Forever I Will See your Smile

When Will I Get to this Place

Letters From Mom
When Will I Get to this Place
The Pain of Finding Peace
Dedication to Donna James and The Strength She Shares
The Gift of Love "My Son's Memory"
Angel Memory Quilt
Angels Love From Heaven
Angels Love From Heaven
Angels Love From Heaven
Ballons From Heaven

A life lost in deepest sorrow,

I'm thinking of you is all

The heavenly love shared

For the gift of another tomorrow.

God brought about a miracle

To mend that heart so torn



You Can Cry Or You Can Smile...

You can shed tears that he is gone
or you can smile because
he had lived.
You can close you eyes and pray
that he’ll come back
Or open your eyes
and see all he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because
you can’t see him
Or you can be full
of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow
and live in yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow
because of yesterday.
You can remember him
and only that he’s gone
Or you can cherish
his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind
be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he’d want;
Smile, open your eyes, love
and go on.
--Author Unknown



Anthony Portillo


How do you keep life’s music playing

How do I help you understand what I’m saying

when this feeling of loss and emptiness consumes me

How I pray someone or something would set me free


Like floating thru a void that has no beginning and no end

These tattered and broken emotions I will try to mend

Hopeless are the thoughts that fill a guilty mind

And never were so true the words, life is unkind


Cold and cruel now is this life, with a hole so immense

Which way to go, which way to turn I have no sense

To laugh and to play these things seem so far away

To live without this pain in my life, how I long for that day


Searching my thoughts for happiness already spent

To feel that again all my prayers I have sent

I could never imagine a world without you

To carry on is something I must find a way to do


Moving On

It’s what everyone
wants me to do
They all think that I should,
but no one tells me how.

Moving on
Is it some kind of a trip?
Does it require a destination?
I hardly have energy
to be where I am.
Where would I find more?

Moving on
Away from who I am now?
Away from all I have known?
Away from my pain?
Away from your death?
But where could I go
that all of this
would not go with me?
Nowhere, I think

Now if only they’d leave me alone.
When I am ready,
I will find my own way
To move on,
While taking you along

Reprinted with permission from
Grief Digest, Centering Corp.
Omaha Nebraska


Message of Hope

from the National Donor Family Council Executive Member
Claude Sampson 

My name is Claude Sampson. I serve on the Executive Committee of the National Donor Family Council (NDFC) and I have been asked to contribute a Message of Hope. When I was asked to contribute,  I was not sure what the message should look like. Hope means different things to different people. 


I was asked to serve on the NDFC because I have a son who became a tissue donor. My son Jeff, 19, was killed in an automobile collision in 2005 by a young man driving 100 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. In the blink of an eye, Jeff's life was taken from him and the lives of his surviving family were changed forever. Like the stories of most donor families, the story of my family is similar in that Jeff was young and died suddenly. And, as is also the case with many young donors, Jeff died violently at the hands of another. In addition to losing Jeff to an automobile collision, sitting through a criminal trial, participating in a civil trial and attempting to navigate through each day, our family has also lost a daughter to cancer.  Susan was 37 in 2005 when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She struggled valiantly for a year, losing her fight in 2006 leaving behind a husband and young son.


So where is the hope in losing two children in the span of 13 months? There is a familiar saying that goes God does not give us any more than we can handle.‚€Ě Pretty straightforward in its‚€™ meaning; however my wife, Paula, shared with me her interpretation of that expression. My wifes view is that God does not give us more than we can handle at any one point in time. If God placed on us at once all that has happened to us, and I am referring to all of us who have lost loved ones or children, we would probably be overwhelmed beyond our ability to cope.   


To borrow an expression from The Shack, the recent best selling book, this is the period of The Great Sadness. We who have lost loved ones have entered the new normal where life continues but will never be the same as it once was. The message of hope is that we will be reunited one day. Unfortunately, being reunited in the future is not much comfort in the present for many of us. The message of hope for the present is that we attempt to attach meaning to the life of our loved one and make sense out of what has happened. We have done that through the organ and/or tissue donation. Our hope comes from the fact that our loved ones death helped someone.


Even though we have the satisfaction that our loved one lives on through someone else, we continue to search for answers. But most times, there are no answers; only more questions. We volunteer, we attend support groups where we can talk about our loved one in a safe environment, we try to help others through our own experiences and that is the real message of hope.


How the message of hope plays out is different for each of us. Continue to seek answers.  Never give up hope; never stop seeking; for as you seek and question, you heal. The message of hope goes on and we will eventually come full circle even though we will always be of the new normal.




Claude Sampson

Donor Father

NDFC Executive Committee member



In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart