I have learned that I am not the first person who has endured grief. I have learned that I won’t be the last. I have learned how deep grief can be, and I have learned how to grab onto the hands that have been extended to me, and I have learned to just hold the hell on.

Losing Dad was certainly not my first loss. I have been through some big ones. But my Dad…. if you know me… you know how close we were. I was shattered into a million pieces.

I think most of all I have learned to appreciate every single human who has literally stood by me through this.

My appreciation for the gift of movement has also grown. So many days I have just gotten lost in the water, or listening to the whirring of the trainer, or the sound of footsteps on the road.

Grief can be beautiful in a very strange way. It has connected me to so many. My Mom, sister and I are navigating all of this as best we can. We have learned to open ourselves to those who have become family. And we have been caught time and time again. I don’t know any other way to say thank you except, to assure you, when it’s your time to be caught, I will be there.

As I look at the timing of losing Dad, I can’t help but be intrigued. 9 days after his birthday. At a time when he and I got to have those conversations you hope you get to. While his death was sudden and traumatic, I got to say all the things you hope you would say. And he did as well.

We got through the first Christmas and New Year, those came fast and we didn’t have the dreaded build up of waiting for them. Subsequent ones will still hurt but we got through the first ones. We got to be in Boston (my sister ran) for the first Easter. We got through that.

As spring starts to come forward, the days get longer and new life starts to emerge, I can’t help but be pulled along with it. Naturally. I have this feeling of hope that comes with spring. I have a bunch of travel and adventures, some of which I promised Dad I would embark on.

It’s forward motion and that helps.

There are silver linings even on the worst days. There are lessons in loss that will bring you to your knees and other days will make you feel like you can actually touch the stars themselves. I have learned that all of it is beautiful, and all of it is normal, and there is no timeline for any of this.

In the past month I have gotten to swim in the ocean, bike in the sun and laugh with friends. In two weeks I get to do that again. I am adventuring as I promised him I would.

I don’t know if I have ever had a deeper appreciation of this journey we call life, as I do right now. Through my work as a pediatric nurse I have dealt with the fragility, the unfairness, but at the same time the absolute miracle all of this is.

So let’s keep connecting and growing and moving forward together. As I said, when you need to be caught know that I am here. And if you are up for an adventure… reach out. I have a million of them planned.

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