It’s Saturday night as I write to you all. Today started out rough. The anticipation of Mother’s Day looming always gets to me. It's no surprise - I've been dealing with some of the triggers of this holiday for over 20 years since I lost my mom young. But there are more layers these days, leaving it even tougher at times to navigate. Thoughts of wishing my mom were here to share in my current life. Thoughts of all the other mother figures in my life, who I now live so far away from. Thoughts of Shelby, who seems to breeze through such days with incredible ease, yet still I wonder… is there a moment here and there when she is thinking of and missing her mom? Moments when it’s hard? Or is she like I was, too busy being a kid to really stop and feel all of that at such an age?
There are thoughts of Mike’s wife, Megan, and how much I adore her family and simultaneously feel like she should be here to be celebrated and honored instead of me. There are even passing thoughts of children I might have had with Drew, and what our Mother’s Days would have been like. And of all my widowed friends who did or did not have children that this day is also so hard for. To say the least, it’s a complex day that seems to have a trigger coming at me from every angle.Read more
I am strong, but I am also fragile. My heart feels as though it’s in ever changing pieces, but full at the same time. I am terrified of love, but long for its place in my life again. I am very self-assured but insecure of life around me. Because there are no guarantees and no promises. I make progress daily through this heart ache and take steps to move forwards, to trust in the unknown again. Because I know life is too short to wait for happiness.
Sometimes though just one small trigger takes me back to a day I don’t like to remember and with the memory of that day fear consumes me.Read more
Hello Dead Husband,
There are days,
days like today,
that are not special days,
just regular, boring, rainy days,
where my heart wants so badly,
to be able to
talk to you.
To tell you things.
To lie in bed with you again,
and swing our arms back and forth,
as we hold hands,
and act silly,
and sing our silly songs,
to the kitties,
that we made up.
To make fun of everything,
and laugh so much,
while staying at my parents house,
that my mom says to us at breakfast:
"What on earth were you two giggling about last night?"
We giggled about life.Read more
I have a dear friend here in Kona who recently lost her mother. She was a new friend when Mike died, but had met him, and after discovering we were both writers we decided to get together every so often to write and support each other. She has since become a good friend who saw the rawness of my grief right there in the beginning, but since I've been gone for so long this year, and so busy since my return, we hadn't connected in a long time. So I called her the other day to express my condolences and catch up.
I will sing you to me…..
These words curve around my lower right leg, from knee to ankle.
My 3rd tattoo. My first one says nothin’ but love, our credo in hospice. Those words swirl in a circle on the back of my neck, with the circle ending in a small heart, and the circle is left open. As my heart must be in this new life without him.
My second one simply says Love, and is on the inside of my left wrist, in the exact location where the tumor I named Wilson, first showed up on Chuck. It took a 11-hour surgery and 4 reconstructive surgeries afterwards to rid ourselves of Wilson and reconstruct Chuck’s arm. His right thigh looked like hamburger when they were through.
Each of my tattoos carry special meaning, as all tattoos must.
But…my 3rd tattoo…Read more
It’s been cold, rainy, and just plain miserable for the past two weeks. The brief respite prior to our Texas trip, where it was summerlike for a few days did nothing but remind me that May in Ohio is fickle. You can be sitting outside, sipping a cold beer in the sun one day, and the next, you’re protecting plants from frost and bundling up in winter coats.
Still though, this has been an exceptionally cold and wet month. The coldest in 12 years, and the most rain since 2011. We’re itching to be outside, but frankly, it just sucks.
Fairly often, I struggle to find something poignant or meaningful to write about on these Tuesday mornings...today is no exception. The thing that is circling my mind though, is the weather in May of 2011..the year Megan got her transplant.Read more
May 9,2015. The day my life changed forever. Two years have passed and I am still trying to wrap my head around it. The death certificate says the 10th but I was there. Joey died at that accident scene. He was dead when they pulled him out of the water. He was traveling at 100 miles an hour when he hit that guard rail. He was ejected from the truck and thrown into a creek where he was pinned down 8 feet deep into murky creek water where they found him 30 minutes later. They brought him to the hospital and continued to work on him until 12:07am on the tenth. But he left me on the ninth. This is my life. One I most of the times have a hard time really understanding. But will hit me like it just happen out of no where. I have always worried what his last few seconds of life were like. Did he know. Was he scared. Did he suffer.
The nurse told me there was no water found in his lungs which meant he wasn't breathing by the time he hit the water. I have always tried to find comfort in that. When it came time to sign the paperwork for the autopsy I refused. I couldn't imagine letting them cut him open and dissecting him. So I will never truly know. The death certificate lists drowning and massive skull injury as causes of death.
These are hard facts but these are my reality. These are the things I remember and think about often to this day. Two years, 731 days without his voice, his laugh, him.
Two days ago, I got a phone call no one wants to get, from my friend who got news she never wanted to hear. For the past 6 months, I’ve been on-call for one of my best friends as she goes through the toughest thing she has yet faced in her life. Her dad has been fighting a very aggressive terminal cancer since the holidays, which came quite out of nowhere. Literally, they were hiking the Appalachian Trail last August, and a few months later he goes in the hospital and they tell him he has 6 months to a year to live. He didn’t even make it to 6 months… her phone call to me 2 days ago, was to tell me that he had died the night before.
I burst into tears with her. And I will never forget the moment. I was cooking dinner in the kitchen, Mexican Food for Cinco De Mayo. None of us felt he was that close to death yet. I certainly did not think that this was the phone call I was going to get this week. We cried together, and we talked both about the hard stuff and the stuff that is a relief. His battle was quite short and he did not have a long, painful death. He died peacefully in his sleep. His suffering is over. Of course, I could tell that there was a sense of relief for her, as this whole thing has coincided with her mother also having cancer, and these months have truly pushed them all to the edge. Fortunately, her mom’s was not as serious and she is expected to recover well, but even so, it has been especially draining for them all as a family.Read more
I am only human. Although I know this life is so much bigger than me, the pain still takes a hold of me while you’re not here. Defeated I feel at times, in need of inspiration. In need of you, our love and your strength.
Infuriated, devastated and heart broken. You promised you would protect my heart but it’s shattered. The one person I trusted in most, you have hurt me the most. Unknowingly you took our future from us, you took everything that was anything with your last breath.
I love you.
I don’t like to scream at you but in fleeting moments rage releases “How could you be so stupid!” I hate myself for being angry. It’s not your fault. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be angrier with you than you. My anger is not so much directed to you, I just feel cheated of our happily ever after! Our story was not finished, this was not the life we planned or deserved.
I don’t blame you.Read more
I figured something out this morning, about grief.
It is this ...
Things that happen to you, after the loss of your person, that are painful,
hurt way more.
They hurt more than they did in the previous life.
The "before" life.
In this "after" life,
the one where my person is dead forever,
things that hurt,
They hurt deeper.
They feel more personal.
Its like poking an open wound,
again and again,
So each time you open it,
and poke at it,
and let others poke at it,
inviting them in to see your wound,
and then jab at it,
the pain is worse,
and more intense,
than the last time.
And your insides,
and it hurts like hell,
and it burns like fire,
and it bleeds
from your skin,
and your heart.Read more