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Amanda, remembering my Dad (Robert Smith, age 57) who died August 15, 2007 in a farming accident.


Jen, remembering & cherishing my aunt (Katherine Johanson, age 48), lost June 5, 2009 to breast cancer and my grandma (Marion Finnegan), lost June 21, 2006, also to cancer.
Kaitlin, remembering my grandma, who died June 19, 2005.
Lisa, remembering my loving and supportive mother, Nettie Hartman, who died on January 31, 2005 from cancer and my dear friend, Cheryl Holzman, who died on April 14, 2008, also from cancer. I miss them both, each and every day. My world just isn't the same without them.
Marti, remembering my beautiful Grandson Quincey who died 5 days after his birth in 2005; and my Grandmother, Genevieve, who lived for 97 wonderful years.
Sherry, remembering my dad, Bert Fukuda (died Aug 1998) and my mother-in-law, Billie Cartwright (passed Sept 2008).
Stacey, remembering my Daddy (Doug Douglass, age 64) who passed away on May 30, 2007, six weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Tania, remembering Sue Ann Werner (mom, age 50) who died July 19, 2007 suddenly and very unexpectedly from cardiac arrest.

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Sunday
Aug152010

* CONTINUE *

"Parting is such sweet sorrow." It is with a heavy but satisfied heart that I announce today that this will be the last challenge for the Good Grief Blog. We've journeyed with you for a full year now and, just as I felt the timing to be right when I began this blog on the two year anniversary of my dad's death, I now feel that it's fitting to draw this to a close on the three year anniversary. 

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking this journey with me...for mobilizing me to create these treasured layouts that I've finished with each challenge. I want to extend my fullest appreciation to the wonderful contributors who have filled this blog with inspiration. And. I want to issue one last challenge. :)

Today's challenge, one that I hope you'll take to heart and carry forward, is simply to continue. Whether that means continuing to scrapbook about your loved one or continuing to think about the challenges posted here or merely continuing to get through each day...just continue. 

To help you with this challenge, here are some of our favorite layouts from the past year. I asked each contributor to tell me their personal favorite...here's what they had to say:

Jen:

There was so much emotion tied to seeing her that day … and I’m glad I was able to document that.  It truly was a moment I’ll never forget. Even going through my Good Grief album to look for my favorite, I stop and look at each one and feel such emotion.  I’m still planning on going back  and finishing the challenges I didn’t complete – I underestimated just how therapeutic participating in these challenges would be.  I’m truly honored to have been included in a group of so much talent!

Kaitlin:


I think it's my favorite because it involves a lot of things I remember from both when I was younger, as I was older and memories of her with my daughter. It makes me grateful for the time I had with her but also very sad because I know my son will never know her. 

Lisa


Marti (a girl after my own heart, Marti couldn't pick just one, lol):

Sherry: (okay, this is actually my favorite of the layouts Sherry's done...I just love the story and how it makes me feel like I really know her dad)


Stacey

 
It's just my favorite. I wrote it the day he died and it was the beginning of the grief process for me. After I wrote those words, I knew I'd be able to deal with losing him...something about being able to sum up my feelings in a few sentences was so comforting.

Tania: (this one's my favorite of Tania's...this one, in particular, really made me think and realize that my dad was a man of few words as well...I love how she summed this up)

 
And, finally, my favorites. This was *really* difficult. I truly cherish each of the layouts I've completed for the challenges here. Each one has touched me in a different way. Since I made everyone else pick, though, lol, here are my favorite two:

 
This one just makes me smile. I'm so happy that I started this tradition and can't wait to continue it again next Christmas. Just looking at this layout makes me feel more connected to my dad and reminds me that I always will be.

 
This layout is simply the heart of why I started this blog in the first place. It was the most difficult to complete and the most rewarding as well. If you only do one of the challenges here, I'd recommend this one...share your feelings...SPILL IT. Trust me. :)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now. Before I sign off this last time, please note that I've added a couple more resources over on that page. Please check them out! If you know of others, I'm still happy to add them here, so shoot me an email. ;) Also, here are three more challenges that didn't get used but might help jump start your creativity...

  • Celebrate anniversaries (document what you do to remember each year, if anything)...
  • Record a favorite trip together...and, 
  • Use your senses (think about the scents, sounds, feel, etc of your loved one).

So. Thank you again. I really can't tell you how much this blog has meant to me. I'll be keeping the site up for at least awhile. For those who have been following these challenges and those who just now happened upon this blog, please look around at the work that's been shared here. Think about the various challenges and interpret (or reinterpret) them in your own way. Tell your loved one's story. Continue...  

Friday
Aug132010

"No photos" by Ronda

Here's our special guest, Ronda:

I think my layout tells the story of no photos.  I know a day doesn’t go by without me thinking of my sister Chrissi.  It’s hard because when I look at photographs of family events or pictures of her boys, I think she should be there.  There are lots of memories I have with her but no photographic proof.  This challenge reminds me that I don’t need the photos to tell the stories.

Remember, if you have a take on this challenge that you'd like to share, please (pretty please!) do so! Link us up in the comments of the original challenge post before August 15, okay? Thanks! 

Wednesday
Aug112010

"Empty Frame" by Marti

Here's Marti:

This challenge was one of the most difficult ones for me to do. Quincey passed away at only 5 days old so I have very few photos of him. I will never get pictures of his first birthday, first steps, first crawl, first smile, first day of school, or any other "firsts". I won't have pictures from Christmas, Easter, Prom, Graduation, Wedding, or of him holding his own children. Sitting down to create this layout was so difficult because it hit me just how much we are missing. I mean, obviously I knew this already - but when I sat down to list the pictures I wish I had of him, well, the list was endless. The reality is that the missing photos are just the tangible evidence of the missing memories that should be going along with them.


Journaling reads: It is easier to count the pictures I do have then the ones I'll never get. You never even made it to your "one week" photo. I have a small handful of pictures, but what breaks my heart are the empty frames.

Remember, if you have a take on this challenge that you'd like to share, please (pretty please!) do so! Link us up in the comments of the original challenge post before August 15, okay? Thanks! 

Monday
Aug092010

"I Wish" by Tania

Here's Tania:

Journaling reads:

PHOTOS OF MOM I WISH I HAD:
Mom & Spidergirl together because she really is her mini-me.
Four generations with Grammy Lou, Mom, me and my girls.
Mom at her table doing her crossword puzzles.
Mom playing Bingo because that is when she was the happiest.
Mom baking Papa Crist his favorite cream n sugar pie.
As much as I hated it, I still wish I had a picture of her smoking her cancer sticks.
Mom's childhood photos.
Mom with me and my brother Michael.

Remember, if you have a take on this challenge that you'd like to share, please (pretty please!) do so! Link us up in the comments of the original challenge post before August 15, okay? Thanks! 

Friday
Aug062010

Untitled by Sherry

Here's Sherry:

The journaling says it all: Rummaging through Mom & Dad's photos was always a treat. The wooden chest was full o memories, all tucked neatly into albums and envelopes. Special occasions, kids, bowling tournaments, friend, military functions, memorabilia filled the books. Hundreds, thousands of photos.  While Dad was in alot of them, most of the photos are of folks forgotten, places left behind and special memories for Dad.

Many years later, I wish those photo albums were filled with more photos of Dad.  Photos of him in everyday life, snapshots of things that I still cherish and remember today.  I wish I could seet he spam musubi, tofu with soy sauce, rice balls adn shrimp chips he loved to make, the brown "ho chi min" slippers he wore each day, the chinaman goatee, the Volkswagens he tinkered with and the family he loved --- all with his narrow smile.  What I wish for most is a photo of my children with their TutuMan, nestled in his arms and his heart.  

The mental photo of my dad will be imprinted and captured in my heart always.  His smile warms my heart as I recall the snapshots of life, all captured in one single moment and on film. 

 
Remember, if you have a take on this challenge that you'd like to share, please (pretty please!) do so! Link us up in the comments of the original challenge post before August 15, okay? Thanks!