I breathe a sigh of relief today… as I write this it is the last day of September, 2013. I love the September weather and the move to Fall. But it is a month full of emotions — good and painful.

My daughter, Liz, would have turned the big 30 on September 12th. What haunts me most is that I long to know what the story of her life would look like at 30. What career would she have? Would she have found someone to share her life with? Would I be a Grandmother?

In my mind, Liz will always be this rebellious 20-year old daughter — whom I love more than my own life — but who was not an easy teenager to deal with. I wish I could forget about that and concentrate on a more positive outlook. It’s easy to assume that everything would be rosy — she would have a fabulous job, a wonderful partner and maybe a special daughter or son (or two). I sure would like to believe that. But part of me can’t help but consider that it may have gone the other way. Would she have continued to struggle and make poor life decisions? Would she be in and out of rehab? Would she have “seen the light” and turned things around? The simple truth is that I just don’t know and I never will.

But the other truth is that it really doesn’t matter — because none of it happened — the good or the bad. It is what it is and I choose to make the best of that reality. I have known every single night for the last ten years where Elizabeth is and I know that she is safe and she is at peace. Therefore, so am I. I no longer have those sleepless nights of wondering and worrying about her. She has shown to me time and time again that she is very happy to be in spirit and we will always have a relationship. It’s certainly not what I had hoped for or expected on that day 30 years ago when I first saw that beautiful baby girl with the wild shock of dark hair and those big blue eyes.

But I am at peace about her, and I love her more than ever … and she knows that. That’s all I can ask for at this point, and that’s OK …. it is more than enough.

We chose to celebrate the 20 years that Liz was physically with us on September 20th. Our house was filled to the brim with family and Liz’s closest high school friends. It felt so good to have everyone together again — much the same as we had been ten years earlier — thankfully, though, most of the pain and shock of her sudden departure has worn thinner for those of us who knew and loved her.

We all shared memories and laughter over the crazy antics of this amazing, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend.

And I know she was there with us in spirit — thankful that we had gathered to laugh, to love and to remember. Carry on Liz … til we meet again in spirit.

Love always, Mom



Kimberly Wencl

I am a 56-year old wife and mother living in Minnesota. My life changed on 9-20-03 when my 20-year old daughter, Elizabeth, died very tragically, very suddenly, and very unexpectedly. My daughter's death set me on a path I could have never imagined for myself. And, I am still on that same path today, over seven years later. In 2009, I retired from my job in the business world of 35 years. I now write and speak at every opportunity, in addition to volunteering at my church and in my community. I have had my true stories published in these magazines: Midwest Caregiver 12/08; Angels on Earth 10/09; You Need Never Walk Alone, 3/10; Campus Firewatch 10/09. My story is also included in the book, True Stories of Messages From Beyond by Julie Aydlott & Friends. My website is entitled, Love Lives On. I am also a writer for the website Owning Pink. (http://owningpink.com),and I have been a guest writer for the website FemCentral (http://jenniferlshelton.com, and Triumph of the Spirit (http://bolstablog.com). In addition, I have done several pieces on TV and radio. You can reach me through http://kimwencl.com.

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