Week #52 – Endings and Beginnings (A big wave hello or goodbye?)

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

WAVE BIG!  (Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

 Week #52 – Endings and Beginnings (A big wave hello or goodbye?)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and welcome to WEEK 52!!!

A year ago my world changed forever.  And as friends, neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, service-providers, professionals, and other acquaintances lined up in their own distress and sadness to pay their respects…I recognized immediately that I was not alone.  You had lost someone, too.  Rob was important to all of us!

So, I pledged to deliver a little dose of him every Friday morning via this blog — along with a little challenge to keep things going.  SpreadHappyness was born because I believed Rob’s legacy was his natural ability to spread happiness to anyone who crossed his path — and I didn’t think that had to die with him.  I wanted to carry the torch forward — because cancer wasn’t the only thing that could spread.  I knew happiness could, too!

Week #1 started with a challenge…and one of the things we all missed the most: His BIG WAVE hello!

Since then we have Spread Happyness the ways he showed us how: through big hellos, nicknames, music, long drives, looking ahead, looking back, breathing fresh air, riding the wave, giving to others, focusing on fun, celebrating our achievements, and having a Rob-Church-Kinda-Year!

The question is…what’s next?!

I’ll be honest with you — some people have told me to wrap this up.  Others have told me to make this bigger.  It’s easy for me to keep going…but this blog isn’t about me.  It’s about YOU!  All of you who loved Rob, all of you who miss him, all of you who are now just getting to know him: all of you who wish to spread a little happyness — just because he crossed your path!

So the question I’ve been pondering is this: Is this a BIG WAVE goodbye?  Or a BIG WAVE hello?

Your assignment for this week: I WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!  I’m not tech savvy enough to set up a poll…but I would like to pose some questions to you here, and I invite you to respond to me in the way that works best for you.  For those of you visiting this site — you can share your thoughts with me through the comments.  If you’re receiving this through Facebook, you can reply there.  (And if you want to have a private conversation — reach out to me and I’ll figure out a way to do that!)  Your perspective is invaluable — and I’d love to know what you think!

(Here are some prompts — you certainly don’t have to answer all of them!)

  1. Is this the end — or just the beginning of SH?
  2. What do you like most/least about SH?
  3. What’s been most/least helpful to you?
  4. Are there features you wish SH had?  (email list, social media links, FB group?)
  5. What content would you like to see?
  6. Have you recommended SH to others?
  7. How can I make SH better?
  8. How can we best carry the torch of Rob’s spirit forward?
  9. What blog topics would you like to see covered?
  10. How can SH help Spread MORE Happyness in the year ahead?

Whether I hear from you or not — and whether we continue or not — let me take this moment to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you who logged on, followed along, shared your thoughts, supported the effort, and above all — who SPREAD HAPPYNESS this past year!!!  At a time when it would have been easy to give up, you gave me something to do — and in the doing there was direction, and in the direction there was hope: one week at a time!

To life!  To love!  To Happyness!

With great love and affection for you all…
Grace (aka “Rob’s sister!”)

Spread Happyness — please share your thoughts in the comments!

9/11/15 by Grace Church
© Grace Church


10 thoughts on “Week #52 – Endings and Beginnings (A big wave hello or goodbye?)

  1. Robert Nicholson

    I’m going to be the first one to comment, because…well just because. Grace, I think you should 100% continue SH. Over the past year, I can’t tell you how many people have said to me “I can’t wait to see what Grace comes up with on Friday.” It is sort of like people are waiting for a kickstart to their weekend. You are “Spreading Happyness” JUST by doing that one simple thing! Truth is, a lot of people read, but they don’t comment. Some people are just that way. Through the Facebook memorial page though, we are hitting hundreds of people, and I am sure the true reach is even farther than that!

    However, you have to decide what’s best for you…but I do hope you’ll continue your work.

    Bring in guest writers…cull the web for stories of people “Spreading Happyness” and paying it forward. Keep the positive and uplifting messages going, and most of all keep being you. We need a little more Church in our lives. We don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but we do have at least a little control over how tomorrow goes.

    ((Much Love)) Pseudo-Sis…


    1. Grace Church Post author

      Thank you for jumping in, Rob! I really appreciate your enthusiasm, support, and ideas! I’ve been advised when polling to just take everything in — so I’m refraining from specific comments at this time. But your ideas are noted! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to provide some feedback!

  2. Gina

    We’ve talked about this already but I’ll add a more formalized, thought-through response.

    To echo the words above, it has to be something you want to continue doing. But assuming it is , I think Spread Happyness has legs that could take a positive initiative even farther than Rob could have ever imagined! The lessons we’ve learned from him are plenty. Many of us were fortunate to experience them first hand, but this platform allows for such an expanded reach. And it’s not just about those very specific lessons from Rob, no, it’s also about your beautifully written interpretation of them and hearing what others are doing or already have been doing to add Happyness to their lives.

    To answer your specific questions:
    1-maybe it’s the positive person in me, but this is just the beginning
    2-I love the consistency and frequency; I least like that he’s not here to read them because he’d love knowing he was the topic of conversation every week
    3-personally it’s been part of my healing process; I still cry, and especially reading these, but find comfort knowing there so many others feeling the same way
    4-a Happyness tribe FB page could be fun
    5-I love the content, and especially love the format (I’m a list girl!)
    6-one thing we do is leave this blog’s web address on restaurant receipts; I’ve also shared the site with others, particularly anyone going through a rough time
    7-that’s a tough one, because to suggest improvements you have to identify a weakness or problem and I just can’t find one
    8-what a heavy torch it is! I love the idea of SH events, giving people the opportunity who may only be connected by Rob to share stories which may otherwise become lost
    9-maybe once in a while a lesson from another Church? you all have such little golden nuggets of wisdom that I’ve collected through the years that are truly wonderful (we used to make fun of “wind down time”, now I get it!)
    10-so many ideas, we’ll chat!

    Whatever you do, we will all support your decision. Thank you for a year of laughs, tears, joy and healing.
    Thank you for Happyness!

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Hey Gina B! Thank you, as well, for jumping in so quickly and sharing your thoughts so generously! Good feedback is hard to come by — and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all the questions! As I mentioned — I’m refraining from responding to specific comments at this time, except to say that yes — I least like that Rob is not here to read them, too! Seriously — thank you SO MUCH for your continued support, enthusiasm, and honest feedback! I really appreciate it!

  3. Anne Wrght aka Ms. Sommers

    Dear Grace,
    I am not going to address the specific questions but, instead, if okay with you, I would like to ask a few questions. What do you think Rob would answer f he were still her in the physical? Would he recognize the benefit to you and others?
    Although I have not always left a comment, I have read the blog faithfully. Challenged myself and, because I too lost a sibling, I walked the journey with you this past year. In many ways Rob and Chris were quite similar in their desire for solitude. Rob wrote me in one of his final texts that he enjoyed being alone with his thoughts and not for ‘hanging out with the guys’.: I was shocked to read those words because he was so generous when in his company with unique communication skills.
    Should you continue? I know your words have helped, encouraged, stimulated me and well, at times, hit a cord deep within. Whatever you do, it will be exact right thing to do.
    Love to you, all the Church’s and that adorable man you live with…

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Thought provoking questions, Anne! I will take them carefully into consideration! Thank you so much for following along and taking time to craft such a thoughtful and unique response! I really appreciate it!

  4. Jenn S.

    Hi Grace,

    I cannot thank you enough for keeping this blog going. I would love to see it keep on keeping on. It has definitely helped me heal as I look forward to reading these posts and learning about memories you all shared.
    I like Rob’s idea of having guest writers. I also suggest periodically suggesting charity in Rob’s honor (like you did around the holidays). That is always a great way to spread happiness and keep his legacy going. I think my favorite thing is seeing pictures of Robert that I never saw before. They are happy memories and important to remember the good times. Thanks again.

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Hi Jenn! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment — and for following along! I’ll add all your feedback to the list and you’ll all hear back from me soon! Most important — I’m so pleased to know that SH has helped in any small way with your healing process. We know that Rob was important to so many people — and that we aren’t alone in missing him!

  5. Vickey (Rob's Other Sister)

    I think your work here has just begun. I am sending you (and all who happen by this way) a big wave hello, a thank you and I hope this continues. Love the suggestions posted. I think it is a common theme that this forum has helped “spread happiness” in many ways and reaches beyond the passing of one person. In life bad things happen, it’s nice to know something good can come of it. A quick note to everyone to say THANK YOU for helping me (and us) through this very difficult time. This is a trail we have not hiked before…it is so nice to know we are not alone in the woods! Many Thanks, Much Love & Happiness To All!!

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Hey Vick! Thanks so much for following along and providing feedback all year long! I agree — a big THANK YOU is in order everyone here for walking this way with us. It has not gone unnoticed — or unappreciated! THANK YOU ALL!!!


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