You know how book reviews have blurbs from readers or other authors? Do you read those comments in quotes on the book jackets?
Well, today when I was thinking of my 2014 in review, I thought of comments like those. Like... who would write a blurb of my life this past year. What they would say.
And I realized, there actually are a lot of blurbs about me, my life, this process, this blog...because there are literally hundreds of comments that have been left here on my posts (not including Facebook and email!). So tonight, I give you my 2014 in review... in the words of others who have faithfully read this blog since its inception...
These are just a smattering of the beautiful comments I've been blessed with over the last 7+ months, but they really do sum up my year. No words I could use would adequately show my sincere gratitude and the depth of my emotion...and there are no better words than those below I would rather showcase to begin 2015:
"I'm so sorry life events have necessitated a blog like this. The positive part of this is your wonderful writing ability, your insight and your willingness to share. I may have met you as a student....but Arielle, you continue to teach me and amaze me. I'm so glad the universe connected us."
"Arielle, Thank you for sharing your life with Rick with us. Although I did not know him personally, through your writing I felt I did. May you feel the love and support from near and far from those of us that you have loved and supported. We are here with you."
"My heart goes out to you, from dark bedroom to dark bedroom, tonight and every night from here on as you endure what no soul who loves another should ever have to. I only know you through a friend's high praise and kind words but I hope that one more voice here will be one more candle in the dark. You have my deepest sympathies for your loss, and my utmost respect for your courage in the face of it."
"I live on the other side of the world. But through your writing I feel like I know you. I have no idea if you would even read this comment, but if you do... I would like just to say you that pain and greaf are all emotions that are a part of our lifes. And thou I know how badly you feel know, just remember that this is a challenge, a new journey. You will get wiser, you will know see the life so differently. But you also will be able to appriciate much more and much deeper. Remember that Rick is always watching. And now he does not feel any pain, just peace. I know that it will get better. But memories - good, warm memories will always be in your heart. Just be strong! I pray for you! You are one of the gratest and smartest and strongest people I know. With love, a stranger"
"You aren't alone - all the love and compassion you've given over the years is coming back to you."
"I've followed you since 2009, I think. You were there supporting me through my darkest days, when I was drowning in anorexia. When I had no hope, you gave me hope. I'm recovered now, and you helped with that. My heart broke for you when I heard of Rick's passing. I cannot understand the depth of such loss, but I want you to know that I am supporting you in thought and in prayer. Although I do not usually comment, I read your blog every day. I do not know how to comfort such pain, but I hope there's comfort in knowing that some random woman who watched your Wednesday videos for years (and has been helped by them) is now silently cheering you on, praying for you, thinking of you, and loving you through this time. Sending love and light your way. "
"I sat here reading these tonight, sobbing...mostly because I tried to kill myself twice, and my husband never knew how afraid and lonely I felt. He was so wonderful, but I didn't want to make him feel like he was doing something wrong. He wasn't...He was light, but I was still in so much pain. I'm so sorry that you are missing Rick. There is nothing I can say to make that pain go away...He loved you probably more than his words could ever express, but still he tried to let you know. His written words are such a gift. You are loved. <3"
"Arielle, I have been following you and your blog for years. While we have never met in person, you have touched my heart, and were a huge motivator for my own personal struggle and recovery. While I did not lose my spouse, I lost my mother, and I want you to know that my heart is with you. That every day that you get out of bed, you look in the mirror, and make the decision to keep moving on with life, that I am thinking of you, and supporting you. I am so proud of you for writing this blog, for letting the world know what an amazing man your husband is, and for sharing your memories."
"Just wanted to say how glad I am I found your blog. My beloved partner died at the beginning of June of metastatic colon cancer, and while I'm no stranger to grief, this kind of grief is new to me. Thank you for sharing your journey, for helping me to feel less alone. And my utter and complete sympathies for your loss."
"I love this blog so much, Arielle. I read it every night. Your words are with me always."
"I read every day and sometimes I find it difficult to hear you going through so many of the things that I did, both feeling for you and reliving for me. And sometimes, like today, you teach me something that helps as I look back on my grief journey and look forward. I am glad that this is helpful for you, you are doing good work here for others as well."
"Dear Arielle, I was thinking last night how we have so many bad things happening in the world we live in and then i thought of you and how strong and positive you have been with what you are going through you are right we need to express ourselves and feel our feelings and be thankful for what we have its people like you that make a difference in the world we live in thankyou once again for sharing your wisdom with us."
"Dear Arielle, you are really brave you still find positives with all that you are going through truly inspirational I don't know if you realize how much of a impact you have on our lives. I know you don't know me I feel like I know you because you share your life with us which is a priceless gift you do everyday you teach us endurance and there is always hope even when you are struggling."
"You inspire me to live. Since I was just in high school you became like a sister friend and mother. When I first made a step to recovery and when I decided to live and make choices to be brave and face my fears I think of all the words and messages you gave like to the girl. And I'm making another step today and hanging out and climbing up my own hill for that girl who cried and hid away from the world."
"You are getting there. You are making it. See the crowd of friends and family walking with you. Surrounding you and cheering you on each day; making this journey with you."
"I'm an old friend and we haven't spoken in quite some time...but I've been reading your blog here and there and my heart is with you. You are a role model of strength and beauty and courage in the face of pain. I wish you didn't have to be... but thank you for inspiring me."
"You will know the new you someday.... but it takes time to get to know anyone. And you are ever evolving through your journey. And you will be loved again, and will continue to be loved, just as you are now."
"I feel the shift in your blog, and I'll still read it, whenever you update it <3"
"You and this blog are just 2 of things I am thankful for this year. You are such an inspiration, I'm so happy for you to be taking this next step."
"I don't even know you, but I've been cheering you on from afar. Lately, I want to pump my fists in the air and shout 'yes!' when I read your posts. Your Wednesday Warrior videos meant a great deal to me in the past and now you continue to inspire in a very different way. It is clear that you will continue to shine your light no matter where life takes you."