Hi! My name is Abigail. I finished my mortal mission in a little spec of eternity you call July 2013.
Now I'm in the Spirit World and can help my family and friends (that's everyone) from this side of the veil. Some people get a little uneasy talking about "talking spirits" or "ghosts" but I'm here to tell you we're not scary. My body died, but I'm still alive. My body was destroyed and really needed a break, but I'll have it again soon. You'll have to trust me on the issue of timing. It won't be long, promise.
A month before I came here, my mommy was holding me and I told her "I will keep you forever." It took her by surprise that I came up with that on my own, but I knew what I was saying. I reinforced it later a few times by telling her, "I will keep you forever in my world, " and "I will keep you forever in my life". I meant exactly what I said.
This little piece of world wide web is a place my mom can continue to write and record her feelings--her progress, I like to call it. I know it's helping a few of you, too.
Remember who you are--really are--and that many of us are excited to see you all again, too. Eternity is a very long time and I have to keep reminding my mom "I will keep you forever".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Prayers for Brooke

I normally post first on Abigail's Carepage site and then copy the post here, but Carepages isn't letting me post!! Rather than wait till a technician helps me figure it out, I'm going straight to this blog because the prayers are needed.



Last week I posted on Carepages requesting prayers for my friend Brooke, and something went awry and it didn't post! And so now we have a week of prayers to make up for, my friends.

Sweet Brooke has been diligently fighting her neuroblastoma for 4 years solid, since her diagnosis 4 years ago yesterday. Last week they received bad news that her cancer had progressed again, despite a new, hopeful treatment they were trying in Houston. The Hester family is back in Michigan now for another biopsy and treatment, and I'd like to invite you to pray for them.

You can also mail cards to Brooke at

Renucci Hospitality House
c/o Brooke Hester
100 Michigan St MC 172
Grand Rapids MI 49503

You can read about Brooke and her story at her caringbridge site
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/brookehester/journal

I know I have been fairly quiet lately. We are living life. Our new life, and all that that entails. I recently had a few experiences that gave me pause, and once I figure it out in my own little brain, I'll share them here. Thank you for your love, compassion, and prayers.

FAITH.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's About Time! I'm "Moving On!" (originally posted 1/27/14)

I needed to read this again, and realized it's not here on this blog. So I'm adding it now. It's about time!


In my posts here on CarePages I have been very open, especially since Abigail's death. I wanted to show people that it's okay to grieve, because you can still stay close to Heavenly Father and still grieve.


I know that being open in public makes me vulnerable, and so I wasn't really surprised when someone disagreed with something I said. I don't expect everyone that reads my writings to agree or understand. But if I condense what was said to me, it was "You are grieving the wrong way."

This happened a while ago. What was said to me didn't necessarily hurt me, and I don't think often about it, but it's made me hesitant to post. Last night I wanted to post, but didn't.

Last night I was thinking of this before I went to bed. I had a dream (I usually can't remember my dreams!) and in it, I was missing Abigail and crying just a little bit. I walked into a home I know well and there was a group of people I know well sitting inside. They all saw me and saw the tear on my cheek. The feeling that emanated from them was "Poor girl. She is still lost and hasn't found peace." I didn't want their pity and inaccurate judgment. I turned around and walked out.

This morning I decided to continue being honest and open. I am not writing just to the person who mentioned my grief. I'm writing to address the concept of dwelling, remembering, moving on, and other such terms.

I know people won't always agree. That is normal; I accept that.

I know people won't always understand where I'm coming from. That is normal; I accept that.

I know I don't know everything! That is normal, and of course I accept that. I accept correction. I accept disagreement. I accept that being falsely judged is a really unpleasant thing to go through.

Because I realize and accept those things, I will continue to write. And Heaven knows I'll continue to grieve.

About the same time this was said to me, a friend of mine had a similar experience. Her daughter died almost 2 years ago, and recently after one of the mom's updates, she received a comment to one of her posts. With her permission, I quote it:

“I know your heart and mind mean well, but [do] you think that [your daughter] wanted you to dwell on the past? No, I don't think she would have wanted that. Get help with your grieving.
Anonymous”

The mother responded beautifully and with kindness, saying among other good things that remembering is not dwelling.

People, generally with good intention albeit very misguided, say "move on." That insinuates another message, even though unspoken--a message of "put it behind you, it's in the past, stop thinking about it. Stop letting it affect your life so much."

The problem--the very, very big problem--is that I will never forget my child. I cannot move on from her, put her behind me, stop remembering her, or no longer let her affect my life. She CHANGED me.

Remember President Hinckley's multiple comments that we should never forget the pioneers and the trials they faced? For those unfamiliar with the story, I'll summarize it for you: Two handcart companies of Latter-day Saints left Iowa City to walk to Utah in July 1856. Their handcarts had been built quickly, with green (not dried) wood, so many broke down and caused a lot of delays. They had trouble with unfriendly Indians. Attempting to lighten their loads and move faster, they discarded extra clothing and bedding. There was sickness. At times there was no water. They were then caught in an early and severe winter storm. There was shortage of food. Extreme hardship. Over 200 members of these two handcart companies died before they reached Salt Lake City. And President Hinckley has said that we should CONTINUE to read their stories and learn from their examples of faith.

Just because we remember lives and struggles from "the past" does not mean we are not living in the present and planning for the future! There is wisdom from looking in the past. There is opportunity for growth and change by looking in the past. We must also look to the future. The very big key as I see it, is that if you look either in the past or in the future with the wrong mind frame, then you are in trouble. But if you look in the past and in the future with the right perspective, it can bring growth, hope, and increased faith.

Last October Elder Edward Dube gave a wonderful talk entitled, "Look Ahead and Believe." In it, he quoted Elder Jeffrey R. Holland who said, "The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that *(italics) faith is always pointed toward the future*" ("The Best is Yet to Be, Ensign", January 2010).

At the ultimate of all examples was a man who's life changed the world. And we are supposed to THINK of Him EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. We are supposed to let His life "in the past" be so present in our lives, that it changes us.

I understand there are also natural-man ways to dwell in the past; where Satan can manipulate feelings to a fault and prevent growth and keep us locked from using the past to better our future. This is a tricky and difficult situation. Why?

Because who is to say if that has really happened to someone? Who wants to be the judge of others? Have you walked in their shoes, lived in their brain? How on earth do we ever have the right or audacity to judge whether or not someone is dwelling in the past "correctly" or "incorrectly"? Correctly based against what? Compared to whom? You? Me? We are all unique. We are all unique and have different lives. As President Uchtdorf so eloquently said, "STOP IT." Stop judging.

What may look to others as dwelling in the past may be that person's hardest trial of their life--and we are telling them to move on? To stop remembering or dwelling like WE think is the right way? Ouch. Super ouch.

Imagine what it would be like if collectively as a people we were able to replace our ideas of how things should be or our judgments of others with
compassion (1 Peter 3:8)
pure love,
and patience, gentleness, and kindness unfeigned?

How healing would that world be?!? If someone WAS struggling with the natural-man way of dwelling in the past, I could think of no better way for them to learn and grow through it than for Christ-like love to be continually poured out to them. And conversely, how good for the lives and hearts of those able to provide that love and support.

Someone gave me a wonderful analogy of labor and delivery. I'm going to include pregnancy as well.
I do not carry a pregnancy like you do.
You do not labor like I do.
We do not deliver the same way, with the same exact thoughts or emotions. We are not all living the same labor.

Do not judge my labor because it is not like yours. Recognize that even if I speak of Abigail for the next 60 years, that is MY labor. Don't automatically assume that living with "the past" in mind is strictly and solely a negative thing. I do believe Christ himself would wage an argument against that mentality.

Abigail's life is not equivalent to our Savior. Please don't misunderstand. It is the principle of "remembering" that I am talking about.

I guess to simplify it, there are different kinds of "moving on." I won't--I can't--move on like I used to because I simply am not the same person. I will--and can--move on as I am now. As I am now INCLUDES recognizing pain and death, it includes acknowledging grief, it includes being changed in how I act and think, it includes thinking about my baby girl and learning from the pain she suffered, it includes talking about her and her life. I pick all of that up (because really, it's the scoop out of my blue and I can't very well leave it behind) and as Elder Holland said, we bring it with us and carry on with faith.

I've thought long and hard and prayed to know if I should even post this. Many of you will understand it, some won't. That's normal, and that's okay. We are all unique.

I love all of you. I am grateful for the support and love you show me. I hope this sheds a little light on a tender subject and inspires all of us to continue being kind, compassionate, and non-judgmental.
And to carry on in
Faith.