I love that this book is still helping people. It feels so great when someone sees you and asks you if you are the author of Finding Life, and says know it has helped them to feel like they are not alone. Yay the purpose of the book is being fulfilled and it makes me smile.
On a side note, I feel as though the pain of losing won’t go away completely but it sure does soften over time. There are still those rare moments when I’m driving by myself and the pain fits hard and fast. I have to pull over and just have a good cry. It just helps me to get out my emotions, then I am mentally able to put my grief on a shelf in my mind that is high up but I’m able to reach when I want to. Feel when you can and then get up and serve! Feeling is crucial to healing.
We have received a wonderful endorsement from Lynn Frohnmayer of our book, “Finding Life After Losing One.” Here are her comments after reading a copy, “Your book is beautiful, heart wrenching, authentic, and helpful.” Lynn and her late husband, Dave Frohnmayer, are the co-founders of Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, an important organization leading the nation’s effort to find a cure for the devastating disease known as Fanconi Anemia. The Frohnmayer’s three daughters, Katie, Kirsten, and Amy, all died due to Fanconi Anemia. Lynn understands better than any of us the impact of losing a dear child. She is our hero as she has taken tragedy and is working hard to prevent it in the lives of others. Please go to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund website to learn more: http://fanconi.org/
Sometimes you feel like you are the only one going through this crazy hard trial. The sad and nice thing is there are parents out there who know almost exactly how you feel. Finding them is the trick. Feel free to google grief support groups. That’s a good start.
We were asked by the staff at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Portland, Oregon to provide training on the grief process to their staff. What a great opportunity and what wonderful people who work at these “homes away from home.” In 2014, over 2000 families stayed at one of the two homes available in the Portland area. These homes are minutes away from their children’s doctors, medical teams, and hospitals. Some of the families traveled 30 miles and others traveled more than 8,000 miles for treatment. Here’s more on the Ronald McDonald House program in Portland which supports thousands of families each year who are dealing with illness, injuries, and other life-threatening issues with their children: http://rmhcoregon.org/about-us/mission-and-values
Both of our families were recipients of the generous services provided by the Ronald McDonald House. Alice and family stayed at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado during Lora’s surgeries for neuroblastoma back in 1985. Later, she joined a daughter whose son was having surgery for a cleft palate and lip in Salt Lake City, Utah and they were fortunate to stay at a Ronald McDonald House in that city. Nikki and her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland on two occasions when her oldest and youngest sons were hospitalized at Randall Children’s Hospital.
We felt fortunate to have the opportunity to “give back” to the staff and provide some insight into the grieving process experienced by many of the families who stay at the Ronald McDonald Houses. The staff continues to grow and incorporate so many wonderful new ideas to help these families. One of those new ideas is to have volunteers paint a rock in honor of a child who has stayed at the house. These will be placed into a rock garden on the premises. Here’s a photo of Alice and Nikki in that new rock garden after their training presentation on June 6, 2016.
You can also purchase a copy from Nikki King or Alice Rampton directly. These copies can be signed and personalized for someone. We sell them at $9 per copy plus postage for those outside of Corvallis. We have given many copies away for free, but we are limited in that regard. We hope this book bring peace and solace to families in need.
We just learned that “Finding Life After Losing One” is now available online at Target. http://www.target.com/p/finding-life-after-losing-one-paperback/-/A-50687697 We’re happy to see the book being sold through so many different sites including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Broadway Books in Portland, J. Michael’s Books in Eugene, Grass Roots Book Store in Corvallis, Bloomsbury Books in Ashland, and others. Plus many of our readers have called their local libraries and requested the book.
We just hope the book gets into the hands of the families and parents who could use a boost during their grieving process and discover that they are not alone. Many have walked that path. Each path is different, but there is solace in knowing others have been there.
Alice stepped into Doernbecher Hospital the other day and a wave of emtions came flooding back. How is it that after 30 years these triggers can still come? For me, it’s the smell of hospitals that brings back memories so vividly.
My dear friend wrote this post to me. It’s so real and raw that I wanted to share it. The ache for a loved one is so very real.
I cried for a week straight, that deep groaning cry Alice described, the deep animalistic type that arises from the very depths of your soul. I cried this way until I fell asleep,…and sometimes at work and would have to excuse myself and would hide in a closet until I could collect myself enough to go back to my desk.
I had lost a huge part of myself,…and felt I would never again be the same…ever…
Several years went by, and I was numb to most things. I didn’t enjoy spending time with friends, birthdays and holidays weren’t the same. I didn’t Feel,…for I would say a good 4-5 years afterward. After that week of crying, I didn’t cry again, for years. It took a long time to realize that life was emotionally survivable without her…
As passengers on an airplane, we are told to put the oxygen mask first on our own face and then to focus on getting the oxygen mask on our child’s face. This principle can apply to the survival tactics associated with grief. It’s difficult to find strength to support anyone, even our own children, if we have no strength to support ourselves. So, first, we need to suck in as much oxygen as we can and then go to our children and provide them with oxygen, as well. This doesn’t mean that we should expect our hearts and minds to be healed before we reach out to surviving children. In fact, when a death occurs in a family, the entire family needs oxygen as soon as possible.