Sometimes our sparkle and love for life is buried under a mountain of grief and loss. There are dark days of the soul when even if we know in our heart of hearts there will be a light, the darkness is too black to see beyond, and the weight of life too heavy to carry alone. In our darkest, loneliest hours, we need community the most: a circle of healing, gentle compassion, a reminder that no matter how scary the road is we don’t ever have to walk it all alone…
Last summer one of our contributors and my dear friend, the beautiful/witty/sarcastically sweet Nicole of Three By Sea, lost her brother tragically. Just this weekend she also lost her father to a sudden and vicious battle with cancer. This lovely woman has spent the last two+ months travelling between hospitals, long hours dealing with doctors & family, carrying the weight of her dad’s illness while trying to parent her young son and working through her own grief over loosing her brother. It is just too much for any one person to be asked to shoulder. I want us to help hold space for her, surrounding her in a circle of love and healing, so she knows she is not alone with her pain.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
― Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
We know OMHG is a place where creative successes (big & small) are celebrated but I hope we are also somewhere that compassion can be found when life is a bitter pill to swallow. Grief can make us uncomfortable-we don’t know what to say or do so often we ignore it or try to make it ‘all better’, but the most powerful words we can share when faced with another person’s pain are simply: “I am here for you”.
Nicole, I am here for you. We are here for you. You are not alone.
In a perfect world we would all live in communities where we were supported in times of crisis or big transitions-friends dropping by with food or to throw in a load of laundry, offering to care for our children, stealing us away for a night on the town or for quiet moments of shared sadness. We don’t live in a perfect world (yet) but we can create a capsule of goodness right here, right now, for one woman who needs it. At the best of times mamas & creative entrepreneurs have difficulty making time for self-care, so let’s work together to make sure Nicole takes some time for healing and much needed self-love.
I created a separate PayPal account and set up a donation widget for us to pitch in to help Nicole get a break-maybe a spa day, a housekeeper for the month, a babysitter & a night out, or a stack of books to cuddle and cry with…whatever she needs to bring a little light to these dark days. At the end of June I will send our community gift on to Nicole. It seems like so little but it is something we can do to hopefully make this struggle a bit easier on her.
Please leave a supportive comment for Nicole on this post, send her a tweet or message on Facebook, hold her in your thoughts, help me give her space to grieve-together we can create a community that steps up to be angels for each other when we need it the most.
Thank you for visiting darkness with me and shining a light friends. I hope if you are ever in need or struggling you won’t try to carry it by yourself, after all, that is what friends are for!
Oh, Nicole, my heart breaks for you… know that we’re all here for you and your family and that you’ll be in our thoughts and prayers 🙂
If you need to chat or vent or anything at all, we will listen, patiently and lovingly – just let us know.
Hugs to you and yours, Nicole.
And Jessika, this is an absolutely wonderful note… thank you for this 🙂
Thank you so much for joining the circle Stacey-I love you <3
Crying copiously if only we had had someone like you so much for us would have been different.
Don’t have any more words but I’m blessed with you and Nicole is blessed to have us, with our, my warm thoughts and big mamma hugs of warmth and love even if it has to be virtual.
And I am blessed to have you mamasita, you taught me all about community love & I am beyond grateful. If we had true community support when we were struggling with our own losses healing would have been so much easier. I am thankful that I can be that person for others & hold space for our community-building the world I want to live in/gift to the girls one friendship at a time.
Thanks for the post, Jess…
You are in my thoughts, Nicole. Big huge hugs to you my dear friend. Big huge hugs. Wish I could go and give them to you there for real.
@Joy, @Karen thank you for being here with us! Loving hugs to both of you <3
@Mz RikRak I adore you to the moon & back!
@Mother Duck So beautiful, thank you for your thoughts/prayers/kindness-there isn't much we can do when things fall apart but be there to help with the rebuilding.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Nicole and her family.
big hugs to you, wonderful nicole.
your smile and warm wit is always so inspiring.
thinking of you so very much in these difficult days, sweetie.
(jess – thanks for initiating the circle of hugs!)
we can have compassion for strangers no matter who they are or their own particular tragedy. I will hold Nicole & her family in my prayers and light a candle for her brother & father.
May her God hold her in his arms and comfort her through this difficult time.
My thoughts & prayers will be with her and I am sending as many virtual hugs as she may want. A random act of kindness or a paying forward of a kindness is often all we can do in difficult circumstances, happy to contribute to the circle of healing.
Nicole – you have my deepest sympathy for the recent familial tragedies you’ve endured.
I hope our small acts of kindness alleviate some of your suffering… lots of hugs 😉
And thank you, Jess, for bringing our community together to help ease Nicole’s grief!
@Geri-it is the very least I can do, and such a small thing. What I really wish I could do is squeeze myself through the screen & go make myself useful for her-this will have to do until I get my teleporter fixed:)
Oh, how heartbreaking. Thinking of Nicole and her family during this difficult time. Lovely post, Jessika.
@Anile-thank you for being here with us <3
Nicole, my good friend from high school just lost her mother to cancer very suddenly and unexpectedly, and I feel for her so much and know how hard what you’re going through is right now. You’re such a joy and light and spread so much cheer- I’m glad to know you and know you will get through all this. Sending lots of love and healing to you and your family.
And Jessika, what an amazing thing to do for a friend! You’re an inspiration.
@Jena-sending love to your friend & family, thank you for sharing with us! Nicole is really such a bright light in our community, I’ve missed her like crazy over the last 10 months & am overjoyed to see this support & love flowing her way!
Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.
<3 We're here for you Nicole! So much love and positive energy is surrounding you right now. We've got your back.
@Nikki-That is exactly what I am fighting for, heart in hand (literally), and it is such a good fight! That there is enough good in the world to balance & sometimes outshine the bad. Thank you for sharing, for being here, for being you.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Nicole. I lost both my parents at a young age. My father died 15 years ago (this month) from his battle with cancer. I still miss him. I would like to share with you something I have learned from my experience: this difficult time will pass. Grieving is a long process and one that you go through in your own way. I am reminded of a story of a grieving woman who came to Buddha crying. She said, my heart aches so bad, I am so sad, my son has died, please bring him back to life. Buddha answered her, ok, I will help you. He said, first, go bring me a fistful of rice from someone’s home where no one has died. The woman rushed to her village and went from household to household. But in everyone’s household, someone had died. She came back to Buddha and said, I understand now. Suffering and loss is everywhere, even though in the moment we feel alone and isolated. Just know that you are not alone. And tomorrow will not be the same as today. Sending you warmth.
I needed this post today to remind me that there is a community out there so willing to wrap there arms around you and be there for you through the hard times. Huge hug to you Nicole! You are definitely in my thoughts.
You have amazing people in your life, Nic. You won’t go through this alone. I’ll see you soon.
Nicole, I am so sad for your losses.
I feel like everyone goes through a really, really hard season or two in their lives where it feels like everything is going wrong, but believe me – you will come through it. Each day that you keep your chin up gets better. My thoughts and prayers are with you, dear.
Nicole-a mountain of love and a sky of light to remind you that you are not alone. Ever.
Nicole–broad shoulders and love + light coming your way.
I’m at a total loss for words apparently, because I’ve started this sentence about 15 different times and still am unable to express the gratitude I have for such an amazing friend in Jess and for the kindness and generosity of spirit all of you have shown…I will carry you all with me tomorrow at my father’s funeral and in the days ahead. Thank you, thank you, thank you…
Beautiful Nicole-I am so thankful that my little piece has brought some brightness to your life at this sad time. While I know you have friends & family grieving with you for your dad who it seems was very loved too-here you have a circle of love aimed just at you. We are here if you need us! I love you <3
Nicole, please know that there are people all around the world thinking of you right now, sending you big hugs, praying for you, wishing that things were different.
You are in my thoughts,
Wishes of light and strength for you. You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers.
I am amazed at how awesome our community is and comes together for things like this. Nicole, you are in my thoughts and prayers and here is a big cyber hug just for you. 🙂
Sending you big hugs and prayers Nicole!
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