another aspect of life. Friends, loved ones, family, associates, neighbors, online acquaintances…are still alive and we can communicate with them.

So, let me say, I’m thankful for you. Be good to yourself and love each day life gives you a gift --the present.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Novel Approach to Success

As NaNoWriMo draws to an end, thoughts move forward to editing and the prospects of turning the first draft into a viable novel. For some, writing is easier than others.

For example, this clever video says it well: So You Want to Write a Novel

So, what do you think? What is your novel approach to success? Are you feeling up to writing the great novel?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Can't resist the cuties

Don't bother me, I'm sleeping. Don't make me open my eyes with that flashing light on the camera.

Of course, if there is food...

I might be willing to take a peep if and when I see the bowl hit the floor. Then it's time for my baby blues to open wide.


What to be thankful for

I am thankful for faith, which sustains me when things are not going well.

I am thankful for children, whose job description is to keep me humble.

I am thankful for a husband, who stuck with me through my disability.

I am thankful for a table full of scrumptious food.

I am thankful for my animals, who never fail to provide me amusement daily.

I am thankful for an online community of friends, who share insights, joys and miseries across the world.

I am thankful for you, because you are reading this.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter Comes With Frost and Delight

Winter has arrived, but the temperate climate of California doesn't match my east coast recollections. Some people might have winter blues, but for a moment I transport myself back to being seven years old in the mountains. Ah, childhood memories.

Winters resembled fairyland worlds, where the week's snowfall would pile high in drifts against the garage. The eye-squinting bright sun would warm the daylight air and melt the snow's upper layer.

snow drifts at parent's house

The morrow promised the best of it, for the night's frost would have crusted the slushy snow into a slick skating surface. Thus, while we were waiting at the school bus stop in our great coats, caps and mittens, we could run across the street to the sapling forest.

Vintage - Winter in Wisconsin

Like sparkling diamonds littered across the surface, the crust reflected the sunlight. The smooth shell supported our weight and we could grab a leafless sapling and sling-shot our selves around it skidding on the icy surface, seizing the next tree and repeating the action.

Golden Hour and the Frozen Forest

The bite of the crisp winter air, rosy cheeks, giggles and playful delight made the November day a thing of beauty.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy International Men's Day Nov 19

There is an International Men's Day, which originated in Tobago and Trinidad, to celebrate men and boys issues. So Happy IMD, on this November 19th.

UNESCO's Director of Women and Culture of Peace, Ingeborg Breines said that it brought balance to the gender issues, according to a Wikipedia article on IMD.

There is always the humorous look at the position of men in the world. The Milt Show puts on 'The Man' cleverly in this video. I've heard there is a comparable one for women. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

To Censor or Not To Censor, that is the question

Amazon faced a bruhaha the last few days after allowing a self-published book teaching pedophiles how to treat children and if caught, get a 'liter' (spelling mistake is the author of said self published book) criminal sentence. Should a company censor the books it distributes or publishes? Is Amazon liable for not censoring a book extolling criminal behavior? To censor or not to censor, that is the question.

People called for Amazon to remove it. Amazon took the position that they don't involve themselves in censorship. They don't judge the contents. Sounds laudable on the one hand, because we value freedom of speech. But should not society censor things that bring harm to innocent victims? Should we eschew books that promote the violation of children and criminal acts?

Should we not, as a society, require ourselves to uphold the law and not expound the benefits of being a criminal? Yes, there are books that talk about murder, but should Amazon be allowed to promote a book that honors the murderer and gives ways to get a lighter sentence?

Are not pedophiles murdering the lives of innocent children, by destroying their self images, their sense of security and their ability to have normal relationships?

Sadly, I know of no study that suggests that pedophiles are curable.

I've spoken with those, who admit the wrong and wish they had control over their own desires instead of the desires controlling them. I've also met and talked with individuals, whose amoral positions had me at an utter loss for words.

How do you appeal to a mind that has no common denominator in what is right or wrong?

Regardless of which kind these perpetrators are, society has an obligation--an imperative--to protect children.

We have failed miserably as a global society.

It calls to mind a statement of Jesus that is quoted in three books in the NT.

"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." (quoting from the King James Version for copyright issue. Another contemporary version here.)

For a very long time, society has failed to protect children, who until 1964, were considered property without legal rights. The first civil law protecting children from abuse was enacted. (Perhaps you, of other countries, know of some law that my sociology book did not know when it made the statement.)

It's a sad commentary that there were no protections until 1964. It's a sadder commentary that a protection is required.

Reminds me of the European couple visiting New York who parked their pram with a sleeping baby outside a cafe and went inside to eat. They were arrested for child neglect.

They were shocked that there were such laws since in their country, leaving the pram outside for the duration was not considered neglect. There, no one kidnapped babies there for horrible crimes against the innocent. If a baby cried in their country, some stranger would have assumed the parents were eating inside and would have popped their head in and notified them.

Obviously from a kinder gentler nation than the USA where crime abounds.

Amazon removed the book.

Not from any moral high ground, but because of the sheer number of protesters boycotting its site. While I am grateful they took if off, I am distressed that they didn't until the groundswell of consumers impacted their sales.

I too will think before I buy from Amazon again. If I can buy a book elsewhere, I will try to do so. I don't want to give my business to a company who cannot make the right choice until it hits it in the pocketbook.

Humor on Medical White Papers National Health Service Cuts

The following is being circulated anonymously, though the originator should stand up and take credit.

On the British National Health Service cuts:

The British Medical Association has weighed in on the new Prime Minister David Cameron's health care proposals.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.

Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.

Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Paediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.

The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The ENT specialists wouldn’t hear of it.

The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter...."

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.

The Anaesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the ar*eholes in London .

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have a cuppa Java and Write a Novel

NaNoWriMo started off with a bang. Thousands of words poured on the page as my fingers typed furiously.

Of course, along with coffee, tea or favorite beverage, music and humor must stimulate the soul.

Enjoy the brilliant singing of EElumir in the youtube, I am the very model of a WriMo Individual.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What are Angels

Angels are spiritual and physical beings created by God. While there is a limited amount of information from the Christian Scriptures, it does give a glimpse into who they are.

They are shape shifters and able to appear and disappear at will, serving God as messengers and managers of the universe.

Check out my website for more information and tell me what you think of angels in my All About Angels Forum.