Honoring Your Loved One’s Final Wishes

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It’s never too early to sit down and discuss your final wishes with your spouse and family.

Talking about funeral arrangements and death can be difficult and for some family members, they just flat don’t want to talk about it. The fact of the matter is; it needs to be discussed and to the spouse that is asking to have this discussion take place, it is very important to them.

Discussing the final wishes of a spouse leaves less guesswork, ensures that each detail is carried out according to how they would have wanted it to. It will also take the burden off of the surviving spouse and not leave them feeling guilty should something happen that they didn’t have the conversation or things weren’t carried out the way their loved one would have wanted.

I have a dear friend whose son chose to donate his body to Science after death. His mother and my friend agreed which are her final wishes as well. Her son passed away and his body was donated to Science. His mother is such a strong and well-read woman and had already done her research on this but has also discussed it with doctors and her family as well.

It can be most difficult to discuss your post-death wishes with family members but remember, “Death does not take a vacation, nor does it sleep or slumber.” When it’s our time to die, we will surely die.

It is better to have had this conversation and have all details written down and taken care of.

One of my sisters passed away in 2001. She had already planned out the details of her funeral and was also an organ donor.

Knowing all of these things took a lot of the stress and anxiety off of our family. Our sister’s wishes were carried out just as she requested.

I remember the talk my husband and I had before he passed away so suddenly from a massive heart attack. We had just arrived back home from the funeral of one of my male cousins. We all knew as a family that our cousin would be cremated and it hit hard for the most part because no one in our family had ever been cremated before. My husband sat me down in the kitchen and told me he needed to talk to me. He then proceeded to talk to me about what his last wishes were after his death. He wanted me to promise him that I would have him CREMATED. At that moment, I was ready for the conversation to be over with, but the look on his face was much different, it was somber, he was serious. It was a look he had never given me before and I knew this was an important conversation and my husband was not joking around, he needed to have this talk and he needed me to be alert and completely understand what his wishes were, so I listened. He proceeded again to tell me that this was his wish and took my hand and as he kissed it, he asked me to promise that I would carry his wish out. He wanted his ashes spread at the old home place he and his family lived at in Illinois. Choking back tears, I agreed and I knew if anything happened to my love, I would have to be strong and carry this out to the end. I had never gone against him and never would.

A few months later he suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. Then and there I was left with either being the woman that my husband knew and loved so much and carrying out his wishes or at that time, do the unthinkable and completely go against his last wishes and have him buried.

Not even a question of a word. I put on my big girl shoes, ask my Lord and Savior for strength and carried out my husband’s wishes. He had a funeral and was CREMATED a few days later.

This conversation should take place with family members while all members are in good health and a sound mind.

Here are a few links someone may find interesting and useful:

https://www.loveliveson.com/how-to-have-a-conversation-with-loved-ones-about-funeral-and-burial-wishes/

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-make-your-funeral-wishes-known-to-your-loved-ones-3505376

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The Assumption that Makes Grief Hard

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Many people throughout the years and within different cultures may have assumed and believed that life on Earth would be easy and pain-free.

The fact of the matter is; that is not the case at all.  We shouldn’t give up hope of a pain – free life and/or existence, because God has promised each of us a better place for those who trust in Christ as Saviour and encourages each of us to console ourselves with that very HOPE.

We should all remain encouraged. This journey we’re on may be a long, tough one, but it’s one that we all can conquer and know that there are greater things waiting for us at the finish line!

Krzysztof Komeda-Trzcinski – Music Composer for the movie “Rosemary’s Baby!” (1968)

MV5BNWExMTRmZDEtZTIzNy00YTI1LTkwNzMtOWNjNGQ4NjJjNTQ5L2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTc4MzI2NQ@@._V1_For those of you who were born in the 60’s and grew up in the 70’s, you have to remember Roman Polanski’s movie “ROSEMARY’S BABY!” This true thriller movie was a huge hit in 1968, with a soundtrack by a Polish musician named Krzysztof Komeda.

Here’s a mini biography of Komeda who was born on April 27, 1931 in Poznan, Wielkopolskie, as Krzysztof Komeda-Trzcinski. He was a composer, known for Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) and Mammals (1962). He was married to Zofia von Tittenbrun. He died on April 23, 1969 in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland from head injuries he received in a car accident.

In December 1968, Krzysztof Komeda was walking with friends in the Hollywood Hills after a late night of drinking – Komeda was an alcoholic – when he fell, hitting his head. One of his friends picked him up but dropped him again, causing Komeda to hit his head again. He told his friends he was fine and was driven home, after which he developed flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing. He was hospitalized with a blood clot on his brain, went into a coma and was at one point clinically dead. However, after emergency surgery, he resuscitated and after about a three-month stay, he was released. Komeda flew home to Warsaw with his wife,  Zofia von Tittenbrun but died there in April at the age of 38.

I fell in love with his music while watching “Rosemary’s Baby.”  The particular song I grew to love was titled “Moment Musical,” which is a soft piano playing melody that will make anyone want to sit and listen and get carried away to another world.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do!

 

 

Titles: Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life
People: Krzysztof Komeda

 

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month!

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Mental Health Awareness Month (also referred to as “Mental Health Month,” has been observed in the month of May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.

For many years there have been such a great Stigma attached to this disorder. Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace associated with a circumstance, quality, or person, according to Merriam-Webster.

MERRIAM WEBSTER, INC:

Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is especially known for its dictionaries. In 1828, George and Charles Merriam founded the company as G & C Merriam Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million) experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. (11.2 million) experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS:

Severe mental illness is often defined by its length of duration and the disability it produces. These illnesses include disorders that produce psychotic symptoms, such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and severe forms of other disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder. It’s hard for many to believe that one in 17 people live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person’s directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected. Families of individuals with mental illness suffer along side their loved one and many times find it difficult to know how to deal with that individual. I can honestly tell anyone, it takes educating yourself, going to appointments, listening without judging, assuring they know how much they are loved, they are not alone, and the door is always open if they need to talk. it’s also important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors:  When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities.

If you or someone you know is suffering in silence with a mental illness, or believe you are; please reach out for help in your city and state.

#break the stigma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves: The Real Lone Ranger!

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{ son Bennie}

Throughout the years, many people have asked the question, if U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, the former slave was the true inspiration behind he television series “The Lone Ranger?” Well, let’s travel down the road and back in history and time a little bit and put some of these pieces together and also in addition add some historical facts represented by others sources and factual information.
Bass Reeves was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense. Taken from Wikipedia

Born to slave parents in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas, Bass Reeves would become the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi River and one of the greatest frontier heroes in our nation’s history. Owned by a man named William Reeves, a farmer and politician, Bass took the surname of his owner, like other slaves of the time. His first name came from his grandfather, Basse Washington.

Working alongside his parents, Reeves started out as a water boy until he was old enough to become a field hand. In about 1846, William Reeves moved his operations, family, and slaves to Grayson County, Texas.

Bass was a tall young man, at 6’2”, with good manners and a sense of humor. George Reeves, William’s son, later made him his valet, bodyguard, and personal companion. When the Civil War broke out, Texas sided with the Confederacy and George Reeves went into battle, taking Bass with him.

FLEEING THE WAR:

It was during these years of the Civil War that Bass parted company from Reeves.

After hearing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Bass proclaimed himself to be a free man and escaped.

His flight landed him in Oklahoma Territory, where he was embraced immediately by the Cherokee. It was here that he learned to ride, track, shoot, and speak five Native American languages fluently — all skills that would serve him well. He lived with the Seminole, Cherokee, and Creek Indians, learning their customs, languages, and tracking skills. Here, he also honed his firearm skills, becoming very quick and accurate with a pistol.

“Freed” by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and no longer considered a fugitive, Reeves left Indian Territory and bought land near Van Buren, Arkansas, where he became a successful farmer and rancher. A year later, he married Nellie Jennie from Texas, and immediately began to have a family. Raising 11 children on their homestead — five girls and five boys, named: Robert, Lula, Sally, Benjamin, Newland, Harriet, Homer, Edgar, George, Alice, Bass Jr. The family lived happily on the farm. During this time, oral history states that Reeves sometimes served as a scout and guide for U.S. Deputy Marshals going into Indian Territory on business for the Van Buren Federal Court, which had jurisdiction over Indian Territory.

SPIFFY DRESSER AND MASTER OF DISGUISE:

At a time when the average man was about 5’6”, Reeves was a towering 6″2. He was broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hips, and said to possess superhuman strength. The first black lawman west of the Mississippi, Reeves cut a striking figure on his large gray (almost white) horse, while wearing his trademark black hat and twin .45 Colt Peacemakers cross-draw style. He was usually a spiffy dresser, with his boots polished to a gleaming shine. He was known for his politeness and courteous manner. However, when the purpose served him, he was a master of disguises and often utilized aliases. Sometimes appearing as a cowboy, farmer, gunslinger, or outlaw, himself, he always wore two Colt pistols, butt forward for a fast draw. Ambidextrous, he rarely missed his mark.

HIS CALLING CARD:

He was known to give out silver dollars as a calling card.

The tales of his captures are legendary – filled with intrigue, imagination, and courage. On one such occasion, Reeves was pursuing two outlaws in the Red River Valley near the Texas border. Gathering a posse, Reeves and the other men set up camp some 28 miles from where the two were thought to be hiding at their mother’s home. After studying the terrain and planning, he soon disguised himself as a tramp, hiding the tools of his trade – handcuffs, pistol, and badge, under his clothes. Setting out on foot, he arrived at the house wearing an old pair of shoes, dirty clothes, carrying a cane, and wearing a floppy hat complete with three bullet holes. Upon arriving at the home, he told a tale to the woman who answered the door, that his feet were aching after having been pursued by a posse who had put the three bullet holes in his hat. After asking for a bite to eat, she invited him in and while he was eating, she began to tell him of her two young outlaw sons, suggesting that the three of them should join forces. Feigning weariness, she consented to let him stay a while longer.

As the sun was setting, Reeves heard a sharp whistle coming from beyond the house. Shortly afterward, the woman went outside and responded with an answering whistle. Before long, two riders rode up to the house, talking at length with her outside. The three of them then came inside and she introduced her sons to Reeves. After discussing their various crimes, the trio agreed that it would be a good idea to join up.

Bunking down in the same room, Reeves watched the pair carefully as they drifted off to sleep and when they were snoring deeply, handcuffed the pair without waking them. When early morning approached, he kicked the boys awake and marched them out the door. Followed for the first three miles by their mother, who cursed Reeves the entire time, he marched the pair the full 28 miles to the camp where the posse men waited. Within days, the outlaws were delivered to the authorities and Bass collected a $5,000 reward.

HIGH POINTS OF REEVES CAREER:

One of the high points of Reeves’ career was apprehending a notorious outlaw named Bob Dozier. Dozier was known as a jack-of-all-trades and an all hands-on type of guy when it came to committing crimes, as they covered a wide range from cattle and horse rustling, to holding up banks, stores, and stagecoaches; to murder and land swindles. The type of guy one would never want to take home to meet their parents. Because Dozier was unpredictable, he was also hard to catch and though many lawmen had tried to apprehend him, none were successful until it came to Reeves. Dozier eluded Reeves for several months until the lawman tracked him down in the Cherokee Nation. After refusing to surrender, Reeves killed Dozier in an accompanying gunfight on December 20, 1878.

CHARGED WITH MURDER:

In 1887, Reeves was charged with murdering a posse cook. Like the many outlaws he had arrested, he was tried before Judge Isaac Parker. He was represented by United States Attorney W.H.H. Clayton, who was a colleague and friend. In the end, Reeves was acquitted.

TRACKING AND ARRESTING HIS OWN SON BENNIE:

One of the hardest things in life for an officer of the law would be to have to track down and arrest one of your own children. As we know, when an officer takes an oath to uphold the law, that oath should be taken seriously and with Bass Reeves, it was an oath he would not break, not even for one of his own children. One of his sons, Bennie Reeves, was charged with the murder of his wife. Deputy Marshal Reeves was disturbed and shaken by the incident, but allegedly demanded the responsibility of bringing Bennie to justice. Bennie was eventually tracked and captured, tried, and convicted. He served his time in Fort Leavenworth in Kansas before being released, and reportedly lived the rest of his life as a responsible and model citizen.

THE FINAL YEARS:

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, Bass Reeves, then 68, became an officer of the Muskogee Police Department. He served for two years before he became ill and retired. After retiring, Reeves health began to decline further, and he died of Bright’s disease (nephritis) in 1910.

He was a great-uncle of Paul L. Brady, who became the first black man appointed as a federal administrative law judge in 1972. Excerpt taken from Wikipedia.

STATUE UNVEILED IN REEVES HONOR:

In May, 2012, a bronze statue of U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves was unveiled and stands in Pendergraft Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

QUOTE: “Maybe the law ain’t perfect, but it’s the only one we got, and without it we got nuthin” – Bass Reeves

Clark Gable, III Cause of Death Revealed

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I wanted to wait until the autopsy results came back before writing about this story.

I have never seen a Clark Gable movie, but have heard from others who have that he was a great actor and humanitarian. A classic movie lover myself, so I plan to watch some of his movies soon.  It’s such a tragedy that his only grandson died so young.

Clark Gable, III the only grandson of the famous Hollywood actor, Legend and Icon, Clark Gable died at his Dallas, Texas home at age 30, on Friday, February, 22nd his family sadly revealed. His finance’ Summer happened to be the one who found him unresponsive in his bed. The couple have an 18-month-old daughter named Shore.

I do know of the television show named “Cheaters,” and have watched it, years ago. In some ways I thought it was a good thing to bust those cheaters, but the other side of me was thinking, why would you want your dirty laundry aired on national television? I didn’t watch too many episodes of it.  It’s such a tragedy that this young man lost his life from an accidental drug overdose of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alprazolam (Xanax).  The medical examiner also noted his history of abusing marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax.

His mother, Tracy Yarro Scheff, confirmed her son’s death on Instagram. “It is with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark,” she wrote. “He passed this morning. I will always be next to you my beautiful son. Mom.”

Mrs. Scheff, 56, who was married to John Clark Gable, Clark Gable’s son, told US media her son had struggled with addiction in the past. “I don’t know if that took his life, but I know that wasn’t what he wanted to do,” she said.

Kayley Gable, his sister, shared the tragic news on Facebook.

“My brother was found unresponsive this morning by his fiance and didn’t wake up,” she wrote on Facebook. “I LOVE YOU CLARKIE I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you, my heart is broken and shattered RIP.”

The 30 year old Gable listed actor George Clooney as a major influence in his life. “His ability to take on and master such diverse roles is a real inspiration and strong influence on me, especially while growing up as a young model and aspiring actor as a teenager,” Gable noted.

According to his site, Gable was an avid lover of the outdoors and listed surfing, skateboarding, fishing, skydiving, and RC aerial photographer and drone videography as some of his passions.

Taken from Daily Mail.com

Scheff revealed that Gable had sought therapy for addiction in the past, and several members of his family had struggled with drug abuse.

She said her marriage with Clark’s father, John Clark Gable, ended over his addiction problems, and that John’s brother died from an overdose aged 27. The bereaved mother also revealed Clark’s three siblings have had issues with drugs.

‘My current husband, we’ve been together 27 years, and he’s 32 years sober. It’s a struggle that is real,’ she said.

‘I have four children, all of them have struggled,’ Scheff added. ‘I have two younger boys with my current husband, Jason. I think one of them is fine, he just likes to party, but the baby has struggled. He’s got a year sober, he’s 17 and doing great.

‘I have a daughter that’s seven months pregnant. She’s doing great now, but she’s struggled too.’

A colleague of the late 30-year-old also told DailyMail.com that Gable had used drugs.

Bobby Goldstein, Cheaters creator and show Executive Producer, said that he was aware Gable took drugs but said it never affected his work. ‘While it’s true I have heard from others that Clark indulged in drugs, of the many years, almost a decade I’ve known him I never saw him on drugs,’ he said.

‘Clark was a beautiful boy, he was a beautiful soul. He was the spitting image of his grandfather on screen and I’ve never thought of him other than the most earnest, kind, loving friend and it’s been a great pleasure to work with him. ‘He was a great colleague and a great host on Cheaters.

In a Facebook post, Gable III’s sister, Kayley, revealed two generations of apparent dysfunction and possible substance abuse. She shared texts, purportedly written by their father, John Clark Gable, in which he accused his son and daughter of using their grandfather’s name “in disgrace.” John Clark Gable also refused to pay for the costs of his son’s funeral and said he didn’t want him buried next to Clark Gable in the family plot at Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Kayley Gable responded by threatening to write a tell-all that would let the world know “the truth” about their apparently messed-up family.
As it turns out, Gable III was buried next to his maternal grandparents in Provo, Utah, on March 9, Kayley Gable revealed on Facebook. Excerpt taken from the East Bay Times:

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Clark Gable, III Cause of Death Revealed”

SKY BURIALS

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I am only posting a photo of the vultures that feast at these burials. The video is linked below for those who wish to watch.  Viewer Discretion is advised.

Burying our dead is very popular in Christian and Muslim religious faiths. For centuries burying has been the oldest and most effective way to honor the dead. These days cremation is becoming a more and more choice among many and is more affordable than the classic funeral. The cost of a funeral can average anywhere from $5k to 10k and higher.

Many people choose to bury their loved ones so they will have a place to go and visit them and keep the grave clean of weeds and trash.

In other religions, they prefer to burn the dead body. It is largely believed that the human body is composed of five elements that are the sky, water, earth, air and fire.

In the Hindu religion the human body is burnt. It is believed that when the body dies, the soul moves out and goes to heaven or hell according to the deeds one committed through  their life on earth.

There are places in this world where the culture believes in what is known as “Sky Burials.”  The Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) occupies roughly 471,700 square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) of Central Asia to the northeast of India. Encompassing some of the highest peaks of the Himalayan Mountains and the least explored regions on the planet, the average altitude for a Tibetan settlement is roughly 16,500 feet (5,000 meters) above sea level.

These burials are practiced in the Chinese provinces and autonomous regions of Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia, as well as Mongolia Bhutan, parts of Sikkim and Zanskar which are parts of India.

Although these burials may be considered taboo to those who are accustomed to attending funerals and seeing their loved ones lowered into the ground, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It is not taboo to those who live in regions in the world where the ground may be too frozen and hard to bury their dead, they don’t have access to formaldehyde to sanitize the body of the deceased or the means to embalm their dead.

The locations of preparation and sky burials are very much understood in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions as charnel grounds. Excerpt taken from Wikipedia. 

This ritual fits with Tibetan Buddhism’s religion, tradition and beliefs that human beings have an interconnectedness to the environment.

Below you will find a video of a sky burial. Viewer Discretion is advised.

 

THE UNDERRATED SWAMP PEOPLE – A POEM

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This is one of my favorite shows.

I have so much respect for the men and women gator hunters!

Late to bed early to rise,
body aching, eye on the prize.
Bills to pay, food to buy,
tags to fill, no time to slack.

Guns full of ammo,
vehicles filled with gas.
Bate on the lines, gators to catch.
Knocking on heavens door every hour of the day

Poaching thieves stealing gators,
population must be kept in check.
Hot heat, stinky meat,
Money made gator hunting, so sweet.

When you’re born on the bayou it’s never easy,
only the strong can and will survive.
Swamp People, our underrated heroes
who protect us all from gator growth and

                  DEMISE

Continue reading “THE UNDERRATED SWAMP PEOPLE – A POEM”

When Fear Became Reality!

I remember as a young girl overhearing a conversation my mother was having with some female friends from church. We were never allowed to be in the same room while adults were having adult conversations. This particular day, I left the room as told, but listened outside the door. It would be a conversation that would haunt me until adulthood. I never disobeyed my mother, but for some reason that I still can’t explain today, I took it upon myself to listen in on the conversation she was having with women of the church.

The conversation they were having was of a woman who had lost her husband. I was about 10 or maybe even 11 or 12, but what struck me was when one of the women used the word “WIDOW.” I didn’t understand the word then but I can tell you it terrified me to the core. I do remember what was stated and it went like this: Sister …..just lost her husband and my heart goes out to her, because now she is a Widow and her life will never be the same. I should never have been listening in on grownups conversations. The word WIDOW was new to me, I had never heard of someone being called this before and for some reason I was too young to understand, it terrified me.

I remember asking my mother what the word meant and she telling me and even though she always had a way with comforting me and my siblings, this word still frightened me. Unknowing to me, one day, I would become the word, title and name that terrified me so much. The word nightmares are made of. That word only one could think that only happens to other people, but could never happen to them. My sweet little bubble that I was living in suddenly burst!

June 4th, 2012, Grief and Widow rang my door bell and when I answered, it became the greatest, challenging, horrific time of my life. The word I was most frightened of and it’s best friend showed up at my door, moved in and began a reign of terror on my life.

There is nothing more menacing and painful than Grief, and to be accompanied by it’s best friend Widow, is almost too much for any person to comprehend. My husband was my best friend, someone I could always talk to, share my dreams, ambitions, goals, as well as the things that frightened me and went bump in the night with.

Never would I ever imagined that the one word that terrified me so much would show up at my door! I have learned to accept the fact that I am a “Widow,” but I will never allow it or it’s friend Grief to hold me down and neither should anyone else, whether you are a Widow or Widower!

This is a lonely journey, but one we all can conquer.

JASMINE D. PARKER ©

The Struggle is Real!

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We have all heard the saying, “The Struggle is Real.” Many may not know what that phrase means, but as we read and listen to the news each day, and go through our day to day lives it becomes pretty clear as to what it means. Each and every one of us is fighting a battle of our own; and for many, the struggle is more real than one could ever imagine!
Here lately I’ve noticed on Facebook more and more friends stating how depressed and/or stressed they are, and asking for prayer. We have to admit, our jobs can be very stressful and adding to that stress are our bills in which we can’t escape, family illnesses and other issues, the cost of groceries going up higher and higher, gasoline prices soaring, plus those who commute back and forth to work in heavy traffic experience lots of stress due to their daily drive.

I know people who don’t watch or listen to the news anymore because they say it stresses them out and they feel as though the media reports more negative news than positive news. As we continue with our daily tasks and go through life, we all should think of things we can do to keep our stress to a minimum and continue encouraging one another as much as possible.

We all live in this world and there is no escaping many of life’s situations, but we can reach out to others in need and be a pillar of support. The struggle is real, and everybody needs somebody! We can’t live in this world all by ourselves!

JASMINE D. PARKER ©