“No matter how many twists and turns appear, life always expands and moves in an upward direction. This means every tragedy foreshadows a more profound triumph, while each loss paves the way for even greater gains to emerge. If you just keep watching — everything goes that way.” ~M.Kahn

I received a very remarkable gift in the mail yesterday. It was from my dear friend, Tommi, created by another dear and talented friend, Kristine Mays. One might think that they knew each other, but they did not. They only have me in common, but it seems this is the way that love expands. Oh, if they only knew what happened to my heart when I pulled this gorgeous golden sculpture from its pink tissue filled box and into the morning sunlight!

I feel blessed to have such deeply loving people in my life. This heart is so sturdy. So intricate. So gorgeous. Just like the people in my life. Carl’s heart and mine were so interwoven, in a million beautiful ways. Even in death, this cannot be undone.

I cry a lot these days. Yes, still. Perhaps this will go on for months or years or the rest of my life. All I know is that I still have a whole ocean of love for the man that wove himself so thoroughly into my being. I’m still traveling the valleys and precipices of all this loss. There are moments of such great sorrow, but a long time ago God planted within me a nomadic heart. He must have known what He was doing all along, because one thing I know for sure is that I’m not meant to stay in these low-lands forever. And so I continue on this journey in search of new views. I continue my search for the mountains I’ve always been meant to climb, knowing that Carl is a part of all of it–and always will be.

There isn’t one step of this that’s been easy, but in some ways, things are getting a little easier. I have begun craving my time in the studio and, for that, I am grateful. I’ve become more aware of tiny moments of hopefulness beginning to return. I show up for life in ways that I might not have been able to do before.

Grief is a deeply humbling experience. It strips you down to your barest bones. Patience for pretense no longer exists. Worldly goals fall away. Many of my old ways of thinking no longer apply.

What is left?

Perfect freedom. Devastating, blinding, obliterating freedom. The kind of freedom that comes through having lost everything that mattered most and, in the process, gaining God. It changes everything. Yes, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I am not who I once was. I feel strong and completely shattered all at once. If I am wise, I will allow this experience to break me open and, from that break, I’ll grow. I’ll grow like a stubborn weed in a field full of beautiful friends.

And I might continue to cry, a whole ocean’s worth. I’ll cry for everything good that I have been blessed with in this life, knowing full well that, eventually, some of those tears will also turn back into smiles. I love you, Carl. Always and forever, with my entire intricately woven self. You are always a part of me.

{originally published Feb 20, 2015}

2 thoughts on “intricacies.

  1. Hi Jessie, so moving to have found your blog. I have not been through the type of grief you have with your husband, but the grief of losing my father. I can so relate to much of your writing here and I deeply admire your raw honesty. I see much wisdom in the midst of your grief as well. I was moved to tears by your loss and I am so very sorry for it even as a stranger – but we are not truly strangers in the sense of grief, of being related in Him.

    You wrote: “Grief is a deeply humbling experience. It strips you down to your barest bones. Patience for pretense no longer exists. Worldly goals fall away. Many of my old ways of thinking no longer apply.”

    What you write here is so poignantly true. I have found that grief was a line that unless you had crossed it, could not be understood, really. You could presuppose, theorize, imagine… but that day when you stepped from the never-experienced into the known was the day when you really knew what it meant…the kind of knowing you didn’t really want to know about.

    I don’t like to pretend to have words that sum things all up because grief is messy, non-linear, inexplicable, often without boundaries. I hope you cry all you need to. I hope you feel all the grief you want to and not listen to those who think you should “be over it by now.” Some arrows go in and never come out; you just learn to grow with it still in you. Your journey is yours. I pray for you right now that you know more and more of His deep compassion, His presence, His truth.


    1. Dear Jennifer, thank you so much for your comment. You express yourself beautifully. I am so sorry for the passing of your dad and yet I am somehow thankful in the way it connects us. Peace and healing to you as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s