I flip through the pages of my journal, quickly reading the words that fill each page. There is so much emotion on these delicate fibers. So much pain, so much loss, so much unexpected and unappreciated grief held within the ink and embellished white sheets.
As I read the pain, I also notice the reminiscence of the stories these pages simultaneously hold. There, beside the grief and pain, are the stories of my beautiful life. The stories of my mother, the blessings, the gifts, the treasures, they’re all there too. Sandwiched between the moments of heartbreak are the stories of love and hope and joy.
It’s a perfect visual of the consequence of love, which is grief. It’s a perfect visual of the preceding life and relationships before the loss. It’s the perfect visual for the before, the during, and the after. All the stories, both the great and the daunting, sitting here in this tiny notebook. Scribbles beside calligraphy, tears beside smiles, joy beside melancholy. Everything so intricately connected, so carefully joined.
Where there is happiness, there is also sorrow.
Where there is elation, there is also emptiness.
Where there is celebration, there is also ache.
Where there is hope, there is also doubt.
Where there is love, there are also empty spaces.
They all exist together. That is grief. It’s the serendipitous mixture of every emotion, experienced together, as a team. You don’t have to choose, because they all find you, both independently and simultaneously. Connections of love, both the breathtaking and the heartbreaking.
These pages hold so much more than words, they hold the lives and experiences of those I love. They hold the secrets. They hold stories, the ones worth remembering. They hold love, everlasting love.
I’ve never appreciated simple white-lined pages so fiercely, until now.
I hope you find yourself some simple spaces to fill with ink. Ink and stories. Stories worth remembering.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.