The Top

photo by Ken Driese

Last week, I told you that I’ve been climbing a steep, jaggedy mountain and that I was almost at the top.  I started climbing this mountain the moment Callie passed away in our arms.  This path has been hard work.  Grueling, perhaps.  Twists and turns, dips and bends.  And like every good mountain, the pinnacle is craggy, blanketed in thick snow that threatens to sweep you away by avalanche at any moment, and there is no path anymore.  Just wherever you can find a toehold and you feel like you are clinging on for dear life.  The last bit is exhausting.  Why do climbers keep going?  Why not turn around, call it a day, and head back to base camp?

Because the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking.  That’s why.

I think I’m there, at the top.  I actually just grinned really big when I typed that.  So, yes I’m definitely at the top.  Something shifted inside of me this week, and all of a sudden I looked up and there it was.  The top of the mountain.  With caution, I stepped up to take in the view.

I’m looking at a pretty and peaceful valley, a new and foreign land, the life that awaits me.  I turn and look behind me and see the valley I came from, my old life.  I loved that life.  It was beautiful too.  It was happy and innocent, the weather was always sunny and pleasant, the language of that land was contentment.  Turning my gaze once more to the new land, I am filled with curiosity and wonder.  It looks nice, but it’s different.  How will I fit in with the people that live there?  Will I be able to understand them and will they get me?  What’s the weather like?  I hope it’s sunny.

In between the two valleys is the mountain, Grief Mountain.  Dark and twisty.  Beautiful and powerful.  I know that my journey on the mountain will change me forever.  Forever, the scary parts of my hike will jump out at me in the middle of the night or at a random time when I least expect it.  I know that memories of the old land will come to me in my new adventure.  I will never forget those days, and I will miss the innocence.  My experience on Grief Mountain has taught me important lessons that have shaped me, seasoned me, and will guide me the rest of my life.  I know that in my new home there will be bad days…

…but the view looks pretty good from here.

Gently, gingerly I step forward onto the path that leads me down the mountain towards new adventures and dreams.  Hope is swelling up inside me.  Anger dissipated like the wispy clouds I was surrounded in near the top.

Will you hold my hand and guide me down the path of Grief Mountain to my new home?  I’m ready.  Let’s go.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

11 thoughts on “The Top

  1. We’ve been waiting for you up here. No matter how many slips and slides there were along the way, we watched you work your way up, never qving up. We tried to throw you a rope when we felt you couldn’t go it alone, but ultimately, you worked your way through it on your own. It is a beautuful place, and we are so happy our sunny Kristin is here. There is a beautiful world waiting ahead for you, and we can’t wait to see what you discover in this new place.

    Much love, Mom and Dad

  2. You’ve made me sob today. Our dear Lord did what we’ve always been told that He would do. He wrapped His arms around you and guided you from darkness into divine sunshine! So happy am I that you made it there Kristin! The future is truly yours!

  3. Kristin,

    I have been following this beautiful blog. We met through one the FB angel mommy pages. You are a few months ahead of me in grief like time somehow matters to the sadness. (My son Seth died March 18, 2012) I feel like as I read about your journey to the top I have been a few steps behind. It has been so helpful to watch you someone I don’t even know keep climbing. You have inspired me. And today as I read you say you are at the top you continue to give me hope. I am crying as I read today. Thank you for sharing with me that the view at the top is amazing. I am still climbing, I should make it to the top soon. I am looking forward to the view waiting for me.

    I think you are a beautiful woman and an incredible mommy to Callie.

    ((Hugs)) Kim –Seth’s mommy

    • Hi Kim,

      Big hugs to you! Thank you for your sweet message. I think it’s really important to remember that grieving is not a linear journey with a finish line at the end where we can cross it and say, “I’m done! I did it!” My therapist tells me this ALL THE TIME because I need to constantly be reminded of it. Our journeys are loop-de-loops, infinite circles. We’ll never be done grieving. You and I will mourn our angels until the day we meet them in heaven. But, I do believe that there are turning points in everyone’s journey where you can look back and say that the hardest grief work is behind you. And everyone is different so don’t feel bad if your mountain has some rocky detours. Keep climbing girlfriend! You are amazing too 🙂 When you get to the top, I will be there to help you celebrate…and if I’m not, could you check and make sure I haven’t fallen off a cliff on the way down off the mountain? We need to be safety nets for each other.


  4. Your message is very uplifting Kristin. I am so happy you have reached this point. I, too, have gone through the grief process under different circumstances. During that period, some days it was all I could do to shower for the day. At that time, I wondered if I could go on. While it was agony going through it, I wouldn’t change thing. I learned so much from the experience, and my life is richer as a result.

    Much love,

  5. Kristin, I am so glad that you are able to take in the view. I hope your new adventure leads to many new roads of happiness and kindness. I will miss seeing your smiling face each day. I know I will still see ya around and I am looking forward to that. Good luck my friend!

  6. Pingback: The Cave « our sunshine angel

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