Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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I chose the picture of the hummingbird for a specific reason.  When we had the benefit for Tim in September of 2010, I decided to make him a DVD for a surprise.  I interviewed groups of people in his life, who told favorite stories or facts about Tim.

Tim was extremely dedicated to his work.  He felt confident and productive and useful there.  And his work loved him.  When I snuck over to his job to interview them, his boss talked about how they refer to him at work as “The Little Hummingbird”.  I thought it was a perfect description of him and the hummingbird has now become the symbol of him for our family.  We have a beautiful one at the cemetery my sister gave him.

There is plenty of information out there about hummingbirds- legends, myths, interesting facts.  I don’t get that fancy in my mind.  His boss’s description of Tim is more than sufficient.  Tim was only 5 ft 5 inches, but he had the energy of someone twice his size.  When I watch hummingbirds, they are just such an amazing thing to look at.  Their wings flutter at an amazing pace but they seem to stand still at the same time.   Tim literally ran around whenever he did anything.  He had almost a frenetic pace about him.  Busy, busy and fast, fast.  Extremely hard worker.

Tomorrow would have been our hummingbird’s 51st birthday.  Not sure what we will do to commemorate the day, but we will think of something.  It’s an odd date now, as he no longer is on this earth in flesh and blood.  We are more in tune to October 14, the day of his re-birth into another world.  A better world.  One without cancer and limitations.

But we will still recognize you tomorrow, our beloved Hummingbird.   Because we are so very, very grateful you were born on this earth and we had the opportunity to be in your life with you.  And you allowed us the sacred opportunity to be with you as you left this life.  Always love and miss you, partner!

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

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