“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”
Fall is in the air. A break from the heat and hecticness of summer is always welcome. But with fall comes holidays and all they involve, including crowds, gatherings and too much shopping as well as loss and memory and ongoing transitions.
Finding a path through the upheaval and grief so many of us face every day is not impossible. It does help to have a community where you can share your feelings and memories. The Grief and Happiness Alliance provides that ongoing community, whether your grief or transition is new and raw or gentle but insistent. I am writing today to invite you to attend a virtual event that will introduce you to the Grief and Happiness Alliance and the community support it offers.
This event will introduce the Alliance and share happiness practices. Inspiring breakout sessions will encourage the pursuit of happiness in a variety of ways that can meet the needs of any who are managing grief and other transitions. There is no charge for this event, although donations to support the work of the Alliance are appreciated.
When you register for the free event “Falling into Gratitude: An Equinox Gathering,” you will receive a link to the zoom event that will take place on September 25. The registration process is easy and just takes a few minutes. Basically, you put your name and email address in twice; once to join Event Brite and then again immediately to select this event. Information is kept secure and there is no charge. You will receive the link for the event via email.
When you register, you will be provided the link to the actual zoom event.
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
Here’s a little background and some more details about the Grief and Happiness Alliance Nonprofit Event and its genesis:
The last couple of years have been challenging. Overall, I have been faring well enough and am most thankful for the time available for growth and exploration. But the best part of this last year has been working with the Grief and Happiness Alliance.
Recently, the Grief and Happiness Alliance has grown into a Nonprofit to expand its efforts at offering comfort, understanding and support as well as pathways to happiness for those who are grieving no matter what or how recent the loss.
The Grief and Happiness Alliance Nonprofit was founded by Emily Thiroux Threatt, a long time friend. Her simple goal to help individuals deal with grief and loss grew out of her experiences with personal loss and her wish to help others with the understanding that she gained through her journey. The pandemic and its devastating effects on so many lives have brought further attention to the need for this type of work. Thus, this organization was formed and this event was planned.
“Searching for Light: Finding Balance during the Equinox” is the first virtual zoom event hosted by the Grief and Happiness Alliance Nonprofit Organization. It takes place on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at 9 am HST/12 pm PST/3 pm EST.* The event will introduce the Alliance and its purpose and goals as well as share happiness practices. There will be a general session and some breakout sessions that will introduce participants to practices that help individuals move forward in their grief and loss. There is no charge for this event, although donations to support the work of the Alliance would be appreciated. You can register for the event for free. When you register, you will be provided the link to the actual zoom event.
THE ACTUAL ALLIANCE:
The Grief and Happiness Alliance is more than the Searching for Light Event. Its website offers information, useful resources, and ongoing weekly sessions that help participants deal with life, death and moving on. Even if you cannot attend the Zoom Event on the Equinox, consider visiting the website and joining the Alliance to stay informed of future resources and events. Here is the link for the Grief and Happiness Alliance website.
To learn more about Emily’s journey, the start of the Grief and Happiness Alliance and its weekly writing-through-grief sessions, watch this short video (12 minutes):
GETTING THE WORD OUT:
Please share this event and information with all those you think may find the service helpful or who have experienced some sort of loss. Of course, that pretty much means everyone! Thanks.
SUPPORTING THE WORK OF THE ALLIANCE:
If you want to make a donation before attending the Searching for Light Event or even joining the Grief and Happiness Alliance, here’s a link to make a donation.
*TIME. TIME. TIME.
Emily, our founder, lives in Hawaii and that is where the weekly virtual writing-through-grief sessions are hosted. The rest of us are spread throughout the country, so every time we meet, we list all the varying time zones. Thus, we try to always list the time for any meeting as Hawaii, Pacific and Eastern times. A couple people on the board actually live in Mountain time, but they are on their own remembering that their start time is an hour later than Pacific. Anyway, we trust you will figure out your area’s start time. I hope to see you there!
A PERSONAL NOTE:
Those who follow my blog know that I most often find solace in Nature. It gives me peace, comfort, sense of balance and well being. I can’t wait to get out this Spring to find some wildflowers, but until then, I am sharing some favorites for a little visit to Nature. Second to Nature, joining the Grief and Happiness Alliance and attending “The Searching for Light” event is the next best thing to finding comfort and solace. I hope to see you there!
My dad, Raymond F. Ross, died almost two weeks ago. His Memorial Service was yesterday, Saturday (15 February) at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arcadia, CA. It was a beautiful day, sunny, temperature in the mid-70s. Dad—who was always cold—would have liked sitting in the sunshine. It was a small gathering. Family, friends, church members all shared some memories and said their goodbyes.
Mom died a bit over a year ago. It seemed especially apt that Dad passed this year in time for Dad and Mom to be together again to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A restaurant near them always offered a free dinner and a photo to couples married more than 50 years. Mom and Dad were married over 70 years and enjoyed surprising people over the length of their time together. They never quite looked—or acted—their age!
Now that they are both gone, I like thinking of them once again being together for birthdays and holidays, adding more years to their lives together. I do miss them!
I do feel lucky that I saw Dad a few days before he died. It was a typical visit, and we parted saying, “I love you” and sharing a hug and a kiss. Thank goodness! Please tell your loved ones how much you love them and show them by giving them your time and attention. You never know when they could be gone.
I have been thinking about my mom a lot today. Today is her first birthday since her death. She would have been 92. I miss her a lot, but this week especially the memories are bubbling up. I also have been reviewing some old photos. When I was kid, I was never thrilled when people said I was just like Mom. I can picture myself rolling my eyes and giving an exasperated sigh as only a bored thirteen year old can do. But now, I welcome the comparisons!
Some photos show that we even looked a bit alike.
Me about 4
Mom about 4
I wish she were here to celebrate. But I’ll make a point to see Dad this weekend, maybe bring a birthday cake for us to enjoy. I will buy some flowers to brighten up the house. I’ll actually cook—an activity I do not always practice—and make some of her favorites: pork roast with lots of onions, scalloped potatoes, and maybe even her orange spice Jello salad. For the last year, Mom and I had the habit of watching movies together on Saturday night. This weekend, I will watch The Music Man, the movie I had planned to watch with her the weekend she died. She would have loved it—romance, music, nostalgic times! It will be a bittersweet weekend, but I value all the memories I have of her.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you. I miss you. I trust you will be looking down on us as we each celebrate your life in our own way. As you celebrate with all the friends and family there in heaven with you, don’t forget to tell them about the time a gorilla serenaded you! And remember that we treasure the many gifts you have given us over the years including these:
A love of Nature, especially dogs and birds and gardens
A willingness to help others
A positive attitude that demonstrates you just need to decide to be happy
A love of poetry and quotes
A friendly approach to life that makes everyone a friend
Thanks, Mom, as I try to live your life lessons, I hope to make you proud!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her. Jodi Picoult
As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her. Kristin Hannah
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. Ambrose Bierce
God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Jewish Proverb
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. Tenneva Jordan
The phrase “working mother” is redundant. Jane Sellman
Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face. George Eliot
Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother. Jane Welsh Carlyle