No one has been more surprised than I that my post, “What I Wish Other People Understood About Losing A Child” has been shared almost 1 million times (986,000 to be exact) in less than four months.
When I sat down to write that post two things happened. One, my connection at MindBodyGreen had just shot down my first idea for a post and I was a bit pouty. And, two, I took a deep breath, asked my heart what I have to say that will make a difference in other people’s lives and within 30 minutes I hit send and it went to my incredible gal at Mind Body Green.
Below is what I’ve learned in the four months since that post has gone viral. They are again, written from my heart as a bereaved mom, to those who love us and want to support us. There is also conversation with you, the bereaved, that I cherish and am so grateful for our connection.
The Power of Our Healing Community
In yoga we call this a ‘Kula’. A kula is a group of like-minded people who have similar interests or desires.
Our ‘Kula’ of childloss is like no other community. We unconditionally love those who reluctantly become part of our group. And we detest the knowing that mothers and fathers will continue to show up at the doors of our Kula asking for guidance and looking to us for support and wisdom after losing a child. But we encircle them with open hearts, tears and a wisdom we would rather not have to share.
As proven through my experience at The Compassionate Friends National Conference, when we see you are part of our Kula we will gladly ask you about your child. We will smile at you and not judge you if you happen to still be in your pajamas… at the bar drinking… at 10am. Losing a child is part of our story.
This past weekend while paddle boarding at a local lake with my family, I overheard a woman share she was inducted into the Kula two years ago after losing a child. I immediately jumped up and introduced myself. She is an incredible woman doing incredible work in honor of her son who died. Click HERE to learn about her foundation, Rollin’ Dreams. We immediately connected and will be going to coffee next week.
When You Haven’t Lost A Child
When we complain that our bosses, family, friends or others don’t ‘get-it’… we really would never want them to understand our lives, because to truly understand, well, we know the cost of belonging to this Kula, and we wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Our anger at those who don’t understand us is not directly at their perceived lack of compassion, rather it becomes a temporary vessel for us to unload the burden of our anger (if only for a moment) for being part of this group. If you are on the receiving end of this anger, we’re sorry. We don’t wish this on you and we don’t mean to lash out but sometimes your innocence is an easy target.
We Want to Give A Voice to Losing A Child
Literally hundreds of people have told me
…that post put into words everything I wish I could say…
…I felt like you pulled those words right out of my heart…
…You said exactly what I want my friends to know, maybe they will read it…
…I couldn’t have said it better myself…
…I wish my co-workers would read this…
…I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone…
….My heart feels healed knowing how I feel is normal…
This is proof that we need to share with you what it’s like to lose a child. We need you to stand in the fire with us and not fear being burned (an it helps you understand). What you see as an uncomfortable conversation we see as an opportunity to heal just a little bit more and possibly normalize our own life experience.
To those of you who read that post and said, “Yes, that resonates with my heart.”
Be brave, be humble, be kind, be open, be strong, be willing to stand in the middle of your grief with it dripping off every aching joint and seeping from every pore – take a deep breath and know that YOU – ARE – NOT – YOUR – GRIEF.
You are LOVE.
Your grief aches because the love that created, nurtured, and grew through your child’s life, is still love, it still exists and it’s looking for another way to shine and to be set free the way you expressed it with your child.
Live in the sunshine of your child’s life, not the shadow of their death!
Give it a voice, take action and stand in your LOVE. Time does not heal our grief, only action can help us find our way through this. Find people and connect within your Kula, we are all here to support one another and thrive after loss.
If you are looking for a Kula to join, I would love to have you here. Sign up below and become part of this healing community. Once you join, tweet it out!
I’m part of the Kula of Child Loss. Join me by signing up too! [click to tweet]
Then share this post as it’s how you will shine your love into the world and the world will remember your child!