Thinking of you


We grieve deeply, when we love deeply. Grief, like the love that is the foundation of our grief, never fades. We just learn how to live with it. No amount of healing can replace the piece of our heart that our loved ones take with them. But as we go through the grief journey, we learn how to put our grief in a keepsake box on a virtual closet shelf that we can go to when we feel the need to be close. But there are days when that box comes tumbling off the shelf all by itself.

This past Friday was one of those days. It marked twenty-seven years since a car crash tore our family apart, killing my first husband and our three precious children. I always have a plan in place for honoring special days, particularly this anniversary day. One of my favorites ways to remember is releasing four red roses into the ocean as I pray and tell them how much I still love and miss them.

But this year, I am in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains busy settling my twins in for another school year. So I decided to walk to the beautiful chapel down the street and enjoy the cool peace and quiet to share some time with those who are gone from my touch but never from my heart. As I headed out, my husband called acknowledging the day with words of love and comfort. And with that began a parade of calls, cards and texts from family and friends telling me they were thinking of me and remembering with me loss beyond measure. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means after all these years to have such a faithful group of BFF’s in my life. To know that I am not bearing my grief alone, but that others are willing to shoulder it with me, gets me through the day, and I am so very grateful for each one of these blessings in my life. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Paul writes, Praise be to God…the Father of compassion and of all comfort, who comforts us so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

I know that on days when that keepsake box full of love, grief and memories comes down off the shelf the Lord reaches out to me, and through wonderful people in my life He strengthens me, so that when the day has passed, I may gently place the box back up on the shelf and continue to embrace the life I have. Thank you Lord for your mercy and for putting such wonderful people in my life. Love, heartfelt thanks and blessings for each one of you!

8 thoughts on “Thinking of you

  1. Cynthia Hockaden says:

    This is so beautiful and so true. I lost my husband 28 years ago and this “box” still tumbles down from its shelf. It doesn’t hurt quite as much. It still brings me to tears. I am forever grateful to those friends who have not forgotten him.

  2. Dini says:

    A beautiful way to remember your loved ones and keep them near you but I like that you have joy again and can be happy. You have been through so much. You really do inspire.

  3. Donna Diaz says:

    Continued love and blessings always, my dear Donna! Gerry and the children are always in the hearts of the Diaz’s not only on this anniversary but on so many other days. And, as I’ve often said to you, thoughts of them bring smiles to our faces when we remember the happiness of their lives. They do live on in a beautiful way through you, John, the twins, and all of us who knew them and loved them!

    1. Donna says:

      Mad, I know they are. Thank you for being so much more than a cousin. You are a dear and faithful friend and confidant. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

  4. Pamela Conrad says:

    Dearest Donna, thank you for your beautiful thoughts. At every Mass I celebrate, I think of Gerry, Dawn, Michael, and Stephen and I remember the joy that they brought to everyone who knew them.I pray to them for guidance because I know that they are with our Heavenly Father.
    I am grateful that you have been doubly blessed with exemplary, gifted families.
    You are always in my thoughts and prayers! All my love at this special time of year.

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