Grieving Through The What-Ifs

Grieving Through What-Ifs

By Becky Houdesheldt

This weekend my husband and I had to return the crib and dresser we purchased for our second baby. It was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever had to do. Because we paid with cash, and had no receipt, the team lead told us we’d get in-store credit for the department the furniture came from. I quietly told her we were no longer pregnant, and that being restricted to the baby section of the store was not something I wanted.

Writing about this loss has not been easy. It is a tricky thing, writing about grief. Especially the grief over a loved one we hadn’t even had the chance to meet yet. Grief is a strange thing, and dealing with loss has a tendency to be a lonely process. It seems to me as though we, as humans, have a difficult time trying to find the right things to say to help someone coping with grief and so, sometimes the easiest way to handle it is to give space to those grieving. Continue reading

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

By Kate Kole

Last week, Chrissy Teigen shared on Instagram that her dog had gone to Heaven. Within seconds of seeing her post, I felt emotion begin to rise through my body. The kind signaling that a storm of uncontrollable tears and unspeakable words was coming. I grabbed a roll of paper towels (because I’m classy like that and we rarely have tissues on hand) and told my husband what had happened so that he’d understand why I was curled up in a ball on the other end of the couch crying. (Read: this isn’t our first rodeo of me losing it over random dogs on social media.)

This morning, the tears came again when Teigen posted a picture captioned, “The same day I got you, I told John I was sad. He asked why and I said because one day you’re going to be gone.” Continue reading

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

By Melissa Coley

Like a lot of millennial women, I spent most of my twenties striving for perfection (P90X + Pinterest + grad school + multiple jobs + the Whole 30 + the lob = a hangry, sleep-deprived perfectionist with an iron deficiency and a Master’s degree). But at thirty-one, a chronic pain condition has knocked the snot out of me and not left much room for any semblance of perfection (I rarely wear makeup, my six pack hasn’t come in, I didn’t see Beauty and the Beast in the theater, and I need a haircut badly).

In March of 2016 I injured an ankle, and what should have been your run of the mill sprain, led to a neuro-inflammatory condition that spread from the location of my injury, up that leg and into the next. When my neurologist diagnosed me with CRPS 1, she sat across from me on her roll-y stool and said I’d be on nerve regulators and pain killers for the rest of my life and that what I needed now was a “really strong support system”. I sat there next to my knee cart I’d named Wallace, feet cold-burning, rubbery, and swollen thinking, wait, what? Say that again? I’d never heard of CRPS, didn’t know anybody with it, and I was terrified. All I knew was that I couldn’t walk, my husband couldn’t touch my legs without getting kicked, and that showers, which required the sort of plastic white chair that grandmas use, felt more like water torture than relief. Continue reading

Experiencing Death From Afar

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By Julie Winsel

From November 2015 to October 2016, I lost three family members. It added to the general
sense of doom it seems everyone felt in 2016.

The first death was my uncle in November. Then my husband’s grandfather in February. The last, and most hard-hitting, was my grandmother on my mom’s side in early October.

Death is unfortunately something I’m familiar with. The first death in my family that I can remember is when my great grandfather died when I was about five years old. My parents told me that a part of him was going to heaven and I hid behind my mom’s legs at the graveside service because I thought literally body parts were going to start floating up into the sky. Continue reading

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. Continue reading