Community Fundraisers

Changed A Life This Year

I’m inviting you to stop and think about just one thing that changed your life for the better this year. When I sit and ponder here’s one that comes to mind for me.

In September, I boarded a plane after a nine hour delay to join 100 young grieving adults. I had the opportunity to lead a writing workshop with The Dinner Party, a national organization who builds community for 20 and 30 somethings and mostly, I was terrified.

If grief makes you uncomfortable feel free to skip ahead. (I’m going to ask for your help)

If not, keep going …

I was absolutely floored by the beautiful, brave people who showed up despite terrible things happening in their young adult lives. People read obituaries, shared funny stories, and built altars in honor of loved ones.  We drank wine and toasted and sang songs and I found myself, for the first time, in a group of twenty five others who lost their dads.
When I shared my experiences, I was met with affirming mhmms and head nods rather than blank stares. While I have been attending a grief support table for two years now, this was the first experience I had where I felt completely welcome in my grief. I’ve known in my head I wasn’t alone. These people helped me feel less alone in my heart. You can read more about my experience here.

If you jumped ahead, pick up here:
Welcome back. This year I’m increasing my fundraising goal for The Dinner Party and am hoping to help raise $1,000 as TDP continues to grow. From April to September the organization placed over 2,500 people at tables all across the country and they need your help.

With an ambitious goal of being as well known as AA for alcoholics, we hope to grow this phenomenon as a fabulous grief support option for young people all across the country and need your help.

Please consider giving what you can here:

Give because you loved Roy
Give because there are thousands of young people are grappling with life after loss
Give because you love me
Give because you are craving a space to tell your story
Give because there is power in community
Give because connection makes a difference

I hope you’ll join me this year – thanks for reading – and if you know of other wonderful people who would be willing to donate, please pass along my note.
With so much love,


A Brief Split Second

A cocktail with cucumber and ginger beer. A shot of tequila. A beer from Odell Brewing Company. Sunday afternoon drinks are beautiful things.

Those were the beverages I consumed as as we sat on the patio at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms on Sunday afternoon. This quaint little restaurant (which I previously wrote about here ) knocked it out of the park again, delighting my heart and the senses.  I love community fundraisers, fried chicken, and live music, and this restaurant fantastically combined the three to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Vibrant sunflower arrangements danced in the sunlight. We sat at long, wooden picnic tables while a blue grass band played on in the background.


What was more beautiful was how this experience was grounding and helped me return to feeling like myself, even if just for a few hours. How healing it can be to sit in the sun, watch the rays of light streak through the clouds, and remember that we are a part of our community.

This week I also came across Sheryl Sandberg’s brilliant commencement speech that she gave at UC Berkeley this year. She bravely shared her lessons learned from the loss of her own husband,  and I found myself weeping as I read. I was struck by many of her comments and thought her poignant description at an attempt to return to routine was spot on.

Sandberg said, “So ten days after Dave died, they went back to school and I went back to work. I remember sitting in my first Facebook meeting in a deep, deep haze. All I could think was, “What is everyone talking about and how could this possibly matter?” But then I got drawn into the discussion and for a second—a brief split second—I forgot about death. That brief second helped me see that there were other things in my life that were not awful. My children and I were healthy. My friends and family were so loving and they carried us— quite literally at times.”

For a second… a brief split second… This is where my heart landed. We are in the process of recovery, and with that comes the ever present dance between hurting and healing. Sunday night, and our time at Jessup Farm, was my brief interlude this week where I could forget about death. I laughed, I ate chicken, I drank, and I began to feel alive again.

There have been, of course, other moments of life over the last nine weeks, but this one felt significant. We were out in the sun, basking in the good. I agree with Sheryl and have to seek the other things in my life that are not awful. Things like our dog, and my in-laws, and foot-long hotdogs at Rockies games. Things like boxed brownie mix, planning vacations, and handwritten letters, and phone calls from friends. Like shorts weather and gardens sprouting, and friends who send you pictures of puppies in pajamas.

These are the moments that breathe in life. What are your moments?