10.11

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I am not quite sure how to open this post, but I suppose saying so is one way to open it. My absence here (and elsewhere) over the last week is because I have been in a bubble of sadness. One I just had to allow myself to step into fully for a bit. I found out a little over a week ago now that someone I loved very, very dearly passed away from an overdose. Unfortunately, I have had to say goodbye to many people I loved deeply in recent years. Some of them have been really difficult for me because it seemed they went before their time. Other's were easier because I knew they lived such a long and full life, or one could reason that death released them from pain. This one has been one of the most difficult. 

Posts of this nature are always a bit awkward for me. There is an abrupt change in direction, tone, and subject. But that is also true to life. Sometimes there isn't a bridge or a smooth transition from one thing to the next. There is also always the question of what to share and what not to share on a blog. Stories that don't feel entirely like mine to share I generally try to omit or keep to a minimum. But I also feel like this blog is a true reflection of me - of who I am today and who I am today is compiled of all of my days and experiences. And, well, these things are apart of our lives too - the not so pretty things. Realities. Like death and drug addiction and sadness and grief and heartache and struggles that come in various forms for various reasons. And beyond all of that it simply feels wrong to move on to posting about houses, or products, or pictures of falling leaves and pumpkins without pausing for a moment to honor someone I loved so much. Without making a space here as well, where I invest so much time and energy, where I have built friendships and a community I hold dear, to take a moment to say - this person was apart of me too and the world around me has felt a bit more dim knowing she is no longer in it. 

My cousin, who was much more like a niece to me, passed away on her 23rd birthday. She is the only baby I have seen come into the world. Even with my own babies my eyes were always squeezed tight in that final moment. I was only 15 years old, with no idea of what I was getting into by seeing a birth, and truly there were moments where I was thinking maybe I should wait in the hall. But the moment she was born was the first time I feel in love. It was on a crisp October morning, the world seemed to hush and stand still for her arrival. She was pink and perfect - she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. For years from that moment on she and I were joined at the hip. I loved that girl beyond measure. She had huge deep brown eyes, she tucked her chin into her neck when she laughed and, that laugh, it came straight from her belly. It wasn't just a sound, but a feeling of warmth and joy and it made the air around you feel more alive. She had soft brown skin and chestnut hair, she was quick with a hug and an 'i love you.' She was kind and funny and snuggly. Beautiful inside and out. It's difficult lose someone you love. And this was true for her as well after losing her mother at 15 years old. It has been so difficult knowing I was there on the day she came into this world and somehow she escaped as quietly as she came into it on the very same day. And so far before her time. Or so it seems. 

It is at these times that I think of the saying without darkness one cannot know light. Living through loss and grief, or any struggles at all, if nothing else can be a wonderful reminder of what is important in life. And through the sharpness of grief the beauty of the world also emerges in a sharper focus as well to find gratitude for what we have - the moments of wonder, all the simple joys, the love we feel for and by others, and all the beauty that fill our worlds. 

21 comments:

  1. words cannot express how sorry i am for your loss christine. it's tragic when anyone passes away, but when a young person dies in such an abrupt manner it's truly heartbreaking. take all the time you need to heal and know that i'm sending positive thoughts your way.

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  2. oh christine! there are no condolences that ever adequately express the sympathy of another's loss... or at least, i have never had the eloquence to convey it, but i hope that you are finding comfort in recognizing the corresponding opposites to life's dark moments. as you put it, the sharpness of grief can also produce a more clear cut vision of the beauty in the world around us. my heart and thoughts are with you, friend. xo

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    1. thank you so much lucinda. it is true these things can really bring you to a deeper understanding of all the things one has to be grateful for. i do find a lot of comfort in that. xo

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  3. So beautifully written. Such a sad loss, it just feels so wrong. : (

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    1. i know. i am glad we share so many great memories of her. xo

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  4. i am so sorry to hear about your cousin. big hugs to you. my cousin was also addicted to drugs and recently celebrated two years sober. he had to be sober before his 21st birthday and he was addicted so much that he didn't care if he died doing his drug before that. being close to someone with an addiction myself, i can imagine your heartache for someone you love, but i can't even imagine your feeling of loss after losing her. i am so terribly sorry and i'm sending huge virtual hugs and tissues. thoughts to your entire family right now <3

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    1. i am so glad you cousin is doing well! two years is such an accomplishment. it's such a tough thing to watch and i have seen it more than i would ever have liked to (with a friend). but seeing it so close, also gives you a deeper understanding what a difficult battle it is. my cousin had recently gotten clean again (definitely not two years clean) but she was doing well and seemed happy. this was definitely an accident and i suppose there is at least small comfort in that. thank you for sharing and for your kind words. xoxo

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear. I never know what to say in moments like this, so I won't say anything. I'm thinking of you. sending lots of love xoxo

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    1. i never know what to say either. what can you say? i firmly believe in feeling your feelings however you need to and as long as you need to and then allowing yourself to be okay. i am doing okay now. xo

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  6. I am so so sorry for your family's loss. Paying tribute to her and your grief feels right and as humans, the readers of your blog get this. Our thoughts of love and grace are with you.
    Love,
    Shalagh

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  7. I've been thinking about you so much over the past week. Knowing about your grief and how you were wading through it and wondering when you'd be ready to share it. It was funny to come here each day, a little check in, and see those starkly beautiful photos of Mt. Saint Helen's. Appropriate. Desolate beauty. Love you.

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    1. gah! well thank you for letting me dump my crazy life story (or part of it) on you and still thinking me sane. and allowing me to write sad emails over the week. it helped me so much. sometimes you need to get. it. out. love you xoxo

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  8. I am so sorry for your loss, Christine. I know only too well how it is to lose someone dear, I've been through that a lot in the last years too. I decided not to share anything on my blog, partly because I don't share much of my personal life, and partly because it would have been so hard for me to formulate my feelings and grief and the truth is that keeping up with my blog in moments like those helped me keep my sanity. But sometimes I feel that if you share your sadness maybe it would be just a little bit easier to deal with it.

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    1. thank you ada. i understand. there have been things i haven't shared or mentioned because just continuing to blog felt cathartic to me. i certainly contemplated whether i would blog about this. but this time, maybe because my cousin had been such a huge part of my life and hadn't been for the last few years - i suppose it was my way of just acknowledging she was apart of my life and in truth always will be. i just wanted to put her everywhere in my life while i could. and, in the end, i am glad i did it. xo

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss, sweet one. What a frustrating, confusing, sad, sad time this must be for you. Thank you for choosing to share this (I had hoped to have that one Instagram you posted explained, but I wasn't going to pry or ask. it's yours for the sharing, and you would do it in your own time when/if you were ready). I've known someone who has died from an overdose, and the loss is as abrupt and shocking as you can imagine. So frustrating, too. Your niece sounded like a good, beautiful soul. I'm so sorry, Christine. xoxo

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    1. oh man i just adored her. she had a lovely soul. addiction certainly does not discriminate. i am sorry that you have been through this as well. an overdose is so abrupt and shocking. even if you know someone is or has struggled with addiction it still feels so shocking. i am doing okay though, i think i reached the acceptance part of it all. (ps you can pry twinsy xo)

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  10. So sad to read this news. Much peace to your cousin, and to her loved ones in this time of sorrow. Your words are beautifully expressed, and they honour the light of her young life.

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  11. I'm thinking about you and your family in this tough tough tough time. Big hug to you from Texas and please do let me know if there is anything I can do.

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