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Messages - John-Danielle Marie's Daddy

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Child Loss / How to Make It Through the Night-Sleep Issues and Grief
« on: June 15, 2009, 12:59:07 PM »
Many who are grieving find sleeping difficult. Over time, lack of sleep or fitful sleeping can take a toll on physical well-being.

Author Marta Felber knows from personal experience that nights can be long and sleepless following the death of a loved one. Here Marta shares what she did to sleep better and stay healthy after her husband’s death.

How do you cope with grief and insomnia? Below, share your ideas for making it through the night.

How to Make It Through the Night
It Seems Endless
By _Marta Felber_ (

I can pretend during the daytime that Joe is away working outside or in his workshop. Alone for the evening meal and crawling into an empty bed confirm the worst! The loneliness for him descends like a shroud and there is no escape. What do I do to get to sleep easier? And what about those long hours in the middle of the night when I wake and can’t get back to sleep?

Ideas for Getting to Sleep and Surviving the Long Nights

STICK TO A REGULAR SCHEDULE. Have dinner with the TV news commentator.
Have a set time to go to bed, a radio alarm to wake me at the same time every morning. Get up, regardless of how little sleep I have had. Maybe take an early afternoon nap, not longer than 30 minutes; set the timer.

GET REGULAR EXERCISE EVERYDAY, but not within 3 hours of going to bed.
Exercise relieves stress and may help me relax and fall asleep.

AVOID CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL. Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep patterns. In addition to regular coffee, there are measurable amounts of caffeine in chocolate, some soft drinks and non-herbal tea.
Alcohol also disturbs sleep patterns.

EAT LIGHT AT THE EVENING MEAL. Have a carbohydrate snack about an hour before bedtime. Also try a glass of milk.

AVOID SLEEPING PILLS. It is too easy to become dependent and too difficult to get off them.

GET SUNLIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON. It helps my body’s natural clock let me sleep at night.

CREATE A SLEEP-PRODUCING ATMOSPHERE. Low lighting, soothing music, a tepid bath, deep breathing, visualization of a beautiful setting, relaxation of body muscles or inspirational reading. Develop a nightly ritual of the things that work for me.

BESIDE MY BED, for those long wakeful hours, put dull reading material, a journal to record my feelings, note cards, a note pad for “to do” lists, a manicure set and a radio for late night talk shows and music.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS, go to the kitchen and make hot chocolate, adding marshmallows. Sip slowly, listen to the night sounds, look for the moon, the stars. Remember that nighttime is a good time for crying, and crying is healing.

I only need to get through one night at a time. I can do this. When I wake during the night, I will determine if I need to cry, get busy, prepare food or just feel God’s presence and a place of peace. Morning will come.

Child Loss / POEM-How Do You Do?
« on: June 15, 2009, 12:56:19 PM »
About his poem the author writes,

My daughter died at the age of twenty, having succumbed to the temptation of drink and drugs.
In the eyes of the world she was an adult, but to me she was still my precious little girl.
During that first year following her death, I wrote almost forty poems, which describe my attempt at coming to terms with her loss through the medium of poetry.

This is one of them:

How Do You Do?
How do you describe an empty heart
Or a mind that will not sleep?
How do you measure the depth of pain
Or the volume of tears that weep?

How do you find new direction
When life's compass has no reference points?
How do you energize listless limbs
With death's arthritic joints?

How do you see the future
Through a lens of opaque glass?
How do you reconcile her name
On a plaque of tarnished brass?

How do you rekindle interest
In a life that was complete?
How you overcome loss and pain
And the desire for social retreat?

How do you explain to those you know
The pretence that you have to project?
How do you smile when expected to
But your facial muscles object?

How do you trust a God you once knew
Or the power of goodness and prayer?
How you put your faith in his hands
When those hands threw the switch of despair?

How do you absorb the colors of Spring
Through eyes that see only black?
How do you control the endless pain
Of wishing she was back?
-- David T. Kerry
www.windowpains. org

Child Loss / In Life and Death: Making Assumptions
« on: June 15, 2009, 12:54:57 PM »
In Life and Death: Making Assumptions
By Joe Primo

Assuming people's feelings can lead to embarrassing gaffes in many situations -- when something is lost or gained, when a baby is born or when someone dies.

We tend to believe that losing is always bad and gaining is always good. But I know many new moms experience profound sadness over the loss of their old lifestyle, feeling their career dreams and freedoms dissipated with the birth of their new little bundle of "joy."

Similarly, I've heard children express gratitude that a parent died because that parent was abusive or unavailable to them. I've heard losers rejoice because they finally get to rest their bodies and minds, no longer having to pursue a victory.

Often times, I think we would be more available to each other if we ditched the "Oh that is so wonderful!" and "I'm so sorry!" choruses that follow major life events. I prefer words like "You're a new mom! What has it been like for you?" or "You're dad died. How has it been going?" Sometimes I might get a hostile response -- "What do you think?!?" -- but then I clarify, "I'm not sure, that's why I'm asking."

I think it is easy to put value statements on events: good or bad. It takes the pressure off of us. Rather than opening ourselves to the wide variety of responses we might hear -- especially uncomfortable ones -- we often diffuse the situation with our assumptions. I doubt that it's intentional, but when we make assumptions, even if they're minor, we can enhance a person's pain.

Imagine the woman who cares for her dying husband at home. When he dies, everyone tells her she must be so sad, things must be so hard. But, actually, she is relieved that it is finally over. People might cause her a lot of guilt and confusion because she feels one way while they assume she feels something else.

Our assumptions on are shaped by our personal experiences or feelings about what is "the norm." But if we allow people to tell their story, and to express themselves without judgment or assumption, we will find that there are few collective norms, and that every person's story and experience is as unique as their fingerprints.

by Joe Primo/Good Grief

Child Loss / Reasons to Survive
« on: June 15, 2009, 12:53:20 PM »
Dear Friends,

Some of us are very depressed; some of us are in deep grief.

Some of us are overwhelmed with life.

Some of us have other issues that are piled on top of the burden of grief we carry.

Some of us have thoughts of self-destruction, and we may be acting on those thoughts in ways we won't always admit.

Some of us have had thoughts of suicide, and some of us have attempted suicide.

Some of us are addicted, and out of control; we may be destroying ourselves with drinking too much, by abusing drugs (prescription or illegal), by smoking too much, or even by eating too much - or not eating enough.

Some of us feel hopeless and may think of ourselves as a burden.

Today, however, I would like to challenge everyone in the group to set aside whatever problems you have for a few moments. Take time to focus on the reasons you should survive, the things that will help hold you here, the things that may help you find life again.

Make a list of reasons called: Reasons to Survive.

(And if you are farther along and you've already found those reasons, please share them, also, because maybe, just maybe, some of your reasons will remind some of the people who are struggling so hard, of things that might be worth living for in their lives, too.)

Wishing You Peace Along the Journey,
John-Daddy of Angel
Danielle Marie Plourde
1/4/1995 -2/20/2006
Memorial Website:

Child Loss / Been Away for a While...Missed everyone
« on: May 11, 2009, 04:50:55 AM »
Hello my dearest friends in Grief,
I just wanted to stop by to say hello and to let my dear friends that we are doing ok...(for the most part) and that I miss all of you here.
If you happen to be relatively "new" to this wonderful support board...I am truly sorry for the reason you have to be here. The death of a child (as we all know) is the most devastating and painful experience we can ever imagine. We are now living every parent’s worst nightmare; yet, we are living proof that we can go on when such a terrible event changes our life.
TO my existing friends, I miss you and love you all very dearly. I hope to be more active in the upcoming weeks and hope to "catch up" on my reading.
May we all be blessed with a special warm memory of our beloved child each day and may we all share our grief with each other...hand-in-hand and heart-to heart.

With deepest compassion,
John-Daddy of Angel
Danielle Marie Plourde
1/4/1995 -2/20/2006
Memorial Website:

Child Loss / Re: Sad thing today
« on: March 17, 2009, 09:18:57 AM »
Just know I understand and care.

Peace to you,

Child Loss / The Grief Survival Kit
« on: March 17, 2009, 09:18:10 AM »
The Grief Survival Kit

Because God understands your pain and wants to bring you comfort

Paper plates, cups, etc
Because the last thing on your mind should be the dishes

Because tears will fall

Toilet Paper
Because it’s something you don’t realize you need until you’re sitting there getting the most use out of that last square

Because sometimes you just need to sit alone and write what you think you could never speak

Phone Card
Because sometimes a listening ear doesn’t live two doors down

Because well meaning friends and family pop in and you’ll want fresh breath despite having not brushed all day

Because grief is work and sometimes you need to take a break

Thank You Cards and Stamps
Because so many people love you

Because you’re in enough pain without having to deal with a headache too

Because we all need to grab and hold onto something soft on the hardest days

Because there are those days that no matter what we do, we just want to wrap ourselves up and disappear

Child Loss / Re: People we have not heard from
« on: March 13, 2009, 05:20:43 AM »
Hello my wonderful friends,
It is nice to be thought of...I miss several of you too!
We are doing as well as we seems this "third anniversary" took a lot more of an pyhsical and emotional toll than I anticipated. I have been very sad and depressed for several weeks since the end of February.
The tears are always right on the "verge" and those same horrible feelings that were felt that tragic day Danielle was killed surface and grab onto my heart and dig unforgivingly into my already shattered heart.

I try to keep up and read the newest posted messages, and pray each night for all of on this terrible journey to find some comfort and peace in our torn hearts.

Always in my heart,
John-Danielle Marie's Daddy

Child Loss / Thank you for remembering Danielle Marie
« on: February 23, 2009, 10:32:17 AM »
Thank you all for your support, love and comfort on another very difficult anniversary.
Your warmth is felt deeply in my heart and I know it is all of you here that keep me going on each and every day.

You all mean so much to me and I love and care about each one of you and all our precious children in heaven.

God Bless You ALL,


Child Loss / Re: Hi , it's me Brynn's mom Elaine
« on: February 09, 2009, 09:37:35 AM »
Dearest (((((Elaine))))),
You will NEVER be alone; we all understand and care about you very much. I know none of this makes any sense and that you like your life is now “over”. You will ALWAYS and FOREVER be mom to your beautiful daughter Brynn…FOREVER!!! Brynn needs you here to carry on her loving memory and to let everyone know what a very special young girl she will always be.
I think of you and your beautiful daughter Brynn often as our precious daughters were the same age when they were taken from our loving arms. I tried several times to contact you over the past year; especially after Brynn’s “first angelversary” I know how very difficult each day is for you. I am sorry that I missed her second angelversary; I too was also very depressed that week on what would have been Danielle’s 14th birthday. Elaine, I am glad to see you posting again and PLEASE know that we will always be here for you.

Take Care my very sad friend,
Your Friend in Grief,
John-Daddy of Angel
Danielle Marie Plourde
1/4/1995 -2/20/2006
Memorial Website:

« on: January 24, 2009, 08:49:04 AM »
My Dear Friend Don,
Thinking of you, your family and your handsome son, Donny as we remember him on his birthday. I truly hope and pray that through your tears a smile of a happy rememberance comes to your sad face and brings you even a moments peace and comfort.

Always in my thoughts and prayers,

Child Loss / Article: The Price of Children
« on: January 23, 2009, 11:20:23 AM »
The Price of Children
This is just too good not to pass on to all. Something absolutely positive for a change. I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice.
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.
But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month, or
* $171.08 a week.
* That's a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be 'rich.' Actually, it is just the opposite.
What do you get for your $160,140.00?
* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.
For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs, and
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.
You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.
* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect! Spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.
For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
You get a front row seat in history to witness the:
* first step,
* first word,
* first bra,
* first date, and
* first time behind the wheel.
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.
In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!
Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren !!!!!!!
It's the best investment you'll make!

Child Loss / Today Let's Share One HAPPY STORY or MEMORY of Our Child!
« on: January 20, 2009, 06:13:19 AM »
My dearest friends,
I know that this may be very difficult for some to do, but I think it would be wonderful to share and read happy story or one of the proud moments in our child’s life.

I will start:
My daughter was playing softball with the Southington Girls Softball League. She was on The Bats.
She was in her second season in the minors (the summer before she died). I will never forget...her team was playing the number one team in her division (her team was 4th) and they were 2 runs down at the bottom of the seventh inning (they only played 7) with only one out. One girl hit a short drive to third and made it to first safely, the second girl hit a soft grounder back to the pitcher and beat it out to first. The next girl hit a fly ball that was dropped and all girls advanced. Danielle was up next, she was having a bad night, and was looking at me for guidance...I just told her "be patient and wait for your pitch". She stepped up and swung at the first pitch...strike one, she looked disgusted...she got ready and took a ball. Now she looked mad...she got ready and swung with all her might at the next pitch and POW! Drove the ball over everyone's head into deep center field, the three fielders just looked at her with this look of amazement. 3 runs scored and Danielle wound up on third after driving in the winning run. Her team mates were so proud of her and she was beaming with pride as I gave her a big bear hug and told her I loved her and was so proud of her.
If you can, please share your happy story.

Wishing You Peace Along the Journey,
John-Daddy of Angel
Danielle Marie Plourde
1/4/1995 -2/20/2006
Memorial Website:

WOW Paula,
This question comes up every once in a while.
I am sure that you will receive many responses, and I am sure that each of us on this terrible "journey" (I know I have) felt that the death of our child was a very harsh punishment for our life's wrongs. After Danielle died, my pastor and I were the first two to view Danielle at the funeral home. After I collapsed onto her body, I became very angry and (even while swearing to and at God) asked my pastor. WHY WAS I BEING PUNISHED, WHAT DID I DO SO AWFULL THAT GOD TOOK MY BABY GIRL?  Father to ld me that God does not punish us, he "forgives us our sins". After a while, I came to realize that my daughter's death was NOT due to what I did in my "past" life, just a cruel twist of fate. It does not matter where you live, how much money you have, what class of society you live in, or even if you are the most "perfect" person in the world, the death of a child can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Remember, for each one of us actually reaching out for support here, there are some many more who have no way to find our support group.

Take Care Paula and May you find strength and comfort in your faith.

Child Loss / Re: Happy heavenly Birthday Jessie
« on: December 31, 2008, 11:37:00 AM »
Dearest (((((Brenda))))),
Remembering you and your beautiful daughter, Jessica on her 21st Birthday today.
I am glad she came to visit you last night.

Take Care my wonderful friend,

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