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Heartlinks makes helps me cope and feel better.

~Brianna

Grief Learnings from We Lost Her

I’ve learned a lot over the years from Heartlinks Grief Center’s Director Diana Cuddeback.  New ways to think about grief and how the process of mourning and grieving can be a blessing.  A time of self-reflection, healing, and growth.

As I recently wrote my first book, We Lost Her, Diana helped me to be brave and encouraged me to keep writing, when I wasn’t sure I could.  Just as she and her staff help those that are grieving through individual counseling and in groups. Heartlinks opens the lines of communication for families that are grieving, helping them to heal, to keep going when they aren’t sure they can.

Learning to be an author, publisher, and to market the book has allowed me lots of growth.  I had no clue how to do this.  But, I knew I had to do it.  To tell my Mom’s story had been in my heart for many years. And it was on my bucket list.

So, I jumped in and did what I learned as a business consultant – what you don’t know, someone else does, so do your research. I read, Googled, discussed and struggled to figure it all out.  I read lots of book, like these below.

I also took an on-line class on writing a book and the main thing I learned was, just start, just put down what you have to say.  Don’t edit or worry about how it sounds until you get down what you have to say.  I liked this quote from famous author, William Faulkner:

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
– William Faulkner

I started by getting down our story – where we lived and what our family was like. Back in 1970 on that small farm in southwestern Illinois. Then, the story of how our Mom traumatically died and how that changed my six siblings and I, each in our own ways, forever.

I didn’t fathom how hard it would be to relive that grief as my 14-year-old self.  I’d write a page or two and just be a crying mess.  I thought I was well past feeling this way, heck it was 47 years ago, how could I still feel this level of emotion?  Well it came back, just like I’d lived it yesterday.

As I reflected on the resurgence of my grief, I came to an “AHA” conclusion.   Grief doesn’t stop at a certain time after our loss.  It is life-long.  Some years and days, greater in intensity than others, but never gone. We eventually get past the mourning part, but the grief is part of our fabric forever.  It shapes our soul.

That was an important growth for me in my grief journey.

In reflecting on our grief, my six siblings and I came to understand five other “learnings” on grief that I’ll be sharing with you in the weeks ahead on this blog site:

  1. How our loved ones influence us from the grave
  2. Do it today – life may be short
  3. There is no control in grieving
  4. Grief may have a profound impact on faith
  5. Five ways to help others grieve in caring ways

All of you that have experienced grief know how hard the journey can be.  I hope, dear reader, that by discussing these learnings we can grow together in our grief journey. If you know someone who is grieving, please share this site with them.

We grow stronger together.

Be blessed,

Ellen

P.S.  Dear readers, I am humbled and grateful for the positive and inspiring comments you have been sharing on my Facebook page on We Lost Her. Thank you so much.