The BRAVE Interview #5 December 2016: Jeanne Emerson

Here is #5 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jeanne Emerson!

jeanne-emersonWho: Hi. My name is Jeanne Emerson.  I’m a grandma, gardener, artist, yogi, retired social worker and grieving mother.  I’m fortunate to live in a peaceful and cozy home in southern Maine…it is my sanctuary.  I am calm here, reflective, often tearful and recently, joyful…again.  And, I’m about to celebrate my 65th birthday.  WOW.

What:  I never really thought that I would feel brave about this but I do.  My one brave thing is to allow the feeling of joy back into my life.  My son Scott died three years ago.  He was 35 years old, funny, handsome, loving and very artistic.  His death came as a shock, no preparation…but even if I had been expecting it, it still would have been a shock.  No mother could prepare for this.

When:  The call came at 8:45 on a Tuesday night. (Tuesday has become my least favorite day of the week ever since).

Where:  I was home, the phone rang and the police officer had the nerve to say, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son is dead.”  How could he say something like that about my child??  I hated that officer at that moment.  I couldn’t spare any compassion for him then, no ability to care about how awful that call must have been for him to make.  Compassion could and would come later.

Why:  I’ll never know.  I won’t know why Scott died at such a young age, with so much more to offer, so much more to experience.  (please believe  me, I have driven myself to extreme exhaustion trying to understand).  But here’s what I do understand…healing can happen, life does in fact go on (as much as you may not want it do)…joy can enter again.

How:  This part of the interview is perhaps the easiest to explain.  My joy has come back because of trust.  My husband, Tim, my son Matt, family members and very precious friends believed in me.  They trusted me when I was a wailing mess on the floor, they trusted me when I couldn’t get through a conversation without crying, they trusted me when I couldn’t eat, sleep or get out of my pajamas, they trusted me when I would sit and stare, unable or unwilling to talk.  Somehow they trusted my process, that I just had to go through this my way (albeit dramatic and probably frightening to witness), but trust they did.  AND, miraculously, bit by bit, I started to live again without my son (well, without him in the way I knew him before his death….this is another interview but I KNOW that he is still with me, guiding me, encouraging me in my artistic pursuits, laughing with me and still loving me).  I feel very brave for laughing, running, playing, creating and loving.  This is my most important brave thing….so far.  

Jeanne, thank you so much for your brave, powerful words. ❤

Check out Jeanne’s designs at FOUND in Kennebunk (42 Main St; 207-604-5009) and on her website:


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