During the month of June, every donation made to the Noah Sklyer Scholarship Fund will be matched (up to $2,500). Our goal of $5,000 will provide scholarship for 10 participants in our From Grief to Gratitude 9 Month Yoga Therapy Program. For more information on GSN & our programming, please visit our website at griefsupportnet.org.
A Message From Wendy -
Each year on Noah’s anniversary, I have shared publicly my feelings about losing my son. I have done this partly so that Noah is not forgotten and also as a way to validate my own pain of missing him by seeking a reflection from the outside world that his life and death had meaning. This year, I felt differently. I felt the heaviness of February, Noah’s anniversary month, building inside of me, but when the day arrived I felt strangely quiet and peaceful with little need to share or connect with anyone except for my husband and daughters. The tornado of emotion that typically roars through my system did not come. Yes, there was sadness and missing of my boy, but I was acutely aware that something was changing inside of me and calling forth a different need in honor of this day.
So today, June 5th, Noah’s 12th birthday, I am sitting in reflection of the quiet change that happens as each year goes by. I am aware that my capacity to hold my own grief and other’s has grown with time. The trauma of Noah’s death, which has haunted me over the past 11 years, has melted into pure grief, which is something that can move through my body as energy and love and actually buoys me to continue my path forward. On Noah’s anniversary, I felt more gratitude and appreciation than pain. I was able to look at my children, my husband and family of friends and feel an overwhelming amount of love and joy for the life I have created not in spite of losing Noah, but because of it. This is the message that comes through me, again and again, and today I can recognize the intersection of my grief and gratitude as a potent force that centers and grounds me, illuminating the opportunity - and dare I say gift - that lies within my once broken heart.
This year, Noah’s birthday isn’t just about me and those who knew and loved him. It is about the recognition of a movement that has finally been birthed through his death. This movement acknowledges the potential for grief to transform us, right now, in this moment, and teaches us the importance of community to hold us through the change.. This means supporting one another in times of grief to truly feel and share the losses that we go through rather than burying our feelings and pretending that we are ok. This empowers our community and normalizes what it means to lose and to grieve. Noah has taught me that there is a soft strength in the willingness to be vulnerable, which, as Brene Brown says, is a necessary step to our spiritual evolution. This is the foundation of everything that I have learned through my loss and now aim to teach.
I founded the Grief Support Network to heal myself, but over the past 6 years I have seen and heard the stories of so many -- letting me know that this work has helped others to heal and change their lives. Through GSN’s Yoga Therapy Programs, it has been an honor to sit in circle with so many beautiful souls and connect authentically, heart to heart. In circle, each of us have grown and not only healed our hearts, but the old wounds that we carry with us until we have a safe enough space to bring these feelings into the light to be felt, acknowledged and transformed into wisdom and love. This is the essence of what GSN has to offer: a safe space to feel loved and accepted. Everyone should have the opportunity to be held in this way regardless of finances or circumstances. I am lucky enough to have a community of family and friends who hold me and witness me in my grief. And, I am committed to ensuring that others have this same basic need met for human connection and understanding.
In honor of Noah’s 12th birthday, I invite you to join me in this movement and make a difference by making a contribution. The Grief Support Network has received a generous matching gift (up to $2,500) for each dollar donated to the Noah Skyler Scholarship Fund during the month of June.
The Noah Skyler Scholarship Fund (NSSF), offers financial support to anyone who wishes to participate in one of GSN’s yoga therapy programs who cannot afford it. Every dollar raised goes directly to support someone who is grieving to participate in GSN’s From Grief to Gratitude 9 Month or Awakening Through Grief 6 Week Yoga Therapy Programs. Your donation can change a life forever and ripple out to touch so many more. I am committed to changing the face of grief and loss for our children and their children to come. Thank you for being alongside me in this incredible journey.
With love and gratitude,