Today makes 4 months of my grief journey with hope. This month is particularly special in the journey because June is Kayla’s birthday month. On June 25 she will have her first heavenly birthday and I am determined to not be miserable. When saying that my mind immediately goes back to a conversation I had with my mother hours before Kayla died. At this point, we knew she would pass within the next 12-24 hours. I said “I don’t know what’s next for us, but February and June will not be awful months for us the rest of our lives. I will not be miserable!” The opposite of misery is joy.
For June, Grief + Hope = Joy.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:3 NLT
While joy is a source that God provides, I have to choose to accept the provision. I choose to have joy this month. There are some things in our lives that we have no control over. But with grief, you have options. They are limited yet available. The options are misery or joy! What’s your pick?
I could feel sad that I’m usually planning Kayla’s party and arguing with her about her birthday outfit this time of year. Or I could allow my source of hope, God, fill me with joy knowing that Kayla is the happiest she could ever be in heaven. With that joy, I can find new ways to celebrate my sister. With that joy, I can be happy about Kayla’s first heavenly birthday in her new body! Many people warned me about the first days with grief, the first birthday or holiday without your loved one. I’ll be honest and say I was worried about emotions overtaking me and depression having its way again. But having hope literally shifts my perspective and pulls on my creativity. So when adding hope this month my mind went into overdrive! Who says I can’t still throw her a party?
Hope looks like a Celebration
My family and I have decided that each day from June 5 until June 25 we are going to celebrate Kayla by doing something she loved or that reminds us of her.
We would like for you to join in on the fun the week leading up to Kayla’s Birthday! I am happy to declare the week of June 18- June 25 Kayla Week! It would mean the world to me to see those who support me on this journey and/or who loved my sister to celebrate with me!
Kayla Week goes as follows:
June 18: Selfie Day
Post a selfie that you had with Kayla or someone near and dear to your heart!
June 19: Treat Day
Kayla loved her snacks and sweet treats. Find something sweet to eat in her memory.
June 20: Shoe Day
If you knew Kayla, then you knew she was serious about her shoes specifically, Converse. Post a picture of you in your favorite pair of shoes.
June 21: Be Bright Day
Wear something yellow or extra bright!
June 22: Dance Day
If music was playing, Kayla was dancing no matter what genre! Have a dance in Kayla’s honor.
June 23: Movie Day
Kayla loved to go to the movie theater. Watch your favorite movie!
June 24: Smile Day
Do something to make someone else smile!
And finally the big day – June 25th Celebration Day
Our family is celebrating at our neighborhood lake with a balloon release in honor of Kayla. Although we can’t invite everyone who loved Kayla. We ask that you release balloons or visit a river or lake that day. Kayla loved the water and her favorite thing to do on vacation was to sit on the dock and watch the ocean.
If you plan on participating any days of the Kayla Week please post your pictures and video to social media using the hashtags #KaylaWeek and #GriefPlusHope