Another beautiful friend

I was emailing a couple of days ago with a woman whose daughter was stillborn four years ago.  We were sharing bits and pieces of our journeys with each other.  Something she said that struck me: "Oddly enough, I have to admit, I've met some of the most wonderful people on my grief journey. "  I have been thinking the same thing a lot over the past few months.  I spent a lot of time feeling so sad and disappointed about the friends I'd lost after Max died - the ones that just faded away - the ones who didn't have the strength to support us.  I am not really sad about them anymore.  They have been replaced by amazing, wonderful, special people.  People with depth and empathy and deep spirituality.  They are funny and interesting and dynamic.  I do believe that the people I have gotten to know since losing Maxie are some of the best people I have ever met.  I am excited knowing that the rest of my life will be filled with these kinds of people. 

I've written a couple of times about my new friend Kim.  Someone who reached out to me seemingly from out of nowhere.  She had read about Maxie when my friend Bianca posted on a yahoo user group that I was donating my frozen breast milk (I also HAVE to mention that I am so lucky that I already had many incredible, loving, compassionate friends in my life, like Bianca, before I lost my Maxie).  At first Kim just wrote every so often to comment on my blog, then she sent me a beautiful children's book about reincarnation, finally we met for lunch.  It turned out that we had worked at the same organization at different times and had so much in common.  She and her husband came over for dinner a few months ago and we had so much fun.  She always tells me that she believes Maxie is right next to me...and it calms my heart.  Sometimes you meet someone and the connection is just immediate.  We often wonder how we didn't meet earlier.  It seems like our friendship was predestined - we believe that we would have met and become friends eventually.  I love spending time with her and our lunches always run way longer than we plan.  

I've wanted to write about my friend Glenda since I met her!  She led a session on surviving grief at the Afterlife conference that I attended last April.  Glenda knows about surviving grief - and I am in awe of her survival skills.  Glenda lost her only child, Chad, when he was 21 years old and hit by a car on a class trip to England.  When people said, "You are still young enough, you can have more children", they were wrong.  Though she was still young enough (she was a little older than I am now), she could not have more children.  My grief work was fast tracked by the birth of Mo.  Glenda didn't have that option (not that I know whether she would have taken it anyway).  She lost a 21 year old....her only child....a bright and handsome and vibrant young's hard to imagine, but I try to put myself in her position and it is just earth shattering.  I have traveled all over the world (often on my own) and my parents used to worry every time I got on a plane. The sense of having no control that every parent feels when they drop their child off for daycare or school or college is amplified when that kid gets on a plane and flies off to a foreign country.  But Chad was going to England on a school trip - it is mind boggling that he didn't just return wiser with wonderful stories and pictures of all of his adventures.  My chest hurts just thinking about it.  

But 20 years later and Glenda is still standing - better than that - she teaches people how to survive grief!  Her clients call her "The Queen of Grief Relief".  And I feel so lucky that she has chosen ME to be her friend.  She reads my blog every day and writes me encouraging emails!  I have a folder FULL of emails just from Glenda.  Here are some examples of her encouraging words:

 "Poignant and right on sista "

"I feel heavy with the sadness you describe so well...hugs sweet lady"

"I didn't nurse Chad but I too loved his middle of the nite feedings.  He'd always study my face and coo.  I miss that.  Thanks Abby for bringing back a fond memory with your post!  I just love your heart.  Hugs"
"Another spot on post ....hope I've been in the listener crowd ;).  Sending hugs lady"
I wrote her the other day to say that every time I take two steps forward, I take one step back.  I wondered if it ever stabilizes.
Her response: "I was serious when I said you could call anytime.  And yes it does.  This is your souls way of searching for a new balance. I know it's hard but I promise it's worth it.   Please hang in there and just allow. "
I keep rereading her words.  It is a lifeline to me.  I know I can do this!  She is such a role model to me. 

I could go on and on.  She sends me these encouraging words all of the time.  ALL OF THE TIME.  I've called her more than once knowing that she would be able to talk me off the ledge.  She is just amazing.  
Glenda is not only a grief specialist - she is an intuitive medium.  Imagine getting your grief relief along with a message from your loved one!  She receives beautiful messages from Chad all of the time, of which I am so grateful for her (and totally envious of).  She is my dream come true!  And - on top of that - she wrote a beautiful book about her journey that I read in one night.  I couldn't put it down.  I had to try and understand how someone who lost their only child became the amazing, outgoing, uplifting, joyful spirit that I met in Phoenix.  I want to be just like her!!!!!  As a side note - my mom and aunt loved her too!  We were all just gushing about her after the session that she led. She has a light that shines from her insides out.  Something about her also reminded my mom and I of my mother in law, Bonnie (or Gigi as the grandkids call her).  Her enthusiasm and compassion are contagious. She is a remarkable woman.

Glenda lives in Indiana - much to my chagrin.  It's probably lucky for her because I would be at her house every day (no joke) if she lived nearby.  
If you want to find Glenda for her medium skills, her book, or for some grief relief - you should visit her website: or you can email her at Glendia456 at aol dot com. 

Glenda - I am honored that you have chosen to walk beside me and be my friend.  I admire and love you so much.  Honestly.  

XOXO - Abby 

1 comment

Bianca said...

Love you too Abs! And want to go to one of those lunches with you and Kim, I agree she is special. I am sending you wishes for a lifetime of true friends, kind and compassionate people, nearness to Maxie and days that feel balanced. Please give one of Mo's yummy cheeks a kiss from me.