Archives for : August 2013

The Roadside Memorial  0

IMG_1428-marker 4 blogIMG_2117-Broken AngelA “Marker” is usually placed in or around an intersection or side of the road where a CRASH has occurred and someone (or more) have tragically died most often due to the negligence of another in a vehicle related collision.

The Marker is a place to display flowers, ornaments, angels, crosses or any type of an item that is left as a token of ones love and honor for the life that was taken. This Marker is usually cared for by family, friends and even the great community that would like to honor and support not only the victim of the collision but the family as well.

Our family has a marker in Memory of my husband Mark whose life was taken at the hands of a red light runner. Our daughter Madisyn Grace was born just two weeks after this senseless and preventable crash. She will never (physically)know her daddy.

Madisyn has taken great pride in helping to keep this roadside marker full of flowers, angels and crosses. To her this is a place where she can memorialize the father that she has not been privy to know. She is proud of the Angel and Cross she has chosen to represent her father.

Today (August 5, 2013)I went out to take flowers to our “MARKER” for our Mark. It is National STOP on RED WEEK ( and what a great way to educate the public on the value of Stopping on Red, yet always a somber reminder that Mark is not in our lives and will never come home again. As I am walking up to the Marker always with a feeling of “I still can’t believe I have to take flowers to a memorial Marker…still disbelief that life changed so suddenly without a moments notice.” But always thankful that I can buy some beautiful flowers to place next to Marks Marker and a place where I can say a silent prayer of gratitude for his life, his love, our Madiysn and to ask for guidance and the strength to keep advocating for Highway Safety- because it is just that important!
Today as I am walking up to the Marker this is what I found? A shattered cross, a shattered Angel…..who does that? This was not weather related ….this is disrespectful and gross. Madisyn is ALWAYS with me on a visit. Thank GOD she was not today….but she will find out when she comes home. To whoever did this….you destroyed my little girls angel and cross that she put down there to “protect” her fathers marker. A little girl that knows no other way because a Red Light Runner made the decision to end her fathers life just two weeks before she was born. The other Angel was a beautiful gift from friends of ours that simply wanted to share their love and let us know they share in our grief.

Just because this marker is on public property gives not one person the right to destroy another’s personal item. It is a place to honor not to demolish. Mother Teresa said it all “We are all capable of good and evil. We are not born bad: everybody has something good inside. Some hide it, some neglect it, but it is there.”  One may be agitated with life in general or maybe it is a personal vendetta due to a different belief system. Whatever it is that causes this behavior take a moment and find the good in oneself. Neglect the ugly. It will get you much farther in life and you just might  find peace not vengeance.

The next time you come across a roadside marker say a prayer of peace, strength and love for not only the victim but the persons family members to have the strength to carry on without their loved one. Please remember that someone lost their life in order for that marker to be there in the first place.
I am in gratitude always for life and love.


Untitled.png-grief load pic.Well my friends, I believe that grief is an intangible feeling that is often hard to manage because there truly is no cure! We each have to work our way through “it.” Once it enters our life in a big way a small piece remains with us always! It does not matter how strong we are grief impacts us in many forms throughout our entire life.

I came across an article that inspired me to share! This article resonated with me mainly because there are days when I feel tired, heavy, like I can’t take one more step or worry about one more thing. I feel like I have a case of the “Grief load.” I thought “if I am feeling this way then my great friends have to be experiencing this on any given day, too.”

This Buddhist story that I read and want to pass on is the story of two monks and the woman….

“Two monks — one an old man and one a youth – were traveling together through the forest. Eventually they came upon a wild river and a treacherous crossing. At the bank of the river they met a beautiful woman who was trying to find a way to the other side. The woman asked the monks for help fording the river.
The younger monk did not even look at the woman, and crossed the river by himself.?The old monk, silently, picked up the beautiful woman on his thin back, and carried her across, setting her down carefully on the other side.
The two monks continued on their way in silence. One hour passed, then three, finally the young monk could contain himself no longer, he turned toward the older monk and in great agitation, blurted out, “You know very well that as monks we are not permitted to so much as speak to a woman; how could you have permitted that woman to travel on your back?”
The older monk looked at the younger kindly, and replied, “Brother, I set that woman down on the other side of the river, why are you carrying her still?”

This story can have many meanings and be dissected in a variety of ways. As soon as I read it I related it to the way I have been feeling lately on my grief journey! We tend to carry grief into every minute thing we do in our lives. If we are not careful it becomes embedded in our every day tasks and leaves us feeling impermeable.
This story is beautiful and can have an impact on our grief and give us permission to find a way to “let go” of the grief load.

When grief arrived on our door we suddenly were stopped in our tracks and we had to change the course of life we were on. We simply had no choice and started accumulating involuntary “weight.”
While taking the steps to form this “new found life” we have to be careful of the pieces we start to pick up such as weariness, sadness and disappointments. Suddenly we are in charge of our lives and the lives of our children. We get weighed down by the worries and fear that come along with “What now?”
We carry this burden on our backs that sometimes disallows us to enjoy any part of our life. We start missing out on the beauty around us and become uninspired by life.

The article was an “ah-ha” moment for me. It has inspired me to slowly let go of the grief load that I have so tightly been carrying for the last 9 years and 9 months.
I am sharing this story in the hopes that we can all find a place to share, move through our grief and find a way to “set it down” so it does not break us. In some ways grief has “become us” whether it be a positive through our great causes led by our “loss” or a negative in how we view our life as hopeless due to fear in our deep loss. We all have a choice in how we carry our grief but some may need a “push,” permission to set down their loss so that love, light and life can embrace us once again.

When we find a scared peaceful place to work through our grief we will mysteriously let go of the traumatic, tragic and fearful state of grief. We will truly feel positive light and love through living our newfound lives. When we experience this weightlessness peace prevails and our grief load will unknowingly become lighter.


This post was written for Modern Widows Magazine! What a great magazine for any one seeking …both Widows/Widowers! Please go to to find out how you can subscribe! Most Grateful, Melissa