When You Least Expect It

So much of our lives are built upon expectations.  We plan our higher education based on the expectation that we can have a career doing what we love.  We raise children on the expectation that they will succeed even beyond what we ourselves as parents have achieved.  We marry, with the expectation that our partner will be there by our side until one or the other has met their end.  

On the simpler side of things, we expect to be scared, emotional, or laugh when we go to a movie.  We expect hunger to be sated by dinner, and we expect to have thrills and fun at an amusement park.

We expect to be entertained at a concert, enjoying an artist or band plying their trade in front of us.  Then...the unexpected happens.

 

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Live Life

Live life.

Good advice, right?  I have always liked to pass that piece of advice onto my kids whenever I had the opportunity.  “Take time off before University.  Go see the world.  Live your life while you can.”  That’s what we used to say to them. We had all sorts of tidbits of advice which included, "Happiness is a choice, so choose it."  "Be a good person." "Work hard." "Be kind" and "Live Your Life".  We only get one of them.

But then Ben died, and everything changed.  I became torn between wanting my kids to live their lives and wanting them home with me every second.  I became obsessed with controlling everything they did, even when I knew I was being ridiculous.  Even when a little voice inside my head told me to lay off or they would say "Sayonara Mama" and move right out of this house so that they no longer had me breathing down their necks.  Even when I caused my son immense frustration.  Even when I made my daughter cry. 

It seems that after Ben died I no longer wanted them to live the life they wanted … I wanted them to live the life that I wanted.  And I wanted them home, safe, and with me every minute.

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I Get It Now, and I'm Sorry

Lately, I have been finding myself in situations that I have been in before, except this time, Im in the situation as the other person, and the other person is my forever dead husband. The other night, I found myself sitting in his recliner chair, and talking to him in a whisper, which I do from time to time, and I was saying: "I get it now. And I'm sorry." What am I sorry about? Read on .... 

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Junk Mail - Repost

While I am away I am reposting a blog from 2014. This still happens too.

Today I grabbed the mail from the mailbox, saw it was mostly junk, and tossed it on the floor of my car as I sped off downtown for a few errands. Stopped at a stoplight I looked down and noticed a flyer from our local vision center which said brightly, we miss seeing you! Specials now…etc, etc.

I thought for a moment…huh. They miss me? I just got new glasses a couple of months ago. Then with a pang I realized they meant Mike. I reached down to pick it up, my suspicions confirmed. Another piece of mail for him. Another business still unaware. Yeah. I miss seeing him too.

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Yeah, I'm Good With it~

But don’t you want to be happy? Don’t you owe it to your kids to remember you as happy?  Life is supposed to be happy. Maybe you’re depressed. Don’t you want to be happy?

You’ve heard the same questions and comments. I know you have. Because you’re a widow/er just like me and you are surrounded by similar people. Or, if you’re public about your grief, as I am, you hear it from the general public. Less frequently, maybe, as the years pass. But you hear it.  Such comments were more prominent somewhere in my 3rd year.  Apparently, if one is still grieving in the 3rd year, bells of doubt start ringing in the minds of those around you, whispering words like depression complicated grief not moving on not getting on with it medications therapy etc…

I’m embarrassed to admit that, upon hearing these comments (and let’s be honest, it’s thinly veiled criticism because it comes across exactly as it sounds: a judgement, as if I’m doing something wrong), I initially and inevitably ended up defending myself, and trying to explain myself, even as I knew I had no reason to defend myself.  But those words made me feel defensive and attacked. So, I defended.

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Onward and Upward

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“The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step” - Lao Tzu

 

It’s true.  It the most literal sense, one cannot achieve a goal, or complete a journey, without taking a step towards the goal.  No matter how trivial a task may seem, this quote is meant to bring perspective that even the most inconsequential of actions is needed to complete a journey...a single step.  

Where this quote leaves much to be desired, however, is the scope of the journey.  Not every side journey is “1000 miles”.  Some goals are, figuratively, only feet away.  Others may seem so distant that a single step would be insignificant.  Regardless, the second step, and the third and forth and so on could not occur without that first step.

 

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Happy Anniversary, Ben The Titan

At the time of this writing it is September 24th.  Today is my 23rd wedding anniversary.  

I know that everyone out there reading this post can understand that this is a difficult week for me.  I miss Ben beyond measure every single day, but on our anniversary, well, that's one of the tougher ones.

I wrote an anniversary letter to Ben on my personal blog. It was my intent to copy that letter into this blog because I simply do not have the energy to write again this week.  I'm worn out.  I know you get it.

As often tends to happen when one is exhausted, worn out, missing their husband and generally frustrated beyond belief, more things go wrong.  This time was no exception.  It turns out that my idea was not as simple as I imagined it would be.  I was not able to copy my post as I wrote it because the video clips wouldn't upload properly.  I found that frustratingly annoying and was  at the point where I felt like grabbing this computer and tossing it straight out the window.  I want to show off my marriage to the world this week.  I don't want to have to cut out those video clips, you know?

In an effort to save my computer and possibly my sanity (at least what is left of it) I came up with an alternate solution.  I decided to simply provide the link to the post I wrote on my personal blog and to ask you to take just a moment to click on it and read my letter to Ben. Simple, right?  Good idea?  Well, I thought so, until I tried it.  I tried to provide the link but it seemed to not want to work properly either.  Can you feel my frustration here?!

So, I have provided the address to that specific blog post below.  If the link ends up working, that will be fantastic and I hope you will click on it and take a moment to read it in Ben's memory.  But, if the link doesn't work properly, I hope that you will copy and paste it and still take a moment to read my words.  I want to share my love for Ben, with you.

This is the second anniversary that I have celebrated endured without him.  I miss him terribly.

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The Question to Ask our Pain

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Five years ago this week, I turned 30. My fiance had died just 3 months before, suddenly, and I was a field of shrapnel spread out for miles upon miles.

That week five years ago, I decided not to give up my 30th birthday. I decided instead to honor it, because I would only turn 30 one time and I still deserved honoring. With that, Drew’s mom and I hopped on a plane and headed West for the Grand Canyon. I decided if I was going to sit around and cry on my birthday, I was at least going to do it looking at something incredible that I’d never seen before.

It turned out to be the perfect and most sacred place I could imagine being that day. It was hard, no doubt, but it taught me something important. I made that choice not in spite of Drew’s death but because of it. I cast all practicality aside, and I followed my heart leading me to somewhere incredible. And there, on the edge of great canyon cliffs, watching the sun setting the sky on fire as it went down, I learned that I can use his death to lead my life better. I can harness that into experiences I would have never otherwise had. It was the beginning of learning to see purpose in things… perhaps a glimmer into lessons about love that I am starting to see in a deeper way now five years later...

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The Echo

So, I apoligize ahead of time for the sheer laziness of this, but my brain cannot think of even ONE thing to say today, and so I figured a good thing to do would be to re-post a poetry piece that I posted in here a couple of yearss ago. It is ssomething I think will resonate always, that feeling of that empty space where they used to be , and how that feels. I hope it speaks to someone out there. Its called "Talking to the Echo."

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It's Complicated - Repost

While I am away, I am reposting a blog from 2014. Interesting how some things never change.

Recently I've had people say to me, when they learn I've been widowed, well, you know he'll always be with you. I know they say that with all the best intentions...and in a way, I agree, because yes, he will always be in my heart. But it's not as easy as that. Regardless of what my personal spiritual beliefs are, saying something like that can sound awfully close to someone wanting to gloss over the tragedy of the death of my husband and what it means for me in my own life. Easier to say that and hope the conversation will move away from the uncomfortable subject, right? Or am I being difficult here? What do they expect - that I'll say, oh, he will? Well that's great, I feel so much better now! Thanks for letting me know!

 

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