When I was in high school, I had one guy friend named Matt. He was the only guy that gave this outgoing, unconventional kid a chance. The feeling of belonging holds tight space in my heart. I was supposed to have lunch one day with Matt but he didn’t come to school. At the last […]
Widowed and Healing
I want you to know a few things. After Suzanne dies, you will feel like there is little potential of anything ever making your life any better. Did you know that you will be scared, hurting, very much alone (even surrounded by friends and family), completely lost, and heartbroken? Please know that although you could potentially just curl up in a ball and die from that heartbreak, you won’t.
Potential is an interesting word. It means, “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.” When Suzanne dies, you will feel like there really is no future to develop into.
When that time comes, all you will want to ask yourself is, “What’s the point?” I mean, there won’t be a single thing that truly appeals to you as having any real potential for your future.
Now, at 3.6 years, change is no longer just something I think about. It is something I NEED. It has become a requirement. I must action change because I am slowly dying here in suburbia.
I can not stay still any longer than necessary. In order to be a good mom, I have to make changes next year when my youngest son graduates. I have to take a leap of faith and just move forward into an uncertain future. I feel it. I am brave enough to finally just go for it and live my life. I am not sure how everything will unfold, but that scares me less than staying here in suburbia. I was made for bigger things. I feel it in my bones…
I am still dealing with the fall out from Mike’s sudden death.
Death is heavy stuff.
It takes time to sort through the wreckage that follows the death of your spouse.
Mike’s death left me with so many questions. I had to recreate my identity. Wow. Yikes, that is a bit daunting at the best of times, never mind in the middle of the shit sandwich that is grief. Figuring out one’s identity is a humongous task. I spent hours and hours sifting through the fragments of me that survived his death and I carefully and thoughtfully mixed those pieces into my new psyche.
Even while weighed down by the heaviness of early grief, I knew that I had to figure out who I was – without him. I had to rediscover my being. The woman I am without Mike is pretty fabulous. I like her a lot and I know that he would love her very much. I am many of the things I was when Mike walked the Earth, but I have evolved into so much more.
Mike’s death has taught me a lot about living. Ironic isn’t it. That is the beauty of life. It is one crazy ride. I am forever grateful to Mike for influencing my life and who I am. And, that man continues to love on me from wherever he is now, I feel it.
If there is one thing hardship can help us develop in ourselves, it is a resolve that no matter what life throws at us, we will not back down or be broken. We can decide that we will not stop believing that life can be beautiful, and funny, and wonderful, and full of love. We can decide not to give in to the idea that I grew up with – that “normal” is best or better somehow. Instead, we who have been through the hard shit can embrace the fact that life has thrown it’s hardest stuff at us, and not only did we make it through, but by God, we made something beautiful of it too.
Dating is hard enough as it is but adding the layer of “Oh I’m also widowed” changes the landscape drastically. For some of us, we don’t even think about dating and for others we have reached a point in our life where we can begin to date again. I know Clayton would want me to […]
I wrote about unconditional love and gratitude some weeks ago, so you’re probably wondering why I’m writing about these things again. Well, I’m not writing specifically about those same topics as I shared then. Instead, I want to share about these three things together: dreams, love and gratitude.
What do I mean? To me, these things are inseparable.
My life’s dreams always included some form of love and gratitude. Those dreams have always been about true love and what it means to me. But my dreams were also my hopes for a future. They were what I thought I was meant to do.
Over the last week, I have been hit by several large waves of grief. Quite frankly, it sucks. It has been a long time since I have felt like this.
First, I want to talk about triggers and what I think kicked it off for me, so starting with a bit of a rant here. While much of the time, I am and remain hopeful about my life and about us as a society, the triggers that drove me to feel the way I did last weekend were simply signals to me that things are not always going to work the way I hope. That there will be times when I will know bitterness and disappointment. I will feel like I let myself down (and others).
But the key thing is, I know I can do better and even if it’s a matter of taking a tiny baby step forward and seeing the positivity and being grateful for the tiniest of successes, then that is a start. Will I always be able to overcome these bouts of grief? To quote Brian Wilson, “God Only Knows. And God only knows what I will be without” Suzanne…
Everything is jumbled inside me. My life has been muffled since you died. My thoughts of you are so loud that they quiet everything else in my mind. Tender thoughts of you hijack me from my own life. (It must be sad for you to watch.) Ruminating about you sends me in a tailspin back to the past – to a point in time when you are alive. Mike, I love my memories of you, but I can not continue to relive our life in my head. I can not continue to journey backwards. I can not keep returning to this place where I keep you suspended in time. I need to take flight and move forward. I know full well that life is not lived in reverse. Dammit, I know this but lately I feel like I am losing traction and slipping backwards.
Covid-19 is complicating my efforts to reengage in living. Now, like everyone else in the world, I am stuck in a holding pattern. I can’t exactly make bold moves and reenter life with any real passion right now. The whole world is paused. We are all standing still. Collectively, we are waiting. Standing still. Waiting…
Humanity is waiting until it is safe to reenter life. And, I am just one person lost in this stillness. This lack of momentum reminds me so much of early grief. It is feels far too familiar to me. This stillness the world is collectively participating in has returned me to the habits of early grief. I have begun ruminating about you again. Thought of you consume me. And, these persistent thoughts are robbing me of my own life. *Sigh. I am so fucking tired of being stuck. I feel like I am held hostage by my thoughts about a life that died with you. I desperately need to find respite from my rumination of you my dead lover. You are the dead man who keeps me from living. I know this breaks your heart. I’m trying to change this.
We find ourselves surrounded by closures of stores, restaurants, movie theaters, parks and beaches. Those are the closures we can tangibly see but there are so many more emotional situations we are closed off from. The one I’m feeling heavier than any other is a certain aspect of closure with the loss of a loved […]
This morning, I had a “break down.”
What does that actually, really mean? Did I truly break down? Did I break and now need fixing? Or, did I really just lay on the carpeted floor of my office and ugly cry for around 10-minutes vacillating between feeling sorry for myself, scolding myself for it and then trying to make myself feel better (by saying it was “okay to not be okay”)?
Still, I can not believe how drastically different my life is without him. I still ask myself “NOW WHAT?” … What the hell am I supposed to do without him? I don’t have the answer. In truth, I have more questions than answers and I think that’s okay for right now. It has to be because it is what I’ve got.
Maybe, I will find the answers to the questions I ask in the stillness and in the quiet of the lockdown Covid19 has created. Maybe, while distancing from others, I will become closer to myself. And, perhaps, I will “hear” what my Soul has to say while I retreat into mandatory solitude. Maybe, I will figure out the direction of my life when I am forced to be alone – sheltering in place without the man I love.
I gave myself a haircut at home this week. Well maybe it’s not exactly heroic to get a haircut but it took a lot of courage to do it. Not because I might miss a spot or screw up and shave a line across my head but because I had to do it myself. It’s […]