On-Line Auction to Benefit The Grief Warrior Project


As some who follow this blog are aware, John and I started an antiques business (Heritage Collectibles) a couple of years before he died.  He loved the business, especially the used & vintage bookstore section that was his baby, and we had hoped it would be his retirement project.  Until that was possible, though, we both worked full-time jobs while also working at the shops.  It was a lot of work, but we loved it.

Since John’s death, I’ve slowly been trying to develop The Grief Warrior Project, a drop-in center with support groups, focusing on grief and suicidality.  There are expenses involved, that have to be paid for somehow if I’m going to make it work.

To that end, all of the profits (after expenses, of course!) from the sale of our inventory from the antiques and book store business have gone to support The Grief Warrior Project.

Recently I began working part-time for an estate sale company, Caring Transitions of Coastal Maine.

Right now, they are running an on-line auction of some of Heritage Collectibles’ inventory.

If you like vintage items or books, please take a look at the on-line auction.  You can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Caring-Transitions-of-Coastal-Maine-1027765363950632/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1836592286401265

or here: www.ctonlineauctions.com/maine

and if you like what you see, please – as they say – bid high and bid often!

Thanks!

Linda

 

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In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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What Do I Do With His Shoes?

Last year I didn’t bother putting in my air conditioners… there were only a few days that were hot enough that it bothered me – and I really don’t like the heat.  The cool weather is one reason I love living in Maine.

Today, however, I’ve had it with what’s turned out to be a summer of upper 80s to lower 90s days, and just installed the air conditioner designated for the master bedroom. It has presented a dilemma, however.

I had to move the bench that sits in front of the window that the A/C goes in. Under that bench is where Johnny always left his shoes & steel toed boots. It never looked pretty but I didn’t care. That was the easiest place for him to have access to them (we have a walk-in closet but it’s crammed full), and his comfort was more important than any girly sense of fashion that I might have had.

Anyway, I had to move that bench to put the air conditioner in.  And the sneakers, Doc Martin dress shoes, and two pairs of steel-toed boots (one pair barely worn) that have sat there untouched for over a year and a half.

So the dilemma… I could just move John’s shoes back under the bench which is now at the foot of the bed.  Or I could box them up and put them in storage. Or, I could just suck it up, get rid of his worn out sneakers, and donate the rest.

I’m pretty sure he would tell me to get rid of them, but it seems such a slippery slope. If I donate the shoes, what’s next? His shirts, or his underwear? (I’ve been wearing his socks in the winter.) And his tooth brush that’s still next to mine in the bathroom?

My husband is dead.  He believed he could come back to me if he died, and he has proved that he can, and that he has.  However, he will never come back in the body I knew and loved so well.  He will never be able to wear those shoes again.  Or his button down shirts (he hated what he thought was the sloppy look of t-shirts, especially those with logos on them), or the Calvin Klein underwear I bought him (I got rid of his tightie whities shortly after he moved in).

The reality is that I would recognize my husband anywhere… he doesn’t need the shoes, the clothing, the toothbrush, any of it, to make him John.  I would recognize him because we were so very connected that my anger and fear over his self-destructive tendencies couldn’t unravel it; not even his death by his own hand could break that bond.

So why then?  Perhaps because I believe – like in the Cinderella story – that there really is only one person who can fill those shoes.

************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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A Well-Cultivated Facade

Everyone who worked with John at his job thought he was the best. Happy, hard-working, a practical joker, solid and consistent. They had no clue that he was fighting constant pain, and demons that were worse than even I knew about.

Depression and suicidality can be hidden beneath a well-cultivated facade. Don’t take anyone for granted.

***

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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Memorial Day 2018

It’s been an emotional day.

Worrying about family members, especially those I don’t see as often as I should and who are growing old far too quickly; anxious for friends who are battling serious illnesses or grieving lost ones.  Concerned about another friend who is trying to come to terms with the nightmare of a loved one she tried desperately to save, but who is about to lose the battle despite those Herculean efforts of hers.

Remembering all of those who didn’t make it.   Aching for those who still struggle, but will not be able to overcome their physical or emotional frailties.

Wishing I had answers for those who are confused, and a magic bag of tricks that could heal the pain.  All of the pain.

Somehow I need to do more, but there are days when taking on even my little corner of the universe exhausts me.

My eyes are puffy with grief and pain as though I’d been crying for hours.  I haven’t.  A few tears, yes.  But not enough to feel swollen and bruised.  I somaticize my grief.  When my mind goes numb my body gets sick.  That pain always has to leak out somewhere, somehow.  It can’t be escaped.

I try to teach this to the families I work with.  You can’t ignore your wounds because even the old ones have a way of festering.  Emotional puss, like physical gangrene, will find its way to the surface.

My Johnny tried.  He’d mastered the impassive face of someone trying desperately to hide his anxiety and control his fear. But it doesn’t go away because you think you’re controlling it.  While he was always – always – kind and gentle and sweet with me, he was secretly self-destructive.  He loved me with everything he had, but I couldn’t convince him to love himself. It’s all so very unfair.

Hug your people hard and fiercely.  If not for them, if not for yourself, then for me.  Please.

Guess I’ll go to bed now because I’m very tired.   Tomorrow will be better.

Post Script.  As I am writing this, I have received a message from someone I don’t know, asking for help with her depression.  Johnny always said I was about saving lives.  From what I’ve learned, he lived far longer than he would have if he hadn’t fallen in love with me.  It just wasn’t nearly long enough.

I’ll go talk to this other person now.  I hope I can give her hope.

***

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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Crisis / Suicide Hotline Numbers

1-800-273-8255 – Suicide Hotline

877-226-3111 – Addiction Hotline

844-228-2962 – Eating Disorder Hotline

877-455-0628 – Self Harm Hotline

888-640-5174 – Depression Hotline

310-855-HOPE or 800-TLC-TEEN (nationwide toll-free) from 6pm to 10pm PST, for teens.

877-565-8860 – TransHotline

Please repost this for someone who might really need these phone numbers right now.

***

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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Be You, Bravely

Be you, bravely.

***

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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Follow Up to “Go Out Kicking Ass”

My latest blog, “Go Out Kicking Ass” has generated a lot of comments and private messages, ranging from “You go, girl” to “I wish I knew how to get through this myself”.

Here are some additional thoughts:

I’ve been trying to honor John with my writing (on this blog) and by keeping his name on every post for the antiques shop & used book store we started before he died, by tagging him in Facebook posts, and in any number of other ways.

But through a totally unexpected set of circumstances I finally realized that I had become a shadow of the person he loved, and that becoming that shadow did not honor him or his feelings for me.  He loved the real Linda, not the silhouette.  John could not bear it when I was unhappy while he was alive; he certainly would not have wanted his death to destroy me.

There is a part of this kind of grief that is terrified of letting go of the grief, in some kind of ill-conceived reasoning that if you aren’t crying every day, if you aren’t living the pain every moment, if you aren’t giving up your life for the person who is gone from this world, that you will forget that person, and they will disappear into oblivion.

It’s so not true.

My mom died 51 years ago, and I still love and miss and remember her… John’s mom died when he was just a toddler, but he still loved and missed and remembered her.  In fact, it’s part of what we understood about each other, that love for our mothers who died far too young.  Our moms were even written into our wedding ceremony, decades after they had died.

Our hearts, our very cells do not forget, even if our minds have to create a way to contain those memories, to keep us from becoming totally lost in the pain and grief.

But it’s hard to come to a place where one can see that, and it’s taken me a very long 18 months to do so.

Because I’ve chosen to live again does not mean I’ve chosen not to grieve my husband.  I will always grieve him, just as I will always grieve my parents, and family members and friends, and the cats and dogs and other creatures who died before me.  (I am in tears as I write this, which will likely be a reality for the rest of my life.  Any family member, friend or acquaintance who wants to be in my life will have to remember that, and to realize it does not reflect on them.)

However my grieving will be different now… I will honor John by remembering – by being – the person he fell in love with.

I’m gonna go out kicking ass.  That’s what he expected.  And that’s what I’m gonna do.

***

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

He told me, “You are the first girl I ever loved, and you will be the last.”  He kept that promise.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

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