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No one would willingly choose loss as a pathway to finding their way home again – to their true self. There are less painful ways to grow. Grief cleaves us apart. Tearing through muscle, tissue, bones, and hearts. It can be so emotionally devastating that we feel physical pain when experiencing the trauma of loss; a searing pain that can both burn and numb leaving us with little desire to go on.

In the early days of my grief, I was afraid to let go and truly feel the loss. I was afraid I would fall to pieces and that there would be no one there to pick them up and help me piece my life back together again. Little did I know my recovery would be much more like a butterfly breaking from its cocoon instead of a Humpty Dumpty-esque experience of gluing bits and pieces back into a fractured version of an old self.

My descent into fully embracing the reality that had become my life wasn’t graceful or pretty. I felt like I was being sucked deeper into quicksand with no energy to save myself. When I fully embraced the darkness that had become my life, I was able to finally see, in that moment, the glimmer of light that would become my lighthouse guiding me safely home…to me.

It was only in the remembering and rediscovering of me – the writer, the dancer, the athlete, the entrepreneur – I could truly integrate my loss into my life in a meaningful way that allowed me to become the fullest and most complete version of myself.

Terrifying as it was, this required me to leave some of the pieces of me behind. I am no longer a wife or a filmmaker. I am no longer someone’s caregiver. Yes, I contain and have access to the wisdom, gifts, and lessons I learned in these roles but they are, every day, less and less a part of me.

Going through grief demanded that I turn inward and rediscover me. It taught me to find my home within me. The more I embraced my loss and the more I asked myself, for what reason am I still here, the more I discovered the purpose of my whole life which is to make a difference for others. I truly am, finally, home.

Note: The artwork “I am home” was a gift from a dear friend to celebrate my awakening about where home truly lies. It travels with me to the new spaces I call home as a reminder that home isn’t a place, it is a state of being.”

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