Golden Memories

Today is special. Today is golden...
Today I want to remember things that might hurt, to embrace a part of my life that used to feel damaged or broken. Today I want to be thankful for blessings that took me 31 years to see. 

A week ago I was in the middle of a deeply personal conversation with one of the dear sages in my life. We were discussing death, and how one moves in it, grows from it, and above all - celebrates the life within it. In our own ways, death defines us. A little or a lot, and each in our own way. 

Nothing has shown me more about life and myself, than my sister's passing. Those of you who know me well, know this part of me. I don't wear it like a stain or a tear...rather, I try to celebrate it. For she was a treasure to celebrate. I couldn't always do this. Getting here was hard, something I still work at. But I never doubted this was where I needed to be. Not just for me or my family, but for her. What good can come from a life lived only to have it's passing eternally morned? I preach, I know...but this is something that has caused me so much time and energy. And it's never 'easy.' The work is never done. But there is a beauty to it and a grace that is freeing in ways I can only begin to know. Although it's hard, I know I must let go of the pain I feel from her death and hold on to the joy I feel from remembering her life.  In this way, I feel closer to her. In honoring her life, I am able to live with her still.

I share all of this today, because today is not only a day of mass memorial, but today would have been her golden birthday - 30 on the 30th. Given the wonderful changes in my life, I find myself in reverence of her memory, and the love that I've managed to find there. It's humbling and peaceful, despite the recurring swells of pain and grief. I used to feel like this day was a day of sadness, that I should mourn her with my tears the pain of my loss...but it took a good friend remembering her with love and the purchase of some lilacs years ago to end that cycle. Instead, today is now for me a day of celebration and joy. And to feel this is to still love her. To know her. To say, SHE WAS HERE AND I'M SO THANKFUL FOR THAT! 

I try to buy a plant each year or sit outside in silence in quiet happy conversation with her in my mind. This is the way to remember. This is the way to hold memorial. Through love and celebration of life.

To Brooke on her 30th,
Thank you for the love and joy you brought into my life. Thank you for the knowledge and compassion I have learned from your absence. You were silly and stubborn in your life with us and I will try to be silly and stubborn in how I remember you.
Missing you always,


Me (age 5), Brooke (age 4), Mom and little Abbey ( age 1 1/2)

Brooke(2) and Me (3) and the bug.

Thank you for giving my rant an audience. I hope I've not offended anyone. This is just my personal take on the process of grieving and celebrating life...a deeply personal journey. My message, I hope, is that no matter how long your journey takes, you aim for and end up in a place of love and celebration.