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But what is grief, if not love persevering?

“It can’t all be sorrow, can it? I’ve always been alone, so I don’t feel the lack. It’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve never experienced loss because I’ve never had a loved one to lose. But what is grief, if not love persevering?” – Vision

This week has been a challenging one, because it ended with Rocket’s first birthday not physically with us. For the last 10 years, Rocket’s birthday has kicked off a 3-month string of birthday celebrations. We would start on March 19th by putting up a “Happy Birthday” banner for Rocket that would stay up through my son’s birthday in April and my birthday at the end of May. We would fill the living room with balloons, put a candle in a cupcake, and help Rocket blow it out while telling him that he was the answer to all of our birthday wishes.

This year, we hung a new “Happy Birthday” banner, blew up some balloons, made puppy chow, and shared our favorite memories of Rocket. We decided as a family that March 19th would forever more be known as “Rocket Day.” It would be an official family holiday.

The boys of the house have made it though the weekend so far without crying. I, however, woke up crying and haven’t stopped for long. The quote above has come to mind more than once this weekend. When I first heard it, I thought of Rocket. 

“But what is grief, if not love persevering?”

Before Rocket came along, I wasn’t much of a crier. He taught me that it was okay to be sad sometimes. Somehow he always knew when I was about to cry. He would come over, moments before the tears fell, and put his head against me. Whether it was from a sad part in a movie or a broken heart, he always knew and held space for the emotions to come through.

Our first annual Rocket Day, which we turned into Rocket Weekend, has been a bit uneventful. The boys have spent the weekend diving into video games in their respective gaming locations (aka the man cave and the teen boy room). As for me, I’ve been powering through it as best I can. The pandemic blocked any attempts at a big blow out, but I think that’s okay. I wouldn’t make it through any type of social gathering without breaking down. I feel like Rocket would be okay with that. Instead I spent time outside with Rocket’s little sister Daisy, who joined our family a few months after he passed. We sat in the grass, watched the clouds roll by, and tossed a tennis ball. All activities that I know Rocket would approve of.

I’m planning a big celebration that I hope to host next year for the neighborhood dogs and close friends of Rocket (it’s a big list, he was a bit of a social butterfly). But until it’s safe, any kind of social gathering will have to wait.

This year, I’m holding this thought closely, “But what is grief, if not love persevering?”

It’s a beautiful way to look at grief and loss. Neither can exist without love. It comes to reason that the deeper the love, the deeper the grief.  What a blessing it is to know a love like this.


Forever Wouldn’t Have Been Long Enough

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” – Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

There aren’t words to describe the pain you feel when you have to say goodbye to someone you love, especially when that someone is your devoted furry companion. Two days after writing my last blog post, my husband, son and I held our best friend, Rocket, as he closed his eyes and found his wings.

The world stopped spinning as he stretched his neck out and laid his head in my arms. It was what he always did when he sensed I was sad. It always seemed like it was his way of saying, “I’ll always be here for you.”

I tried to hold back my tears and be strong for him. My husband and son were attempting to the do the same. In that moment though, we knew Rocket could sense our hearts breaking. We weren’t ready to face the world without him, and it was impossible to hide that sorrow from our infinitely wise companion. He used the last of his strength to remind us that he would always be by our sides.

In these last two weeks, we’ve felt his presence. He’s reminded us in small ways that the bond we shared is rooted at the soul level.

We really weren’t ready to say goodbye, but the truth is forever wouldn’t have been long enough to have him by our sides. While we still long to see his smile waiting at the bottom of the stairs, feel his kisses on our cheeks, and embrace his warm, soft body, we’re holding onto his final promise.

“I always be here for you.”

Thank you, Rocket. You’re still the goodest dog of them all.


There’s Nothing Like the Love of a Good Dog

Author Gabriel Zevin once wrote that there are over 300 words for love in canine. Anyone who has ever loved a dog knows just how true this is.

I’ve often asked my loyal sidekick, Rocket, how I could repay him for the love he’s brought to my life. He answers, every time, with a slobbery kiss and a soft nuzzle. 

These last few weeks, I’ve been reminded over and over that dogs love on a whole new level. Three weeks ago, Rocket collapsed in the house. He was conscious, but he couldn’t move. After creating a makeshift cot, we rushed him to the emergency vet. As I held him in the back of the Jeep telling him how much I loved him, he looked up at me and licked away my tears.

In pain, he chose to show love.

As we’ve sat up at night trying to make him comfortable, he’s shown us that what comforts him most is just having us near. Through the home cooked meals, the extra time to help him around the house, and the creative hiding of medicine in “treats,” he matches every step we take with gratitude and admiration.

He finally answered my question. How do you pay back a dog for the love he brings to your life? You become his human. That’s all he wants and all he needs.

There may be 300 words for love in canine, but in English we can sum it up in two… GOOD DOG.


The Hidden Power of a smile

Robin Williams once said, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy, because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”

This quote from Robin has always stuck with me. I’ve always been known as the “happy one.” 

been one of my favorite actors. As a child, I was in awe of his talent and ability to make people laugh. As an adult, his authenticity and truthfulness about the challenges he faced taught me a lot about myself. The quote above has always stuck with me. 


It’s So Good To Be Back!

Wow, it’s been such a long time. It feels good to get Unscripted Life back up and running. I’ve been paying for this URL for years with the intention of returning to blogging. The plan was to relaunch the blog when I had more free time. I quickly learned free time isn’t something that just shows up. It’s something you have to intentionally create.  

A lot has changed in the last six years. My son is a teenager now (he had just been born when I first launched this blog). Our family built our dream house in a neighborhood so magical that I have to pinch myself regularly to make sure all of this is real. My neighbors are the ones Mr. Rogers sang about (I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot about them soon). And professionally, I’m working with inspirational content creators to put a lot of good and kindness into the world.  

My years away from the blog have been quite a ride. I look forward to telling you all about it, sharing the lessons I’m continuing to learn, and sharing new adventures with you. I considered republishing some of the content from the old blog, but I’ve personally grown so much that I feel like starting from scratch feels more authentic. Thank you for coming along for the ride and for your patience while I build this blog into something amazing.