Saturday, April 3, 2010



Bright and beautiful morning... or at least I think it is...
And since I think it is... well IT IS!
That was easy ~ so here we are with me thinking of last evening and Lily the Black Bear and cubbie named

Truly a powerful name for such a little one as seen with that big tree don't ya think... but ah how she has grown from such a teeny little thing with mighty pipes as she sounded human in the den... her squeals of
MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..... and coo's watched by thousands..... a mere 10 weeks ago......

HOPE... she and Lily The Black bear now have more than 95,000 fans on the Facebook fan page... and yesterday the posts were downright pitiful... Folks just sat, they cried, they watched with longing an empty cave...
They wanted our special bears to go and wander... to do what little cubs were supposed to do, to do what Mom Bears are supposed to teach... and we all knew this day would come, they would leave the den... Lily would have to take HOPE to teach, to guide, to leave... WE DID KNOW THIS RIGHT???

But we were NOT READY FOR THEM NOT TO RETURN BY CURFEW.... We were not prepared for them to really really leave... even if we knew they were close to the den, we still were not prepared... Thousands across the world have connected via Facebook, faces known only by their pictures, (which I might add are often not of humans, but rather of dogs, symbols, mostly of Lily with ribbons supporting Jill, ribbons supporting causes like Colon Cancer, Breast Cancer, NO HUNTING vests, and the like)..

My thoughts as I watched Lily the Black bear as she was pregnant via web cam were those of wonder, the people were pulled out of their own troubles, watching this amazing bear in her own den, on her own terms preparing to give birth... the researchers and their love of the bears touched people deep in their hearts.  They were captured by Lily, by the work of Sue and Dr Rogers... they were their best selves albeit a few with their own issues... and I will not give that space here or in my head.

And then 10 weeks and 1 day ago, a miracle was seen by so many: at their desks, in schools, in homes... a tiny little cub was born... right there in the den, without human interference... Lily did an outstanding job... We cried, we applauded, we held our breaths... We let go of worldly troubles, we called friends and family and hollered and high five others and exclaimed,
"LILY HAD HER CUBBIE, OH MY DID YOU SEE IT, IT WAS AMAZING"  and we could not believe that we had been so blessed to witness it...

And from there it went ... the numbers on the fan page grew, word spread about Ely MN... a little town I had never heard of before... now I find out that my neighbor has relatives near there, that Sandy will be going there this year, will visit the center and is so very excited about it.. I am already giving her my shopping list!  And a special community began... A "new bear clan was born"!
Family of Lily born of HOPE... came together with one focus... LILY and HOPE, for the bears, for the mission of the bears and the work being done in Ely, and HOPE for a respite of the activities of daily living in a world of illness, stress, economics, hard times, and loss and grief.  And believe it or not... A North American Black Bear and her little cub ultimately given the name HOPE... did just that, she gave thousands HOPE...

HOPE in the ability to look beyond ones self
HOPE in the ability to take a stand for ones self and others
HOPE in fighting Cancer
HOPE in believing in the goodness of people
HOPE in knowing there are good people out there wanting to outshine the sun
HOHOpe in laughter
HOPE in leaving the comfort zone (climbed 20 feet first time up a tree)
HOPE in having a virtual birthday party with heartaches
HOPE in letting go, knowing hearts are always connected
HOPE in the promise of __________________________
HOPE that you can always rise to the occasion
HOPE that you can always S T O M P
HOPE that Lily will give her baby more than she will ever need in short order
HOPE humans could be as loving as bears
HOPE that humans will hold this feeling of caring

I have mt some wonderful people thanks to Lily and HOPE.. I am honored. I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Jill Schub, a woman who is a wife and mother and all around wonderful woman. She is fighting colon cancer for the second time around. She is an ardent advocate of Lily and HOPE. She is with true bear spirit and bear protection... Of all the colors of ribbons, colon cancer is blue... Lily and HOPE were wearing blue ribbons on some of the pictures at the "virtual birthday party last night in honor of Jill"... fitting I thought. I met others from the fan page who were also fighting cancer, others who are survivors of cancer, each with their own story, each with their own ribbon, their own wrist-bands...

Now at that party last night, you would have been amazed... the posts happened every few seconds, and a picture would show up, one with pizza, one with cocktails, one with nuts/berries/grapes, one with a cute little outfit for Hope, one with an Easter basket, all with comments, some funny while others were sad, some saying what in the world would they do without seeing "our girls"... Very early in the morning I had posted that I thought I was seeing signs and symptoms of a new disorder, I was calling it "Empty Den Syndrome EDS"  !!! By the evening someone had posted a photo of Dr Phi with him pointing his finger and a saying, "I think you have EDS"!!! I was sure to comment on that ~ "Hey wait a minute, that was my saying"  I mean after all, Dr Phil did not say that... heehe

My thoughts of today are many, but what is remarkable to me is this: a North American Black Bear and her cub that was given the name HOPE has allowed people from all around the globe for the most part to come together on one page and share... share their deepest thoughts, concerns, happiness, laughter, and profound tears and sadness of loss... without hesitation. I believe that it is in this intimate sharing and posting that they have without knowing it, created a moving journal of sorts, one that has allowed the very movement of energy that I have been talking about ; emotion is motion, STAND UP, STOMP, ... etc... in order to release energy in feelings from the heart, rather than to be "hung up in their heads"... they have for the most part shared freely and loved openly a four-legged and her cub... on a very primal level openly and safely through the wireless connection.... keeping in mind the old saying the the most reliable wireless connection is the Universal Oneness of spirit... perhaps this has indeed been the truest spiritual connection ever made for many... it has been from the heart, the soul...

One woman I have met is named Nita, lovely woman with a great love of "our girls" and a great sense of humor. In our talks and in one of the many discussion boards she created a very funny spin off on Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' stages of grief for those there today missing Lily and baby HOPE while staring and crying at the empty den! She has written these 7 stages for those  who are grieving what has been 10+ weeks with HOPE and Lily knowing they have now moved out of the den... and she told me she would "be honored" if I included it here... so, here we go, the 7 Bearly Stages of Grief, from the heart of a Lily and HOPE LOVER...

The many tears cried for Lily and HOPE were also shed for losses unresolved... tears that have been held for so long, and tears for those that have been met on a page of caring and loving people who now fear that they will not continue their connection, held together by bear spirit and kindness across the world beyond touch beyond human understanding... let us only hope they stay in their hearts and not try to go into their heads...

7 Bearly Stages of Grief

As Adapted For Our Bears & All In Good Fun!

* Shock Stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.

"Oh, no, they haven’t left the den, have they?

The den is empty? Really?"

* Denial Stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.

"Are they back yet? Still not back? Sleeping under the stars? Just camping out for the night? Spring break? They’ve been out ALL night??? Nooooooo!
I thought I saw Hope in her bunker…."

*Anger Stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled up emotion.

"Lily “Marie”& Hope “Anne”, you get in this den right now, do you hear me? (Gotta have middle names when you’re mad & yelling at them otherwise it just doesn’t sound angry enough)

You are so GROUNDED!

You’re gonna get a “spankin”!

Did someone say our bears “STINK”????



Stay away from me…….I’ve got the long nose!"

* Bargaining Stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.

"I will buy you grapes & filberts if you come back.

I will go to the ends of the earth to find ant pupae. Yum! It’s out of season, you know! What kind would you like: Carpenter ant, red ant, fire ant, pith ant…you name it, it’s yours!

* Depression Stage: Final realization of the inevitable.

"I’m still in my pajamas, my house is a mess and I don’t care.

I need my bear, I mean beer…..!"

* Testing Stage: Seeking realistic solutions.

"Will you pick me up on your way to Ely?

Can we make Lily wear a “crittercam”?"

* Acceptance Stage: Finally finding the way forward.

"See you in the fall, girls. My goodness, I’ve skipped right over summer! Ooo Ooo!"

Many of us have experienced some or all of these stages! Note to worry, it’s normal!  Smart woman that Nita is!

So for today, once you dry your eyes and realize that Dr Ross is probably getting a great laugh from the rendition of her 5 stages of grief done so well 35+ years later, all thanks to a woman who fell head over paws in love with Lily and HOPE right here in 2010, along with thousands of others around the globe...
It does indeed put a beautiful and fresh spin on loss and grief, on HOPE in healing ways now doesn't it....

The fire is burning bright, the embers are hot with the smoke rising with messages of HOPE in healing for all those who have asked for strength on the winds... you know who you are. Special and heartfelt thoughts to the Janowski and Kapetanis Families here in Tarpon Springs ... our community remains in shock and hearts are heavy...

Chris, we are stomping for you and rejoicing with gratitude of your news...

Jilly, rest, renew, restore... Warpaint on dear heart, we are with you, the messages are strong, many are walking arm in arm with you... May you find comfort in knowing that you are in the arms of powerful angels and they will protect you from all harm...

Cindy, protect on my friend, I am sure that LIzzie will keep you laughing as you battle on and strong.

Denise and Jim, blessings to you both.
Ms. V our prayers are with you and your Mom may she soon be well.
Dorothy P, you are on our minds and in our hearts may healing be yours soon.
Judi Moga, blessings to you as you continue on and are strong enough to return to what you love to do... take best care of YOU.
Laura, laugh, dance and get ready to rah rah Shauna on that MS ride ~

The list goes on, and so do the thoughts and prayers. For that I give thanks on this most beautiful day... And So It Is! Wado ~

Walk In Beauty ~

author of

Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life, Infinity Publishing

order yours at the website or
Amazon, Borders,



I r e n e said...

Oh ! , I can't b e a r it !!!!!!
CHRIS: such positive, great news on your front
Take care. Our prayers and thoughts stay with u
I am helping a friend MOVE, today is major
cleaning day, last minute carpet shampoo, kitchen, bathroom, windows, etc.
I love to help others and just know someone will be there for me when I need help !
Blessed weekend everyone, what ever you celebrate, where ever you celebrate with whom ever you celebrate with !!!!!! F I R M

Anonymous said...

Time well spent this Saturday morning! Great reading material, and have thoroughly enjoyed! Grief certainly is no easy process... been through it many times, and it really never goes away. Thanks for the link!

Cindy Cumbie said...

Great site here. Thanks for the link. Yes, I miss Lily & Hope, but I don't want to see them cramped into that tiny den any longer. It is too small for them now. Great comfort to see the pic from yesterday with both of them up in the tree. Gave me a sense that they are really now where they are supposed to be. I love the idea that we are all a family of choice, Lily's clan - the family of Lily born of Hope. Thats wonderful. I would so love to visit Ely - but I live in Sarasota & just can not afford the trip. I have three cats, one of whom is diabetic - so that means any trip requires expensive petsitting services. Anyway, I'm not complaining - I love my cat babies.
So sorry for your lose at the Publix in Tarpon Springs. So sad - People hurt so much that they have to destroy others.

Vicki said...

I love the messages of HOPE in todays blog...
Great news Chris! Looks like all the prayers were answered...
Prayers to the Janowski/Kapetanis family and all those suffering...
Have a wonderful Easter!
Belssings to all...

Anonymous said...

Dr SES. you are so amazing that it is Bearly Believable! Another fabulous blog. Lily born of Hope. We all hope little Lily does well as she learns to STOMP her little paws. Hope, her Momma is ready for all the action. Enjoy this day.

chris said...

i had just a beautiful day today-thinking of bearly bear and her cub-it certainly is comforting news that life goes on-just the way nature intended it to. Enjoy the weekend--life renewed. Fantastic! Prayers for Jilly and all those who are fighting the fight!!

dorothybrown said...

Chris you are AMAZING! Newly parted from the girls and sending encouragemnet to others "fighting the fight". Love you from the bottom of my heart. Hope you are feeling better. Resting and celebrating your good news too.