Dealing with loss and the accompanying debilitating grief can leave a person wondering which way is up, floundering and feeling very stuck all at the same time. Allison and her family are still reeling from the death of her sister Kirsten from complications related to her Type I diabetes. Allison came for an Unveil your Cinderella day to mark a time of new beginnings and healing in her own life as she attempts to move into this next phase of her life.
Allison and Kirsten were close. Kirsten was diagnosed at 7 when Allison was 4 years old. Allison has always been in a caring role for her sister, a role that she just naturally fell into and has defined most of her life. This made it especially hard to watch as her sister began to lose her battle with diabetes. Now Allison is faced with figuring out how to navigate life without her sister. When you’ve always been in a care giving role, switching gears to begin to care for yourself can be foreign territory.
Kirsten received a pancreas transplant in 2013 in an attempt to extend her life. It did bless her with one year of great health. However, the accompanying medications suppressed her immune system, which led to a gradual failing of her health that followed that first year. Kirsten spent more time in the hospital than out of it for her remaining years. Infections ran rampant in her weakened body and pneumonia ultimately took her life in May.
Death, by its very nature, shakes survivors to their core. It makes them stare face to face with their own mortality and sit in grief that can be paralyzing. But as the paralysis begins to fall away, Allison is able to rise up and say ‘I will make this life count. I will make my mark. I will be counted and I will honor Kirsten’s memories of love and laughter with the life I choose to embrace.’
It was clear to me when Allison came that she was walking through a deep sadness. She’s learning to navigate life without Kirsten and to figure out what that’s going to look like for her. She’s realized it’s time for her to figure out what gives her joy in life and what energizes her. Thankfully, she’s found it.
She’s found solace in horse back riding. When she rides, all her stress melts away and she’s at peace. This is new to Allison’s life and she’s so grateful for the joy horseback riding provides her. She has recently rescued a former Amish driving horse and is working on learning to ride. Grooming her horse, being out in the fresh air and riding has given her a new found joy that she knows Kristen would celebrate for her as well.
So remember dear one, that though we weep through the night, our joy comes in the morning. I pray that morning dawns on you daily and your joy is found. I pray that most often you can be found in a meadow, trotting on your rescue horse, beside the man of your dreams. I pray that man is someone who knows how to make you a priority in a way that reminds you always how special and loved you are!