It’s Been a While Since I’ve Had One of These Moments #GriefConfessions #LoveHugsAndSunshine

There are some things that make absolutely no sense at all. How I can miss Chris and be happy in my current life? How can I be sad and at the same time full of joy? It is possible. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t felt it myself but I’m telling you it’s legit.

There are so many new happy things happening in my life—in my professional world, in my spiritual journey, and even in my personal life (although those things are not as definitive and easy to explain.)

I went to the cemetery this week. If you’ve read Shine then you know the cemetery has not always been a good place for me. As with my growth, I do see it as a different place than I once did. I don’t necessarily believe Chris “lives” there but if I want to make sure he hears what I have to say I go there.

It was a perfect summer day–sunshine, low humidity, and in the seventies. Those were the kind of days Chris loved. “Perfect riding weather,” he’d say. I found myself in front of his headstone, my butt parked on the ground. I always giggle to myself how the grass on his grave doesn’t grow like the rest. He wouldn’t want to inconvenience people by needing to mow too often.

And so I started telling him about all the great things happening and then the happy tears quickly turned into sad ones. When I start to realize how happy I am in my “new life” it makes me sad because Chris doesn’t have a new life—at least not on this plane of existence. It’s not that I don’t believe Chris has a new life of his own because I do. And I truly believe he is in a place of peace and is free from the strife of this world. But when I start moving forward it’s a reality check. His death really happened. The good things in life are as equally real as the bad things.

As the tears were streaming down my face behind my sunglasses I said, “Chris, I can’t wait until the day I can come here and tell you I’ve got my family.” Those words made me wonder if when that joyful day comes if the sadness will lose its volume. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But I realized how badly I want that not only for me, but for us.

I went on rambling about missing his friendship, mentioned a few grievances, and made a few other requests. I looked up from my seat on the ground to the view of the hill with three crosses and a large stone bible a few steps away. I could almost hear him chiding me that it was time to leave.

I stood up and walked towards the large granite bible with a little bird beckoning me over. There’s always a bird. Always a bird. LOL! Written on it was the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…” When I hit the line that says, “he restoreth my soul” the confirmation hit me of Chris’s peace in his new life. I needed that to help me combat the guilt that was starting to rise up.

Then the more I read the more I realized inside those words were messages for me about my situations, my fears, and my concerns. I climbed into the truck and had one last bout of tears before gathering myself to return my world.

What is this grief confession post about? A lot of things but most importantly it’s a reminder that we’re allowed to feel more than one thing at a time, but it can be overwhelming. Sometimes the things we think make sense are false truths we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe. I don’t want to go back in time, I want to be here in this moment. And being in this moment means I can miss the friendship of my late husband and carry a longing desire for the friendship of my next spouse. I can miss Chris and be happy that he’s at peace, all in the same moment. And as weird as it may sound I can be anxious and longing for the day I come to the cemetery and say, “My family found me, Chris. My family found me!”

This Monday would be our anniversary. I wasn’t even consciously thinking about that while at the cemetery. I would’ve never been able to imagine the place I’m at today, nor the woman I’ve become. I would’ve never expected how short our marriage would be nor how much I learned from our years together.

I’m so grateful for every heartache and every victory.

My eyes have been opened as to how my life is not my own. How beautiful it is to recognize my value and my purpose, and that is to share my life with you through my words, my day to day, and in every way I live my life. The miracles that God has worked in my life and continues to work on a daily basis—they are as much for me as they are for you. I hope your eyes are opened to the plans and ways He’s working in your life as well. He loves you, too. Never forget we are all connected. We are all loved.

It’s part of my personal growth to become more vulnerable. Boy is that difficult, especially for the “girl who has it all together.” Looks can be deceiving, dear friends. I don’t have it all together not even close but I’m constantly seeking the guidance and answers so that I can grow. When I’m knocking on heaven’s door I want to know I lived a life of purpose. I lived a life of love.

And loving people means lots of messes and nothing will ever be “all together” but that’s not an excuse to withhold your heart.

Live fully. Love boldy.

#LoveHugsAndSunshine #NeverGiveUpOnYourAlwaysAndForever




My Bleeding Heart #YoureNotAlone #Grief #KeepMoving

My heart bleeds with sympathy, with the ache of loss, and with the hurt of this world. My heart bleeds for my community and the way death has made its brutal appearance known. My heart aches for those left with memories of a person no longer breathing. My heart aches for the battles they face today and the ones waiting in tomorrows. There’s truly a deep ache in my chest for all the loss. Tears don’t glisten in my eyes but when death knocks on the door I think of those left to deal with the aftermath and the ache returns to my heart.

I was editing my grief book yesterday and while I felt such a sense of accomplishment for how many pages I got through it leaves me with a rawness. I don’t want to talk nor do I have anything to talk about. It actually leaves my head empty and that’s bizarre considering the amount of thoughts I have in a day. I don’t text my friends and I barely socialize. I don’t feel sad merely quiet almost void of emotion.

There’s been another wave of losses in my community and with each one it triggers the same response. A bleeding, aching heart. Maybe if I could cry for their pain the ache wouldn’t reside in my chest. Or maybe that ache has become my defense mechanism to keep from backsliding into that dreaded, dark world of grief.

Regardless, I feel your losses. I hurt for the children who lost a parent, for parents who lost a child, and for significant others who lost their love, and every other relationship lost to death. I deeply and profoundly hurt for you and with you.

One of the biggest reason I’m even torturing myself with writing my story of grieving is so  that you know you’re not alone in your suffering and to show you there is redemption and healing ahead. It happens, but right now isn’t the time to think about that. When you’ve lost someone, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to feel. Feel everything. Cry. Get angry. Hug one another. Whatever it is you need to do. Allow yourself to feel this but don’t forget that these feelings are temporary. There is hope for healing. Hope for so many wonderful things.

Today if you’re mourning a recent loss or one that’s lingering, please remember you’re not alone. Don’t give up just yet. Keep fighting through the pain, eventually the rain will subside and you’ll be able to find light within the darkness.

In the meantime know I’m praying for you because that’s the greatest gift I can give. Prayers saved my life and so I’m passing that along. Life changes but it goes on because love never dies. And since love never dies, neither do we. We merely change forms.

#ThisIsTemporary #LoveNeverDies #KeepFighting #KeepMoving #YoureNotAlone