What I know is this…

Time does not heal all wounds

Time gives us practice

Practice to manage the waves

At first the waves of grief came crashing in all around me and I felt I was going to drown in my emptiness.

Again and again I was pummeled by the fear of my depth of pain.

But slowly through time I was able to realize I was surviving (some days only a shell of my former self) but a new me kept being birthed with every violent crash of new waves of grief and after years I learned to not only ride those waves but to anticipate them.

To immerse myself in my pain and feel the ocean all around me but to know that flailing and struggling will just cause more panic.

I am continuing to learn to let go • find the power and control in my breath and ride the wave itself instead of trying to control it.

I have respect for who controls the ocean and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that who created the deep waters also created me for a purpose and that purpose keeps me alive for this breath.

And the circle of life continues from the last embrace to the first again.

I am who I am today because of her

This was the last picture I took of my mom and I before she died • actually the last picture of her standing.

This picture is a strong image for me as I look at my moms eyes looking at herself in the mirror for the last time.

As women we look at ourselves numerous times a day and how many of those times are we kind to ourselves?Or are we looking for faults, wrinkles, folds, grey hair?

My mom was skin and bones when she died but this photo shows her grace and compassion and faith all in one.

Her words and poems during her entire battle with cancer was not "why me" was "why not me".

She didn't concern herself with why this was happening to her • she was concerned with much greater questions like "how can I help others go through what I'm growing through • how can I give back • how can I show the world my faith in a God who has a purpose for everything and gives peace that surpasses all understanding.

We are not called to understand • we are called to love • we are called to help others • we are called to care • and so I have learned and trained my brain and heart out of my victim mentality and have adopted a new role for what I'm praying is the better half of my life.

I don't have time to be a victim • I don't have time to ask "why" • I am now asking "how".

Everyone experiences pain • ALL OF US will experience death • YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

How can I help • how can I love more • how can I be kinder • how can I love deeper?

There is no greater freedom than taking responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions.

Time does not heal all wounds • Time transforms us •

I grow and change with each high + low tide, just as the ocean floor is reshaped with each crashing wave.

On the 5 year anniversary of my mother’s death as waves of grief pummel toward me, I now anticipate how to respond.

Will I dive deeper and let the waves wash over me or will the current pull me in to float over each rolling wave.

Either way, I have learned to let go.

The waves of grief will never leave me and I will never be able to control their power • I have to put my faith in the One who created the ocean, appreciate its infinite depths and breathe through every salty tear that wells up from the oceans of my sorrow.

My mother was there as I broke out from the waters within her and I was there, as she braved the stormy seas of this life landing safely on heavens beautiful shore.

Despite the cancer wreaking havoc in her body, she didn’t concern herself with the waves of her own suffering—instead, she chose to be a lighthouse to help others navigate their stormy seas.

Her selflessness has remained a guiding light in my life, a beacon I am honored to share on this platform as a beaming steady Ray of hope from my heart to show you the way through dark waves of grief that seek to overwhelm you.“ and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one...for what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?” —Khalil Gibran

The incredible thing I've learnt from my years of depression and fighting my way through is that no matter what the circumstance, it is always my choice how I respond.

Life is a delicate balance of fighting and learning to let go • being vulnerable and standing strong.

In every circumstance finding the courage to show up and be seen when I have no control over the outcome.

These are the lessons I am only living out now that my mom has passed away.

I didn't know the strength before ||

📍You know after any truly initiating experience that you are part of a much bigger whole • Life is not about you hense forward, but you are about life ||

My dad died 30 years ago today.

He asked my mom to shave him a Mohawk right before his bone marrow transplant so us kids wouldn’t be scared when he lost all of his hair due to chemotherapy.

They had a funeral planner come to our house and bought a grave plot for them both and picked out a coffin and a stone.

My parents always prepared for the “worst” so when death came (as it inevitably does for all of us) the “planning” wouldn’t be as hard.

Since then, all of my grandparents have died along with my mother, leaving me the matriarch of our family.

These last few days I’ve been treading in deep waters • uncertainty brings up new waves of grief.

Seasons (Easter time for me) bring up new waves of grief.

It’s always interesting to me that pain never goes away...but it transforms.

Pain often leaves a scar and that scar will continue to be tender and a reminder of strength and transformation.

Scar tissue is actually stronger than normal tissue so even though I don’t believe time heals all wounds...i do believe we are created for a purpose and we are stronger than we know because we can have a hope of eternal proportion.

Warriors cry • warriors feel • and warriors get back up.


When I was growing up we went to church 3 times on Sunday

....I was either working in the nursery or teaching Sunday school or in the worship leading team so we did the 9 am service 10 am and then the 6pm.

It was my mother who taught me about worship and meditation and prayer and so it was very fitting that we had a time of worship and singing "it is well with my soul" at her funeral.

I spent years after my dad died questioning God and being sad and angry and bitter but I have never felt more peace and love in my heart since mom died.

When you grow deeper in your spiritual walk you realize that everyone dies eventually, this is not an act of God wanting less for you or wanting to hurt you.

He is there through it all • He is there through the storms of life, through the pain, through the misunderstandings through the loss.

He is my greatest comfort and I will praise Him every day for His undying love and grace and peace that passes all understanding…and watching my son stand in awe of such a powerful and loving God is something that I will never ever take for granted.

It’s been 6 years • 6 years since I watched this powerhouse of a woman physically reduced to skin and bones.

Her relentless spirit fighting until her very last breath.

It was my greatest gift to be beside her for 2 weeks before she passed away • hovering over every aching movement • helicoptering over every rattled breath.

Silence was the grave.

I was a shell of myself as I took care of her shell in her last days in the hospital• making decisions my siblings and I had no idea how to make.

The death of our mother only exasperated the previous death of our father.

Time was a blur • a fog as thick as pea soup • as sober as I have ever been at the same time drunk in sleeplessness and my own malnutrition • yet I would go back to her bedside in a heartbeat • and every year that passes I often find myself there • where time stood still • no bills to pay • no emails to answer • no texts to get back to • nothing • except running my fingers through her hair, stroking her cheek and holding her wrinkled bony hand • warm rays of light streaming in through the hospital window (the same light that warmed me in my dads bed as I said goodbye to him 25 years prior).

A peace that surpasses understanding, faith in our creator and a hope to see each other again.

Waves of grief crash over me every year and the pain is palpable • but every year I gain more tools to navigate the storm and have learned how to swim in rough waters.

The waves don’t overtake me anymore.

I fall to my knees on the shore, I lay in the fetal position and rock myself to sleep, only to wake with the sun and thank God for another chance to live, love and experience life for the short amount of time I have left on this earth.

Life and death have been my greatest teachers.

I have really struggled for the last few years with my birthday.

I don't know how to explain it but the day comes and I'm in the craziest funk...depressed, sad, introverted, wanting to crawl in a hole and wait for the day to be over.

Today is the fist time in I can't even remember how many years, probably since I got divorced, that I am able to say with my head held high....happy birthday to me.

I am able to say thank you mom for giving birth to me • thank you for teaching me, loving me, nurturing me, feeding me, taking care of me emotionally, physically, spiritually.

I am for the first time able to be grateful for my life, for the opportunities I've had, for the love and loss I've experienced that have made me who I am.

I am grateful for the opportunities I have to share and invest in others and I am beyond grateful for my health and my family.

I miss you marmi with every breath but today I not only celebrate my birth but the life YOU gave me and I will not take one moment for granted, I will not waste one moment on being sad or lonely or depressed.

There is too much to see, too much to do and too much love to give to waste on being a victim.

I love you mom ❤️