Five Year Reflections

For the last several days, I have sat with the realization that the devastating loss of Matt Moore occurred 5 years ago.  However, there seems to be something deeply wrong with the calendar because wasn’t it just yesterday?  Then I look at our 6 year old and time hits me all at once.  Cullen was just 14 months old when his daddy left us for the angel world. It suddenly feels like an eternity ago.  A splitting of life before the loss of Matt and after.  Yet, somehow the two lifetimes are merged into one.

With milestones come reflections and with reflections come new-found narratives.   So much has changed in the years since Matt took his last breath.  Some of our friends and family have left this world, new babies have arrived, weddings have been celebrated, adventures have been had and without fail life continued on.  Collectively we have laughed, cried and somehow went through a 2.5 year never-ending pandemic.  

Selfishly, after his death the reflections turn inward as I reflect upon the years without Matt physically by my side.  Five years ago I spoke at Matt’s funeral, with no ability to ever imagine the life I would be living now.  The crushing sorrows didn’t allow for an ability to even fathom a future life especially without Matt.  I spent years YEARS going through the wreckage of grief. There were so many twists and turns on the roadmap of this “new life” that I often wondered if I would make it out alive.  Yet here we are and I am still standing!!! How amazing is that?              

One thing I know for sure, is that Matt never wanted any of us to stop living our lives after his soul journeyed on.  Matt has somehow watched from above as I went through the heartbreak, picked myself up, kept going and wiped away my own tears without him here to do it.  In the 11 years we spent together on earth he never let me quit, not once.  Believe me I tried! Who really needs grad school or their own business? ;) He pushed me harder than anyone has ever pushed me.  Yet, he was always there to cheer me on.  I know he continues to be here in his own way as I am certain he had a heavy hand in bringing love and life back into our lives.  Today I somehow intrinsically know Matt is proud of me!  And when we meet again it will be one big high five and “good game!” for us both making it through this WILD lifetime.

Though the grief of losing Matt will never dissipate, it has shifted and evolved.  Though it is present, it is less debilitating most days.  However, the waves of grief still hit at times (mostly during moments least expected), I continue to wish that Matt could be at all those special moments he’s missed out on and man I wish I had actually listened to him when he was talking boring financial planning talk. Ha!  Upon reflection it is clear that fighting the grieving process has shifted into acceptance and a new-found space has transformed into one of meaning. 

Matt didn’t want us to just survive this life he wanted us to THRIVE.  His life mission became clear when cancer entered our world, reminding people to live more than they were living right now.  He didn’t want people to just go through this life like a cog in the wheel, he wanted people to find a life worth living.  He wished a lifetime of love, connection, peace, faith, harmony and overall joy even through the challenges, plot twists, grief and tragedies for all those he loved and beyond.  He never wanted you to forget that your life is a blessing!  In the darkness came the meaning, the reminder, the gift to just Live Moore.  Together, we will continue to honor Matt’s life by spreading his message and living life to the fullest.  We will be among those that never take life for granted and live… Lives Moore!    

Nikki Moore

Footnote from Nikki with her licensed therapist hat on for all those in the active grief season:

In 2020, David Kessler added a 6th stage to his and Elisabeth Kübler Ross’s previous work, The Five Stages of Grief.  These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Kessler determined through his personal experience of loss and research that there was an important stage missing while healing through deep grief.  This final step, he identified, is finding meaning.  

In this 6th step a grieving person goes beyond the initial five stages of grieving to find closure and meaning.  Kessler explains that when meaning is found through loss one can transcend their experience into a peaceful and hopeful experience.   

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