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#grievingmother #sonyasstorycdkl5 #normalizegrief #Grief #griefjourney #ChildLoss

During our daughter's life when someone would outright state or even insinuate that their problems weren't equivalent to what our family was going through, I was always quick to stop them and let them know that it wasn't fair to compare. Everyone has their own challenges and threshold of what they can handle, and it isn't fair to assign weight to them. I always felt that comparing anything besides a comparable life was equivalent to comparing an apple with a pineapple. They share the category of fruit. Diminishing what someone else is experiencing doesn't make what challenges another person any heavier. They both are what they are to each of them.

Being a parent of a child who died is a unique category. (Thankfully) There are fewer (but really too many) members of this group. I have found myself confused and not confident in the role of parenting after a child's loss. For the last 3 years, I have been confused as to what subcategory of life we have fallen into. Are we still a medically complex family? Are we a hockey family? Are we a typical family? Do we have the right to have accommodations made like they once were when we had a child who was medically complex and then dying? In what category do our surviving children fall? After all, children are resilient, right?!

When the world returned to normal after Covid, so did we. As if we didn't experience the death of a family member. Unless you know us from before, or unless one of us mentions it after, you wouldn't know. We blend into life. The kids are in extracurricular activities, we travel, we spend our summers away, Sam and I both work, we smile, we laugh, and for all intents and purposes, we act as if we have the perfect family. Sometimes, but rarely our emotions are on our sleeves. Unless people want to travel the grief journey along with us, they too can pretend that our lives are normal. They can stay far enough away from the unimaginable pain they are thankfully able to avoid and tune into the part of our life that we outwardly display.

Among fellow bereaved mothers, I mentioned my conflict with what is grief? and what is normal? I shared with others the everyday pain, the lack of energy, the lack of motivation, the anger, the frustration, the short tempers, the feeling of being a failure as a parent, the challenges with deciphering what is teen/child typical behavior and what is related to grief. I mentioned that I was torn on if the behaviors my children are exhibiting are typical or if it is grief. Is the grief a cop-out? Is it fair to place the onus on grief? I listed all of the struggles I have felt but didn't want to be told by someone who is not in a similar situation that "of course, it is grief, of course, you're experiencing all of those emotions, you lost a child"

It was at the same moment that I was speaking my thoughts aloud that I started to process the entirety of the last 8 years. The actual significance of parenting a child who was medically complex and whom we knew we would one day bury as a child, but didn't know exactly when. I had a million flashbacks of a life that went by incredibly fast that simultaneously took 4 years 11 months and 23 days of her siblings' lives as well. I listened as a mother responded to me about how she wishes she could surround herself with my bubbliness every day because maybe it would help her feel motivated. I listened as she said she was processing everything I was saying. I listened with tears in my eyes as she said, "but Randi, a cop-out?! Honey, it is not a cop-out, it is your reality, it is your life"

For the last hours since she said that sentence to me I have repeated it in my mind while thinking about all those times, I shrugged off the weight of all we have endured. I have thought about the words while thinking about the fact that 3 years ago our children's ages ranged from barely 2 years old to barely 10, none even old enough to sit in the front seat (and due to height, all were still in car seats or boosters). I think about how not only did we have to deal with Covid, but we also had to deal with the death of a significant family member. We buried a child and sibling who didn't go longer than a month of her life going into a hospital. A child who spent close to half of her life in-patient at a hospital. I have th#ought about it all on repeat. There is no comparison to anyone who has experienced a loss of any kind. There is no it is worse because of "XYZ", there is none of that. But, also, there is no coping out, and there is no cushioning the reality. The reality is that there is no denying that things are different for us and they are harder in many ways, there is just no way to sugar-coat that. There is no coping out because the struggles we have had to face as a family are not normal, they do warrant some extra attention and some extra accommodations, but most importantly, they mostly warrant giving ourselves a little more grace.

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Love is forever. Grief is forever.

My grief journey began 27 years ago, when my mom died incredibly suddenly and unexpectedly -- six days after Mother's Day. I was 8 years old. Last year, after many years of feeling lost in terms of finding my passion/purpose, I started pursuing a path of grief support and education. I completed two programs to become both a Grief Support Specialist and a Certified Grief Educator (and I'm starting a third program this coming week). I also launched an Instagram community last year, over Mother's Day weekend, centered around grief support/education that has since grown more than I ever imagined and brings me so much fulfillment as I've made so many meaningful connections and feel I've been able to help others struggling in their own grief journeys.

What I most want people to know is that grief doesn't end -- and it's not supposed to. If you're "still" grieving a long-ago loss (or even one that perhaps wasn't that long ago, but by society's misguided and unrealistic standards you should be "over it" by now)...I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you. Below is a brief excerpt from an essay I wrote and had published by a site called Grappling with Grief:

"Grief is love in another form. If love never ends, why would grief? We will never stop loving those we have lost, and we will never stop grieving their absence in our lives.

Love is forever. Grief is forever." #Grief #griefawareness #griefjourney #griefisnotlinear #griefisforever

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To May, with Loss

I want to like May, I really do. But I just can’t. Hear me out.

May brings new life. It ushers in a tapestry of flowers and abundant sunshine and the promise of endless summer, of bonfires and warm nights. For me, the stark contrast of loss against a backdrop of such beauty has always been too much to reconcile. Beauty should be born in May. It should not die.

May 14, 1995 was Mother’s Day. I had turned eight years old two months before. I still have a framed photograph from that day of myself, my mom, and our family dog, sitting in the backyard in the sun – my mom in a brightly striped beach chair, me in the grass next to her, leaned in close and clutching on as if to say, “Don’t leave me.” In retrospect, I wonder how much I was actually able to appreciate on a day that’s all about appreciation. Did I thank my mom for all that she did for me? Did I make her a well-intentioned but less-than-impressive card by hand? Did I give her a gift? Did I say, simply, I love you?

Six days later, she did leave me.


An excerpt from my essay "To May, with Loss," published by The Manifest-Station in 2015. This essay (and all of my other writing) is available at my Linktree page:

As both Mother's Day and my mom's 27th death anniversary approaches, I'm reminded yet again (as I am every year) that not only is grief not is not time-limited. It doesn't go away. It makes no difference how long it's been; it will always hurt, especially on anniversaries/birthdays/holidays/milestones. It just hurts differently with time.

#Grief #griefawareness #griefsupport #griefjourney #normalizegrief #Loss #Healing #Trauma #motherloss #MotherlessDaughter #childhoodloss #childhoodgrief #childhoodgriefsurvivor #griefsupportcoach #griefsupportspecialist #griefeducator #certifiedgriefeducator #Writing #griefwriting #manifeststation #girlmeetsgrief

@girl_meets_grief | Linktree

Writer. Certified Grief Educator. Grief Support Specialist.
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Rewiring in the Woods

Picture your brain like a woods filled with hiking trails. The paths that get traveled down the most often are wide, clear and well packed with dirt and leaves.

They are this way because they get the most traffic.

The paths that receive little traffic are narrower and grassier.

Areas that have not been traveled at all are thick with trees, grass and brush.

It is possible to blaze new paths in your brain and cultivate new neuropathways with new behaviors.

It is possible to allow old well-worn paths that do not serve you any longer to grow over and become obsolete in time. -

It is possible to choose which thoughts you wish to cultivate into clear wide paths for daily use based on your desired results.

What is one result you want in your life right now?

When pain, grief and loss of a hoped for future is circulating through my body and threatening to paralyze me, I must make the effort to choose life, to choose life for myself.

It is effort for me choose my thoughts based on the future I desire to build for myself. To look at where I want to go, turn away from my past and leave it there, carrying only the pearls of wisdom forward with me.

Your real health navigator,



#chronicillnessjourney #griefjourney #powerofchoice


I never thought I could be this angry!

I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, I actually thought “even he would know better”. Now I just don’t know how to talk to him anymore. He’ll NEVER understand! The fact that he actually thinks bringing his girlfriend (that he met a few months after my mother passed!) to us spreading her ashes is okay - I can’t even look at him!
Bringing her to our first holidays; the year it happened AND without actually talking to us first; was hard enough and no matter how much I try to explain it, he just doesn’t see a problem. I know we’ve never had a good relationship. My mother always handled the emotional stuff, but I actually thought that after she passed that maybe he would be forced to work on things with his kids but clearly that’s not what he wants. He spends all of his time with her. I live in his house, but he doesn’t. Since covid picked up, he’s been living at her place! #Icantbreathe #imdone #griefjourney #motherlessdaughters


Never Apologize for wanting to heal.

Sometimes on your grief journey you are ready to let in the light. But guilt and other peoples opinions might be holding you back. Here is why you should NEVER apologize for wanting to heal.
#bereavedmom #griefjourney #Healing


#griefjourney #Grief #Goodgrief #griefisweird

I thought from the first day you’d get better, because you always did.

You always made sure I knew things would be okay once the doctors got your levels right and stopped the stroke like symptoms... but this time was different and you knew it. You came to me in my dreams and let me know. You hugged me and smiled... that’s when I knew that you were gone for good. 

My world and heart shattered in pieces. How is a girl supposed to live without their mother? The person who gave birth to them. You watched life enter my body, and years later I would watch life leave yours. 

There are no more texts, calls or hugs. All I have of you now is memories, photos and voicemails.. that I cherish and cry at when I see them or think about them. 

The waves may not be 100 feet tall anymore but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt as much. 


One More Day #Stories2Connect #Grief #AfterSuicideLoss

When we hear about loss in the world, it gives us pause. It reminds us of our own loss. Families impacted, families lost, loved ones gone, friends gone too early. It reminds us of our own mortality. It reminds us that it is important to love all those around you for we know not the time nor date. Life comes at us fast and can be taken just as quickly. For those who've lost, I share with you these words:

If I had just one more day,
What would I say?
Would it make you stay?
I love you. I need you.
Just one more day.
Don't go. Not yet.
We'll all be upset.
If I had just one more day
What would I say?
Did I not take the time to see?
Was this the only way to be pain-free?
I can't let go. I can't forget.
From that day forward,
It's been all regret.
Where did I go astray?
How did I let you slip away?
Why wasn't I there that fateful day?
If I had just one more day,
What would I say?
Would I even know the right things to say?
Because I didn't on that final day, and in my thoughts...that will always stay.
But if you get just one more day,
Always take the time to say,
"I love you. Is there something YOU want to say?" I'm here to listen to you today.
And If I had just one more day,
Now I know what I would say. Nothing.
I would just simply be there for you on that day.
I would just listen. With my heart, my ears, to your dreams, fears, and tears. Sometimes there is nothing we can say, but we all could use...just one more day. - Phillip Tyler

#Stories2Connect #lossofchild #SuicideLossSurvivor #SuicideAwareness #Grief #griefjourney

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why call him “my person”? #Grief

My person died on September 22nd 2018. My world did not collapse, like tv made me think it would, we had practised this, me and him. My person, in his final few months made sure I had my plan for when he was gone.
My world didn’t collapse, but every aspect of it tilted sideways. We couldn’t have known to practise that.
But anyway, why call him “my person”? I like labels, they help me categorize life. Friends, family, colleagues etc. But he was all of the labels. We dated when I was 18 for 3 years. He was my first and only real love. That’s almost 15 years ago now. We had a messy break up, but not in the conventional sense. It was messy because in a way we didn’t break up. We stopped living together, we stopped sleeping together but we couldn’t stop being together. Even when we couldn’t stand each other, even when he slept with people I hated or when I did things to cause him pain on purpose. When we hated each other, we still loved each other more and we were always there, no matter what.
Fast forward 15 years, through diagnoses (mine, then his), babies with other people (his, not mine) we were still together, every day. He was my witness, my partner, my safe place for my entire adult life. That’s hard to explain when people ask, so all I say is;
He’s my person.
#griefjourney #grieving #ComplicatedGrief