Sad Days

There have been some very sad days lately. My friend Meri's beautiful girl Caitlin died last Friday after a long, strenuous fight against her brain tumor. You can read an article about how much joy and life this girl squeezed into nine years and 11 months right here. The world has indeed lost some of its sunshine.

foggy winter morning pacific northwest jessica nichols

I find it very hard to find words because there are no words for a loss this large. As a mama, I cannot imagine the pain of losing my child. As a cancer survivor, I am reminded of the randomness of cancer -- who it strikes, who survives and who dies. I feel very raw and vulnerable during these sad, dark days.

At the same time, I know that I must not stay in a sad, dark place. Every day, I must find something beautiful, something to smile about, something to love. So I find myself staring at my garden blooms, or holding the Noodle a little bit longer than he'd like during a hug. Sometimes, I ignore the chores and sometimes the chores are a good distraction. Sometimes I don't feel like eating, sometimes cooking is the best thing to do. Sometimes I cry till my head aches, sometimes I watch a funny cat video on YouTube.

And isn't this the gist of life? We are neither able to maintain deep levels of despair, nor majestic happy highs for hour upon hour, until the day is over. Instead we bobble along a spectrum sometimes in a circuitous fashion, and sometimes in a rollercoaster-like way. Sometimes it's like driving down the interstate for hundreds of miles and sometimes it's more like a switchback.

I typed this post from the plane on my way to attend the funeral. When there are no words, at least this time, there can be hugs.

I will resume a normal blogging schedule next week.

P.S. Last Friday, hours before I found out about Caitlin, I sent out my email newsletter which contained a video in which I spoke about Caitlin. If you aren't on my email list, you can view the video here. I am going to extend my offer through May 31, 2013 to subscribers, so sign up here. I am also going to be hosting a lemonade stand for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation on Saturday, June 8th in honor of Caitlin's 10th birthday (on June 6th). More on that later...