Category Archives: Uncategorized

Grieving man pens song for brother

My son, John Cacciatore, is a grieving man.  He lost his younger brother (my youngest child), in a car accident in 2008.  John is a very talented songwriter and musician, and he turned to music to deal with his grief.   He wrote this song, Forever Mine, about three months after his brother died.   It was a very dark, sorrowful time for him.  Music kept him from going over the edge.  He is still a grieving man and misses and thinks about his brother every day.  But, he is married now and has a one year old son (my grandson), who he named Carmen.  As time passes, this grieving man has found peace and love, and happiness.

Nothing can replace or fill the void that was his brother, but John has found happiness in his life with his beautiful family by his side.  I pray you never go through losing a child or a sibling but if you do, look for people who can relate to how you feel.  We are here, in the quiet recesses of society, gently and courageously carrying our loss knowing hopelessly that it is a lifelong journey.   

This is his song for his brother.                                                             

7 Deadly Sins Anthology


My short story, The Toll Free Day, is included in the 7 Deadly Sins Anthology  published by Harvardwood Press. It is presently available on Amazon as an e-book and a paperback.

“Seven Deadly Sins, featuring poets and fiction writers from around the world is a no-holds barred selection of writing on the darker parts of human nature, which we mostly try to repress or at least keep hidden. Our contributors delve into lust and revenge, gluttony and hate with gusto, allowing the reader to vicariously indulge in these sins without any consequences. Harvardwood Press is delighted to launch its imprint with this inaugural collection, with lots more to come.

Christmas Time Blues




The holidays are a tough time for so many people, including myself.  I spend a lot of time thinking about and reminiscing about my son and other people I miss.  I wrote this song to express the longing I feel during this time of year.

My song can be downloaded from iTunes!


My video o Youtube:

 Christmas Time Blues

The strategy of parenting


I was visiting with my son, John, who is now almost 29 years old.  We sat in his living room,  remembering
things from when he was young.  He told me, “Do you remember that time when I was like 7 or 8 years old, and we were at the store, and then we left the store and when we got in the car you saw that I had a piece of candy.
Do you remember that you made me go back into the store and give it back?”

I looked at him and said, “I did?! Oh my, did I go in with

He said, “No, you waited in the car. I had to go in there, wait
in line by myself and give the candy back to the lady and say I was
sorry.”  He said he was glad I made him do that.

Honestly, I can barely remember this (it was almost 20 years ago), but I do.  I raised my kids to be accountable, or I tried to anyway.  Although there are probably plenty of things I didn’t do right, I’m glad I made him do that, too.

I think parenthood, at a fundamental level, is all about creating and following strategy toward a particular long-term goal which is attained through the life lessons we teach daily, from one moment to the next.  It’s a classroom of sorts.  When I was raising my kids I was always considering my long-term goal, which was to raise responsible, caring, respectful, creative, hard working, resourceful, brave, self-motivated people.  So, I would constantly assess my parenting and ask myself, “Am I guiding my child toward that particular goal.”  They’re all grown now, leading the lives I’d hoped and prayed they would.  Each one realizing his or her own individual greatest potential and following his or her own unique path.  I gave them the foundation which gave them the skills so they could become who they are today. I don’t know if they realize how much they amaze me and that in fact, they always have.

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

For Grieving Parents – you’re not alone

I recently updated my website and while working on it I was inspired to add a new page dedicated to grieving parents (or anyone who is grieving actually).Here is a link to the new page:
For Grieving Parents

I’ve also written the text from the new page here on my Blog.  I offer a free gift to grieving parents.


You happened on this page for a reason.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve lost a child or because you’re just curious, you are here.  Although I’ve dedicated this page to those of you who have lost a child/children, I offer my heart and compassion to anyone experiencing grief (that means all of us because not one person on earth has been spared the agony and pain of losing a loved one).   I hope my words of hope, compassion and kindness and my music help ease your pain. 

I became a grieving parent at approximately 5:20 pm August 7, 2008.
This is when my 20 year old son Carmen, driving home from his brother’s house, skidded into a tree and died.  Not only did my son loose his life that day, but it also signified the “death” of the life I knew.  He was here one minute and gone the next….no good-bye…..just gone.  I have to admit that up until that point I never even contemplated what it would be like to loose a child, and honestly I could never relate to people who had.  Sure, I felt sorry for “them,” and I always prayed to never loose one of mine, but I never ever thought about the fact that it could really happen to me.  I just niavely assumed I was somehow above this very common occurance (the same way I thought I’d never ever get divorced). I don’t know why I would ever assume these truths but I did, and I was blind sided.

When my son first passed away, I really wanted to die.  I wanted the pain I was in to stop.  My whole body ached.  My heart, mind, and soul were broken.  I was nothing but a shell of sorrow in the depths of a despair I never could have imagined.  Time is passing though regardless of whether I want it to.  In some ways it’s a good thing because I am
further and further away from those early days of losing him.  Yet, in others ways it’s not such a good thing because each new day takes me further and further away from the last time I talked to him, held him, told him I loved him, or seen him.  I can’t believe it’s been 5 1/2 years.  I found in the early days of losing him the very best I could do was to just get out of bed.  I made sure, even though I hated to, that I got up at least once a day (sometimes just to go to the bathroom).  I knew I didn’t really want to die even though I wanted the pain to stop.
I also still made time for my other children, who were suffering greatly.  It was so very difficult to try to support them when I needed support, though, and I don’t know if I did a very good job.  I am selfishly grateful my three other children were all in their 20’s and that they each were in long term relationships when this happened.   One of the hardest things I’ve found since he died has been trying to find meaning in my life.  Back then, my son (being my youngest) was my “meaning,” and I had to face the fact that now he was gone.  I also had just gone through a very difficult divorce after being married for decades.  On top of that my father died three weeks before my son.  I really had no idea why I even needed to be here anymore.  Miraculously, something deep inside me, deeper even than my grief, recognized that In
order to survive, I needed to find/create a reason.  Thus, my music was inspired into life.  I’d found a purpose!:  I would produce a CD of songs dedicated to my son for 1) him, so he would know how much I love him, 2) so he would not be forgotten and 3) so I could help other grieving people.

Play Music

Producing my CD became my reason for living and seeing the  songs  come to life at the studio helped my heart to begin to heal.  The music was the focus of my life, and I poured all my money, emotion and energy into it.  I was still a broken person, but I was also becoming a new person from the  ashes of my despair. This new journey I find myself on, that  of a mother carrying the memory of her dead child, has been the most gut wretching, sorrowful of my life but it has also been the most rewarding and the most spiritually uplifting
of my life, too.  Music and the purpose for it, is the reason I am still here today.  I’ve spent all of my savings to produce my music, and I wouIdn’t trade that for anything in the whole world.   There was a purpose for me, and it was to create and share my music.

So now here I am four years later.  I’ve gone from being newly
divorced, unemployed, grieving a child,  never writing or recording a song in my life and knowing zero about the music industry, to writing and producing three CDs, given countless radio and newspaper interviews, having my music played on radio stations around the world, creating an online presence that includes this website, my Blog, YouTube, Facebook,
Reverbnation, and selling my music in person and through my website and on iTunes and CD Baby.  Most importantly, however, is the fact that I have a way to provide comfort to other grieving parents.

All the while I was creating my music, I was also working tirelessly to simplify my personal life.  I can honestly say that I am living right now the most peaceful existence (which I share with my two cats and chickens that I raise)  I ever thought possible.  You know what though, I don’t think any of this would have been possible had I not lost my son
because losing him gave me a level of wisdom and understanding about the true meaning of “life is short.”  We really are only here for a sort time, and so we’d better be living the life we desire.  I have also acquired the essence of being truly grateful for every single minute I am alive.  I take nothing for granted and recognize my humble
connection to the rest of creation.    

                          Regardless of where you are in your journey, I want you to know that I am here for you.  I “get it.”  You can email me anytime and also look me up on Facebook.  I receive mail from people all over the world.  You are not alone.  I also want you to know that I have a gift for you. 

You see, my CD is produced for those who are grieving.  If you want to purchase Whisper On the Wind, you certainly may through my music page and/or you can also make a donation of any amount on my “you can help” page.  However if you want to receive the CD as a gift I will mail it to you.  My goal is simply to help you heal and music has just the specified qualities to help you do that.  My words are your words.  My emotions are your emotions.  I want you to have it whether you can afford to purchase it or not.

All you have to do is send me a message, request the CD in your message along with your mailing address, click submit, and I will send it to you free of charge.  I will offer this free gift as long as I have CDs and the money to ship them.  This is why donations in any amount really help.  I will contact you once I receive your message. 






Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Homemade bread warms any heart.

         breadI made bread today.  This is the same recipe my mom learned when she was a young girl.  She then taught it to me.  I in turn taught it to my daughter.  Now, I make the bread with my grandchildren.  There’s nothing like the smell of bread baking on a cold winter day and nothing like a piece of bread hot out of the oven covered with melting butter.  I have so many wonderful memories of making this bread when I was a young girl.

This is a really simple, inexpensive recipe.  I’ve never owned a bread machine, nor do I ever intend on buying one.  I love the process of kneading and letting the dough rise.  It’s a most rewarding activity on a quiet Friday night or a Sunday afternoon.  Keeps the house nice and warm too.


flour into a large bowl.  In a small bowl crumble yeast with 1/2 teas.
sugar, in 3/4 cup lukewarm water and stir.  Let stand 5 minutes (cover
with a cloth).  Make a well in the flour and with a knife stir in yeast
mixture.  Let stand for a hal\f hour to rise.  Drop eggs, oil, salt and
sugar, and lukewarm water into well.  By hand mix and knead
for 10 minutes.  Knead thoroughly until
smooth and elastic.  Place in greased bowl and turn once to coat the
dough.  Cover bowl with damp cloth and let stand until almost double
(put the bowl in a warm place.  I turn on the oven and put the bowl on
my kitchen counter).  Punch down, knead again 2 minutes.  Let rise again
until almost double.  Punch down and knead again for a minute.  Then
cut the dough intostrands, three at a time.  Roll out the strands until they reach about 9 inches long each.  Then tag
the three at the top to each other and braid them.  Tag the ends
together.  Repeat making braided loaves with the remaining dough.  Place
loaves on greased pans or bread pans (I use both).  Let rise for
another hour.  Brush with beaten egg sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds
(optional).  Place in cold oven (This is what the recipe says but I
don’t do it.  I preheat the oven).  Turn heat to 400, and then after 15
minutes reduce heat to 375.  Bake for 25 minutes longer until golden brown.
Remove from pan at once.  Cool on rack.
Let me know how your bread comes out.  Most importantly: enjoy!


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Poems for my son, Carmen (r.i.p.)

I wrote these poems a few weeks after my son died in 2008.  Honestly, some days are just better than others.





Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Positive no matter what.


Dear Reader:

I was thinking on the topic of people who have a positive perspective.  It seems like maybe there are people who might think that the reason other people can be upbeat and positive is because they have it easy.  Those people might say to themselves, “Geez, if that person had my health issues or my financial problems (etc.), he or she would never be able to keep that positive attitude.  Just let him stand in my shoes, and we’ll see how upbeat he can be.”

So I thought about this and something interesting occurred to me.  I don’t think that positive people are positive because they are spared obstacles or challenges, they are positive because they are confident that no matter what happens in their lives they will find and/or create solutions and options for themselves.  They make things happen.  This requires a strong mind and positive people know this. I think no matter what happens in their lives they are able to keep focused and find things to be grateful for.  For instance, instead of being devastated and depressed over losing a job, the positive person will absolutely recognize the challenge, maybe even initially be anxious about it, but rather than being consumed with despair they are disciplined and direct their focus toward being hopeful about how the change creates now possibilities and potentials and rather than blaming anyone else for the problem, they are grateful for whatever opportunity comes from it.

It might also be true that because positive people focus on positive, hopeful things the quality of their lives is more uplifting and positive and since the quality of their lives is more uplifting and positive they are able to find more things to be upbeat about.  It’s a win win.   Similarly, this concept works in the same way for those people who are negative, too.  If they focus on negative things then they’ll be more aware of negative things consequently they’ll find more negative things to focus on.  The quality of their lives will be negative.  It’s a loose loose.

Although it is a bit more complex than simply choosing a focus, a major component of staying positive is choosing to be so.

I know this (and hopefully you do, too) from my own life and how I’ve chosen to move myself forward from tragedies and challenges.  Although there have been times in my life when events have thrust me into doubt and despair, I never-the-less turn my focus to find my lamp of hope to light my way.  I do pray a lot (and I mean throughout every single day).  I ask for help from God or just throw the request out to the universe.  I am constantly aware of things to be grateful for; all of which helps keeps me centered and balanced.

(Peace, Love, Joy)

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.