Last weekend, I drove 4 hours and 14 minutes, took exit 205, chugged along another 12 minutes, and pulled into Papa’s driveway on Turtle Beach.

It was past 11:00 at night and I was alone. I called Luke and had him on speakerphone as I unpacked the car and unlocked the house—spooked by both the stories the darkness whispered to me and the emotion bubbling in my stomach.

As soon as I got inside and warm, the silence of the once loud home filled me. I fumbled around trying to figure out getting the TV to turn on. Climbed behind the entertainment center, crouched down and tried to decipher 18 different cords, FaceTimed my Aunt for help, and still nothing. I sat in Papa’s now empty spot on the couch, and just as I did, the TV blinked on. The suggested movie rental starring back at me? “Despicable Me”. Papa’s favorite. Suddenly, I wasn’t so lonely or scared at all.

There is beauty to be found even after loss. There is life to be found even after death. Seashells tell us this very story.

In the last two years, we have all lost someone, something, or both. Loved ones. Jobs. Expectations. Plans. So much has been lost for all. Not a single one of us has been untouched. And yet…there is still beauty to be found. Life will blink onto the TV screen right when we feel most unnerved and alone.
A seashell with holes and grooves and dried seaweed wedged in nooks telling stories of life past will find its new home in a new life in a centerpiece on our dining room table. It will stare at us and assure us: Much has been lost. There is proof all around. But oh, so much is still to be found.

Grief is a liar that will try to tell you you’ll never feel your loved one again. Fear is a liar that will try to tell you all hope is lost, and nothing will be good ever again.
But they’re wrong. They’re so wrong.

There is beauty to be found, even after loss.
There is life to be found, even after death.
This I know for certain.

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