Our dear friend Kat Thorsen and her family and friends will be making 30 OSM (Operation Sock Monkey) sock monkeys over the holidays to donate to Canuck Place in honor of Sophia.
In conjunction, San Jose State University will be doing their annual sock monkey session on January 17. 30+ folk including soldiers will be getting together to make monkeys on Zoom as part of MLK community action day. Lindsey of Operation Sock Monkey will be mentioning and honoring Sophia. Sharing Sophia's Art School site https://sophiasartschool.wordpress.com and a video of Sophia learning to draw Olaf during the summer at Stanley Park as a tribute to both Kat and Sophia and their remarkable bond through art.
January 1st, 2022 marks 5 years since Sophia passed away. There have been lots of learnings over the last 5 years, in particular this last one. I have been incredibly loved and I have been incredibly crushed. I have said this before, bereft parents sit in a delicate space. Bereft parents or parents of children with chronic complex conditions are relentlessly at the intersection of trauma and grief. I have been fortunate to have won a research grant to look at that very intersection in the hopes of:
This year I have learned what, who, when and how I get pushed out of my window of tolerance. I learned that absolutely influences what I do, who I see, where I go and I have learned to allow myself permission to step away. This is hard work even when supported by an extraordinary group of professionals and may resonate for many, not just bereft parents...
I cannot emphasis enough to avoid assumptions and try not to overlay others' stories into our experience. Just ask even if it may feel uncomfortable to initiate that conversation. Trees grow stronger in the wind. Evidence has shown that when we activate resiliency we create a better field of compassion. Resiliency isn't something we can get, or have, or build...it is something we can activate. And we activate resiliency by...caring connectedness, opportunities to contribute and clarity of expectations. Say that a few times.
And if you take away but only one thing from my wordy post please make it CARING CONNECTEDNESS and mindfully decide what that looks like for you and the people around you. Be their sanctuary.
Year 5...definitely was not my sanctuary. Living grief is still very much with me, day in day out. My grief is just as it was the moment Sophia took her last breathe. I am learning that is okay, perfectly imperfect, deep breathe in, deep breathe out.
I am grateful for each of you that showed up, provided opportunities for both dialogue and silence, and learned with me along the way, This journey really is best shared.
It wouldn't be a Sophia post without a quote from one of her favorite movies and characters, Olaf: "Some are worth melting for" Feel free to interpret that one on your own!
Beverley Pomeroy is an awarded and highly sought after Community Engagement Strategist, Speaker, Author of Living Grief; The Profound Journey of Ongoing Loss. Beverley’s community service began with a fifteen year career in private health care working for MDS Inc (LifeLabs). This community health care role developed her acumen not only for serving people in need, but also her strength in business management and organizational renewal.