Anniversaries of loss

Kathy Eldon, Parent with a Purpose, shares advice from personal experience of how to overcome the biggest difficulties after losing a child and how she turned feelings of grief into something positive
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Anniversaries of loss

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Every year after losing a child there are several anniversaries. There is the anniversary of when you lost that person, and there is the birthday. I can sort of measure my life through those anniversaries, and how I felt. Early on as either of those anniversaries approached about a month before I felt physically ill. I did not know why I felt ill, but I would feel ill and then I would realize the anniversary was coming up. You get through it. Maybe 5 years into it you might forget until 2 or 3 days before the anniversary. As we get further and further from the time the pain has diminished. All I remember now is the joy of what I get to do because Dan lived. I get to celebrate his life in every new I make with young people who are young creative activist like Dan. Those people become what I focus on. After Dan was killed I decided that I would bring what I call fairy god children into my life that I would adopt,not really. But I would adopt young people and nurture them and care about them in a similar way that I would have cared about my son. My life is bubbling with fairy god children and now I have got fairy god grandchildren. So I am rich and full.I am joyous and ambulant with life, but it is because Dan lived. Because after he died he gave me the gift of bringing more love into my life into that vacuum. I am very grateful for having made that decision. I am the richest person in the world and probably one of the happiest, but it took awhile.

Kathy Eldon, Parent with a Purpose, shares advice from personal experience of how to overcome the biggest difficulties after losing a child and how she turned feelings of grief into something positive

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Kathy Eldon

Parent with a Purpose and Founder & CEO, Creative Visions Foundation

Kathy Eldon was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Wellesley College and has since worked as an art teacher, television presenter, magazine editor, journalist, media consultant and a television and film producer in Kenya, England and the United States. She has written seventeen books on a variety of subjects including Angel Catcher, a Journal of Loss and Remembrance; Soul Catcher: a Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are; and Love Catcher, a Journal to Invite more Love in Your Life, all published by Chronicle Books. The journals were co-authored with her daughter Amy, who is her partner in Creative Visions, a television and film production company.

Kathy was the Executive Producer of the 1999 Emmy nominated Turner Broadcasting two-hour documentary, Dying to tell the Story, about journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs, which was conceived of and presented by Amy Eldon. In l999 Kathy exec-produced a one-hour CNN documentary, Soldiers of Peace: A Children's Crusade, about the Colombian children's peace movement, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Both films were distributed internationally to over 220 countries. Kathy's company also produced Lost in Africa, a family feature film distributed by Columbia Pictures internationally.

Kathy is currently producing a feature film about her son, artist and Reuters photographer Dan Eldon, who was stoned to death at the age of 22 in Somalia. In May, 2011, Kathy and Amy exec-produced, together with Julia Roberts, "Extraordinary Moms," a tribute to the power of mothers to change the world around them. Hosted by Julia Roberts, the special featured Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell and Christiane Amanpour.

Kathy edited The Journey is the Destination, a collection of Dan's journal pages which was published by Chronicle Books. Kathy and Amy are co-founders of Creative Visions Foundation, which supports "creative activists" who use media and the arts to create positive change. Over the past 10 years the foundation has incubated more than 80 projects and productions on five continents, touching the lives of more than 10 million people.

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