Living w/ Grief

You will always grieve the one you lost. Always. No amount of time will change that. You need to hear something today though. They would want you to live. They would want you to be happy. Easier said than done, I know, but you have to try. I look at it this way and it helps me when it gets really hard. You are living for 2 now. Do the things that they didn’t get to. Be a blessing to others and do it in their memory. Give this life you have left live meaning and purpose. That doesn’t mean you won’t miss them. You will. That doesn’t mean they are forgotten. They aren’t. That doesn’t mean the void they left is gone. It isn’t. It means that you have decided to honor their life in the way you decide to live yours going forward.
Choose to live today.


When you are wondering what your purpose is:

You need seek God wholeheartedly about what HE wants for you. I promise He will show you! That being said, we have to remember that it’s all in His timing, not ours. He will show you when He believes you are ready. He started a good work in you and that WILL be finished. God says so, so it has to!

Forgiveness 3.0

I have written on this subject quite a bit. The reason for that is most likely because it’s something that has been top of mind for the last several years. Prior to losing my husband, I never really had to think about forgiveness very much, it just came naturally. It actually used to drive Jonathan crazy because he always thought that I let people take advantage of me. I just always had a forgiving heart.

My previous posts were about talking through forgiveness and the possible reasons why it was now so difficult for me. The reason for writing about this again is because I’m finally on a different side of the subject.

As much as I hated the fact that I wasn’t able to let go of certain things and as much as I tried, it just kept creeping back up. That told me that I hadn’t fully dealt with it. It finally became more than just wanting to be free from it; I needed to. The biggest struggle was that I wanted it to be real. I could say over and over that I had forgiven, but I was desperate for it to feel genuine. I realized that I had to set the feelings aside. You can’t trust your feelings, they change.

Much like (believe it or not) love is not about feelings, it is a choice, the same can be said for forgiveness. Love without action means nothing. I realized that I had to choose to forgive, regardless of how I felt. I made the decision, I wrote out some feelings that I needed to get out, I prayed for each person that I had been hurt by, and gave it over to God; for real.

Here is what really made all the difference for me. Forgiveness doesn’t negate what someone did, how they affected you, or made you feel. It doesn’t mean that suddenly it’s okay or that you magically forget what has happened. It doesn’t mean that you open your heart and life up to those people and let them walk back in. It’s actually best if you don’t if they aren’t safe or healthy for you. It’s about making peace with the past and being able to move forward from it.

Lastly, and most importantly, God commands us to forgive. Matthew 6:14-15 says that if you do not forgive others, your heavenly Father won’t forgive you. It’s also super important for you to understand that you don’t forgive solely for the other person, you do it for you. It’s essential to have a clear heart; it’s freeing and releases all involved. God is more than aware of what has been done to you and He is clear in His word that He will defend you. He will fight your battles. He will protect you. Isaiah 49:25 says that He will contend with those who contend with you. Once you truly understand and get that into your heart, you can have the faith to let go and let God handle things in His own way.

I can’t begin to adequately express the weight that is lifted and the freedom you can feel from forgiving and letting go.

No longer to be continued…

You can read my past posts on forgiveness by clicking the following links:

Connect with Grief to Life on Facebook:

My Babies

They will be 17 & 19 this year. I remember once, I’ll never forget it, someone criticized me for calling Chase, baby. My Dad said, don’t you listen to that for a second. He is your baby. They are both your babies and they always will be.
Being a Mom is the most rewarding thing that one can be in their life. It can also be heartbreaking. It’s because a Momma’s heart was made to love her babies with an intensity that is bigger than we can comprehend. We just want the absolute best for them.
What I finally had to realize is that these people are on loan to me. As much as I love them, God loves them so much more. He created them and they belong to Him. I have to trust that no matter what happens, He has them in His hands and He is in control. So hard to let go and let God, but I have to.
Each one of us, even our children, have our own individual path to walk in this life. I have to remind myself of that daily and just say, “I trust you Lord.”


There is a quote that I love that always makes me think. I have a big ugly scar on my leg. That’s what I think when I look at it. Ugly. In the past I have been really self conscious about it. Most summers I wore long pants to cover it. I hated when I noticed people notice it. I didn’t want people to see it. So I hid it.
But I realize some things…

  • We all have scars; both physical and emotional
  • We typically hide our scars, I know that I hide mine
  • Our scars make other people uncomfortable so, we don’t show them; for fear of what others will think, fear of seeming weak, of being judged, being misunderstood, _______________________.

But our scars tell a story. Mine tells a story.  Scars originate with pain, whether it be physical or emotional. Sometimes, and in my case, the origin is both. My scar began as open wound. A literal, physical open wound. The instant I received that physical wound was the instant my heart became an open wound; both resulting in the most unexplainable pain I had ever felt.
The wound on my leg took a long time to heal. I use the word heal lightly because I wouldn’t say that it actually healed.  After a long and painful period of time, it closed up.  But it left a big “ugly” mark on my leg that will never go away. It has changed and improved over the last 6.5 years, it has faded, although it is still very visible to the eye.
The story behind that scar is one that tells the story of the open wound in my heart, the wound that is not visible to the eye.  This wound is much more painful. It is a story of loss and sorrow, of suffering and grief, sadness and anger, fear and isolation…
This wound isn’t so easily “closed.”
Neither will ever fully heal. They will never go away.
You see, for whatever reason, I am supposed to be here. I’ve often wrestled with the burning question, why?? That is a question that I will never truly understand on this side of heaven. I do know that there are two young people that almost lost two parents in the same day. They needed me. I also know that my work here isn’t done. I don’t fully know what that entails but I do believe we all have a purpose. I also know that life is precious. I know that our days are numbered, tomorrow is not promised.
We can choose to let the pain behind our scars keep our wounds from closing. We can choose to hide our “ugly” scars and live in fear; fear of judgment, fear of being misunderstood, fear of being seen as weak and vulnerable. We can let the pain overtake us and keep us from fulfilling our purpose.
Whatever pain and scars you are trying to hide, may not ever fully heal. But, when you face them, when you show them, when you overcome them; there will be a story, a testimony of what you have made it through. That story just might help someone else who would otherwise be overtaken by the pain, that otherwise might choose to lay down and quit living.
I’m don’t hide my visible scar anymore. It is a constant reminder of loss and pain for sure. But, it is also a reminder of where I’ve been, what I have made it through and of what should have, could have, but did not end me.

“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.” ~ Steve Goodier

Choosing to Live
Two Years Ago Today
Haven’t made a lot more stops (yet) but I have definitely made a lot of steps.
I still have a long way to go in healing the broken places in my heart, but I can’t negate the progress thus far. Honestly, I think that part is truly a life long process.
This journey has been, ironically and so much like, a roller coaster; so full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. The ironic part is that roller coasters were our absolute favorite thing. While most couples plan something romantic on special occasions, we went to Kings Island on ours. We loved to laugh and have fun, being goofy and like big kids. As much as that is who I am, I lost that part of myself when I lost him. I’ve had to intentionally work hard at trying to find that in myself again. I’m not there yet, but again, I’ve made steps in the right direction.
Ive learned to be grateful for the ups as well as equally thankful for the downs. That might not make sense, but it’s in those times that I’ve learned to put my trust in God. It’s in those times that I’ve allowed Him to not only walk me through, but to teach me so much in the process. My faith has increased and I’ve discovered so much about myself and who He created me to be.
Now to, hopefully, begin to add more of those stops I was talking about in the FB post above.
Choosing to live is a decision. I like to think that I can, eventually, be so genuinely happy that I can live enough for the both of us.
We always went to Kings Island for our anniversary. The last time we went, he stopped me as we were walking and started dancing with me in the middle of a crowd of people. One of my best memories ever ??