Monday, December 19, 2016

To those who may be hurting this holiday season.

I'm stepping back from the endless holiday wish lists & outfit ideas to share a part of my story with you. A part of my story that has shaped me into the person I am today.

I actually started writing this 4 months after everything happened but I couldn't even make it through the first sentence. I decided to wait till the year mark to share but when God puts something on your heart, you can either ignore it, question it or do something about it & I chose to do something.

This post is for those who have an empty seat at the table this christmas.
That one special person who use to fill that spot is missing.

The holiday season that is suppose to be the most joyful time of the year, yet for some it can be painful, bring heartache & loneliness.

10 months. 
Its been almost 10 months on the 24th of December since I drove to that hospital that night clueless as to what was going on.  My whole world changed forever. I'm not the same girl that I was 10 months ago. Everything I feel is surrounded by that one day. Even down to the photos on my phone, I place them on a timeline in my head that is either before Feburary 24th, 2016 or after.

Walking into that ER pacing back & forth not knowing what had happened. All I could think of was my mom wouldn't have called me to come to the hospital right now if it wasn't serious.
When I finally reached her in the small room at the hospital. 
She barely could get any words out before the doctor walked in and said "I'm so sorry but now comes the time for the decision to be made, if you want us to keep trying, or stop. His brain has been without oxygen for over an hour. His heart will never beat on its own again." I felt like someone punched me as hard as they could in my stomach. First thing I could get out was
 "Why are you just standing there? Get your ass back in that room & save my Dad."

I remember walking back into the waiting room, telling my husband & sister in law it wasn't good. We walked into that room with over 15 nurses as they did chest compressions on him, something I wish I would have never witnessed because getting that image out of my head is nearly impossible.  I stood there in disbelief as I watched the machines slowly stop & the nurses turning the obnoxious beeping off.  I felt this sense of helplessness that I have never felt before.
 I felt an out of body experience that I have never had before. I feel like God puts you in that state so that you don't die of heartbreak. Everything I once knew completely got ripped out of my hands. I lost a huge part of me in that hospital room, that I've been struggling to get back. 
My Dad was gone. 
My advice giver, my rock, the Dad who loved me first, the backbone of my family & my boys papa. 
Gone without any warning.
I was Daddy's little girl.
How could this have happened?
I couldn't seem to digest that. 
I remember I kept pinching myself to make sure this wasn't a dream.
My heart shattered into a million pieces & I'm still figuring out how to put it back together.
Day by day.

My heart broke for my Mom who had to find her husband of 36 years laying in the driveway.  Having to always wonder if there was something more she could've done to save him. 
Thats where we step in & remind her that God called him home on that snowy February Day. It didn't matter if he was snow blowing the driveway or sleeping in his bed.
Either way, Feburary 24th 2016 was his end date. His work on earth was done.
Thats a hard pill to swallow. 
There are times where my thoughts get the best of me & I lay awake at night staring out the window finding it hard to stomach the fact that my Dad is gone.
My heart broke for the 6 grand babies who called him Papa. He loved them so much.  More than half of them won't remember him except the stories we tell & pictures we share.
That breaks me.
Even Lord willing my future kids will never know the Papa that Liam & Sawyer got to experience. That breaks me. 
My heart broke for all our family & friends that had to get the news with a phone call.
I can't imagine what that was like.

Where do you go from there? 
How do you leave the hospital & say your goodbyes when you have a loved one there who was just ripped out of your hands suddenly.

Laying in bed that night after we left, I could't stop shaking.  My mom & I just laid there in shock. I don't think i will ever forget how I felt that night.

No, goodbyes. 
No, I love you Dad, 
No, Thank you for everything you've done for me Dad.
No, You were an amazing Father & the most giving person I have ever met. 
 If I could be half the person you were, I would be on the right track.

I hope he knew how much he meant to me.
Did I tell him enough?

Now, I'm not telling you this to feel bad for me. I'm telling you this because I'm with you this holiday season. I feel your pain & see your hurt.
Nothing I say or do will make this Christmas any easier for you. Where everyone else might feel joyful, you feel heartache. Where everyone else might be making there favorite holiday cookies, you feel it hard to even get the motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
Be kind to yourself.
I am consistently reminding myself daily.

The only thing that has pulled me through this is prayer.
Praying for strength to make it through the holidays.
Through all these life changes, I am facing.
 Trust in God, talk with him, He understands, he knows, he is loving & he grieves with you.
He will meet you in your darkest hour.
He met me.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:8-10

I wanted to tell those out there that have someone missing at the table this holiday season.
 I'm thinking of you.
I'm praying for you.
I'm mourning with you.
You are not alone in any way. 

For those of you that know someone who is grieving this holiday season, doesn't matter if its been years since their loved one passed or it just happened this year.
 Just be there. Walk alongside them. Send that simple text that says I'm thinking & praying for you.
Let them know you are there.
God calls that of us.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15

Sometimes people get so worked up on what to say to someone who just suffered a loss.
Don't say anything, its better to not say anything then have a foot in your mouth moment. When you come to grips with that you might feel a little less awkward.
Share memories you had with their loved one. Don't be afraid to talk about them, because in my experience it hurts more when you ignore those memories & don't say anything at all.
Thats the last thing we want is to feel that our loved one is forgotten.
It's painful.
Acknowledging that our christmas is going to be different than the previous years.
Those texts that I have received saying "I'm praying for you, I know this is a hard day." those texts do not go unnoticed.
 They mean the world to me.

I wanted to leave you with this verse that is close to my heart. Just a little reminder that even through these trials that sometimes feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, we can take heart that God is with us wherever we go.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." 
John 16:33


  1. This was beautifully written. So many need to read this this holiday season. I'm thankful you decided to "do something" when God laid this on your heart! I am thinking of you & praying for you, and your family. ❤️

    1. Thanks Reagan & thank you for reading (: I hope you guys have a great Christmas with your little man & your family! (:

  2. Corinne, thank you so much for posting this. I lost my grandma back in late August and I miss her every single day, and it definitely gets harder during the holiday season. Although sobbing uncontrollably while trying to read thru what you wrote, I was able to finish it and your beautiful words really do help, so thank you, thank you so much for writing this, it really helped.

    1. ohh girl, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's such a hard topic to write about but its real life, good or bad. I'm so glad you were able to read my post & Im so happy it helped. That's all I wanted to do. Prayers to you & your family for strength.

  3. This was beautiful. I'll be praying for you and sharing this with friends who also have loved ones in Heaven.

    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate all the prayers & thank you for sharing. I hope you had a great Christmas. (:

  4. Written beautifully, I appreciate your thoughts and words.

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. (:

  5. I'm sitting here reading this for the first time. You are so gifted and genuine in your words. I cannot help but wipe away The flow of tears...because of such great loss; not just to you and our family but also to the communities of people that Randy truly touched. We will never know or understand the WHY behind his calling but fall back on trusting God in the journey ahead. What I do know is this...your father in heaven knows all now. He may not be seated at the table anymore...but I must believe, he remains within and beside you as you continue to make him proud. You are a Godly young woman...& I believe he gets to see this. I love you, my dear, Corinne. ☘⌛☮❤

    1. How did I miss this comment?? aw! Thank you for the kind words! Love you too. (:

  6. Corrine,
    Your words, on this dreary, cloudy, and rainy Monday left me hopeful. I've had losses and it's a difficult journey. BUT GOD! Thank you sharing

    1. You are so welcome. I am so glad you found my words hopeful, that means so much to me & thats all I really wanted was my readers to find hope in this post. Thank you for the sweet comment.
      God Bless,