This blog is dedicated to my beautiful daughter, Shayna Elayne Smith, who passed from this world in June 2015.

Shayna continues to guide, inspire, push, and prod me. She has shown me signs of her continued and remains a daily presence in my life.

She is my inspiration for the work I do.

Day 9- If You Love You Will Suffer

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Yesterday was Shayna’s celebration where 500-700 people gathered to celebrate the life of an amazing girl. The more I reflect on Shayna, the more I realize how blessed I am to have had her choose me as her Daddy.I went to bed with my heart full from all the support given to me, but when […]

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Mourning is selfish. Do it anyway.

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Grieving the loss of a loved one is inevitable. If you are human, you are going to have feelings of attachment to certain people and when those people are gone, it’s going to hurt. But, my Jewish friend said something deeply profound to me the day I told him Shayna had passed. He said “Mourning […]

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Day 8- Celebrate Me Home

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Today is the day that we share our Shayna with the world for the last time. Our hearts are ripped wide open, but we have to get through this. We want those who knew a little of the story of this very special girl to come away knowing more and being nearly as amazed as […]

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Planning a Funeral for A Child

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First of all, I would suggest simply not planning a funeral for a child.  Do not make it dim and dark and morbid.  Make it childlike. Let the service reflect the character of your child.  Shayna was a partier. Shayna celebrated every day of life.  Shayna liked for people to have a good time.  We […]

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Brian, Did you have any friends or family members who were uncomfortable with the idea of cremation? We’ve run into that before with other family members who have passed.

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Ty’s mother (who has dementia) was appalled at it.  No one else expressed any concerns. We didn’t announce it (except that I’ve made it clear on Facebook and tumblr).  We just didn’t have a burial service.

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Day 7- The Eve of Shayna’s Celebration

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The good news is I don’t wake up to some terrifying thought. The bad news is I didn’t wake up. I didn’t sleep at all.  Yesterday wore me out so much I could not fall asleep.  Today will be tough. I have to finish the arrangements for Shayna Celebration of Life tomorrow.  It is not […]

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To Bury or to Cremate

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This is something you should think about before you die. Do your family this courtesy. But,my ou don’t expect to have to discuss their preference with your children. It might seem burial is the better option. No horrible images of your loved one’s body going up in flames. However, there are pros and cons to […]

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Day 6- Overwhelming Meetings

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Woke up sobbing as usual today. A cry first thing in the morning is the new normal. This time it was the realization that Shayna would become a “memory”. I don’ t want her to be a memory. Healing feels like letting her go. I can’t let go. I need to hold onto this pain […]

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Getting Grief Right – The New York Times

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Getting Grief Right – The New York Times The short answer is there is no “right” way to grieve.

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Why This Blog

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Shayna Elayne Smith is her name. Shayna is Hebrew for Beautiful.  Elayne means light. Shayna was named Beautiful Light and that is precisely what she was while on Earth.  Shayna was given to us on January 13, 2000 and taken from us suddenly on June 24, 2015.  She passed peacefully in her sleep in her […]

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What I Wish More People Understood About Losing A Child

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What I Wish More People Understood About Losing A Child This is something everyone should know when you talk with a grieving parent.

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Day 5- I Hate Waking Up

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The small amounts of sleep I get are such sweet relief from this world. I wish I could just sleep until it’s time to join her again.  As painful as just functioning with every thought focused on her is, I think the worst part is the waking up.  Each day we begin life anew when we […]

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Day 4- Ha Satan Whispers

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Every morning when I wake up it’s a terrifying realization. “What is happening with her body now?” though I know intellectually she left it long ago.I go over all the things we will never do again. I count all the ways I will miss her. Today though there is something new. Satan whispers in my […]

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Day 4- More Tears

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I wake up today to more tears. A good cry every morning before getting out of bed is the new normal. My friends and family are rallying around me in unbelievable ways. Food has been brought to the house. Everyone asks what she can do. Gestures are made. Offers to do anything and everything I […]

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