Gems 6.76

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤


Photo by Picmonkey.

“Some people take a lot of light with them when they go, yet seem to leave things brighter nonetheless.”

-Jim Beaver, Life’s → That Way 

Today’s post is dedicated to a beautiful lady named Carole whom we called “LeoLady” on  She left us last month.  We’ve been celebrating her life for three weeks, reading, in her words, about her acts of loving-kindness for her friends, students, and more often than not, “strangers” or “almost strangers” as she called them in one post.  She speaks to my heart.  This is exactly what I want my life to look like when  I am strong enough to do my work all day, every day, and peaceful enough to do it with all the love in my heart.

There will be a new 21-Day “Celebrating LeoLady” in two months beginning on Carole’s birthday (in July) and then once a year on her birthday after that.  All are welcome.  Celebrating LeoLady2.

In case you missed it during our #grief week, if you are grieving during this pandemic and have no way to assemble to mourn; or if you are simply grieving for any reason and you want to find a way to celebrate your loved one and bring their light to everyone you know, I am available to help you.  It is a virtual-only service.  Here’s my Simbi blurb about it:  21 Day Celebration (Memorial). You can supply the story, pix, graphics, and quotes, or you can leave that up to me. I would just need to ask some basic questions and I can help you with the technical aspects of hosting too.  This was the 31st 21-day virtual gathering I’ve hosted since 2015.

I have a lot of experience with grief rituals. I learned how much they helped my children when we lost our little one, Sara, in 1995.  More on that here:   One Woman’s Story.

Rituals are important.  They are doors to a new life, paths to healing, a place of connection, a way to let go, or to never let go but to grow strong enough to hold on.  It is all a very personal journey. In my country alone, we have lost nearly 100,000 people.  That’s 100,000 families that need to mourn.  Yet death and grief and mourning are rarely spoken about.

In the Japanse culture, the nōkanshi prepares the loved one ritualistically for burial. It is an act of deep love and compassion.  The nōkanshi is a stranger to the family, but they prepare and hold this sacred space for the families to mourn.  That is what I am offering in a sense; not a physical space, but a sacred one of gathering nonetheless.

This week, as you’ve probably guessed, features quotes from Jim Beaver’s book, Life’s That Way →.  He is one of my favorite actors and he is a gifted and inspirational writer who tells it like it is.  The book is hard to read because it is about a great struggle, about grief mixed in with the joy. Yet reading it has helped me.  More about that here if you care to read it:  Haiku for You, Mariana.

Anything that helps us remember that we are not walking through life  (“…That Way →”) alone, is a light-filled gem to me and so needed.  I hope you think so too.



Newsletter Video 2.13: #support

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. ♡
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Movement Memorial

This is a special post today with a special announcement.  Our under1000skies on Facebook page is now linked on Facebook to our other page there, Running-for-Joy5k.  This year marks the 9th year since we began.  The story of Joy is here, “Joy” as well as on the Facebook page.

running for joy collage

The 9th Annual Running-for-Joy5k
Saturday and Sunday, December 28-29, 2019
Barnegat Light, NJ / USA -and- Worldwide

☼ New This Year ☼
This year we’ll be carrying the names of friends who lost loved ones and the names of those they lost. We’re posting the event early this year to give everyone a chance to write their name, and the name(s) of the loved one(s) they want to celebrate, in the comments below.

☼ Date Is Tentative ☼
The date is tentative. We still need to hear from other Team Members. We hope to stay again at Minerva’s By the Sea in Barnegat Light. If you plan to travel to Barnegat Light, we highly recommend their establishment. (Link in comments) We set the time for 9AM on Saturday, December 28th until 3PM Sunday, December 29th. That way, if you are able to get down the shore that weekend, we can join you any time during those two days.

☼ Run/Walk/Movement Memorial Anywhere. ☼
It’s not necessary to be in Barnegat Light to join this event. As in past years, anyone anywhere can honor Joy where you are. We’re so incredibly grateful to all the friends who have made the time to do that over the years.

☼ You don’t have to walk or run a 5k or a mile to participate. ☼
We do this because Joy was the athlete and runner. We aren’t, at least not yet. But, we live in hope and train in hope again this year too. In the past few years due to illness and injury, Micky hasn’t been able to walk even the 1 mile. Being there, however, on the beach close to where Joy’s ashes were scattered, was enough to feel close to her. So walking/running isn’t necessary to join us. There are so many ways to honor Joy, and the joy of someone you loved and lost — lighting a candle, saying a prayer — anything that you feel moved to do is a gift to us and a path toward healing the grief.

☼ Your Movement Memorial ☼
You are very welcome to submit your name and a loved one’s name to be carried during this event. You can come back as often as you think of someone or hear a story perhaps that touches your heart. Just post your first name and theirs in the comments below with a picture if you like. Or, you can send us a message if you wish to keep it anonymous. We’ll carry those names privately.

☼ Birthday Memorials ☼
So many of us have had to say goodbye to a beloved family or friend much too soon. This event has really helped us, since the first, to honor Joy every year on her birthday. You are welcome, also, to include your loved one’s birthday in your comment (just month/day). If you do, we’ll make sure to celebrate their life on our page every year on their birthday.

☼ Samples ☼
Here’s a sample of how to submit your loved one’s name to be carried this year for the 9th Annual Running-for-Joy.

Your name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Joy
Birthday: 12/26
Photo (optional*): Attached.

mick and joy

*If you prefer not to post a photo, think about posting a photo of something that was important to your loved one. In the space next to photo, you can write something about the photo you are posting.

I posted three examples on our Event’s page.

Your name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Joe
Birthday: August 15th.
Photo: This is a photo of me and my dad, Joe. He was 92 when he died seven years ago. He was my heart-dad, so not related by blood, but connected since age 5 by love. I miss him every day.

me and daddy


Your name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Samuel
Birthday: September 14th.
Photo: This is a poem I wrote for my son after he died in my 7th month of pregnancy. The painting in the collage is by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I don’t know the name of the photographer for the necklace photo. I feel him with me, always.

for samuel, goodbye

Your Name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Joanne
Birthday: July 3rd.
Photo: This is a photo of a memorial I wrote for Joanne when she died a few years ago from a stroke. I’ll ask her children if I can post her photo or if they wish to.




Here’s a template you can cut and paste:

Your name:
Your loved one’s name:
Birthday (optional)
Photo (optional):

Wishing you joy every day in 2019. May the beautiful memories we hold of the loved ones we miss so much bring us comfort, every single day.

The Running-for-Joy Team

“Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them.” George Elliot

☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.