Tuesday, October 31, 2017

VFW Post 8874 Pilot Dream Seminar, Part 2

Posted: 31 October 2017

VFW Pilot Dream Seminar for PTSD Veterans
Week 2
VFW Post 8874, Los Alamos, NM 
(Deacon St. view)
The second dream session of our VFW Post 8874 initiative for PTSD veterans occurred on Sunday, 29 Oct. We are realizing that we are exploring new territory and that our group needs to be kept small at this stage.

Continued in Part 3

Monday, October 23, 2017

VFW Pilot Dream Workshop/Seminar at Post 8874

Posted: 23 October 2017
Updated: 31 Oct 17
VFW Post 8874, Los Alamos, NM (Trinity St. view)
On Saturday morning, 21 October 2017, a small group of VFW veterans met at Post 8874 headquarters to explore a dream workshop along the lines I had presented at an earlier business meeting. Two were Vietnam vets, others were in Iraq. I represented the Korean and Cold War.

Although excited about sharing my 30+ years of experience teaching dream workshops and seminars, I was also apprehensive. Never before had I considered dealing with PTSD nightmares of veterans until that idea was suggested by a VA social worker last spring. [See here for back story.]

After our first 2-hour meeting last Saturday, we were all pleasantly surprised by the experience, which we had set up to determine whether the process was worth continuing. It was. So, we agreed to give it six additional weeks to allow us a fair time to evaluate it and whether to offer it to other comrades. 

This thread will keep track of this pilot six-week seminar without revealing the dream content or identity of its participants, unless I am given group's express permission to do so. 

Continued in Part 2.

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.