This is it. Today Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life will be downloaded onto Kindles and appear through letterboxes around the world.
Today I am officially a published author. It feels surreal, and bonkers! I’m not the same person who started eighteen months ago.
Hundreds of hours of writing, many tears, therapy, hours on the yoga mat, and mostly fully embracing the essence of each chapter has changed me fundamentally and in the process I’ve uncovered the authentic Lesley.
Sometimes I wonder if it was a dream, well maybe not a dream, but that it happened to someone else and one day I’ll wake up and be back to the old Lesley. Then I see my blue nails; an outer symbol of how much I’ve changed inside, of how different I am now.
And I know that the changes will be with me always. This is me now; the Lesley who feels so much, who by letting in grief also let in a lot of joy. The Lesley whose body can do so many things it’s never done before, who has so much in life to be grateful for, and who is now a published author.
Doing this work has resulted in many gifts and perhaps the biggest is the wonderful connections I now have to my body and my heart.
As I write in this quote it feels like coming home.
Over on today's blog (link in bio) I explore this & what drove me forward.
Boxing away baby clothes again today... even though it feels like I only just washed and put these in the draws. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Back mid Jan when I was trying to gather help and be prepared for all that was ahead. Back when we thought we were in for an early induction and dealing with the issues that come along with what would have been him being preemie.
Here I sit and pack it all away again.
All lonely instead.
So so alone.
My heart so incredibly sad.
Something no one possibly knows, except those who have had to live this tumultuous journey. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Some days I still wake up and cling to the hope it’s all been a bad, a terribly bad dream. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Our little fella, our hearts ache without you. Your brother wants for you and it breaks my heart even more knowing he was never jealous of having someone taking away his parents attention. He purely was overjoyed to become a big brother. He misses you so much. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This is life after loss.
Our hearts beat for yours.
I know the day is almost over but I wanted you to know how much I love you. I sit in our sons room crying that we only have our daughter sleeping there and new baby in my belly. Our kids are beyond blessed to call you papa. You are amazing and I’m so proud of you. I knew today was going to be hard for you. We are missing part of our family here on earth. Our sweet boy would of loved to have kissed you good morning. See your face with the gift he would of made you at school. You two had the best/ cutest bond ever! I was a little jealous some times. We have an amazing daughter that is helping us with this pain. We feel as if Aiden is talking to her to get to us. She surprise us daily of how strong she is. You are making the best out of the worst situation any parent should ever have to deal with. You have so much mercy and grace. We are so proud of you for everything you do for us. I know he’s looking down with this adorable smile and is dancing with sissy every time she wants to hear “one kiss” by Calvin Harris. That song lights up her little face and moves like never before. Oh Buddy, we see you dancing through sissy. Please keep giving us signs, we need them daily till you open up the gates of heaven and we get to spend eternity with you.
6 years today my daddy was taken from us so quickly. it doesn't get any easier. I am a different person because of that day. I miss him so much that it actually hurts my heart. no words to describe how much I miss him and the thought that I will never speak to him again or hear his voice is almost too much to take. I love you dad, I miss your humour, your jokes, your advice, you were one of the good ones. how do I do this without you? 💙🌏💙🌏💙🌏💙🌏💙🌏😔😔😔 #grief#rip#dad#missingyou#griefandloss#griefsucks#ilovemydad
The sunshine feels delicious
as does the sand between my toes
and the laughter from my sisters belly
paired with my dad curled up on a rainbow blanket
next to my stepmama smiling, effervescent
I love them, so fiercely
And god do I miss her
how I wish I could share moments like these with her
and that she could see the bravery
and resilience we have exhibited
with her own sparkling, loved-filled eyes
Every inch of me continues to ache in her absence
and every night like this one, I lie awake
I see her face and hear her voice
and I tremble in agony at the heartbreaking reality that she is no longer here with us
Father’s Day isn’t the same experience for everyone. For some, it is a lovely day to celebrate someone who has been a supportive and loving figure in their life. For others, it can be a reminder of what has been lost or missing in their life. Whatever your experience is, I hope you and your emotions have felt seen and validated today. ❤️
Yesterday another step in this change of lifestyle was completed! 🌟
We have bought a little farm outside Stockholm, where se will create a true space for healing and living! 🧘🏼♀️ Hope to be able to hold both yogaclasses and grief counceling classes there very soon, in the midst of mama nature and all the beauty surrounding the farm! 🌱💎
Hi. Today is Father’s Day (if you haven’t noticed) and for those of us with dead or living-dead fathers, it’s the reminder of grief. Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the stillness of life. Yes, we call this “waves of grief.” The last time my children saw my father four years ago he was drunk in a bar. I showed up fifteen minutes early to our anticipated meet and saw him sitting there pounding scotch. It was the first time he would meet Atticus. He told me he couldn’t wait to meet him. I walked right up to him and he pushed his drink away. “It’s ok Dad, I know you love IT more than you’ll ever love me.” This is what I thought as he swatted the rocks glass away. He motioned that the boys should swim. I stayed in that hotel while my boys swam motioning to their drunk grandfather. “Papa Butch! Watch!” He would wave. He handed me gifts from Walgreens. He made no sense. He was drunk and I had made a mistake by seeing him. I hurried the boys to find his hotel room after just minutes in the pool. But Papa Butch couldn’t remember where his room was so we walked through every hallway. Me and my babies. Cohen kept looking at me. I wanted to run. We finally found his room. I asked Papa Butch to watch my things by the pool as I changed and bathed them into pajamas. Cohen watched my tears collect on that cold hotel toilet washing their hair. “Mom he makes you sad.” “Yes. This is sad.” Thirty four minutes later we walked into the foyer and my items were abandoned by the pool and my dad was obliterated and passed out next to the lobby fire. Cohen grabbed my hand, “Why is Papa Butch asleep?” “Because he’s sick Cohen.” I grabbed their hands.
Not even an hour. After four years of not seeing me or my children. Not an hour to be sober.
So tonight I toast the father figures who showed up for me and my children when the biological one carelessly walked out loving a substance more than the children brought into this world. It’s actually just hard. But that’s ok. God has mercy that is deep and good and gracious. Because honestly? I just can’t. #beautywillsavetheworld
S U R R E A L. It’s the best word I can think of to describe what today has been like. Not hearing your voice, laughter or funny jokes; not being able to smell your cologne, tell you how handsome you look in your suit and tie while you sheepishly grin a thank you and lean over so I could give you a kiss; counting six instead of seven to eat out; looking over at my mom and not seeing you next to her; looking at the menu and knowing you most likely would’ve chosen the salmon; passing the Red Lobster on our way home that on this day just last year we stood in front of, enjoying the sun and each other’s company as we walked to our cars; the list goes on and on, each memory like a punch to my stomach leaving me breathless until the wave of utter despair slowly lifts and I can breathe again. Some days are much easier to bear. As expected, today just hasn’t been one of them. But I guess this is the nature of grief: like a river which is a natural feature, very often inconstant, changing from day to day, season to season. I know it’s part of “the process”. The process of healing and of getting used to going on without you. Both inevitable and necessary. And I’m ok with that because there is one thing that IS constant and will NEVER change: LOVE. Because of it, I choose to honor you this day.
THANK YOU for being present 41 years of my life, rain or shine.
THANK YOU for always providing for our family. We lacked nothing.
THANK YOU for every phone call whenever I was sick always wanting to make sure no fever developed.
THANK YOU for the random visits with Dunkin Donuts coffee just so we could sit and talk.
THANK YOU for loving me for me.
THANK YOU for showing me what strength in the face of fear looks like.
THANK YOU for being the best father you knew how to be. THANK YOU for everything.
Happy Father’s Day, Papi.
#fathersday #father #grief#mourning#resurrection#hope#love#joy#sunday#family#forgiveness#fatherdaughterbond#missingyou#iwillseeyouagain#heaven#thepromise
I don't know what to type here... But here we go.... Father's day is by far one of the hardest days of the year for me.
I know what I had. I know what I lost. I didn't take him for granted. I never missed a chance to tell him I love him or that he meant the world to me. I did my best to honor and respect him.
He was my daddy. The one who taught me love and respect. The one who sacrificed to give us a better life.
Every year I face these feelings and every year I think it will be easier. Why isn't it easier? Yes, daily pain subsides with time. But when I come face to face with this day, it hurts. It just always hurts.
So know this, know that you're not alone today if you felt sadness and grief. I know I'm not alone and I'm so thankful for the love I have from family on days like today.
My beautiful sister @annaduvall sent me this picture this morning. I was probably around 13 years old. Feels like a lifetime ago.
Thank you guys for giving me a space to share some of my life with you. ❤️ #fathersday#imissmydad#grief#loss#love#family#hangon#thankful#stillblessed#loved
Happy Father’s Day. My husband is still working tons, so the kids and I spent the day with my Dad and family. My husband sent a selfie for our daughter. Don’t tell him I shared, but I love it! 😜
At the end of the night, my daughter broke down missing her Papa. It is our second Father’s Day without him here, and we’re not adjusted. I love that she is sharing her grief with me, but how it makes my heart ache. One day, we shall have a sweet reunion...
This Father’s Day season, I saw a card with a kite and my heart melted (unexpectedly) and how I missed my Dad... I needed to go to Pacific Beach where we said goodbye to Dad, so we packed up the car, this morning, and went. 🚗☀️💗 Memories flooded upon arrival (hadn’t been since his celebration of life) and it was a bit overwhelming to see Dad’s windsock fill with air again! There wasn’t enough wind to fly his kites today, but that’s okay. We did walk up to the convenience store and bought a lottery ticket, in his memory (although I only spent $1.00). 😁
And, I got to enjoy this gorgeous day with my amazing husband, best friend, and an incredible Dad to our children and make new memories together. It was an awesome day! 😊
Today is the anniversary of one grandmothers death and the other grandmothers 90th birthday celebration! A confusing time. So grateful to have had grandparents and to share so many memories with them. Swipe left to see my awesome grandmother sipping champagne celebrating 90yrs of life, truly amazing!! Time heals for those grieving, it’s been 7yrs since my other grandmothers passing and I still can’t put a picture up of her in the house. Happy for the memories 💓 #grandparents#grandmother#family#love#loss#grief#celebration#memories
I feel like I'll never laugh or smile the same as I did before I knew the pain of losing a baby in my womb. I find myself feeling guilty. Like somehow I failed him. Or for how he'd been gone for 2 weeks and I didn't know. AC & Clark keep me going for sure and help me not dwell the "what ifs" too much. Talk to me about #grief & what helped you most. While today was #FathersDay and we certainly celebrated the dads in my life, it was also 1 month since Peter Francis was born sleeping. ❤️ #miscarriage#secondtrimesterloss