About Cindy

Before I get into the parts of my life that have brought me to writing this blog, let me tell you some other things about myself.  I am fortunate to live in a beautiful part of this country and to have a great family. My husband Pat and I recently celebrated our 30th anniversary and we have 2 great sons, aged 23 and 19.  They have been the light of my life and continue to bring me incredible joy.

I also stand in awe of nature and have a great love for animals, especially dogs and cats, my last cat having lived to a ripe old 21 years.  We now have a Chihuahua and a Chiweenie and cats are out as we now know that my husband is highly allergic to them.   I love to travel and have seen quite a bit of the U.S., parts of Canada and have been to a few other countries.  I hope to get to more!  I am also an avid knitter and the owner of an online Bead Business called New Hampshire Bead Company at http://www.nhbeadcompany.com.

My first intense experience with death and grief was when my father died shortly after my 20th birthday.  It literally blew me away.  I could not have imagined what it would do to my life.  Although my father had been treated for cancer, circumstances changed so quickly and dramatically that it seemed he was fine one minute and gone the next.  Two weeks later I returned to college.  I had no idea what was happening to me.    My best friend had moved away, my roommate changed the subject if I tried to talk about it, my mother was steeped in her own grief- well, you get the picture.  My father was everything to me- the kind of father everyone hopes to have. I spent years trying to deal with this grief and learned a lot about how our society  approaches death and grief.

Many years later, my 2nd child, Jenna, a beautiful baby girl with lovely auburn hair died 13 hours after she was born, turning my whole world upside down. She had a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 13 which I later learned she had acquired from me due to a chromosome translocation that I never knew I had.  It is not the same as a hereditary condition but that gets into a bunch of genetic stuff that really isn’t important here.  I have spent what feels like an eternity learning how to live with this loss while making a hopeful, meaningful life for myself and the rest of my family.  Although the experiences gained from the loss of my father did help me in facing this tremendous grief, there were so many different things that I had to learn.  Losing a child brings a whole different set of feelings and experiences unlike anything I could have imagined.  I will admit that there were times that I didn’t think that I would survive it.  And having a marriage survive it- well that’s a story in itself.

These were the most significant losses in my life that have brought me to share my thoughts with you.  I have also had 5 miscarriages and have undergone intensive fertility treatments to get pregnant, which was quite stressful.  In my last major career position, my boss who was also my close friend and mentor for 10 years, died after a battle of the same number of years with an extreme form of cancer.  I had worked along with him during that time, through good and bad, growing our agency and having to watch his great light and energy fade and go out at the age of 50.  I also lost my sister-in-law a few years ago at the same age in another sudden twist of cancer’s knife.  She had been a close member of my family for 34 years.  So, as you can see, death and I are well acquainted.

As far as my formal credentials go, I have both a Bachelor’s degree and Master of Education degree.  I worked extensively in developing and providing all kinds of supports to both individuals and families having children of all ages with varying disabilities.  I have taught a variety of education courses at the college level.  I have managed a large non-profit agency and a small home based business.

Along with my personal experiences, I have dedicated myself to continued education in the areas of death and grief, having acheived Certification in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling.  It is my goal to use all that I have learned and gained to support and lift up anyone I can with information, understanding, guidance and most of all, hope.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie Bolduc
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 00:25:38

    Beautiful writing style Cindy. It’s like I’m getting to know you for the first time. I know a lot of people will benefit from your words. Thanks for sharing and reaching out to others who have experienced grief in their lives.

    Reply

    • Cindyss
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 22:02:20

      Thank you Deb. This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time and finally feel like the timing is right. Would love any suggestions along the way, especially if you know of anyone who could use any specific kind of info.

      Reply

  2. momshieb
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 02:11:02

    Cindy, what a wonderful gift you are offering with your blog! Your strength is an inspiration.
    I look forward to more of your writing!

    Reply

    • Cindyss
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 22:04:07

      Thank you Karen. I am glad that I am finally tackling this project. I have wanted to for many years and truly hope that it offers something to someone out there. I love your blog too by the way. Your writing is great and very “right on”.

      Reply

  3. Vince Chough
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 20:29:32

    You are very brave in sharing your story Cindy. You transform your loss into a blessing for others who might be suffering. Please keep blogging… it makes a difference.
    Vince

    Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 01:03:19

    Cindy, I saved your blog as a bookmark, check it now and then, and today, decided to follow it! Thank you for taking on a subject that remains a taboo in our culture. I’m wanting to become more familiar/comfortable (is that possible?) with living with death and loss. It’s a part of life. I’ll share more of my own experiences in time. I also put in a plug to my step-daughter for your bead business. She is planning to make bead jewelry and sell it on etsy so I encouraged her to use your site for interesting supplies.

    Reply

    • Cindyss
      Feb 26, 2012 @ 21:56:12

      Thank you for following and I hope you will share your own experiences and feelings. That actually is one of the best ways to become more comfortable with it I think. If we all talked openly about what we’ve dealt with as we’ve gone through loss and grief, not just at the beginning but as the years go by, then it would lessen the suffering. If it were talked about like a part of everday life, much needed support and understanding would be readily available for everyone and it wouldn’t feel so awkward. It’s tough enough to get through it and so many people feel alone. Please feel free to ask me anything or bring up a topic for discussion.

      And good luck to your daughter. A friend of mine just started making jewelry and has a shop on Etsy. They are really great and have lots of information to help you.

      Reply

  5. canadianmommytime
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 09:50:25

    Congratulations! You have been nominated for the “Sunshine Award”. To learn more information about this award, go to http://canadianmommytime.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/sunshine-award/. Enjoy.

    Reply

    • Cindyss
      Feb 29, 2012 @ 22:18:15

      Thank you so much for this! I appreciate your kind words about my blog and I will follow up on this altho it may take me a bit as I have to figure a few things out first. For one, I am working on launching a memory Birthstone Jewelry line and a WordPress website which is another learning process – a different kind of experience from the blog. Very exciting tho as I can offer more that way. Thanks again and have a great day!

      Reply

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