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Our Journey

I know that as hard as this letter is for me to write, it is just as hard for you to read.  Let me start by wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

If you are reading this letter it means you know at least one member of our family.  I would like to thank you for being so kind and understanding to us over the last several months.  I know that sometimes it is not easy to say what is in your hearts but I know.  It may have come in the form of a look, a hug, a pat on the back, a letter, a phone call, a shed tear, or a good deed.  It is compassion.  I know you truly care about our family.   Thank you so much.  We ask that you keep us in your prayers, you are in ours.

It is now late November.   The days and nights have become very difficult to face.  It is because Christmas is coming.  This is going to be one of the hardest times for David and I.   Not only is it Christmastime, but it would have been Pam's 27th birthday.   Plus she left us on December 29th.

We have had a few people tell us to get over it and get on with our lives.  Let me say this.  This is our life!  How do you get over the loss of a child?  You don't!  Pam was and still a part of David and I.  Although she is not here physically, her spirit lives within us.  She lives in our hearts and in our memories of her.  One of the biggest fears of a grieving person is that their loved one will be forgotten.  Pam deserves to be remembered, even if for only as long as it takes you to read this letter.   David and I will never be the same.  It feels like someone has reached into our chests and ripped out our hearts.  We are just so sad.  We have joined support groups.  They have been very helpful.  We have learned that everyone's journey is their own.  David and I have great faith in God's plan for all of us.   We believe that it is not good-bye, only until then.  On that day, when we will all be together again.

There are many things we have done in Pam's memory.  When she passed away, we did a bone and tissue donation to the Wisconsin Bone and Tissue Bank.  A tree was planted in a national forest with her name on it.  Many people donated money to colleges and their favorite charities in her name.  Masses were said.  We donated money to her church.  The money that was donated was used to purchase a vase.  We had a cameo done for Pam's headstone.  David and I had a star named for Pam.  On June 25th in honor of Pam's half birthday, I went to the cemetery up to Holy Hill to light candles and I also released balloons.  On June 29th, her six months of being in her new Home, we played some special music, released balloons, wrote and burned letters.  In July we traveled to my family's annual reunion in Ohio.  After our family prayer, we released balloons in memory of all the family members that have already been called Home.  Pam's balloon got stuck in a tree but only for a moment then it got loose and flowed up and away.  David did a 2-mile walk sponsored by Compassionate Friends.  A few weeks later they had a lovely memorial service.  They read all the names of children that have left us far too soon.  Then we had a balloon release. It was very special.   On Novermber 5th, David and I drove to Holy Hill and lit candles for friends and family members that have passed on.

I don't know what your beliefs are.  I believe there is a place we go to after we leave this life.  I believe Pam is there in the presence of Jesus and all the friends and relatives that have been called away.  They are all waiting for us to join them in Eternity. 

After Pam passed away, David had a dream about her.  She shrugged her shoulders as if to say " I don't know what happened".  She was smiling and ok.  I got up one day and could smell her perfume.  A friend of ours was doing some work in our hall and he thought David or I was standing behind him when he turned around to talk to us, we weren't there, we never were.  It was Pam.  I saw a flash of light in the hallway.  One of Pam's cats saw it also because the cat turned to look at it at the same time as I saw it.

I had seen a lot of butterflies this last summer.  A few months ago I had a vision.  I saw the outline of an angel.  She was all white light, it didn't say or do anything, but after I saw this I got some bad news.  It was as if the angel was there to warn and comfort me.  I truly believe that angel was Pam.

The Compassionate Friends are hlding their 4th Annual Candle Light ceremony.  National Children's Memorial Day.   In each time zone around the world at 7 pm to 8 pm a candle is lit in the memory of a child who died, creating a wave of light around the globe for 24 hours.  December 8, 2002 Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Takes plase at St. Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee 50th and Burleigh across the street from the Emergency Entrance on Burleigh at the Angel of Hope Statue/  Bring your own Votive for the Candle Lighting Ceremony.

For more information contact   Rosemary Albrecht or Kathy Esselman

If you would like to help us remember Pam this year, you're welcome to join us at St. Joseph's Hospital.  If you are unable to join us, we are asking that you light a candle in Pam's memory. As you light this candle say a prayer for Pam.  You can do this anywhere.  If you wish, you can stop by our home and leave a lit candle in our yard.  Then on December 25th and December 29th.  December 25th at 6:10 pm.  the time Pam was born we are asking you to please light another candle in her memory.  On December 29th in the morning before or after church if you could light one more candle.  This is the day that Pam was called Home.

If you could do this for our family, we would really appreciate it.  It would help us get through this vry difficult time knowing that Pam is being remembered in this special way.  Thank you in advance for doing this.  If anyone would like to send a card or letter to Pam, we will burn it for you.  Address the envelope to Pam and write ATTN: withyour name at the bottom.  That way we won't open them.  In case I missed anyone would you please pass this information along to anyone you think would like to do something in memory of Pam.

On behalf of David, Greg, Pam, Jeff and myself, thank you for taking the time to read this letter.  Be sure to hug someone today.


Sharen and David

God has given us the gift of memory that we might keep alive those we love.  Because Pam is a part of us, she will not be far away.  She shall live in our hearts forever.