EDITED BY: David Stringer
PHOTOGRAPHY: Marilyn Indahl

Voices from the Coffee House

Socks are Optional
by Margaret Syrett

We are so hard on ourselves. Thinking we SHOULD be better, SHOULD be getting on with our lives, and even that dreaded expression "SHOULD be over it by now." If we are not hard on ourselves, you can rest assured that friends and neighbors will put enough SHOULDS on us, in their attempt to comfort, that we will begin to second guess ourselves and have unrealistic expectations as to where we SHOULD be.

At risk of sounding like an authority, let me assure you that the only authority on your grief is YOU, not your friends, parents, your first, second or third cousins, heaven forbid your doctor and least of all me. However, I have some SHOULDS that you might want to consider.

You SHOULD try to get out of bed in the morning. If you are accomplishing that task, Congratulations!

You SHOULD try to eat something nourishing even if it is a little bit. If you can get someting down, you are off to a great start!

You SHOULD try to shower. It will relax some of the muscles in your neck and relieve some of the tension. It is also a great place to cry.

You SHOULD get dressed. Wear something you feel comfortable in and feels good on you.

And last but not least, you SHOULD make sure your shoes are comfortable and on the right feet. They don't have to match but it's a great accomplishment if they do. Oh yes, and please remember, SOCKS ARE OPTIONAL.

Be Good to Yourself and Exercise
Love, Margaret

Margaret wrote this when she was a chapter leader of The Compassionate Friends for the Harold E. Mitchell/Albany Chapter and the Saratoga Chapter. She is also a member of the Mothers of Donors (MOD) Squad.


by Mia Lester

You're feeling sad, you're feeling lonely and no one understands,
They think you can get back on track and do your same old plans.

There's something missing, something gone, and life's just not the same.
You know your friends and family are really not to blame.

Life without your loved one makes life feel so dissolved.
Everyone does what they can to try to be involved.

Life will carry on, you know, you never will forget
The way they smiled back at you, the way their goals were set.

You know they saved a life or even more than one.
You may have lost a mom, a dad, a daughter, or a son

But if you think about it they'd want you to go on,

Go on and meet new people and talk about your life
And how your cherished loved one gave the gift of life.


Baseball in Heaven

The poem Baseball in Heaven, by Russell Scott
Steven Andersen
, was read by R. Niel Hampton, Jr.

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Last updated on: Friday, 05-Feb-2010 10:05:42 EST