After Connor died in 2018, I knew I wanted to do something that matters. But how? How do I do that when I am still hurting and grieving? I see others who work in grief, and they seem like they have it all together. I watch those who are well known and world renowned yet don’t see their pain and suffering. It seems that they don’t have the same struggles that I do.
For the past 30 years, my life has been a long grief journey, starting with my daughter’s death in 1991. There have been so many other deaths in between her and my son. Each one I step back and feel the pain of loss from the ones before. Healing happens with a new layer of scar tissue added to the previous wound.
I am never the same as before. I don’t expect to be. I continue to morph and grow in my walk of life. But with Connor, I felt something different. I felt a calling to do more. I went back and forth with how can I encourage, empower, and inspire others when I am not healed? If I’m not good enough, I can’t be used. I want God to use me, but I feel inadequate. This struggle has raged within me.
I found I don’t have the answers. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be healed. I can be who I am with all my weaknesses, foibles, and scars. I share my hurt, pain, tears, setbacks, and forward motion That is what others on their grief journey can relate to. My honesty, vulnerability and openness are an example of someone who walks the road to healing, with all the bumps, bruises, and jolts. Jolts come out of nowhere, much like a trigger for grief. They can be a reminder of my reality that life has changed forever. Sometimes these jolts start a grief wave and others an encourage me to press on.
As I continue to grapple with the thought of am I doing something that matters, I received this message:
“Hi Peggy, I just listened to your recent Facebook interview about your new book. You described how Courtney died and my heart sank. We live near that home daycare in the cull-de- sac, having moved in just about the time of the death of your child. You are the mother I grieved for so many years ago. I always wondered about you and your family. With the suicides of our sons to also connect us I felt I had to reach out to share my deep sympathy for the loss of Courtney. I’m so sorry to know you are the mother of two horrible losses. I have ordered your most recent book also. I’d love to get together with you for coffee or a glass of wine.” L.S.
My prayers have been answered. Yes, I am making a difference. Yes, what I am doing matters. I will continue to serve, share my story, and inspire others.
Listen to Grieving Out Loud with Angela Kennecke, https://www.thegriefspecialist.com/author-peggy-green-on-surviving-your-childs-suicide/