Release…. and let go!

Launch month is in the rearview mirror and wow, what a month it’s been. So much excitement and anticipation for the book release, it feels great to finally have it in stores, online and into the hands of so many. Family, friends, community, and others I have not even had the chance to meet yet, all gathering around the release of Finding Norm. Humbled, praising God and so grateful for all that have shown such love and support.

Working with a group of grief care coordinators earlier this month, it was reassuring to know that many of the topics in the book are the topics they get questions over and over again. Could it possibly be that the book wasn’t just written for widows…from a widow?

Yes, a resounding yes! It’s become crystal clear. It doesn’t matter…it doesn’t matter if you lose a friend, relative, neighbor or in my case a spouse, loss is hard! Really hard. It’s harsh and often very unpredictable. The emotions, feelings, and the steps taken may be similar paths.

Cards, texts, handwritten letters and messages on social media have been so impressive, confirming that the book can and will make a difference in the lives of people suffering from loss.

5 years some ways feels like a lifetime ago, yet only like yesterday. I’m not sure if it’s the big “5” or just that I have fooled myself into thinking that this should be getting easier, but it’s still hard….really hard. 

It feels like that arrival home after our third child. Randy and I looked at each other and said, “How hard can this be? We’ve been through this twice before. We’re pros!’ Ha, that’s not how it went that first night home with Matthew, our four-day-old baby boy. At 3:00 a.m., no sleep to be found and no comfort for this new 8 lbs. little bundle of joy…I mean distraught little human, we gave in and said…”O.k. so maybe we’re not pros and maybe this is going to be hard.”

Grief and the 5th anniversary remind me of that night. I should be a pro…I’ve endured 5 years right? It should be getting easier…I should be getting over this already.

Then I give up and remind myself. I’m not a pro..I’m not going to get over it and it’s not easier. The subtitle of my book, “Rediscovering Joy Through a Season of Loss” was carefully worded to include the word, “through”. Because grief, I’ve come to know is not something I will get over…nor will I become a pro. I don’t want to get over it! Ever…

I want to always remember Randy…the sound of his voice, the smell of his hair and the feel of his hand in mine. But….what I do want to get over and get rid of is the utter sadness, the giant hole in my heart and the feeling of despair. That goes away…leaving behind the good memories and the things I want to keep etched in my mind forever.

Approaching this year’s anniversary and the annual Run with Randy, I contemplated if this was the year to let it just retire. After all, this was the group of runners that didn’t really know Coach Berndt. Oh, they most likely had heard of him, but they didn’t run for him.

The night before the section meet, tradition held up as Coach Berndt’s wife, I hosted the annual pasta feed. As we were gathering around the tables, I asked the question…should we consider a run this year or should we let it be?

A resounding, “Yes, we want to Run with Randy on November 1st”. It was confirmation to me once again, it’s a run we need to make every year. Maybe not all for Coach Berndt…but for all that take the run. Why they run? It’s for their team and for this community. For their own reason.

So we gather..we run.. And we move forward.  Another step on the journey. 

Until next time.


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