“The Loss Of A Dream’

There’s a moment in my life that I will never forget. I was in my attorney’s office years ago going through my divorce. I was emotional and told her that it was so sad to me that the marriage was ending. What she said to me has stayed in my mind ever since:

“Yes, the marriage is ending, but you’re grieving the loss of a dream.”

And that was the best explanation I’ve ever heard… because she was right.

Every loss in life is a “grief of the loss of a dream.”

It could be the loss of the dream of losing someone we thought would be in our life forever, of losing a pet, of losing the job we love, of losing something important to us on our “bucket list.”

We all have dreams.

And when those dreams don’t come true we have to grieve the loss of them.

But please remember this: there WILL be dreams that come true.

I promise.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Grief

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“The Godfather”

I lost someone very special to me two years ago today. He was an amazing man and while I wasn’t in his life for very long, he made an impact on mine to last a lifetime. Tom Contreras was “the godfather” to me and always wanted me to write about him…and I not only wrote about him, I published his story in my last book. This is my story about “The Godfather!”

It’s not very often in this lifetime that you meet someone who makes an impact on your life, yet I met such a man who left this world too soon on a Saturday night late in December after a night spent with family and friends.  He’s my love’s cousin, Tommy Contreras, and he became one of my closest friends ever since I was introduced to him. I touched base with him by phone daily, and my love and I would “conference” call him together a few nights a week, and believe me, those calls were nothing short of belly laughs, off color jokes, and love!

I didn’t know him as long as his family, yet with Tommy you felt like you knew him a lifetime. He had a way of making you feel like you were his family and I am forever grateful to him for making me feel that way. I used to call him “the Godfather” because I could call him for advice, or even better, his opinion! He loved that title, especially belonging to a big Italian family!

He had a smile that lit up the room, and a laugh that made you laugh right along. He had an amazing singing voice and an incredible sense of humor with just the right amount of sarcasm. He had the ability to make fun of himself just to make you laugh, and he was famous for opening up a conversation with “you won’t believe what happened to me!” And then he’d proceed to tell you about the craziest things that I truly believe could only happen to him!

He was a “gentle giant” with a heart as big as the ocean and enough love to go around the world.

Tommy left too soon, yet it was an honor, privilege and a blessing to have known him, and to have been with him, surrounding him with love, as he closed his eyes and left this world.

He was my “words with friends” partner and I was finally winning! He was the “go to” guy when I needed advice about his cousin and he was my friend. I’ve been missing him, but as his family and friends all gathered together at one of his favorite restaurants in Point Pleasant, Frankie’s, two days after he passed, his presence was felt. I felt the emptiness of him not being with us, as did his family, yet the night belonged to him, filled with stories told through laughter and tears. And truth be told, his body may not have been there but his spirit and soul was. It still is.

He left a legacy to his family and to anyone lucky enough to know him and not everyone is able to do that. I don’t think he ever realized the important place he had in the lives of those who knew him; I don’t think he truly knew how much he was loved; I don’t think he understood just how much he meant to the people he met.

But I know that where he is now, he does know. And he’s smiling, he’s not in pain, he’s happy and he’s watching over all of us…even me.

I hope he knows now how much he’s missed, but more importantly, that he’s remembered with love and laughter, stories and memories. I’m absolutely sure that the immense amount of love we all have for him followed him straight up to Heaven!

I miss this man and think of him often, yet I know he’s around. I feel his presence during a family party and hear his laughter when someone tells a good old-fashioned, off color, funny joke!

He always got on my case about being in one of my books, always saying to me “I’m in the next book, right?” I always answered the same way: “yes, you will be, just waiting for the spirit to move me to writing it!”

And his spirit moved me.

I will forever be grateful to this man for allowing me the blessing of being part of his life; it was both an honor and a privilege, and I’m grateful to be part of some of those great family stories and memories now….

There are moments now that I want to call him and say “Hey, you won’t believe what happened to me!”

But I can’t.

What I can do is close my eyes, think about him and hear his voice.

Yet every so often, my heart feels a bit selfish and I can’t help but think that he should be here; he should be here to be a part of our lives, of our dreams, of our laughter and tears; he should be here with hugs at family parties and to celebrate our successes. He should be here…

But then again, I have to remind myself that he is here and always will be…in all of our hearts and all of our minds.

This one’s for you, Tom Contreras

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Tom Contreras – The Godfather

 

 

“The Thanksgiving Table”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m getting ready to bake pies, chop vegetables and make cranberry sauce. There will be seven people around my table tomorrow and I can’t help but think of the “Thanksgiving Tables” of all the years gone by.

I remember a time when there were more than 15 people around the table, and all the many others that filled the house after dinner for dessert. It was filled with my aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, my grandmother and children. It was a time of sitting together and watching old home movies, of listening to the older ones’ stories and lessons and of running around the house with the cousins.

Children grow up and move out on their own and loved ones get older and pass away. Each year there seems to be one more person missing from the table.

Only three of my five children will be at the table tomorrow. My two oldest are across the country and spending it with their significant others families. I’ll miss them terribly but I am forever grateful knowing that my other three babies will be with me.

Yet when I sit down at my “Thanksgiving Table” tomorrow I will remember those days of holidays past and I will remember the loved ones that I lost.  I will remember the laughter and the stories they told, their faces and the warmth of their embrace. I will remember their colorful personalities and their presence and importance in the family. I will remember sitting at the “kid’s table” until we reached the important age of sitting at the “big table.” It was a rite of passage to graduate to that table.

My brother used to say “I wonder who will be missing from the table next year.” I always thought that was a terrible thing to say, but he was right and it taught me to embrace each holiday and each day with the people in my life because life truly is short. I’m learning that lesson more and more as I get older. I don’t look at the table and wonder which chair will be empty next year but look at the table filled with the blessings of family, of love, and of laughter. It’s a day of making memories and we carry those memories in our hearts forever. We may lose a loved one, but we can never lose the memories of them.

There may be only seven people at my table tomorrow but I will be seeing much more than that. I’ll be seeing all the “Thanksgiving Tables” of my past and the people that once surrounded it. And for that, I will be grateful.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Life Is Like The Great Outdoors”

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Life is about perspective and I have become the queen of analogies lately. Some call it a defense mechanism, I call it survival; it’s my way of taking the ugly and finding some beauty in it.

I’ll admit, the month of March was not so good for me; losing loved ones, feeling so drained that I got sick, not once, but twice, and any bad news that could filter it’s way into my life came in the month of March. It’s no wonder I’m celebrating April 1st today!

This morning I was speaking to my girlfriend who’s had a bit of a rough go lately. Sheoutdoors 1 was feeling down and not knowing what to do to get out of her head and this funk she was in. She told me that she felt like she had to get a hold of her life, get hold of a line of it. I tried to reassure her that this too will pass and then I said to her: “Go fishing. Go stand at the edge of the river and throw in your line. Look at that hook that’s out in the water and see it as your life. Gently reel it in, keeping a firm hold on it. And there you go, you’re reeling it your life that you felt got away from you.”

She laughed but also understood the analogy. Sometimes our life can feel like “the one that got away,” yet when we feel that we all we have to do it go fishing, be patient, and reel it in…and this one “won’t get away.”

I have my own analogy for letting go of toxic people in my life; I say that I’m going “gardening.” I look at the difficult process of letting some people go as one of “weeding out” the toxic people, or “weeds” as I like to think. So, I envision a beautiful garden which represents all those I love and that are in my life for my Highest Good. When I notice a weed in my garden, I know it’s time to pull it out. After all, it’s the weeds that choke out the flowers.

My favorite analogy is one I use often to help my friends out: it’s about the fear of taking 999383-002a leap of faith. I tell them to envision themselves on a cliff, looking out and over a beautiful ocean or endless mountain range. I tell them to see everything that is beautiful and good, and to pick a spot to land. That spot is what or where they want to be or have in life that fear is preventing them from having. Once they find the spot, I tell them to jump…jump off the cliff, knowing that you’re protected by a parachute or bungee cord of faith, and that the arms of love will be there to catch you. It’s an incredible leap of faith, but one that you can do if you change your perspective on it and lose that fear.

Sometimes on your worst of days you have to try to envision it as something else; change your perspective, make it a picture in your mind, or just head to “the great outdoors” for a little fishing and a bit of gardening. End it with strapping on your parachute of faith and take that jump…

It’s worth it; I promise.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“My Voice Is In My Writing”

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There’s so much in my heart right now and so many thoughts in my head. I want to talk to someone and let it all out, yet it seems lately that no one wants to listen. No one wants to hear my thoughts and feelings, no one wants to hear my truth. I need to ramble, to vent, to let it all out, yet it’s all tucked inside me and it’s driving me crazy.

Talking to someone is my way of figuring things out; what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking and why. Talking helps me to get it out and hear it in a new perspective; talking to someone allows them to be a gift that I need at times: a different perspective or a voice of reason.

Yet no one is listening and I find myself literally drowning in my own thoughts, in my own heartache. I find myself feeling alone and unable to feel love or happiness. Losing two loved ones in a short amount of time last month had a profound affect on me. I always appreciate each new day that life has to offer, yet when a life is suddenly taken and you’re not ready for it and didn’t see it coming, it certainly changes you.

And it changed me.

I’m sure the changes are temporary, but lately I’m not sure…I’m not sure of anything. What I need most right now is a listening ear and someone who can allow me the time to heal, the time to figure this all out, and who can do it with love and compassion.

I’m a strong person and I’ve been through worse than this, but something is different this time and I can’t seem to put my finger on it. I’m a spiritual person who understands death and knows that all these emotions are simply things coming to the surface; that this was all meant to happen this way and at this time.

There’s a lesson coming from all of it and I know I can’t rush it along. I know I need to be patient and realize that this journey I’m on now is leading me to another chapter in my life, one that will be different and better.

I know  in my heart that it’s not just the loss of two loved ones that is causing this; it’s so much bigger than that and so much more.

I’m standing outside of myself as a spectator, observing all that is and isn’t in my life right now. I’m understanding that I have put so much time and effort in to loving those in my life that I forgot to love myself as well. And I know to my toes that in order for someone to love me the way I need to be loved, I have to love myself that way first.

One of the greatest blessings of being a writer is just this: that when my voice can’t be heard, it can be read in what I write. When no one wants to listen to me, someone may want to read about me. My words are my heart and soul, whether they’re spoken or written, yet I know they need to speak out loud.

But they can’t.

Not right now.

Not until someone thinks I’m worthy and important enough to listen to, and not until I know that I am.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

balance my darling

 

“Under The Tree – Just Me”

under the tree uncle bobI sit here this morning alone  with my coffee while all my loved ones are asleep, thinking to myself that I can’t wait for this month of March to be over. I lost a very close friend two weeks ago and last night I lost my “favorite” uncle. It seems that throughout my life this month of March has brought pain and heartache, and sadly, I have the proof to back it up. Anyone who knows me will joke and say to me”ugh, it’s that month of March for you.” And so it is, and so I try every year to change it. This year has been a tough one, and this morning I’m grieving and my heart is hurting.

I  hadn’t heard from my close friend, Rosamond, in almost two weeks, so my love and I trekked over to her house, only to find that the car hadn’t been moved and the house was locked up. I came home, called the local police and received the phone call I was dreading an hour later: they found her in her home, and she had passed away.

She was just 70 years old, but one of my closest friends and my greatest spiritual teacher. She was the one who introduced me to this amazing circle of “Angel” people that have been my teachers as well. I miss her everyday and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the phone to call her…yet she’ll never answer.

Last night I received a call from my cousin on the West Coast. He called to tell me my most favorite uncle had lost his battle to brain cancer. I knew it was coming but I wasn’t ready to

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My “favorite uncle” with his “favorite niece.”

know it. He was just 68 years old and a man that had a life of love and passion, excitement and adventure. No matter what life handed him, including cancer, he made the best of it. I’d love to believe that this part of him is part of me.

I’m feeling the loss so deeply this morning, yet I also believe that when someone passes we can still hear them…and sometimes still feel them. I’m grieving at the loss of the physical touch and the sound of their voice.

This morning I’m sitting quietly outside while the rest of my house is asleep; I’m sitting under my “magic tree,” which hasn’t yet bloomed, but it’s still magic. It’s under this tree that I wrote a poem which turned into a song by the same name; it’s under this tree that I can hear my loved ones on the other side; I can hear their reassurance of them being okay and that I will be too; I hear them whisper “I love you and always will” to me; I hear them that they take our love for them with them and that their love for us will always be a part of us; and I hear them assure me that they will always be with me, and that all I need is to speak to them, and they will listen and answer.

It’s this belief that helps me grieve and heal and brings me a sense of peace that while their physical body may be gone, their spiritual soul lives on. And it lives on in me.

Today I remember Rosamond, and I wish my Uncle Bob well on his travels to the other side, knowing he’ll be whole, he’ll be healthy, and he’ll be carrying all our love with him.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~”

*I wrote this song over a year ago and today I dedicate it to my “favorite uncle,” my Uncle Bobby and to my dear friend, Rosamond

 

“Breaking Apart”

break apart 2We’ve all broken apart at one time or another in our lives. We may have endured a broken heart, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or the brokenness of a good friend showing their true colors. Whatever the reason, it’s caused us to “break apart.”

I’ve had my heart broken, endured cancer, gone through divorce, and been hurt by people who I thought were my friends. I’ve been broken many times, yet through it all I learned that all these moments that “broke” me were all lessons I needed to learn. I learned to take the pain of each moment that broke me apart and make peace with it; I learned to be grateful for them because it taught me something about myself and my life that was for my Highest Good; I learned to see it as a blessing in disguise.

So what do you do when you break apart? How do you get through it all? You make a choice. You make a choice to put the pieces back together, and you put them back together stronger. It’s the lessons you learn through them that enable you to put them back differently; stronger, smarter and tougher.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll never “break apart” again, but what it does mean is that the next time you’re faced with a “breaking apart” moment, you’ll be able to handle it differently. You’ll handle it even better. And the time it takes to put the pieces back together get’s shorter and shorter…and that’s because you learned a lesson from each of those moments.

Life is all about perspective and if you can learn to embrace those “breaking apart” moments as a gift towards you having the life you deserve, then you will understand that those moments aren’t forever…just for the time it takes for you to understand the lesson.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“The Heart Of A Woman”

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“A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.”  ~excerpt from Titanic~

I love the movie, “Titanic,” and every time I watch it there seems to be another message jumping out at me…and today is no exception.

A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets, yet it’s not secrets of lies or deception. It’s secrets of emotion and longing, of wanting and yearning, of love and of pain. It’s secrets of protection and secrets of loyalty; it’s secrets that protect the ones she loves and secrets that break her heart.

A woman’s heart is as fragile as glass and as strong as steel. It has the power to heal and the power to help. It controls her mind and nourishes her soul. It’s the most important thing we as women possess, yet it can also be the most dangerous. It’s our heart that knows the answers long before our mind does.

Our heart holds our secrets; it holds the pain we feel and keep hidden from those around us. It holds our dreams of the future and our memories of the past; it holds all that we want but are too afraid to ask for. It holds every detail of every moment and every picture that our heart has ever taken. It holds the pain of loss and the healing of grief. It holds both tears of joy and tears of sadness.

It holds the secrets we keeps hidden from the world so that we can be present in each day. It holds the secrets of our past so that we can move forward. It holds the secrets of our future so we can still dream. It holds the secrets of each day so that we can move onto the next one.

A woman’s heart holds her soul because a woman’s heart IS her soul.

“A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets” because it holds  all that we were, all that we are, and all that we hope to become.

Wishing you love and light,

~~Anne Dennish~

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Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright @2017

“The Man In The Moon”

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It’s amazing what you can see when you look at the moon; it’s amazing what you can see when you allow yourself to believe in something bigger than facts and reality. It’s amazing to understand that there is life after death, and even more amazing to hear and feel your loved ones after they’ve passed.

It’s a gift to believe, and a gift of comfort, yet for some, if not most, fear prevents those very things we need to feel that comfort from coming in. Fear keeps us in the facts, unable to fathom that there is a spiritual world and spiritual realm outside of that. Fear of the opinion of others’ thinking we’re crazy because we can see and feel things that they can’t keeps the door from the other side closed, when in reality, we want to keep it open.

So we start with baby steps; we open it a crack. We want to see and believe, but we want proof. And trust me, proof is there, but it’s the programming of our human mind that tells us it couldn’t be so.

But it is…it is absolutely so.

I’ve lost many people I’ve loved throughout the years, and two in particular in the last few months. Did I cry over their passing? Absolutely. I cried at MY loss, not theirs. I believe that the other side, which I believe to be Heaven, is the place where they are whole, they are young, and they are not in pain. Why would I cry over them being in a better place? Why? Because I miss them; their passing changed my daily routine and changed my life; it left a void in my life and an ache in my heart. I miss them because I want them here. I want their voice, I want their touch, I want their human connection.

But the human connection is gone, and thanks to my many spiritual teachers throughout my life, I’ve learned that while a human connection is personal, a spiritual connection is even stronger, and will last until our last breath. A spiritual connection means that they know the answers to the questions; they have our back as our guardian angel; they see us all the time and come to visit at the times we need them most; and that their love for us was made stronger on the other side because of our love for them here. Love is the strongest emotion there is, the one that gives us strength; the one that fills us with light; the one that can never be taken away. Love is truly all we need.

On the other side we don’t need to call on them, they always know when to come. They come through our dreams, our thoughts, our memories; a familiar smell or favorite song; they come through a laugh and they come through a smile; they can even come in the moon and the stars, the ocean and the mountains. It’s your love here on earth that keeps them connected to you in heaven. Love never dies with a body; love lives on within the soul.

The messages of loved ones can be heard when you can still your mind and believe that when you hear them, it’s truly them speaking. When you feel a random touch, it’s them. When a tear rolls down your face thinking of them, it is they who dry it. When you feel scared and lonely and miss them so deeply, it is them that brings you a memory to think about to lessen your loneliness.

Talk to them; listen to them; feel them and love them. Miss them all you want, because they understand, yet they want you to know that they’re okay, and that you will be too. Love isn’t meant to be painful; love is meant to bring joy and peace. They understand your missing them, but they also know it’s through missing them that you talk about the memories, and that is what keeps them alive. That is what keeps their spirit alive, and it’s their spirit that you carry within you. On earth they were in your presence; in heaven they’re in your soul.

I’ve seen the man in the moon with his silly smile, his loving eyes and his tilted glasses on his nose; I’ve seen the woman in the stars with her arms stretched out to hold me; I’ve heard my friends in the sunrise and the sunset with their voice of reason and tone of reassurance; I’ve felt the touch of my loved ones as a gentle breeze blew through me.

I’ve seen them all and they were all at peace.

And they wrapped me in all the love they have for me…now and forever.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Lyrics by Anne Dennish – Music and Vocals by Sutton Thomas 2016

“Under The Tree”

I wanted to share the latest song by Sutton Thomas and myself called “Under The Tree.” It’s a song based on the poem I wrote in my book “Waking Up,” and is about hearing the voices of our loved ones that have passed.

We’ve all experienced the loss of a loved one at one time or another in our life, and I’m no exception. Yet my belief is that the love we had lives on through us, and that all of us are still connected with them through spirit.

Yes, the physical body may be gone, but I believe that their soul lives on, in and around us… if we only take the time to listen.

This poem was born on a day that I was sitting under a tree at my grandmother’s grave. The sun was shining and a slight breeze was blowing through the tree, and it was quiet. It was in that silence that the breeze seemed to be carrying the voices of not just my grandmother, but all those that I loved who had passed.

I believe that love transcends everything, and that those who love us most who have passed will always be with us, watching over us and protecting us. Love never dies. The physical body may be gone, yet the soul is with us always. Close your eyes, still your mind, and listen with your heart…they’re always there waiting for you.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~