All of Us

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I Have a Mother...

Photo credit: Bahareh Bisheh – My Chalky World

Through the engagement on social media, and the post on this blog that’s been read by more than 1 million of you, we’ve learned that not all the motherless and fatherless children who benefit from our program and awareness are younger than 18 years old.

Some who have lost a parent are in college, navigating the transition into true adulthood. We’ve heard from many in the early phases of careers, marriages, parenthood. Those of you are navigating what Kelly Corrigan calls The Middle Place of raising children and caregiving parents. Others are facing an empty nest, trying to figure out what’s next. Sadly, some have had additional losses compound their grief.

Despite our age, we remain motherless and fatherless children and we wonder if they are proud of us, let’s give them reason to be. Let’s heal ourselves, together, by helping others. 

  • If you are nearby, join us at the 12th “Race for Traditions“on April 3oth  – or create a team in honor of a mom or dad.
  • Run with us from a distance One Tough Mother Runner – a virtual race!
  • Simply make a donation of $10 for every child in YOUR household to support the collective children in our program.
  • Participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) #56164
  • Donate through United Way – #12502 

No child should grieve alone. 

Blink of an eye

 

Helping is healing. Family Lives On needs your help to continue. April is a month of renewal and a focus on raising the funds we need to support the children, teens and families in our program.

 

Not Being Quiet About Death is Becoming the New Normal

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New York Times Book Review

Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime.

“There’s a lot of hand-wringing these days about the importance of having The Talk — not the one parents have with their mortified tweens, but the one we shy from having with aging parents or those terminally ill. The one about death and dying.”

Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime.  By Scott Simon.

Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime.
By Scott Simon.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Our children want to know if you’re dead forever. I tell them yes. But I wonder about that too. Death makes life worthwhile. It gives each moment meaning. I hope I live to one hundred and fifty, and that our daughters can make it to at least two hundred. But death drives life. It frightens and inspires us. Do away with death, and we’d have no reason to get out of bed (or into it), grow, work, or love. Why would we do much of anything if we had the time for everything? It’s the certainty of death that moves us to sing and write poems, find friends, and sail across oceans and skies. It’s because we know that we don’t have all the time in the world that we try to use the uncertain and unknowable time that we have to do something that endures. Death is sad, grim, unwelcome and invaluable. But it’s why we try to make something of life. It’s why we have children.

I don’t know what becomes of us when we die. But I believe I will go on to a place (which will probably look a lot like Chicago and Normandy) where I’ll find my mother and my father, my stepfather, and all of our beloved cats, dogs, horses, turtles and fish who predecease me. I’ll get to take a walk with Gandhi, have a glass of D’Yquem with Mr. Jefferson, and a glass of just about anything with Sir Winston. I’ll get together over tea and an asp with Cleopatra. I’ll have a catch with Jackie Robinson (and hope that celestial climes improve my infield skills).

I believe that I’ll get to look out over the world and behold my daughters. They’ll feel my love, hearten to hear my gentle instruction, and miss me; but not so much that they won’t spend most of their time giggling and enjoying life in full measure.

In time, I believe I’ll be reunited with my fabulously kind and beautiful wife, even if she runs away with a Hollywood star or an Italian race car driver as soon as my ashes cool. I will count on heavenly powers of understanding to look down at her happiness and nobly smile, and if they expect to be with her, too, I rely on God to work that out.

I do not know if God will reveal Him, Her, or Itself to me as a craggy old African man with a long white beard, or a mature, Rubenesque woman barely concealed by clouds, or as some kind of mollusk. I am undecided on the essential questions that can make theologians stammer: if there is a God, how does He or She or It let little children suffer? What kind of Heaven can there be if innocents have to share it with scoundrels? Do gnats have souls?

But when I spent the last days of my mother’s life alongside her in the Intensive Care Unit, our talk about death and whatever follows grew real. The hereafter was no longer hypothetical. It was the stop just ahead, and the next place I knew my mother would be (and the rest of us, too, in too short a time.)

My vision of the hereafter has no scientific, religious or even much mythical foundation. But I just can’t get by, day after day, thinking that we go on to nothing when we’re done here, and never again see those we love. I don’t worry about being right. I just want to wrap myself in a belief that gets me through the long nights of life.

I am getting a life’s lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU. We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?

“If not being quiet about death is becoming the new normal, then Mr. Simon’s “Unforgettable” is one of its cornerstones.”   To read the entire review…

Change societal norms, give grief words.


DONATE  Family Lives On Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization entirely funded through charitable donations. Our services are provided at no cost to the families. If you would like to help support the grieving children and families we serve,please donate here.