Parallel Lives

Six years after my beloved husband's sudden death,

I finally found love again. 

I am deeply, madly, passionately, in love. 

It is wonderful. 

It is terrifying. 

It is crazy weird. 

Being in love with two men. 

 

Im not into bigamy. 

Im not even into threesomes. 

But really, truly ....

that's what this is. 

A threesome. 

But not the kinky kind. 

Not the sex kind that youre thinking of.

 

Its a new kind of threesome. 

One that widowed people invented. 

One that makes little sense to the outside world.

One that gets easily judged,

and ridiculed,

by those who don't understand.

It's a new kind of threesome,

And it goes something like this .... 

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Sorry Too Late

You know that feeling when you walk into a store and see something your beloved late spouse would have liked and for a brief moment, you think, I should get that for him…and then you remember, he’s not here anymore.

 

I went into Costco this week to pick up a few things, and that happened…again. I saw a pair of shorts he would have loved. Honestly, I was so hurried on my errand - I feel maybe too busy these days, my grief had been taking a back seat to my new exploits in career, so it took me a bit by surprise.

 

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You will totally get this...

Alison sent me the following message about her blog post for today. I knew you'd all so get her frustration, so I've decided to post what she sent me, and send her some words of understanding and encouragement for when her computer is working once again.

We love you, Alison!

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A Waste of Worry

Last week I was anxious and annoyed (raging, actually) over the seemingly endless list of things I thought I could not do without Ben.  At the time, the top of my list of stressors was the fact that I was headed off to Camp Widow where I would be attending a Saturday night Masquerade Ball, and I realized there was no one to zip up my dress.  It sent me into a full blown panic. 

Well, one week later and I’m here to tell you that I survived.  Not only did I survive, but I thrived.  Yes, I said it … I thrived.  And I’ll let you in on a secret I have always known on some level but often refused to admit …

My Mother Was Right.

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Common Ground

This morning is actually Tuesday. It’s a cool, quiet morning… the kind that lends itself to some introspection. Mike, Shelby and I will be headed to the mountains in 2 days, to explore the Smokies and watch the Eclipse. Service down there will be sketchy, hence the early writing time this week. Maybe it’s the trip coming up, or my friend passing away recently, but this morning has definitely had me thinking deeply about a lot of things. As I wrote in my journal, which I often do in the morning, I felt like suddenly some things began to take form and become clear that have felt very hazy for some time.

In my journal, I wrote about having coffee with a fellow widowed friend last week, whom I discovered also came from an alcoholic upbringing like I did. As we talked, so very many “odd” parts of ourselves emerged… a feeling of “otherness” that we have had all our lives. A tendency to seem “overly” sensitive to other people about certain things. Social anxiety and discomfort blending our public and private lives. Keeping people at a distance. I had always thought my mother’s death when I was 9 created much of this, but as it turns out, it was probably due to both that and my dad’s drinking combined into a lovely cocktail of chaos.

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Look Up

It is so very difficult trying to explain to someone who doesn't know - what Soaring Spirits International and their biggest program, Camp Widow -means to me. Camp Widow is something that you simply cannot comprehend until you have been there inside the environment. And yet, nobody would want to be in the position to be able to attend, because that means you would have paid the ultimate price - losing your life partner and love to death. And trust me, you do NOT want to be a person in the position to have the requirements to attend Camp Widow. You just don't. 

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Missing You Always

Dear Mike,

 

Do I have to say how much I miss you? Wherever you are, if you can hear me, you must know this, because I say it all the time. Speaking into the ether, perhaps into a void, not knowing if it is received on your end, but always imagining it is, hoping it is.

 

I see signs from you. At least that is how I choose to interpret the birds that swoop over my path in certain moments, the grasshopper on my door or in my house that appears just when my heart is clenched from a painful memory of what I have lost. That particular song that comes on the radio at that exact right time, and the shooting star that streaks across the heavens at the exact moment I look up into the night sky, thinking of you.

 

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Two Buckets~

What I knew instinctively as soon as Chuck died, and what I knew I had to immediately institute with myself and my body language, my behavior, my thinking.

Even though my brain was fogged with devastation.

Grief is isolating.

Do every damn thing you can so that you can’t, you don’t, isolate.  Whether you want to or not.  Don’t isolate.  Therein lies your own living death.

Make yourself visible.  You want to disappear.  Don’t allow it to happen.  Make yourself so visible that people will pay attention and, if you try to disappear, they’ll wonder where you are. This will be your saving grace.

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Hit the Road

In about 36 hours, Shelby, Sarah and I are hitting the road.  We’re not going to Texas, or the beach, or New York, or to visit my parents.  We’re not planning this trip amongst anyone other than ourselves.  I neither desired or solicited anyone else’s input with regards to our plans, other than Sarah and Shelby.  We’re headed to the mountains in North Carolina, because of course we’re headed to the mountains.

In years past, our “family vacations” were, in general, a week-long trip to Myrtle Beach with Megan’s parents and siblings.  Sure, Megan and I’s honeymoon was in Gatlinburg, and just the two of us.  We also spent a week in Yosemite National Park and San Francisco together.  Neither of those trip included Shelby though.  

In 12 years as a couple, 7 of which included Shelby, we took only one trip where we planned and executed everything for ourselves...a trip to Maine.  Shelby still talks about that trip, 5 years later.  She remembers some things from our 4 or 5 trips to the beach, certainly, but it’s Maine that she wants to go back to.

 

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No One To Zip Me Up

I have recently discovered the latest in a list of annoyances caused by being a … (I still choke on the word “widow”) … alone.

As I write this post I am preparing to board a plane tomorrow for San Diego … Widows Camp.  There.  I said it.  I don't fly back in until Sunday night so I have to write the post early.

I’m sure that many of you who read these blog posts are already aware that Widows Camp is this weekend (or, by the time you read this, has just finished).  Many of you are probably attending (or attended) it yourselves and are / were even looking forward to it.  As for me, well, I am forcing myself to go despite the almost unbearable amount of anxiety it is causing me.  I know, I know … I am going to meet with people who may actually understand me and all the shit I’ve gone through, and I should not be anxious about it.  But sometimes knowing how I should feel is just not the way I actually do feel, and this is one of those times.

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