Sitting by the cascading rapids I thought how the movement feels much like the grief I am experiencing: unstoppable, rapid, intense and complex.
Today was a beautiful day of exploring nature in Colorado with my sister-in-law, Erin. The aspen trees were on full display and the mountain trails, peaceful. There were no memories of Josh in these specific places, instead I made new ones. But as I did, in the back of my mind, I still really wished Josh was there to soak in these same scenes.
Erin and I talked a lot about Josh today, and even sang along to silly Paul Simon songs that Josh also enjoyed. I missed him greatly today. I missed hearing his off-key singing, missed him teasing his sister and making fun of me for how messily I ate my cheeseburger at dinner.
The real kicker for me tonight though was walking through the men's section at REI. The thought hit me suddenly that I didn't need to look at shirts for Josh - like I typically would. It was a brief moment of reality that I tried to move past but sitting here now thinking through this, it hits me even harder – a rushing waterfall of emotions and thoughts. After years together, I could pick out a shirt, vest or cardigan that Josh would love. We even bought one of his first puffy vests at an REI store in Nevada - and oh how he loved that orange vest!
I love the memories of our adventures, laughter, shopping and deep conversations we had traveling mountain roads. And while I love that these same activities are happening with others, there's no denying something, or rather someone, is missing; none of us can fill the gap even if there similar personality traits on display at times.
During this trip, I'm writing Josh's name in various places as a creative expression of this season. This is a way to symbolize that Josh is here with me (and us) still in these moments. I wrote it on a lego wall in Kansas yesterday and today in the sand and with rocks by a small mountain lake (per Erin's suggestion). It's just a little something extra as I adventure on these next few weeks.
Thank you again for your support, prayers and encouragement in this journey. It's not easy but there's still good in it. There's good because God is good and always faithful.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.