When I began updating this page, I realized thisย past year has been more about joy than grief. The longer I do life the more I realize how much there is of both.

A friend I admire wrote this after the tragic death of a young family member:

Tears + laughter = LIFE

Hmm, that’d be a smoking tattoo.

I’m 40+ now, and I still don’t feel like a grown-up.

When I started this blog, I planned to focus on grief, but this space has become much more than that. It’s about life — the beauty and the messy.

Here at Grief Happens, I tell some hard truths. Therefore, I LIE hard about our real names. I go by Vivianne — Viv or Vivi for short. It sounds formal. It’s not; I’m not.

I’m a yogi, a seeker, a friend, a partner, a mother, a daughter, a writer, an emotional train wreck from time to time.

I write about my two kids, Piers and Wallace, who are now eleven and ten years old. They make me laugh, cry, pull my hair out and hyperventilate regularly, though less now than when they were toddlers.

I write about my relationship with Gil, the kids’ dad, my one true love and the person I planned to do life with. That dream died a few years ago, but we do our best to get along for the sake of our children. Some days we succeed; other days are more challenging. It’s a practice for sure. We currently live under the same roof and do our best to co-parent our children. It’s not easy or traditional, but that’s where we are at the moment. Enough said for now.

Writing keeps me emotionally even, so you’ll find a variety of topics – daily life, parenting, co-parenting, mindfulness, mental health, medication, ADHD, music, books, etc.

I lost my father to suicide over twenty years ago, and while that altered my life tremendously, it made me more determined than ever to seek the good in the world. I believe in the power of humor to pull us from the depths, and I do my best to see the lesson in difficult situations. Some days that’s easier than others, but I believe it’s always worth the effort.

I hope you find something you like. I’d love to hear from you!

Other places to find me, though I’m not there much — I hang here at GH the most:



Twitter (Viv Jennings — @VivJennings1)

Pinterest (Viv Jennings)




73 thoughts on “About

  1. Lisa, thank you for stopping by and checking out/following my blog – it gave me the treat of looking at yours!

    The one thing I’ve learned about grief (which we feel as a result of many things, not just death) is that we NEED the joy to survive the grief – with much love to you on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep; it’s getting better. Just ended a relationship with my guy of 8 years- THAT was rough. But we heal and we move on, eh? (I couldn’t say that a month ago. I pretty much just wanted to die for about 3 weeks…heheh. But the worst is over now.) I’ve done my time at the Heartbreak Hotel and now I’m a free woman! I hope your year (so far) is a good one too. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Travel Anxiety and Pontificating on My Marriage | Grief Happens

  4. Wow. So sorry to hear about your Pops. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I grew up with my Dad always threatening suicide. He kept a loaded gun under his bed and said he was going to do it at least 3 times per week for 20 years. I felt like I buried him hundreds of times over the years. (I’m glad to say that he’s in Heaven now and actually made it to the end.) I certainly understand though. It’s great to meet you, and I hope your new year is a good one! Merry (late) Christmas too. x -Birgitta


    • Sorry I’m so late replying. Well that’s pretty horrid — that your dad threatened that constantly — not an easy way to live for sure. Hope the new year is treating you well. Thanks for stopping by.


  5. ” We work at it. Itโ€™s a practice, and some days weโ€™re better at it than others.” Ain’t it the truth!

    My wife and I also work at it, and its reassuring to find that when whatever internal struggle either of us is having puts up a barrier between us, so far we always find our way back. “Tincture of time”, as my physician friend calls it, and fortunately it usually takes very little time, but it’s what we do with that time besides settle down; it’s processing internally whatever caused us to put up the barrier, and sharing with each other what we’ve come up with.

    I love what I’ve read on your blog, and plan to follow your work — and learn from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that — “tincture of time.” Thank you so much for the kind words. I suppose I have what one might refer to as oversharing syndrome, but I’m honored to hear that my words resonate with you. Welcome. I look forward to reading more of your blog, too.


  6. I loved your introduction. Shall be interested to see some of your other posts, when I’m not rushing to get lunch! Thanks so much for following my blog, I hope you find something there that resonates! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for deciding to follow my blog! I really enjoyed reading yours yesterday. I like the post about your day and how you dealt with daily life: patted the cats, played with essential oils… It sounds like the kind of days I have a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep it up, because people will definitely keep reading:) x


    • Thank you SO much! I’m truly honored and glad you like my blog. I don’t really have a policy on awards. I am bad at following rules, so while I’m grateful, I often flop the follow-through that’s required with most of them. Please forgive me in advance. I will certainly check it out and try to do as I’m told. Again, thank you. I loved what I read of your blog as well, and your gorgeous red hair ROCKS and I can’t stop staring at your picture.


  8. Pingback: I’m So Excited, Part 4 (Beautiful Blogger Award) | Nonsense & Shenanigans

  9. This is a great blog Vivienne and you are a wonderful writer. I hope your (clearly good) sense of humor is getting you through the bad days – there are so many, believe me I know. Thank you for sharing.


  10. Hi Vivi,
    I loved your About column. It sounds like you and I have been down the same road. Also, thanks for liking and following my blog. I shall return the favor. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep in touch!


  11. Viv, thanks for stopping by The Fountain and liking A New Stage. I am following you now, and appreciate your willingness to share your own story. I am still a bit ragged, well, very ragged some days, and my story is still being written. Stay tunes, and be well.


    • I had a chance to look more closely at your blog. I am so sorry for your loss, and I commend you for telling your story. What a beautiful tribute to your precious son. Thanks so much for the follow. I think it’s understandable that you’re “ragged.” Sending you love and light and peace as you move through this tragic loss. I’ll be thinking of you and look forward to reading more of your story. Viv


    • Thank you so much! Please accept my heartfelt apology for not responding sooner. Life has been busy, and I’ve neglected my blog. I will do my best to follow the directions and fully accept this award soon. Hope you are well. Thanks again.


  12. Hello there.

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for reaching out to people like me by writing your stories. I read your posts before I go to bed (now, I sound a lil creepy). I learn things about myself reading your blog. Lets hug now.

    Second of all, Iโ€™ve nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. I hope you don’t mind ๐Ÿ™‚ If youโ€™re interested, please kindly visit my latest post for details. Cheers.


    • Wow! Thanks so much. I’m truly honored and not the least bit creeped out. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t scare easily. I’m just getting back in to town and life, so it may be a few days, but I’ll do my best to at least answer your questions.


  13. Hey, honey! I saw your requests to access my now-privatized site, but I have to be all-private now. Sorry. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And I’m reluctant to respond to anyone b/c I have to assume that H is watching everything I do (though I don’t think he’ll read this, in the “About” section on your site). Suffice it to say I’m back in the darkness, and my life is not pretty right now. I’m living with bad emotional abuse, and I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But some things happened, and I read the writing on the wall. I can’t fight the universe; it’s all just too much for me right now. (I know this is cryptic. Forgive me, please.) I am still blogging, but just for me. Sorry.

    Please know, though, that I am still following your journey. In fact, I just caught up with your last 2 posts this past Sunday, and I was wishing you’d given more details about whatever it is that’s going on with your marriage (wild thoughts in my head), but I also accepted that you’d said as much as you were comfortable saying online. Please know that I’m pulling for you! And for what it’s worth, all of your posts sound completely lucid to me. In fact, amazingly lucid for someone with parental drama, marriage issues, and two highly-active, little BOYS! (I say this, as a mom of seven, five of whom are boys.) You’ve got a great well of strength and an amazing core-character that I’ve seen through even your worse post-moments. You use “Granny’s remedy” when you need to. It doesn’t make you weak or dysfunctional. It just means that you know YOU better than anyone else. Hugs, GH. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally understand! Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you. Wild thoughts were in my head, too, and i was worried about you. Wish I could be transparent in my posts, but at this stage it’s just not possible. I’m taking things day by day, and today’s okay so far. If only I could get rid of these darn fleas. Sending good thoughts your way. Big hugs and lots of love to you!


  14. You are so wise to blog your thoughts and feelings. I know some of what you’re going through on the inside — and the outside, for that matter — and I’m pretty sure you’re going to come through this just fine eventually. Thank you so much for following my blog!


  15. I can relate to SO much of who you are deep down inside, and who you have become amidst the turmoil & stress of living. I was there only a few months ago. You’re doing great. Keep blogging. It helped me keep my sanity when things got really ugly. You can do this. You are more powerful than you can imagine or believe at this moment in your life. Remember that it’s just a moment & this too shall eventually pass. Just keep walking. Keep trudging along. You’re almost there.
    Love, Lehua


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