Mind Stumbling

I am going to start a series of posts about reconnecting with people after loss. This isn’t just about death and passing on~ this happens to many of us through all kinds of reasons such as traumatic events, divorce, prolonged separation, abandonment, what have you. While reconnecting with others, there also needs to be new connections made. Making new friends, dating, and experiencing new places and interests is important to healing, being healthy, and moving forward in your life.

Holly C Barker


Mind-Stumbling. Electricity. Connectivity. Today I want to share what I now understand about disconnecting and re-connecting. It is a physical, mental, and emotional process. There is an outlet in the wall. I have always used the “3 prong approach” to all we do as a family whether it is grocery shopping, weekend trip planning, or connecting to those we love. Jackson, Jordon, and I were a team and we approached our lives and the ones we love in that fashion.

I met his wonderful group of friends a long time ago at a wedding. I fell in love with their laughter and their ability of stick-togetherness through thick and thin. I knew I was meant to be a part of this group. I wanted to be a part of this group. That weekend so many years ago I got to know Jordon even better. Any guy who has friends like…

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Our New Normal


I know I haven’t been posting much lately. It’s hard to write when you’re treading through life’s watery challenges. Instead of writing about the challenge of not sinking I’m actually into the act of finding a shoreline. Sometimes the reality of earthly matters needs to be attended to. If I sink, I cannot write; therefore I seek the shore.

I’m learning a lot about myself lately and I thought I would write it out so I can see it in front of me. The written word brings emotion and thought to life. It will be a good reminder as I have a real problem with staying on track with all that I want to do. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and I need a clean slate and an organized environment in order to function. You see~ my mind never shuts off. There is so much I want to accomplish and I am hopeful that it all will come to fruition. But life keeps getting in the way and it is my own decisions about life that keeps my path full of distractions.

Let me explain myself. I am a member of several grief groups online, mainly on Facebook. They are closed groups and I have the opportunity to really see how other’s lives play out after the loss of a loved one. Most of us are the same in many facets. Moving, forced transition, emotional challenges, family issues, new decisions, packing, unpacking, re-organizing our lives…. It happens for years for some people and I am no different. I am getting ready to move to a new city and a new home for my son and I. My story might be fairly unique but in the big picture, probably not.

I am from the USA and I married an awesome Canadian guy. He loved the south and all things southern. I think in a past life he was a southern boy as he was completely immersed in our culture here and he fought the pull to bring him back north. Our little family back in 2009 went on a vacation trip to a cottage in western Ontario that solidified our need to move there. Jordon finally submitted and followed us to our new home in Canada. Now that I have a wider and higher view of the events that transpired in our lives, I know he went home so he could spend the last five years of his life around friends and family and the work that he loved. I am grateful for this happening and it changed my life for the better too. All things happen for a reason, and our Higher Power knew this was what needed to happen.

Now things are vastly different. I found myself alone, in a foreign country without family nearby, navigating through paperwork and laws and doing everything myself. I told myself~ I’m never leaving here. We are happy still. This is Jackson’s home. I really tried to stay but it was not in the cards for us, and I became another statistic of those affected by the death of a spouse. The bottom line is no place we live will stop the pain and fill the void of Jordon not being in our lives. We cannot find the perfect house or the perfect neighborhood that will make things different for us. No amount of family, friends, or parties will take away the feeling of there being something vital missing in our lives. Jackson and I both are finally starting to settle into what we now know as Our New Normal. It is a hard understanding to accept. It was not given to us gently, as we crash-landed last year. We are slowing. We are taking a breather right now. We are absorbing reality. We both have been on the move, heavily distracted by the flux in our lives and now we are resting for a bit and taking in the heaviness of loss. Fast moving decisions, changes, and rapid days of being busy with sports and living life had to come to a resting point as its impossible to continue to move at the pace we were in. But I don’t fault it. It saved us.

The pace helped us to not sit and get stuck. Getting stuck is the space where roots grow quickly in sinking sand and it does nothing but drown out the lives of those who choose not to move forward. It is akin to a living death and thank goodness we choose forward motion. I will go back there to try and help my brothers and sisters who choose to stay. I just need desperately to find my resting point, my home for the time being, to write and to heal, and to help.

The water is calling me. The sun is beckoning for us to come and join. The friendly faces and this new place are welcoming and comforting. All is new here and there are no memories. Sometimes for those that are grieving loss~ moving somewhere where there are no memories or memories from those you interact with~is really good for the soul. It is a true starting-over point and it creates a paradigm shift in healing. “For now, this is your new space,” the Higher Ups are saying. The message I am hearing loud and clear is this is your new landing pad to write, to rest, to heal, to get healthy, and most importantly~ to continue to be a mother to the best kid on the planet.

My prayer is adjust to this new life, this new normal, this new community for the healing sake of myself and for Jackson. Please give me the time, energy, and focus to do all the important tasks that lay before me so that I may give back, share, and help. And God, please give those who are drowning in memories a shoreline to reach and give me a boat to help you.


The Unimaginable: Losing a Child, From the Perspective of One Who Hasn’t

I want to write about this. Not to compare or to say I understand. But to imagine, so I can somehow join with those in support and care and comfort to those that have. I know the loss of a spouse.   So I will start at that disconnect and write forward.

For me and anyone who has not lost a child, the loss of a child as a parent is unimaginable. And grief is the highest level of emotional, physical, and spiritual pain there is. I can only imagine when a parent loses a child the physical pain is akin to your heart burning from the inside out. There is an emotional layer to our physical form that becomes burned, scarred, and is no longer flexible . Grief over the loss of a child affects the eyesight, the brain, the heart, the lungs for one has lost part of their living DNA.  It hurts to breathe, to see, and to move at times.  Bereaved parents often say when my child died, a part of me died.  This perhaps, is the physical level of grieving the loss of a child.

I can imagine the emotional pain comes from the lack of the ability to hear their child’s sweet voice. We as parents can pick our child’s voice easily out of a noisy crowd.  Hearing their voice is very deep emotional connection for us. It’s primal in nature and is connected to our bodily functions such as our adrenals for flight or fight response, or our mind’s nature to protect and defend, our hearts to nurture and comfort, our eyes to see and help. The void lives here too. This connection from our emotional selves to our bodily systems never dies and one who loses that child feels the aching of this unused portion of their emotions for the rest of their lives, regardless if you have other children.

The imagery I see of the spiritual pain of losing a child is tragic for a parent. We all see the love and the light within our children. We feel their happy spirits and it in turn heals us and helps us to see the beauty in this world. When a child moves from physical form into God’s hands we acknowledge they are protected and loved and divinely embraced. We know we will see them again. But I believe this doesn’t always help a parent’s earthy movement forward after loss. The soul of a bereaved parent is left with a void that has a deep pain that no person who has not experienced this personally will ever understand, nor wants to. All we can do is offer our presence in their lives. Our love. Our support. Know that this void never leaves for these injured friends. We should give them a lifetime of understanding. A lifetime of love. And a lifetime of service to support them.

My prayer today is to hopefully connect and let you know we may not fully understand, but in love, we try.

Love and Light


In Remembrance of You


In Remembrance of You

It’s been a year now as of today. Your presence and your absence has been felt every day since you passed away. I want to write you a letter. Send it out into the universe. I know you’ll get it, hold it, and read it.

I love you. Jackson loves you. I love the love you left behind and the love you took with you. You were an amazing father and a friend to many. You always picked the right side to be on and you used your internal compass to guide you till the end. You always had it pointed true north. In the end your memorial service was standing room only~ hundreds standing to honor you and your life. I didn’t shed a tear that day and now I know why. I was proud of you, of all you accomplished, of the father you were, of us and our life together. You impacted the world with your kind, gentle spirit and so many are better because of it. I know I am and so is Jackson.

Jordon, this letter is short. Your time with us was too short. And this day is too painful. Just know Jackson and I love you. We will never go a day when we don’t think about you and miss you.