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Following the path of hope wasn't always easy for Connie, but she says she remembers the exact moment she knew she could move on. For the first six weeks after Eric died, Connie says she couldn't eat and had hardly changed out of her pajamas. Then, a friend on her street left a pair of mittens in her mailbox. "It was January in Maine, 13 [degrees] below zero, and she said: 'I haven't seen you taking your walks. Let's walk,'" Connie says.

While they were walking, Connie dropped one of her mittens. "I went to pick it up, and as I came up I was very light-headed, understandably—no sleep, loss of appetite," she says. "I looked up, and in January in Maine there's no meteorologist who can explain why you would see a rainbow in the sky. It was just a snippet—green and yellow and pink. And I grabbed my friend and said, 'I'm hallucinating, right?' And she said: 'No, I see it. Perhaps it's God. Perhaps it's Eric. Perhaps it's hope. But let's take it.'"

The next day, Connie called the director of her local hospice center and decided to start getting help for her grief. "When there's something that happens that you cannot explain, you know there's something out there to help you—a lifeline," she says. "That single moment—a gift of nature, a gift of comfort—helped me to take that step out of what I thought would be never-ending pain."
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FROM: When Life Breaks You Open
Published on January 14, 2009

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