Allowing Love To Win

By Kate & Ali 

12 years ago, our lives were forever changed in a single moment. Our brother passed away, and our family reeled in a blanket of grief. While the world around us existed as it always had, our lives lost a familiar sense of normalcy.

The same way that a baby first crawls, then walks, then runs, we reemerged into daily life, bit by bit. Having no guidebook to follow in living on Earth as a family of 5 and then suddenly 4, we coped and related and comforted the best we could.

Fast forward to today, and we’re still doing that. Rose Kennedy once remarked, “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” We share her sentiment, knowing that sorrow and joy create two sides of the same coin, and that each is imbedded in the human experience.

While there are parts to our path that we certainly wouldn’t have chosen, our shared grief has also shed light on some of life’s greater lessons. As the days celebrating our parents approach with Mother’s Day just around the corner and Father’s Day next month, we can’t help but feel especially grateful for the lives our mom and dad have chosen to live, in the midst of the pain they’ve endured. Thanks to them, we believe this to be true:

To show vulnerability is an exercise of strength

At times, it’s tempting to stuff pain and sadness aside in favor of becoming emotionally detached. Through our mom and dad, we’ve seen both the beauty and the struggle ingrained in life’s adversities, and we’ve come to view sensitivity as a form of strength.

Faith is forever evolving

To witness our parents’ commitment to their faith reinforced our belief in something greater than ourselves. We’re reminded that much like life, faith is an ongoing journey, filled with both questions and confusion, and clarity and comfort.

Our attitude and outlook are each a choice

We see our parents and we beam with pride, knowing our brother is watching over us and doing the same, as our mom and dad continue to approach the world with kindness and joy.

Love still exists after loss

Since our brother’s accident, our parents have welcomed two son-in-laws and three grandchildren into our family with open arms. This summer, they’ll celebrate 40 years of marriage. Rather than resist close relationships, they continue to love us, and one another, without abandon.

We know that each moment is a gift and we’re grateful to our mom and dad for continuing to reinforce that sentiment through the lives they lead. Their grace and commitment to making the most out of life inspires us daily. For that, and for them, we’re forever thankful, and we know Jason is too.

{featured image via unsplash