Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our chapter Ambassadors.

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my friend Grief

Its February.

Its here. This month that fills me with such dread.. Its here. And with her she brings my old friend.. Grief. True. Utter. Grief. Grief that hollows me out.

This friend.  The one I can’t remember not knowing, yet somewhere along the line, I was able to put in some separation.. Able to call on her .. versus her calling on me..

With this month that friend is back. Holding my hands .. matching my every step.

I feel like I am being slowly pushed towards an invisible line and everything in me is fighting against it..

I’m losing though. .

Ive always lost to February.

Speaking at Jennifers send off..

I find myself constantly crying. Every time I get in the car .. Even those times my mind feels blank or preoccupied .. the moment the door closes I feel that familiar prick and sting in my eyes..

Grief. She grabs my head in those moments. Forces me to look at her in the eyes..

I can’t even get mad about it. .. Maybe in a way its comforting. .. A reminder I am still alive.. That Jennifer was real. My daughter was here.

But I have to fight her off… Because if I make eye contact. . I am not sure I will be able to recover.. or able to break away again.

My grief. The magnitude of it right now..  That brokenness. That overwhelming heartache that I felt constantly the first year after she died.. I am there again. Body heart and soul.

I find I am simultaneously weakened by it but also strengthened.. Because this friend is my comfort, my familiar. .. and I fear she is my demise.

its hard again. just making it through the day without collapsing is hard.

I am running on fumes.. I feel like I have just enough gas in my tank to get me through taking care of my surviving kids and my husband. I can feel every breathe I take. The effort of it. I can feel it as it echoes around..the empty inside me..

I love these 5 amazing people

I am a shell… A sturdy one. A shockingly stable one. but a shell none the less. 

This year I have so many responsibilities. This year Jonathan wants me to get out of the car at school drop off and pick ups. . .This year both boys are on sports teams.. This year Unravel needs me too..

Daily I move. I smile. I walk upright through the day. .I make people laugh and I smile too.. But…

I get in the car and I cry. Every single time.

I know how to do it well. I know my friend is invisible.. I’ve done this before. As Griefs grip on me gets stronger I easily slip back into that old routine..

But its ok. Maybe I am ok with it..

Because this old friend.. she reminds me… Jennifer was here. And Jennifer was real. The hole she left is unmistakable. And I am grateful for that. Because so often she doesn’t seem real. None of this seems real or possible. .. That includes my daughters existence.

The feel of her hand in mine. The weight of her head in the crook of my arm. The sound of her laugh.. The way my heart lept when she called me Mama. .

That smile.. she exuded joy..

I guess thats how parents like me survive. .. our minds shut it down.. make us doubt our own reality. ..

And I’m scared. I’m scared to be drug back down. .. I know how hard it was to climb out of the darkness.. I know how hard it was to create just a little distance between me and my friend Grief.. I know how once I freed myself just a little. .. I know how I braced myself and have fought like hell not to let her get really close to me again..

I’m not sure how much longer I can though…

So maybe I will embrace this old friend. The overwhelming grief.. Maybe I will happily give over my heart because it brings my Jennifer back to me again..

It makes her real.

real. but still gone.

My God I have missed her. This hurts so much. So much more than I could ever begin to put into words. But I find relief in it. ..

And truth. Clarity .

I’ve been wrong all along. This whole damned blog.. Its been backwards.

This is feeling. This is real. When I pushed Grief away. When I didn’t really allow her a place in my life.. This is it. This is what I have to learn to exist in.

A balance.. between here and there. Between Jennifer and everything else. I have to find a way to allow myself to have both..

Because existing like this, like I have been..  is not really living.. 

There is a difference..  existing versus living. I grew accustomed to it, the separation between me and my life. .. So much so that I didn’t even realize it was happening.. I thought not allowing my grief to bring me to my knees meant I was healing..

I felt like allowing this hurt in is what made me a shell.. But I think its the opposite. Fighting it creates that shell .. Allowing it. Embracing it. Its what breaks me out of the shell.

And now..I am back. Its time to just admit.. I am in the hole again..

..maybe this time as I crawl back out.. because I will crawl back out.. Maybe this time I can learn to have both.

i miss you sissy miss

i miss it all


i can’t lose you again.

so I will learn to have both.

..until there is a cure..




  1. Leah says:

    Sending love.

  2. Cecille Gannon says:

    God Bless You…… remind me that balance allows room for life.

  3. Esther McKee says:

    Been thinking about you and your family lately. I’m still here Libby! Sending so much love to you!

  4. Melissa says:

    Grief has a way to make your mind try to forget, to “protect itself”…but your heart can never forget. Grief can try to trick your thoughts, but not your heart. Your heart is bound to Jennifer’s with love, and that love can never be denied or ripped apart, no matter how much grief (or your brain) tries to do so.

    I’m so sorry grief is a confusing and constant companion in your life. Grief is a friend who you long to separate yourself from, but also need beside you at all times just to breathe. Never in my life have I seen any puzzle more difficult to piece together…I hate grief, and I can’t live without it. You describe it perfectly.

    Thinking of your family always…but especially this month. And remembering Jennifer…always.

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