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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

I am so grateful for my friends. I've been blessed with a few close ones and some who have been becoming close as a result of this loss, many of whom have endured losses themselves.

On Friday I had a really good visit from a friend. He hasn't endured loss in his life, but he gets my loss – I'm not sure why, but I'm grateful for it. I appreciate him more than he can possibly understand.

This visit he showed up with flowersand replacement journal since I had filled my latest one up with my grief jourbey.

he wrote something in the flyleaf that I'm still thinking about: "You can't write the second chapter of your life if you are focused entirely be reading the first chapter." It would seem to be pretty self-explanatory, but I asked him for his perspective anyway.

He said he's very supportive of the struggles that Collin and I have to forge our lives of the best of the "Old "and "new ". He said he wanted me to treasure every memory that was happy and sad from my 17 years of marriage. What he though he saw me struggling with, from time to time, was risking falling into the trap of living in the past at the same time that I was grieving it.

I'm thinking a lot about that these days, because I can't step away from the past – there's still much to do to wrap up Affairs for John, the latest being the estate tax return. Every time I have to turn a document over, it reminds me that he's gone.

However at nine months the memories are easier to bear and time has started to draw a bit of a veil over the memories, to soften them a bit so that from time to time, I can unpack them without pain. I'm hopeful in a few months I'll be able to do the same with more and more of them.

I'm still overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things that I must accomplish, but I'm knocking a few off the list at a time. I'm still working through Lists, but I've accepted that I can't get everything done in the timeline that I want.

Grief is a constant companion on this journey. However, thinking on my friends's words, I don't want it to become so familiar a friend that I forget to move forward. we have put in some new changes (for example Collin is on swim team) and our new life no longer matches our old one. I think this is a good thing – as we select those memories and legacies that we want to honor or change. I am hopeful tthat, as the year moves on, we will be successful at forging that new life, one data time

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