Project Based Healing

Tragedy comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it be the death of a loved one or death of a marriage. Abuse, addiction, job loss – all of these and hundreds of other types of loss can paralyze our next move. When we think of our life as a timeline, experiences stack one by one upon each other.

When tragic events strike, it’s as if these experiences fall from the timeline and lay scattered like pick-up sticks at our feet. Society pushes us to be OK instantly, when in all reality we are nowhere near ready to begin picking up the pieces of our shattered lives.

When I was grieving, I remember vividly people asking, “how are you doing?” I was never sure if they really wanted to know or quite possibly, I wasn’t sure I even knew.

Small talk never helped.

It was when I started asking myself specific questions seeking specific answers that I felt progress. Again, the thousands of questions that bounced around in my mind were only fleeting thoughts as it felt as though I couldn’t hold onto a thought, even though time seemed to be standing still.

What I began to realize in my time of reflection was that I needed to organize my thoughts. I had to sit down and ask myself a series of specific questions so that I could begin rebuilding my life.

As I was building my life before tragedy, I imagined it coming together as a birdhouse. This house supported life, my future, my hopes. When tragedy struck, those walls came crashing down. It was as if it had all been assembled with tape.

I knew better than to reach down quickly and begin picking up the pieces of my life, this time I was going to do it diligently. This time I was going to truly ask myself, “who am I now in this moment?” When I started taking the scattered thoughts in my mind, the emotion from the heart and began picking up the pieces of my life with my hands, I began rebuilding my foundation.

The Birdhouse Project is a tool of self-discovery. Each piece has a specific place and question attached. As I wrote my thoughts on the pieces, I began to see, feel, smell and touch the things that has so long bounced around in my head.

A collaboration of the heart, mind and hands has led me to self-discovery, which in turn led me to feeling at home within. My son may never have a physical presence on earth, but he will continue to live through my voice.

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