As the 1 year anniversary of Nana passing approaches I have a ton of feelings. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my child is “emotional” when she comes from me. But as we get closer to 1 year I can feel things shift. I stand by my post that things don’t get easier but I will concede that it does change. Some feelings still sucker punch me and knock the wind out of me, but that sharp jagged edge is slowly starting to feel like a deep ache.

There are so many quotes and sayings about living with grief and they are all true. My friend as work brought me flowers and a card for this 1 year anniversary and the front of the card says “Grief, like a wave has a rhythm of its own”. I knew this was from Hallmark before I even turned over the card! Well said Hallmark, well said. And thank you Jess! It really does have a rhythm of its own and every person marches to a different beat. Yup I just hit you with some old time sayings right there.

We made it through the year of firsts. This year was brutal however, I can’t brag about my family and my husband enough. I thank God every night for having such an amazing family surrounding me. Ask Rylan, she’ll tell you we pray every night. We ask God to say hi to Nana, and other family members who have passed and all our animals. Seriously Rylan doesn’t even let me miss one animal.

Its because of this family that I’ve been able to make it through okay. We made sure we stuck with the important traditions and were all present with each other. We made sure to bring joy to the events even when it would have been easy to give up and hide under a the covers. I truly feel like the way we came together this year is going to make the future easier to get through. If nothing else it will be easier because we know we can do it. Not only can we get through it, we can do it in style (thank you Aunt Patty!).

This aching inside will never go away. I know that there will always be a simmer of grief that will crank up and send that fire through me when I least expect it. But I’m confident in the tools that Nana gave us to get through it. I doubt she planned to raise us all this good just so we could get through life without her but then again I wouldn’t have expected anything less. She did after all have her plot and headstone in place long before anyone was even a little sick. The woman was full of surprises.

Some things I’ve learned this past year in my grief. I couldn’t quite put this into words but James Clear could! He said “you have no responsibility to live up to someone else’s expectation of you. Spend as little time as possible chasing other people’s preferences instead of your own”. Not everyone understands grief. I used to be that person and let me tell you, until you go through it you have no clue. Grief is not a one size fits all and sometimes it was hard for me to express what I was feeling and “grief” didn’t seem to cut it. It wasn’t a good enough reason to not hang out in a group, not workout, or not do things I once enjoyed. But to me it was.

I’ve learned to send the text, make the call, do the things. If you feel an urge to reach out to someone… do it. I believe God communicates with us if we listen and talk to him enough. So when someone pops in my head for what seems like no reason I try and reach out. There could be a reason that has nothing to do with me so but I put that faith in him.

I learned that while you have to work hard you have to play too. Nana always lead by example in that regard and she always was going on trips with us or her friends. She had a great and super fun group of friends. But she didn’t get to enjoy her retirement the way I wish she would have. I know there’s no point in the “I wish” game but I wish her and Papa got to spend some time just living. Basically I wish we had more time with her.

I was surprised to see I was never angry. Not in the way I feel like a lot of people get angry. I was irritable in general and snappy but it wasn’t like I was angry at God. Do I feel like its not fair that she’s gone? Absolutely! But I believe our God is good and I don’t think he took her on purpose to hurt us. So why be angry about it.

I don’t make new years resolutions. In the past I’ve made statements like “I want to say yes more” or “I don’t want to be a flake anymore”. I did good when I had something to focus on for the year. This year I’m going to make better choices. With everything from friendship to eating and working out. NO not like an “I’m going to lose weight” resolution. I think where we are at in life is the result of a million little choices we’ve made that lead us to where we are. Its up to us to make choices to get where we want to be. This year I want to make better choices. All around I want every choice I make to be because its truly 100% what I want. Or what I want to get me to where I want to be. So my “resolution” this year is to be unapologetically selfish. While still being kind of course.

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