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Mom, don't be sad

Elizabeth Glaser founded the Pediatric AIDS foundation after her daughter Ariel died of the infection, generated by a tainted blood transplant. Ariel lived about eight days after her seventh birthday, in the early '80s.

In our time of loss I think we could also look at a new perspective, "new" since most of us are not mothers yet and some of us never will be [like me]... only one person in the whole world is Kiota's mom, and she is none of us, either. Elizabeth wrote a book called "In the Absence of Angels" about her grief and recovery... and lots of things about her story resonate with me. Jake is Ariel's little brother.

xxxxxxxxx PROBABLY TRIGGERING xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"...Through grief and shock, we managed to walk out of the hospital, leaving our beautiful Ariel behind. Maybe she *did* walk home, freed from the body that held her back so much.

Maybe that day she knew she was going to die.

All I remember is holding Ariel in my arms; I know there were doctors and nurses who tried to comfort us by saying her struggle was over and she was now at peace.

To a mother holding her dead child in her arms, those words make no sense at all. Nothing anyone can say makes a difference in a world gone black. All I knew was I wanted to have my daughter back, and I could not. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Nothing will make her death acceptable to me. I live with it but I will never accept it."

(Following the funeral) "we were driving through the farmlands of southern Maine when we saw a spectacular rainbow stretching across the sky, brighter than we had ever seen. It was glorious. High above Route 35 was every smile she had ever smiled, in every color she had ever loved.

I could not sit still in sadness.

Grief has a gravity all its own.

Here is what is truly amazing about life. Things change. I went to San Antonio (about a year and a half later) to meet with a therapist named Darby.

I told Ari: "I miss you so much. I really don't know what to do."

Darby said: "Ask Ariel what to do."

I thought, this is silly. Ariel can't talk. She's dead.

Then I tried it.

Inside me there was an answer: it was my voice, but it was Ariel's voice too. She said:

"Mom, don't be sad. I'm fine. I am always with you. Your life's amazing, Mom. Enjoy it. Enjoy Jake. Enjoy Dad. Enjoy it all."

As I found Ari's voice, her love filled me and some inner peace was mine. I have been freed, so much of my pain is gone.

Now that I know Ariel is always with me, I need not hold onto the sadness and grief. They can float away, and in their place is great joy."


None of us is Elizabeth Glaser, and none of us is Ariel either. But I see and feel symmetries in how she expresses her grief and begins to heal her loss. Perhaps there is something there for you too, so I wanted to tell you about it this Sunday. Her memoir is inspiring.


The Pediatric AIDS Foundation she started has raised very large amounts of money for research, and in 2009 many more protections are in place involving blood transfusions than were available in 1981 when both Elizabeth and her two children were compromised.

Since I'm Wiccan more than really anything else, I'm keenly aware of the Wiccan traditions of the veils between the worlds and the voyages of those who have gone on from this life. So that the circle remains open but unbroken... thinking in many more than two dimensions and three directions. And how these veils can grow very thin so that communications of all kinds can happen. If you are open. Or if you can grow yourself that way, bit by bit...

I've just heard today from one of the United Planet directors who is making a full report on the all the new outreach activities to orphanage children, who've been abandoned and now rescued; she's there in Cambodia now, and back in Boston next week.

I think Kiota is just as much there as she is anywhere. And everywhere. Helping.

As well as being in your lives in that special way known only to you.

"I love you. If there is an afterlife, I still love you." As she wrote in 2003.

Blessings Be.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 25th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
I remember that story well. She was such an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing this excerpt.
Apr. 27th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Generating all this interest and starting the Foundation is a special gift she left us. In fact, it's one of these eternal gifts that will have benefits for kids of all races everywhere: shared research and efforts toward prevention...

She even moved the Reagans off their inaction... which was climbing a mountain all by itself.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
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