I love fall. The crisp air, the change in the color of the trees, the different angle of light that is cast by the sun in the cloudless sky. The urge to hunker in a bit, to drink more tea, to connect with myself again after the frenzy of summer. These are just a few of the things that I love, yet fall is one of the most difficult times of the year for me, which honestly, kind of pisses me off.

I can be out walking my dogs and breathing in the cool air, minding my own business, and be brought to tears. It has been many years since I lost a loved one in the fall, but as you may know, there is always a place deep inside one’s heart where there is sadness, along with the happy memories, when someone you love dies. A scar. A wound that heals over time and allows you continue living, but a scar nonetheless.

So every once in a while, sadness will sneak up on you. You might have to bite your lip when you hear a certain song or smell a certain smell. I often feel a tightness in my chest when I smell fresh-cut grass. And there is just something about the fall air that gets me. That beautiful clean crisp air is the same air I breathed the day I lost my fiancé. The same day that I thought my life was over.

But my life wasn’t over and I learned that it was okay to allow myself to feel the pain and use that ache in my heart as a reminder of how precious life is. It is the fall, and the conflict it brings within my heart, that continues to remind me to be grateful for my life and to keep on living the best life that I can live.

What are you grateful for today?

WRITING PROMPT #1: What brings you to tears? What are you grateful for today?

WRITING PROMPT #2: Jessica closed her eyes, breathed deeply and…