I lost my mom when I was 18 to cancer. She was diagnosed, treated and died within six weeks. It happened after my freshman year of college. Linda, my mom, and I were very close. She was my best friend and biggest supporter. She had a huge heart, always putting others before herself, and she had the most amazing laugh. My cousins called her Aunt Lynney – hence the name.
May 8, 2000 was a most devastating and unreal day for me when my mom died in the hospital with all of us surrounding her, my brother and dad included. Of course it didn’t all set in on that day. It couldn’t.
When it does set in is when all family and friends have returned to their routines and life goes back to “normal.” Two years after my mom’s death I found myself “stuck.” I was still grieving and upset with myself for not being able to move on. For the first time, I went to talk with a counselor and that helped a little. Then five years later at the age of 23, I was stuck again. I sought out a group that was meeting called Grief Share. I believe this is when true healing began for me.
I will never forget my first meeting. We sat in a circle and to the left of me was a 75 year old woman who had just lost the love of her life, her husband of 50 years. To the right of me sat a young lady in her twenties, whose six year old son was hit and killed by a school bus. It was in the news only a week earlier. I felt silly for being there. I had lost my mom, and while that is sad, it was years ago and these people were dealing with it fresh. After I shared my story, there was a room full of tears and I immediately felt comforted and not silly at all. I will never forget the group of us that would meet weekly to share our stories, get to talk about our loved ones and feel comforted we were not the only ones feeling like we were trudging through life sometimes. This connection brought strength and an ability to move forward for me.
In the years since my mom’s death I have wanted to help people who are grieving. In my experience, connecting with others who are grieving can help a lot. The mission of Lynneys is to help people connect so they can be comforted and, in time, move on to healing. If you are struggling with a loss, I hope you will utilize the resources Lynneys has to offer and maybe receive some comfort and hope from my story.
The Lynneys logo has a special meaning. My mom gave me a picture we framed about a year before she died. The picture has two empty white Adirondack beach chairs overlooking the ocean. Every time I see this image it reminds me of my mom and how one day we will see each other and once again enjoy each other’s company in heaven.