I do what I do because I love it. And because I’ve been there – in the dark, the fear, the lonely, and the uncertain.
I was 12 years old when I decided that I wanted to help other people who felt alone, lost, and scared. I had just had major back surgery for a spinal defect I was born with – and I felt very much alone and scared.
I never lost that desire to offer support, love, and understanding to others.
- I have said goodbye to more friends and family members than I generally care to think about.
- I wrote my first story about grief in elementary school.
- I picked up my first books on grief and depression when I was in high school.
- I spent my teens and early twenties battling severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
The road that led me here…
Then my fiancé was killed in a car accident. I was pregnant with our first child when he died. Then, just as I was starting to climb back on my feet again after the loss of my love, our beautiful daughter was born still.
I felt broken and shattered in ways my mind couldn’t comprehend. I didn’t think I would survive the loss of them.
I almost didn’t.
For years, I struggled alone in the dark abyss of grief, depression, and suicide. I searched for solutions to my pain in traditional counseling, countless books, medication, and religion.
And still, one night I found myself alone in my bathtub with a gun in my mouth.
I can’t say why I didn’t use that gun that night. Something inside of me refused to let go. (A reason to thank my stubborn nature, I guess!) I put down the gun and I promised myself I’d give it another six months. I told myself I’d try something different this time. If it didn’t work, I could always make the choice to leave this world behind.
I stopped taking all the medication I was on. I quit the counseling that wasn’t really working for me. I threw out all the books on grief that talked about stages and levels and timelines. I stopped listening to what everyone else thought would “fix” me and my life. (Spoiler: Grief doesn’t need fixing)
I started digging inside myself for my solutions. I starting seeking the answers to my questions within myself.
And I found them. I’m still finding them and a life worth living every day, even after the death of my second daughter during pregnancy.
The Beauty in the Ruins. . .
My life was in ruins and somehow I found a way to dig out of the abyss of darkness and reveal the beautiful life I now get to live. It wasn’t easy – some days it’s still not – but it was worth every painful step and bewildering path on the journey.
- I have an amazing support system of family, friends, and colleagues that I adore.
- I no longer meet the criteria for any of the mental health diagnoses I’d been given over the years and have no need for any medication.
- I live in a place that I adore.
- I am an author, a life archaeologist, and supporter of grieving parents who is passionate and totally in love with her work.
- I am grateful for all that I get to see and experience and know.
- I am deeply honored to walk this journey of grief with so many beautiful people.
- I am grateful for the gifts that my fiancé and daughters were (and are still) in my life – and I celebrate their lives every day by living mine to the fullest.
One of the biggest and most beautiful lessons I’ve learned in life is that no matter what happens in life, we don’t have to grieve alone. We can be there for each other.