I’m getting ready to finish up my training for being a group facilitator with Willow Center. Willow Center is an incredible organization in our community that helps grieving children. They offer a place and time for children ages 3-18 to discover their grief, know it’s okay to grieve and to help them on their journey through it. I’m so thankful that I get to be a part of it and think it’s something we (meaning the human race) need in our lives.
But this post isn’t about Willow Center. While going through training, we’ve had to think a lot about our own loss. We’ve had to share with the group about our experiences both before someone has died and after. It’s made me realize that the loss in my life that has been the hardest on me has been the loss of people who struggled the most while they were alive.
My grandma died of lung cancer. She and I were incredibly close and to this day and can still say that she is, without a doubt, my favorite person I have ever known. She was kind and classy. She was intelligent and generous. She cared about the community and especially cared about her family. It’s not that she didn’t have any struggles, because we all have struggles. And it’s not always easy to live each day, I know that. But the truth is that some struggle with life more than others. And while she may have had some rough goes of it, I also feel like she was very put-together. She understood life and was able to follow through on a lot of her goals and even though I feel like she died too soon, I also don’t think she had unfinished business here. Does that make sense? I think that everyone who she loved dearly knew it. She was well loved and she loved well.
Her death was hard on me, no doubt. But I don’t carry it with me daily. I think of her often, but never regretting things or wishing we had done x, y, and z. She’s remembered in my head and heart as a hundred hilarious and beautiful stories. Positive and happy and beautiful.
And not every life is remembered like that and it’s a shame. It’s not okay and it makes me so sad because every life has a story and every story is important. And even if some lives have a spot of addiction or alcoholism or depression that are overshadowing it for a bit, I bet before that was an incredible story of beauty and courage and intelligence and love and talent and generosity. And I bet that even in the midst of those hard times…those bright spots were still there.
And after those souls are gone, who is left to tell their stories? We are. It’s up to us to tell the world the incredible things my Grandpa did for other people and maybe inspire others to be more like him. It’s up to me and to us to share the talent and spirit of Clay so that other young people can see and understand that being creative and artistic is valued and is worth something.
So I’m going to start a series here on my blog.
I might post a story every week. It might be once a month. It might not even be that often. But I think it’s important that people’s stories are heard. The really happy and inspiring stories. The ones that sometimes get looked over because there are really rough and hard ones that stick out a little further.
If you’d like a story shared, email me.
I don’t mind making it anonymous. So if you have a story about someone that’s ready to burst right out of you, I can help you share. xoxo