Monday, January 3, 2011

Elixr of Hope

..."transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope"...

I saw this quote, written by Simon Stephens, founder of The Compassionate Friends, and it made me think. It sparked some thoughts, some emotions, which may have not been put into words otherwise.

As far back as I can remember I have wanted to work in a job with some meaning. A job where I could help others, lend out my heart and be a comfort to those who needed support.

I remember a particular conversation with my parents way back when about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was looking into universities and majors and I remember distinctly talking about social work. I was set on doing something "worthy". Something that may make a difference in other people's lives.

My parents gently steered me away from social work. I know why they did it. I understand why they did it and I even agree. It would be a terribly, emotionally taxing occupation. One in which my heart would be broken daily.

I actually decided to study Industrial Relations/Human Resources in University. The sort of 'business' side of working with and helping others. For many years I have enjoyed it and although my husband and I have chosen that I stay at home with the kids for a few years, I plan on getting back into the work force someday. I often wish I didn't have to work to "make a living". Volunteering would be my dream job.

Who would have known my life would take the kind of path it has. Not only did losing Nicholas catapult me into the depths of despair for many months, it also made me realize that I could take my grief and make it mean something more than just pain and heartache.

I don't even remember how the Angel Wings Memorial Boutique came to be exactly. I just remember thinking that I needed to channel my grief somewhere. I needed to do something tangible to honour my son. I needed to have something to hang on to. A project to love and emerse myself in. A project that would offer love, comfort and support to others experiencing such a horrific loss.

The rest is history. The Angel Wings Memorial Boutique has exploded into a worldwide service. And as sad as it is to see a new name, a new precious baby pop up in my inbox, the fact that I may be able to help honour these children and comfort their parents along the way soothes my soul.

I got my wish. I have been able to create a "job" for myself that helps others. I am satisfying my lifelong desire to offer guidance and understanding. It goes without saying that I truly wish I didn't understand this type of pain, but I am honoured to be able to reach out and lend support.

Here's to "transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope"...

Here's to a "hopeful" New Year.



Mattie said...

I love that quote. I didn't listen to my mom and I did get my degree in social work. Yes, it is hard, but it is rewarding too :)

Anonymous said...

You and your wings are a true blessing. I think about how hard it must be for you to open your email and see yet the name of another Angel baby but the fact that you get to help their families honor and remember them is such a blessing. Thank you for being you - we are all so lucky to know you!

Love, Linda

Carly said...

Beautiful quote, thanks for sharing it and for all you do w/ the Angel Wings Boutique. Lots of Love, Carly

Carly said...

Beautiful quote, thanks for sharing it and for all you do w/ the Angel Wings Boutique. Lots of Love, Carly

Jessica said...

Hi, I just found your blog through a mutual friend's. Just wanted to drop in and say hi! I look forward to following you. Praying for you.


Dana said...

Beautiful post. It is shocking the turn our lives have taken, but it is comforting to know that others have been helped because of our babies. It is the only thing that gets me through some days. I love the angel wings that you did for Jacob.

Crystal Theresa said...

Beauty from ashes, Lea. The Angel Wings Boutique is such a blessing, even though it's a heartbreaking undertaking. {hugs}

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