I am 36 years old. Soon to be 37. Although I’ve held the titles of Marine (6 years), Lifeguard (3 years), Father (10 years), Widower (3 years), Husband (9 years), Boyfriend (9 years, cumulatively), and Student (13 years...I never went to college), the title that has been with me the longest, up to this day, is “Employee” (21 years).
I have been employed since I was 15 years old. I started as a lifeguard in high school, then on to the Marine Corps. After that, I worked retail for a few months, and as an iron pourer in a foundry for the better part of a year before finally landing a job in IT...my “career” field.
The longest stretch of time I’ve had “off” since I was 15 years old was 10 days.
Summer is winding down and I have no idea where the time went. And when I say I have no idea, I mean it both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, because the time has flown by as it always does, and literally because I cannot remember what I did for the last two months. Honestly. I feel like my brain doesn’t work anymore at all. Is this to be a life long by product of Ben’s death?
Ben’s gone forever. Did he have to take my brain with him?Read more
I think one of the hardest things about losing people we love, is that in a way, we lose a part of our own history when they die. Or at least, we lose one of our living, breathing connections to that history. Without those connections to the history of ourselves, I’m learning it can be easy to get lost. I think this has been especially hard because both of my parents are gone along with Drew. I simply do not have a wealth of people in my life that I'm in touch with often who remember all the many moments of my history with me.
There are pieces of me that I wish so badly to reconnect to - parts of myself I’ve struggled to nurture in this new environment because of stress, busyness, my own self-critical nature… who knows what exactly. Parts of me that I think I was beginning to finally nurture a few years ago, but the upheaval of moving I guess interrupted that more than I could have known it would.
They are pieces of me I wish for Mike to know also. Sometimes it feels like all he has known is this person who is constantly battling overwhelm, feeling homesick, trying to make order out of everything, while periodically having complete meltdowns about her inability to cope pretty much all adulting. I’m certain he would disagree of course, but quite honestly I don’t always feel like he is getting to have the best version of me, at least not right now. I know there is so much more in there. I know because I remember her.
For a while now, I think I’ve believed that losing my parents, my fiance, and proximity to my friends and family and the culture of my state back home meant I lost me too. No doubt, it's left me questioning... without any of that around me to help define me anymore… who am I supposed to be now?Read more
It’s one of those days where my thoughts are everywhere, nowhere, and make no sense.
Just a jumble of strange randomness. The kind of thoughts where you can’t sleep, because you can’t stop thinking. But you don’t really know what on earth you are thinking about.
Everything and nothing. That’s what I’m thinking about.Read more
Do you want to know the best thing that happened to me since my husband died?
Meeting other widows.
When I realized I was a widow…the day he died…it floored me. It felt unreal. Surreal.
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.
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.)
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.Read more
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.
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,
by those who don't understand.
It's a new kind of threesome,
And it goes something like this ....Read more
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.