I have secretly been looking for a place to post a want-ad for a partner in grief.  In my small hometown, I don’t know anyone who has lost a child.  There is a support group about 30 minutes away but despite my efforts to connect with any of these women outside of the group that has not yet happened.

It has been four years since I lost my sweet boy.  Four years and not one connection.  To say I am lonely would be incorrect.  I have an amazing husband and a house full of children.  I have a handful of extraordinary girlfriends who are fortunately un-bereaved.  I published a book and am living a very blessed life but I am still missing something.

Wanted: Fellow bereaved mother and soul sister.  Must have a sense of humor and a potty mouth.  Enjoys either white wine, lemon drops, margaritas or all three.  Ideally someone who is into self-discovery and exploring new ways to grieve.  Please no precious moments greeting cards, bible verses or bullies.  If you do not live in central California (which you probably don’t) then Facebook or social networking of some kind is required.  Positive attitude is a MUST.  Serious inquiries only.

Is this too much to ask for?  It seemed that way until this past weekend.  I followed my intuition to a Bereaved Parents of the USA national gathering in St. Louis to present a workshop called “Healing through Intuition”.  My hope was to share this amazing tool for healing because it worked for me.  I wanted to share what I have learned from my amazing mentor, Sue Frederick, about how to tap into and connect with your gut instinct with other bereaved parents.

Secretly, though, I selfishly hoped that in doing that I would connect with other like-minded women.  I was scared to death that no one would show up to my workshop.  For three days I came up with all the ways I could get out of this speaking engagement that I willingly committed to.  Not because I didn’t want to do it, or that I am afraid of public speaking but because I was afraid no one would show.

Stomach flu?  Missed my flight?  Couldn’t afford the airfare?  My heart would not allow me to lie.  That little voice in my head continued nagging at me.  You need to do this.  You NEED to do this.  YOU NEED TO DO THIS.  And do it, I did.

I shockingly had a full room of participants.  And not just regular participants who sat there with blank looks on their faces.  I had engaged parents who nodded their head yes, took notes and spoke up about their own stories of intuition and sixth sense.  They laughed and they clapped when it was all said and done.

But the best part, the sweetest bring me to tears part, was when I finished having these kindred spirits come hug me.  One beautiful woman in particular said, “It’s nice to know someone else who has been there because you can kind of talk in shorthand with each other.”  YES!  She got it!  THEY got it!

And maybe I’ll never get my imaginary want-ad answered, but for one weekend I got to have a couple of glasses of wine with Jaime.  I got to have dinner with Linda.  I met a fellow healer named Kasey and a handful of other beautiful spirits who showed me love that day.

I am so glad I listened to my inner voice that wouldn’t let me chicken out.  I am so grateful to these other brave women who showed up when they might rather stay in bed all day.  My intention was to help them, but really they helped me.

If you have discovered something that has helped you as a bereaved parent, be brave, be bold and share it with the world!  It is only when being vulnerable, honest and courageous that you will get what you need on this grief journey.

Note: please send want-ad responses to shannonharrishorton@gmail.com

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Shannon Harris

As a young bereaved mother, I had conflicting ideas on the grieving process. Alone in a sea of much older and much more experienced bereaved parents, I turned to writing to tell my story. My hope is to offer alternative ideas to traditional forms of expressing grief and to share the love and light that I experience today. I have been writing since I was a child but have earned my living over the last 20 years in customer service, wellness, and management industries. I recently became a Certified Grief Intuitive Coach to help spread the love and share positivity with the world. My goal is to help women and especially bereaved mothers, see their value even after a loss. I reside in Northern California with my two surviving children and my little angel, ever present.

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