Daily Grief Cycles

The five stages of grief have been on repeat that last couple of days.

It looks something like this:
This isn’t my life.

Are you kidding me that this is my life? There’s nothing fair or right about it!

Well, God, let’s just bring her back. I promise to not unlearn all that I’ve learned.

She’s not coming back. I’m going to live the rest of my life without my daughter. Why am I still living?

It’s going to be okay. Keep stepping. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve got your boys to get through all this.



Over and over again. I don’t always hit every step. But the range of emotions are just all day long.

I consider myself quite the expert on playing mind games. Resetting my brain when it gets into an unhealthy pattern.

These last few days, it’s just felt impossible. I could say it’s lack of sleep, conflict, hormones, or politics.

But the truth is: Rory should be turning 12 in a little over a week. I’m staring down another birthday without her.


My baby would be twelve on February 6th.

Every birthday without her guts me. But this one, we would have had a fun year of celebrating new things with her. Moving up into the youth program at church, graduating elementary school, and embracing her true preteen drama.

My body physically aches for those experiences with her.

Then I go through the stages again. Luckily for me, the last step ends with hope and propels me into action.

My life has a purpose and it’s to love. And I recognize that purpose because Rory was born. And she was mine.

Mourn with Those that Mourn

There is so much pain in the world.

On Monday my mind clouded, thinking about the knock.

The knock that every military family dreads.

Their serviceman or servicewoman wasn’t coming home.

Within the minute it takes them to answer the door, their life will never be the same.

Then, on the same day, George Floyd’s last pleading words are caught on video as he was murdered.

Last words.

Some of his last words were very similar to Rory’s last words.

I’ve thought a lot about George’s family.

Their haunting minutes, the ones that forever changed their lives, are viral for everyone to see.

Their pain is everywhere.

George was a father. Son. Brother. Friend.

I mourn with them.

And I’m listening.

Not only to their pain but to those that share their same fear. That because of the color of their skin their loved one might not come home safely.

I hear you.

I’m sorry.

I love you.

Life is Pain

A quote from The Princess Bride has been batting around my head the last few days.

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

I feel this way lately.

Life is painful.

Too hard!

Then guilt sets in. I need to be more grateful. I need to focus on hope. I need to be optimistic.

I invalidate my right to be sad or mad at what’s going on in life.

I went back to the movie and thought about when this quote is said.

Wesley says this when he was the Dread Pirate Roberts.

After staving off death on a pirate ship, he came back to the mainland to find his betrothed, Buttercup, engaged to another.

And that guy’s paying to have her murdered!

And then he’s inches from Buttercup and she doesn’t recognize him.

He had a right to feel that way about life. It was crappy!

But here’s the thing about Wesley, he never does nothing.

His ship gets captured by pirates. He pleads for his life exclaiming true love. Then proceeds to learn swordsmanship, to gain knowledge, and inoculate himself to poison.

When he discovers the plot on Buttercup’s life, he doesn’t leave her to her doom. He rescues her in his pain.

He keeps putting one foot in front of the other until the end.

There, he gets to ride off with Buttercup on beautiful white horses.

He wouldn’t say life is pain in that moment I don’t think. His life carried more hope and promise then.

I think that’s true in all of our lives.

There are times when I think it’s okay for us to think, “Life is pain”. Because it can be!

What I think is important is that we keep walking. We keep learning. We keep loving.

Moments of hope will come as we step.

Optimism will seep into us as we strive.

Life might be pain right now.

But that doesn’t mean it always will be.

Loss Can Happen So Quickly

My thoughts have been on the New Zealand volcano eruption.

Most of the deceased were on a cruise.

They’d saved up their money.

Excitedly told their family about the new adventure they would be going on.

Hopefully they hugged their loved ones. Then probably told them, “See you in 12 days.”

While cruising, they embarked on a tour, to see something new, to see a volcano.

And life will never be the same for any of them.

Or for their loved ones.

My heart breaks for their families.

Life can change so quickly.

It can go from high to low in ten beats of the heart.

Part of me wants to hold onto my men and huddle in a shelter.

But we know too well that loss can happen when you’re sitting at the feet of a loved one, watching and caring for her.

Lance and I will be on that boat, on that cruise, in 80 days.

Part of me is ready to hand in my ticket.

I can’t go!

Look at that loss!

What about my boys?

So, what do I do?

All I can think of is to take every moment I can and make it count.

Lance and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage. And we made BIG plans.

We’re traveling to destinations we’ve dreamed about visiting together. And making it happen.

I don’t want to live in fear.

I want to live.

But I promise we will not be visiting any volcanoes.

Long Days, Short Years

I’ve been really missing Rory lately.

There will be moments that I’m okay.

Then the next moment a memory will come to me and I have to do everything in my power to not completely breakdown.

It’s reoccurring.

And reoccurring.

I think the adage for toddlers is true for grief.

“The days are long but the years are short.”

The minutes of the day can drag. It’s exhausting to miss someone. To yearn for them. To search for peace. To search for joy.

But by the end of November 13th, we’d survived two years without her.

There were so many days where I thought the grief might win.

When I thought I couldn’t do it anymore and wished I could curl up in my bed and disappear.

Those days are long.

But it’s been two years now.

The twins have out grown me.

Dax’s feet are bigger than mine.

The twins are driving.

They’re liking girls.

Two years.

They go by fast.

So much changes.

But the days have felt pretty long.

Missing her.