Beautifully Painful Moments

The past week held so much emotion.

Loss and celebration, birthdays and burials.

So many beautifully painful moments with people I love.

I’m truly thankful for all of it: for feeling life brutally honest, leaving marks on my soul… scars I’ll wear as badges of honor where I loved and was loved.

I guess it was a good time for a birthday.

Writing about this isn’t a call for pity or even sympathy. Actually this is just a blog post about reality. Weeks like this when one of your best friends move away and your mom who survived cancer is celebrating her 60th birthday and your family is burying the ashes of your aunt who didn’t survive… That’s a lot of reality staring you down. A lot of feeling all the feels and parts of self confused and lost.  

moving boxes


my soul effect




This is a blog post about reality.

Because one can certainly avoid close relationships with people.

Or one can choose to take risks that might hurt.

And it’s not that you should be best friends with everyone. I’m not talking about pasting all the gory details on facebook or telling the cashier your life story.

Close relationships mean we step out from behind the walls and get vulnerable with some people. Because it’s good for both of us.

This is about reality.

It’s choosing to step into the hurt someone else is feeling.. and then stay there with them for awhile. Walking with them, leading them sometimes… or allowing them to lead you because they need someone to walk with them through the dark. Solid possibility neither of you know where you are going. That’s not a prerequisite. The important thing is being there. Together.

When I was in the midst of a very lonely place in my marriage, my sister-in-law showed up one day with a few hours to spare. “Let’s have a drink.” she said. “We can talk about what’s going on, or we can talk about something else. We can cry or laugh. Whatever you need.”


We sat out on my porch in the middle of the summer afternoon and had a drink and I got to unload my pain and sort thru and not feel alone for a little while.

Actually it lasted well after our afternoon on the porch. Knowing she was with me, available to me while I felt so helpless, was a comfort as I moved forward in the coming months.

She didn’t have to put herself out there. And it certainly would have been easier not to. But she did it anyway; and our relationship is richer for it.

Our new reality.

This week included goodbyes, checking-in, invitations, and weepy moments alone. There were quiet country-road car rides, houses full of family laughter, and my mom kneeling graveside saying goodbye again.

It was one of the richest weeks of my life.

The problem with getting really involved in reality is then you might have a week filled with loss and celebration and painfully feeling more moments than you wanted.

But that’s the rich reality I think I prefer.

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