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




How to See the Amazing in Every Day #GriefReflections #MotivationalThinking

Last week will go down in the history book of Michelle as one of the best weeks of my life for more reasons than I can count. My heart spilled over with love and joy that caused lots of happy tears. Even more tears than that video I posted last Monday. LOL!

Before you start thinking, “Great. It’s another one of those she has the best life ever posts. Everything works out perfectly for her. Blah. Blah. Blah.” Keep reading, please. 🙂 My week wasn’t perfect on its own, although it was filled with an incredible amount of blessings. However, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the good if I had allowed the negativity to weigh me down.

There’s a ton of stuff out in the world on positive thinking and how to be a positive person. I’ve read a lot of it, and I’ve also read a few articles that talk about how those books are full of nonsense and garbage.

Let me tell you a secret about what I’ve learned about positive thinking. It’s tough! Like super duper hard! I don’t just wake up with a glowing halo and dance with butterflies to the sound of birds singing. In reality I wake up with medusa hair to two dogs barking and whining to go out and a cat in my face meowing for treats. I then proceed to fall out of bed and stagger to the coffee maker.

I don’t get up and have this “easy” life, because newsflash life isn’t easy! Some mornings I get up with a bit of a cloud over my head and it takes all I have to focus on the good things in my life. Then some mornings I wake up and the sun is shining so bright it lights up my heart from the inside. Those days it’s easy to be positive BUT on the cloudy days it takes some work.

I’ve read some articles that talk about how positive thinking is useless wishful thinking. I see positive thinking as a hopeful perspective backed by action. It’s being honest with yourself and saying I don’t like this place, this outcome, this feeling, BUT I know it’s not going to last forever and here’s some things I can do to work on it. It’s resolving to yourself that some things (a job, a relationship, etc.) aren’t always meant to be BUT that doesn’t mean the process or the time you’ve spent on those endeavors has been wasted.

I fully believe we can learn something from every person and situation we encounter in life. We can take the good, the bad, the ugly, and the uncomfortable and use it to grow. Growth is a positive thing even if it’s hard to endure.

Being a positive thinker doesn’t mean casting a blind eye to the negative. It’s about recognizing the negative and how to handle it with a good attitude.

For example, last week (the week of our birthdays) for the past two years has been a difficult one. In my sobbing video I talk about having a happy heart, one that has healed. My heart doesn’t ache with every beat anymore but that doesn’t mean all I feel is joy. Oh contraire. I still feel sadness but it is balanced with peace. On Wednesday (Chris’s birthday) I awoke excited for the day and I knew I couldn’t wait to go to the cemetery. (Yes, that sounds super weird even to me.) I had a day filled with meetings, class, and friends. All day long, in between all of the busyness of the day I couldn’t wait to go to “see” Chris. After picking up a friend we headed to the cemetery for a visit. There I stood at the stone with a special message of gratitude and then a first for me, I blew him a kiss. I walked out of there without a single tear of sadness.

It’s a difficult feeling to describe—how you can miss someone and not be consumed with sadness but it is exactly how I feel. It’s a balance of love between this world and the next. You see, my heart has been healed but with it my mind has learned to think differently. The head and the heart are a team. Whereas before all my mind could focus on was the loss and how I’d never get to see Chris again here on this side of heaven, my mind and heart have found a way to reconcile that. While that’s true it doesn’t have to hurt because like all things this is temporary. I will see him again on the other side. He’s not gone forever.

I’ve been able to shift my thinking (with constant effort and lots of prayer) to realize that while all of this is sad and heartbreaking it doesn’t mean that I have to live the rest of my life sad and brokenhearted. My mind has been able to work with my heart and show me that my time with Chris was special and now it’s time to make my life special. To do so, I must shift my focus towards all the blessings in my life. And that’s exactly what I did last week!

I set my intentions to remember the blessings and it worked! I cannot tell you how many times I found myself with my hand over my heart like I was attempting my keep it from floating out of my chest. Over and over and over again my hand reflexively flew there. I spent a lot of time thanking God and Chris for all their birthday blessings and happy memories of the week.

You see positive thinking is more than wistfully daydreaming of all things wonderful. It’s about recognizing AND feeling sadness, disappointment, anger, and all those “bad” emotions and realizing that they serve a purpose for the betterment of your life. Use them as motivators. Take those tools and use them to climb your mountain. Maybe that makes me more of a motivational thinker than a positive one. Regardless, I believe in real life motivational thinking. If I can do it, so can YOU!

We always have a choice—to stay stuck in our current state or to brush off our shoulders and move to the next level. You’re never going to get where you’re supposed to be by sitting in the mud. Keep moving! It might be a slow go but slow and steady wins the race. And you my dear, are a winner! 😉

Keep moving. Keep climbing. And never give up on your always and forever! <3

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