#grieving

When my grief was fresh, I fought hard against Facebook and Instagram.  It seemed like a dangerous place to go.  Why would I willingly enter a space that was designed to share a filtered worldview?  Why, when my world was so dark, would I glance upon a world that encourages the viewer to wear rose-colored glasses?  (Or,…

RISE: My Word for 2018

Words are powerful.  They can hurt, they can heal, and they can guide you.  As I enter 2018, I'm going to continue to choose my words thoughtfully and I'm paying special attention to the word that I will use to guide me through this next year of my life. The word is RISE. 2017 was…

Navigating the Landscapes of Grief

It is a common misconception that grief is linear.  That if you follow a straight and narrow path and make all the necessary stops you will find an end to the road.  For those of us trekking through grief, we know that this is a falsehood. Grief is a journey that twists and turns and…

Unwrapping Joy and Heartache

It is our second Christmas without Dorothy.  The second year in a row where I find myself alternating between belting out Christmas songs with an almost-convincing bravado and staring at the twinkle lights as they blur through my tear-filled eyes.  A subsequent year of loneliness and "what-ifs" and pretending to the be the last 5…

How to Survive the Holidays–An "Alternative" Guide For Grievers

The holidays are here and you are feeling less than jolly.  I get it. You are exhausted from participating in the pageantry of the season while trying to carry your heart that is heavy with grief.  It feels unfair that you have to work so hard at self-care and demonstrating kindness just to keep yourself…

During The Holiday Season, Grief And Gratitude Can Sit At The Same Table

I get it.  Thanksgiving and the holidays bring in the time of year when I'm supposed to focus on what I have and not on what I want.  Instead, of hoping for more I am encouraged to be grateful with what is already present. No, thank you. Everyday I encounter people who believe that I…

My Stillborn Baby Still Has A Birth Story

On February 22, 2016 our daughter, Dorothy Grace Helena Whalen was stillborn.  This is a continuation of her story. When I transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, everything came with me--large plastic bags stuffed with clothing, haphazardly stacked books and magazines, a jumble of flower arrangements.  All of this traveled on a large, noisy cart as I was rushed from labor…