Tag Archives: death

A Quick Reflection on Fixing, as Yet Another Year Passes

Every year I tend to blog on this day. To share what I’m feeling and to make a pitch to love on my parents, sister-in-law and nephew a little bit extra on this day.

It’s been 8-years since my little brother, Devin, passed away suddenly in his sleep.  And this year is no different, and I don’t feel like I have anything to add.

I still miss Devin. I miss his face and his smile and his voice. I miss knowing he was always there for me. I miss his young wisdom and his big love.

And I still want my parents, sister-in-law, and nephew to feel an overwhelming amount of love and grace and peace today. I still want to take away their pain, to help somehow to carry their burden, to lessen the hurt.

But I can’t fix it. Really in life I can’t fix much. I know this. We all do I think. We all know we can’t fix the other person or their pain but so often we want to and in that want sometimes we hurt them more. So this year, I want to say sorry for the hurt I’ve caused wanting to fix it.

Pain is uncomfortable and hard to watch others experience. My head has known this for a long time, but my heart actions can’t always stay in that head space. You could say I’m a bit of a feeler. And by a bit I mean I pretty much feel everything. And I can deal with my own feelings, but I don’t want my love ones to have to sort through theirs. I’m not sure why either, because I really like feeling and so maybe they are ok feeling theirs. But it’s taking me a while to get there.

And so this journey of figuring out how to love my family in their pain and not try to fix it has been challenging.

My friend the other day said that he felt like the pain he was facing in his life was a gift. And while that sounds so crazy, I totally get it. Because in that pain I have found Jesus in such a deep and tangible way. I have received His love and grace in ways I wouldn’t have known I needed with out pain. And I can see how pain, done well, is a gift.

So now I want to let go and pray that my loved ones receive their pain today as a gift. A gift that their Maker is so close and loves them so much that He won’t leave them alone for a moment in that pain. That in that pain He is drawing them in. Holding them tight. And creating something beautiful out of that pain. Because pain done well, can help others carry their burdens. I don’t want to take away from the hurt and sadness. It is real, it is unfair and I don’t think it is what God wants for us. But He does want good for us, and I think knowing that feeling and working through the pain leads to more good than we can even allow ourselves to comprehend.


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Finding New Wisdom, After Another Year Goes By

Each year it’s different. But each year it’s the same.

This year felt different when I had to tell my roommate what today is. And I cried. Last year I remember being at work and having to tell people. And I cried. Telling people is hard. On a normal day, telling people my brother died isn’t so hard. This day,  the anniversary of his passing, it’s hard.

Maybe it’s the trauma of the day it happened. Maybe it’s knowing my parents are hurting especially hard this day. Maybe it’s thinking about my sister in law and knowing it hurts her and I can’t fix that. Maybe it’s thinking about my nephew never getting to meet his Dad. And maybe it’s just because I miss him.

I miss his smile. I miss his hugs. I miss his words of wisdom. Yup, I said it, my little brother had some good words of wisdom. Mostly along the lines of protecting me from boys who broke my heart or not being afraid to live life to the fullest. Because that’s what he did. He lived.

Devin was a daredevil, a bit of a risk-taker. I’d like to think I get some of my risk-taking guts from his example. I often think of him when I’m making life decisions and think, WWDD? (What would Devin do?) Dev just went for things all out. He lived life “out-loud” with his whole heart.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been waking up with this idea to live my life “out-loud.” And for the most part I think I do. But I want more. I’m not quite sure what all of it means just yet, but I think Devin was a good example of living life “out-loud” and I want to keep learning from that.

He might be gone, but his passion for life lives on. I’m so thankful he was my little brother.

This is the first year in a while that I don’t live at home. It’s hard to not hug my Mom and Dad today and not be there to spend time with them. I know it’s hard for them.

And so as I ask every year, please pray for them. I know they hurt, I know their lives will never be the same, and I know they will always miss my brother in ways I can’t understand.



Filed under life, Uncategorized

Thank You, Fenway and You

This blogging twice a week thing isn’t working as well as I had planned but I am trying.  So much is happening in my life it’s tough to keep up with and tough to put into words.   

My dog died.  Fenway was my little buddy.  My pal.  She followed me home, she picked me, she loved me.  I loved her a lot.  She moved from West Virginia to North Carolina and back up to Massachusetts with me.  She is why I went home at night, who I got up to walk in the morning and the reason I made certain decisions in my life.  She dictated my schedule.


That dog saved my life.  There was a time when she was the only reason I would get out of bed.  I had to feed her, I had to walk her.  God gave her to me when He knew I would need her.  Her smile made me laugh when I could barely see through the tears.

But she was tough.  She was not a good listener.  She was feisty, seriously cute and could always tug at my heart strings.  She was precious. 

And I miss her.  I miss the moment when I get home and she would greet me.  I miss the moments after I awoke in the morning and I would snuggle with her.  I miss her smile.  I miss her presence. 

But in all of the loss, there is gain.  God is good and He is great to me.  Even in all of the loss and sadness he has filled the void with new friends, exciting opportunities and an outpour of support one can’t dream up. 

The community that I call mine is second to none.  And it reaches across every border and boundary imaginable so far that when I’m in need, my different worlds come together.  I wish I could describe my thankfulness.  But God didn’t create words to match the feeling in my chest.  And I think it was for a reason.  If we could describe it all too easily we would use it all too much.  This feeling is meant for special occasions. 

So thank you to you.  To those who posted on Facebook, those who called and texted.  And to those who showed up.  You are a gift.  And it is a testament to how God has blessed me with more than I can even understand. 


Filed under life, love