Tuesday, June 28

Daddy's Special Day

It was a week ago today. Two days after Father's day, nearly a week after he'd passed. A week that was full of meeting with the funeral director, choosing flowers, ordering a casket, endless phone calls, picking out music, typing up the program, sorting through thousands and thousands of photos that told the story of our love and life together. My sweetheart. So much heartache, so many mixed emotions. It still doesn't feel real.
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Much love to my dear friends Tracy Layne and Justin Hackworth for taking beautiful photos on the day, that my children and I will keep close to our hearts forever. I'm sharing a few from Tracy today to honor the anniversary, to help me accept a bit more, and to encourage you to hold onto your loved ones a bit tighter. 
If you're not in the mood for a heavy picture story, or if you feel uncomfortable viewing and reading more details of my husband's funeral, feel free to click away, but please come back later. ♡ 

Thank heaven for me sweet children. Just as they have kept me smiling every day through the hardest months of my life, trying to put our situation into words that they can understand has helped me understand it more myself.

Trying to explain to my little 6-year-old Ellie that everyone we loved was going to get together for a special day for daddy, that there was going to be lots of hugs and tears because we all missed him so much, helped me prepare for it myself.
Telling my innocent 5-year-old Sophie that we were going to be seeing daddy's body for the last time, that it was okay to be sad for ourselves but that we should be happy for daddy, helped me to acknowledge those things as well.
Finding the words for John, my 4-year-old, that daddy's body was in that beautiful box, that it would keep his body safe in the ground, and that he wasn't sick or hurting anymore, helped me to accept those things a bit more too.
And telling my sweet 2-year-old Lydia, to say "goodbye daddy, see you soon." while we laid our hands on Martin's casket, solidified in my mind a beautiful picture of our family all together again one day, and I could close my eyes and almost feel his warmth and hear their sweet giggles.

It doesn't matter what you believe in, but at the end of all things life is so precious, people are important, and what matters the most is love. Telling my sweet children that I know, that the love they have for their dad, and the incredible love that he has for them is strong enough to keep them connected forever and ever, and that they'll see him again one day... That's the only thing that can make them smile again, and give them hope to keep going.

And telling them that every day helps me to hope too, and to smile, and to keep going.

I miss you so much, Martin.

162 comments:

  1. I'm crying with you Emily. You aren't alone, ever.

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  2. Your strength and the love for your family and your children reminds me how lucky I am and keeps me going on some days. I have no words that will make anything easier or better, but I am so sorry for your loss, you are such a wonderful mother and a wonderful wife. You deserve all the happiness and joy in the world.

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  3. My sweetest Emily. Following your sad journey reminds me of just how short and precious life is. I'm so sorry you had to endure this heartache. And I could never imagine how to explain to my children. Your strength, faith and dignity during this tragedy would make Martin ever so proud. I'm sure you know this but I need to say it ... Martin will always be there and watching and guiding you and your children. His love will continue to give you the strength to face each day. My deepest sympathy Emily.

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  4. We have never met or even spoken but in my heart I have been with you these last few months. I have never had to go through even a fraction of the heartache you are going through and I feel like words are too small. Hold onto your beautiful children and remember that you have a sky full of us stars looking down at you, we might never meet but we are all there non the less.

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  5. OH Emily, I check your blog every day with sadness, I am in work now and the tears are flowing, such heartbreak in these pictures, you are an amazing women Emily and mother too, he is at peace now. Sending you so so much love from Ireland xxxxxxx

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  6. I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. These images are powerful and devastating, but they also show so much love. Your grace is admirable, inspiring, and I think that your husband would be so proud of you and your children. Best wishes and an internet hug from a stranger.

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can see Martin in each of your 5 babies. Thank you for sharing with us. God Bless You!

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  8. Prayers with you always dear one.

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  9. The pictures are beautiful. Good luck in the future. <3

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  10. My ❤ is with you all, you're certainly not alone my dear. Sending you warm hugs 😊

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  11. Can't stop thinking of you and your family - please know there are people all over the country, probably the world, praying for all of you

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  12. Dearest Emily - Your strength as a mother and wife are truly inspiring. I am so very sorry for your loss and hope that you find peace and comfort in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sending you and your children prayers and hugs from Texas. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13

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  13. Beautiful, poignant photos. Hugs and prayers....

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  14. I am crying with you from Denmark. God bless you and your children.

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  15. I know we have never met but I've been reading for a while and I just broke down in tears reading this post. I wish so much I could just give you a hug. But I'll hug my daughter and my husband a little tighter tonight because of this. Praying for you as your grieve your loss and set the example of grieving for your children. They are soooo blessed to have you as their mom.

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  16. oh man.
    so many tears while i sit here at work.
    these pictures are so heartbreaking - but as you said y'all will hold them close to your heart. i lost both of my parents in high school (when i was 13 and when i was 16) - and i sometimes find myself looking back at the pictures my mom took of my dad's visitation. it keeps reminding me how precious life is, and how much i loved (and still love) him and how much i loved (and still love) my mom when i look at the pictures from her hospital stay.
    death is never easy - but it does bring a closeness that nothing else can.
    I'm praying for peace for you and your family in this hard time.
    and girl, you cry - don't hold any emotion in - but let it run wild and free. healing comes in so many different ways. <3

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  17. I keep deciding not to comment on posts, because I can't find the "right" words... as if there are words out there that exist, that would take away even a shred of your pain. No part of me can imagine what you're going through, but every part of me is in awe of your strength. I hope you are able to have moments where you do not have to be strong for others, and I pray you are kind to yourself in grief, and know that there is no wrong way to mourn the loss of your partner, your love, and the father to your babies. Those little ones have been blessed beyond belief by you, and how you've managed to ensure that their father's memory is immortalized here on earth, just as his soul is elsewhere. I am so, so sorry for your loss, and so sorry for how little justice those words do to your pain.

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  18. I have been checking your blog everyday...you are so strong...and handling this with more grace than I could even dream of having myself. I wish I had more words...just know that you are thought of, prayed for and your everlasting faith will be greatly rewarded. Your babies are so lucky to have you as their rock.

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  19. Bless you and yours, mama. I've followed your blog for awhile, and my heart has been so heavy for y'all these past few months, and I'm crying for you and your sweet babes. I've never met you, but I feel for you, and have prayed for you. I can't imagine your pain, but know there are so many people pulling for you, praying for you, and hoping for you and for your kiddos. I'm so sorry.

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  20. I wish you didn't have to endure this pain, but life isn't always what we expect. May you and your children have many blessings and days of happiness to come and yes, you will be reunited again in heaven . . . my heart goes out to you and yours. Virtual hugs.

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. Every time I check your blog, I am reminded that life can be so hard and so unfair, but that we have the capacity for strength and grace through everything. You have demonstrated that with every picture and every post. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers. I pray you are able to find peace as Martin has. I pray that you will smile and laugh and live and feel no guilt. I hope to see posts soon that show you and your beautiful babies enjoying life to the fullest. You all have been through so much and you deserve to unburden your heart with some carefree fun.

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  22. I have followed your blog since quite a few years ago, because I loved your spirit and tbe love you share in your family. I cried reading this post, as well as the previous ones, because I simply cannot believe how this is even possible. You are the sweetest and the bravest family I have ever seen, my heart goes out to you. I am so so sorry for your loss. May the love you gave for each other bring you comfort. ❤

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  23. Dear Emily, I simply burst into tear now when reading this and when you made the announcement. I'm thinking at my husband and I cannot imagine how I would fell if something like this would happen. Be strong, for your children,for him and for you. He is living in your sweet kids, don't forget. All the good thoughts for you. A big hug from Romania.

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  24. I don't know anything I could possibly say to help console you at this horribly difficult time, so I'll just say my heart hurts for you. My heart is with you and your sweet children. The strength you have demonstrated for them is beyond amazing!

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  25. I'm heartbroken for you. I can't imagine what you must be going trough and still you find courage to go on. I only see and read love on your blog, not any bitterness. I really admire you for that. Lots of love from the Netherlands.

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  26. I have never met you, nor do I really know you as a person, and yet..reading this post, overwhelming tears came to my eyes. I feel so much love, compassion and empathy for you and what you are going through, Emily. You are so strong. Keep strong. For your babies, for Martin, for yourself...You are so right, in that love is important, people are important, and life must be cherished and celebrated.

    Sending all the light and positivity my heart can carry your way.

    Love from Canada,
    Vieve, 26

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  27. We love you Emily. You're my sister in Christ and my heart aches with you. Martin will always have a place here and has a place in your heart and children's hearts forever. God will bless you and your children. He knows every tear and every sorrow.
    Dear Heavenly Father please bless the Meyers.

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  28. My father died when I was 6 years old. Seeing these images reminds me of how hard, and painful, and confusing this was for us. Reminds me of how strong my mother was becoming a widow of young children. My heart just breaks for you and your children.

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  29. I pray for you and your family each morning. I am so sorry that you and your family are having to go through this!

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  30. These pictures are stunning. What a beautiful testament to your husband and how much he was and is loved. My prayers are will you and your kids.

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  31. Continue to be in awe of your love, strength, and heavenly perspective. May your love for Martin and your kiddos continue to help you rise each morning <3

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  32. Continuing to lift you and your dear family up to our ALMIGHTY FATHER, the Father of Comfort, the Father of Peace. LORD, protect this family with your crown of thorns and send your sweet angels to be with them.

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  33. I don't know what words to say. Only that I pray God blesses you and your family immensely and that you continue to feel God's love and strength through this.

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  34. Oh my gosh. Emily, the pictures of your sweet Ellie absolutely broke my heart. Clearly, it is a devastating loss for all of you but, as your oldest child, she's probably the only one who is understanding and feeling the loss of her precious daddy the most. I wish so much that this hadn't happened to your beautiful little family. But, alas, it happened. Your story with Martin hasn't ended for he is a past of your children and will continue to live through them. When I lost my beloved grandma this past May, the words that kept me going were,"The depth of your grief is equal to the depth of your love." And it really feels that way. Sending you and your babies lots of hugs.

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  35. My heart aches for you and your children. You are an incredibly strong woman and mother. The heartache that you all are going through is indescribable. May GOD keep and comfort you and your family in this troubled time. Prayers and hugs to you and your family.

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  36. Your strength is amazing and so inspiring. Those kids are going to grow up so strong because of the two of you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  37. My heart breaks for you. You are so loved and your children have the best mom and dad they could ever have.

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  38. My heart breaks for you and your sweet babies. I`m not sure if you`re familiar with Joanna Goddard and her blog Cup of Jo. She has shared stories about and from her brother-in-law, Paul, who passed from cancer last year. My link may get lost in the deluge of comments sending you light and love but I hope you see this eventually and I hope it can help in any way. http://cupofjo.com/2016/01/when-breath-becomes-air-by-paul-kalanithi/

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  39. Heavy emotions all the way from here in Alberta! My heart is so swollen with sympathy for you Emily! you have such a beautiful testimony it strengthens mine and really helps me to appreciate the love that our father in heaven has for us.

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  40. I am so sorry for your loss Emily. I know there are no words that encompass the loss that your and your children feel. But I believe in the afterlife and I pray that you and Martin and your children will see each other again one day. Thank you for being so open and sharing this incredibly painful journey with us. It has definitely reminded me of how precious and finite life is and how we must hold the ones we love close and let them know we love them every single day.

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  41. Your dear family.. feeling so much for you all during this tough time. Much love to you all!

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  42. I wish I could say something, that will confort you. Sending all my love to your family, you aré in my prayers.

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  43. I'm brought to tears by your beautiful words! Thank you Emily for sharing this difficult time with the world and your amazing testimony. Each time I check your blog I am reminded to cherish each moment with my loved ones and give tighter hugs and longer kisses, and I'm also reminded that this life is a small moment in eternity. Thank you Emily! I pray for you and your sweet kids every day.

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  44. I am so so very sorry for your loss. Those children are little angels, heaven sent so you can get through this. They have such an amazingly strong mother to help guide them through this grief. You and Martin's story will stay with me for the rest of my life. My heart aches but I am also reminded that life is so precious.

    http://mermaidinthemtns.blogspot.com/

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  45. I'm crying. You made me a better wife, Emily. You're in my prayers every day.

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  46. With a grief so all-consuming, words are so inadequate, and I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know many are praying for you (both strangers like myself and your loved ones), and I know that the only thing that has carried me through my own hard times is that one day, all that is unfair and unjust about life will be made right through the Atonement. I know you'll be strong until you and Martin meet again---your children are so lucky to have such a mother!

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  47. Thank you for sharing your sweet words between you and your children over Martin's death. I am so incredibly sorry. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am so happy that you got all those family photos done and have them to display proudly to look at daily and remember Martin for. You are an amazing mother and I hope your heart heals a little with each passing day.

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  48. I've never commented before and I feel like an imposter but I cried the night I read your husband passed away--sending you love and light from Alaska <3

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  49. I'm so sorry for your loss. May you be comforted and take time to feel all the emotions... And always remember the memories of your sweet husband. Many prayers for you and your family. ~Alyanna

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  50. Dear Emily,
    I read this post during work today. Surrounded by a class of children, it was hard to not let them see I was crying while I observed the images of these special and heartbreaking moments. I wish you so much strength and love. Sometimes I find it so hard to understand life with all it's beautiful but also painfull moments. Just know that we all think about you a lot.

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  51. I've never commented on a blog before, but I wanted you to know that you and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers often this last year, and especially the last couple weeks. You are so inspiring. I pray you find peace and comfort at this time. I know, from experience of losing my mother to cancer, that your husband is not gone. He is by your side still and he will always be there by your side, even though you can't see him. And, one day, you will see him again. I believe in eternal families with all my heart.

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  52. Truly amazing of you to share your journey, as painful as it is, and to be so open and brave. Tears are rolling down my cheeks because I am so saddened by your loss. Your words and pictures are so beautiful and inspiring. Sending love and prayers to you and your beautiful children.

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  53. I'm so sorry for your great loss. Much love to you and your family.

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  54. My heart is broken for you and your precious babies. Just know that one day you will all be together again. Hold onto that. You have so many who love you all from afar (not in a creepy way). I'm crying looking at these pictures. I've followed along for so long now, it's just become a part of my life. Stay strong. You inspire so many.

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  55. It's so hard to come up with the words to say during this time. The pictures were beautiful, yet heartbreaking at the same time because we see the raw emotion. My prayers go out to you and your family!

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  56. Been following you for a couple years and my heart broke when you shared the news of Martin's passing. What a beautiful legacy he leaves behind. I wish you, your sweet babies and family all the grace and strength there is. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos and showing your vulnerability during such a hard time.

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  57. I can't even imagine your pain, emily. Bless you and your family.

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  58. Thank you for sharing such a private moment with us. The photos brought tears to my eyes and I don't really know what to say except that you seem to be handling everything so gracefully and beautifully (as always). I also have a 2 year old and I can't even begin to imagine going through this, especially with such young children. I'll be continuing to pray for you and your family.

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  59. Sending prayers and love, always, from Massachusetts. That you would share these images, if only so that one person hugs their loves a little tighter that day, is something admirable. I wish I could say more that could lift your sorrow even for a minute.

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  60. Emily,

    I am in awe at your strength and cannot help but feel heaviness in my heart as I read this latest blog post. You have friends all over who are carrying your heart. I learned at a meditation I went to this last Monday, that receiving and giving (sharing) are the same thing; there is no distinction. When you give, you receive, and when you receive you are giving. Think about that for a minute. I think you are strong, because you have been giving so much to others and therefore you have also been receiving, which has given you strength from beyond...
    You got this. We see you. Martin lives on in his kids.
    Death is a hard one for me, because it seems so final. But, I truly believe that Martin's spirit lives on and he just transitioned by going through a door.

    Please post more, so you can cope and heal. Writing is powerful. Sharing your life with strangers shows so much vulnerability in you.

    Please google Brene Brown's TED talk on vulnerability and watch. It's healing.

    I hope you will be surrounded by loved ones for a long time until you can catch your breath and breathe in life...it's all around you. Martin is in that leaf, that tree, that rock, that blade of new grass...in everything.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.
    Mary Elizabeth Frye

    Your friend in California,

    Starr

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  61. You don't know me, but I have followed you since before you discovered your husband had cancer.
    My heart is with you right now as you face the journey ahead. Thank you for sharing your life, images, thoughts, and heartache. These images of you and your family are beautiful.
    I believe that those who have passed before are still with us at least in heart. But I know you have real grief to process over the next years, while your beautiful children look to you. I pray you have friends who can be there for you and help so you can take what time you need. God bless you.

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  62. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I think these photos will be tremendously important for your children as they grow older to understand what happened since they are really too young to remember. I found it so poignant how you said with each explanation you gave each child, it helped you accept more. I second another commenter's post about checking out A Cup of Jo's blog, she has some excellent posts about grieving and her sister's may help you a lot (she lost her young husband to cancer not long after having a baby.) The love and light you put out into the world is now reflecting back on you and all of us are here to support you as best we can from afar.

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  63. I have been following your blog for several years but never really commented... Emily, I can't imagine what you are going through. My heart is broken. I have not stopped thinking about your family for several weeks now. Every time I see a new update from you, I get a pit in my stomach. Reading about Martin's funeral brought tears to my eyes. Know that you are loved, not only by your family and your sweet littles, but by all of us around the world as well. We are praying for you in this incredibly difficult time. Thank you for continuing to share your story and including us in this time in your life. I am sending so much love your way. <3

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  64. a beuatiful post - injust started following your blog - my condolences.

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  65. Oh Emily, your amazing strength and spirit and are simply incredible. I'm so sad for your loss but so grateful for the knowledge we share of eternal families. So much love and prayers for your whole family in this difficult time for you.

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  66. All my love to you and your family.

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  67. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear husband and your children's father. My prayers are with you all. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  68. My heart breaks for you, Emily. Sending you and your little ones love and comfort. <3

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  69. Sweet Emily! Thinking of you from Massachusetts with so much love! You're the bravest lady I have gotten to know here in social media. Hang in there as hard as it is!

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  70. Emily I am crying my eyes out reading this. You have been in my heart so much these past several months. Every night that we pray I have prayed for your family. I wish I could hug you and take your pain away. I will continue to prayer for you and your children during this greiving process. You are a beautiful soul and he is always with you.

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  71. Crying with you and for you these past weeks, sending love and prayers from Illinois. You are one awesome strong woman! Thank you for having the courage and strength to share this and providing an inspiration to your children and all of us.

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  72. What a comfort you are to your children. I know you can do this Emily. Heavenly Father will carry you and your sweet little ones through this hard time. Many prayers for you💙

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  73. My dear Freckled Fox, I do not know you. I have never meat you in person, but I have followed your story for over a year now. There have been so many times that I have prayed for you and your sweet family. When your lost your sweet husband, I cried for you. Im so sorry for your loss. I may not know you, but you have moved me. You are so strong, full of grace, beauty, love, kindness, and hope! You have inspired me more than you will ever know. Thank you for sharing your story. Keeping you and your beautiful family in my prayers. God be with you in your time of need.

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  74. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May he rest in peace. I have been so moved by your story and it made me step back and put everything into perspective.

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  75. Sweet Emily, your precious family has been on my heart these past few weeks. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your dear husband.

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  76. Emily, you are amazing. Your family is beautiful. You are not alone in this battle, we are here with you. Prayers to you and your beautiful children. Even there is so much sadness in your husband passing... I hope that you're comforted in knowing that you and your children have the very best Angel watching over you.

    God Bless you. I hope you know how truly inspirational your life is.

    With love,

    -Melissa from Ann arbor Michigan

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  77. My heart aches for you and your sweet babies. I am so sorry for the loss of your love. Sending love and light to all of you.

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  78. These pictures are beautiful, and I just want to say thank you for sharing such a personal journey with us online. I'm a long time lurker, I came to your blog a few years ago for the hairstyles and stayed because your genuine warmth and uplifting attitude were such a breath of fresh air in the online world. I am so truly sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers to you and your beautiful family. ❤

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  79. I've followed your story and prayed for your family. I had tears streaming down my face seeing these beautiful pictures. I'm so grateful for eternal families.

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  80. I don't have the right words to say during this terrible time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Martin and babies with us. We are all holding you up in prayer. You are not alone. You are on my mind constantly...from one Mama to another...I am so incredibly sorry.

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  81. I don't know you, Emily, but I can't help but feel love and compassion for your story and for you and your littles, every time I see a new post. Your beauty is breathtaking and your soul even sweeter. It breaks my heart for you all. And every post I tear up for you all. It really tears at our heart strings. I know Heavenly Father will continue to carry you through this. You're a strong woman and I feel there is great purpose in this experience in which you're all experiencing. You can reach and have already touched so many lives through this story. We all strive to have the love you and Martin shared and the eternal family unit, a sense of belonging to someone, I know I dream of still. You are so lucky to have experienced that love, if even but a few years now in this life. That deep eternal love. I hope to get to experience it too someday. It breaks my heart it wasn't longer with Martin in this life. But that tells me HF knows what He's doing here, because he desires our happiness, this is something bigger he's designed... And as we know, death is part of the plan of Happiness. Having faith in His plan and even in His timing is something we all get to experience and strive to have perfect faith in. Easier said than done. Sending you love and hugs and prayers along with I'm sure thousands around the world, helping to ease and bear your load of sadness and sorrow. The world cries with you along with our Savior, I'm sure of it. May angels continue to bear you up at this time and whenever the saddens enters again down the road. Xo---Elle

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  82. Tears... sending your precious family prayers and love!

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  83. As Brigham young said, "every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation."
    I am in awe of your faith and courage Emily. Thank you for sharing your story and your testimony. Family is forever and although we can't physically see forever, you will feel it when you look at your babies and think of Martin on the other side of the veil. Thank you for showing your strength and giving me strength as I pray for you and others experiencing great loss.

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  84. I am so sorry for your heart ache. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. Hold on to what you have because tomorrow is not promised for anyone. With deepest heartfelt sympathy.
    From my Family to yours

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  85. There is so much love for you and your children Emily. Your story, it just rips at the heart of humanity. While most of us can't truly imagine your pain, we try to, and just a glimpse of that imagination is both heartbreaking and overwhelmingly filled with a love for you and your family. While we may be strangers your experience breaks down at such a human level that your family feels like our family, and we just want to help you. I pray you feel the love. The Lord will give you all the strength you need to carry you thru, day by day. You'll be in my daily thoughts and prayers, truly.

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  86. I, too, am crying for you and this is the first post of your blog I have read. May you be filled with peace and comfort beyond understanding as you process your grief. It might take years, but that is okay. The hole never really fills with anything but love.

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  87. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Sending prayers your way. Remember take each day at a time and there is no need rush though the pain. Let the pain in and let it heal you. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going though, but I know the pain all to well.

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  88. Please know that so many prayers are going up for you and your lovely family. I pray that you feel God's strong hands cover you with the kind of love and piece that only He knows how to provide. Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us and for reminding us that all we have is temporary. Much love from Texas💗

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  89. My tears are flowing from the heartbreak I feel for you and your beautiful babies. There are no words to take away your pain, I can only pray you find peace and happiness again. Thank you for sharing these moments that remind us all how precious life is.

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  90. I thank God that one day in what will feel like a 'blink of an eye' at the time you will all be together again. I thank God that there's no more pain for Martin. I'm so grateful that the tears you have sown are not in vain, that one day there will be the biggest party and a crown for the beauty and grace you have shown throughout all this pain. Hold on to hope and know that we are indeed all holding our loved ones tighter because you are brave enough to share your journey.

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  91. Mourning your loss right alongside you. Praying for you and your family.

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  92. We don't know one another but know your story has touched me and many others. My thoughts are with you.

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  93. Emily,
    I ache for the loss you and your sweet family are experiencing. The love you all have is a beautiful way to help get you through the changes and trials you have been going through and the mountain that seems endless as you start to climb it without your sweetheart. You are not alone, and as the other wonderful comments on this post show, you have so much support available to you.

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  94. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 30 and I still thought I'm to young to walk this path by myself! Now 3 years later I realize that I took all the wrong steps and acted completely wrong and entered depression and wasn't myself and struggled with it everyday!
    Reading your article, put myself into your situation, I have major respect for you, you say the right things - I wish I would have remembered them and I wish I would have walked away from it with as much grace as you have!
    You are inspiring and a wonderful mother. I have three kids( my daughters name is Sofie :-)) and I didn't do a good job being there mom while I was eaten by grief!
    The only thing I can add is: time does help and I realize now I rather want to grieve so hard cause that means I had such a great relationship with my dad and he is worth grieving for. It proofs he did his best and now it's my turn!
    All the best and a 10000 hugs for you and your sweet littles... I know they will be fine , cause they have you !!!!!

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  95. Crying with you and your children. You're a strong fox and you're going to create a beautiful life that your guardian angel is going to assist you with straight from heaven.

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  96. Emily, the 3rd picture from the bottom made my heart break for you even more than it was already :( sening so much love xx

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  97. I am so incredibly speechless and so sorry for your loss. This post is gorgeous and your love is evident in every word. These pictures also are remarkably beautiful. My heart breaks. So sad. I am sending strength and hope and heartfelt wishes that you are able to heal together as a family.

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  98. Those photos are so beautiful and heartbreaking. Your family remains in my heart.

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  99. Gulp! No words I say can ease your burden. Thanks for being so open and sharing with us all. I do cherish my family more. You have a world of 'friends' here praying for this wound to heal and for God to fill this void for you. If there is anything you need please continue to reach out to us. I wish I were closer and could help you out! Love and hugs!!

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  100. My heart aches for you and your children. I pray for peace and comfort to surround you and your loved ones.

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  101. Emily, I have followed your journey and share your incredible heartbreak at the passing of your sweet husband.

    I was 11 when I lost my dad to cancer, and my sister was the age of your oldest. Please, please know that the memories and the love that we had (and still have) for him has never faded. Not a day goes by where I don't think of him and talk to him in my mind. I know that this might be a worry of yours, that your children might not remember, but I hope you find comfort in knowing that they will ALWAYS remember their daddy. That love will never fade. Peace and love to you and your beautiful family. -Claire

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  102. I am continually amazed by the amazing amount of calmness and strength that you have shown. I have been and am continuing to pray for you all. Thank you for being so open and for sharing your/Martin's story. I know it has and will help so many others that are grieving. Much love ❤️

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  103. Thinking of you and your kids every day <3. I love how you wrote "it doesn't matter what you believe in...what matters most is love." SO true. Life is short and at the end of the day it's our relationships with loved ones that matter. Nothing more. xxxx

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  104. Crying. My heart breaks for you and your family.

    What is remembered, lives.

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  105. Love and prayers for you and your family, Emily. <3

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  106. Today is the birthday of one of our sons that have gone on. Thank you for sharing the gentle peace you have been blessed with and continuing to live beautifully for your little one. You are an example of grace. May you feel His strength and His arms as He carries you through this and beyond. All of my prayers and hugs, Ketena (A friend of April)

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  107. Emily, my heart breaks for you and your family. Your family has been in my thoughts and on my heart. You are unbelievably strong, courageous, and graceful. Much love to you and your family.

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  108. So heartbroken for you. Praying that God will give you and your little ones the comfort that one He can.

    -Alice Wright

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  109. So heartbroken for you. Praying that God will give you and your little ones the comfort that one He can.

    -Alice Wright

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  110. You have a sea of love & sweet comments coming your way. I've been a long time reader, but never commented. I cannot fathom what you must be going through. This morning I came across this poem. And I just now saw your post and thought of it. I hope it provides some sort of comfort for you.

    "Death is nothing at all.
    It does not count.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    Nothing has happened.

    Everything remains exactly as it was.
    I am I, and you are you,
    and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

    Call me by the old familiar name.
    Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.
    There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
    What is this death but a negligible accident?

    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
    somewhere very near,
    just round the corner.

    All is well.
    Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
    One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
    How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again" - Henry Scott Holland

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    1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. I agree, it couldn't be more perfect for our freckled fox!

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  111. Emily xx I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am heartbroken to read this news, and I honestly cannot believe it. You, your husband, and your family have always touched my heart, and your love is truly inspiring. Sending all the love I have and then some. <3

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  112. My heart goes out to Emily!!! I have been following your blog for years and Martin's passing hurts. I have no doubt that you are as strong and resilient as you appear to be on the blog, but know that it's okay to break down and feel. Wishing you a healing journey -

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  113. Beautiful Emily, my tears flow along with yours. Continued prayers for you, your lovely children - and for your strength through all of this. xox

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  114. Oh how my heart breaks for you! I'm a widow too with 3 boys under 3. The Lord is so gracious to walk us through the valley of the shadow of death and give mana for each day. You are not alone in your pain and you are prayed for. God will carry you! I'm just so so sorry for the pain!

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  115. There are no good words but I truly am so sorry. The day you shared with us here is heartbreaking.....yet beautifully hopeful. I pray for the best support team possible to surround you. I pray for healing and love.

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  117. My sweetest Emily, thank you for sharing this most private day with us. We have traveled this journey with you and prayed for a happy outcome. Sadly this was not to be. I will continue to keep you and your family in my heart and prayers to hopefully make this journey through this time a little easier knowing there is so much love surrounding you. I hope you find some peace in knowing that Martin is no longer in pain and can rest in peace. Remember he will always be beside you. Many hugs my sweetest Emily

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  118. You are truly the definition of grace, sweet Emily. Your kindness, your compassion, your humbleness, I feel so close to you and yet we have never met. You are such a beautiful example of the woman and mother I hope to become. Your strength is truly inspiring. I am honored to follow your journey.

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  119. There is so much pain in your face and in your children's face in these pictures. I know that you are well aware that you are not Alone. Heavenly Father is with you. He knows your pain and He will carry you through. You will be a family in Heaven someday and how beautiful will that reunion be. Your sweethearts time on this side of Heaven was brief but eternity waits for you and your precious family. Martin will always be with you. Tuck those memories away in your heart. Your story, Martin's story has touched so many. I for one am amazed at the grace you have shown. You shined like a beacon. You have shown Gods love in so many posts. May the peace of God be with you and your family today and in the days to come. Praying for you and loving you. xo

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  120. I am so sorry. What a lovely tribute. Sending you strength x

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  121. Thank you for sharing your story and these beautiful photos. I lost my own father at the age of 10 and as a grief counselor, I want you to know that sharing your story can be and is therapeutic. Prayers for you.

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  122. Dear Emily, I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband. Only tears come as I think of you and your children. I only give you peace and love in this summer season. As someone who has a fiancé who will become my husband in a few years, I don't know how I could bear the same pain. But I give you all my best <3

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  123. You incredible, incredible woman. Your strength and grace is inspiring. Much love to you all.

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  124. These photos and your sentiments are so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. This breaks my heart to see you and your children having to deal with such a sad experience and the loss of your sweetheart. I cannot fathom the depth of your despair and grief, but I am praying for you and your kids.

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  125. My heart is with you during this tough time. You are incredible and inspiring, I feel honored to have followed your journey. <3

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  126. Heartbreaking, sending many prayers up for you and your children.

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  127. Still thinking of and praying for you and your family.

    The Skeleton by G. K. Chesterton

    Chattering finch and water-fly
    Are not merrier than I;
    Here among the flowers I lie
    Laughing everlastingly.
    No; I may not tell the best;
    Surely, friends, I might have guessed
    Death was but the good King's jest,
    It was hid so carefully.

    Our hope is in Christ and the resurrection to come!

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  128. How heartbreaking; I'm so sorry for your loss. It is never easy. Although such a sad day, I can see so much love in these pictures and for that you must treasure. Thinking of you all.

    Kelsey

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  129. Oh, Emily, I am crying! You always write so beautifully and eloquently. Such a special gift to have, especially in hard times. Thinking about you and your beautiful kids all the time. They are so lucky to have such a strong mother; you are inspiring! xoxo

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  130. My heart absolutely aches for you, sweet Emily. Please know you are constantly in my heart and prayers. What an amazing, strong woman you are.

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  131. sending thoughts and strength and prayers to you and your babies.

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  132. Dear Emily,
    Even though I don't know you physically, the pain I feel is very real and overwhelming. I have this information that may help you cope with this big loss.
    https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-no5-2016-september/
    Please read it whenever you can.
    Hugs and kisses to you and your little ones, I still pray for you.

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  133. Emily I haven't been following your blog for a long time but my heart breaks for you and your family. These pictures are beautiful and I hope you find comfort in knowing so many people are thinking of you and praying for you.

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  134. Emily, thank you for sharing something so personal. May Heavenly Father continue to bless and watch over you & your family. May you be comforted to know that you will see your husband again & families are eternal.

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  135. Dear Emily, thank you for sharing your path with us. I'm so sad to see your family suffering but also happy to see how loved and cherish your family is by so many people, strangers that were praying and keeping you in their thoughts <3 <3 I hope you can feel the love and know that Martin will forever live in your hearts and that we'll be here to see your kids grown and to cheer for you! xoxo

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  136. Thanks be to God that you have five little children that you can see and remember your husband through. My heart breaks for you! I cannot imagine your pain. I hope you have felt carried by the prayers from everyone. God has plans for you and your family and i believe he never makes mistakes. Try not to look too far into the future, and take it one day at a time. All my love and prayers to you and your sweet family whom I've never met but care deeply for during this time.

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  137. Thanks be to God that you have five little children that you can see and remember your husband through. My heart breaks for you! I cannot imagine your pain. I hope you have felt carried by the prayers from everyone. God has plans for you and your family and i believe he never makes mistakes. Try not to look too far into the future, and take it one day at a time. All my love and prayers to you and your sweet family whom I've never met but care deeply for during this time.

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  138. Sweet Emily, I have been following your family's journey closely and please allow me to try and provide a bit of comfort through your pain. After reading this and seeing your pictures I was shocked. I knew after reading your previous two posts that Martin's death was expected, but it wasn't until I saw the funeral that I truly realized how real it all was. I'm young, and I've been recklessly abandoning my responsibility to remember how fragile our lives are and how we should be thanking the world for life every single day. Please know that your pain is shared, and that Martin (though I never knew him) was a person in this world, just as anyone. Just as a president, an actor, a king... We are all in this together, and Martin's presence in the world will be missed. I wish you and your beautiful family the best, and please remember that your lives aren't ending here. They are only beginning.

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  139. We are all still here thinking of you. Peace and love to you and your lovely family in the saddest of times.

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  140. Seeing these photos and reading your thoughts bring back memories of the day I buried my husband, 6.5 years ago. He died tragically and it was the most incredible experience for me of gaining a strong testimony of our Savior and of the Holy Ghost. We had three kids, ages 4, 2 and 10 months. I understand the feelings and emotions you feel. My kids are what I lived for and I chose to be positive and happy for them which in turn became the best choice for myself as well. This next year is going to be full of firsts for your family because it's the first without your husband. I'm sorry you have to experience this life altering change, but I've followed you long enough to know you will come through this victorious and strong. Moving forward is hard, but good for your soul. Take your time and sift through your emotions at your pace. People will say the strangest things to you, and I know you know not to take them personally. You have a beautiful family and now an extra special family because you have a guardian angel in heaven. I have very sacred experiences of the spirit world and I hope you too will have your own. Keep your chin up and move forward with faith, as you are. You will learn so much about yourself in the coming years. Always remember He is near, as well as Martin. Lots of love to you and your beautiful children.

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  141. I don't have words adequate to express how sorry I am for your loss. You are so right, a parents love is eternal! Love and blessings'

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  142. I've been following you for a little while now, and I just wanted to add my sincerest condolences for your loss. My husband passed away suddenly four months ago. Although I can't relate to your experience with cancer & with 5 children, I do know something of the ache that comes with losing your best friend. I just want to say I am so so sorry, and that God really does make this possible (which, I'm sure you've felt already). I know deep down that everything really will be okay, for all of us.

    My lifeline has been talking to other LDS women who have lost their husbands -- if you ever need an extra person to talk to (and I'm sure you already have quite the tribe!) I just wanted to reach out.

    Anyway, I think you're amazing and reading your posts has given me the courage to keep going. Thank you for that. You and your precious babies are in my prayers!

    - Brittany
    brittlynnparker@gmail.com
    brittlynnparker.blogspot.com

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  143. Emily - what a beautiful tribute to your husband and your family. I am so sorry for your loss and even that does not sound adequate. I'll pray for you to have strength and feel the continued love of your friends and family. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Life is so precious. You're amazing. XOXO

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  144. For some reason, some inexplicable reason, this past week, I remembered reading about your husband earlier this year and I caught myself wondering about you and your family with this feeling inside that I didn't want to look for an update because I knew, I just knew. Tonight I finally remembered, finally summoned the courage to find out. You are in our prayers tonight, may God give you peace and strength and courage.

    My favourite piece on grieving, from the Rev. Henry Scott Holland at the funeral of King Edward VII in 1910. It's a piece that I return to again and again to remember my Daddy and I share it with others who grieve because it continues to bring comfort long after the rawness, the newness of grief fades. Godspeed, my dear. x

    “Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”

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  145. Dear lovely Emily, I have thought of you so much in the last few weeks and prayed for you and your dear family. But it was just this evening that I decided to check up on your blog to see how things are. I am so so sorry, for you and your children, for Martin 's family and friends. You are such a gracious example of a loving , devoted wife and mother, but it looks like you are surrounded by much love, so let those close to you love you and look after you. So strange isn't it - like so many of us followers, you and I have never met, yet here I sit in my home in Scotland on a Saturday night and I am moved by the compassion I feel for you. Lean in close to your Heavenly Father just now and rest in his loving arms. Georgie xx

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  146. I'm a pretty new reader of your blog and have quietly followed since just a little bit before your sweetheart passed. What a beautiful family! You're such a strong women. I'm one who really struggles saying goodbye at funerals. (Most people are, obviously) but I can't imagine having to explain to your sweet kids about thier daddy. I'm pretty impressed with how you seem to be handling things. I don't know you personally and i don't know your blog very well yet, but I can say that you have been a great example to your kids through this and I hope and pray that you guys find peace and joy. You WILL be together again, and until then, I feel it's safe to say that he is watching out for you from heaven and will be there to help you feel that comfort until, little by little, you learn to make it without him there physically anymore. He's still loving you.

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  147. I know it's hard to believe right now, but you will be happy again. While my story is completely different than yours there are some similarities. My son, Jarrett, died of malignant melanoma ten years ago. He had just turned seventeen. 19 months later, I found myself the single mother of 4 children. My husband of 20 years was having an affair.

    I didn't think I was going to survive.

    My children lead the way. Their love for life was so strong and contagious that they brought me back to life. Your children will do the same.

    I am typing this tonight- with a snoring two year old by my side. I married a great guy and had a baby at 44. There is lots of joy ahead of you still. Hold on to that. Reach out for what you need. Martin is worth every tear.

    Wishing you all the best. You are about to find out that you are stronger than you ever imagined!


    Michelle Boston Sheehan
    Caringbridge.org/visit/jarrettboston
    Instagram: michellebostonsheehan

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  148. Dear Emily

    I'm not a regular reader of your blog but I pop in now and again (I found you through your amazing hair tutorials). I just wanted to say how very sorry I was to read of the loss of your husband. Sending all my thoughts and very best wishes to you and your family.

    L

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  149. I just found you through a shared Instagram post. Praying for you and your children. I'm so sorry for your loss and will continue to pray for your family. (My husband is battling cancer and it's hard and I'm so sorry you had to do any of this)

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  150. Emily,

    I hadn't looked at your blog for over a year and I found myself back today and seeing this first made me want to weep right at my desk at work. I wish I had the words to say but what can anyone say? These photos are heavy but beautiful. You can see all of the love you have around you in them. I can see strength. I can't even begin to imagine the loss that you are dealing with, but I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    I don't know why God allows these things to happen, or why he calls some home early. But I do know that when they do happen, God puts prayer warriors in our lives. It's obvious you have a lot praying for you.

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  151. Emily, I have never met your family but have followed your story. My heart is broken for the loss you and your sweet children have faced. I am so inspired with your grace and send prayers for healing and comfort for your family. It's hard to even think of something to say that is appropriate for what you are going through but my heart has been touched by your story and I hope that you feel all the love that everyone has sent you. You are so strong for your babies but I hope someone is taking care of you, too.

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  152. Oh, I am so sorry, Emily. I've been a sporadic reader of your blog (love your hair tutorials) and popped back to look something up only to see this sad news.

    I'm not going to say "It gets better" or "Give it time", because when people said that to me after my sister passed away all I could think was, "How can life without her ever be okay?" So instead all I'll say is that you and your family are in my thoughts. Again, I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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  153. I am so sorry for your loss, you and your family are in my families thoughts and prayers. <3

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  154. I am here for the first time. I thought i am here accidently. Now I believe I am not. I saw You for the first time few minutes ago (i dont even know Your name) and as i saw the second photo of this post i started to cry. Very hard. I never write comments like that. I NEVER comment. I am from Poland and i dont know the language well. But i fell this is important to share. I will pray for your whole family: here and there. Take care <3

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  155. I really dont know what to say except that I feel your pain and I wish if I'm closer to hug you and your little, beautiful kids. I can't even imagine what you've been through but what matter is he's not in pain anymore, he went to heaven and there's no one is merciful more than God. Sending love and hugs from Saudi Arabia <3

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  156. Couldn't hold back the tears while reading your post. I have never lost a loved one but my husband lost his mother when we was twelve. I love his mom so much even though I've never met her. I can't wait for the reunion in heaven someday where I'll get to see my husband hug and kiss his mom for the first time in so many years. You seem like an amazing mother and person. Thank you for this beautiful post.

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  157. There are no words. My heart dropped when I saw what you have and are going through. I'm so heartbroken for you and your family. I am praying and sending you so much love. You are such a strong and incredible women and mother. God has great plans for you! ❤ Hold onto him, Emily.

    -Elisabeth

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  158. Dear beautiful sister, please know that there are people in this world that are praying for you and your family❤️Remember that we are temporary on this earth! God has a plan for every heartbreak, a reason for everything. May He comfort you and give you the strength, wisdom, and health to carry on. My tears are coming nonstop as I am writing this. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you! Stay strong sister❤️❤️
    -Nelly

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