Love, Loss and Living and Grieving on the first Angel Day

Love, Loss and Living and Grieving on the first Angel Day

First Angel Day
Sarah’s “Angel Tree with Snowflakes.”

One year ago, today, the unthinkable happened. My precious granddaughter, Sarah, passed away after a brave battle with myocarditis. Not only did her death send a ripple of shock and grief through our family, that ripple reached beyond what anyone could imagine. She touched the hearts and lives of so many people in our community, and the world at large.

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Love, Loss, and Lessons Learned from an Uprooted Tree

Love, Loss and...

One of the benefits of a warmer-than-normal fall in the Midwest is the opportunity to get out for a walk without bundling up from head-to-toe. It’s especially helpful for me, as walking is one of my go-to, self-care modalities as I process grief.

One of the pitfalls is, though, while the warmth and sunshine are appreciated, the storms that are trying to settle us into winter weather have definitely created havoc.

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Love, Loss and Listening for Sarah

Love Loss and Listening for Sarah

Love and Loss
Sarah’s angel wings

While many people look forward to their first cup of coffee in the morning, I truly savor my second cuppa Joe. It’s like a reward for getting up, showering, exercising and adulting. Anything to motivate me to get the day rolling.

My second cup is great because I love to sit outside and journal. Now, this all works great when the weather is nice. However, I start to panic in the fall, knowing that outside journaling is going to come to a cold and snowy end.

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T’was the Night Before the Election – again

Election 2020

I wrote this four years ago, and unfortunately, not much has changed. I hope this brings a little levity to Election 2020.

T’was the night before the election and all through the States, people were worried; some tongues spewing hate.

I, in my blue jeans and soft, fuzzy sweater, signed off of Facebook, all for the better.

Was hoping to see pictures of puppies or s’mores; instead I saw memes and fighting and more.

It saddened me deeply to see all this fright; all griping and moaning – who’s wrong and who’s right.

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Love, loss and promises kept at the Labyrinth

The intricate center of the labyrinth

Love, loss and promises kept at the Labyrinth

Last December, I wrote about the promise I made to Sarah when I took her to the labyrinth towards the end of November. We had planned to go many more times, but her untimely, unexpected passing changed my life – my entire family’s lives. This is what I wrote:

“But I will make good on the promises I have made to her. So, Sarah Boo, this blog is for you. I know you can read it from the other side. I promise you, I’ll keep writing and doing my art. And, I’ll be taking you back to the labyrinth – all four seasons, with pictures. You’ll travel in my heart instead of in my car. You’ll be in the center of my heart instead of the center of the labyrinth. And I’ll whisper “I love you,” knowing that you can hear me – whether in the labyrinth or in my heart.”

And now, a difficult promise is fulfilled…

Dear Sarah,

Well, I did it. Just like I promised you, I returned to the labyrinth and took photos so we could see how it looked in the winter, spring, summer and fall.

There were so many days I wanted to go to the labyrinth – but I was missing you so much – I just didn’t have the emotional strength to head out there. Yet,  on other days, I’d feel you nudge me. I’d see heart shapes. I’d feel a pull to the labyrinth. This message you sent to nudge me, well, all I can say is, “wow!” When I found your perfectly-formed “S” after my morning exercise routine, I knew I had to go. So, the fall photos happened later that day. (See, I do listen! LOL 😊)

Sarah trying to get my attention

I love that you leave me messages – in the shape of an “S,” or a cloud or a heart or an animal. My camera is filled with images that I know you’ve sent.

Sarah loved clouds, and sends her love through them.

While I know you are around me all the time, I miss that physical connection we had. I miss seeing you and hearing your voice. I want you to know, almost every photo I take, it’s because I see you in it – or feel you in it.

This fall, the colors have been so amazing and vibrant. I know it was one of your favorite seasons. The red has been so very vibrant – you’d absolutely love it.

Double heart and vibrant reds… messages from Sarah.

It may be my imagination, but I swear, since you’ve transitioned, I have seen more amazing sunsets, cloud formations, hearts, vibrant colors – more than I ever remember. I feel that God is just giving you the most amazing art supplies so that you can keep reminding me – reminding all of us – you are still with us every day. Especially when you paint the skies in the evenings.

I believe Sarah paints some beautiful sunsets.
I feel that God is just giving you the most amazing art supplies so that you can keep reminding me – reminding all of us – you are still with us every day. Especially when you paint the skies in the evenings. #SarahStrong #CloudsForSarah Share on X

Enjoy the four seasons of photos from the labyrinth, Boo. I know that you helped me take all of these, because you caught my eye with the beauty of nature. A beauty that you are so excited to share as a reminder that you are always there.

Winter view. It was stark and cold on the first trip to log the seasons for Sarah.
The warmth and color of spring at the labyrinth.
Summer’s views are lush and green at the labyrinth.
Fall’s spectacular colors at the labyrinth


Love you so very much, Boo Bear. Thanks for the continued inspiration and signs of love. It means so much to me.

Love, Mema xoxo


Love, Loss and Loving Miss Sadie

Love, Loss and Loving Miss Sadie

Loving Sadie
Sadie getting her Zen on while on our walk.

The three-year adoption anniversary of my little buddy, Remington, has come and gone. Unfortunately, in complete compliance with the surreal of crap that is the year 2020, our three-year-old pup passed away over the summer.

Sometimes, I just sit back and scratch my head. The question “Why?” pelts me at all hours – day or night.

I was completely shocked and devastated when Remi died. He got me out on walks on my darkest days. He made me laugh on my darkest days. He brought me pure joy on my darkest days.

How was I going to manage the grief and trauma I was already working through, when I now had to add the grief and trauma of losing him, too?

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Love, Loss and Losing Remi

Love and Loss
Remington, my devoted co-worker.

Love, Loss and Losing Remi

To say the past few years have been fraught with loss is a complete understatement. Some days, it feels like the hits just keep on coming.

I’m sick of dealing with grief and trauma.

One of the biggest myths people hear is “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Hah – I beg to differ.

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Love, Loss and Learning to Listen while Healing

Love, Loss and Learning to Listen while Healing


I’ve added this post to my “Love, Loss and …” series, because so far, the year 2020 has been a “big T” trauma. Our entire world is learning to live with grief and trauma on so many levels. And as I know, trauma healing begins with someone who will listen. Trauma healing also needs one to listen to one’s self and to self-reflect.

When this Facebook post hit my feed the other night, I wanted to hit “share,” add a heart emoticon, and send it into the virtual world. (link here)

Something stopped me. I felt I needed to say more, and I took a few days to realize that, yes, I needed to do more than just share. It took me a few days to gather my thoughts about this interview with Blake Hairston.

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Love, Loss and Living with Grief

Love Loss

Living with loss…

Love Loss
I snapped this photo on the six-month anniversary of Sarah’s passing. I didn’t realize it looked like an angel until I got home…

A little over six months ago, I spent the afternoon with my precious granddaughter, Sarah. A week later, she was fighting for her life. When her body gave out after an amazingly brave battle, she transitioned to heaven, leaving all of those who love her behind, living in our own Hell on earth. Our loss, Heaven’s gain.

When I took her to the labyrinth on a sunny, cool, November day, I promised her we’d come back each season, take photos, and see the changes in nature. We’d have wonderful memories and photos to look back on, and the moment I hugged her in the center of the labyrinth, I knew it was our special place.

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Love, Loss and Learning to Self-care with Art

The Mask – Jason Rice – April 2020 (mixed media)

In my last post I discussed my “self-care” emergency kit. While I incorporate several modalities, my favorite is the “Daily Challenge.”

Every day, I challenge myself to learn or try something new. Sometimes it is as simple as looking up a word I don’t recognize. Other times it’s reading a new topic, or challenging myself to walk 15 more minutes. Some days, it’s trying something new with art.

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