October Skies

Cloudy or Sunny

So often I dread October because it’s the month my daughter passed away. I dread what I once loved – the season change bringing in a beautiful landscape of color across the land. Picking out a Halloween costume to wear while handing out candy to trick or treaters. Transitioning into the holidays with Brittany’s birthday and newly fallen snow.

In the early years after my daughter’s death, I saw things very differently. I began to dread October. It became the start of the dark season in my life and I found myself longing for a type of “hibernation” much like a bear does to avoid the long cold winter. I know some of you might resonate with that last statement. I didn’t spend too long there and while October still brings sad memories for me, but I now live in a warm climate and many of the triggers are no longer present. What I see now are palm trees and beaches. Moving to Florida has been good for me. My writing has been more inspired by the beauty of the gulf. The serenity that the waves bring. I find a sense of peace at the beach more than any other place. That has been good for my healing.

Let me explain. I have found that removing myself from some of the memories has been the best decision thus far. Not to say that it would work for others, but for me, understanding how I grieve and how I survive – it works. I have created a special place to honor my girl. It’s all about her and it is fluid like the clear running water of a spring stream. It’s there when I need it to be and while I don’t look at it daily, I know it is there, ever present when I need it to be. It moves with me when I move and stays just outside of my vision. Only when I feel the need to look over, do I see it and feel she is there. This doesn’t work for everyone. Some need that final resting place to go to. Some I know visit the graves of their lost children daily. Her father and I chose to cremate our daughter understanding how much we move about that keeping her with us was the right choice – for us.

During the first couple of years I spend a great deal of time creating a memory scrapbook with pictures of her. I also have created a memory book of the most precious of pictures over her life. I also created a book of poems and art work she created. My family heirloom hope chest protects some of the most treasured items I have left of Britt’s. That is always available when I need to grieve.

When I feel it swell up in my throat to the point that I cannot swallow. I know it’s coming. The symptoms are subtle but they creep up and at some point, I have to acknowledge it. Grief has seasoned me that way. I have learned to respect it. Not saying there is anything about it that is ok. It’s not. But I have learned to move with it, lean into it and at times, all out immerse myself in it.

Grief is and always will be part of my life. It has been the great teacher and mentor of how I live my life now. I live life differently now and it’s because I understand how fragile it is. How often we take it for granted. I respect grief. I allow it to enter my soul and have its way. Then I say enough and I take back my heart and dust off my pain and go to the water where I know my soul speaks. I accept what has happened. Not without questions. I still ask them today. But I, like my daughter, live life to the fullest because that is life. Much like spring. I’ll write about that next time.

Until next time


New Book Choice Revealed

Good morning and happy Sunday

I have chosen a new book to blog through and I hope you all will find my thoughts, my insight and my heart poured out for you helpful. This book I’m about to share with you has been read many times over the past four years and I’m sure it will be many times again. Each time it has given me a new hope and new path to travel and it is my hope that you will obtain this book for yourself and let the words of this author reach out and touch you the way she has me.

The name of the book is “Grieving Forward” Embracing Life Beyond Loss by Susan Duke. I have had several email contacts with her over the years and she has been very helpful to me in creating my own outlet, this blog and my own book, by encouraging me and being a supportive mentor.

I’m very busy now as I have gone back to school to complete my masters in nursing leadership. So yes I will be very busy, but not busy enough that I won’t be writing weekly here. This blog still serves as a healing place for me to put it all out there and until it no longer serves a purpose, I’ll keep writing. And I hope you keep reading.

So here is an introduction to Susan Duke and her amazing story:

In October 1990 Susan Duke received the worst news of her life. Her son, Thomas, had been in an accident. After she reached the hospital it was very clear that the accident had been a serious one.  After a short while the doctor came out and gave her the news that changed her life from that moment on. Her 18 yr old son was gone.

I can’t even begin to share with  you all how much her story resonates with mine. Her thoughts, her fears, her faith, her resilience and her steadfast determination to move forward. Susan’s book was life-changing for me. Her words seem to speak how I felt. The pain I suffered through and the glimpses of God, even in the early moments after Brittany’s death – I was able to see.

In the preface on page 11 Susan quotes Elie Wiesel whose words keep me writing and telling  my story – because it is in all of our stories that we find healing can be brought to those who follow in our footsteps and sadly there will be more to follow.

“Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his duty.” – Elie Wiesel (1994) Healing After Loss

So I write……

until next time