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A note for you, My Reader

A year ago today, this blog was created.

I am sure that many of you are aware of how it came to be. I felt inspired to do it after my Mom, Dad, and two youngest brothers, Keegan and Liam, passed away, due to carbon monoxide poisoning that filled our house, because of a faulty water heater.

I had thought that it might be something good for me. Maybe it would help me with my grief. It would be therapeutic for me. An escape from the world that I felt swarmed by. This would be the pathway to a world where I could go into the innermost parts of my mind and heart, and really discern what I believe to be true. It would help me to discern what I was really feeling.

But I never dreamed that this blog would receive the attention and the reaction that it did.
I didn't think that you, my reader, would read it and learn from it. I didn't think that because of you, my reader, I would continue to write for as long as I did. I've never been a Blogger. I didn't know how it worked. But because of you, I felt the desire to keep going.

And so, this blog post is for you.

This is a personal thank you from me to you.

Some of you, I know well. Some of you are family. Some of you are friends. Some of you were first hand witnesses of my hard days, and my good days. Some of you were there for me when I needed to cry. Some of you were there when I needed to vent, or scream, or throw martini glasses and old cheap porcelain plates. Some of you were there to give me a physical hug. Some of you took me in as your own.

And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Some of you don't know me, and I don't know you. Some of you may be from far away places that is nowhere near this little town called Pocatello, Idaho. Some of you maybe heard about me on the news, or saw me in the LDS Living Magazine. Some of you, because of the goodness of your hearts, wanted to help out in some way, extend a hand for me to hold onto. They came in forms of cards, emails, Facebook messages, gifts even. They came in the forms of prayers and fasting.

And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I do not know how else to say exactly how I feel. This year has been... well, A New Normal. Things nowadays are becoming... comfortable, to an extent. Things are as they are, and they can't go back to the way it was.

I'm starting to accept that.
I guess you could say, I'm entering into the acceptance phase of grief.
But, let's be real, I don't think grief really goes away. It gets easier, and I find new ways to cope with it, and new strategies.
I thought that once I hit a year, I would be 100% better. I would be healed, and move on. Such is not the case, not when you love someone (let alone four people) that much, with your whole heart.

And that's ok. It's ok to not be completely better right now.

I may know you, and I may not know you. But I feel like we all have something in common.

We are human, and we go through hard things.
And maybe my trials are not deemed to be as "hard" as your trials, and maybe your trials are not deemed as "hard" as mine. Nevertheless, we go through hard things. Who defines hard, anyways? Pain is pain, and hard is hard.

We are children of a Father in Heaven. I really truly believe that. And I truly believe that these things that happen are for our good. If there's anything that I learned for myself this year, is that hard things will happen. And we decide if it's going to strengthen us, or weaken us.
Which, of course, is so much easier said than done. Believe me, I GET THAT.
But, it's true.

To you, my reader, I want to thank you for enduring. Thank you for not giving up, even when your life is down, and hard, and you lose someone you love. Thank you for still going on when you just want to crumble. Thank you for holding on to the hope that life will get better.

You strengthen me.

I've been asked the questions a few times in the past:

"Will you continue to blog, even when it's up to the year?"

I've thought about it a lot. And I decided, yes, maybe I will. Maybe when I feel that there is something that needs to be shared. And hopefully, someone out there, will need it.

I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his Atonement. That's another thing that I've learned. It's the MOST IMPORTANT THING. If it wasn't for that, none of this would matter.
I invite all to come unto him. I would invite everyone who is seeking something in your life, go to him. I promise, he is there.

My reader, thank you for giving me something to strive for. You have helped me through so much.

Life is always becoming A New Normal. Because, we are always changing. It's constantly new.
Isn't that just so cool?


  1. Thank you for your faith and example. . . .

  2. Thank you, Jensen for sharing with us. I will continue to read your blog as long as you continue to write. Our struggles bond us to each other as much as our triumphs. Life's journey is even more beautiful when it is shared. Thank you.

  3. I recently came across your story online but I can't remember how...I'm so glad I did, though, because it's very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Lynne in Illinois

  4. That is good to share your experience because it brings comfort to fellow beings that can need it.

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I can not truly imagine what it is like, but I have dealt with some of my own problems in the last year too. What you have said helped me so much as I have sought to find a new normal in my life after being let go from a program at school. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more as you feel the need to write. :)

  6. Thank you. I hope you do keep writing. You are an example and inspiration. Thank you and I am sorry for your loss.

  7. Muchas gracias por tus palabras!!! Son una respuesta para mi. Sos un GRAN EJEMPLO !!!
    GRACIAS por lo que eres!!
    Espero ansiosa tu proxima entrada!
    =) Saludos desde Buenos Aires Argentina! =)

  8. Thank you Sister Parrish, you're a great example of strenght and faith! I'm so sorry for your lost but I truly know that you'll meet with them again. You don't even know me but as you said " But I feel like we all have something in common.

    We are human, and we go through hard things.
    And maybe my trials are not deemed to be as "hard" as your trials, and maybe your trials are not deemed as "hard" as mine. Nevertheless, we go through hard things. Who defines hard, anyways? Pain is pain, and hard is hard."

    This just nourish my testimony in our savior Jesus Christ and his atonement. Love, from Tijuana Mexico.

  9. There are no spiritual orphans in Gods kingdom. Being an orphan in mortality is a real condition with real consequences. But we can receive peace in this world and a true fullness of joy in the next when that word 'orphan' will have no meaning!

    I hope you never feel guilty for the taking the odd pleasure of intense longing for your family. It was meant to be so! In fact, of all the things that are real, it is the love we have for each other in Christ. Photos will fade. Memories will diminish. Eventually our bodies will succumb to entropy and death. Yet, our love for family will only increase as we honor our temple covenants. In fact, it will grow and through time.

    Our respective families on the other side of the veil long for us, too. I know they feel an immense sadness and longing. A longing for us to have peace here and now. A desire for us to continue and find immense and incalculable pleasure in starting and raising families of our own. What on honor it is to be the ones to carry the family name to the next generation! What a sacred blessing to enable and be the vehicle for giving our parents the opportunity to enjoy even more posterity! And when it is time to traverse the veil, what a sweet reunion it will be!

    Christ rose above all things because he descended below all things. He is with us and we will experience an eventual immeasurable fullness equal to the emptiness of the now. This is TRUE joy. This is true happiness. Praise God and His Son for this pure knowledge. These truths have taken decades for me to learn. May you be ever fortunate acclaim the same.

  10. Jensen, glad you share this blog. I wrote the previous post after having a tsunami of grief hit me. 37 years later. Out of the blue. I have buried my feelings for years. My wife knows it can come and go. But I shared my tears with my children tonight. I told them I am so glad I have them, how much I miss my mommy and daddy, and I will always be there with them no matter where I am. Your blog help inspire me to share me grief and feelings for them and my wife,

    Fellow traveller in Christ,

    Thane Eddington

  11. I want you to know how much my family and I prayed for you and your entire family during this difficult time.... I worked with your moms dad at a hospital in utah and I was so incredibly heart broken by this tragedy that affected so many lives. I can't tell you how much my testimony grew from the faith of you and your sibling and your extended family members. There were several months that I thiught of your family every single day and would cry.... Even though I don't personally know you this affected me so deeply... I was so impressed by the lasting effects your family left on the community and the lds community.... I love reading your powerful words and so happy I found your blog so thank you!
    God bless you for being such an amazing example of faith!

  12. I did not learn of your great loss until the article at the 1-year mark. Then I got on to your blog and was so taken in that I read the entire thing (housework and laundry can wait, right?). You are so inspiring and such a good writer. Thank you for sharing all your feelings and experiences. You are so "real." and so "wise beyond your age." And I'm so glad things are feeling better for you. You go girl! And I wish you much happiness with that boy of yours.

  13. I am just a random unknown reader. I would like to hear about your brother. How is he doing what is he doing. And did I hear you're getting married. I should just read back through the blog you have probably mentioned all of these things. God bless you.

  14. Dear Tawnie,
    My brother is doing very well! He came home last year in November, and since then, started school at Idaho State University. Right now, he is planning on applying for the nursing program. He is dating a wonderful girl and they are very happy!
    God bless!

  15. Dear Tawnie,
    My brother is doing very well! He came home last year in November, and since then, started school at Idaho State University. Right now, he is planning on applying for the nursing program. He is dating a wonderful girl and they are very happy!
    God bless!

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