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Saying Goodbye

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Saying Goodbye

Last year, I wrote a three-part series about processing the loss of my father (click here to see it).  Now that it has been more than a year since I last saw my father alive, I wanted to share something important with you that I purposely left out of my previous writings…

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Planning A Funeral: Spirituality

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Planning A Funeral: Spirituality

"Has it really been 3 months?" I ask myself.  In fact, in just a few days it will actually be four months since my father passed away.  Here is what I have experienced since my Dad's passing and what you can expect life to be like on the other side of losing a loved one...

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Planning A Funeral: Practicality

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Planning A Funeral: Practicality

"There's really no way to make funeral planning sound exciting.  We all know we will need to do it "someday" but we imagine that we have more time to think about it at a later date.  The truth is, when your loved one dies unexpectedly, you won't have time to do adequate research and a cost analysis on the different options you have with different vendors.  In fact, if it's a close loved one that dies, your brain won't even be fully functioning anymore.  Suddenly basic, commonplace decisions that you've made millions of times before will become much more difficult.  You'll have trouble remembering the names of people you've known for years, filling out simple forms for the funeral arrangements will seem like monumental tasks, and you could even experience physical symptoms associated with stress, such as an inability to taste or digest food (for more information on how grief affects the brain, click here).  Even if you aren't an overly emotional person, exhaustion will set in as you deal with the calls and visits of everyone that wants to console you on the loss of your loved one, exasperating the situation and making your brain fog even worse..."

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Planning A Funeral: Reality

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Planning A Funeral: Reality

"I can't wait for my Dad to read this," I thought to myself as I posted this blog on living authentically.  Little did I know, later that same day my Dad would suffer a massive stroke from which he would never recover.  Death, even when anticipated, has a way of sneaking up on us...

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My Mom's Wisest Advice

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My Mom's Wisest Advice

Descending from an English/Irish mother and a fully Italian father, my Mom is a 5-foot 2-inch, blonde haired, blue eyed woman with a no-nonsense approach to life.  Being a very logical person, my Mom self-admittedly has little room for emotions.  This means that she tells it to you like it is, but always gives you the reasoning behind her way of thinking (which means that even if your heart disagrees with her on some things in the present, there is a chance that your head will decide about 10 years from now that she was right all along...).  Mulling over some of the wisdom she has imparted to me over the years, I decided to share some of my Mom's wisest advice with you in case it proves to be as helpful to you as it has been to me...

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Living Authentically

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Living Authentically

"And just like that, the house sleeps."

That's what I thought to myself as I sang my daughter to sleep in her crib while hearing my husband's snoring in the other room.  Just 30 minutes before, I had a screaming toddler that was determined not to go to bed and a husband crying out in pain from a migraine.  Based on the sounds emanating from our home, you would have thought we lived in a torture chamber!  But within just 30 short minutes, the house had fallen silent.  "Thank you, Lord," I said sincerely.  I recognized the peace that had come over our house as a blessing that shouldn't be taken for granted...

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The 10 Best Places To Eat Around Asheville

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The 10 Best Places To Eat Around Asheville

Listed below (in no particular order) are the 10 best places to eat around Asheville.  One trick that I have learned about visiting restaurants is knowing when to go as much as what you should order.  For this reason, I have listed what I have found to be the best times to attend these restaurants along with what I order when I go there.  For more information on the restaurant itself, click on the restaurant name to be taken directly to their website (or Facebook page if they don't have a website)...

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Turning Dreams Into Reality

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Turning Dreams Into Reality

Every year I evaluate my life on two different occasions: my birthday and on New Year's Day.  I know many people don't believe in making New Year's resolutions since the success rate of actually following through with them is somewhere around 8%, but even if my wildest ambitions aren't actually attained, I feel accomplished just making some progress towards my end goals...

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Different Perspectives

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Different Perspectives

Now that autumn is upon us, I am getting my house ready for the wintertime by going through absolutely everything we own.  I love fall cleaning because it signals that "winter is coming" (those quotation marks are for all of you Game of Thrones fans) and it ushers in a feeling of coziness, thinking of my family being nestled in a warm house while freezing winds swirl outside...

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Mountain Calling

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Mountain Calling

"The mountains are calling and I must go." -John Muir

I truly believe there is no more beautiful place to live on Earth than among the majesty of the Appalachian Mountains.  To live here is reminiscent of a simpler time when neighbors knew each other's names, community was important, and life was abundant...

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