this isn't the post i meant to share

January 28, 2014



I had every intention of blogging about our kitchen today.
What works about the space, what I'd change...
yet something infinitely more important is
stirring my heart.




We phoned our son, a senior in college, to
check in with him yesterday, and he was very quiet.


He was in shock.
A friend heading over to his apartment
the night before, never made it there.
She slipped in her bathroom, breaking her neck
and passing away soon after.


Maybe you understand why a post about
paint colors and quartz countertops feels so empty.

My heart grieves.
For this young life, her family and friends...
for everyone who grieves the loss of a child.
Oh that pain must cut your soul so deep.




As I type these words,
I am thinking about each one of you reading.
I am honoring those of you who grieve and 
hoping we might all take a moment
to hold in our hearts those we love with
a renewed sense of gratitude and warmth.











Please, please, say what you need to say today.
Send that text which needs to be sent.
Write the letter. Phone the friend.
Forgive him. Forgive her. Forgive you.
Ease their pain. Get gutsy vulnerable.
Love as if you cannot be hurt.

My heart is full, and I am sealing this post
with every bit of light within it.

Peace to you right where you are.








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53 comments

  1. How incredible sad, to loose such a young life. Life can change in a heartbeat. Your post is filled with truth and emotion. Please accept my sympathy. Blessings, Rhonda

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    1. thanks, rhonda. thank you for being okay with me sharing this personal stuff tho it be sad.

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  2. Oh Michele....this post tore at my heart. It brought me to my knees in grief, in loss, and in complete gratitude. It made me stop and think and cry and pray. Thank you for opening my eyes to my blessings today....and may God bless that family with an outpouring of love, comfort, and peace.

    xoxo laurie

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    1. your heart is so tender, laurie. thank you for sharing this and for the love you radiate so naturally.

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  3. How quickly life can change. Such a sad thing to loose such a young life in what would seem a simple occurrence. So sorry for you all in her loss.

    Cindy
    www.cynthiasvintageinVA.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. thank you, cindy. i know. i have gained such perspective this week.

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  4. I found your beautiful blog … through your comment on Leslie's Gwen Moss blog. Your words about gratitude … being the answer to depression and fear … resonated deeply with me. I too, have found gratitude … to be the answer to heartache.

    The tragic and unexpected loss you speak of … I can't even imagine that level of loss and grief. I send you healing hugs … and know how quickly life can change.

    Thank you for putting such beauty and love into the world.

    xox
    Tamera

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    1. so happy to meet you, tamera. thank you for your kindness here and for offering healing--i gladly embrace it!

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  5. Oh my gosh Michele how incredibly tragic. I am so so sorry. It seems so senseless and I always feel a little guilty to focus on my own life and what i am lucky enough to have and hold dear at the expense of hearing a tragedy and yet that is what we are suppose to do. And if there is a legacy to be left by anyone, old or young, if it can be a teaching moment or even a chance to have others realize their blessings, all is not lost. But I am so sad for that family to lose their daughter so young and so tragically. I will keep them in my prayers today.

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    1. thanks for your thoughtfulness, tina. life keeps teaching us lessons in love, and not all are tied up in bows.

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  6. Michele, I noticed in Leslie's comments yesterday that you posted about this young girl and I was heartsick then, just as I am now. Life is so FRAGILE an instant can change your life, your world.

    My thoughts and prayers are with this young girls and her family, as well as your son as he grieves for his friend.

    Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth

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    1. thank you so much, elizabeth. i wish i could be on campus this week with these young adults. to do something to ease their pain. thank you for your prayers and kindness.

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  7. Thank you for the peace and quiet of this post. Beautiful and sad.

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    1. thank you for taking the time to read me, debra. i don't find it easy to write while feeling melancholy, but i did feel compelled.

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  8. The fragility of Life never ceases to shock me.
    We have to live it, but....sometimes....it seems too frightening to go forth, just in case.
    It probably will never happen; but when it does, it just rips your heart out.
    Find comfort in the support of your blogging friends.
    Much love
    Z xx

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    1. you are soooooo right, Z. the fragility. yes. thank you for joining me and for your kindness.

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  9. This is so sad Michele.. and I can relate to loss having lost my dad a few months ago. I cannot imagine the grief of the parents and family as they cope with such a sudden and unexpected loss. The exercise you go through is a good one and makes one think .. often we don't recognize or appreciate all that we have until we no longer have it. I'll keep the family in my prayers.

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    1. it is deeply saddening, and i am so sorry for your loss, leslie. such a simple exercise but works profoundly in my own life. thank you for your constant companionship online and kindness.

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  10. Oh my gosh...
    thank you for sharing your exercise in appreciation..it's terrifying and wonderful at the same time...
    i think you showed us in one of your photos, where once you sat, and then were gone... how strange, sudden, and maddening the void and loss of someone can be...

    Cindy

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    1. oh cindy, i didn't even do that intentionally with the images, and you are beyond perceptive and sensitive. oh how i love your heart and words, my sister.

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  11. OH this is so tragic, my heart hit the pit of my stomach as I too have a daughter at college and my heart goes out to this family!! I am so sad, but I am grateful for your perspective on gratitude and love of those each day! Please tell your son we are thinking of him too.

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    1. thank you. yes. i ache too thinking about my sons away. i want to hold them. i want to do better at showing love and compassion and joining others in their sorrow and joy.

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  12. Oh no... so tragic and so sad. I had a dream not long ago where I'd lost everything - my partner, my friends, my home, my job - everything one by one was stripped away. When I woke up, I had so much gratitude in my heart. I think your exercise is a worthwhile one. It's so easy to take everything we have for granted. Sending love and hugs xxx

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    1. you truly get it, red. thank you for the love.

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  13. Loss is never easy, but to lose a child suddenly, that is so devastating on so many levels. God bless the family, your sweet son and all who grieve. Your writing is so tender and delicate like your photos, but filled with strength like your soul, how divine and comforting that is.
    Celebrate life...the good, the bad, the mundane. We need to embrace our gift to have that opportunity and choice to live each day that we are given. Eat dessert first. Counting my blessings twice today.

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    1. amen. i hope the family feels propped up by friends and their faith and words of healing. thanks for the kindness and your wishes. i will convey all this outpouring to my son.

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  14. Weeping. How in a heartbeat things can change.

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    1. thanks for reading and joining me, cathy.

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  15. I don't often comment on here but you touched my heart with this story. I have three daughters, two in college and one on her own. The thought of, and the enormity, of such a life changing tragedy is beyond words. Thank you for taking the time to honor your son's friend and remind all of us how very fragile life is. Tonight, they are all in my prayers.

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    1. oh pam, thank you. i know hearing this sort of thing can open wounds and create uncomfortable feelings of vulnerability. so i am grateful for all of the kind hearts like yours.

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  16. Oh Michelle, how truly tragic. So much life and promise now finished. I ache for your son and his friend's family.
    Thank you for posting that exercise in gratitude. I just couldn't bring myself to start imagining my beloved ones being gone. My mind shies away from such devastation. This month both my sons have been overseas on holiday and part of my mind had held worry over their safety. One has been skiing in Colorado and the day before he left I dreamt that he had crashed and broken his neck. That morning we heard about Michael Schumacher's terrible ski injury and I have been quietly worried for the last 3 weeks. With great relief my son came home yesterday safe and sound after a wonderful trip and I gave my thanks and gratitude. Our children are our most precious treasures and one poor family has now lost one of theirs and I am so terribly for their loss. I send out my Love to them.

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    1. thank you, melissa. i honor what you say about not choosing to even imagine them gone. something i need to be more sensitive about is that death and loss are topics that many people choose to not discuss or give time to in their thoughts whereas i am a poet who ponders it daily. thank you for reminding me. it's so tough not to worry when our kids lead lives away from home, isn't it?

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  17. This breaks my heart Michelle…It is happening way to often that we are hearing of these young lives leaving this earth way too soon. What a sad way for hers to end. Her poor family…and your son…While our oldest daughter was home from college on her winter break, (she's a junior in college), she received the terrible news that a friend she graduated with from high school had passed away. She took her own life. This girl was the last girl on earth that you would ever expect to do something like this. It is so heartbreaking…again so terribly sorry for your son…thank you for the exercise in gratitude. It's a keeper!!…xo, Mariaelena

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    1. how tragic, mariaelena. thank you for sharing and joining me. i'm glad you appreciated the exercise. xox

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  18. Such a tragedy! My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends!! We really do need to enjoy every moment of life. And most importantly, each other!! Take care!

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    1. yes, we do. we don't know if there will be a tomorrow. we have so many blessings and opportunities to seize. thank you.

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  19. In my tennis group, all of us are in our 50s and 60s. All too often, the group shares, in sadness and horror, the story of another grandchild's friend/young relative's/young persons tragedy or death; we all shudder in collective sadness and spend a moment mentally sending love out to the families. It all seems so senseless.

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    1. i'm a griever who feels things deeply so i understand what you're saying. it's wonderful you have a group where you can join each other in the sorrow. you have reminded me of a book i need to read again: mary pipher's THE SHELTER OF EACH OTHER. thanks.

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  20. Oh I am so sorry to hear this sad news Michelle...it's heartbreaking! Keeping your son and her family in my prayers.

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  21. This brought tears to my eyes. It seems so many are leaving us at such a young age...I was just telling my Hubby the other day that I am learning to see death differently. I am learning to see the light rather than the darkness in death. It is helping and I know it must be for a reason. My children are in college now and I realize how they could leave me at any moment and so I do not want to fear but rather embrace each life while they are here, while we are together, and know that our time, each one of us, is in God's will and to accept that. Sorry for the run on sentence! BTW you are lovely in these photos. xxo

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    1. oh i think you're so wise in seeing death with new eyes. it's transcending really. i'm someone who ponders death every day. not in a morose fashion but in the sense that i am grateful for the days we have here to learn and to get closer to who we were created to be. thanks for your kindness, kerrie.

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  22. Oh dear Michele, I feel so sorry about this girl! How painful is this!
    Prayers for your son and you all!
    xx
    Greet

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    1. merci, greet. you know i love prayer and am so happy this family is being upheld. so often my prayer life is limited to my own family circle and friends, and i know must spread my wings wider to shine light on so many more. xox

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  23. I am one of those Mother's learning to deal with the sudden loss of my only child and son on November 2nd, 2013. I process through my grief moment by moment. I completely realize and understand how shared times with loved ones are precious. For those times can suddenly become just a memory you recall and hold onto in your heart. I am in a peaceful acceptance of my loss and appreciate you taking the time to share your words regarding the loss of your son's friend.Your photos of yourself are charming and sweet.
    Vera

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    1. vera, i so honor your willingness to share this intimate news. so very sorry for your loss and so thankful to hear of your peaceful acceptance. your words open up something in my soul and give me hope.

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  24. vera, you are oh so lovely for sharing these beautiful words of peace and encouragement. your loss is unspeakable, and we require so much grace to keep moving 'moment by moment' as you say, don't we? i wish you healing and comfort and grace in this healing season.

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  25. Oh Michele, I'm so sorry for all of those who are touched by the loss of this young person. Thank you for sharing this with us and your exercise in gratitude. We can't be reminded enough to be thankful with every breath. To live each moment. And to love, always.

    My thoughts are with all of those who are grieving this loss.

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    1. thanks, jeanne. i don't think we're ever too young to think about the end, not in a morose way but in a spiritual way that transcends emotion.

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