Coping with Grief 20 years later. How? Choose to to live out loud vs. just exist.

March 25, 2017
Coping with Loss & Grief |

As I race toward 40 on April 5th and the 20 year anniversary of my mom’s passing in June, I can’t help but go inside, reflect and rejoice.

In that spirit, I woke up this week with the message below on my heart.  I shared it on my FaceBook page because I am keenly aware that each of us are either going through something, have gotten through something or about to go through something. In a world where many of us only share the beautiful and touched up parts of our lives on social media, I want to always share my my most authentic truth. My mother’s sudden passing is what I call a life “war wound.” It has scabbed over and healed mostly but just when you get going good, it makes you stumble and reminds you from whence you came. We all have them. Perfection is not for sale here. I feel like its my responsibility to share the pain if I am going to share the good with you every darn day.

Based on the 100s of Facebook comments (thank you again for your kind messages), it’s good to know that all the “noise” I create “living out loud” with you is not getting on your nerves and making your ears’ ache.


Coping with Loss |


Dear Mom:

40 years old is just a few weeks away. It seems like my 20th birthday in Atlanta, the last we spent together, is but a distant dream. The memories fade a bit more each year but my tearful prayer remains the same: “I do hope I have grown into a woman you can stand and be proud of with the other mother angels in heaven.”

I believe you would like my adult self, be madly in love with the solid man I chose to marry and the amazing girlfriends who walk with me. It’s an understatement to say that your sudden death at 49 years old left me in intense grief. No words exist to describe the pain. For years, it felt like I was stranded on a deserted isle in the middle of the ocean with no life jacket and no provisions. Despite the pain, I survived, or rather I thrive. It is your story that gives me strength and purpose to live out loud with reckless abandon.

When I get the chance to speak to women about my story, young and old, the single lesson I want them to walk away with after hearing me is this: “One cannot know the freedom of light without experiencing total darkness. Whether the phone call that changes your life comes at 5 or 65, the choice is still the same. The crossroad. This is your moment of humanity. The moment where you decide whether you will fight to live or passively exist.” Mom, I continue to fight. Everyday.

With love always,


As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  Always remember, “If you are going through something, just keep running. Put one foot in front of the other. Crawl on some days if you must. But keep moving and don’t give up.”


Coping with Loss |

Outfit Details
(Click Highlighted Text for Product Information)

My hot pink coat is no longer available for sale but this Hooded Double Breasted Coat comes in a variety of hues, is great for transitional Spring weather and is on sale for less than 60 buckaroos!!!  Choose a fun, poppy color like the pink, yellow or red. | Jackie’s Favorite MONROW V Neck Tee, Granite |
Similar jeans here: Levi’s Women’s New Boyfriend Jean |  Converse Chuck Taylor |
Tote (we are still looking for a good one!) |
Similar Hat (maybe even better!) here: Deep Blue Western Fedora with a Wide Brim


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  • Tashna October 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This message is as relevant today as it was in March. THANK YOU!

    • JackieUnfiltered October 10, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      Your comment forced me to revisit the post. Thank you. It is and will always be relevant for me as well. Sending Love!