HEALING THE GRIEVING HEART
Joining in Memory of Jim
Hosts:? Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley
With guest:? Dinah Taylor
January 25, 2007
G:?Hello.? I?m Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host
H:?Dr. Heidi Horsley.?
G:?Each week we welcome you to Healing the Grieving Heart, a show of hope and conversation with those who have suffered the loss of a loved one and for health care professionals who work in this most difficult field.? As always the message is others have been there before you, you do not walk alone.? If you?re listening to our Thursday live Internet show, please join Heidi and me on the show by calling our toll free number, 1-866-472-5792 with questions or comments regarding the losses in your life.? These shows are archived on our blog, www.thegriefblog.com, as well as www.thecompassionatefriends.org websites.? All shows can be downloaded on Itunes and transcripts can be accessed through www.thegriefblog.com.? Well, Heidi, hello today.
G:?We?ve got a great guest today, Dinah Taylor, and she?s joining us so the topic of the show is ?Joining in Memory of Jim,? but before we get the show started, I want to talk a little bit about things that are going on with the blog and our emails, and it?s getting very exciting.? We?re really getting a community out there, aren?t we?
H:?Yes, and I love it when people are responding to each other?s emails and blogs and when there?s conversation that?s going on.
G:?Absolutely, so if you see somebody?s made a comment on there, if you scroll down to the bottom of that comment, there?ll be a place where it says one comment or no comment, and you can hit on that and make comments.? Heidi, could you talk a little bit about our email from Ron?
H:?Sure.? We had an email from Ron and Sue, and they had had five losses in their lives in a very short period of time.? They lost their nephew, Frankie, to a homicide at 23, followed by the death of Ron?s parent and in-law, and then two deaths that were pet-loss related.? They were deaths of their pet parrots, and that was very significant to Ron and Sue.? They do not have any children of their own, and these pets have been a big part of their lives and I just said to Ron that losses come in many forms, and often our pets remind us of those people in our lives that we?ve loved and lost.? And pets give us unconditional love and they?re there for us and that is definitely a loss as well.
G:?Absolutely, although it?s not our specialty, I think we?ve put an article up on it, and you can go onto the Internet and there?s a lot on pet loss, plus if you read Ron?s comments, then you?d go down to one comment and you?ll see Heidi has a comment.
H:?Yeah, and I remember when Scott died, my brother died, it was a really hard time for us and we felt like people in the community were turning away and not knowing what to say and leaving us whenever we?d go out in public, so we got a dog, a little puppy, and it brought people to us, and also there was a puppy that we could love on and would be there for us and people would come up and talk to us because we had a dog.
G:?Absolutely, because we had kids in high school, and high school kids, what do you say?? And the next email we got, Heidi, was from Katie and she was responding to Lorraine Ash last week, that wonderful show that Lorraine did on losing a child to strep before birth, and Katie also lost her child at I believe eleven days or something like that.? Lorraine said that she was also commenting.? She said that she believed that you really change because there are actual neurological changes when you have a baby no matter how long and she comments on some Tufts research that shows that you actually carry the cells of the baby in your body.
H:?The white blood cells.
G:?Yes, that you always have them.? So if you feel like you?re weird after losing a child.? You wonder what?s wrong with me even though you lost them in utero and nothing?s wrong, she said you?re just different and it?s part of the healing process to accept the new you.? Great comments.
H:?And it?s an amazing gift that not only do you carry your child in memory, you can carry a piece of them through these white blood cells.
G:?Absolutely.? So again, you can go on the Net and that goes to a comment to Lorraine Ash.? You can read what Katie just comment, she just made, and you can comment on it, too.? And then we have an email from Pam Taylor.? Pam, it?s a very interesting email because her daughter died in an automobile accident.? She has been involved with ? she?s put some things on myspace.? So it?s kind of a complicated, it?s Kelly Lane on myspace, but we?ll try to put the email, it?s a complicated, it?s ww, so we?ll put it on the Net and they?ve had over 80,000 have viewed her site and they?re trying to
G:?Isn?t that amazing??
H:?80,000 people and it?s the site of her child that died, right?
G:?Right, and the fact that they?re trying to stop people from driving drunk, kids.? The next one is a comment to the Byron Katie show and we?re very interested in this comment.? It?s from Deborah, and Deborah says she really liked the show but she agreed with our comment on the show that the show may not be for everyone, but she said, for me, it was good.? And she said I appreciate the way you address the audience at different levels in the mourning process.? I hope you continue to spread your good work.? So, thank you, Deborah.
H:?Thank you, Deborah.
G:?And as we said, we try to do all views, right, Heidi?
H:?Absolutely, and the ways that some people heal do not work for some people.? Everybody has a different way of healing and different things that work for them.
G:?Yeah, and we want you to know that we respect whatever way you?re doing it.
H:?As long as it?s not destructive to yourself or others.
G:?Absolutely.? Good.? I?m glad you put that out there, yeah.? For siblings and parents.? Not destructive to yourself and others.? The next thing we?ve got on the Net you might want to take a look at is the book review on a new book called Song for Cy:? Understanding Grief, but one of the things that the reviewer said, do you know that 80% of grieving couples divorce after the loss of a child?? You know, Heidi, doesn?t that just drive you crazy?
H:?Right, because we haven?t found that, and many studies do not show that.
G:?And Compassionate Friends responded.? Wayne Loder responded so if you go to that book review on Song for Cy and you hit down at the bottom of it on comments, Wayne Loder from The Compassionate Friends has cited a review that a study that Compassionate Friends did in 1999 and it was repeated in 2006, and in 1999 they found that 12% of the people who had children die divorce, and in 2006, they did the survey again and they found 16%.? And, of course, there are limitations on the survey, but if you go on Wayne?s site, it?ll talk about it and you can read the whole survey and let your health care professionals, let everyone know that this is not the case.? It is so scary for us to think that we?re going to lose a marriage as well as losing a child.
H:?I was going to say that this is added stress when you?re going through the grief process.
G:?And for the siblings to think their parents are going to divorce because they?re grieving differently.? It?s such a disservice to kids.? It?s such a scary thing.? The last email we got was from Rachel and Rachel is the one who?s daughter died after 17 days of B Strep and she?s been combing the Internet for resources and she stumbled upon, found our website and said what a great resource.? Isn?t that great, Heidi, to have people finding us now on the Net?
H:?Absolutely, and I would also recommend Lorraine?s book to her.? And that was our guest from last week, and I?m sure she?s already come across it because it is on the blog.? It?s in our bookstore.
G:?Absolutely, so we?ll be putting that.? And I also told her I?d get a hold of Lorraine and maybe they could connect up, and I would like to say to the audience out there, if you?ve got any help for Rachel, she?s on our blog.? If you have any ideas of where she can get help or you?ve gotten help from losing a child to the Group B Strep, please get in touch with us through the blog.? Okay, Heidi, would you like to introduce our guest today?
H:?Sure.? I?d love to.? Our guest today is Dinah Taylor and our topic is ?Joining in Memory of Jim.?? Dinah and her husband, Dr. James Taylor, president of the University of Cumberlands, Williamsburg Kentucky, lost their only child, Young Jim, in May of 1991 in an automobile accident.? After Jim?s death, Dinah honored him by contacting and supporting other parents who had lost children.? Dinah has a strong desire that the community remembered the deceased children of Williamsburg.? For ten years following Jim?s death, Dinah and her husband sponsored a bereavement conference at the University.? The conference was called J.I.M.?s picnic (Joining In Memory).? Join us on this show to hear about Jim and the many ways that we may honor our children?s memories.? Welcome to the show, Dinah.
D:?Thank you so much.
G:?Hi, Dinah.? It?s great to have you on the show.? Well, I was telling you before we started the show, Heidi and I have just met Jim, haven?t we, Heidi?
H:?We have.? We have through Dinah?s website.
G:?Yes, and seen his picture, and what a wonderful young man.
D:?He certainly was.? He lives with us still.
G:?Could you tell us a little bit about him and about you?
D:?Well, Jim was an only child, and we were so lucky that we would have him.? He was our gift from God.? We thought we would have no children, and my husband became President when he was eight years old.
G:?And that?s Cumberlands College in
D:?It was Cumberland, and now it?s called the University of the Cumberlands
G:?Uh huh, and it?s in
G:?Williamsburg, Kentucky, right.
D:?And so all of a sudden he had lots of brothers and sisters so he got to have a family after all.? He wasn?t an only child.
G:?Yeah, those students are a great community, aren?t they?
D:?Yes, they?re wonderful.? They saved our lives since his death.
G:?Yeah, and we?re certainly going to want to talk about that.? Could you tell us a little bit.? He had an automobile accident?
D:?Yes, it was the night of his honors night, the night before he would have graduated from high school, and my nephew was supposed to come and so I called, and he said I can?t come Aunt Dinah.? He said my wife just left me.? Well Young Jim and he were as brothers and he said I have to go to Wayne.? I said honey, you can go after your honor?s night.? And he said, you don?t understand.? I have to be with him, and he left, and on the way there, he had an accident and was killed.
G:?Yeah, and he was going like 25 miles an hour in a rainstorm.
D:?Yes.? There was just no railing.? If there?d been a railing, he wouldn?t even have been scratched.
G:?Yeah, and that they had some road erosion.
D:?Yes, lot of road erosion.
H:?It was such a freak accident when I read about it.? How the pole just grazed his temple.
D:?It barely grazed his temple.? He was killed immediately.
G:?Incredible.? Well, when we come back, we have to go to break now.? When we come?? back, we want to talk a little bit more with our guest, Dinah Taylor, about ?Joining in Memory of Jim? and all the wonderful things that they?ve done to remember their son, Jim, and talk a little bit about their journey.? I?m your host, Dr. Gloria Horsley, with my co-host, Dr. Heidi Horsley.? You?re listening to Healing the Grieving Heart.? You can access these shows through our grief blog, www.thegriefblog.com.? Stay tuned for more.
Well, Dinah, when we went to break, we were talking a little bit about Young Jim?s automobile accident, just totally freakish, going slowly, 25 miles an hour.
D:?He did everything right.
G:?He did everything right.? The car slipped off the side of a road construction and he was killed by a pole, so I want to talk to you.? One thing I wanted to talk to you before we talk about some of the things you?ve done for Jim, I want to talk to you a little bit about how, what happened to you right after.? Because I know you?ve written about that.? About how your community was kind of silent for awhile.
H:?Yeah, and your pastor.
G:?Yeah, and how many years has it been now?
D:?It has been 15 years.
G:?Okay, so 15 years.? Hopefully things have changed.? I don?t know.? But tell us about what happened then
D:?Things are changed.
G:?because I know some of our audience out there has had that experience.
D:?One of the parents that I write to is doing a study in Kentucky on how pastors and hospitals treat people whose child had died, and so that?s going to be an interesting study.? But what got me started with contacting other parents was, our pastor, we live in a town of about 4,500 people, and our college, about 1,400 students and professors and everything come to about 1,700 people, and after Young Jim?s death, no one came around.? No one.? And even our pastor.
G:?You know, I was kind of wondering when I read that.? You?re a pretty powerful family.
D:?Everybody knows us.
G:?Yeah, everybody knows you.? You?re powerful.? And they probably are feeling like, what have I got to say to these people, I mean, they?ve got it together.
D:?Or, if they thought well, you know? Maybe they deserved it.
D:?And we get that a lot.
G:?Well, maybe they felt like you deserve some quiet?? I don?t know.? Who knows what all these people think out there?
D:?Nobody knows.? I had one person ask me well, what did you do that was so bad that God would kill your child?
H:?Somebody said that?
D:?But anyway, my pastor didn?t come for six weeks so I sent for him.
H:?Wow, good for you.
D:?and he came and slipped a note in the door.? But I was waiting for him.? He?d already written a note out, sorry I missed you.? And I opened the door, and I said, come in here.? And he said well, I just have a minute.? I said I?ll take that minute.? And I said I would like to know why you haven?t been to see me because we?ve lost our only child and our pastor should be the one that?s trying to comfort us.? He said, well, I kept thinking it could have been my child, and I said, but it wasn?t your child.? And then I was really cruel and said, your job is to comfort your parishioners.? You haven?t done it.
H:?I don?t think that?s cruel.? I think one of the things I?ve learned on this show is that we need to teach people how to be good grief supporters and that?s what you were doing.
D:?We had to tell them what we need and how to do it.
G:?Rather than sit back and feel disappointed, we?ve to be somewhat active.? You know we did a show in 2005.? I did a show called ?Faith, Brokenness, and Healing? with Father Al Johnson, and for anybody who?s had any issues with their pastor, they ought to listen to this because Al Johnson said before his child died, he was a real jerk as a pastor.? He just did not understand.
H:?He didn?t get it.? He didn?t understand.
G:?Did not get it.? He said, ?I was just a jerk.?? He said, ?I?d say things to people who were pregnant and lost a child ? oh, you can have another one.?? Yeah, you know.
D:?Totally ignore that that was a person.
G:?And you?d think priests would know more than that and he said, I just didn?t know until. How bad it was until my own child died.
H:?So was he able to make a shift on it after you said look, this is what I need?
D:?No, he really wasn?t, so I contacted our church deacons and I said we desperately need a bereavement course, and they added that to what they thought we needed for the year, and nobody checked.? I said, oh, that proves it to me then.? I?m going to start one and hopefully people will come.? The first night, we have 15.
G:?Now how.? What did you do this through?? Where did you do it?? Through your church?
D:?Through our church.
G:?Uh huh.? Great.? Shows what you can do.? So you had 15 people come and then what happened?
D:?And then, one lady was there that had lost a child 20 years before and nobody in the whole group knew it.? And I said I can?t believe you didn?t call me when Jim was killed.? She said for six months, she would drive all the way around town so she wouldn?t have to go by my house.
G:?Oh, my goodness.? Interesting.
D:?But then she started her grieving.? And she said I can?t believe I have tried not to grieve and it?s easier to grieve than try not to grieve.
G:?Oh, that?s interesting, because she was holding back with the grieving.
G:?Yeah, in the worst way.
D:?And to think that people didn?t know that she had a child.? How unfair to that person?
G:?Yeah, absolutely.? How?? And so you went on and you now are in contact with 2,000 people?
D:?Over 2,000 families, yes.
G:?Tell us about how that happened from there??
D:?Well, the way that got started was, I thought nobody?s coming to me and nobody?s calling.
H:?Were you and your husband alone in the house?
H:?There was literally nobody that was coming in.? No one? bringing you flowers or food.
D:?No.? After it was over with, it was over.? And you know the story.? You go to the grocery store and everybody runs from you.? Anywhere I would go, they would run from you, and I tried to talk to them but I couldn?t.? So I started listening to the radio and reading the paper and anytime I heard of a parent that lost a child, I would call them and write and say okay, I?m here.? I don?t know if anybody else has contacted you, but we have something in common.? And I would tell how my fears were.? My anger.? What my anger was.? And so it gave them permission to be able to express their anger or their fears.?
H:?I love that you did this with people you didn?t know so it just shows, to our listeners, you don?t need to know somebody to reach out and say look I?ve been there.
D:?But don?t think that you don?t need to call em because you don?t know what to say.? They will talk to you.? They will tell you.? All you have to do is say I have lost a child, too.
G:?Could you talk a little bit about if you call somebody what your fears and anger were?
D:?Oh, man.? My fear.? I guess my biggest fear was that he would be forgotten.? He was an only child and when we die, our parents had died.? Well, my husband?s mother died in November of ?90.? Our son died in May of ?91.? My father died in December of ?92 and my mother died in September of ?93.
D:?So, you know, I thought nobody?s going to remember him and it?s up to me.? That?s the reason I?m still on this earth because I didn?t think I?d live through it.
G:?Right, yeah.? Audience out there.? Yeah, we don?t feel like we?re going to live through it.
D:?And I certainly will never smile again.? I will never laugh.? But I thought now this is my job.? I have to keep his memory alive and so that?s what I?ve done.
G:?And you?re smiling and laughing now.
H:?And how long was it after, before that happened?
D:?Well, it took a long time.? Not to smile and laugh because Young Jim was so funny that the night he was killed, we were telling the funniest jokes about him and now anytime I call a parent, I tell them funny things about Jim.? Okay now, tell me a good story.? Their child?s named Stanley.? Tell me a Stan story and they never leave without laughing.
H:?I like that.? You want stories of when they were living, not just about when they died.
G:?Absolutely.? Now and people can go to your website.? Give us the website and we?ll put it on the blog, too.? It?s probably on the blog now.? But your website is
D:?http://www.ucumberlands.edu/lamentations/? Lamentations is the name of the newsletter that
H:?And I think, mom, we have a link on our blog.
G:?We have a link on our blog so you can go in and look at the great things that Dinah has written.? Dinah, I want to talk a little bit about your husband?s talk that he gave the day before Jim died.
D:?Yes, that was at his honors night.? No it was his baccalaureate.?
G:?He gave a very colorful talk about, and I think we?ve probably got it on the blog.? We?ll also, you can link over to Dinah?s website and look at it, but I wanted to ask you about it, it?s pretty powerful but it?s also saying.? It?s called ?Practice what you preach.?? But it?s also saying that you really have to.? That you?re going to be given things to refine you, which is a little bothersome to me.? How did you deal with that then?? I mean
D:?What do you mean?
G:?That we?ll have hardships and how we deal with them.
D:?Well, what he said in his speech, and this is to his fellow graduates, that any kind of problem or trouble will not leave you where it?s found you.? It will either make you bigger or bitter.?
G:?I like that ? bigger or bitter.
D:?A strong person or a weak person.? And we chose to be strong because it was up to us to keep our son?s memory alive and by saying.? By us being ? I hate to say strong ? oh, gee, nobody cried more than I did and still do.
G:?And how about your husband?? He gave that talk.? I was wondering, you know, we talk somewhat on the show about men and women sometimes grieve differently.? And what did you find?
D:?My husband does grieve differently.? He can?t talk about his grief as much as he talks about Young Jim.? And he talks about Young Jim every day.? He?s so willing to share to anybody about him.
G:?That?s great.? Was he originally?? Men sometimes are pretty quiet?
H:?What?s so interesting about this speech is that he?s talking to people about how we all face adversity in life.? How we can either live constructive or destructive lives, and how we need to get through the hardest, darkest times and then your son dies 24 hours after he gives his speech.
D:?Wasn?t 24 hours even.
H:?Unbelievable.? And like you said, now, you and your husband have to really be put to the test
D:?and we had to practice what he preached.
H:?Right.? That?s so ironic.?
G:?Yeah, it was really quite incredible.? So it?s time for us to go to break again and I?m your host, Dr. Gloria Horsley, with my co-host, Dr. Heidi Horsley, and we?re talking to Dinah Taylor about her son Jim and ?Joining in Memory of Jim.?? You can get information about Dinah?s website and other things through www.thegriefblog.com.? These shows are on Ipod and they?re all archived on our grief blog.? Stay tuned for more.
We do want to talk about, with you, Dinah, about how you have honored Jim?s memory and some of the things that have gone on and give our audience a little bit ideas of things that they can do, too, by hearing what you?ve done.? So tell us about the picnic and the, I guess it?s kind of a bereavement conference that you have had.
D:?Well, it started out as a picnic because I was writing to so many parents that I wanted to meet.
G:?Yeah, let?s tell our audience first, you started after Young Jim died.? How long after he died did you start calling people that you read about in the newspaper.
D:?The next week.
H:?The next week, wow.
G:?The next week, wow.? So you were able to do that.? The next week, you started contacting people and reaching out on your own.? Helping them.
D:?And then I would tell other people and so they would start sending me.? I want to know your child.? Please send me things about your child.? And so they started sending me stories.? Oh, wonderful stories, and I was getting so many of them, I thought, I?m going to do like a Christmas letter, you know, and let other people, other parents be able to know all of our children.? So that?s where my newsletter, Lamentations, started.? And now I?m writing, it?s the 109th one.? And it talks about our children and we talk about our fears and our frustrations and our anger, and
G:?And if you go to our website, you can get her link and I think then you can apply to take your newsletter?
D:?Yes.? No, it?s on the website.
G:?Okay, great.? So you can go to www.thegriefblog.com and find out where that is and link up to it.
D:?Yes, it?s just newsletters.
G:?Become part of the Lamentations community.? Is that what you would kind of think of it being?
H:?And I love that you have a section on siblings for siblings on your website.
D:?Yes.? In the conference, we?ve always had a sibling.
H:?I love that you haven?t forgotten about us and, you know, Scott Mastley, who was actually a guest on our show, he wrote a book on surviving sibling loss and I had lost touch with him and I couldn?t find his email and I was on Lamentations.? I was on your website.? I scrolled down to the sibling part, and there he was.? His email address was and his book.? And I was so happy to see that and then I contacted him and he said, you know what, I?ve been to Dinah?s picnic and she?s fabulous and the picnic was amazing.
D:?Oh, how kind.
H:?Very ironic that you guys knew each other and thank you for having.? For remembering us and having that on your website for us.
D:?Well, you all are going to be on there now, too, so.? I mean with permission that is.
G:?So tell us about the picnic.? You did it for ten years.
G:?It started out as a picnic.
D:?It started out as a picnic.
G:?And it was at Cumberlands College then and now it?s University of Cumberlands.
D:?Correct.? We had about 12 parents and they were all so frightened to come.? You know, they didn?t know what it was going to be.? I didn?t know what it was going to be.? I just wanted to meet these people.? And so it started from there.? And so then we were so close and we wanted to talk about different things so it started into a conference.? It was a two-day conference.
G:?Now how long was it after Young Jim died that you had the picnic.
D:?I had it the next year.
G:?So you contacted people a week later and then you had it the next year.
H:?So you got together with 12 parents.? You?ve never met each other.
D:?We?d never met.
H:?You?ve never even seen each other.
G:?So folks out there, you could just put a picnic together if you wanted to.
H:?That?s what I?m thinking.
D:?But then, they started to come from all over the United States, so it just.? You know how things like that snowball.
G:?Now that?s because you contacted people out of Kentucky, didn?t you say?? All over
D:?Oh, everywhere.? Yes.? Anytime I?d hear of anybody.? Then Rosemary Smith started contacting people.? She?d give em to me and say okay, you contact em.? She?ll make the initial contact then that?s it for her, and then she?ll give me the name and email and everything and so we have such a close community now.
G:?Now didn?t you say that Rosemary Smith is an acquaintance who called you because
D:?Because I had written her and she said she had lost two sons in the same accident.? She said may I come see you tomorrow?? I have to see that you?re still standing after a year.
D:?Because she said I don?t think we?ll be able to.
G:?Right, and none of us thought we were going to be able to live, did we?
D:?And we need to see those people that?s been one year, that?s been ten years, that?s been twenty years.? We need to see them.
G:?Right.? And so you started the picnic with 12 families.? And then what happened?
D:?Then it just snowballed.? It just kept getting larger and larger and the last time I had one, we had 280 something.? I forget.
H:?And now has it gone from being a picnic into
D:?It?s a conference
H:?I know you said Scott spoke at one of them.
D:?Yes, we?ve had Kay Bevington who writes ?Alive Alone.?? That?s for people that have lost all their children, only children.? We?ve had Elaine Stillwell.? I?m sure you?re familiar with her.
D:?We just had, at the last conference, we had a mother from Columbine.
D:?speak, or I can?t remember who all have spoken.
H:?So now you have people that speak as well as you do at the picnic.
D:?Yes, and Cindy Bullens always comes to play.? Are you familiar with Cindy Bullens?
G:?No, I?m not.
D:?Okay, she?s lost a child and she?s written oh, her music?s just amazing.? One of em is ?Boxing with God,? which tells how we?re all, you know, how we?re so mad at God and we?re giving it to him.? She?s written because she lost a daughter.? She?s written a lot of good music and its Cindy Bullens and she has a website.
G:?Great.? Some people might want to.? Maybe we can get a link to that on our website, Heidi.? How does she spell her last name?
H:?And you?ve also done things around the campus.
G:?Yeah, tell us about some of those things.
H:?to honor Young Jim?s life.
D:?Okay, probably the third picnic, we were building a hotel, the college was, and there was going to be a dome put in it, and my husband wanted to put the college seal and I said, no, you can?t do that.? It?s like you?re looking up into heaven.? It has to be angels.? So I was talking with Rosemary Smith and she said we?ll commission if you will do it.? So one of our graduates painted it and it just has some of the symbols.? I don?t know if you read about the symbols, but I encourage all parents to have a symbol for their child.? It needs to be something the child collected, something their child loved.? Maybe something that?s happened since their child?s death to let them know that their child?s around.? Well, Young Jim was
G:?Now could you just give us a couple of examples of symbols.
D:?Okay, here?s my example.? Jim is Pegasus because he loved horses better than anything and that?s where he was going was to a horse farm when he was killed.? So I thought he should have.? He?s earned wings, but I?d say that his halo?s just a little skewed if not probably on straight.? But you know, Jim would be normal, and so his is a Pegasus.? Rosemary Smith picked butterflies because after her son?s death, every time they passed where the accident was, there would be butterflies and this one song would come on the radio.? All the most ? read em in the newsletter.? It?s amazing the symbols that they?ve
G:?So folks out there
D:?And so we encourage them to do that.
G:?And we encourage you out there to get yourself a symbol and let Dinah know what it is, huh, Dinah?
D:?Yes.? It?s so important because anytime I see anything and I say, oh, oh, that?s John, or that?s Andrew.? Anytime I see anything.? Well, that?s the way we remember our children.
G:?So you did the symbols and you put it in the
D:?So we put it in the dome.
D:?And the parents came and we dedicated it and it was unbelievable.? We had a balloon release and we have since started an earth.? We have an earth ceremony.
G:?Tell us about that.
D:?Where the parents bring earth from anywhere.? Maybe their child?s favorite spot or maybe it?s from their gravesite.? Several parents have put in ashes from their children and all bring em and we mix them together and we put em around.? We have a Christmas box angel there on campus, too, that we dedicated.? And that brings us all together and then I mix it all together and everybody gets to take that earth home with em.
H:?Oh, I love that idea.
G:?Oh, what a great idea.
D:?So they have that and then they can share.? And it?s literally been around the world.? This earth has.
G:?Isn?t that great and then they can plant it somewhere, something with it.? Wonderful.? Have you got any other rituals that you do?? I love these rituals.
H:?I do, too.
D:?Well, I wrote a poem for it.? So, I don?t know if that?s on the website or not.? It could be.
G:?So writing poems are a good thing to do and this earth thing I like very much.?
H:?Yeah, I love the earth ceremony.
G:?And planning a picnic for friends.? Have you got any other things that you?ve seen creatively that people have done?
D:?Well, we have a park also called ?Jim?s Commons.?? Just happens to be an acronym for our son?s name.? I don?t know how that happened.? And the parents have bought brick and we?ve just about finished it but we have so many new bereaved that I?m going to finish it off so we?re going to finish that.? And it was dedicated.? It was given by one of the parents whose son?s birthday is the same day as our son?s birthday and he puts a flag post in memory of his son, and I had met him in Memphis at Compassionate Friends.
G:?He puts em up all over the United States?
D:?Yes, and I said, well, you?re going to put one up in Cumberland.? He said, I don?t even know you, but he did.? So we have a park there.
G:?Is it on campus or?
D:?It?s on campus right across the street from our house.? I see it every day.
H:?And the bricks.? Each person.? Do they
D:?The child?s name, their birth and death date and their symbol.?
G:?Oh, how wonderful.? And the symbol.? How wonderful.
D:?At every conference, I put an American flag at every one of em and then they can take that flag home with them.
G:?Ah, how great.? Oh, I love all these things.? Now what else do you do?? You must have some other things?
H:?You?ve got wonderful ideas.
D:?We have a stained glass window that?s in memory of our children.? You?ve got to get on the website and read about it.?
G:?And it has pictures of it, too.? The pictures are fabulous.
D:?Yes, and one of the grandfathers did that.? He did it in memory of his granddaughter who happened to have the same birthday as my husband.? So I said okay, you have to do something.? What do you do?? He said, well, I do stained glass.? I said this is the window you?re going to do.
G:?Now where is he from?
D:?He is from Harrodsburg, Kentucky.?
G:?Okay, and it?s fabulous, the window.? I love that.
D:?You need to read about the children and the symbolism in it.
H:?Dinah, what I?m hearing is that after Jim?s death, people were not there for you and you reached out and made a lot of new friends all over the world.
D:?And those are the friends that have become my true friends because the longer it?s been, you know, the more the people think get over it, and that?s not going to happen until you die.? That?s when you get over it.
G:?You?re kind of getting into it and getting into helping others and reaching out.
D:?I found out that I grieved a positive grief when I was contacting others.? If I sat home and grieved by myself and did nothing, it was so negative that it just ate me up.
H:?So in other words, if we?re sitting alone and it?s eating us up, maybe you need to reach out.
D:?You need to call somebody else.
G:?Call somebody else.? I like that.? If you?re really stuck in there, call somebody else.? Well, it?s time for us to go to break now.
Dinah, Heidi and I were saying during break, we?re just so impressed by all the great things that you?ve done to honor Jim and to reach out to other people when you were really the one that got the energy to reach out, and we know our folks out there, some of them are sitting there saying I couldn?t even lift up the phone out of the cradle to call anybody right now.? But just keep this in mind, the opportunities, when you feel like you are ready.
H:?And you might want to reach out through the Internet as well.
D:?It?s so much easier.
G:?And Dinah was saying that if you want to talk to other parents, you can go to her website and she has a place there to connect up with other parents to talk to them too with the Net.? So I wanted to just read something from her husband?s talk that he gave right before Young Jim was killed.? He gave it at the graduation.
G:?Young Jim?s high school, and I just underlined a couple of things, and one says that happiness comes by getting involved with others, so and we know for many of you, you are very sad, very unhappy.? You are in a huge amount of pain, but eventually, if you reach out in just little ways, you?ll start finding things will be coming back.? And another thing he puts in here that you will either be bigger or bitter and as time goes on, you will start finding out that maybe forgiveness or whatever are things that you?ll have to find for yourself and others.? But we want to talk a little bit about the picnic because you?re going to do it again this year.?
D:?We are.? We didn?t have it last year, but this year, we?re going to have it, but it won?t be on campus.
G:?Darn.? But we can visit the campus, right?? Is it far?
D:?Yes, you can come on down.? We?re about less than 10.? It?s going to be in Lexington, and that?s about 112 miles south.? And we have a Christmas box angel there, too, that we dedicated, which is the only one in a private garden.
G:?Now tell us what that is.
D:?Richard Paul Evans wrote the book The Christmas Box, and he got so many letters from parents that had lost children that he.? It was from a story that his aunt had told him about this angel and this mother that had lost a child and how that angel gave so much comfort so he tried to find the angel and couldn?t so he commissioned this man to make an angel and it?s in Utah and the parents wanted to visit it so then Compassionate Friends groups wanted to have their own and so you can get your own.? You can go on his website, www.thechristmasboxangel.com and find out how to get one and so we have one on our campus in our garden which is the only one at a private garden anywhere in the world, I think, and just.? We were the only one in Kentucky.? I think they?re getting ready to do one in Georgetown.
G:?And so there?s going to be one down where the conference is going to be.?
D:?No, that?s in Williamsburg where everything else is.? The conference this year is going to be in Lexington because Rosemary Smith has done a documentary and it?s about.? She has interviewed parents that have lost children in many different ways.? There?s one from Columbine.? There?s one from 9/11.? There?s one from Iraq.? One from suicide.? And to show how these parents and to encourage others how they have come from this tragedy that just about put us all under to find these things to do to make this world better.? And it?s going to be premiered.? That?s the reason we?re going to have it there.?
H:?I love that and that?s really what our show is about and that?s what you and all of our other guests talk about.? What they do after a loss and how they continue to keep their kids memories alive and how they change the world and make it a better place.
D:?And this is going to be May the 31st and I?ll have all the information on the website in about a week.
G:?Okay, so May 31st.
G:?And how many days will it be?
D:?It?ll be two days.? It?ll be that night, the premier, and we?ll have a candlelight service, and then the next day.
G:?Great, and you?ll have some speakers there.
D:?Yes, and workshops.? We won?t have as many because we have to have down time when we can just talk with each other and hug and share.
H:?And you know one other thing that you?ve done, and you?ve done so many things, but which listeners can do and may have already done is you?ve set up 59 partial or full scholarships and like you said, these students are already changing the world.? Three have become medical doctors.? I mean, so Jim?s memory is living on, and his influence is living on through what these kids are doing with their lives.
D:?Yes, and it?s amazing how much Young Jim was remembered.? And we have almost $2 million in his scholarship and this was given by people that had met him from being on campus.
G:?Oh, isn?t that fantastic.
D:?You don?t know how far your child.? My husband.? I must say this.? My husband said about a year after Jim?s death that Young Jim may do more in his death than he ever would have done in his life.
G:?Hm.? Amazing.? Well, do you have any special advice for our folks or anything before we close the show.
D:?No, just be sure you?re in touch with other people.? Other parents that understand.? And if you can?t find anybody, you get on my website and I can find you some people.? It?s so important, and I think it?s vital that you write your child?s story.? It?s vital for you.? It?s vital for the people that know your child so their memory will live on when you?re gone.
G:?Absolutely.? Well, thank you so much for being on our show, Dinah.
G:?It?s really been wonderful having you on and seeing how you reach out and for all those families who have lost their only child, you can reach out to other children and you can reach out to other people when you?re ready.?
D:?When you?re ready.
G:?Yeah, when you?re ready.? That?s an important thing.? Everything comes in its time.? Well, it?s time to close our show now and please stay tuned again next week when our topic will be ?Real Men Do Cry,?
G:?and our guest will be Eric Hipple.?
D:?I know that for a fact.
D:?Eric Hipple?s the popular, was a popular quarterback with the Detroit Lions.? He?ll join us on this show.? Eric lost his 15-year-old son, Jeff, to a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2000. Eric is an inspiration to others both on and off the playing field.? This show is archived on www.thegriefblog.com, as well as www.thecompassionatefriends.org website.? This is Dr. Gloria Horsley and
H:?Dr. Heidi Horsley.? Dinah, Young Jim along with all the deceased children in Williamsburg, Kentucky, and throughout the world live on in our hearts and our memories and in all the work that you do.? Young Jim?s life and death have made a difference.? Thank you.
D:?Thank you so much.
G:?Thanks so much for being on the show, Dinah.
HEALING THE GRIEVING HEART