The Value of Strength

~Kim Libertini Before loss, I was familiar with the word strength. After loss, strength took on a new connotation with immeasurable value.    In the acute stage of loss, strength was... getting out of bed. showering. getting to work. eating. Between years one and two, strength was ... making a meal for myself, knowing I … Continue reading The Value of Strength

Daughter in Mom’s Clothing

In the days, weeks, and months after my mother passed away, I wore her clothes constantly. Usually, it was an oversize brown cardigan with large plastic buttons and even larger button holes. The shoulders are broad and the bottom hem has stretched so that it hangs longer in the front than back. From an outsider’s … Continue reading Daughter in Mom’s Clothing

Seasonal Shifts and Grief Transformations

Photo by Emerson Lima on Unsplash ~Kim Libertini My glances into the car mirror peered into what seemed like an abyss.  The view, marked by a dark, cold, and hollow emptiness, was winter. Colors restricted to grayscale, made the experience feel dismal and reflected a never-ending season length.  Just as unbearable set in, on today’s drive a transitional … Continue reading Seasonal Shifts and Grief Transformations

Blurse

Here’s an unofficial entry for the urban dictionary: BLURSE Definition: Existing as a blessing and curse simultaneously, which could just be another way to describe the human experience. Sentence 1: Grief is a blurse. It helps us appreciate life’s smallest moments because we’ve had large losses. Sentence 2: The blurse of getting older is not … Continue reading Blurse

Searching After Loss

Vietnamese and Amerasian babies aboard an Operation Babylift plane to Oakland, April 1975. Source: covvha.net ~Kim Libertini Adopted by two American parents, my identity was shaped by the family that raised me. The physical trait differences between my adopted parents and me were glaring but growing up, it didn’t phase me. I remember my parents … Continue reading Searching After Loss

Shine On

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” So go the powerful lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s, “Anthem.” His words are moving. The message, elegant and hopeful. The song helps give purpose to our brokenness and meaning to our pain and scars. However, I believe the opposite is also true … Continue reading Shine On

Loss Monsoon

Photo by Silvan Metzker on Unsplash ~Kim Libertini Like the approach of monsoon clouds, I felt the words move rapidly toward me. Just like a monsoon, I got caught off guard. I’ve been in monsoons before. They rain fiercely, heavily, pack a mean punch and appear to never let up. As I felt the strength of the words … Continue reading Loss Monsoon