Grief Share Programs - Grieving for June
- Published on Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:49
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
Grieving for June
(Inspired by a 1972 song by George Jones)
Imagine a world where no music was playing.
And think of a church with nobody praying.
Have you ever looked up at a sky with no blue?
Then you've seen a picture of Stan without June!
Have you walked in a garden where nothing was growing?
Or stood by a river where nothing was flowing.
If you've seen a red rose un-kissed by the dew,
Then you've seen a picture of Stan without June!
Can you picture heaven with no angels singing?
Or a quiet Sunday morning with no church bells ringing.
If you've watched as the heart of a child breaks in two,
Then you've seen a picture of Stan without June!
(To hear the original 1972 song by George Jones click on below link)
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 (KJV)
The Redeemer Lutheran Church - Grief Share Program
Some of my friends, relatives and family may think of me as perhaps just a little strange…I am still grieving for my wife June who passed away on 23 October 2008...my mother Ellen who passed away in October 2007 and our son David who passed away in October 2012....I have been through eight “Grief Share” programs at our Redeemer Lutheran Church, completing my eighth one in the spring of 2015...…and yes, I plan to attend the 9th one in January 2016...I have also participated in the annual “Surviving the Holidays” last held in late November 2014…just in time for Thanksgiving and of course Christmas immediately following…This is just another of the programs presented by our church for those who have lost loved ones and emotionally fear the approaching holidays…
To visit the online page of Grief Share's "Surviving the Holidays", click on the below linK:
For our family, October has been a bad month. October has now claimed the lives of three family members during a 6 day period in October over a span or time period of 5 years. My mother Ellen died of Alzheimer's on October 21st, 2007, my wife June died of Alzheimer's on October 23rd, 2008 and our son David died from cancer on October 18th 2012...
I have always felt relaxed and comfortable in these group settings because I know that all of the other members of the group are also going through their own individual journeys through Grief…that they understand me better than any of my friends or family who have not. I enjoy telling them about my wife June, my mother Ellen and now my son David and in turn listening to their stories of their loved ones who have also passed on…
“When we lose someone we have loved deeply, we are left with a grief that can paralyze us emotionally…When they die a part of us dies too.”
“My tears are the words with which I tell God of my pain.”
Tears are not uncommon and no one is ever made to feel embarrassed if they should find them selves in the position of shedding tears when discussing their loved one...after all Jesus wept at the news of the death of his friend Lazarus...
"33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" (John 11: 33-36 – KJV)
Jesus also wept as he could for-see the destruction of the city of Jerusalem...
"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it."...Luke 19:41-44 (KJV)
The Bible also has over 40 references to weeping, crying and tears and none are presented or appear to be portrayed in a disparaging or negative way...
God Collects our Tears
The Bible also talks of God collecting the tears of those who grieve..
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle:
...(are they) not in thy book?”…
Psalm 56: 8 (KJV) Psalmist David...Ca. 1000 BC
Here is a link to the page on this website for the story of God collecting the tears of those who grieve and placing them in a bottle...
I have also found that there are others in our groups that have been grieving as long or longer than I have…I have also learned that everyone’s journey through grief is different…losing a spouse is also a special type of grief known only to those who have suffered such a loss...it is different and unique from losing a parent, a sibling or an adult child…this is the person we have lived with 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for many years…
"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
Romans 12:15 (KJV)
"Sometimes Memories Sneak Out of My Eyes and Roll Down My Cheeks..."
Theodore Roosevelt, on the day that his wife Alice died of kidney failure (Thursday 14 February 1884), he also lost his mother Mittie who had died eleven hours earlier from Typhoid Fever. (Theodore's wife Alice had just given birth to a baby girl, two days before her death. It was thought that Alice's pregnancy and giving birth had masked her fatal Kidney disease symptoms.) On that emotionally crushing Thursday, Theodore wrote a single line in his daily diary...
“The light has gone out of my life.”\
Grief Share Programs
The Redeemer's Grief share program is a structured period of 2 hour long weekly meetings-sessions over a period of thirteen weeks. A work book for use in note taking, journaling and grief study is included. The video's provide discussions by professionals in the field, with re-enactments as well as real life stories of people who have experienced similar losses of loved ones. The discussion leaders have previously participated in Grief share groups...while individual participation is not required during the small group discussion periods, it is of course encouraged. It permits interaction with others who have experienced similar losses.
The group discussions are under a code of silence and all of the discussion periods and their personal contents are to be kept confidential and are not to be aired outside the group.
I have found that the Redeemer Grief Share groups for the most part are very friendly and supportive...unfortunately the group leaders have developed a personal bias towards me to the extent that the personal stress of attending the sessions is more adverse than any Grief Share benefits...this started in 2015 and continued in 2016 to the extent that I have dropped from the group...all because I questioned the Biblical accuracy of sessions 6 and 7...see detailed comments below...I was the subject of corrective counseling by Pastor T. Anderson on 2 separate occasions in which it was suggested if I did not like the content of the text I need not attend those sessions...no one disputed my interpretation of the Bible as related to these 2 sessions...It was alleged that I made other's in the group uncomfortable by my spending a few minutes out of the 2 hour sessions taking exception to the study text in these 2 sessions......My formal written complaint to T. Anderson on 3/9/2016 was ignored and went unanswered.
While I am very comfortable with the overall faith based background and overtones. there are however serious errors in the Biblical content of the GriefShare program as outlined below in the special notes.
The group leaders are supposedly trained to be sensitive, supportive and understanding...it does not always work out that way...I personally have been the subject of personal bias and resulting stress as outlined above...
Currently the two group leaders of the Redeemer Fridley Campus Grief Share program are Karen Briesemeister, assisted by Wyllis Gierdal and Jack Lundberg.
Dennis and Jill Jeziersk, and Patty Ballard are the group leaders for Redeemer's Coon Rapids Campus.
While Grief Share is a faith based study program, it is nondenominational and features "Biblical teaching on grief and recovery topics." It is based on materials furnished by GriefShare and can be found online at:
Important Griefshare Program Noted Errors
This commercially available program (Griefshare.org) is unfortunately one that has some very serious Biblical errors in it...workbook sessions 6 and 7 have such errors and anyone using this programs should be aware of the errors and be able to adjust accordingly.
Session (6th) spends almost the entire session telling of how our physical ailments and diseases are a part of God's plan to strengthen and temper us...that while it is hard at times to understand why this is happening, we should trust in God's overall plan being in our best interests...This is close to the ridiculous...no where is it pointed out the Satan is the actual cause of our illnesses and diseases and trouble and not God...although the New Testament is crystal clear in this regard...and states at least four times where Satan is referred to as the "King" of this world and "Prince" of this world and the cause of all illness, disease and troubles...“The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19 (KJV)...the Bible also clearly states that God has come to make life more abundant for us and not to harm us... Book of Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” this lack of understanding of the Bible by this program is a serious shortcoming...it does little to soften ones grief and does more to enhance the grief...especially for the thousands of caregivers for the Alzheimer's victims who battle a disease that is always terminal and always gets progressively worse until the mind is totally destroyed after several years...Mayo says that for the victims, the last few years are lived in constant fear...the last thing the caregivers want to hear is that God caused this terrible sickness and disease.
Another serious shortcoming is the statement in session (7) that says there is nothing anyone could have done to change the life span of our loved ones by even a tenth of a second...this is outrageous...consider Alzheimer's where caregivers to loved ones struggle for years to give the victims of this terrible disease the best life possible to the very last day...and to now tell them they have not affected or changed their loved ones life by a tenth of a second is not only absurd, but a terrible thing to say...the Bible has about 10 verses that tell how our lives can be changed both plus or minus by years because of the way that we live that life...I wonder if these people even read the Bible?
I wrote directly to the Grief Share .Org and challenged this absurd statement...they responded on 24 March 2014 and said: "To Start with I agree with you..."while they agreed with me that I was right in that one could not only change one's life by more then a second one could do it in years...they then went on to explain that this text statement was intended for the person who might have guilt...guilt in that there was something he or she could have done in the last few days or moments that would have lengthened the loved one's life...they explained that it was not intended for the long term caregiver that I was concerned about...so in their twisted logic, it was okay to lie in order to take away the guilt of a small group while ignoring the large group of long term dedicated caregivers that I represented by saying they did not intend it to apply to this group...incredible!
By visiting the above online page for "Grief Share" you can also locate all classes that are being conducted near you geographically...there is a handy service that permits the entry of your Zip Code and a listing of all nearby Grief Share programs being conducted in your home area are displayed.
Shortly before the holidays of "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas", a special 2 hour program "Surviving the Holidays" is normally presented that is separate and apart from the normal 13 week Grief Share program. A small manual or work booklet is also provided as a part of the training session.
Your local church may well have a similar program...I would strongly endorse and urge your participation in such programs when you become involved in your own travel through grief...this program has been of much help to me in my early year attendance but recent group leader bias has forced me to drop out of the programs...one must keep in mind the serious Biblical teaching shortcomings and adjust accordingly...see discussion above...
“The presence of that absence is everywhere.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Johnny Cash on Grief Loss
"There's no way around grief and loss: you can doge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left."
Grieving for June
The loneliness and grief while interspersed with periods of Joy and purpose, always lurks in the background awaiting the opportunity to spring forth...and much like the day itself, a wave of sadness arrives with the evening shadows…and yes, everyday I have brief episodes of tears…Grief has a way of ambushing you when least expected…it may be hearing a song, walking into a room or seeing a favorite item of remembrance…for me it is sometimes just opening a door, a drawer or a cabinet...perhaps it is an anniversary that holds special memories...
When I dine out now, June is always with me in spirit. I have found that it is comforting for me to have June with me in spirit by way of a framed 5 x 7 picture of June that I place on my table where ever I happen to be dining. I place it in commanding position in the center back portion of the table. The picture frame has a stand-up support on the back of the frame. I selected one of my favorite pictures of June...one taken at a family gathering on Mother's Day in May...It is a photo that shows June in her usual million dollar smile. I cannot help but look at the photo of June and smile back.
On occasion another diner will stop by and ask me about June's picture...this permits me to spend a short time promoting my two end of life goals...Promoting June's honor and memory and promoting Alzheimer's awareness and the need for funding for research to find a cure for this terrible disease.
No unpleasant incidents have taken place as a result of my bringing June with me in spirit and by doing it in the manner of using a favorite photo of June. Most waitresses say nothing but obviously take note of the photo. Every one has been most respectful of my wishes to honor June in this manner.
June's presence in spirit by way of her photo tends to remind me to always say grace before I start having my meal. June never forgot to say grace before her/our meal, even when deep into Alzheimer's ...June would tend to become confused on her prayer words...but not before thanking God for all he had done for us...I would then step in an finish Grace for her...June photo always serves as an inspiration to me and reminds me of my great debt to God for bringing June into my life!
Billy Graham’s Commentaries on Grieving
While recovering from the Flu, I have been reading or perhaps re-reading Billy Graham’s book “Nearing Home” (2011)…of particular interest was his comments on Grieving…I am sure he will not mind if I reproduce just a small portion of his comments as I find them very appropriate and they agree with my own feelings in this matter…I am sure many in my family wonder “what’s wrong with this old fool…it has been years now”…
“As I write this it has been four years since Ruth went home to be with the Lord. I feel her loss more keenly now. Not a day passes what I don’t imagine her walking though my study door or us sitting together on our porch as we did so often, holding hands as the sun set over the mountaintops.
I have asked myself why this is the case, after all, shouldn’t our grieving over the loss of a loved one fade as time passes? Yes, it should – and in some ways it has for me. But in other ways it hasn’t, nor do I expect it to. One reason, I think, is because my strongest memory at the time of her death was of her last days…her weakness, her pain, her yearning for Heaven. Much as I longed to have her stay with us, I also knew that for her, death would be a welcome release from the burdens of this life. But with the passing of time, memories of the happiness we shared over more than sixty three years of marriage come to mind. I remember our last years together as my travels lessened and we had more time just to be together. Those were some of the best years of our lives...almost as it we were falling in love again. And with those memories has come a deeper sense of loss.
The other reason I feel her death so deeply, I think, is because mingled with my grief is a new sense of expectancy-the certain knowledge that someday soon the Lord will come for me also, and before long Ruth and I will be reunited in Heaven. More than ever, I look forward to that day!
Grief is a reality; those who say that we shouldn’t grieve the loss of loved ones “because they’re better off now” have never understood the enormous hole that is left in our hearts when loved ones’ die. Yes, they may be better off if they are in Heaven – but we aren’t better off. A major part of our lives has been ripped from us, and just as it takes time to heal from a major surgery, so it takes time to heal from the loss of loved ones…”
Stan’s Notes (17 January 2015): Ruth Graham died on June 14th, 2007, just a year before June died on October 23rd, 2008...by coincidence Ruth’s death took place on my birthday. Ruth had requested to be taken off of life supports on 13 June 2007, and her family agreed.
June was a fan of Billy and Ruth Graham and had books in her library from both…June and I attended one of his Crusades when it was in Minneapolis some years back. June and I have been long time supporters of Billy Graham and particularly his Crusades...June started monthly donations to the Billy Graham Crusades about 20 years ago and I have continued this support after June's passing. I am sure that June has established a good relationship with Ruth now that they are both in Heaven together…they are probably wondering which one of us will arrive first!
No Timetables for Love or Grieving
There are no timetables for grieving...Near the anniversary of the 1st year of June's death, I received a letter from David Glesne, the Senior Pastor of our Redeemer Lutheran Church. In this letter, Pastor Glesne assured me that there are no timetables for grieving:
"...you may have people around you acting as if your grief should have ended a long time ago. But you can't grieve by someone else's timetable. Let yourself grieve for as long as you need to grieve...May God's love for you help you to cherish your loved one in your heart always...Sincerely, Pastor David Glesne."
There are some former couples who have lost either a husband or a wife, and who are able to eventually move on into another satisfying relationship and a second marriage. That is not and never will be another chapter in my life...there just are no other "June's." To me, June is very unique and comes along only once in a lifetime.
I recall the time in August of 1994 as June and I were looking for a suitable final resting place...June commented to me that if I were to pass on first, it would not be her intention to remarry...I never thought that I would ever outlive June based on my family history. My natural father died at age 55 from a heart attack...I had warned June many times that I would probably never reach old age. June and I later signed the purchase agreement for our joint graves at Lakewood Cemetery on our 42nd anniversary 16 August 1994...In a published tribute to June on 9 August 2011 for our anniversary, I also committed myself and announced to the world that...
"You told me once that if you remained after I passed on, you would not remarry. Well neither will I. Remember June, when I would tell you how long I would love you...nothing has changed" –
“I will love you until the sands of time cease their endless trickle”
(Photo below is Stan's favorite of June - In the year 2002 – Our 50th Wedding - Anniversary Year)
(June in her 6th Year of Alzheimer’s and still doing well - but the dark clouds are on the horizon!)
June’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis came in late January 1998. June was concerned about short term memory problems noted in 1997 and brought the matter up at her annual physical examination in December of 1997. .Subsequent examinations at the University of Minnesota, resulted in a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer's...This was latere confirmed at Mayo.
June in her role as a nursing home visitor, knew at a very early date, the blackness and the depth of the distant approaching Alzheimer’s storm clouds. June displayed a concern for me. I remember well that Sunday (Ca. 1999) when June brought home the “Care Notes” pamphlet from our church - “Handling Grief as a Man.” She said nothing; just left it out for me to find and to read. I also remember the time that she detected one of my episodes of emotional sadness as I watched her illness progress. She tried to console me by saying “Don’t worry, I will be alright Stan!” I am sure at the time, we both really knew otherwise.
Thereafter, I lost June slowly, tear drop by tear drop during her long and exhausting journey into the shadows of Alzheimer’s that lasted for almost 12 years.
For the first 8 plus years I took care of June at our home. The first 6 years of these years were relatively easy years that only required accommodation for her short term memory problems. We continued to travel extensively and did the many things we had put off in past years. We made up our "Bucket List" and we did them all. In Years 7 and 8 the disease started closing in on us as we saw June’s personality change and eventually hallucinations and behavioral changes. In year 9, June went into a nursing home. As the disease progressed she had seizures, lost ability to walk or talk, had difficulty swallowing, eating, and became incontinent. During the last year and a half, she rarely opened her eyes or even responded. Aspiration pneumonia, a common Alzheimer’s complication ended her life.
June gave me a lifetime of unconditional love during our 56 year’s marriage and a life with only the regret that it is now over and that June has had to suffer the horrors of Alzheimer's. I owe June and God an unending debt for the many blessings of our marriage. For me, meeting June was like a "Divine Appointment." It was as if I had won the grand prize in the Lottery of Life. June's passing was as if a most beautiful symphony that played during our life together, had now ceased to exist!
Before June's Alzheimer's diagnosis, our world and her character and personality were represented by a vast sea of bright and beautiful lights. After her Alzheimer's diagnosis, these bright lights all begin to slowly dim. As June slowly slipped deeper into the shadows of Alzheimer's, the lights gradually flickered out one by one. Eventually the time came during the last two years of her life, when the brightness that marked our world and June’s life was replaced by one of darkness.
During the last year and a half of her life, a physically incapacitated June rarely ever opened her eyes to a world that was then alien and strange to her. June had become so tired, exhausted and weary that in the last year of her life she lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield. God mercifully took June home on the 23rd of October 2008.
June's favorite clothes still hang in our closets...all of June's notes, knacks and photo's still adorn the refridgerator door exactly as they were the day June left our home forever...
I am reminded of the lines from the Poem of "Love" by John Frederick Nim:
"For should your hands drop white and empty - All the toys of the world would break."
Even the Birds Grieve
Even the birds of God's Animal Kingdom grieve the loss of their mate or partner...they may not cry or weep tears as we do, but they do cry out in grief, sorrow and anguish as this bluebird is doing...(I have seen the same grief enacted by swallows and Geese...Geese are said to be one of a dozen members of the animal kingdom to mate for life.)...I viewed a series of 6 photos that showed two blue birds and the efforts by the one to arouse the other from death...finally in the last photo depicted here, the one bird accepts the reality of death and enters a grieving phase...
Christmas Day 2013 – A Grieving Commentary
Lori-Ann Drew - Spring Hill, Florida
(Lori-Ann and her Mother)
"Stan…I believe that there is no time limit or scale in which to measure one's grief! I believe that unless you can walk in someone else's shoes you cannot truly understand all that they feel. I also find it terribly insensitive to tell a person "it's time to get over it, move on." WHO's time? I didn't realize that there was a "Normal" amount of time to mourn someone you loved dearly. As if there is a switch that one can just flick at any given time! ..., if it were that easy no one would ever shed a single tear for their losses. No one would ever endure that kind of pain if merely flipping a switch would stop it in it's tracks. However, I think it is only human nature to want someone to be happy, to find happiness, to never experience sadness because it makes those of us who are on the sidelines uncomfortable. For most, it is terribly painful to watch the person you love grieve. You just want them to find joy again.
I do not know what it is like to loose a spouse, especially one who has been in your life for so long. But, I have watched my father for the last 3 years grieve for mother. My father too was a full time caregiver to my mother. She was stricken with a stroke in 2005. She had right side paralysis and lost her speech completely. She relied on my father for everything…from cutting her food to bathing, and tucking her in bed each night. After she passed in 2012 at home, with her face in his hands as he whispered "I love you, I love you, I love you, over and over again until she was gone. He was devastated. He still is, sometimes we can talk about her and at other times it is best not to. As a daughter and as I stand on the sidelines and watch him grieve, I too sometimes become uncomfortable with watching him grieve. I want to see that twinkle in his eye, or the sound of pure joy when he laughs. I want him to be happy again. I wonder if he is afraid to be too happy. I wonder if he thinks she will be upset that he's laughing too much. Maybe these are just my own fears, but none the less, I wonder. But even though she was my mother, she was his wife! And as he said at her memorial, " she was his next breath! " So who am I to tell him to suck it up and get over it? The thought has never entered my mind. My only wish for my father, for you, and anyone else who is grieving, is that you are kind to YOURSELF, the one you loved and lost would demand nothing less.
So Stan, if you want to grieve, cry, make charitable donations, leave waiters/waitress's June’s tips, plaster Junes face on the internet, and dine with her photo until your last breath leaves your lips, and when you flip that switch and the grief is gone because June is walking by your side, holding your hand, do me a favor, turn around and blow a kiss and slap your…to all those who judged you! Have a wonderful and tender to yourself New Year Stan!!!”
PS: When my mother passed, it was beautiful. My father will tell you the same. I stood in silence as I watched my father whisper my mother into heaven. In her final moments, under heavy sedation, her eyes opened as she followed a sight toward the ceiling that was not visible to any of our eyes but hers. For only seconds, I could feel what I can only explain is heaven. I was standing next to my mother as she looked into heaven…it was the most amazing feeling I have ever had. While I'm sure the hospice nurses thought I was clutching my chest and crying tears of grief…I wasn't…I was crying because my mother had shared a piece of heaven with me…, to ease my grief, my fathers grief…I know with all my heart that my mother is in heaven and happier than ever…I know this because I felt it in my soul…and because the morning after we found dozens of tiny feathers strewn about the house! I am able to embrace my mothers death because of what I was allowed to feel. I know June is there with my mom, and though you may not have shared my experiences in her passing, trust me…heaven is real, and June is having a ball!"… I remember after my mom passed and the hospice nurse was waiting with us for the funeral parlor, my father and I were talking about how she opened her eyes, the nurse started to say " we, at hospice, have a theory about that." when my father cut her off and said, " The only theory I have is that my wife was staring into the face of God," The hospice nurse placed a hand on my fathers shoulder then and said, " Mr Taylor, he is the ONLY one who could have opened her eyes." It's amazing how powerful words can be!!!"...25 December 2013.
“Life After Life”
Is there Life after Life for our loved Ones now gone!...people of faith are comforted by the thought that their loved ones who have passed on are now living in their “Mansion over the Hilltop” in that land called Heaven where there are no tears, pain, illness or growing old..,
Perhaps at times we may have doubts or our faith may become weak and we look for reassurances…then some event will take place that bolsters the sagging faith in a manner that leaves little room for doubt!
One of the magazines that June always loved and subscribed to for many years before she passed on and is still a part of our monthly mail…and it still comes in June’s name…the publication is ”Guideposts” This fine magazine always has a series of true stories and experiences of faith by their many readers…The January 2014 issue of Guideposts had a great true short story that leaves little room for doubt on the question: “Is there “Life after Life or Life after Death?”
The story comes from Caroline Updyke of Short Hills, New Jersey and has reference to the passing of her grandmother Abuela. Caroline was one that was searching for “some tangible assurance” that her grandmother Abuela who had been gone for two months, “was in heaven.” This thought was prominent in her mind one day as she and her husband were out driving in their car listening to their satellite radio station tuned to some Frank Sinatra oldies. Satellite radio is the radio station with no advertising whatever and is devoted to separate channels of selective type music…on this special day as Caroline was thinking of her grandmother Abuela…”the music stopped suddenly. The signal cut out completely. A few seconds later the radio came back on. No Sinatra. No music at all. Just a voice saying “There is Life after Life”…Then the signal faded again and our oldies channel came back on.”
There remained little doubt in either Caroline or her husbands mind as to what the message meant or who it was from!
A Time to Grieve
(The above Image of Mary cradling her son Jesus following his crucifixion is the Roettgen-Pieta, c, 1300, made of wood, and a carving 35 inches high in the collection of Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Germany.)
Jerry Bleem, O.F.M., a priest and an artist on the staff of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago describes it:
“As Mary cradles her dead child, she is broken hearted rather than serene, desperate instead of comprehending. The body of Jesus carries the ravages of death, the emaciation of torture. The venerated wounds in his hands and feet, and side blossom with his blood, he lies awkwardly in his mothers arms. The grace of the human body now clumsy in death. The sharp thorns of the crowned head rebuff maternal cuddling.
Paul wrote with the insight of faith, “Where, O death is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55) Try to locate this conviction when a loved one lies lifeless, when a young person’s life ends too soon, when violence obliterates human potential…The Roettgen-Pieta hides none of deaths cruelty and injustice. Frankly it poses the question that all of us must face: How do we go on? The one whose son suffered a cruel execution accompanies us in our losses.” March 2014
"Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength."
Someday the Circle will be Unbroken!
The Bible describes David's grieving for a dying son...after the son's death the Bible tells us and promises us that while those members of our family who have passed on before us, cannot return to us, however, some day we will go to them and be reunited with them...2 Samuel 12: 23 (KJV):
" But now he is dead...Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, (one day - NLT) but he shall not return to me"
After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and into June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on: