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Our New Series! Solace Sharers

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Solace Sharers Series

The whole point of Sharing Solace is to bring people together – to build a community of grievers in all stages of their journey. In that spirit {and while I wait (not so) patiently for my ‘real’ website to be done} I present you with our new series Solace Sharers.

The purpose of Solace Sharers is to show how everyone’s circumstances are different and there is no ‘right’ way to grieve – or a timetable to be done for that matter. The hope is that you will find a story and a tip that really resonates with you and you use that along your journey to find your ‘new normal’.

We specifically talk about baby steps {or easy things} to help you find your new happy in a sea of grief, because – well – Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s hard to see the big picture when we can’t even see the small picture. Start small and you’ll soon see that it will snowball into real progress.

I couldn’t ask others to share their story and advice without sharing my own (that’s just not fair). We’re asking everyone 5 questions as a way to share their story and advice.

  1. Who are you and where are you located?
    I’m Crystal from Kansas City
  2. What happened in your life that knocked you on your booty and when did it happen?
    On Halloween 2009 I found out I was pregnant with our first child. One week later my aunt and uncle were tragically killed. Flash forward to May 2010 (while still in deep grief from their deaths), at 32 weeks pregnant, a routine ultrasound showed something was wrong. After seeing every specialist under the sun, we knew our Madelyn would not survive – if she could even make it that long. An emergency C-section was scheduled for May 19th. Luckily, we were able to spend 8 wonderful hours with our Maddie before she died in my arms on May 20th. The autopsy revealed that Madelyn had a chromosomal imbalance that caused her brain to not fully form. This condition, we later found out, was hereditary and I – her own mother – gave it to her. For three years, round after round of IVF was unsuccessful in giving her siblings. They provided their own roller coaster of emotions (hope, happy, hope, despair: repeat). Our only child, Madelyn Elizabeth, is now our guardian angel.
  3. What was the baby step (small thing/change) you made when you were ready to be happy again?
    It took me a long time to be ‘ready’ to be happy – I felt like every time I could see a light something else was there to knock me back down. The small change I made was getting out of the house – specifically going to the gym. That did a few things for me a) it got me up and moving {and got all of those good chemicals coursing through my body} b) it gave me a little bit of a schedule and c) it gave me a reason to leave the house, but in a very low-pressure way. I didn’t have to shower or do my hair, I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and I didn’t even have to put on real pants. All the obstacles of leaving the house were removed.
  4. What is your advice to someone who is currently in the debilitating stage of grief?
    My advice would be to aim to take those baby steps: the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is “Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better.” I take that to mean if the best you can do is to get out of bed than get out of bed every d*mn day. When you ‘know’ that you should get out of bed AND shower – then do that.
  5. What do you do now to #bgr8ful365?
    I choose to #bgr8ful365 by remembering to be grateful in my journal. Every night, I write down the three things I’m grateful for that day – and I try not to always pick the obvious {of course I’m always thankful for my loving husband}. Sometimes I’m grateful for the silly stranger in the supermarket, or the extra shot of espresso in my coffee, or the beautiful sunset that begged to be watched when I thought I was too busy.

Now that you see how this works, we would love you to be featured in our Solace Sharers series! Please use this form to provide your answers. You see, we don’t plaster a picture of you all over the internet {unless you want us to!!}, we don’t give out your address, you don’t even have to give us your real name if you don’t want to {we won’t know the difference.} With your help and support, we hope feature someone every week.


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