The loss of a loved one can have a profound effect on all of us. Perhaps in ways that we can’t fully realize. At first it might be hard for us to accept the reality that the person is gone. That we will never again be able to hug them, laugh with them about the good ole days, or watch the love they have for their spouses, their children or grandchildren sparkle in their eyes as they spoke of them.

After realizing that they will no longer be one of the constants in our lives we might become angry. Mad at ourselves for not spending more time with them, especially in those final years. We will pray, we will cry, but eventually we will begin to accept death as the inevitable end to every life no matter how special or unique the person was to us.

Death is a certainty for everyone and everything. It’s important however to remember that although grieving is a normal process after a loved one’s death, those that have moved on ahead of us would wish that our sorrow be short lived. Their desire would be for us to live out our lives as planned. We must continue on as examples of the positive things that they left behind, and become who we were meant to become. We must embrace our grief in order to overcome it. Remember that grief for a loved one’s death is not a sign of weakness but a sign of the love that we hold for them.

Different people react to things in different ways. It takes some a bit longer than others to get over their grief so don’t feel inadequate or unstable if it takes you a while longer than others think it should. Though we may never understand exactly why things happen; we realize that they all happen for a specific reason. It may not seem like it now, but as time moves on, we know that the pain and hurt that we feel will subside. However, the memories of all the good things they meant to us will remain.

With the holiday season upon us and our emotions already stretched to their limits, I would like to remind everyone that sometimes the events that seem small to us may be just enough to push others beyond the breaking point. Although grief is something that we must embrace in order to move on, it’s only a short step from natural sorrow to depression. I thought it appropriate to share this list, of some of the signs of depression, so that we may be better prepared to help our loved ones, or ourselves, through what can be such an emotional time in our lives.

  • Feeling physically drained or emotionally out of control (extreme mood swings, feeling good one minute and sad the next)
  • Difficulty in eating, perhaps the thought of food might even make you ill
  • Increased susceptibility to illnesses
  • Feeling emotionally shut down
  • Difficulty in doing everyday tasks, can’t think clearly, or remember things
  • Crying continuously, or unable to control anger
  • Can’t cry at all
  • Drinking more than usual
  • Can’t sleep at night, taking frequent naps, or are constantly tired
  • Sigh a lot
  • Talk about death over and over or dwell on it every moment
  • Loss of interest in work, house, or physical appearance. Neglect of personal hygiene (don’t brush teeth, take regular baths, or wash hair very often)
  • Suffer from extreme loneliness
  • Have lots of guilt about things you did or didn’t do
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Constantly criticizing yourself
  • Feels like there is a huge hole in your heart or something is missing
  • Relive and rehash scenes or conversations
  • See no reason to exist

Perhaps, it’s the last listed here, that we must be especially vigilant. Depression can sneak up on us without warning and sometimes, it can be very difficult to distinguish between it and normal adolescent behavior. We must remember, that no matter how bad it gets, no matter now desolate, lonely, sad, miserable, or lost we feel, it will get better. Every person who is born has a purpose. We may think that our life is worthless or we won’t be missed, but we’ll never know whose life we will touch, or the difference we might make in that person’s life. However, each of us will make a difference to someone.

You can see how easily it can be to confuse depression with so many things. The key is the length of time it takes to recover from an emotional trauma. If you feel that your grieving is lasting too long, seek the help of a therapist, minister, friend, or physician. It’s okay to seek help until you are better able to handle your grief. Never be ashamed at seeking professional help. Remember that each time you suffer a loss, large or small; it can trigger feelings that will bring back all the memories of all your other losses. Things like the loss of a pet, a house fire or even a bad grade on a homework assignment is enough to push us over the edge. You may not consciously think about them, but the feelings can still be there.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to morn and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; A time to keep silent, and a time to speak; A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.’

Above all, I wish for every one of you a time of peace.

Merry Christmas to all.


Rediculous Facebook Posts

I saw two different post on Facebook today that just blew my mind. Sometimes, I wonder if people even think about what they put out there for the world to see. The first post read, “If Trump starts a new war then the people that voted for him should be drafted first.”

Seriously people! So what you’re saying is that if I get into a taxi and he has a wreck on the way to my house then I should be held responsible…after all, I was the one who chose that particular taxi and I was the one who told him where to go and maybe even told him which road to take. Therefore, I should be held responsible.

Many people I know voted for Trump because they believed in what he had to say. Just because you and I knew that he was a narcissistic buffoon with a 3 year old’s mentality, does not mean that everyone did.

The second post asks, “Should Obama be added to Mount Rushmore?”

What, what, WHAT?

What on earth would make you ask a question like that? Yes, he was the first black president. But let’s face it; that was just a matter of timing. It was time for, and right for America. There were much better choices…Condolezza Rice or Colin Powell come quickly to mind. But I wonder what people think actually gives him the privilege to live beside Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington and Roosevelt (I am not fully convinced that he should be there). Heck, Kennedy put a man on the moon and routed Russian aggression and yet did not earn an honored seat.

So let’s get real America and start rewarding or removing people based on their qualifications or lack thereof. People talk about term limits for congress. Why do we need them if we are doing our job properly? It’s simple; if someone is not doing the job we think they should then we must not vote them in again.

For those of us that do not believe in Trump or his message, it is our job to convince our neighbor why and vote him out of office.

But with respect and not hatred. My wife and I do not agree on half the decisions we make yet we are still happily married after 42 years. Sometimes I even get to win.

Autumn in Montana

It is only the first day of your birth, yet you have already sent your color into the vines that cover the fence. As summer dances to a final song, you darkened the sky and hurled your dampness down from the heavens. You sprinkled the night air with the shiver of change. You are not death, but you are the final gasps of life. So fling your hue across the world and let me drink you in before the silence and stillness of winter turns me to stone.


A Visit to My Drive-In

I knew you well so many years ago

You were full of passion

A cathedral where multitudes

Of lusting souls gathered

I watched intently at the images

You allowed me to see

Oh, such a majestic creature

Towering high into the darkened sky

You gathered the light from a million stars

To power my imagination

A haven for teenage love

Your warm summer breezes caressed my heart

You showed me laughter, joy, love and sadness

I was your legacy, and I worshipped you

But time faded my memories

Progress devoured your simplicity

I lost youthful desires, hopes, and dreams

Replaced them with responsibilities, anxiety and conformity

I left you to die a lonely death

Discarded like an animal’s carcass on the side of the road

Rotting in the rain and sun

Slabs of your silver skin have long decayed

Fallen to the ground to reveal the bones beneath

Tree limbs from the encroaching woods

Stick their boney fingers through the gouges

Like demons trying to pull free

From their eternal darkness

Nature is reclaiming you…

And there is no one left to care

I Owe You My Life

Nothing to do but hang out behind Frank’s

The store parking lot where we sat and drank

There was just me, Randy, Terry and Luke

How many can you drink before you puke


No money or jobs and the car is dead

Small town life can really mess with your head

Wondering if you really need that shit

‘Cause some Joker said you got to have it


You came along and showed me a new way

I had to make a choice to go or stay

Either leave now or probably die here

We can run away and just disappear


Comes a time when you have to make choices

I couldn’t be alone, lost in the voices

You became me; I knew you’d never leave

I had to have trust in you and believe


You chased out the demons and let me rest

Gave me your soul and pulled me from that mess

You gave me your heart and became my wife

I gave you my love, but owe you my life