Out of the Canyon | Ovecoming grief and loss | Art and Allison Daily

A few months ago, after a plane crash that claimed four lives in the neighborhood, I wrote a post about the inevitability of death (Death as an advisor). There was a survivor whose pain I found unimaginable. Through www.beliefnet.com I received an excerpt from a book on how to deal with such a devastating loss. The authors went through a very similar experience.

How to get through grief and loss.

By Allison Daily,  with Art Daily

Many years ago, I lost a brother to suicide. Fourteen years ago my husband lost his wife, Kathy, and two young sons, when a boulder fell from a canyon wall and onto their car and killed them. Art who was driving, wasn’t injured. He was left, instead, with an empty heart. While we know the heartbreak of loss, we also know there is a way to honor loved ones as your heal your own heart. Here are 9 healing insights to get you through your loss and grief, and onto the path of healing.

Step Gently on the Road to Healing

When you lose someone you love, it will seem like grief has total control of you. The road to true healing is a tough one and there are no rules when it comes to healing your grief. Most days you’ll wonder if you will ever feel good again. Early morning and late evening are often the hardest. The good news is that you can get to a place of peace, healing, and even happiness after you have lost a loved one.

Be Easy on Yourself

Give yourself a lot of space. When you lose someone you love, parts of you go crazy. Your emotions go on a roller coaster. Let them go crazy. Cry when you need to cry, laugh if you share a funny memory. Listen to your body and let your emotions take you where you are.

Communicate Your Needs

Let the people around you know what you need. If you want visitors, say visitors are okay; if not, post a note outside your door asking people to come back another time. It can be helpful to leave a paper outside so people can leave notes for you saying they’ve stopped by. In the first few hours or days of a loss, it is helpful to ask someone to man the phones and take messages. You may want to have someone leave a message on the answering machine explaining that there has been a death in the family and that you will return phone calls when you can. If you need to be touched, ask for it, if you’d like space, ask for it. During times of loss, people are often at a loss of what to do for the one grieving. Know that you are most likely going to want different things each day—sometimes each hour, and that is okay; it’s part of the process. Communicate.

Find Extra Help

A counselor you respect or feel comfortable with can be invaluable. He or she is your partner in grief. One of their jobs is to give you a safe place to just grieve, where no one expects or demands anything of you. They can help you decide the steps that will begin your healing and the timing of them. Medication may be helpful for sleep problems or to prevent grief from turning into severe depression. A therapist can help you sift through the choices, and decide what’s right for you. Maybe most importantly, a therapist can help you understand that your thoughts and feelings are not wrong, or crazy, and that you will survive them. Let them and others in as much as you can. There are also many support groups that meet the different needs of different kinds of loss.

Rediscover Exercise

If regular exercise has always been a part of your life, please go back to it as soon as you can. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get your body moving, and for those who don’t have an exercise routine, try something small even if it is a walk around the block. Grief, when trapped in the body, has the potential to create sickness and push you into a deeper depression. Movement of the body helps “unstick” your grief.

Give Your Heart A Break

Losing someone you love is the hardest thing to experience in the world. Grief needs to be distracted because it is so all consuming. Try to allow yourself times of relief by doing something you enjoy…even laughter. Watch a movie, go on a picnic, listen to music…when you are ready, go back to work. Check in with yourself, see what feels okay. There is also something healing about trying new experiences, when you are vulnerable because it can bring a form of diversity that helps you focus on something besides your pain. It won’t take away the pain away, but it will give your heart a break and give you a taste of peace amidst the storm.

Honor the Memory

There are many ways to honor the memory of someone you loved and lost. It’s important to create a place in your life that allows you to fully express or share your love for the one you lost. A woman who lost her eighteen-month-old child lovingly created two large picture collages of her child. Another friend who lost her mother, created quilts for each of her siblings from some of her mom’s favorite clothes. My husband, Art, took his lost son’s stuffed animals to his son’s classmates; it was a way for him to reach out and give them something to hold on to. The parents of Christi, a high school friend of mine who was killed by a drunk driver, started a support center, “For the Love of Christi,” which has helped over 70,000 people around Austin, Texas.

Read About It

There is a lot of good literature written about loss from many different perspectives. Some offer accounts of how others have handled their own grief. It’s comforting to read about someone who understands what you are feeling. A friend of mine who lost her baby at birth has found it helpful to read books written by women who shared the same experience. Some books are written from a more psychological perspective and have practical tips for coping. Books written by members of your faith or, books that contain daily affirmations or meditations can often ease your morning or help you go off to sleep. You don’t always have to read the entire book to be able to gather a few helpful ideas.

Celebrate The Life of Your Lost Love One

It’s an important part of the grieving process to look back at the things that meant the most to the one who is gone and define what they were to you and to others. This can be an annual or one-time event, like first-year anniversary remembrance. For example, one family lost their son when he was in his 20s. He loved the outdoors and hiking and was always conscience and protective of the environment. To honor their son’s memory, his parents send out reminder postcards right before the anniversary of his death to ask friends and relatives, near and far, to pick up trash on this day. My husband, Art, created and administers an annual Sportsmanship Award to junior hockey players. This event, in some ways, provides a kind of healing for the whole town. Whatever you choose, from the small and intimate, to the large and communal, the important thing is that it should represent a meaningful connection to the one you lost.

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action”. –Benjamin Disraeli

Ameriplan USA | Plano, Texas | Not Recommended

Lately, I have come across several posts from people requesting information on Ameriplan USA (they sell discount dental plans) because they are thinking of joining. Below is my experience with them; it happened about four years ago.

Ameriplan “withheld” my earned commissions using the pretext of a “persistence reward” program, whatever that means.  There is no excuse for not paying you your personally earned commissions, that is what you work for.  I also lost a customer due to bad service.

I wrote two letters regarding the matter (one to each of the owners: Dennis and Daniel Bloom); they never answered. My advice is to stay away from them; it is a network marketing company to avoid.

What is (or was) your experience with Ameriplan USA?

“I’d rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous.”– Ani DiFranco

Free Antivirus Programs | Computoredge | Effective

I found a really interesting article on Computoredge magazine about reliable (free) antivirus programs. The article also has a link to another excellent article on computer higiene to keep your computer healthy.  There is an excerpt below and also the links to both articles. Don’t miss them:

Do Free Antivirus Programs Work as Well as Commercial Versions?

Many people insist that the commercial (paid) antivirus programs easily outperform the free programs. They say that since the program is free, it couldn’t possibly get the support needed to keep the protection up-to-date.

While there is no doubt that you will get more features in the paid versions of antivirus software, it is difficult to say that the free versions of the highlighted programs are not as effective as the other commercial programs. All three of the programs listed here have a paid upgrade available for their professional-level software. While each of the companies would like to give an incentive for people to upgrade to the paid version, it would be counterproductive for them to offer a less-than-effective free version. It would hurt their reputation. Since the goal is for you to upgrade to the commercial virus-protection software, each company must offer an effective free product to protect their good name.

Why Not Use All the Best Free Antivirus Programs?

Unlike Web browsers, you don’t want different antivirus programs running simultaneously. They will interfere with each other and probably generate numerous errors. Based upon the nature of how antivirus software works, it’s necessary to choose one. You may want to store the better programs available on your computer, but only one should be active. Then, if you do run into a virus problem that one program can’t resolve, you can deactivate the first while trying a secondary program. Pick only one for your active program.

You will find both articles and the best free antivirus programs at:

And their main website is: www.computoredge.com They have a “site search”.

When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?– Sydney J. Harris

Malashock Dance | San Diego CA | Third Annual


Save The Date!
Benefiting The Malashock Dance School
Education Outreach & Scholarship Programs
Sat, September 26, 2009, 8 pm
Irwin M. Jacobs QUALCOMM Hall
5775 Morehouse Drive, San Diego, CA 92121
HONORARY CHAIRS: Robert B. Horsman and Katherine Kennedy
EVENT CHAIR: Dea Hurston

For more information visit:


“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful”.– Sigmund Freud

Maria Kitano’s Art | Abstract Paintings

I found Maria in Twitter and I was impressed by her work; maybe there is hope for twitter. Enjoy! Her website is below.

app1s I have been painting and drawing since childhood, using various techniques , going from pencil and graphite to pastels , watercolors and finally oils which I like the most. There is no complicated philosophical explanation about my paintings , the whole sense of my work is to communicate an emotion to you by watching a painting .

My work is a celebration of life, inspired from things I see every day , things that most of us do not pay much attention to.
My daily experiences: watching the sky , a bird , conversations, media, photos, television, memories, are reduced to abstract shapes and colors which allow me to show what I feel is important and beautiful. Abstraction is the way I come closest to representing the world around.–Maria Kitano







For more information and to see more of her paintings go to: http://tweeart.blogspot.com/ 





” When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.”– Mahatma Gandhi

Haiku Poem | Maybe?

These three lines came to mind. And I thought it was Haiku. Maybe not. I am looking into it.  A website I found is below. Do you know Haiku?

Gleaming white!
Jet black legs, beak. Yellow feet.
Summer, a Heron!

Haiku for people: http://www.toyomasu.com/haiku/

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wi Fi Security | Digital Dave | Computoredge

I learned a few things about Wi-Fi Security in this explanation by Dave in Computoredge Magazine. It may help you too.

When you are using a Wi-Fi connection, or for that matter, anytime you are communicating over the Internet, the only time your information is secure is when you are using a secure (encrypted) connection. In Web browsing, an encrypted connection is accomplished through TLS (Transport Layer Security), previously SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Rather than using the standard port 80 for Web connections, TSL uses port 443. The browser knows this and looks for a valid Security Certificate from the Web site.
In most Web browsers, you can identify a secure TSL page by the “s” in https:// and the “closed padlock” icon on the end of the address field. See the figure below. Anytime you are sending private information over the Web, make sure that these appear. When you log on to the connection, it should be through a secure page. Also, any online business (purchases, banking, etc.) needs to be done through encrypted (TSL) Web pages. (Not all browser versions will display the “closed padlock” icon.)

Figure 2. See the https on the left and the “closed padlock” on the right for a secure (encrypted) Web site.

These browser indications (https and the icon) are not foolproof. If you want be sure that you are at the right Web site, then examine the Security Certificate. (Click on the “closed padlock” icon and select “View certificates.”) The URL, or address, should match the address line. Browsers will give warnings if a Security Certificate doesn’t look right.

You need to understand that most Internet communications are not encrypted and therefore not secure. E-mail is particularly vulnerable since it is rarely ever encrypted. As it bounces from e-mail server to e-mail server on its way to its destination, it can be intercepted. You should never put confidential information (credit card info, Social Security numbers, etc.) into an e-mail.

If you don’t know that you are using an encrypted connection, then you should always treat the Internet communication as vulnerable to public viewing. Plus, none of this protects you from the person looking over your shoulder at the coffee house.

For more information contact Digital Dave at: http://webserver.computoredge.com/online.mvc?article=dave&issue=2727&zone=SD&src=1 or www.computoredge.com

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”–Napoleon Hill

Google Wave | Email with Instant Messaging | Coming Soon

Google Wave Combines E-mail with Instant Messaging

In my last issue of Computoredge I received interesting news about Google’s exciting new wave. Coming soon! Excerpt below:

Google’s Next Wave

Before launching a new project, Google believes in rethinking how things should have been done in the first place. The company is every bit as innovative as Apple, but without the let’s-own-everything-ourselves culture. Google will develop a new product or system while seeming to have no idea how it can ever make money. Its goal always appears to be, “Let’s build that new system now. We’ll figure out the financial part later.” This is the case with Google Wave, one of the latest new projects from Google.

Google Wave, planned for initial release later this year, could be the future replacement for both the current e-mail system and instant messengers. By rethinking the 40-year-old e-mail system and integrating instant messaging techniques, Google has combined the functionality of both while opening it up to collaboration. Although it is not a totally new way of viewing Internet communications, Wave does pull together the concepts underlying e-mail, instant messaging and network meetings.

Google Wave is open source. That means Google is making it freely available to developers for building their own apps. While Google will be offering Wave accounts hosted on its own servers, anyone will be able to host their own Wave server, which can either be inside a private network or connected to the wider Google Wave community—your choice. Google Wave is more a protocol for developing communications systems than it is an end product.

You can see the whole article at: http://webserver.computoredge.com/online.mvc?article=toc&issue=2725&zone=SD&src=mailrev

“Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention.”– Greg Anderson

Caring for Others | Steven E. Hodes M.D.

B9965E0EA12D4D9CB79DAA9E43D2FCFDI received some Caregiver Survival Tips by Dr. Steven H. Hodes that I consider excellent. Here they are:

Caring for Others Helps You Grow Spiritually

When you’re caring for a loved one too ill to care for himself or herself, it is also important to save some time and energy for yourself. Here’s how.

By Steven E. Hodes, M.D.

When you go through a caregiving experience, it can seem odd and even unreal. Dealing with physicians and “hospital speak” may make you feel as if you’re in some bizarre alternate world. It may help you to realize that this is a universal human phenomenon. You are not alone in the experience or in facing these challenges. Here are some insights to help you survive and, yes, spiritually grow.

Assume the Role of Caregiver

You are now the advocate. Make sure your loved one is getting the best medical care possible. Your job is not to “play doctor,” but to find the most competent and caring physicians you can. Work with medical professionals you can trust to guide you and your loved one through these difficult times. As you find strength you never knew you had, make sure you save some for your own life. One of the hazards of caretaking is sacrificing yourself in the process.

Deal with One Thing at a Time

During times of actual crisis, don’t project or worry about the future.  Deal with the immediate only. Pick out the closest goal or target. Don’t begin to worry about what will or might occur down the road. Don’t dwell on how traumatic these events are for everyone in the family. This will only increase your anxiety and distress. Pick the next step and place one foot in front of the other; concentrate fully on that. Your worry about the future is a waste of your energy during times of crisis. Furthermore, your predictions may be entirely erroneous.

Acknowledge Your Emotional Distress

Fear is the most basic of emotions. When a parent or loved one is ill or incapacitated, it can make you feel like a child again. The shocking awareness, in childhood, that we are separate beings whose parents cannot protect us is a feeling that never truly dissipates. The fear of being alone rushes back precipitously when we are reminded of our loved one’s mortality. It is important to know that you will have moments of deep sadness and hopelessness when you see your loved one suffering, and that is a natural reaction.

Face Your Deepest Fears and Pain

Most psychologists and spiritual leaders recognize the need to experience, rather than suppress, these feelings. The universality of death and transient nature of life are realities for us all. Knowing this from a spiritual perspective can help you dialogue and deal with the intense feelings of the heart. This is not easy—but it is necessary and ultimately healing.

See Crisis as an Opportunity for Healing

Many individuals have had fractured and painful relationships with their parents or loved ones. Seeing your loved ones as vulnerable and wounded may offer new opportunities for healing. Rather than repeating this cycle of generational pain/anger, this can be a transformative time for all concerned. Look for ways to put the past behind you and be present and loving.

Honor Your Loved One’s Spiritual Journey

Honor what is going on with your loved one on a spiritual level. In addition to the physical emergency, there is a higher truth. The physical brain/body is constantly changing and ultimately deteriorating. Spiritual forces will ultimately determine the outcome of this life, as well as its ending. This is not something you can control, although you can provide comfort, support, and care.

Share Your Worries with Others

Don’t try to deny your own pain and frustration.  And don’t try to hold it in. It is important to find outlets to ventilate your own distress and tell the truth about what you are going through. Don’t be afraid of frightening off others. Those who care will be there for you.

Experience the Power of Love

Soak in the love. Let the love and prayers of others uplift you. On your journey, remember that love heals. Your presence in your loved one’s life is a healing presence. Let others replenish you with their love and compassion along the way.

Let Caretaking Transform You

When a loved one is in a crisis, we change our priorities and notions of what is important in life. The pursuit of material wealth, professional recognition, and ego gratification are easily shed. Unfortunately, after a while, time and again we forget these healing lessons and return to our prior state of consciousness. Make an effort to allow the life lessons of caretaking to help you on the road to self-improvement.

Know When to Let Go

When it comes to decisions regarding end of life or continued treatment, be sure to make the judgment based on the best interest of your loved one. Too often there are unnecessary tests, procedures, and surgeries performed on individuals who are in the process of actively dying and who have no realistic hope for recovery. Rather than allow relatives to die peacefully, some people insist that “everything be done.” This causes unnecessary pain and suffering. Often the motivation is guilt or the inability to let go. In such situations this can be a selfish, rather than a loving act. Know in your heart when it is time to let go.

Take Care of You

Here is the most important advice: Take care of your own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Although we may be focused completely on our loved one’s suffering, we need to be strong in order to be there. Withdraw yourself mentally from the crisis for short periods, and do not feel guilty. Maintain your nutrition, exercise, and rest. Whether meditation, exercise, or prayer are your personal modes of finding strength, don’t abandon them now. Remember the universal statements regarding the use of oxygen masks on airplanes: “When flying with children, always place YOUR mask on first.” You have to be strong and conscious in order to help others.

Steven E. Hodes, M.D. is a board-certified physician and author of Meta-Physician On Call for Better Health. Visit him at his blog, www.meta-md.com.

I received the tips through www.beliefnet.com

“When one is out of touch with oneself, one cannot touch others.”--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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