Feel the pain and know the joy will come again

Have you ever done something so embarrassing that everyone pretended it didn’t happen and then no one ever spoke of it again?  This was a time back in July of 2016, when somehow I got word that it was Karen’s Birthday.  I’d only known Karen for one month.  She’d attended our very first GNO had already volunteered to help staff the next event.  So I decided to celebrate her with a balloon, a gift and a birthday song in front of the group at Girls Night Out.  She was shocked and surprised.  In my mind, it all went down the way we planned it, until I found out. . . it wasn’t really her birthday. 

That was Karen for you.

She was a kind and generous ray of sunshine, leaving a trail of joy and laughter wherever she went.  Until this past Friday, when we were shocked to learn that her life was unexpectedly cut way too short.  There’s a collective hush, and sadness, left in our little tribe. We will miss her smile, her laugh, her hugs, her positivity, her strength, her support, her compassion. . . we will miss her everything.

We will miss her presence immensely, forever. 

There are no words in moments like these.  Just the empty sound of tears and heartbreak.  But we will navigate these dark waters together.  That’s what sisters do.

That’s what humans do.  

Brené Brown guides us so well:

“An experience of collective pain does not deliver us from grief or sadness; it is a ministry of presence. These moments remind us that we are not alone in our darkness, and that our broken heart is connected to every heart that has known pain since the beginning of time.”

“We run from grief, because loss scares us.  Yet our hearts reach toward grief, because the broken parts want to mend.”

May our broken hearts reach toward grief, together, in a ministry of presence, so that somewhere down the road, we can follow Karen’s bright trail, of joy and laughter, and the healing can begin. 

If you feel yourself running from grief or loss today, let this be a reminder that your heart is reaching toward grief because it’s the first step on the road to healing.  Let grief be.

Grief is the beginning of healing, in a scary disguise.  

It’s precisely that capacity to allow yourself feel pain, that will also allow you to embrace joy.

Allow yourself to feel the pain and know the joy will come again.  

Just the way Karen would want it.

to more love,


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