Tick tock tick

13 July 2010
Please be warned that this is a dark and reflective post.  If you're feeling a bit sad yourself, you might want to skip this one.

Life has not been all that good lately.  While I have so much to be thankful for there have been things that have made me very sad and I have been questioning my mortality and how I fit into the overall scheme.  Bernadette's death was devastating and while it was expected, it shocked me and has made me go over the many conversations we had just prior to her death.  Tomorrow I will go to the funeral of another good friend.  Jack died in an horrific accident last week, the last person you would expect to died so suddenly, he was like a rock and a friend to many of the homeless people I deal with at my voluntary job.  In fact, that is how we met.  He was leading the St Vincent de Paul charity and we met because we had the same clients and could help each other.  Jack will have a police honour guard at his funeral.  He was a police inspector before his retirement.  I was talking to Jack last week, teasing him about how he didn't need a holiday, then two days later he died. 

It's so sudden.  We really don't know.  I know that's a cliché and I have thought about this before, but this time, it's really hit home, that me or anyone I love might not be here next week.  And what really amazes me is that life goes on just as before like nothing has happened!  I tell you it's been a real wake up for me.  I'm generally laid back but I have this feeling now that stays with me, I guess it's insecurity or uncertainty.  Whatever it is I don't like it, it wakes me in the middle of the night and in the silence of my bedroom, my mind races through a million scenarios; I sleep in stages and wake up exhausted.

The one thing that seems to help is to feel the permanence of my home.  With Hanno here working beside me, I feel steady, secure and safe but outside, well, when I'm out I feel that maybe I won't get home again.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not having panic attacks and I'm not fearful of dying, I feel uncertain and I'm questioning everything.  Nothing is predictable, in fact it's the opposite. I think I'm sailing on smooth seas, but I know now that's untrue.

I guess the transitory nature of life has been revealed to me close up and personal.  I want to get back to a feeling of security.  I don't want to deny the nature of life - I do know the only certainty we have is that we'll die, but I want to be comfortable with that knowledge again.  Like I was before.  Maybe this has hit me because I am getting older.  I can see things I never saw before, I no longer feel like that bullet-proof larrikin I was when I was 30 years younger.  I knew then, with unfailing certainty, that I could tempt fate, be reckless and walk on a razor's edge and that I would come out on the other side just as sure as sunrise.  Yep, I knew that then, but now I know different things.  Now I am lost in uncertainty.  Time has caught up with me.  

Tick tock.

Okay, so what do I know for sure.  I know Hanno, he is a constant.  Tick.  I am sure of the love of my family and friends. Tick. I know I love my home, it nurtures me and makes me strong enough for all that I do. Tick.  I love the work of my home, it validates who I am. Tick. I know that when I knit it connects me to all my ancestors, washing up does that too; gardening reconnects me to all that is natural in this world.  That warms my heart and helps me know that those activities, while seeming simple have power and significance. I know my home, and all the work we do here,  while helping us live the life we have chosen, also make us the people we are. We are guided by daily activities but we are shaped by them too. Tick.

Writing this has made me realise this is a stage of life.  Just as feeling immortal when you're 20 and thinking you can do anything in your 30, this is a stage I am going through to prepare me for what will come later.  It's preparing me for death.  Now, I don't think I will die soon (but I could), I'm very healthy, and I certainly want to live until I'm 90 or so.  We have longevity in our family so I hope that is my destiny.  But what this is doing is preparing me.  Life would not prepare us all in certain stages and desert us in others. So just as we are given that bravado when we're 30 so we develop the confidence to be our true selves and really live every day, this fear is sent to indicate mortality, to slow us down and make us think of probabilities. Eureka! I love being the age I am.  I still feel young and only know my age when I see myself in a mirror or I cannot walk up stairs like I used to.  But maybe the loss of physical strength is replaced by something like wisdom.

I have sorted out quite a few things by writing about them.  I hope these thoughts are not too personal to share with you; it is not my intention to alarm anyone.  I guess this is a very selfish post, one, maybe, that would have been better written in a more private space.  But now it's here and I'm not moving it.  Hopefully it will help others going through something similar who, like me, think they're losing it.  I'm pretty sure that by tomorrow as I get ready for Jack's funeral, I'll have hidden these feelings again and deal with the remnants of them in my dark and silent bedroom, or I'll talk it out with Hanno over morning tea on the verandah.  Or maybe I just need time - that general panacea of getting up in the morning and living through each day to reveal again the incredible beauty of it all.  Could time be the answer?  Is it that simple?


  1. Oh hun, this isn't a selfish post at all. Death is something people don't like to think about and I don't think that is very healthy. We are all going to die one day. It's totally understandable that you would be feeling a little insecure right now. You've suffered a couple of losses.

    I feel you should remain confident in your place in the scheme, you are loved and have a purpose.


  2. Dearest Rhonda,
    I know your feelings also. It is uncertainy, and fear of the unknown. The only rock that I can give you to hang on to is the fact of the lifestyle you and Hanno lead, the fact that you help me and so many others to also hang on. I do not know if this will help you but I send blessings to you to help ease the fear.
    I am 52 and I am feeling this also, except I am in the US and the way things are going are extremly upsetting to me. Though I have gone through the 80's recessions, I am fearful, I wish I could have my grandparents back as they went through the 29 crash, and survived, but it was down right impossible, you are my closest "grandparent" I have to help through the world's crisis that is going on now, and with your wisdom that you share, and helping all of us, you truly are grandma to all of us.
    Please just enjoy your wonderful home, Hanno,(tell him I think he is a doll) and please just be quiet. We cannot control the world, our bodies, other people or other situations that seem to follow us around to raise its ugly head, Rhonda, you are our beacon in the stormy seas of life.

  3. I feel your concern. I know that death is part of living. We all have to exit at one time or another but when friends and family pass away, we miss them and ponder and reflect on our life as well as theirs.
    You're an excellent writer. I'm glad you left this post right where it is.
    Good luck tomorrow at the funeral. Take care.

  4. I don't have a blog myself, but i read this one regularly and find a lot of inspiration here.
    I'm sorry you've suffered another bereavement. Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts, Rhonda.

  5. Hi Rhonda Jean, I'm so sorry for your recent losses. I hope that you can find peace again soon. Jayne x

  6. Oh Rhonda my heart goes out to you.
    Life some times gives us shocking reminders of the reality that we are not immortal and to savor every minute and person in our lives. The lose of your dear Bernadette was hard enough for you. But I am sure with out even meeting her she loved you and will be with you always with out the lose of Jack so suddenly.
    Keep in your mind the teasing you gave him as that was a happy time for you both.
    You are a good person and very much loved and respected. Wish I was closer to give you a hug and take some of that pain away.
    With much love and respect
    The other Rhonda XOXOXOXO

  7. Dear Rhonda! I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a terrible blow to lose someone so suddenly, particularly after the loss of Bernadette. Be extra kind to yourself for a while, and keep an eye on that disrupted sleep. If it continues, please promise that you'll see a doctor about it. "Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care" is so important. Love to you from Barb_in_GA

  8. Blessings to you, Rhonda. The death of my father at a relatively young age (51) earlier this year after a rapid decline into illness shook me and made me realise that nothing is certain. While this is a blessing in the fact that it helps us not to take things for granted, it is also terrifying. The only way I get through is by believing that everything happens for a reason - even if it's not my place to know what that reason is. I hope you are feeling better and enjoy your day with Hanno. x

  9. Hi Rhonda
    We too are going through this horrible phase of knowing that we do not have time on our side. We are 70 and 64 and often discuss the short future we have together, We have been together for 49 years and the thought of losing each other is unbearable as we are as in love now as we ever were. We have decided that the only way to deal with this is to live life only one day at a time, making the most of each day and trying extra hard not to be cheerful, grateful and happy, of course this is not always easy.
    I absolutely love your blog and wouldn't miss it for the world.
    Bright Blessings to you and Hanno

  10. Rhonda,
    You've been through so much recently and it is totally understandable that you are having such feelings. It is always tough to lose friends and loved ones, even though like you said it is part of lifes cycles. I know that we all have times where we reflect on things and just take the time to grieve and gain the strength and support of those who love you too. Each day will get better. Just take it one day at a time, one step at a time. Big hugs!! ~ Laura

  11. You always seem to give great advice to all that read your blog. Maybe now it`s time for us to rally round and give a little in return.
    I feel humbled that you shared your thoughts here. And I also remember my mother once having gone through similar emotions. When her closest friends passed away just month of each other, she felt lost and unsure about the future. She also had suffered many health problems herself, first cancer, then heart troubles. Through it all my dad was her rock. Without his help and support she would have given up. She took up painting to distract her from the negative thoughts and feelings. Mum eventually overcame the cancer and was getting more stable with her heart. She then set herself a goal. She wanted to make one last overseas trip to see me and her grandchildren. She had made it to us last summer. And together with her and dad I took her on a holiday to Cornwall. Then I sent them to Scotland to see my daughter, afterwards. This was my present to her, as she had planned a trip some years ago and never got to do it. She is now in the process of preparing herself for an uncertain future, as any further heart troubles could potencially be fatal. Due to her getting palpitations when stressed through travelling, she has made the decision never to travel abroad again. She lives a simple life and looks after her health as best she can. We all know that we could get a dreaded phone call one day, telling us that mum had a massive heart attack. She knew how important it was for her and for us to be together, to share some precious time and tell each other that we loved one another.
    Rhonda, you are loved by your family. And, you are admired, loved and treasured by your friends and all that you inspire with your blogs, all over this world. God has a plan for all of us. Your life has a purpose and you`re not done doing it yet. If you feel low, please let us know. We shall try to find ways to uplift you. Maybe you should also set yourself a goal for the future. It might bring back that `get up and go spirit' we know you for so well. Incidentally, who will be doing the job of your late friend from now on?
    In times of need cling tight to your Hanno. He will be your rock, I`m sure. Men like him and my dad are very hard to come by these days. They certainly are a very rare breed, lol.
    Not sure if my ramblings make any sense to you at all. I just hope you can find something there that could possibly help you overcome your present mood.
    Hugs and kisses to you both.
    Best wishes, Sarina. xxxxx

  12. Dear Rhonda, I understand how you feel and I'm glad that you were able to share your thoughts and feelings. You've had some terrible shocks recently and it will take time before life feels 'normal' again. Make sure you take care of yourself and give yourself the time and space you need.

  13. "But maybe the loss of physical strength is replaced by something like wisdom."

    Oh I so can relate Rhonda.

    Although they are now past in physical form how lovely that both of them remain forever etched on your heart. It is good to live true faced and this passage yes as it is it is a part of the developmental phase of the human experience.
    Have you ever read the book "Passages"? It is a continuance of the childhood developmental studies that continue into the life cycles of adulthood.

    Each day does have enough of it's own to deal with indeed. Readying for tomorrow has some merit too. It seems the balance is the goal somehow.

    Given a new chance at a strong life I am ever mindful that today is a gift, that is why they call it the present. Unwrap it slowly but if the paper tears it is just fine. Rip it open and savor it. Embrace it and treasure every measure of feeling given.

  14. Hi Rhonda, I know exactly where you are at.After first loosing a close frien at 49 with MND and then Eve 1 year ago at 53 with PPS both motor deseases that came from nowhere I felt that who was going to be next, went into a strange state where I organised pre paid funerals for BOb and I because i watched one family fight over who was going to pay for that...so a lesson learned there,then i got things in order so to speak,wrote in a journal regularly so that the family "knows me".Being strong in faith I feel a peace in what lies ahead, we aspire to get a seat in heaven, in fact when Eve was dying she thanked me for there and what could she do for me I asked her to save me a seat(hope she has).There were and still are dark days of fear,MUm is 89 lives with me and I often think how can I face what is to come.Then on Sunday night a desperate call from our son,marriage in trouble nothing to live for and going to kill himself...I have never ever felt so deserlate,between Bob and I we talked to him for 2 hours it was the mot heartwrenching draining thing, he lives far away I coud not get to him,he called back 1 hour later promising not to hurt himself and had called a councellor as we suggested. I spoke to him last night and his frame of now positive at the moment. To cope i just wake up each morning,breathe and let God guide me through the day.Sorry to drag on thankyou for all the support you give to us now it is time for us to try to guide you.JUst let the beauty of each day wash over you and try to think that if this was your last day,was it a good one.Carole

  15. Dear Rhonda,

    I think I really connected with this realization that nothing is permanent and everything changes when my husb and died nearly three years ago. And I am 65, a year or two older than you are. At our age change is recognized, and so is imperanence, in a way that doesn't happen when we are young, as you so truly point out.

    But what we have is this present moment, the always changing present moment, for which to be grateful, in which to do the good that we can do. This is where you excell. You are not wasting your time here, and you are a beacon to light the way for so many others!

    Thank you.

  16. Rhonda, I am very new to your blog, but I am still touched by your candidness and sharing these feelings. You have every right to share as much or as little personal info as you want, it's your blog.

    I'm so sorry for your loss- a shock like that is always unsettling to our personal universe. Let yourself grieve as much as you need to and know that there are many many readers who are thinking of you and sending you strength in this time.

  17. Rhonda, ((HUGS)) I know it is so hard to lose someone dear...I lost my parents 8 months apart of each other. I would not have made it through with out the grace of the Lord..I leaned on the Lord then and lean on the Lord all the time. It was my only way of healing..I know when I die I will see them again..That was a great comfort and knowing they are angels watching me..I hear their guidance to this day..He is with you in spirit..I will be praying for your healing..Lisa

  18. Sending you a big warm hug and a virtual bowl of soup Rhonda... working as a paramedic in my 20's opened my eyes to how quickly things happen. It's so very sad when you lose people you know and love and it does change you and grow you - try to make positive changes to honour their lives. At the expo on the weekend we had a memorial garden to our friend Yukari who passed away suddenly at age 45 after last year's event. On a practical level John and I also discuss death, funeral plans (music, clothes etc) and acknowledge it's going to happen - but hopefully not for a long time. When I'm really desperate I head up to Chenrezig and sit in on a lecture by the resident lama there. Let me know if there is anything I can do... Sonya

  19. Oh, Rhonda, I am so very sorry about the loss of your two dear friends in such a short time. Deaths such as this do make us take stock of our own lives and our own mortality.

    We lost a dear friend in January. Two things that have been a comfort to me are:

    The Psalms, especially Psalm 91:
    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the almightly. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God in him will I trust.

    The words of hymns such as these:

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul Steadfast and sure while the billows roll, Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's love.

    Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and son; as the burdens press, and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long? O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Saviour cares.

    Praying the Lord will give you comfort and peace.

  20. Rhonda,

    Embrace these feelings, as they are the very things that keep you grateful and alive. You are going through a developmental phase in life where you are looking to the years ahead and adjusting your view for what is to come. It is a wonderful insight you give and allows others to know what is coming, and, that is is completely normal (assuming there is such a thing) so don't worry about the personal nature of the post. If we wanted gardening/cooking/sewing/knitting advice that is impersonal and clinical, we would buy a magazine. It is you dear Rhonda who makes these posts so charming and 'down to earth'.

  21. ((hugs)) to you Rhonda, during these tough times to contemplate.

    My Dh's aunt was killed two weekends ago - we are all still in shock. She gave so much to her community and family. Sad as it is that she went so suddenly, I think she had no regrets (except I think she would have like to have lived longer!), she lived her life according to her principles and guiding lights (like you, in fact). I admired her beyond belief. Always will.

    Enjoy your now Rhonda, and time will hopefully show you the answers you seek and allow you to go forward in peace and joy.

    I am so very sorry about the loss of your friends.

  22. Yes, Rhonda Jean, it's called grief. But you have ticked off the positives and that is the absolute best therapy. Hugs to you!

  23. Rhonda, I fully understand the complex thughts and feelings you are going through right now, I have been there every day since my lovely sister in law died last October. I also have a beautiful 10 month old grand son who looks and behaves like any other 10 month old, but has a congenital heart disease which could kill him at any time and depite 3 major and 4 minor ops iin his short life, and will need a heart transplant at some point if he is to survive past his early years. Everyday is a blessing and makes me feel so humble as I watch him grow, Each day with him smiling is special as he is the only one who doesnt know how ill he really is.
    Im sending you love and lots of hugs, I know this is a strange time - its hard to come to grips with these complex feelings.
    Love Babs xxx

  24. HI Rhonda,
    I hope you remember me, I don't comment much but read you every day without fail. I found your blog literally in the days after my daughter died and I needed some serious distractions. I too recognise the feelings you are having. The way of life you have created and your writings about it literally helped me heal. I have created my own simple life and the peace and contentment it gives me has helped me heal. For that I will always be grateful to you. Life is uncertain out there, but as my daughter used to say, only worry about the things you can change. I always live one day at a time, take the joy out of each day, and rarely think too far ahead, except in financial terms. I feel unqualified to help, but I just want to say, look to your way of living and the things that give you joy. They will always be there as long as you keep them going. They will bring you peace and the other thing you need is time. These are the things you can control. It will come back, your peace, I promise. Love Julia in Mackay

  25. I thank you all for taking the time to comment. I have taken something from each and every one.

    Julia, of course I remember you. I send you love and hugs.

  26. Hi Rhonda....I'm just another read of your blog... another person in the same age group who understands exactly what you are saying...and wonders aloud too... what's life all about anyway? .... and the answer? ... who knows? .......

    sending a hug....


  27. I like the conclusion you came to Rhonda, as you 'counselled' yourself via your writing.....it's a necessary stage of our lives to prepare for death, and sadly sometimes the loss of those we love is part of the preparation.

    You did a very good thing for yourself writing your thoughts and feelings here where a good part of you 'lives', and your insights and reflections are spot on.

    I noticed though in all you said that you didn't mention grieving, doesn't mean you haven't recogignised it, and just didn't say it 'aloud', but a gentle reminder that this is the place you're at right now, doubly so with an unexpected loss, which can sometimes be the hardest, so as you go about your comforting tasks, kindly remind yourself that how you're feeling is part of the grieving journey.

    I saw your question yesterday about the history of Murwillumbah and will get back to you, today's post isn't the place.

    Be well.

  28. Rhonda,

    I'm sorry about these recent losses of those dear to you, and of the sadness and uncertainty that has come with them. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. As someone else recommended, the Psalms can be of encouragement during times such as these.

    Hugs to you.

  29. Rhonda, I'm 30 and know your feelings. I'm not supposed to feel this way at 30, but my mum died at 32. She left 3 young children, and I'm petrified that will happen to me (I have 2 young boys). I hit 30, and suddenly my mortality became such a focal point of my life. We all have to face our mortality at some stage. It is often when we've lost people in our own peer/age group, but it can be at a significant age like mine is to me. Feel what you need to feel, but continue counting your blessings and remembering your 'constants'. And it's not too personal, we all feel like we know you here!!

  30. Dearest Rhonda~You have done the *Most Beautiful* thing, like a good friend, to open your deepest thoughts to us.
    One thing I admire so very much about you is your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and write it "just the way it is". If it is commenting about your chicks or a knitting pattern or dealing with these Life issues, you are Real. And, after all, that *is* what matters most.
    They say Time is a great healer, but truthfully, having loved ones near or far and knowing more certainly how much you are loved is a healing balm. You are doing the best thing......telling all of us, so we can love you.
    We do, so very much!

  31. Rhonda:

    I am very sorry to hear about all your losses.

    My dear father is at this moment in hospice dying of cancer. He is 80, and may go at any time. This saddened me, but it made me realize any one of us can die at any time.

    That is why each moment we have is important. It is the power of now. Being aware each moment, being aware of our connection to all other living creatures, being aware of that life force which powers our little planet and the greater universe...that is what is important. And strangely, when you become aware of that, your reality becomes timeless. No tick-tock, just a flow of being. If you want to read more, check out Tolle's Power of Now. I don't normally refer people to books on blog commenting areas, but this book might help and give you something to think about anyhow (whether you agree with it or not).

    All blessings to you at this difficult time. But it is also a time of awakening, isn't it?

    AM of the bread

  32. I think time is the answer.

    A few years ago my daughter was driving our family to the park for our homeschool group's park day. Despite the fact that she was a new driver, she did everything right. A more seasoned driver did not, however. She drove into the left turn lane where we were waiting to turn and rammed into us, head on.

    This particular event caused me to feel a little like you do---unsure, uncertain....knowing that we could do everything right and STILL encounter difficult situations and be forced to endure hardship.

    Over time, I've regained my ability to drive without fear, trust other drivers on the road again, and not feel like I might not make it home "today". I'm sure you will regain your more carefree feelings again, just give yourself time. You've had some traumatic things touch your heart and soul.

    God bless and keep you, Rhonda.

    With sisterly love,
    CalicoPrairie (on the boards)

  33. Hi Rhonda,

    I don't think that is such a dark post - but I can see you were feeling darker when you began to when you finished. Funny thing is I was having similar feelings myself after scanning the morning news headlines and seeing the word "stabbing" in the first 4... again... there have been many tragic events across Australia this last week that have me asking why??? I am holding my children dear and gazing at the sun shining brightly this morning - praying for my children who at this stage only see that sun. At 34 it strikes me that a "lifetime guarantee" is an odd phrase... my grandmother used to say that she knew old age was hit because she regularly saw her friends names in the paper - in the obituary column. I thought she was being funny at the time, but I think she was going through her own realisations.

    Take care Rhonda, Ilook forward to many many more posts and insights so that I can take advantage of your wisdom.

    Much Love

  34. Dear Rhonda
    so sorry for your recent losses. You must feel devastated. I hope you are soon feeling much better gain.
    Take care.

  35. Dear Rhonda, this isn't a selfish post at all and is so much a part of accepting life. I think it is very much in the spirit of your blog.

    I'm at the stage in life with small children and I have the 4am chilling "what if" thoughts. I try not to dwell on the dramatic and I go over the list of things to be thankful for and the certainties and insurances (both financial and otherwise) that I would leave for my children.

    It's all I can do because, as you say, death is the only certainty in life.

    Accept your grief for your friends and allow yourself to have sad thoughts for a while - no-one expects your blog to be sunny and cheery all the time as it wouldn't be "honest".

    Thinking of you from Scotland,

  36. Like others here, I share your feelings.

    I work hard to keep centered on the present moment.

    Warm thoughts to you.

  37. Dear Rhonda,
    It is said that the next funeral we attend after the loss of a loved one, can be quite devastating. Since the loss of Bernadette has been so recent, it may well be that you struggle at Jack's funeral and if that happens, you need to be really kind and gentle to yourself. You are your own best friend and you need to treat yourself as a best friend would. I think everyone here looks on you as a friend so I hope it helps ease your pain to know that we are all sending our thoughts and support to you. Keep well.

  38. (((HUGS))))

    A dose of Star of Bethlehem Bach remedy might just help


    or look here

    With lots of Love Leanne XX

  39. Rhonda,

    I love this blog and have gained so much from it. I've never commented before but feel I should now. You don't mention religion or a "higher power" much here, and that absence is especially notable in this post, which speaks of death. I just couldn't let this chance go by on the small chance that you've never heard- that you don't know about the God of the Bible and his gospel of hope? If you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about and you want to be, check out this website http://www.insight.org/topical/how-to-know-god/ I'm telling you this because He is my ROCK that will never change and nothing can ever separate me from His Love. In Him I have a security that cannot be shaken. What joy! What thrilling abandon and peace is mine! Maybe, just maybe He is drawing you to Himself. Does your heart not cry out for Him? He is there in the loneliest of nights. He promises that if you seek Him you will find Him. I will gladly risk sounding corny, cliche or both by closing with "No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace!" Blessings and comfort to you,


  40. Rhonda,

    Just a stressfull time for you isn't it. hold tight to your faith and family there are brighter days around the corner.

    I'm thinking of you and your family.

    OX Karyn

  41. Time does help Rhonda, of that there is no doubt - it dulls the ache.
    I remember the morning when my mother passed away. at that time we lived high on a hill overlooking the town. I stood at the window watching everyone getting on with their lives, driving their cars etc and I wanted to scream at each and everyone of them - Stop what you are doing; dont you know my mother has just died!
    Unfortunately the saying "To the world but one - to me my world" is just too true.
    I think all we can do is the best we can each day and love each other, our lives and try to make life a little easier for those we can.

  42. Dearest Rohnda,
    What a lovely heartfelt post made me cry.Yes we all feel that way even more so when you've been hit twice.Take extra time for yourself .I feel losses like this change us for ever, but they leave part of those loved one with us so we can remember them.Don't know if this helps.but I always find things to remember people by.eg.. A certain song my Grandfather loved,whenever I hear it I think of him and am comforted.My other Grandfather a purple rose.Be comforted in the knowledge, that when you leave now or in your 90's, you already have made alegacey to leave behind.You have changed countless peoples lives on the blog and in your job.For this we will be forever thankful and remeber you.What Iam trying to say is you will never be lost as you will live on in countless peoples hearts!Warm thought and prayers to you and Hanno. Linda

  43. Dear((Beautiful Girl)), though I've long been away from the computer, I'm slowly making my way back, and was thankful to have come by today. Just wanted to say, I love you, my precious friend. Thinking of you (and dear ((Hanno)) and praying for you (both)--as I have been each and every time you've come to my heart and mind over the past year. Love you, ((Rhonda Jean)). Wish you could come over--tonight or tomorrow, and I could hold you close and tell you face-to-face.
    Tenderly, Jewels

  44. Thank you Rhonda for being brave enough to share from your heart of hearts. I just want you to know I read your blog everyday and you help me to keep my focus where it I want it to be. You've encouraged me more than anything to do the things I love, the things I find it hard to find the time to do. To see them as important too. Thank you for all you give. I pray you receive some comfort from those of us you have helped without ever having met.


  45. Dear Rhonda,

    I won't offer you any words of wisdom as you have had so much here from all these lovely supporting followers of your blog.

    Eighteen months ago I lost my son and mother in law within months of each other so I can so relate to how you must be feeling today.

    Big hugs to you and my thoughts will be with you.

    Sue xox

  46. Rhonda,
    You have been through a lot in the recent weeks and it is only normal to question your own mortality as well as those around you that are very close to you. We plug along day by day forgetting that each day could be ours or someone that we loves last.

    I have been through a string of losses in my 44 years. I lost a boyfriend when he fell off a ladder in the school gymnasium, my best girlfriend died my senior year of high school from a brain tumor. I was widowed at 26 yrs old when my husband died in a car accident. I have lost the usual grandparents, aunts, uncles, through the years and my dad 2 years ago. I used to believe I was a 'death magnet' and maybe you would be better off not knowing me.

    But as I got older I realized that death is a part of life as much as living is. We don't get a choice to be born and we certainly aren't asked when we wish to leave this world. All you can do is live each day as it comes. It could be your last, it could be someone else's but you can't dwell on it daily or you will ultimately begin dying while you are still very much alive.

    The best advice I can give anyone is to never take any moment for granted. Make sure you always kiss your loved ones and leave them (and yourself) with kind thoughts each time you part.

    Please try to take a deep breath and not allow yourself to become entrenched in this so much.

    God bless you!

  47. Dear Rhonda,
    Thank you for your frank and moving post. I think that many of your readers/ followers can empathise with the way you are feeling now.

    Your friend Jack`s funeral is bound to be hard,especially so soon after losing Bernadette. Think of them as they both were. Good and special people who have left so much love behind.

    Give yourself time to heal and to grieve. Sending you good wishes from across the world.

  48. Rhonda Jean,

    Your post and reflections remind me that this life is so temporary. It is but a breath in relationship to the eternity that our spirits will experience when they leave this earth. My hope and peace come from Jesus Christ alone.

    I am in my 30's, so I pray that I have many years ahead of me...but you are right, we have no guarantee. Yes...death happens and people move on. It is sad, but true. But you can be certain that you have made a difference while on this earth. Your posts have changed my life. You are an inspiration, you are encouragement and a blessing.

    Peace, love & blessings,


  49. I haven't read the comments so I hope I'm not repeating something someone else said. I believe you answered yourself in the last paragraph. I also saw a glimpse of that bullet-proof larrikin in the phrase - I've put it here AND I'M NOT MOVING IT!!! :o) It is so shocking when someone who is larger than life is taken, seemingly, too soon. The cliche is a cliche because it's true- time does heal all wounds, if you have enough of it. However we are all mortal and so we have to use what we have where we are at. Life slows as we age and so we pass on our knowledge and wisdom to those who come after us. You are doing that with the blog, with your children and with your community work. Thinking of you as you face the next few days.
    Larissa (WA)

  50. I loved your post. I too think on these things, and you are right, you feel like you are losing your mind sometimes. But, like others have said, you love your life and your home and the things you've chosen to do by living simply and you are happy. Live each moment to the fullest and be aware in as many moments as you can. Love you Rhonda Jean. Keep those deep and thoughtful posts coming. You are not alone.

  51. Hugs for you Rhonda.
    Thankyou for sharing, that is what friends are for, to listen and comfort, in good times and bad. Thankyou for allowing us to be that friend for you.
    Take care

    cheers Kate

  52. What an important post. Can you imagine how your post connects every one who has ever felt this way? I think that means you are connecting us all and making us all realise we are not alone in our vulnerable experiences of being humans. That is a gift. Thank you. In the months after i had my children i felt vulnerable like this. So many things in life can change so quickly but we are not in control of any of this. But right in this moment, if we live in the present, those millions of scenarios don't exist. I hope that makes sense. Your heart must be so heavy right now. Grieving and feeling sadness is as important as feeling joy and happiness.

  53. I believe time is the answer but not the one we want. it's too hard to wait it out. I'm sorry for all your recent troubles. I think the older we get the more we treasure our friendships/relationships and therefore it's harder to move on. things affect us more deeply. Time heals, but not quickly. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  54. Dear Rhonda, I think you are feeling this because you lost so much in such a short time. Almost 10 years ago, I lost my Great Aunt and my Nana (two women I loved and admired) I was in a car accident and my best friend's dad was killed. Some deaths we saw coming, but each was 6 days of each other. It just kept hitting me and hitting me. I think that is why at 33, I have such a clear head about doing what makes you happy and loving those you love with all your heart, each day.
    Thank you for your blog. You have helped replace some of what I lost.

  55. Dearest Rhonda,
    What a beautiful heartfelt post and you do not have a selfish bone in your body. Be gentle with yourself Rhonda you are grieving for Bernadette and now Jack. So sudden too with no time to say goodbye.
    I am 39 and do not have your wisdom but I work as a nurse and see sudden death regularly. There is a very fine line between life and death. People's lifes can change in an instance. Futures always have away of falling down midflight and death makes us face our own mortality. What you are doing is healthy.
    I wish there was something to ease your pain but as you say Life does keep on going. I think you feel like the world should stop but the next day always dawns.
    Your love for life is amazing and in everything you do you are honouring yourself, family, friends, Bernadette and Jack.
    Be gentle Rhonda listen to what your heart wants to do, rest and take it easy.
    You have many people thinking of you, sending you lots of warm wishes. Honour your thoughts in the middle of the night that my friend is often when messages, our thoughts come to us. When the body is resting and the mind is processing. That too will settle down with time
    lors X

  56. Rhonda,
    This is by no means a selfish post. You are putting out here what a lot are going through and might be unable or willing to face. I'm only 35 and the past few weeks have left me uncertain and questioning a lot. And a close friend who is a few years younger is right there with me as we've had family and close friends die or be hospitalized. And the extra travel time and other inevitable necessities that have gone with this has left us sitting in uncomfortable places. Thank you for sharing, because even knowing someone will be passing doesn't necessarily make things easier.

  57. Rhonda,
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your conclusions- as we get older the brevity of life sometimes overwhelms us.
    I thought of something else, also - you are truly living your life by getting to the real things in life- the simple things, the zen moments, by living a reflective life. Sadly, a lot of women our age rush around trying to look younger in a mad rush and sometimes reeling from the same fear that you expressed, but lacking the reflection that you possess. just live their life in a fear they don't even realize.
    That is why your blog and thoughts are do valuable.

  58. I've just turned 40 and have already learned that life changes and the circle turns.

    My mother, who's reaching her
    mid-60's, has just experienced the death of both her father and her uncle in the past two months and I can tell by her voice that her life focus is changing and the circle is turning. Extended family has become more important and the connections lost have now been found and reconnected.

    Please accept this light bulb moment for what it is in your life...the circle turning.

    Your posts here have inspired soooo many and will continue to do so. I appreciate your words more than you will ever know. Please feel free to express yourself here in whatever mode that you need to. We will come and listen (read).

    Hugs and more hugs.......

  59. Never think you post is selfish, you are not alone with your feelings Rhonda... over the past 8 months I have lost my father, sister-in-law, two uncles and my mother-in-law (last week).

    Life as I knew it has changed. Though I have come to terms with most deaths mainly because they were well into their 80's, but my sister-in-law Elizabeth's death was a shock and 7 months later still affects me and makes me feel vulnerable.

    Whilst staying with my mother after my father's funeral, Elizabeth got up one morning complaining of heartburn, fell forward and was gone before she hit the floor. She was 67 years old.

    It's the suddenness of your friend Jack's death that makes you feel this way. You had the time to come to terms with losing Bernadette.

    Life is an uncertainty, death comes to us all eventually. How we live it is the key issue. We just have to count our blessing for each and every day and love those that are precious to us.

    Your friend Jack sounds like he knew exactly what was important to him in life and the impact he had on others will live forever in their hearts.

  60. When you live through dark times it makes you appreciate the lighter happier times so much more. Thank you for the timely reminder that life is a gift.

  61. Rhonda,
    I will pray for you as you walk through this time of grief. Take some time and just be still take a few days to just rest. Your body/spirit has just went through a lot. You lost two close friends in just a few days of each other.

    This time of rest and quiet would be a good time to thing about your personal relationship with God. Yet him know you are feeling uneasy and ask for his help and direction.

    I have only been reading your blog for a short time you seem like a very loving and caring person.

  62. Rhonda
    Well no wonder you are feeling the way you are right now with all that is going on around you. You know, I'm almost 40 and Simon is 45 and even last night I gave him a hug and freaked out inside a little that one day he is going to die and that we are going to grow old and wondered how many years I'll have left with this wonderful person. And I'm still 39!! These thoughts happen to all of us.

    Life is about enjoyment, spirituality and doing what we can with the people we love and our community of brothers and sisters. Rhonda, you embrace this more than anyone I know. I truly hope you find a way to let go of this morbidity and continue your life path for as long as your body allows you. Bless and love to you.

  63. I have felt the same uneasiness and know of what you speak. There is nothing selfish in your post and it's not dark, it is reality and it is to be expected that you will feel this way after recent experience. I have been there and felt that and I empathise completely.

    The longer days and the warmth are going to return soon and I believe that will make a difference howver small. Hugs

  64. Dear Rhonda, I this know feeling so well! Sometimes it seems to overwhelm me. Fear at the loss of my loved ones - the fear of not knowing when it could happen.I have two lovely teenage daughters who are so kind, happy, beautiful and pleasant and its because they are all these things that I worry about something happening to them even more! Life is so precious and fragile and can be taken away so easily. Youre blog means so much to me Rhonda, it is my guiding light. You have made me realise that it is ok to be who I am - somebody who is happy to be at home caring for family,friends and animals. Thankyou for all that you are Rhonda, lots of love to you. X

  65. Rhonda, I am so sorry for your loss.

  66. You are in my prayers as you walk through grief. Were it not for the presence of my Lord these past two years as death knocked on my door I would have given up. The faces of friends and family made me realize how hard anticipating a loved one's death can be. In my case God gave a miracle and I am blessed well again.
    Again I am praying for you as you walk through this time.

  67. Funny how some subjects come up and then KEEP coming up...My husband and I had a recent conversation re. very similar issues. This realization seems in keeping with the Biblical book Ecclesiastes written by "the wisest man who ever lived." His conclusion? Life is unpredictable; death is certain. (Sounds eerily familiar!) So, his approach and advice was: Enjoy life, fear God, and keep His commandments.

    We just finished studying this in Sunday School. Some things never change. Much boils down to the basics -- from generation to generation.

    I have been greatly inspired by your lifestyle and ability to put it in words and terms that are translatable to us all. This situation, too, will serve useful to all of us who are serious about living life responsibly.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  68. Dear Rhonda
    How I emphathise with your post.
    I have lost my Grandparents and both my Parents now and although their loss (especially my Mum) was so very, very hard, there comes a feeling that this is almost the "order of life" and they will inevitably go before you. However, I lost my dear and best friend Gail last October, after a short illness and 5 days after a cancer diagnosis. She was 44 years old. The shock, the suddeness and the reality of loosing her is what has made me question so much, like you, my own mortality and where I fit into the bigger picture.

    I also feel life has stages, the world is your oyster in your teens and 20s, everything ahead of you. I settled down to a lovely marriage and children through my 30s and 40s, but have felt unsettled of late and wondering what is out there for me to do and see.....so many questions that go through my mind, most unanswered as yet.

    Reading your blog Rhonda over these past 7 months has helped me so much from the practical (having a go at growing veggies for the first time) to just mulling over your thoughts and comments about living a simple life. You have certainly made a huge impact on my thinking and outlook on life. Thats pretty amazing isn't it? But I know from reading others comments, they feel very much the same too.

    I can relate so much to your last post "Tick tock tick". I am now approaching my 50th Birthday and feel that I am now reaching another stage in my life but one of the most important things I have learned from you Rhonda is whereas before I wanted everything to happen immediately in my life, I have found that I have slowed down and don't expect things to happen overnight, you have to work through things whether it is waiting for your first red strawberry (found one yesterday) or working through feelings. Hope that makes sense. I think what I am trying to say is take and give yourself the time to work through how you are feeling right now.

    Sorry if I have rambled, but like you, writing this down has helped me in some ways, the thought that came to me whilst writing this, is that maybe I don't need anything "out there" (my feeling of being unsettled and maybe wanting more than I have) maybe I have everything right here and right now?
    Rambling again....my love and thoughts are with you Rhonda. xxx

  69. The recent tragedies in your life have brought you face-to-face with your own mortality, Rhonda. Your reaction is perfectly normal, but I assure you that the discomfort will fade. Focus on the people and things that make you happy.

  70. You poor love. Such thoughts aren't the easiest to live with, but as you say they're an important stage of life.

    You're grieving. Do let yourself have the time to do so.

  71. Dear Rhonda,
    I pray you will turn to Jesus in this time of uncertainty. He alone is the one that can give you peace beyond all understanding. Cry out to the Lord and He will hear you. In my own experience with death in our family, I know that there is no greater peace and calm amidst the storm than that which Christ alone can offer. May I suggest Psalm 23?
    Praying for you today.

  72. Its always difficult to lose individuals who have been so central to your life. It leads to re-evaluation of who and where you are without them and just as you're doing, makes you evaluate your own life and how it fits into the big picture. I'm glad writing out your thoughts helped with processing and I thank you for sharing that journey with us Rhonda. In some ways its reassuring to know that the questioning and self-examined life never stop and to hear the perception of others going through life at different stages. I'm sending you a big hug and letting you know I'm proud of you and appreciating you for taking the time to think, to evaluate, to process, to reflect, and to share. Sending lots of love your way!

  73. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings too you. Lloyd

  74. Dear Rhonda,

    I work in health care, so quite often I see people who are at a place in their lives that is well outside their comfort zone, and into a new territory of experience. It is confronting, and blows away the fluff that can settle on our lives and relationships, in an instant. Then we see what is important to us. For some, we are given time with a person, to give and do those things with them that hold so much meaning. Sometimes, though, when a loss is sudden, we just don't know how to go forward, for a time.
    As you feel able, give attention to those in your circle, to nurture and be nurtured in turn. It helps keep your eye to the beauty in life. Another thought, (of the kind that I think is deserving of a cross-stitch sampler one day :-) - count your days upwards, always, as another day added to a beautiful life in giving and sharing through smiles and tears.

  75. dearest rhonda -
    every day you open your heart and your mind to teach us, guide us, comfort us,and give us hope and wisdom in these changing and uncertain times. you are a rock in an otherwise turbulent sea, offering a stronghold of information and experience. it is only natural that your foundation be questioned at certain times in your life, so that you may feel even deeper, open a crevace in your heart so that you can love even truer, and crack open the mind so that you can learn even more.

    in diving into that pain and uncertainty i have faith that you will find even more compasssion and wisdom and love, when you come up to the other side of that grief, and loss, and sadness. you are a great teacher to many and we cannot choose all our lessons in life, we can only be open to them when we are presented with these grave challanges.

    i am so sorry for your losses, and know that we all have our darkness we pass thru, and for many, you are a light on the other side, beconing us to be stronger ,wiser and more present. we are all with you now. we will be here tomorrow, and life keeps moving foreward, even when a heart stops beating, the cycle of life keeps turning, and we walk with you, one soul touching another , making a grand chain of souls anchored in the earth, sailing to the heavens. take solace in our love for you, and hold hanno tight. goddess bless you, chella

  76. Rhonda,
    I am new to your blog, but can relate to how you are feeling. Just know that those of us who belong to God and have assurance of eternal salvation will see each other again. Life is so short when looking at eternity.
    God bless you!

  77. Rhonda,

    I love how open you are...sometimes you seem perfect or at least your lifestyle is. I like seeing that you too have fears....we all have looked up to you because you seem like you always have it all together...it is nice to hear real feelings coming from you.

    I know soon we will hear about the garden, things you will be making for Christmas, maybe a new knitting project...that dark cloud will soon pass.

    Thank you for this post thank you for openning up and letting us into your life during this dark time.

    Lots of Love,


  78. Rhonda,

    Hugs to you. I'm thinking about ya. Sigh. It's a tough thing... Death... the end... Or just the beginning of something else on "the other side."

    Brent's sudden death earlier this year so close after learning of the pregnancy (life) was this reminder to me to take nothing for granted and to never part with anyone on a "bad note." We just don't know if we'll see them again.

    A verse I have often spoken in night of despair and tears is this one. Maybe it will give you some strength, too.


    For the Michael Age
    A Message from Rudolf Steiner

    We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes towards Man, out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future.

    We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom.

    It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely, to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence - trust in the ever-present help of the spiritual world.

    Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us.

    And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening.

  79. In the book Job...God's faithful servant was tested. Job said with much wisdom...(I am paraphrasing here) "Although I cannot find my God to the North or the south or to the east nor the west I take comfort in knowing that my Lord knows where I am."
    I lost my Mother when I was 32. I am a only child and was raised by my Mom and Grandparents..None are left. I felt alone and abandoned however, My Lord knew just where I was. Even when my back was turned He was there wrapping his arms around me. That is a constant promise from our Lord. He calls you by name and knows just where you are. He knit you together in your Mothers womb (psalm 139).
    Grief I find is easier to handle when given to our creator...He truly knows how hard this is. For he gave his Son.... Prayers for you.

  80. Rhonda - make your peace with God. Then you will have PEACE.
    Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins? He did. If you are born again, then you have a wonderful, better than anything on earth home to go to!!

  81. Dear Rhonda,

    I have been reading your blogg for quite some time now. I am just entering my own journey of living simply and have benefited so much from your advice, experience and gentle wisdom.

    You are an amazing woman and I admire you for your honesty, courage and grace. I can see by the responses that you receive that I am not alone in my admiration and gratitude.

    While you are working through this dark time on your journey, please remember all the light you have brought to out lives.

    I don't have a matriarch to look up to and glean wisdom from. However, you have been filling that role for me - I hope you don't mind :)

    And so I am sending much love and hope to you and wishing you peace and closure soon.


  82. Such an insightful post!

    It brings home the thought that we are not really in control, are we? Do we need to be? Isn't God's control enough? Is that what faith is all about?

  83. with all that have been going on with my friends and their health issues, I too have been pondering the meaning of life.
    I think you are right, life prepares us for all eventualities and when we lose someone it make us question our own mortality.
    I am so sorry for you loses, know only the hurt will lesson and life will go on. Lots of loving thoughts being sent to you and yours.

  84. Dear Rhonda, I am so sorry to hear you lost another friend so soon after losing Bernadette. Grieving takes many forms and is different for each of us. Holding close to all the people you love and the daily routines that keep you steady will help you to get through this sad time. So many people are unable to speak about death and the fear of death. I think it is healthy to get it out and who better to talk to than all of us who care so much about you! Wishing you peaceful times.
    Fondly, Karen in CT

  85. I am so glad you share your true feelings with us. I feel this way sometimes and it is so good to know I am not alone.

  86. Rhonda, thank you for sharing your feelings here. I appreciate your honesty in your posts. I, too, have been struggling with the ebb and flow of this life. The uncertainty of it all But this I know: I am not in control. Our creator God holds us in His hands and has our best interests at heart. He works ALL things together for our good. I'm so thankful for that. And it gives me peace to know that he is there. Darkness flees before Him. Take refuge in Him, my dear friend. God's Peace, Melissa

  87. Rhonda, I'm so sorry about your two recent losses, and I appreciate your honesty in your post.

    I feel like I've been slammed by this awareness of mortality at a relatively youg age; last year seven people who I knew died, some suddenly, some tragically, and some after illnesses. A number of them were around my age. Three of them died within two weeks of each other, in completely unrelated events. There's nothing that has shaken my sense of security more, or made me question more thoroughly what life is all about.

    Take care, keep talking and thinking and feeling and breathing, and doing the things that keep you grounded every day. Kia kaha.

  88. I'm so sorry for the losts of dear friends that you have had over the past few weeks.
    When someone is taken from you quickly without illness it is more devastating than someone who is sick it is because you are not prepared for them to go. That sort of death is the kind that takes a lot longer to get over.

  89. Dearest Rhonda,
    We could call you "Mother of thousands" because you inspire so many thousands of us. I am so very sorry to read of your distress, but it is perfectly normal that you would feel this way, and I feel honoured that you take us into your confidence. Life is not all fluffy chicks and warm cookies. Life has challenges to meet, and real burdens and heartaches. We ease them by sharing, though women of our generation were taught to keep that "stiff upper lip" we've learned that sharing our joys and our sorrows is even good for us medically (as if we needed an "official" reason.

    This has been a very difficult few weeks for you, losing Bernadette, Sharon's illness, and now your friend Jack's death, so sudden and unexpected.

    We do a good job of evading the unpleasant task of facing our own mortality until we are overwhelmed by loss as you are now.

    Some people never come to terms with their own mortality. Work in a hospice and you'll hear the dying talk about painting the garage next spring, and refusing to have those last important conversations and say those last precious goodbyes.

    But when you finally realize *I* am going to die, it comes likes a fist in the belly. It can be very scary. I had a life-or-death surgery at age 27, and was told I had a 10% chance of surviving. So I faced my own mortality young, with a disabled husband and two wee boys at home. It was a GIFT!

    It forced me beyond superficial solutions to a deep quest for meaning. It has been one of the richest experiences of my life.

    So, stay in the fear, use it. Learn about yourself from it. Don't fall back on canned answers, in the crunch they do not work.

    I like some verses from a very old Chinese text because they express to some extent that pool of calm that comes when you have accepted that time is limited and the only moment is now. (also because they talk about plants - ;)

    When a man is in turmoil,
    How shall he find peace,
    Save by being patient?
    Like the man who muddies a stream Waits until the stream clears.

    How can a man's life stay on course If he will not allow it to flow? Those who flow as life flows
    Need no other force.
    They feel no wear,
    They feel no tear,
    They need no mending,
    No repair.

    Hold to the foundation of peace.
    Be at one with all living things which,
    Having arisen and flourished,
    Return to the quiet whence they came,
    Like a healthy growth of vegetation Falling back upon its root.

    Life on its way returns into a mist,
    Its quickness quietness once again.

    Hugs and kind thoughts from a Canadian friend

  90. To me, when we loose someone, they give us the ultimate gift of life: remembering what's really important.

    Is there anything more humble than death...nor more complelling than a life well lived?

  91. I'm sorry about your losses. When my darling Dad died 8 years ago it really pulled the rug from under me. We do carry our loved ones with us in our hearts. I was talking to my husband about my Dad today and I said often I wonder if I should take a chance and do something new and a bit scarey. My Dad had a real zest for life, I think Dad would give it a go and even though he is no longer with us in body, I feel his spirit urges me on to be a braver version of myself.
    Twiggy x

  92. i'm so grateful for this post, rhonda, and so sorry for all your losses (and sharon's current situation). it is true about threes i'm afraid :-(

    i am 30, and going through EXACTLY what you talk about here. full of "i can do anything!" .... however, i do think quite a bit about the future so that i can act responsibly in my present and be around when i'm your age to enjoy all the blessings that life has given me. it's good to have people like you to look up to.

    of course, there are no guarantees...when i was in my 20's, a good friend, only 21, died also in a horrific accident. at any age, we can think these thoughts (i sure have)! so don't be too hard on yourself for feeling like your balance is upset ... it is! we must learn to accept without judgement our natures, for it's the only way we can continue to enjoy the present. i love that we call it the present, for it truly is a gift!

    get to feeling better, dear dear rhonda. thinking of you and will send you positive healing energy during my next session on the yoga mat.

  93. God is constant Rhonda. In this time when you feel insecure He is the only one that is always there. I don't know how you stand on these matters but having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ gives you that assurance and security in the midst of difficult and uncertain times.

    No matter how far we go Jesus is always near if we embrace Him. I pray that you find the peace of God to be a rock for you in this time. Blessings to you.

  94. I guess it is always a bit scary to sense our own mortality, and the death of dear friends always shakes the rock we cling to and makes us feel more vulnerable, perhaps question the whys of life . . . I think that having those constants - having Hanno with you, your familiar routines and the hug that familiar surroundings give you, will prove invaluable in the days and weeks to come. My thoughts are with you.

  95. So sorry to hear of your losses Rhonda, and praying for the peace of God to be with you & Hanno.

    Cate x

  96. A missionary from Africa spoke at our church just last Sunday. He said that we all tend to view the border of eternity as being somewhere off in the distance in front of us, but the border of eternity is really right next to us, running parallel to our lives and we can step over it at anytime. This has been resonating in my mind all week. I find myself looking down sometimes with the feeling that I can almost see the line.

  97. Dear Rhonda,By the age of 16,I had lost5 members of my immediate family.I too did not fear death but,suddenly was unable to hear the wind or the sound of the sea without hearing it whisper "your time is near" over and over. It is time that will bring peace and once more change you in ways that needed tweeking.Mostly I just want to say we are thinking of you and share your lost.

  98. Life isn't always easy or happy. Denying or ignoring the pain helps no one. You are so real about your life, please keep it that way.

  99. i recently read an interview with a communist leader, two weeks before his 100th birthday. the interviewer asked him, how after all he had gone through, could still remain so positive, so happy and so healthy. his answer was: eat healthy, shit strong and dont be afraid of death...



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