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Woman Wrote Her Own Obituary And It’s Something We Should All Read

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Woman Wrote Her Own Obituary And It’s Something We Should All Read

Thinking about our deaths is something most of us like to push away and not entertain in our thoughts at all. Sadly, for people with terminal diseases, that is a luxury they cannot always afford. From the time a doctor reveals the diagnosis, the topic of their mortality becomes something they have to confront.

For one woman, Sonia Todd from Idaho, she took the news of her impending death, after a terminal cancer diagnosis, with such bravery and reason. She decided to do something rather unusual and wrote her own obituary making sure to leave some words of wisdom laced with a good amount of honesty and humor. We think everyone should read this:

Sonia Todd wrote her own obituary making sure to leave some words of wisdom laced with a good amount of honesty and humor.

Sonia Todd wrote her own obituary making sure to leave some words of wisdom laced with a good amount of honesty and humor.

“I don’t like the timeline format because, let’s face it, I never really accomplished anything of note. Other than giving birth to my two wonderful, lovable, witty and amazing sons (James and Jason), marrying my gracious, understanding and precious husband (Brian), and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior – I have done very little. None of which requires obit space that I have to shell out money for.

I also didn’t want a bunch of my friends sitting around writing a glowing report of me, which we all know would be filled with fish tales, half-truths, impossible scenarios, and out-right honest-to-goodness-lies. I just don’t like to put people in that kind of situation.

Read also: This Dying 24 Year Old Has Life Advice You May Not Be Ready To Hear.

The truth, or my version of it, is this: I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, most of the time I failed, but I tried. For all of my crazy comments, jokes, and complaints, I really did love people. The only thing that separates me from anyone else is the type of sin each of us participated in. I didn’t always do the right thing or say the right thing and when you come to the end of your life those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that hurt other people.

My life was not perfect and I encountered many, many bumps in the road. I would totally scrap the years of my life from age 16 to 20 – OK, maybe 14 to 22. I think that would eradicate most of my fashion disasters and hair missteps from the 80s. But mostly, I enjoyed life. Some parts of it were harder than others, but I learned something from every bad situation and I couldn’t do any more than that.

Besides there are some benefits to dying youngish, for example, I still owe on my student loans and the joke’s on them [because] I’m not paying them. Plus, I am no longer afraid of serial killers, telemarketers, or the IRS. I don’t have to worry about wrinkles or the ozone layer and/or hide from the news during election season.

Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way.

Those who loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile.

If you think of me, and would like to do something in honor of my memory do this:

If you smoke- quit

If you drink and drive – stop.

Turn off the electronics and take a kid out for ice cream and talk to them about their hopes and dreams.”

Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Stop at all lemonade stands run by kids and brag about their product.

Make someone smile today if it is in your power to do so.”

While this obituary is sad, it is also very inspirational and Sonia left behind some really important pointers of how to lead a meaningful life that we all could benefit from.

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7 Things I’ve Learned Since The Loss of My Child

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7 Things I've Learned Since The Loss of My Child

Child loss is a loss like no other. One often misunderstood by many. If you love a bereaved parent or know someone who does, remember that even his or her “good” days are harder than you could ever imagine. Compassion and love, not advice, are what’s needed. If you’d like an inside look into why the loss of a child is a grief that lasts a lifetime, here is what I’ve learned in my seven years of trekking through the unimaginable.

1). Love never dies.

There will never come a day, hour, minute or second I stop loving or thinking about my son. Just as parents of living children unconditionally love their children always and forever, so do bereaved parents. I want to say and hear his name just the same as non-bereaved parents do. I want to speak about my deceased child as normally and naturally as you speak of your living ones.

I love my child just as much as you love yours — the only difference is mine lives in heaven and talking about him is unfortunately quite taboo in our culture. I hope to change that. Our culture isn’t so great about hearing about child loss and children gone too soon, but that doesn’t stop me from saying my son’s name and sharing his love and light everywhere I go. Just because it might make you uncomfortable, doesn’t make him matter any less. My son’s life was cut irreversibly short, but his love lives on forever. And ever.

2). Bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond.

In my seven years navigating the world as a bereaved parent, I am continually struck by the power of the bond between bereaved parents. Strangers become kindreds in mere seconds — a look, a glance, a knowing of the heart connects us, even if we’ve never met before. No matter our circumstances, who we are, or how different we are, there is no greater bond than the connection between parents who understand the agony of enduring the death of a child. It’s a pain we suffer for a lifetime, and unfortunately, only those who have walked the path of child loss understand the depth and breadth of both the pain and the love we carry.

3). I will grieve for a lifetime.

Period. The end. There is no “moving on,” or “getting over it.” There is no bow, no fix, no solution to my heartache when dealing with child loss. There is no end to the ways I will grieve and for how long I will grieve. There is no glue for my broken heart, no elixir for my pain, no going back in time. For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my son with all my heart and soul. There will never come a time when I won’t think about who my son would be, what he would look like, and how he would be woven perfectly into the tapestry of my family. I wish people could understand that grief lasts forever because love lasts forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that unfolds minute by minute over the course of a lifetime. Every missed birthday, holiday, milestone; should-be back-to-school years and graduations; weddings that will never be, grandchildren that should have been but will never be born — an entire generation of people are irrevocably altered forever.

This is why grief lasts forever. The ripple effect lasts forever. The bleeding never stops.

Read also: Siblings Reunite For The First Time After Crash Killed Their Parents And Baby Sister

4). It’s a club I can never leave but is full of the most shining souls I’ve ever known.

This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known. And yet we all wish we could jump ship, that we could have met another way, any other way but this. Alas, these shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate, grounded, loving, movers, shakers and healers I have ever had the honor of knowing. They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors and thrivers. Warrior moms and dads who redefine the word brave.

Every day loss parents move mountains in honor of their children gone too soon. They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism. Why? In the hope that even just one parent could be spared from joining the club. If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with, watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy.

Love is the most powerful force on earth, and the love between a bereaved parent and his/her child is a life-force to behold. Get to know a bereaved parent. You’ll be thankful you did.

5). The empty chair/room/space never becomes less empty.

Empty chair, empty room, empty space in every family picture. Empty, vacant, forever gone. Empty spaces that should be full, everywhere we go. There is and will always be a missing space in our lives, our families, a forever-hole-in-our-hearts. Time does not make the space less empty. Neither do platitudes, clichés or well-wishes for us to “move on,” or “stop dwelling,” from well-intentioned friends or family. Nothing does. No matter how you look at it, empty is still empty. Missing is still missing. The problem is nothing can fill it. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after heartbreaking year the empty space remains. No matter how much time has passed.

The empty space of our missing children lasts a lifetime. And so we rightfully miss them forever. Help us by holding the space of that truth for us.

6). No matter how long it’s been, holidays never become easier without my son.

Never, ever. Have you ever wondered why every holiday season is like torture for a bereaved parent? Even if it’s been [five], 10, or 25 years later? It’s because they really, truly are horrific. Imagine if you had to live every holiday without one or more of your precious children. Imagine how that might feel for you. It would be easier to lose an arm, a leg or two — anything — than to live without your flesh and blood, without the beat of your heart. Almost anything would be easier than living without one or more of your precious children. That is why holidays are always and forever hard for parents dealing with child loss. Don’t wonder why or even try to understand. Know you don’t have to understand in order to be a supportive presence. Consider supporting and loving some bereaved parents this holiday season. It will be the best gift you could ever give them.

7). Because I know deep sorrow, I also know unspeakable joy.

Though I will grieve the death of my son forever and then some, it does not mean my life is lacking happiness and joy. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is not either/or, it’s both/and. Grief and joy can and do coexist. My life is [richer] now. I live from a deeper place. I love deeper still. Because I grieve, I also know a joy like no other. The joy I experience now is far deeper and more intense than the joy I experienced before my loss. Such is the alchemy of grief.

Because I’ve clawed my way from the depths of unimaginable pain, suffering, and sorrow, again and again dealing with child loss — when the joy comes, however, and whenever it does — it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body. I feel all of it, deeply. I embrace and thank every blessed morsel of it. My life now is more rich and vibrant and full, not despite my loss, but because of it. In grief, there are gifts, sometimes many. These gifts don’t in any way make it all “worth” it, but I am grateful beyond words for each and every gift that comes my way. I bow my head to each one and say thank you, thank you, thank you. Because there is nothing — and I mean absolutely nothing — I take for granted. Living life in this way gives me greater joy than I’ve ever known possible.

I have my son to thank for that. Being his mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given. Even death can’t take that away.

 

This article originally appeared on A Bed For My Heart

About the Author: Angela Miller is an internationally known writer and speaker on grief and loss. She is the author of “You Are the Mother of All Mothers: A Message of Hope for the Grieving Heart”, and founder of the award-winning online community ABedForMyHeart.com. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, MPR, and BlogTalk Radio, among others. To date, Angela’s book has comforted the hearts of over 10,000 grieving moms worldwide. Join Angela’s compassionate village at A Bed For My Heart.

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Son’s Tearful Final Salute To Hero Father Touches Nation’s Heart

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Son’s Tearful Final Salute To Hero Father Touches Nation’s Heart

A photographer caught a son’s tearful final salute to his super hero father in a picture, and it has left many in an emotional trance.

Sgt. Joseph Lemm’s family eagerly waited for his call from Afghanistan, being Christmas week, having him call would absolutely highlight the festive season for his wife and two children. But the call never came.

Unfortunately, Sgt. Joseph Lemm was dead, after a suicide bomber attacked his convoy as it patrolled a village. In total, 6 American soldiers lost their lives in the attack.

Joseph Lemm enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed three times, twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq.

Joseph Lemm enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed three times

Joseph Lemm enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed three times

Lemm grew up in a small Nebraska town, but he left to escape the farm life for the city. He loved sports and always wanted to be a police officer and a soldier. He started his 15-year New York Police Department career at the 48th precinct and had even been promoted to detective.

During his military service, Joseph Lemm received numerous commendations. The hero soldier was highly respected overseas and even more so at home, where Lemm was nominated for a New York Post Liberty Medal after he chased down and caught three suspects involved with stabbing a teenager in 2006.

Read  also: Stranger Holds Umbrella For 45 Minutes For Deputy Saluting Fallen Officer In The Rain

Lemm’s unmatched bravery and huge size earned hm his nickname, Superman. ”Joe was more than a hero; he was a superhero, and that’s why he got the nickname Superman”, his former partner, Det. John McCrossen, told CNN. ”He was there for everyone else before himself. That was Joe.” he added.

Upon news of his tragic death, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, ordered the flags of all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff in Lemm’s honor.

The son of Joseph Lemm, an NYPD detective and Air National Guard sergeant killed in Afghanistan last week, salutes his father.

A multitude of NYPD officers gathered to bid goodbye to the community’s superman. More than 100 NYPD motorcycles led the procession.

The fallen officer received full military honors for his heroism and bravery. As Joseph Lemm’s flag-draped coffin was carried out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, his 4-year-old son, Ryan, gave his hero dad a final salute.

As Joseph Lemm’s flag-draped coffin was carried out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, his 4-year-old son, Ryan, gave his hero dad a final salute.

As Joseph Lemm’s flag-draped coffin was carried out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, his 4-year-old son, Ryan, gave his hero dad a final salute.

The touching moment was captured in a beautiful photograph that is a reminder of the true cost of servitude and sacrifice that military families offer for the sake of a nation

Joseph left behind a wife, Christine, a 17-year-old daughter, Brook, and his 4 year old son, Ryan.

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Woman Uses Photo Of Her Dog To Perfectly Shut Down The Myth That Rape Is A Woman’s Fault

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Woman Uses Photo Of Her Dog To Perfectly Shut Down The Myth That Rape Is A Woman's Fault

She shared a photo of her dog next to a plate of food on Facebook and it went viral, but not just because her dog is absolutely adorable, It went viral because of the important message she attached to the picture. Bree wrote a simple and straight forward caption that ended up being a really powerful statement on sexual assault and rape myth, using her dog and the plate of food as a metaphor, to put it into perspective for her friends and followers.

The caption read, “To the people that say women get raped due to the way they are dressed. This is my dog. His favorite food is steak. He is eye level with my plate. He won’t get any closer because I told him no. If a dog is better behaved than you are, you need to reevaluate your life. Feel free to share, my dog is adorable.”

Since then, the viral post has racked up over 206,000 likes and was shared over 323,000 times. Most of the feedback has been extremely positive, with people supporting both her message and her cute dog.

“No means no. Very simple. My kids and my dogs know that. I can leave a room and they won’t touch my food. Why, because they know what the word NO means. They were taught what the difference is between Yes and No. Men who believe they have a right or they have social issues and rape, were not brought up properly and the parents or parent ignored the warning signs.” One commenter wrote.

Read also: South Carolina Man Inspires Surprising Reactions While Carrying His Cross to Grand Canyon

Speaking to the Huffington Post, Bree said she decided to share the post to take a stand against victim-blaming, partly because of her own experiences with sexual assault.

“The only person to blame in a rape offense is the rapist. It was their decision to rape. People shouldn’t have to worry about what they chose to wear for fear of rape. I want people to see that this is a problem, and to stand together against victim-shaming.” She said.

“If a 4-year-old pit bull understands the word no,’ even though he is looking at something he wants so bad he is literally drooling, then adults should understand ‘no,’ no matter how the other adult is dressed… How is it that a simple-minded animal has the ability to understand better than a large part of the adult population?” She added.

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