“Holidays are time spent with loved ones” is imprinted on today's society. Holidays mark the passage of time in our lives. They are part of the milestones we share with each other and they generally represent time spent with family. They bring meaning to certain days and we bring much meaning back to them.
But since holidays are for being with those we love the most, how on earth can I be expected to cope with Ashleigh & Patience dying? For me, this is the hardest part of grieving, when I miss them even more than usual. How can I celebrate togetherness when there is none? When you have lost someone special, your world losses its celebratory qualities. Holidays only magnify the loss. The sadness feels sadder and the loneliness goes deeper.
The need for support is greatest during the holidays. Pretending you don’t hurt and or it is not a harder time of the year is just not the truth for me. If it wasn’t harder then I never really loved my child. I can and will get through the holidays. Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, lean into it and embrace the tears. It is not the grief I want to avoid, it is the pain. Grief is the way out of the pain. There are a number of ways I have learned to incorporate Ashleigh & Patience and the love I feel into the holidays.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Ashleigh's Birthday, Christmas, New Years, the Birth of Patience....These are the biggest and usually most challenging of all. I know I can and will get through the Holidays. Grief the internal feelings and mourning my external expressions. I'm Allowed to be sad! These occasions bring up the last time I spent with my daughter. It’s normal to feel sad that this person is no longer with me no matter how long it has been since she passed away. It helps me to take some time out for myself to remember the Ashleigh I loved with all my heart.
The loss of a loved one turns our life upside down. Our world as we knew it has changed and those changes require that we in turn adjust to a new "normal."
This has been in the works for a month now and I'm proud to annouce Ashleigh & Patience's Story will now save lives in Queensland Australia. The resource will be officially developed by “Push Productions and the Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS)
what they are developing is a booklet. It will be A5 size and just a soft paperback. IFYS is also going to do an online .pdf version which will have a direct hyperlink to Ashleigh’s Patience Project website. The resource includes:
1. Types of abuse (including; social, emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, technological, and financial abuse)
2. Cycle of Violence – we are developing our own Cycle of Violence Graphic. I have found that when I use the cycle of violence graphics with some young women they find it quite confusing so we are developing a more easy to understand version.
3. Unhealthy relationships Quiz – young women can take this quiz to help them identify signs of violence in their relationship
4. What does the law say – we are including a section on new legislation in Queensland, Australia. In 2012 they changed the legislation to include all types of domestic violence (including social, emotional, financial and technological) so that individuals who are in abusive relationships that don’t have physical or sexual abuse can still be protected under the law.
5. Safety plan – We have developed three safety plans: 1. Increasing safety in the relationship, 2. Preparing to leave the relationship, 3. Living safely after separation. The aim is that young women reading the resource can develop their own safety plans.
6. Personal Story – Ashleigh Lindsey & Patience’s story
7. Personal Story – Wendy Maldonado
8. Help is available – in this section we have listed heaps of different ways that young women can access help from online counselling, to phone counselling, to informative websites, to local services on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland that they can access support from.
As Ashleigh's Mom I am so amazed at the blessing that continue to come even 2 years after her death. Please remember October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 1 in 4 women are effected. By sharing and caring you never know what life you are saving.
This is a chronicle of the grieving process at the murder of my daughter, Ashleigh Marie Lindsey and her unborn Baby Patience Lynn. They call the parentless child an orphan & the married person who loses their mate a widow/widower but what do they call a parent who loses a child? There is no word given for the parent who have seen this kind of untimely death.