Today we remember and celebrate the life of our son – a day that I have decided to call ‘the last of the firsts’ …

The pain of grief changes us.
Over time, grief itself changes.

Pain has a purpose in the journey; it is part of the healing, but is an unwelcome companion.

I have come to understand why some choose to deal ineffectively with the pain of grief – because confronting it is hard work. Grief leads us into an unfamiliar maze, and challenges us to figure our way out.

When it’s hard to think, when feelings are jumbled, when words don’t come – that’s confirmation that the maze exists, and you are in it.

The maze of grief is our new reality.

Grief is slow, unpredictable, and unsettling. It evokes the deepest, most unfamiliar emotions I have ever experienced.

Grief is palpable – a full body experience. It is at times dull and achy or weighty, while at other times raw and crushing. The maze can be overwhelming, leaving the mourner empty, yet simultaneously filled with thoughts and emotions that are unfamiliar.

In my maze, God was ever present. The essence of my pain made His presence difficult for me to comprehend. It is a daily longing of my heart to feel divine presence and peace.

The physical and emotional pain of grief is, at times, indescribable. Some are unable to enter into those painful spaces in the lives of others.  Being with us in what I have come to call ‘the sacred space of grief’ is intimate and vulnerable; authentic.

Entering into that sacred space means you recognize the pain, and you are not afraid to be in the maze of grief; present with us..

The maze is too complex to manage alone.

Grief is lonely.

To those of you who have been with my family through any part or every part of this crazy journey, please accept my gratitude.

Thank you:
For listening to our hearts
For offering comfort
For accepting silence and understanding our lack of words
For acknowledging our fears
For encouraging us toward wholeness
For recognizing that we are in a period of refinement
For not being afraid of the pain
For your words spoken authentically
For the hugs, the texts, the messages …. the love

Thank you for walking through this year with us.



I’ve come to realize that questions can be a friend or an enemy. Some people have the ability to ask a question in a way that promotes good conversation – that recognizes where I am, does not judge where I should be, and communicates hope. Others do not.

I have tried to utilize the art of asking good questions as a person, as a mom, as a friend and as a professional. There is an art to asking questions in the best of times and in the worst of times, but there is more to it. In the best of times, conversation comes easily. In the worst of times, when chaos comes, and families struggle to figure things out, questions either help or hurt.

Some people don’t ask good questions – the nature and intent of their questioning isn’t authentic; it’s judgmental or indifferent. The other person is left feeling injured or interrogated. Realistically there are three parts to the skill of asking questions:

  • Think first
  • Ask authentically
  • Listen to the answer

Let’s start an authentic and effective conversation by asking good questions:

  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What’s one good decision you made today?
  • What secret do you need to deal with?
  • Can you tell when someone is lying?
  • Has one person ever really changed your life?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What could you do better?
  • What are you most proud of?

There are unanswerable questions in life. The ones we avoid and that bring us to our knees. Wrestling with these questions can lead us into self-reflective opportunities for growth. The inability to answer questions is not the same as a failure to grapple with them.

Even a tough question asked respectfully, with kindness and compassion can change everything.

Remember, sometimes there is no need to ask a question. Instead:

  • Pray
  • Be still
  • Listen
  • Rest


Are ready to ask and answer some interesting questions?

Great Questions for Anyone

  • Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
  • What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
  • Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
  • What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
  • What are you proudest of?
  • When in life have you felt most alone?
  • If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
  • How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • Do you have any regrets?
  • Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
  • What do you believe about God?


Blessings to you, as you ask yourself and others authentic and respectful questions.