One week ago today, we posted How We Keep You Alive. This post told you that we were planning to speak at a conference.
Well, we did it. And we did it well.
The conference was for grief support workers, hosted by Balloons, which is an Exeter based charity that offers pre and post bereavement counselling.
Of course, we openly post about our experiences on this blog weekly, yet we have never spoken aloud so publicly.
We never expected our words to be received with such warmth from a room full of strangers. We were able to see, talk to and most of all thank the people who helped us get through one of the darkest times of our life.
The whole room laughed with us, cried for us and accepted us as we are: Katie and Evee. Our grief workers knew us as the products of grief, but last week they saw us as the “warriors” of grief.
The pride we felt was immeasurable. When we were talking to these people whose soul aim is to help people during such a traumatic, alienating time in their lives, all we felt was inspiration.
We are left feeling more motivated than ever. We are driven to try to make a difference. This time last year, we uploaded our first post on The Grief Reality. In preparation for our presentation, we had to look back at our oldest posts, at all of our broken pieces, and all we could reflect on was how far we have come.
It was cyclical in a way that was almost cosmic.
It was an honour and privilege to sit, as sisters, in front of such a wonderful group of people. We know our story can be sad, and although people did cry, they also laughed. It made us think of what someone once told us, “you two laugh, as much as you cry”, and that is how we got through last year, so it’s only fitting that these people saw that side of us too.
It is incredible to have shared our story to those who wanted to hear it, and who learnt lessons that they will pass on to other vulnerable people, in order to help them too.
We chose two posts to read out, Dear St. Ives, and We Did It, Mum. We get comments from this community every day, but to be able to hear, see and have a conversation with our audience drove home just how important a dialogue about grief can be.
We have never been so proud and the importance of talking about grief has never been so obvious to us, as it is now, and as it was made that day. We also took you along with us by reading some of your comments too. Again, we are touched and in disbelief that we have a community who gave us this voice. We reached out, and you reached back.
Thank you. We would not have done this without you. We feel a part of something special here, a part of something so much greater than ourselves.
Everyone grieves, and we want to carry on talking about it.
Katie & Evee