Waking Up to Song

This morning, I woke up to the song, “Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled” written by David Haas, on my mind and the words spilled forth from my mouth. This isn’t the first time the song has come to mind; it showed up on Tuesday night at the Survivors Helping Survivors support group for those who have lost someone to the completion of suicide. While I haven’t attended the group for years, last month I returned for a little extra support. The following words repeat in the song as the refrain and mean a lot to me:

Do not let your hearts be troubled, have faith in God and faith in me. I will go forth to prepare a place for you and I’ll come back to take you with me. That where I am you may also be.

The words and the song have adapted from scripture, John 14:1-14. The choir at my church introduced me and the rest of the congregation to it when they sang the song as a meditation piece. Over time my brain remembered those words and they developed a special meaning and comfort level for me. The choir sings the song at funerals as well so I had them sing it at my husband’s funeral. At Holy Hill Shrine in October 18, I found a ring bearing part of the scripture verse; it’s like it knew that I would take to it and there it was for me to purchase and wear. This year, not realizing another ring I had seen also had part of the same scripture verse, decided it too wanted to share my finger.

Today the song arrived because I lost my husband to the completion of suicide 11 years ago.

I have come a long way since that tragic and traumatic day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things that come up for me to work through. My physician has said to the affect, “grief doesn’t fully go away; it changes” and she’s absolutely right. Sometimes you need to ask for help and that’s OK! My friend Riggs told me that “asking for help is the strongest thing you can do. Don’t forget that”. I thank him for reminding me of that.

Life doesn’t end because someone you love lost theirs. It continues, but in a different way.


Gifts for Christmas

Recently, this poem, written for Russ’s prayer service 10 years ago by a dear friend, came to mind and I had to read it again. I wanted to share it with my readers and hadn’t put it up. After hearing the homily at mass on Sunday, once again I was reminded of how each of us can be a gift this Christmas season, not only now, but throughout the entire year. Please enjoy the following poem, “Gifts”, and think about its meaning.

By James W. Hermann

Let us be gifts to one another
This Christmas season
Not the kind under the tree
Not the kind that is a surprise waiting inside wrapped packages.
Not something we shake before opening to speculate the contents
Not something we wish for from Santa.
Or something that comes from a retail store.
Let us not be a fad, or a gadget or a something that someone had to stand in line for
Or worst of all something that was returned the next day

Let us Be, Let us BE.
Let us be the kind of gift that comes from our heart
That comes from our time
That comes from our soul
That comes from our strength
Let us be the gift of ourselves for those who need us.

Let us be Russ’ kind heart
Lets us turn to Faith
Let us be his humility
Let us be his quirky jokes
Let us be unassuming and gentle
Let’s us be like Russ and be everything we can be without asking for anything in return

Let us be what Russ was to us – Let us BE that for each other

Copyright 2008, 2014