Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

John Milton

A Sympathy Card I Would Send Myself

sympathy card

I needed to find a FED EX drop off site, so I was searching on my GPS. It led me to a Walgreens. Interesting. Who knew?

Sure enough, the lovely customer service assistant wrapped my return up within a minute.

I had a few minutes to kill before my next stop, so I stopped by the greeting card section. Walgreens has great greeting cards. I needed a few thank you notes, as I just celebrated my birthday.

As I perused the aisle, I came across the sympathy cards.

One caught my eye. It read, “No one is ever really ready for this. I’m so, so sorry.”

I bought it to put in my heart journal. This is the sympathy card I would have sent to myself. It says exactly what I am feeling.

My Journey Through Grief to Gratitude

The death of a parent is among the most emotionally difficult and universal of human experiences. Most people will experience the loss of their mother or father in their lifetime. And while we may understand that the death of our parents is inevitable in the abstract sense, that foreknowledge doesn’t make it any easier to accept when it happens. The death of a parent is grief-filled and traumatic, and loss permanently alters children of any age, both biologically and psychologically. Nothing is ever the same again — losing a parent it’s a wholly transformative event.

This sentence, “Losing a parent is a transformative event.” I lost my dad in 1993. I lost my mother-in-law in 1997. But losing my momma has been complicated.

If you know me, you’ve definitely heard me “complain” and “mumble and grumble” about the ups and downs of the last decade with my momma. Every single time I did complain, I said to myself, “Janell, you are going to miss her.” My children would say, “Mom, keep going. Keep loving. Keep giving.”

Yet, the weight of care giving is heavy. It requires unlimited patience and a divine dispensation of grace, grace, and more grace. I learned, the hard way, that I had to be a whole lot more kind to myself. I learned I was human. That I had limits.

Losing a parent means you’ve joined a club with people who understand that just walking out the front door with your shoes on and your hair washed can be a challenge. It means that grocery shopping and picking up brussels sprouts, and remembering how much your mom loved to eat them once she realized she could cook them in the oven rather than boiling them, and they actually tasted good, makes your eyes start to burn.

My Eyes Have Been Burning ALOT

I’m not rushing myself through this grief journey.

When my dad and mother-in-law died, I had little ones. I was homeschooling. I was running a dance studio.


I’m busy now but in a totally different way. With adult children living all over the world, I face most days ALONE in my house. I’m not complaining. Trust me. I am unbelievably blessed. I cherish this time to do deep work that requires intense focus and attention.

But, it is quiet. I work for myself so I can adjust my schedule when needed. As said, I acknowledge my blessings. I value the time, energy, and sacred space to give myself to study, research, and writing.

I am pretty sure a future book is going to be on the vital role a mother plays in the lives of her children. For this reason, I am all in. I am giving my attention to God’s whispers. His lessons. His impressions. I want to receive any and all lessons He has for me.

Why? So I can share them. Without a doubt, a mother is absolutely everything in our lives.

So, I’ll deal with my “burning eyes” and stay the course as I move through the journey from grief to gratitude.

Join My Journey from Grief to Gratitude

When I’m hurting or seeking or trying to make sense of things, I study. It’s just what I do.

I create resources to help myself and as a teacher, I just have to share them with you.

I’d love to invite you to join my journey from grief to gratitude. I lost a momma. BUT, in the midst of a global pandemic, we have all lost quite a bit.

Experts all agree that nothing helps grief or stress or loss like the practice of gratitude.

So, I created a FREE mini-course, Everyday Epiphanies: 29 Days to MORE JOY, just for “us.”

Stay tuned. I’ll be giving you all the details NEXT WEEK. If you haven’t subscribed to all the goodies, make sure to do that right now: Just wait for the pink bar to appear, put your email in, and voila, you are in!

Until then, know you are IN MY THOUGHTS and PRAYERS. I know I am NOT ALONE. There is plenty to grieve about right now. BUT, remember, we heal in the community. We need each other so much. I know I need you!

Janell Rardon Author

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