Grief Anonymous

I am more than excited to launch this organization.  It has been several years in the making for sure and it will continue to evolve and transform over the days, weeks,and years to come.  I have so much to say about this organization that there just isn’t enough time here in this one post to describe it in its entirety.  So let me just start with a few words about the  beginnings of GA. In the days to follow I will continue to add it all to this blog with a book to follow shortly. GA’s roots began to form after I transferred my writings from Caringbridge from when my husband was first diagnosed into http://www.hollycbarker.com after my husband passed away from cancer as a means to cope and to share in hopes that maybe my journey might help someone to know they are not alone in their grief.  What came to pass was a growing membership of people from around the world and right here in the USA coming to the page to connect and read someone’s shared grief experience.  From this catalyst of losing my husband, the writing has also allowed me to continue to write about the connection we all have to humanity and to a Higher Power.  Through my husband’s diagnosis and into his passing and onward through my recovery that Source of Love and Light has never left my side.  During the summer of his original cancer diagnosis in 2006, I was shown a vision of a bright, loving, beautiful light.  It was shown to me during the lowest and saddest time of my life.  I was shown and was able to feel the love God has for me, and also the pure simple love we all have for one another.  It is from this experience that the circular gold light has been created from the vision  into what is now the GA symbol.  The small circles surrounding this Light are the Tenets of Recovery.  Ten actionable concepts to follow in order to recover from grief.  These Ten Tenets are the premise and bedrock for this organization.  This group is for all to attend, no matter what your religious beliefs are or not.   No matter your ethnic origin or race.  Male or female.  Young and old. Social situation.  Grief is a collective human experience that has been in the shadows for way too long.  Now is the time for cumulative action to be taken to link us all who are on this path.  We can then be there waiting for those who will join us.  Grief Anonymous will be the light where there is darkness and bring hope to those who are bereaved and in need of fellowship, understanding, and support.

The Ten Tenets of Grief Anonymous:

  1. Belief in a higher power or consciousness
  2. Find or create a sanctuary for healing
  3. Focus on the physical fundamentals of sleep, diet, and exercise
  4. Practice baby steps and leaps of faith
  5. Acceptance of your loss
  6. Facing your fears
  7. Learning to forgive and what forgiveness really means
  8. Finding a creative outlet for your grief
  9. Embracing your new authentic self
  10. Giving back

http://www.griefanonymous.com is under construction and will be ready soon!

Holly Final final small

Coming Home

Reposting tonight.  Two years ago today was Jordon’s last day.  Tomorrow, May 9th will be the anniversary of his passing.  I struggled to tell this story and now today, I am so glad I did.  It was all the affirmation I need to know that writing our story was meant to happen.

I love you, Jordon.  We miss you.  Thank you for staying connected with us. Your presence and your absence is felt daily.

I have a story to share with you today. I was somewhat doubting myself yesterday. I have a story to tell and yet I didn’t want to because I sometimes read over my writings and worry about the impression I give to people through my honesty. I have to shake off the negative vibrational energy that I feel sometimes coming at me and write out my experiences no matter whether it is accepted by others or not. These are my experiences, I do not write fiction, and today I received a peaceful, positive affirmation that I should continue on.

In the course of editing my book I realized I had not written about something important that needs to be shared. The subject matter is seeing the angels surround Jordon to take him with them before he died. Such a crucial piece should not go missing and it needs to be told, yet I have waited to write it out and now I know why. I was struggling with the words as they were not flowing as they usually do and I went to a small café for lunch to write. The words were choppy and guarded. I finished my lunch and came home to a contractor who was working on my house. He was finishing up the job and came to sit at my kitchen table with me to write up the bill. Our pleasant conversation lead to me mentioning the fact that my husband had recently passed on from cancer. That’s when it all started to make sense.

My contractor friend, who is older than me, began to tell me his story. Out of his heart poured his life of losing his wife to cancer at a young age in 1992 when his children were six and ten years old. He told me of his family situation and his struggles that even continue on to this day for him. We shared our experiences of family and of staying connected to our spouses even after they both passed on. The conversation was truly remarkable. I feel for him and his struggles as I know them well. I wish him peace in his heart and the ability to claim the life he deserves, free of anything holding him down.

Without my prompting him, midpoint in our conversation, he began to tell me about his last hour with his wife and what a beautiful experience she had. She was pale and her hair was flowing and she looked like Moses out of the Bible up on the mount receiving the Ten Commandments. She asked to sit up which he then propped her up. She said “You all won’t believe me if I tell you what I’m seeing.” After several promptings by her husband and family members in the room she finally told them. She said, “He is sooo big, and we are sooo small!” And then she passed away.

This was the very subject I was trying to write about in the café and yet struggled not feeling the acceptance surrounding me. Then to go home to sit down with a stranger and have him share his exact same experience is amazing!! The affirmation is undeniable in my book! The more and more I understand and continue to be open to my messages, the more I don’t believe in coincidence anymore. Things happen for a reason. This time it was for two people who have lived the same path helping each other through sharing and lifting each other up.

So here it is, now a chapter in my book, with the affirmation I needed to remember this is a universal, global experience that has been written about, sung about, painted on walls and canvas for centuries, and yet still talked about in the shadows as if it is fabled and doubted and not of our collective present experience. Most families have a relatable story, so here is mine.

It was 12:30pm on May 8th and Jordon was about to be transported to hospice from his hospital bed in our living room. He was gravely ill and his health was deteriorating rapidly. We didn’t know this would be his last day and he didn’t either. He was worried about the experience of hospice and I knew that. He sat up over the edge of his hospital bed and I fell to my knees to hug him. I will never forget that. I told him I wouldn’t leave him and I would take care of him. He nodded and we hugged each other. We exchanged some of our last “I love you’s.” As I slid back to my seat and just before they brought the stretcher in for him to be carried to the van I saw them. Soft lights, circles, straight lines, zigzags descended into the room. A presence was in the room surrounding Jordon and his hospital bed. It was beautiful and peaceful. At the time and due to the crisis I took note of it wondering if it was my eyes playing tricks on me.

I was in a panic as I was worried about his pain and the van ride to hospice. Over the weeks of taking Jordon back and forth to the cancer center I had learned every pothole in the road on the way there. I knew when to change lanes in the right time to keep Jordon’s pain and nausea down. I knew not to tap the brake. He felt it all and it was excruciating to him. Now he was going to be in the back of a van, strapped to a gurney with wheels with his pain medicines not working.

When the men arrived to get him, Jordon peacefully got up out of his bed and went and laid down on the stretcher. He was loaded into the van and I hopped in from the back doors to sit and be with him and hold his hand. The whole way with the stretcher giggling back and forth and the sharp turns and curves Jordon never had a pained expression or look about him. He was peaceful. I now understand why. Jordon’s body and his earthly presence were with us at hospice, but his soul left at our house with his angels. They came to spare this wonderful man, husband, and father the agony of the van ride and take him home with them.

Thank you. Thank you with utmost gratitude for your mercy and your comfort you gave to Jordon in his last hours.

IMG_0211

2015 in review

Holly C Barker

I wanted to send out the Year In Review for my blog to those that follow me. Viewer from 137 countries and approximately 5,500 people a month came to read.  Thank you for continuing to stay with me on this journey and know above all else- LOVE CONQUERS ALL and we must do our best and utmost to LOVE ONE ANOTHER!  I am truly hopeful for 2016 to be the year of at least 2 published books!  Gotta have goals, y’all!

Love and Light to Us All,

Holly

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 54,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

View original post

The Death of a Light Worker

I was shocked.  Utterly shocked.  It was out of the blue for all of us fans.  I had been listening to Prince lately.  I had played several of his memorable songs recently and was contemplating how to incorporate them into a journal because his words and talents, skills and abilities to dive deep into the human condition resonate with me so much~ not just the words of his songs~ but the music itself was a language of its own.

Prince was a Light Worker.  His gift was communication through music.  His goal was for all of us to LOVE one another.  Pay attention.  Bridge gaps.  Question and rise up against that which we know is not true and is unjust.  He changed his name.  It’s hard to download  his songs due to how corrupt the music industry is right now.  He wasn’t just standing up for himself. He was standing up for all people with gifts like his.

I so admire that in him.

He spoke of seeing Angels.  He believed in God.  He lived in gratitude.  Said his prayers.  And never asked for much.  He was a huge philanthropist. And did so anonymously.  His love and his passion came out in the form of music and he shared it with everyone.  He was a crowd swayer.  We vibed to his melody, his voice, and his instruments.  He was a part of  our younger days and remained a favorite for so many of us.

I feel a real loss though.  I think many of us do.   We danced 8th grade slow dances with our first crushes to Purple Rain.  We had posters of him. We went to his concerts and watched him turn a disastrous, rainy Super Bowl into a classic amazing show. How fitting for him to show us in the midst of discomfort and life’s uncertainties~ we can dance and sing our asses off!!  And he helped us understand how it was okay to be unique, fun, and different.

I feel I took his presence in music for granted.  Its an odd feeling.  I never really felt like this about a famous musician.  We didn’t see the sum total of what he was doing; how he was living his life, how he was helping humanity on a large and small scale.  His good actions and deeds, his purpose and life should have been more in the forefront of what gets attention these days.  He was a model human being.  I wish he would have known the magnitude of love we all had for him.  Maybe he would still be with us mesmerizing us with his guitar and his eccentric ways.

Rest in Peace, Prince.  You were a kind, soft-spoken, generous, genius, amazingly talented gift to humanity.  You deserve to be remembered wearing the highest color of divinity.

 

 

 

 

 

Brainwashing My Child

IMG_3774

You’re darn right I brainwash my son.  He goes through a cleansing often and it’s a powerful process…See, we as parents have a obligation to our children.  We show them right and wrong.  We need to expose them just enough to this world so that they have a healthy respect for what’s out there.  This goes for the good and the bad.  They do need to know.  But then here is where the brainwashing begins for my son.  He has a mind of his own. He is his own person.  He has learned and seen and been impacted by so many things in his young life (as many of our children have); and instead of expecting him to accept it and give away his power, I wash away that expectation and he is allowed to think and decide for himself.  He can question what he has heard.  Question what he has seen.  And ultimately~ question what he knows. He is also allowed to speak his mind, his truth, and to ask.  Children are often taught to not question authority.  They need some brainwashing from this line of thinking if they are to build confidence in themselves. I want him to think independently and become confident in what he knows to be true by arriving at his own conclusions and make decisions about how he feels about his own experience.  How else is he going to grow up and think on his feet as an adult man?

As a young girl this brainwashing was the gift my Mom gave me. She brainwashed out of my mind the negative side of expectations of how children communicate in their world.  “Use your voice” is something my mother said to my sister and I constantly as we were growing up.  “Stand up for yourself, Holly.”  Use your intuition and let your heart guide you.  Speak your mind.  It was the most valuable gift she ever gave me.  And I am passing it on to my son.  So, thank you, Mom!

IMG_2609

The Real Afterwards

 

July of 2006 my husband was diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer. Based on the oncologist’s discussions with us if he was going to live 6 more months, taking interferon cancer treatment would help him live another 18 months. The doctor was just giving a projection. My heart sank as she spoke her upbeat prediction with a hopeful smile.

As the weeks and months rolled on we went from test to surgery to test to surgery for three years. Every three months was another scan. The building up to the day of testing and the results following were either good or “we saw something and we are just going to watch it for another few months….” became our lives. He endured surgeries to remove moles that appeared to change, painful skin grafts and lymph node biopsies. He started the gruelling interferon treatments about two months after his diagnosis while I was still nursing his surgical sites. Jordon defied the odds. He was one of only five patients at Duke Cancer Center to make it through the twelve months of treatment. He was brave and wanted to finish the treatments for the sake of our son, Jackson. And he outlived the medical communities’ predictions.

During those days my life became dictated by life and death. I rode the waves of test results and doctor visits. That’s exactly what they became, waves of emotions. Unbelievable fear and sadness with intense amounts of love and compassion seeing the love of my life suffer like nothing I had ever experienced before. I took on some of his pain somehow. Somehow I would wake up with his symptoms. I would feel his nausea. There is an intuitive, empathic response we feel when we are close with our loved ones who are suffering.  It’s the prayer we make. “Give it to me, God…  Don’t let him suffer..” And God shares it with you to ease their suffering and you help relieve the one you love of their suffering.

From this empathic response ~ it began to happened.  My health and my mind began to bend and take on the enormous weight of what was before me. A year and a half later I buckled under that traumatic weight. I fell into severe depression, anxiety, and panic from the worry and the seeing and experiencing the trauma of the waves that continued to crash over me.  Just like the ocean. The waves never stopped. This experience turned into anticipatory grief, the trauma of what is to come. What could happen when you put a name to impeding death.

About two years into the waves of tests and scans and Jordon’s pain and suffering from the interferon- I fell apart. My doctor diagnosed me with a mood disorder instead of focusing on the disorder and chaos in my life. I don’t blame her. But now is the time to bring this to light. Anticipatory grief is a real process. It is a real, often misunderstood form of grief. It brought me to my knees and to the open door of a day hospital for psychiatric patients.

I felt out of place. I was stable but completely crushed and defeated by the fear in my heart and I had gotten to a point where I couldn’t stop crying and my emotional plate was full.  My sharing at group during those two weeks was about Jordon and the trauma of seeing him after surgery. Having to work a high level corporate job. Raising a 5 year old boy that couldn’t understand why daddy couldn’t play rough. Maintaining a home. Caring for a very sick husband. All the while keeping it together.

This is the basis of what drives me to help others understand grief in all its facets. Mine is different from yours or from hers or his. We need to re-define and re-adjust our approach to this human experience that we all will go through. The only way you escape grief at some point in your life is if you are the first to go. The time to share openly, honestly, and authentically is now.

Www.griefanonymous.com

An Open Letter to the Human Race: Please Love One Another, by Holly C Barker

Our children are simply not going to be prepared for the world we are handing them if we keep heading in the direction we are in. It’s a two-fold reason.
1.We shelter them from so much. Remember our childhoods where we disappeared into the woods for hours only to emerge at dinner time? Wasn’t that an awesome experience?? But because of the state of our minds these days we collectively shield them from all the negativity out there in the world. And even with our most intimate family relationship struggles we don’t tell them what’s happening and the authentic reasons why. We want to protect and preserve their innocence of not knowing what we know. This does not serve them for their own growth and understanding of how the family dynamic can work with positive outcomes (whatever they may be) so they understand and use the knowledge gained as a means to build their future relationships they form.
2.We are creating that world that we want to shelter our kids from. We are the cause and effect of what we don’t want for our children. This starts at the level of individuals and how they treat each other all the way to global communities.
For this simplistic reason alone we must learn to love and trust each other again. We need to put focus of the positives in this world through our own eyes and thoughts all the way to what the media wants to show us. If we want positive and ask for it- they will show it. If we as people gravitate towards the positive, the “powers to produce” will create opportunities in the media to show us that which we ask and yearn for. It’s both our responsibilities. We look for the negative because we want to be informed by what’s possible out there so that we may protect our children and our own well-beings. Which is a just cause. But only to a point. Somehow the energy and focus of negativity of the hardest-core, farthest end of the spectrum took over as a 1% occurrence or less and became all encompassing in our minds as shown through our media and the actions and reactions of all of us. The 1% horrible, negative took over our fears, and then took over the media, which then feed our minds that we were correct in our assumptions about that which we fear the most. But it was only an illusion of our worst fears that began to then manifest. Folks- this is dangerous and we are headed in this direction. This is where our momentum and focus began to shift and the manifestation of our fears came true. We need to pull the reigns of the horse of life and turn her back to galloping into the sunrise of a new direction and perspective of our futures and the human race itself and what we want to hand to our children.

Seek out the positive. It takes less energy. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel safe. It makes you feel love and compassion for the people around you. And it makes you happy. When we collectively turn our focus towards positive types of energy and actually want and ask for it???? Our families, the media, governments both local and national, the governing world bodies and organizations will have to take notice.
We will save ourselves by starting with how we treat the person next to us with loving, respectful, compassionate intent.

Amen.

IMG_0299

Turn the Other Cheek

Jesus’s message to us about turning the other cheek when you are struck by your enemy is a very simple one and often times the focus is mistakenly on the one receiving the strike. Toughen up. Take it. Don’t let them see you cry. That line of thinking is what is often seen as the meaning behind this story. The act is then thought to shame the one who’s silent and who stood by to take more. 

But that is not Jesus’s intent in this message at all. His intent and message is for the one who is doing the striking. If you are willing to strike at someone who chooses not to strike outwardly at you- then this message is for you. Be aware of your actions towards others and the perceptions you leave in the wake of your strike. Gossip unanswered is gossip. Nothing more. 

Karma has a way of playing itself out. 

  

The Lighthouse

Thank you, Jordon. Your life and your passing will be a guiding light to help others who are lost and in need. We miss and love you every day.

Coming soon: http://www.griefanonymous.com

Holly C Barker

I want to state my beliefs first. I believe in the universe, energy, God, spirit, focus, intent, and love. Pain and grief is a cleanser allowing you to enter and achieve a greater understanding of the process in life and why we are here. This process is the reason why the good die young. Have you ever met someone who right away you felt a connection and that you knew them? They felt familiar and comforting to some place deep inside your mind? There is areason for that- we do know them. I believe we are all on a continuum and a journey and sometimes we go through our lives here on earth weaving in and out with the same people, yet choosing different lives to live to enrich our souls and to gain different perspectives that help us learn and to move farther on that continuum. I believe we…

View original post 412 more words

The Most Powerful Form of Love is the Love of a Child, A Thank You Letter

Wow- there is a powerful love that is the closest to God here on Earth.  That love is his power shown through the love of children.  Children have a love that is so pure and innocent.  A love that has the ability to set us free from our worries and cares.  Who else out there who has children and who remembers the nights our little boys fell asleep in our arms as they have their last  bottle for the day.  Who knows the love we feel wrapped up in a warm winter blanket with our daughters curled up reading a good book?  If you want to know God, then know children.  His Light is brightest through their eyes.   Their energy stays with their toys and pillows and blankies throughout the years.  We keep these items and never throw them away because all of their good positive childhood energy is stored in them in the form of memories.  We feel these memories and hold that old teddy bear tightly.

I want to share with you the reason for this journal.  Tonight I picked up an art poster drawn by children for my son.   This is not just any old poster.  This poster blew me away with its amazing beautiful energy tonight as I picked it up.  This poster’s power ran through me and touched my heart and gut and beamed down through and out my feet.  I was completely shocked at the feeling I felt.  It was then that  I realized what it was.  This energy burst that went through me was the stored-up love shared by children for my son.

And….I want to share with you the reason for this energy.  This poster was written in a mosaic form from each one of his friends and classmates.  This poster was written with love; a connected, deep, powerful love that children can feel and show.  It was an artistic endeavor combined with an act of friendship that all those children shared with my son in his darkest hours.  This poster was written to my son a week after his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died 5 weeks later.  This poster will remain on his wall for as long as he needs its beautiful, powerful, God-filled Love.

 

Thank you to all you wonderful boys and girls of Waterdown, Canada that fill my son’s heart with love.  Your love and light is captured in this poster and encircles my son with peace on a daily basis.  And for that I am and will always be eternally grateful.

IMG_3417