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This…This is my life – Rivers & Roads

May 3, 2020

Today I was the kickoff speaker for the Walk Out of the Darkness event at Sutton High School. I was incredibly honored to have been asked to share my story with folks who were walking, many of whom had not been touched by suicide themselves. I had never done anything like this before and I really wanted to get it right. I wanted to talk about Luke and yet still convey a message of Hope.

So I wrote my speech and I practiced. And practiced and practiced and practiced. I had two simple goals for the day: I didn’t want to sound *canned* and I didn’t want to cry. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “But Patty, you cry!” And you are not wrong, lol. Still! It was my goal. High school students do not want to see you cry, I kept telling myself. Only problem was every time I went through the words, I was having what I like to call a *moment*.

So what happened, you ask? What do you think? Sigh. I was making my way on the Zoom launch and feeling pretty confident and then… I don’t even know what words did it… but suddenly, I couldn’t speak. I was choked up and needed to gather myself. UGH! So I took a breath and finished off. For about ten minutes after the Zoom call had ended I berated myself a bit. In usual human behavior, I was focusing on what I viewed as the negative part of my experience instead of all of the good.

My woe did not last long because as I rehashed what had just happened.. the laughs at all the right spots, the tears from the listeners at all the right places, I remembered. Being a grieving momma is a sad thing. There are tears. A lot of tears. This…. This is my life.

Today is Bereaved Momma Day. It is a day to recognize all of us moms with children on the other side of the stars. As much as I appreciate the gesture – a day dedicated to grieving moms, the truth is… we don’t need one day. Every day should be bereaved momma day. Whether you have lost your child in utero, at seven, or seventeen, any time you outlive your child you are immediately thrown into the hardest journey one could even imagine. Actually, you can’t imagine it unless you have been there. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

So here’s what I want you to know: For those of you who have befriended a grieving momma, thank you for loving us and supporting us and crying with us. Thank you for sharing stories about our kiddos because we truly love to talk about our child. And if you are a mom missing part of your heart, I am with you. There are no words. Be gentle with yourself, today and every day. Rivers and roads. Xxx

By Patty Inwood

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