On the anniversary of a loved One

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{This post is dedicated to my dear friend Donna, who lost her mom a year ago today. And to Wendi, who lost her sweet dad years ago, and gently prepared me for my own father’s heavenersary. And to anyone else who is missing a loved one today, these words are for you.} ———————————————————————————————————————- It seems to stare at you in …

Humble Pie, Sleeping Bears, and Dad Hugs

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I’m scooping up humble pie and shoveling it in by the spoonfuls. Pride has gotten the best of me, weighting each bite.

Yesterday the thought fluttered by: I’m glad this GRIEF thing is over. It’s nice to have that behind me. I’d doing fabul—.

Bam- I wake from a morning dream, grasping at the scene playing behind sleeping eyelids.

GRIEF JOURNEY: Stepping out of the shade

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Here’s the deal.

Grief sucks. And the anniversary of a loved one’s passing doesn’t wave a magic wand making sadness and pain disappear.

April 2nd was Dad’s 1st anniversary.

Surviving the muddiest and most eye-opening year was no small feat, yet I’m glad the annual “firsts” are behind.

On the night of his anniversary, apparently a train ran over me because in the morning blankets had sucked me further under the covers, and chilly air tempted me to stay in jammies and drink mint tea all.day.long. At dawn, I didn’t want to get out and help little boys brush teeth, put their shoes on, or find backpacks.

GRIEF Journey: What do I say?

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Let’s just say it like it is, talking about death is awkward.

Like super uncomfortable, weird, awkward.

What should I say? Do they want to talk about it? Do they not want to talk about it? Ahhh.

We long to validate one’s loss and ask how they are, while simultaneously trying to avoid making the elephant in the room the only topic. It’s a debacle; one that’s hard to navigate. There are no perfect words, only pure intentions. So, to save yourself from making a bigger deal out of an already big deal, for the love, here are phrases and actions that help soothe a very raw wound, as well as cliche’s to ahem, avoid.

Living a Year in GRACE: An Awakening Come Full Circle

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Smack in the middle of January in Southern California and I’m cross-legged in the backyard. It’s 80+ degrees and the sun is warming my back as fingers fly on the keyboard and the youngest naps.

I could pinch myself.

The sky is the electric blue and far off I hear a lawn being mowed. A yellow bud catches my eye and I wonder when she’ll smile for us, radiant petals lifting their gazes heavenward. Empty bowl by my knee, chipped and worn- almost ten years it’s moved from apartment to townhome to cottage, settling into different cupboards and feeding hundreds of mouths holding soup, ice cream, and parfait snacks.

“I’m a $@#%ing Freak!”

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From the back of the trail I see her swaying back and forth on a bench by the playground.

I push forward anyway.

I don’t want my boys to be afraid or uncomfortable around homeless people. I don’t want them to hide behind my legs or pretend they aren’t within earshot of a stranger as they run up stairs and whoosh down slides. I want them to look the man or woman that happens to be homeless in the eye, smile, say hello, and choose to overlook their unconventional appearance or unpleasant odor.

What Dad Would Say

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Bekah Jane,

I’m sorry you’ve had a tough couple of days.

I know being a parent isn’t a piece of cake.

It’s actually the hardest thing you’ll ever do. The love and consistency and prayer and energy that go into teaching these little people about how to love Jesus, and to share, and listen, and not bite- the list goes on… I know. I’ve been there. I’m still there… you’re never done being a parent.

While You’ve Been Gone

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Dad,

This Sunday is Father’s Day and how I wish I could hug you and hear your voice and watch you tackle the boys and enjoy an outdoor bar-b-que celebrating you. We’ll still do all those things but the tangible hole will be your missing presence.

It’s been 2 1/2 months since you passed away- those days feel like a lifetime and yet, if you walked in the door tomorrow, it would take me a moment to question it abnormal. You are missed every second of every day. I’m confident time will dull the ache but you will always be missed.

While you’ve been gone…

Today

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Today

It started early and ended late. In between…

Tears from a 2 1/2 year old boy who fears every time daddy walks out the door he might not come back- just like his Papa.

Toasted sourdough with nutty, natural peanut butter, honey drizzled in squiggle shapes, creamy coffee washing it down.