Almost one year ago I held my dad’s hand the entire night as I slept next to his hospital bed.  I switched out and left the hospital for a breather midday the next day.  On my drive home I felt compelled to go find water to sit next to.  Upon arriving at the wide slow moving river near my parents' house I saw a sight I've ever seen before in my life; low lying clouds (thicker than fog, they truly looked cloud shaped) sat atop the water;  the line between earth and sky had blurred.  In that moment I knew he would be leaving us that day, and in a great powerful window bursting wind he did, just hours later.

My Father was a force of nature.  We miss his big laughs, strong opinions and kind heart.  The life and family dynamic that left with him is palpable.  The new normal is hard and weird but full of truth (in his wake I think he left us his knack for honesty) and there is much beauty in that.

This year has been so long.  so fast.  so painful.  so filled with love, with joy, with hope, with signs and reassurances that all is well; that all has always been well, and ultimately always will be well.

As I approach the one year mark I want to wish everyone one of two things:

See the Light:  For those of you on the conveyer belt, heading towards something you are not ever prepared to handle; I wish you peace. I wish you deep breaths.  Most of all though I wish you the ability to open your eyes and try your best to pay attention to the details of what is happening…because hope, and signs abounded for me when I asked and stayed open, and I truly believe that the people who bizarrely and seemingly randomly appeared in my darkest hours, who brought beams of light out of nowhere were not there by accident.  Not a religious person, I do believe something bigger, whatever it is, is in the works, and is visible if we are open to seeing it.

Be the Light:  For those of you not on the conveyer belt who are cruising along, I wish you open eyes as well.  While my Dad was sick that last month I ran a light while driving that had been red (like red for minutes) with my entire family in the car.  I couldn’t find my wallet at a crowded grocery store checkout only to realize I had left it in the car, causing everyone to wait while I ran out to find it (amongst a million other instances).  My brain and thoughts were no where near the seemingly mundane tasks I was in the middle of, and I am eternally grateful for the patience and kindness strangers gave me without having any idea that I was in the middle of some of the hardest days of my life.

If like me, you’ve experienced days where earth and sky blend, you find you can’t ever walk forward another day without being a bit softer, a bit more honest.  And in loss I am now certain of two things:

Life is brilliantly, painfully, wildly beautiful and full of light, and people are too; one only need to stay open to seeing, and being it.