I’m not sure what to say. Where do I start? (This question drives me most days.)

I am sad. So, so sad. But working hard to not let sadness prevail.

The saying is that time heals all wounds. Right now, as time passes, a lot of things get harder.

Matt’s absence feels stronger.

But there is still great love and still great joy. I have resolved to choose love and to choose joy.

Writing is hard–which is really hard. Writing is how I think, and the words aren’t coming right now. My fingers make mistakes as I try to hit the right keys. Familiar words look foreign.

I can’t write about Matt yet. I feel like once I do, I will succumb to this abyss that lurks behind me all the time. An abyss of sadness and loss and grief and no love or joy.

So I put on this mask of resolve. Of a capable, dedicated, hard-working woman. I take care of Ellie and Bax and Ralph and the farm. I go for walks and breathe the farm air. I lean on my family and friends. I knit and sew and organize.

And today, I write.

This writing, this blog, this imperfect, potentially inarticulate, writing is important. Even if right now its importance is in the role of a distraction.

Matt and I have a lot of plans for this farm, and I am resolved to carry them on. This farm is us, and sharing this part of us makes the journey more special. I am not sure what’s going to happen and how plans are going unfold, but I will share them as we go.

I am not planning on turning this into a grief blog–I can’t do this publicly. Or a Mommy blog for that matter. I will talk about Matt and Ellie because they are still my life. But I will be talking about renovations and projects and gardens and animals and farm life and working every day to find love and joy.

A friend gave me the winter edition of Magnolia Journal for Christmas. In her letter from the editor, Joanna talked about the word resolve.

“The meaning of resolve is often interpreted in duality, as being both/and. Resolve can manifest as both grit and contentment: I will resolve to set my own course and I am resolved in the lot I’ve been given… Resolve can catalyze a beginning and determine an ending…


“Making our own way in this world requires our resolve to always be weaving together the old and the new, the parts of who we’ve been with who we are still becoming. To choose that way of living–one based on all that we are and all that we could be rather than the things we’re not–begins and ends with resolve.”


For the past few years, I’ve chosen a word of the year every January. This year, I wanted a word to guide me and shape me. I felt like I needed it. But I’m so lost that I couldn’t find it. I was thinking and reading and searching, and when I read these words, they connected so deeply. This is me, right now.

I am resolved.

16 thoughts on “Resolve

  1. I can’t possibly imagine your feeling of loss. I can’t think of anything that will help you other than I am thinking of you and praying for you daily.

  2. My thoughts continue to remain with you and Ellie, Julia. Grief is an unavoidable reaction to loving so deeply and, as you say, in these moments even the smallest thing triggers a memory of what has been lost. I continue to remember you both in my prayers.

  3. So happy to hear from you back on the blog. I was so shocked to read your November post as I hadn’t realized that Matt was unwell. My thoughts are with you and Elli.

    • Thank you, Gaile. He was very private about his illness. We didn’t want to focus on it any more than we had to… which was still a lot. I’ll be sharing a little more as I publish more posts. I appreciate your comment and your thoughts and your welcome.

  4. As difficult as it is, the grieving process is something you have to go through. Eventually, life gets easier again, but it’s never the same. When my dad died, I just wanted the world to stop until I could deal with the grief, but that’s not the way life works. The world keeps turning, and we plod along through each day, bursting into tears when a memory surfaces from nowhere. Just keep plodding – it will get better. And buy Kleenex in the multi-box pack.

    • Going through, process, plod along… all of those words resonate with me right now. You’re right. We keep going.

      Ellie is such a compassionate, kind, sensitive little girl. She goes running for “tissue” any time we need it… and sometimes when we don’t. The tissue boxes are now out of reach!

  5. I’ve been thinking about you and Ellie, Baxter and all the farm animals and your responsibilities quite a bit lately. You are such a strong, beautiful woman, Julia. You continue to be in my thoughts. Sending you a big virtual hug.

  6. Ah, Julia. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, and was so glad to see your post today. Your words are extremely moving, and not at all inarticulate. I think both sides, the resolve and the abyss, will be sources of strength for you in the coming days. Your comment about Ellie made me smile – there’s nothing like the comfort of a two year old! So very sweet. Lots of love to you both as well as to Matt’s family and friends.

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