Be a Lighthouse

The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit. Unknown

Over fifty women have come forward to tell me their mother loss stories. Their scars will become lighthouses for others. They shared tragic stories through their brave tears and, in doing so, powered up their light to reach further “out to sea.” Their light empowered me as well. I will be forever grateful for their willingness to give of themselves.

We are frequently tempted to show up without scars, always saying, “just fine” when we are sad or hurting emotionally or physically. When we share our true selves we become a lighthouse to others. 

Affirmation: I am a lighthouse.

Coaching question: How can your  light keep  others from the rocks?

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Share Your Stories

Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them. Mitch Albom, American author

It is important for us all, no matter the loss we have experienced, to share the stories of the deceased. Telling the tales, reminiscing about the past, remember the details of a lost loved one is critically important to the welfare of the grieving daughter and other family members. When photos are put away and silence about the past is the rule, ultimately everyone suffers. Recalling a lost loved one may initially bring tears of grief but ultimately those memories will bring tears of joy and help in recovery. 

I would know next to nothing about my mother if my father hadn’t shared who she was and how important she was in our life. Her picture was prominently hung above his bed, a photo album of our brief eight years together was readily accessible to me. I thank my dad for his openness and willingness to help me know my mother and keep her present. 

Affirmation: I remember.

Coaching questions: What tales do you tell to keep your past loved ones present? If your family doesn’t speak about your loved one who has died, who might you speak with for information and to share your memories? 

IMG_1481.jpgThis photo of my mom hung over my dad’s bed.

You’re Not Alone

We are lonesome animals. We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel–“Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel.” You’re not as alone as you thought. John Steinbeck, author, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature

Since I’ve started interviewing women who have lost their moms through death, abandonment, or dementia, I’ve often said that even if I never write this book (which I am and I will), it has been worth it. Why? Because nearly every woman I have spoken with says its wonderful to be heard by someone who understands. Several share experiences they have never talked about before. There are tears and there’s laughter. Nearly all 50, so far, have said that they felt less alone after sharing their story.

When I share part of my journey with them they say, “Yes, that’s how I felt too!” We both feel less alone, less separate, less different, more understood. It makes it so worth it!

Affirmation: I am heard and understood.

Coaching questions: With whom can you share a healing story? What would that story be? What difference might it make?