I came across a post the other day while mindlessly scrolling Facebook, and it really made me stop and reflect.

I remember finding the broken crayons in the box as a child, and if I’m being honest, choosing to put them back and trade for a full size, non-broken version. Even if I needed the broken Tickle Me Pink to finish my coloring sheet, chances are I was going to substitute for another color that was available in a non-damaged version.

It then occurred to me how often humans do this with other humans, even if they don’t mean to hurt the broken ones.

It’s easy to turn away from ugliness in the world and pretend it doesn’t exist. We do this so naturally to protect ourselves from feeling hurt or even just uncomfortable. We don’t choose the broken crayons because we don’t want to know how the crayon was broken in the first place. We don’t want to sit in the sadness and depression that is embedded in the crayon and hear it’s story.

But sooner or later, we go through something that undeniably breaks us, too. We are diagnosed with an incurable disease, file for bankruptcy and are evicted from our homes, miscarry the baby we so desperately loved and wanted, or lose someone we should never have had to say goodbye to.

We break. We fail. We feel utterly defeated.

We grieve and eventually come to terms with a new reality…one that doesn’t look like the picture we had in our minds. We lose touch with ones we considered our deepest friends and family, and we form new bonds with those who become inseparable confidants.

We do this because, ultimately, life goes on. The clock keeps ticking. We don’t get to choose the cards we are dealt, but we do have the responsibility to the play the hand that we hold to the best of our ability.

Some days, we dwell on everything that we are not and all of the things and people that are absent from our lives. We obsess over the brokenness, and we pray for that feeling to subside.

And it will….and it does.

Not because one day, magically, “time heals you.” Not because you forget that you are split right down the middle. But because eventually you realize that even though you are a broken crayon, you can still make color. You can still finish your page, and while it might not feel and look the way you wanted it to, it’s still something to be proud of.

These days, I’m proud to be the broken crayon in the box. I know damn well I will never be perfect, but that’s okay…I have plenty of beautiful color left in me, and if you ask me, that’s worth celebrating.

Be well. Be kind.

About 

At the young age of 25, Jayme Johnson lost the love of her life suddenly, unexpectedly, and tragically. She and Luke were only married 6 months and actively trying for a baby when she discovered him unconscious in her front yard after doing lawn care all day. On May 9, 2019, Luke passed away from idiopathic cardiomyopathy, caused by a silent condition he had from birth.

Since that fateful day, Jayme has used writing to help her process the whirlwind of daily emotions and endless lists of death “to-do’s” that come along when you lose your spouse. Her blog, appropriately titled “Confessions of a 25-Year-Old Widow,” has been her saving grace and introduction to a huge circle of incredible widows that she continues to turn to when this familiar grief gets too complicated.

Jayme uses daily gratitude, meditation, and copious amounts of self-care to keep a positive outlook on the rest of her life. She aspires to be a source of strength and a valuable resource for other young widows who are faced with the unimaginable pain and loneliness that accompanies being in her shoes. She is endlessly thankful for her patient, loving, and supportive family, friends, and fellow widows for encouraging her to pursue her humanitarian passions and actively find JOY and light in an otherwise dark world.