I wrote the final passage in my grief book this morning. Finished it with giant tears rolling down my face, because the language is so profound and sings my truth so beautifully I wish I could always be the person I am in those words.

It’s a little anti-climatic, because this certainly isn’t “the end.” In fact, out of the 99 passages I’m writing, I still have 7 more to write, along with a good handful of half finished pieces. But I also recognize an ending when I write one, and what spontaneously poured out of me this morning was passage number 99. I knew it as the words came, shaping themselves into an ending and beginning all at the same time.

I felt like the composer writing the final note of one exacting bittersweet symphony.

Right on the heels of that, I got the news that Cranberry Dusk has been listed on Barnes and Noble and is available for purchase here , and after having an intense, completely irrational attack of paranoia (what if I uploaded the wrong version and it’s full of typos or is totally blank or I accidentally published my journal?!!!) I cried a little bit more.

Back in January I declared this year the Year of Enlightenment, and what an overwhelming, enlightening year 2016 has been.

So much loss and so much life all intermingled into one. Each one birthing the other in a never ending ouroboros of love and mystery: our losses making life that much more sacred, the sacred infusing our losses with life.

Today is not how I expected life to look, but today is where I find myself. It’s my mother’s 76th birthday. It’s the day a wind storm is blazing its way through Anchorage, chasing the molting leaves off the trees. It’s the grey, transitional day before Autumn Equinox.

It’s the day my first book has been officially published. It’s the day I woke up at 4:00 pm, because I felt I had something important to write and the day I wrote the last line of a symphony I’ve dedicated to my brother, whose notes I am still writing. It’s the kind of day where it all seems worth it.

And it’s the day I reach back into my own time line to that girl 6 months ago who wrote “Starluck”- she said she wanted a time machine to take her out of the heart of grief, zip her into September so she could skip the worst parts of the process (even as she knew necessary growth would come from going through the pain)- and I offer her my hand and give her a giant pull. You can do this!, I shout through space. You can do this!

And you are going to do it magnificently.

I offer her these last words- the final words of a book I am still in the process of living. She didn’t have what she needed to write them then. But I want her to know- she will live and love and grow into what she needs in order to write them now. Today. On this day.

Nobody’s grief passage will ever look the same, but for me, after the jagged mountains, the desolate wasteland, the relentless desert, that deep long ocean of sadness, I washed up onto new shore.

Gradually got my feet underneath me again and remembered I knew how to walk. Stepped out onto a landscape of gentle, shimmering pink where billions upon billions of stars light the way in the night and the sun brings warmth and renewal each day. And I could see the invisible, gossamer strands of love running through it all. Wrapping everything together, connecting us in our shared humanity, holding us in place in the grace of this space.

Love has no walls here.

The possibilities are infinite.