Dearest Neighbor, if today–Mother’s Day–you are somehow feeling sad, mad, shame, depressed, deprived, or less than special, you are not alone. I feel you. I see you. I honor and salute you, all of you who carry a mother’s love in your heart, but may not be able to show or share it because something is standing between you and that nurturing. Two decades ago, as we were leaving the funeral for my son, Gavin Michael, my good friend said to me, “You’re a great mom, and he’s so lucky to have you.” It took me a few years to recognize that even though I didn’t have the opportunity to do the traditional “Mom” things, I was his mother in so many ways, ways that were merely (and vastly) different than what we humans expect or envision about Motherhood. In the years since, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my friend’s proclamation, and the terms Mom and Motherhood have taken on an entirely new depth for me.
A Mother’s Day Tragedy and a Birth-Death Day Celebration
Dear Neighbor, Twenty-eight years ago, a miracle happened when a child was born. When you think about everything that must occur prior to any birth, the precise nature of so many scientific details, every delivery is miraculous. When I began writing this post, I realized that twenty-eight years ago, at the exact same hour, I was timing and logging contractions … Read More
Ask Annah: Your Doctor Called You Lucky After Your Son Died?
“Your doctor called you lucky after your son died?” You asked? He sure did, Neighbor…and here’s what I later gleened from that experience… …………… “You’re lucky we were able to do a bikini cut,” my obstetrician said to me during my six-week checkup. Lucky? I sat across from this man who had come to know my body—well, certain parts like … Read More
Ask Annah: Am I a Lost Cause?
Dearest Neighbor, Oh, how I relate to your current struggle and remember well feeling like I was the only person on the planet who wasn’t “getting it.” “I just can’t relate to my friends, my family, or my therapist because what they are saying just doesn’t make sense to me. Am I a lost cause?” Let me assure you that … Read More
Ask Annah: How Can I Possibly Love Another as Much as I did My First?
Dearest Neighbor, A question of the ages, spoken by nearly every human that ever walked this earth. Though the query has been asked in countless ways, they all boil down to one ultimate question: “How do we quantify love?” “How can I possibly love another as much as I did my first?” Parents ponder this when thinking about or expecting … Read More
Ask Annah: How Do I Move Forward When the Past Keeps Repeating Itself? Part I, Relationships
Dear Neighbor, Oh, let me count the ways I understand your question. How do I move forward when the past keeps repeating itself? This question is deep and complex and covers so many areas of our lives and across each of our five facets. When it seems as if life keeps dealing you one blow after another, it can feel … Read More
Ask Annah: Where is MY Miracle?
Dearest Neighbor, I can relate to your feeling of helplessness, sadness, confusion, and desire for some promise, for anything, anything that will give you hope. Miracle? How can you think of the possibility when your life is a disaster and riddled with the worst pain you have ever imagined? I know how that feeling and those thoughts affected me. I … Read More
Ask Annah: How Do You Do It All?
Dearest Neighbor, Social Media Highlight Reels. Glitz. Glamour. Got-it-all-together goodness. Do these qualities exist? Sure. Do they exist all the time? For anyone? Not on your life. Comparison is one of our greatest life hurdles, which affords it a front row seat in The Five Facets Philosophy on Healing programs. This question came to me leading up to the holiday season and … Read More
Ask Annah: Does Grief Last Forever?
Dearest Neighbor, First, I’m sorry for your loss and your heartache. Please know that, though it might sometimes feel like you are all alone, you have a world of support to help you in your grief and beyond. Will your grief last forever? It doesn’t have to, Journeyer, but it all depends on you. In the 5 Steps of Healing, … Read More
The Amazing and Healing Benefits of Cats: A Guest Post by Emily Parker
Journeyer, if your kids (or spouse!) are begging for a kitty for Christmas, here are a few reasons to make that happen! Animal lovers know how much love, peace, and calm a cuddly cat can bring, but not all of us know the many other benefits that come with adding a feline to the family. I’m honored to share this … Read More