Comforting Thoughts

Cargo Pants and Patches

Thumbnail image for Cargo Pants and Patches September 19, 2014

I don’t know how many other grieving parents can say this, but Richard and I were about the same size. He was just a shade taller than me, but we were close to the same. That means I have his clothes. I have his shoes. Shirts, pants, socks – the whole wardrobe now belongs to […]

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What Do You Remember?

Thumbnail image for What Do You Remember? February 19, 2012

Maybe it’s because we’re getting close to the anniversary of Richards’s death – it’s just a few months away. Or it could be because today is my birthday, and those family events cause me to reflect on the past. I’ve been thinking back on that time nearly three years ago, when we found out he […]

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What Does The Soul Know?

Thumbnail image for What Does The Soul Know? September 23, 2011

It’s now been two and a quater years since Richard died. It seems like it was just yesterday, and it feels like it’s been a lifetime. After all this time, I still often feel like it’s not real… like Richard is still here. I often expect him to walk into the house, and just flash that […]

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Purple Martin Air Force

Thumbnail image for Purple Martin Air Force June 25, 2011

Squadron Leader: “Attack Group 1 – “Red alert! I repeat, red alert! Form up on my tail, we’re making a frontal assault” Purple Wing One: “Roger Squadron Leader. Purple Wing One forming on the right.” Purple Wing Two: “Purple Wing Two forming on your left wing, over.” Squadron Leader: “Attack Group 2 – form up on […]

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Full Moon

Thumbnail image for Full Moon June 23, 2011

When I got home from work the other night there was a big ol’ full moon in the midnight sky. Like I do most times the moon lights the sky, I stood there beside my car for several minutes just staring up at it. Richard always liked the moon. As I gazed up into the […]

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Daddy’s Little Girl

Thumbnail image for Daddy’s Little Girl May 28, 2011

Today is Sarah’s birthday. And yes, as the title says, she’s daddy’s little girl. My little princess. Always has been, always will be. She was born the day after our first wedding anniversary. In fact, we spent our first anniversary at the hospital. Debbie’s water broke early that morning, so we spent the entire day […]

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Anniversaries and Such

Thumbnail image for Anniversaries and Such May 27, 2011

Today Debbie and I have been married 28 years. I’ve now been married for half my life. No question, the married half has been better than the single half. I remember standing up there at the front of church, waiting for Debbie to make the trip down the aisle. I didn’t think it would be […]

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Final Four

Thumbnail image for Final Four April 25, 2011

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament will always bring back memories of Richard. The early rounds are played all over the country. There are a lot of games. The last games of each round get late starts, so it’s not unusual for one or two to still be in action when I get home from work after […]

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Church On TV and A Marathon

Thumbnail image for Church On TV and A Marathon March 1, 2011

It was the Sunday before the SuperBowl. This was a Sunday with no football. Yeah, there was the Pro Bowl but come on, really, that’s not football. I didn’t want to watch that. What to do? The USA Network came to the rescue. They ran a 12 hour NCIS marathon. Starting with the very first […]

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How to Summit Grieving’s Everyday Mountains

Thumbnail image for How to Summit Grieving’s Everyday Mountains January 20, 2011

The blog Zen Habits is one of the most popular on the Internet. The following post is an adaptation of a post called A Guide to Reaching Life’s Summits. I thought many of the points and tips in the Zen Habits post apply to the grieving parent’s journey up the mountain of pain we all face […]

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Helping a Grieving Parent

Thumbnail image for Helping a Grieving Parent January 17, 2011

As my shift at work was winding down that Thursday evening, I was thinking about how I would spend the vacation time I had scheduled for the next day. I was taking off on Friday to have a long weekend. My wife Debbie and I were planning to celebrate our wedding anniversary over the weekend, […]

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Let’s Just Get To The Bottom Of This Hill

Thumbnail image for Let’s Just Get To The Bottom Of This Hill January 4, 2011

I read many blogs that deal with Internet Marketing.  I find the subject interesting. One of my favorites is a blog called Psychotactics by Sean D’Sousa. In his latest newsletter Sean wasn’t talking to grieving parents, but he could have been. Imagine thirty thousand menacing obstacles in your path to success. You’re dehydrated. Hungry as […]

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Watching Football

Thumbnail image for Watching Football November 16, 2010

Football season was always one of my favorite times with Richard – at least during his more adult years. While he lived in Lexington he came to most of our pre-game tailgate parties at Commonwealth stadium, when we went to UK games. He didn’t miss much free food. He also liked to come and “discuss” the game. […]

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Can the Dead Communicate Using Nature?

Thumbnail image for Can the Dead Communicate Using Nature? August 7, 2010

I was sitting on my Cracker Barrel rocking chair this morning, sipping coffee and watching the hummingbirds put on a show. We’ve been putting out feeders for them the past several summers. We’ve seen them flying around our feeders and enjoyed watching them. But this year they are different. There are a lot of them. […]

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Richard Returns

August 4, 2010

It’s been over 14 months since Richard’s death. Last night was the second time I’ve seen him in a dream. This still surprises me. Seems like I’d dream about him all the time. But I don’t. This time he was only there for a few seconds. I don’t remember the exact details, but it seems […]

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Testing One, Two, Three…

Thumbnail image for Testing One, Two, Three… July 27, 2010

It’s been there for over a year now. Sitting right on my computer desk. One of the things I brought home from Richard’s apartment was that microcassette recorder pictured above. There were several cassettes, all looking new and unused. I finally popped them into the recorder and hit play. They were mostly blank. But on […]

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Another Brick on the Walk

Thumbnail image for Another Brick on the Walk July 27, 2010

We have another Richard brick. There’s a nice little park located in Frankfort, KY called Cove Spring Park. Way off in the back corner, tucked into the trees is a beautiful memorial garden sponsored by The Compassionate Friends of Frankfort, KY. At the center of the garden is a raised round flower bed, with a […]

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Travel

Thumbnail image for Travel July 19, 2010

We went on a short vacation last week.  I‘m not a big fan of traveling, but I think it helped. Staying busy is a good thing. It helps you stay out of that dark hole grieving parents can sink into so quickly. But it seems to help more if it’s something out of the ordinary. […]

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Living the Years

Thumbnail image for Living the Years July 13, 2010

I like the Abraham Lincoln quote in the picture above. In many ways it describes Richard’s time here on earth. He had a lot of life in those short years. We have a big montage of him. There are many pictures of him doing things, trying new stuff.  There are so many more similar pictures […]

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Happy Birthday Lucas Holt

Thumbnail image for Happy Birthday Lucas Holt June 23, 2010

Dear Lucas, We’ve never met. But I’ve thought of you often during the past year. Just wanted to send you a quick note to wish you a happy birthday. I’m Richard’s dad. I’m sure you two have met by now. He’s got the plot just up the hill from you. I visit him often. While […]

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Spring In The Cemetery

Thumbnail image for Spring In The Cemetery April 23, 2010

Though it often hasn’t felt possible after Richard’s death, life does indeed go on. Spring is when nature shows us there is hope. There is new life. I took my camera to the cemetery this morning. Even in a place that is the focus of our pain there is also much beauty. Hope you enjoy […]

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To An Unconquerable Soul

Thumbnail image for To An Unconquerable Soul April 9, 2010

Invictus – William Ernest Henley Out of the night that covers me,
 Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be
 For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
 Under the bludgeonings of chance
 My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond […]

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St. Patrick

Thumbnail image for St. Patrick March 17, 2010

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Pictured above is my uniform for the day. They were Richard’s clothes. One of the sacraments in the Catholic church is Confirmation. When we were babies our parents chose to have us baptized into the Catholic church. When we get older, usually middle school aged, we confirm that we choose […]

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Onions

Thumbnail image for Onions March 8, 2010

One of the best things for spiritual healing is to get outside. Into the sunshine – into the light. Winter makes this hard to do. But spring is finally offering it’s first teasing tastes of better days ahead. This weekend brought us temps in the low 50’s and sunshine. I went out to my garden […]

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Lighting Candles at Church

Thumbnail image for Lighting Candles at Church February 28, 2010

The Compassionate Friends have an annual candle lighting ceremony and lighting candles is an important ritual in the Catholic Church. I light candles for Richard at least once a week. So why do we light candles? In lighting candles we see our prayer rising up to heaven. We join our prayer in solidarity with others […]

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Faith

Thumbnail image for Faith February 11, 2010

Faith seems to play a big part in dealing with our grief. It even played a part in causing our grief. Faith in the medical profession was a big factor in Richard’s death. I’m sure the generic seizure medicine caused him to have his last seizure. We believed what they all told us – that […]

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The Grief Roller Coaster

Thumbnail image for The Grief Roller Coaster January 19, 2010

Life after lossing a child has been a big roller coaster ride. There have been a lot of deep plunges into the unknown. And then there have been times the track has leveled out, maybe even climbed a small hill or two. But the ride continues and the path ahead is uncertain. Right now the […]

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It Seemed SO Real

Thumbnail image for It Seemed SO Real January 14, 2010

Since Richard’s death I haven’t dreamed about him. There was the one weird dream about him making comments on Facebook. But he hasn’t been in my dreams in person. Until last night. It was one of those incredibly vivid dreams. The kind that seem so very real. Intensely real. And Richard was there. Alive. I […]

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A Nice Call

Thumbnail image for A Nice Call December 27, 2009

Got a call from Dusty Rhodes today. Dusty is Chapter Leader of The Compassionate Friends of Frankfort, KY and the regional coordinator. Debbie has been to a few meetings there and we both went to the last meeting before Christmas. Dusty called to just let us know he was thinking about us. This is our […]

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The Story Behind “Precious Child”

Thumbnail image for The Story Behind “Precious Child” December 21, 2009

While searching for information about the Worldwide Candle Lighting I stumbled upon the song “Precious Child.” Or maybe I should say I was grabbed by the song. It really had a strong affect on me. Because this song had such a strong affect on me, I went searching for the artist. “Precious Child was written […]

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Our First Candle Lighting Ceremony

Thumbnail image for Our First Candle Lighting Ceremony December 13, 2009

Tonight we went to the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting at Frankfort, KY. This is a memorial service for the parents, family and friends of our lost children. We honor the memory of our child with music, poems, a slide show and a candle lighting service. This event happens in each time zone all over […]

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Richard’s Fruit Salad

Thumbnail image for Richard’s Fruit Salad December 4, 2009

The holiday season has arrived. And for us that means family gatherings. My siblings, our children and our dogs meet at “The Farm” – my dad’s place. The Farm is 153 acres of rolling hills surrounded by creaks. There are ponds for fishing and plenty of woods to explore. The kind of place you can […]

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Thanksgiving – Our First Big Holiday

Thumbnail image for Thanksgiving – Our First Big Holiday November 26, 2009

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. Time to give thanks to our maker for all the good things he has given us. It has also been six months since Richard died. So you probably think we won’t find anything to be thankful for. After all it’s hard to be thankful for grief, pain and […]

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Strange Dream

Thumbnail image for Strange Dream November 16, 2009

I haven’t had a dream since Richard died. At least not one I remembered. Until last night. In my dream I was checking out Facebook. And Facebook said, “Richard Mudd commented on…” A couple of times. Don’t remember whose Facebook posts he commented on. Not sure I even recognized the names.  Seeing Richard making comments […]

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Can You Dream Again?

Thumbnail image for Can You Dream Again? November 15, 2009

After Richard’s death Paula Fangman from our church gave us a copy of Healing After Loss – Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman. Paula found this book helpful after her husband passed away. It contains some inspiring quotes and a short reading for each day of the year. The entry for […]

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Happiness by the Books

Thumbnail image for Happiness by the Books November 9, 2009

As grieving parents we tend to notice – even concentrate – on one thing ; our grief. That’s something we can’t avoid for a long time after our child has passed away. It just keeps jumping up and smacking us in the face. But at some point we all need to find a way out […]

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The Smile Challenge

Thumbnail image for The Smile Challenge November 8, 2009

Richard was a Dr. Seuss fan. He had all his children’s books. And he demanded they be protected from visiting small children. So I thought this image and the up lifting  message it presents would be a good choice for grieving parents. It’s a tough goal. Sometime we can make it, sometime we can’t get […]

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Getting Away From It All

Thumbnail image for Getting Away From It All November 5, 2009

Debbie had to go to a conference for her job this past week. It was at Lake Barkley State Resort Park. We decided to turn it into a get away from it all mini-vacation. So I took several days off from work and tagged along. It was a pretty low key conference, with plenty of […]

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Farewell Letter

Thumbnail image for Farewell Letter October 8, 2009

The day before Richard’s funeral we had a visitation at the funeral home. I wrote a letter to our guests. We framed it and displayed it next to the guest book along with a picture of Richard. Many people asked me for a copy of that letter. For the life of me, I can’t imagine […]

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Butterflies

Thumbnail image for Butterflies October 4, 2009

It is fall. A nice time to be outside. Debbie was in the backyard cooking our supper on the grill. Grilling may be the husband’s job in most households but we like the food to be edible when it’s done, so Debbie usually handles this chore. I was riding around on my lawnmower. Debbie motioned […]

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New Attitude on Dying

Thumbnail image for New Attitude on Dying September 30, 2009

OK I’ll admit it. The idea of dying has always scared me to death. I’ve never wanted to do it. After I reached my 50th birthday I figured I had just started living my second fifty years. I’ve always wanted to live as long as possible. Losing one of my children has changed my attitude. […]

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Gifts at the Grave

Thumbnail image for Gifts at the Grave September 26, 2009

I visited Richard’s grave the other day and found a new addition – pictured above. Richard had many good friends. His passing affected them as well as it did us. They miss him too. They visit his grave. We’ve been there a few times when they’ve arrived. Other times they’ve left clues. Like these soft […]

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The Richard Book

Thumbnail image for The Richard Book September 26, 2009

Debbie’s birthday was last month. Her gift from our daughter Sarah arrived from Texas the other day. In the enclosed birthday card, Sarah instructed her mom to share the gift with me. There was a pack of Kleenex attached to the gift, warning of an emotional surprise inside. It was a special gift indeed. Inside […]

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Franklin on Death

Thumbnail image for Franklin on Death September 18, 2009

The founders of our nation were pretty smart folks. Following the death of his brother John Franklin, Benjamin Franklin wrote this letter to Elizabeth Hubbard, his brothers stepdaughter, on February 22, 1756 Dear Child, I condole with you, we have lost a most dear and valuable relation, but it is the will of God and […]

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