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

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

2015 in review

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.

For Better or For Worse

Its been a tough couple of days for me.  I don’t know why.  Lots of triggers and sometimes not so good memories.  Sometimes during the grief process not all of our memories are golden and cherished.  Old wounds.  Problems that never seemed to get resolved.  No marriage is perfect on a daily basis and I have never spoken of this here on my blog for the main reason of honor, love, and respect.

But with doing this I must also be truthful to myself and to bring to light a key process of grief and recovery many go through that isn’t spoken about often. But in doing so I must also state that tonight while going through the memories and the current situation I find myself in I was looking for some songs and I just heard out of my head in a gentle soft voice ‘Send her my love”. Jordon sent me a song.  The song’s title didn’t ring a bell to me and then when I saw it, I still didn’t know the lyrics until I played it.  It stopped me dead in my tracks with tears pouring down my cheeks.  All the words are real and of my collective experience with him and very much what he would say to me now…

What I will say about all of this is in the recesses of our personal lives and through the windows into our homes, we fight life’s battles with our families.  We seek to heal our own lives with those we are closest to.  Those most intimate connections we have bare the brunt of our externally impacted lives and we put trust into those we call family to help us through.  Our loved ones take the full force often times of weakest points of the challenging aspects of our personalities.  It’s in these relationships that we often grow and enrich our souls the most but often times its also cause of the most pain.  Jordon was that energy for me and I was for him.  When I feel anger or resentment or sadness thinking back at things that could have been different or better I remember the fact that he and I were there going through all that we did for a reason~ to be the mirrors to look into that we needed in order to heal and learn and love and to become better people.

I love you so much, Jordon.

For Better or For Worse.

Till death we parted.

And for ever more.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive on Heaven’s Watch, Not Ours…

Last week was my son’s last football game for the season. It was an emotional day for many, many reasons. One being my son had done so well during his first season of football ever. I was so proud of him for making the team and for playing a starting position his first season of the sport in his life. See, I pulled him from hockey after 7 years of him playing it to move him back home to the south. He was ready for the change because hockey represented a heavy void in his life because his father passed away from cancer last year. He couldn’t think of hockey without feeling a terrible pain of sadness for the loss of his father. So instinctively we both knew it was time for a change to something positive without the intense, sad, emotional ties to the past. Some people did not respect my decision and did not ask for my son’s feelings about this decision that we both made. It was painful for us to not feel that support that was needed; they did not choose to ask or to understand why we would change our direction.

Along with this closing game of the season came a clarity and realization of the final weaving together of this book of mine that I feel is so long over due. What I did not realize was that it was this week that was supposed to happen as it did with perfect timing. Here’s how the day played out on Heaven’s Watch:

The morning of the gameday was special. There was a special gameday breakfast and I was anticipating the day and feeling hopeful for many things that are starting to come to fruition in my life. I got a call from my grief coach who is also a writer and a widow. I made the commitment to finish the book, was very fired up about it, and I gave myself a lofty goal date of the next week to finish the book. When I got off the phone with her I went onto my blog. I was going to hit 50,000 views that day!!! Pretty significant milestone in my book, so I posted a prayer request on my Facebook page telling my friends what was happening and asking them to pray for help from above and for support from family and friends. Well, I am here to say I got it. And in a big, BIG way later that afternoon!!

I went to my son’s game and after I got settled into my chair I looked up and saw an amazing cloud formation. The clouds looked like they were forming a tunnel. I saw the Light coming through. But all I saw was the tunnel. I felt very strongly I was supposed to take a picture because I could not take my eyes off the tunnel. I quickly snapped the photo with my camera phone and turned it around to look at it. This was the image I saw (look at the Angel standing on the cloud at the bottom of the tunnel):
IMG_2035

I was Dumbfounded. Speechless. Shocked. And Amazed. My Angel was there in all his regal beauty. He was there the day I asked for him, requested help from him in a public domain- Facebook that morning. He was watching over my son’s last game of the season. He was showing me that Divine Timing is on Heaven’s Watch, not mine. And this day was the day for me to write the purpose of this book. To reach out to all of you to let you know we really are loved. We have an inclusive, all-encompassing, benevolent, loving God for us all. All for one, and one for all. He does answer our prayers. But we must also be open and believe when we do ask. And we must understand that answer will come to us. It might be what we want to hear and know and experience. It might not. Sometimes our prayers are answered in ways we don’t see in the apparent. But we must have faith to know we are always heard and cared about. We need to be receptive to our intuition that God gave us. Our intuition is the gateway, the doorway, and the window to our connection with him. Don’t second-guess yourself. What you see, feel, and hear, and understand is his communication with you.

So, Heaven also has a sense of humor and loves to lovingly respond back when their communications with us are accepted and shared. So… I saw you Angel. I know you are a Messenger from God. And thank you for choosing me that day to be your conduit. I will share YOU with the world today and share your message with as many people as I can. And when I told him that, he smiled back at me.
IMG_2038

The Feast

Sugar and Spice – that should be everything nice. Let’s talk about why it’s not and how we all can change that. We are all beautiful in our unique way and the best combination is of the two. We need to mix it up more and enjoy what combining us all feels like. Spice represents the dark-skinned ones who walk this earth~ beautiful and sparkling and deep in their rich color. The pale opalescent-skinned ones are beautiful too. But some how over the course of human history we have quit looking at each other’s beauty and we began looking at each others differences through fear of what we do not know instead and the chasm began to widen to the point where we can no longer see the up close beauty in us all. We must through quantum physical means bring us all back together so that we might see the beauty of our uniqueness once again. That means opening the doors to our hearts and asking our neighbors to come in. Ask them like Jesus did to come to dinner and dine with us.

The ancient concept of a feast was designed with human interaction at its core purpose. We all desire to be near the core where the heart of the greatest love we will ever know resides. Think of our most sacred days and the fact that the table where we come together to eat is the focal point. Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, Passover, and many many other traditions in all cultures have this in common~ with all these great celebrations The Feast is at the heart of it all. We as a human race must collectively come back to this table.

At God’s table, in his Kingdom, we are all special guests and we are equally sitting around his Great Chair, none more close to the head than the other. We have forgotten that we were meant to dine together. Become nourished, satiated, and healthy together. Above the fun and festivities and gaiety, its purpose is to come to the Great Table and communicate love and harmony with each other. Share our stories and experiences so that we may grow to know and love each other. Here at this table we can truly see the beauty in each other and begin to understand each others differences. It is an up close and personal opportunity for us to bond and connect. Let us stop declining the invitation to come together and to find our seats at God’s Table. Pray together for peace and harmony. And above all~ Love One Another.

In the Name of He who Loves Us, Wrapped with love from Spirit and all the Spiritual Teachers and Masters,

Amen

Healing Humanity: from my Native American Spirit Grandmother:

IMG_1462

Through Divine Light, God asked Mother Earth, the Sun and Wind, and Father Ocean to bequeath all the beautiful natural elements from every corner of the globe to create us in his image. And it was done.

In the hot regions of our Earth the soil was rich with ancient plant matter and volcanic ashes and sand. Precious elementals formed from the heat and from there came the dark-skinned beautiful beings. From the red-clayed cliffs and slopes of the mountains we shall take the vibrant ochre elements of this beautiful area and make the passionately-spiritual red-skinned souls. The salty rocks and seashores of the North are tough and rugged and majestic. The sun shines brightly here through reflected ice caps. Here the tall, light-eyed, light-skinned humans took hold. From the East humans emerged from the green landscapes and jungles and steamy heat. Shielded from the sun and warmed by the humid lush surroundings they become a golden yellowy hue.  All special, all gifted from the elementals of Mother Earth, and all Divine.

There is beauty in all color and hue and tone. We were all created with love and made of the majestic sources from Mother Earth. We must celebrate this beautiful capacity for this plant to create such amazing diverse humans. Yet we have fallen off our path and have forgotten our origins and intent. God created us all beautiful and all unique for our enjoyment and for the opportunity to live and to learn about others so that we may grow within. This was the intent. This is not what has happened. Mankind has fallen off this path. We got suck during our time of personal developmental understanding and personal recognition and we did not take the step to look outward for beauty and diversified existence. We stayed inward and began to fear the others. We caste them out when they came into our environment.  We threw them out when we came into theirs. We disdained their differences and called ours best. We did not seek to see the beauty of where they came from and we tried to assimilate them into what we considered good and right and beautiful. A terrible imbalance formed and the Negative Elements of the underground took this open opportunity to plant roots within our world. At some point the choice to stay within our personal views became the tipping point. The pendulum has swung to far and we now have to do our utmost to find our true path as a human race.  As One.

The pendulum is slowly beginning to swing back. We are starting to see the error of our ways. We are beginning to appreciate the beauty of our differences. We are able to reach out globally and are truly seeing the vibrant lives of others. We no longer only have to use the definitions our governments or our media give us to teach us about each other. We now have the ability to really communicate through the Internet and other sources in real time and see for ourselves. We see that you love your children. We see the beauty of your festivals and traditions and foods and songs. They makes us want to jump through our screens and join you in dance and song and fellowship. We don’t want to hear only about the negativity because usually it’s a small segment in a grand beautiful story. We need to not rely on what the headlines say because the story is in details that are often unheard. We need to focus on our humanity and our diverse beauty.  We need to forgive ourselves for losing our way on the path of humanity and right this awful wrong. We should all ask forgiveness of our ancestors in any of their transgressions and aspire to correct that which caused hurt, disease, hunger, poverty, and separation.  Our futures, all our futures depend on this. Love and its surrounding Light has risen up to meet this challenge because we are all worth this battle ahead. The fundamental core truth is in the end: Love Conquers All.

IMG_1561

A Prayer for Us All. It Starts with One for Another, and Through the Ripple Effect~ it can Change the Course of Humanity.

I want to share a prayer with everyone. This prayer is very simple, yet all encompassing. If you have lost your way through all the turmoil both in your own space and in the world at large, or anger has taken you off your path and negative energy has made you hit rock bottom then this is especially for you. It is meant for all, but with added healing for those in these circumstances. For as you accept this prayer into your life and be open to what comes to you, know you will receive from your asking for it. Your only responsibility you have after you say it with utmost intent and hope~ is to stay aware. Watch. Listen. Learn what comes to you from your feelings, chills or warmth, signs, and symbols that repeat themselves with pattern in your space. Oftentimes the last disconnect of communication between us and God is the asking and then not following through by being open and aware. We forget what we’ve asked for sometimes. This is where those that are here to help with answers to our prayers now wait for you to remember that you asked. Once you become aware of their presence~ your Spirit guides, deceased loved ones, angels, Archangels, and all that encompasses love and guidance~ then you will see how easy it is to communicate, to ask, to feel loved and supported ongoing. Below is one way to reach Them, and they are reaching out to you to say, “We are here.” A prayer is really “an ask”. We go to God to ask. All of us are at different levels of soul learning. Some choose not to ask at all. Some choose to ask and then they forget. Some ask for the wrong thing and then they get the right thing and do not recognize the gift in front of them because it’s not what they asked for. Those are not unanswered prayers. Those are answered prayers.

So here is my simple prayer, my all-inclusive prayer that was shown to me. Say this to yourself every day and every night and really focus on the words. Say them until it hums like a mantra.

God and All Above for our Highest and Best~Help me (reach your hands up).

And help me (look up)~ help you (look straight)~ help them (look out and down). Amen

This prayer I just described is a simple loving plea from you. “God help me in my life. And help me to know how to try and help others. “. This a service love prayer to serve your fellow man. And we all know the Golden Rule. It’s a part of this prayerful equation. 

Another prayer to help you is if you feel negativity around you and you need to find a quiet place in your surroundings and in your mind to bring back in good energy~ then say this prayer. Say it over and over again until you feel the positive energy rush back to you.. The first time you say it, it will begin to work. But you need to say it until you feel safe. Feel comforted. And feel peace. Like a mantra. Like a chant.

Only through Love and Light to me you shall pass.

This simple prayer above is a prayer of protection against the negative energies that are omnipresent in our daily lives ready to seize any opportunity of throwing us off our life course. With help from above and being open to the communication, we can work towards enlightenment, faith, understanding, peace, and love with an ease in our hearts knowing we are never alone and only what is wanted for us is our highest and best. Amen.IMG_1417

A Message from Above~ Love One Another

IMG_1476

Never give up your spiritual quest to know God! Seek out and find what resonates within you. Just as you are unique, so are the paths to find him. Learn everything that you can learn and never stop that process. We are all spiritual students for life. From spiritual learning and growth, one finds direction and purpose. God comes to us in many forms. He’s not a foreign concept in our minds; rather a familiar something that we gravitate towards and it resonates within our understanding of the world we live in. Through our history, our DNA, our tastes and interests, and our families he finds us and he connects with us.

Truly indeed, God loves us all! We are all his children and we are all worthy of living happy, prosperous, productive, giving lives. This kind of connection is of pure desire borne of love for each of us. This love is indescribable in any high word in any language, and he has it for us all.

We must seek him within our own understanding and we must try to realize that others see him differently from their own visions, own environment, and own belief systems. This is what makes us all unique and different and is one of the many yet important tasks we have to learn here as a human race. We as humans jump many of the hurdles that are put in front of us, but this is one we are losing on a massive, collective global scale. We need to embrace one another. Learn about each other. Accept one another. Show compassion and love for one another. This is the one thing that must change for the better; for our collective future depends on it.

Last night the bombings in Paris were the tipping point. The catalyst. We must for our highest and best from a personal standpoint to a global standpoint learn to LOVE ONE ANOTHER! We are at the precipice now on a global scale. We must through our actions rise above the hate and the violence and the intolerance to see the larger perspective of human oneness. What we do to others, we do to ourselves. Can we please take a small moment and pause to consider God’s love for humanity and the possibility of peace before we all plunge ourselves into a massive world war of hate and violence that will lead us to trying to wipe each other off the planet. We all have a great choice to make. Let us choose wisely. Either way, we will succeed.

Love and for Your Highest Best,

Holly