The common thread I hear from everyone lately is how it doesn’t seem possible it has been a year since Kelsey passed.  I can tell you that we all know exactly how long it has been.  We notice it in so many ways.  We notice it when we took the long awaited family vacation and she wasn’t there.  We did our best to honor her every step of the way.  We did things that she would have done and we hung out at beaches, just the way she would have.  We even went to see Miss Rosie!  You know, that was the amazing thing about Kelsey.  She met people everywhere.  They liked her because she listened, she was interested in them and she took the time to get to know them.  She had so much love that just made her glow.  We were so blessed to be able to share that with her. It’s the afterglow that we miss now.  The moments we shared, laughing, watching movies, complaining about traffic, texting, watching dance, cooking, just everything.  Everything….every single little thing.  Big moments and little ones.  We miss them all.  All the time.  We notice, all the time.

We have worked hard this past year to make a legacy that she would be proud of.  We formed WWKD.  We took the village that we have and we made it something more.  We have raised funds, we are building a home in Haiti, we are moving forward to honor her.  We have a group going to Haiti in July of 2019.  We will continue to do more, because it’s what she would have done.

On a personal level, we struggle.  Some days more than others.  This weekend has been especially difficult and we have done our best to pull together in the only way we know how.  Searching for a way to help us all work through our “moments”.  So this weekend, we created “storm” bottles.  Small bottles of sand representing the storm of emotions we all endure.  We all did it, from the “littles” to the adults, like we do everything.  Along with our bottles was some advice.  I’m sharing it here.

When you are ready.  This little bottle is symbolic of the storm of sorrow that fills our lives after the loss of a loved one.  Let time pass, and so too will the sorrow.  The day will come when you suddenly see beyond your tears and can lay down the burden of your grief.  You will still hold the ache of the loss and miss them, but there will be peace and joy in the remembrance of their life.  But let time pass, and with it the storm.  When that day comes you will know you are ready to let the grief go.  Use this bottle as a symbol of your release.  Open the bottle to disrupt and shed the grief, the darkness, the sadness and the storm.  How much sorrow you spill out is up to you.  Replace the cork.  The hurt that remains to blend is life moving forward with your love and memories intact as Kelsey continues to live on within your heart.  When you are ready.