Often as we are grieving, it is difficult to see the beauty that is left in our lives. For many who are grieving in the first year or two after loss, it is so difficult to see past the grief, the pain, the loss and to actually see life, the life that is still here waiting to be lived and the beauty that comes with each day.

We are so caught up in the grief we are experiencing as a result of our loss that that is often what we see, what we live, what we feel; and the joy and happiness we once felt is felt few and far between in comparison to “before”.

Initially, after losing my fiancé Greg, I tried to find things to be thankful for or things that were beautiful in life. At that point in the first few weeks and months after the loss, it was so difficult to see at times. I’m sure not every person experiences this; maybe for me this was influenced by how, when and the manner in which I lost Greg.

At 25 months, I came to a turning point in my grief journey. I had an “awakening,” I started to come alive again. I stopped fighting the feeling of wanting to live again and just accepted that I have to create a new normal for the amount of time I still have left here!

I realized that I had to start living again.

This kind of progress in grief does not happen easiily. It takes lots of healing and grief work to get to milestones such as these in a person’s grief journey. For some, it happens sooner; others have a longer process to work through.

Over the last 7 months, as I have started to come alive again and embrace life again, I have started to see life in a different way than I have since losing Greg in 2010. I start to see things as beautiful or pretty or serene. I start to see life and nature for what God intended it to be seen as: BEAUTIFUL.

I have so much to be thankful for each and every day. I thank God every day for His grace, His mercy and His faithfulness.

It has taken me 2 1/2 years but I am learning to take time in my day to stop and see the beauty around me and to seek out the beautiful things in my life.

To stop and thank God for all that He has created.

How about you?

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Brandi Reyna

Ms. Reyna is a creative soul with a passion for helping others. Her faith is very important to her and is reflected in her writings. She writes about her faith and the role it plays in her grieving process and how she grieves. Ms. Reyna's purpose for writing is to give voice to and shed light on unique losses. Ms.Reyna's articles focus primarily on the loss of her fiancé; the subsequent grief associated with sudden loss, her identification as an "unwedded widow" (a widow who was not legally married to her beloved), loss of a parent (grandparent) and creating a new life while living with loss. Ms. Reyna shares her journey to encourage others in their own faith and in their own healing journey. She hopes that by sharing her story and leading by example through her own life that her journey will show others that we can experience significant and impactful losses and still experience a full and joy-filled life after loss. Ms. Reyna has completed internships at several churches within women’s ministry, as one of her gifts is in ministering to women so that she might walk beside, support, encourage, counsel, shepherd and offer hope to women in need. Since the loss of her fiance Greg in a tragic car accident in March 2010, Ms. Reyna also has a passion and heart for helping others who are grieving the loss of someone they love. Ms. Reyna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Psychology; with a certificate in Women's studies.

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