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The Normally Normals

The Normally Normals

It’s been a grief goal for me to return back to “normal”. I have put into place fail-safes to reestablish pattern, predictability and self-protection. That’s normal self-preservation. Now I am...

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Road Test

Road Test

After Robyn informed me that her granddaughter had been selected to perform the national anthem at a Major League Baseball game, I took steps to secure very good seats close to home plate with an excellent...

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Of Butterflies, Puppies, and the Dan Neff Dog

Of Butterflies, Puppies, and the Dan Neff Dog

The surprising journey of widowhood. Part of the widowed journey, as I experience it, is having to face new things. Some new things contain the kind of surprises you don’t want to receive. For example,...

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Yet Another Secondary Loss

Yet Another Secondary Loss

Main image by Patty Brito on Unsplash This is my 100th post for Soaring Spirits. Which sounds more monumental than the 104th, due in a few weeks, which will mean that I have been writing here for two years...

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Authentic Anger

Authentic Anger

I’m harder on myself more than people realize. There are times I haven’t honored my feelings because I just try to see the bright side of everything. I have a high tolerance for others but sometimes...

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Cry, Cry, Cry

Cry, Cry, Cry

It has been a while since I have cried. A really good, long cry. The last time I think was when I watched the Netflix movie Fatherhood. I sobbed during that one and then for a while after.  Sometimes...

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90 Days

90 Days

It’s been ninety days without you. When this post publishes it will be exactly 90 days since I walked you to the white van parked in our driveway to see you off. The night was cool, being after midnight,...

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Noticing and Shifting Patterns of Living with Loss(es)

Noticing and Shifting Patterns of Living with Loss(es)

Main image by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash In the last few years, I have come across the field of “Human Systems Dynamics” (HSD), which offers ways of thinking and tools for exploring complex human...

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Fly the Coop

Fly the Coop

There remains a lot going on in my life as I transition from my house of fourteen years to my new home.  I have been between homes since the end of April; and though I am unsettled, I feel fairly calm. ...

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Marbles, Memories and Recycled Reminders

Marbles, Memories and Recycled Reminders

Some weeks go by and I find myself searching for signs or situations that give me insight into what I should write about each week. I fought looking for inspiration. I felt if i couldn’t write about...

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Til Death Do Us Part . . . or not

Til Death Do Us Part . . . or not

The irony of pledging our lives to one another on Independence Day revealed itself slowly over the years. A powerful love awakened what felt like super powers. Of course we would live a lifetime together,...

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Commemobrating

Commemobrating

Photos my own I survived last week. I survived 30 June and 1 July. I survived the two year “deathiversary” of Julia’s death. Forever split across a date line, two days of the week, two dates, two...

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Newly Widowed

Of Butterflies, Puppies, and the Dan Neff Dog

Of Butterflies, Puppies, and the Dan Neff Dog

The surprising journey of widowhood. Part of the widowed journey, as I experience it, is having to face new things. Some new things contain the kind of surprises you don’t want to receive. For example,...

Read More

90 Days

90 Days

It’s been ninety days without you. When this post publishes it will be exactly 90 days since I walked you to the white van parked in our driveway to see you off. The night was cool, being after midnight,...

Read More

Til Death Do Us Part . . . or not

Til Death Do Us Part . . . or not

The irony of pledging our lives to one another on Independence Day revealed itself slowly over the years. A powerful love awakened what felt like super powers. Of course we would live a lifetime together,...

Read More

Both / And

Both / And

Both/And thinking [the opposite of either/or thinking] recognizes the folly of assuming that the new will totally supplant the old. Seeing with Both/And eyes recognizes that two opposite realities can...

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Missing our Papa on Father’s Day

Missing our Papa on Father’s Day

What happens on Father’s Day for the family whose Papa has passed on to another dimension? Is there a way to connect from afar? When my dad passed away in 1994 I wondered, with my siblings, how we...

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FIRST STEPS

FIRST STEPS

Author’s Note: Thank you, Alison, for your warm welcome last week. You will be greatly missed here and I will join others in following you at  http://anodysseyoflove.com/ to keep up with your adventures...

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The Box (Part Two)

The Box (Part Two)

Lee kept her wedding box at the top of her closet, which I had been in the process of reclaiming from her when I found it. I say her wedding box because she was not keeping it for our mutual benefit. I...

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Betwixt

Betwixt

With the approach of summer and a substantial number of folks now being fully vaccinated, my sense is that at long last life might be “normalizing,” even if the continued use of masks in some quarters...

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Untitled and Off the Cuff

Untitled and Off the Cuff

As many, if not most readers will know firsthand, grief shows up in myriad ways, often unexpectedly. I have been a widower for less than one year now, but already I have melted down driving home from the...

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This Particular and Peculiar Sense of Non-being (Reboot)

This Particular and Peculiar Sense of Non-being (Reboot)

Alison is on the road this week and won’t have access to internet so we’ve chosen this post from 2017 to share with you until she returns next week.  Enjoy! There is a particular and peculiar...

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Arriving in Community

Arriving in Community

Until last Saturday, I had never been to a Camp Widow event. I watched as a team of dedicated, compassionate and talented people created a space for the LGBTQ widowed. Held at the beautiful Los Angeles...

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Nightmares Now and Then

Nightmares Now and Then

I’ve had some really weird and disturbing dreams the past week. The sort of dreams that don’t really relate to anything in my actual life but have lots of very stressful or strange things going on...

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Soaring Spirits Interational

Soaring Spirits Interational

Soaring Spirits builds community. We create, and maintain, innovative peer-based grief support programs for widowed men and women that serve a worldwide population. Based on the powerful connections created by shared experience, we endeavor to ensure that no one need grieve alone.

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Road Test

Road Test

After Robyn informed me that her granddaughter had been selected to perform the national anthem at a Major League Baseball game, I took steps to secure very good seats close to home plate with an excellent...

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Discharging Guilt

Discharging Guilt

Main image by Callum Skelton on Unsplash One of Julia’s best friends, whose family asked me very directly, some six months after her death, never to contact them again, turned up unexpectedly at my door...

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Navigating New Terrain

Navigating New Terrain

Photos my own I just re-read last week’s post to see if I had mentioned “Orienteering” and saw that – oddly – I hadn’t. However it was a feature underlying that piece of writing. Orienteering...

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On Life as Mayonnaise

On Life as Mayonnaise

Image by Daniel Costa on Unsplash This isn’t a “deep” piece … just some in-the-moment noodlings, metaphors and wonderings. Sometimes people talk of “not being able to turn mayonnaise back into...

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My Partner is Widowed – so what does that mean for our relationship?

My Partner is Widowed – so what does that mean for our relationship?

Image by Sarah Treanor, fellow widbud, on www.streanor.com My name is Neil, aka “Medjool”. As of June 2019, I have been fortunate enough to have entered the life and heart of Emma, who keeps this blogsite...

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Uncharted Territory

Uncharted Territory

Photos my own Yesterday I had my 54th birthday. An age Mike never made. He made 53 and 8 ½ months-ish. I was aware, to the date, 8th December 2020, when I became the age, to the actual day, that he died...

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Bachelor of Grief

Bachelor of Grief

I never wanted to apply and enroll here at Widowed University. I’ve always been opened to learning more in life but I never wanted this education. Like I said last week, the build up to Clayton’s death...

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Point/Counterpoint

Point/Counterpoint

From their photographs and by reading about their experiences, I deduce that I am far and away the oldest author currently writing on this blog. Recently, one of my fellow authors posted a poignant piece...

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Daily Reflections on Love – part one

Daily Reflections on Love – part one

Image by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash I have a daily gratitude writing practice that started at the beginning of 2020. Megan had given me a gratitude diary for Christmas in which it was suggested you write...

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Why her? Why him? Why now?

Why her? Why him? Why now?

Main image by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash Medjool has a precious childhood friend – let’s call him Yves – who is still very much a presence in his life today. To say that Yves is spiritually aware, spiritually...

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“There is No Remedy for Love but to Love More”

“There is No Remedy for Love but to Love More”

The past three days have been loaded with all the feels. Friday was Lunar New Year, which is an important holiday for Boris’s family. They usually celebrated as a family in some way and he’d always...

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Hello Wall

Hello Wall

One of my favourite ever films is Shirley Valentine. It came out in 1989 when I was 22 and had already been in relationship with Mike for two years. I remember feeling so sure that I would not while my...

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Red, White, & Very Blue

Red, White, & Very Blue

*Content warning: discussion of suicidal ideation/suicide and psychiatric hospitalization July 4th is one of those holidays that maybe you wouldn’t expect to be grief-y, but for me it is. Maybe it is...

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Missing our Papa on Father’s Day

Missing our Papa on Father’s Day

What happens on Father’s Day for the family whose Papa has passed on to another dimension? Is there a way to connect from afar? When my dad passed away in 1994 I wondered, with my siblings, how we...

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Some Softer Dates

Some Softer Dates

All Photos my own It’s been a good week. Surprisingly good, for the time of year. A slew of special events and treats. Lots of variety – much more than in recent COVID-times – including a flight...

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Hollow (third edition)

Hollow (third edition)

Outwardly, my life has remained stable and solid.  In many ways I am a vision of “widowed success”.  I returned to a good career, I still have the house, the car, and the kids.  On the outside,...

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“There is No Remedy for Love but to Love More”

“There is No Remedy for Love but to Love More”

The past three days have been loaded with all the feels. Friday was Lunar New Year, which is an important holiday for Boris’s family. They usually celebrated as a family in some way and he’d always...

Read More

Wid-OWED

Wid-OWED

Wid-OWED This week has been tough. I have had conversations with probate court to try and finalize Clayton’s Will and picked up Stallone’s (our cat) ashes back from the veterinarian. Now he and Clayton...

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Wise and Kind Babes

Wise and Kind Babes

There has been a recurring question asked of me these past 18 months or so, which is both the time since Julia died, and also the time since I have (formally) been in a relationship. Oddly the question...

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Shattered Christmases

Shattered Christmases

Weird shit happens at this time of year. Weird shit gets said at this time of year too. It feels like it is just a stream of obscene extremes. So many types of polarities and tensions, to hold and somehow...

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The Day After

The Day After

The day after your diagnosis. The day after our last holidays. The day after your death. The day after all of the “firsts” without you. The day after all the seconds, thirds, fourth, fifths, sixth...

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (for real)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (for real)

For me, this Christmas, and always, I choose to focus on the LOVE and not the loss. This makes all the difference for me.

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Bitter, Bland and Forgotten Flavors

Bitter, Bland and Forgotten Flavors

This year has been nothing less than bipolar. Severe ups, downs, twists and turns I could never expect. Year 1 and 2, I could keep busy, keep moving and face the loss of Clayton when I wanted too. Now,...

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Present  (The update 2020)

Present (The update 2020)

I feel his absence in my psyche. Mike was my person and now I wander through life while part of my Soul is elsewhere. My goal is to become more present in my life. I want to hold steady here in the world...

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Camp Widow®

Camp Widow®

Camp Widow® is a unique and incredible experience. This program provides both practical tools and relevant resources for widowed persons rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of the death of a spouse or partner.

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The Normally Normals

The Normally Normals

It’s been a grief goal for me to return back to “normal”. I have put into place fail-safes to reestablish pattern, predictability and self-protection. That’s normal self-preservation. Now I am...

Read More

Yet Another Secondary Loss

Yet Another Secondary Loss

Main image by Patty Brito on Unsplash This is my 100th post for Soaring Spirits. Which sounds more monumental than the 104th, due in a few weeks, which will mean that I have been writing here for two years...

Read More

Authentic Anger

Authentic Anger

I’m harder on myself more than people realize. There are times I haven’t honored my feelings because I just try to see the bright side of everything. I have a high tolerance for others but sometimes...

Read More

Cry, Cry, Cry

Cry, Cry, Cry

It has been a while since I have cried. A really good, long cry. The last time I think was when I watched the Netflix movie Fatherhood. I sobbed during that one and then for a while after.  Sometimes...

Read More

Fly the Coop

Fly the Coop

There remains a lot going on in my life as I transition from my house of fourteen years to my new home.  I have been between homes since the end of April; and though I am unsettled, I feel fairly calm. ...

Read More

Marbles, Memories and Recycled Reminders

Marbles, Memories and Recycled Reminders

Some weeks go by and I find myself searching for signs or situations that give me insight into what I should write about each week. I fought looking for inspiration. I felt if i couldn’t write about...

Read More

Til Death Do Us Part . . . or not

Til Death Do Us Part . . . or not

The irony of pledging our lives to one another on Independence Day revealed itself slowly over the years. A powerful love awakened what felt like super powers. Of course we would live a lifetime together,...

Read More

Commemobrating

Commemobrating

Photos my own I survived last week. I survived 30 June and 1 July. I survived the two year “deathiversary” of Julia’s death. Forever split across a date line, two days of the week, two dates, two...

Read More

An Unwanted Independence Day

An Unwanted Independence Day

Tomorrow is the fourth 4th of July that I have an independence I never wanted… Tomorrow is our anniversary. Fitting that the start of our short journey together would be full of fireworks because that...

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The Evolution of Grief (part 3 of many)

The Evolution of Grief (part 3 of many)

After 4.7 years, I can write to you and say that I actually like my life again.  And, I am almost sort of "happy" once again too.  I have come to accept my life without him; and, I am also excited about...

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Levels in Life

Levels in Life

Clayton, I gave the bike away. The one you gave me for Christmas. I was going to ride it to work but life. Right? You got sick. I needed to have my car so I could get back to you as fast as possible each...

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Your Touch (edited 2021)

Your Touch (edited 2021)

Touch has helped bring me further present.  It has helped reawaken me to the moment I am living in.  Touch has resuscitated me in ways that nothing else can.  Touch has given me the air I need when...

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Commemobrating

Commemobrating

Photos my own I survived last week. I survived 30 June and 1 July. I survived the two year “deathiversary” of Julia’s death. Forever split across a date line, two days of the week, two dates, two...

Read More

An Unwanted Independence Day

An Unwanted Independence Day

Tomorrow is the fourth 4th of July that I have an independence I never wanted… Tomorrow is our anniversary. Fitting that the start of our short journey together would be full of fireworks because that...

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And life, with all its devastation, trundles on

And life, with all its devastation, trundles on

Photo my own – on my facebook feed, from 7 years ago (21 June 2014) Megan & Julia playing flute & oboe at our village Fete de la Musique concert I have just read a HuffPost article about...

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Navigating Multiple Worlds

Navigating Multiple Worlds

Image by Denise Jans on Unsplash It’s been a choppy week. A choppy week full of choppy days. I feel I have been on a constant dance, in and out of multiple worlds. Which is not quite how it might sound,...

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June 12th

June 12th

June 12 is the date on which Lee and I got married. This year, as June 12 approached, I felt a bit uncomfortable at the thought that June 12 is our anniversary since Lee would not be here with me to celebrate...

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Marry Me (2021 edition)

Marry Me (2021 edition)

On May 25, 2016,  he asked me to marry him. Then, he died before our wedding day. In 2018 when I originally wrote this, I sat re-reading those two sentences again and again and again.  I just couldn’t...

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Heartbreak Hangover

Heartbreak Hangover

Last week took me on an exhausting emotional tour. The week before being widowed hits me harder than any single memory or special day. The emotional stress is heightened to such a level that when it starts...

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An Odyssey of Love~

An Odyssey of Love~

Once upon a time… A man stole my heart Right out of my chest. It’s ok that he stole it, Because he gave me his in return. He held my heart so carefully with his two hands. This man, dressed...

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The Grief Tour

The Grief Tour

This week, my week before widowed, I took a trip off the main path of my journey and doubled back to the places I saw you last. My head said “yes” but my heart said “no don’t go”. It’s been...

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My Recipe. I Don’t Have One~

My Recipe. I Don’t Have One~

As I approach the 8 year mark, That will always be 7 years for me, Because how can I bear to count further the years you are missing from me? I have no secret recipe, no sweet story of how I got from there…...

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My Grief Ghost Visits the Week Before Widowed

My Grief Ghost Visits the Week Before Widowed

I knew he was fading away faster and faster. I knew that Tin’s last day was soon but you don’t know until you know. We fit in frozen yogurt, going out to dinner, the beach and visiting the aquarium...

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Some Softer Dates

Some Softer Dates

All Photos my own It’s been a good week. Surprisingly good, for the time of year. A slew of special events and treats. Lots of variety – much more than in recent COVID-times – including a flight...

Read More

The Widowed Resilience Scale

The Widowed Resilience Scale

Resilience is defined as the ability to ‘bounce back’ or recover from a traumatic life event or circumstance. According to the Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Scale widowhood rates as one of life’s most challenging experiences. This fact has driven the desire to study resilience in widowhood and identify the ways in which resilience can be built in men and women who have experienced conjugal loss.

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Featured Author

Meet this weeks Widow's Voice author.

Emma Pearson

Emma Pearson

My life is a whirling mix of swishy strands, dark and glowing brightly, rough and silky smooth – all attempting to be seen, felt and integrated at once. Here are some of my themes.

I am British

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