To Lean or Not to Lean?

To Lean or Not to Lean?

Nothing like a death in your world to be a stark reminder that life is truly a precious gift. It’s the ones left behind that the sorrow and heartbreak is for. The ones left with the hole in the heart are the ones that are still here on the planet and whose journey is not done yet. We don’t mourn them, we mourn our lives without them.

It’s interesting to see how people handle and deal with loss, or maybe how they don’t. Not just loss in their own immediate worlds but loss in the worlds of the people around them. Everyone feels differently, grieves differently and needs differently.  Some of us not at all. I’ve also discovered through the losses in my life over the years that there seems to be two kinds of people. There’s the kind that don’t know what to do and out of respect or fear seem to fade into the background until the dark clouds pass–and then there’s the kind of person who leans into the pain with you. It’s not about what they say or don’t say, but the fact that they lean towards you in the midst of your pain and not away. They choose to step into your world, lean in, and enter into the pain with you. That is a gift. These kind of people are precious gems. I have been blessed with those who have leaned in at just the right moment when all I wanted to do was push away. I hope I can be the kind of person that knows when to lean in when the time comes.

Why all the heavy talk? My heart is heavy.

There were two deaths in our family this week. The two sisters passed away within 48 hours of each other. Both were wonderful ladies who left their mark on the world. One was a fiesty 98 and one was a mere 92 years old. Yes, death does come for us all. If I’m blessed enough, someday I will be full of wrinkles and memories that have made me smile and a legacy to leave them with. Bring on the laugh lines…they just mean I’ve put my smile and happy face to good use!

It’s not comfortable to press pause. It doesn’t always feel right to be sad or allow ourselves to feel the grief or the full loss. Our culture and our lifestyles are not built to press pause or give space to show pain. When we lose someone we love it often times forces us to face our own mortality or our own shortcomings. Life is not about things, or status, or jobs, or houses, or comfort or cars. Those are all wonderful treasures, but they aren’t life. Life is about who we relate to, both in this world and beyond it. The relationships that we build, break and pursue are the ones that make this a life worth living and a life worth fighting for. It’s too easy to let good relationships fade and just move on to what we think is next. It’s not a matter how long you live, it’s a matter of how well you live. Some lives are cut short and some are aged to perfection. Either way it’s not our call.

As the quote goes… “Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

No matter what, just breathe. Just keep breathing. Maybe, just maybe, do something to take someone’s breath away.

Breath Takers Quote



Wishes Made

Ashlee Bratton – author of the book “Life Before The Lottery: Living Beyond The Bucket” is a professional photographer, freelance writer, and (when she has to be) an inspirational speaker with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and master’s degree in business administration.

Along with completing 29 of the 30 things on her 30×30 list, her writing contributions include numerous publications such as Vail’s EAT magazine, creating a 56 page Visitor Guide for a mountain ski town, blogging and guest blogging, being featured in multiple newspapers and e-zines, and various other projects.

Currently, she keeps her camera in hand in Southern Colorado, is a complete and total foodie, and takes plane rides for fun. She likes things that go.

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