One of the great blessings of conjoining with a new family is being able to rub shoulders with people I would’ve never known otherwise. Brad has a first cousin named Amy who lost her husband a few years ago. She is quickly becoming one of my heroes. She shared this beautiful analogy on social media a few weeks ago. I was deeply touched, and I find myself going back to her words again and again.
"I found this wonderful tree a couple weekends ago when I traveled to the Pacific Northwest and was hiking near Snoqualmie Falls (outside Seattle). This tree is a symbolic reminder for my life as a widow.
Do you see the old tree that died and how there are new trees growing around the old? The old tree that died is called a nurse log and gives nutrients to the new trees. The new trees can grow better from the nurse log rather than starting over in new ground. I was in awe of this forest with all of its many shades of green moss, ferns and leaves. This forest didn't stop when a tree died, it kept growing and adding to the forest and used the nutrients from trees that had come and gone.
I'm sure you see the symbolism. I'm 2.5 years out and I feel like I have learned and grown from this tragedy of losing my husband. I hope to keep becoming better and making something beautiful with this life instead of feeling like my life is over too. A beautiful life for me and my children is still in store even despite a huge loss in my forest."
Some days I wake up feeling a bit overwhelmed, unsure of how to keep moving forward - but I, too, know that there is significant life in store, and I trust that my forest will be bigger and greener and more incredible than ever could’ve imagined as new growth emerges from nurse logs and time marches on.