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Tori Amos Intermission

Longtime readers of my blog are already aware that I use music as a major coping mechanism when I’m feeling particularly ill, drained, and/or exhausted and that one musician in particular is a favorite of mine. I know I haven’t blogged much in April. I am “recovering” from Endometriosis Awareness Month and dealing with multiple flare-ups of various conditions. So, please bear with me as I post less frequently for a bit.

I am going through one of those times where the doctors appointments are clustered together much closer than I would like. Today involved a nearly two hour round trip to see one of my specialists. I was listening to the song below while driving today (and trying to resist the urge to speed!) and decided it would make a nice little “intermission”. It’s from Tori Amos, who happens to be a fellow endometriosis patient.

P.S. Lucky me! This week I received a package in the mail from my dear friend, Jannie Funster. She recently held several blog giveaways, one of which was a Tori Amos book that I won… which you can see a picture of HERE. Thank you, Jannie! 😉

This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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April 16, 2010   20 Comments

Tori Amos On Her Miscarriages

The holidays can be particularly difficult for those who have experienced miscarriages, pregnancy loss, adoption loss, and/or are experiencing infertility.

As my friend Alicia has written about extensively on her blog Yaya Stuff, people often don’t know how to interact with others who are struggling with these issues. Awareness is crucial. The pain of going through these experiences is bad enough without society not knowing how to support the people who face these challenges.

I came across a UK interview of Tori Amos speaking regarding her miscarriages. I sent the video to Alicia yesterday and it resonated with her. While the video is not available in embedded form, it may be viewed via this link:

Tori Amos miscarriage interview

My heart goes out to all of my friends who are struggling with these issues.

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it”.
~~ Tori Amos

This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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January 3, 2010   12 Comments

A Tori Amos Music Break For Healing, Quote Of The Day From ‘The Foundation For A Better Life’, And Also A Bit Of RAINN…

Dear readers,

It has been about a month since my last Tori Amos post. More importantly, I need a mental health break and regular readers here know that means I need to hear Tori Amos’ music!

All of the turmoil lately (see previous post) regarding victimizing endometriosis patients has me very upset!

Tori Amos herself has endometriosis.

When I get upset, I reach for Tori Amos’ music! It heals me.

In honor of the winter season we are in, I went searching for a video clip of Tori Amos singing the song “Winter”.

Boy, did I find a great one!! This song is 17 years old. You can find it on the Little Earthquakes CD. It’s a soothing song and a real treasure for calming down!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnboUbOGDOM&hl=en&fs=1]

— Tori Amos (musician, singer, songwriter, pianist)

Click here to see the lyrics for this beautiful song, courtesy of Sing365.com

On a much more serious note, Tori is a strong advocate for women. Her work with RAINN: The nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization (One of “America’s 100 Best Charities” — Worth magazine) helps many women!

Here are some statistics about sexual assault…

Statistics from RAINN

By the way, Tori Amos was sexually assaulted and helps women with her support of the RAINN organization.

Related links to my numerous Tori Amos “mental health break” posts are below.

Just click the link to reach post with other links:

Friday, December 5, 2008 Adversity, Challenges, Frustration And The “Secret To Life” According To Tori Amos…

I thought that following a mental health break of Tori’s music & lyrics about winter and a much more serious link to the RAINN organization that I would wrap up today’s post with a quote.

Here is the Foundation for a Better Life’s Quote of the Day

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”

—Don Williams, Jr. (b. 1968); novelist and poet

Through the twists and turns of your life, try to find time to relax.

At the same time, be aware that there are helpful organizations like RAINN in times of crisis.

If you have been sexually assaulted or abused, seek help!!!

Let’s appreciate Tori’s gorgeous music AND appreciate her advocacy on behalf of sexually assaulted women.

Related link regarding protecting your personal health information:

WARNING

Ladies, let’s protect ourselves from harm. Protect your personal information!!

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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January 7, 2009   16 Comments

Adversity, Challenges, Frustration And The “Secret To Life” According To Tori Amos…

After yesterday’s pretty somber (but important) article about toxins, I decided today is one of those days to lighten things up a bit! Many of us have heard phrases to the effect of, “you can’t always control what happens to you but you can control how you choose to react to it“.

(Picture credits go to http://everythingtori.com/go/galleries/)

I’ve written before about one of my favorite musicians, Tori Amos, who happens to have endometriosis. I decided to quote her here today because the way I interpret her lyrics (see below) is essentially that everything can be falling apart around you, you can be anxious and upset about it all, but in the end… you CAN get through it with your inner strength.

You CAN get through amazingly hard times and adversity simply by relying on yourself. That, to me, is a very simply worded yet very powerful statement.

“Well I found the secret to life… I found the secret to life… I’m okay when everything is not okay… I said I found the secret to life… Found the secret to life… I’m okay when everything is not okay… Is not okay…”

— Tori Amos (musician, singer, songwriter, pianist)

No matter what adversity you experience, if you look for the silver lining, the positive, and the purpose in everything… you can get through more than you probably think you can.

As simple as Tori’s words are, they are loaded for me because the notion that one can “be OK when everything is not OK“, to me, means that one can learn, grow, thrive, be productive, and move on even when difficult circumstances make things seem overwhelming.

(Picture credits go to http://everythingtori.com/go/galleries/)

No matter how challenging or overwhelming things get, I think it’s important to be grateful for what we do have and to simply appreciate the resources available to us, the information we have access to, and the loved ones who support us. In the end, though, we can always rely on ourselves and our inner strength to get through the rough patches and come out the other end OK.

Besides, this post gives me an excuse to post a picture of when I met Tori Amos backstage… Yes, that’s me with Tori! In my hands are my autographed picture of Tori and my friend’s camera before we switched places so that I could get a picture of her with Tori. 🙂

(Picture credits for this shot go to my friend who attended the concert with me!)

Tori Amos is an amazing, strong woman. Her strength gives me strength when facing the challenges of my illnesses.

For a sample of Tori’s music, listen to “Almost Rosey” (on the playlist.com music player in this blog’s sidebar).

As I’ve previously written things that reference Tori Amos, here are some related links:

Sunday, June 15, 2008 What is My Connection to Tori Amos??

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 Endometriosis Blog: “Almost Rosey” — The Healing & Supportive Power Of Music And Other Relaxation Techniques (Video Clip Included)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 Endo Blog: How Much Can Quotes & Artwork Heal, Comfort, And Enlighten Us??

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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December 5, 2008   15 Comments

What is My Connection to Tori Amos??


(Picture credits go to http://everythingtori.com/go/galleries/)

I promise you there is a connection between Tori Amos and me but you’ll have to be a little patient to find out what it is. 🙂 So please keep reading

I’ve decided you’ve probably heard enough “emergency room” talk in my last post (I know I have!) and you may be ready for a more uplifting/fun post! Hopefully this will fit the bill. Here goes!

Let me start by saying one reason writing this post is FUN for me is that Tori Amos’ music has gotten me through some very difficult and challenging times in my life… including lifting my spirits when my endometriosis was displaying particularly fierce symptoms.

Believe it or not, a big factor in how I stayed away from the emergency room trip this weekend was by playing Tori Amos CDs (!) while I was doing deep breathing exercises, meditating, lying very still, etc. I was able to lower my blood pressure, in part, because I find Tori’s music so therapeutic!

So I’m writing about my all-time favorite musical artist: Tori Amos. I once read she had been voted by Rolling Stone magazine as the # 5 Live Performer of All Time!! Yet — you very, very rarely hear her on the radio. In fact, many of you have never heard of her. (She doesn’t worry about chart sales; her passion is the music, the sound, the lyrics… She does not let others dictate to her. She follows her own path). She is a very successful singer-songwriter, producer, recording artist, pianist, live performer… with a rabid “cult following”. She is NOT a “cookie cutter” recording artist. She is unique.

She has sold 12+ million records worldwide as of 2005, as per Wikipedia which was quoting the following press release for the autobiography Tori Amos co-wrote with Ann Powers: http://everythingtori.com/go/book/.

OK, I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. I have to tie Tori together with this blog so that you won’t wonder why I’m writing about Tori Amos on my endo blog, right?

I read Tori’s autobiography several years ago (see below):


“Tori Amos Piece by Piece. A Portrait of the Artist: Her thoughts. Her Conversations”, I was stunned to discover from her book that Tori Amos has endometriosis!

Now you may be wondering why that’s a big deal, right? It’s not like endometriosis is exactly uncommon. Well, it’s just that I have seen or heard SO many print, Internet, and TV interviews of Tori (basically anything I heard about that was Tori-related… I tuned in for!) and I had never known that she has endometriosis until I read this book. So I was just amazed at this piece of information. Tori mentioned endometriosis just in passing in the book. (In it, she did discuss her difficult experiences with multiple miscarriages). I believe she had three of them. (She was diagnosed with a protein deficiency that her miscarriages were attributed to).

She also co-founded RAINN ranked in America’s 100 Best Charities by Worth Magazine in 1994, as per this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAINN. Also here is Tori’s RAINN Public Service Announcement:

Yes, I really met Tori Amos! Look (below) at the pictures that were taken with my camera.

My friend took this shot of me with Tori Amos minutes before the concert:


Yes. I was this close to Tori Amos! 🙂 I took this shot:

I’ve seen Tori live 4 times. The last time I saw her, my friend and I had special tickets. Ironically, my friend who went to that “special ticket” concert with me (the night we actually MET Tori) ALSO has endometriosis.

We had 3rd row seats (!!!) and we got to meet Tori before the concert, get a photo taken with her, get an autograph, listen to part of the sound check before the show, etc. It was one of those nights you never forget. 🙂

I find Tori completely musically brilliant, fascinating, complex, brilliantly intelligent, courageous, strong, outspoken, not afraid of what people think, controversial, a person who follows her instincts, and finally just a sensitive, caring, sincere person who tries to do her part to make the world a better place. As I said, I have had the honor and pleasure of meeting her in person at a concert because my friend and I had special tickets that were equivalent to “backstage passes”.

For info on Tori, see the Wikipedia entry for her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tori_Amos.

My passion for Tori Amos’ music all started when I got my hands on “Little Earthquakes” in 1992. That CD was all it took for me to be hooked for life.

Per her Wikipedia entry (see link above), here are some of the awards she has been nominated for:

Grammy Awards

1995 — Best Alternative Music Album (for Under The Pink, nomination).
1997 — Best Alternative Music Album (for Boys For Pele, nomination).
1999 — Best Alternative Music Album (for From the Choirgirl Hotel, nomination).
1999 — Female Rock Vocal Performance (for “Raspberry Swirl”, nomination).
2000 — Best Alternative Music Album (for To Venus and Back, nomination).
2000 — Female Rock Vocal Performance (for “Bliss”, nomination).
2002 — Best Alternative Music Album (for Strange Little Girls, nomination).
2002 — Female Rock Vocal Performance (for “Strange Little Girl”, nomination).
2004 — Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Packaging (for Scarlet’s Walk, nomination).

So one of my connections to Tori Amos (the one that motivated me to write this article) is that we both have endometriosis. However, I also feel connected to Tori because I love her music so much! It has lifted me up, kept me sane, and given me hope. I feel connected to her because she gives me strength and hope! Her music calms me down when little else can. I feel connected to her in many ways. I believe she has a very special gift.

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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June 16, 2008   8 Comments

Music For Healing…

Music has always been very healing for me. I decided to share some video clips of songs that I like. Perhaps you’ll find them soothing and/or pleasant too. For those of you celebrating holidays at this time of year, I hope you enjoy them and that your symptoms are as manageable as possible.

For everyone… I am sending peaceful thoughts your way!



“Music has always been healing for me, since I was little. I can really be in pain, then listen to or play music, and I feel things…ease. I feel the music play me, so that I become an instrument that it plays”.
~~~ Tori Amos







This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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December 23, 2011   3 Comments

Bouncing Back: Five Tips To An Easier Recovery

Bouncing back can be difficult. This post is about recovering after activity that is unusual (i.e. in type or amount) and which triggers and/or worsens symptoms – including pain and fatigue.


Looking to bounce back as smoothly as possible?


Following up on this, I’m talking here about dealing with the fallout that can occur for a person living with chronic illness who has:

  • Over-exerted

  • Taken unusual risks (i.e. done more due to holiday-related events/activities) – resulting in an escalation of symptoms

  • Found oneself in situations resulting in feeling hurt/misunderstood by those who don’t “get it”


    Basically, I’m talking about recovering from being more active than usual and/or from being exposed to circumstances that may cause significant stress (such as interacting with people who don’t “get it”). Holiday gatherings may involve foods that trigger symptoms and it may be difficult to avoid them entirely. There are many factors that can set a patient up for exacerbation of symptoms after the holiday or special event has passed.


    Any chronic pain patient can tell you about the “crash” that inevitably occurs after the unusual activities. Typically, only those living in the same household as the patient get to witness these “crashes”. It is very common for friends and loved ones who see a patient functioning at his/her peak to be oblivious to the fact that there will almost certainly be paybacks later. (In other words, just because I joined you for an all-day gathering doesn’t mean I won’t be bedridden tomorrow as a result)!


    OK. Let’s face it. If you’re reading this chronic illness post, you may never be quite this bouncy!


    This post is about bouncing back from challenging events such as holidays. For people living with chronic illness and chronic pain, events that are taken for granted by others can be absolutely challenging and exhausting. It’s that time of year when there may be more triggers than usual.

    For a person living with migraines or multiple chemical sensitivity, fragrance worn by others can serve as a trigger for symptoms. For those living with infertility, the holidays can bring gatherings with young children or babies; this can be very difficult. For a person living with interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, or endometriosis it can be painful to sit in the car (or plane) for extended periods of time. The list goes on.

    Many chronic conditions can result in extra exhausting times around the holidays due to physical and/or emotional stress and a multitude of potential triggers.

    Let me state the obvious here – because sometimes it just helps to hear the simple tips that we already know. (There is some overlap between the following categories).


  • REST: The importance of sufficient rest cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, some of the same factors that can lead to the need for extra rest (travel, more time than usual involved in challenging activities, stress) can make it difficult to sleep (being away from home, having extra pain from overdoing things that makes it hard to get to sleep ot stay asleep). It isn’t always easy but doing whatever you can to get enough rest is key.


    Catnap, anyone?

  • COPING MECHANISMS: These can vary widely from person to person. For some people, coping mechanisms may actually assist in the process of getting to sleep or staying asleep (to get the rest already mentioned). Coping mechanisms can range from taking more frequent breaks during activities to talking with a friend or loved one who “gets it” to one of my personal favorites… listening to music.


    Tori Amos’ music is often one of my first choices.


  • LIGHTENING THE LOAD: When attempting to bounce back after having been extra active, it can be helpful to cut back to the absolute minimum amount of activities for awhile. Rather than trying to “get back to normal” (whatever that is!) , it can be helpful to do less than usual while recovering from a period of increased activity. The body gets a chance to “catch up”.


    Try not to get loaded down with more than your body can handle.


  • DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF: Many people I know of (who live with chronic illnesses and chronic pain) go through periods where they “beat themselves up” about what they can’t do in general (or what they couldn’t do when faced with activities that are not within their capabilities at this time). Self-induced guilt trips only complicate matters. If you find yourself focusing on what you can no longer do, try to shift your thoughts to what you can do. Rather than focus on the losses, try to focus your limited energy on appreciating the things that you can do.


  • HUMOR: Never underestimate the power of humor. Whoever said “laughter is the best medicine” was right. When I am feeling drained, depleted, and exhausted, one thing that can sometimes perk me up is watching a really good comedy or listening to my husband crack jokes (which sometimes include gallows humor).


    Humor has helped get me through some very TRYING times!


    It is easy to feel exhausted, drained and frazzled any day of the year when chronic illness is in the picture. To add the extra stress and commotion that the holidays can bring on top of it can really be overwhelming. Trying to pace yourself and to have realistic expectations of what you can and can’t do (and in what time frame) can be very helpful. If you have done more than your body would have liked, it’s worth it to take the time out to replenish your energy. Trying to run on empty only takes a person so far. Eventually, the body will make its displeasure abundantly clear!

    I realize there really isn’t anything that novel/unique in this post. Much of what is listed above falls into the category of common sense. However, it has been my experience that a great many patients take comfort in knowing they are not alone in these struggles and find it reassuring to give themselves “permission” to rest and recover after overdoing. Sometimes it’s easier to give oneself such “permission” when the obvious is stated. Sometimes it just makes it easier to give oneself that time to bounce back after periods of extra activity or travel or very busy schedules. It is OK to take the time to get rejuvenated… whatever methods work for you!

    This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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  • November 30, 2011   3 Comments

    Three Wonderful Years!


    Wow! It’s really hard to believe that the first blog post I ever wrote was three years ago… on June 1, 2008.

    What is that saying again? Time flies when you’re having fun?


    There are many things happening in my personal life right now that are making it difficult for me to spend as much time writing as I would like. I had hoped to do something special for today’s anniversary post.



    I decided that with my limited energy it would be best for me to take a look back…


    Before there was this:



    There was this:



    I’ve have decided today to do a look back at some of the topics that have been covered since June 1, 2009 here on Chronic Healing and also before that from June 1, 2008 through May 31, 2009 on Jeanne’s Endo Blog.

    This blog has covered many topics. Regular readers are aware that one of the topics I have focused on the most is endometriosis, which I have been living with for 29 years.

    As fellow endometriosis patients, we have banded together to advocate for ourselves by writing letters to the editor and signing a petition to promote endometriosis awareness and understanding… among many other activities.

    GoPetition


    According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, about 40% of patients with endometriosis will experience some degree of infertility. Infertility is another topic that has been covered here.

    In addition, I have written about topics such as fibromyalgia and migraines and about ways to stay active despite illness-induced barriers… such as in this post regarding how I found a way to ride a bike again despite vulvodynia.


    I have written about various awareness days or months such as this post where I mentioned Lyme Disease, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.

    Also, I have written about interstitial cystitis and made a video about bladder instillations.

    While this series on dysautonomia is older, it still gets many visitors. I made a video about Raynaud’s and fibromyalgia here.

    Possibly the most important post I have ever written, in my opinion, was this one about suicide prevention. Many visitors have viewed this (and related blog posts). This is a very important topic that warrants serious attention.

    (Be sure to click below to view the link that explains why the “cash cow” is pictured here).


    The following post is about patients who are viewed as a revenue source. Regardless of what chronic illness(es) one has, it is important to be informed about the fact that there are companies, organizations, and people who prey on patients. No one wants to be a “cash cow”.

    There are obviously some heavy subjects covered on this blog. I try to balance things out with humor, music, and art. If I were to write about the subjects above without ever taking a moment to step back and take a breath, I would surely be quickly overwhelmed.

    I don’t travel much and when I do the results are often disastrous. However, last summer, we managed to have a trip that went well. It made for a post where I could share some artwork that I enjoy.

    I promised myself that I would not single out any particular blogger for mention or thanks because I truly would never finish writing this post if I tried to do so! Since my friend Jannie Funster is currently recording her second CD, however, I feel the need to direct people’s attention to this fact because I just love her first CD and can’t wait for the next one to come out. So, if you are not familiar with Jannie’s music, please check out some videos of hers, recorded live. You won’t be disappointed by Jannie’s beautiful voice, songwriting, humor and music.


    This video (below) is of a Tori Amos song that makes me feel better when I am hurting… Almost Rosey.

    Finally, now that I have done a retrospective, so to speak, and ended with some artwork and music that I enjoy and find healing… let me close by thanking YOU.

    If you are reading this, I would like to thank you for everything you do! The mutual support that I have found from fellow patients online in the last three years is beyond anything I could possibly have imagined. Whether it is patients I’ve met through my blog itself or people I’ve met on social media sites, I am very fortunate to have met so many caring, compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent, creative, supportive, resourceful people in the last three years. It is an honor to have met and interacted with so many wonderful people.


    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support (one-on-one support “off the blog”, supporting my blog itself by reading it/commenting on it/subscribing to it, subscribing to/commenting on my blog’s YouTube channel, supporting my blog’s pages – on Facebook and Facebook’s Networked Blogs – and supporting me daily via social media).

    I only hope that I am able to provide a fraction of the support to all of you that you have given to me. I am truly honored to have gotten to know so many passionate advocates for many causes/illnesses and to have met so many role models for how to effectively advocate for oneself when interacting with healthcare professionals.

    You all truly inspire me every single day! Thank you so much!

    This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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    May 31, 2011   13 Comments

    Down The Drain…

    While I generally strive to focus my energy on things like gratitude, positive energy, and moving forward… there are times when I fill like my energy has just gone down the drain.


    My blog post titles are generally a bit cheerier than today’s but the fact is that I am exhausted right now. Some days are like that. For several days now, I have wanted to write a blog post. However, I haven’t been able to summon up the energy until now.

    Yesterday, I spent most of the day in bed. After having woken up with a migraine, I went back to bed shortly after I got up. My body was telling me in no uncertain terms to rest. So, I listened to my body.

    This time of year saps my energy because the cold weather exacerbates my fibromyalgia. So, that is a factor in my drained energy too.

    The altered schedule and additional responsibilities associated with the holidays are certainly a factor in how drained I am also.

    How about you? Do you feel drained? Is your energy level lower than you would like it to be?



    When your energy is drained, how do you rejuvenate?

    Do you get extra sleep?


    Do you listen to music? (Regular readers here know that the music that helps me the most when I need healing is that of Tori Amos). Whatever type of music you like, is it as powerful for you as it is for me?


    Do you take a hot bath?


    What do you do when you are feeling drained? What lifts your energy? Are you like me where a hot bath can help or make matters worse depending on just how low your energy level is? Are there times where you feel too dizzy or exhausted to take a hot bath? Are there other times where a hot bath makes you feel much better?

    Other than getting additional rest, listening to music, and taking a hot bath… what activities are helpful to you? I would love to hear your feedback. What works for one person may not work best for another. However, I think it can be helpful to share coping strategies. Please share some of your coping skills.

    What is in your bag of tricks?

    This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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    January 5, 2011   18 Comments

    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Remembrance Day

    Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Remembrance Day.

    Chances are that you know someone whose life has been touched by such a loss. Perhaps you know someone affected by such a loss and you are not even aware of it because our society doesn’t tend to encourage people to talk openly about it.

    If you are aware of someone who has experienced such a loss, I encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge that person or persons and let them know that you are thinking about them.

    Watch Tori Amos speak about her miscarriages here.

    Thank you.

    This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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    October 15, 2010   6 Comments