The iconic and often-quoted honey-loving Disney bear Winnie the Pooh has been credited as saying “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Since my daughter Samantha Rose passed away on June 12, 2009 at the age of 3, this thought has always stuck with me and served as a mantra or credo of sorts. It’s a reminder for me of the tremendous impact Sammi made on our lives in the short time she was here. Sammi was funny, wise and kind; she was my baby girl with a gorgeous smile and golden pigtails; she had a gentle spirit and warm soul. Grieving her loss has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. While I’ll grieve Sammi’s loss forever, that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel and share Sammi’s love and spirit all around or that grief and joy can’t co-exist.
In the depths of my grief journey – as I was attending COPE monthly parent support groups, I never would have fathomed that I would end up in the position of being co-president of the nonprofit organization that was offering those groups. As I have come to learn in my time grieving and re-building, there is no more important cause than to….help families with their grief by being able to share it with other people that could possibly understand…provide families with the services and tools to allow them to heal emotionally and spiritually…help spread awareness and make it okay to talk about grief (and child and sibling loss) and mental and physical health. These are my goals. With the help of the COPE community, our impact can be (even more) tremendous!