10 Posts That Helped Transform My Grief

I’ve written about grief a lot over the last decade or so. And much of that writing has helped me put in to perspective some of life’s biggest moments and emotions. Ones that could have easily swallowed me whole, and if I’m being honest, almost did.

But with reflection and the right tools, I feel confidently about the direction my life has taken. So, to celebrate my mom’s birthday on January 26th, and all the ones that were stolen because of her murder, here is a list of the pieces that helped me feel less alone while writing, and may help you as well. Especially if you have a hole in your heart where a loved one left it, too. Because I think that’s all life is about: connection, community, and catharsis.

Ten Years of Lessons in Less than 500 Words

An Open Letter From My Deceased Mother

An Open Letter to My Deceased Mother

Love You Forever (Chicken Soup for the Soul Story #1)

Expressing Motherhood (Voice of the Year recipient)

Lessons from Mom (ExMoShow Piece #2)

LIVE: It Takes a Village (ExMoShow #3)

Nine Years Later

Let’s Make a Deal (CSS Story #3)

Trash Bags From Heaven

Grocery Shopping a Go-Go

Raise your hand if you have a strong-willed child 🙋🏻‍♀️

This is mine. Here he is shopping in our fridge.

He’s doing that because his Daddy happened to go on an errand right when the Instacart delivery arrived. He wasn’t able to help me carry the groceries to the fridge because he was distracted by a difficult “Goodbye!”

So, as the tears began to spring and his voice escalated into a shriek I said (without thinking, really), “Why don’t you go shopping in our fridge?”

He sniffled a few times, paused, and said, “Why?”

“Well, you can grab what you want from it, put it in a bag, then you can carry it outside. Next, knock on the door and carry them in. Then you’re the delivery person! If you ask nicely, of course.”

Another sniffle, which is extremely promising. Usually by now the teetering on imbalance would have turned into a full-blown tantrum complete with screaming and maybe even some body-writhing on the floor. All over delivered groceries.

But instead, he says, “Okay. Please?”

Little man then proceeds to stuff a watermelon, a half dozen eggs, a yogurt cup, horseradish sauce, half a head of iceberg lettuce, & four carrots into a dangerously thin plastic bag from our stockpile. The bag is close to breaking but I breathe through the sticky chunks of fractured egg shell I imagine all over the floor after he drops their carton. But without my saying anything he puts them back, seeing the loot he’s grabbed is too heavy.

And when he’s replaced everything except the watermelon and the carrots, he trots to the door with his shoulders held high. Then he looks at me to see if it’s OK to go outside, sees my confirmation, and toddles outside.

And there’s nothing more for me to do than hire this second delivery person and hope he doesn’t require a tip. I close the door, take a deep breath, and think, ‘This is ridiculous. What are we even doing here?’

But then I hear his silly, unbridled joy filter through the door in the form of, “Knock knock! Grocery here!”

I smile. He barges in like he owns the place, carries the food to the kitchen, and unloads it back in to the fridge. Then he gives me a high five and we go on with our day. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Now, I share this because I’m in the same boat as you most of the time, feeling like I’m just barely figuring this parenting thing out as I go. But in this moment I truly felt I figured it out. Or maybe I didn’t, and I just got lucky.

Either way, I stumbled upon a solution to manage his expectations, and at the same time, help him manage his emotions. And if I’m being super real, to manage my own so as to not to meet him at his melting point.

Because in the end, all he wanted to do was be helpful. But when I get wrapped in my own schedule or presuppositions, I often lose sight that my trying to control his feelings isn’t aiding him at all. That it doesn’t teach him how to do it himself. Instead, finding the point somewhere between his meltdown and my instinct to manage, that’s the sweet spot. The exact place learning for all parties happens.

And if I can do that for a moment or a meltdown, I can do it for another, for a day, for a year, for the rest of their sweet, little lives. And so can you. 💓

What in the World Wide Web is a Blogger?

Hi there 👋🏻

Chances are you stumbled upon this post because you have at least one social media account and somehow came to follow a “blogger” like me. You might even have a friend who just made the leap, and now you’ve got a lot of questions.

To be honest, I’ve been blogging for six years, and people still ask me what I it is do all the time.

Content courtesy of @fabeverydayblog for @sheinofficial

So, if you’re still asking yourself, “What is a blog?” here’s a simplified answer: a blog is the shortened term for a “web log.”

Blogs began as an online diary or way for people to document emotions/experiences via the Internet. As the internet’s capabilities grew, bloggers potential for content creation did, too.

Now, bloggers capture just about anything via any social media platform. Blog entries come in all sorts of sizes and modes (micro-entry/image, video, livestream, etc).

And when bloggers’ networks (or “followings,” as they’ve become known as) grow, their natural reach does, too. When they can connect with a large enough range of people, some are able to create a business or career out of their content in a few ways:

1) selling physical space on their site for ads to be placed.

2) contributing to larger websites or profiles, being paid by piece (individual followings matter less in this instance as the larger media outlets use their own to amplify for your work)

Ex. My cache of DVD.com articles

3) linking products on their own network that they have used and/or believe in to receive product or a commission-like paycheck for sales they ‘influence.’ The majority of this occurs in a barter-like system.

Some have even created their own products, like lifeofmomshop.com

4) creating campaigns that highlight products or missions at a cost, independent of commission (generally this requires the largest-sized followings). These are often called paid partnerships.

@BrooklynActiveMama sponsored by AirWick

Hence the reason your favorite blogger may take a break from their humor, homemaking, recipes, videos, or articles to sell a product they love… because otherwise they’re a self-published creator who’s earning nothing simply for the sake of your entertainment.

So, to answer your question in a different way, bloggers are entrepreneurs who have found a burgeoning market: the Internet.

BTW, if you’re looking for some inspiration or fun content to spice up your feeds, try some of these blogs/accounts 👇🏻

My List of Must-Follows (in no particular order)

Life of Mom for all things Motherhood

Fab Everyday for a fabulous lifestyle

Brooklyn Active Mama for all things fitness & NY

Orly C on YouTube for all things beauty & entertainment

Let’s Talk Movies for all things movie-related

Life of Dad for fatherhood

We Sow We Grow for those with a green thumb

Amother Adventure for all things family travel

Grateful Wellness Co by Sinead Quinn for wellness

Megan Baca for hard truths made easy

AmandaMuse for honesty & inspiration

Mom Forum for mom-related inspiration

The New Stepford for all things funny

The Food Artist for all things yummy

From Carpool to Cocktails for the best shopping inspiration & flatlays

Mommy Dearest for honest mommyhood

Moms Meet for all things green parenting

Mom2Summit for all things community

…and be sure to follow my accounts to find more fabulous shares/accounts to watch!