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Inspirations


Poems, Quotes and Passages
This section is updated on a monthly basis with poems, quotes and passages to help sooth the heart. If you'd like to share something that helped you, or some of your own writings, please email info@lapdfsg.org


Inspiration

Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of me. This is what love looks like.


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Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."

Saint Francis de Sales

"A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl."  

Stephan Hoeller

"The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being."

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness."

Reinhold Niebuhr


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My Christmas List of Blessings

My Christmas list is more than just a way to keep track of the special people God has brought into my life to love.

It’s like a treasured scrapbook filled with pleasant memories of all the times God’s answered prayer through family and friends.

Every name is a touchstone that leads to a place and time where God has used another’s heart to reach out and touch mine. It may have happened years ago or even yesterday.

But every person on my list has changed my life someway. Through simple conversation, a warm hug or shared meal.

Every person on my list has helped me grow or heal, or laugh or love or learn or smile…
The blessings never end.

As God allows our paths to cross as family and friend, so please know this greeting is more than a Christmas wish. It’s a thank you card to God for putting on my list each and everyone whose name I’m come to hold dear…

Those who’ve shown me Christmas joy each day of the year.


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Inspiration by Holly Capra
Retired Officer Holly Capra - Former Family Support Group Coordinator

I've been thinking and pondering life for the past few months, since retiring.  I told you I wanted to write something in the newsletter, but the thoughts and words weren't formed yet.  I think they are here now...
First I want to reiterate what I said at my barbeque and that is, you women are my heroes.  You think I was there for you, but, in fact, you were all there for me and the lessons that you taught me are invaluable.  I feel so special and blessed to have been chosen to be your student. 
 
You taught me that the human spirit is invincible, even if it feels as though it is about to crumble every minute of every day.  You all have been given the gift of depth, because when it mattered most, you drew down to your spiritual source, deep inside of you and not only survived, but you thrived.
 
You taught me that life is fragile and precious, and living in the moment counts for everything.  There is no past or future, there is only now.
 
You taught me that we come into this world with our own God given agenda.  The people you loved the most, who were taken away from you, were amazing teachers and set you on your course to continue that, which God intended for you to do and be, and you graciously accepted it, with a tremendous amount of work.
 
You taught me that sometimes being still and 'allowing' life to unfold, holds the answer clearer than trying to force life to be what you envision.
 
You taught me that we are more versatile and successful than our wildest dreams
 
You taught me that the material things in this world are not worth mentioning and are meaningless, compared to the richness of connection and love we find in relationships with others.
 
You taught me how trite most peoples' issue's and concerns are, because they are so firmly planted on this earth and all of you see the big picture.
 
You taught me love on a level that I never knew existed, with a passion that I never could have imagined.
 
You taught me that it's good to have boundaries and limits and that that, doesn't equal how much you love someone, but teaches them more about you.

You taught me that you can stand alone and not be lonely, because you are backed by many forces that love you.

I could probably write endlessly, because the lessons you all taught me are endless.  My life will never be the same, because of you.  I thank you for the gift of serving you and all the lessons you taught me.  My life will never be the same.  I love you all, more than I could ever express.  God's love shines through us all, if we allow it.  Those of us that allow it will never be able to express it but we can experience it.  I have experienced that love through all of you and I will be eternally grateful.  God bless you all.
 
Your humble student,
Holly
Retired Officer Holly Capra - Former Family Support Group Coordinator


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A Tribute

As we light these four candles in honor of you, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories and one for our love.

This candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.

This candle represents our courage – to confront our sorrow – to comfort each other – to change our lives.

This light is in your memory – the times we laughed- the times we cried- the times we were angry at each other – the silly things you did – the caring and joy you gave us.

This light is the light of love. Day by day, we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift that your living brought to each of us. We love you now and forever


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Gentle Words of Encouragement
(This is what the FSG is about)

As you reach forward with one hand, Accept the advice of those who have gone before you,
And in the same manner reach back with the other hand to those who follow you;
For life is a fragile chain of experiences held together by love.
Take pride in being a strong link in that chain. Discipline yourself, but do not be harsh.
The pleasures of life are yours to be taken. Share them with others, but always remember that you, too, have earned the right to partake.

Know those who love you; love is the finest of all gifts and is received only to be given. Embrace those who truly love you; for they are few in a lifetime…

Then return that love tenfold, radiating it from your heart to fill their lives as sunlight warms the darkest corners of the earth. Love is a journey, not a destination; Travel its path daily. Do this and your troubles will be a fleeting as footprints in the sand. When loneliness is your companion and all about you seem to be gone, pause and listen, for the sound of loneliness is silence, and in silence we hear best. Listen well, and your moments of silence will always be broken by the gentle words of encouragement spoken by those of us who love you.

Tim Murtaugh


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Hugging, The Perfect Cure for Whatever Ails You

No Movable Parts
No batteries to wear out
No periodic checkups
Low energy consumption
High energy yield
Inflation proof
No monthly payments
No insurance requirements
Theft – proof
Non – taxable
And, of course, fully returnable!

Hugging is healthy;
It relieves tension
Combats depression
Reduces stress
Improves blood circulation
It’s invigorating
It’s rejuvenating
It elevates self – esteem
It generates goodwill
It has no unpleasant side effects
It is nothing less than a miracle drug!


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Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

Mother Teresa - Catholic Nun, Missionary, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient


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"There are only two ways to live your life. 
One is as though nothing is a miracle. 
The other is as if everything is."  

Albert Einstein


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Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.
It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing;
it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.

Margaret Thatcher


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Love is patient; Love is kind, Love does not insist on its own way.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
Hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

I Corinthians 13:4-8


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A Friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.

Arabian Proverb


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And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair.

Kahil Gibran


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To be afraid to hope is understandable.
To hope despite this is saying "yes" to life.
  
When disappointments come, the heart has a choice to make -
to retreat from life and become smaller, or to embrace life,
including its disappointments, and become larger.

Calendar of 100 Days


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Song of Solomon 5:9-16 & 6:1-3

9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? Whither is thy beloved turned aside? That we may seek him with thee.
2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.


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"Don't Quit" 
Author Unknown

When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.


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By Gerald Jampolsky, MD

How simple it is to see
that all the worry in the world
cannot control the future.
How simple it is to see
that we can only be happy now.
And that there will never be a time
when it is not now."


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Grief is a Journey
By Chares Swindoll

We move from seeing the person by sight 
To seeing them in memories.
Memories are also in constant motion
At first they are too painful for endurance, and every memory breaks our hearts.

Memories gradually help us establish the significance of our love and of our loss
In time they become our most precious possession.
The ones that once hurt the most become the ones we never tire of telling.

Over time the memories wrap themselves around our being.
And our loved one is reborn inside of our hearts.
That is called the journey of grief.


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Walking With Grace
By Maithri Goonetilleke

The river of tears
flowed through my heart more times
than I can tell you my friend,
Silent tears, roaring tears,
tears which would fill oceans,
tears of the heart -
which were so much more than salty water,
But today in the gentle glow of morning,
I turn my head to the river bank and there a stone has washed ashore,
Bright and sparkling, I have not seen it before. And yet I know its name - Grace.
I will go pick it up and put it in my pocket.


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Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no more minutes, hours or days.
It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter?
Not what you got, but what you gave.
Not your success but your significance.
Not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example. Again, what will matter is not your competence but your character.
Not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
Not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered by whom, and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

In memory of Officer Samuel Williams Jr.


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Attitude
By Chares Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home.

The remarkable think is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes.


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A Tribute

As we light these four candles in honor of you.
We light one for our grief,
One for our courage,
One for our memories,
And one for our love.

This candle represents our grief.
The pain of losing you is intense.
It reminds us of the death of our love for you.

This candle represents our courage-to confront our sorrow
- to comfort each other
- to change our lives.

This light is in your memory
- the times we laughed
- the times we cried
- the times we were angry at each other
- the silly things you did
- the caring and joy you gave us period.

This light is the light of love.
Day by day, we cherish the special place in our heart that will always be reserved for you.
We thank you for the gift that your living brought to each of us.
We love you now and forever.


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Inspiration - 2008

Our grief always brings a gift.
It's the gift of greater sensitivity and compassion for others.
We learn to rise above our own grief by reaching out
and lessening the grief of others.

Dr. Robert Schuller


Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you,
smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,
sweeps you up into its darkness,
where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces,
only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped...
Grief will make a new person out of you,
if it doesn't kill you in the making.

Stephanie Ericsson


Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow;
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead;
Walk beside me, and just be my friend.

Albert Camus


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My Christmas List of Blessings

My Christmas list is more than just a way to keep track of the special people God has brought into my life to love.

It’s like a treasured scrapbook filled with pleasant memories of all the times God’s answered prayer through family and friends.

Every name is a touchstone that leads to a place and time where God has used another’s heart to reach out and touch mine. It may have happened years ago or even yesterday.

But every person on my list has changed my life someway. Through simple conversation, a warm hug or shared meal.

Every person on my list has helped me grow or heal, or laugh or love or learn or smile… The blessings never end.

As God allows our paths to cross as family and friend, so please know this greeting is more than a Christmas wish. It’s a thank you card to God for putting on my list each and everyone whose name I’m come to hold dear…
Those who’ve shown me Christmas joy each day of the year.


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I’m Free
Poem written on the Monument
where our officer’s names were placed.

Don’t grieve for me for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I’ve found my peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss…
Ah yes these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life has been full, I’ve savored much…
Good friends, good times, my family’s touch.
If my life seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart, rejoice with me,
God wanted me now…He has set me free.


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12 Simple Truths for Less Stress ©
Source: Award-winning author/stress-relief expert
Susie Mantell

I've come to believe that five categories pretty much comprise what it is to Live a life: Opportunities, Possibilities, Challenges, Risks &... Choices we make when presented with each. As we explore our individual needs, goals and objectives in an effort to create lives that are authentic, healthy, joyful and meaningful, naturally we seek to prevent, reduce and release Stress where we can. Let's take a look at a few basic truths:

1. Life is always about choices, even when it doesn't feel that way. Even perspective is a choice.

2. We're never too old to learn or change or apologize. Every day counts.

3. Stress Happens...every day. How we manage that Stress determines the quality of our lives.

4. Personal Style + Integrity + Flexibility = Balance

5. The mind informs the body, and Stress impacts our health, relationships, and who we will become.

6. Every interaction stems from one of two roots: Love... or Fear.

7. The Golden Rule is still a very good idea.

8. One smile can turn two people's entire day around.

9. Love Heals. So do Laughter and Forgiveness. Anger never will.

10. To love anyone requires a leap of faith - in ourselves, in them, and in the power of Love itself.

11. We can spend a lifetime grieving what was, or never was... or living for what is, or could be.

12. Every day we either grow toward the light or whither on the vine.
(And that, too, is a daily choice.)

BONUS TIP: Altruism is Good for Your Health

"Those among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." -Dr. Albert Schweitzer

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” -Mother Teresa

“Giving is a very good criterion of a person's mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people.” -Karl A. Menninger, MD

[Copyright 2002 All rights reserved.
For permission to reprint call 1-888-NOW-RELAX or email info@relaxintuit.com]

Source: Award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell's soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, NBC, ABC -TV, Billboard, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Town & Country. Listeners include The Mayo Clinic, military families, and Canyon Ranch (10x"BEST SPA.") Clinically approved to soothe stress, sleeplessness, pain, depression and other physical, emotional and psychological stress, Mantell also customizes programs for American Express, Remington, The Coca-Cola Company, New York Hospital and Canyon Ranch. Find Susie's free stress-relief tips or order "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" at: www.relaxintuit.com


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A Little Prayer
By FERN LARY MILLS

I said a little prayer for you today.
I hope you didn’t mind.
I asked the Lord to comfort you and put your tears behind.

I prayed for peace and mercy,
To help you through each day
And for his loving guidance
As He leads you on your way.

You need not walk this path alone
So I prayed He hold your hand,
And offer you some guidance
In a way you’ll understand.

I asked Him for little miracles
And to bless you everyday.
Keep searching for the rainbows –
And let him light your way.


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My Wish List
- I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one's name. They lived and were important and I need to hear their name.

- If I cry and get emotional if we talk about my loved one, I wish you knew that it isn't because you hurt me: the fact that they died causes my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

- I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good cry my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.

- Being bereaved is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't stay away from me.

- I wish you knew all the crazy grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, fear, hopelessness and questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following a death.

- I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in 6 months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for me. As with alcoholics, I will never be cured or a formerly bereaved, but forevermore be recovering from my bereavement.

- I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight, lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a host of illnesses and be accident prone; all of which are related to my grief.

- My loved one's birthday, the anniversary of their death and the holidays can be terrible times for us. I wish you could tell me that you are thinking of us on these days. And if I get quiet and withdrawn, just know that I are thinking about my loved one and don't try to coerce me into being cheerful.

- I wish you wouldn't offer to take me out for a drink, or to a party. This is just a temporary crutch and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurt before I can heal.

- I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my beloved died and I will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to my old self you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values and beliefs. Please try to get to know this different me — I'm the one who'll be here from now on.


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Sand and Water

By BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN

All alone I didn't like the feeling
All alone I sat and cried
All alone I had to find some meaning
In the center of the pain I felt inside
All alone I came into this world
All alone I will someday die
Solid stone is just sand and water, baby
Sand and water, and a million years gone by

I will see you in the light of a thousand suns
I will hear you in the sound of the waves
I will know you when I come, as we all will come
Through the doors beyond the grave
All alone I heal this heart of sorrow
All alone I raise this child
Flesh and bone, he's just
Bursting towards tomorrow
And his laughter fills my world and wears your smile
All alone I came into this world
All alone I will someday die
Solid stone is just sand and water, baby
Sand and water and a million years gone by


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Song of Solomon
5:9-16 & 6:1-3

5:9-16 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

6:1-3 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.
My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.


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The Monument

By SGT. GEORGE HAHN, L.A.P.D. (Retired)

I never dreamed it would be me
My name for all eternity
Recorded here at this hallowed place
Alas, my name, no more my face
“In the line of duty” I hear them say
My family now the price will pay
My folded flag stained with their tears
We only had those few short years
The badge no longer on my chest
I sleep now in eternal rest
My sword I pass to those behind
And pray they keep this thought in mind
I never dreamed it would be me
And with heavy heart and bended knee
I ask for all here from the past
Dear God, let my name be the last


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The Policeman's Prayer

Dear Lord, be with me on my beat
This day and every day
Grand that each weary block I walk
May ease a brothers way
Let me be kind to the old
And to the young, be strong
But let me triumph over those
Whose acts are cruel and wrong
And if according to your plan
I am to lose my life
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife


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Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn as they will be comforted.

Psalms 146:8
The Lord watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless.


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How Can You
Cope with Grief?
How Can You Support Others
Who Are Grieving?

Talk to family or friends
Seek counseling
Read poetry or books
Engage in social activities
Exercise
Eat good foods
Seek spiritual support
Take time to relax
Join a support group
Listen to music
Be patient with yourself
Let yourself feel grief

Be a good listener
Ask about their feelings
Just sit with them
Share your feelings
Ask about their loss
Remember their loss
Make telephone calls
Acknowledge the pain
Let them feel sad
Be available when you can
Do not minimize grief
Talk about your own losses.

People who are grieving often feel isolated or lonely in their grief. Soon after the loss, social activities and support from others may decrease. As the shock of the loss fades, there is a tendency on the part of the griever to feel more pain and sadness. Well-meaning friends may avoid discussing the subject due to their own discomfort with grief or their fear of "making the person feel bad. They may "not know what to say.

People who are grieving are likely to fluctuate between wanting some time to themselves and wanting closeness with others. They may want someone to talk to about their feelings. Showing concern and thoughtfulness about a friend shows that you care. It's better to feel nervous and awkward sitting with a grieving friend than to not sit there at all.


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At the finest level of my being,
You're still with me.
We still look at each other at
That level beyond sight.
We talk and laugh with each other on a
Level beyond touch.
We share time together in a
Place where time stands still.
We are still together on a
Level called love.
But I cry alone for you
In a place called reality.

-Richard Lepinsky

 

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