Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What I'm Celebrating and What I'm Mourning

It’s been said that in life you need to mourn well so you can celebrate well.
Mourning and celebrating is such a dichotomy. It’s a tension we all have to hold in life and one I’m really not all the excited about.
Of course I would like to celebrate…constantly that is, but mourning? Do I have to make time for this one?
I’m guessing Paul understood something about this when he talked about this in Romans 12.
Rejoice with those who rejoice
Mourn with those who mourn
Life is truly brutiful. It’s beautiful and brutal says one of my favorite authors who wrote Carry On Warrior.
I’ve been in the blur of mourning and celebrating for awhile now. 
I guess when I’m going through both I feel internally conflicted. Maybe that’s why I’ve struggled to write recently.
I’m celebrating because Scott and I have finally moved into a mold-free (more importantly: mushroom free) apartment. Twice the space and double the windows. I’m celebrating because in the morning the light streams in so brightly and warmly. I’m celebrating because finally I’d like to be at home on a Saturday rather than out because I’m not trying to avoid a leak in my closet or little mushrooms growing silently and steadily.
I’m mourning a little because moving is hard and unpacking is difficult. When I want to be home relaxing after work, I am unpacking and organizing.
I’m mourning because my bike was stolen. And to be honest, my bike was for sale so I’m not very sad about the loss, I’m just more creeped out thinking about someone stealing a bike. I would have given it to them if they had asked. But remembering I live in a world where people feel so desperate that they have to steal makes me feel sad and unsafe.
I’m celebrating because this week I turned 30. I entered a brand new decade. I’m so grateful for my 20’s. I grew so much. I worked so hard. I leaned into the pain and embraced love. I encountered courage and vulnerability and shame. But I also found gratitude. I found space. I found calm. I’m madly happy for my tribe and for all their thoughtfulness and words and kindness and gifts as I turned 30.
I’m mourning because sweet little Baps passed away this week. Baps is my husband’s grandpa. But I consider him one of my grandpas too. From just about the moment Scott declared he liked me, Scott’s grandparents adopted me into their world. They invited me to their Thanksgiving family reunion in Yosemite they hold every two years when I was just a girlfriend. They treated me like family before I even was family.
I was completely petrified the first night in Yosemite as a huge mob of family members I had never met infiltrated the tiny cabin that night. Baps made me my very first Old Fashioned, a cocktail made with bourbon, orange and cherry. Baps’ way of inviting you in is always asking what you want to drink. Baps must have known I was incredibly nervous for he made the drink so strong I had to hide my shocked face as he asked how it was. That night Baps told me about his favorite trip he ever went on with Mimi. It wasn’t to Italy or Hawaii and it wasn’t a classy cruise. It was just a very long road trip across the states. He recalled it with so much fondness. Just him and Mimi exploring the world together by car. I'll never forget my first Thanksgiving with him.

I’m celebrating because witnessing a marriage that lasted 60+ is very very novel and rare today. I feel lucky to have experienced their love. I feel grateful to have known Baps. I feel thankful to see how much love and generosity this sweet Grandpa has lavished on his family.
I’m celebrating because today my voice is back from having a terribly long cold. I am an external processor and not having a voice made me feel very isolated inside my head.
I’m celebrating this time of year. Thanksgiving is coming. It is 46 degrees at night. I’m celebrating with candles and hot tea from Trader Joes. I’m celebrating Christmas shopping and my endless love of wrapping paper and gift tags. I'm listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album on my iphone complete with a fake image of a fireplace crackling. 
I’m mourning for Beirut and Paris and for Baghdad and for some many tragedies that are beyond my comprehension and understanding.   I’m mourning for schools that no longer feel safety because of violence entering a place that is supposed to be about life and education and growth, not death and a brutal ending.
It’s really hard to do both. It’s a tricky tension this rejoicing and weeping. Both are weighty and demand my attention. 

Both need to be heard and acknowledged to live well. 

I want to live abundantly. I won’t numb the light or dark. I won’t only  give in to negativity. But I won’t dissociate into only the positive.  
I will be here for both.
Today I’m celebrating and mourning.


  1. i loved this! your writing has really grown in depth and beauty. well done!! and i want to know that grandpa. he sounds amazing. :)

    1. Lauren! That means so much to me. Thank you oxoxo

  2. Oh Heather, I'm so sorry for your loss angel. He sounds like a wonderful man and you were so lucky to have had him in your life. I read your post nodding my head because my sweet Mother in Law was everything to me for so many years. When life bugged or upset me I'd call her and she'd know exactly what to say to make me feel better. She was the first person I'd call with news, good or bad and I loved her so much. We lost her last August to cancer and I miss her every single day. Mum (because she was always just Mum to me, bless her) and your dear Baps were a gift in our lives angel, we were both blessed to have known them. I was told once that the pain we feel when we lose someone is equal to how much we loved them. I so wish you weren't having to face this Heather, time will help and you have so many fabulous memories you'll never lose those. Those too are a gift. I'm so sorry angel xx Be careful and wrap up warm dear one, take care of you, you're very precious. hugs always dear wee friend xx

    1. Awww Rosie. Thank you for your comment. You're the best. He really was such a sweet grandpa. We had dinner with Mimi (grandma) tonight and after we left I couldn't stop crying. Felt so sad for her. Your mother in law sounds like such a gem. I totally understand that. I got really lucky with my husband's family and it sounds like you did too. Reminds me to be grateful. oxoxo.

    2. Hi Heather, just wanted you to know I was thinking of you & keeping you, your Husband & his dear family in my prayers, hugs always angel xx