My Valley

04_16_09.jpgIt's Thursday. As I lay in my bed pondering all the emotions I've traveled through this week... I can't help but smile and shake my head... Wow. Where the heck did I go this week?? And how did I get back?! 

Have you ever traveled through the depths of the "valley" of grief and lost recognition of who you are? I think and say things that surprise even myself while I'm making my way through the dark. I speak of doubt and my thoughts are easily consumed by hopelessness. I become lazy as the remote control becomes my best ally, my social skills go down the tubes, and I see no end. 

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My Circle ...

This picture is from our last vacation .... we went to Alaska in June of 2007.  Jim died in December, 5 months later.  I love this picture because it really "shows" us.  We didn't know it was being taken and were just enjoying some quiet time together.  We held hands .... all of the time.  I hate how empty my hand feels now.
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Still Looking for Signs

04_14_09.jpgThe weather on the day of Daniel's funeral was spectacular. It was early November, 75 degrees and beautifully sunny. When they covered his grave, all of the funeral flowers were placed on top of it. Although the service was long over, family and friends still lingered, and no one seemed ready to leave. I know for me it was a finality I wasn't yet ready to experience. The kids were playing in the cemetery, picking flowers, running around the headstones, finding the joy in the situation as kids tend to do. I have a very clear memory of watching my son with his cousins as they each picked a flower to keep in Daniel's memory.

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What My Kids Have Taught Me

04_13_09.JPGThere is not much I wouldn't do for my three kids. You know, jump in front of an on-coming train to save their lives, feed them first from my last ration of bread, offer myself as a meal for the hungry bear that is chasing them...pretty much anything.

In the normal course of life moms feed, bathe, clothe, soothe, encourage, celebrate, hold, hug, and protect their little ones through the bumps and bruises associated with living, learning and loving. But when death came knocking, I couldn't protect them.

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Happy Easter?

04_12_09.JPGWishing someone a good day or a nice holiday weekend seems innocuous enough most of the time...but as a new widow well meant wishes from family, friends or strangers struck me like arrows. How exactly am I supposed to have a good day? Why do I care about this holiday? Have you forgotten for a moment that my husband is dead? Some days I could accept the kind words for what they were, other days I lashed out at unsuspecting humans with no screen for the kind of pain I was in.

So today, at my own personal risk, I am going to wish those of you who celebrate this day a Happy Easter. Yes, you heard me right, Happy Easter.

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See You In My Dreams

04_11_09.jpgDreams take on a whole new meaning after the loss of your soul mate. They are a realm you travel to each night, with their population and surroundings always a mystery. Sometimes I have dreams in which I see my love; that smile, that face, that counterpart of my being. There have been times I've been able to speak with him and other times in which I feel as if he cannot see me. There are times in which I am conscious of the fact that he is not alive and times when I feel that I've been thrown into a time machine taking me to a time when he was still here. 

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I saw him...

04_10_09.jpgI saw him. Seven months after he died, I saw him. I was standing outside the Coffee Obsession, and I swear to God, I saw him. It was Mike. He was about three blocks away and talking to a lady. I couldn’t see who she was, but it looked like he was giving her directions as he pointed down the street.

I stood frozen. I knew it wasn’t him. It couldn’t be him. He was gone and I had cried for seven months.

But there he was. It was Mike. It seemed like they talked forever. I was sure he was smiling.

I wanted to get a closer look.

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The truth?

04_09_09.JPGHave you ever had to lie to protect yourself? To protect what's left of you? 

I thought I was ready to go back to work 3 months after David was killed. I have no particular logic as to why I thought it was time to mingle with the "others" but I assumed if I just refused eye contact I'd be OK. 

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The Inconsistency of Consistency ....

04_08_09.JPGIf there's one thing you can count on while on this road through widowhood (and there's not much!) ..... it's how constantly inconsistent everything seems to be ....... especially, but not limited to, our emotions.

I used to think I was crazy ..... early on the path.  I mean, after the first few months of black blurriness, I started to emerge once in a while.  And then I'd realize, at the end of a day, that that day had not been too bad.  If fact, I might have almost called it "good" if that word hadn't seemed so inappropriate!

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Pennies from Heaven

04_06_09.jpgYears ago I was walking with a friend and we came upon a dime lying on the ground. Seeming disappointed, she stooped to pick up the coin saying she thought it was a penny. When I asked why she wanted a penny, she looked up at me and said, "Don't you know the story of pennies from heaven?" After I told her that I'd heard the phrase, but didn't know the story, she explained that anytime you found a penny someone in heaven was thinking of you. I laughed aloud and said that Phil so enjoyed being different I wouldn't doubt he would drop a dime from heaven instead of a penny...just on principle. She stopped in her tracks, looked me in the eye, handed me the dime, and said "Then this must be for you."

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