Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

Another Author Who has Written About Grief

Emerging Voices

Emerging Voices

I have just had the honor of reading a book by Laurel D Rund who lost her husband of many years. She wrote this little book to help her through the process of grief. She used her own artwork and her own poems to grieve. She has gone one step further and added places that one can write their own feelings and emotions as a journal entry.

She pours her heart and soul into her writings and art. One can plainly see the different stages of grief she traveled through as she completed her journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered loss.

July 5, 2013 Posted by | Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pennies From Heaven Receives its Second Five Star Review

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

Sadly death and grief do not come with a set of instructions and most people are blindsided when death visits them or the ones they love. Pennies from Heaven is not an instruction book on how to grieve. That would be like saying we all get to a destination by the same route. It just doesn’t happen. People grieve in many different ways. No one can tell another person that “I know how you feel.” No we don’t know how they feel. Their emotions are different from our own. We can only empathize with them – We can understand the grief but we don’t know how they feel.

Pennies from Heaven is compiled of stories from many different people from all walks of life who have lost someone they love. They all grieved differently- and it was neither right or wrong- it was just grief.

The second five star review for Pennies From Heaven  was posted last night and the reviewer said it the best:

“5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE for grieving!!! July 1, 2013

By Peter fundora
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book proves that grieving has no right or wrong way of doing it.
Everybody has different ways of dealing with death.
And this book proves it.This is a must read!!! Highly recommend this book.”
   If you are grieving or know someone who is this book may help you understand that your grief is okay. The way you are grieving is okay.
 The people who have contributed to this book reached way down deep into their hearts and souls and poured everything they had into writing their stories so that it might help someone else to heal. They gave unselfishly and willingly in order to help someone else.
    This book is now available on Kindle and Nook and Lulu.com In about six to eight weeks it will be available in paperback on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also order directly through me by emailing me at ysam51@yahoo.com
  It will be the best money you ever spent!

July 2, 2013 Posted by | Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The First Review on Pennies From Heaven

The first reviews for Pennies from Heaven are appearing on Amazon. Horror Author Thom Futrell has put pen to paper after reading Pennies from Heaven. Thom got it. He understands why this book is so important. He gave this book a five star rating and highly recommends this book for every household. Death does visit each and every one of us if we live long enough.

 

“Pennies from Heaven is a book that I think no family should be without. Death walks through the living room of all of our lives and leaves a bit of himself as he leaves. These are stories of people who had to face death, and are willing to share those experiences so that no one has to feel alone in the world. What I took from this book is, we matter. All of us, every person on this Earth and every minute we have with them is precious and should never be taken for granted. My heart goes out to the people who had dealt with loss and to those who will in the future. Know this, no matter who you are, you are not alone”.–THOM FUTRELL, Author of Empty Graves

 

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

July 1, 2013 Posted by | Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Surprises Beyond Measure

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies from Heaven has only been released for a couple of days and already it has made the best seller list on Amazon Kindle. I am receiving orders left and right for signed copies of the book which is beyond humbling.

For those of you who don’t know what this little book is about let me just tell you.

Since 2008 I have had one death after another in my family. It all began with my father’s youngest sister who was killed in a head on collision in Alabama in 2008. Shortly after that my mother’s youngest sister was diagnosed with inoperable  cancer she left us in Dec 2010. In April of that same year my baby sister – the only sister I had was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia we lost her in July 2011. Then the tsunami began. Right after my sister died we lost my dad’s sister in law and the last two sisters he had. To say the grief hung over our family like a fog is an understatement. We didn’t have time to grieve before we lost another one.

Because of this I decided to grieve on paper. I guess one could say it was my therapy. I added to the cause by asking others who I had connected with on facebook if  they would be interested in doing the same. The response was overwhelming. Fifteen contributors added their story. Some added more than one. They all told me it helped them to grieve. They all have said that if their story helps one person to grieve and heal then the book has done its job.

Now you might say but I do believe in a higher power- no problem. There are several stories in there by people who do not believe in a higher power. It is their story and very worth telling. you might say but I have lost so many I don’t know where to start- There are stories about someone who lost many. You might say I lost a child no one knows how I feel. I agree no one knows your feelings however there  are stories about losing children and how the writer grieved and felt.

You might say but I haven’t lost anyone yet- but my family member is dying the slow death of dementia or Alzheimer’s well guess what there is a story about that too.

 

You might say I lost my parents know one knows how that feels, you are right we don’t know how your feel however we have stories of children who have lost parents and they told how they grieved.

You even might say I lost a beloved pet you don’t know how that feels. Again I say no we don’t know how you feel- however we have stories of people who lost their pet one is written by a teenager – they can tell you how they grieved.

This book is a book of love, hope – grief- and memories. It is told by those who wrote their own stories in their own way with their pain and heartache. They talk about how they coped or didn’t cope- how they felt and why they felt that way.

Pennies from Heaven is not faith based however it does have faith based stories it also have non faith based stories. It is a book written with love- pain and acceptance.

We wrote this book with the thought that if just one person could find comfort- strength and the ability to  grieve and move forward with the memories then our job has been done. Please take the time to order it and read it- give it to someone who needs it.

It is now available on Lulu.com on Amazon kindle and Nook – it can also be ordered directly from me and will be signed. If you want to order directly from me contact me at ysam51@yahoo.com

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennies From Heaven – They do Speak to Us

 

 

 

 

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

My newest release Pennies from Heaven has been released through Lulu Publishing. It is now up on Amazon Kindle and Nook and will soon be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This book involves several people who have graciously agreed to reach down inside their souls where no one else goes to write their stories of loss and grief. The stories are as varied as the people who wrote them. Some of them are faith based – some are non faith based- many ask the question of why- a couple are about precious pets which have gone on to Rainbow Bridge.

Each of us grieve in different ways- sadly some of us never grieve- we cheat ourselves by not grieving and we also cheat those who have died. We do not allow them to become a memory nor do we allow them to help us heal. We spend time in denial with no way out. This shortens our life- our mental outlook and destroys our physical being.

When we don’t grieve and then accept their death- we cheat those we have lost. We cheat them of the life they lived and we cheat them of their love for us.

It was my goal when I put this book together to help at least one person who may be grieving- to show that no two people grieve the same on in the same way and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. The important thing is to grieve and then heal- then live.

June 25, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pennies From Heaven has Been Released

penniesfor cover

After the weekend from Hell Pennies from Heaven has been released on Lulu. This book has been a labor of love from many different contributors about death and grief. Each contributor has reached down in the depths of their souls to write their heart wrenching stories of grief and how they have dealt with not only the loss but the healing and moving on with their lives.

When I am wrong I am the first to admit it. And I was wrong so very very very wrong. I was ranting on and on about how Lulu was getting greedy – and all the other blather when it was a huge DFO on my part about the book pricing.

I  spend the entire weekend pulling my hair out and saying words that even embarrassed the monkeys   when the entire screwup was my fault.

When I was formatting the book I failed to mark the b&W interior and it had defaulted to color. So please Lulu excuse this old woman’s brain cramp – you guys still rock for me and I will be sending folks to you.  Yes, they are good people. I don’t know about myself though.

I will not be pulling my books from them. Especially when I can’t keep up with what I am doing. Thank goodness for my author support group that keeps me straight – Thank you Hydra for making me take another look at the set up. Girl you are the queen.  My sweet editor and friend Kelly with Dressing your Book she is reloading the book on nook and kindle yet again for me.

So please forgive the stupidity of someone who should have known better. All is well in my world. The book is good it has photos and life is once again on the right axis. As soon as I get my proof copies I will release it for distribution. They should be here in a few days.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Books, New Releases | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dealing with Grief

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heaven

 

While my newest little jewel is not yet out (soon very soon) I wanted to once again let the public know it is on its way. As I have lived quite a long time. (No, I am not in my 20’s, 40’s or even 50’s) I have experienced death on many levels since I was a small child. My four siblings and I were not spared the experience. We were not shielded from death or funerals. We were brought up in the old South where death and grief were accepted as part of living and giving birth. I thank my parents for that. As children we were expected to attend funeral services, to sit with the family during the wake to accept condolences from others with grace, dignity and good manners. We were allowed to grieve to be hurt but we were not allowed to misbehave. I too raised my children in the same manner.

Now many many years later, I have experienced the deaths of many many family members and friends, some who were taken way too soon. However, that timetable is not always our timetable. It  is one of those things which is totally beyond our control.

Pennies From Heaven was a need to express grief – a need to outwardly let the world know that those who have died mattered. It is not just my story- it a story from many contributors. Contributors who have lost children, grandparents, parents, even beloved pets. The reason for this book was twofold, the first to help those who were grieving who had never had the opportunity to express that grief to do so. The second reason was to be able to offer comfort and strength to someone else who has lost someone and wondered if they were grieving “correctly”.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, we all grieve in a different way and at different times. While there are several stages of grief- no one of us goes through them at the same time or the same way. We never “get over” the loss. The hole is always there, the pain is always there. However, if we do grieve- we will heal, the pain will diminish- even though we will always feel the loss the hole in our hearts.

Pennies from Heaven doesn’t tell anyone what to do- when to do it or how to do it. It is just stories of loss and grief- Many stories talk about the anger, guilt, denial,  shock  and acceptance of the death of a loved one. You will also find that one or two even talk about the comfort they found when they saw their loved one just for a brief moment. Yes, I believe we are visited by those who have left us.

If we stay stuck in one of the stages of grief, we not only cease to live- (sure we function on a day to day basis but we don’t live) we cheat those who we love who have left us. We cheat their memory. We rob ourselves of the life we enjoyed with them. We become worse than being dead-

If they could tell us one thing they would tell us what my sister told me before she died “Live your life.”  She meant it. She loved life. She loved her family. She didn’t want to die. She fought it for almost two years. But she knew what we all know- death comes to all of us. What we have this moment in time is all we are promised. When we waste it we can never get it back.

If you are grieving- you need to read this book. Immerse yourself in the stories that are shared. Stories that the contributors reached down deep into the deepest darkest parts of their hearts to write so that others could find comfort.

No, not all the stories are faith based. We do not cram “religion” down the throats of our readers. Each story is unique to the writer. The only guideline that I asked for was for them to be honest with themselves. They did not disappoint.

This book is currently at the editors and will soon be released. Add it to your to read list. You will not be sorry. Also add it to your gift list, that person will thank you.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennies From Heaven – Soon to be Released

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heavan

 

 

Pennies from Heaven is at the editors and will soon be released. This book was written with the intent to help anyone who is grieving – it is not a book that is based on any type of “medical” jargon or what you should or should not do. This book is stories from every day people who have experienced death in different forms. Who have grieved on different levels and in different ways. While there are stories that are spiritual based it is not necessarily a spiritual book. We have left it to the reader to find their own level. There are stories where the one left behind feels and sees the loved one who has gone on. There are stories of pets who have died and the grief that was caused. There are stories of young people who have died and left behind their parents to pick up the pieces. There is a story about what I call the slow death of hell, a parent who suffers from Alzheimer’s and the grief that begins as the disease progresses, the guilt that follows. There are stories of multiple deaths in one family as family member after family member seems to follow each other in death like an angry ocean crashing on the rocks. There are stories of children losing their parents way to soon and the missing piece that follows their lives.   

Our hope is that at least one person finds comfort, strength and the ability to heal after reading these heart wrenching stories. The authors of these stories have reached deep down in places that no one ever goes in order to write them for others. They are written in pain, love and grief so that others might find the courage to heal. Learn from them – know there is no timeline for grief- but also know that if you do not grieve and do not move forward you have cheated the person you grieve for of the life they had and you have cheated yourself of their memories which are forever with you.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennies from Heaven Has Gone to the Editor

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heaven

 

For those of you who have been waiting for this little book of strength and comfort know that it has made its way to the editor. The next step is the publisher. The stories are as varied at the people who contributed to them.     Below is just one story of the many which are included in this book: Bear in mind this is the raw copy – which includes any errors which were corrected in the final draft. Many of the contributors are not professional writers they are just people who have a story to tell. These wonderful people offered to not only open their hearts and the pain of loss but they were also willing to put in on paper. A huge thanks go out to them.

 

 

Still Daddy’s Girl

My parents married for the first time, later on in life. I was born when they were in their 30’s. I was born on New Year’s Eve the following year, and was “Daddy’s girl” from the get go.

My Dad and I always had a very close relationship. He was a very loving Father, and put mine and my Sister’s needs before anything else in life. He did without, so we could have what we needed, or went without to give us “special, little things that would make us happy.”

He always had time for us. Every summer, he would put up a swimming pool for our enjoyment. He loved to take us fishing during the summer, and he would take us to carnivals, and to Peony Park which was an amusement park, here in Omaha, so we could ride the rides and play the games… I can still remember the good times we had, and the happiness, closeness and love that it left in my heart.

My Dad looked out for us in every way possible. Like any child, I thought he was being mean or controlling, when I would get chewed out or lectured “as I called it,” but he was always right and it was love coming from his heart, trying to protect his “little girl.” Dad’s thoughtfulness and wise words and kind heart made me the person that I am today, and I am proud of who I have become.

Throughout my life, my Dad and I always had a special bond. When I grew up, I would take care of him when he got older, just as he took care of me, and that is exactly what I did. I took care of him and my Mother in every way possible.

My Dad’s way of dealing with death was cut and dried. People died, you went to their funerals and paid your respects. He wasn’t one to believe in life after death.

After my paternal Grandmother’s death (his Mother) I had some experiences with life after death. I was very close to my Grandmother also. I told my Dad and my Mom about my experiences. My Mom believed me, because she has had “life after death experiences also.” My Dad was not a believer of such things and tried to debunk my experiences, even though I know in my heart my Grandma was trying to let me know that she was with me and still loved me.

My Dad had a long, chronic illness that was slowly killing him. I was very lucky to have him with me until 2010, when he turned 87 years old. In 2010 he was struggling worse than ever, and I knew that our time together was limited.

 

Decisions had to be made on whether to have them put a tube down his throat, to help him breathe, or to let him die with “dignity.” He had always taken care of me and even though I didn’t want my Dad, “who was my heart to die,” I had to make sure that he was comfortable and let him go peacefully, without suffering.

When the decision was made to let my Dad go, I didn’t leave his side. I held his hand and talked to him, and made sure he was comfortable. I thought that he would pass on quickly, but my Dad held on for several days, which I was believe “for his girls.”

 

About a week before my Dad died, he was in the hospital, and still talking. I remember Dad looking towards the door of the hospital room, when I was there, and he said “there’s Donnie, why don’t you go talk to him!” His brother “Donnie” had died around 8 years earlier. When he told me to go and talk to my Uncle Don, and he said it with such clarity, and I could tell by the look on his face he was truly seeing his brother. I knew that, Donnie had come to take him “home,” even before the thought of “letting Dad go” was even considered.

 

Another thing that my Dad was doing around the same time was, “acting like he was reaching into his pant pocket,” even though he was wearing a hospital gown. He kept doing this and “handing something to me.” He wanted me to open my hand so he could,  “put something in my hand.” I went along with it, because it was obviously something important to him, because he kept repeating this task. I asked him what he was giving me and he said “the keys.” I believe that he thought that he was reaching into his pants pocket and giving me the “keys to the house because he wanted me to have the house and remain in our home.”

 

I made the mistake of not responding to “taking the keys” and despite his 87 years of age and being so sick, his feistiness came out. He got a wee bit snippety and told me to “take the keys.” So, from there on out, he would reach into his pocket, take out the keys, I would take them from him and put them in my pants pocket. He repeated this, to make sure that I had the keys.

 

My Dad always liked to look nice when he went somewhere to visit. He would always be clean shaven, and smelling of cologne, and dressed in his nice pants and a nice shirt. Before his death, he couldn’t talk, but he took his hand and rubbed his chin area. He hadn’t  shaved for about a week. I asked him if he wanted me to shave him, and he shook his head “yes.”

 

I asked the nurse to shave him because I didn’t want to cut him with my unsteady hands. She shaved him and I took a wash cloth and washed his face, and wet his hair down and combed it back like he would wear it, and I told him “you can go now, you are Heaven’s little hottie.”

 

Later that night we were moved to a much nicer room on another floor because the ICU was needing the room. We had a newly remodeled room and my Sister slept on the couch and I took the recliner, and held his hand in mine, and we all fell asleep. The nurse woke me, to tell me “that it was getting close.” His breathing was getting shallow. Within 15 minutes or so, my Dad was gone, and my heart was breaking.

 

Once again, I looked at his face, as I had done with my Mom. All of the years of suffering and the lines on his 87 year old face disappeared. He looked happy and so peaceful! He looked so young, and happy again.

 

After my Dad’s passing I was going through some major depression. I had lost my Mom in 2009 and now my Dad in 2010. Other than my Sister, that was my only family. I was struggling to find a job, had people in my life that “claimed to be friends,” but were treating me terribly, and trying to take advantage of my kind heart. The people that said that they would be there for me, bailed and I was left alone or with people that were not treating me right, and I was hurting so badly, that I excepted that, when I should have slammed the door in their face.

 

My Dad had warned me about one of these people, when he was alive and I lived in “major denial,” and would get angry because of “the lectures.” This person was trying to take advantage of me and brought others into the picture. My life turned into a living hell in every way possible, and I can truly say that I had hit my rock bottom, and really didn’t want to be on this earth, living like this any longer.

 

There were people living in my household that I could not get out of here. They would not leave and the police said that they were “residents” and I would have to do a “legal eviction” which takes 30 days, so they could stay. There was stealing going on, and other things that were terribly wrong. I would sit here and cry and was giving up on my life.

 

I would cry myself into panic attacks, then would fall asleep. I would pray and talk to my Dad, even though I knew that he wasn’t with me and couldn’t help me. I would feel my Dad’s presence with me though. I felt like he was listening. One day, I realized that he was still with me.

 

I was sitting in the recliner watching TV, and I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked over towards the hallway, and saw my Dad, walking through the hallway.

 

He was not looking sickly and 87 years of age, but instead he looked young, and healthy again. I would see him from his head down to his chest. He was young looking again. He looked like he was maybe in his 40’s or 50’s. He was wearing a light weight, gray jacket that he always wore in the spring. He would walk from the upstairs door in the hallway, and then disappear at the end of the hall. This gave me comfort knowing that my Dad was still here with me, and he knew what was going on, and listening.

 

I had seen my Dad several times in the same exact place, and wearing the same exact thing. It eased my heart to know that my Dad, who did not believe in life after death, was visiting me when I needed him the most. Daddy was looking out for his little girl and this was easing some of the pain and helping me get through the things that I had been goingthrough.

 

Throughout this time, I never mentioned this to anyone.  One of my roommates came up to me though, and mentioned that he thought he saw my Dad. Well, before I opened my mouth and said anything, I asked him what he looked like, and he gave me the same exact description:  he looked younger and healthy, and  he would only see the upper half of him and he was wearing the same gray jacket. Now I knew that my Dad was making his presence known.

 

Over the next month or so, I would see my Dad. Even though we did not have any interaction, it gave me great comfort to know that he was there for me and I believe he is the reason that I struggled to go on, and got my household situation straightened out, and I was able to start my life over.

 

It means the world to me, knowing that my Dad of all people, the person that didn’t believe in “life after death,” made his presence known, and helped me in my darkest time. My Dad is still “my hero” even though he may not be physically with me right now, I know that he is still with me. I love you Dad, you are my heart!

 

Sharons father

Sharon J. Sobolik                                 Sharons’ Father

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soon to Be Released Pennies from Heaven

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heaven

 

How many times have you lost someone and felt emotions that you didn’t know you were capable of feeling? How many times did you question those feelings? How many times did you try to repress those feelings because you thought they were the wrong feelings? Did you get angry at God and then feel bad because you did? Were you angry at the person who died and then felt guilty because you were angry? Did you lash out at someone who was still living because you were angry at them for still being alive? Did you fall into a depression and not understand why? Do you feel stuck in a time warp and do not know how to move forward?

Pennies from Heaven is a compilation of stories from folks just like you who have lost ones.  Maybe by reading this book it will help you in some way with the grieving process- the acceptance and the ability to move forward.

 

 

May 5, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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