In a week it will be a year since the thing that everyone hopes will never happen to them happened to us. We held the hand of one of the people we love most in the world as he took his last breath, way too soon. When he was just 51 years old, my dad left us. He left us on July 16th, on my husband’s 25th birthday.
I’m still working on wrapping my mind around that. It’s something I’ve been trying to create the capacity to accept. To hold the gift of someone being given to you and the pain of someone being taken away in the same hand at the same time and receive them both, is something I’m working on every day.
The thing is, we aren’t promised love without loss. And that’s pretty scary.
I think the thing that scares all of us the most (at least it scares me the most) is that we have very little control over what happens to us in life. But we often forget that what we do have control over is how we receive what happens to us. So I’ve spent a lot of time this last year just sitting with it. Unpacking it. Accepting that I won’t ever be able to understand it. And trying to hold the connectedness of love and the loneliness of loss in my heart at the same time.
It’s hard and it’s uncomfortable to accept that neither one of these exists without the other. But every morning for the last year I’ve woken up to both love and loss. And that’s a different reality to accept.
A few months ago I was listening to Joe Biden on Rachel Hollis’s Rise Podcast. He was talking about the book he wrote on the loss of his son and he said something that I’ve carried with me. He said:
I wanted to write a book about how there’s hope to survive that kind of loss. And I believe that you survive by finding purpose. Finding something where you can see the person you lost in what you’re doing. Because they are with you. They are part of your soul. They are soul of your soul. Bone of your bone. They’re there. They’re there. I wanted to give people hope that there’s a way through this.
So I’m leaning into the connection I feel from loving well on the ones closest to me. And instead of pulling away, I’m leaning into the love that I have for my dad. And my love for the things and people that he loved.
And although I carry loss that some days feels so heavy, I also carry love. And it’s getting a little easier to receive them both with open arms.
Most of the time I share about creating mindful routines, my homebody lifestyle, and how clothing can be a tool to help us show up as our best self. But I'm always on here sharing my heart so sometimes we dive deep into topics like loss, grief, self-worth, and faith. If you want more of all of it, join our tribe.