as long as it takes : : grief stories

as long as it takes : : grief stories

Grief takes as long as it takes.

We place the tiny Christmas tree on our mantle, fluff its branches, plug in twinkle lights. I can hardly stand to look there, though, the ledge where her ashes also rest.

How can daily life roll on as if nothing has changed, when everything has?

Christmas was "her" holiday--the season she unleashed all her thoughtfulness, her generosity, her mother-love pouring out in one glorious glittered heap.

We are trying. We are. We unpack our tiny village, the miniaturized candy shop and fire station and department store and fully furnished homes, all these little boxes hinting at life unseen. We wrap strands of lights, hang stockings. Because it's what she would have done. It's what she would want us to do.

No expiration date defines our grief. No map tells us how to travel these days, suddenly so different, yet impossibly the same. No memory returns her to us.

But somehow we try anyway. We seek her in twinkle lights, in presents gathered, in her charming decorations that help us smile even while tears fall.

Transformation takes as long as it takes.

We are forever marked.
We are somehow still the same.

On the (what-feels-impossibly-long) eve of Sprout online magazine's rebirth to The Phoenix Soul, I yearn to leap from Here to There. From bumbling, one-step-at-a-time transition to full-fledged reality in one bound. Now that I know our destination, the journey is achingly long.

But Grace whispers in my ear, take time. Lean in. Breathe deep.

The mess, the muck,
the struggle, the surrender.


Healing is here: in the raw, the real,
laughter tangled in tears,
ashes next to light.

Said on Instagram: Letting peace find me wherever she will. In gentle light pouring into my disastrously messy house. In a tiny Christmas tree holding space next to her ashes. In music that sings me back from sadness. In a big fat pimple on my lip and smiling anyway. Because this is my life & I choose to love it.

// Grief stories: we are #thephoenixsoul despite & because of it all. We fear not our own un-doing. We cling to vulnerable truth, certain this is where healing begins. We crack open. We rise. We rise.

Dear one, what aches write your days? What joys surprise you, comfort you, bring you back from the precipice?

Here, in this haven of healings-to-be, we honor (I honor) your whole story (our story). There is room for gutwrenching grief and shocking joy. There is room for all of you--your hidden hurts, your emerging hope.

You are so welcome here.

With deep love and respect,

fear not your undoing

fear not your undoing

thank you, kindred : : our glorious mess

thank you, kindred : : our glorious mess