I’m not sure exactly when i met my friend Marley via Instagram due to our sharing similar tragic stories/experiences, but I am SO glad I did. After learning about me, she reached out to tell me a bit about her. And then she told me about this AMAZING organization called Family Lives On.
Family Lives On is a Foundation that supports the lifelong emotional well-being of children whose mother or father (or, like for us, both) has/have died. Their Tradition Program provides opportunities for intentional remembering, creating a safe haven for grief, communication and celebration. How beautiful is that? I NEVER want Shannon OR David to be forgotten. ESPECIALLY by the two people on this earth they loved most, and who loved them most.
Back in the fall, (after I communicated with our coordinator ahead of time to schedule it) the boys did a Skype session with 2 amazing women at Family Lives On (FLO). They had an amazing conversation with these two strangers about their mom and their dad and the things they loved doing with them. They each talked about three or four things that they considered to be Traditions; things that made them think of their parents.
Soon after the Skype session I got an email outlining the things that stood out to them, and the things that were achievable thanks to AMAZING people like Donna, who donate to make the Traditions a reality! The boys will be gifted YEARLY, until they are 18! I KNOW, right!?
On the FLO website it says: Healthy grieving isn’t about forgetting, it’s about remembering. Traditions help kids maintain a healthy connection with the parent who died. Families get a chance to connect and talk about their loved one helping them deal with grief and move forward.
I couldn’t agree more. I talk about my sister every single day. I talk about David, too. It hasn’t gotten easier, but I’ve gotten better. SO have the boys. It was SO emotional to see them open their presents. The smiles on their faces put there because of the tragedy that took their mom and their dad from their lives. The irony isn’t lost on me. I can’t think of a sweeter silver lining. My eyes were filled with happy tears.
I have SO many thoughts and feelings about all of this, but for now I just want to say THANK YOU to all of the people at Family Lives On for doing what you do. You are making such a difference. You are filling holes in hearts, even if it’s temporary, and you are giving many, many people HOPE.
Below are a few pics I got of the boys’ gifts! Connor said he loved his mom watching him play basketball. So he got a jersey, shorts and a ball. We will do something to honor Shannon when we shoot the ball sometime this weekend! Danny loved his dad’s love for Rugby, specifically the New Zealand All Blacks. He got a jersey, a rugby ball, a framed photo and Sunflower seeds (DAVID brand) 🙂
If you want to learn more about this amazing organization. If you want to get involved! Here is a link to their website. Thanks for reading, as usual! I LOVE YOU!