Surviving A New Reality

learning to live with grief

By no means is this site a platform for my personal diary, but as the founder, it is personal so I wanted to acknowledge what's been going on since losing our daughter, Ava.  I can't possibly continue to create content without putting this out there first.  

Joyfully Me.  That's not only my platform, but truly who I was.  I was.  Throughout the past few weeks, I've been (as my doula who specializes in grief puts it), "spinning around uncontrollably in a shaken snow globe and slamming into the walls over and over and over again."  Spinning and slamming.  Spinning and slamming.  Anything but joyful.  

Joe and I received an outpouring of support that's been incredibly heartwarming and many donations to the Griffin's Giving Fund, which we're collecting in her honor. Our families have been everything to us, friends continue to lift us up and we're so grateful that our work colleagues and Hoboken communities have all been there with open arms as well.  The support I've gotten from you, my readers and social followers has been incredibly eye opening. 

You've shared your personal stories on pregnancy challenges, loss and grief and I didn't expect them to come flooding in the way they did.  You've also expressed condolences and let me know that you were there.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you.  I feel so lucky to have built a community of online support.

You have to suffer the deepest sorrow in order to experience the greatest joy.
— my spiritual counselor

We went from thriving to barely surviving in a second.  Today, we are and will always be grieving our lives as we knew them, the death of our daughter and the dreams we had for our life with her.  I don't want to continue writing about our loss or sharing details of our emotions at this point since it's still so raw, and to be honest despite my journal, I don't think I can put the pain into words.  I do want to let you know that I put together a dynamic support team, (who I plan on introducing you to in the next post), to help me learn how to live with grief. 

I hope that if you've ever experienced grief or loss or know someone who is there right now, that this next post can act as a guide to getting help.  I'm so grateful for the professionals I've enlisted as they all serve different purposes in helping me heal.  As broken as I feel right now, through them as well as my husband's strength and support, I now know I'm going to build resilience and learn to live with joy again – one day.  

For now, I fear the day I run into an acquaintance in barre class, on the street in Hoboken or at a beauty event who asks me how the baby is since I'm obviously not pregnant anymore.  So I've been hiding and am starting to slowly move through life again as I know it now.  I have a very close inner circle of immediate family and friends who I feel comfortable being this venerable around, but feel too raw to be around others at the moment.  So raw that I believe people (even strangers) can see through me right down to my deepest pain. There's no expiration date on grief and all that can truly heal is time.  I know...

I'll continue to run this site and work in the most authentic manner with the help of my intern, Genesis Rivas, who will be covering events for me and writing here and there.  My mission for Joyfully Me and my social platforms has been dedicated to inspiring you and celebrating the moments that make you feel alive and well through beauty, fitness and nutrition advice and I plan on continuing to do that.  I do truly believe that by suffering the deepest sorrows, (even though it doesn't seem fair), I'll be able to one day experience the greatest joys and evolve into a deeper human being.  I may be broken, but I also have some hope.