Yesterday was a tender day for our family. It was the sixth anniversary of the day we lost my brother. It some ways it still seems like yesterday when my legs gave way and I collapsed to the cold, hard ground when I heard the news that he was gone. Gone. How is that even possible?
Over the last few years I have written about my personal journey with loss. The reason I feel it’s so important to touch on this topic, is because grief, at some point or another, greets all of us. Each of us, on this beautiful adventure we call life, encounters loss and pain. The kind that leaves you raw and tender for years. But today I want to share what I have learned from my journey. While my family was thrust into the grief, the choice to carefully extract from the pain the very lessons we are destined to learn creates the true beauty. A true human experience. I am still learning. I am a work in progress. Here is what grief has taught me.
Others are hurting. All. The. Time. You don’t have to look far to see heartbreak and loss written across someone’s face. I cry throughout the entire service most Sunday mornings. I am ok with that. It’s my time to let out the emotion, listen to beautiful soulful music and thank God for the ability to understand that others are hurting, too. We are all in this together. To cheer each other on, to applaud for the success of others and to offer support and a listening ear when times get hard. After Tim died, I remember feeling like I was in a fog. It’s like the world kept moving but mine stopped. It was almost as if I couldn’t breathe normally. A claustrophobia if you will.
I can guarantee that I didn’t have a smile on my face nor did I have a perky response when interacting at the grocery store or any public forum. I couldn’t “fake a smile with my coffee to go.” (reference, anyone) I even straight up forgot to attend our son’s preschool open house. I was a teacher for goodness sake. I live for open house nights.
I have a new appreciation for when I encounter a grumpy person. What has their day been like? Did they get fired? Are they fighting with a spouse? Facing divorce? Losing a friend? Grieving a loved one? I just stop and think a little bit more now. I am not so quick to judge when others seem less than pleasant. And when a dear friend loses a spouse, or a parent, or a baby, or a friend I know that the pain doesn’t fade. It remains. And the compassion we learn creates a more acceptable environment for all of us to merely grieve as we were designed to.
Blessings abound. You just have to open your eyes to them. It’s the much needed breeze on a hot summer day. It’s the way little baby toes curl and move when you watch them. It’s the smile of a child as they run to the car after school. It’s a friend asking if you are okay today. It’s a spouse not asking questions but bringing flowers just when they are needed. Perhaps it’s just knowing that you have love in your life. Or that you were able to truly help someone in need.
Look, I am always working on this. I am very much type A and like my ducks in a row. I stress over anything I can dream up and I like things to be just so. But it’s astounding how far I have come. I am eternally grateful for the family and friends in my life. I work hard to surround myself with kind, good-hearted people who propel me to be better. I say no far more than I used to and choose how to use my time. The days, the hours, the minutes are, after all, very much a gift.
I am a much stronger person than I was six years ago. Standing up in front of our church filled with family and friends at my brother’s funeral was the first step I took in facing my pain head-on. Over the course of the last few years, many friends have confided in me after losing someone significant in their lives. We cry together. We attempt to make each other laugh.
But in each instance, I share that you can’t avoid the pain. It’s there and it’s strong and it’s unwavering. Avoiding it only makes it worse. Trudging through those emotions is something I have written about before and it’s the only way to gain the strength that is a precious gift. This life thing only gets harder, wouldn’t you agree? Aging parents, concerns with raising children in what seems like an unstable world, financial worries, you name it. So why wouldn’t we want to face all that with the strength of a fighter?
Grief has taught me that I can stand up again when I have fallen down. I can get out of bed when at one point I just wanted to remain in the fetal position forever. I can give my children what they need because I refuse to do otherwise. Strength is a gift. A hard-earned gift.
Often times I worry that my children are growing up in a world that only acknowledges the smiles and the glitter. You know what I mean. When someone asks how you are, what are they expecting to hear? Great! Fine! Good! Wonderful! How about you? But are we great, fine, good or wonderful? Perhaps we are and that is to be cherished and acknowledged. But maybe, just maybe we are crappy, tired, sad, afraid, lonely, insecure or distraught.
I learned six years ago that my true friends are ok with that. They can handle me being not perky and upbeat. And those emotions ARE NOT negative. They are to be honored and acknowledged just as much as joy or elation. For it’s those very emotions that cause us to dig deeper, fight harder and strive to learn the lessons. A bad day or a crappy mood need not be permanent. It does, however, in my opinion need to be ok. Know that you are safe with me and so are your emotions. I will continue to tell my children the same.
Our greatest mountain to climb is still in front of us. While the loss of my brother has broken the vision I once had for my family, it has not broken our spirits and our ability to grow and become better versions of ourselves. We now grieve for the loss of a different relationship. That of a mother and daughter. That of a husband and wife. That of a sister and a friend. Alzheimer’s has taken hold of our sweet mom and while this type of grief is much more drawn out and painful, the pain must teach us more about ourselves and the compassion, gratitude and strength that defines the human spirit. Are there crappy days? You bet your booty there are. Many of them. There are also moments of beauty and kindness and love. Moments of raw joy and moments that stem from loving another human being with all of your heart.
So my friends, if grief is a part of your life, and I imagine it is, you are not alone. And how wonderful that we have so much love in our life and the grief to show for it. I am proud to have loved so hard that I grieve for people I’ve lost. And I am continuing to learn and look for the lessons that grief is so desperately trying to teach me. What has grief taught you? I bet it’s far more than you ever imagined.
More of my journey can be read below:
Our Missing Piece – Grief One Year Later
Thank you so much for this post, Courtney. You have no idea how much I needed this today. I am so sorry for what you’re going through. You are in my prayers. God gives us hope.
Thank you so very much. I am so happy to hear that it may have been helpful. That is why I share. Everyone has their journey and story to tell and I think it’s wonderful if we can all support one another. Thank you for taking the time to stop and comment.
I am sorry you lost your brother and are going through a difficult time with your mom. Thanks for saying it is ok to feel crappy sometimes. Life isn’t always easy, but these days we are constantly being told that happiness is a choice and if we are not happy all the time we are bad people. Thanks for sharing something so personal.
I am so thankful it resonated with you. And thank you. I want my kids to know the array of emotions are all normal, right. And yes, we love great days and so thankful for them. . . but those days that creep up on us and leave us feeling so icky. It’s ok. And the beauty is that they pass. Thank you so much for commenting. I hope you’re day has started off well. xo
Courtney, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I know it is incredibly painful to lose someone you love to Alzheimer’s. And it seems so unfair after the loss of your brother. I’m so sorry. I just prayed for you and your family and will continue to pray.
I agree with everything you said about grief today. I especially loved the line, “I am proud to have loved so hard that I grieve for the people I’ve lost.” I feel the same. God bless you for looking for the blessings in your pain.
Oh thank you so very much. That really means so much. I know there are so many of us going through difficult things and it feels less isolating when we share. My heart is just breaking for the pain all of the families in Texas are feeling. Very thankful for my family and friends and for this supportive community.
Thank you for taking time from you day to comment. xo Wishing you a great day ahead.
Thank you for writing this! I lost a brother suddenly too and it’s nice to know others get it.
Oh, Kate. I am so very sorry. And, yes. I truly do get it. It’s so painful. Thank you for taking a moment to share. Always a listening ear if you need it.
Heidi Shaker Luna says
Thank you for sharing your heart. This was a very touching post, and perfectly timed as I’ve been trying to support my husband after the death of his mom just two short weeks ago. I’m so sorry about your mom’s failing health too. I’m sure that’s heartbreaking. But I love your honesty as you walk through this journey.
Thank you, Heidi. I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s mom. So very difficult. And that is just so raw and new. He’s lucky to have you. I hope I run into you soon. It’s been too long! Maybe on a date night in SJC. Hugs to you and your family. xo
Brenda Botbyl-Velez says
Wha a wonderful posting Courtney! I agree with you…grief needs to be okay. It’s very painful but squashing it and not letting it out isn’t right or healthy. I feel the exact same way as you do about life…children…our world and loosing people we love. Life is really hard sometimes and I relish the pure joy I experienced as an ignorant child. Grown up life is hard and we have to be strong to survive. You wrote about it beautifully. Thank you for sharing this.
Gosh, thank you for taking a moment to comment. Isn’t that true about childhood. I wouldn’t change the life I have and feels so very fortunate but I had no idea the lessons and challenges that would come our way. And I know we are not alone in that. Just looking at these precious families in Houston and all that they will now endure. It’s supporting one another that is so crucial.
My sweet Courtney, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing yours. Today would have been my precious MIL’s 99th birthday! We said goodbye to her in March. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. She always made herself available to me, as my own mother suffers from mental illness and now some memory loss (her mother, my grandmother had Alzheimers as did my dad’s step mother). She set such a beautiful example for me as to how life should be lived.
Today rather than grieving her loss, I have chosen to do what she always did, embrace the day, be thankful I woke up this morning, and plan to make the same meal she always welcomed us home with when visiting.
You are in my thoughts and prayers today!
Oh, Lauren. Such a loss. Such a special role she played in your life. I LOVE how you are honoring her. It’s those little things that keep our loved ones close despite them being gone. I treasure our friendship through these years. Thank you for sharing, Lauren.
Thank you so much for this today. I have to admit I am quick to judge those who put themselves out there in the net. Bloggers or instagramers pretty perfect lives . Always a new house, new clothes, trips remodels. They never seem to be real. They never seem to struggle with friendships, parenting, money, anxiety or just being content.
I am working on that part of me. I lost my father in June. I tucked it all away and said “I’m fine”. Well I wasn’t and my body told me so. Grief affects us all differently, but does help put life in a greater perspective . While I miss my father so, (he was one of my greatest fans) losing him is helping me live a fuller purposeful life, take time for me, and learning to be content.
I am very sorry to hear about your mom. I know it’s hard. Enjoy every moment you have with her. Breathe and just be.
I think it’s easy to assume their aren’t real people with real feelings and experiences behind the photos sometimes. Just like when you pick up a magazine. Know one gets to know the true people sharing their home or ideas. I am so sorry about the loss of your father. Especially because it sounds like he was always cheering you on. And I believe he still is. I love your perspective. What a gift to live a more purposeful life because of that loss. That is beautiful. And thank you for the “breathe and just be.” I really took that in. xo
There are many things I enjoy about your blog (the fashion, the home decor, the recipes) but most of all it’s the sincerity that comes through with each post. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to tell you that the timing of this post couldn’t have been better. I recently lost a friend to breast cancer (43 year old mother with two young children) and I am now doing my best to support a co-worker who’s sister is battling cancer and was just informed that the treatment isn’t working. Though we all come from different backgrounds and circumstances, grief is something we all have in common – nobody can completely escape it. As a parent, I realized early on that I could not protect my children from the pain that inevitably comes with life, but that I could teach them the skills to cope and how to recognize and be grateful for the many gifts life has and continues to give them. Thank you for sharing your stories and insights. And, know that I will include you and your family in my prayers as you cope with your mother’s illness.
This brought me to tears. I am so very sorry about the loss of your fiend. I can’t imagine the toll it’s taking on those that loved her and her dear children. I love what you said about giving our children the skills to cope and to live a life of gratitude. So wise and so valuable. If only this life had come with a manual, right? Good luck to you as you navigate helping your co-worker as she works through her own grief. So painful. Thank you for the kind compliment about the blog and for taking time to share your own thoughts.
Jenny Smith says
This was a beautiful post. Last month we lost my father in law from a massive heart attack. He was only 62, healthy and we never saw it coming at all. It’s comforting to know other’s understand the sorrow we are feeling, how happiness seems very far away right now but peaceful to know it can and will ease up and find joy again. Thank you for this!
Oh, Jenny. That is far too young. There is something so excruciating about a sudden loss. I am sorry. So many of us understand and it’s comforting to know you are not alone. I wish your family all the best as you learn to live this newer version of your life without your sweet father in law. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I appreciate it so very much.
Thank you for being so raw and real, Courtney. This post gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry to hear about your mom. I can’t even imagine the pain and challenges this must bring. I’ve “watched” as you’ve navigated the loss of your brother. I’ve admired your grace, honesty and strength. Your family will be in my prayers. You’re right, life can be so hard. We need to extend more compassion to everyone around us. After all, we are all just walking side by side on our way back Home. Big hugs to you today!
Talk about bringing tears to my eyes. Julie. Thank you. I am so in love with the thought, “We are all just walking side by side on our way back Home.” Yes. With all of my heart, yes. I am so lucky to have grown up with an amazing mom. Not everyone has that and that is something that gets me through. Thank you for your kind words and support throughout these years. I hope you’re week is going really well.
Thank you for sharing this.
You are most welcome. I hope that some of it helped in some small way.
You absolutely hit the nail on the head, Courtney, and how beautiful that you are raising your children with this same view. We need more people like that in the world. Through grief I have learned to also be thankful for the fact that I can FEEL. All of the emotions. There are no good or bad emotions — they are all important and they are all beautiful. Thinking of you and your family as you navigate the waters of grief. So grateful to you and your blog as a place where you can share this view in hopes that others can and will learn to dip their toe into discomfort and perhaps not park and live there, but experience it, rather than avoid it.
You have a beautiful way with words. “In hopes that others can and will learn to dip their toe into discomfort . . experience it, rather than avoid it.” I love that so much. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. I don’t have the answers and I often struggle with what exactly to say to the children, but that is all part of the process. And I never want them feeling “bad” or guilty for anything that they may feel. Thank you again for sharing.
Spot on! I couldn’t agree more with you! I think going through difficult and painful events teaches us some of the most important lessons of life! In the last couple years I have added grace to my list .
Grace. Yes. So very important and something I think women struggle with. I know I do. While we would all wish these losses and events could be avoidable, they really do teach us the most precious lessons in life. Thank you for taking a moment to comment. I truly appreciate it.
Courtney, I am so sorry for your loss and I thank you for sharing such a personal, inspirational experience. You remind us to be aware of others in our daily encounters. How good of you. Your mother’s journey will be difficult for you all and I pray for more days of happy memories, kindness and joy with her.
Thank you so much. I appreciate the prayers so much. Send any superpowers you may have, too. It is the moments of kindness, laughter, love and joy that get us through. They are priceless. I sure hope you are having a great week. xo
Beautifully said. I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are true and inspiring, and we could all use the reminder to be compassionate with others when we don’t know what they may truly be going through. Especially poignant as we ramp up into fall season to make time for those who need us. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Cara. I just think back to how I walked around in a fog and what people must have thought. I cringe to think of how unfriendly I must have appeared. So now I really do try to think twice and realize we never know the full story. Always love hearing from you on the blog. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Cara.
Such eloquence and clarity in this emotional time, Courtney.
Thank you for sharing your gifts with us always.
Sending you lots of love. xoxo
Love you beyond words. Your support during this last week has meant more to me than you know. Your support has always been unwavering. I cherish you and our friendship. Like big time. And I know you will always summon security should I need it. xo
Oh Courtney. Thank you for this. I’m thinking of you and your family. My Mom lost her brother 12 years ago next month to cancer. The pain in her eyes, her siblings eyes and my Grandma’s are so evident even today. The pain never truly goes away.
Thanks for being real. I’m sending love to everyone who has to face the world while missing someone they love, who are fighting their own battles and to anyone who might just be having a rough day. We need more love.
Thank you for a beautiful post, Courtney. I have followed you for years, but have never commented until today. I lost my mother over a decade ago and your words rang so true to me. I always think to myself that the blessing that came out of the tragedy of losing her is the way that it has changed me, making me stronger, more compassionate, etc…everything you touched on. Sending you and your family well wishes, in particular your mother as she faces her battle with Alzheimer’s.
Courtney, thank you for this beautiful post. I love your writing and your attitude toward life. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” It does seem that through Facebook, Instagram and the like that everyone’s lives are shiny and perfect. So, thank you for putting your real life struggles out there for us. My husband lost his mother very suddenly 6 years ago as well, and it really threw us…and we have definitely become stronger through the grief. I am so very sorry to hear of your mom’s illness…no one should have to go through this. Wishing you a peaceful week remembering precious memories of your brother, and a happy Friday with your mom.
Lisa Marie says
Time truly heals. I lost my mother, my father, my niece and my sister all in the space of five years. I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t function at work so my doctor put me on disability. I took a year off from work (for the first time in my life) to focus on healing. Many days I just stared at the TV watching movies or HGTV . With the help of a therapist I slowly started my healing process. I used to see people out driving, or at the mall or in a restaurant and I used to think to myself “will I ever feel human again, will I ever be able to do normal things again, will I ever be able to enjoy life again” ? The answer is YES.
I was able to join the human race again but I’m changed. I am less able to tolerate bad behavior from people , I guess I don’t suffer fools anymore. Small things that used to seem like a big deal are not such a big deal anymore. Before I went out on disability I help to plan my bosses wife’s birthday. I had to FORCE myself to care about the details of a party for somebody who was rich enough to never have to deal the real world. I mean who really cares if a rich lady who thinks nothing of hopping on a private jet to fly to Aspen to ski has exactly what she wants for her birthday? In the grand scheme o f LIFE does any of this nonsense really matter?
I healed and I am still healing but there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of my sister, or my parents or my niece. I can still feel all of them with me, but their is still a sadness that will never go away.
I guess God never gives us more than we can handle. The best thing that came out of all of this is that my job was not held for me when I returned from disability. I found a better job complete with non-toxic co-workers and management so I guess everything happens for a reason. When one door closes another door opens. Into everybody’s life a little rain must fall.
Leslie Moore says
Out of ALL your posts, this one is my all-time favorite thus far… I cried from the beginning to the end, Your wisdom and love has touched my ❤️ more than you will ever know.
Thank you Courtney for this post today. Myither died suddenly from cancer two years ago (a month after her diagnosis) and today is her birthday. I really needed to read this and plan to save this post for tough days.
Sorry this should say
My mother died suddenly…
Kimber Hagans says
I am so very sorry. Courtney. I have followed you for quite some time, but “one” of those that have never been brave enough to comment.
Your words hit me today, written so eloquently & straight from the heart. I lost my dear Dad, brother, my Mom is at home with hospice and my RAD husband just completed EIGHT months of chemo. I truly try and embrace life each & every day, for the simple, ordinary moments. Today someone treated me to an iced coffee (almost did the ugly cry). Was at WholeCheck, opps I mean WholeFoods & was handed a complimentary bouquet of fresh flowers by a young guy, just because? Raced to my car & blurted the happy news to my bff (hasn’t been all rainbows & butterflies lately), she proceeded to call the manager and told HIM how that simple gesture MADE MY/OUR DAY. That young fella should be commended for his kind gesture!
So thank you for sharing this heartfelt message today. I am grateful for it, now sharing a cuppa coffee (iced) for me, gazing at my beauty~FULL flowers while my hubby rests.
Touched by an angel,
Kimber (Kimberroo on Insta)
This is such a beautiful post Courtney. Your honesty and resilience during hard times are encouraging for those struggling with grief. I’m glad you shared your story with not always being okay. I think it resonates with so many and its so important for people to hear this message you’ve put out there. You are so right you can’t avoid pain but you can hit it head on and trudge through it. It will make you stronger. Sending thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Melissa Wright says
This post moved me more than I can ever tell you. There is so much superficial comparison in the social media world, with very little substance other than feeling inadequate by failing to measure up to the perfection we see others posting about. One thing I love about your blog is the realness you aren’t afraid to show.. Although I never had to deal with the kind of pain I can only imagine you faced, and continue to face with your sweet mother, I have definitely experienced a measure of pain, grief and loss. A lot of the lessons you’ve learned really resonated with me. In fact, I am so moved I don’t think I can adequately express how much your post meant today. May God bless you, Courtney, and all of your family, in your journey. I am thankful to have found your blog and I appreciate you very much. This post took courage and sharing very private information, which is difficult for me to do. I admire your courage, your strength, and your compassion for others. Love and hugs, and I will pray for your mom and your family. Melissa
Barbara M. says
Thank you so much for this post. I’m an emotional person and I cried when reading it.
I love your decor and style but most of all I love your kind, genuine heart Courtney.
So beautifully written Courtney…love you so much.
I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother, it’s so difficult to lose loved ones. And I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. We’ve been walking that road with my Dad for the last 8 years. It’s so devastating . But we do learn so much about ourselves. Watching our children who are 21,14 and 8 surround Papa and protect him and love him even when he is being difficult is amazing. It’s important for our children to watch, learn and live what it means to be a family. I’m praying for you and your family.
Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart today. So many lessons shared but the one that spoke to me today above all others was your reminder to show kindness to others who are acting “unkind.” That really resonated with me because too often I am quick to point out (to myself) someone’s bad attitude or lack of kindness. But maybe as you noted, those individuals are suffering and need empathy. Tomorrow and beyond I will really try to remember that. ❤️ I am so sorry to hear about your mom; your weekly mom dates are so special and I love hearing about them. I hope they can continue as long as your mom is able. That time will be so special for you. Saying prayers!!
Courtney you share your heart so beautifully! You have such a gift with your words and I so relate to the lessons you describe. Grief has taught me the to treasure the ordinary days with those you love, your life can change in an instant. Grief has also made me long for heaven and so thankful this earth is not our final home.
I admire your strength and rawness that you shared something so deeply personal and hard to discuss. You’re amazing!
I lost my sister and best friend three months ago- there is a gaping hole in my life that has left me so raw. I started sobbing on the treadmill at the gym today- just lost it! I normally would try to suck it up but I just let the tears come. I’m sure people thought I was crazy, but I kind of am so I might as well roll with it! Thanks for writing this today- I know the sadness isn’t going anywhere soon, but it’s lovely to see people who can relate and share in this world of grief. Prayers and hugs to your family.
Courtney…I am truly humbled by your courage in being vulnerable enough to share your journey. I am truly sorry for the pain you have encountered and still face, but I feel inspired by the beauty and love that you have come to value more than ever. Saying a prayer for you and your family.????
Andie Porter says
Thank You for sharing Courtney. Thank You for being so vulnerable and courageous by sharing your story. This post spoke to me in so many ways. I endured a great loss almost 3 years ago when I lost mygranfather and my grandmother was “officially” diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004. It’s one of the hardest things myself and my family has ever had to deal with. I will be praying for you and your family during this journey.
Such a beautiful post Courtney….thanks for sharing and opening your heart. This resonated with me so well as I lost my dear dad unexpectedly eight years ago. It has made me a stronger person and have compassion for others who have dealt with grief or going through painful journeys. I hope you can make many more wonderful memories with your sweet mom in spite of her illness. Blessing to you and your family.
Sending you love and prayers as you get through this very difficult time Courtney. This post is so honest and open and something everyone who is grieving should read… Praying for strength as you walk this tough journey with your Mom too. x
Courtney, you have such a gift for sharing your heart so eloquently. I’m so sorry and I feel your pain for both the loss of your brother, and your mom’s memory. My brother also died suddenly, three years ago July 18, leaving behind a 5 year old son and a broken hearted family, and we too have loved ones slowly succumbing to Alzheimers so I can truly relate. I always tell my kids, life is filled with good times and hard times, just keep your face to the sunshine, and try to lift someone else’s heavy heart along the way. You are keeping an amazing perspective despite your sorrows! What a gift of encouragement your blog is to others who may also be suffering. Lots of love to you my sweet friend!
So well said, Courtney. Your words ring so true. Thinking about and praying for your beautiful family during this difficult time.
This post is so beautifully written Courtney from beginning to end and moved me to tears. You’re so right; it is ok to say we’re having a crappy day.
This is such a beautifully-written and thought-provoking post. My family and I are on the Alzheimer’s journey, too, with my dad, and it’s isolating and difficult. Approaching it as an opportunity to become more compassionate and grateful is an idea I can get behind. I wish you the best of luck with your family’s battles with both grief and dementia.
Oh how I love your openly raw story my friend! I know that God gives us strength to face each new day, but I like how we can feel crappy and out of place…and that is okay too. I am sending this over to a friend who recently lost a loved one! It’s been so hard for her and I know hearing your story will give her a bit of hope. Thank you! Love you lady!
Courtney, I had no idea about your brother. I have not experienced such loss but have a brother that I love dearly and couldn’t imagine what this journey must have been like for you!! You are so amazing and strong and I want to thank you for such a beautiful post????????. Blessings, sweet friend!! Xoxo
Such a great post C! It’s so true that we just never know what others might be facing or going through in their lives. Grace is something we should all be more willing to extend to strangers. Miss you! HUGS to you and yours!
I am so sorry for what you are going through with your mom. This post shows such a positive way to cope with hardships in life and it took such strength for you to write this! I often think about how sweet it is that you and your mom spend Fridays together. I know she cherishes that! Sending hugs to you!!
Michele- The Joyful Home says
Courtney, I just read your post and am so touched. I’m very sorry for your loss and cannot imagine your pain. Thank you for sharing your lessons and your heart with all of us ❤️
This is such a beautiful post Courtney… I’ve had to learn so much about grief this past several years with losing my dad and several family members. I know how much your brother meant to you through all your amazing posts and each has helped me get through my own pain in more ways than I can count. I love how much you open your heart to others and share. Love you! xx
God bless you, Courtney. I too lost my brother. I lost my mom and dad all within three years of him. Sometimes it feels like you don’t want to answer the phone for fear of bad news. I don’t have any words better than those you shared, but I lift you up in prayer and thank God for the time you had with him.
Thank you so much for such a poignant post. I lost my Mom two months ago yesterday, and not one night since has gone by that I have not dreamt about her. Although my parents live outside of Boston and I reside in Arizona, my parents spent November-March with me. I also would go home several times/year for 2-3 weeks at a time. When we were not together, we spoke by phone several times/day. So many times since June 30, something would occur, and I’d think to myself “I need to remember to tell Mom. She’d get a kick out of this.” Hurts my heart that I will never hear her sweet voice, telling me she loves me. Your post was exactly what I needed to read today; it was beautifully written. Thank you for reminding me of all the blessings I DO have.
Oh Courtney, you share your heart so beautifully in these pages. I haven’t experienced a loss like yours but I hope I’ll remember your comforting words when that time inevitably comes.
Tamara Letourneau says
Thank you so much for sharing you heart with us. It helps all of us to know we are not alone. I am praying for you and your family, especially with what you are dealing with regarding your Mom. Sending prayers for all of you!
I have read your blog for a long time and I just want to say thank you for being willing to share something so personal with an audience of strangers. I remember reading your posts on grief years ago but at the time I couldn’t really relate to them. But unfortunately this time I can relate exactly. About 2 1/2 years ago my little brother took his own life and the fragile age of 14. The grief and heart break has changed me fundamentally. I went back and reread all your posts on grief and it is comforting to have so many difficult emotions put into words perfectly. So I genuinely thank you for your vulnerability, it means more than you know.
I lost my only brother 6 years ago this past June. I know exactly how you feel. It’s a club I wish we weren’t members.
Like others have said, I too, needed to hear this today. The holidays bring so much joy and so much sadness also. Every year I grieve the loss of my son. Cancer took him away. To lose your child is, to me, so wrong. The wondering of what he would of grown up to be, the presents you can’t buy and the arms that still feel so empty is torture at times. I also share with you the loss of a mother, who is still with us but in some ways, gone. Grief to me is like the waves of an ocean. The waves come in hard and knock you down but it by the grace of God that those waves go back out and you can breath again. You can ,as you said, smile again. Hold on to all of your sweet memories Courtney. Continue to make beautiful memories with your mom. God promised us that one day we will be together again in perfect peace. and that is something I hold on to. Sending prayers to you today and thanking you for putting your emotions out there in such a beautiful way.
Have you heard the podcast, “terrible, thanks for asking”? It’s so good, so raw, in a healing way.
I came back to read your words again. This is so beautifully written & from your heart which is yearning to share with others in hopes to touch what may need to be mended in our lives. It’s what I needed tonight. Our family also suffered a loss few years ago, my niece who we lost on her birthday at only 40 yrs old & my Mother suffered a stroke last year & she has taken a turn for the worse.
You have managed to put into the most beautiful words, the depth of the human spirit. Bless you for sharing!
Thank you for writing words that have been in my heart. I lost my younger brother tragically a little over two years ago. I’ll never forget collapsing on the floor, screaming, hearing the news. I’m not the same person, nor do I want to be. A piece of the puzzle is missing, a piece of my heart. Life somehow moves on, and you learn to function with a hole in your heart. Losing a sibling is a loss like no other. Sending you a big hug.
Alice A. Crawford says
Well…………lots to think about.
I’ve come across your Blog looking for some help with curtains and augmenting rods to hold them. As it turns out, I thought I’d see who this smart cookie is that has figured it all out*** AND*** shared what she knows with the rest of us. And then I found your heart and these pearls of deep thought and accompanying heartache. Yes, I meant to say Your Heart.
About the time when we were all still trying to get over the horror and shock of 9-11, my flight attendant, daughter, who lived here in the Atlanta area but “commuted” to work to Philadelphia, decided she’d had enough and took her own life at the top of the airport parking garage in Philly. It was a painless death, Ambien and beer, but it was painful and shocking as hell for the rest of us. I knew as I answered that midnight phone call that it would change my life forever! My most haunting regrets; why didn’t I recognize the signs and know this was coming?? I know one thing, love never dies, the love we have for someone lives on, that part never dies.