Hi, <<First Name>>.

The 11th Love Letter...

Loyal, Loving, & Learning

I've read this story to my children hundreds of times. To fresh and green eyes, it's about a family searching for a bear.

To me, it's about grief.

"We're going on a bear hunt.
We're going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We're not scared...

...We can't go over it.
We can't go under it.
Oh no!
We've got to go through it!"

To me, the bear represents the immense feelings wrapped up in losing a loved one.

Since my father passed last May, I've been exploring and searching for how to deal with The Bear -- the grief of losing my dad.

Grief is BIG.

It can be the most beautiful day outside, full of blue skies and sunshine. I put on a brave face for my children while walking them to school, emitting a vibe that says, I'm not scared.

However, grief is terrifying. When you're going up against that bear, it's intimidating.

I've tried going over grief -- busying myself with everyday tasks.

I've tried going under grief -- stuffing my emotions (and self) under the sheets so I don't have to deal with them.

But the truth is, we can't go over it and we can't go under it.

(Oh no!)

We've got to go through it!

We don't get "over" grief and we don't "move on"; rather we push through.

We learn to hold hands with The Bear.

Over the past few months I've learned to be gentle and give grace to my mind and body. I've learned to state my needs to others, ask for help, and be patient and accepting when grief surfaces out of nowhere.

I picked my blog title "Loyal, Loving, & Learning" a decade ago, but it's never rang truer than today. Learning to accept my grief shows loyalty and honor to my dad, while also loving the person he is and not being afraid to snuggle up with memories of him.

Most importantly -- through a tear-streaked faced and grief the size of a bear -- I know my dad is always with me and that it's still a beautiful day.

So, tell me, what things are you currently loving & learning? And what makes you loyal?

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"A loyal girl, with a loving heart, who will never stop learning."

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