Saturday, October 31, 2009

Writing a blog takes some thought...yesterday I was shooting in Vancouver, Washington and didn't have time to think about anything but that. I created a fan page on Facebook the other day but now not sure what I am supposed to do with it. haha. I love technology but sometimes I feel like a dinosaur with a Bic lighter. I know, weird way of saying technology is great but I am of a generation that might be too mindboggled by it to know how to use it effectively. I will have to go ask my friend Erik Korhel. He is my "nudger" when it comes to getting with the program on promoting my book. I really need that.

Yesterday I was with a class from a challenge program. Gifted kids who were very impressive. They reminded me of Cory and his friends at the University Child Development School...long time ago. So gifted academically but not necessarily very adept socially. It was fun to be an observer. I am always so blown away by how hard it is to be a teacher. The teacher we were featuring was AMAZING. She had so much to do and so little time. She kept the kids clipping along -- I imagine so they wouldn't get bored because these kids are extremely made me wonder about regular classrooms where the kids are all at different levels of understanding and talents. Yikes! I will stick to much easier. I salute all teachers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Parents/Grief/Over the Rainbow Bridge/lessons

When I woke up this morning my head was filled with thoughts about my son, his lessons, how parents normally react to a child's death and what it meant for me. Here is what was swirling around in my head.

Most parents who suffer the death of a child let it define the rest of their lives.

Many are battered and broken.

Not me, I am in the survivor group – I started support groups, conducted grief workshops, revitalized a sagging non-profit and marched on Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers why research money is needed for children’s cancers.

And now, I have written an inspiring book about my son’s journey from a healthy happy three-year-old to the little teacher whose insights were hailed worldwide by famed ‘death and dying’ author and researcher Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross…Seattle school children and also his friend, The Hoff.

Over the Rainbow Bridge (My son’s journey from here to Heaven) is a page turner that will crack you up with laughter and make you cry. The book chronicles the experiences shared by Cory from birth to crossing over the Rainbow Bridge to a place he called Summerland. It is not maudlin or sappy but honest and full of hope.

Cory counseled suicidal teens at his school. Kubler-Ross used his stories and drawings in her grief workshops where thousands of people learned from him. He taught me to live with a grateful heart…for having had such a wonderful child for nine years and for my many blessings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thoughts on children and dying

I was just searching the web and reading several blogs about grief, death and dying, etc. It is amazing to me how much is out there. Times have really changed so much in the last several years. It does my heart good to see so many sites.

It was also interesting to see several sites that had do's and don'ts about grief. I facilitated grief workshops for children and teens for 15 years for a local hospice and I learned so much from the attendees. Most of the rules I just read on-line make sense.

What I didn't see (it is probably there somewhere) is something that I always make sure to tell parents...children and teens do not grieve on the same timetable as adults.

In the case of either the loss of a parent, grandparent or sibling...and depending on the situation and how the parent/s are doing kids generally take their cues from the grown-ups. For instance, if dad died and mom is struggling to cope the child will wait out of fear mostly---the fear that if they put one more burden on mom she won't make it.Ao, the child is stuffing his or her emotions about dad's death and not getting the normal amount of attention from a struggling mom...double whammy.

Once mom starts doing better, then, the child starts to grieve. Oftentimes the mom doesn't connect the acting out, moodiness or grades slipping with the loss because it has been so long and she is feeling better. It takes even longer with teenagers. Be cognizant of your child's moods and behavior. And be patient...once they start to grieve you have to help them deal with their pain, their fear and their loss.

Kids grieve too.

My first post

Today I have been researching Spiritualist organizations who might carry my book. The idea to blog comes from my very talented author/poet friend Erik Korhel. We spent a very nice lunch the other day while in the midst of the revitalized Seattle Bookfest and he being several decades younger than me---gave me a serious pep talk about getting busy marketing my book via blogging, etc. Writing a book was easy compared to doing the whole business side of things.