A couple of weeks ago, I gave away some of Don's music things - a VOX amp, (like the one The Beatles used, which I know because my husband told me that ALL THE TIME) an equalizer, sound mixer, and more - to a close family friend who is both a sound engineer/ editor, and musician / drummer. I have always given away things that belonged to Don - based on whenever it felt right to me. Right person, right time. Lots of things I have kept, and will keep forever, because they belong with me and nobody else. Like the guitar that I bought him for Christmas one year, that he cherished so much. Or his recliner chair that he napped in and had kitty cats sleeping in his lap on, and that we referred to as his "Archie Bunker chair." All of that, and more, stays with me. But other things, I donated or gave to friends - but always with meaning.Read more
In a few weeks we will hit the four year mark of Mike's death. Four years. On that day I will have survived 1,460 days without him.
I only got 5040 days with him.
Life for those of us left behind continues to speed by. Some days I panic a little that grief has stolen so much time. Then I realize how much grief has taught me, and how much I have grown during this period.Read more
Valentine’s Day draws near and I know that many of us anticipate a day filled with reminders of how our person isn’t here with us, and the pain that gets all twisted up with his or her absence.
I get it, and I feel it too. My and Chuck’s anniversary is just a few days later. Double whammy in the gut.
But, yeah, Valentine’s Day. As cheesy as it can be, as overblown as it often is, still, for me, it’s one more day to celebrate Love. And I’m all about the Love, as most of you know. Love. Love. Love.Read more
Just two weeks ago, I wrote of a friend that was, at the time, fighting for her life in the ICU, hoping for a lung transplant. She was on death’s door, and no one could guess if she would make it another week, waiting for a donor.
I am happy to say, that, as of yesterday, she received her transplant. A call came in late in the night on Sunday, and by 8:00 AM, she was being wheeled into surgery. That’s all well and good. It’s great news, in fact. It’s one less person that is going to die from Cystic Fibrosis this week. I witnessed Megan’s brother Jason in almost the exact same state, back in 2005. He didn’t make it. I witnessed Megan in almost the exact same state in 2011. She DID make it. It’s always hit or miss, but in this particular case, it was a “hit”.
But. There’s always a “but”.Read more
Isn't weird how it's always the little things that set you off. Turn you into a crying blob. I remember being very set on leaving every single thing exactly as it was when Joey was here. Nothing was going to change. We were going to preserve life just as we know it.
But overtime we realize that this just isn't a reality. Living completely in the past will only drive you insane. In order to heal and grow you must allow change in your life, you must allow yourself to evolve just as you would if he were here.
So over time I have changed some photos. I finally took the majority of his clothes out of the closet. Mostly to make more room for mine and also to make the kids quilts. But every time I have changed something like this I always have this terrible feeling of guilt. Like I'm leaving him behind. It's a battle of living in the past and living in the now.
There are days that make you look at the places you are arriving more than the ones you are leaving behind. Mike and I spent most of the afternoon yesterday out hiking. It was the first warm, sunny day we’ve had in ages in Ohio… and it put me in an especially grateful mood just to be existing and feeling the sunshine. We went to a big overlook high up on a ridge, one we hadn’t been to in over a year. It looked out on the river, which snaked and curled down through the valley below.
Afterwards we drove down into the valley to hike around by the river that we had just stood above. It was an area neither Mike nor I had ever hiked before… and it led us to a beautiful cascading waterfall that came out to meet the river from a side creek. It nearly took my breath away. We remembered seeing this very ravine a year ago, from far across the river, not knowing how to reach it. There was a deep feeling of accomplishment about finally discovering the way to get to this spot - particularly as it was quite on accident. I mentioned to Mike, I could sit here all day and watch the water tumbling softly down the thin plates of shale on its journey to the river.Read more
Beginning with a popular quote,
“Sometimes the strongest people are the ones who cry behind closed doors and fight battles that nobody knows about.”
Unknown to most, this is a glimpse of my battle. A glimpse of a widow’s battle.
I search for him as though he’s just lost somewhere waiting to be found.
Late night walks alone on the beach calling his name, yelling out “where are you?” My search is unending because my love is unending.
Visiting the special intimate places where we used to go. Longing to lay under the stars once again in his embrace. The stars don’t seem to shine as brightly now. The trees whisper in the wind but the sound is not as beautiful as his voice. I long to hear his voice. His whisper saying, “I love you”.
How much longer until he comes home?Read more
So, my life used to be nothing but grief. The first few days, months, and even years after losing my husband to sudden death, were filled with grief, almost 24/7. I was always in pain, always crying or trying really hard not to cry, always overcome with emotions and overwhelming intense darkness. Every part of my days and my nights were taken over by grief and loss.
Now, 5 years later, life is life again. There are days, months, moments, that are still filled with grief - but there are also many moments filled with other things. Love, laughter, friends, accomplishments, dreams, and feelings of excitement and fear about the future.Read more
I derive a lot of inspiration reading the other writers here at Widow's Voice. They are all strong, beautiful people with individual stories of tragedy and living this life. I feel honored to be listed on the same page as they are.
Reading Michelle's post this week, Runner Up, made me stop and think. I don't write much about my boyfriend here. A few widowed friends of mine have commented on that fact. They notice. I told them, as I have been telling myself, that this blog is not about him. It's about Mike. Mike and me. Mike's death, and my journey through my grief.Read more
Much of our adult lives are about unbecoming.
Widowhood is very much about unbecoming.
And, like any struggle to unbecome, it can be torturous.
It is torturous. For me, at least. For many of us, I’m sure.
I recognize that I must unbecome who I was. I was Chuck D’s wife.
And oh, how I loved being his wife!
Unbecoming his wife is similar, I imagine though I have no experience to base this on…to being racked, like they did to prisoners in Medieval times. I’m a history buff so please forgive my temporary geekiness.Read more