Returning to Life

Huntington Bay feeds directly into the Long Island Sound. I live here. Salty air, beaches, and marinas each add to the beauty of this town.  As summer sets in, the waters of Long Island’s north shore are full of life. Boats reflect the vibrant energy of the long summer days and serve as the backdrop to sunsets. On every drive past this shoreline and with each summer sunset, I’ve learned to appreciate the serenity.  

Overnight, as summers turn to fall, the waters empty.  Boats disappear from the landscape as they are stored away and then the darkness of winter rolls in. There is a barren feeling as time moves through the long cold winter. It seems like the short days and colors of grey last forever.  I hardly notice as the boats return.  It feels like one day I drive past the bay and like magic, it is full of life again.   

This is so much like grief. Life before loss is vibrant and full like the bay filled with boats.  When loss happens, an immediate emptiness sets in and all of the things that signified warmth and sunshine are gone. The long cold darkness rolls in like winter. It feels like forever. Just like the boats, the return is tough to notice.  Hindsight helped me to recognize that it happened little- by- little. A smile.  A laugh.  Quick moments when the ache felt less and happiness was easier to reach.  And then one day, a look in the mirror reveals a person who is once again full of life. The seasons of grief vary from person-to-person.  But just like the boats, we all come back. Warm summer sunsets and serenity will return. 


Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss. It is now available for free in the iOS App Store, Google Play and You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Loss Monsoon

Like the approach of monsoon clouds, I felt the words move rapidly toward me. Just like a monsoon, I got caught off guard. I’ve been in monsoons before. They rain fiercely, heavily, pack a mean punch and appear to never let up. As I felt the strength of the words hit me, my heart suddenly pounded into the base of my stomach. It’s that moment when the bottom of the world as we know it drops out and everything is washed away with an immeasurable ferocity. We frightfully grab and cling to anything and everything we can with the hope of reversing the damage. We’ve all been there.

Swept up by the words and desperately trying to navigate, I struggled.

Scientifically, a monsoon is a seasonal reversal accompanied by corresponding changes resulting from asymmetry. In this way loss, of any form (marriage,relationship,friendship, family), is much like a monsoon. The body is somehow expected to maneuver the corresponding changes from prevailing emotional reversal. No matter how many occurrences or how hard we try, we just can’t mentally or physically prepare.

I wasn’t prepared.  

As with most storms, there is always collateral damage. For me, that came in the form of lost friendships and altered familial relationships, but most significantly, the slippery slope of depression and anxiety that I now battle daily. These monsoons changed my self perception and grossly underscored an internal feeling of inadequacy. Each storm offering my mind the rationalization that I was simply “not enough.”

This time was no different.  

Storms are followed by both a cleanup and rebuild. We hastily tuck things away as a preventative measure, in the anticipation of future storms, with the hope that they won’t be unearthed again. Unfortunately, the next storm quickly reveals the weathered weaknesses of the past. Old wounds exposed. New wounds made. Suddenly, it’s impossible to avoid that slope of depression.  

I am submerged in the familiar darkness once again.  


Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available FREE for download in the App Store, Google Play and You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Showers of Tears

I turned the handle, waited and then reached to feel the water temperature. I stepped in.

The task itself felt arduous. Before… it was simple and routine. Who would have thought the simple act of showering in the acute stage of loss would be this taxing.

As fast as the warm water pelted against my skin, my tears broke and ran down my face. I leaned in. My body slowly slid downward until I found myself tucked into the corner where the shower walls met. My chest began to heave from my deep sobs and my shoulders shrugged up and down.

Was it the warmth of the water or the pressure against my skin? What was it about the shower that triggered my tears? In my daily life, as I navigated the fog of new grief, I desperately tried to hold my emotions in check. Simultaneously, I deeply longed for an embrace that could never happen again. Maybe this was why the shower became my place to let go. Maybe there in the warm steam, I felt embraced. I can only hypothesize. I will never really know why. This happened daily. Physically, I was incapable of stopping it.

Thankfully, my cries were muted from the ears of my children by the sound of the pelting water. Sitting on the floor of the shower, knees tucked close to my chest I painfully cried out,


          “I miss you.”

          “How could you leave me like this?”  

         “It’s so unfair! I can’t do this!”  

         “I would give anything to have you back here by my side.”

I’d lost track of how long I had been weeping on the shower floor. Something brought me back into my current reality. I shut off the water. Still in a fog, I exited the shower, eyes puffy and red, feeling completely drained. I had no choice but to cover up my grief- stricken face with makeup, get dressed and muster both the courage and strength to go to work.

This shower scene was on repeat for what seemed like forever. Was it a year? …Maybe more. And then one day the pattern broke. Perhaps that was the point where the fog began lifting? Did it mark the moment when I became “unstuck” between the life before and the life after loss? It’s unclear. The frequency of shower tears diminished after that. Now years later, I can tell you that although seldom, every once in while, a strong sensation of sadness strikes in the shower and the tears roll. For me, it’s evidence that I carry a sadness for this man who will forever be missed and always be loved.

Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available FREE for download in the App Store, Google Play and You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Mom Memories

Crisp cool air meets the skin on my face. The distinct smell of freshly fallen leaves permeates my nose and I briskly walk to the car to avoid the chill to my spine. My thoughts revert to the sweetness of home.  A small town nestled in the Hudson River Valley of New York State, Red Hook is an area noted for its beauty during fall foliage. For me, autumn screams cinnamon apples, pumpkin picking, apple orchards and the smell of my mom’s hearty, warm, aromatic and delicious fall meals. Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes and I can see my mom in the kitchen of my childhood home. These thoughts bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.

Suddenly, without warning, my mind flashes back.

My car is traveling the roads that take me home. The landscape of the autumn Catskill Mountains on my driver side, my mind deep in thought, the sound of my friend’s voice on the phone, I make the longest three-hour journey of my life. My old high school pal meets me for both a cup of coffee and some courage as I arrive home to say a final goodbye.  

Seven years have passed since that fall day.  Seven years since I caressed my mom’s hair, whispered my words of goodbye, gave her a kiss and squeezed her hand to let her know… it was okay to go.  I drove away from that small town that day, my heart heavy, my eyes filled with tears,  bearing the title of ‘sole survivor,’ with nothing but my memories to cling to.   It’s ironic that a season noted for beauty and filled with warmth also emotes such sadness. Perhaps it’s life’s way of offering me balance for survival? These days, I hold those memories tightly and shed less tears. This time of year will forever remind me of my mom.  


Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available for less than a latte,  for download in the App Store, Google Play and You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Keeping Time

Our life is measured in time from the moment time note’s our birth arrival.

I’ve been unfair to time with my expectations of how it should behave

constantly oscillating between extremes.

Speed up through the work week.

Slow down through the weekend.

Stop during a moment so I can breathe it in for all it is worth.

I want time to change with my demands.

As a result, time has disappointed me often.

When grief struck,

I was angry with time for not having given me enough

Yet simultaneously happy for the small amount of time granted.

I was frozen in time,

stuck between the time before his death

and incapable of moving into the time after his death.  

In that year, as I sat in the valley of grief, time escaped me.

I lost time.

There are the days I’m envious of missed time

And the days when I wish I could turn back time.

Time measures age and milestones.

Time tracks progress, molds memories and notes the end of a life.

Time marks anniversaries of a loss.

Time has this unique ability to seem like just yesterday and forever ago all at once.

We are constantly keeping time.

I worry that the longer time moves on, time will erase.

I fear time will lose my recollection of events

or steal my ability to hear the sound of his voice.

As I honor the anniversary of his death,

I’ve learned we don’t have infinite time.

I’m thankful for the ability to look back in time,

conscious of being present in time,

and careful to capture time in photos.

All the while making the best of the time I have.

In loving memory of Adam and his time here with us.

April 23rd,1977 to July 26th, 2015


Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available for less than a latte,  for download in the App Store, Google Play and You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Grief Is Like A Cup of Coffee

Grief is like a cup of coffee. In the beginning, it’s painful to hold and difficult to grasp.No matter how you carry it, it spills everywhere leaving a sloppy stained mess for all to see.  Some days, it’s bitter and leaves an acidic feeling in your stomach. No matter how hard you try, on those days, it is impossible to sweeten.  

It burns.

As time passes, you mostly learn to carry it so it’s less likely to spill.But there are moments when it sits beading over the brim very capable of pouring over at any second.  You know those days. When that happens, you shift your grasp and hold on tight.  Hopefully you manage to stop the spill.  But not always.

Sometimes people watch and you can feel them thinking,“Why can’t you balance that. Why is it still spilling out?”If they only knew how many days you’ve managed to carry it and not let it cascade.  

Maybe we shouldn’t try so hard to contain it.  Breathe it in.  Hold it the way we feel most comfortable. Walk with it at our own pace and if it should spill, let it.   Maybe an understanding hand will reach out and help us clean it up.  



Kim Libertini is an avid coffee drinker all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available for less than a latte,  for download in the App StoreGoogle Play and You can follow Goodgrief App on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.