Rebuild A Life You Can Be Proud Of

real grief moments Oct 30, 2018

The transition into motherhood has not been an easy one for me.

Deep grief over the loss of my own mother bubbled up from places I didn’t even know existed.

Places deep down in my heart and body that I thought had been cleared of grief. Places that I thought were soft and open and ready to take on this new challenge. Places that I had already worked so hard to heal.

The newborn days were glorious. A necessary reprieve for what was about to come. For me, the newborn days were what dreams are made of. Me. My little one. Snuggled up on our cozy couch for hours on end. Basking in the divinity of newness and hope.  

But at 5 months, when he started crawling fast and furious, I knew I was witnessing my new guru in action. A fearless little dude who runs gleefully towards crashing waves, speeding cars, and was “dropping-in” at the skatepark with the teenagers before his second birthday.

Cue:

My giant unhealed fear of losing a loved one.

2.5+ years of night...

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That time I overshared in an interview...

real grief moments Oct 09, 2018

The other day I had the great honour of being interview by Chrissy Anne Hollis for her weekly video series that features women out there trailblazing the new grief paradigm. 

She made me feel so comfortable that I pretty much shared everything. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between. 

I shared about what it was like to tell the person I loved most in the world that he was dying. 

I shared what it was like to need my mom so bad but not have any idea where she was. 

I shared about my mom's drug addiction and the time she offered me a crack-pipe.   I declined, btw. 

I shared how incredibly alone I felt in the aftermath of my boyfriend and mom's death. 

I shared my abandonment issues and what it's like to be a child of suicide. 

I shared my healing journey and how I reclaimed my life. 

I shared it all with the hope that you would see bits of yourself in my words and feel less alone.

I truly believe that if I...

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What My Mother's Death Taught Me About Self Love

real grief moments Sep 26, 2018

I knew she was dead before they told me. Call it the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Call it intuition. Call it fear or otherwise…All I know is, I knew. 

Growing up, my mom was the textbook definition of a soccer mom. She was that mom with the mini-van and the cupcakes. The one who sewed all of our costumes (and our friend’s costumes) and never missed a P.T.A meeting.  

She filled our proverbial cup first. She deserved to fill her own. But she didn’t know it. 

She had long silky dark hair and black eyes that looked at me with both deep love and deep hurt. Her eyes held secrets that sometimes bubbled up in gentle fits of rage.  

She was beautiful. But she didn’t see it. 

She was shy and had a certain coyness that perhaps stemmed from childhood trauma, deep-seated limiting beliefs and an unmet need to feel like she belonged. 

The truth is, she did belong. With me. With us. But she didn’t feel it. 

My mother was...

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Why An Elvis Impersonator Singing Frank Sinatra Made Me Cry

real grief moments Jul 06, 2018

This weekend, I went to the Canada Day celebration in my hometown.

It was a sweet little island festival featuring Elvis, Dolly and Patsy impersonators. It doesn't get much better than that!

The festival is held at "The Flats" - a flat grassy piece of land down by the river dabbled with campsites and little buildings for cooking, etc.

For as long as I can remember, I've been going there, helping set up various town events.

My papa made the structures.

My nana cooked the food.

My mom painted the signs.  

My dad competed in the events.

My cousins, brother and I ran freely, all jacked up on cotton candy and LOVE.

These events are imprinted in the very fabric of my being.

The smells. The sounds. The sights. The quality of the air against my skin.

They all elicit deep memories of a happy childhood and a devoted family surrounded by a tight knit and supportive community.

The ‘before shot’.

Before addiction rampaged through. Before illness. And divorce. And death....

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The Thing I Never Thought I'd Say

real grief moments Feb 19, 2018

I can remember the first time I said it.
It was just days after we brought him home from the hospital.
I was standing at the makeshift changing table finishing up a diaper change.
And he was crying.
I picked him up and snuggled him close into my heart.
And, to my deepest surprise, I said it.
The words I never thought I’d say.
From some very well meaning place, engrained deep inside my unconscious, the words bubbled up without me even thinking.
“Oh Baba, don’t cry.”
And, in that moment I experienced for the first time, the dreaded mom-guilt.
Holy, $h!t. I can’t believe I just said that.
ERASE. ERASE!
“I’m so sorry, sweet boy. Mama didn’t mean that.”
“Let it out sweet boy. I hear you and I’m here for you - no matter what”

And, that moment, I made 2 vows.

One to him.

And, one to me.

To him, I vowed, I would do my best to never, ever say that again.
I mean, I wrote the book on this stuff.
Crying is a perfectly...

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My First Valentine's Day as a Widow

real grief moments Feb 14, 2018

remember my first Valentine’s Day after he died.
I was living with my dad - cause that’s what you do when you become a widow at 24 and you’ve used up all your money (and then some) on living expenses when he was sick.
I tried not to think about it all day and stayed home in my pj’s - in my bedroom.
But when my dad came home from work he brought me a single red rose.
He gave it to me in the kitchen - when I came out of hiding for a glass of water.
A sweet gesture of fatherly love.
And, I lost it. I mean completely lost it.
I fell into my daddy’s arms and sobbed uncontrollably.
Poor guy - a natural stoic with a sensitive heart - probably didn’t know what hit him.
He held me. And, he didn’t say anything.
At the time, I kinda wished he did because I wanted out of my pain.
I wanted someone to change the subject.
To make a joke.
Something.
But he just stood there holding me while I cried uncontrollably into his shoulder.
Even though this is an...

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Waiting for the Call...

real grief moments Jan 10, 2018

When my mom died, she was missing for several days.
The waiting game became more and more agonizing with each passing moment.
The past 2 days in Santa Barbara, I’ve been transported back there.
Grief is like that.
A spiral that continues to reveal itself even as the years go by.
Each time a search helicopter flies overhead (which has been non-stop)...
I feel it.
How it feels to wait.
Wanting so badly for the phone to ring.
Willing it to ring.
But when the phone actually does ring, wishing it wasn’t ringing.
Terrified of what might be revealed.
I feel my fingers shaking and my halted deep breaths as I answer.
And my disappointment - when it’s someone else.
And also my deep relief - when it’s someone else - because I’m not ready to know.

And, I think of you.
Those who are waiting.
And, those who have received the call.
And with each helicopter that flies overhead (which has been non-stop)...
I say a prayer.
I send love and light from that place deep inside...

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