On April 8, 2015, the strong, steadfast, honourable, mighty, kind, dedicated-to-the-safety-of-the-country, 46 year young Ben Saint-Onge, known as “The Titan,” was told that he had cancer. A rare and incurable type of cancer that chooses it’s prey without rhyme or reason. Just bad luck, they say. You fucking think?
Where do they go?
The memories that you shared
with your partner,
only between you and he,
that now exist,
only inside your heart.
that way he used to tilt his head
to the side
or fold his arms across his chest
when he was looking at me
like I was nuts.
Or the way he laughed,
with his whole body,
from the shoulders all the way down,
shaking and falling forward,
his blue eyes sparkling,
go ...Read more
I got a new fridge this week. Well, new to me. My old one just stopped defrosting itself and a repairman told me it wasn’t worth the cost of repair. So once a week we were standing there with a hairdryer. A friend of mine was redoing her condo and needed to get rid of a fridge, so I hired a handyman to move it to my house and take the old one to the dump.
I had that old fridge at least 12 years. My parents bought it for us back in the days when we had our school here in Kona when money was tight. So a lot of memories of Mike pulling those doors open to search for snacks. A lot of pictures of him and other people we’ve lost on the side of it. Kind of like a memorial fridge, it became.
I am without him.
I say this without pity. It’s more of a sense, even these 4 years later, of disbelief. It’s still surreal. Sometimes I imagine him as a hologram, striding towards me…Read more
In 2011, shortly after Megan’s lung transplant, we decided to have a 5-year plan of moving out of the house we currently live in. We bought this house the year we were married...2005 It’s small, in the city, with a busy highway, shopping area, and rail line within a few hundred yards, lending an ambient soundtrack of engines, train horns, and truck traffic around the clock. The house itself is old, with funky shaped rooms and ceilings, and it creaks and groans, showing it’s age.
But, it was affordable for a young couple just starting out. It was halfway between my work at the time, and our parents...30 minutes either way. The small lot took no time to mow, and the small house was easy on the heating and cooling costs. The neighborhood, noisy as it may be, is pretty safe and decently maintained. It’s not a housing development, with manicured lawns and homeowner’s associations, but it’s not run down or dangerous either. There is a gorgeous river gorge just on the other side of the highway, publicly accessible as a park, and we are 5 minutes from Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
There is a a lot of upside to this little salt-box style, 1.5 story house. Yet, by the time Megan was getting healthier, Shelby was in school, and we were starting to talk about OUR “next chapter”
For the past year I have been lucky enough to share my life and thoughts with you all. My time as come to end, another chapter finished. It has been a blessing to have the opportunity to write for such an amazing organization. And although the point may have been to help those getting through one of the hardest times of their life, this has really been the best therapy I could have ever received.
There is no short cut through grief. It is a process we will have to walk. It is the price of love. But with courage and strength (even on days when you don't think you have an ounce left in you) you can make it through. You do not come to a finish line there is no end but the mountain turns into a hill. Something bearable to walk.
I encourage you all to push yourself. When you feel like you have nothing left, keep going. When your will to live is weak and all you want is to be with the one you lost, keep going. When life without your loved one scares the crap out of you and you just want to hide forever, just keep going.
Accepting that you are still here and they are not is one of the hardest parts. You want time to stop, the world to stop spinning. But this universe will stop for no one. Time is a sick joke give to us. Maybe one day we will be able to understand it all better. But for now all we know is it is limited.
So I encourage you to live! Live out your days with smiles and laughter. Memories of your loved one will never fade you. But don't get stuck in the past look ahead to brighter days. Believe that you deserve happiness and find it. Find it in your children, find it in the ocean waves, find it in knowing you can do something amazing still.
Homesick. This past week I’ve been so painfully homesick, not only for a place but for the people and community that make me feel home. So much has changed in the past few years, most of the time I think I’m pretty used to just being outside of my comfort zone. But then there are days when I’m so tired from that I guess, that I realize how long its been since I’ve truly been in my comfort zone at all. I don’t know why this past week has felt this way. Sometimes I guess there just aren’t any real reasons at all. I’m blaming it on hormones though, I suppose, as it just so happens it is coinciding with good ole Aunt Flow visiting.
Almost every night this past week, my mind is flooded with memories of places I am now far away from, and the memories and feeling of those places. So much so, that I have dreaded going to bed a bit at night… needing a podcast or the TV on just to try and avoid my thoughts...Read more
So, almost exactly 6 years after my husband's sudden death, and after about 2 years of endless dating and even more endless heartache, I have met someone. Not just someone. THE one. Or, as Michele refers to love after loss: "my next great love." He has finally arrived, and isn't it about damn time?
It is very early on in our relationship (2 weeks and 2 days, to be exact), but neither of us has ever experienced this type of "knowing" that it's love, or this kind of intense and yet HEALTHY chemistry. Feelings have developed fast, but nothing feels rushed or forced or unnatural in any way. Plus, it is the kind of relationship where we both are inspired by the other to strive to be the very best version of ourselves that we can be. He is not widowed, but he knows of loss. He has had multiple losses in his life, and hardships, and so we are both in this place of experiencing new things together. For the first time.
What’s going on in the life of this widow this week? It’s been four years, four months, and 11 days. Some things are changed very much, and some not so much.
I still look out over the same view, from the same lanai, in the same house we shared together for 12 years. I still drive through the little town in Hawaii we both fell in love with together every day. I pass shops, restaurants, churches, beaches, and yes, even trees, I know he saw, and loved. Seriously one time this week I was sitting at a traffic light admiring this big, beautiful tree in the median strip and thought, Mike saw this tree. I’m looking at a tree he also saw, probably many many times. I don’t know why I thought that but I did.
Apparently there are great gifts to be found in profound loss.
Or so we're told.
I suppose it's true for some people. We're told it's an opportunity to become more compassionate or more aware or become kinder to those around us.
Hopefully most people are already both those things but maybe not.
Maybe numerous people live their lives unconsciously. Unaware of what's important? Maybe they take things for granted on a regular basis?