2018 FLU SEASON: STUBBORN AND DEADLY

Since the beginning of this year, many people of all ages have died from the flu. What has been most disconcerting is the number of children and healthy adults who have died within days of contracting this particular strand of flu, which has proven to be very stubborn and has left many families devastated from the sudden death of a cherished loved one.

Even though I write bits and pieces about death and dying, and although I consider myself to have a deep faith and trust in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I sometimes have a very difficult time understanding death, the necessity and reason for death, and the trail of emotional pain death leaves, especially when a cherished loved one is snatched away, with little or no warning.

To have a son, daughter, mother, father or any loved one to die suddenly from this stubborn strand of flu is just beyond devastation. The psychological and spiritual pain is enormous. There has been a great loss in the family, and there are times when you feel as if you are in a bad dream. But life has a way of smacking us back into reality, and we are confronted with the fact, and with the pain, that our loved one has died.

I know that many people across the United States are hurting and have heavy hearts from having a loved one die from the flu. I watch the World News, and I see the beautiful faces of those who have been snatched away, prayerfully to a far better place than this earthly existence. And I see the tear-stained faces of those who are trying to grapple with the heavy weight from their loss.

In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I hope and pray that you have a shoulder to lean on, arms to hold you, and a kind hand to wipe away your tears, and someone to say, “I love you. You are not alone. We will get through this together.”

No matter how much hurt and pain we experience in this here life, I pray and trust that God’s grace, mercy, and love will get us through the tough times. I am reminded of a little piece of Scripture from Isaiah, chapter 43, verses 2-3: “When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” I hope you find a little bit of comfort from these words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DR. BRANDON ROGERS: A BEAUTIFUL BRIGHT LIGHT

On the night of July 11, 2017, God directed me to watch the very last minute of America’s Got Talent. And thank God I did! If I had procrastinated one minute longer, I would have missed a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful jewel: Dr. Brandon Rogers. At the end of the tribute, my face was a tear-stained mess, as it is right now, as I write this reflection.

For those who watched the special tribute to Dr. Brandon Rogers, you might have been captivated and enthralled by Dr. Rogers’ beautiful voice and musical range, of which I was, too. However, my spiritual perception discerned something deeper and profound. If my spiritual gift of discernment is on point, I believe, with all my heart, that Dr. Rogers was a very spiritual, young man who loved God and who loved the people whom God had privileged to his life and care—including family, friends, and patients.

I don’t know if you could see it, but my spiritual eyes could see an extremely bright light shining brilliantly from Dr. Rogers’ spirit and soul. And I immediately knew that he was a very special soul whom God allowed to visit Earth for 29 years. (I only wish his journey on Earth was much, much longer.) At a time on Earth, when so many bad things are happening every day and all the time, we need more and more bright, beautiful God-loving lights like Dr. Brandon Rogers to make a difference in the so many dark places on this Earth.

There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Brandon Rogers touched many, many lives during his short time on Earth. He possessed a very sensitive, kind, loving, humble soul and spirit. For those who were fortunate and blessed to experience Dr. Brandon Rogers’ love, kindness, and friendship, please cherish it and hold on to it every day, and plant seeds of his memory into as many lives as possible.

I decided to write this blog piece to celebrate Dr. Brandon Rogers because I do not want his memory to ever be forgotten. (Today, October 30, 2017, would have been his 30th birthday.) When I learned that Dr. Rogers was from Virginia, I instantly felt a close bond and connection to him, because I too have Virginia roots.

Dr. Brandon Rogers, you are and shall be dearly missed. I thank God for your life and for your humble, beautiful, and sweet gifts and talents which you freely shared with so many people. May heaven enjoy you and your beautiful voice, as so many of us did.

Because God was first and foremost in your life and not fortune or fame, I believe you would have won America’s Got Talent competition! There is no doubt in my mind.

When I die and finally reach the beautiful shores of heaven, I hope you will bless me with one of your beautiful songs. By the way, my favorite Stevie Wonder song is “Lately.”

God bless, bless, and bless you, Dr. Brandon Rogers, and thank you for blessing Earth with your beautiful presence.

WORKING THROUGH IT: THE VISION

Working Through It was divinely inspired in the winter of 1998. During this time I was conducting seminars and workshops in spiritual and psychological education for students who were interested in careers in clinical and counseling psychology and social work. A very popular workshop that I conducted was death and dying. I was overwhelmed by its popularity, and it became my favorite and signature workshop. Because of this popular workshop, I was gifted with the opportunity to teach a course, The Psychology of Death and Dying, in Spring 2000. One of my students was a banker and her feedback of The Psychology of Death and Dying course was as following: “I came to this class with many reservations. You made the class one in which you not only learned the subject matter, but simply enjoyed doing so…believe me when I say that you have a gift for teaching. Your personality permits one to participate in the class without reservations. You must not allow anyone, including you, stop you from teaching. Through teaching you share your greatest gifts.” This one, particular gift of feedback, after seventeen years, has finally encouraged me to step out on faith in creating this blog and to trust God in the process. We all have beautiful light within us and we must permit it to shine. Continue reading “WORKING THROUGH IT: THE VISION”