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.