Today

I decided to put up my tree today. It becomes a motionless task each year. There was a box I wanted to throw out but I thought I would go through it first. I havent opened this box in years but it always lays amoungst the boxes we take out filled with the decorations. At the bottom I found a bear my son made in church 34 years ago. He was 3. It had his name painted on it. I dug deeper and pulled out this photo ornament. I dont remember it at all. It must have gotten tucked away for a long time. In it held a photo of my brother and my son. At the bottom engraved was I am always with you. My son must have given it to me when I lost my brother to cancer. The irony is my son is in this photo and when he gave it to me he wouldn’t know how this would now hold two

great losses for me. Thank you Billy for embracing my sadness today and reminding me you are never far from me.❤

Our thing

My son and I always shared going to Dave Matthew’s band concerts. We have been going together since 2003. I remember I started listening to them in 1999 and I turned my sons on to the music. The three of us use to go and then sometimes my sons together. My oldest got married in 2007 and that stopped. Billy continued to go with me. He said “mom this will always be our thing to do together”. The last concert was 2015 before he died 9 months after that. He said to me that night “mom I will always be your date “. Its so hard for me to go see them now. You try to push yourself but all I see are the beautiful memories of us. The dinners before the concert. The friends we met at each concert. We always made each other laugh. He would always buy me something. A hat, a tee shirt. When they played sister he always held my hand because I lost my brother. He said this song reminds me of uncle Tommy. Now I listen to songs to remind me of my son. I hope someday my granddaughter reads

my blogs when she is older and knows what an incredible man and son her Dad was if I am no longer here. Tomorrow night I go to see them and I am in front of the stage. I think my angel made sure that happened.

Grief the new normal

If Grief Could Speak, Here Are Five Things It Would Say

I am not a sickness, I am grief. I am a valid experience and emotion and there is

No right way to hold me. There is just your way. No two people receive me the same way. Let’s find our own way to dance together, to cry together, to break together, to heal together.

By Monique Minahan, Contributor

Creator of The Grief Practice: Trauma-infor

If grief could speak it would say, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry it’s me that arrived at your doorstep instead of love. But I am made of love too. In fact, it’s because I love so much that I hurt so much when I lose the people I love.

THE BLOG

If Grief Could Speak, Here Are Five Things It Would Say

I am not a sickness, I am grief. I am a valid experience and emotion and there is no right way to hold me. There is just your way. No two people receive me the same way. Let’s find our own way to dance together, to cry together, to break together, to heal together.

By Monique Minahan, Contributor

Creator of The Grief Practice: Trauma-informed yoga that welcomes grief.

06/28/2016 05:49pm ET | Updated June 29, 2017

If grief could speak it would say, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry it’s me that arrived at your doorstep instead of love. But I am made of love too. In fact, it’s because I love so much that I hurt so much when I lose the people I love.

If grief could speak it would say, You can survive.

I know you may not want to. I know life may not be worth living without them. I know the earth collapsed beneath your feet. I know a part of you died with them. And I know you can survive, one breath at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time.

If grief could speak it would say, Please don’t hide me away.

I know when people see you with me they get uncomfortable. I know your friends don’t know what to say to me. I know it’s easier to hide me away when you have company over for dinner.

But I’d like a seat at the table. Will you let me speak? Will you listen to me? I can’t promise I’ll be polite or calm. I may raise my voice because I’m angry or I may collapse in a pile of tears, but if I can let it out then I don’t have to hold it in here, in you. I’d like to create some more space inside you for all of us to coexist. You, me, love, anger, laughter, peace, hope, joy… there’s enough room for all of us in your heart.

If grief could speak it would say, I love you.

You may not love me, but I love you. I love how you love so big. I love how you keep taking care of your babies who lost their papas or their mamas. I love how you keep taking care of that space your loved one took up even though they’re gone. How you leave their favorite book in the same place, how you leave their clothes folded, how you let them live a little longer in the things left behind. I love how you don’t let the world forget they were here, that they mattered, that they were a part of you. I love you.

If grief could speak it would say, Find your own way.

There seem to be a lot of “experts” out there about me. They say I work in stages and they make it sound like I’m something to get over, like the flu. What I can tell you is there is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with you. I am not a sickness, I am grief. I am a valid experience and emotion and there is no right way to hold me. There is just your way. No two people receive me the same way. Let’s find our own way to dance together, to cry together, to break together, to heal together.

Let’s find our own way through this brief and beautiful life.

Photos by Billy

Forest Blakk Lyrics

“Heaven’s Telephone”

I count my blessings at the speed of light
Window sills and the starry nights
There’s so much that I don’t know
Take a breath and then we count to ten
Close my eyes and play pretend
It’s almost time for me to go

Cause I feel like I could climb the mountain tops
Tell everyone that I have come to love

So long, let me go
I know heaven’s got a telephone
And I will call home whenever you’d like, whenever you’d like
So long, let me go
Cause I know heaven’s got a telephone
And I will call home
Whenever you’d like

Can’t count confessions that much I know
Hold my tongue but the truth be told
I don’t know what I don’t know
And it’s okay to say goodbye
Warm hellos and our last goodnights
Painted lines and great divides

I will go to the place where my dreams have their ways
And the streets are all lined with gold
Where the fortunes of fate aren’t locked behind gates
Like the stories that we’ve been told

Photography

My son starting getting into photography after his daughter was born. I had bought him a professional camera. He told me it was the best present I had ever given him. I believe it was great therapy for him. It helped him balance that place in his mind and bring beauty from the special places he always enjoyed going to. He never got to see the world but

he saw more than most people by always looking up close and appreciating all that was around him. . He was so gifted and could have done great things with his life but perhaps he already had by just being who he was.