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The Saints Lost and Taught Me A Lesson In Grief

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It’s been longer than it feels since my family and I made the trip to Miami to watch our beloved Saints win the Super Bowl. The life that football team brought back into our city that year changed us, saved us, propelled us forward.

And look at us now, baby!

I just knew we would be heading back to the Super Bowl this year. Call it Voodoo or Ju-Ju or Catholic intuition, but I just had no doubt. It was our time again.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as I had predicted, and we sadly left this year’s dream on the field of the Super Dome.

I felt sad. As I sat with that heartache for a few hours, I couldn’t help but know I needed to dig a little deeper.

You see, my dad LOVED the Saints, and just a few months before he left this earth one of his wildest dreams was fulfilled. He watched his boys not only play in but win that Super Bowl title. He cried that day, y’all. We all cried with him.

I realized I was mourning our loss to the Rams, but what I was grieving even more in the wake of the game was my dad.

I guess I wanted to relive those moments I shared with him that season. I wanted to feel again what it was like to be around him, to hear him chanting, to know him in some way again.

Grief can be so confusing. Just when you think you’ve got it conquered, it has a way of finding its way to the surface. Just when I think it’s all said and done, that familiar pain creeps in there even if only for a minute to remind you that hey, I’m still here!

Grief isn’t interested in being discreet or convenient or all that kind. I don’t think it’s something you can ever lasso into submission. I know it’s not something a Super Bowl win can mend, even though I wish it were that easy.

Grief just is. It is over and over and over again.

But you know what? Just like my New Orleans home has done, I too can rise above it again and again and again.

Just like our Saints, I know I will win the battle each moment, each play, each game I’m fighting in not by the scoreboard but in how I do it. With heart. With soul. With guts.

I guess I’ll grieve for my dad a little more today. I’ll grieve for my Saints a little more tomorrow. But then, then I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back in there.

I’ll overcome. I’m a Saints fan. We always come back. It’s kind of our thing.

It’s hard accepting loss, so we grieve. We grieve for our team. We grieve for our loved ones. We grieve for ourselves.

Bless all those who grieve, bless all those that know loss, and bless our boys, our team, our Saints.

Thank you for a good year.

Thank you for the reminders of all the good times we have had celebrating your work.

Thank you for bringing us hope.

Thank you for bringing us the promise that there will always be a better day.

Thank you for showing us that sometimes you conquer, sometimes you falter, sometimes you grieve, and then you JUST. KEEP. GOING.

Who Dat forever, baby!

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