Repost: Courage is a Heart Word

A conspiracy of silence forces those who are suffering to hide.  It creates huge gaps between what goes on behind closed doors and public image.

And it causes those who are wounded to question the authenticity of their own experience.

I will tell my story because even though it is hardit matters.  And even though it hurts, it can help heal another.  And even though it isn’t finished, it can blaze a trail for others to follow.

Read the rest here:  Courage is a Heart Word

 

 

 

 

 

Why We Have to Tell Our Stories & Why We Need Someone to Listen

We’ve all been at the family dinner table when an elder launches into THAT story-the one that gets dragged out every holiday and several times in between.

Often our eyes roll and we exchange knowing glances with the younger set as if to say, “Here we go again!”

But we point our faces toward the speaker, lean in and lap it up.  

Because we know this story is important to her or else she wouldn’t be sharing it again.

You learn a lot about your parents and grandparents, older aunts and uncles by listening carefully to the stories that have stuck around in a head that finds it hard to remember what the body had for breakfast.

Some of the stories are wonderful.  Sweet, sweet memories of special times and special friends; of younger years and youthful dreams. 

Some of the stories are tragic.  The baby brother or sister who only lived a few days or months.  The mother that died too soon because there were no drugs to treat a common condition.  The friend that never came home from the war.

The stories are windows into souls.

our lives are stories take time to listen

Some of us have stories that need telling NOW.  We can’t wait until our age guarantees us a captive audience.

Because telling the stories helps our hearts.  

A fellow bereaved mom who has a gift for finding exquisite quotes found this one:

Sometimes I think that if it were possible to tell a story often enough to make the hurt ease up, to make the words slide down my arms and away from me like water, I would tell that story a thousand times.

~Anita Shreve, The Weight of Water

Every time I tell the story of Dominic, it helps to keep him real. 

It reminds my heart that he lived, that he mattered, that he matters still.

And in the telling, I am giving away a little bit of him for another heart to carry.  His light is passed to another soul that can pass it to another and another.

It doesn’t really take away the hurt and sorrow, but it does help me bear it.

So if I launch into the same old rendition of my favorite memories of my missing son, bear with me.

Be a witness.

Help me carry the burden.  

we all need people who will listen to our stories

 

Repost: Don’t Want to Miss a Post? Here’s How.

I’m reposting this one just to help those of you that either want to catch every blog post and/or want an easy way to share them with friends and other bereaved parents.  ❤

I’m no tech expert.  I kind of blunder about like a blind mouse searching for cheese most of the time. So I feel you if you haven’t figured out how to make sure you get each day’s blog post.

For those that do want it each morning here are several ways to get it:

Read the rest here:  Don’t Want to Miss a Post? Here’s How.

Bone Deep Grief

My fellow bereaved mother and blogger, Kathleen Duncan, recently wrote that she felt she was done writing about grief.

It’s been  a little over four years since her son Andrew ran ahead to heaven and, as she explains:

I think I’m done.

I think I’m done writing about death. Writing and thinking about death, grief, and pain doesn’t help me anymore. And it may be detrimental for me to spend time writing about those topics. ~ Kathleen B. Duncan

Both our sons were killed instantly in an accident (although the details are different) and both were vibrant young men pursuing what they loved when they left this life.

That got me to thinking since I’m only a few months behind her in my own grief journey.

Because my experience seems to be very different from hers.  

I still find writing not only helpful, but healing.  And while I think of many things in addition to grief, I still think about grief often-not only my own, but that of others.  Not only the grief of bereaved parents, but of all the suffering, broken people I meet or hear about each day.

The feeling is different, but it remains.  

At first my grief was so overwhelming and the sorrow loomed so large that it was constantly before my eyes.  Everything I saw, heard, experienced or felt was filtered through tears.  The world was a blurry place and life was unbearably hard.  Every day I labored to lift my head from the pillow and roll my body from the bed.  Every morning I remembered afresh that Dominic was not here, that my family circle was broken, that another 24 hours loomed large and lonely before me.

It’s definitely not like that anymore.

But, for me, what’s changed is the location of my sorrow and sadness, not the FACT of it.

Now, instead of being in front of me, my sorrow has bored its way into my bones.  It rests deep inside the core of who I am, woven into the fabric of me.

I think of it like I think of being a mother.  

My “baby” is 25 years old.  But if I hear a plaintive “Mama!” in a store, I instinctively turn to see where the desperate or needy child may be.  I can’t resist even when my head tells me that whoever it is, isn’t MY responsibility.

My heart responds because “Mama” is an unchangeable part of my identity.

I don’t cry every day.  I don’t only see, feel or hear things through a veil of tears anymore. But bereavement has changed me forever.  It remains part of the way I experience the world.

I appreciate Kathleen.  I hate that we are part of the same “club” where the dues are higher than anyone would willingly pay but I love the precious community of loving parents who are willing to share their journeys through blogs, closed groups and published books.

And I am blessed by honesty, transparency and authenticity-whatever that looks like.

For me, that’s to continue writing about my grief journey.  For someone else, maybe not. 

There’s room for everyone because what calls courage to MY heart might not call courage to yours. 

I suspect that just as our children are unique, the circumstances surrounding their deaths unique and we are unique, so will be our grief experience. 

grief-is-as-individual-as-a-snowflake

 

Choosing to Be a Lighthouse

There are two ways to deal with the scars pain leaves behind: try to cover them up or display them boldly.

Hiding seems the easier way so many times-because the scars are tender and the last thing I want is to invite more pain.  But it takes great effort and is rarely successful.

The edges peek out here and there and then I’m left awkwardly trying to explain how I got them and what they mean.

If I refuse to hide my scars and instead lay them open to the world, I am vulnerable, true. But I am also in a position to help others who are suffering the same pain that etched those scars in my heart.

business-authenticity

 

 

So I choose not to hide.  

I choose to be a lighthouse.  

 

 

Not because I think I can steer others clear of the rocks of loss and sorrow, but because I want them to know they are not alone.

the scars you share become lighthouses

 

 

 

Don’t Want to Miss a Post? Here’s How.

I’m no tech expert.  I kind of blunder about like a blind mouse searching for cheese most of the time. So I feel you if you haven’t figured out how to make sure you get each day’s blog post.

For those that do want it each morning here are several ways to get it:

Sign up to receive the post via email.  You will get the whole post (minus the featured image at the top) unless it’s a repost and then you’ll have to click through to “read the rest.”

Sign up to receive posts via a WordPress account.  You don’t have to actually start a blog to have a free WordPress account.  Daily posts show up in your reader list when you log onto the site.

Follow my public Facebook page:  Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child.  I generally post early in the morning and the post can be shared easily from here to your own FB page if you like.

Go to my personal Facebook page (Melanie DeSimone) where I set those posts on “public” for easy access/sharing.

Follow me on Pinterest:  Melanie DeSimone Pinterest-I post the blog on a board called “The Life I Didn’t Choose” and also in “Grief”.

Follow me on Twitter:  @DesimoneMelanie.  I’m not a big Twitter user but for those that are, this is an easy way to view/share the blog posts.

Some of you are part of closed bereaved parents groups and I post there as well.

But if you want to share the post, you will need to access it another way.  If you share from the closed groups it shows as “attachment unavailable”  except to other group members even if you set it on “public”.

The social media icons on the right hand side of a post will take you to my Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest page.  For some reason the Google+ link won’t work but I’ll keep trying (told you I was no tech genious!)

I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read what I write-it makes me feel that this pain is being redeemed, just a little.  And I am so thankful and blessed by feedback on the blog and via social media posts-let me hear from you!

It gives my heart courage to keeep sharing.  

your-story-could-be-the-key

Please Share!

I realized after I wrote about the recent incident where someone plagiarized my blog there was a good deal of confusion about HOW to share it appropriately.

I wanted to clear up the confusion.  So here’s how to do it:

  • I post every blog set on “public” on my personal Facebook page.  You are always welcome to share it like any Facebook post which means it will include my original comments and the link to the blog;
  • I post every blog on the public page Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child and it can be shared from there the same way;
  • You can click on the LINK to the blog and use any of the social media buttons at the bottom of the blog to share to the social media platform of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.);
  • If you are a WordPress user, you may reblog any post by clicking that button-you will have the option to add personal comments and then the blog will show up on your site with a link back to my original post.

I also post the blog on several closed bereaved parents’ sites on Facebook.  

If that’s where you see it, please click on the link and share from the blog itself to protect the privacy of those sites and the people who belong to them.

A great way to be sure you never miss a post is to sign up to receive blog posts in your email.  Just click on the “follow blog via email” button on the right hand side of any blog post.  

You get the whole post-not just a link that makes you click through.  That’s an easy, fast way to get it every morning without having to get on Facebook.  You can forward the email to friends if you like.

Really the only way NOT to share the blog is by copying and pasting the content and then posting it as your own.

I love, love, love when I get feedback from another bereaved parent that says what I’ve written is what they feel or have experienced.  Not because I wish this pain on a single soul, but because I know others share my pain and I am thankful that sometimes MY words help them put THEIR feelings into a form they can share with others.

So, if a particular post is helpful to you-please DO SHARE.   ❤