This day is special for me. Today is June 1, 2018 Intergenerational Day Canada.
This is a day which is officially a reminder, a yearly invitation for every person regardless of age, to take one small respectful step to bridge generations within their local community and ideally starting with family. It only takes a smile between generations to break through isolation and loneliness, the number one health concern for children/youth and older persons.
I am excited to tell you about how we try to do this with my extended family every day.
Our story goes like this.
My Mom Mitzi, lost her husband, my Dad in 2013 whom was her soul mate and understandably left her feeling isolated and alone in a world that at the time, felt empty and cold. At 80 years old, my Mom had lived a full life together with her best friend so this loss created deep sadness, loneliness, and fear. She wondered if her emptiness would dissipate and focused on just getting through each day.
I am 1/4 siblings and we don't all live in the same city. We found that the worry and guilt of not being able to be there for Mom on a daily basis to support her weighted heavy.
The power of online social media became a solution. It helped our family to stay connected to Mom. It became a tool for my family, keeping us close. We created a private family Facebook group called Chapter 12 where my Mom became inspired to journal every night for the past 5 years! No lie....honestly she posts every night as part of her nighttime routine!
|Post #1 - the group was live!|
As a close family we wanted to be "together" during this difficult time. It was also very important that Mom felt she could be vulnerable to share her inner most fears during this healing process.
Unfiltered messages were shared by all ages
"Chapter 12 is the best thing that could have happened to me"
Here she found expression for her own voice, openly and authentically writing about her fears, joys, challenges and stories, all shared across the generations. Her posts at the beginning were of sadness but over the years describe her healing and a testament to the stages she went through on her self discovery.
"I am always floored how many read my posts"