capture your grief – day 2: who they are

I don’t think it was too long after his death that I asked friends on Facebook to give me one word to describe Kade so that I could make a Kade word cloud. Here it is:


Adventurous is the word that comes to my mind lately. When his friends climb fourteeners in his name I think, THAT is a tribute Kade would dig. He loved the outdoors. Being in the mountains, camping, fishing, skiing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, skateboarding. Didn’t like the city. Didn’t like the heat. Liked mountains, and winter, and cold.


Today we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Going with my youngest son is certainly sweet. Going without my oldest, is bitter. At the darling wallaby exhibit area, watching young zoo staffers walk past, my dad said, “Kade would have loved working at a place like this.”


Daring to imagine my would-be-23-year-old going to work at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo put a lump in my throat and a pain in my chest. He’d look so cute in a uniform. I pictured his excitement telling me about his duties and the animals. I dared to think for a moment of the bright future of an animal enthusiast. The whole day at the zoo had ebbed and flowed with happiness and grief, anyway, as so many things do now.


Kade Tyson Riefenberg
So much more than his dates
1/24/93 – 6/29/12
Whitewater rafting guide, fisherman, naturalist, skateboarder, bass guitarist, avid reader, best friend to many, son, big brother, grandson, great-grandson, nephew, cousin.


carlymarie capture your grief – day 1: sunrise dedication

I’m participating in Capture Your Grief for my third October.

From CarlyMarie’s website:

Capture Your Grief is a mindful healing project for anyone who is grieving the death of a baby or child of any age or gestation There are 31 subjects, one for each day in the month of October. You are invited to explore each subject and share a photo, artwork, video or written word that captures your own journey. Capture Your Grief is about becoming more present and conscious in your grief experience so that you may learn more about yourself and hopefully discover more ways of healing to aid you in your journey of grief and personal growth. It is also my hope that through the magic of social media you will find and connect with new people and make some beautiful friendships. You can join the project at any time of the month and there is no pressure to take part every single day. You can pick and choose your subjects. So do what feels right for you.


Almost sunrise…


Found my spot, waiting…

I did it. I set my alarm and got up at 6:15 a.m. And on a Saturday. No one in our household could be described as a morning person, but after brushing away brief and irrational thoughts of why I shouldn’t get up (Maybe it’s not safe to be out gallivanting around by myself. What if I encounter a mangy rabid coyote?), I did it.

I am so glad for this prompt to get out of bed, be outdoors in the early morning air, and witness a sunrise. This is the third year I’ve driven to Daniels Park—only about 12 minutes from my house—for day 1.

It was a little cool, though not as cool as other years where I’ve grabbed gloves on my way out. My flannel kept me comfortable (what else would I wear for this?). I heard silence, and birds, and best of all, elk bugling (maaaaybe it was coyotes howling, but I’m pretty sure it was elk). The last time I heard bugling was last fall on a morning hike at the Crazy Good Grief Retreat in Tabernash.

Though no human joined me for sunrise photographs, I wasn’t alone this morning. (Well, I hoped I wouldn’t be quite alone, really). After I planted myself on top of a rock a few moments before the sun would crest, who should meander squarely into my frame, directly between my rock and the rising sun? Two horses. Thank you, grey and white horses for enhancing my sunrise photos today!




Daniel’s Park offers not only rugged high prairie landscape for watching the sun rise to the east…but across the road, a view to the freakin’ Rocky Mountains to the west. After shooting pictures of the rising sun, I drove a few yards, walked to the other side of the road, and shot pictures of the pink new sunlight pouring onto the mountains.


The jagged peaks to the left are Devil’s Head Fire Lookout, a favorite hike


Mt. Evans

I was taken in by the beauty, the stillness, the fresh air, and the alone time with Kade. I couldn’t stop stopping my car, getting out, and taking more pictures as I drove out of the Park.



Downtown Denver in the distance to the right


To see sunset photos from all around the world (it’s really cool!): CarlyMarie Project Heal Facebook Link

To learn more about Capture Your Grief: CarlyMarie Project Heal Capture Your Grief 2016