the grief workbook – grief tested, mourner approved!

it is no secret that i typically dread the month of may as i consistently feel overwhelmed with grief between the anniversary of my grandmother’s death paired with mother’s day. sometimes, it can feel all consuming. i am fortunate to have friends that make a conscientious effort to check in during this time. one that has done this consistently is gracelyn. this could be because she suffered a significant loss of her own a year prior (also in may). it could also be because she is one of the most empathetic humans i know. nonetheless, today, i am thrilled to share something with all of you that has already made my may a bit better – the grief workbook!

the grief workbook is something i know i will be filling out for the entire month, especially when i want to carve out space to reminisce about my grandmother. oftentimes, people are unsure about how they are feeling or don’t have a safe space to discuss their grief. this workbook is helpful with feeling exploration and is something that is as sacred as you want it to be.

i laughed. i cried. i smiled. i hugged a pillow. it is not lost on me that i am filling out this workbook from my late grandmother’s home (where papa still lives) while seated in her spot on the couch. may is typically an emotional rollercoaster. the page about a mixed bag of emotions helps to identify what those emotions are.

with me being such a music buff and grammy being someone who directed the church choir, i especially loved the page about creating a grief playlist. i am actually going to add this exact lineup to a spotify playlist this evening. it will be the theme of may.

sometimes, it is crazy to think of all that has happened since she transitioned. the page below really made me pause and give myself a pat on the back. the last four years haven’t been easy but they have certainly been filled with plenty of accomplishments i know she would be incredibly proud of.

have you thought about what your grief gold stars would be? do you carve out space to grieve at all?

with mother’s day being just around the corner, i know it can be a triggering time for many. rather than dodging the topic, i’d highly recommend getting this book for fellow grievers. you can find the book here.

xoxo,

k. tap

p.s. you may already be familiar with luna peak foundation from my blog post about their book for cancer thrivers, beyond remission – talk about inspirational!

beyond remission – words of advice for thriving

i could not be more excited to share this book with each of you. my dear friend (gracelyn) and her aunt (melody, a cancer survivor), spent the last couple of years creating this work of art.

beyond remission – words of advice for thriving is an extraordinary collection of stories, photographs and advice from cancer survivors to those battling it now, those in remission and honestly, anyone who has been impacted by cancer. i cannot name a single person in my inner circle who has not been impacted my cancer in some capacity. can you?

this book is truly for everyone and has people from all walks of life represented – young, old, black, white, men, women and literally every kind of cancer you can think of. it shows how cancer does not discriminate but more importantly, it shows how beautiful life can be in spite of and/or after cancer. so frequently, stories around cancer are not told because it is a taboo topic. part of why this book is extraordinary is because gracelyn and melody dive in with each survivor. in this book, there is definitely a story for everyone and no two are the same.

this book was a labor of love and was made even more phenomenal due to melody being able to connect closely with the stories being told due to her own experiences acute lymphoblastic leukemia (which she dives into in the book). the vulnerability of melody and every single one of the participants in the book is nothing short of awe inspiring. there is an unreal amount of positivity weaved throughout the book and with my own study of gratitude and positive psychology, this is something that stood out to me. it is certainly a mindset and outlook we could all use a little more of.

it is hard to choose which quotes resonated with me the most but i tried to choose my favorite five:

1. never once did i consider not making a full recovery. -amy, breast cancer

2. i wanted no pity, just everyone’s love and support. -erika, breast cancer

3. surviving means remembering those who didn’t, and living every day of your life in search of why you did. -kyle, testicular cancer

4. for the first time in my life, i was open to leaning on people and feeling vulnerable, instead of always being in control. -kara, synovial sarcoma

5. each time i revisit my cancer journey, i am reminded of how far i’ve come and what a gift it is to be alive. -audrey, ovarian cancer

as if this book isn’t motivational and moving enough, gracelyn and melody are doing so much to give back to the cancer community through their foundation, luna peak. there are few things i love more than people giving back and women showing time and time again that they can rule the world.

to say i am honored to know gracelyn and proud to call her a friend would be a gross understatement.

you can get your hands on a copy of beyond remission – words of advice for thriving on amazon or barnes and noble.

the only regret i have is not ordering more than one copy because after reading, i know many survivors in my life would benefit greatly. i also have a dear friend currently battling lymphoma that explicitly stated how she wants to be surrounded by positivity – this book is full of it.

once you read it, tell me which quotes resonate most with you.

xoxo,

k. tap