Ding (Text message)- Hi Emily! My friend just lost a close friend to cancer. It was a terribly sad incurable case. Would you be able to reach out to her? I don’t know how to help. Could you try?
Me (Through a million tears)- Yes a 100 times yes. I am so sad for your friend, and would love to get in touch with her. xoxo
Also Me- Continue to feel emotional and all the feels the rest of the day, because a little dream I dared to dream is coming true. (If you are new here, my little dream is to help others with loss)
When Heidi died, I was in shock. I was strong and brave, and did the best I could, but I was in shock. I didn’t break into a million pieces. I kept going, and when I came to places where I realized I wasn’t doing my best, I paused. I wanted to find a way to live more authentically and heal but that was HARD. What if my healing made other people upset? What if I lost friends? What if I said too much? What if it wasn’t my story to tell? What if I try and I am not good? What if…What if…What if…
I felt like I needed permission. Permission to write. Permission to share my story. Permission to heal.
I went inside myself a bit, but I continued to listen. My family and friends told me to keep going, so I did. I sought counseling, yoga, and movement and started truly healing. I followed and gained strength from other peoples stories. People like Nora McInerny (Terrible Thanks for Asking Podcast) and Rachel Hollis (author of Girl Wash your Face) and others who had gone through difficult things and come out on the other side.
At some point I realized, these amazing humans were amazing because they spoke their truth. They shared their lives, and didn’t fear the unknown. When I started sharing my story, I told both of them(via direct message on Instagram OF COURSE lol) and they said things like “Keep going.” “See you wrote, now you are writer.” I realized I could do this. I had stories to share. I only needed to find the courage to share them, and to keep trying new things.
I am learning that I don’t need permission. No one has to listen. It is my hope that people will, but if they don’t that is OK. It is the act of being authentic, continuing to dream, and helping those that want to listen, that helps me heal. When Heidi got sick and died, I didn’t know how to do any of this. Who does? NO ONE, until they go through it!
I am not an expert. Everything I have done, you can do. By no means, in any way am I saying I GET grief or loss. I don’t. I simply keep trying, learning, and sharing. What comes up and out, is my truth.
I spoke to a group of 13 year olds a few weeks ago. I talked about my career and my life. I realized in speaking to them that sometimes our stories set us free. I am finding new ways to share and talk and learn from others. I hope you continue to come along for the ride.
If my story speaks to you, then I am doing the right thing. I don’t think everything happens for a reason. I can’t think of a reason my amazing, beautiful, life of the party friend had to die. But, if I stop and breathe, I am learning to finding meaning. To focus on how she can live on, not how she died. To tell my story and DREAM(again) while carrying Heidi in my heart.
Until next time….