“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~ Albert Einstein

Normal has ceased to exist, people aren’t ready to say goodbye, we took for granted a million moments because we thought there will be a million more; instead in one ordinary instant–life changed forever because your life ceased.

Grief opens a place in our hearts that we never knew could hurt so much, but it also opens this same place to a love we never imagined possible.

Today, I visited the funeral home again. MB–a cancer survivor, a coworker, a friend and most importantly a mom, an amazing mom to twin (16 years old) boys. Your sudden death at 46 has touched our lives and hearts; the way you have inspired us has touched us even more.

All deaths bring about a wide array of emotions and some impact us more deeply than others depending on the relationships and connections. I started thinking this morning of the losses that have impacted me the most and why. This list was much longer than I thought:

Chuckie DeLuca–a classmate who lost his battle with leukemia in sixth grade. I remember going to the funeral home as a class. For many, that was their first experience losing someone so close.

My maternal grandpap in ’79

My 11 year old cousin Daniel in ’86

The childhood friend of my bff

My grandmas 2005 & 2007

Ross…colleague, mentor, funny man, friend

Bill, husband of one of my best friends

John “Chump” Churchfield…friend, adopted family member, “dad” and super best buddy to my son

Vince…the man I never met in person but who was a long distance mentor and friend

Justin…nephew of a friend, too young

Nate…my dear friend’s nephew, gone way too soon

And now Marybeth. Everyone says the same thing:  you were a warrior, a survivor, a fantastic mom, a friend and inspiration! You would light up any room you were in. Your light and spirit will continue to shine and live on in your boys and your family. You are a beautiful soul. I say that in the present tense because while I know you have returned home to our Lord, your soul is everlasting, your love is everlasting and you (as well as the souls of all the departed) are much closer than we realize.

As humans, we are consumed with grief, sadness, and fear. At the same time, we can find comfort, strength and hope in the power of the Resurrection!  May God’s Blessings and comforting hands be on her family and with all those who grieve and mourn those no longer here in earthly bodies.

There is never enough time; we never know when our time here will end. Stop the fighting, the violence. Stop ignoring family and friends. Lower pride, put away ego and reach out. Forgive! Spread light and love. Tell people how much you care! Go on adventures! Don’t put things off! Live well, love well!

I love you!

Until we meet again in heaven friends and family…K