Life’s most tragic stories aren’t without beauty. That’s true of postpartum depression, suicide, and all forms of heartache and loss. Redemption lurks in the mire.

I started this blog because of my battle with postpartum depression, when I was 34. At 15 I lost my mom to breast cancer. A few months ago, suicide claimed my brother. I wouldn’t wish these things on anyone–yet these tragedies have taught me far more about life than times of joy. Somehow, hardship makes joy sweeter.

This morning I landed on a story that reminded me of my original heartbreak: mother loss. From “When Ben Nunery and his wife Ali got married in 2009, they had just closed on their new house, so they took the opportunity to take their wedding photos in the empty home.

Just four and a half years later, after Ali’s tragic death from cancer at at the age of 31 in 2011, Ben and his young daughter Olivia got ready to move to a new house, but they wanted to say goodbye to the old one. So they recreated these special photos from Ben and Ali’s wedding day, as a way to remember the happy times.”

Photos from Melanie Tracy Pace/Loft3 Photography

Ben Nunery and his wife Ali in 2009, at left; Ben and his daughter Olivia in the same spot, in 2013, at right. Photos from Melanie Tracy Pace/Loft3 Photography

I mourn with Olivia, for a loss that will prove far greater than her little mind now grasps. I pray for the woman she will become in her mother’s absence, and because of it. And I rejoice for the beauty she and her father are already drawing from their grief.

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