Something Beautiful


There have been plenty of times when the last thing I felt was something beautiful. The early days of grief took their toll. I failed to eat well, lost drastic weight and looked drawn. Lack of sleep caused dark circles under my eyes and zapped the energy from my normally upbeat disposition. Inability to concentrate and the absence of the desire to socialize inadvertently landed me in a place of isolation that was unhealthy, lonely, and at times frightening. The journey was hard, the days were dark, and beauty was difficult to find.

How could any good thing exist in the midst of such loss? As you travel your own grief journey it can be hard to see clearly. Life can seem so broken that all you see is ugliness and pain. However, stay the course and hold fast to your faith believing that death is not the end. It can be the beginning of something good. Something beautiful will begin to seep into your view if you keep searching.

Picture the tiny, homely caterpillar. It spends its days inching along, living life as only a caterpillar can live. While its existence may seem mundane and ordinary, there is a journey of beauty just ahead! After the hard work of cocooning and waiting, transformation is realized, a butterfly appears, and something beautiful is achieved. Because the tiny caterpillar was willing to keep doing life, it found fulfillment and discovered its purpose as it flies into the sky.

Hard work that went into building that life-changing caterpillar cocoon. The same goes for your grief journey. Walking it well takes work and persistence, even in the midst of adversity, pain, and sorrow. Trust that there is something beautiful in your future and keep walking forward. Believe there is a good purpose for all you are currently enduring and experiencing.

On the days that you have difficulty seeing something beautiful, know that even when you do not know it, others are catching a glimpse of beauty through your determination to journey well and your can-do attitude. Stand strong and have courage!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Until next time –



Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Throw the Hat


Recently my son was telling me a story he heard from a friend. It taught a lesson of being totally committed. He explained that young boys were playing ball in their usual park. However, there was a field nearby behind a tall fence that kept people out. After scoping out the area, the boys could not figure out how to reach the other side. Yet, their desire to play on the better field caused them to take desperate measures – they all made a decision to commit to reaching the other side. Each took the hat on their head and chose to throw the hat over the fence. In doing so, they had no recourse but to get over the fence to the other side in order to retrieve their hats.

I love this story! What a tremendous tale of determination and persistence. While some people might give up easily, convinced that the impossible cannot be done, there are others in this world who refuse to allow themselves to be defeated.

Even before beginning my journey of grief, I would have described myself as a stubborn lady who was not easily discouraged. Over the last four years, I have learned to use that trait to my advantage. I have learned to “throw the hat over the fence” in order to motivate myself to move forward. I believe that anyone going through similar difficult days can also achieve success in reaching the other side of their own fence.

To “throw the hat over the fence” means to be all in – to commit fully to achieve the goal you set for yourself. When a person holds back, hesitant to go forward toward a dream, failure looms near. In order to make progress, it is important to let go of old ways. This does not mean we forget the past. However, it does say that we are willing to face change and try new things.

So consider letting go and “throw the hat over the fence.” Be committed to move forward in order to embrace your new “field” – your future. My hope is that you will discover pleasant surprises and blessings along the way. Here is to courageous throwing!

Until next time –