Thursday, December 15, 2011


“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Today. December 15. This marks one month of when we found out Juliette's heart had stopped. Also happens to fall on a Thursday. Thursday's have been hard. It's the day of the week we delivered her. Particularly between the hours of 9 and 10 am. And then again at 530 pm which is when we handed her back to our nurses and said the worst goodbye we have ever known. A few weeks ago I told myself I would force myself to show up for the hour of 9-10 am. Whether that be to sit outside and catch some sun on my face, to go for a walk or to write. I would not lay in my bed and wonder if Happy Hour could start that early, but get up and lean...really hard into this pain. I truly believe that the healing will come eventually when I let room for this to happen. And when I lean, I get to know my friend fear a whole lot better, not trying to solve anything, simply trying to discover what it is that God has for me in that moment.

The last few weeks I have been going to a yoga class on Thursdays, with my favorite teacher, Leeah Taylor. (I like to say her name Leeahhhhhhhhh, because that is how deep she encourages me to breathe when I step onto my mat.) Coincidence? She teaches a class from 9-10 am. I have found comfort in going to yoga in the last few weeks because it is a workout, its a way to sweat but NO interaction with people. I don't have to talk, I don't have to tell people about my tears rolling down my face, and there is no judgement in this workout. It's personal. It's very private.

For me today this hour was....dare I say it?.....beautiful. We set an intention at the beginning of class and for me it was simple. I wanted to just know love. I wanted to take in the last month and wanted to kick my own ass into being receptive. And I did just that. With every stretch, posture, downward dog I was discovering fear in an entire new place.

At the end of class I laid on my mat in savasana, or final resting pose. The tears came and they rolled down both sides of my face. I had this wash of emotion that was controllable but needed to come out. I thought through so many of you that have stepped in over the last 6 weeks for our family. I was overwhelmed with more tears and well....yes, gratitude. Per the quote above, my flame has temporarily gone out (and I am OK with that) So many of you have stepped in and let me know this will change me. Forever. In what way is still to be determined as we continue this journey and we ask God to flood our hearts. Again I am OK with this timeline, I feel no rush.

What I think is important that in the midst of deep grief and loss, for just a moment you can find gratitude. And since its's gratiThursday for me.


Kirsten said...

Oh Colleen, what a beautiful post. Somehow God puts us exactly where he knows we need to be and then shows up with something amazing. Whether it's friends who love us or your awesome yoga practice. I'm so proud of you for bravely showing up and facing this and for your honesty. This is crazy, but I was actually thinking about you and gratitude yesterday. I lost my first husband when I was 27 after 5 years of marriage, 12 years together, and a friend once talked to me about gratitude pertaining to that experience. I thought she was nuts, but years later I experienced it and will never forget it. My heart continually goes out to you and I am always praying for you. Sending you much love and hoping I don't offend with my words. Only you can know what you are going through, I don't intend to pretend I have been in your place or understand but my heart does ache for you. It will get better. Love you!

Meghan said...

It's interesting that you started your blog with that quote, because so often for me, and I know for many who know you, you are the person who inspires and loves me when someone my light is dimmed or has gone out. I've been going to yoga every few days and always think of you. I think you're really brave.

deniece said...

you are awesome.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for your honesty, your warmth and your bravery. Everyone grieves differently but you said so many things I wish I could have said. For me the grief opened up all the other parts of me that I had jammed down, all the other losses that I hadn't dealt with. It busted me open.
I thought if I let myself feel all of that it would truly kill me.
I tried to break it down into do-able doses but it was like a flood.
I'm not sure how I came through it. I just kept going and I accepted the help that I could accept. I wrote, I talked, and I wrote some more.
When I read your story it all came back and I cried hard.
I don't think your light has gone out. I can still see it. Be patient with yourself.