I’m very grateful to have received such good feedback from my book and to see it starting to help others. There is positive feedback beyond bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings enduring the loss of a child. Below is one example:
“I want you to know how much your life story touched me. You had me in tears from the hospital and funeral and then throughout the book. I also laughed with you. I enjoyed the honest words and emotions used to tell us your family’s life. I thank you for being wonderful enough to share such loss with all of us. I must also tell you, I enjoyed the poetry (I am a sucker for poetry!)
Believe it, I liked that you also included your spiritual journey it made me feel so human. Thank you for the chapters of great insight and advice. “
~ Margaret Kelly, Merrimac, MA
Some of the feedback is from the family or friends of those enduring such a loss, saying it helps them better understand what that person is going through. Still others relate to “A Butterfly’s Journey” for other types of grief and loss. I’ve also spoken at elder care and senior living facilities where the hope for continuation of spirit is important to those in later years who are suffering many losses of friends and family as well as thinking about their own mortality.
For me, the book is a way to help others beyond those I mentor in the local support chapter (The Compassionate Friends of Greater Newburyport, MA), which I founded ten years ago and still lead. That organization is a great resource, along with many others I’ve amassed and pass on to my chapter families. We have monthly meetings, newsletters, a website in process, and three physical memorials to our children. We are part of an annual global candle lighting ceremony, and we hold local special events for our families. including live butterfly and balloon releases. I am also inspiring hope for others by participating in Butterfly Release & Remembrance events at senior living and other venues.
I learned so much from my own exploration and spiritual journey over the last ten years which I want to share. I am very action-oriented in my recovery. Personally, I needed to be in order to survive the near-simultaneous loss of my 21-year-old son Brent, the loss of my 30-year marriage and to help my remaining son, Brad, as he struggled with the loss of his brother and our family unit. I was able to survive, recover, help Brad and find happiness again – then take it further to continue my relationship with Brent after his death. More on that in the book and in upcoming blogs.
Meanwhile, I hope you find these Tips for Bereaved Families helpful.