I don’t remember when it started to happen exactly.

But it was around the second year of my loss.

I started to get out of social gatherings, events, coffee dates, playdates, picking up the phone. I did that for a while.

Then I tried my hardest to become socially normal again.

The attempt brought in many failed experiences.

I made some new friends, I cared about new relationships and for a while, I did think it was my way back to the normal Christina.

But even in those new friendships, I held back.

I rarely talked about how I felt.

I became really good at listening to everyone else’s life.

It was much easier to do that.

I liked to listen and I was good at helping others.

The longer time this took place the less I belonged somewhere.

I had started to become someone nobody really knew.

The only place I felt like myself was inside the pages of a book, learning new things, and my love for writing. (Click to Tweet!)

The last two years I have read hundreds of books, learned things about the soul, the self, what makes us, what breaks us, what happens when we die, what powers do we have.

The list goes on.

It was as if my only real relationship was with the mysteries of life.

Anything else I was not able to connect with.

The best way I can explain any of this is…that after his death what happened was so shocking that it stole everything I ever knew.

It is as if death removed this filter from my life’s window.

It snatched it from me.

And as it was snatching it, it yelled ‘you will never be able to see things as they appear. You will always see them as they are.’

What is this filter I am talking about?

Before his passing, I saw life as the only experience, the only way to be.

After the filter was removed I saw everything else.

And no, not everyone who has had someone they love die have their filter removed.

As a matter of fact, a lot of people have a double filter afterward, protecting themselves even more from anything that resembles truth.

The filterless people are very few.

If you are still reading, my guess is that you are one of the very few.

Because if you weren’t, you would have stopped probably 9 or 10 sentences ago.

My guess is you find yourself alone even when there is a crowd.

You are really good at solving other people’s problems even if yours are much bigger.

You went from an extrovert to an introvert.

I won’t find you at the neighborhood pot luck party.

And you won’t be going to your high school reunion anytime soon.

Living outside these containers makes you belong nowhere but to yourself.

I don’t know how much this letter will speak to you today.

Maybe it doesn’t speak to you at first, maybe you are still trying to make things work with the people you knew before grief removed the filter.

Maybe you added a filter on top of the other.

Or maybe you are still in a state of shock like I was.

Wherever you are in the journey, don’t be afraid to look through your window if the filter is gone.

I know you are trying to understand what this is.

This thing we are all inside of.

It is not life.

It is most likely something we are not supposed to see.

For those who do, they can never unsee it.

The filter can not go back on the window.

The pot luck neighborhood party can never be just that.

Friendships are hard to come by.

Relationships don’t feel necessary.

Just sitting outside of all the containers the people you know live in, is the only option.

And somehow I find bliss right there.

Bliss that cannot be had with the filter intact.

Bliss that swims in the space between the containers.

I feel connected to that ocean, and it is that invisible connection to something much bigger than life that keeps me wanting more of it.

I hope I find you there, swimming outside of a filtered life.

Notice yourself this weekend, maybe you too have lost interest in the way things used to be.

With life,


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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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  • Dianna says:

    This. I recently realized that I never feel like I belong. Even with friends I’ve known for years. It’s a strange reality.

  • Marilyn says:

    I am usually alone ina crowd.

  • Stacey Hamlin says:

    How far out are You?

    I lost my dad in 2010…in 17 hours…he was my best friend, I spoke to him daily…and then I lost my marriage through divorce in 2012.

    I think I sat on my bed for 2 years…maybe not literally, but that’s exactly how much I wanted to interact…I completely get it.

    But, then year 3, things were different … a little better … and then year 4 … etc.

    I want you to know that your pain will continue to change you forever… here I am 7 years later … still missing my dad every minute … not so much my ex … but different each year … our pain matters, and it’s making us beautiful.

    I’m praying for all of us as we make this journey that we never wanted to take alone.

    • Kelley says:

      Ohh Stacey… Your comment touched my heart deeply. I too know the heart wrenching grief that it is to lose your father. It sounds like you were blessed with an extraordinarily amazing farther – your words spoke volumes to that. Isn’t it crazy that even after the years that have gone by – how agonizing it all can still feel? I think that when a little girl has a father who loves them so unconditionally, the bond we have to them is on of the strongest bonds we will ever know.

      These men were our protectors, our providers, our endless comfort and security. It was them who we will forever stack up every guy against who enters our lives. And there could never, ever be another him.

      I lost my Dad on Christmas morning back in 2005 from a silent heart attack that he had in his sleep the night before. I was 25 years old, and had just delivered my son 3 months prior.

      In the first 2-3 years after my Dad passed away, I constantly looked back on how excited my Dad was to be a first time Grandpa. He was so looking forward to doing all the “grandpa things” that awesome grandpas do with their grandkids, and he was so excited to be getting a grandson so he could finally do all the boy type things that he always wanted me to be into. (LOL) He would have been just so tremendous at it, and my son will never truly know just how massive his own loss was.

      This Christmas will mark the 12 year anniversary of my dad’s passing – the day that forever changed my heart, my soul and my life as I knew it. The biggest hurdle I think was the whole trauma factor that came from losing him so suddenly and unexpectedly. I went on to develop quite a bit of PTSD, which I am still struggling to find my way through even all these years later. (The nightmares alone unfortunately still happen every now and then – and they can be terribly confusing and pretty traumatic.)

      I would give anything to just have one last talk with him, as I’m sure you feel the same way. Anyway – I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to type you novel, I started typing and away I went! I just wanted to say from one Daddy’s girl to another – I’m sending you thoughts of love and light and lots of big ((((HUGS)))).


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