Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Remembering, Part Two

Last week's ceremony at the hospital got me to thinking.  (About what?)  I'm so glad you asked! 

Moving On v. Moving Forward


Sometimes I think about things differently than other people.  I'm used to it.  This is one of those times.

A friend asked me one day how I was doing with moving on.  I had to think about her question for a minute before answering.  Had anybody else asked me that question, I might have been offended, but she was the kind of friend that really wanted to know and who wouldn't be put off by my answer.  (Those are the best kinds of friends to have, by the way!)

When I think of moving on in general, this is what I picture:
·         Getting rid of everything but the bare essentials.
·         Packing up those bare essentials in boxes.
·         Going far away from where you started.
·         Never going back, never looking back, never turning back.
·         When you get where you're going and unpack, you get rid of even more stuff.

Disclaimer:  I've moved a few times, which *probably* affects the way I think of this.

When I think of moving on in relation to having lost a loved one, it means packing everything up including the memories putting it all away where it will never see the light of day, and acting as though nothing ever happened.  Basically, get rid of everything, go far away, and never look back.

So how am I doing with moving on?  Well, I'm not.  I don't want to move on.

Now let's talk about moving forward.  This is manageable.  I can do this.

Moving forward means bringing my daughter with me.  Remembering all the love, hugs, and kisses she gave.  Living each day intent on honoring her life, fight, and memory.  It also means taking steps.  Going forward.  Not spending each day in a pit of sadness, despair, or depression.  It means living.  It means life.  Some days I might take a baby step forward because the weight of loss makes it hard to go further.  Other days I take bigger steps.  It's the forward momentum that counts, not the style with which I move.

How am I doing with moving on?  I've decided not to bother with it.  Because, to me, moving on means leaving behind the daughter I still love and the nine years I got to spend with her on this earth, and I'm not willing to pretend that part of my life never happened.

Moving forward, though?  I'm doing okay with that.  I won't ever earn points for gracefulness, but I will keep moving.  It's what my daughter would want for me.  And, honestly, it's what I want for myself, too.

Here's a poem that was shared at that remembering ceremony.  I often shed tears of sadness when I read it, but sometimes, instead, I'm filled with hope.  Baby steps.  Forward momentum.  One day at a time.  And for today, that's enough.


I'd like the memory of me

to be a  happy one.

I'd like to leave an afterglow

of smiles when life is done.


I'd like to leave an echo

whispering softly down the ways,

of happy times and laughing times

and bright and sunny days.


I'd like the tears of those who grieve,

to dry before the sun

of happy memories I leave

when this life is done.


My prayer for you, regardless of the struggle you face in life, is that you find a way to move forward.

I toast each and every one of you (with my coffee mug, of course).

You are brave.  You are strong.  You are able.  You can do this.  I believe in you.  Take a step today.

Move forward.


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Awesome , loosing Cliff to Scleroderma was hell to me...but I am doing better....ty❤