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Thank You, Readers, and Share Your Stories, Too

Writing is a pretty isolating endeavor, but I’ve learned that while I sit in in front of a computer all by myself, I do not write alone. And so I want to thank you, my readers.toni2017-2

In the past two weeks, the number of followers to this blog has doubled. Others are readers but are not followers.

(Many of you know this, but for those who do not: To follow the blog, scroll down to the bottom of the page or post, enter your e-mail address and hit the “follow” button. You will receive e-mail notification each time I post. I typically post once a week.)

I’m honored you’d take five minutes out of your life to read the words I’d compose. I don’t pretend to be inspired in the way the writers of the Bible were, but I’d like to think God intends for our stories to help others.

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My Dear Valentine: Parents “Return” to Soothe a Grieving Heart

My first Valentine was my daddy. If you had a good father, you know the tremendous stabilizing influence they provide. While other valentines came and went, my daddy remained.

Do we mourn mothers more than fathers? Perhaps it seems so. An emotional umbilical cord links us to them. And yet, when we lose a father, we lose a force, an anchor, a defender.daddyvalentineskroger

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Founding Father’s Death Perspective Paves Way to Seeing Life and Grief Differently

I struggled receiving comfort in the idea that my mother was in heaven, even though I believed in the afterlife. And while I am delighted she isn’t suffering anymore, the whole thing for me was she was gone from my side. I believed she gained so much. But I had lost so much.

Seven years later, I find comfort in the perspective voiced by Benjamin Franklin in a letter dated to a February day 261 years ago. I share the letter below. I do not pretend that because we know a person isn’t suffering anymore that our grief is easily erased. But perhaps it can be eased.

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My copy of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography from a college assignment years ago.

What a wonderful way to understand these passages called life and death. This life prepares us for another. Christ gave us a hope that I pronounced over my daddy’s lifeless body 10 years ago. He said: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

Mr. Franklin’s letter:

 

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Telling Our Grief Story: The Forgotten Audience

We find ourselves pulled toward others who have lost loved ones like us. We want to help, to listen or to offer guidance. We may even decide to share our experiences in a larger forum.

We blog. We write articles. We speak to groups, but we may not reach the numbers we hope for. And thus, we experience frustration. Or disillusionment. We found meaning in our suffering by sharing what we learn with others, but our efforts aren’t getting much of anywhere.toniporchphoto2

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