When I need a daily dose of celebrity gossip, I tend to stop mid-morning at the Daily Mail's website. Packed full of photos and strange stories of movie stars going about their business, this site isn't one that I'd associate with a heartfelt, true life story of a woman desperately missing her mum. But today I found such an article.
Rachael Chadwick is a 30-year-old Londoner who lost her mum two years ago. In the Daily Mail piece, she spoke of how some individuals can have problems dealing with other people's grief, and I couldn't help but nod wildly in agreement. As I've mentioned here on my own blog, I've seen my address book change in ways that I never imagined. People who I thought would be there for me, disappeared - and are still AWOL, sadly - while others impressed me with their caring words and actions. People, also don't know what to say, and often what they do say can be hurtful. I lost my mum three years ago, and the anniversary of the fourth year without her is fast approaching. I'm also facing the first anniversary of my dad's death, so this time of year isn't one that I'm completely comfortable with anymore. But reading of Rachael's experience and the new path she's taken made me feel not so alone. It also left me hoping that people will read her story and realize that grieving is not something that you get over, or heal from. It's an ongoing process and weeks, months, even years later, the griever still feels the effects. It becomes part of you.
Rachael's story doesn't end here. Following her mum's death, she went to Paris to scatter 60 postcards in her memory. The hope was that the people who discovered her postcards would send her an email, so that she would know that her cards had been found. She set up a blog to track the progress, and what happened next is incredible. Not only did she hear back from plenty of Parisians, but she also landed a book deal in the process. Her book, 60 Postcards, was just published this week. It's inspiring that an act of remembrance and love resulted in such wonderful feedback, and a book that will help many other people who are currently grieving.