Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Blue Heart

Somewhere in my darkest moments of searching for strength, I rediscovered the word resilience. For me, resilience meant acknowledging the weight in my heart and committing to fight each day by carrying it with respect. This pledge of resilience was sparked by a quote that I found: "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" I posted a picture of it on my Instagram with a caption that read "Resilience" followed by a blue heart and a bear.

The bear was a pretty straightforward choice because Bear was a name that I called Blake. The blue heart was chosen mainly because I remembered Blake telling me that his best friends from high school used to call him Blue. I'm pretty sure he got this nickname simply because he liked to wear a lot of blue clothing (high school boys are so creative). I also chose a blue heart because it didn't feel right to use a cheerful pink heart when mine felt so sad. I chose blue because it reflected the sadness of loss. And from that point forward, all of my Instagrams about Blake included the little blue heart emoji.

(Fast forward to a couple months later) As I shared in the post about Blake's birthday, I had a really hard time figuring out what to say to him as I sat at his grave. For several minutes I stared at the assortment of sand, shells, and sea glass that Blake's mom had offered me to give to him as a present. While zoning out, one of the dark blue pieces of sea glass caught my eye. I picked it up and noticed that it was almost heart shaped. I squeezed it tightly in the palm of my hand, brought it up to my heart, and sent a message to Blake. Finding the heart gave me the inspiration I needed to connect with him. 

After I finished, I looked over the piece of blue sea glass again and realized that it was almost the exact same size and shape as the heart already engraved on Blake's headstone. When Blake's mom and Nana came back over, I told them the story and showed how it matched up perfectly. Blake's mom thought that this must be a sign and encouraged me to get super glue to affix the sea glass to his headstone. Now the blue heart is a permanent part of it.

As I was reflecting on this meaningful moment after I got home from Blake's birthday weekend, I decided that I wanted to get a piece of jewelry with what had now become a very significant blue heart. Not only was the blue heart something I had been using all along in the captions of my pictures of Blake, but now a blue heart in the form of sea glass had popped out at me and helped me find the strength to deliver Blake a birthday message at his grave. On top of all of that, while I was searching for jewelry with blue stones, I discovered that the blue sapphire is the birthstone of September, the month Blake was born in. It was all too serendipitous and perfect.

The blue heart necklace I ordered arrived in the mail yesterday. When I wear it, I will think about the different blue hearts that have become part of my life thanks to Blake. I will think of Blake's best friends, who gave him the nickname Blue that inspired the little blue heart emoji in all of my pictures. 
I will think of his family, who generously allowed the blue heart shaped sea glass to become part of his headstone in the same way they have lovingly taken me in. And I will undoubtably think of the loss of my true love, Blake, whom I will carry with me forever inside of my own blue heart. 

But most importantly, when I wear this blue heart I will think about resilience, the word I vowed to live by when my connection with the blue heart first began. The blue heart will remind me that courage doesn't always roar. Resilience is not about bouncing back immediately with smiles and positivity. Sometimes bravery is a quieter determination, slow, but with consistent resolve to always try again tomorrow. 


  1. Briana, you don't know me but I feel like I've really gotten to know you through your writings. You are a smart, brave, honest girl and I hope the very best for you in your life. You really need to consider writing a book some day. You have a lot to say in such a beautiful way. I've known Blake for over 10 years but hadn't been in touch with him for several years. I want you to know that he is deeply missed, and your writings help those of us following your blog feel closer to him. Thank you for that. You're a good girl. Just keep swimming <3

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I do have a secret (or maybe not so secret anymore) desire to write a book one day, but we'll see. At this point I don't even know how to go about that, so I'm just sticking to using my writing to help me cope.

      I am so glad that my blog helps you feel closer to Blake. That was one of the reasons I've decided to keep it public, so it makes me happy to know that you are able to get that out of it. I hope some of the things I've written have reminded you of what an incredible person he was. And even though sometime I choose to write about the darker parts of his life, I hope you still see the goodness that was always there shining through.

      Thanks again for your comment <3