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Showing posts from January, 2017

Grief, Flashlights and Hope

I don't know what brought you here to this blog. I don't know who you've lost or who you are missing. I don't know about your regrets in grief or if you are running or walking this journey.

Here is what I do know, I'm glad you are here.

I'm sorry you've been through so much to make it here but I'm glad we have each other. I want to sit here and remind you that you can do this. You can do those hard things on this grief journey no matter how impossible it seems.

You see after almost six years on this journey is that grief shows up around every corner trying to darken your path. It causes you to want to stumble at times, give up or lose your way. Then hope appears like a spot light.

So you get back up from where grief left you in that dark place. Get back on that beaten path that so many of us have traveled before and so many will travel after us. Then when it gets dark again, look around and there you will realize what appeared to be a big spot light tha…

Hold Me Close

When my Mom was sick she said she wanted me to put her ashes in jewelry.

I very jokingly and lovingly told her she pestered me so much now why in the world would I want to carry her around with me everywhere I went. I will never forget how hard we laughed standing in the hallway and she said, "Nik, I'm going to pester you even after I'm gone."

Now here I am wanting nothing more than to wish she was here with me to go everywhere by my side. I often times consider carrying her urn with me but my fear is that it will open and she will go flying everywhere in the truck.

It's a joke, not the taking her with me but the ashes flying everywhere part. You are allowed to laugh about grief, cremation, ashes and urns after you lose your Mom.

I've searched lately for jewelry that was pretty enough for everyday occasions and didn't look like a necklace urn. I came across this beautiful necklace today and wanted to share it with you in case you are searching for somethi…

A Letter To My Hairdresser About My Grief

I've sat in your chair at least a hundred times. I've sat there and at least a hundred times you've listened to me as I've shared stories about my Mom, my grief, my loss, my fears and my journey. At least a hundred times you've cried with me, laughed with me and hugged me when I talk about my Mom.

I've left that chair feeling beautiful, encouraged, not alone and like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I've left that chair feeling normal on my grief journey.

I've shared stories about her with you and it didn't even matter that you never met her. You ask questions about her and care about her because while I'm in that chair, she becomes your Mom too.

I've sat in that chair on some of the hardest days in my grief journey knowing that you would never look at me any differently. Knowing I would get out of that chair and leave feeling like a better person on the inside and outside.

To my hairdresser that reminds me every time I am in that …

This One's For You Mom

I've had this decoration that meant so much to my Mom in my closet for over five years now. 
Recently I hear about a local Mom that became a single Mom of three.She had many needs to help her get through. Little things that we take for granted.
As I was putting together a box of things for her this decoration came to mind.
I knew I needed to give it to her for encouragement. That's what my Mom would want me to do with it, give it to someone else that could use it.
I wrote a note telling her about my Mom, about this decoration and the story of my Mom raising me as a single Mom.
I love being able to pass something on of my Moms that can be an encouragement to someone else and give me a chance to tell the story of her.
The one where she is strong, she loved us unconditionally, she was a giver and showed us how to face an obstacle with faith and a good sense of humor.
Not the story of how cancer took her from us.
The other story about her that matters most, her giving heart.

The Things My Children Taught Me About Grief

I've always wondered how I would get them to love someone they've never met.
Wondered how I would explain to them that we want to love those that are here and in Heaven so much but one day we will lose them. That we love people even though we know we will one day lose them because loving others even with that risk expands our hearts. It makes us better people, better friends, better all around.
The funny thing about it is I didn't even have to explain it to them. They just loved her even though they never met her.
They call her Nana and talk about her as if they've known her for years. They don't know any other address for her other than Heaven and that doesn't bother them.
I was so worried about teaching them to love someone we've already lost and they taught me a thing or two instead.

Salt Water Grave Marker

I was always so jealous of those that had a headstone to go visit. 
After you left us we didn't have a place to go sit and talk with you. A place to go decorate or watch the sunset with you.
Now we finally have that place

I can finally sit and watch the sunset, tell you about my day and let the sand tickle my toes.
Others now have a place to come and visit with you.
This has to be the best feeling in the world. One I didn't realize how much I was missing until I finally felt it. •


Unexpected Blessing

Things don't always go as planned.

Sometimes they go even better and that's just what happened today.

Today was a special day for a sweet friend of mine. A few years ago on this day her Mom took her first breath in Heaven.
I bought the balloon and planned on releasing it and sending her a picture.

My morning didn't go as planned and suddenly by lunch time I realized we hadn't released the balloon. I decided we should just make a day out of it. I was going to take this small balloon and piece of her Moms memory around with me for the day.
We took my son to school, went to the store, came back to my house and picked my son up.
To some this might sound silly but it kept her and her Mom on my mind all day by having that balloon in the car with me. ❤️ 

A Motherless Daughters Advice To Those That Still Have Their Mom

You've heard it all before I 'm sure if you've ever spoken to someone young or old that has lost their own Mom. From the "Tell your Mom you love her" or "Make sure and call her every day." Very sound advice however when you actually lose your Mom those things won't matter. You will know your Mom knew you loved her no matter what, especially if you are a Mom yourself when you lose yours. Calling her everyday will be nice but it won't help you recall the sound of her voice or laughter once she's gone.

Here are a few things I suggest you do and that I wish I had done if you still have your Mom. I wish I had found a list like this when my own Mom was sick.

1. Record videos-Record them of everyday things with her your Mom, with you in it or with just her in it. Record her cooking, tending to a garden, or simply sitting with you. Make sure you get the sound of her voice and catch her contagious laugh on there. You see pictures are great however yo…

We Found Her Resting Place

Yesterday was tough, I've had tough days in grief. I find myself facing them better and better as the years go on and I know she would be proud of me for that. Through laughter and tears we found the perfect place to lay my Mom's ashes.  I share this personal side that way there isn't another 25 year old girl sitting at the computer searching, pleading for someone to tell her she isn't alone in being motherless. The young girl begging someone to tell her what her grief will look like in a few months or years. Someone to tell her she can face tough days in her grief because she is strong. I want someone that is deep in the trenches of grief and can't see the light to see that there is hope and joy in grief and life is beautiful after your loss. Here is the reality, there is a chance you or someone you know has lost a parent or someone they love dearly too soon. The reality is this will be you one day and I pray it's years from now and that you have so many happy memo…

Road Trip with Mom's Ashes

Today we took my Mom on a little road trip with us. This is life when you lose a parent too young. This is real life with grief, coping, healing and learning to laugh every minute of it that you can. My brother and I drove around with her ashes in the seat while we sang along to all her favorite songs. We took her favorite drive to the beach where we would later let her go. Today was extremely emotional. Tonight I'm showing you the laughter and the joy. The side where my brother and I laughed so hard because I buckled my Mom into the car seat. You can see her back there in the little box all buckled in.  The part where we could care less about what others might think about how we are dealing with our grief. In the next few days I'll show you the emotional side from today. It was messy. For now enjoy this stroll down memory lane with us and our Mom and all her favorite songs. #loss#grief#beach#music#imissyou#youshouldbehere#support#healing#crying#motherless#motherlessdaughters#mom

Ashes to Ashes

If I had to rate my hardest days thus far today would be on the list of the top five on my grief journey. I get to see my Mom again today after five years. I'm nervous I changed my outfit a million times and finally settled on one with a hat because she liked me in them. I want to look my best for her today. I'm not sure what I will say to her or how I will feel when we see each other. I know she will look different and I will too. It's not how I imagined getting to see her again. I wish seeing her again meant I could hug her or hold her hand. I wish seeing her again meant she was still here and not just ashes in a box. Today I'm going to face this hard day in grief. Today I'm going to feel every bit of emotion and cry it all out. Today I'll show grief I know how to be braver and stronger than it could ever be. I'll miss you forever Mom.

Front Porch Mountain Memories

If I could go back and pick moments in time that I could forever picture in my mind, this would be one of them.

What might seem just like a porch to you is so much more to me.
It's the front porch with the swing my grandmother and I would sit in every morning when I was young.

It's the front porch with the swing where I could sit with her and cast all my cares and burdens on the Lord out loud while she would just hold my hand and swing with me.

It's the porch I would eat soup beans and homemade cornbread on during hot summer nights and the front yard was covered in fireflies.

It was our spot

On that front porch swing with my Margie it's where I knew all was right with the world.
I'll never get to have her in that swing with me again but I'll have the view in pictures.
Every time I'll let my mind take me to that place where she sat on the left and I was in the middle by her side and all the world was right.


New Year's Resolution for the Motherless Daughter

Five years ago before losing my Mom, my New Year's Resolution list would have looked a lot different.

It wouldn't have involved grief, helping others, or random acts of kindness.

I hate to even admit that but it's honest, I was different before losing her. I wouldn't be who I am today if I wouldn't have had her as my Mom and lost her. Therefore I have a tendency to make my resolutions more about others than myself.

Because I've changed my priorities and New Year's resolutions have changed.

1. Talk about my Mom more.
2. Share my grief more to help others.
3. Keep telling grief how this story will go.
4. Spread more kindness to help keep her memory alive.
5.Love the heck out of everyone around me and know that everyone is simply doing the best they can.
6. REPEAT all above every single day of the year and not just for a New Year's resolution.

A Letter to the Motherless Daughters on New Year's Day

Dear Fellow Motherless Daughters on New Year's Day,

Every new year brings so many mixed emotions, I know, I get it.

One minute you are so excited about the upcoming new year and all its possibilities. Eager to let of all the grief and loss that so heavily weighed you down last year. You are ready to breathe in all the new memories and breathe out all the ones that made your heart feel heavy.

Yet, in some way you don't want to let go of it no matter how painful it might have been. You are scared to let go because that means it's another year further away from the last time you saw her, felt her hug or heard her say "I love you."

I don't know what the New Year will be look like for you. I don't know if it will be one filled with more tears or less. I don't know if it will be one filled with more laughter and joy or less. I don't know if it will be one filled with more losses or none at all.

I don't know if this will be the year you can finally l…