Ben and I were invited to speak at the 2015 Riley Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Conference for Parents and Professionals.  What an honor!  In typical Ben fashion, he interjected some classic humor to break the ice and keep the momentum of the day flowing nicely.

Ben shared candidly from a father’s heart on what it was like when our sweet Sarah was born – the shock, the dismay, the confusion, and ultimately, our acceptance.  As a reserve officer for our county, Ben also believes strongly in a proactive approach to crisis intervention, so he mentioned the importance of parents knowing basic CPR and getting certified through a veritable agency.

My portion of the talk was mainly about  how seldom caregivers care for their own needs.  Crises present us with countless opportunities to fixate on our loved ones’ needs rather than our own.  We falsely label this as being “selfish” when it is truly necessary that we nourish and fortify our minds, bodies and souls for strength ahead.

I also discussed grief, of course.  Grief manifests itself so unexpectedly, but how do we handle it?  I was grasping at straws after Sarah’s birth, and a resource that would have been helpful – but was lacking – was something that would help me navigate the psycho-social and spiritual dimensions of grief.

This is why I decided to write Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for CaregiversIt is a resource I would have greatly benefited from when I had nowhere to turn and no way to recognize or validate my intense emotions and sense of being swallowed whole.

But most importantly, writing and coaching gives me a sense of purpose in the midst of so much of life’s uncertainties.  I know you will find your mission, too.