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  • Christine Kotlowski

Living with Loss

Updated: May 19


This week brought an emotional experience, but one that was a blessing. 18 years is a long time to live without your Mom. Countless times over the years, I have wanted to spend time with her, talk to her, get her advise, laugh with her and see her face light up as she enjoys our children. This past week marked 18 years that we had to say Goodbye to Myra Nelson Hahn. I wanted to visit the cemetery where she is buried, so I decided to drive to Westby, WI and go to church there at Vang Lutheran Church. As I started my 2 1/2 hour drive, the emotions started to roll as one of my favorite songs started playing, "Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw. If you listen to the words, they represent exactly the way my mom lived her life.

I arrived to the church just when the service was starting. I was surprised at how small it seemed compared to the day of her funeral service. When the pastor began his sermon, I knew instantly that I was supposed to be there. As I listened to his message, I swallowed hard and tried to keep the tears from welling in my eyes....I couldn't stop them.

Are there coincidences? I believe that things happen for you, not to you. As I listened to the pastor's message, I thought about the words that had been written in my book "My Mom's Gone, Now What?". Each word that the minister spoke made me think of so many people who I have known who have experienced loss. Here is a paraphrase of the pastor's message. "Share your wounds with others, so that you may help those who are in need and so that you may free yourself from pain....in order to move forward." WOW....it was perfect for me to hear! I was there to share my wounds with the pastor as I had a copy of my book with me to give to him as a gift. I was also there to gain strength and confidence to be able to continue to share this project with others. My mom never let me question my abilities and she always believed in me. This service was a true blessing. Afterwards, I spent quiet time in the cemetery to reflect and to talk with my mom....my daughter had asked me to say hello to Grandma :) .

From there I drove to my hometown and as life happens, I ended up seeing my best childhood friend standing on her porch. We ended up spending the day together and we reminisced over 47 years of knowing each other! .....amazing! Our moms knew each other and I was blessed to spend time reminiscing over their lives. I never thought that this day would be so full!

As I drove back home and passed the cemetery on my way, another one of my favorite songs started playing, "You Should Be Here". Life is a Journey to be Lived! Here's to another Week!


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