What we carry.

Some experiences burn into our souls.

Change who we are. How we live. How we work and see the world. How we view others.

I’ve had a few of those. Losing my Mom burns the deepest.

I wish I could say burned, but it burns still.

Who I was is not who I am. I’m the same person, but how I walk in the world is different.

Because with every step now, I carry my grief. In every breath, I carry my loss.

But because of what I carry, in every interaction, I know that I may walk into someone else’s burden. Bump into what they carry. In their arms, on their backs, in their minds.

Grief, infertility, a struggling child, illness, depression, shame. We carry our experiences, the joy and the deep pain. Sometimes quietly, sometimes loudly or awkwardly.

What is wrong with him? Why does she do that?

Those questions used to be accusations. Now, they are openings.

I look at people differently. At my best, I stop before I accuse. I ask why. And I want to know the answer.

I try to see what each person carries, learn how it changes how they walk in the world. Love the person with their stuff. In spite of their stuff. Because of their stuff.

Know that I cannot always carry their load. But I can say, I see that you are weary, you are burdened, you feel alone, lost, confused. Sad.

That’s okay. Sometimes, I do, too.

And I see you.

The first step.

Hi, I’m Jocelyn.

And I’ve lived a pretty charmed life.

Last year, my whole world changed.

My Mom passed away suddenly after a very brief illness.

And it shattered everything I thought I knew.

But in this storm, some things held. Held fast and held me. God, family, friends. Hope.

My Mama Bear had two prayers, among many thousands, she prayed for me throughout my life. I think she’s still praying those prayers.

My Mom prayed I would be bold and be good. She told me that boldness carries blessing; and she counseled there is a wholeness and holiness to simply seeking the good.

During our time in the hospital, writing was a meditation that focused my prayers and illuminated the path ahead.

So I want to do something new for me. A bit raw. I want to talk about grief. I want to be honest about loss—terrible and beautiful.

And to honor my Mama Bear, I want to embark on a journey to be bold and be good. To carry grief with grace. To make the most of my time. Explore what that means. And how it is practiced in my life.

I don’t entirely know what shape this endeavour will take. I do know it has been on my heart to share.

Sometimes, being bold requires a first step. So here is mine. I’m excited and a little nervous for what comes next.

I hope you’ll join me on the journey.