Honoring Grief in the Midst of Joy

I’m PMSing, which always makes me hyper-emotional, especially in response to music. Z. and I were listening to our favorite Pandora station through our Echo Dot (Raffi Children’s, for anyone interested), and this song came on that just made me cry–and it’s a children’s song!! It’s called “The Train Song” by Charlie Hope, and it wasn’t the words but the melody, which just hits the nostalgia/wistfulness part of my brain. The song has been stuck in my head all day.

After I put Z. to bed, I decided to take a shower, and I was randomly thinking about Thanksgiving and how exciting this next one will be; it’s the day before Zora’s first birthday. I then started thinking about last Thanksgiving, which was the day after Zora was born, and how I got the call from the agency, Thanksgiving morning, that her mother had delivered late the night before

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My Village

Just a few short weeks ago, my aunt died. This was a woman who was among the first to tell me she supported me fully when I told her I wanted to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) … the woman who threw me a baby shower, the first person aside of my mom to come visit my newborn son, and the woman who told me she thought it was “awesome” how I was choosing to live my life. To say her loss has been huge to me would be an understatement.

She was clearly beloved in her community, as evidenced by the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects at her wake and funeral. But I had always known that and admired it about her. And this woman, who I so wanted to emulate for many reasons, had me wonder as she lay dying of cancer, … Continue reading


I recall learning the stages of grief in graduate school. D-A-B-D-A, my professor stated. He was providing an acronym to assist us with recalling that grief progressed through the stages of Denial then Anger followed by Bargaining then Depression and finally Acceptance. The stages appeared to make sense and seemed pretty straightforward; that is until you actually have to go through them!

I ran head-on into grief when I began to view motherhood as a reality I must experience. Why was I grieving? I had to mourn the loss of my vision for the future, my Plan A (as it’s often referred to in the world of SMC). Plan A for me meant boyfriend, followed by marriage, and then children. But that is not how life played itself out, and at the age of 42, I was left having to consider a new path: Plan B.

When I joined the … Continue reading

“SMC has been a huge inspiration to me from the moment I became a member. I got to know many wonderful women who encouraged me to take the leap of faith and whose support over the years was just great. I treasure the life-long friendships that I have developed.”

– Rada Lankina