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Emile de Miranda
Born in South Africa
20 years
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Inspirational posts

Don't let depression destroy your life

 

If you have suffered from depression you will know the helplessness and despair of living with it every day of your life. Real depression is not like the blues where you can pull yourself out of or “pull your self together”. It is a debilitating illness that can destroy your life as well as those around you. I have suffered from depression for 17 years which became acutely intense when I lost my son Emile. With the help of the right medication and therapy I am able to live a normal life again. Unfortunately when you have a chemical imbalance in your brain it takes time to find the right medication that will work with you. There are also all kinds of different depression a person can suffer from. I don’t have much knowledge about all of them only mine which is where the brain has an imbalance of serotonin.

A person who doesn’t suffer from and have never suffered from depression has no idea what it is like to live with it. They think we can just make a decision and be over it. If only it was that easy. After Emile died I couldn’t get out of my bed to do anything. There was no reason for me to live any more, or so I thought. Suicide was a calling siren that occupied my mind day and night. I was absolutely obsessed with death and wanted it to fetch me right away. You can’t explain this to anyone, they think you are insane or pitying yourself. For you at that moment it is reality and feels like the only way out of the unbearable pain and despair you are feeling. I tried to follow Emile on two occasions but it wasn’t meant to be. I tried grief counseling, trauma therapy and talking to other depression sufferers. Nothing seemed to help me. Then God send a psychologist on my way that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to treat his patients. It teaches you to control your emotions and grief and not let it control you. When you are suffering from depression you are very emotional and when your mind starts running away with you, you feel completely helpless against its onslaught. We are the master of our minds not the other way around. However, we need to learn to control our minds, and it is not an easy task. With every thought we start a pattern that can lead to a loss of control and ultimately to a feeling of complete despair. One thought of pain and unhappiness leads to another worse one and before you can stop it you are in the midst of darkness that feels completely all-encompassing with no way out. With that comes the feeling of madness as well. At one stage I thought I was losing my mind and with just a step in the wrong direction I was going to go insane and never be able to come back again. It truly felt as if I was hanging onto sanity by a thread. Your mind is very powerful if you let it be. It can make you feel utter despair, helpless, useless, of no account to life or those around you and that life has no meaning at all. Fortunately with the right therapy and medication it can be overcome and used to make life worth living again. Meditation was another great tool that helped me see things in reality and not the way my mind was distorting it. It helps to empty the mind of all thoughts and concentrate on something positive, like the love of God. It wasn’t easy in the beginning because my thoughts seemed to have their own life. With lots of practice I used that on many occasions to centre my thoughts on the positive and everything I still had to be thankful for and reasons to live. Life is a wonderful gift and we are here for a reason so don’t let your depression take the joy of life away from you. If you need to talk to someone please feel free to contact me, I know what you are suffering through. We are all in this together. Rea de Miranda

 How to heal your broken heart.
There are no easy ways to heal a broken heart but there are steps we all have to go through to heal. When we experience loss, whether it the loss of a loved one, a job, our health, a friendship or a relationship the feelings we have are so overwhelming to us that we feel we will never heal again. We have to keep in mind that this feeling of pain is not going to last forever. There is a myriad of emotions we experience after a loss. We may feel shock and disbelief and after that anger at the person who left you or the boss who fired you from your job or at God for the illness you have or the death of a loved one. We go though things like bargaining with God or the person you lost, to intense anger, helplessness and hopelessness, depression and finally acceptance. The road to healing is a long one and it is an emotional rollercoaster ride. We can waver between bouts of weeping, laughter and faith. These feelings come and go and have no order to it. We must let ourselves go though this and accept the emotions, it is part of the healing process. We should give ourselves time and take care of ourselves like you would a friend going through something like this. There is no timeline to grief of any form. It all depends on the kind of relationship you had with the person you lost, if you will find a job again or if you will be healed from your illness. We all experience emotions in a different way. Where someone might be very emotional and open about it, some will act strong and hide their pain away. One of the best medicines for a broken heart is crying. Tears cleanse the soul.

 

When a loved one dies there is this huge void left by their parting. We grief not only for them but the future we had with them. The loss of a parent is the love and safety that is lost. The death of a child is part of your life gone. The death of a spouse is the other half that is lost. Every loss through death has its own different compartments you mourn. Death is one of the deepest and most final losses we can experience and it takes longer to heal.

 

A divorce is one of the most upsetting and painful transitions we can go through. The dream for the future you had, the person you confided in and with whom you shared your life is now all broken dreams. People who go through a divorce feel intense loneliness and depression. You can feel like a failure and that you don’t fit in anywhere any more.

 

When you lose a job it creates financial insecurity and worries about how you are going to manage to survive. You may also experience feelings of failure and hopelessness. Fear of the future is also a great factor in this situation.

 

Sudden illness can rob you of your normal life and life expectancy. It is very upsetting and painful not to be able to live like you used to. Many kinds of illnesses alter your life so much that you are incapacitated. Sometimes you need a complete adjustment to life in general and it creates a loss of self.

 

All these losses contribute to a broken heart and we need time and patience to work through the different emotions we experience. When you feel yourself going into deep depression you must seek professional help. Medication or therapy can help you come to terms with your situation. We have to take care of ourselves and not give up when our hearts are broken. Talk to a friend or someone you can trust about your pain and suffering. Not one of us is an island and we must try to reach out and ask for help. Many people feel too proud to admit to weakness but it is futile to think that way. We can’t overcome heartbreak alone.

 

I hope after reading this you can feel comfortable to reach out to others. If you need love and understanding and comfort we are here for you. Don’t feel alone and isolated, it is not true.
Rea de Miranda

A mother's pain.
A mother’s pain when you lose a child is not something that can be reasoned away, it can’t be explained in words for people to really understand the girth of it. When you lose a child it feels as if you have been abducted and left on another planet where people don’t understand your language and you don’t understand theirs. If anyone has the time they can read up about it. To lose a child to suicide is likened to the suffering of holocaust survivors.  Can you imagine trying to placate those people with all kinds of word of wisdom or advice?

I think not, and that is exactly the way for parent survivors of suicide. The horrific pain you live with every day of your life is the worst thing that anyone can try to survive. If you have never lost a child there are no way you can ever understand what we go through on a daily basis. When you parents die you are an orphan, when a husband dies you are a widow. Why do you think there is no word to call a mother who lost a child? Because it is not in the natural order of things.

You carry that child for nine months, you give birth to him and nurture him all his life. You take care of him when he is hurt and you kiss the pain away. You pick him on your lap when he is small and you comfort him and make him feel safe and loved. Have you ever seen a mother not help her child when he is in pain? It is an inborn instinct to protect our children and when you find yourself in the situation where you child is dead you feel absolute helplessness. You feel incapacitated and useless as a mother. It is so easy to tell me to think about the wonderful and happy memories I had with Emile, but do you know? That hurts as well, it rips my heart out that there will be no more happiness for me to be had in this life with him.

Your heart never heals and only a scab forms over the wound that can be ripped off by any little memory of Emile. I try to live with this as best I can and be there for other mothers who find themselves in this same situation. Because only a mother who has lost a child can really and truly understand what another is feeling. This is not something that can be fixed, nothing can ever fix my heart. I miss him every day of my life. I wake up in the morning with him on my mind and I go to sleep with him on my mind. It is not just that my child died but a whole future I was going to have with him is now a big black void gaping in front of me. There is a bond between a mother and a child that can never be broken, it is so easy for people to say to me that I must think about the wonderful place he is in now. I don’t want him there in that place, I want him here with me.

However, I can’t and I try as hard as I can to live with this. I will always love my son and nothing can ever take that away, so nothing can ever make me feel better about it. I wish someone will understand what I am trying to say here. Nothing you can say will ever make it better for me, nothing at all. Not all the wise words or good advice in the world will ever take my pain and longing for my son away. I don’t like to feel this way, if I had any say in the matter or if there was any way to do it, I would not cry about him and I would be happy and have a great life without him. It is impossible because I have tried for almost five years now and it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.
Rea de Miranda

 

Near Death Experiences.
After I lost Emile I researched everything I could about near death experiences (NDE) and these are just a few profound findings on the subject. I would like to share the experiences of these wonderful people with you today. I hope it will mean something and bring you some peace.

 

 

“I had the feeling that everything was being sloughed away; everything I aimed at or wished for or thought, the whole phantasmagoria of earthly existence, fell away or was stripped from me - an extremely painful process. Nevertheless something remained; it was as if I now carried along with me everything I had ever experienced or done, everything that had happened around me. I might also say: it was with me, and I was it. I consisted of all that, so to speak. I consisted of my own history and I felt with great certainty: this is what I am. I am this bundle of what has been and what has been accomplished.” – Carl Jung, who died from a heart attack and was brought back from this to share his experience with the world.

 

“If I lived a billion years more, in my body or yours, there's not a single experience on Earth that could ever be as good as being dead. Nothing." – Dr Dianne Morrissey was electrocuted and dead for 45 minutes.

“In this rapturous place, I recognized that there were two aspects of "me." My soul was my consciousness, everything that had made me who I had been and what I had become. My spirit, on the other hand, was the part of me that was now transparent and glowing, dressed in white.

I felt torn between two desires: wanting to go into the light and wanting to touch something tangible and retain my connection with all that was physical. Both desires grew stronger. The light became more intense, more radiant, more loving. As I lifted the lace and extended my hand toward the brilliance, wanting to touch the light, it rushed under the lace and touched the outstretched middle finger of my right hand...

Within the light, I knew that everyone and everything is connected to it. God is in everyone, always and forever. Within the light was the cure for all diseases.”

 

 

Betty J. Eadie died after a operation and wrote a book about her experience called “Embraced By The Light”.

“I saw a pinpoint of light in the distance. The black mass around me began to take on more of the shape of a tunnel, and I felt myself travelling through it at an even greater speed, rushing toward the light. I was instinctively attracted to it, although again, I felt that others might not be. As I approached it, I noticed the figure of a man standing in it, with the light radiating all around him. As I got closer the light became brilliant—brilliant beyond any description, far more brilliant than the sun—and I knew that no earthly eyes in their natural state could look upon this light without being destroyed.
I saw that the light immediately around him was golden, as if his whole body had a golden halo around it, and I could see that the golden halo burst out from around him and spread into a brilliant, magnificent whiteness that extended out for some distance. I felt his light blending into mine, literally, and I felt my light being drawn to his. It was as if there were two lamps in a room, both shining, their light merging together. It's hard to tell where one light ends and the other begins; they just become one light. Although his light was much brighter than my own, I was aware that my light, too, illuminated us. And as our lights merged, I felt as if I had stepped into his countenance, and I felt an utter explosion of love.
It was the most unconditional love I have ever felt, and as I saw his arms open to receive me I went to him and received his complete embrace and said over and over, "I'm home. I'm home, I'm finally home."

 

I struggled with the concept of death and by reading all these testimonies and more I could make peace with Emile being dead, because I knew he was in a beautiful and safe place.
Rea de Miranda


 

Broken Heart Syndrome.
Each year, near Valentine's Day, newspapers around the country run stories on "Broken Heart Syndrome," a condition in which people (usually postmenopausal women) experience severe, acute cardiac symptoms following an episode of extreme emotional stress.

 

Broken Heart Syndrome (BHS) also called stress cardiomyopathy is triggered by extreme and sudden emotional trauma. Reported triggers have included unexpected news of a death, domestic abuse, armed robbery, and even a surprise party. The condition manifests with symptoms suggesting an acute heart attack (severe pressure-like chest pain, shortness of breath, and a sense of impending doom).

 

When first evaluated, patients with BHS are initially thought to be having massive heart attacks. However, the changes on their ECGs are not typical for a heart attack, and the cardiac enzyme tests that are supposed to confirm a heart attack are found not to be significantly elevated. Furthermore, when taken to the catheterization laboratory, their coronary arteries are found to be normal (whereas in true heart attacks, one of the coronary arteries would have been completely occluded). And finally, many of these patients are found to have a peculiar type of heart muscle weakness (or cardiomyopathy) on echocardiography, where the apex of their left ventricle "balloons" outward in an unusual fashion.

 

Many patients with BHS are initially in severe heart failure, and require aggressive and intensive cardiac care. With appropriate care, however, not only do they survive, but also their cardiomyopathy completely resolves within a few days to weeks.

 

The unique features of BHS are that it occurs suddenly in otherwise healthy patients (usually women); it immediately follows an episode of severe emotional stress; the presenting symptoms strongly suggest a heart attack; and, while victims are at first critically ill with cardiomyopathy, with appropriate care they most often survive and the cardiomyopathy disappears entirely.

 

The cause of BHS is unknown, but most experts blame it on an unusual response to stress hormones (such as adrenaline) after emotional trauma. The condition may be related to Cardiac Syndrome X, which is caused by constriction of micro vessels (tiny blood vessels) within the heart muscle.

 

BHS has been written about for many years in Japan (where it is called "octopus trap cardiomyopathy" because of the peculiar shape of the ballooning heart muscle), but until relatively recently it has been poorly recognized in the rest of the world.

 

DrRich Comments:

 

The term "broken heart syndrome" may not be the best name for this syndrome, as one typically thinks of a broken heart as something that occurs after receiving a Dear John letter, rather than something that happens after seeing a loaded .44 magnum shoved in one's face. Nonetheless, this terminology has resulted in lots of publicity, and the knowledge of this new syndrome consequently has been rapidly and widely disseminated. And that widespread awareness is good.

 

The symptoms of BHS are so severe that it is nearly inconceivable that anyone who develops it will fail to seek medical help; and the physical manifestations of the condition are so obvious that no doctor who sees one of these women could fail to realize that something serious is going on. So, as bad as BHS is, at least there is little danger it will be ignored either by its victims or by medical personnel.

 

This stands in stark contrast to several other cardiac conditions experienced by women that are far more frequent than stress cardiomyopathy. Chief among these are angina and heart attacks - conditions that are as frequent and as dangerous in women as in men, but that often present with "atypical" symptoms. So, women who suffer from coronary artery disease often fail to seek help, and when they do seek help they often fail to get it from their doctors.

 

Perhaps the publicity around this "broken heart syndrome" will draw women's and doctors' attention to the general fact that heart disease in women is different from heart disease in men - but is no less frequent and no less lethal. If so, the inaccurate terminology used throughout the mass media will turn out to have been a good thing.
Rea de Miranda

 


 

Can we prevent suicide?
Every year there is a worldwide Suicide Prevention Day. Can we ever prevent suicide? I really don’t know. Statistics prove that someone who attempts suicide repeatedly eventually succeeds. Many who are serious about it don’t give away any clues. I never realised Emile was in a place where he was planning his own death. Only after I lost him did I realise some of the things that pointed to it. At the time it didn’t seem significant I just thought he was growing up and taking responsibility for his life.

Because I also believe we die on the day that was destined for us I don’t know how a day of awareness can stop that from happening. I have worked hard over the years to spread awareness about it. People are still dying by their own hand and the statistics doesn’t show how many lives were saved because of creating awareness. In my opinion there should be awareness for the survivors of suicide or any kind of death for that matter.

So that in the event of losing a loved one you will know the unbearable road of grief you are facing. Suicide is particularly hard because you have all these questions you need answers to. As a parent you feel responsible for the death of a child by this means. We all feel we could have prevented it from happening. In retrospect there was nothing we could have done to save them. When someone decides to die they are secretive about it and you will only find evidence of their plans after they have gone.

Ask any parent who lost a child and most will tell you they had no idea this was going to happen. Even the ones whose children suffered from depression of any kind will tell you they never really believed their child would commit suicide. There can be many signs and you can fear for the life of them but in the end we are helpless to protect them against it. You also can’t protect them from dying in a car accident, a terminal disease or being murdered.

We should create awareness of grief in the event of childloss. Parents should know what they will face if that unfortunate tragedy ever struck them. We should teach them about the utter pain, desolation, agony and a feeling of madness that you live every day for years to come. That deep void your child is going to leave in your life. It doesn’t seem possible that it will happen to you but it does. And you are going to need all the support, love, strength and encouragement you can find.

People should be informed of how to support a friend or family member in the event of this happening. Don’t try to advise them on how to grieve, just be there and listen and give lots of hugs and love. Nothing in the world you can say will make it better for them. Just knowing they have someone to depend on when things get too much to handle will be help on its own.

Rea de Miranda

 

  

Birthday and angel day ideas

 

1. Helium filled balloons release. I have read on the internet that people at the coast and near lakes are not allowed to release balloons, it causes the death of whales and water birds. Maybe you can just find out about your region before you decide on this. It is also a wonderful idea to attach a message to the balloon and your loved one’s webpage address. I heard from people who received messages on the webpages from people who found some of the balloons.

2. I released a white dove on Emile’s 2nd memorial and it brought me so much peace. You can check the Web for people who release homing pigeons (as they are called) for special occasions.

3. A bench with a plaque with your loved one’s name on it can be donated to parks and old age homes as well.

4. You can write a special message in a bottle and throw it into the sea with maybe a little bit of ashes of your loved one. You never know when and where it could be found and maybe give some comfort to a lonely person.

5. Some people who have money to spare have started Trust funds in the name of their children for bursaries to study for promising students who can’t afford the fees.

6. You can also sponsor a needy child for school stationary or school clothes.

7. I don’t know about other countries but in SA you can adopt an animal at the zoo and have your child’s name as owner of the animal on the cage.

8. You can buy a trophy and name it after your child and donate it to a school for academic or sport distinctions. That is a wonderful way to honor your child’s legacy.

9. Plant a fruit tree or other tree in a quiet place in your yard. Imagine getting fruit from that tree or sitting under its shadow in years to come. You can also plant a shrub or flowers.

10. In South Africa you can have butterflies released on the birthday or heavenday of your child. Lots of people do it here on weddings as well. You can google this on Internet to find butterfly farmers in your area. Just do this far in advance because the butterflies must be bred for a certain time to make sure they hatch on the day you want.

11. On your loved one’s birthday you can contact an orphanage and give an orphan a cake and gift on their birthday.

12. I had a quilt made for Emile with pieces of his clothes and pictures of him. That is something that will bring you comfort and memories for a lot of years to come.

13. You can also have a tattoo of a symbol that reminds you of your beloved. That is something that will last forever.

14. Have a special pendant made with ashes of your child or spouse or parent in it and you can wear it and keep your angel close to your heart.

15. I read about someone who had a fireworks display for the heavenday of their child. I think that is so exciting and breathtaking.

16. Make a float from big leaves or wood and place a letter and candle and something belonging to your child on it and let it go on a river or lake. There is a ritual like somewhere in the world but I can’t remember where it is now.

17. Invite your family and friends and ask everyone to write a letter to your angel, make a fire and let everyone drop their letter into the fire. The smoke will take all the messages to your precious child.

 

 Change is something we can be absolutely sure of because nothing stays the same. Life changes from one day to the other and in the blink of an eye. Does it even help to make any plans for our lives? I don’t think so. I made many plans when I was young and foolishly believed it would all happen the way I wanted it.

But that is not the way life works now is it. We can plan but to make it happen the way we want it is fallible. Nothing is for sure in this old life. You go out into the world with your 2.5 children and your three bedroom house and overnight you only have one child, no partner and your life has changed completely.

All the dreams lay scattered at your feet and you feel confused and lost. To build up another life with other ideas and dreams take form and you hope and pray that it will be the way you wish for it to be now. However it never stays the same and you have to change with it even if you want to kick against the doorframe and scream out in pain.

It will be futile to try and stay the same because nothing ever stays unchanged.  Life transforms every day and not always in ways that is comfortable or secure. We lose people we love and we meet new people and our expectations and dreams alter with it all. We become used to a certain kind of life and we believe that is what it will be like forever.

Even the things we want become different and that is not even a given. So what do we do now? We just go with the flow and hope to keep our morals and beliefs intact. We try to keep something of ourselves in place and not lose our own identity. Fighting against the changes is a waste of time and all we can do is stay true to our own selves.

Nothing ever stays the same and the sooner we accept that the sooner we can grow and become deeper and more faithful to our life paths. For whatever happens on this road of life are all lessons to teach us and make us stronger to live through disappointments and heartache and new beginnings.

 

 Coping with Grief

Many people feel such intense emotional pain following a death that they wonder if they can survive. It may be hard to believe in the early days, but the pain does ease and thoughts about the person who has died become more comfortable and the happy memories are treasured.

Bereaved people may wonder how to get through their grief. The grief process is like a journey running from the starting point of bereavement to a new life. Progress is made through grief as the feelings are worked through. Freud called this grief work.

 

Some strategies for dealing with grief

Grief time

Some people find it helpful to spend fifteen to twenty minutes alone every day. They put on the answering machine so they won't be disturbed. This time acts as a safety valve. In it they deal with any emotions they have stored up during the day.

There are different ways of grieving at these times: thinking, crying, praying, meditating, writing or drawing, talking to the dog!

Some people like to keep a diary. They write down their feelings and the memories of the loved one. They can then see how their grief changes over a period of weeks and months. This is proof of progress. If the diary is kept in a safe place the written memories become precious in the future. Alternatively some people feel more comfortable with pictures or diagrams.

Many people feel less alone by also grieving with other family members, including the children.

 

Tears

Many people find crying a relief. Rather than being an indication of weakness, tears are often a sign of strength and show that the bereaved person is prepared to work through their grief. Some people find it difficult to cry, and yearn for tears to release their grief.

 

Enlisting help

The process can seem long and lonely, so many people find someone whom they can confide in, for example, a relative or friend. Doctors or the local community health centre may be able to help in this way, or refer bereaved people to a specialist grief counselor. Some people find the experience of another person who has been through a similar situation invaluable, and so contact a support group

 

Some other useful strategies

• Live a day at time

• Do something special for yourself every day

• Do not make any major decisions, such as selling the house, in the first year if possible

 

Some other strategies

• Talk to a caring friend, pastor or counselor

• Join a bereavement support group

• Read books on grief.

• Write letters to the person you have lost to express your feelings or as a way of saying goodbye. You can then keep these in a safe place, or bury them under a bush you plant in their memory, or scatter the pieces in a significant place.

• Keep a journal as a record of your own journey of grief.

• Create a memorial for the person who died: plant a tree, create a memory book or photo album. Children often like to collect items for a memento box.

• Commemorate the person you lost on special days, such as birthdays, Christmas, Father's Day. Light a candle, drink their favorite bottle of wine, talk about them. Then go and do something special for yourselves- you deserve it! Plan these activities with the rest of the family.

 

Self Care

Self care is important to prevent further stress to the body. The following have been found to be helpful in coping with grief:

• A regular daily routine. Have set times for getting up, meals and going to bed.

• A balanced diet. Include: breads and cereals; meat, fish and dairy products; fruit and vegetables.

• Avoid too much coffee and tea to help you sleep at night.

• Outdoor activities, such as going for a walk or gardening take you away from the stress, and refresh you mentally.

• Exercise, such as swimming, walking and team games, will produce chemicals called endorphins in the body which help to counteract depression and make you feel good. The exercise does not need to be strenuous. If you have doubts about your fitness consult your doctor.

• Relaxation: meditation, massage, music.

• A relaxing pre-sleep routine: winding down before bed and not watching television.

• Avoiding seeking relief through alcohol, smoking, medication and other drugs

• Consulting the doctor about physical symptoms, for a blood pressure check, for practical help, for medical certificates, and for help with the grief.

 

Be patient, tolerant and gentle with yourself as you grieve. It is important to seek professional help when you feel overwhelmed by your grief or memories. No one has to bear it all alone. There is help available.

 

 There are so many misconceptions about suicide and a stigma attached to it. The word for suicide in Afrikaans, translated straight to English reads “self-murder”. What an awful word to use to describe one’s passing. In South Africa suicide is against the law and if you attempt it you can be arrested for attempted murder. People still think you go straight to hell if you die from suicide.

I had in laws and an acquaintance told me that Emile’s soul will never rest. Can you imagine the horror of that thought? It is frowned upon all over the world and communities still point the finger at the immediate family members as the cause of it. “You must have been a bad parent or done something for that to happen to you,” it is said. What most don’t know is that when you have decided in your mind to take your own life, nothing anyone can say or do will change your mind. Most don’t even talk about it and just go ahead and do it. It has nothing to do with parents or loved ones, it is getting rid of the pain that is the ultimate goal.

Unfortunately it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. There are many signs when a person is planning this last and fateful step but it is only recognized after the fact. Emile started giving his things away, and he was very quiet the last two weeks of his life. I thought he was contemplating life and what he should do in his future. When a decision like this is made in their minds they feel a quiet calm descend because they have the solution to their problems and pain. Some may even appear happy and content with life.

We ask ourselves all kinds of futile questions after the suicide of someone we love, but we will never have the answers to our questions, until we meet them again on the other side. Until we are in that same situation we can never imagine what they were thinking or going through. I know if Emile knew how much unbearable pain and agony I would suffer for years, he would never have done what he did. Every thought of life and the people they love disappear from their minds. All they can think about its getting away from this turmoil and incredible unbearable emotional distress. They want to kill the pain assaulting their whole being, not themselves.

When someone has cancer you will feel compassion and sympathy for them, so why can’t people feel the same about suicide. It is an illness of the mind and it kills most in the end. Nobody who is in their right mind will do this to themselves and others. I think they lose their selves somewhere along the way and can’t function in a normal way anymore. This is just the way I perceive suicide and the destruction it leaves in its wake. 

 

Rea de Miranda June 13, 2013
If you are contemplating suicide, please

 

   

 

   

 

 

 
Suicides are increasing and it makes me feel so heartbroken and helpless reading and hearing about it. Before you take that last fateful and irrevocable step please read this first. As you have read I lost my son to suicide on 5 February 2006 and I went to hell and back with the speed of lightning. Many people suffer from depression, or they are just hurting so bad because of things that destroyed their lives, and never talk about it. Emile was very quiet for the last month of his life but I never presumed there was anything wrong with him. To see him lying dead under the tree was the biggest shock of my life. It left me insane with pain for years afterwards. When you consider suicide you don’t realise the destruction it is going to leave behind and your loved ones who will have to try and pick up the broken pieces that will never fit again. I am sure if he knew how his act was going to break me he would never have done it. There are people in your life who loves you and their lives are going to be destroyed beyond repair if you take your own life. Don’t sit alone with your hurting heart and dream about suicide. It is not the answer to your problems. Go and talk to someone about your turmoil and suffering. There are organisations like Lifeline who are open 24 hours to be there for you and give you advice and help you through your struggles. Please don’t take that step that will plunge your loved in utter despair. Don’t worry about what people may say if you are depressed, you are not insane it is an illness, they don’t count when you are in need of serious help. Something that looks like the end of the road for you today, will look like nothing at all in a day or month’s time. If you feel suicide will be the only solution, first talk to someone about it. Talk to your family or a therapist, pastor, psychologist or other professional people who are equipped to handle this, but please think carefully before you do something that can never be taken back or repaired.  I hope this will give you food for thought, your life is worth more than you think. HUGS and Blessed Be dear one.

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

 

Rea de Miranda January 21, 2013
A message to all grieving parents

I receive so many emails and posts here of parents who want to know if they are going to survive the death of their precious children. Right at this moment you feel as if the unbearable and excruciating pain is never going away. You are deeply convinced that you are going to die of a broken heart. One thing that nobody knows is that the pain is not only a mental one but physical agony. At this moment you feel that the pain is going to drive you insane. Many parents, as I did, get anxiety attacks because the whole situation is just too much to comprehend. You just can’t wrap your head around the awful truth that you are never going to see you child again. Our children should one day bury us, not the other way around. It is not the natural order of things. I was on a suicide mission after my son Emile died by suicide. I could not accept the hateful fact that he was gone. There was no way I could go on without him. I wanted so desperately to join him.

Today I am going to tell you that you are going to survive. You are facing a hard and difficult path of mourning that at times will knock you off your feet. There will be days that you feel you are making progress and then Bam it will hit you all over again. These days will hit you so hard that you will literally feel weak. Nothing in your life will make any sense and not even the fact that you have other children and people who love you will mean anything to you. Your mind just cannot reach further than the hell you are in.

The only way to get through this to a place where you can live again is to talk to someone about the turmoil and utter hell you experience. Take one day at a time, and sometimes just one moment at a time. Hold on tight because I promise you it will pass. With time the dreadful times will become fewer and further between. I know you don’t believe me and you think I am telling an untruth. But I promise you it will happen. You are not going to go to sleep with the thought of your child every night and wake up with that thought forever. One day you will go through one whole day without thinking about him or her. And that day will be such a shock to you. You will feel guilty that you had no thought about your child. That is only natural. Everything about grief is normal. You are finding yourself in an abnormal situation. Nothing about it can be compared to anything else you have ever experienced. There is no point of reference for this tragedy.

The first few years is going to be the worst you can imagine. I am not going to lie to you and say it will be over soon. However, eventually it will get to a point that you can live with it and accept the fact. Your precious child is always with you and I don’t care what anyone says, that is something I know deep in my heart. And don’t let anyone tell you that you have to feel better or they can’t come to rest. That is utter nonsense. They are in the spiritual realm now and their destiny will not be influenced by your grief. Grief has no timeline and you take all the time in the world to heal.

We can’t do this on our own. For a time I was under the impression that I could get through this without any outside help. But one day I realized if I wasn’t going to get professional help I would go completely crazy. The pain was like a cancer eating away at me from the inside. I started seeing a psychologist who used cognitive behavioural therapy to treat his patients. That saved my life, along with regular meditation. The unbearable pain of losing a child doesn’t just go away, you have to work at it and feel the need to heal. I know that at this moment you don’t want to heal, the thought of that is akin to being a traitor to his or her memory.

How could you want to live a normal happy life while your child is in the ground or a box of ashes? Well I am telling you that day will come. One day you will be happy again. You will never forget or stop loving you precious child, but you will be able to look back at this aguish and be surprised at how far you have come. That is a promise my dear friend in grief. Your heart will heal and one thing that helped me to this point is that I know, one day when my time is done here, Emile will be at the gates to welcome me home. But for the time I am here I will make him proud of me.

Please know that I am here if you need someone to talk to, and I am not just saying it because I know exactly what you are going through at this time. You are not alone on this journey of grief, I am walking every step of the way with you.

Blessed Be

Rea mom of Emile

 

Rea mom of Emile March 27, 2010
Healing Grief

Healing grief

Mourning the loss of a loved one is an intense and long process. Most people experience such intense emotional pain that they are convinced they will never heal. The length of grief and the intensity depend most on the kind of relationship you had with that person. Parents feel helpless and confused when a child dies and because of this disruption of the natural order of things, such as the child burying the parent, their lives feel as if it came to an abrupt end. If the loved one was living far and the relationship not very close the period of mourning will naturally be shorter and less painful. When the person died by suicide, murder or an accident instead of a prolonged illness, unresolved issues may cause deep disturbances. A feeling of things left unsaid and questions may arise to make the loss more difficult to work through. Many people feel cheated out of having the chance to say goodbye and it plays a big role in the length of mourning.

There are five main stages of mourning that most appear to experience while grieving. First there is denial when the shock is too much for the brain to accept. In this stage people may experience a sense of unreality and that the loved one will come home shortly. They may even wait by the phone or cancel engagements to be home for the return of their loved one. The second stage is anger at the situation and sometimes the deceased for leaving them all alone. Some people may be angry at God for allowing this senseless thing to happen to them. Bargaining is the next step in grief. The bereaved feel they can bargain with God or the loved one to return. A deep depression almost always follows and when it is very severe the person must seek professional help. The last stage is acceptance that the loss occurred and there is nothing to be done about it.

Grief is a long process and can’t be rushed and there is no timeline to it. There are things you can do to make it easier on yourself and those around you. One of the main things is not to suppress the pain and let your emotions out in the air. Tears cleanse the soul and it relieves some of the pain. There are people who can’t show emotion and needs a different outlet than crying and seeking help. Meditation is one of the most effective ways of coping with the pain as well as praying, walking, writing, exercise or drawing. Some people keep a journal of their journey and see how they progress through every stage. If you are not one to talk openly about your suffering a journal can be very helpful in getting your thoughts on your grief out and help towards healing. Letters to the deceased loved one can be of tremendous help as well. Many people have unsolved problems and things they would have liked to say to their loved one before the loss occurred. Try to talk about your grief as much as you can with a friend or someone you trust. Joining a support group or going for grief counselling is another great method to assist the bereaved. There are a lot of literature to inform people about grief and what to expect on your journey. Books about the afterlife may ease your mind if you have doubts or fears about where the person went to. There are many books available to educate you about suicide and what the state of mind of your loved one was in. Literature on Near Death Experiences will ease your mind greatly, because death isn’t an abomination, it is a natural part of life.

Keep in mind that the pain can become so unbearable that thoughts of insanity may enter your mind. Grief is the most agonising emotion for most people and you can feel that you are losing your mind when you experience depression and feelings of anxiety. All of these feelings are normal when grieving in an intense way. The different stages can cycle so rapidly that it feels like you are on an emotional rollercoaster ride. When you reach the stage that you can’t handle it on your own it is best to see a psychologist or other medical professional to help you handle your emotions. To admit it is getting the better of you is not a sign of weakness. Remember that you must take care of yourself first and foremost. Try to take one day at a time or even just one moment at a time and not rush your healing, it must follow its natural course. Be kind to yourself and pamper yourself with long relaxing baths, massages, soft music, loving thoughts of the person you lost, rest and love. Try to remember the good things about your loved one and times spend together and not dwell on the way he or she died. In the midst of this despair you can’t see it now but the way you lost your loved one is of no consequence to you or what you did or didn’t do. Guilt can mar beautiful memories and make the grief journey more intense than it has to be. Nothing you could have done would have changed the outcome and if you can accept that you are on the road to recovery. We are not supernatural beings and we can’t stop someone from dying.

No major decisions like moving, divorce, changing of jobs or financial investments must be made for the time being. When in deep mourning your mind doesn’t see things in reality and decisions like this can cause problems and regrets later that could have been avoided. You are not thinking rational and you may make mistakes that can’t be reversed at a later date.

Some of the things that help you on your road to healing are to remember your loved one in special ways. At birthdays or other significant dates you can light a candle or release helium balloons or have a ritual or ceremony for the departed. When you don’t have a grave to visit create a special place in your garden with plants, ornaments that they liked and other memorabilia and flowers. If you don’t have access to a garden you can always have a corner in the house with photos and pieces of clothing and candles to make it special in remembrance. Some people scatter the ashes of their loved one in places that had a special meaning for them, but if you can’t part with the ashes it is perfectly acceptable.

As time moves on we start experience days without any pain and tears and with that guilt returns. We may feel we are betraying our loved one if we feel times of happiness or the first laughter. This doesn’t mean you are forgetting them, it only means you are coming to terms with your loss. You are not disloyal or giving up on them, you are merely getting healed. We will never forget the ones we have lost, we just start to live the new life their void has left behind.


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