When you look back at the hardest time of your life what helped you the most? As I reflect on my experiences I can see what didn’t: perfect solutions. And I can see what did: people.
Nine years ago my life changed in a breath, but not only for a breath. It changed forever. When I was 18 my mom died of cancer.
Through every part of the journey since then there have been people in my life who have added to my healing. It wasn’t because they knew what to say or had the perfect answer, but because their experience made me feel less alone and less crazy.
Hearing other people’s stories gave me hope that the sting of my mom’s absence would ease. That’s why I decided to write my story.
Creating a community
In July 2016 I self published a memoir and biography called Healing, Hope & Wholeness. I felt prompted to share what I had gone through and what had helped me in hopes that it would encourage others in their grief and healing journey. After I released the book my editor suggested that I start an online support group, so I did!
The group is called Hope Collective and it is for women who’ve experienced the loss of a parent. The group is there for days when it’s hard and for days when it’s not as hard. It’s become a beautiful place to share photos and stories of our parents, as well as a place to ask for advice.
What I love is the variety in the support group. The women are from all over, all different ages, and they're at various stages in their grief journey.
Endings are hard. Losing a loved one can feel impossible, but having friends by your side can make it easier to bear.
Hope Collective Retreat
Currently I am planning a retreat in Southern California for women who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one and who desire to sift through their journey to gain more insight and tools through emotional, physical, and spiritual outlets.
I am beyond stoked for this opportunity to bring like-minded women together who make health a priority. At the retreat we’ll be doing Holy Yoga, art therapy, and group counseling sessions regarding all things loss, grief, and healing.
Don’t walk through your struggles alone. Isolation is not better, it’s a roadblock to more healing. When you think you’re the only one experiencing this kind of pain, reach out. Take comfort in the fact that you're not alone because it means that there are others out there who can relate, and others out there who’ve survived. Let it be hopeful.
The goal in writing my book, creating a support group, and now putting together this retreat is to make grief and loss a more approachable conversation.
It’s heavy, it’s messy but we’re all going to experience it. It’s not something we can avoid, it is unchangeable but how we live with it is something within our control.
Walk together with someone in the struggle. Walk together because you need to not be alone and you need hope. Walk together because you want to make someone feel less alone, and you want to give them hope. Walk together.
If you ever need someone to talk to,
to get paired with an empathetic listener