Visit Holly's blog about Human empowerment.

mondays & aMasongrace

mondays & aMasongrace

Today marks fourteen weeks since my 14 year old boy left this world with my heart in his hands. As you can imagine, I hate Mondays. I dread the ticking of the clock, the slow passage of time, and the eventual and internal ‘click’ that occurs when Monday hits. It’s tangible, and vivid, and emotional. I’ve never been superstitious, never given power and authority to days or numbers or stars or signs. I still don’t… but I will share with you that the clock has become my nemesis and Monday is my enemy, and if I could, I would shatter every one of time’s measuring sticks just to get to my boy sooner rather than later.

There is a moment every day, before I am really awake, in the space between dreams and daytime, that my mind ‘remembers’ and my heart prepares itself. For some weird reason, it’s doubly difficult on Mondays. I imagine that if I closed my eyes and reached out my hand, I might actually feel the slimy face of the angel of death. I can picture him hovering over every Monday, reminding me of my ‘loss,’ and sneering at the pain he caused me and those who love Mason. The knot in my stomach grows, my scalp starts to tingle, tears form in my eyes without warning, and I realize yet again, “It is real. He is gone.”

I replay the day at the mortuary, when I said goodbye to his body, held his hand, kissed his face. I kissed and kissed and kissed his face. It was no longer him, just a shell of who he had been, but I couldn’t stop myself from kissing him goodbye. I remind myself of the donations I chose to make, the skin I gave away, the corneas, the heart valves, the bones… I review the tender moments in my mind when it was just me and Mase, a mama and her baby boy, in that cold mortuary ‘viewing’ room. I examined him and the changes they made to his body when they took the donations. They prepared me for what I would see, but nothing prepared me for what I felt. I wept over Mason’s face and hands, I hugged him as best as I could, and I prayed for the ‘pieces of him’ to bless and heal each recipient.

Then I cut some of his hair to give to his grandmothers, along with a photo album I had made for them. I hope they treasure that little token of respect. It took all I had to cut that beautiful mane of hair. If you knew Mase, you know he had some pretty amazing hair… and he knew it too! It makes me smile to think of his love affair with his own head of hair.  (How is it possible for one person to be blessed with so much dang hair?!?! Man, he was a stunner.) I played some of his songs while I sat with him, and I cried over different little memories that crossed my mind. I spoke to him as if he were sleeping, and fussed over him as I did when he was an infant. I think my mind repeatedly walks me through that day in particular because it is the only proof that this is real. He is gone.

Yeah, Mondays are hard.

bob middle finger


I need to tell you about this Monday though… September 9th. It had all the makings of a typical Monday. Sadness swelling. Mood darkening. My girlfriend, Grief, scooting a little closer to me under the covers, getting ready for a good sob session. However, two very important things happened today that set it apart from any other Monday.

Firstly, I saw a post from one of Mason’s friends on Facebook… and I was blown away. She declared today “Mason Monday” and decided that she will spend the entire day making people smile, telling them they are valued, and asking them to push through their problems and stay alive. Then, she said, she would write an “M” on their wrist. (Well, she actually said she was going to stamp them! Hahaha I LOVE THAT!) I shared her idea on my Facebook & Twitter pages, and so did a few other friends, and without much effort it turned into an awesome day of love and laughter. Friends of Mason were posting pictures of M’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and encouraging each other to stay alive. They were doing for others what Mason had always done for them. One person posted that she was proud to be living Mason’s legacy.

<Insert wracking sobs here> Can you imagine what that feels like? I am so honored, so incredibly touched. There are no words (and you know I have more words to share than anyone you have ever met). One girl’s simple idea to cheer herself up on a day when she was really missing her friend evolved into a widespread, love demonstration of which everyone wanted to be a part! There are wrists everywhere sporting an ‘M’ in memory of Mason Chamberlain and how he made people feel. I am one proud mama right now. Take that, angel of death. Right in the slimy, sneering, self-enamored mouth.

mason monday 9-9-13

Secondly, I realized that the website is ready. Whaaaaaaat? How is it ready? How is there nothing left to do but launch? My brother-of-sorts, Tyrhone, and my lovely sister, Sarah, have managed to create something out of nothing, and without a doubt, I know it will change lives. His creativity and genius, combined with her careful consideration of correct capitalization (my love of lower case drives her crazy), produced a website worthy of carrying Mason’s name, honoring his memory, and continuing his legacy.  I am still stunned at the invoice I received, but that’s the topic for a different day. Love and kindness are free… and I am experiencing this firsthand. Stunned, I tell you. Simply stunned.

While I laid on their bed and complained of a sore tummy, Sarah tried to show me how I would now post new blog entries from the website instead of using wordpress. I tried to pay attention.  Maybe I went to the bathroom, or found another chocolate in the fridge… but I ended up over at the kitchen table. While I positioned myself directly in front of the a/c, and tried to hog all of the cool air, Tyrhone attempted to explain how widgets work and their hidden purpose on the website.  I looked everywhere but where I was supposed to look… You get the picture.  They were committed, tireless, faithful, and diligent. I was lame, distracted, emotional, and in denial. I couldn’t focus, I had no energy, yet they worked to complete their part. Sometime after I returned home, it hit me. I needed to plug in, shape up, and decide if I was really going to do this project. The time for tummy aches was over; distractions and denial needed to get lost. I got busy. I did my part. We discussed edits, font changes, formatting alterations… and here we are on a Monday, with a website to launch and a message to deliver.

What a different Monday this has been.

I’ll invite you to browse through the website when you have some time, if you are so inclined. This is the first version, but as the Project develops, so will the website. The idea is still being formed, and the vision is coming into focus, but one thing we know for sure: Mason’s life was not an accident, and his death will not be ignored.  Check out the tribute page to see what friends and family had to say. Check out the background pages to learn more about Mason, Me, and how the project came to be. If you’d like to be involved, there is a link to submit your suggestions, as well as an Events page to see what’s coming up. Please subscribe to the blog via the website to continue to receive updates, and follow me on this journey I never wanted to take.


  • Sarah
    Posted at 01:45h, 10 September Reply

    Holly, you blow me away with every post, but this one, this one is special. A sign of things to come (and I will stop cursing your lack of CAPITALS, ok??). Love you, you inspire so many, and are a gift to the world, as is Mason. Love explosion, here we come – weeeeeeee!!!!!!!

    • its just me
      Posted at 23:07h, 11 September Reply

      i deliberately replied to all of the comments on this post in lower case letters to honor your commitment to overlook them… ha! thank you again for all you have done. you are a gift to me, my widdle sis. “weeeeeee!!!” i just drank a rockstar and here comes the rush… weeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

  • Mieke
    Posted at 01:56h, 10 September Reply

    Tears in my eyes as I read how you said “goodbye” to Mason on that sad day. I lost my mom on a Monday and can so relate to that grief. I decided several months ago to face those Mondays with a smile and also doing good things to make my mom proud. I love how Masons friends celebrate him and his wonderful ways. Hugs to you.

    • its just me
      Posted at 23:05h, 11 September Reply

      mieke, i am so sorry about your mom… i know you can relate. it feels good to do something different on mondays, doesn’t it? weird how we dread the day. i love what mason’s friend did and hope to continue her idea.

  • tyrhone
    Posted at 02:45h, 10 September Reply

    Kids do the darndest things don’t they. You know I am slightly lacking in mushability, but beautiful post most eloquently put as always. Now I’m gonna go eat some flan for you…

    • its just me
      Posted at 23:03h, 11 September Reply

      i hope you are seeing some of the wonderful compliments you are receiving re: the website. you are truly talented!!! people are oohing and ahhing over what you created. i hope this brings you more bidness in the very near future. you deserve it. now, let’s put an end to the quest for burnt & crumbly flan. it’s gone, BOS, it’s gone.

  • Jennifer Moss
    Posted at 03:41h, 10 September Reply

    I see the grief peeling away, bit by bit.. layer by excruciating layer, slowly revealing a purpose for you to get up every day. I love this. Thank you to Sarah and your BOS for skedattling on into your head and doing this for you…and also for anyone needing inspiration to get out of our own heads and do good!

    • its just me
      Posted at 23:01h, 11 September Reply

      j-mo, it is such a wonderful thing they have done for me. something i could NEVER do for myself. i am forever thankful to them. i just might force myself upon them for another visit soon. ;0)

  • Donna Labate
    Posted at 04:39h, 10 September Reply

    Holly your blogs are amazing I love reading them every Monday…… Much love 2you my friend…. Love Love Love

    • its just me
      Posted at 23:00h, 11 September Reply

      aw donna, thanks so much. i am so blessed to have met you and call you friend. xoxo thank you for reading.

  • Leslie Jones
    Posted at 04:46h, 10 September Reply

    Beautiful post again…love to see what is developing and the growth inside of you. My heart aches as you describe what you went through… very sad.

    • its just me
      Posted at 22:59h, 11 September Reply

      thanks for commenting, leslie. i only share bits and pieces of what it was like… i cannot share every detail. it is too overwhelming. thank you for keeping me in your prayers. i love what god is doing in my life and in the lives of others who read this blog and who follow the progress of the aMasongrace project. in my shock, grief, and confusion of those first few days, only one thing was absolute in my mind: god would use this for good. and i was right.

  • Karrah
    Posted at 04:47h, 10 September Reply

    Your life has changed so much in the past 14 weeks, no mother should have to go through this! You AMAZE me everyday with your strength, love, perseverance, and dedication to your cause. Mason was an amazing individual, greatly because of you, your love and your guidance. I am so PROUD of you and of the aMasongrace project. This will continue to affect so many people!! Great job on the website bro-of-sorts and sis!!! It’s perfect! (just like Mason) xoxo Karrah

    • its just me
      Posted at 22:56h, 11 September Reply

      seems like forever ago that you came over with chocolates and caught me mid-cry with my pj’s on (and no bra!)… look at what we have accomplished in just a few short weeks. time flies. thanks for all of your support behind the scenes. the logo you created is just awesome! love you, karrah!

  • Dani
    Posted at 13:23h, 10 September Reply

    May each coming Monday in the future become brighter&lighter.There are no coincidences in this life my friend&just by sharing your grief&broken heart,you have already set in motion a positive change in THIS world.Remember…we are all just passing through&we all have a purpose.Thanks for always reminding me of that.~Dani~

    • its just me
      Posted at 22:54h, 11 September Reply

      it’s so true… just passing through. i had forgotten that and losing mase reminded me. this life is just a snippet of time in the overall experience. i will see him soon.

  • Erin H-T
    Posted at 10:23h, 11 September Reply

    You are absolutely amazing to create something so positive in this time. I still cry at every post but your strength blows me away. Hope Mondays get easier and easier x

    • its just me
      Posted at 22:53h, 11 September Reply

      thank you, erin. it still comes in waves, and i feel very weak sometimes, but i think this website and the blog are helping me rebuild some sort of life. keep me in your prayers. thank you for reading and responding. xo

  • Carmel
    Posted at 17:38h, 12 September Reply

    My therapist once told me that our bodies remember these things. Years ago, my brain forgot the anniversary of the passing of my favorite uncle, but my body remembered. I was so emotional and in so much pain over this one weekend and then it clicked. It’s amazing what our bodies remember.

    It’s Tuesdays for us. I understand what you’re talking about. Over time the pain doesn’t disappear, but it changes. In my experience, the dates become a little less intense.

    What an incredibly special support group you have. Obviously it was built by the love for someone pretty amazing.

  • Dana Ames
    Posted at 01:46h, 14 September Reply

    I did not know Mason personally, but my daughter went to school with him and just adored him. She was devastated by his loss and I know she still misses him. From what I am seeing, so many people loved Mason. I wish I could have known him, as it seems he was truly an incredible young man. This is a beautiful website and I look forward to what is to come as it grows. I can see though, I will need to purchase additional Kleenex, as I get teary eyed when I read your beautifully written posts. You do have quite the talent for putting words to paper, and when you write your book (you know you should) I will definitely be in line for a signed copy 🙂

Post A Comment