Rachel's story relayed how tea helped her to connect with personal tragedy in a way which helped her to grieve loss no one could ever hope to endure.
I saw this and debated for days if I should share my tea story or not. I was hesitant only because my tea story is deeply personal. But it is also beautiful. So, here it is...
I can't remember my first cup of tea. All I know is that I developed a passion for it in my teens. Traveling largely nurtured that passion and I have enjoyed cultivating it ever since, but I never imagined that my daily enjoyment would be what one day got me through the most difficult time of my life.
Eighteen months ago, in July of 2008, my identical twin daughters Aubrey and Ellie, died. They were born unexpectedly too soon. They fought hard for as long as they could, but in the end we had to let them go. Ellie lived for seven days and Aubrey for 13. They each took their last breaths in my arms. As I sat in front of their casket (we buried them together) at their funeral I knew my life would never be the same. I didn't know what to do. The grief was overwhelming.
That evening after family and friends went home, I made myself a cup of tea in hopes it would sooth my broken heart even if only for a moment. Amazingly, it did. It was the first relief I had in weeks. I cried many tears into that first cup of tea, but the healing that took place was miraculous.
In the days and months that followed, I drank a lot of tea. Each cup provided me with a "time out" so to speak. Vital time I needed to think about my girls, to feel my loss, to process, and to rest. Tea was my way of giving myself permission to heal. Almost a year and a half later my daily cup or two of tea has become my special time with my girls. And I still steep a cup to sooth myself through extra hard days.
Grief is a journey, a long and difficult journey. Faith, family, and tea carried me every step of the way and continues to do so. Tea is so much a part of my healing journey that my sister and I started our own tea company creating a line of tea blended with herbs specifically for emotional health and wellness.