This morning I got caught up thinking about all the things my grandfather won't be able to experience with me; my college graduation, my wedding, my kids, my work. One of my best friends checked in on me today & I told her that grief is like a tug of war. If I could physically throw it up and be done with it, I would. But sadly, it doesn't work that way.
Showing up isn't easy. In the past couple months I've jumped on airplanes I didn't want to jump on, walked into classrooms I didn't want to sit in, smiled at people I didn't want to see, and sobbed next to ones I wanted to stay.
But I'm learning that strength comes from showing up. It comes from accepting people for who they are and where they are in life. Strength comes from being vulnerable and saying the words that you'd rather keep to yourself. It comes from opening up your hands to love even if it means experiencing a deep heartache you never knew you were capable of.
Today I'm grateful for the journey of life and the growing pains that are strengthening my character. I'm grateful for childlike wonder and swing sets and horses and flowers. I'm grateful for friends that have showed up and stayed, for notes of encouragement that I can read over and over and over, and for the fresh new beginnings of beautiful things that feel like fresh air.
(Also v v grateful for coffee.)
Saying a little prayer for those of you who are walking into this holiday season with a hole in your heart for people you can't replace. You are special. Hug the people you love real tight. And keep marching on, good soldier.