Excerpt for My Compass, Our Story: A Journey Through Death and Life by , available in its entirety at Smashwords





Endorsements



“The lesson to be learned from My Compass, Our Story is that if you do not bring forth what is within you it will destroy you but if you bring forth what is within you it will save you. Read on and prepare yourself for life.”

~ Bernie Siegel, MD author of

A Book of Miracles and Love, Animals & Miracles



“One man’s journey from heartbreak to healing told in a personal, conversational style. You get the feeling you are reading an unfiltered private diary. This book does not pretend to be a piece of great literature. But if you want to look through an open window into the heart and soul of a man trying to come to terms with loss, this book is perfect for you. Each of us will, in time, have to cross many of the same bridges the author has crossed in this book. He seems to know this and is gentle with the reader. I appreciated the book and found it to be an easy read covering a topic that has no easy parts.”

~ Rev. Bob Luckin, DD



“Mike Russell reminds us that when we feel torn apart, due to the death of a loved one or friend, must go through the various stages of grief. Through his experiences, insights, humor, connection to his beloved wife, Barb who died, and his poetry he weaves together a tapestry of love, truth, wisdom, and healing. This is a must-read for all who are grieving.”

~ Sharon Lund author of

Sacred Living Sacred Dying: A Guide to Embracing Life and Death



“This is an important book. And not just for men, either. As I read, I saw that so much of the book’s wisdom also applies to women who find themselves in grief and not fully functioning. Further, I felt the book’s contents would be useful even if the adult who had passed was not a spouse but a parent, or a brother or sister.


“I found the poetry interspersed throughout to be beautiful and thought provoking; a pleasant surprise, considering I don’t normally choose to read poetry!


“In short, My Compass, Our Story is a worthy and valuable addition to adults grieving the loss of another adult.”

~ Lynette M. Smith, author of

How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure



“Mike Russell’s writing is brave, authentic, inspired, descriptive, and peppered with sage advice for anyone healing from the loss a loved one.  His lessons are insightful, wise, and touching.”

~ Rev. Judy Winkler, president

New View New Life (a prison ministry)








MY COMPASS, OUR STORY



A Journey Through Death and Life















Mike Russell




My Compass, Our Story


A Journey Through Death and Life


Copyright © 2017 Mike Russell


Smashwords Edition


“This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Cover design: Ardel Chisholm, LincMedia Design


Sacred Life Publishers™

SacredLife.com




Contents


Endorsements

Dedication

Foreword by Steve Arndt

Introduction—My Compass


Chapter 1—First Steps

Poems

Inspired

You Are

The Compass

I Found God Within

Finding Love

Two Souls

Theme Song

Walking Backwards


Chapter 2—Men Don’t Cry

Poems

Stop-Sign Tears

Second Guesses

Quiet Peace

Where Are You?


Chapter 3—Tackling Yourself

Poems

Tackling Ghosts

Slow Treadmill

A Need to Be Sad


Chapter 4—The New Normality

Poems

Freedom

The Leaf

Life and Death

Hope

Leaving


Chapter 5—The Dreaded Question

Poems

Direct Connect

The Veil

The Path


Chapter 6—The Silence

Poems

What Now?

Softly

Long and Short

A Day in Time

To Remember


Chapter 7—Unexpected Strength

Poems

Silence

Some Days

Catharsis

Talk to the Wind


Chapter 8—Different but All the Same

Poems

The Puzzle of Life

Does It Matter?

Purpose


Chapter 9—Bravery

Poems

You Tried to Tell Me

Live


Chapter 10—Out of the Cave

Poems

Spirit

So Much Time

Remember


Chapter 11—Into the Parade

Poems

One Step

Being at Peace


Chapter 12—Unexpected Paths

Poems

Peace Blanket

Companion

The Burden

Scents


Chapter 13—Taking Stock

Poems

The Gift

Eternally

Peace


Chapter 14—Surviving the Twists and Turns

Poems

Thank You

Searching for Peace

Lights

Another Time


Chapter 15—The Voice of Reason

Poems

Words

The Trip

Street Corner Sobriety

You Are with Me


Chapter 16—Those Little Moments

Poems

Transformation

Synchronicity

Eagle

Past and Future


Chapter 17—Connecting and Reflecting

Poems

Mist

Happiness

Being Lost

Weight

You Know Someone Loves You


Chapter 18—The End and the Beginning


Final Quote From Archangel Raphael


Acknowledgments


About the Author





I would like to dedicate this book to the memory of Barbara Grace Russell, whose soul purpose was to create a nuclear family through which she could use her talents of organization, encouragement, and direction. Her love resides within all her family and will extend out through the generations. She was there for me when I needed it most, and through her spiritual communication, she helped lead me out of the fog of grief. Thank you, my loving friend and partner.






Foreword



My relationship with Mike Russell began more than thirty-five years ago, in the small community of Mt. Angel, Oregon. Mike was an up-and-coming banker, and I was the principal of the local grade school. Our families met and immediately began an enduring friendship that has spanned years of career moves, family additions, and life altering changes, including the death of a child and a spouse. Each of us deals with hard times in different ways, and Mike is no different. The book that Mike has written focuses on his spiritual, mental, and physical journey, and how he navigated life’s route, which was completely re-coursed after the January 2009 death of his wife, Barbara. He hopes people can use his book to assist them in their own life journey, especially when that passage suddenly takes an unwanted turn.

December is usually the time when people make resolutions based on what took place the prior year. I am sure at Christmas in 2008 Mike was busily formulating resolutions that focused on his family and his work, the wild and crazy mortgage market. According to the New York Times, the following were top five New Year’s resolutions that year:

1. Spend more time with family

2. Lose weight

3. Get fit

4. Quit a bad habit

5. Enjoy life more

December turned into January, and his 2009 resolutions were dashed with the unexpected death of his wife. Nowhere on the list was “Deal with the death of a spouse” or “Nurture six young adult children on one’s own”—both daunting scenarios made exponentially worse when working in tandem. Instead of focusing on resolutions, Mike was forced to face the stark reality that his wife, the mother of their children and the rock of their relationship, would no longer be the person he had been awakening beside each morning. While the rest of the world (or so it probably seemed to Mike) was trying to figure out how to spend more time with family, shed those few pounds, and find new ways to enjoy life, Mike was thrust into the unenviable position of widower, making him the sole decision maker, caretaker of teens still at home, nurturer of other young adult children, and breadwinner. Mike had little time for himself and for dealing with his own feelings, as the immediate needs and care of his family were more pressing.

Life does not come with an instruction book to see us through turmoil and crises. No amount of college courses taken for degree completion prepares a person for challenges faced when grave misfortune strikes. Mike has written this book to share his journey, in hopes that others can learn from his experiences. Yet he admits that no two people grieve the same way or at the same pace. In the Five Stages of Grief, it states people must go through the following steps when dealing with a life-changing event:

1. Denial

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

Mike writes that it took him almost five years to get through these stages—more years than many, yet fewer than some. Mike has a unique way of blending prose with poetry and uses life examples to illustrate how he learned to cope with the death of a spouse, regroup, and eventually recover. After coming to accept the hand put before him, with help of a spiritual angel, Mike has since embarked on a new path.

The journey to publish this guidebook began as a blog—a personal and therapeutic release for Mike. As the months passed, he slowly transitioned through the stages of grief, and the blog morphed into this book. It does not tell you how to survive a crisis; rather, it speaks to what he found as personal comfort and solace during his walk through this dark period. Mike knows the book is not intended to remove the difficult or bleak episodes from our lives but rather shed light on seeking a new and brighter tomorrow.

Mike Russell speaks from the depths of his soul, offers heart-wrenching lexis, and gives comfort to his readers. Read the words and take from them what you will and what you need. Good luck in your personal journey, and may you find peace and comfort by using and internalizing what Mike has written.

Steve Arndt, author of

Roads Less Traveled in Oregon

Retired Senior Associate Professor, Warner Pacific College


Back to Contents




Introduction


My Compass



Barbara Grace Russell was my compass and my guide. I knew it the first time I met her. Barb was the love of my life for thirty-four years. We did pretty much everything together. After she fell ill, I became so caught up in the day-to-day, downward physical deterioration of her body that I did not truly acknowledge the reality of what was happening. I was unaware of how close her death really was. I cannot say that if I had taken my head out of the sand, I would have been able to change anything; but I do look back with sadness and some guilt. We tend to think that, had we known, we could have changed something to create a different outcome. Reality tells us differently. No matter how much we love someone, it is easy to get stuck in the rut of life and to follow the direction you have been pointed in while hoping for the best.


* * *


Death is so final and complicated in its emotional impact on a person.

Remembering back to the day she died is like a brilliant flash of light. Barb died of a massive heart attack brought on by complications from Type 2 diabetes. To me, diabetes is a very destructive, heat-seeking missile. It weakens the body into submission. Even though Barb had been diagnosed only a couple of years before her death, she was already following most of the prescribed medical regimen for patients with the condition. There were so many pills for so many things going wrong in her body that when I look back on it, I realize she didn’t have a chance. You know the old saying, “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” She knew where it was headed more than any of us did. After all, she was a retired nurse with a lot of knowledge in this area.

Back in 1975, we were both working at the Arizona Children’s Hospital. One day I looked up from a desk where I was working as a ward clerk and saw a petite blonde with beautiful eyes staring me in the face. She asked me how old I was. One simple question. After my reply, she turned around and walked away. I laughed out loud after I got over the surprise. It turns out she had been put up to it as a bet by one of the other nurses. And that was it. I was hooked. Right then and there, I forgot about getting dumped by another girl and ended up falling hard for this nurse. I was only twenty years old. We married the following year and spent the next thirty-plus years creating a large family, mostly while living in Oregon.

I think it would help for you to know Barb better. She was the ultimate mother. Motherhood was what her soul strived for. We had seven children. Our first son died at ten days old from a heart problem, and I think that event sent us on the large family route. Honestly, we never thought we would have more than two kids. It’s kind of funny what happens along life’s journey. I spoke at Barb’s funeral about how she would have been mortified to have so many people make a fuss of her. At the same time she would have been so pleased by all the love shown by those in attendance.

My wife was a kind and gentle woman who loved me and our children without exception, no matter what we did. She coached us all in her unique, encouraging way. Barb knew all our personalities and worked within each of our quirks to help make us who we are today. Don’t get me wrong. Perfection is not what I am alluding to here. What I am saying is that Barb was most comfortable in her role as a mother, even though it drove her crazy at times. She was very good at motherhood.

I, on the other hand, can only admire her because I definitely do not excel at being the mom now that she is gone. However, I have had to learn to take on the role. Let me tell you, it has a very steep learning curve. What a person can take for granted in someone until he or she isn’t around anymore is amazing, and you think, “Oh my God. How am I supposed to pull this off?” Hopefully, this helps explain who Barb was and why I would expect nothing else than for her to continue to guide me as my compass.

This book is about the journey I have been on since Barb died. It is about my highs and lows, my successes and failures, the connections, and the letting go. I really do not think this text could have been written without the strong bond between Barb and me. The interwoven connections we had through our life together have made possible all the things that have happened since her death. Existing in total grief is all-consuming.

Right after Barb’s funeral, I felt a need to get to our favorite beach in Manzanita, Oregon. I went with my two daughters and one of their friends. I was in a complete fetal position in the front passenger seat listening to John Denver. You would have to know our family to realize that because Barb and I were always John Denver fans, we inspired the kids to be the same. The group of sad travelers headed to a favorite restaurant along the Oregon coast. We had beautiful weather, but all the while I was being spiritually driven to get to our coast house in Nehalem. I needed to be by myself on the beach in Manzanita. To be driven to do anything at the time seemed odd. I certainly was not functioning at any level that could be considered normal. However, I could not get it out of my head that I had to be on that beach as soon as possible. I remember pushing the group north along the coast and telling them I was going to drop them off at the house and head to the beach alone.

It is hard to make clear what a powerful pull was being placed on me to get to Manzanita beach at that time. I could feel nothing. I was completely numb. My eyes were swollen from crying beyond what I thought was a rational amount of time. It is surprising I was able to drive myself there, given that I had no sense of awareness about me. When I got out of the car, I immediately and intuitively headed to the north end of the beach. I remember standing at the shore’s edge and being devoid of any kind of emotion or strength within my body. Then I let loose tears I didn’t think I had in me anymore. Without warning, I became angry. I know it is one of the stages of grief, but I think over the next hour, I went through every stage of grief simultaneously.

Basically, I let Barb have it for leaving me so suddenly. How could she leave me after we had shared such a genuine connection over the last thirty-four years? If you knew me, you would know I do not usually get angry. I heard Barb tell a friend one day that you could count on one hand the number of times I had truly been angry in our marriage. Well, this was one of those times. I remember looking around, and although there were a few people nearby on the beach, I seemed to be invisible to those people who were enjoying the beach. I looked at one woman, and it was like she was looking up the beach and straight through me. I ranted and raved. I finally demanded in a voice I did not recognize that I could not do this without her. I told Barb she had to continue to be with me and communicate with me because I was not going to be able to go on without her. As if that weren’t enough, I then demanded she show me that she was listening. Until that point, I had looked around the beach and not seen anything on the sand—no shells, no rocks, nothing. I walked toward the end of the beach, and at that very moment, I noticed a sand dollar. I bent down and picked it up. And then another. And another.

Nothing had been in sight just moments before, and I said aloud, “If this is you, Barb, and this is your sign, you’re going to need to give me nine shells.” In my mind, nine was the number of people in our family; seven children and two parents. Right on cue, that is exactly what happened. As I walked and picked up these sand dollars, I had exactly nine in my hand. There were no other sand dollars on the beach. I started to relax, thinking Barb was listening, and I was embarrassed about my display of emotion.

I arrived at the rocks toward the end of the beach after putting all the sand dollars in my pocket. I felt some relief with these tokens. I took one step on a mossy boulder, and I remember my legs flying straight up in the air and coming down hard on the sand. Feeling clumsy, with my dignity nowhere to be found, I got to my feet and brushed the sand off myself. I seemed to be in one piece. It suddenly dawned on me that I had the sand dollars in my pocket. When I slid my hand in to feel them, I found they had shattered into dust. I laughed aloud, thinking Barb was playing a joke on me. After regaining my composure, I spoke to Barb again and told her that I understood her ironic humor. However, because I was a visual person, which she knew, she was going to have to provide me nine more sand dollars on my walk back down the beach. I was thinking, “That’ll show her,” because I already knew the stretch of beach I had just walked was completely barren.

I started hiking back, and almost immediately a sand dollar appeared in front of me, then another, and another. I had now collected eight more sand dollars that had appeared out of nowhere, but I was one short of nine. I asked Barb to give me a special one. Then the “Miracle of Manzanita” appeared in front of my right foot. I saw a sand dollar that had the complete carved picture of a figure in it.

To me it appeared as a perfectly carved picture of what I thought was Barb with her arms outstretched. I was suddenly not angry anymore. I very carefully picked up this miracle and cradled it in my hand. I was sure if I let it go, it would get hurt and no one would ever believe what had just happened. I immediately found a sizable log of driftwood, carefully laid out the sand dollars, and photographed them with my camera. Being a visual type of person and getting this kind of response from Barb allowed me to believe that she was listening to my pleas and really was going to help me through this struggle.

I made it back to the house and retold the story for my family many times. I was unable to get through it without becoming extremely emotional. Whenever I told this story, I would bring the special sand dollar out at the end and show it to anyone listening. Everyone else thought the final sand dollar looked like an angel outline. I can accept this interpretation because I now know Barb is my guardian angel and guide.

From that point on, the number nine became a very important number in my life; so much so, that when I see the number nine, it often means some form of communication with Barb is about to transpire. I would awaken at various times from sleep with thoughts involving some combination of the number nine. Sometimes I had to ignore it just to get some sleep.

Months went by as I walked and talked my way through my grief. In June 2009, on a long walk through downtown Hillsboro, Oregon, words started leaping into my head. No matter what I did, I could not get rid of or ignore them, so I made my way to a coffee shop, where I borrowed a pen, took a napkin, and wrote down the words. This was the first poem I ever wrote. The words hit me like a ton of bricks.

Poetry is definitely not my thing. I have never enjoyed poetry, written any, or really even liked to read it. But now, on these walks of mine, I was being flooded with words.

The poems would come in pieces or in complete form. At first, it was irritating. It then became a dutiful requirement for me to carry paper and pen on every stroll. I probably looked silly, walking around town while writing and not paying attention to where I was walking. Luckily, I tripped only a few times. Some days I would write ten poems on a five-mile walk, and others, I would be focused on one specific piece. I refer to this as a cosmic joke, knowing that Barb was the inspiration for what was coming through. I had asked for a continued connection and guidance, and I realized now that I might not have been specific enough. The joke was to give me poems to write down because it was well known that it was not my forte. I realized these poems were important, but I really did not know what to do with them. I kept putting them into a pile, thinking my job was done by simply writing them down for myself.

A close friend and I went to see the movie Julie and Julia. In the film is a screenshot of the blog site that she was using to communicate about her trip with Julia Child. I immediately thought I was supposed to use that medium in some way for these poems. After I got home and did some research, I created my blog. This was during September 2009. I figured I already had enough poems written to last a couple of years if I posted one a week. The same friend, who had seen the movie with me, suggested I write something about my journey in relation to losing Barb. At this point, I was listening to people and following signs that were in front of me. The first blog was created to change weekly and to include a journey entry that focused on what I was feeling that week.

It has evolved from a painful reminder to an enjoyable outlet, not only for what I feel and think but also as a way for me to communicate with other people who are grieving. Plenty of books tell a great deal about bereavement and grief. However, I believe the personal day-to-day experience of grief from a man’s perspective is missing in our literature. I am a man with feelings, and I have been through a tremendously difficult and awe-inspiring time of my life. I am not ashamed of my feelings. I believe society puts too much pressure on us, particularly men, to bottle them up and move on.

Along this path, I have been inspired, I believe by my deceased wife, to write poetry about life and death, living and loving. I have no doubt about where this drive and content come from. To be honest, whether anyone else believes it really does not matter because faith transcends and allows me to continue on this journey. I have met some really wonderful people along the way who identify with the loss process. I have been given enough feedback to believe Barb and I are, indeed, on the right path and this project can help other people traveling down a road similar to mine. In addition to the poetry and blogs that were written during this period, I was also inspired to reach out and write a book about my best friend at the time, who was an intuitive and angelic energy practitioner.

Through our time together, I became acquainted with Archangel Raphael, who is channeled through Trisha Michael. Because of this growing interest and relationship with a need to seek another answer, I asked Archangel Raphael to provide input for this book in the hopes he would be able to provide a thread that would tie the timeframe and grief process together. The result was his direct quotes for each chapter, which provide a platform of what transpires in that timeframe. After I received these quotes, the thread provided turned out to be so simple that I had not recognized it at first.

He gives his input to weave love throughout the timeline of this book, by providing his special words to this human experience we all go through at one point or another. As with all of Archangel Raphael’s messages, he shares love over and over again. I call this the “Thread of Love.”

So what you end up with is an angelic quote, personal experiences that cover a period from death to life, and inspired poetry—all wrapped up in a ribbon. May the quotes of Archangel Rafael and the following love story—consisting of my prose contributions and the poetry Barb inspired—give you peace, and may you enter the light a new and renewed soul.


Back to Contents





Chapter 1


First Steps



The journey begins with a crack of light in great darkness.

Shining light eternally forth allows darkness

to remember the embrace of Love.

~Archangel Raphael



Inspiration comes in many forms. You may be inspired to take a walk, build a backyard memorial, or write something. In my case, inspiration has allowed me to do all of these. My wife is my inspiration. Since her passing on January 29, 2009, I was inspired to write poetry. I am sure this has happened to other people, but if you knew me, it would come as a total surprise. I am going to be honest. I grew up not liking or reading poetry. So my writing poetry can be considered to be a kind of cosmic joke. I believe it is Barb’s way of getting me outside of my comfort zone and ready to do other things.

I have never studied how to compose poetry, what is proper, or whether it is worth reading. What I can promise is these poems were all given to me with love and intention. The verses or titles flash in my mind and do not let go until I write them down. Once I do write them down, I typically forget them. I do not even remember them an hour later. I know they are coming from a source outside of me. I find this to be extremely comforting or scary depending on how I want to view it. I hope these poems will bring comfort where needed and, most of all, will show that love crosses all boundaries. Be open, be loved, and know you are not alone.






Inspired



She lit up my world,

directed my dreams,

and gave me love even

if I did not deserve it.


She came in peace,

and died with love,

sending us all on paths of our own.


She gave to everyone,

serving first,

receiving later.


The beam of light that she is now,

will change the world

for the better.


Back to Contents

* * *

For me, when Barb died, it was like a light went out. I remember feeling like every cell in my body was drained of energy. I felt lifeless, non-emotional, cold, and hopeless, rather like the marionette that hung in my closet when I was a kid. My form was here, but nothing within me was working.





You Are



You are my light

you are my soul

you are me.


You are right

you are wrong

you are me.


You are love

you are fear

you are me.


You are my light

you are my soul

you are me.


Back to Contents

* * *


In the early days following Barb’s death, simple things like walking were difficult. I tried walking around one block and could hardly move my legs. My mind was trying really hard to take one step at a time, but my body was not reacting. I believe there is a very powerful disconnect between your senses, your body, and your mind. I am not sure if it is protective or destructive.





The Compass



The compass guides us where we need to go,

the compass saves us from getting lost,

the compass brings us back to where we started.


All directions lead to you;

with the compass’s help, the journey is easy.

It does not matter which direction you go,

you will always be able to find your way.


Without the compass

I will get lost,

my life will become foggy,

my meaning will disappear.


You are my compass.

You right me when I am wrong,

you lead me where I need to go,

you save me from myself.


No matter what direction I go,

whether it is east, west, north, or south,

I know that you will be with me

and forever be my compass.


Back to Contents

* * *

One day, about nine months after Barb left us, I looked at Jack, our dog, and said aloud, “This is ridiculous.” Right then, I knew if I did not make a choice to walk farther and faster, I was literally going to die. I believe, when we lose someone close, we all get to the point of making the choice to live or die.

That walk changed my life. While I was on that first long walk, my first poem came streaming in and would not get out of my head until I wrote it down. Unfortunately, I did not have a pen and paper and had to keep saying it over and over for two miles until I made it to a downtown Starbucks and could borrow a pen and take a napkin. I was greatly relieved to put the following words to paper.





I Found GOD Within



I found GOD in the wind

I found GOD in the sun

I found GOD in the water

I found GOD in the sky


I found GOD within


I found GOD in death

I found GOD in life

I found GOD in tears

I found GOD in laughter


I found GOD within


I found GOD in a dog’s eye

I found GOD in a cat’s call

I found GOD in a flower

I found GOD in silence


I found GOD within


I found GOD in the ocean

I found GOD in the mountains

I found GOD in the streams

I found GOD in the deserts


I found GOD within


I found GOD in a book

I found GOD in music

I found GOD in meditation

I found GOD in the light


I found GOD within


I found GOD in fear

I found GOD in love

I found GOD in pain

I found GOD in work


I found GOD within


Back to Contents

* * *

Walking farther and faster each day allowed me to talk to Barb. I got angry. I told her I loved her and demanded more, sometimes in the same sentence. I think when we are in the middle of grief, we humans think we can control everything by doing what we always do. What we do not realize is that grieving is one of those times when we can no longer have any control over what matters the most. The fog I was in did not seem quite as dense, allowing me to get glimpses of reality outside of myself.





Finding Love



Why is it when you cannot find love,

it is staring you in the face.


Why is it when you need an answer,

you do not hear it being whispered to you.


Why is it that when fear takes hold,

love is hiding in the mist.


Why is it when pain takes over,

it is allowed a voice.


Why is it when you see a miracle,

it cannot be seen for what it is.


LIFE


Back to Contents

* * *

Each of my walks took on a life of its own. Usually, in addition to what was going on in my mind, I was experiencing some sort of physical pain in my back or my leg. These long-distance walks were a battle between my stubbornness and my aging body. Typically, what would happen is I would target a bench at the halfway mark so I could sit and recuperate. If that doesn’t make you feel old, nothing will. I understood reaching the bench was an accomplishment. It not only gave me a goal, but it also allowed me to find a venue to play in my thoughts.





Two Souls



Two souls

one connection.

One on earth, one in spirit,

joined together by a common cause,

to help mankind heal.


Death is not the end,

it is only the beginning.

Working together to produce the results,

that will help you and me cope.


Never selfish, always true.

The two together give the concert of the heavens,

that each of us will understand.


So mourn if you must,

grieve until it hurts.

But know that the connection is greater now.


Back to Contents

* * *

People have moments in their lives when they are going along minding their own business and a song comes through, hitting home. You have probably heard it before but not truly listened. All of a sudden, this song opens a door, and the words speak directly to you. I call these theme songs. I think, when you lose someone, you grab on to these theme songs because they not only touch your heart but move you to a safer place.

One song that did this for me was Tyrone Wells’ song, “More.” He speaks volumes to me with a few lines:

I think we are all afraid that we might be alone down here. We all want to have some faith. At least that’s true in my case to just believe. I’ve seen the heights reminding me I’m alive. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to waste another day or night. I know there is something more than what we are living for.

Feeling safe after losing someone in your life is an extraordinary and profound experience. Allowing yourself this gift of falling into the theme song will at least give you one moment of calmness and hopefully the realization that healing is possible.





Theme Song



Sometimes when you hear a song

it can take you away

to places unknown.


A theme song of your life

can relinquish control,

to allow you to dream

of a place that could be real,

or a feeling of security.


Be in the moment

with your current thoughts,

but allow the theme song

to restore your balance for the future.


Theme songs

are not used to escape


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