This whole grieving process is a wild ride. Some days I’ll feel perfectly normal and sane. Other days, the tears won’t stop.

Actually, I hadn’t really cried much since the week my mama died. We had two funerals for her (one in Colorado, one in Texas), and I didn’t cry at either. It was kind of freaking me out a little bit because…well, it’s not like I’m not sad. I am sad…really sad. Constantly. But the tears just wouldn’t fall.

Until Friday. The floodgates opened, and out came my sad little soul, dripping all over everything. I called and cried to my dad, my sister-in-law, my aunt – and they all said the same thing: you’ve just got to embrace it. Embrace the tears. Walk through the hurt. Cry when you feel like it. Lean on the people who love you. And amazingly, that made me feel better – just to let the sadness hit me. I embraced my messy, sloppy, grieving heart.

When I hung up from talking to my aunt, I looked over and sweet Adrienne Bren had grabbed a magazine, pulled it off the coffee table, and was ripping it to shreds.


I started laughing. Hard. Harder than I was crying because you see – my mama loved messes. More specifically, she loved it when little kids made messes. She taught preschool for more than twenty years and she fully embraced each mess along the way. She thought it was the only way for kids to learn.

Embrace the mess.


So, I sat down on the floor with her and we just tore every page of that magazine up into little bits, and then threw it in the air and laughed about it. I know my mama is proud.


Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. – Luke 9:24

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