Yesterday, I attended a Non-Profit Conference in Madison. I connected with some wonderful people doing so much good! I learned a lot at the sessions, so much that I'm almost not even sure where to start! But I am starting here...:)
Over and over, I shared the Camp HOPE story, our mission and all the good work we do for children and their families. I also shared my personal story of losing both my husband and my brother in the last four years. I didn't realize it at the time but I must have been working hard to keep it together, from 8 am until 6 pm! On my drive home, however - not 10 minutes away from my front door - I heard a song that reminded me of my brother. And I lost it, sobbing the rest of the way home. I felt like a young child coming home from school, who has kept it all together and been "good" during the day, but breaks down the moment they see someone familiar enough to absolutely lose it in front of. My children have had many after school days like this. We usually take a few moments to stop and snuggle on the couch during these times so they can let it out before they feel free to move on.
I walked into the house and greeted my husband with teary, puffy, red eyes. He was at first confused but quickly understood, because he is used to me feeling my feelings when I need to. Thank goodness the girls were already asleep or I'd have more explaining to do. I was exhausted from the day and the crying and the being away from home. But it felt good to let that out and then get a good night's sleep.
It's funny to be in this position as the Director of Camp HOPE, feeling the grief of those around me and at the same time diving into my own grief when I need to. But like I do when my children come home and lose it, I allowed myself to let it all out until I was done and felt good enough to move on. I invite you to allow yourself the same - to let it out when you feel it bubbling up. Allow your children to do this as well. It's okay.
Just let it out.
Love to you all.