I have been dreading today’s post. Usually I plan ahead so I can get my pictures done ahead of time. Then each day I write the blog post. Today’s topic affliction. My sister called me last night and told me my nephew’s youth group chum committed suicide at the age of 12 (This would be his second sorrow filled birthday, the last being five years ago when my mom died (on this very day). The awfulness of that leaves me without words and only gives me reactionary thoughts of circling the wagons around my own son and some how holding him so that I stand between him and death forever. It just seems that as much as we want to avoid pain and grief it tends to find us some way or another.Death shifts things, a person that was once there is now no longer. The void longs to be filled with meaning and memories that stay. Sometimes it causes those of us who remain to shine brighter, be stronger and honor that person with how we move forward past the grief. We who remain move forward to the day we’ll meet again rejoicing over the blessings given in spite of the pain.