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remembering who i am

remembering who i am

Time flies by so quickly and yet the days are excruciatingly long. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that he is gone. While in Mexico, I watched weeks 29 and 30 pass. No fanfare but my own. No acknowledgement of the devastating impact of his departure except for the things I wrote. I do not expect people to count the days, track the weeks, tick off the number of months like I do. The world turns but I’m stuck in a moment. Seven months have passed. I watched that day come and go too. I am forever blessed by his life and forever scarred by his death.

Who am I anymore? How am I still standing? How am I still here? How does my heart continue to beat and my lungs breathe and my legs move me from point A to point B? Only fools would believe we are purely physical beings. I am living, breathing proof that we are much more than that. Part of us can die, while the rest of our ‘self’ continues to exist. We are uniquely designed, fully complicated beings with more than just a body. The interconnected parts affect the whole and when one piece is damaged, the whole is impacted, sometimes beyond repair.

I am not whole. Some days I feel that I am not even half. As the hourglass continues to empty into itself, I am more and more aware of how grief has changed me. Oftentimes, I struggle to remember who I am.  I am gutted. I’m a condemned shack, an abandoned home, a foreclosure that cannot be restored. I need to be leveled. Some days, like today, I feel like I have been leveled. Bring the bulldozer in and just finish me off already. Clean up this mess. I’m taking the whole neighborhood down.

The holidays come and go… I am a pumpkin carved with an ugly grimace, a sickening grin. Hollowed out, empty. I am a cold, biting November wind. I’m a crispy, brown leaf in the gutter waiting to blow away. December comes and I am a dead tree with brittle branches… a total fire hazard. Somebody please light a match.  And at the end of the worst year of my life, I’m a firework that fails to launch. I fizzle out on the ground while everyone looks with wonder at the bright sky.

What is next? What does this new year bring? What can become of this person whose joy is gone? Better women than I have failed at resurrecting themselves from the ashes.  Will I ever climb out of this hole? I cannot imagine. That is how I feel. Today. Who am I?

aMasongrace project

Yesterday I smiled for pictures. I stared at the ocean. I read a great book. I soaked up the sun and expressed my thanks for life and family and friendship. I laughed and tried to overdose on the best coffee in the world. I savored a double scoop of ice cream in the afternoon, napped for 3 deliciously luxurious hours, devoured a boatload of carbs for dinner and then laughed some more. I ran through the rain to my little apartment in Mexico and thought of my many blessings.  I recognized that even in the worst year of my life, there is joy to be found and small pleasures to be appreciated. All is not lost.


On days like today, when I am hollow and shattered, the waves of grief pummel me into the ground. They are noisy and triumphant and threaten to hold me under. But I know I will live through this day, and the next, and the next. On days like today, in moments like these, I remind myself that I am bigger than my feelings. I am determined. I am physically and mentally strong, even when emotionally exhausted and spiritually drained. This grief will not overtake me. I force myself to remember how I felt yesterday when the waves of grief crashed into me, and I recall how I pushed through. These waves will dissipate and I will not be crushed; I am resilient, I do not cave, I am a fighter.

In my darkest moments, when I think I cannot bear it any longer, I need to remember that! Just like waves come and go, feelings ebb and flow. And just like waves, feelings are fleeting. Yesterday, I was able to smile… so maybe tomorrow will bring more of that and less of this. On days like today, I will fill myself up with thoughts of my daily life with Mase, instead of magnifying one moment and allowing it to become the whole picture. My feelings will neither define me nor be the end of me. When the waves of grief come, they shouldn’t get to knock me over every time. I will learn to dive into them and come out the other side. 

aMasongrace project

I need to remember who I am. I am gutted, yes. I am rambling and disheveled and unfocused, but I am still showing up. I am feeling this and feeling that, and I sometimes lose my way. It’s unbearably overwhelming, and so lonely. (I mean, how many times can I tell a friend the same story over and over?) Today is one of those days. I feel empty and lost, but I am more wholly human today than I have ever been.

I am flawed, deficient in many ways, and at the very same time I am perfect and enough.

aMasongrace project

I need to remember that.




  • Debbie
    Posted at 02:07h, 06 January Reply

    I can’t begin to imagine how you feel Holly. I am so sorry for your loss, your pain, your emptiness. I wish for you this year to be able to see yourself as I believe so many see you. I see you as this incredibly strong person. You have such a big heart and an enormous capacity to love. You have a zest for living and for people that I rarely see in a lot of people today. You have a strong desire to make a difference in this world and to help other people. You are certainly a beautiful woman outside as well as on the inside. You are amazing. I only met you a few times in person but I can tell you that you are larger than life itself. You are inspiring. You are so many wonderful things and I believe wonderful things are in store for you. You are thought of so often and in my prayers. Hugs to you Holly.

    • its just me
      Posted at 00:39h, 11 January Reply

      thank you so much debbie… i love when i see a comment from you. it’s always so encouraging. i believe wonderful things are in store… thank you.

  • Melissa Ancona
    Posted at 02:43h, 06 January Reply

    You matter holly! You are an inspiration. You give me hope because ever since my dad’s passing April 2012, I am not the same person & I can’t seem to find my way back. To tell the truth I can’t seem to find my way to anywhere & it’s so scary & lonely & dark & sadly I’ve stopped living! I’m lost. I’m stuck. Don’t know where to turn or what to do & then I read your posts & I hope & pray that I can be back to me someday! That maybe I’ll have the willpower to at least try. That I can smile like that, that I can join the living in activities etc. that I can face it & him & say goodbye … I miss u dad!
    So holly thanks I shudder to think where I’d be had I not seen ur posts & met you! You matter to me!

    • its just me
      Posted at 00:38h, 11 January Reply

      aw melissa, i know those feelings too well. you are in my prayers, beautiful woman! you can and will pull through this. keep diving in, keep facing the feelings, keep showing up. xoxox

  • Sarah
    Posted at 04:24h, 06 January Reply

    I believe great things are in store for you too Holly. I feel like you are gaining a deeper understanding of the truth through your devastating loss. You are so loved, so taken care of. I love how you write that you are not your feelings. Some people go their whole lives not realizing that. This too, will pass. Everything is temporary, including us. Keep feeling, and diving through the wave, one at a time. Love you.

    • its just me
      Posted at 00:36h, 11 January Reply

      thank you, lovely sister of mine. you are an amazing source of love and healing in my life. it isn’t anything you do, it’s just who you are. thank you.

  • Spring
    Posted at 07:43h, 06 January Reply


  • Carmel
    Posted at 07:49h, 06 January Reply

    I’m a big fan of quotes and my friend sent me this one on the 14th of November (21 months) – “Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…it is the price of love.” (Author unknown)

    Holding you in my heart today.

    • its just me
      Posted at 00:35h, 11 January Reply

      grief truly is the price of love. thank you for that quote. i love it, carmel.

  • Julie
    Posted at 23:24h, 08 January Reply

    My little guy is 13.5 and his name is Gavyn. I was a single mom for 9 years (in Las Vegas). I cannot fathom ever losing him. There are no words that I can say to you that would be adequate to replace your enormous loss. I am reminded of a pastor driving with his wife and 3 little ones in the car. A piece of debris flew at the car and he made a decision in a split second, but he made the wrong one and his 3 children died, but his wife survived. He was on the news saying, “The Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
    Your writing is beautiful. You are very talented. I love to write myself so I notice those things. If you haven’t already you have to check out Mitchell’s Dads blog. Their son died of a sickness and he is such a wonderful writer. Sometimes I can’t read the posts because I am not in a place where I can cry. Bless you….in the years the Lord has left for you, (before you get the answers to all your questions!)

    • its just me
      Posted at 00:34h, 11 January Reply

      thank you julie – your encouragement is much appreciated. give gavyn a huge hug from holly and mason today!

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