Monday, December 6, 2010

Helping Another Grieving Mama

Matt Sloan
December 29, 1980-June 13, 2010

There are so few times when we grieving mamas can do something concrete to help our fellow companions on this terrible journey—usually, our powers are limited to offering words of comfort which we know from experience are only so comforting. I have a chance to use this blog to help a fellow grieving mom honor her son’s memory in a very special way and am asking you to help if you are willing.

My new friend, Judy, lost her 29-year-old son, Matt Sloan, in June. Matt died exactly one month after Hudson did. Matt was a devoted member of the Episcopal community in North Carolina and the Southeast—I heard about him from an old friend at Kanuga, where I used to go to camp and to Episcopal youth conferences in high school. At the time of Matt’s death, he was living in New Orleans and working to rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. His dream was to create a non-profit organization to replant native landscaping around New Orleans and improve the lives of returning residents. His family is now working to make that dream a reality. They are competing for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh
Grant during the month of December. These grants are made on the basis of the number of votes the project receives from the public during the month.

If you’re willing to help, you can vote for the project three different times/ways each day:

  1. Use the button on the right once each day or go to to vote each day.
  2. Download the Pepsi Refresh voting application to your Facebook account and vote from there each day.
  3. Text Pepsi Refresh at 73774 with the message “104659” once each day.
Even though I didn’t know Matt personally,  from everything that I have heard about him and read about him, I know that he was an incredible person, the kind of kid I could only hope to have raised in Hudson. And having spent two post-Katrina winter breaks during law school helping rebuild a shattered legal system for the poor in New Orleans, I believe strongly in the cause he championed, too. I would love for Judy and her family to be able to continue Matt’s legacy in such a visible and special way. So if you’re willing to help, please do by voting every day (3 times if you can) until December 31, and pass this post along to everyone you know (you can use the easy share buttons at the bottom of this post).

Yet another One Good Thing.  I can’t have my Hudson back, but her death connected me to Judy and I can use this blog to help perpetuate another child’s big spirit in the world.

Shine on, Matt.

(Note after the fact at 1PM:  Be sure to watch the Matt’s Trees video on the Pepsi Refresh website.  I had not watched it before I wrote the closing line in this post.  I just saw it for the first time a few minutes ago-- I got chills when I heard the chorus of the song playing in the background, a song I have never heard before.  It is just amazing to me how our children just seem to stay with us.)


  1. Oh, made me cry. THANK YOU...

  2. What a beautiful, purposeful life Matt led! His warmth shines through this picture and it's so clear in reading about him that he touched many, many lives. Thank you for sharing this info and for letting us help to make Matt's Trees a reality.

  3. Mandy and Judy,
    I would do all in my (distant, somewhat disconnected) power to help you keep on keepin' on. I will vote. And I will include Judy in my daily meditation, hoping for healing for her along with you.

  4. Will be voting for his cause for certain...