2012 Compassionate Friends Conference-Our Winner’s Essay!

After I attended my first Compassionate Friends Conference last year in Minnesota I vowed that the foundation would raise money every year to send a first time conference attendee on a scholarship so they  could also experience the love, hope, and healing that I had.  I asked that they share their observations with others!  Below is our first winner’s essay from the 2012 Conference in Costa Mesa California.  I hope you will leave comments for her and remember, we will be doing the same for the 2013 Conference to be held in Boston this year!  Details will be available soon!

2012 CF- Costa Mesa, California

By MaryAnn Trocchio – Shoreline Chapter

A week before I am scheduled to travel, I awake to a new emotion of “wanting a life”. I try to slow my pace and my heart rate; realizing this will require effort.
The long plane ride was complicated and exhausting with anticipation of sights, sounds and triggers. There would be so many souls residing in one place!
I believed in my heart that love would shine and carry us. I craved a healing path with Karl…a vacation with my son alone. I needed a change from my dull every day existence.
The first session “early years of grief” was overwhelmingly difficult. So many injured, fractured, hurting couples with stories that touched me. My diagnostic professional self emerged, but not for long. I had to let go to grieve my loss, my anger at so many unanswered questions.  In the days that followed I shed buckets of stored tears for myself and the 1300 other CF attendees. Introspection was my best friend.
Lessons of this life swirled and are still penetrating my core. Roller Coaster emotions that once allowed helped to focus me for the future journey. What was I going to do with this life? How was I to honor Karl’s life? Newly decided I WOULD LEARN HOW TO CARE AND LOVE MYSELF AGAIN.
Darcie Sims, Alan Pederson, Mitch Carmody, the siblings, Marie Levine and my dearest companions Mary, Jack, Gwynn and Ann gave new meaning and purpose to living.
Grateful for this time to be alone with Karl, I proudly wore his picture like a cloak of Armour to protect and guide me. I am here to say that I am capable of smart living and loving. Fractured as I maybe, I am healing like the “wisdom bowl”
Forward march- I say…to planning goals, new excursions and of course next year as the Radish in Boston!
The challenge is living BEREAVED…I CAN, I WILL. Now on to reinvestment.

10 days later I returned to Davis, California for the joyful marriage of my daughter. I have carried the same picture of Karl for three years in the same place in my purse Karl stayed behind in the mountains to hike , the lakes to swim…to do what he loved best. The picture is missing….his heart is with me.

~Maryann Trocchio

Me with Maryann and my new Shoreline Chapter Friends at the candle lighting!



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