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Where I Finally Found Peace In My Best Friend’s Death

I’ve always been curious about cemeteries. I think it’s human nature. They always seemed so peaceful to me, but I was so afraid of them, always shuddering at their perfect mix of death, serenity and beauty.  When I was in grade school and middle school, I spent every weekend at GaGa’s house. Literally, every weekend. One afternoon, we drove out to the cemetery to put flowers on my grandfather’s grave. GaGa told me all about Papa Jimmie and how he…

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Scheduling Grief

“Do you think you could carve out 20-minutes a day to grieve?” I looked up at my therapist after her suggestion and quickly replied, “Nope. I’ll pass, thanks though.” It has become apparent that I have gone from intense grief to completely driving the denial bus. I haven’t shed a tear or grieved in weeks because I have convinced myself that GaGa is still here. We just haven’t talked. She is here, just a phone call away. Life has just…

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Because Not Even Jesus Could Do It All

This working mom thing has been kicking my ass lately. I do my best to manage my foundation, mentoring folks in recovery, while also taking care ofmy family, pets (because that struggle is real) and the house. On the days that end in ‘y’, I feel pulled in a thousand directions, never completing one task before getting overwhelmed in another. I don’t think I’m alone in this scenario: I start an email and suddenly find myself meticulously cleaning a nail…

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Why I Am Quitting Normal Life

For years I’ve been waiting for a break – a time in my life where everything was good and normal. Through the work of EMDR and the loss of my best friend, I realize life will never be normal because there is no normal – at least the ‘normal’ I always pictured in my head. Maybe on some level I always knew this, but I am beginning to embrace this normal – the normal ebb and flow of life. The…

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The Day I Didn’t Want to SMASH

On Monday, for the first time since starting Southern Smash five years ago, I woke up and didn’t want to go to the Southern Smash event. I wanted to stay curled in bed with the covers over my head. I wanted to sink into a hole and never come out. But I got up and marched on, giving myself a pep talk on the way, “It will be great when you get there. You’ve got this. You love this campus…

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Six Weeks Gone

Yesterday marked six weeks since my best friend passed. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime all rolled together. She is on my mind and heart nonstop. Some days are easier than others, but the wound still runs deep. I am discovering that grief is like a silent ninja that attacks out of nowhere. Just last week, I found myself having a great day, until I strolled past a display of hydrangeas, Gaga’s favorite flower. I stopped in my tracks…

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Our Heavenly Valentine

They say holidays are hard after losing a loved one and to that I say, every damn day is hard. I thought L.A. might be the breath of fresh air I needed and it was in many ways, but my heart remains so hollow. Every day is a new reminder. A new reason I pick up the phone to call her. Last week, I received the most thoughtful card from some folks at Carolina House and other Raleigh area professionals…

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Two Weeks Gone

My eyes flew open at 4am and my heart sunk. Two weeks. Two weeks ago my best friend left this earth. Two weeks since I spoke to her, held her hand, hugged her. This is the longest I have ever gone without speaking to GaGa. I keep calling her number, but no one picks up. It seems like life is now divided – before and after GaGa passed. Of course, my life prior to this was divided by my time…

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My Best Friend’s Eulogy

The cold dirt slid through my finger tips as the frigid wet ground soaked through my jeans. I wrapped my arm around my mom and leaned my body into hers. She leaned right back into me and together, we held each other up. It had only been a day since we laid GaGa to rest and I all I wanted was to melt into the ground withher. Now, days later, I feel very much the same. The world seems like…

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Forever and Always Our GaGa

As many of you know, my beloved GaGa passed away yesterday morning in her sleep. Today has been harder than yesterday. I have picked up my phone countless times to call her. Today, I wrote the most difficult and most important thing in my life. I wrote my best friend’s obituary. It has been a shock to my system to see her name listed under the word ‘Obituary’. I’ll never do her life justice, but I did my best. Thank you…

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