…more on that HeartBrain

This week I was the honored guest for the Larchmont Friends of the Family (LFOF) fundraising Gala, and as I was contemplating my remarks, my HeartBrain discovery from last weeks post (if you haven’t read it yet, here it is, it’s critical for context) developed further in a beautiful way.

Some background… Most who’ve visited this space know that a little over five years ago, my precious and beloved son, Adam, passed away suddenly at 15 while he was out with the dog one Sunday night. Walking around the block in his nightly chore … his heart just stopped beating … Poof … So began my personal journey, and my family’s journey through desolation. I don’t believe there is a greater insult to humankind than a mother’s premature loss of her child. His flesh constructed from hers, actual cells miraculously born from her own…

People watching me survive in those first few years saw strength, faith, bravery, my doing all I could to push myself, and all of us, through. I did not feel any of it, and any will to live was fed solely by the lives of his siblings. It was just dark, so very lonely and despairing. In my book, Not to Spoil the Ending, I described it as a cave, separated from everyone. My ‘sole’ existence as dead Adam’s mom was a preoccupying and isolating new reality, even in a crowd, and the rational part of me became compromised. When my community initially attempted to surround and support us, I refused, operating in that isolation: my problem, why impose it? In hindsight it feels crazy of course, but reflecting on my post last week, perhaps in that separation I created for myself, I limited access to something necessary to survive, a certain power. Maybe the more intelligent HeartBrain necessitates connection in addition to consciousness.

Fortunately, people are good, and, organized through LFOF, did not take me at my limitedly rational refusal. Instead, utilizing their own loving intelligence, including a persistence in outreach, asked and reframed questions that enabled me to accept without requesting, and a very thoughtfully deliberate structured generosity, my community was willing – no desiring – to share and distribute our pain and burden. A cooler on my front porch was filled with lovingly detailed meals. Therapy bills were paid quietly. With no expectation for thanks, or even opening my door in acknowledgment, I was not pressured to come out of my self-imposed separation; but familiar faces from the streets of my village leaving things at my door (even if I was observing it hidden behind a curtain at the window) was comforting and helped to slowly reignite the spark in my heart. An impacted and then organized group from my own familiar town, a collective community HeartBrain, coaxed me gently from the cave and back into ‘us’, and my family was scooped up with support.

Five years later, what I find beautiful is how at this Gala this week, knowing I could never truly repay all of the efforts and kindness poured on our family, I was at least able, in a small way, to return the favor of a rekindled heart with what has evolved from it… sharing this powerful HeartBrain discovery in my comments, acknowledging it in the generosity of the work and the people who make it happen, and, hopefully, inspiring it even more in the 275 people who made a choice to be there. … All without notes I might add, because, after all, who needs notes with infinite love and intelligence, just ready and waiting for me, right here in my HeartBrain?

You gotta admit, it’s cool!

Larchmont Friends of the Family is a local volunteer organization, actively and quietly helping families in our community for 20 years. Neighbors helping neighbors, offering practical and financial support to those who have been faced with a medical crisis or loss. To learn more or make donation to support our local community in need visit their website here.  

Did you enjoy today’s post? You’ll love Naomi’s book! Check it out here!

6 thoughts on “…more on that HeartBrain

  1. Reading these words after hearing you speak them at the gala (without notes …… the fingers and spaces in between technique of public speaking deserves its own blog post) makes the message doubly inspiring. Kudos, you pay it forward infinitely! Love, y

    Liked by 1 person

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