Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Avenged Sevenfold Drummer James 'The Rev' Sullivan Found Dead at 28

Afterlife Lyrics
Artist(Band): Avenged Sevenfold

Like walking into a dream, so unlike what you've seen
so unsure but it seems, ’cause we’ve been waiting for you
Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste
of your afterlife here so stay, you'll be back here soon anyway

I see a distant light, but girl this can't be right
Such a surreal place to see so how did this come to be
Arrived too early

And when I think of all the places I just don't belong
I've come to grips with life and realize this is going too far

I don't belong here, we gotta move on dear escape from thisafterlife
’Cause this time I'm right to move on and on, far away from here

A place of hope and no pain, perfect skies with no rain
Can leave this place but refrain, ’cause we've been waiting for you
Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste
of your afterlife here so stay, you'll be back here soon anyway

This peace on earth's not right (with my back against the wall)
No pain or sign of time (I’m much too young to fall)
So out of place don't wanna stay, I feel wrong and that's my sign
I've made up my mind

Gave me your hand but realize I just wanna say goodbye
Please understand I have to leave and carry on my own life

I don't belong here, I gotta move on dear escape from thisafterlife
’Cause this time I'm right to move on and on, far away from here
Got nothing against you and surely I'll miss you
This place full of peace and light, and I’d hope you might
take me back inside when the time is right

Loved ones back home all crying ’cause they're already missing me
I pray by the grace of God that there's somebody listening
Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be
(I am unbroken; I’m choking on this ecstasy)
Oh Lord I'll try so hard but you gotta let go of me
(Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live)

(Fast Guitar Solo)

I don't belong here, I gotta move on dear escape from thisafterlife
’Cause this time I'm right to move on and on, far away from here
Got nothing against you and surely I'll miss you
This place full of peace and light, and I’d hope you might
take me back inside when the time is right

Monday, October 05, 2009

Mommy's Baby

I have a little, sweet, precious Cockapoo puppy. Her name is Sushi. I hold her close to my heart and whisper in her ear that I love her. I startled myself when I heard myself whisper in a sing-song, "Aus-tin Nich-O-las....Mom-my's ba-by." I was transported back to when Austin was a baby and I sing that to him over and over again. What a precious gift this sweet puppy has given me.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Shine Your Light

Shine Your Light

Robbie Robertson

The cry of the city like a siren's song
Wailing over the rooftops the whole night long
Saw a shooting star like a diamond in the sky
Must be someone's soul passing by

These are the streets
Where we used to run where your Papa's from
These are the days
Where you become what you become
These are the streets
Where the story's told
The truth unfolds
Darkness settles in

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so i can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength
To carry on, carry on

Don't wanna be a hero
Just an everyday man
Trying to do the job the very best he can
But now it's like living on borrowed time
Out on the rim, over the line
Always tempting fate like a game of chance
Never wanna stick around to the very last dance
Sometimes i stumble and take a hard fall
Loose(?) hold your grip off the wall

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so i can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
Carry on

I thought i saw him walking by the side of the road
Maybe trying to find his way home

He's here but not here
He's gone but not gone
Just hope he knows if I get lost

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so i can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
To carry on

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I recommend this book, "A Guide to Children and Grief"

I was given the opportunity to read a book on how to help a child with his or her loss. The name of it is"A Guide to Children and Grief" and it is thoughtfully written by Miri Rossitto. She is the owner of the web site, Valley of Life. http://www.valleyoflife.com

I think it is an interesting book that certainly has value. It would be very beneficial for a child's caregiver or teacher. I know from experience (unfortunately) that many adults respond inappropriately to those in grief. I can't imagine what it would be like for a child to cope with insensitive adults.

Many points in this book should be heeded, not only in dealing with children, but with adults, as well. For example, in the chapter on things you shouldn't say to a grieving child....

Don't say, "I know just how you feel.
"This implies that the child doesn't need to tell you anything, since you already know. It also suggests that all people experience grief in the same way, which is not true. This sentence can be a conversation breaker.
Instead: Use an open-ended question to express your interest, such as, "Tell me more about how you feel," or "What's that been like?"

I like that the author, Miri Rossitto has written this book in an easy-to-read format. I would definitely recommend this to any one that has children in their life, whether it is in a professional or family situation.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Mostly...I am scared of losing you, too.

In the winter of 1980/81, I was big and pregnant with a baby boy, moving through the days slowly and deliberately. Savoring every moment of uninterrupted time with my first-born son, Ryan, the joy of my life. Ryan was born in the late Indian summer of 1977. That is when I realized what every mother before me knew. Nothing compares to the sheer adoration and love that you have for your baby. He gave meaning and purpose to my life. I melted when he smiled and put his hands out to be picked up.

I spent the last month before Austin was born feeling guilty about Ryan. My heart was so full of love for Ryan. Completely filled up and overflowing. Soon it would only be half full for Ryan. I would divide my heart in two, one half for Ryan and one half for Austin. It didn’t seem fair to Ryan. How could I do that to this wonderful four year old that loves me so unconditionally?

I had no idea what was in store for me.

Austin was laid in my arms and I looked down into his beautiful face. The most incredible thing happened. My heart doubled in size. I simultaneously loved, worshipped, and adored my two sons without either being loved a little less. I couldn’t wait to be home with both of my boys. I talked the doctor into releasing me less than 24 hrs after giving birth. I was excited to begin loving and caring for my two sons. Ryan and Austin.

Ryan asked me if I wished it had been him that had died, not Austin. He said he thought Austin was my favorite.

I have heard that some parents have favorites. Sometimes it is because one child may resemble the parent in personality or appearance. Other times the parent may favor the more “needy” child. Some people say that they love their children the same, but different. I know my sons have different personalities, but I don’t love them different.

I couldn’t possibly change the way I feel about my love for my sons. It has not and will never change since the day they were born. The love has gotten wider and deeper and stronger and unyielding. It is unconditional. I still love Austin now as I did before he died. I always will love him. I will always love Ryan. Even after I die.

My answer to Ryan…no, I do not wish it had been you, not your brother. I would be in the same pain, the same grief; it would not have been easier. I am so selfishly grateful to have you. I do my best not to overwhelm you with my neediness. I want to hug you and not let go. I want you to live near me. I want to talk to you on the phone 5 times a day.

Mostly…I am so scared of losing you, too. So scared I can hardly breathe.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Purdue Pharma, OxyContin held responsible

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2007
Purdue Feels the Pain of OxyContin Felony, Fine
Purdue Feels the Pain of OxyContin Felony, Fine
May 16, 2007
By: Beth Herskovits
PharmExec Direct
Executives at Purdue Pharma are opening their own wallets and paying out large wads of cash to settle charges that they "misbranded" painkiller OxyContin--as part of a hefty plea agreement that may signal the courts' mounting frustration with sketchy marketing practices by Big Pharma.
Purdue will pay upwards of $600 million--one of the largest fines ever slapped on a drug maker--to resolve felony charges that they encouraged sales reps to fraudulently market OxyContin (oxycodone) as less addictive than other pain medications.
In a striking twist, the fine is levied against both the company and three high-level execs: Michael Friedman, president and COO; Howard Udell, executive vice-president and chief legal officer; and Paul Goldenheim, former executive vice-president of worldwide medical affairs. All three had to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and together cover a $34.5 million fine.
While naming individual officials in such suits is not unheard of, it is unusual for a firm's chief legal officer to be among them, according to Carole Handler, vice-chair of the intellectual property litigation practice at law firm Foley & Lardner. "We're in a standard of much stricter scrutiny on corporate management. In order to bring about compliance...the philosophy is you need to hurt people in their pocketbooks," Handler said, adding, "This decision is designed to prevent others from going down the same road."
Officials in Virginia came down hard and fast on the company when they announced the settlement to the public. "Even in the face of warnings from healthcare professionals, the media, and members of its own sales force...Purdue, under the leadership of its top executives, continued to push a fraudulent marketing campaign," said US Attorney John Brownlee in a statement. "In the process, scores died as a result of OxyContin abuse, and an even greater number became addicted."
The case related to Purdue's marketing push between January 1996 and June 2001. It alleged that the company's sales reps used tools such as exaggerated graphs and incomplete study data to "prove" that time-released OxyContin was less addictive and prone to abuse--and had fewer withdrawal side effects--than fast-acting painkillers like morphine.
With an aggressive push to general practitioners, OxyContin achieved sales of $1.8 billion in 2004 before it lost patent protection the following year. By then it had also become infamous as one of America's most abused substances--snorted, crushed, and injected by rural teens and tabloid celebs alike.
On its Web site, Purdue seemed to "depict [the case] as a rogue action of a few individuals," said August Horvath, special counsel at law firm Heller Ehrman.
"Nearly six years and longer ago, some employees made, or told other employees to make, certain statements about OxyContin..that were inconsistent with the FDA-approved prescribing information for OxyContin," the statement reads. "During the past six years, we have implemented changes to our internal training, compliance, and monitoring systems that seek to assure that similar events do not occur again." The site also lists measures that Purdue has taken to retrain its sales force and alert physicians about potential for abuse.
Horvath recalled that 10 years ago a $10 million fine was considered a large settlement in such false-marketing cases. Now the closest precedent is the 2004 Neurontin (gabapentin) settlement, in which Warner-Lambert (now part of Pfizer) paid $430 million to resolve similar charges.
"They're going for big bucks because the conduct keeps occurring," Horvath said about federal prosecutors. "The majority [of the fine] is deterrent. There's a sense that they will have reached the right number when the cases stop happening."

Monday, April 27, 2009

I have two sons.

Socially, I have progressed in my life long journey of grief.

In the beginning, anyone that happened to say hello, ask if they could help me at a cosmetic counter, complete strangers, I would end up, literally sobbing on their shoulders telling them my son was gone!

As time went by I started introducing myself to people as if I were at an AA meeting. “Hi, I’m Lesli and my son, Austin, died.”

Then for a while I would say in the first few minutes of introduction, “I have two sons, my oldest, Ryan and my youngest, Austin, who died.

Now, I simply say, “I have two sons.”
I am asked their names. “Ryan and Austin.”
How old are they?, I am asked. “Ryan is 31, Austin would be 27, he died 3 yrs ago at age 24.” I wipe a single tear from my cheek.

I have learned to cry alone. I can walk the beach with my face wet with my tears mixed with the salty spray from the waves. The crashing of the waves and the shrieks of the gulls mask my pain filled sobs.

I have two sons.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dreams keep me sane.

I am lucky. I have wonderful dreams of my children. During that short span of dreaming/sleeping, I live, I remember, I am a mother of two young sons.

We were on an adventure, Ryan, Austin and I. Walking through an unknown city. The streets were dirty and trash was blown up against the curb. Several buildings were boarded up. There were homeless people scattered around and people selling things on the sidewalks. We were walking in alleys and stairwells. It sounds like it was maybe frightening, but it wasn't. We were exploring. Ryan and Austin were talking and interacting with each other exactly the way they always did. At on point Ryan was carrying a mesh bag with knee and elbow pads for rollerblading/skateboarding. He had gathered other things in the bag also and it was getting heavy. Ryan dropped the bag on the floor in a stairwell and said that when we came back this way he would pick it up. I turned back and Austin looked me in the face and said earnestly, "I will take out some of the things and keep what we really need and I will carry it. We may not be back through her again." So very typical of Austin.

Why this and other dreams are so important to me is... my sons, both of them, their personalities, expressions, voices and even the waves and curls of their hair is exactly the way it was when they were 6 and 10. Ryan always a few steps ahead then running back, Austin trying to keep up with his older brother then shuffling stoically when he got tired.

When they were young, I would teach them not to be afraid or judgmental of people and places that were unfamiliar and different. One time I took them to a thrift shop in a bad part of town. While we were looking for antiques in the back I heard an angry man yell at the cashier for selling him a broken television set. When I saw him flashing a gun, I quietly steered the kids out the back door of the shop. I didn't tell them why, I just said, "Let's go to McDonalds!" They eagerly left the shop, out the back, through the alley without question. I didn't want them to be afraid.

I am lucky. I get to relive their precious childhood in my dreams.