Immediately after tragedy struck, I couldn’t hear it. It wasn’t time. But even hard things, through healing, bring blessing. The leaves take on brighter varied hues as they die than they ever did in life... and it may take a valley to see the beauty.
There are many ways to refer to mourning. There are the waves of grief, the stages, the levels and the layers. It's a cycle. It's a process. It creates a pot of tear soup. Analogies may fail, and everyone is different, but this is how it has felt to me... Sometimes grief feels like two…
In February 2016, the lives of Lindsey Atkins and Lizzie Lindberg went through epic changes that culminated to a profound juxtaposition on Saturday, February 20th. These circumstances compelled us to write our stories together.
The loss of a beloved pet is one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. It is the loss of one who loved unconditionally and was there when it seemed like no one else was. It is the loss of a helper, a tender teacher, a faithful listener, a friend. It's the changing of lovely memories into sad remembrances because of obvious absence. It's the creation of sacred moments that once seemed inconsequential. Today, I remember my grief for Teddy less frequently than I once did, and the reality of his absence affects the tone of my day much more subtly than it did when the cut was fresh. Yet, the unique type of grief I experienced when my Teddy left this world is not something I expect to ever forget.
As a mom, I sometimes feel like I should be an excellent question answerer. I like to have the answers, and I like to talk, so one would think that I'd be good at taking on the quandaries of my kids. But sometimes I don't know the answers and I'm well aware that I can't protect my kids from the world or ensure their understanding. I can rely on God's faithfulness in knowing the heads and hearts of my children and sending the Holy Spirit to direct the words that come from my mouth to their ears.
Grief has given me an acute awareness of the brevity of earthly life. Because of that knowledge, I try to treasure each moment and each relationship just a little more. The dark side of this reality is that I also face daily this feeling of dread, that the ones I love are not safe from death.
Once upon 8 years ago, a handsome college freshman found my phone number, called himself a "woo" and became my best friend. Just a couple weeks later, we went on our first date.
Out of nowhere, my son called to me and said, “Look, Mama! A butterfly!” He found my hand and jumped up into my lap. His little body held me down in the chair and pulled my head back into reality. I stopped to watch the butterfly with him.
I can't think of a better way for to honor Eric and share love on Valentine's Day and the anniversary of his death than to renew my resolution and give blood to those who need it. Will you join me?
Eric loved to dance and he took every opportunity to sway with me to the music. Sometimes it was pretty and sweet like a waltz, peaceful and pleasant to behold. Other times (a lot of times) it was more like a passionate tango as both of us fought to take the lead, and often made others uncomfortable. We glided over smooth surfaces in lovely outfits but also tripped on tiny toys with spit-up everywhere. We zig-zagged and jumped to music videos with our littles. Here are a couple of my favorite dancing memories.