Roller Coaster at Dusk

Up and Down, Up and Down

Roller Coaster at DuskI love roller coasters.

Always have.

I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and have always found the momentary feeling of weightlessness that comes as you begin a rapid descent, the feeling of being pushed into your seat while on a loop, and the wondering of what the next turn will bring while strapped into the seat of a roller coaster to be exhilarating.

One roller coaster I’m not necessarily enjoying as much this week is the coaster of grief. Though, even if I’m not enjoying it, I know that riding it is necessary. I anticipate I will have to take the moments I feel four times as heavy as normal along with the moments of weightlessness.

I knew we’d get here, to the point of being strapped in for a ride this week and next. These dates have been looming on the calendar for a while now.

This week, transition is the name of the game.

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Internal Clock

Internal Clock

Occasionally, I wonder how my pets know what time it is.

Specifically, the boys who seem to have an ability to know we’re nearing a meal. It doesn’t matter if the schedule has been wonky and out of the ordinary, Dexter or Gus will start begging for food within an hour of their regularly scheduled meal time. Occasionally, when past a certain time in the evening, either Gus or Amelia will go upstairs and put themselves to bed.

For animals who don’t have the ability to read a clock (unless they’ve been doing some homeschooling I’m not aware of), they seem to have an amazing ability to know what time it is.

For as much as I experience this with my pets, I was still surprised that I also have the same capacity to pay attention to an internal clock. More specifically, an internal calendar.

Last week I found myself feeling like I was in a bit of a funk, not necessarily wanting to be with people at various times toward the end of the week. I thought it was that I was on overload after being super busy for a while and then traveling and being with people almost non-stop for a few days at the start of the week. Then, over the weekend I was feeling irritable about a few things that wouldn’t otherwise make me edgy. I started to wonder what was going on with me.

Then it hit me on Sunday, as I was sitting in worship, the date was May 19th. My wedding anniversary is May 21st.

Yet these past few days I have been reminded that while I may be focusing on other things, there are still rhythms in the calendar my body seems to know better than I do.

I hadn’t really been paying attention to that date – there’s a lot going on right now and I’ve mostly been focused on other dates. Also, my grief has been very sporadic. I have adjusted to the reality of my new life since Brady died which had allowed my life to expand so my grief button doesn’t get punched very often.

There have certainly been times when it has – watching the final scenes of Avengers: Endgame (those of you who’ve seen it know why, probably, in addition to thinking about how he never got to see it), thinking about the end of Game of Thrones which Brady loved and introduced me to (I started reading the first book on our honeymoon), and when a song that was meaningful to me in the early stages of my grief was used in a particularly moving part of a recent television show. In these instances and others, the pain is near the surface and the tears are present. Otherwise, the pain has been distant and there are lots of things in my life that bring me great joy.

Yet these past few days I have been reminded that while I may be focusing on other things, there are still rhythms in the calendar my body seems to know better than I do. My body has its own internal clock or calendar that feels the pain of a day when I made promises to Brady until death. The pain that those promises are now, in some ways, complete. It may just take a little extra time for my brain to catch up to what my body already knows.


Today is Thanksgiving. I know folks who are practicing gratitude each day this month, a practice I’ve done before. I don’t need to do that this year because the gratitude comes easily this year.

Let’s face it, the second half of this year has been shit for me. If you’re offended by that word, then I hope you’d also be offended by the reason it is that way (and if you’re reading this without knowing, read this). But for all the shit, there’s been some real beauty too.

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The image to the left is one of my favorite t-shirts. I ordered it from Woot years ago and wear it frequently. While the shirt is titled “Death Cares about Life,” I like to think about it as “There is no new life without Death.”

This little t-shirt design nicely sums up a good deal of my theology. That we must have death before we can get to resurrection – something we people tend to be terribly uncomfortable with.

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Embrace the Suck

I recently saw a picture of the Chicago Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, in a shirt that simply reads, “Embrace the Suck.” I’d heard the phrase before; but in the moment I was looking at the picture, the phrase really resonated with me.

Because it neatly summarizes my approach to my grief – embrace the suck.

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This guy, the handsome guy who proclaims Joss Whedon to be his master, my husband, Brady, shot and killed himself almost a month ago.

I can think back to the weeks leading up to his death and hear the hollow tone in his voice. I remember how distant he seemed, not fully his normally playful self. He slept a lot – something I chalked up to the hours commuting since we moved to Arlington and the work he was doing. And then there was the visit to the ER I made him take only two weeks before he died. He complained of chest pain and I was afraid it was a heart attack. It wasn’t and now I’m fairly sure it was an anxiety attack.

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Yesterday morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee, as is my usual morning ritual, put in some creamer, and then suddenly found myself staring at my dishes in the cabinet above the counter.

Without really thinking about it, I’d opened the cabinet door.

And upon seeing the dishes, I realized that I’m in a new house and things are in different places – the sweetener I was planning to put in my coffee was no longer in the cabinet above the counter as it was in my old kitchen, it now sits on the counter right by my Chemex.

But muscle memory is a real thing and old habits die hard.

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Good Days and Bad Days

This is a post in the continuing series about what the church (and all of us) can learn from CrossFit.


I’ve been seriously working to strengthen my upper body, particulary my supposedly powerful back muscles, so I can get my first unassisted, strict pull up.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never really been able to do a pull up – not even as a kid who used to hang off the monkey bars for hours on end every day. But I want one now – because who knows when I’ll need to pull myself up from a dead hang (and it’s badass to be able to do one, especially as a woman). I’ve been making steady gains and feel like I can have it with a couple more months work. I’ve been slowly decreasing the angle of my ring rows and working on a few flexed arm hangs combined with negative deficits (those are HARD). It’s taking a while, but I’ll get there.

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© kate davidson 2020