On Grief: Slivers of sunlight

So today seemed optimistic. Today, something felt okay. I wouldn't go so far as to say something shifted, because I was crying about 20 minutes ago, but at some point, something seemed, for a few moments, optimistic?

It could be that this guy, my brother, returned from serving our country after being gone since January 2013.

He's safe. That feels so good. And I am thankful.

Or it could be that this weekend my crew made me smile through my tears.

Who dresses these two?

No matter what, this road that I'm on, that we're on...  it's life altering. It's three weeks today.

I miss her.
I miss her.
I know my sister does, too.

I want to call her. About 30 times a day.
I want her to ask me, "How was your day?"
I want to hear her laugh.
I will play Words with Friends with her and she won't even have to nudge me when it's my turn.
I want her to be a phone call, a text or a facetime call away.
One more time, I want to hear, "Well, do you want to know what I think?"

Yes, Mom. I do. This time, I do. Go ahead. Tell me. I'll listen.


This road, which I hate calling "a road" or "a process", blows.

...Still, today I'm thankful and I'm blessed.

What absolutely blesses me is you.

The emails.
The texts.
The facebook inbox messages.

So many of you have shared your story with me. You've called me; visited me at work; hugged me in person or via email. You've said, "I don't know what to say... but I care." You've cried with me or for me.

You've made a difference.

You've told me your story of loss.

I've been overwhelmed with solidarity and the understanding that each story is a delicate snowflake; unique to you and your family. It's your collection of experiences and feelings. Your world has been turned upside down, too. You've gotten "the call." Or, you know what it's like to feel anxiety throughout your entire body... because you've lost someone, too.

Your Dad.
Your Mom.
Your brother.
Your grandma.
Your grandpa.
Your aunt.
Your uncle.
Your cousin.
Your friend.

What I'm finding is that even though you lost someone you loved oh-so dearly, you've gained a little something called empathy. Your heart, while broken, has somehow lent itself to me and comforted me. You recognize that I'm hurting and a little broken and you tell me about that time that you were broken; about the time that you fell like you couldn't breathe. And it helps.

You're quick to say that I'm in your thoughts or in your prayers, and truly, that has lifted me up.

It's lifted me up when you share your stories with me, too.

I want to hear about her.
I want to know what he was like at the end.
Or the last day you talked to her.
I want to know what you felt.
I want to know what you regret.
What you miss.
What make you laugh.
What reminds you of him.
What makes you still, freeze and cry.

Because I can relate.

I have hope because of you.

Because I see that you're putting one foot in front of the other, with your loss tattooed on your heart, just like me. And some of you are especially close to my heart because you're just days or weeks or months from where I am - gasping from memory to memory. Waffling between searing pain and numbness and shock and anger and sadness.

And I get it.

This experience... oh... oh this...

My sister and I have said since the beginning that good things are going to come from this.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." and I can see it in my life right now.

At this second... in between the tears and anger and sadness... I'm thankful for her life, for your stories and support and for the love that I feel around me.

I wish that she was here.
That she wasn't a memory.

But, here I am. On this "road." Waiting for, reaching for, the slivers of sunlight - like today.

Thank you.
Thank you for thinking of me. And for praying for me.

I can feel it.

Farewell, September.


The Story
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.


  1. Kylee, Your feelings are so real....your words are so beautiful...you get it...Life is precious....Hugs to you!

  2. thinking of you. sending hugs and love from across the miles. sharing sad, heavy tears with and for you. love you friend, Miss.

  3. Kylee, I'm so happy your brother is home safely. My baby brother comes home from Afghanistan this month too. Thanks for sharing your, "Grief: Slivers of Sunlight" post, you are touching us all even through your pain. When I read this, I feel like I am with you. Te mando un abrazo, amiga.

  4. Hugs and prayers of strength to you, friend. You are such an incredible person.

  5. You are braver than I am...it took me 2 years to blog my story and many tears. I wrote about it here:


    Please know that you are remembered in prayer all the time. It does get better. This first year is going to suck it big time, the second, well... it gets easier. Now we keep my dad's memory alive by telling his stories and adventures to the little kids and the ones born after his death. You will do that too with your little ones. Hang in there. Hugs from Toledo!

  6. Beautiful.

    You and your words are so strong and powerful.

    I am glad you are finding those slivers of sunlight. Your mom wants that for you….for all of you.

    And I am glad your brother is home, thank him for us.



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