Posted in Creative Alliance ’12

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.

 

Connection, acceptance and gratitude

brene brown quote, Creative Alliance '12, connection, inspiring quotesSince arriving home on Sunday, I’ve been struggling to find a way to share my Creative Alliance ’12 experience with you.

I’ve searched for words with enough weight to convey how one weekend changed me from the inside.

But each time I think I’m getting close to finding a way to convey how impactful the experience was, my words evaporate before I can write them down.

I’ve decided that sometimes trying to put something so powerful into words somehow diminishes it.

Nothing I can say here can do the experience justice.

But what I will say is that I feel new. Tired, but new.

I headed into the experience feeling blocked, overwhelmed and discouraged.

When it was my turn to share my reasons for attending, I said through tears, “I used to be a writer, but I’m not anymore. And I want to be.”

And over the weekend, I felt a shift.

With each conversation, it felt as though a piece of me woke up.

Since coming home, I have:

  • danced in the living room with my children in the middle of the afternoon.
  • begun reading again; I started with Robin O’Bryant’s Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves and have also ordered Molly Campbell’s Characters in Search of a Novel.
  • been inspired to make a meal that required shopping for ingredients and following a new recipe.
  • laid on my bed, thinking only of how lovely the steady breeze from the ceiling fan felt on my face.
  • put my iPhone down more than I ever have.
  • laced up my running shoes and, for the first time in a long time, went for a run.
  • picked up a pen and wrote my thoughts down on paper…just for myself.
  • let go of another chunk of my grief.
  • breathed.

There in Ojai, I felt a connection that I simply can’t describe, but this quote conveys it perfectly:

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. –Brene Brown

Yes…that. Exactly that.

Thank you to each of the women who attended Creative Alliance ’12. You are each magical, brave, creative and brilliant.

And I am so grateful to call you my friends.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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