Empty Page

I have not written a post in a while and I can’t really explain why other than when I sit down to write, nothing comes out. It used to pour out of me like water flowing from a jug. Writing was effortless. Pain does that. When in the fire, words come so easily. Without really any true effort, the posts just kept coming, week after week and month after month.

Now I am faced with this empty page that I have been staring at for weeks, maybe even months. I’m stuck. I’m stuck in the mud. I exist somewhere between the sorrow of a broken heart and a life I’m trying to fit into. Every word is hard. Every thought is like sludge. Nothing really comes out worth writing about.

This empty page is representative of where I am right now in this moment. Some of it is grief, some of it fighting off the demons of grief, some of it is tired of grief. Grief is exhausting and when it’s “that time of year” it’s grueling. I just don’t want to think about it. But my body has a mind of it own and says “this is you and this is what happened to you” – own it. But I don’t want to anymore.

Grief is all I’ve know for the past 30+ years. All types of grief. And at varying stages. It’s worn me down. I’m tired. This time every year I am at war with grief. I don’t want it anymore. I just don’t want to think about. But yet it returns and creates havoc over my life until it settles in for the long winter months of hibernation.

So while this seems a bit “dark” and I can imagine you might be concerned, don’t be. I go through this every year. Then it passes one day and the sun comes back out and I feel my heart begin to beat again.

It’s during these dark times, I keep busy, avoid it and try not to let it over take me. But as I am often reminded, grief never ceases. It has to be reconciled. God put me on this path for a reason. One that I plan on asking him about one day. For what purpose has all of this suffering been for. I can’t even bring myself to think about it all. One day I may know but for now I just write so people know they are not alone when these dark days loom over them. They will come and they will go.

The choice is always to take a deep breath and move through it, write about it and send it on it’s way.

Until next time,


Grieving Mother’s Day

As I sit here contemplating another Mother’s Day to endure, I cannot help but think about the many thousands of other grieving mothers who are experiencing this Mother’s Day from the perspective of loss.

I remember the first Mother’s Day after my mother’s death in late 1988. I had just given birth to my daughter and it was my first Mother’s Day – but the absence of my mother clouded that day for me. I struggled to celebrate for myself. This was a critical milestone in my life having just had my daughter just two months after my mom passed away at the age of 48. I felt the loss of my mom like no other. I needed her during this time in my life more than any other.

As the years waned on, I began to enjoy Mother’s Day because I had this beautiful girl who loved making me gifts each year to celebrate Mother’s Day. She was God’s gift to me. Once she became ill and diagnosed with a chronic illness, I struggled to understand why her. Why me. In a more global perspective – just why?

As many of you know, in October 2006, my daughter, and only child, passed away at the age of 17. She was one month shy of her 18thbirthday and a senior in high school. So again, I found myself struggling to breathe and especially on holidays. The first holidays were the worst.

Mother’s Day will forever be the worst day of them all. Some of you who read this will, unfortunately, understand this. Some of you never will. If you have not experienced this much loss, you cannot know nor could you understand. This is the time we need to have our greatest support from family and friends. The struggle is so profound. No matter how many years pass, the pain is still there. It always will be.

What I’ve learned over the years is that grief makes people uncomfortable. Especially those not directly impacted. It’s so important to stand with your friend or family member to support them. If you are the griever reading this – please reach out to someone who understands and can validate your sorrow. It’s real. If you are a friend or family member – go be with that person. Understand they are hurting no matter how many years have passed since their loss.

The world stands still on this day for so many mothers. The memories of their babies, children, adult children – all flashing back to the day when they were still alive. At the end of each Mother’s Day they are reminded of their absence in their life and we must be there to support, hug, love on them. Even those of us who are walking the same journey.

To all you mothers out there – Happy Mother’s Day. We celebrate you and your gifts to the world. I know this is hard for you, but take in the great joy of giving life to this world and spend time remembering the good memories with your child. Say their name, write in your journal, tell their story here in the comments below. Celebrate them.

Until next time,




The Lifespan of Grief

I remember when I heard the news of the father from Sand Hook, who had lost his young daughter to gun violence in the devastating shooting at Sand Hook Elementary, took his own life I knew this was going to be a topic I needed to blog about. Then around the same time the news of a young lady who had survived the Parkland School shooting had taken her life too. The thought weighed heavily on my mind – how do we address survivor’s guilt. It is part of the lifespan of grief. For those left behind and I felt compelled to write about it from my perspective.

Below I have provided some details around survivor’s guilt and some symptoms to watch for. The references are also listed for your use should you feel the need to review.

The lifespan of grief crosses over into many facets and timelines. Grief looks different at one day and one year; or 365 to 366 days; or birthdates, angel dates, or special occasions. If you peeked into the world of a griever you’d find a story that looks a little different at each point. If you peel back any part of the journey there may be a little bit of survivor’s guilt that looks a little different than the one referenced above and outlined below.

Personally, I asked God on numerous occasions why Brittany. Why couldn’t it have been me. She was a young and smart girl growing up into a beautiful human being, one that this world needs more of desperately. I was plagued by my own version of survivor’s guilt. It took me quite a while to get passed that. Many therapy sessions and talks with God to get my head straight. It was her time. It was not mine. A hard pill to swallow. God whispered I still need you here to do work. Still today I hear this faint whisper.

Wrestling with survivor’s guilt and grief is a daily, weekly, monthly and lifelong journey. It’s vital to get the support you need to find the space where you can breathe again. Where you can find purpose again. And you will. You can. The work is hard. Joy can return. And it will. I can promise you that.

Below are some excerpts from Psychology Today’s article on Survivor’s Guilt.

Survivor’s Guilt

In a recent article from Psychology Today, Survivor’s Guilt was defined as: something that people experience when they’ve survived a life-threatening situation and others might not have. It is commonly seen among Holocaust survivors, war veterans, lung-transplant recipients, airplane-crash survivors, and those who have lived through natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, and floods.

What Everyone Should Know About Survivor’s Guilt

Symptoms of Survivor’s Guilt can manifest themselves in several ways. A few examples are listed below:

  • Having flashbacks
  • Feeling irritable
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling immobilized, numb, and/or disconnected
  • Being unmotivated
  • Feeling helpless
  • Having an intense sense of fear
  • Experiencing physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and palpitations
  • Having suicidal feelings

In truth, it’s not logical for someone to feel responsible for another person’s fate, but guilt is not something we necessarily have any control over. However, survivor’s guilt is a normal response to loss. Not everyone experiences this type of guilt, but it’s often a feeling that is difficult to shake. It’s been said that some people are more prone to it, such as those with a history of depression and low self-esteem.

Here are some coping tips if you (or someone you know) is experiencing survivor’s guilt:

  • Give yourself time to grieve.
  • Consider thinking about who was responsible, if anyone.
  • Remember to take care of yourself physically and psychologically.
  • Think about what those who are close to you are feeling about the situation.
  • Remind yourself that you were given the gift of survival and feel good about it.
  • Try to be of service to someone or something.
  • Remind yourself that you’re not alone.
  • Be patient.
  • Share your feelings with those you trust.
  • Try to stick to a daily routine.
  • Consider journaling your feelings.
  • Get professional help, as needed.

If you find yourself needing to talk to a professional, there are many sites with recommendations for therapists near you. Check your insurance website for a list as well. It’s important to talk about your feelings and help sort things out. You are NOT alone!


Until next time,



One of my most meaningful Good Friday memories happened at Grace Church in Carmel, Indiana. We chose to reenact the events that led to Christ’s death and resurrection. There were multiple rooms or stations where you could experience one part of the story. There were several that stick out in my mind today:

The Last Supper: the food did not taste too good, in fact I recall it was very bitter. But in prayer and meditation I could imagine sitting at the table with Jesus and enjoying the company and conversation.

The Cross: I was brought to my knees and cried at the cross as it laid across the platform of steps in one room. Simply displaying what we all know it meant. I recalled in that moment Brittany’s death and hung onto the fact of what I knew Easter means – Christ’s resurrection and the understanding that I will see my Brittany again. I imagined her sitting with Jesus at that moment and my life changed in a moment. I was able to breath again.

The Foot Washing Station: This was a humbling experience. While I opted not to participate I watched as many of the volunteers washed the feet of many. Including a Colts football player. I was struck by the sheer joy of those who washed feet and the humbling looks on those who were receiving such a peaceful moment by a giving spirit.

I tried to imagine myself in each scenario and meditated and prayed.

I was a changed person after this experience and grateful to Grace Church for being bold and showing us how to “feel” and “touch” Good Friday.

Many Blessings and a happy Easter.


What’s next….

I have been thinking about the future of this blog for a couple of months. I will be honest I have some level of ambivalence. At some level I feel I’ve said it all. In fact, one morning when I was feeling a little sorry for myself ,I wanted to just post in big letters “I’ve nothing else to say”. When really I have a lot to say. I just don’t want to.

It doesn’t feel good to think about the deep hole that resides in my heart. It doesn’t feel good to look back and dredge up old memories (good or bad). Here’s the thing… the good memories are fading. As the years wane on, the memories become less vivid. The memories of the good times or the bad times – all fading away. I find unless I put a lot of energy around it – I can go through my day-to-day and not think about how hard it is. When I do – it’s beyond painful.

I’ve been tempted lately to spend a day watching old videos and going through her things. I don’t have much but what can fit in a 3×2 foot box. A lot of memories packed into a small space. I kept only the most treasured items – things that she loved or cards from so many after her Celebration of Life. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about going through it. I feel like I need to do that and do it soon.

Perhaps that will be the motivation for my next post.

Until next time,




For many years now I have recommended to everyone that writing, whether it be in a handwritten journal or on-line blog, can be cathartic for a grieving soul. It has always been an outlet for me to express my pain and sorrow. In the early days there was a lot of pain and sorrow. It needed an outlet. I was motivated to write because I could feel the words pour out of my broken heart and onto the page. I got some level of comfort with each word.

As a seasoned griever, I find the words don’t come as easy. I have nothing new to say. I struggle to write anything that might be helpful to anyone. And then it dawned on me. I have been avoiding my grief for a long time. I stay so busy. I work hard. I play hard. I avoid hard. I remember how difficult this journey has been and the toll it’s taken on my heart and soul over the years. Quite frankly, I’m tired of it. Problem is I can’t run away from it.

Trust me, I’ve tried and all I’ve done is push it away. It’s still there. lying deep within my soul waiting for a time to resurface. This is where I can control how and when it happens. If I wait until it chooses to resurface and it comes as a complete surprise, it can be devastatingly difficult to overcome. But if I acknowledge it and express it through writing, I choose how the grief is released. I choose.

I can’t tell you how important it is for you to control this journey. Choose to write. Choose to talk. Choose to live. Choose to honor. Choose to overcome. Choose to comfort. Choose to bless. Choose to breathe out life.

Until next time,



This post is my sixth and final installment from my series Grief and Essential Oils. The topic for today’s post is about facing every day with a positive outlook – somedays that can take an extraordinary amount of bravery. Valor is nicknamed the “brave oil”. I use it as a perfume or when I head to the dentist (lol). Valor can be used to create a sense of empowerment, confidence and to foster energy balance.

Walking the journey of grief takes courage, positivity, a support system and a long-term commitment to taking one step at a time towards healing. I know my heart will be forever broken having lost my one child, my mother and grandmother. I also know God heals. I feel it every day. But I have skin in the game. I must do my work to continue moving forward and healing every day. I use many tools in my grief toolbox to help with this and essential oils is part of that toolbox. Journaling and grief support with other mothers who’ve lost their children help me so much.


Valor essential oil blend is one of the most popular products at Young Living and a favorite of founder D. Gary Young. Its woodsy, positive scent comes from a blend of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense. Valor is great for massages, in addition to other topical and aromatic uses.

Use it to greet each morning with a positive attitude or to unwind at the end of the day. Its powerful yet calming scent is versatile enough that you can integrate it into your morning and bedtime routines and anywhere in between.

How to use Valor™:

Topical:Apply 2-4 drops directly to desired area. Dilution is not required, except for the most sensitive skin. Use as needed.

Aromatic:Diffuse 1 hour 3 times daily. You may also use one drop on your hands and create a cup from your hands and bring to your face to breathe in to help connect with your inner self.

Caution: Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.

When you use essential oils every day you will notice subtle changes in your thoughts and emotions. Learning to release negative thoughts and feelings creates the space for positive and joyful memories to emerge which will help to move you along in your grief journey and find moments of joy and gratitude again. It takes time and with consistent application of meditation, essential oils and journaling you’ll begin to experience more frequent moments of joy and gratitude.

Until next time,