An Open Letter To The Mom I Loved And Lost

Mom. The word almost feels foreign rolling off my tongue. I never knew you and I never will. That’s what hurts the most. There’s always been a void waiting to be filled along with the lingering question: “What would life be like WITH you?” ...more


Dear Blake, ​Your Birthday was this week.  You would be twenty-eight now.  You would be a lot of things if the pieces of that night were rearranged differently.  I wonder what you'd look like.  Still handsome, I'm sure, with that goofy grin decorating your face.  Mom threw you a Birthday party again this year.  It was nice, but not many of your friends came.  I don't want you to think that they've forgotten about you, the impact of your life still lives in their hearts, they just have their ...more

Vulnerability, Invincibility, and Driving by Cemeteries

Driving by cemeteries hurts.I've always noticed them. I recognize them as sacred places and believe they deserve reverence. Yet, they never really affected me. Or at least no anything like they do now.It's not just that I feel cemeteries' sacred-ness and level of reverence. No, it's physical. I can physically feel cemeteries now.The physical reaction I have alone can bring me to tears. I (almost) always hold them back. But the sensation can last upwards of 15 minutes....more

On Hiking and Legacy

This is a post I wrote a month after my Dad died and I was trying to figure out what normal was and how to get there. It took me many more weeks and a couple months to be ready to blog again, as I am today. Sometimes things in life really throw me for a loop. My Dad's death is one of those things. I still get thrown for a loop at times. Like the piece of mail I got this week. I've gotten decent at swallowing a bit, at least in the moment - sometimes. The trick is to not keep it swallowed and pushed away....more

Is suicide a choice?

By Kim Ruocco, MSW, LSWThere are so many questions following a death by suicide. How could this happen? Why did this happen? Why didn’t I see it? Why didn’t I do something? Why didn’t the military do more?When my husband died by suicide in 2005, I asked myself all these questions and many more. But the most painful question, by far, was: why did he choose to leave us?...more

When Your Child's Friend Dies

Tonight we received the tragic news of a sweet angel's passing. She was one of our children's best friend from church and Adventurers. Her mom is the director of our Adventurer Club.The daughter was eight and was going to be baptized next month. She sang for Special Music in church. She had a glow about her of innocence and purity....more


People deal with death in different ways. Some people handle the grief rather well, while others let it eat them alive. Losing someone in your life is never easy, and when it comes to losing a parent at a young age, it becomes a tough subject to talk about. For me, May 29th, 2009 started off as any other day in my typical teenage life....more

Sometimes You Don't Get Closure

 Life isn’t a work of fiction with a clear and concise ending all tied up nice and neat for you. Sometimes, life leaves you hanging, and you have to, have to, finish the story on your own.Sometimes, you don’t get closure.~J.V. Manning ...more

Dear Mom, You Gave Me A Voice

How do loss and grief become a blessing? I’ve said before that writing is how I heal. And never is the weight of grief more lifted than when I’m writing letters to my mom. Dear Mom, ...more
Susan Mary Malone Thank you for your sweet words!  I love that--"write it out." Yep.more

Onward, if not through

I'm out on the deck in the sun and the wind, trying to find words to fit what I'm feeling right now. My facebook friends were on fire this morning....more