Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I was 11-years-old when my dad passed away. My parents went through a divorce when I was around nine, which meant I went from seeing my dad daily, to maybe once a month. I never wanted to go. I was being a typical, selfish child and didn’t want to be in the car for four hours to go see my dad for three days. I would cry, I would fight, I just didn’t want to go.

My dad was the silent type, he wasn’t the type to wear his feelings on his sleeve. He loved to watch sports and documentaries. Every time we went to the zoo or a museum, he was always two exhibits behind because he wanted to read every wall plaque and informational poster. He loved history and sports and probably invented fantasy football before it was even a thing.

I was always annoyed at this . . . a selfish annoyance that he didn’t want to watch what I wanted, or that he was being slow at the zoo and reading everything. 

Time went on . . . then I became an 11-year-old middle schooler with attitude and opinions to boot. I really wanted to stay home on the weekends I was supposed to visit my dad. I didn’t want to leave my friends, and I thought it was stupid I had to go when I didn’t want to. 

The day my mom came into the room to tell my brother and me my dad had passed away, she was crying so hard I initially thought she was laughing about something.  

The words, “Your Daddy went to Heaven. He’s not with us anymore,” instantly started the stages of grief. 

I was so angry I was sad. 

I was so angry for the times I begged not to go see him for my own selfish reasons. 

I was angry he would never take me to the zoo again, and I wouldn’t be able to look behind me and see him still reading the plaque about why flamingos are pink.

I went into denial a couple of days before the funeral. I didn’t go to family night. I never wanted to see my dad in a coffin. I didn’t want to believe it was real. 

I bargained with God. I prayed that night before the funeral that maybe God could bring my dad back and this was all just a bad dream. If He did then I promised I would go every weekend to see him. 

I’ve gone through depression in and out throughout my life. A lot of emotions I try to suppress in order to seem better or to appear that I feel fine.  

One emotion I have yet to achieve is acceptance.  

Each passing life event still reminds me of the grief I’ve never learned to accept. The loss of my dad, the loss of the relationship I’ll never know as a teenager, a young adult, and now as a mom with her father.  

My dad never got to walk me out on the field during the homecoming ceremony.

RELATED: To My Dad Gone Too Soon, I Miss You

He never saw me walk across the stage at my high school graduation. 

I never got to see him hold his first grandchild, my nephew.

He never got the chance to meet the man I married or walk me down the aisle. 

I never got to dance with him for the one dance as a young girl you dream about dancing with your daddy.

My sons will never get to know the quiet, caring, and loving man my dad was. 

There are a lot of “nevers” involved in death. 

A lot of life changes and events your loved one has not physically been a part of and never will be.

According to experts, we are supposed to experience all five stages of grief in order to grieve properly. That if these stages are not met, then the process of grief will never go away.

Anger. Denial. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.  

We experience them in cycles. One stage more than another at times, and then it can just loop back around and start all over again in a different order.

Eighteen years after my dad’s death, I still can’t make myself agree with acceptance.

They say time heals all wounds, but I’m going to go against that cliche phrase.  

I don’t think it does. 

RELATED: When a Parent Dies, Part of You Will Always Be Broken

I think we can learn to love again, to remember better memories that don’t make us as sad.

To learn not to cry every time we think of the loved one we have lost when we have to speak about them.

My favorite Bible verse I refer to often is this, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

We live, we die.

Whatever grief you encounter does not have a timeline, there’s no proper way to grieve. There is no pamphlet that lets you know what emotions to experience and when. That explains that other emotions fail to come out due to trying to cope and adapt to your grief in other areas of your life.  

Take in the memories, good or bad. You may not be able to accept the loss, but you will always remember what you have lost.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now


About me? Well it's a funny story... I'm a previous Registered Nurse converted to the hollistic health lifestyle. I must credit my wonderful Chiropractor of a husband for helping, but it was by means of figuring out things on my OWN. Not by what people were telling me to do. We have two adorable little boys in our lives and his Dad and I are over the moon about them. We love days filled with relaxing, spending time with our loved ones and striving for a better life not only for us, but these awesome children we are so blessed to be able to raise.

Sharing Our Grief Frees Our Hearts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two women holding hands over a hospital bed, color photo

Almost 18 years ago, we lost our first child. It was unexpected. It was public. It was traumatic. It was a moment in time that even to this day, burns with a scorching flame, running like a reel in my memory and igniting a pain deeper than anything I’ve ever known into the empty corners of my heart. And while time has marched on in beautiful ways—healthy children who I get to watch grow up, an incredible marriage with the love of my life, a gratitude for all the milestones each year brings—I still can’t help but hold space for the...

Keep Reading

As Long as It Beats, a Grieving Heart Lives with the Pain of Loss

In: Grief, Loss
Woman walking through brown field with hand outstreatched

Life churns forward in a somewhat continued and steady momentum that I find I must consistently adjust my pace to keep up with. There isn’t tolerance in life for the way grief seems to ache for pause. In the silence of this space, my body feels crushed under the weight. I sit alone with my thoughts often. I’ve made peace with the solitude that surges in the aftermath of death. Maybe not peace. Perhaps it’s surrender. After all, which one of us doesn’t fall prey to the helplessness of mortality? I can no longer count on one hand those I’ve...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Ready for Life Without My Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Woman sad sitting by a window looking out

I’m not ready. Not ready for time to just keep trudging forward without her. Four years have gone by, and I still think about her every day. When that awful third day of October rules around every year it’s like a tidal wave comes and sweeps me up tossing me this way and that. The rest of the year I can bob up and down with the occasional waves of grief. But the week before October 3rd the waves pick up, and I can’t see over the crest of one before the next is already upon me. I find myself...

Keep Reading

Since She Left

In: Grief, Loss
Older, color photo of mother and young daughter blowing out birthday candles

It’s been 14 years since she left. It’s like a lifetime ago and yesterday at the same time. The loss of my mother was indescribable. We never had a traditional relationship. As I grew older, our roles were very much reversed, but even still, missing one’s mother (for lack of a better word) is hard . . . plain and simple. Sometimes I wonder, what is it exactly that I miss? Of course, I miss talking to her. I miss how she drove me crazy. I miss her baking. I miss hearing about her newest needlepoint. I miss when she...

Keep Reading

I Carried You for Just 17 Weeks but I’ll Hold You in My Heart Forever

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Ultrasound image of baby in second trimester

September 11 will be a date that is forever etched in my heart, not only because of its historical significance but because it’s the day I saw your lifeless little body on the ultrasound screen. I couldn’t hold back the sobs. My chest suddenly felt heavier than a ton of bricks. I’ve been here before. I’ve had losses, but none this late. I didn’t feel their movements or hear so many strong heartbeats at my checkups. Your siblings felt you move and squealed with utter excitement. I want to wake from this nightmare, but it seems it’s my new reality....

Keep Reading

To the Woman Longing to Become a Mother

In: Faith, Grief, Motherhood
Woman looking at pregnancy test with hand on her head and sad expression

To the woman who is struggling with infertility. To the woman who is staring at another pregnancy test with your flashlight or holding it up in the light, praying so hard that there will be even the faintest line. To the woman whose period showed up right on time. To the woman who is just ready to quit. I don’t know the details of your story. I don’t know what doctors have told you. I don’t know how long you have been trying. I don’t know how many tears you have shed. I don’t know if you have lost a...

Keep Reading

I Was There to Walk My Mother to Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Hand holding older woman's hand

I prayed to see my momma die. Please don’t click away yet or judge me harshly after five seconds. I prayed to see, to experience, to be in the room, to be a part of every last millisecond of my momma’s final days, final hours, and final moments here on Earth. You see, as a wife of a military man, I have always lived away from my family. I have missed many birthdays, celebrations, dinners, and important things. But my heart couldn’t miss this important moment. I live 12 hours away from the room in the house where my momma...

Keep Reading

To the Loss Mom Whose Tears Keep Her Company Tonight

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman sitting up in bed with head in hands

Three pregnancies in one year. Three first trimesters. Three moments of celebration . . . until they turned to moments of sorrow. I’m sure every woman who experiences pregnancy loss has the thought, “I never thought this would happen to me.” I truly never thought this would happen to me. I have two healthy boys—conceived easily, uncomplicated pregnancies, by-the-book deliveries. We even thought we were done having kids . . . until the pregnancy test was positive. That’s when my heart opened up to more children, and I realized I ached to carry more life. Raise more littles. Nurse more babies....

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading