Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday's Faith - "You Cradle Me When...Without Obvious Mend"

Friday's Faith 

"You Cradle Me When...Without Obvious Mend"

"How gently You hold me and cradle me when I rest in Your hands- when I am weak and broken without obvious mend. How beautiful You are to me, as I weep tears onto the pages of Your word and find solace in Your truths and promises. You envelope me within Your presence, and uphold me with Your right hand. You shelter me from all things that may stain or tarnish my heart, but leave me vulnerable enough to choose my own direction. How blessed I am that when I begin to wander, You call my steps back into line. And when the world attempts to tie down my arms and legs, when it fills me with doubt and I struggle to take flight- You replace all that is broken, and You give me wings to soar."

via jesuslovesalltheworldforever

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday's Therapy ~ Sleep Therapy

Thursday's Therapy

Sleep Therapy

Sleep Better with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Do you lie awake night after night, struggling to catch the sleep that eludes you...then feel exhausted and miserable during the day? Don't just suffer stoically—insomnia is serious! It increases the risk for high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and substance abuse. What's more, although insomnia often is considered a sign of depression, new research reveals that the insomnia can come first and double a person's risk of developing depression.

Sleeping pills may seem like a quick fix, but don't be too hasty in taking that route. Though these drugs do help some people, they also can have bad side effects...and according to one study, long-term use is associated with increased risk for early death.

There's a much better option that can get you the deep, blissful sleep you need. It's completely safe and drug-free, and because it addresses the underlying causes of insomnia (unlike medication), its benefits persist even long after treatment ends. It's called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), and just a few sessions can go a long way to restore normal sleep patterns. CBT-I has been shown to relieve insomnia for a wide variety of people, including older adults and those who suffer from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders and other health problems. It can even help people who have been taking sleeping pills for years. Here's what you should know about CBT-I…


For insights, I turned to Donn Posner, PhD, a leading expert in CBT-I. He is a psychologist at Palo Alto VA Medical Center in California and coauthor ofCognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: A Session-by-Session Guide. Dr. Posner confirmed that chronic insomnia is a serious disorder that should be treated. However, he also noted that a few restless nights should not be considered insomnia (important to know so that you don't feel overly stressed about an occasional bad night!).
True chronic insomnia means difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, despite adequate opportunity to sleep, that occurs at least three times a week and lasts for at least three months, according to Dr. Posner. How long can it take you to fall asleep before it's a problem? Most experts in the field consider 30 minutes of lying awake, either before first falling asleep or after having woken up in the middle of the night, as the cut-off. In addition, Dr. Posner said, "insomnia leads to some daytime consequences—for instance, fatigue, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, poor work performance or even anxiety about being unable to fall sleep. Insomnia is not just a nighttime’s a 24-hour disorder.”

If you think that your sleep pattern fits the above description of insomnia, talk to your doctor—a medical problem could be interfering with your slumber, and you may find that sleep comes more easily once that underlying condition is addressed. If your insomnia persists, however, you should strongly consider trying CBT-I.


The first step with CBT-I is for you to find a sleep specialist who offers it. To do this, ask your doctor for a referral to a qualified professional with expertise in CBT-I...or find a practitioner through the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine or contact the nearest certified sleep center and say that you’re interested in CBT-I.
Once you choose a sleep specialist, you can expect to undergo a thorough evaluation ofall areas of functioning to determine all the factors that are contributing to your sleep problems, Dr. Posner said. Genetic makeup, internal rhythm, social life, home life and work life are all evaluated...and you are instructed to keep a sleep diary to help pinpoint problematic patterns. Your therapist also tries to determine whether an emotional issue or even another sleep disorder precipitated your insomnia. When the evaluation is complete, the therapist creates an individualized treatment plan, typically consisting of four to six weekly one-hour sessions.

Then the real work begins. As the name implies, CBT-I involves both behavioral and cognitive elements. Though therapy is tailored to each patient, a typical protocol includes the following...

Stimulus control. You are cautioned against using your bed at any time of day for anything other than sleeping or sex. That means no lounging on the bed to read, watch TV, talk on the phone or surf the Internet. For times when you do go to bed and do not fall asleep (or fall back to sleep) within 15 to 20 minutes, you are told to get up and go do something in another room, returning to bed only when you feel sleepy again—and repeating this instruction as many times as necessary.

The rationale: When a person habitually struggles to fall asleep, he "works" at what should be a natural process...and he becomes conditioned to associate the bed with anxiety, frustration and effort. In contrast, by getting out of bed whenever he cannot sleep, he gives up that struggle. If he applies this rule consistently, over time the bed becomes a trigger for sleep rather than for wakefulness, Dr. Posner explained. That association between bed and sleep is further reinforced when he avoids using the bed at all while awake. The only exception is sex. "If we asked people to give up the bed as a place for sex, they wouldn't comply anyway. But more importantly, during sex you presumably are not trying to sleep, so it doesn't present the same problem as, say, reading in bed with the intention of getting to sleep. It is really sleep effort above all that we try to eliminate," he said.

Sleep hygiene. Typically patients are advised to avoid caffeine after noon...and to avoid exercise, alcohol, heavy meals and nicotine within two hours of bedtime. Your sleep therapist also reviews your bedroom environment to make sure it is dark and cool enough to be conducive to sleep. (Many people keep their bedrooms too warm for good sleep.)

Anxiety abatement. The therapist teaches you how to deal with the anxiety you may feel before heading to bed. For instance, you may often think, I'll be a wreck if I don't get to sleep...or I can't stand lying awake like this! As you learn to counteract that "catastrophic thinking" with rational thoughts—I can function OK even if I don't sleep for eight hours...or Insomnia is unpleasant but hardly unbearable—your anxiety lessens and sleep comes more easily. You also may be shown relaxation techniques to practice during the day and at bedtime. And you learn to avoid staring compulsively at the clock, which only makes you fret more as you calculate how much sleep you're losing. If you need an alarm clock, you may be told to use one without illumination...or to place the clock under your bed where you can't keep checking it.

Commitment is key: Too many people try one or two of the techniques for a few nights, and then if they don't immediately start sleeping better, they get frustrated and give up. "There is nothing magic that will work tonight. It takes dedication and commitment to make CBT-I work because you have to rebuild your innate sleep drive and realign your body's natural rhythms before you'll be able to sleep well," said Dr. Posner. Be forewarned—during treatment, sleep problems often get worse before they get better...but that’s a sign that the protocol is working. It can take a week or two to start seeing real progress. “Given that most people with chronic insomnia have had the problem for years, a couple weeks of work should be a good trade,” Dr. Posner added.

Source: Donn Posner, PhD, CBSM (Certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine), psychologist, Palo Alto VA Medical Center, Palo Alto, California. A clinical associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, he also is coauthor of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: A Session-by-Session Guide (Springer).

Entire Article:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday's Woe - The Family Get Together that Included More than Just Family

"There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all."

~Frederick Barthelme 

Wednesday's Woe

The Family Get Together that Included 

More than Just Family

"The loss of a future eroded the present. The long shadow of the past haunted the moment. I lived in fear – fear of no future, fear of the past and afraid the shrapnel of the present tense was going to be my demise. I was left fragmented, holding on and holding it all in."
~Benjamin Allen


Let me give you some background first… We have managed over the course of the last several months, to sequester ourselves fairly well from festive activities like holiday events, etc. We made sure we were alone at Christmas, New Years, Tommy's birthday, Easter, Merry Katherine's birthday, and Mother's Day; holidays and grief, for us, just do not mix well. They typically are the worst days of the year for us, and it is all we can do just to muddle our way through them in the sanctuary of our own home. Nathan had come home for his birthday, and we had had a sweet time with him, but there could be no large get together with all of us together because we knew we weren't up for that, so he celebrated in small gatherings instead.

So here it was, the first outing in quite awhile with all our little family gathered around. We were delighted Nathan was coming close by and wanted to introduce us to his new girlfriend he had met while living down in Georgia, but we had fear and trepidation about the family get together without our lively Merry Katherine in the thick of the action… We tried to be sure we were well-rested, well-grieved, and as prepared as we could be for the occasion. But we knew it probably would be difficult and have its painful moments anyway...

This is how I felt, sitting in a family gathering around the table at Cracker Barrel, (As I said, it was a rare event for all of us to get together, because as always, the Absence of her Presence would loom too large, and the shadow would overwhelm the entire event). Here we were, one son celebrating a new love, a beautiful bright moment in his life, and thus in our life, and the other son celebrating and sharing with us for the first time their discovery of new life in his wife's womb, with the hopes of a newborn to come into our presence in about seven months from now, and thus more great elation was there for the celebration in our family's hearts… !

But, where was I? O, I was there to celebrate alright; I wouldn't miss such a special time together, in their lives and mine, and yet somehow I was far far away at the same time… 

I could feel the tension in my insides. Here it was, a truly beautiful culmination of events in our family's lives all at one time, and yet why was my heart sitting in my chest still feeling crushed, pulverized, and dangerous, as if it could splat out on the table and ruin everyone's happiness all at once? 

I felt fear; I felt danger; I felt "un-me," and frightened, even while I too felt sparks of the joy my children were feeling, to some degree. My usual confidence was shaken, and what seemed to replace it was a gross insecurity that clouded my ability to relax and "be" in the moment. I felt on guard against potential disaster, and some of that disaster that might originate from within, from my own darkness that was overwhelming the lightness of the occasion, despite being now engulfed in my children's light-hearted banter. What was wrong with me? I love people; I love my children; I enjoy their quick, spontaneous humor; I love family time, and the sweetness that surrounds it!

Still, it was as if I knew Life and Death were sitting at the same table with me at one time. How can one singly celebrate Life when Death is sitting there tightly coiled, just waiting for its moment to lash out onto the table to totally spew the rest of  its poisons out, and take out all that was left of my family at one time?  Or, at the very least, spew out some of the poisons that seemed to have crept down into my own heart and soul, and thus potentially ruin a perfectly beautiful evening for my family.

How can one truly enjoy a shared meal with loved ones when we know Danger is lurking at our side all the while? Like Benjamin Allen says, "I was left fragmented, holding on and holding it all in." I was using what little energy I had available to try to hide that desperate negativity that was clawing at me, threatening to engulf my soul. In actuality, it was already ripping at my insides even as I knew it was threatening to swamp me, and take me down at any moment…). How do you smile and try to be festive with all that fear and turmoil going on in your heart and soul?


After the first thirty minutes to an hour of the meal, I was able to feel more and more of the love from my sons' hugs, and the laughter regarding their, and my grand baby girl's, shenanigans. I was beginning to be able to feel the joy in response to their joy as the night progressed. It morphed more and more into a sweet and peaceful time around people who are each full of grace. 

If I was not altogether present, I was mostly present during the remainder of the evening as opposed to the very rough start at first. 

Perhaps this is what it is like to grieve your child now after 7-and- 3/4 years; the grief-and-trauma does not leave (rather, it goes with us everywhere we go!) so we must make room for it, and over time and much grief work, our systems learn to make room for joy at the same time. 

There are times worse than others; I have not quite sorted out what all happened this time ~ I think I have been exhausted from a great deal of grief lately,  which leaves an aggravated adrenal system and its concomitant disrupted sleep, all of which culminates in a steady low-level state of exhaustion, leaving me just enough energy to function, but barely. And thus, I am left more vulnerable for the darkness of my grief to surface at all the wrong times…  

I am very grateful for what was mostly, ultimately, a sweet time with my family. 

I am also aware that we indeed walk in this world now ever accompanied not only by Life… but also Death. Yes, it was a family get-together than included more than just family; it also included my grief and my fear….

Towards the end of the evening, Tommy came up to me, saying, "We need to go now!" Evidently, the evening had been relatively good for him, until towards the end of the evening when the boys were showing off their antics, and the absence of Merry Katherine began to overtake Tommy as she would have been right alongside, in the thick of the playful action with them… He said he had felt tears threatening to come to the surface, so he had left abruptly to go "get gas for the car," and then returned to get me so that we could leave as soon as possible.

Yes, our Traumatic Grief goes along with us wherever we might go, and it often demands to make its presence known.

Those close to me could detect there was something wrong. "He's grieving... he's sad... he can't get over it..."

But they didn't know it was more than that. I was in freefall in every moment. I was in the dark every day.

I was in fear - fear that the unbearable pain could get worse.

~Benjamin Allen

Graphics, thanks to
The Afterloss / Facebook:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday's Trust - "Be Alive to All that is Good"

"We are not afraid of the future. 
We are afraid of the past repeating itself.

"Loss, took my future and left me looking over my shoulder to see if what happened could happen again. Could more be taken from me?"

~Benjamin Allen

Tuesday's Trust

"Be Alive to All that is Good"

"And He personally bore our sins in his own body on the cross, so that we might be dead to sin and be alive to all that is good."

1 Peter 2:24a (J. B. Phillips translation)


Death has happened. It has colored all that we think and do now.

Our family is getting together today; our son Nathan who is living in Georgia is bringing his new girlfriend to Tennessee so that we might meet her and get to know her a little bit. Tommy and I, our other son Rollin, his wife Stephanie, and their baby girl Ellie are all going to meet him in a town about sixty miles away from here.

When Tommy mentioned to me that he might rent a van so that we could all travel together… what was my first thought? Horror of horror, it was,

"If something happened, and we are all riding together, it could knock out Nathan's whole family in one fell swoop!"

Oh my. PTSD rears its ugly head again. But, yes, we are different now; we know All Too Well that Death happens.

And yet, I am reading 1 Peter 2:24a, that our Savior Jesus bore death on the cross, "so that we might be dead to sin and be alive to all that is good." 

Lord, please help me "be alive to all that is good" today, to celebrate life, to celebrate new relationships, to know that God conquered death that we all might live again ~ that Satan, despite his devastation, NEVER has the last word on God's children. Help me Lord to bask in Your love, not dwell on Satan's destruction. 

If I dwell on the wrong thing, I will miss too much (and consume myself with worry) for my Lord *destroyed evil, death, destruction  ~all heaped on us by Satan ~ so that His children may instead "be alive to all that is good…" 

*(to be ultimately consummated)

God is Love. May His perfect love cast out all fear in my heart... 

(That is definitely something that only an Almighty God can do!)

~Angie Prince, written 5/25/2014

"I see life differently through the lens of loss. When someone walks out the door, a thought sometimes comes, 'Will that be the last time I see them?'"

~Benjamin Allen

Graphics, thanks to grieving husband/father, Benjamin Allen / FB:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday's Mourning Ministry - You Carry Me ~Moriah Peters

Monday's Mourning Ministry

You Carry Me

~Moriah Peters

You Carry Me

~Moriah Peters

from the album Brave

Feels like it's been miles and miles
Feels like it's an uphill climb
Sometimes I get weary on the way
But when I look back at where I've been
When I look back, I'm sure of it
I was right there in Your arms and I can say,

Every moment of my life
God, You never left my side
Every valley, every storm
You were there, You were there
I don't need to know what's next
You'll be with me every step
Through it all, through it all
I can see: You carry me!

There are days I wonder if
You can fix the mess I'm in
Times when nothing seems
To go the way it should
But then I look back on every season
I can find there's ten thousand reasons
To trust that You can work all things for good

Every moment of my life
God, You never left my side
Every valley, every storm
You were there, You were there
I don't need to know what's next
You'll be with me every step
Through it all, through it all
I can see 

Through the wind and waves
Through my worst mistakes
Through the times I thought I walked alone
You were holding me
You were whispering
I will never leave you on your own

Every moment of my life
God, You never left my side
Every valley, every storm
You were there, You were there
I don't need to know what's next
You'll be with me every step
Through it all, through it all
I can see

Every moment of my life
God, You never left my side
Every valley, every storm
You were there, You were there
I don't need to know what's next
You'll be with me every step
Through it all, through it all
I can see: You carry me!

You carry me!


1st graphic:

Grief video:

Memorial Day, Thank you to our veterans...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday's Sayings - If God Chose the Broken...

God chose what the world considered Broken...

~1 Corinthians 1:27

Saturday's Sayings

If God Chose the Broken...

(Letter to My Friends, Family, Church, and Community)

If people do not begrudge a sweet little old lady for knitting everyday as she works her craft for her loved ones with her yarn, so too I ask myself,

Why do people begrudge child-loss grievers for daily re-knitting their damaged hearts, souls, and spirits back together after they had been unraveled beyond recognition from the first day their child was ripped from their sides

Child-Loss Grief and Trauma 

is a Daily Process, 

expected to last a Life-time, 

until that beautiful Day when we are

rejoined with our little ones.

Please treat us with kindness, 


at the very least,

Learn to respect 

what you have No Way Of Knowing:

how Unbearable

the Child-Loss Grief and Trauma process is 

upon our severely traumatized lives





I repeat,

You would have No. Way. Of. Knowing. 



Beginning. To. Know. 

what we deal with, 

unless you yourself also

Lost Your Child, 


We would Never, 








So please, 

Just respect our process, 

And know

Always keep in mind

There is a lot about our Child-Loss Grief and Trauma 

you. will. never. know

Be thankful for that,




Love us

Where. We. Are.


Where. You. Want. Us. To. Be.

God doesn't blame the broken

for their brokenness;

God loves the broken...

Can you?

~Angie Prince, Mother Grieving Loss of Child,
Psychotherapist, and Grief, Loss, & Trauma Coach


Please remember what God's Word says,

1 Corinthians 1:27
New International Version (NIV)

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; 
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."

"Broken" graphic, thanks to 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Faith - Groaning... with Joy

"Joy comes in the MORNING."

~Psalm 30:5b

Friday's Faith

Groaning... with Joy

"Weeping may stay for the Night, but Rejoicing comes in the Morning."

~Psalm 30:5b

"Joy comes in the Morning." ~ This I believe and am truly grateful. My prayerful plea is, 

"But please dear God help me endure this dark Night."


"You make known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."

~Psalm 16:11

I am also thankful for this reminder, that Jesus' presence is as Heaven to me as it helps me survive each day without my baby girl. I could not walk through a day without the Hope of the constant presence of my LORD.


The same power that raised Christ from the dead is inside of you.

And if the Spirit of God, who raised up Jesus from the dead, lives in you, He will make your dying bodies live again after you die, by means of this same Holy Spirit living within you.

~Romans 8:11, NLT

Yes, this Living Life of God is within me, and I know too, He is in my baby girl… Because He lives, and He lives in us, I can face tomorrow…


"Even if the healing doesn't come, we will trust that He is still God."

~Salva G. Gibson

Until that Day when our final redemption is brought into fruition, we will groan while on this earth. And yet, God is still God; His plan allows that our suffering continue awhile so that more men, women, boys and girls will be saved into His Kingdom. ~ May His plan win out! One day I Do know I will see my child again!
God is God; I am His little lamb. But He has many lambs He loves enough to die for. Thank You LORD that You have such a large heart for us all. May I ever let You be God, and honor and glorify You amidst my suffering, for You are LOVE, and for that I am forever grateful... 
May all mommies and daddies be able to see their children again…


"Prayer is the lifeblood of an intimate relationship… with the Father.

~Charles Stanley

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are continuously interceding for us. Thank You God; You know that we need it. 
I need Thee every hour, minute, and second of every day --- May I ever turn to Your loving heart for sustenance to carry me through this Dark Night of the Soul.


"Be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might."

~Ephesians 6:10

Thank You dear LORD, that this strength comes from You, and You remind me, 
"When you are weak, I am strong, and My presence and power tabernacles/hovers over you, bringing glory to My name."


Walk by faith not by sight.

"We know these things are true by believing, not by seeing."

2 Corinthians 5:7, TLB

 "For we live by faith, not by sight."

2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV

We who have an Invisible Disability (recognized by none on this earth), serve an Invisible Kingdom (that none can see but by faith), and follow an Invisible God (who is everything to us, yet understood by so few, and seen by none), may we ever lean into Him for our strength and endurance in this "blind" walk of faith while on this earth.


"He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;"

Psalm 91:4a, NIV

For our firm Hope is... 
that despite our suffering, He enfolds us in His wings with His comfort. For it is  in His refuge, I  may live and move and have my being, as His beloved child…. 
And that after our suffering, though it be for many years, by faith we trust that our Joy, indeed, truly cometh in the Morning!

{Highlights, and some capitalizations, mine}

All graphics, thanks to

Ruth Ouellet  ~Pinterest

NLT = New Living Translation

NIV = New International Version

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday's Therapy - Sleep Loss: Something Else to Worry About! - Lost Sleep Could Mean Lost Neurons

The protein SirT3 might protect us against late nights, but all-nighters may result in neuron loss.

Thursday's Therapy

Sleep Loss: 

Something Else to Worry About!

Lost Sleep Could Mean Lost Neurons

Article from 
Lost Sleep Could Mean Lost Neurons

Repeated all-nighters may result in brain cell loss, mouse study suggests


Most of us wish we got more sleep. Every night, something — whether it’s children, work or the Internet — seems to keep us up late. Sometimes it keeps us up all night. Often we comfort ourselves with the thought that if all else fails, we can make it up with a few solid nights of sleep on the weekend.

But new research shows that the brain may not be as forgiving as we hoped. While a few extra hours on the Internet may be absolved, all-nighters like those associated with shift work (not to mention parenting) may end up killing off neurons.

There is no question that sleep is important. It cleans our brain cells and helps consolidate our memories. Lack of sleep blunts our ability to focus, makes us dangerous drivers and can make us eat too much. Jing Zhang and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia were interested in the effects of sleep loss on the brain. “Many of us have pulled long nights and/or all-nighters, and we think we’re OK,” says Sigrid Veasey, a neurobiologist at Penn and coauthor on the study. “But what is the effect? Is there a compensatory mechanism? 

Or does the brain pay a price for repeated sleep loss?”

The researchers were particularly interested in the locus ceruleus, an area of neurons deep in the brain stem. The locus ceruleus plays an important role in attention, “fight or flight” and our sleep-wake cycles. But the locus ceruleus is also very sensitive to stress. And late nights can make those cells very frazzled indeed.

To examine how the brain might respond to decreased sleep, Zhang and colleagues put mice in new, interesting environments with other mice to play with and plenty of things to explore. With this mouse playground, the researchers could keep the animals up far past their bedtimes. The scientists looked at mice with normal sleep schedules, mice that stayed up three hours later than normal and mice with a night-shift schedule kept awake during the day for three days straight. In all cases, the mice could get as much sleep as they wanted during the night, their normal active period.
In a paper published March 19 in the Journal of Neuroscience, Zhang and her group showed that three hours of lost sleep in the mouse playground produced an increase in Sirtuin3, or SIRT3, a protein in a cell’s mitochondria. SIRT3 has a lot of functions, and one of them is reducing chemicals called reactive oxygen species. These molecules are capable of binding to and disrupting all sorts of cellular processes. ROS are a natural by-product of a cell’s daily life, but too many accumulating in the cell can get dangerous as the molecules bind to normal proteins, causing damage and eventually cell death.

By increasing SIRT3 protein when mice stay up late, the brain cells in the locus ceruleus are ready to deal with the ROS. But when the mice partied all night long, the situation reversed. SIRT3RNA levels went down, while ROS levels continued to increase. 

With three days of eight-hour sleep deprivation, the neurons in the locus ceruleus actually began to die. Napping didn’t make up for the sleep lost.

SIRT3 appears to be a key protein for protecting neurons from damage from ROS molecules during late nights. In mice lacking the gene for the SIRT3 protein, even three hours of sleep deprivation resulted in neuron injury from ROS.

“We didn’t think the brain got injured from sleep loss,” Veasey says. “Now we know it does.” 

She explains that the next step will be to see if there is similar damage in humans who have done large amounts of shift work, perhaps by examining post-mortem brains. Veasey also plans to see if increasing SIRT3 can protect against the effects of all-nighters.

While it is interesting to see a new role for SIRT3 in sleep, Matthew Hirschey, a cell biologist at Duke University, says that it’s not necessarily surprising. “SIRT3 is a mitochondrial protein, he says, “and mitochondrial function touches so much of biology.” In addition, because every cell in the body has SIRT3 in its mitochondria, increasing SIRT3 might have more effects than protecting your neurons from a late night.  “Generally,” Hirschey says, “it appears to be a good thing, but some cancer cells have high SIRT3 as well.”

It will also be important to see if the locus ceruleus can recover from neuron loss, and if it even matters. Zhang’s group did not run behavioral studies to see if the sleep-deprived mice had deficits in attention or memory, or if these reversed with recovery sleep. They also don’t know if neuron loss continues over long-term shift work, or if the brain can adjust. 

But Veasey says the current findings are scary enough:
“All of us in the lab take sleep a lot more seriously than we used to!”

Picture:  NINJA999/FLICKR (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday's Woe - Today, something is missing. ~Benjamin Allen

Wednesday's Woe

Today, something is missing.

~Benjamin Allen

Today, something is missing.

What I miss is this, not that. I miss what is missing now. I miss what would have been. I miss mornings. This morning. And I wonder what mornings would be like if they were still here. 

No matter the day, something is always missing. I go through life with a part of me missing. They are gone, but so am I. Their Afterlife left me in Afterloss. 

Afterloss is neither here nor there. Some days it feels like a state of limbo. My feet feel the earth, but my heart can’t feel my feet. The heart lacks location. It encircles memory, skips past the present and swirls in an ethereal future. 

My heart belongs to another. My heart is here, but where is here? I touch a relic from the past and I am there, but lamentably still here. Someone mentions a future event, but I can’t get my head around tomorrow. I can’t go there because I’m not all here. 

I have wandered my Afterloss for many years watching the tides, the ebb and flow of time and location. I feel the seasons of sorrow not in the earth’s rotation, but the rotation of my heart. I orbit the anniversaries of their deaths and feel the wind of their births breathe through me. 

I locate in the ebb and flow of time. There is no epicenter to moment. A clock, a wristwatch, an hourglass have no meaning in my Afterloss. I look at the world around me from a different time zone within me. There is no linear motion in my Afterloss and memory locates where memory stops. 

When I enter my tears I do not know where they locate either. Do I cry for what I can no longer hold, what I do not hold now, or what I will never hold again? The cascading presence of tears have their own watercourse way. They go where they go and I must go with them. 

And underlying all this something is missing. Something is always missing. It is not just a part of me that is missing. I am missing them. I am missing us. I am missing this, not that. 

Our lives are beyond location, but still located within each other. Wherever I go, I take them with me. Whether I am walking the woods or stuck in traffic, they are with me. They are reflected in all reflections. There is nowhere where they are not everywhere. I feel them more within me than around me, but I feel both, furthering my confusion of where does presence locate. 

And where do I locate? For not only are they with me, I am with them. My Afterloss is intricately intertwined with their Afterlife. Borders and boundaries blur. That part of me that went with them when they died still resides within the “us” that lives in both worlds. 

I am not all here. That is why this world feels so ethereal. I am living in the transcendence of loss in a life that is neither here nor there. Just as they are present within me I am present in them. How do I assimilate life when there is no fixed location or time? How do I hold such deep love when there is nothing to hold on to?

The day-to-day “chores” are such a chore. They weigh me down in gravity that chains me to a world that demands what I cannot give. I cannot give this world all of me because all of me is not all here. I pay the bills, work, play, converse, laugh and perform all the duties required, but I do so with something missing, with so much missing. 

There are days I feel like a shell of who I am. The outer part of me does what needs to get done, but I am not in the same location. I am not going through the motions. Motion is going through me. The “me” that is left.

On days like today I know it is only in stillness where I will be able to align with motion. It takes a lot of intentionality to integrate all of them, all of us into all of me. I have come to a place of peace without expectation that I will not locate in one place or that time will follow a clock. The sands of my hourglass will fall in whatever direction and/or speed it chooses. 

I choose to simply accept this is one of those days where my Afterloss may not neatly fit the world around me. What’s more important to me is my Afterloss fits the world within me rather than my sorrow fit in a world I no longer fit. 

For on this kind of day when I keenly experience the missing parts of me, it is an indication that I am on a quest, the pursuit of healing. This is the kind of day I follow the night sky of my Afterloss. Today, I will move gently into what is missing and carry into this moment what is left. 

I do not force my sorrow. When I accept my sorrow it guides me to those places I’ve been looking for all along. It guides me to the deepest parts of me, to them, to us. 
When something is missing, that just means there is something to be found. 

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday's Trust - When Fulfilled Love Unfurls…

Tuesday's Trust

When Fulfilled Love Unfurls…

O Father, release Your light into my heart
For all seems dark since we've been apart..
Stark sadness overwhelms this weary heart...
But Your Gladness cheers as Your Love imparts

Strength to this soul, from inside out,
Clearing my vision, ridding my doubt…
Reminding me she is… There… with You,
With nothing tainting her earthly view~~~

For she looks down, but sees not only me
Steeped in sadness, but still resting... in Thee…

You alone will heal this soul
When Your Light o'ertakes the Darkness of this 
empty hole
Where my child once filled this mommy's world,

Lord, how I miss my baby girl…

Thank You that she's safe… There… with You
Please give me Lord Your Heavenly view…
Where One Day I'll fly into her arms
Filled with Joy, not earthly alarms,

Joy... resurrected by Your own blood
Shed for me and my sweet baby girl
Then once again my tears will flood
But this time because Joy, fulfilled Love unfurls…

Poem-When Fulfilled Love Unfurls~Angie Bennett Prince-May 16, 2014

Portrait: Afternoon At The Beach, ~Diane Leonard
GLORIOUS colour   ~   Jan   ~Pinterest  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday's Mourning Ministry - I'll See You Again ~Westlife

Monday's Mourning Ministry

I'll See You Again


I'll See You Again


Always you will be part of me
And I will forever feel your strength
When I need it most

You're gone now,
Gone but not forgotten
I can't say this to your face
But I know you hear…

I'll see you again
You never really left
I feel you walk beside me
Yes I know I'll see you again

When I'm lost,
I'm missing you like crazy
I tell myself I'm so-o blessed
To have had you in my life (my life)

I'll see you again
You never really left
I feel you walk beside me
I know I'll see you again

When I had the time to tell you
Never thought I'd live to see the day
When the words I should have said would come to haunt me
In my darkest hour I tell myself

I'll see you again… (I'll see you again)
You never really left…
I feel you walk beside me…
I know I'll see you again…

Someday I'll see you again...
You never really left…
I feel you walk beside me
'Cause I know I'll see you again…

I know I'll see you again…

Mmm I'll see you again…

I miss you like crazy…

You're gone but not forgotten

I'll never forget you

Someday I'll see you again

I feel you walk beside me

No o o this is not goodbye

I'll see you again

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

I feel you beside me

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

No o o this is not goodbye

Painting One:

"Jesus Walks With Us..." by ~Greg Olsen 
via Phyliss Larson ~Art I love ~Pinterest 

Painting Two:
"The Comforting" by ~J Kirk Richards
via Art I lovePhyliss Larson  ~Pinterest

Grief Video: