The Elephant in the Room

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” (Soren Kierkegaard).

Grief is here. It is seen. It is felt. It lingers in the room, mentioned or not. A large grey elephant of grief. And it is different for everyone. Perhaps yours is brown or green or polka dot. Or a baby elephant that sits on your shoulders. Or a jungle of vines and trees. Whatever your grief is for you, it is present. It exists in every moment and every breath of every day.

My grief elephant appreciates being seen. It helps me to acknowledge my elephant’s existence. It helps me when others acknowledge its existence. And it helps me to talk and write about my grief. As I hear about other experiences with grief, I feel connected to centuries of people who have lost loved ones – and struggled – and survived.

My mom, Debby Susan Anderson Mosher, aka grandmamama, was kind beyond measure.


Was. Though a seemingly small and insignificant word, it carries such a weight. Was. She was. Past tense.

So how do we move forward and understand backward at the same time?

I find myself grasping for reason, for understanding of what transpired during July 2017.

However, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” (Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl).

July 2017 will always be a reminder of loss and love for me. But just as my elephant lingers, so does love. And so will all the other moments that came before and have yet to come.

My elephant begs to be seen and at the same time, pushes me to lean into my vulnerability and move myself forward with strength, grace, and love.

Hello elephant. I see you. I hear you. And I am beginning to appreciate that you will challenge me to change for the better.


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