Monthly Archives: February 2016

Week #76 – Lose someone? Tell me…”What was he/she like?”

Good times. (photo credit: Grace Church)

Good times. (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #76 – Lose someone?  Tell me…”What was he/she like?”

Greetings All — and Happy Friday!

I had the chance to watch the movie ST. VINCENT with Bill Murray this week.  And this exchange stood out to me:

Oliver: “Sorry, Vin, for your loss.”
Vincent: “Never understand why people say that.”
Oliver: “They don’t know what else to say.”
Vincent: “How about, What was she like?  Do you miss her?  Or, What are you gonna do now?”

“What was she (or he) like?”

On Monday we had dinner with some people we haven’t seen in person in a few years.  Inevitably the question comes up: what have you been up to?  Inevitably, we fill in the events of the last year or so.  Inevitably, people are sorry for our loss.

But this time…the young man at the table asked me a question:

How do you do it?  How do you keep someone’s memory alive?

So I told him about the blog: how it started, what I set out to do, where it’s headed.  I was honest with him…I wasn’t sure who was reading it, if anyone, or for how much longer.

“Just write.  Write for yourself.  To remember him.”

And it struck me that that was true.  So this week…I bring you a photo of Rob at a family wedding.  It was a fun wedding…a true celebration…with an awesome cocktail hour and dancing all night long.  There are endless stories to tell from this wedding…most notably of Rob getting his butt pinched by another male attendee!!!  To him…it remained a compliment of the highest order!  And we laughed about it many times since.  A single moment…a most precious memory.  A shocking good time was had by all!!!

Your Challenge for the Week Ahead: “What was he/she like?”  Chances are you’ll encounter someone this week who has suffered a loss.  Our first instinct (and mine too, believe me!) is to apologize…to say we are sorry.  And we are…but maybe we can go further.  Ask a follow-up question: What was he/she like?  Were you close?  Do you miss him/her?  (I’m sure there are others.)  I often hear people say, I’m sorry to ask about him.  And my immediate reply is always the same: don’t be sorry…I love to talk about him!

Remember your loved ones…and help someone this week remember theirs!

Spread Happyness – have you lost someone dear?  Tell me: “What was he/she like?”

2/26/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #75 – Rough Road? (Take a closer look!)

Rough Road-a

“Rough Road?” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #75 – Rough Road?  (Take a closer look!)

Greetings All — and Happy Friday!

I saw this road sign last week and just had to talk about it!  To all my friends in areas battling winter storm after storm — it just doesn’t look too rough, does it?!

But despite the blue sky and palm trees, something’s just not right.

It’s the same with people.

It’s easy to assume a smiling face, sunny demeanor, or happy exterior means that life is nothing but smooth sailing.  After all, smiling comes easy when everything’s going your way!


Not so.  There are people whose bodies reflexively smile in conflict — and pain.  Whose toothy grins are an ancient defense mechanism designed to assert power — or plead for help.

We don’t know until we take a closer look.  Something might just not be right.

Your Challenge for the Week Ahead: Take a closer look!  We all have those people in our lives who WE count on for a friendly smile.  Don’t take them for granted — take a closer look!  Ask them how they are doing, how things are going, or what they are up to.  And if they are smiling out of genuine pleasure — then bask in it!  But if they are smiling out of pain or conflict — then encourage them, support them, and maybe this time…be the one who smiles back!

Makes you wish we all had a road sign, hmm?

Spread Happyness – Take a closer look!  And tell us what you see in the comments!

2/19/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #74 – “I believe in you!” (Encourage someone today!)

Used with permission. (Scott Cuzzo / SpryMind)

Used with permission. (Scott Cuzzo/SpryMind)

Week #74 – “I believe in you!” (Encourage someone today!)

Greetings Tribe — and Happy Friday!

I hope you all enjoyed a “Rob Church Kinda Day” yesterday!

As some of you know, Spread Happyness was featured in a coloring book recently!  I interviewed Scott Cuzzo of SpryMind back in November as part of my “Happyness in Action” series.  Scott spreads happiness by creating coloring books that are good for adults of all ages and genders.  His most recent release, “Believe!”, features over two-dozen positive quotes and thoughts on the word “Believe” — including one from yours truly!

I’ve been traveling this month — and away from home and work routines.  Stripped of the things that keep me focused, busy, on purpose, and pleasantly distracted — I’m left with an abundance of time to be out in the world, and honestly, it just makes me miss Rob more!

It’s enough to make me want to get back on a plane and head home — sometimes!

But I make myself stay…reminded as I was in October that if I can sit with it long enough, there is presence in the absence.  That in every new experience, every painful reminder that he is gone for good, when I cannot text him or call, cannot share the latest laugh or ridiculousness or Super Bowl commentary — that my relationship with him somehow continues to grow.

It is a rock and a hard place.  Which reminds me of the coloring page that Scott drew for my quote, and my own interpretation of his drawing.  To me it’s a rock — buried in a pile of other rocks — perhaps looking for a way out, or a way to the top, or encouraging another rock to do what seems impossible: BELIEVE!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: BELIEVE IN SOMEONE!!!  Rob loved to encourage people.  Even if he didn’t always believe in himself — he always took time to believe in others!  If you know someone who’s between a rock and a hard place — take time to say “I believe in you!”  Send them a note, share this page, or sit down and color with them while they sort it all out!

And if it’s you that’s feeling discouraged this week…then this post is for you!  “I believe in you!”

Spread Happyness…Encourage someone today!  And share your stories in the comments!

2/12/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

(To learn more about Scott Cuzzo: visit him on Facebook (, browse his coloring books on Amazon, or contact him directly at

February 11th – Happy Birthday, Runt!

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

[Today’s message was a very special guest post from the people who knew Rob first — and worth repeating, because I couldn’t have said it better myself!]

February 11th – Happy Birthday, Runt!


Mom and Dad

2/11/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #73 – Happy February! “Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!”


“Happy February!” (photo credit: Granny Church)

[Editor’s note: this week’s post contains material from Week #21.  It’s Rob’s birthday week — and it will always be worth repeating: Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!]

Week #73 – Happy February!  “Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!”

This Thursday, February 11th is Rob’s birthday.  He would have been 42.  And you know what he would’ve done?

Whatever he damn well pleased!

I’ve celebrated a lot of birthdays alongside my brother…and there are two things I still know for sure: He always took the day off from work…and he always did exactly what he wanted to do!  That didn’t always include seeing family, either.  Some birthdays he spent with other people.  Some he spent by himself.  But on that day above all others…he did whatever made him happy.  And that made those of us who knew and loved him happy, too!

For a lot of people, birthdays are a harsh reminder of getting older, losing steam, or giving up on dreams.  Not Rob…on his 40th birthday in 2014 he was running windsprints at the track and told me he felt in the best shape of his life.  Over and over again, he said he was looking forward to his 40’s.

What a kick in the teeth.

Are you still alive?  Still breathing?  Well this week’s assignment is for you (and me too)!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: HAVE A ROB CHURCH KINDA DAY!  If you could do whatever you damn well pleased…what would it be?  Make a list, start a vision board, or fill a jar with ideas to draw at random.  Then, on Thursday, February 11th…have a “Rob Church Kinda Day!”  You may not be able to take the entire day off…but set aside time to practice identifying (and doing) something ONLY for you!  Something that makes YOU happy.  Something that lets you hear Rob’s voice — or someone else who you know and love — saying “Good for you!”

With family, work, kids, parents, pets, jobs, PTA, churches, charities, and bills to pay…it’s easy to get lost in doing for others.  If you are waiting for the world to give you permission to take time for yourself…get comfortable!  Take permission instead…and practice doing ONE THING that pleases YOU this week!

Spread Happyness…Have a “Rob Church Kinda Day!”  And share your stories in the comments!

2/5/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church