GRIEF TALK // Surviving The Loss Of Sisterhood

My Sister once told my Dad the reason why she was uncomfortable with people reading her journals: “My journals represent who I was and how I thought at a specific moment in time. I may have changed since then” For me, I consider my writings about grief, loss, and adventure as “guarded vulnerability”. My words…

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GRIEF TALK // My Cherry Blossom

March came barreling down on me,As if unannounced.As if my brain decided that this year,And maybe every year,March would simply no longer exist. Because,How could it?How could it be almost a year?How could I survive this year?How did I survive this year,Without you? The answer:A piece of me didn’t.A piece of me will be forever…

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Love From, Rachel // Two Belugas, Two Blue Guys

This is the second piece in a collection entitled: Love From, Rachel. My Sister’s deepest desire was to publish a book of poetry. It would tell the story of her survival, the story that would keep herself—and one day, others—alive. When she died, she left behind 15 journals from her 5-year battle with mental illness:…

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Love From, Rachel // Rachel Millsip

This is the first post in a collection entitled: Love From, Rachel. My Sister’s deepest desire was to publish a book of poetry. It would tell the story of her survival, the story that would keep herself—and one day, others—alive. When she died, she left behind 15 journals from her 5-year battle with mental illness.…

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WEST COAST TRAIL SOUL-O // Letting The Light Pour In.

There are hundreds of moments spent evaluating risk in the outdoors: bears, cougars, rising tides, slippery ladders, kelp-covered rocks, hand-pulled cable cars, strangers, nights alone, inclement weather. As a soloist, there are no second opinions. Your choices are yours, alone, to own. But to me, the most jarring solo-moment occurred while I was spending an…

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GRIEF TALK // (SOMETIMES)

“Maddie you and I should get matching tattoos,” Rachel said. “Mmmmm no thank you,” I responded. Tattoos weren’t my thing. “We could get yin-and-yang. One side of it on each of us—because we are entirely opposites in every way, yet together, we are so well-matched, both so necessary. Together we are beautifully full,” she explained.…

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GRIEF TALK // I Wear My Dead Sister’s Clothes

Before you read onward, I know what you’re thinking. Maybe you’ve already decided to stop reading, overwhelmed by the shock of my confession. Maybe you are curious because you had not considered where a loved one’s possessions would go, after death. Or maybe, you have your own stowaway of items, once cherished by your loved…

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GRIEF TALK // The 11 Words That Changed My Life

It’s as bad as it can be. It’s Over. It’s Over. My Dad’s tear-filled words shook me to my core. Between shallow breaths of traumatic, shocking despair, I let out a string of dilapidated I-can’t-do-this’s. With his words, our life imploded, crashing down in horrific slow motion. In a single moment the world became grey.…

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ORCAS MARATHON // Still Here. Still Me.

As I flew through the descent, it came: a moment of pause; a moment of appreciation. I thought, “she would be so proud of me.” And it wasn’t in a you’re-face-to-face-engulfed-by-grief-so-anything-you-manage-to-scrounge-up-the-courage-to-do-you-should-be-proud-of, kind-of-way. If she were here, she would beam with pride because I put myself out there, in the position to fall, to stumble, to…

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