Red sunsets.

08 Aug

I feel like it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Early on, I wrote because it was therapeutic and the writing process created a good structure for me to understand my own thoughts and feelings. Later, I wrote because I was reading books and discovering new things that I wanted to explore. Today, I’m writing just to share what’s going on in my life.

When I wrote my last blog post, I was at a cabin on a beautiful MN lake with my extended family. It was hard to be there without Julian, but it was a wonderful week. The relaxing environment and the beauty of the lake made me feel more peaceful than I’ve been since Julian died.

Almost immediately after leaving the cabin at the end of the week, I longed for more. I instantly missed that peacefulness the lake inspired in me, and I had a whole new appreciation for getting away and having focused family time. John and I talked about it, and we decided to consider buying our own cabin. We started researching our options.

I have now viewed hundreds of cabins online. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have beautiful lakes within driving distance of our home. We want something small, and certain details are important to us — for me, feature that is most important is that the cabin must be West-facing. I need to be able to see the sunset.

My whole life, I’ve sought out the sunset. I’ve planned vacations specifically to see the sunset over the ocean. I’ve strategized the best reservation time to watch a sunset from a restaurant. My boys would sometime’s tease me about needing to “watch mommy’s sunset.” If we are going to buy a cabin, a beautiful sunset is a must.

Two weeks ago, we rented a cabin that is also for sale. It had wonderful ’70s modern architecture that reminded John and I of our own house… but most importantly, it had what the owners describe as an “Aloha sunset.” We were only there for 2 nights, and I was so disappointed when the first night was cloudy. I could see a glow in the distance where the sunset would have been, but not the real deal.

The second night was beautiful. It was, indeed, an “Aloha sunset.” As I sat there on the shoreline, I watched John and Oscar fishing right off the dock (and actually catching fish!). It reminded me of the times when Julian was John’s fishing buddy, as shown in this cute photo, and this one too.

I was entranced as I watched the sky change from blue to purple to orange and red. When the red tones came out, it hit me. THIS is why sunsets are important to me. The red sky, the beauty of nature, the cycle of sunrise to sunset, the cycle of birth to death. THIS is where I feel close to Julian’s spirit. His favorite color, red, is what makes a sunset beautiful.

From now on, every time I see a sunset, I will think of my sweet boy and the beautiful things he contributed to my life. Hopefully, soon, we will own a cabin with a sunset of our own. Until then, all I have to do is look at the photos I took (like the one shown above), and I feel peace.


UPDATE ON 8/10/11: This week we made an offer on the cabin I mentioned in this post, and it was accepted! Now we will own that sunset — and the sweet little cabin that looks out over the lake. We look forward to creating wonderful family memories there.


Posted by on August 8, 2011 in month 5


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7 responses to “Red sunsets.

  1. Darlene J Lund and Tom

    August 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I love sunsets…they are a part of God’s promises…(Titus1:2) a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life…promised before the beginning of time. (Colossians 1:5) the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven…

    May you find rest and peace in those sunsets…and morning sunrises.

    with love, Darlene and Tom Lund

  2. Deb Mathews

    August 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Beautiful thinking and writing… good to see. It is exciting to think that you may enjoy your own cabin and sunsets one day soon. Love, Deb & Don

  3. Anne-Marie Finsaas

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    It’s always lovely to hear from you on your journey, Emily. I pray you continue to find that deep and abiding peace. Something we all long for really, isn’t it?
    Warmly, Anne-Marie

  4. Lisa

    August 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm


  5. Michael Cartwright

    August 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

    That is awesome…thanks for sharing!

    God bless,

  6. rushchick

    August 12, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I just found your blog, looking for other blog’s related to my own experience with child loss….First off I am SO very sorry for the loss of your precious son, my heart breaks for you….My youngest daughter was 10 when she died on 2/25/07…..In a 4-wheeler accident. Her birthday is coming up on August 14th and she would have been 15….so I am sure you know the motions that I am going through right now. I just uploaded my first video blog yesterday, instead of writing…I would love for you to check it out 🙂 I also added your link to my blogroll so that I can keep up with your blog. You take care ok? Hugs to you….
    Mom to Lizzy Sunrise 8/14/96-Sunset 2/25/07

  7. Kelly

    August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Emily –
    It’s Kelly from Children’s Cancer Research Fund. it was wonderful to meet you, John and Oscar on Friday.

    I just came across your blog and have read through a few of your entries. You write beautifully about the most painful experience a person can go through – and I’m certain your words will help others find their new normal as well.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us,


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