Eight Years

May 15, 2015

Eight years ago today life as I knew it changed forever. I had never known death in the way that I would come to know it on this day in 2007. Before May 15, I have no doubt that I took the people in my life for granted. In my mind, they would all be with me for some time to come, and never once did I imagine that Griffen would be the first one of us to go.

That is the thing about this world. We never know what the next moment will bring. We can’t live our lives dreading the loss, the pain, the unpredictability. We have to learn to live each second, each moment honoring the gift that is our lives and living those times as if they were our last, because the truth is they darn well could be. I try to be most mindful of that fact and do everything I can to show everyone I meet how much love I have in my heart. I want to share it with everyone. Griffen is one of the main reasons.

I used to dread the week leading up to and the day of May 15th. It was such a harsh reminder that Griffen was gone. I put the date in my calendar with a reminder each year — as if I needed it — “Griffen left us!” In those first hours it did feel like Griffen left us. It felt like a huge crater had opened up and Griffen was gone forever.

I soon learned that Griffen might have shifted forms, but my sweet little brother was just as close as ever. I knew that from the whispers in my ear, to the 111’s, to the downright irrefutable signs that he sent. I soon found myself amazed at how often and how clearly he showed me, just as he told me, that he wasn’t dead, he had just moved on.

There are no doubts for me about life after death, and I just love when he sends me a big hello, a hug, or something that makes my heart overflow with smiles and joy. This week has been absolutely phenomenal!

There was a day when I relived every single graphic detail that I knew from this day. Those days passed and were replaced with happy experiences and serendipitous encounters.

I keep a log of 111’s and I could write a book with 111 stories alone. I see it everywhere and have even had some of you share your own 111 experiences with me. I thank you for sharing. This week, my little brother just amazed me. It has been one sign after another. You know I love to share so here is one of my favorites.

On Tuesday, Richard and I had a business meeting in Columbia. I thought of Griffen when we passed Green’s liquor store where he and his friend bought the alcohol that would lead to his leaving. Then, I was totally shocked when we walked into the state DNR offices and the first thing we saw was a sign “Boat Titles & Registration”. That was what had brought Griffen to Columbia to begin with. In May 2007, before there was a real investigation, Lee and I had gone down to Columbia to try and retrace his last steps. Despite making multiple circles we hadn’t been able to find the Boat Title office. Here I was almost seven years to the day later with it staring me straight in the face.

After our business meeting, I decided that we would stop by Representative Mike Pitts office to say hello. Mike is my cousin and one of the people I first leaned on when Griffen passed. The security guard let us know he had seen him go over to the SC State House building. I thought we had missed our chance, but then out of the blue a woman volunteered to take us over to see him. She took us through an underground connector and within no time we found ourselves in the lobby of the State House. Per her instructions, I filled out a form letting Mike know we were in the lobby. It wasn’t long before I looked up and there he was. He took me by the hand and told me to come with him; he had something he wanted to show me.
Mike Pitts visit

Photo: Sam Holland Photography

Mike led me through another room and then right on to the House Floor, which was stunningly beautiful and in full session. His seat was in the front. While I was still admiring all of the beautiful architecture he whispered that he would be back in just a minute. I sat down and began to chat with Representative Mark Willis — another wonderful man. Mark told me that in a minute Mike was going to introduce me and when he did that I should wave like a beauty queen and smile. I began to sweat as I wasn’t expecting any of this. It was totally out of the blue.

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