The pink flamingos flew back

Amy Spindler
Amy Spindler, 40, died of a brain tumor in 2004 (1963-2004)

In 2001 a few months after my two brain surgeries (1999 and 2000) to remove a skull base tumor was successful, I engaged in a mentoring program to support other patients. Brain tumors are such a serious topic. And when you are in that environment, there is little humor. The endless string of appointments and waiting for results, surgeries, radiation, and in some cases, chemo are a drag. I wanted to bring an element of humor into my mentoring.

Amy Spindler was the third person I mentored and we … Read more...

How to find hope

pilot light of hope

How do I know you will find hope? Because you came here, started reading this and wanted to find it. 

Hope is a little pilot light that dims when you are down, brightens, and flickers when you are up. There are always going to be extremes but most of life is spent somewhere in the middle.

While hope is anticipation for the future, it influences how you feel in the present.

So when you are in despair, take a step outside your comfort zone, or practice an act of kindness. No matter what, don’t let the flame of hope die.… Read more...

The Bereaved Parent’s Pledge with Worksheet

pledge from bereaved parents
Hand on heart. Icon on a white background. Vector illustration

For July, bereaved parents month

This starts with a pledge from a grieving parent. Then some information about how friends and family might perceive your well being. They don’t know what’s healthy grieving or unhealthy grieving and often mistake perfectly healthy grieving practices as warning signs or even grief shame you.

Pledge

While I, the grieving parent/guardian/grandparent, know that friends don’t know what to say, I will give them credit for talking to me because saying anything takes courage.

Friends are afraid of saying the wrong thing but my pledge … Read more...

7 steps to finding purpose

Some event in your life has forced you to take stock of yours. Now you are in a desert with no compass and wondering, “Which way do I go?” Finding purpose is how you add meaning to your life. And it can be a business venture, passion project, or social justice pursuit. These are the steps I took to find my purpose and I hope it helps you find yours.

1. Have faith you will find it.

You want it. It will present itself to you and then you can shape it like cookie dough.

2. Identify your passion.

What … Read more...

Beautiful things come from a broken heart

crushed heart
Broken up heart

Tour art museums, libraries, bookstores, and music stores and a lot of what is created is the result of pain. Grief, a breakup or other tragedy inspires people to write amazing books, paint beautiful music, make incredible speeches.

What will come from your broken heart? The tragedy you experienced, the darkness you have endured, the addiction you have fought to find recovery, all have meaning. It has a message that you should not carry alone but share through whatever creative means you want to express it.

You can create something from your pain. Because even a life … Read more...

Your pain has a purpose

Photo taken by my brother Gene Nimocks

We do not want to experience pain. No one wants withdrawal, wants to lose someone they love, wants to suffer the aftermath of surgery.

However, that pain is how your body and brain heal. While you are in agony, you are healing. The body is adjusting, letting it in, and then lifting it and develops a rhythm with its own cadence. Every unbearable moment you survive is building your emotional muscle.

And your body and brain are recognizing ways to manage the pain so that next time you are more prepared.

I’ve always … Read more...

What about the officer who broke the news?

I can still see his profile and the anguish etched on his face. It was a profile because we were in a police car. My husband sat in the front, and I was in the back and he had turned halfway in the driver’s seat to see us both. It was an awkward way to tell us and I’m sure it wasn’t his first choice. They’d gone to our home but we weren’t there so they met us in the parking lot where we’d had dinner.

He was white with an angular Romanesque face and a strong jaw. His hair … Read more...

It all started with a note from Ryan

A young man from the midwest sent me a message through a contact form.

“Do you give away free books?” While I have, it’s usually in person at events. Buying my own books and then shipping them gets costly after about a hundred of them.

My friend Virginia Y sent him a copy of Diary of a Broken Mind.

But that got me to thinking

“I wonder how many would be willing to buy a book for someone in need–people who want one but are short of money right now, especially in an economic crisis caused by COVID-19, and can’t … Read more...

I wanted to see my son’s body

Trigger warning: Strong Emotional Content.  

I ached to see him one more time. There would never be another opportunity, so the urge was strong and unrelenting.

In early, raw grief, it can be an almost irrational, desperate wish. I wanted to touch his hand, say goodbye although I knew his spirit had already left because I had felt it leave me the Friday he took his life. Before I got news.

Why didn’t I get to see my son one last time?

And this story begins at the end of my son’s life.

It’s not like on TV … Read more...

Emotionally Naked Love Story Audio is posted

Take it with you on your walk and listen to how these two found each other on Emotionally Naked, then found love and hope after loss.

Read more...