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Cleaning out the house or room after death

Circa 1942- My Aunt Peggy is on the far left, Grandaddy in the middle, and my dad, age 12, on the far right in the aviator’s hat with goggles and knickers.

Each time I have done this, after Charles’s death by suicide, after my dad died, and then after my mother’s death, it’s been a different experience.

It’s both an emotional and intimate experience going through someone’s things after death

I admit to also feeling somewhat voyeuristic as well as insatiably curious. I could still catch the scent of my mom on her clothing which I also experienced when … Read more...

Grandparent grief over the loss of a grandchild

Grandparents from both sides arrived at our home the day after Charles died by suicide. I was underwater emotionally and I needed to offload some of that grief onto my loved ones who were ready to hold me up at a time when I didn’t know how to exist, move forward, or even think. It was such a relief to fall into their arms. I’m fortunate to have had both sets of grandparents at that point.

My dad’s mind was going and dementia had set in which in the long run would provide some cushion for his grief because he’d … Read more...

Leo, the French kid

Leo

When I first messaged Leo, he revealed only an “L.” He first landed on this blog from a google search on how to kill himself. He was filled with despair and claimed he needed to get on the bus.

I had not ever heard anyone put it that way. I wonder now if it’s a French saying. In short, Leo was suicidal. For the record, my blog has never offered instructions on how to die but I do offer a listening ear and resources for those who want them.

It was a couple of weeks before I would figure … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #15

The Richmond Spider mascot was silly, fun, and had a lot of dancing fun with the audience and especially the kids.

A fun mascot is something for which I am grateful on day #15 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

Want to keep up with a daily dose of gratitude?

Subscribe below by choosing “daily.” If you are on our email list, this list is separate and will auto-send daily posts that are published keeping you engaged with #thegratitudeproject. I have no idea how long I will do this. I just know I need it

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What am I grateful for? Day #14

Sounds can be very soothing and bring moments of peace. Today’s grateful post is the sound of a brook that feeds into the James River by the lake at Forest Hill Park.

The sound of running water is something for which I am grateful on day #14 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

Want to keep up with a daily dose of gratitude?

Subscribe below by choosing “daily.” If you are on our email list, this list is separate and will auto-send daily posts that are published keeping you engaged with #thegratitudeproject. I have no

Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #13

We’ve been playing Scattegories. Not the actual board game. We found an online version and we use notepads.

This got started as a new tradition after the death of my son, Charles, by suicide. He loved games. So we make an effort to play one in his memory to bring the family together and create a new tradition. I’m grateful for the fun, laughter, and connection that my younger son has inspired in his memory.

A game with the family is something for which I am grateful on day #13 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?… Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #12

It took me about a half hour to dress to walk today because it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill factor, it was 5 degrees. Thank goodness for old ski clothes. because that is cold for this Southern girl.

This little husky pup was waiting for me. Now I don’t normally pet strange dogs but this one and I go back a ways. He greeted me, anxiously expecting some attention which I gladly gave. I didn’t see many people or dogs today because saner folks were staying indoors where it was warm. But there was sun and I … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #11

It rained all day today. But instead of staying inside, I went out in it. I put on my raincoat, rain pants, boots, and umbrella. That’s my umbrella in the photo. It’s the kind that doesn’t drip on you when you fold it up.

I am not going to say I love dark, dreary rainy days. But they sure do help me appreciate the sunny beautiful ones.

We do get a good amount of rain. It’s not too much but there are so many areas now that are drought-stricken. So our plants are nourished and our water is not restricted. … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #10

As hard as this time of year can be from the standpoint of loss, once I get closer to the actual day, I zone out and enjoy some downtime. This year I’m not putting on the big spread and that leaves me with a bit more chill time to relax and just stop going, going. going. It feels good.

That’s my feet in the photo above covered with a blanket. Because this is one lazy picture. No judging. I’m chillaxing.

Some downtime at the end of the year is something for which I am grateful on day #10 of the … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #9

Love flew in from Los Angeles and we picked up my oldest son, Richard, from Dulles airport in Washington DC. That’s a 4.5-5 hour round trip and totally worth it. This is a late-night photo.

This is the kid who just weeks after college graduations said, “You are great parents…” 5 minutes into our breaking the news about his brother’s death by suicide.” He said more than that and you can read all about that here in this post.

No one else could have said anything that would have mattered more than that statement did on the absolute worst … Read more...