Widowmaker

I was planning, this morning, to write about the total solar eclipse that Sarah, Shelby and I witnessed just a week ago.  As we sat on the banks of the Oconoluftee River in North Carolina, at the foot of the Smoky Mountains and watched the sun disappear, I was speechless, awed, and felt transcendent.

That was the plan, at least.  We had a family vacation to those mountains, topped off by the eclipse, and I was sure it would still be at the forefront of my mind when I sat down to write.

But it’s not.  The memories and pure joy at what I witnessed are still present, certainly, but a little rain storm has consumed my heart and thoughts since last week.  

 

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Musings about life and guilt. Mostly guilt.

Two years ago on August 31, 2015, Ben wrote these words on our personal blog ...

 

"My visits to the BC Cancer Agency only serve to re-enforce my suspicions that by this time next year I’ll be nothing but a memory to everyone. A fond one perhaps, but only a memory. Don’t get me wrong, the people at the BCCA are very kind and helpful but they still leave me with the feeling that I’m going to die. And because of that, I haven’t been feeling very upbeat and positive."  

 

Ben was right.  By August 31st 2016 he was exactly that .... a fond memory.

 

(Insert long ugly cry here.)

 

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Aftermath

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The past few days have been exhausting. As hurricane Harvey slammed into my hometown area - a whole flood of emotions has rained down on me. Mike and I have been glued to the news nonstop. Houston is now getting catastrophic flooding. Many, many people are still missing and unaccounted for in the worst areas. It is torture to watch it all from so far away.

We were up more than half the night when it hit, sending text updates to my friends who stayed in Corpus, because they had no power or internet and were sitting scared in their homes with no way to know what was going on all around them.

One of my best and oldest friends went dark on us around 2am, and we didn’t hear from her again until after 3pm the next day. Even though she was in Corpus and didn’t get the worst of it, I can tell you… it was one of the longest waits ever for me.

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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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