My story and remembering through the holidays

This last week I've been posting on my social accounts my people that I have lost and sharing a photo and a little story about them.  The reason behind me doing this is I want to share my people with all of you and I want to get MY story out there.  In the "internet" world, we call this going "viral".  Am I trying to go viral? Maybe I am a little.  I feel I have a very important story and I have a product that I want to reach the masses with; so I guess going viral is my only option to reach these masses!  I have been reaching out and sending e-mails and applying to be on podcasts.  I feel this is a great avenue to get my story out and to get my business name out there as well so I can grow it.  I see and I hear stories that are similar to mine with a loss of a spouse or a child; they are getting heard and recognized and I feel like my story also needs to be heard and recognized for me to grow.  The "story" matters is what I hear over and over again.  SO...maybe all of you can help me too!  If you have avenues or if you have contacts, please send my story or my information to them and lets reach the masses together!! 

Someone asked, why do you want your story out there, isn't it personal?  Yes it is personal, I share what I want to share, but my main goal with sharing, is my journey.  I've said this before, but we as humans gravitate towards a story and a story of loss is no different. This is my "why". I want to reach the masses and tell my story of loss & love, so people across the world understand that death happens, grief happens, and life continues.  How will we move forward while remembering and honoring our loved ones who have died?  If people can see what I have lost through death, I hope they can see how I have learned to live through death as well.  

Am I trying to also grow my business?  You betcha I am!  I have ideas upon ideas that are moving through my brain always.  I unfortunately have to navigate all these new products slowly as I don't have all the resources that say someone who has been in business for a few years does.  I feel in the industry I am, the paper industry, we all have similar ideas and we all sell similar products.  BUT...there is room for all of us, there truly is.  How do you ask?  IT'S ABOUT THE STORY!!!  We each have our own story of how we've gotten to where we are at and all our stories need to be heard.  So, that's why I share my story, that's why I want YOU to share my story, and I need your help reaching the masses. Please! and THANK YOU! 

If you missed any of my social posts I will post them below:

  • Garret: This is the face of an Angel!  This is my little guys one and only Christmas with us.  When I see this picture, it brings so many emotions to my heart & soul. I first feel so much love, my heart wants to reach through this screen and squeeze him.  I then feel anger, so much anger sometimes that his life ended at age "one" and I don't get any more time on this earth with him.  I then become sad, so sad that he didn't get to live a full like with us.  Sad that he's not here to celebrate the Holidays with us.  Then I feel peace; I'm reminded daily that our God is with us and he holds my hurts in his palms and gives me the peace I need to get through each day without my boy in my presence.  Please take time this holiday and be present with those who surround you & love you.  Step away from the noisy world and live in the moments.  Next year could look completely different for you, so embrace today, love your family, & celebrate life. 
  • Jack: This picture was Jack's last Christmas with us.  Jack was very sick at this time, we had joust found out that Jack's cancer had spread aggressively and he was given no options, but was told he had about 9 months left with us; he lived just 2 months.  Jack was diagnosed in late 2007 with stage 4 ocular melanoma with spread to his brain, liver, & spleen. He bravely & strongly fought this ugly beast for just 16 months.  This picture was at a time when he was told he was not going to live to watch his little girl grow up.  Jack said I want more treatment; so he was doing a 2nd round of full brain radiation to fight the brain tumors that took over his body functions.  Jack LOVED life, loved his family fiercely, and he loved his friends immensely.  Jack was never without words, wisdom or advice.  He would be there in an instant to help anyone.  His passion was being on the volunteer fire department where that truly was his 2nd family.  He loved ALL those men & women and the family they built there.  I miss Jack; I miss his wisdom, his sarcastic humor, & his drive for life.  Even though I am happily remarried, I give Jack all the credit for teaching me how to love & live without him; that truly was the greatest gift (besides my babies).  So this holiday, think of Jack's story and the legacy he left.  Look around at your family and see how and/or who you can lean into and guide through tough times.  Be present, be the jokester, & love bigger than Jack could dream possible.  
  • Seth: This is my brother Seth, he was 6 years younger than me.  This phot is one of my favorites of Seth, me, & my daughter Graci.  This wasn't our last Christmas together and I can't remember who's idea it was of ru 3 to dress similar to each other, but it was on purpose.  My brother was diagnosed in August 2004 with a brain tumor after having a grand mal seizure.  At the time Seth lived on the acreage with me & my late husband.  I essentially became his caregiver during these days.  Seth had 3 total brain surgeries to remove his tumor throughout the 5 years.  His tumors always were graded stage 1, so he never had to endure treatment.  Seth's luck changed with his last surgery when his tumor came back with a vengeance and he was not able to complete any treatment needed because this is what ended his life; this was exactly 2 months after my husband Jack had died.  Seth was funny, he was tall, very tall at 6'5", he was very strong too.  Seth & I could play endless hours of guitar hero and he was the best "Uncle Seffers" we knew.  When we lose a sibling is't so incredibly different and there's not as much support as when we lose a child or a spouse.  It's sad, these are people that are family and we've known since birth.  Seth was supposed to be my protector after Jack died; he was driving me & my daughter Graci home from Jack's funeral and he said "Don't worry sissy...I'm going to take care of you girls" Things changed drastically in between those 2 months.  Many times I didn't know who I was grieving...Jack? Seth? or Garret? It was truly the darkest time of my life.  I couldn't turn to parents or family, they too had lost a son, grandson, & son in was so much for us.  I share this because, grieving during the holidays is different.  It brings forward all the memories and that empty hole in our hearts needs to be acknowledged and love.  Again, take the time this season with your family.  Let your siblings pick on you and vice versa.  Love all with everything you have. 
  • Brooke: (aka Brookie Cookie) This is my first husband, Jack's sister. So yes, my in-laws have had to bury both of their children.  Brooke's death was preventable, but she was very ill and couldn't figure out how to heal.  Brooke died from alcoholism brought on by depression.  She couldn't heal from the loss of her nephew Garret or her brother Jack.  There were also other things in her life that were forcing her into depression.  She had choices, but she made the wrong ones.  She had countless and endless support & love from her family, but it just wasn't enough for her.  We love our Brooke and miss her immensely.  Brooke was a very very smart girl with a head of the curliest hair!  She was the kindest person to all she met.  She loved her family and she wanted everyone to succeed at everything in life.  Brooke's story is a true example of checking in on your friends.  Help them any way you can during their darkest days.  Surround them with love and never talk a day for granted.  
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