Hello From the Other Side

I have a confession: I didn’t fully believe my mourning birds.

I’m talking about the birds behind this blog. The birds that came to me and were like, hey, Poppins! HELLO.

HELLOgiphy

And I was like, Hi?

And they were like, We are your blog’s omen. (Who knew blogs had omens.)

So, I looked it up. Mourning doves represent: MOTHERHOOD, LOVE, AND HOPE AFTER LOSS.

Lovely, right? This is the catch. I DIDN’T FULLY BELIEVE THIS OMEN. I was grieving. I was like, hi, you and your “hope and change” makes for a nice slogan my feathered friends. But I am not with you. Not yet.

I was like, They say that time’s supposed to heal ya, but I aint’ done much healing…

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Ok I promise, no more Adele lyrics.

Back to those birds: hope, love, blah blah blah. It still felt so far away.

That is, until recently. I’ve had nothing short of a huge shift. A release of grief. A changing of the season of my heart.

I realized yesterday that I have only been writing this blog since November.  I’ve only been writing for four months but it seems like it must be longer because so much has shifted in that time.

I know that the writing played a role in that shift. It helped me to transmute this pain, to take the heavy stuff and perform creative alchemy.

I had a hunch about something and I checked: it turns out that there are more blog posts tagged with love and hope than are tagged with grief. Even in the midst of that pain I was feeling the love.

There is so much I want to share with the dozen of you lovely humans who read my blog. I’ve started drafting some posts about the healing process. Some of it is pretty intense and to be honest, downright spiritual. I will share soon.

But in the meantime, it feels really good to say…

….HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE!

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(I know, I promised…I just couldn’t resist. What can I san, it’s quite possible that Adele is also my spirit animal.)

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Navigating the Holidays After Loss

It has taken three Christmases, two Easters and numerous birthdays and anniversaries since my mom passed away, but I think I finally found that elusive HOLIDAY SWEET SPOT, that place where I am able to incorporate memories of my mom into a holiday celebration without repeating the Great Christmas Eve Meltdown of 2015.

(That holiday ended with Chinese take-out. Nope, most definitely not the original menu plan.)

Until now, most holidays have played out something like this:

  1. I must remember ALL THE RECIPES my mom made for [insert holiday] and recreate them! OMIGOD THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.
  2. Holy cow, I have a lot of shopping to do. Must make list.
  3. I finally made my list, awesome. No time to buy all this today but that is ok. I made the list!
  4. PHEW, I FINALLY GOT ALL THE INGREDIENTS. <collapses.>
  5. Crap, I have to make how many different recipes? (Counts in head…yep, nearly half a dozen.)
  6. I am so sad. Ugh, I can’t stand anticipatory grief. Grief just from thinking about how the grief is coming, how unfair is that. [Insert holiday] is not the same without mom. This sucks.
  7. You mean making all these recipes won’t magically bring my mom back/make grief less hard/capture all the magic of all the years of my life?? SCREW THIS!
  8. I bought all the stuff. Must make at least one dish. I’ll choose the one containing chocolate, butterscotch, sugar and corn syrup. (<—Note: ACTUAL ingredients in one of my mom’s recipes. Amazingly, she did not die of diabetes.)
  9. I ate too many of the desserts containing corn syrup. I feel like crap. This is nothing like the way mom did [insert holiday]. I am going to weep into my sugary dessert.
  10. Holidays are the WORST. Must not do this to myself again.

Yeah, as you can see I definitely make sure to always manage expectations and be gentle with myself during the holiday season.

Oh boy.

Easter just rolled around and I was determined to chill the heck out. This was a good holiday to practice on because it doesn’t hold the heavy expectations of Christmas, and if all fails, well, chocolate.

Want to hear my brilliant plan? I decided I was going to make only ONE of my mom’s recipes.

That’s it. I don’t want to give away the punch line or anything, but guess what: that’s the sweet spot.

I know: MIND BLOWN.

Let me walk you through what this looked like:

  1. I am only picking ONE recipe. ONE. Which one contains the most butter and carbs? BINGO: cheesy potatoes it is.
  2. Must buy ingredients. Awesome, I only need to pick up a few things, including corn flakes. (Every great family recipe contains corn flakes.)
  3. Time to cook. Only one ingredient requires more than opening and pouring a container!  (Must chop an onion. Look at me, I’m crying, but not from grief!)
  4. Not to brag or anything but I am basically rocking this. Yep, just throwing this dish together at 8am on Easter, but in a laid back way, not a frantic “must-find-way-to-honor-my-dead-mother” sort of way.
  5. Why, this is so easy even a child can do it!  Just had the three-year-old help by stirring ingredients for a full ten seconds. Memory-making complete.
  6. Dish prepped and in the fridge. I can relax now? This is weird. Very, very weird.
memory-making, 30 seconds at a time. (Toddler clothing is optional.)

That was it. I mean, yes, I had to open the oven door and insert delicious cheesy potato goodness into the oven, and then remove it an hour later, but really that was it. 

That. Was. It. 

This less-stress, more joy approach seems to be much better than setting ridiculous expectations and crumpling into a grief pile when it all fails.

It seems that when you honor your loved one in simple ways—and leave enough space to enjoy the honor—you might even end up having a magical moment.

At dinner, when I bit into my potatoes I felt so much love…my heart was flooded with memories of my mom and this recipe that donned so many holiday tables. It was beautiful.

(Sure, it doesn’t hurt that the recipe is also hits all the pleasure points–butter! carbs! sour cream! cheese! But I digress.)

check out these potatoes. I should be a food blogger with recipes as awesome as this.

This, my friends, is progress. I am hoping for a repeat performance with Mother’s Day. And hopefully I will have fully honed the technique by the time Christmas rolls around.

Pick one dish. Keep it simple. Feel the love. 

Cheesy potatoes for the win.
 

 

For the Love of Family

I am most definitely emerging from THE GREAT FUNK OF 2016. (Unfortunately not a throwback ’70s band but a very sad and grief-y series of months.)

Making it through to the other side? Oh it feels so good.

When I was deep in the muck I drafted a post about family. How awesome it is and how I couldn’t get through hard stuff without it and omigod can someone please pass me some Kleenex?

Yeah I wasn’t quite ready to write that post. Too emotional. Too much love.

So here I am, back to finish what I started.

Family. THEY ARE THE BEST.

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Where is this chocolate you speak of? Photo source (creative commons license).

So far, no need for tissues. I will continue. 

Recently my brother-in-law, his wife and their adorable two-year-old came to stay with us for almost two weeks. This long-ago planned visit happened to coincide within days of me finding out I was miscarrying.

To quote my sister, the visit was going to be either really good for me or really disastrous. (Love my sister, she tells it like it is.)

Know what? It was really, really good. The polar opposite of disastrous.

They were awesome and totally in-tune to the situation, offering to give space and distance and I’m sure chocolate if I had asked nicely.

The funny thing is, even though I usually burrow deep into the ground during hard times, I didn’t want space or privacy this time around. I wanted family 24-7 to love and embrace me. They did and it was nothing short of wonderful.

During their visit, our kids played together and fought over toys and chased each other with balloons. Meanwhile us adults lounged around and caught up on each others’ lives. We shared meals, tucked our kids into bed and watched Community and Six Feet Under. We talked about the hard stuff. The challenges of parenting, marriage, and yes, even conceiving a second child.

For many years, burrowing worked well-enough when the goal was to shut out further pain. Unfortunately the same door that shuts out the pain also shuts out a lot of people who would have been more than willing to help me through the hard times.

It feels good to be up here in the sunshine, with family.

Plus, I hear they keep the chocolate up here.

 

 

How Two Dreams Helped Me Cope with Pregnancy Loss

The first dream was two weeks ago:

I am in a bus. We are nearing the place that is in the snowy hill; it is beautiful out. I look up and see these huge white cranes, morphing, dancing in the sky. I point and tell everyone but nobody seems to see them.

My watercolor I painted after the dream. Now in my etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/listing/530542729/5-x-7-loss-support-crane-watercolor

The second dream quickly followed the first:

I am pregnant. My mom is with me. I start to have contractions and tell her I want to give birth at home….In the end I realize I am only three months along and I am not giving birth, and yet it is like I am, which confuses me. My mom was so willing to help and was ready to be a midwife and a doula for me. At the end dream I talk about making sure I have pads that are sanitary, whatever that means. 

The dreams initially confused me. On the one hand both felt joyful on some level. In particular, the dream with mom was so vivid that she seemed alive and fully present by my side. But the dreams also left me unsettled.

Now I know why.

The dreams foretold my miscarriage.

This pregnancy felt surreal from the beginning. After unsuccessfully trying to conceive for over a year I decided to begin acupuncture treatments for infertility. Within two months of treatments I suddenly found myself pregnant. I was elated but also a bit stunned. Could it be this easy?

The pregnancy came easily but physically didn’t feel right. The first few weeks were punctuated by spotting and occasional bleeding. Then, at seven weeks I ended up in the ER with bleeding. Late that night I found myself in a small dark room with an ultrasound tech. She found a heartbeat! But she also said the baby was measuring really small. Was I sure of the date of my last menstrual cycle? I was. Although I was skeptical that I had the dates wrong, I didn’t think much of it.

I was sent home with good news—good blood test results and a good ultrasound, albeit a due date that was later than I thought.

Not even a week later I had the two dreams. And then suddenly, no dreams. No dreams about baby. No dreams about motherhood. I felt uneasy. Why was I so full of energy? It shouldn’t be this easy, should it?  I mentioned this to my therapist when I saw her. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. She tells me that the other shoe doesn’t always drop.

Except when it does.

Several days ago I sat in another dark ultrasound room. My husband chatted with the tech as I watched the screen, noting the tech pause and click, pause and click, silently enlarging images. And I knew. I saw the tiny, curled still image and I knew there was no heartbeat.

The technician clasped my hand.

“I’m so sorry honey. It looks like the baby stopped growing about two weeks ago.”

Two weeks ago, when I had my dreams.

The crane dream, so beautiful. Could it symbolize my child being released from my womb, entering the spirit realm? (Come to find out, in many traditions cranes symbolize travel between realms and are thought to be carriers of souls.)

And then the dream with my mother. Alive by my side as a midwife and doula. Supporting me and guiding me through the miscarriage. The need for “sanitation” now clear—sanitary pads as I began to lose the pregnancy.

Immediately after the dreams I felt a deep malaise that I now recognize as sadness from the pregnancy loss. This “knowing” before consciously knowing about the miscarriage has helped me cope. It feels like I have already processed the loss on some level, because I have.

I decided to experience the miscarriage naturally rather than undergo a procedure, but I suppose my dream already predicted that. As I lose tissue and blood, I feel my mom’s spirit by my side as midwife and doula and I find solace in the image of my tiny baby’s spirit dancing in the sky with the cranes. The dreams have healed me and made this dark passage a little less difficult than it could have been.

Artwork my own – inspired by the dream. Full image can be viewed here (since wordpress cuts it off!).

You might also enjoy: An Ocean of Tears Larger than the Four Oceans

 

Finding My Village after Losing My Mom

The last few weeks I’ve found myself fantasizing about what it would be like to have my mom around. I doubt this is healthy, but it goes like this: I envision her showing up and going to work. She would get my kitchen really clean—sparkling, lemon-fresh clean. She would brush my daughter’s hair, patiently untangling it. She would spoil her only granddaughter with a special Valentine’s Day dress (something that I wouldn’t have the energy or time to consider buying). Even though I would say to her, mom you shouldn’t have, she would reply, That is what grandmothers are for.

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Image source.

She would treat me to lunch, just the two of us. She would spoil me by footing the bill for a pretty new dress or shirt, just because.  I would say, you don’t need to do this. And she would reply, I know, but I want to. And she would mean it.

Lovely as this dream is, it is not reality.

I’ve been lonely for family lately. In addition to my mom being gone, the rest of my alive-and-well-family feels really far away. There is a literal distance of over 1,000 miles. Sometimes that is not a big deal. We Facetime, we talk, and we see each other pretty frequently despite the distance. But it doesn’t replace having grandma down the road. Our far-away family can’t swoop in to babysit if an unexpected emergency comes up.

We know that we need a nearby, substitute family. We are working hard to build our village. Our list of sitters is slowly growing and we are forcing ourselves to forge connections with as many families and friends in our neighborhood as we can.

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Finding Community. Image source. 

I see this community as providing patches to a well-loved quilt that currently has some holes in it. 

Even though I might not like the fact that big, important pieces are missing from my quilt, it doesn’t mean I can’t try to patch it up, to blend old with new.

To be certain, there is no patch or series of patches that will repair the empty space that was held by my mother. That is not possible.  I see the new patches to the old quilt as being like those in a crazy quiltYou know, those folk-art type quilts that are sewn together with irregular shapes and sizes and using unique patterns and materials. (Hey, the name fits too. All families are a little crazy, right?!)

I’ve always liked the eclectic look of crazy quilts. There is beauty in its imperfection.

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A crazy quilt pattern up close. Source.

Which is not to say that I always fully embrace the new. Fantasies about my mom come from a place of resentment. For the fact that there are holes in the fabric of my family. For the fact that clinging to my old quilt just doesn’t work anymore.

The problem is that fantasies never accurately reflect what was or what could have been.

Let’s be honest: If my mom were alive and well, reality would look a little different than the fantasy I described.  For one thing, I’d likely be frantically cleaning before she arrived to my house (in order to save face, of course). And while yes, my mom would comb my daughter’s hair, she would likely also raise my ire by asking, “Don’t you ever comb this rat’s nest?!”

While it is very likely we would have lunch just the two of us, it’s also likely that when she would lean over to pass me the bread she would also tuck my hair behind my ear, commenting for the fifteenth-thousandth time that I should “Just pull my hair back so everyone can see my eyes!”

Imagining this revised scene makes me laugh and helps to slay some of the victim-hood.

It reminds me that there is no perfect quilt. Well-loved quilts always have a few frays.

Still, I miss her. Flaws and all.

—-

You might also enjoy: One Year After My Mom’s Death: Overthinking the Deathversary

 

 

 

It’s a “Bluetiful” Christmas

After we lit our Christmas tree this year, my nearly three-year-old daughter stood back and declared, “it’s bluetiful mommy!”

She didn’t realize it but her mispronunciation rang true. It is a blue Christmas. It’s a beautiful Christmas.

It is bluetiful.*

I am slowly, ever so slowly, starting to accept that bluetiful is the new normal.  That the moments of greatest joy—like Christmas—are also moments that carry so much loss.

Often it is in the little unexpected things. As I was meticulously placing the lights on the Christmas tree, I stepped back to assess (and ask my daughter for her opinion, as though a three-year-old has opinions about tree light placement). Not satisfied by the gaps in light coverage, I removed all the lights and started over so I could get it just right.  I then realized I was utterly and completely channeling my mother. I laughed and also shed a tear.

It was bluetiful.

As a kid I never understood all the sad Christmas songs. How could a holiday full of so much joy inspire so many sad tunes? And why did so many adults make such a fuss about the fact that I was so full of joy at Christmas time? How could it be so difficult, I used to wonder, to find the joy in the season?

Last year was a difficult Christmas. It was the second Christmas without my mom, and somehow it was much more difficult than the first year she was gone. I knew the first year would be hard. I expected difficult. But the second year, well I thought somehow it would magically all be OK again. And when it wasn’t, I was let down and angry.

This is the third Christmas without my mom. This year I am expecting the sad moments intertwined with the joy, like lights strung on the tree.

I know that I’ll tear up when I pull out the sweet Mickey Mouse ornament she purchased for me when I was not quite a kid anymore but not quite an adult.

I know that there be joy though, too. My daughter seems to have inherited my enthusiasm for the holiday. She marvels at the lights on houses, she points excitedly to any and all depictions of Santa Claus, and as she curls up on her pillow at night, she whispers “Santa Claus is coming!”

It is all so bluetiful.

I will do my best to delight in her unadulterated joy as I play (just a few) sad Christmas songs in the background. (And maybe even adjust the Christmas lights on the tree one  last time.)

How is your holiday season going? I hope it lands gently for those who are missing loved ones. -Sarah

*A tip of the hat to my favorite blogger of all time, Glennon Doyle Melton at Momastery who inspired me to see my own mashup by sharing her own (brutal + beautiful=brutiful)

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Ocean of Tears Larger than the Four Oceans

It has been a heart-wrenching couple of days.

On Sunday, my husband found out that his colleague’s wife and son were in a horrible car accident. This morning we received word that his son passed away from injuries sustained in the crash.

It is hard to type that sentence. It is an unthinkable loss that no parent should have to endure. I hardly know this family, and I am stunned and silenced by this grief.

I have cried so many tears these last two days. To the point that I wondered out loud to my sister, What is wrong with me? The kind soul that she is, she gently reminded me that as a mother, of course this loss would shake me. But she also reminded me that I have been steeped in grief these last few weeks. And this just stirred up the grief pot in a major way.

Of course she is right. Once I was able to step back from it, I could see that the steady stream of tears from the last few days is but one part of what has felt like a waterfall of grief. Grief after grief has poured forth over the last two months.

If I had to describe the theme of this autumn, it would be, “Sarah tends to unattended sorrows.”*

It makes sense why this grief has come on so strong. After two years of huge life changes (birth, moves, new house, new jobs), it is only recently that I have felt rooted and grounded enough to tend to the loss of my mom, who passed away two years ago. But what I wasn’t expecting was that a lifetime of unattended sorrows, losses, wounds and pains would come rushing in.

The Buddhists, ever on-top of this human condition stuff, have a term for this pouring forth of grief. They say that when you open the heart and tend to its needs, sometimes all the unattended sorrows are released. The result is “an ocean of human tears larger than the four oceans.”

So here I am, swimming in four oceans of tears.

Tears for this little boy. Tears for his mother who is recovering from her own injuries. Tears for his father. Tears for his sibling. Tears for my mother. Tears for my grandmother. Tears for my father. Tears for my childhood traumas and innocence lost. Tears for every damn loss I have ever felt. (Ok, that last one is probably an exaggeration, but that is how it has felt.)

I am (still) angry at death. Why is it so unjust? Why must a child die? Why must so many kind, loving people experience so much pain and suffering? It seems senseless. And seriously, I am sick and tired of these grief tears. I’d like only the happiness tears from now on, OK universe?

And yet, as I stomp my feet and blow into tissues, I know that the universe is like, sorry kid. You want to be “whole?” Well, that means you get the sad tears with the happy tears. Not one or the other. Both.

Healing and becoming whole is sneaky like that. Painful grief cracked my heart right open. But what I didn’t know was that in doing so it also provided more space for love, compassion, and yes, even joy.

https://img1.etsystatic.com/020/0/7127968/il_570xN.481648279_gqp0.jpg
Nope, I’m not the messenger of any profound life lessons. – Lisa Frank’s Unicorn

(I hate that about grief. Why can’t all our profound spiritual growth come packaged in Lisa Frank unicorn/kitten/rainbows instead of personal tragedies? Clearly I am not in charge of the universe.)

For now, I am taking comfort in the fact that this too shall pass. Until it does, more tears.

More than four oceans of tears, to be exact.

 

* The name of my autumn theme is basically lifted from Stephen Levine’s book of the same name, which if you haven’t read you should check out. It is amazing.

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Why I Started this Blog

I thought I’d take a moment to welcome you and to share a little bit about why I started Mourning Dove Motherhood.

The real reason sounds slightly crazy, but it is the truth, and I’m a truth-teller. So here it is.

The seeds of this blog came about on the first anniversary of losing my mom (aka “Deathversary”). In typical fashion, I overthought the day and ended up having a slightly hilarious time attempting to mourn my mother on the stinking beaches of sanibel island.

I wanted to make grand sense of it all. Why this suffering. Why this loss? It sure sucked and I was tired of it, damnit!

Well, the universe/aka my dead mother/aka the oneness of the allness responded to me (I warned you it gets weird) and basically was all, “Yes this all sucks and you can be sad but get it TOGETHER WOMAN. You need to write. Write like your life depends on it. Sit. Down. And. Write.”

So I sat down and wrote. (I mean, after all my begging for answers, I wasn’t about to ignore the all-powerful-universe’s advice.)

I drafted dozens of posts on an unpublished blog with no name. I wanted to see exactly what I was going to write about before I put it out into the world.

Well, it turns out I have a lot to say about motherhood and a lot to say about the loss of my mom. A lot of it is funny. Some of it is sad. All of it heals me.

As far as the name of the blog is concerned,  it is a result of my close encounters with a mourning dove, which then led me to read about the symbolism of mourning doves, which made me realize that mourning doves perfectly encapsulate what this blog is about: motherhood and hope after loss.

Hope after loss. Oh yes, and we can’t forget the toddler who pees in the dog bowl. She shows up a lot. She is a feisty, hilarious, loving child and she is constant fodder for my writing.

Welcome and I look forward to sharing with you. (You and the universe, that is.)

P.s. I’m glad you are here. If you are anything like me and spend more time on Facebook than anywhere else, feel free to like the Facebook page to see all the upcoming posts!

One Year After My Mom’s Passing: Overthinking the Deathversary

I’m just going to throw it out there: deathversaries are hard. There is no avoiding the grief that bubbles up. I knew that marking the first year without my mom would be difficult, so I planned a day with nothing to do other than take care of me. Well, that isn’t entirely true. I planned a Day, with a capital “D”.  A magical day of spiritual and emotional significance, that would allow me transcend space and time.  (Or something.)  For this first deathversary I planned to walk to beaches of Sanibel island, collect shells that would forever symbolize this day of hope, healing and renewal, and ponder the meaning of existence.

In retrospect, I should have settled for date with Netflix, some chocolate, and a trashy magazine. But that would have been too simple.

The day started promisingly enough. I woke to rain that stopped in the early morning. This made me giddy, since I’d heard that shelling conditions are ideal after a storm.

Now, never having shelled after a storm I have no idea if what I encountered that day was typical. If it was typical, God bless the hardcore shellers because they have earned every last stinking shell they find.

Let me emphasize the word stinking.

I arrived to my secret shelling spot that day, visions of whole conch shells dancing in my head. Instead, I found piles and piles of knobby, gnarly mussels. Tangled in seaweed. With the occasional piece of trash. I should clarify: these were piles of knotty, gnarly, rotting mussels. As far as the eye could see.

A wiser person might have shrugged it off, headed straight back to the car, and driven home. Not I. I carried on like a soldier. Somewhere, buried in the depth of rotting mussel flesh I was determined find my pearl.

Now, you might be thinking, Ok, the stink smell doesn’t sound ideal. But the shells! Glory be, I bet you found some great shells!

You would be sorely mistaken. I spent an hour walking the beach and found nothing more than some cats paws and a lot of jingle shells. These are rinky, dinky little shells. Child’s play.

I was disheartened, to say the least. The magical day was escaping me but it only made me even more upset. I didn’t feel peaceful, serene or contemplative. Hell, I wasn’t even feeling grief. I simply felt cranky and was being bitten alive by the bugs there were attracted to the stinking pile of mussels.

I found myself alone on a stretch of beach. I hadn’t really felt a connection to my mom all morning. I sat down and I said, mom, I want you to be with me.

She said, I am, I’m always with you.

(What likely remained unsaid by her was “…but why on earth did you pick a smelly beach as the place for us to hang out?!”)

Anyway, I frowned at the stinky piles of shells.

Stop looking for a special shell, she told me. You don’t need it to remember this day. Do you know how much you are loved?

At this point, I played along: How much am I loved, mom?

I absentmindedly picked up a huge pen shell that had hundreds of little gnarly barnacles on it.

You see all those barnacles – that is how many people love you – and even MORE. So many people love you, you can’t even begin to imagine. We are all rooting you on.

I felt the wave of love and I felt the urgency in my mom’s voice.

An hour after walking the stinky beach, and hour after being bitten by bugs, I finally felt anger. Anger at the injustice of it all. How it wasn’t fair that I didn’t have my mom to help me become a mom, and that my daughter didn’t have my mother to become her grandmother.

She said, I know, honey. It isn’t fair. You have had your share of injustices.

But. Yes, there was a but.

“But you know what you need to do.”

She was practically yelling now. I mean, it was like I was getting a stern lecture from across the deep abyss.

Sarah, you get your butt down and write. Write like your life depended on it.

I took the pen shell, walked back to the car, and later that night created this blog.* I went to the beach that day looking for a pity party. I looked for answers or deep meaning. But really, I knew in my heart that moving forward I had to write. The time of quiet, introverted grieving was over.

It has been a difficult year. I survived tough storms and I came out a little rough for the wear. It wasn’t the year of the shiny conch. It was the year of the gnarled, weathered pen shell–and let’s be honest, smelly shell– that washed ashore after the storm, holding reminders of love from many. A little rough for the wear but fully intact.

*(Ok, by create I mean “start drafting blog posts that will sit on my computer, unpublished for a year.” See this.)