Iris Bolton is uniquely qualified professionally and personally to offer hope to those who have lost loved ones by death, loss, and suicide. After the tragic death through the suicide of her 20-year-old son in 1977, Iris and her family were catapulted into a grief process that was excruciatingly painful and ultimately healing and transformative.Continue reading
As one might guess from the title, this book is about a very somber subject matter. While the loss of a loved one to a sudden death or suicide is serious, the author provides a hopeful pathway for those that survive to deal with the tragedy. The author, Iris Bolton, is a trained councilor and Director Emeritus of the Link Counseling Center in Atlanta writes of how she and her family dealt with the suicide of her son Mitch. The book is part memoir of their experience and part handbook for dealing with the grief.Continue reading
In these unsettling COVID times when many of us feel lonely and isolated, Karen Riddell’s book Friendship Matters is poignant and timely. It is a well researched and fun book to read. (Book review by Lauren Monroe)Continue reading
A suicide attempt left her paralyzed but faith, hard work and #teamEmma are helping her rise again. This is just a little introduction to Emma Benoit and our upcoming documentary #MyAscension, which will feature her inspiring journey and much more.Continue reading
Fear Not? Is this even possible?
As my mother breathed her last few breaths, at only 54 years old, I quoted to her the Lord’s prayer followed by her favorite scripture twice. I hoped that the familiar, calming words would peacefully usher her into the next life…. After 3 years of battling cancer and the suffering that accompanies it, all I wanted in the world was for her to have peace, some sense of peace, to not be afraid of what comes next.
Her favorite scripture was Isaiah 43:1-3. Since it references Israel and not my mother directly, I embellished the words to specifically sooth my dying mother. I said, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. You are my precious, precious child and I am your God. You will walk through the waters, but you will not drown. You will pass through the fires, but you will not be consumed. For I am the Lord, your God, and you are my precious, beloved child.”
Mama loved that scripture in its original form. Hopefully, my spontaneous, newly crafted version was even more meaningful. I have thought about the meaning of those words often since her death 21 and a half years ago. See, my mother was a worrier. She had good reason. My father was not caring or supportive in the least. When he left, my brother and I were 11 and 15, respectively. So, my ill-equipped mother became solely responsible for raising us. Her first year, she made $6000 selling real estate. My father never paid a dime of child support
Peace eluded my mother for many years. She feared losing the house, her car, not being able to provide groceries.… But God promises that we are not to fear because no matter how difficult life is, we are protected. God is by our sides even in the midst of our greatest challenges. The things that cause us the most anxiety, the most worry are burdens easily assuaged by God’s comfort and peace. Faith reminds us that God’s way is the better way. All somewhat reassuring words to hear, but how does this play out in the reality of our stress, anxiety and worry? How do we keep from allowing our anxiety to consume us when many, if not most, of our worries are real concerns?
This is how my mother conquered her obsessive worrying. Ultimately, she learned to harness her worry. First, raising two teenagers alone was a huge undertaking. (My brother and I weren’t the easiest two:-) So, Mama got counseling for all 3 of us, so we could better navigate our “new normal.” She channeled her anxiety around finances into building a successful real estate career. She established routines that were healthy for her. She woke up early each day to plan her day, quietly drink her coffee and then garden a little before launching into her busy day. She rediscovered her huge (and mischievous) sense of humor. (It’s a wonder she didn’t get arrested with some of her crazy stunts.) She learned that when the world came raining down, it was better if she’d find something funny or positive about the situation.
We all get overwhelmed. We all worry. We all have fears. By the same token, we all have coping mechanisms. We all can find ways to channel our negative emotions. We can all establish healthy routines to help get through the rough times. And, we can all reach out for help. If you find yourself needing help, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can be paired with someone from our Friend -to -Friend ministry, a ministry which matches persons who have faced a similar life circumstance to provide a listening ear and support.
Forever, hula hooping and worry will be linked in my mind. The genesis of both happened on the same day, born within minutes of each other…. TWINS. I was maybe eight or nine years old.Continue reading
The title of this book caught my attention, realizing that we are living through one of the most anxious periods of our time. Dr. Brewer’s title, UNWINDING ANIXIETY, is a visual image of unwinding habits which trigger anxiety attacks. The book is divided into the following four parts, beginning with Part 0.Continue reading
This book published in 2020 is a memoir by both mother and son about the son’s (and family’s) journey through depression. The dedication of the book reads “My dedication is for all those who are living with depression. For all those who are thinking about or who have thought that suicide might be the best option. I am proof that there is a life to be lived after depression and a life to be lived with depression – though it might not always feel like it. Don’t give up. – Josh”Continue reading
Volunteers make an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. Oftentimes, they perform with the core intention of helping others. But did you know that volunteering can benefit your own health as well? Researchers have attempted to measure the benefits that volunteers receive including positive feeling referred to as helper’s high, increased trust in others and increased social interaction.Continue reading
If you read the first line of this title and felt like throwing a tomato at me, chances are you may be struggling along with 40 million Americans with some form of anxiety. Anxiety is a complex issue, parading itself in many lives along a continuum from simple to severe. “In normal amounts, anxiety is healthy, adaptive, crucial for survival and often leads to greater productivity and enhanced performance. When daily anxiety is excessively high, however it can interfere with functioning.” Elke-Auercher-White, PhD.Continue reading