Dear Friends,

Have you adjusted yet to the time change?  It always reminds me that Spring is happening…the days are getting longer and the kids in my neighborhood are staying out later to enjoy another round of hide-and-seek, street basketball, or adventures on their bikes.  As much as I love the energy happening all around me, I feel strangely removed from it all this season.  Almost like an observer watching a movie where others play a role.

This Spring, I am being reminded of the fragility of life.  I am in a tender space as I take the journey with someone I dearly love who is dying.

He is teaching me what it means to live and how to embrace dying as a part of living.  I have had to make more space in my life as I grieve…learn to release…and recognize what is needed to honor this time.  In order to do this well, I have had to be more intentional.  I have slowed down, pulled back from many activities, and arranged for more space to reflect.  How do I spend these last days with him?  What is needed?  What do I want to offer?  Where is support needed?  So many questions…and I’ve never been here before.  It can be terrifying.  This requires a unique form of courage…a type that I didn’t know I possessed and sometimes seriously doubt I have.

In all honesty, there are times I want to desperately avoid this pain with staying busy…over-eating…shopping…buying…watching TV…or my other myriad of escapes I have turned to over the years.  But at this stage in my life, I know where this leads…and I know I will be less of a person if I avoid.  Deep down, I know that I don’t want to miss what’s here.

This is my time to step fully into this journey….to grieve wholeheartedly, find the joy and the sadness…reach out to share my grief to kind people….say goodbye…and love wholly.  This requires space…lots of space.  It is not an easy journey, and space is the kindest gift I can give myself during this season.  It is messy…it is hard…it is painful and many times I desperately want to escape.

But I am also finding a ‘sacredness’ to this journey as well.  The space between God and me is closer…friends are showing up beautifully to offer soft places for my heart to land…gifts are dropped off on my doorstep…kind phone messages are left…and there is a courage emerging that I did not know I possessed. Living more vulnerable offers more opportunity for authentic kindness and love.  This is where I continue to draw strength in my harder moments.

Most importantly, this season is changing me for the better as I am being reminded how heartache and dying is a part of living wholeheartedly.

So…I write to honor this journey and create a space to all those who have grieved…or are perhaps still in the thick of grieving this Spring.  Here’s what I can offer…Don’t worry, the sadness doesn’t last forever, make the space to honor this season, lean into kind people, be honest about what you need, and trust that this will not break you.  You will emerge from the depths of this as a better person.  Please be kind to yourself…embrace the courage to live intentionally and make the space you need.

Holding the tender spaces with you,

Heather