Rest In Peace

While I was away on vacation, unbeknownst to me, a friend lost their battle with cancer.

It was heartbreaking to learn about, because I hadn’t connected with them in quite some time and would never again have the chance to see their radiant smile or hear that awesome laugh.

They popped into my mind while I was out for a walk on the beach. I felt restless all morning and had to get away from the noise of all nine of us in the house, escaping the grey and cold day.

Shortly after thoughts of them came to mind, I started seeing hearts everywhere on the beach and one of the things I wanted most during the trip was to find a small heart shaped stone I could keep with me for inspiration and gratitude.

I found that small stone and then some…

IMG_1761IMG_1769IMG_1770IMG_1771IMG_1791IMG_1828IMG_1843IMG_1848They kept appearing and within a half hour I saw more hearts than I could count. I lost count, in fact.

I couldn’t figure out what was going on but like a warm rain in summer you either run through or dance in, I was smiling and feeling a warmth surround me.

IMG_1849I had a few heavy questions on my mind throughout the morning and for quite some time. I brought them to the beach and after seeing these hearts felt a peace wash over me unlike anything I felt since Spring. There was a stillness and a sense that everything would be okay.

I remember asking the empty beach around me, “If there’s anything or anyone who can give me an answer or who can make this easier, please, I just need to be free of this,” and though I heard no words, I would like to think that the friend who passed away was there with me, giving me some encouragement for the journey.

At no point in my trip aside from that morning did I see so many hearts.

I still didn’t know that she passed away, as I found that out in the evening.

I didn’t bring my phone or camera with me to the beach when I first found out, so I couldn’t capture the fireworks display across the lake, but I did smile because that’s how she would have wanted it.

Bringing the love and ending with a colorful celebration.

It’s some time after her passing now, but I look at these pictures and will forever count among the hearts, the experiences I’ve shared with her and the things she taught me in the time I knew her.

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