Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wise Counsel from Old Friend

Posted: 7 October 2017

Dr. Joseph Dillard
In response to my previous post regarding the tragic death of my granddaughter, long-time good friend Joseph Dillard sent a compassionate practical personal message to my FaceBook account. It was so timely and relevant that I want to post it below. 

He refers to me as "the family patriarch" to which I wince, since I do not believe most of my family accepts me in that role, especially my LDS daughter or my LDS younger brother. Nevertheless, I will alert my family to this wise counsel.
Dear Eugene, As the family patriarch you need to emphatically insist that all of your family members get family counseling, not primarily for grief, although that is important, but for suicide prevention. I know just going to counseling is a big step for a lot of people; present it to the parents as familiarizing their children with that resource in case they or some other family need it. I highly recommend a non-sectarian counselor, simply because doctrinal allegiances can get much in the way of hearing people. I would recommend someone trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. Suicide creates a real possibility within families and it can go from generation to generation, as you have seen. Love you, my brother.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Granddaughter Tina is gone.

Posted: Friday, 6 October 2017
Updated: Saturday, 7 Oct 17

Tina and family (April 2017)
On Tuesday evening, October 3, I received a tearful call from my only daughter, Katya. She was in shock: her daughter Tina had just taken herself out! No one saw it coming.

On Thursday, two days later, Katya wrote:
Two days seems like an eternity to me today. That's when I found out that my beautiful, remarkable, phenomenal, talented, determined daughter Tina Johnson Scott left us to finally be at peace with her Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. My heart is shattered. I love her and my other precious children with all my heart. I miss her so much! I pray for her dear husband and our beautiful granddaughters as well as our whole family, as she leaves a gaping hole in the family and the world. It breaks my heart at so many levels. I have so many regrets as a mother, but I believe deeply in forgiveness, repentance, and The Plan of Salvation and Happiness, so it gives me solace. I am deeply grateful for the many people who have generously reached out and provided the help necessary for Annie and myself to go to Nashville for the family gathering and services. Annie and her 4 children are currently living with us so it was no small miracle. I keep hoping I'll wake up from this nightmare and see another text from her or hear her delightful voice telling me "It's me, your favorite child!" again. She was such a tremendous example to me. I am privileged to be her mother, and I cherish the thought and deep knowledge that I will see her again and give her great big hugs. Her services will be held in Mt Juliet TN on Sunday (viewing) and Monday (Funeral).

I, too, was shocked and wondered what I could say to Katya and her family. At the suggestion of my youngest son, who counseled me to "just let it flow", I managed to write:
Dear daughter and your (our) family. There is no earthly way I can begin to express my shock, surprise and bewilderment about Tina's passing. I harken back to when we lost your younger brother Ivan in a similar way 20+ years ago. It was incomprehensible to lose my very bright son at age 35, just under Tina's age now. You remember how our family came together at that time and how the tears flowed but also how the laughter miraculously came into our mourning that extraordinary week we were all together. We told each other the truth of how we really felt and what we thought at that time. No way we could be phony with each other. Prior to Ivan's passing many of us were not talking to each other for what became irrelevant reasons during those magical, wondrous hours and days. All I can offer now amid this most recent family tragedy is that we stay alert to our dreams and be willing to share them with each other. Do you remember that Ivan began showing up in my dreams and those of at least two of your other brothers? Especially your brother who felt the most guilt and responsibility for Ivan's decision. Ivan came as not only a helper, but a teacher for your brother who was struggling with a college class he needed to pass for his work. Ivan also rescued me during an impasse in my own work. I would be surprised if Tina does not reach out in subtle ways to you, my dear daughter, and to Troy and to her two so-vulnerable beautiful daughters. I implore you all not to ignore your dreams now. The veil between here and where Tina is now is thinner than you might suppose. Let us all look through our grief and into wondrous new ways of comfort, understanding and enlightenment. Dad, g'pa and great-g'pa.

An hour or so later Katya replied:
Excellent counsel, Dad. That gathering and what happened there is part of what holds me together now. And the phenomenal number of people who are reaching out and sharing their love and wonderful memories of her magnificent influence in their lives. Everyone loved her. I'm confident she will reach beyond the grave and positively influence many.
Later today my cousin Igor in Ukraine wrote: 
Дорогие Катя, Женя и все родственники. Примите наши искренние соболезнования в связи с тяжелой утратой-преждевременным уходом из нашего мира дорогой Тины.Очень горько терять своих близких любимых, особенно когда они молоды.Упокой Господь её душу.Будьте все благословенны.С любовью, Игорь, Родион, Наташа, Вика.
Dear Katya, Zhenya and all our relatives. Please accept our sincere condolences in connection with the premature and heavy loss-departure from our world of dear Tina. It's very hard to lose loved ones, especially when they are young. God rest her soul. Be all blessed. With love, Igor, Rodion, Natasha, Vika.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Helping Veterans with PTSD Nightmares, Part 6

Posted: 9 September 2017

 VA Clinic in Espanola, NM
On Thursday (9/7) I again visited the Veterans Administration clinic in Espanola to meet with the social worker mentioned in Part 1 of this blog thread. She was surprised and pleased with what has happened since. She told me again about two PTSD veterans who were interested in my dream work and whom she would call again to put us in touch. She then wanted to know more about my relationship with my aforementioned brother (in Part 1) and also with my own children, which I was pleased to discuss.

In encouraging me to continue this new PTSD veteran initiative, she observed that I had two advantages that non-veteran VA therapists and social workers do not have. She said: 1) being a PTSD veteran yourself allows you to move more quickly in building trust with other vets; 2) most important, because you have refused to allow your own PTSD to define you over the years, you are in a better position to enable other vets to be released from their own PTSD suffering. 

I left her office with renewed motivation.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Presenting Dream Workshop at IASD 2017 Conference

Event: 19 June 2017
Updated: 14 Sep 17

I feel fortunate to have been able to present a dream workshop to the 2017 International Association for the Study of Dreams in Anaheim, California. The last IASD conference I had attended was in 1993 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was not confident enough in those days to present my own work to this august body except to sing the opening song ("Beautiful Dreamer") at the invitation of the 1993 incoming president, whom I had known previously. 

Thanks to the generosity of my nephew Jim Wood, who lives and works in Anaheim, he both financed and facilitated my presentation. 

Here is the first of the 3-part YouTube video of the workshop, which Jim filmed. As before in 1993, I begin with a song in order to make an emotional connection before getting to rational stuff. "Experience first; explain later" is our motto.

14 Sep 17: See photos below of the 10 page handout that accompanied this workshop. (Click on each photo to enlarge)

Page 1. Schedule for Dream Workshop
Page 2. The Questions and Patterns
Page 3. Shifting the Cultural Paradigm
Page 4. Principles, Assumptions, Attitudes and Belief of CREEI
Page 5. CREEI Cumulative Scan (blank spreadsheet)
Page 6. CREEI Scan of Helen Schucman (1965 dreams)
Page 7. CREEI Scan of Wilford Woodruff (life time dreams)
Page 8. CREEI Pilot Example #1
Page 9. CREEI Pilot Example #2
Page 10. Group Wholeness

Note: to be continued (when I figure out how to better present the figures below)
Page 1 of 10

Page 2 of 10


Friday, September 1, 2017

Helping Veterans with PTSD Nightmares, Part 5

Posted: 1 September 2017

With Los Alamos VFW Post 8874 Commander Anaya

Last night (8/31) at the local VFW post, I met with CMDR Anaya to develop a strategy on how to proceed with local veterans, who suffer from PTSD nightmares. 

On the whiteboard in the background of the above selfie, you can see Anaya's "CREEI score" of a combat event that occurred when he was a Marine leader in Iraq. Since he couldn't remember a dream on the spot during our conversation, I asked for an actual event that we could demonstrate the usefulness of the 12 CREEI questions. "Experience first, explain later", I had suggested in acquainting him with the simple questionnaire. The event he chose to consider clearly scores "traumatic", regarding the four typical patterns the CREEI process has identified. [1. Transformational; 2. Motivational; 3. Anticipatory; 4. Traumatic] This was good enough, he got it!

With that introductory experience in mind, Anaya suggested we begin a pilot seminar with older local veterans who have more flexible schedules, such as those from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He will call me when he has made arrangements with vets he knows and then decide on when to meet on a regular basis for 4 to 6 weeks.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Jesus and the Near-Death Experience

Event: 27 August 2017
Updated: 31 Aug 17

Roy Hill's second book on NDE events

At our August IANDS-Los Alamos meeting where Dr. Roy Hill presents his newest book on NDE events 

Early dinner at Gabriel's New Mexican Restaurant in nearby Pojoaque, following Roy Hill's presentation.