Friday, July 29, 2016


Football. ALS. A video diary to a son. Life, death, faith, fear, anger, sadness, distance, humor.

I was not expecting all that when I went to see Gleason

It's raw. Maybe the most raw film I've seen. The most real, true, heartwrenching documentation of a family going through hell and loving each other. The best example of the pain and love that goes into being a caretaker. 

It's not really about football. And it's not really about ALS. It's about a couple, and their son, and their family and friends, living life and looking to the future in the midst of a terminal illness. Its honesty is breathtaking. Its reality is painful. It all sounds so cliche in words, but it's just the opposite. It's the most vulnerable thing I've ever watched, and maybe the most beautiful.

Watch it. Bring tissues. Enter in to the intimate moments. Be a part of this unfinished story. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Does it ever?

Does it ever get easier?

Too many nights this month I've been up late crying, bawling, yelling in a whisper. Too many nights I've ached with missing you, knowing that you're still not here, and you're not coming back, and I don't have my mommy.

I thought, this far out, it would be easier. And it probably is - the daytime at least. But nights, when I slow down, when everything else stops there's still this ache.

I want it to stop, because it hurts so much. Monthly 17ths, and year anniversaries. Anticipatory grief of coming milestones. Memories of our last family vacation before everything changed. But I don't want it to stop, because I don't ever want to forget. I don't ever want to stop missing you.

I'm lucky, I think - you led me to a profession filled with people who care, and people who have been touched by grief. In my classes I'm not alone - so many of classmates know grief, and were led to nursing by their grief. I can share my story, and it's understood. I can cry and 34 caring people will be at my side in an instant.

I'm lucky, too, because I know that sometimes nursing isn't saving a life - sometimes nursing is about a good death. Living and dying with dignity and grace - that's what I want my work to be about.

But it's still hard. It still hurts like hell. It's still brings back painful memories to learn about brain cancer, feeding tubes, the physiological signs of death. How can I be hurting so much while caring for others in pain?

I don't know how to do this.

I miss you so much.

Does it ever get easier?