My name is Kristen Kessler, I am 25 years old, living in the Bay Area currently working in youth ministry at a local church. Born and raised in Texas, my husband and I moved out to Northern California in 2009, and we are enjoying this new adventure we have been placed in. I have a passion for youth and their development and experiences they have in high school. I specifically have a passion for high school girls. My desire is that they would walk away from high school feeling loved and valued. I also have a passion for writing. I come alive when I can form words together to express my inner-most-thoughts. I have always struggled with what to write about. I don’t like to write about meaningless topics, but rather, topics that inspire, challenge, and relate. Although there is much pain in this topic, I’ve currently chosen to write about grief believe it’s important. Not only that, but I also believe it is my responsibility, as someone who enjoys and is gifted in writing, to write about “the hard stuff.” June 14, 2010, my mom, Ann Smith, passed away from a brain aneurism. This was extremely sudden and unexpected to everyone, family and friends. I never thought at age 25 I would have to deal with such a significant, shaping loss. I decided, pretty immediately after she passed away, that I was going to deal with this loss head on. The last eleven months have been confusing, life changing, and therapeutic. I am an extremely observant person, so as I have walked through this hard time in life, I have kept notes of various feeling, behaviors, and interactions with others. My observant nature transfers into honesty, and that is what I bring to this topic. I’m 25, living in a new town, lost my mom a year ago, yet I’m not content with wasting my life being sad. I’m learning to embrace this thing called life in the midst of life’s hardest times…
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