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




Your Life Isn’t Here. Go Home. #GriefConfessions #NeverGiveUp

This post is for those of you suffering in silence. Those who are hurting so badly that you can’t even reach out to someone because you don’t even know what to say. All you know is that it hurts. The only thing worse than hurting is feeling the ache of emptiness and not being able to figure out why or how to even begin to process it. It’s tough finding out what left behind the crater in your soul and facing those demons. I can commiserate.

I finished the first draft of my grief book yesterday. There’s still more work to be done on it but that was a magical milestone for me. I was on cloud nine practically bouncing around the house footloose and fancy free and then today happened. Today feels like hell and not just because it’s 90 something degrees outside. It feels like great inferno of black flames on the inside. Overnight the darkness seeped in.

I’m unsettled, sad, and my waterproof mascara has greatly failed me today. There’s nothing more “attractive” than trails of black tear stains flowing beneath a pair of summer shades. I went to the cemetery for no other reason than it was the only place I wanted to go to. When I was upset the other weekend I wanted to pay a visit to the big rock on the ground but I didn’t get the chance. I’ve felt pulled there since.

I pulled up, hopped out of the truck, and stood in front of his name. My mind a blur of nothing and everything. I had nothing to say. Usually I at least have a few bones to pick or a good question to throw out there but today zilch. I stood there the breeze rustling through my sundress with an empty head and an aching heart. I was feeling lost. It was as if I was looking for a safe haven from the negative voices in my head because I couldn’t muster the strength to shut them down. As I stood there looking for direction I heard words echo within. “Your life isn’t here. Go home.”

I climbed back in the truck, leaned my head against the wheel and lost it once more. After I’d cleaned the black streaks from my face I headed home. “Your life isn’t here. Go home.” Those words still echoed in my mind as I crawled into my bed to hide beneath the covers. The tsunami of feelings crashed inside. Anger. Sadness. Weariness. Confusion. Frustration.

I didn’t spend much time in bed this afternoon thanks to the unsolicited texts, calls, and Eclipse needing me to take him out three times in less than twenty minutes. Once the feelings settled a bit I do what I always do and asked myself, “What is going on with you? You’re stronger than this.” Today was one of those days where I just wanted to cry but then when I started crying I was mad about the tears. These are the days I wish I could turn it off.

So what is going on with me? That dang book is what’s going on! It’s almost done and that’s incredibly exciting and equally frightening. When it’s complete it will be a solid tangible collection of words documenting some horrific days and some heartwarming days. Days filled with nothing but tears and days where I felt nothing but emptiness. The great black abyss of unfeeling was both infuriating and a welcome reprieve. And then came the days of victory, when my chest became light again and I could feel love deeper than ever before.

Finishing this book is going to free my mind and my heart from holding on so tightly to all those moments. I’ll be able to shuffle those years off to the side to fully make room for the years of my future. Just like the words I heard, “Your life isn’t here. Go home.” I’ll be able to settle into my new life. I’ll be able to go home again.

It’s hard to distinguish the root of all the tears but they certainly contained the roller coaster of emotion residing between the pages of that book.

If you’re having a difficult time fighting down the darkness today, you’re not alone. Even a Suzy Sunshine like myself gets bogged down with the fight. BUT don’t you dare give up. Find a healthy way to get those nasty feelings out so you can move past them. Your future is bright and it’s full of wonderful things as long as you keep moving. Never give up on your always and forever, even if you can’t see it right now I promise you it’s waiting patiently on your arrival. Who knows, maybe we’ll bask in the glow of it together one sunshiney day! <3


#GoHome #KeepMoving #NeverGiveUp #GriefConfessions