Prose & Poetry
This page contains prose and poetry that we feel are beneficial, inspiring, and that edify one's heart and soul. It is our hope to make available to you numerous readings that are suitable for where you are in your grief walk.

We want to make sure authors are credited for their work. Please inform us the names of any "unknown authors" listed so we can rightfully credit their writing. If you have a prose or poem to submit please submit it here. Writing that promote satanic practices or non-Biblical practices will not be accepted.
God Bless,
~ Brenda Flowers, Founder

Searching, Questioning
    My Child, by Brenda Flowers
    On the Death of a Thirteen Year Old, by Virginia Ellis
    Relating to Survivors, by Brenda Flowers
    Snowfall, by Brenda Flowers
    Sweet Child of Suicide, by Brenda Flowers
    Words Must Wait, by Author Unknown

To Inspire
    A Fallen Limb, by Author Unknown
    A Mother's Letter to God, by Emily McAdams
    Hello God, by Author Unknown
    My Dad is a Survivor, by Kaye Des'Ormeaux
    My Guiding Star ,by Margot Hill
    Prayer for Survivors, by Theresa Gump
    Regrets, by Leslie Williams
    Riders on the Storm, by Joan Phillips, inspired by 2 Cor. 4:7-10
    Smile at your Angel, taken from Josh's Page
    The Simple Things, by Michelle A. Bar
    With Hope, taken from TJ's Web site

To Comfort
    A Child's Death, Virginia Ellis © 2000
    Always With You, © Marian Jones
    A Mother's Message From Heaven, Virginia (Ginny) Ellis © May 2003
    A Rainbow Will Appear, by Author Unknown
    Beginning Today, by Author Unknown
    Compassionate Friend, by Steven L. Channing, Winnepeg, Canada
    Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep, by Author Unknown
    Gods Garden, taken from TJ's Web site
    If I Could Catch A Rainbow, by Author Unknown
    Life Goes On Without You, Cheryl Patino
    Remembering, by Elizabeth Dent
    Still Here, © Marian Jones 2003
    Soul Prints, by Author Unknown
    The Gift of Someone Who Listens, Author Unknown
    WE DO NOT NEED A SPECIAL DAY, Connie Dyer, BP/USA, Springfield, IL
    The Will of God, by Author Unknown

Holiday Reflections
    Angel of Christmas Cheer, by Brenda Conley
    Angel Tears at Christmas, by Marilyn Ferguson
    Bereaved Heart, by Author Unknown
    Christmas in Heaven, by Author Unknown
    Christmas Lights in Heaven, by Marilyn Ferguson
    Christmas Thoughts (Echos of the Heart), by Marilyn Ferguson
    Christmas Without You, by Marilyn Ferguson
    The Empty Chair, by Darcie Sims
    My First Christmas in Heaven, Anonymous
    The Christmas Wish , by Marilyn Ferguson
    The Dance of the Christmas Trees , by Virginia Ellis
    The Spirit of Christmas , by Marilyn Ferguson
    The Tattered Stranger , by Emily McAdams
    T'was the Day After Christmas , by Author Unknown
    Why Christmas? , by Author Unknown

A Child's Death
All heaven was in mourning,
The day that young man died.
When He closed His eyes, they said,
Ten thousand angels cried.

The angels shed their many tears,
Because He was God's Son.
But there is a special sadness,
When God takes the very young.

At times like that, I question God,
Why let a child die?
I cannot understand it,
And I need to ask Him why.

I, too, have heard the angels cry,
I've heard them cry first hand.
For I, too, gave up a child,
And I've tried hard to understand.

Yes, I received God's comfort,
Though I'm grateful, I want more.
I want reasons; I want meaning,
I am a parent who's heart-sore.

God can give, and God can take,
I am well aware of this.
But, why my baby . . . why my child?
Why did God put him on His list?

Did I love my child too much?
Was he too good for this old earth?
Had his purpose here been filled?
Was that why he was taken first?

I awake each day with questions,
I fall asleep at night, the same.
So many times I ask God why,
I'm both saddened and ashamed.

But then, in reflective moments,
When my prayers are most intense,
One word keeps going through my mind,
Patience . . . patience . . . patience.

Maybe now is not the time,
To explain this great heartache.
Even if I knew God's reasons,
What difference would it make?

Can't I just be grateful,
For any time we had?
Accept God's action without question?
Why is that so very bad?

What's my hurry . . . why my pressure?
Is my faith not strong enough?
God will explain it when He's ready,
Surely I can trust that much.

God understands my broken heart,
He, too, gave up a Son.
He knows the pain of one lost child,
He weeps with me, and we are one.

Just as I talk to God each day,
I talk to my precious child.
I blow him kisses, and I say,
"See you, honey, in a while."

~ Virginia Ellis © 2000
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A Fallen Limb
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I hear a voice that whispers "Grieve not for me."

Remember the best times, the laughter, the songs
The good I lived when I was strong.

Continue my heritage, I am counting on you.
Keep on smiling, the sun will shine through.

My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest,
Remembering all . . . how I was truly blessed.

Continue traditions, no matter how small,
Go on with your life, don't stare at the wall.

I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin,
Until that fine day, we're together again

~ Author Unknown
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Always With You
Your heart may be heavy and aching,
Now that I'm no longer here.
But, though you may shed many tears,
Let memories banish your fear.

My arms are no longer around you.
My lips cannot speak of my love.
But, I'm with you in spirit each day,
As I look down from Heaven above.

The house may be silent without me.
It doesn't mean I can't be there.
And, every night that you sleep,
Our love, in your dreams, we still share.

As you continue, alone on earth,
I'll be with you each step of the way.
I can still be the strength that you need,
To carry you through each new day.

Although, I know you can't see me,
Our spirits are joined as before.
So, whenever you feel uplifted,
Know it's me just loving you more.

In Heaven, we're given a gift
To still tend to the ones left behind.
So, smile when you think of me.
I remain in your heart and your mind.

© Marian Jones
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A Mother's Letter To God
Lord, hold me tight and guide my way.
Give me the strength to face each day.
My only son now dwells with You.
But life goes on; I must get through.

My son would not want me to grieve,
He knew that it was time to leave.
He fought the good fight; He won the race.
And finally he's in a better place.

His mortal body, which was in such pain,
Is now transformed and whole again.
Though I am feeling such despair,
I know with You he's in good care.

I miss him so and he's barely gone,
But I know he's there beside Your throne.
You were His Savior and dearest friend.
To You he was faithful until the end.

I can almost see his sweet, sweet smile.
For he always knew it would be worthwhile.
The life he lived was an example to all,
For he never failed to answer Your call.

He touched so many lives down here.
He suffered much, but had no fear.
He encouraged those who walked his road,
By assuring them You would bear their load.

I know You gave him a special role,
The day that he crossed Your threshold.
He may be greeting those entering Your gates,
Or tending Your heavenly garden estates.

Whatever You've assigned him to do,
I promise he'll do a good job for You.
He made us proud throughout his life,
His parents, sister, daughters and wife.

I know You understand my loss,
For Your only Son died on a cross.
He paid the price so we could be free.
And all that believed would dwell with Thee.

Farewell, my son, at last you're there.
Encircled by God's love and care.
One day, I'll see your face once more,
When you meet me there at heaven's door.

~ Emily McAdams © Aug 2002
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A Mother's Message From Heaven
I see you, darling, all the time,
I know everything you do,
Would you believe, my dearest child
I'm even closer now to you.

For I can see inside your mind,
Indeed, inside your heart,
I even know you better now,
Than I did before, sweetheart.

I've always loved you - you know that,
But maybe now I love you more,
I love the adult that you've become,
Just as I loved the child before.

I know how much you miss me, honey,
Well, I miss you, too,
I miss our talking and our laughing,
And all we used to do.

Whether you are six or sixty,
You'll always be my precious child,
You're the baby that I carried,
And the adult that's helped me smile.

What you need to understand,
Though death has taken me away,
Is that I've not left you, darling,
I am still with you today.

Honey, I could never leave you,
God, of course, would not want that,
Physically, we are apart,
But our hearts are still attached.

I love you all the time,
You cannot get away from me,
That's the way a Mother is,
Right into eternity.

Every day I'm with you
I see you from above,
And I want for you to know
How very much you're loved.

~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis © May 2003
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Angel Of Christmas Cheer
I hear a flutter in the breeze
There is snow upon the ground
All the leaves have fallen
Not a single one to be found.

So it makes me ponder
On this lovely winter day
Could it be an angel?
In the snow at play?

I go ahead and build my snowman
I work with cheerful hands
Carrot nose and button eyes
To make him look so grand.

I think I hear a little giggle
A flutter in the breeze
I look up to see, who might be here
But it's, just my snowman and me.

With all this Yule time cheer
On my face I have a smile
Soon we will be singing songs
As we gather around the fire.

It's nearly time to go in
I'll soon be snug in bed
As I dream of sugar plums
Dancing in my head.

Now it's Christmas Morning
We gather around the tree
I look out the frost window
My eyes just can't believe!

A beautiful smile on my snowman
My hands could have never achieved
I walked the same snow prints
That I had made that very night.

Only one going to it, one coming back
As I look at the snowy base
I see a folded note;
Looking so mystified

With wonder on my face,
As I read the words
This is what it said,
"I enjoyed the wonderful evening
Seeing the joy your heart does hold,
But, there is more to this message
To you, that must be told.
Always remember...

The reason for this season
The night that Christ was born
All those that gathered
In the manger long ago.

Always remember His love and giving ways
Then you can have Christmas, every single day
And if you don't mind...
I would love to come next year

At the bottom was signed,
Your Angel of Christmas Cheer

© Brenda Conley ~ 2001
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Angel Tears at Christmas
God sends His lovely angel tears
To us this time of year
They float and tumble through the air
And send out Christmas cheer.

Each flake He sends is special
From out of wintry skies
They paint a pretty picture
To soothe our weary eyes.

They glide and twirl as if to say
The season's just begun
And gently beckon to us
To join in merry fun.

Like sparkling gems, they fill the sky
And quietly take up space
They seem to flow in harmony
Attired in angel lace.

At Christmas time when all is calm
We look to things above
For angel tears and Jesus
To fill our lives with love.

A sacred star shines in the east
As Christmas day draws near
A manger scene, a Holy night
And gentle angel tears.

The children gather 'round the tree
To hear the Christmas story
As angel tears fall to the earth
To trim the earth in glory.

His precious tears drift to the earth
So everyone will know
A child was born in Bethlehem
It's written in the snow.

So if you get to feeling blue
And plagued by worldly fears
Just look outside your window
God's shedding angel tears.

~ Marilyn Ferguson © 2001
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A Rainbow Will Appear
There may be days ahead of you
when tears will fall like rain,
moments when you doubt your heart
will feel the sun again.

But slowly, oh so slowly,
the shadows all will clear,
a rainbow of sweet memories
of your loved one will appear.

Just remember, if it helps
in some small way to comfort you,
that a loving heart holds many tears,
but it holds a rainbow, too.

~ by Author Unknown
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Beginning Today
Beginning today I will no longer worry about yesterday.
It is in the past and the past will never change.
Only I can change by choosing to do so.
Beginning today I will no longer worry about tomorrow.

Tomorrow will always be there,
Waiting for me to make the most of it.
But I cannot make the most of tomorrow
Without first making the most of today.

Beginning today I will look in the mirror and
I will see a person worthy of my respect and admiration.
This capable person looking back at me is
Someone I enjoy spending time with and
Someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today I will cherish each moment of my life.
I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and
I will unselfishly share this gift with others.
I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today I will take a moment to step off the beaten path
And to revel in the mysteries I encounter.
I will face challenges with courage and determination.
I will overcome what barriers there may be,
Which hinder my quest for growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time.
Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image,
My desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today I walk with renewed faith in human kindness.
Regardless of what has gone before,
I believe there is hope for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today I will open my mind and my heart.
I will welcome new experiences, I will meet new people.
I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else;
Perfection does not exist in an imperfect world.
But, I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today I am responsible for my own happiness
And I will do things that make me happy . . .
Admire the beautiful wonders of nature, listen to my favorite music,
Pet a kitten or a puppy, soak in a bubble bath.
Pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today I will learn something new;
I will try something different;
I will savour all the various flavors life has to offer.
I will change what I can and the rest I will let go.
I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.

Beginning today . . .
And every day for the rest of my life . . .

~ Author Unknown
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Bereaved Heart
I was handed a package the other day.
It was wrapped securely to be mailed away.
Attached to the outside as plain as could be
was a simple note for all to see . . .

Please rush through the holiday season;
too painful to open for any reason.
Contained within, find one bereaved heart -
fragile, broken, falling apart.

Tried to go shopping
the other day;
the hype of the season
blew me away.

Sat down to write cards,
that was insane.
Couldn't find the list
or think of my name.

People say, "Come over,"
"Be of good cheer."
"Celebrate the holidays,"
"Prepare a New Year."

But my grief overwhelms me
like waves in the sea.
Can they cope with my crying;
an unsettled me?

I don't have any holiday cheer,
decorations, traditions, big family meal.
I can't do this year.
Do you know how I feel?

Guilty and frustrated!
I've let everyone down!
Our holiday celebrations
used to be the best in town.

So just ship me away
address unknown
When my grief is over,
I might fly home.
    Signed - Bereaved Heart (please keep reading)

I just couldn't send Bereaved Heart away,
so I jotted a note and left it that day:

Dear Bereaved Heart,

The death of your loved one
has forced you to start
A new type of living
that's hard on the heart.

Undecorating your life
of it's angers and fears
is not easy to do
without shedding tears.

And untying your guilt
can release a bundle of strife.
Questions are stirred up
about living and life.

Don't be concerned now
with invitations, big meals.
See how the little stuff
handles and feels.

Let the love of your family,
neighbors or friends
uphold and sustain you
when you're at loose ends.

Most are eager to be there,
willing to share.
Tell them your need,
and they'll show you they care.

They'll take you shopping,
write cards, even cook.
Let that stuff go now,
get yourself off the hook.

You need time for healing,
you've much work to do.
Your heart needs mending.
Give that gift to YOU.

Take a walk, read a book,
try something you style.
Make sure it's relaxing,
makes you pause, rest awhile.

When holiday invitations
knock at your door.
Don't say "yes" to five
when you only want four.

If you wish to remember
your loved one who died,
plant a tree, give a gift,
let your heart be your guide.

This season of wonder
can bring you relief
if you're willing to unwrap
your tears and your grief.

Please listen, Bereaved Heart,
stay close and please dare
to open your package
and let others care.

    Signed, Your Friend.

~ Author Unknown
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Christmas In Heaven
We’re wondering what Christmas in Heaven is like
As we grieve alone and pray,
longing for one who has gone before
To spend Christmas in Heaven today..

And so in our dreams we wander far
From the scenes and sounds of earth
‘Til we catch the strains of the Heavenly choir
As they sing of the Christ Child’s birth. .

The Angels we envision there
As they join in the festive play
And there amid the throng is our Loved One
Spending Christmas in Heaven today..

There’s joy in the faith that teaches
When our life’s work is done
Of a place in Heaven awaiting
And the crown we worked for is won..

In our grief may we learn well the lesson
So to work and suffer and pray
As to merit the joys of our loved one
And to spend Christmas together some day.

~ Author Unknown
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Christmas Lights in Heaven
At Christmas time we trim our tree
With gifts and candy canes
And go for joyful sleigh rides
Down sparking snow filled lanes.

We fill our homes with tinsel
Our hearts with Christmas cheer
We’re all a little nicer
At this lovely time of year.

Stores are filled with shoppers
Streets are trimmed in green
Carolers on each corner
'Tis quite a lovely scene.

But we cannot know the beauty
The splendor or the love
Of Christmas time in heaven
With our Savior up above.

The light that shines from Jesus
Stands out from all the rest
Of all the Christmas time displays
His is by far the best.

Like diamonds shining in the sun
You’ll find His flaming light
Like a million candles burning
In the middle of the night.

The colors found in heaven
Have such a wondrous glow
And you’ll find a world of beauty
Where the golden rivers flow.

There won’t be gifts or mistletoe
Nor stately Christmas tree
But the throne of God will glisten
With the Blessed Trinity.

~ Marilyn Ferguson ©2001
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Christmas Thoughts
Some people think of Christmas
As sleigh rides in the cold
A tree that glistens of tinsel
And decorations of silver and gold..

Some people think of Christmas
As stockings dressed in red
A crackling glowing fireplace
And a warm and cozy bed..

Some people think of Christmas
As faces filled with glee
Sharing stories, fun and laughter
And gathering 'round the tree..

Some people think of Christmas
As gifts wrapped up in blue
Writing letters to their loved ones
And Christmas caroling too..

Some people think of Christmas
As snow falling on the ground
The hustle and bustle of shoppers
And the joy that's spread around..

Some people think of Christmas
As Christ on Christmas day
And families joined together
With heads bowed down to pray..

Some people think of Christmas
As the Lord who dwells above
Who sent His son to die for us
And gave the gift of love.

~ Marilyn Ferguson ©1993
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Christmas Without You
The lights are blinking merrily
The tinsel’s on the tree
It sits there in the window
For all the world to see.

The house is filled with holly
And pinecone scents the air
The Christmas cards keep coming
Each one is hung with care.

The gifts are tied with ribbons red
And topped with pretty bows
I’m done with all the details
As far as Christmas goes.

The fire is softly glowing
I think about your touch
But Christmas isn’t Christmas
I miss you oh, so much.

If I could have just anything
My Christmas wish would be
To wake up in the morning
And find you here with me.

I reminisce our Christmas’ past
The joy and love we shared
Moonlit walks and midnight talks
And ways you showed you cared.

Staring at your picture
I long to be set free
Tonight the tears are streaming
As I hold it next to me.

Flakes of snow swirl through the air
I’m braced for stormy weather
I wait for brighter days ahead
When we can be together.

So hold a place in heaven dear
Some day when life is through
I’ll be the Christmas angel
Who shares Christmas day with you.

~ Marilyn Ferguson © December 2002
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Compassionate Friend
I can tell by that look, friend, that you need to talk,
So come take my hand and let's go for a walk.
See, I'm not like the others; I won't shy away,
Because I want to hear what you've got to say.

Your child has died, and you need to be heard,
But they don't want to hear a single word.
They tell you your child's "with God," so be strong.
They say all the "right" things that somehow sound wrong.

They're just hurting for you and trying to say
They'd give anything to help take your pain away.
But they're struggling with feelings they can't understand,
So forgive them for not offering a hand.

I'll walk in your shoes for more than a mile.
I'll wait while you cry and be glad if you smile.
I won't criticize you or judge you or scorn,
I'll just stay and listen 'til your night turns to morn.

Yes, the journey is hard and unbearably long,
And I know that you think that you're not quite that strong.
So take my hand 'cause I've got time to spare,
And I know how it hurts, friend, for I have been there.

See, I owe a debt you can help me repay
For not long ago, I was helped the same way.
And I stumbled and fell thru a world so unreal,
So believe me when I say that I know how you feel.

I don't look for praise or financial gain
And I'm sure not the kind who gets joy out of pain.
I'm just a strong shoulder who will be there 'til the end.
Someone who will be your compassionate friend.

~by Steven L. Channing, Winnepeg, Canada
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Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awake in the morning's hush,
I am the soft uplifting rush,
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.

~by Author Unknown
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The Empty Chair
There’s an empty chair in our house and I am nor sure what to do with it. It’s been empty a long time, and though we’ve moved more than a few times since it became empty, we still haul it around with us.

It’s not a particularly classic chair or even a very pretty one, and it is empty all the time. Whenever we move, I never really know which room to put it in, but once it has found its place, I’ve noticed that it simply stays there. No one moves it, no one suggests putting it away. No one sits in it. It’s just an empty chair.

We have been a military family for many generations, and we are used to having members of the family off in faraway places for what often turns out to be long periods of time. My father would sometimes be gone for up to a year, or even two. His chair was often empty at the table. My husband’s military career took him away for many months at a time, and his chair was often empty. Then, when our daughter was commissioned in the military, we knew her chair would also be empty sometimes. So empty chairs at our house are not an uncommon thing, but this chair—this chair should never have been empty.

As the holidays approach, I am always faced with the task of deciding what to do with our empty chair. Should we put it away for the season? Should we decorate it or should we just ignore it? One year we did decide to put it away, but even though it was an empty chair, it left an even bigger empty space when we moved it to another, less occupied place. How can that be? How can something that is empty leave a bigger empty space when it's gone?!

We've tried to ignore it, but its emptiness is very loud, and it is hard to miss an empty chair in a room filled with people sitting in all the other chairs. And even when we could manage to ignore it, others could not, and they always commented on it. An empty chair is not invisible.

Then, one year, we decided to simply include it in our holiday decorating scheme and that was the cause of some interesting discussions. Should we put a special holiday pillow in it? What about tossing a colorful quilt or afghan over the back? Should we put something in the chair so it wasn't empty? Now that was a novel idea! But nothing we tried could fill the emptiness of that chair. It just sat silent like a sentinel, waiting for something . . . or someone.

It took us many years of living with that empty chair, day in and day out, to finally figure out what to do with it. When we serve our meals, those chairs that would have been occupied by the assigned person (yes, we do assigned seating at our house) can be filled by other family members or guests. You get to use the sterling silver napkin ring with that person's name on it, and if you are lucky, that person has not lost a knife or fork or spoon over the years, so you will have a complete place setting of silverware. You must endure listening to tales about the person whose chair you are occupying.

It makes for some lively conversations and that way, even though you may not be with us for this occasion, your presence is still in our life. That works for our empty chair as well. It is a military custom to always set a place at the table for those who are not with us at this time, but whose lives are still within our hearts. So, we have a place setting, complete with silverware (all 6 pieces), dishes, crystal goblet and napkin ring. Our empty chair is pulled up to the table and a single rose is placed on the plate, a symbol of everlasting love.

We join hands in thanksgiving, completing the circle with the empty chair within our family circle, for even though death may have come, love never goes away. That empty chair now represents all of us who ate not with us for this occasion but who live within our hearts forever. It is not a sad sight, because we know that empty chair represents a love we have known and shared, and with that gift, our family is forever blessed.

So, if your holiday table will have an empty chair this year, remember that it is not truly an empty space. That place is still occupied by the love and joy of the one who sat in it. Don't hide that chair away. You may not wish to bring it to the table as we do, but take time this holiday season to remember the laughter, the joy, the love, the light of those who are no longer within hug's teach, but whose love still fills us with gratitude. Join hands around your table, however small, and say a prayer of thanksgiving . . . for the love you have known and still hold deep within your heart. You are rich beyond measure for having had a chair fulfilled. Don't let death rob you of the heart space that love keeps.

No one has sat in our little empty chair for twenty-five years . . . until this season. The table is still set with a place for all of those who are not with us on this occasion, but the empty chair at our house has been tilled with the tiny spirit of a new life as she found that chair to be, "just the right size, Grandma."

We are a family circle, some chairs filled and others not, broken by death, but mended by love.

~Darcie Sims
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God's Garden
God looked around his garden
and saw an empty place.
Then He looked down on the earth
and saw your saddened face.
He put his arms around you,
and lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering,
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never be happy on earth again.
He saw the road of life was getting tough and the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyes and whispered
'Peace Be Thine'.
It broke my heart to lose you
but you did not go alone . . .
For part of me went with you
the day God took you home.

~Taken from In Memory of TJ website
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Hello God
Hello God, I called tonight
To talk a little while.
I need a friend who'll listen
To my anxiety and trial.

You see, I can't quite make it
Through a day just on my own.
I need your love to guide me,
So I'll never feel alone.

I want to ask you please to keep,
My family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence
For whatever fate they're bound.

Give me faith, dear God, to face
Each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things
I can't change in any way.

I thank you God, for being home
And listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice
When I stumble and fall.

Your number, God, is the only one
That answers every time.
I never get a busy signal,
Never had to pay a dime.

So thank you, God, for listening
To my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night, God, I love You, too,
And I'll call again tomorrow!

~by Author Unknown
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If I Could Catch A Rainbow
If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
And share with you its beauty
On the days you're feeling blue.

If I could build a mountain
You could call your very own
A place to find serenity
A place to be alone.

If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea
But all these things I'm finding
Are impossible for me.

I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair
But let me be what I know best
A friend that's always there.

~by Author Unknown
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Life Goes On Without You
The sun still sets
And the wind still blows.
How greatly I miss you,
Nobody knows.

The seasons change,
And leaves still fall.
The pain from missing you
They can't grasp at all.

The moon still rises,
And stars shine bright.
The way that you left me
Just wasn't right.

I ache to see your smiling face,
Hold you again in my arms.
Until that cherished time arrives,
I'll pretend you're the sun that warms.

~ Cheryl Patino
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My Child
My child,
you have stolen much from me.
You closed the door
to the healing rays of sunlight and life.
You trusted finding "peace"
within a black void
of a non-returning journey.

You did this violation unto yourself, My Child.
I did not this thing to you.
I will always wonder what else could I have done
to help deter you from this senseless fate?

I watched you suffer, only
to feel as helpless as you.
Hopelessness compounded and magnified
the reality of your pain
which was imbedded within
your precious heart, fragile mind
and aching soul.
And from whence did it all begin?

I could do no more.
Evidently, my love for you was not enough
to ebb these endless currents
of anguish and disparity.
Life mattered not to you during
that bleakest moment,
just prior to succumbing
to the hollow beckoning
beyond death's borders.

All that truly must have mattered to you,
My Child,
was ending the pain felt within.
Had you been convinced
the pain would only be for a duration,
as with the passing of the day, a month or
possibly a season . . .
it may have passed and you may tarry still,
but you chose not to linger.

Frozen in your state of hopelessness,
the dark unknowns, soon became
more familiar and engaging,
creating a comforting distance
between you and the distressing realities of life.

You chose to relinquish all
and ended the life you had
with me and those
who truly loved and cared about you.
You chose your fate and without consideration for me,
chose mine as well.
And how dare you. You had no right!

have robbed me of
the most precious and valuable part of my life!
have snatched away my parenthood.
You have violated and pillaged me
of my joys, hopes, blessing and rights
that I so rightly deserve!

You have created a mine field of
unexpected mental flashbacks and
emotional relapses that will make
my empty journey in life an endless struggle.

When I least expect it . . .
when I feel "all will be well" . . .
When I feel "I'll be okay" . . .
When I feel that I no longer "merely exist" and
that I am finally "a part of life",
your mine field will, again,
unexpectedly take me by surprise
with more fragmented memories of your precious life
and the nightmare and finality
of your suicide . . . My Child.

This pain will continue time and
time again, as tidal waves rape the joyous
moments within my being.

These same waves will pound and thrash
within my fragile heart's chambers,
attempting to extinguish even a flame of hope for
inner peace and comfort.

No matter how hopeless my life may seem
I will never create
this emotional nightmare
for another human being
as you have created for me, Oh Sweet One.

You will never be able
to put my mind to ease,
when the wailing bowels
of my being repeatedly ask of you . . .

Oh why, my child? Oh why!

~Brenda Bernard Flowers ©
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My Dad is a Survivor
My dad is a survivor too . . .
which is no surprise to me.
He's always been like a lighthouse
that helps you cross a stormy sea.

But, I walk with my dad each day
to lift him when he's down.
I wipe the tears he hides from others.
He cries when no one's around.

I watch him sit up late at night,
with my picture in his hand.
He cries as he tries to grieve alone,
and wishes he could understand.

My dad is like a tower of strength.
He's the greatest of them all!
But there's times when he needs to cry,
Please be there when he falls.

Hold his hand or pat his shoulder,
and tell him it's okay.
Be his strength when he's sad,
Help him mourn in his own way.

Now, as I watch over my precious dad
from the Heaven's up above,
I'm so proud that he's a survivor,
And, I can still feel his love!

~ by Kaye Des'Ormeaux
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My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas Trees around the world below.
With tiny lights, like heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular! Please wipe away that tear,
for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
but the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
for it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
but I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me dear ones. You know I hold you dear
and be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory of my undying love.
After all "LOVE" is the gift, more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do,
for I can't count the blessings or love He has for you.

So, have a Joyous Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

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My Guiding Star
My beacon light, my guiding star
Whether you are near or far
You light the path and show the way
And bring me grace to face the day

That grace, a gift of inner glow
Comforts me and helps me grow
And in a meadow flying free
The butterfly you saw in me

In my minds eye we can stroll
Hand in hand and heart to soul
Each new dawn again I face
Forever held in you embrace

So as I gaze out in the night
I think about your guiding light
Each star shining helps me cope
By sending me it's rays of hope

While we are so far apart
A spark of you lives in my heart
And lights the fire of love's true flame
Each star is echoing your name

~ by Margot Hill
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On the Death Of A Thirteen Year Old
Little child, you packed your toys,
You no longer wished to play,
Then all alone . . . all by yourself,
You gave your little life away.

What were you thinking . . .
What were your thoughts?
What was in your troubled mind?
Oh such confusion ... no one knew,
Why so sad, dear child of mine?

You gave up before you started,
Why so eager to depart?
Honey, just around the corner,
Better things for you sweetheart.

Could I have helped? You didn't ask.
How could I have been so blind?
Such grown up sadness in my baby,
If only we had had more time.

Surely God was ready for you,
That is what I tell myself;
But, why couldn't He have warned me,
Some way I might have helped.

I don't understand . . . I never will,
My pain so deep, I want to follow;
I am left with such a void,
I have been drained, and I am hollow.

I pray God holds you in His arms,
How bad He wanted you;
For such a short time you were ours,
And so very much we loved you, too.

We have no choice . . . we must abide,
By what God has deemed this day;
But, precious child, I'll always wonder,
What made you put your toys away?

~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis © 2000
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Prayer for Survivors
I need your help to survive.
A part of me is gone,
but I am still alive.

Let me not be obsessed
with “if onlys” and the “whys.”
Only you, Lord,
know the reason someone dies.

I must take time to weep,
smile when I can,
and not be concerned
with the judgments of man.

Can I learn how to numb
everyday pain, so the
hollow inside me will not remain?

May I substitute goals
for my feelings of guilt,
and not be ashamed
of the life I have built?

Make me believe, Lord,
that this sadness will pass,
That the joy will return
to my being at last.

Finally, show me the way
to reach others like me,
then I’ll know my survival
was destined to be.

~Theresa Gump
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Someone said once that the greatest
part of grief is “regret.”
Regret includes sorrow and remorse,
and has to do with unfinished business
this side of the grave.

Since those of us who still live on earth
cannot experience Paradise except
in brief glints, part of our task after
someone we love dies, is to clean
up our regrets.

Regret is a many-pronged emotion,
remorse over something we did or did not do,
sorrow during that time was cut short with our loved one,
regret that our deceased one suffered.

The main component of regret, as well as the
vessel for working it through, is “forgiveness.”
For us who are left behind, we must forgive
others for the circumstances of the death.
Forgive the loved one for leaving us,
and forgive ourselves for an imperfect
relationship with the one who died.

~Leslie Williams
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Go ahead and mention my loved one,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.

Don't worry about making me cry
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.

I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending they didn't exist,
I'd rather you mention my loved one
Knowing that they have been missed.

You asked me how I was doing
I say "pretty good" or "fine"
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.

~Elizabeth Dent
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Relating To Survivors
Forgive me, because I feel awkward.
I do not know how best to relate to anyone
who has lost a loved one to suicide.
I am not sure how to greet you,
for I do not want to cause you any more pain.
I don’t know what you emotionally can or cannot handle.

Forgive me, because I feel inadequate.
I care about you, but how do I express this to you?
Do I talk of light-hearted things,
and avoid the obvious?
Do I say “something” that might risk
opening up that deep raw wound?
Should I avoid reading the pain in your eyes?

Forgive me, because I feel afraid.
I don’t ever want to hurt you,
nor do I ever want to make you angry at me.
Do I risk having you get angry at me by
bringing “it” up?
Suppose I say something that pushes you
over the edge and you suffer a similar fate?
My fear and apprehension immobilizes me.

Forgive me, because I feel frustrated.
I don’t know who to ask for help,
so I can better help you with your pain.
How do I break through my shell of
awkwardness, inadequacies and fear?
All these emotions are jumbled up inside of me.
Do I avoid you . . . so I can avoid myself?
Who then suffers?

I suppose I should break loose from
all these negatives that stem from within me and
simply say . . .
“I feel awkward and I don’t know what to say to you.
I don’t want to hurt you any more than you already hurt.
Would you please help me to know what to do?”

~Brenda Bernard Flowers ©
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Riders on the Storm
When the storms of life
Sweep us away,
Leaving us ragged,
Unsure of our way,
Relentlessly battered
By furious waves
Our hearts torn and tattered
Ready to break,
Rending us helpless
In the shadow of their wake;
It is then that our God
Bids us to come,
To ride out the storm
On the crest of His love.

He will silence the tempest
At the nod of His head,
Surround us, protect us
From fear, from dread.
So come what may,
Rain or shine,
I am my Savior’s
And I know He is mine.

~Joan Phillips
inspired by 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
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Smile at your Angel
Did you know,
that there are angels standing by you?
Yes ! It is so !
And although you cannot see them,
they are everywhere you go.
They will watch you at the table,
they will watch you at night in bed,
they will watch when you are playin',
they hear everything that's said.
So, when you wake up in the morning,
and look out at the sky,
smile and say, "Good morning !"
To your Angel standing by . . .

~Taken from Josh's Page
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The first snowfall of the season!
I am so excited to see
This annual white blanket of snow
Cover the trees, buildings and ground!

Playful flakes continue to fall and the air is still.
Strangely, the atmosphere feels as if it's insulated from sound.
The birds provide such a beautiful contrast
Of color against this breathtaking wonder.

I sense nature's winter excitement!
As with every year's first snowfall
I call out to you, to share, with me,
The beauty of it all . . .
"Hurry! Come here, it's snowing!"
As usual, you will shout with joy,
Run by my side to share in this ritual.

We will laugh, dress warmly
And play together as children in the snow
Building snowmen, sledding, throwing snowballs
And eventually retreating to
The safety of the indoors.

How familiar it will be when we feel
The numbness in our noses, fingers, feet
As well as the stinging in our wind burned rosy cheeks!

Laughing, we will remove our wet, snow matted clothing
To anxiously embrace the comfort and warmth
Of our home, hot chocolate and each other.

I don't hear you . . . and
Painfully remember
You are no longer with me.
I stand all alone, by an apathetic window.

The snow no longer offers me
Familiar comforts of tradition.
Instead, painful emptiness overpowers me.

Suddenly, I feel like the snow's
Empty blanket enveloped by unwanted and
Lonely silence . . . and cry.

~Brenda Bernard Flowers ©
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Still Here
Today I knew you were lonely,
I was watching while you cried;
I wanted to reach out and touch you,
Let you know I was by your side.

It hurts me to see you grieving,
For I know you can't understand.
If only just for one moment,
You could feel the touch of my hand.

Beyond the veil that divides us
I'm only a heartbeat away;
Though my life on earth is over
I am walking beside you each day.

As the sun rises in the morning,
I can still share the beauty with you,
Here in my heavenly home,
I see from a different view.

I hear your sighs in the evening
When a myriad of stars are aglow;
I sense that you are remembering,
The love that we shared long ago.

Tonight when sleep beckons you
In dreams you'll sense me draw near.
When the sun rises in the morning,
Remember my love I'm still here.

© Marian Jones 2003
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Soul Prints
Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.

They awaken us to new understandings,
With the passing whisper of their life,
Their hope and their dreams.

Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile,
Leave their footprints on our souls,
Their smile in our hearts,
And we are never, EVER the same.

~ Author Unknown
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Sweet Child of Suicide
Oh why, sweet child did you weep at night?
I lay next to you to provide some comfort
But you still wept.

Oh what, sweet child, tormented you so?
What caused your heart to weigh so heavily
That it pulled your spirit to such depths of despair?
Why, such pain, my child?

I would watch you fall into a sleep and listen
To your slow and rhythmic breathing.
You looked so much at peace and comforted
By the spell of the night.

The turmoil within your heart could not be felt by others.
I would ask what troubled you and you would somberly respond
That you too, did not know.
Not knowing greatly intensified the darkness and depth of
An engulfing vacuum and sense of helplessness for you.

Your days were troubled and the smallest
Of tasks became extremely difficult,
Often left undone, leaving you with compounded feelings
of inadequacy, greater anxieties and apprehensions.

Oh why, sweet child, was it you that suffered?

I remember how your sparkling personality and
Zest for life brightened the lives of many!
The cloud you could not free yourself from,
Began to darken those very same lives you
Enlightened because they, my child,
Truly loved you for being just who you were.

You've swept away tomorrow days by
Taking your life, and in doing so
Have drastically changed my future and
The future of others you have left behind.

When you were alive and struggling
There was hope in the hands of time that would
Eventually heal, ease and comfort you.

You negated time and chose to travel to another plane.
Do you feel guilty, my child?
Do you regret destroying your life?
Do you miss us and wish you were here, again?

Do you wish you could turn back those hands of time
So you could choose differently?
Do you feel frustrated because you can't comfort or talk to
Those of us you have left behind?

I weep often . . .
Because you have stolen the most precious
part of my future . . . my child.

~Brenda Flowers
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The Gift of Someone Who Listens
Those of us who have traveled a while
Along this path called grief,
Need to stop and remember that mile,
The first mile of no relief.

It wasn't the person with answers
Who told us the way to deal,
It wasn't the one who talked and talked
That helped us to start to heal.

Think of the friend who quietly sat
and held our hands in theirs,
The ones who let us talk and talk
and hugged away our tears.

We need to always remember
That more than the words we speak,
It's the gift of someone who listens
That most of us desperately seek.

~ Author Unknown
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The Simple Things
I don't have much to offer,
No money in the bank,
Barely have enough,
To put gas inside my tank.

Seems every time I gather,
A 'savings' in some way,
Something always happens,
To take it all away.

I don't drive a fancy car,
It would not turn your head,
If you look closely at the tires,
You will find there's little tread,

Seems every time I drive it,
Another piece falls off,
And every time I start it,
It sputters and it coughs.

I don't have a big huge house,
Filled with all things new,
No fancy stuff to decorate,
And not much of a view,

Seems every time I make a move,
I get rid of more and more,
The things I don't wanna carry,
With me through the door.

But this I say while traveling light,
These things I don't desire,
For excess money will only serve,
To fan the demon fire,

And fancy cars don't mean a thing,
Just mere expensive flaunts,
For mine gets me where I need to be,
And that is all that counts.

The place in which I lay my head,
Where ever that may be,
Provides me shelter from the cold,
And is considered home to me.
You see it's not the treasures,
That you build upon this earth,
That brings a person happiness,
And feelings of self worth.

It's living life the simple way,
And helping when you can,
Do what you can for others,
Be it woman or a man,

Share what you have inside you,
Be gentle and be kind,
Heal a heart that's broken,
And you are sure to find.

The simple things in life are free,
And love comes without a cost,
Don't build up treasures on this earth,
Where souls get trapped and lost,

Do what you can for all you can,
With all you have to give,
From where you are inside yourself,
Allow your HEART and SOUL to live!

~ by Michelle A. Bartley
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The Christmas Wish
With his small hands clasped together
He kneeled beside his bed

Trying to wipe the tears away This is what the small boy said.

Dear Lord, I miss my Daddy so
He's been gone almost a year
And it's really hard on Mom right now
Since Christmas eve is here.

I do my best to help her
I've done the things I should
If you'll please bring me a puppy dog
I promise to be good.

I get to missing Dad so much
Though I know he's there with you
I think a pup would cheer me up
And soothe me when I'm blue.

So, the little boy fell off to sleep
And drifted far away
He dreamed of fluffy puppy dogs
That chased him in his play.

Then something strange awakened him
In the stillness of the night
He felt a presence in the room
But no one was in sight.

The little boy looked all around
There was not a soul to greet
But a small and fluffy puppy
Curled up there at this feet.

Wishes really do come true
In his heart he felt so glad
The tag attached said simply
To you dear son . . . from Dad

~ Marilyn Ferguson © 2000
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The Dance of the Christmas Trees
Nodding and bobbing - scraping and swaying,
On a hillside, painted in white,
The dance of the trees is taking place,
On this wonderful Christmas Eve night.

A vision given to only a few,
Who must watch from a distance below,
Uninvited, but welcomed guests,
Peering up through the mist and snow.

A fantasy scene from a picture book,
Of trees in silver-white gowns,
That dance in their starlit ballroom.
With a bright winter moon shining down.

"May I have this dance?" asks the sturdy Pine,
As he bows to the elegant Fir,
Her boughs quivering with delight,
She replies, "I'd be honored, sir."

They bend to and fro - stretch high and low,
In a tempo set by the wind,
Their branches brush in the wind's wild gusts,
Free and undisciplined.

The mighty Redwoods and tall Cedars
Join also in the fun,
Though more dignified and stately,
They cannot be outdone.

Moved by the spirit of the wind,
Which alone gives them good reason,
But coupled with the night at hand,
They dance this Christmas Season.

The Junipers also leap in the breeze,
Small evergreens that they are,
A chorus line of high-steppers,
Each kicking up to the stars.

The Holly bushes are jolly, too,
As they dance on Christmas Eve.
With their bouncing, bright red berries,
And their shiny, spiny leaves,

Trees move with joy at Christmas,
It's that special time of year,
When they dance in celebration,
Of Our Lord's arrival here.

Christmas Eve Night! Oh, what a sight!
The trees bow down, as in prayer,
They bend and sway in marvelous ways,
As for Christmas Day, they prepare.

~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis © December 2002

Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.1 Chronicles 16:33
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The Spirit of Christmas
The spirit of Christmas is often found
In things that we can see
A street of gold and silver
A sparkling Christmas tree.

It’s found in quiet serenity
Of freshly fallen snow
In lights upon the river
A candles’ gentle glow.

It’s found in pretty presents
And treasures of delight
In stories told of Christmas’ past
On cold and wintry nights.

It’s found in Yuletide carolers
Who stand out in the street
And spread good cheer and tidings
To everyone they meet.

It’s found in bustling cities
As choirs get up to sing
In sleepy little villages
Where lonely church bells ring.

It’s found within a beggar’s heart
Who kindly takes the time
To help a cold and hungry child
By sharing his last dime.

It’s found within the prisons walls
And temples made of stone
It’s found within the orphanages
And in the nursing homes.

It’s found within the wise men
Who brought gifts from far away
And the eastern star that led them
To the stable where He lay.

It’s found within the Spirit
This gift from up above
It’s filled with pure salvation
And wrapped in His sweet love.

It’s even found in old St. Nick
As he kneels down to pray
To Jesus, Blessed Redeemer
Who was born on Christmas day.

~ Marilyn Ferguson © 4 December 2002
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The Tattered Stranger
When I awoke this Christmas morn,
I looked outside to see,
Flakes of white were falling
And they covered every tree.

The scene was so delightful,
The silence so serene.
As I looked, I saw a shadow,
And thought, "what have I seen?"

The shadow moved, I glanced again,
And wondered what it could be.
It was then I saw a tattered old man,
Huddled close to a big oak tree.

The coat he wore was shabby and worn.
There was nothing covering his head.
His beard was white from the falling snow,
His hands, chapped and red.

I rushed to the door and called to him,
"Come inside, it's warm in here".
He hesitated, but entered.
I never once felt any fear.

I asked him why he was outside,
When the weather was so cold.
He said, "I have no place to go,"
His voice shaking, but still quite bold.

I asked him to stay the day with me,
I had plenty and I'd gladly share.
His eyes lit up and he thanked me,
For my concern about his care.

He looked in awe at my Christmas tree,
With ornaments all around.
His eyes had a most wistful look,
As he spoke with a whispered sound.

"It's been awhile since I've been in a place,
Where the spirit of Christmas is shown.
Since I lost my wife, I have no one.
I've spent every Christmas alone".

I thought since I, too, was alone,
We both could enjoy this day.
I helped him out of his tattered coat,
Elated he'd agreed to stay.

He said he couldn't stay too long,
But would eat a bite with me.
To remove the chill of the bitter cold,
He asked for a cup of tea.

As he warmed himself before the fire,
I made breakfast for us to share.
As we sat down at the table,
He asked permission to say a prayer.

He prayed, "Father, I thank You,
For the path that brought me here.
For the generosity of this woman,
Who's so kind and so sincere.

She's invited me into her home,
A stranger she doesn't know.
By showing her love for others.
I ask Your blessings on her to flow.

I'm thankful for her compassion,
And the warmth of her gentle heart.
This is a special time for me,
One only You, Lord, could impart.

Thank You for the gift of Jesus.
So long ago, He came this day.
Born of a virgin in a lowly manger,
He reigns as King of Kings today.

We neither have many possessions,
But have hope through Jesus, Your Son.
We anxiously await His return for us,
When our time on earth is done".

After we had finished breakfast,
He said that he must go.
He thanked me for my kindness.
And trudged off in the snow.

Until God brought us together,
The two of us were alone.
But we'd shared the spirit of Christmas,
This day in my humble home.

I feel so blessed that I did ask,
This tattered man in from the cold.
My life will never be the same.
For an angel has touched my soul.

~ Emily McAdams © Dec 2002
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T'was the Day After Christmas!
'Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurtin', even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with ice on his head.

Wrappings and ribbons just covered the floor,
While upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my t-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then stuffed them quickly into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

"Now Dillard's, now Broadway's, now Penny's, and Sears.
Here's Robinson's, Levitz's, Target, and Mervyn's.
To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall,
Now charge away - charge away - charge away all!"

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster, with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
"Enjoy what you got . . . you'll be paying all year!"

Merry Christmas everyone!

~ Author Unknown
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We Do Not Need a Special Day
We do not need a special day
To bring you to our minds.
The days we do not think of you
Are very hard to find.

Each morning when we awake,
We know that you are gone.
And no one knows the heart ache
As we try to carry on.

Our hearts still ache with sadness
And secret tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you
No one will ever know.

Our thoughts are always with you,
Your place no one can fill.
In life we loved you dearly;
In death we love you still.

There will always be a heartache,
And often a silent tear.
But always a precious memory
Of the days when you were here.

If tears could make a staircase,
And heartaches make a lane,
We'd walk the path to heaven
And bring you home again.

We hold you close within our hearts;
And there you will remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives
Until we meet again.

Our family chain is broken now,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

~ Connie Dyer, BP/USA, Springfield, IL
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Why Christmas?
There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to
let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas.

His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have
faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas
Eve service in the farm community in which they lived.

She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said.
"Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"
So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a
blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding
snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.

Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump He
looked out,but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little,
he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.
In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese.

Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in
the snowstorm and could not go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm,
with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the
field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had accidentally
flown into his window.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them.

The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It is warm and
safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he
walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited,
hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and did not seem to notice, the barn
or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but
that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the
house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs
trail leading to the barn.

They still didn't catch on.

He was becoming frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them
toward the barn, but they only became more scared and scattered in every
direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into
the barn where they would be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only
place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and
realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose,
then I could save them," he said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and
carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.
He then released his own goose.
His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn -- and one by one the
other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes
earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier that evening.

"Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the
geese -- blind, lost, perishing. Jesus was sent, and became like us so He could
show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized.

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this
wonderful thought.
Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.
Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm.
He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:

"Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

~ Author Unknown
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With Hope
This is not at all how we thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you,
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away and left us with the memory of your smile
And nothing we can say and nothing we can do
Can take away the pain of losing you but

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no.
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
There's a place by God's grace
There's a place where we'll see your face again

And never have I known anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more the wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now your home and now your free

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe all God has promised us is true
So we wait with hope . . . we ache with hope . . .
We hold on with hope . . .
We let go . . . with hope

1 THESS. 4:13-14 / HEB 6:9 10:23
(sung by Stephen Curtis Chapman)

~Taken from In Memory of TJ
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The Will of God
The will of God will never take you
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercy of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

~Author Unknown
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Words Must Wait
Don't talk to me yet;
the wound is fresh.
The nauseous pain,
which I cannot forget
fades into numbness
like a wave . . .
then comes again.
Your tears I understand,
but grief is deaf.
It cannot hear the words
you gently planned
and tried to say.
But . . .
pray . . .

~Author Unknown
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