Whole again

Creative Alliance '12

Photo courtesy of Suebob Davis

I’ve written about my father here before.

I’ve shared my grief and my efforts to work through my sadness.

And I worried that you might be growing weary of hearing about it.

So, I stopped writing about him.

I stopped sharing the waves of my sadness and I bottled it up inside, where it became trapped, until two weeks ago, when I stood in front of my peers at Creative Alliance ’12 and read the first substantial piece that I ever wrote about my father.

And I felt freed of a piece of my sadness.

Standing there, giving voice to my grief was cathartic.

Not long ago, I read a quote from On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss that gave me permission to grieve both privately and publicly.

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.

It was that quote that pushed me to submit my piece the the Listen to Your Mother “Say It” Salon at Creative Alliance ’12.

It helped me to recognize that it’s okay to feel what I’m feeling.

Thank you, Ann Imig, Leane Vandeman and Andrea Fellman for providing a warm and supportive environment for my words.

Thank you to all of the amazing women who sat and listened and smiled and cried with me.

And if I become fearful or trapped or lonely, I will sit quietly and watch this video from Suebob Davis that captures the magic of Creative Alliance ’12.

And I will be grateful.



  1. Laura anuncommonfamily.com

    I am so proud of you. I haven't cried as hard as I did during your entire piece in a long, long time. I wish I could go back and listen to it again. You are so talented with your words. I'm beyond glad that you were able to let some of the sadness go. You deserve that more than anything. (And P.S. I'll never grow tired of reading anything you write.) xo

  2. Chloe chloeofthemountain.com

    It was a beautiful piece, Nichole. So much grace and mercy. Thank you for taking the risk and letting us in.

  3. Absolutely beautiful.
    I have not lost a parent. Nor do I ever want to imagine that. But when my grandma passed, she was my hero, it hurt right to the core. It still does.
    Never be afraid to keep talking about him. We're always here to listen and to help you heal.

  4. @undefined twitter.com/undefined

    Listening to you read a piece that I have read several times was so intense…and I could feel your emotion and a sense of letting the words help you move forward. You needed to have those words heard, and I am so very proud of you for reading your piece. Love you xoxo.

  5. Sherri

    Listening to you read a piece that I have read several times was so intense…and I could feel your emotion and a sense of letting the words help you move forward. You needed to have those words heard

  6. Mom

    I am so very proud of you! I love you!

  7. Hugs to you…

  8. tracy@sellabitmum sellabitmum.com

    You are amazing. xo

  9. Leigh Ann

    I can't imagine your grief, but I love the fact that you have an outlet for it.

  10. Joy

    Well done you! Healing follows many paths but you need to be brave enough to walk them.

  11. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    It's hard to comment on this… I know EXACTLY what you're feeling and my grief isn't as old as yours, but it is grief and regardless. All I can say is thank you for continuing to share your heart with me and all of your readers. I love you and I'm so sorry that we share this emotion/feeling/sensation/despair and loss. I am always here for you. xoxo

  12. Ellie onecraftymother.com

    Your words and bravery from that night ring in my head all the time. You are such a beautiful soul, Nichole. I feel your grief, in the center of me, and miss my Dad beyond words. The passage of time dulls the edges a bit, but there are fresh little wounds that open all the time – all the "oh, I wish he could see this" moments, all the firsts we do without him. It's never over, it's true. I don't want it to be, either, because fully letting go of the pain feel like fully letting go of him, and I know I'll never be ready for that.

    Thank you, again, for your courage. And your gorgeous words.



  13. Jessica (@jessbwatson)

    I need to save this and watch it for another time when I'm trying not to hold my own tears in but I just wanted to say that I am proud of you for sharing your grief and I think you always should. Whenever you need to, I will be here to read. Much love to you.

  14. cheryl

    Grief has no timeline. I am glad you shared – and have given yourself permission to keep sharing.

  15. I started blogging after a difficult birth with my second child and I think I also got the same point as you- where I felt it was all I was writing about and I had lost the sense of relief it gave me when I first started. Then my youngest was born and I started to realise this is a part of who I am. Not only that, but writing about it all really does help me. I think I needed some space to see that.

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