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Better Together. Period.

Better together.

Period.


Losing Ari could have wrecked us as a couple. We could have become one of the statistics.

 

We could have given up on one another, went opposite ways when our grief did the same.

 

We could have wallowed in our own bubble of pain, not communicating or telling one another we need help.

 

But we didn't.

 

We found more love, more fight within us to not let her death break us, but to let her LIFE lead us.

 

She leads us every day to choose better. To be better as a couple. To be better parents. Better friends. Be better human beings.

 

It is not a walk in the park. In fact, it is more like a marathon.


But, not one other person on this planet will ever be able to understand the depth of pain we each carry more than one another.

 

Though we grieve differently, he gets me. He is my person.

 

Grief exists because love did first.

 

And ever since grief entered our life, it's been about finding our way through it......

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Running into the Dark

 

Ragnar Trail Run.


Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Requires running into the dark.


Head down, heart racing, following a path into the unknown, in fear, to the things ahead I cannot see...

 

Falling. Bruises, cuts and scrapes. Aches and pains. Struggling. Continuing the race, broken and tired. But fighting until it is finished.

 

I think this is the metaphor of my life.

After the loss of a child, life is certainly a struggle. I recognize and honor that truth. And it is ok to struggle. But you have a choice every day to fight for more. In truth, that is not easy. But it is possible.


You can either let fear of the unknown slip into every other part of your life, inhibiting you from truly enjoying it. Or you can battle and fight, start to stretch yourself, take risks (even with fear, not knowing the outcome) and still fully experience the beauty left in this life.


After the loss of Ari, the things I once feared and thought that if attempted I would surely fail, I have conquered. I...

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Split Paths

"I asked grief, 'what do you fear?' She said, 'turning into resentment and not compassion'."

Our grief constantly presents us with having to make choices, split paths, deciding major moments in life. When I saw this post on Instagram it struck a nerve, for I was once caught up in walking down the road of resentment after losing Ari.
 
Quite honestly, it can be pretty tempting and seem almost easier to stay in the suck, to follow the path of misery. It took a lot less energy to be swallowed up and consumed, without putting up a fight.
 
Right after Ari died, I was in go-go-go mode, trying to make things happen that most likely were not meant to be. It was kind of like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Trying to make sense of Ari's death, finding the reason. Everyone kept saying 'everything happens for a reason' so I insisted on finding it. With no answers (because there will never be one), I was frustrated to no end.
 
Anger consumed me most of the time....
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Proved Her Name Was Perfect

Our little ‘lion of God’ rightfully earned her name. From the moment of late daughter's official diagnosis of Trisomy 13 on November 7, 2016, Ari overcame so many of the odds stacked against her. The biggest odd of them all, surviving. 

On a train to Chicago, our son Chase unknowingly captured this photo of me.  After scrolling through all of the photos taken that day I stumbled upon this one. I froze. I saw a lion.

 

What?!?!  Yes, I saw a lion, but most likely not what you're thinking.

 

See the way the light blends with the edges of my hair?  It creates a makeshift mane so on the surface, I immediately see a lion. But beyond the obvious, looking closer and going deeper... I see more.

 

I see the focus and clarity in my eyes, fixed on the thoughts of forward progress. A course that was intuitively set from the very beginning of my story.  I see the patience and stillness in my body, a distinct understanding that there is...

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