Updated: Sep 7
Stories touch us, they teach us, and they help us understand. They are the way we connect emotionally and they help us gain insight and find strength. When I wrote my book Journey to HEALING, I knew from the start that it would contain stories, experiences, and words from other bereaved mothers as well as my own. It was never an option. I knew I wanted to share their words and children with you.
There is power in each one of our stories. When you open yourself up to sharing your story, you will find others who will share their story with you as well. You discover that you are not alone.
Sharing your story is a therapy all onto its own. Whether you write blogs or talk to your best friend about your loss, you are helping yourself. At the hormonal and biochemical level you are decreasing chemicals in your body that are related to depression and increasing the secretion of hormones that make us feel a wee bit better.
When you share your story with others who are experiencing the same or similar experiences you are ultimately helping them too. A true conversation is a sharing of thoughts and feelings and when you share the heaviness of grief, it becomes lighter - for you and the person or people you are sharing with.
Often after you have lost a child you feel like you are the only person in the world who walks this path. The reality is that you are not, but until we open up and talk about it the loneliness can be overwhelming.
Stories are a bonding tool. They unite people in their journey to healing because everyone can identify with and relate to a story. We can step into the storytellers shoes even if we haven't experienced everything they have.
Hearing another mom's experience can provide hope to the newly bereaved. Often, the only thing that can comfort someone who has lived through great tragedy or tough circumstances is the account of someone else who went through something similar and made it through, scars and all. The fact that you have endured so much and are still here to share it, gives others hope that they will survive as well.
Most of us want to rip out our chapters. Some of our life events are lined with shame, guilt, and regret, things that were beyond our control. And we don’t want anyone to know. We want to and hide it all away. Sharing the ugliness of our lives isn't easy. But here's what I want you to know - that vulnerability and that transparency is what connects us. Nobody wants to hear that another person's journey has been easy because that makes your story unrelatable. People want the truth.
People connect with the difficult and gritty stories because they can relate.
The first step to healing is accepting your story including all the grit and ugly stuff. Then there is a tipping point where your story becomes bigger than you and takes a life of its own. It allows you to separate what happened from who you are. At the same time, reconnecting parts of yourself you have pushed deep inside because of shame or fear.
As you accept your story and begin to embrace it by sharing it with others, your story becomes powerful, bigger than you because you can now use it to help others. I believe this is the process that heals. It’s in the acceptance of your story where you’ll find acceptance of yourself and your situation.
Your story is the most powerful thing you will ever own and you can use it to begin healing.
When I first wrote Journey to HEALING, it felt so good to share my story - maybe even therapeutic. As I wrote, I began to feel vulnerable and maybe like my journey would be judged. There have been times that I thought others might think that I had failed my daughter and that I had failed as a mother.
Now, the more I write and the more I tell my story, the more I feel heard and the more my feelings seem validated and the more I am creating connection with other moms who have lost a child. Do you have story that needs to be shared? Maybe there’s some healing you need to do. Telling your story to the world is just part of the process.
Never question your right to share your story. It's important and it's yours and it matters. It doesn't have to be 'pretty' and it doesn't have to be dramatic. It doesn't have to be anything other than what it is. Don't believe for a second that other people have it worse, so you should just suck it up and be quiet. Share it anyway.
A perfect place to share your story is in a group of people going through the same thing as you. As long as we are respectful of one another's stories and we share by talking and listening, then we can all learn and grow and heal.
If you are not already a member of my private Facebook group, considering joining our small and compassionate group of angel moms: https://www.facebook.com/groups/childlossgriefsupport
If you'd like to have your story featured on this blog in the future, please send me an email at Lisa@LisaKBoehm.com and I will send you the details of how to submit and all the requirements of your submission.
Keep talking, keep sharing, and keep connecting.
Love to each one of you
PS: Here's my book Journey to HEALING where I share not only my story but the stories and experiences of 31 other mothers who have lost children: bit.ly/JourneyHeal