Friday, May 1, 2015


After a long silence, it is with a fair amount of uncertainty that I write this post. 

Uncertainty about blogging, uncertainty about if anyone is going to care to read this anymore, uncertainty about lost momentum, uncertainty about writing on such a melancholy subject as grief, uncertainty about how to unblock the dam in my heart and put unimaginable emotions into words, uncertainty as to how to do justice to a journey as deep & uniquely personal as losing a loved one - and uncertainty about writing about various griefs at once.

The words were flowing for a while...and writing does me good...and people were grieving with us and interested in how we were getting on.  But my Dad´s unexpected death on March 4th caught me off guard & stirred up other emotions & losses.  It thrust me backwards, into the beginning stage of grief again.  I sat numb from the disappointment of not being able to say good-bye to him and of having been just weeks away from seeing him and spending a week with him.

This happened concurrently with our last couple of weeks with Daniela and assisting her in her preparation for her return to the US.  I was committed to doing everything possible to accompany Dani in the process of her return to university life.  I wanted to be happy for her, to be helpful, to be a blessing & support.  But suddenly, I was physically & emotionally exhausted again.  And we began to realize that we were "mourning" her leaving us again after having been home for a year.  It was the right thing for her, and therefore, for us, but it was not easy.

Thankfully, the Lord gave us much grace and Dani is resettled at school and is happy with friends, dance and her international relations studies.  Although she is still grieving (as we all are and as she would be wherever she finds herself), it has been the right thing for her to begin to rebuild her own life.  I am so grateful for some of the really special things God has done for her in this transition.

Since then I felt blocked.  Life was either so busy, so emotionally overwhelming or I was just so exhausted that I felt numb & paralyzed for words.  Perhaps that was shock protecting me.  I just couldn´t find them or seem to get them out.   I was going through the motions of doing what was needed, putting one foot mechanically in front of the other without the luxury of time & energy to craft it into writing.  Now that I've been back from my trip to the US, recovered from jetlag & a cold & a sciatic lower back flare up, I am thankfully being flooded with words in my head!  Now if I can just have the courage to put them out there...

I have continued to process, to question and to struggle with the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of emotions.  But as you can well imagine, another death complicated my journey and pushed me into other places of grief and longing - mostly for my Dad and brother.  I daily ask God to ¨encapsulate¨ these areas, shield my heart and  to open them a little bit at a time when I can deal with it a little more.  It feels like I was at a certain place with Jenna and then BOOM! - another explosion of pain & grief exploded, demanding attention & delaying my advance in my process of losing her.  Now I have multiple, complex layers of loss with their own timelines, issues, memories, regrets, bittersweetness and unique pain.  While losing Jenna is the ¨coup de grace¨, each loss is still huge and deserving of it's own unique journey. 

We have hit the 6-month mark since Jenna´s passing and externally, life has somewhat "returned to normal":  Daniela has gone back to university in the US, Bruce is traveling again and Jordan is busy with school & exams, soccer and friends.  But me?  I feel like the wild card.  My roles changed last year as I stepped out of various projects & roles to care for Jenna.  I am fortunate to not have to rush back into anything...I need time to heal and regain my strength & capacity for activity, people, deadlines, etc.  But what should I be doing now?  Discerning that is kind of the next step for me...continuing to heal and beginning to move forward into a new and different life.  I wonder what that will look like?

If this post seems a bit disjointed, that´s because it is!  Life often feels like that right now and my heart moves back and forth between the different losses, emotions, implications & multilayered processes.

If you are still reading this post...I thank you for your support in this stage of uncertainty!

Photo by:  Francis Rowland


  1. Thanks for sharing your process. It's authentic and meaningful.We want to continue to support and encourage and love you at every stage of the journey. Thanks for your transparency; it's beautiful.

  2. As always your words are rich and full of meaning. Thank you for sharing your journey, steps at a time. Your complex grief will take much time, surely. God bless the grieving and healing.

  3. Thanks for all the support; I cannot tell you how much it means!

  4. Estáis siempre en nuestras mentes y corazones. Os queremos muchisimo!!

  5. Natalie EmmanuelMay 4, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Pam please dont stop writing ... you so often put deep intimate unthinkable thoughts, pain and feelings into words on paper that ministers to all of our hearts! Your journey is painful, yet the layers of grace is evident. Wishing I could give you a shoulder, an ear and friendship! love you very much!

  6. I do want to encourage you to keep writing... I know you find it very helpful for yourself and can see the benefit to others. But there are days I have driven to the beach, knowing that the best thing would be for me to walk or swim.... but I have felt too weary, too unfocused even to decide to get out of the car and walk. Can I really be that tired? So much of life is good and even sweet... yet the great emptiness is often there. Even as months of healing and new opportunities are opening the road before my feet, the layers of pain my kids are going through also weigh me down. Its all more complex than I often understand. He is doing so much more than I can comprehend or control. It comes back to faith: see a little, walk a few steps. So be encouraged to write.. or be at rest. or be... uncertain.

    Let His presence be the certainty you have. The rest will come a bit at a time...

  7. My father, Bill, sent me his collection of your writings that his pastor printed for him. I put them away but tonight (6months later) God thought I was ready for them. My grief and loss are not from the death of a loved one but sometimes so painful, full of questions that it is paralyzing. Your honesty in your writings is what God knew I needed. Thank you. I will continue to pray for all of you.

  8. Hola Pam, no se por que no me deja enviar los comentarios. Quería decirte que aunque no me conoces 8y yo tampoco personalmente, conozco a Saray, de Argentina) desde que me enteré del caso de Jenna que vengo siguiendo el blog y oré mucho por ella (cuando por momentos la recuerdo, aunque tampoco lo conocí, vuelvo a orar por ella y ustedes). Quiero decirte que tu historia y tu forma de aferrarte al Señor me hizo cambiar mi punto de vista sobre muchas cosas, y siempre quise escribirte pero nunca lo hice, Me encantaria contarte todo lo que Dios hizo en mi a traves de lo que les pasó como familia. Te dejo mi mail, si queres escribime: Sigo orando por vos y tu familia. Un beso grande!