Rusty's Reach 1


Rusty's Reach is an organization started to encourage people to reach out to each other before it's too late.

Rusty's Reach: A message to my sisters; a lesson for the world.

Rusty's Reach to his estranged mother, who died on his grave a few days after he was buried.
With this action, he seemed to be saying to his four sisters he left behind:
"I'm reaching out to mom. I've got her! We are reconciled and I'm taking her to The Lord. Tell others, don't wait till it's too late!"

We encourage you to reach out to those you love, before it's too late.

Rusty's Reach is an organization started to encourage people to reach out to each other before it's too late.

Rusty's Reach: A message to my sisters; a lesson for the world.

On January 7, 2005 a very unusual thing happened at a military cemetery in California. An estranged mother was putting flowers on the grave of her recently deceased son. She hadn't spoken to him for quite a while as he was going through a private time and shut her out of his life. He was busy starting a new company and felt overwhelmed with all the big personalities of his sisters and mother.(His father passed away several years before.)

The mother (Jeannette) was crushed by this, as Russ was her only son out of five children. The day before Christmas Eve she got the shattering news that her precious son perished from an unknown heart blockage at only 45. His four sisters were equally devastated at the loss of their beloved quiet brother.

As Jeannette and one of his sisters were putting flowers on his grave, the heart-broken mother said something like, "Yes, I think these flowers look lovely," as she slowly slid into the soft, cold mud from the recent rains and died of undiagnosed heart disease at 71.

Panic and years of trauma, heartache, depression, anger and sadness followed this unprecedented event. It wasn't until years later that his other sister, Kimberly, thought that there must be a reason that her mother died on the grave of her recently deceased son. And then it hit her: Russ (Rusty as he was known as a child) was sending a message to his sisters he left behind, he seemed to be saying:

"I'm reaching out to mom. I've got her! I'm taking her to the Lord. We are reconciled and fine. Please tell others, don't wait till it's too late."

 Why was this started? Kimberly West said, "It took many years for me to get to a place of healing. When I realized that my brother might have been sending us an important message from beyond, I knew I had to act. I also saw how this rift between him and his mother and sisters was partially caused by a lack of understanding of personality styles. He was the only one who lived in The Observatory (a quiet, very precise, sensitive guy). While he was quietly trying to live his life, his very extroverted mother and sisters (who might live in The Castle and/or The Circus) could be pretty over powering~so he shut them out, while he pursued his dream of owning his own trucking company."


Oh, and let's not forget another important dynamic: he was the only boy stuck right in the middle of two older and two younger sisters! 


Started by Personality-Ville founder, Kimberly West, sister to Russ "Rusty" Herbener, with the best of healing and love to her sisters.


Here is a resource for information on heart disease. Women, especially don't heed the warning signs of a heart attack because they are different than men's sometimes. Jeannette had mild chest pain for several days, and didn't think it was bad enough to get help. 

Contact your local counselor, therapist, or clergy to help you to reconcile with loved ones as they can guide you in the right direction.

Not everything is cut and dry. Many families have unique and complicated situations.

(The following is an opinion of the author~a former counselor~and is not meant to take the place of professionals.)

"Take the concept of, 'I'm Right and you're Wrong,' and throw it out the window!"

Is it a simple "reach"? Here's some wording that might work for you. Really in the end, aren't some challenges this simple?

Writing/talking to the person: "I'm sorry we are not in a good place. Whatever I have done to hurt you or cause you pain, I apologize. I never want to do that. Please forgive me and I hope we can go forward. I love you."

Receiving a "reach" request: "I accept your apology. I am sorry for my part in creating this space between us. I never want to hurt you or our relationship either. I want to go forward from here. I love you, too."   

(I don't care if your part is 10% of the problem~own YOUR part and drop it! And let's not forget to STOP doing/saying the thing that hurt them if possible!)

 Sometimes at the guidance of a professional, meetings may be needed to go forward in a healthy manner at this point. Many times, especially if the problem is really not of a serious nature, and if both people have sincerely meant the above exchange, by all means go forward! Stop hashing back and forth with, "You said this! And you told so and so.... And you yelled at me .... bla, bla, bla!!" Give it up! Forgive and let go.

Example: I knew of a father and son who weren't seeing each other. Why? The son said he was hurt that the father didn't spend enough time with him when he was younger. The father saw the son later in life. The son held onto this pain and stopped seeing his dad. His dad kept trying to see his son, but the son wouldn't return his calls. I have heard this situation time and time again with sons and mothers, sister and brothers, and so on.

Not everything is cut and dry. Many families have unique and complicated situations. Our own family is still healing from all the trauma. Our goal is progress, not perfection.


Here are some resources to help:

 Sometimes, sessions may be done over the phone or skype~servicing all areas.

In North Iowa . .


Resources in Southern California: Andrew Whaling, MFCC (Pasadena, Calif.)