Thursday, September 16, 2021

His name is important


Since relocating to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont a few months ago, I have learned that the opioid epidemic and addiction has its grips on many that live in these remote towns just as much as it thrives in suburban and urban communities. Nowhere is immune and these areas seem to have less availability and access to local treatment and support, making it even more devastating. In the past three weeks we have learned of three deaths presumed as overdoses within our region; three families lost a loved one to this disease.

Every person who is affected by addiction, be it the person who suffers with any type of addiction or the people who know, care for and about them, and/or deeply love them has a name. They are not a number; they are not just any person, they are individuals. People, human beings with a past, present, and and often uncertain future. What we all must remember, and I believe acknowledge, is recognition of and respect for each one.

I know it is simply not possible to know everyone personally however it is possible and easily done to take a moment to think about who this number might be, what their name is, who they are when we hear of someone who has lost their earthly life to addiction and what their family must be experiencing with the knowledge, the last time they spoke to or saw this person would be their last, at least in this lifetime.

Names have value, they are chosen for you at your birth, are often the first thing you learn when you meet someone new and the way we start a conversation about someone who has left this life when we share a remembrance.

This reflection is dedicated to one of the lives recently lost, a man I never had the pleasure of meeting however I know his name. He was born, lived, loved and was unique in his own special way. He loved his parents and grandparents, all of them, his son, his extended family, his friends, and those he worked with; helping people who lived with addiction find and maintain sobriety. He loved the outdoors, and I am certain the stories shared about him are just as full of joy, hope, and laughter as they are sadness.

The loss of his life is a tragedy, although his family is able to find some comfort that he is at peace, it does not lessen their loss or the cumulative loss of yet another blessed life force to this disease for which there is no cure.

This glorious spirit animal greeted us on the sacred ground directly over where his ashes have been lovingly placed…

His spirit will live on in the hearts and souls of those who continue to share his story and remember his love.

Divine Creator Spirit

of beings both great and small,

we give you thanks for this life

and for the unity of all.

When a spirit returns to you

And we are left to grieve

Let us be joyful and see your presence

If only we believe.

Today and everyday know that each and every one of you are loved and valued for who you are and always will be!

With a peace filled embrace xox Kristyn




Monday, July 12, 2021

Hillary's 30th Birthday, surviving a terminal illness

Just over a decade ago, I wasn't sure if Hillary would live to see her 20th birthday; let alone her 30th. Addiction is a disease that in too many cases is terminal when left untreated. 

Today and everyday I count my blessings that Hillary chose to get treatment and chooses everyday to never forget she has a disease that could kill her if she doesn't consciously take the steps necessary to keep the disease in 'remission'. 

The hardest part of loving someone with this disease is your inability to choose for them. They must always decide for themselves and it is painful to watch them in constant struggle, nearly die and in the most tragic cases leave this life forever. 

Today I thank God for my precious daughter who is alive! 

Hillary's smile lights up a room, her laughter is infectious. She is the most caring, compassionate and loving mother to her boys and Nova. She has found a kind and devoted person to spend the rest of her life with in Sean and embraces all the joy life has to offer. She never does anything half way which is why she is still here in this life determined to be the best everything she can possibly be and share her best with others. She has seen the dark side of life which makes her even more grateful for all that she has. 

I can confidently speak for all those who love Hillary when I say with the most sincere heartfelt gratitude, thank you Hillary for choosing life, this world is a better place because you are in it!

Divine Giver of life,
we give you thanks for the gift of Hillary
and the blessing of healing.

We humbly ask for your continued blessings
on Hillary, all those affected by the disease of addiction,
and all those who love them.

Keep in your care those who reside with you in Spirit 
and provide comfort for those who suffer with the pain of addiction in this life and
send your infinite love to smooth the edges of  the hole the loss of a loved leaves behind.

Now and forevermore may you feel the love of God, the Divine,
 the fully unknowable surrounding you
and may all who live with this dreaded disease
live to see another day, week, month, and monumental birthday!

As I offer my gratitude for Hillary, I share in the sadness of loss faced by the mom's who now celebrate remembrances of birthday's past. I hold you in my heart and soul, pray for your healing with the truest belief in a higher power who holds them until the time when we are all reunite in Spirit.

Peace be with you
Love you always

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I'm Selfish

 I’m Selfish

Anger, frustration, sadness, and fear were predominant feelings I carried through 2020. I realized this morning that I had not written for SOS since January of last year.

I am truly sorry. I have prayed, I have painted stones and I have given them away; however, I have not written. The energy surrounding the stones is still there and I am always sending love and support to those affected by addiction and those who love them, as are the many others who are part of our community.

I left my post, figuratively and literally. The overwhelming feelings of dis-ease felt by our world have entered my spirit and caused me to lose sight of the light that I embrace and serve and caused me to seek solace in my own space instead of the world of openhearted kindness that had driven me in the past.

I have not written because the little voice that inspires my thoughts, words and deeds has been relegated to a place of silence where that voice, my voice, is no longer relevant and can no longer make a difference.

I have gone through the motions, awoken each day to news of disaster, death, and despair.

I had moments of joy that were quickly stifled by news of yet another atrocity.

My pendulum of anger toward others who did not share my beliefs and shame over my judgement of these same others sent me into even darker times emotionally, physically, and most importantly spiritually.

I relapsed… I promised myself years ago that I would never enter the dark times that held me captive for so many and yet that is exactly what I did.

On the surface like so many others, I appeared to have it all together; offering words of hope with a smile, all while internalizing my heartache over our wounded world and the insurmountable suffering that occurs every second of every day.

Yet again, this morning’s headlines sent me spiraling even before I lifted my head off the pillow.

I have been selfish my entire life, I want to change the world all by myself. I want to wish and will away marginalization of all people with a nod of my head. I want world peace and I want it now.

This may seem like a Pollyanna attitude; I call it selfish. I want what I want, and I want it today, I am tired of waiting; I have been waiting my whole life.

I gave up last year… without even realizing it I stopped trying to change the world. I stopped sharing my thoughts because I decided they no longer mattered. I allowed my fear to replace my joy and I take full responsibility for my actions.

Being selfish is both a blessing and a curse depending on what you want.

Right now, I want to find my way back to believing in the Spirit of love, compassion, unity, kindness, grace, and mercy; the Spirit of God that finds connections in division and serves to guide all people toward a future that holds more beauty on the inside that is reflected on the outside.

Light must prevail and sadly at times we must walk through incredibly dark passages to find our way back to the light.

I believe these are those times. I am searching for the light and I can no longer be selfish. I must do my part to do my part and I am I am begging you, to help me; please. I can not do it alone.

Ed and I dug this out of the frozen ground on Sunday.
 It is by far the most anatomically correct heart shaped rock we have ever found;
the heart of the world is in our hands, please hold it carefully.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all

has been my family’s motto and the premise for the SOS community since it’s inception. We can do this, we can achieve peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, and peace in our world, one individual thought word and deed at a time.

Please help me, today when you are faced with anger or fear replace it with a way to love. In stead of focusing on a problem, take a moment to find a solution and do your part to implement it any way you can.

Don’t lose sight of the joy that is surrounded by the light of the world.

I am still here, you are with me and together we can change the world, I promise, one simple act of kindness at a time.

Thank you for listening, I am eternally grateful for all of you and the privilege to serve.

Be safe, be well and know that you are loved.

In love, k




Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bert and 32 Hydrocodone

32 Hydrocodone

Bert was sent home with a prescription for 32 Hydrocodone after a tonsillectomy a few weeks back! I was shocked and pretty upset, to say the least. I arrived at the checkout counter to pick up what I assumed was an order for a few to get through the first couple of days if he needed them and received enough for continuous dosing every four hours for five days. Never was Bert asked if he had a family history of addiction. Never was Bert instructed in the proper use of opioids other than a brief disclosure by the dicharge nurse at the hospital (when he was still loopy from the anesthesia) that said 'don't become a statistic'. Never was he told how and when to take them other than 1 pill as needed every 4 hours for pain. Bert was told he could also piggy back the tylenol and ibuprofen however those could upset his stomach so be sure to eat...

Bert was also not told to limit the opioid use to only when truly necessary for extreme pain or if he took it regularly the side effects associated with the drug. He wasn't told how this too could upset his stomach, or how it could cause constipation or how if he took it as prescibed he could blow through those 32 pills in 5 days which has been PROVEN scientifically to be long enough to cause a dependance and withdrawal symptoms. He wasn't told how terrible that withdrawal could be; flu like symptoms, aches, pains, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety... the list goes on. 

No one wants to be in pain and no one wants to see their child in pain and it would have been super easy to hand over the bottle to Bert and say take as needed, you're an adult now; if the doctor prescribed them it must be safe. NOT TRUE!

Full disclosure: I do not beleive the doctor acted intentionally neglegent, the dose Bert received was a low dose, there were no refills and the type of drug has less of an addictive nature than other opioid drugs on the market. However, that said, I do beleive for parents that have never experienced the opioid abuse/addiction epidemic first hand, this rx is A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!!! 

How Bert and I managed his pain 

First course of action was pain reliever and antiinflammatory pain reliever; Tylenol* and Advil*. Both meds, staggered, worked well to control his pain. Nights were the worst so he took 1 hydrocodone before bed and when he woke up in the middle of the night, it was ibuprofen and then back to Tylenol in the morning. Suffice it to say Bert was in a decent amount of pain, but he had his tonsils out...we knew it was going to be terrible... track a few days forward, the pain, worsening and at its peak he was able to manage; although uncomfortably, eventually making it through the recovery process having used over the counter pain relievers, ice and patience. He ended up using 4 of the 32 hydrocodone he was prescribed with little to no side effects. 

Do the math, 28 pills leftover is 28 too many...let alone the high cost of meds that are now wasted and being destroyed.

I shared this with Hillary and she was beyond disgusted. How is it in today's world with the opioid abuse/addiction epidemic being at a world wide high can these prescriptions still be written. There are on call doctors, 24 hour pharmacies and a modern world where there are plenty of ways to get more in an emergency if it is absolutely necessary.

Please take heed when opioids are prescribed, ask questions.
WHO~WHAT~WHERE~WHEN~WHY~HOW it could lead to a matter of life or death and at a minimum a life that is changed forever by a drug...….

As always, I offer you love and compassion for the never-ending always changing journey!

~peace filled hugs,  k 

Friday, January 3, 2020

My phone call from Lincoln saying he saw Ben this morning...and he did!

Ben transitioned to his new life in Spirit when Hillary was five weeks pregnant with Lincoln and Cam was a few months shy of two years old. When Ben was alive, Cam had terrible night terrors consistently. Almost immediately after Ben's crossing over those terrors turned into night after night of him laughing in his sleep; awakening in sadness and grumpiness every morning. When asked what was wrong he would say daddy played with him when he was sleeping and had to go when he woke up. From the moment Lincoln was born he would look over Hillary's right shoulder and smile/laugh for what appeared to be no reason as Hillary experienced goosebumps in the same area. When Lincoln learned to talk he would talk about Ben as if he knew him and would look off to what appeared to be nowhere and smile or talk or be silly as if he was playing with someone who we couldn't see.  I have shared many times over the past few years, signs of Ben's presence but today when Lincoln called me on his way to school it was different. 

Lincoln :) 

Lincoln can be a little guy of few words and most of the words are silly, made up, or simply funny sounds; not words at all. Lincoln often lives in his own little world happy as a clam and is the sweetest little munchkin (okay, most of the time).

When my phone rang and I saw his face (Facetime*) I was surprised because Cam is usually the caller... I'm lucky if I get a 'hi, Nena" and a grunt most times from Lin.

Hillary was in the background, driving Lin to school and he says, "Nena I saw daddy in the driveway and then he disappeared!" I immediately said, 'Oh my goodness, how lucky are you' to which he responds, with an emphatic, "yeah, he was right there by mommy's car!" I believe in the power of Spirit and I believe we are all born with innate gifts and understandings of where we came from that are often pushed back in our minds or forgotten because they are not nurtured, or they are dismissed. 

Rather than telling, I prefer to ask questions so I did.
Me: Lincoln, where were you?
I was looking out the window. (He was in their living room)
Where did you see daddy?
He was in the driveway by mommy's car.
Oh my goodness how lucky are you?
Yeah Nena, then he disappeared!
He did, wow that's pretty cool! How did you know it was daddy?
Because it was... (looking at a picture of Ben Hillary keeps in her car to show me he knew what he was talking about)
Were you scared?
No, (in a sad voice) but he went invisible!
Well how exciting that you got to see him for a few minutes, what a treat!
Yeah, here's mommy...

for those of us that know Lincoln this is a major conversation, his attention span is usually pretty short for just about everything. Hillary called me right after dropping Cam so as to let him share without her putting ideas or words into his mouth or Cam getting anxious. When Lincoln first told her daddy was outside by the car she immediately went to see if indeed someone was outside which is when Lincoln told her "AWW, He went invisible". 

This is not a little boy with imaginary friends...this is a little boy who has had this gift since birth. This gift is more common than we know because often we are trained to tell our kids to only believe in what they can see. That situations such as these are imagined. This is not true.

The more I study physics/theology/religious tradition and end of physical life, the more proof I see of the separation of the life force from the physical body upon the death of the body not the death of the whole! The energy that binds our connection; binds our spirit to our bodies remains alive and lives on as an energetic presence in the multiverse not universe, we live in. 

Thank God for the Lincoln's of the world who remind us that Spirit is alive and well and living among us. Many of our SOS family have shared with me a serendipitous story of a message through a song, bird, flower, a smell or feeling of presence. For me, a ring with BEN (the only letters in the price code on the tag when we were shopping for a ring after his passing; the perfect sign that we had made the correct choice; the elderly sales clerk with tears in his eyes because of his own awe and surprise at the ability of LIFE to catch you off guard make all of this true in the richest sense.

Please, please, please! Encourage the Spirits in your life to be present and they will be and by all means lift up children who have this gift!

Divine Spirit Of LOVE!
I give you thanks for the blessing
of those who see spirit with 
the eyes of a child! 

The Spirit of God lives in and through
our children and all of us!

Peace ~ Love & a childlike vision
be with you today and always!

xo, k

Saturday, October 19, 2019

For those who grieve, loving you to the moon and back!

Between Monday and Thursday of this week I lost three patients, even in hospice this is a lot for one person's census.  On Thursday morning our state was recovering from a pretty major wind/rain storm. Many lost power and there was substantial flooding. To top it all off Ed is half way around the world and it is only the half way point to his return.

I shared with my daughter Heather, who was home with her kids due to the storm that it is most definitely a rainbow shirt day. I have a shirt with small rainbows on it that is my 'go to' shirt when I'm feeling down. 

Rainbows are not a cure-all; they can't bring people back to life, stop someone from dying and they can't change the weather. 

What rainbows can do is remind you that something beautiful can be left behind in the wake of a storm; literal or figurative!

I have suffered greatly throughout my life in many a storm, as I know most of you reading this have. 

For me, a rainbow is love!

In my faith tradition it is a gift form the Divine and a promise of continued love.

This rainbow was extra special because of the moon; the moon that was right smack dab in the center of my  rainbow as I began a new day was the same moon in the sky watching over Ed as he slept. Both Ed and I were born on full moons and we spoke for the first time on a full moon, a blue moon at that, which is a rare second full moon in the same month, and it was a Paschal moon; which is the full moon just before Easter! Ed always tells me he loves me to the moon and back....and at an incredibly sad and lonely moment I was gifted with the absolute vision of

Love you to the moon and back.....

There in no distance love can't reach!

There is no border love can't cross, including the separation that death leaves behind. 

Rainbows make me smile and bring me joy. Many friends and family have gifted me with rainbows, for which I am most grateful! At the same moment I was taking this photo, I received a loving message from a new friend who was grieving the loss of her mom (a bird lover just like me) and a glorious bird flew right through my lens as I snapped the photo with the rainbow heading toward the moon! Throughout the rest of the day every time I started to feel down, just like magic, I'd turn my head and there was another rainbow supplying me with much needed love to help me along my journey! I shared this rainbow love with a patient who was down herself in the form of a rainbow manicure and she smiled, which for her, is physically and emotionally a challenge.

Love is real and it is eternal, look for it and it will surprise you every time. On a cloudy day out of the shadows there is love and it prevails!

Todays prayer is for all who grieve; the loss of someone to death, separation because of addiction, because of travel, because of fear; that you find joy in some small way and that it grows like a seed of love planted in your heart to promote healing. 

SOS began as a gift of love to break down barriers and deepen our connection to one another through love and compassion for our individual journeys and that is exactly what it does, one rainbow at a time!

Peace, love, compassion and rainbows be with you today and always!!!

Loving all of the moon and back!!!


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Celebrating Ben's day of birth to the physical life 31 years later

Today is Ben's birthday. 31 years ago his parents welcomed their first born child into the world with innumerable hopes and dreams. I can imagine as most, presumably all of you reading this can, no one dreams of an untimely death of their child for any reason.

I don't want to talk about death, I want to celebrate life!

Bringing something to birth is starting a new life; this is true in any seed, literal or figurative that is planted.

Each and every day can be a day of birth, birth into a new way of living.

I've said it before and I will say it again and again till my physical time on this earth ends and I return to the divine energy from which I came as I believe we all do; our community of people facing addiction has come so far in the years since I was cast into it and I pray this growth will continue.

We no longer have to live in the shadows.

There is less and less shame in naming the disease.

We are accepted as people who face something terrible and terrifying on a daily basis.

Happy birthday to Ben and to you and to me and to us all, may today be a day of remembrance of our birth into life, our birth into recovery, our birth into forgiveness and our birth into acceptance.

Here's the wonderful thing about a birthday, it never stops. If something goes wrong or a relapse occurs or someone leaves the physical life as we know it, your birthday is your birthday and no one and nothing can take that away.

Buy a cake, eat a cookie or an ice-cream sundae and sing to you, your beautiful self for everyday is a celebration of all that is and always will be you!!!!!

Today's pic Kim put together to share Ben's love of the NY Giants with Cam & Lin..... for those of us Giants lovers out there, chin up every game and every season is also a chance at a new beginning! Go Giants!

May the peace that is born in the loving connections we have with each other wash over you today and always!

Safe travels with love