My Home January 2014 & Personal Reflections

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.




  1. January 28, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:06 pm

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

  2. January 28, 2014 / 9:34 pm

    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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:07 pm

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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:08 pm

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

  3. January 28, 2014 / 9:38 pm

    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.


    • January 28, 2014 / 10:09 pm

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

  4. January 28, 2014 / 9:44 pm

    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.

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:11 pm

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

  5. January 28, 2014 / 9:47 pm

    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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:12 pm

      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.

  6. January 28, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Tears. franki

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:13 pm

      thank you for joining me, franki.

  7. January 28, 2014 / 9:58 pm

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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:15 pm

      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.

  8. January 28, 2014 / 10:03 pm

    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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:15 pm

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

  9. January 28, 2014 / 10:17 pm

    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.

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:22 pm

      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.

  10. January 28, 2014 / 10:19 pm

    Oh my gosh…
    thank you for sharing your exercise in'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…


    • January 28, 2014 / 10:23 pm

      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.

  11. January 28, 2014 / 10:20 pm

    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.

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:28 pm

      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.

  12. January 28, 2014 / 10:21 pm

    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

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:29 pm

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

  13. January 28, 2014 / 10:27 pm

    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.

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:31 pm

      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.

  14. January 28, 2014 / 10:42 pm

    Weeping. How in a heartbeat things can change.

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:49 pm

      thanks for reading and joining me, cathy.

  15. January 28, 2014 / 10:44 pm

    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.

    • January 28, 2014 / 10:51 pm

      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.

  16. January 28, 2014 / 11:14 pm

    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.

    • January 29, 2014 / 2:27 am

      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?

  17. January 28, 2014 / 11:30 pm

    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

    • January 29, 2014 / 2:29 am

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

    • January 29, 2014 / 2:30 am

      you're so kind, jill. thanks.

  18. January 29, 2014 / 1:51 am

    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!

    • January 29, 2014 / 2:33 am

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

  19. January 29, 2014 / 2:23 am

    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.

    • January 29, 2014 / 2:35 am

      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.

  20. January 29, 2014 / 6:30 pm

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

    • January 30, 2014 / 2:28 am

      thanks for the support, martina.

  21. January 30, 2014 / 3:59 am

    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

    • January 30, 2014 / 3:39 pm

      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.

  22. January 30, 2014 / 9:11 am

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

    • January 30, 2014 / 3:42 pm

      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

  23. February 1, 2014 / 6:55 pm

    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.

    • February 3, 2014 / 7:07 pm

      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.

  24. February 2, 2014 / 2:12 am

    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.

  25. February 3, 2014 / 4:48 pm

    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.

    • February 3, 2014 / 7:10 pm

      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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Upholstered Dining Arm Chair
Shop My Breakfast Nook
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Wreath Doormat
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing