Tuesday, May 31, 2016


F.A.C.T An initiative created to honor the legacy of love left by Matthew
with a goal of changing policy that creates so much unnecessary hurt in the early
release of traffic fatality photographs.

Happy Birthday in Heaven Mr. Matt! The family will be celebrating you in a way that you will absolutely love, well maybe not so much the first part! We’ll be planting a special Memorial Garden, a Fairy Garden—but the kids will be so a’cited and I’ll have a place to sit with you in Nature. I was gifted a beautiful, personalized garden marker by my friend Sue and this will be the perfect spot for it—a welcome mat for my Matt in Spirit. The most fun part of the day will be dinner. Making your favorite short ribs and I’ve nailed the recipe so perfectly I’m surprised you are not making a comeback appearance for a bite! Dessert is where the day’s tribute will shine. The largest Carvel Ice Cream Cake . . . no plates, just forks. We will deconstruct this cake and eat nothing but the ice cream closest to the chocolate crunchies, and every last one of the crunchies will be devoured in your honor. Now why did I not think of this while you were alive??

In a few days we’ll be hitting the 17 month mark of your being gone physically. To be honest, I can’t remember how many months unless I count them out. I’m rounding up now. “It’s been close to a year and a half”. My mind continues to live in the land of Nothing Sticks, so this is easier for me. So many questions. Going quiet to hear the answers. This second year is proving to be a difficult one. The ups are higher and the lows are as low as a sunken treasure ship. I dealt with the reality of your death the first year, and this second—the finality. The heart apparently needs time to grieve each separately. Where am I in this grief process and how have I gotten to where I am today? Why is this important?

It’s important because sadness is not depression and grief is hard work.  I’ve reached another crossroad where choice, sometimes the same choice several times a day, keeps me moving forward. There is no magical morning where dawn lifts the curtain of grief and ushers me into a new life, a different life without you. What has made a difference in my healing is my spirituality and belief in a soul plan; that I am here to learn and to teach, to give and to receive; that consciousness, our divine essence is eternal. Living with the knowing that we love forever—first in the physical and after death in a continuation in spirit, softens the raw edge of grief allowing the connection to you in spirit to remain strong. Developing and keeping an open heart and mind, gratefulness and learning to live with that most devastating of feelings—helplessness; prepares me for the transformation, the unfolding, that my life is taking without you. Finding out that you were not alone in your final moments, surrounded by Earth Angels and a dear friend; my fears that you suffered both emotionally and physically were assuaged and mourning—grieving in hope was allowed to begin.  These have been the keys necessary to unlock my heart, to being able to really take in that first morning breath, breathe in deeply, get out of bed, start a new day and continue on with the task of healing.

When a broken heart fissures and the opening is recognized, hope is allowed to enter. Healing begins to fill the cracks. Believing that Love never dies, that our Consciousness, our Spirit transitions—is released upon death from its physical body; that belief swells hope to see with new eyes, to feel with an open heart. Death transitions the soul plan from the physical to the spiritual. There remains much work to be done, here on Earth and there in Heaven. Grief softens with the understanding, the acceptance, the surrender to the reality that we will never have all the answers to the mystery of life while in our physical form. Death is the finality of that beautiful physical relationship with our loved ones gone. The wonders of a continuing relationship with our Beloved in Spirit begins, is affirmed when our hearts are open and we surrender and say; "Hello, I'm ready, I will miss your physical presence forever. I am grateful that our unconditional Love remains ever present and growing with a deeper understanding of our connectedness. I will learn to live with the pain caused by your passing. I have your Love, your guidance, your protection and my good memories."

What is an open heart? An open heart is a place of promise where your truth, discovered through life's experiences, finds a resting place. An open heart is a growing place where Love centers and invites Endless Possibilities to begin receiving, letting in, absorbing the wonders of divine connection. An open heart—this place of promise and growth, first fissures, splinters and cracks open. In time and in turn after much reflection, the open heart releases with a Knowing, the essence that makes us, graces our new way of being. Life is no longer taken for granted; it takes on a certain immediacy, a recognition that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Stopping to “smell the roses” is no longer a cliché but now a part of daily living. Nature becomes the soul’s companion. A wiser Love, a grateful Love fills the heart. The open heart lets go, shares and spreads. This essence, this Love creates a ripple effect that reaches out attracting and forming a chain of human connectedness; sowing its seeds; harvesting kindness, empathy and compassion—creating nourishment for the soul.

The birth of my boys, you and your brother, created an open heart moment. A moment when Love was so expansive, impatience and pettiness were evicted by nurturance and protection. Your passing is guiding my spiritual transformation. 

A voice rises.

The pain and energy that accompany death are whispering to my open heart. Instead of a constant swirling in confusion, Grief says it's time for a stepping out, a stepping forward. "Structure that dervish energy and replace the pain with Love". A directive from grief that my next choice is change—a switch, a shift, a permutation, a metamorphosis.

My heart speaks to me, my life experiences confirm what I hear. Our family has been gifted the ability to love fiercefully, with hearts, wide open, with vulnerability that teaches strength and not weakness. You left a legacy of Love in your passing and the time is now to offer a new perspective to a hurt that adds pain on top of pain and pauses the natural progression of grieving.  In honor of your Love and impact on this earthly world, I am putting the final touches on an initiative that will soon launch on Facebook, whose goal is to right the wrong of early release photographs by the media. This space will allow families and friends most affected by the media’s early release of traffic fatality photos, to tell their side of the story—if a picture is worth a thousand words, we need to hear the other 990. In reality what can we say when we see or are stopped by a traffic accident: “Oh, goodness—that’s a bad one. I hope nobody died.” 10 Words. “A prayer, Dear Lord for those involved in that accident.” 10 Words. A passerby’s life is affected for a few minutes, the scarring develops in the Loved Ones left behind. The ultimate goal is policy change in how and when information and photographs are released by our State Police, local police and multi media outlets releasing sensitive information prior to notification of family. The initiative will be named F.A.C.T—Fatal Accidents Change Things. Stories will be collected from across the State of New Hampshire.  The initiative will be a work in progress, much akin to the slow transformation of our hearts, minds, souls as we walk through grief.

A new mission, born of love and a need for change—inspired by your words in spirit:

From sorrow, heartbreak and tears
A wail is heard by many
Hearts unite in empathy, compassion and care
Healing begins on a road without an end
A miracle happens along the way
The eyes see the story hearts have to tell
So many lives affected
Undue pain and anguish inflicted
A new Voice arises
The heart swells in passion, unleashing a calling to aid
Viewed in a renewed, bright and shining light

Murmurs joining become a mighty roar
Together we fuse into the Voice of Change
We speak for many
Do you recognize our timbre, galvanized to make a difference
Please listen to what we have to say
Together we can discover middle ground
And usher in kindness, respect, civility
Bestowing a balm to the mourning and grieving
That besets the broken-hearteds’ day
                                                                                    Diane Laflamme Romagnoli
Loving you forever.