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Messages - John-Danielle Marie's Daddy

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Child Loss / Article-How to Deal With Depression on New Year's Eve
« on: December 31, 2008, 09:23:40 AM »
How to Deal With Depression on New Year's Eve
By Civita Dyer, eHow Editor

For most people New Year's Eve is an exciting time. New Year’s Eve is a time to get together with family and friends and usher in the New Year. It can be a time to look forward to what the New Year will bring to us, and a time to reflect on the year that is passing. But for some, it can be a trigger for overwhelming stress and depression. When suffering from depression, the New Year and New Year's Eve can be frightening and very un-enjoyable. There are small steps that you can take to help make the New Year less of a frightening time and one that you might actually be able to enjoy.

Step 1
Realize there is an issue. Trying to ignore the growing stress and depression you feel during New Years will not make it go away. It is important to be aware of how you are feeling in order to improve the situation. Admit to yourself that things are most likely not going to go the way that you are planning them and then attempt to prepare yourself to deal with the situation.

Step 2
Take note of past experiences. If holidays like New Years have brought about additional feelings of depression in past years, don't just convince yourself that this year it won't happen. Odds are that it will happen and being ready to cope with those feelings can mean a huge difference in how you handle the situation. Learn from your past experiences and use them to grow and cope with
your depression.

Step 3
Do not attempt to handle it alone. Most individuals feel more stress and depression when alone. Make New Year's plans with friends or family. If you live away from those that you would normally spend holidays with, look for support groups or even religious groups in your community. Several organized groups offer companionship and support during holidays. You might also try volunteering for a specific function or gathering in your community. Being with people and
keeping busy can help fight depression.

Step 4
Be aware what pushes your depression buttons. Most people admit to feeling overly stressed and depressed when dealing with 3 main issues. These issues are finances, relationships, and physical and mental demands, especially at the holidays. These issues can at times be hard to deal with during normal situations, let alone during the holidays. Try taking a breather from these stressful situations and working to eliminate the stress they bring you. If you can determine which factors cause you the most depression and stress during the holidays and on New Year's Eve, then you can work on ways of helping you cope with the situation.

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

Child Loss / Bereavement guidelines for loss of a child
« on: December 30, 2008, 01:50:57 PM »
Bereavement guidelines for loss of a child

If you think you are going insane…THAT'S NORMAL

If all you can do is cry…THAT'S NORMAL

If you have trouble with the most minor decisions…THAT'S NORMAL

If you can't taste your food or have any resemblance of an appetite…THAT'S NORMAL

If you have feelings of rage, denial and depression…THAT'S NORMAL

If you find yourself enjoying a funny moment and immediately feeling guilty…THAT'S NORMAL

If your friends dwindle away and you feel like you have the plague…THAT'S NORMAL

If your blood boils and the hair in your nose curls when someone tells you "It was God's will"

If you can't talk about it, but can smash dishes, shred old phone books or kick the garbage can (preferably empty) down the lane…THAT'S NORMAL

If you can share your story, your feelings with an understanding listener, another bereaved parent

If you can get a glimmer of your child’s life rather than his/her death…THAT'S WONDERFUL

If you can remember your child with a smile…THAT'S HEALING

If you find your mirrors have become windows and you are able to reach out to other bereaved parents…THAT'S GROWING

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

Child Loss / Resolutions for Bereaved Parents
« on: December 30, 2008, 01:47:02 PM »
Resolutions for Bereaved Parents

* I will grieve as much and for as long as I need, determining my own time-table.

* I will grieve the way that suits me best, and I will express my feelings the way I choose.

* I will recognize that tears are natural and healthy, and that I am entitled to cry anytime, anywhere.

* I will say the name of ________ when I want to say it. If it bothers other people, it is their problem, not mine.

* I will not expect others to understand my feelings, because they have not walked in my shoes.

* I will not blame myself for the death of my son or daughter. I will accept that I did the best I could to be a good parent, based on what I knew at the time. (When I fall prey to feelings of guilt, I will understand that they are normal and will eventually become less intense.)

* I will commune with my son or daughter daily in whatever way that feels comfortable and natural to me. I will not need to explain or justify this private connection to anyone.

* I will eat, sleep and exercise daily in order to help my body be healthy enough to cope with my grief.

* If I become forgetful, unable to focus, sad, anxious, angry, or afraid, I know that some of these symptoms may be part of the normal grief process. If they become extreme or cause significant disruptions to my life, however, I will seek professional help in dealing with them.

* If at any point, I cry or temporarily 'forget' my son or daughter, I will not berate myself. Such changes do not indicate a lack of love. They simply indicate that I am alive.

* I will remember that the road I am traveling is not straight, and at times it may circle backwards, be stalled by obstacles in the way, or even come to a stopping point. That's okay, though, because it is my unique journey.

* I will try to find something positive or uplifting to think in my life daily.

* When I can, I will reach out to others gently, knowing that the spirit of my son or daughter is lifting me up.

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

Child Loss / STORY-My World Changed...A MUST READ!!!
« on: December 30, 2008, 01:45:55 PM »
My World Changed
by Sharon Krejci

Prior to becoming a bereaved parent, I thought I had at least a glimpse of what parents  whose children have died go through. I was an emergency room nurse, and the saddest part of my job was to inform parents that their children had died. After delivering that most devastating news, I would sit and cry with them. When I went home at night, I would think about the parents, pray for them and thank God my two little boys were safe and that my family was intact.

Then, on September 11, 1997, I became a bereaved parent!
The police informed me that my son, Andrew, had died in an auto accident. My life seemed to stop. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to breathe again without my son, let alone survive his death. In the days that followed one thing was for sure; I hadn't had even a glimpse about what happens to a
person when their child dies.

As I walk this journey of a bereaved parent, I notice that my whole world changed. My beliefs aren't the same. My priorities aren't the same and my future is changed forever. My whole life had been shattered, and I didn't know where to begin to pick up the pieces or if I even had the will to pick up the pieces. Everyone around me, even though very attentive to me, continued functioning in their lives. I didn't know where I fit in any more. I was alone ... trying to figure out what happened in that split second when they told me Andrew was dead.

There were many things about my new world that I didn't like, and I knew that if I were to survive my son's death, then some things must be changed and it would be up to me to change them.

I noticed that the silence of people who did not mention Andrew's name or his life was deafening to me. There were no stories about him anymore. It felt like "out of sight out of mind." My son had lived; he had been a part of my life. I had dreams for him. He was my future. I was frightened that everyone would forget him, and I needed to hear other people say my Andrew's name. I needed to say his name and to tell stories about him. I could not stand the thought of going through the rest of my life not ever hearing or saying his name again. I knew then that part of my survival was going to involve keeping the memory of my son alive.

I noticed that people removed Andrew's picture and other remembrances of him from their homes, thinking that seeing them was going to upset me, but I needed to know that he was important to other people. Just because he died didn't mean that memories of him couldn't still exist. As part of my healing, I gave framed pictures of Andrew to family and friends to display in their homes. This let them know I needed to have him around me.

I noticed that people would shy away from me, run down the other aisle of the grocery store rather than chance running into me. I needed more than ever for people to come up to me and give me a big hug. Depending on how I felt that day, I would hunt down those people and show them that talking with me was not going to be a painful experience for them and that being a bereaved parent was not contagious.

I noticed that I struggled with something so simple as not being able to sign a birthday or anniversary card from our family, because to do that, I would have to leave Andrew's name off the card. I had signed his name for twenty-three years and there was no way his name could be left off the cards now. I also knew I needed to continue to write his name or people might forget him.

I now sign all cards, "With Love and Memories of Andrew."
It's funny, I rarely sent Christmas Cards before Andrew died; now I make sure that I send everyone I know a Christmas card so I can write his name and keep his memory alive. I also notice that people send cards back to me with the same message. It's great!

I noticed that people were uncomfortable about what to say to me, so they would avoid mentioning Andrew's life or death for fear they would remind me of him. They thought they would feel badly if they made me cry, and then "what would they do with me?" It was easier for them not to say anything.

What these people didn't know is that they didn't have to remind me of Andrew; I think about Andrew every minute of every day. I will never forget his life or his death. Mentioning Andrew's name only
made me feel better. After experiencing a few of these encounters, I knew I had to make people understand that it was okay to talk about Andrew, and that if there were tears, that was okay too. I
always thanked people for bringing up Andrew's name and remembering him. If tears came, I would explain that they had not made me cry, and I really appreciated them talking to me about Andrew.

I noticed that when I entered the room at my first bereaved parent meeting, I was surprised to find other parents in that room, some smiling, some laughing, and some making small talk. I thought I was really in the wrong place. It was inconceivable to me that I would ever smile or laugh again, and I assumed they must not have loved their child as much as I did. But once the meeting began, I learned that these parents did love their children as much as I loved Andrew and that maybe someday I would smile and laugh again, too. There was a glimmer of hope that I might survive, and they would lead the way.

I noticed that at those meetings, I learned a lot about my new world from parents who had walked the path before me. They brought to my attention the situations I might encounter, and offered suggestions as to how they had dealt with those issues. They didn't theorize grief; they lived it everyday and shared
their coping skills with the group. They gave me strength and confidence and validated that I was on the right path in keeping the memory of Andrew alive. They were patient with me. I knew I was in a safe place where people understood me. They wanted to help me get better. They knew something I didn't know at the time-that I was going to survive.

I noticed that some people thought that because my son was twenty-three- years old, somehow he wasn't a child anymore. Even though I was his parent, they assumed the grief would not be as intense as if he were a baby or younger child.

I'll never forget a seventy-year- old man coming into the emergency room, dead

on arrival, after a heart attack. I was told his mom was on her way to the ER. When his frail, ninety-year- old mom entered the room, she screamed out, "My baby, my baby." She sobbed; she hugged him; she held and rocked him. She kissed him all the while saying, "My baby, my baby." I learned that night that it doesn't matter how old your child was, because the parent-child relationship never ends. That night her baby died. The night Andrew died was the night my baby died. Our children are our children forever.

I noticed that I didn't know what to say when people asked me, "How many children do you have?" This causes me great anxiety when it comes up in a conversation. I answer that I have two boys, and most of the time that is sufficient. If the conversation requires more information, I tell them that my eldest son,
Andrew, was a mechanical engineer and he died in an auto accident.

My younger son, Elliott, is alive and well and is a graphic designer. I tell them about Andrew, not so they can feel sorry for me, but because I will always be his mom; he will always be my child, and I cannot deny he lived.

I noticed that people compared my loss to their own losses: father dying, grandmother dying and I even had one person compare my loss to their dog dying. I know these people didn't have any intention of hurting me. They were just trying to relate to the worst experience they ever had with death, but I needed to let them know that my father had died, my grandmother and grandfather died, some friends, my aunts &uncles and even my dogs have died.

My Andrew's death was like no other experience I have had with death. My life didn't stop with all the other deaths as it did when Andrew died. Even though I grieved the other deaths, they didn't hit the core of my existence the way Andrew's death did. My heart didn't ache every minute of every day of every year, as it has since Andrew died. I would have given my life to let Andrew live, but I wasn't given that choice.

I noticed that the old family traditions at Christmastime, Andrew's birthday and other holidays needed to be changed to include something that kept Andrew's memory alive. We started new traditions. At Christmas I give everyone an ornament that reminds me of Andrew and his life. Friends and family give me Christmas ornaments to hang on our new "Andrew tree" that reminds them of Andrew. We continue
to gather on his birthday to celebrate his life. It's not about the ornament, the tree, or his birthday. It's about family and friends taking the time to remember Andrew, to say his name, to let me hear his name, to tell me a funny story they remember. It means so much to me and it has allowed me to continue to survive.

I noticed that even though it's been eight years, Andrew continues to live in the lives of others. What I love most is when my nieces say, "Aunt Sharon, I felt Andrew all around me today, or I heard his song and remembered when..., or when my nephew, comes into the house with a new friend and asks, "Where are the pictures of Andrew; I want to introduce him to my friend." When the little guys say, "I needed to get to first base last week and I asked Andrew to help me, and I made it." Or, when friends send me cards
or mementos on his angel date or on his birthday. I will forever need to know that Andrew has not been forgotten. These little mentions of his name let me know that I will survive.

I noticed that after a year or two, people were expecting the "old" Sharon back. They wanted me to move on, to go on with my life, to be happy and to try to forget my son's death. I guess they read one of those psychology or medical books that give bereaved parents one year to recover. I know now, that the writers of those books never consulted a bereaved parent. Society doesn't understand or seem to want to give us the time it takes to get better. I let people know that I was working very hard on my recovery.

I didn't want pity; I was not attention-seeking or a martyr. I wanted more than they did to feel like my old self again. I wanted the intense pain to stop. I hated where I was in my life and I hated feeling that bad.

I let them know that I had heard that as the years pass, the pain gets softer and the tears flow less, but I will never fully recover. I will always miss Andrew. I will always grieve his death. He will always be a part of my life and I will never forget him.

My wish for all parents and families whose children have died is that they will find peace and know that their child is with them and will never be forgotten.

Reprinted from Grief Digest, Centering
Corporation, Omaha NE 402-553-1200
www.griefdigest. com

Child Loss / The Day dearest friends in grief
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:50:57 AM »
We have now "survived" another family holiday without our precious child or children.

For those who have faced this "first" Christmas holiday or Hanukah season without your son or daughter, I know how difficult this was for you; it is a great and difficult hurdle you have overcome. I hope you found support and comfort to help you through. The endless tears, and questions of why and even the anger that you may be feeling are all part of this now “normal” part of being a grieving parent.

For those of my dear friends who have been on this board since I joined in 2006 and have been such a wonderful source of support and compassion for me, I want to thank you so very truly and deeply. As this holiday season approached, I just found myself reading and wanting to respond, but just did not know what to say. Funny, how some days, we can help everyone with just a kind phrase or simple word and some days, we can’t come out of our shell in order to help ourselves, never mind those who also need support.

Your precious children were all in my prayers this holiday season, I hope you were all surrounded with the love and support that you need and that you received wonderful signs from your precious sons and daughters, nieces and nephews or grandchildren who have died. Each and every one of you are always in my heart and prayers for continuous comfort and healing as we face the day to day challenges of the  toughest “journey” we are on.

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

Child Loss / Re: Dec 21st
« on: December 22, 2008, 10:41:30 AM »
Remembering beautiful Sara on her angelversary.
(((((HUGS)))) to her loving mom Sue.


Child Loss / Re: A Christmas Prayer
« on: December 22, 2008, 10:38:12 AM »
Thank you so very much for sharing.


Child Loss / Re: Jeffrey's Birthday
« on: December 22, 2008, 10:37:27 AM »
Remembering Jeffery on his Birthday this month.
(((((HUGS))))) to his loving family.


Child Loss / POEM-The Lights Of Christmas
« on: December 16, 2008, 01:59:20 PM »
The Lights Of Christmas
By: John Plourde

The lights of Christmas this year are not shining bright,
The pain of missing you is hurting again tonight.

I can’t help ask, how this can be so final and true,
Your death now almost three years still feels so raw and new.

Watching other children filled with wonder and glee,
Brings back those painful reminders of what will never be.

Watching the happy children always remind me of you,
No matter where I go, without you, I can’t help but feel blue.

I miss sharing the joy of the Christmas season with you,
As I kneel by your headstone, I just don’t know what to do.

The tears of this never-ending pain fall from my aching eyes,
I am so angry; I will NEVER have an answer to WHY?

Your death has changed me forever; I will never be the same,
I will say your name as my tears glisten in your candle’s flame.

Danielle Marie as I look to the bright stars in the winter sky,
I feel your gentle kiss on my cheek as I again, begin to cry.

I know on Christmas day, you will be in my heart.
I know each day I hold you close, we will never be apart.

Your Loving Daddy,


Child Loss / Re: Suicide attempts by a parent after the loss of a child
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:30:08 AM »
I received your note and I wanted to let you know that what you are feeling is so common amongst grieving parents after the death of a child. Whether it is 1 month or 5 years or more. That yearning of wanting to be with your child even in death is so very powerful.
After the death of my daughter, I too just wanted to end this horrible pain and mental anguish. I too even went as far as pouring a tall glass of whiskey and pouring a full bottle of sleeping pills into my hand...what stopped me?...thinking of how heartbroken my own parents, my sister, my wife and son would be if I took my own life and how disappointed my daughter would be that I did not fight to keep her memory alive after her death. Even though this is so very hard to do…I am glad I am still here to keep her memory alive and to provide for and care for my family.
Take Care of yourself and PLEASE keep strong and keep in touch with us!

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

Child Loss / Re: Alek's 22nd Birthday
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:17:38 AM »
My Dear Friend (((((Marianne))))),
I am so sorry that your precious Alek is no longer in your warm and loving arms.
I did light a candle on the 28th to remember all our beloved angels.
It does bring some comfort to know that your beloved son will not be forgotten and he is remembered by his friends.
I know that I have not been here much, but you are one of those precious friends who helped me so very much when I first "joined" this group after the death of my daughter, Danielle Marie...I am truly grateful for you too!!!
Take Care my wonderful friend.

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

Child Loss / Re: So Many Deaths
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:12:04 AM »
I am so very sorry...with tear filled eyes, I am praying for this "broken family.

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

Child Loss / Re: Sophia Grace is here
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:10:21 AM »
Sending you happy blessings and congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter, Sophia Grace...A new life does so much good for a crying heart.
God Bless you both!!!!

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

My Dearest Friends,
   December is a very difficult month for many of us for various reasons after the death of our precious child. Though no day is ever easy, December is particularly difficult for many of us.
I know that I will not be able to respond to each birthday and angelversary this month…I am sorry.
   I just want to wish all of you and your precious angels who are celebrating a birthday or an angelversary in December much peace, comfort and continued healing.

   A VERY Happy Birthday to all our beloved angels born in December. May your parents find peace and comfort on these special dates. Help wipe the tears of sadness from their eyes and bring a smile of warmth and comfort with a happy memory of your precious life.
   Moms and Dads, may you cherish your precious angel’s memories. Be kind to yourself and may a smile warm your heart as you remember all the wonderful times you spent with your children while they were here on earth with you. They are watching over you and protecting you. They are forever in your hearts.

   For those beautiful sons and daughters who have angel dates during the month of December, know that you are loved and in our hearts forever.
   To the parents and families of these angels, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Try and find some peace and tranquility on this date. Do something special in memory of your child, celebrate their lives, and keep their memories alive. Remember someday we will be with our angels again. They are free spirits. I want you all to know that I will keep you all in my prayers. Our children are always with us.
   They may be gone, but NEVER forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I offer you the deepest and most sincere love, friendship, comfort and compassion.

Take care and God bless each and everyone of you and your precious angels!

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

Child Loss / Being Thankful
« on: November 27, 2008, 05:08:32 PM »
From One Grieving Parent to Another,

This year as we sit at our table we carry each one of you and your beloved children in our hearts. Tears come as we again face the empty chair, the absence of their presence felt as we come to gather together. May your hearts be wrapped in love & memories of times shared and a thankfulness of having shared pure love with your child. Honor your grief and do what you can as you can. Allow time for quiet reflection and let others support you. We are thankful for your friendship and hold you all near today and always.

With Love,

John, Bernice, Jonathan and our Angel, Danielle Marie

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