I’m Adopting the Term ‘Brutiful’


“There’s going to be a blizzard,” they said.

Well, maybe not so much. This past weekend all of the Front Range hunkered down and expected to receive anywhere from 10 – 24 inches of snow. I took the picture above on Sunday afternoon at about 2 pm. While snow may have fallen from the sky for most of the last three days, anything that actually accumulated and stuck to the ground melted quickly. My tulips survived under buckets, and we didn’t even have to shovel.

And that, my friends, is why we live in Colorado. Spring snow continues to be a Colorado phenomenon, but we bask in the promise of returning sunshine when the storm passes.

A friend recently introduced me to author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton. She has this phrase that I kinda love. She says on her ‘Meet Glennon’ page, ” Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly that they can’t be separated. Reject the brutal, reject the beauty. So now I embrace both, and I live well and hard and real.”

This is right where I’m standing. In the beautiful pain and potential of grief. In the letting go of my dad and gaining support. In the looking forward while honoring the past.

So this week, I shift my focus to accept the “Brutiful.” I share in vulnerability some of the ‘brutiful’ things I experienced this week.

I found the hand-written toast my dad gave on my wedding day. I want to treasure this piece of his handwriting on folded notebook paper. As I sat down to read his words I sobbed, real loud ones, and Dylan had to come and give me a hug as I let the ache move through. It is brutal to know that this piece of paper will be the last handwritten note my dad ever gave to me. Beautiful to have his words, his heart, his wisdom, maintained on paper.

I had ten wonderful women over for dinner, wine, and coloring on Saturday night. Magic exists when women gather together and share their experiences over food and drink. We laughed, ate chocolate, and several of the wiser women scared me into postponing parenthood even further than my “five year plan.” Beautiful to be surrounded by friends and support, brutal to know that despite best efforts to socialize, the ache still exists in my heart. Hello heartache, I see you.

As I move forward in this dance, I am thankful for the balance of acknowledging both places, and realizing that I can exist in the middle. Thankful for the beauty of Sunday night dinners as my brother’s friends helped set the table. Thankful for the ‘brutiful’ ceremonial recognition my mom gave at that dinner as she invited my brother, my husband and me to share in the sitting at the head of the table. My dad may be gone, but patriarchy be damned, we are feminists in the house I grew up in. We will now take turns sitting at the head of that table.

I read two beautiful books this weekend, and took comfort in the words written by Clara Bensen in her book “No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering.” This exchange of dialogue was particularly comforting:

“She paused, measuring her words, and then said, “I wonder what would happen if you quit trying to be normal and just let yourself be exactly where you are?”

“What, just let all this happen?”

“You might be surprised,” she laughed. “Maybe life as you know it has shifted. But just because you are lost doesn’t mean you can’t explore.”


Keep searching for the beautiful. Keep exploring. Keep honoring your heart. Keep waiting for the spring snow to pass. Beautiful summer is coming.

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