I’m no hero…

Sometimes I feel like a complete failure.  I feel like I have let the the past and all those struggles with grief get the best of me.  After all, I am no shining light, out there in the world saying “Hey, look at me – I lost my dad when I was young and my baby died and I had all these miscarriages but I wrote this great inspirational book and I built this great foundation and…” well, you get the picture.  It seems like everybody who suffers some big tragedy today writes a book or starts a charity or does some big, incredible work as a result of it.  And I have just wondered all of these years, how do they do it?

When I think about how hard it can be just to get out of bed in the morning or to try to remember to keep smiling and really act like you want to play when your other child is tugging at your sleeve even years after your baby has died and someone just said “You’re so lucky you don’t have girls!”, how do they do it?

When I think about having to get 1 child to hockey practice at 5:00 in the morning in a town an hour away, another to a ski slope 2 hours in the other direction 3 hours later, and yet another to a birthday party 2 hours after that, all in a car that’s 10 years old and you are still trying to understand how someone suddenly dies at 45 years old from a heart attack, how do they do it?

When I know the realities of grieving and the powerful grip it has on your heart and soul and all the strength it takes to rise above it, how do they do it?

Our society loves heroes.  There can be great pressure to feel like you have to be one or that you are supposed to “do” something when you have experienced something bad or traumatic.  You don’t.  All you have to do is take care of yourself, then take care of those around you who you are responsible for, like your children and your pets.  That’s it.  You don’t have to be a hero and save the world.  Just by being a whole, healthy person again who can find some meaning and hope in life you will be saving a piece of it.

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Welcome to my Blog

Death and grief come to us all at some point.  It would be pretty hard to escape experiencing some kind of significant loss at some time in your life or at the very least, being close to someone who does, so you will be touched by grief.  In many cases the loss is so intense, such as the loss of a spouse or a child, that grief can be an almost overwhelming heartbreak.  People often search for answers to questions that have no answers, for some way or someone to take away the pain, or maybe just  stay stuck in a world of anger and despair.

I am no stranger to grief.  I know the panic of trying to imagine never seeing my father again, when I was just barely 20 years old and in college, still needing his guidance and shoulder to lean on.  I really lost both parents that year as my mother, though trying her best, was too overwhelmed with her own grief to offer me support.  And years later, there were those moments when I couldn’t catch my breath as the memory of holding my infant daughter in my arms as she died would flood my mind…  These and other losses, as awful and painful as they were, have taught me much about living and dying, love and loss, human nature and how we handle death and grief.

Grief and its roller coaster of emotions is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. It needs an outlet.  It needs to be expressed in some way- not the same way for everyone, but some way.  It needs understanding and good information to do what it is supposed to do. It won’t be ignored.  Like everything in nature, it will find a way.  I would like to help you find the best alternatives.

Now, last but by no means least, I am here to talk about HOPE.  Even if you are at the beginning of your grief and feel like you will never be alive again, I can tell you that there is hope for a better day.  I do know that the pain can be unbearable but I also do know that it can get better and that there are a lot of people that are there to help you to find that better day.  So I will be writing about that too.

I invite everyone to share their thoughts, experiences, ideas, encouragement, etc. here.  If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to address, please post them.  You can also contact me privately at griefsupport@roadrunner.com.

As for me, you are welcome to find out more about me in the “About Cindy” section where I elaborate on both my personal and professional experiences.  I hope you will share yours with me.

Cindy Seaward-Salvati

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