The Dash

I had a friend comment on all that the dash signifies when used between dates. 1960 – 2010 signified the span of my first husband’s life; 2006 – 2010 the dates of my son’s high school years. A lot of life can occur within the span of the dash.

2000 – 2018 reflects my span of work and service at Riverside. A lot of life has occurred within this time period. The move to a new town. The purchase of a new home. Watching our boys grow, get married, and begin families of their own. The death and burial of one husband and the discovery, love and marriage to my current husband. The joy of watching kids grow up and discover who they are in Christ and the equipping of parents to be their own children’s spiritual leader.

These past 18 years have been amazing. They haven’t always been easy, but they’ve been good because this is what I was supposed to do. However, the time has come when this chapter of my life has been called to close and I await with anticipation, joy, and perhaps just a bit of nervousness to see what the next chapter holds.

I have gained knowledge and many skills over these past 2 decades. Skills that will serve me well in another workplace. Knowledge that I’m eager to put to use in making a difference in the lives of people I will come into contact with and work alongside. I desire that chance! I will pursue that opportunity! To know that whatever I’ll be doing will be important if only in my own little world. And I know this to be true because God wastes nothing. No part of the dash in my life is for no reason. The space on either side of the dash signifies a beginning and an end. Not an end that will stop forever, but an end that involves a change of direction.

So I’m ready! I’m ready to see what this new direction will be. I’m taking up the challenge of doing something new and different after all these years. Just bring it on! I’m eager to begin a new dash!     2018 – ___ !!

Until next time –


New Things

When you are walking a grief journey, there will be situations that come your way causing you to pause and contemplate, “Is this for real?” It seems that many days you must try new things and be brave as you branch out and expand your knowledge and skills now that you are walking through life without your loved one. Sometimes these moments of contemplation are spoken in confusion and other times you voice that statement in wonderment and are amazed at how blessed you can be, even while dealing with great sadness.

The journey I have been on for the past 16 months has been the latter case. After nearly 7 years of journeying through my life without my first husband, I now have been blessed with sharing my life with another amazing man. My wonderment enters the picture because this relationship was not anything I had been seeking or desiring. With that being said, I am absolutely thrilled that I have it and cannot picture my life moving forward without my second husband.

New things may enter your life when you least expect them. I am not speaking only of new relationships. Perhaps your new thing is finding the courage and excitement to take a vacation to a destination you have always wanted to see. Maybe you are ready to venture out and try a new, fun career that will brighten your days as it provides for those necessary financial obligations we all face. New hobbies can certainly add dimension and happiness to your life as well. What new things do you long for?

Meeting Gary and developing this new life has given us a passion for sharing what we have learned about grief and loss with others. Our Finding Good Grief Seminar is a new thing we have developed using creativity and dreaming of how we can continue to touch hurting lives by paying forward what we have received ourselves. We have been there – facing the loss of a loved one, both of us having lost our first spouses to death. However, we are seeing that life doesn’t need to stop there. And more than that, the things we have gleaned from our own journeys are now being combined into something beautiful and educational – the Finding Good Grief Seminar.

New things can be exciting. What is it you long for? Do you have dreams that you hold close to your heart? Begin to put on paper how you might truly be able to accomplish these adventures and then begin to move toward those goals. Share your dreams with a close friend, using them as a sounding board for your new ideas as you reach out and move forward in your own adventures.

If you or someone you know needs encouragement in order to see new things as a positive in their lives, share with them my book, Grief Letters, as well as our Finding Good Grief Seminar information. In future posts, you will be able to find our Finding Good Grief Facebook page and the website we are working on. In the meantime, know that you can comment to this post, and we can be in touch.

Until next time –

Karen (Bransgrove) Cadwallader

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.

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