life goes on

whenever you encounter a profound tragedy, there are moments, when you seem to stand still while life goes on around you. and you look at these people, incredulous:

how do they move? (you think) for you are frozen
how do they smile? for you are sure your lips will never curve again
how does a laugh escape their throat so easily?  only guttural cries are heard from yours

it is a strange time, you are separate, held apart from society either in your own mind or in the minds of those around you.  since my story blew up so profoundly and was pretty present on social media, i remember feeling like a small celebrity, my friends would get asked "do you KNOW her?  how is she holding up??" i had strangers introduce themselves to me... 

and that's part of why i left ohio i think, just to breath, to be in a place where i felt like my tragedy didn't define me, it had nothing to do with the people in ohio and everything to do with me and how i was processing.  

and now, now is coming the part of the journey where i open up, in hopes that others will hear my story but more importantly, hear of the story of redemption.  there were so many moments where i wished for death, where i wished that i could be put out of my misery.  and i wish, i wish i could stand here and say "i understand now! i will explain to you why people go through hard times, why babies die, why kids get cancer, why the weight of the world is so fucking heavy" but that's not my job.

my job is to be still and know.  
to be still and know.

and that is one of the most important lessons i have learned in this, i have learned the power of being still, the power of being quiet.  you know what i heard most often "i wish i had something to say" but in all honesty, i didn't need words, i needed people to be still and know

know that i was in pain
know that i needed a shoulder
know that they loved me

and the beautiful thing is, those people were provided to me, over and over and over again, in my most desperate and quiet moments, people showed up.  and it took a toll on them, i had to allow myself to be a burden and that is an extremely humbling place.  

and even though that fire waged, even though the forest burned, even though it seemed clear life would never.grow.again.

flowers are starting to sprout.  there is life in the soil.

elly passed away on april 16th, 2016.  the one year anniversary of her death is sunday, april 16th- easter sunday.  at first, i felt it was a cruel joke, the date my life blew up on the only holiday we spent together as a family of five?

but i know, i know that there is no greater day to know.  to be still and know, that my daughter is in heaven, that she lives on even without my presence there.

and so this easter, i will rejoice, i will rejoice and look at the flowers blooming and gather them to my face and say "thank you, thank you, thank you"

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