Stories to Inspire You


Men, Don’t Just “Move On” Please

Photo credit: NBC Last night I was watching Chicago Fire, an episode where one of the main characters, Hermann, goes into a burning building with a friend & fellow firefighter from another house. In a split second trying to save a man trapped inside, the two men are separated in the smoke & Hermann makes it out alive, but his friend doesn’t. There’s this scene where Hermann is staring in the mirror in the bathroom, wrecked over this death, just hours after it happened, and hi

The Answer to Everything Is…

It’s been a hard week here. It started out with calling 911 on Sunday because the baby was choking on something she picked up off the floor. It took a visit to the ER and several panicky hours to figure out she had a small piece of thick plastic lodged in her throat that the Doctor was finally able to remove. On top of that, several of my closest friends have been dealing with life-threatening illnesses for themselves or their kiddos, so basically my heart has been walking ar

The Safeway Story: Be a Miracle

Do you believe in miracles & magic? Do you believe that without any doing of your own, an opportunity can be put in your path, a promotion can come your way unexpectedly, or a simple, kind gesture from a stranger can completely transform your day? I believe in miracles, because I have seen they happen to me frequently throughout these last 5 years of loss & hardship. Lighting our candle for her best friend this year. She passed away unexpectedly at age 5, when my daughter was

My Most Unusual Gift

Sometimes I get scared to keep sharing my story, because there are people who see me continually speaking to death and pain, who perceive that to mean that I’m stuck in the grief, not moving on, not living joyfully, dwelling on the past. And it’s perceptions like that, that made me feel like a lecherous Grim Reaper Girl for years. What these people don’t understand is that these 20+ tragic deaths & 4 years of inconceivable loss were my gift. Yes, I said that 20 people dying i

Half-Dead Or Alive

It’s a choice, and one that requires more courage than can possibly be put into words, to unfold your wings again, when they’ve been clipped, wounded, torched and tormented, time after time. It has been my life’s challenge to unfold. A year ago, I was pregnant with my third child – a walking dead, half-alive corpse of myself. 4 years of tragedy, 20 deaths, and the loss of everything ten times over, had singed and scarred my wings so acutely, I simply wanted to crawl into a sh

You Are Now Entering the “Spring” of Your Life

As I was hosing them down, I started aiming the spray at the dead leaves to help them fall off, and encourage growth and renewal. As nature always speaks to me, I had a little ah-ha moment. The rains and winds of our life are not to be cursed. Like a storm on a dying vine, they simply rid us of the parts of ourselves that are dead, unnecessary, broken, or browning. Then, the parts of us that are alive and green can soak up more of the water to nourish and feed our souls, spee

She Could Never Go Back…

Terri St. Cloud/ I read this on the first page of a chapter titled, “Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness” in the book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Dr. Brene Brown this morning, and I cried. I cried, and then I cried some more. #lifeafterloss #lifeafterdeath #faith #spirituality #thoughts #pain #life #Beautyinpain #family

Lean In, Baby, Just Lean In

I used to be afraid to tell you more bad stuff was happening in my life because I don’t want pity, and because I thought for sure I was doing something to “deserve” all this bad stuff. On some level, I think I believed I had not become enlightened/empowered/aura-fied/chakra-fied/fully present/fearless/brave/spiritual/positive thinking enough to transcend suffering. I wanted so badly in my journeys these last 4 years to find a way to transcend suffering. I really thought if I

Is Your Well Full, or Are You Running on Empty?

© Ashwin82 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images Bad things happen to good people. I think we’ve all figured that one out by now, right?! So, bad things are going to happen to you. Or, like me, LOTS of bad things might happen to you, over and over, with rare pause between crescendos of pain, and you may wake up one day and think, “Wow, really, is this life? Isn’t there something more than this to life?” I’ve been asking myself that question quite frequently as of late

Have You Lost a Loved One?

Who broke your heart when they left this Earth? Was it a parent, a grandparent? A sister, a friend? Was it a a child who began to grow inside of you, a child you held on this earth, a child you loved and lost? Was it more than one person – was it many who left all at once? Does your heart still hurt when you think of them? Do tears catch you unawares, months, weeks, even years later? Have you moved on with your life, yet still, you feel the empty space within that they left,

Cancer SUCKS, But…

obyvatel/ stock.xhcng Cancer sucks. In fact, if I were honest, and willing to be profane, I would give Cancer a solid tongue lashing right now. I would fling multiple curse words at it because it has burned its hot branding into the lives of my loved ones far too much in the last three years. In 2008, Cancer began an endless stretch of its slimy paws so close, so encroaching, and so frequently into my life, it felt like it’s sole purpose was to greedily rape my soul and break

Are You Expanding or Contracting?

This is almost a love letter to myself right now, because I need to hear this advice, so I’m going to give it you, in hopes perhaps my own psyche will absorb it by osmosis along the way! It seems my natural instinct is to contract, although this instinct has only become more inherent in me since all these gobs of loss began in my life three years ago. I’ve been a bit like a turtle recoiling in my shell, believing that  things would be better in my safe zone within. c-louise/s

I Confess, I Killed the Metaphorical Tea Kettle!

It’s taken me awhile to have the courage to write this post. I have a horrific confession. Do you remember awhile back I talked about my lovely little tea kettle in my post “Accepting the Unacceptable – Part II”? I had not paid enough attention to my poor tea kettle, and thus a thick residue had built up inside her, which I was unknowingly serving my family in their brown sugar oatmeal and tea. I used the sweet tea kettle as a metaphor for our unattended pain. Her unresolved

Facing Another Loss

#13 is looming on the horizon… Not going into details to respect my family’s privacy in such a hard time, but just thought, seeing as this is my place to share on life and loss, and my journey through it…I’d come here in the rawness of grief and tell you, think of me. It’s been a hard couple days, but yes, the piano practice of grief has made me a beautiful composer. I forced myself to get out in nature day before yesterday, and had the most blissful amazing day of “seeing th

Today I Will Choose Joy – So There!

Every day we have a choice. Choose joy, or sorrow. Even in the depths of despair, we have this choice. I have been at the lowest of my low, in a space where I’d given up on life in so many ways, and still I knew, it was up to me to make this choice. There are times when it can be the hardest choice you have to make – when staying stuck in the pain and the sorrow, the fear and the anger, seems so much easier. I think there are times like this that we use our fear and anger to

Accepting the Unacceptable ~ Finding Peace in the Pain – Part II

Meet my tea kettle. She's broken and beat up, but she's mine & she's beautiful. She is me. Broken and beat-up, but beautiful. Meet my tea kettle. She’s not pretty, but she does the job. My tea kettle has been with me a long time – years in fact. She’s moved four times with me, even across states. She heats water for my organic green tea, for my kid’s Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal. For some reason, I have never wanted to look inside my tea kettle. I’m almost embarrassed to say,

Accepting the Unacceptable ~ Finding Peace in Pain

Editor’s Note: I’ve made some minor changes to this post, as I prepped Part 2 and new directions unfolded. When you are facing a hard circumstance, it may feel like a black cloud has settled over you, and you have become one with that cloud. Your life becomes a dark rain storm, pouring down deep drops of sorrow and suffering into your life. Perhaps you are going through a divorce, a job loss, facing financial issues, feeling the betrayal of a friend, or watching a loved one f

Avoid Having Ulcers: Check Your Pockets

See the fish? You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Author Unknown #lifeafterloss #adapting #lifeafterdeath #Grief #faith #peace #thoughts #pain #life #Beautyinpain

“And With This Compost, He Made A Flower Grow”

“If you look deeply at a flower, at its freshness and its beauty, you will see that there is also compost in it, made of garbage. The gardener had the skill to transform this garbage into compost, and with this compost, he made a flower grow.” ~ from “You Are Here” by Thich Nhat Hanh Did Thay (I like to call him that, because that’s what his followers and friends call him, and when he speaks to my soul, I feel him like a friend) say this just for me? Did he see my life and sp

Be A Lake, Not A Glass

A beautiful story for you… An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter,” spit the apprentice. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now