Its Sunday, which means I write in here! And for once, I didnt forget! My widow brain seems to be a real thing as of late, even though its been over 12 years since Don died. I wonder – how long can we use “widow brain” as an excuse to just not be competent? How long can I blame my crazy scattered mind that forgets everything, on Don’s sudden death? I’m just gonna go ahead and say FOREVER!!!
Yesterday, I was honored to participate both as a vendor and a speaker, at this really cool event which was titled: “The End of Life Expo.” Doesn’t THAT sound uplifting? lol. This is what I do now. I am part of things with titles like that, and I dont even bat an eye at the strangeness of how it might sound to others. And I get all excited to go to these things and speak about death and loss and grief. It makes me feel alive and filled with purpose to speak about death and dying. What a bizarre turn of events my life has become. Anyway, the event was in New Hampshire, at the Peterburough Community Center, and there were about 20 vendors, each with our own table, and about 9 speakers, who each got on the stage and spoke for about 20 minutes, then took questions. I got to tell my story, and Don’s story, and I got to talk about how we as a society treat people who are grieving, and how we pressure them into “moving on” or “getting over it”, and how we send all the wrong messages – instead of loving them and encouraging them to tell their stories, love forward, and seek peace and meaning in their own lives which have been forever changed by loss. This event had speakers who were death doulas, end of life experts, hospice workers, nurses, and so many other inspiring people doing this work. It felt so good to be among them in this way, and to be able to take my loss and help people with it. I know that Don would be proud, and maybe even a little bit in awe that ALL OF THIS came out of his unexpected death.
On Tuesday, Ill be doing a “Meet the Author” Event at a local library here in Massachusetts, and two local pretty big newspapers both did write-ups about me, and my story. Reading my own story of loss and seeing my photo beside the words and seeing myself quoted – such a strange feeling, and again, one that I am slightly in awe of it’s occurance. It will always feel a combination of warm and good and weird as all hell when these type of things happen, as a result of being widowed.
And now I shall eat breakfast with my husband who is alive (he refers to himself sometimes as “the alive one, not the dead one”, which I feel makes me sound like a murderer or something so it’s not my favorite thing!), and then go out later and lead the Grief Group that I now facilitate at “Alyssa’s Place”, which is a Recovery Center in the next town over. I think today we will talk a bit about the power of telling your story, building legacies, and remembering our people with love, and zero shame.