Sarah Treanor

Her Song Lives On

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Last week, I wrote about having a wonderfully ungraceful meltdown from trying to take on and figure out just a bit too much all at once in this new life of mine. In the past week, I’ve slowed WAY down. I’ve stopped making overwhelming to-do lists. I’ve let myself wander and enjoy things. I’ve gone for morning walks and tried to focus on being kinder to myself. I’ve spent more time being quiet, and trying to pay attention to what’s really important. I’ve forced myself - against my will - to be more social and to reach out to support others who might need it too.  

All of this has helped tremendously, but the thing that has really shaken me up and re-aligned my over-analytical brain was something much bigger. On Monday afternoon, I got a phone call from one of my very closest friends. We never call unexpected, so I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, the news was not good. One of our friends had finally passed away, after a lifetime battle with an autoimmune disease that made her body attack itself terribly. And though I would not say we were close friends… she and I became closer because of Drew’s death. She reached out to me, hardly knowing me, and our friendship grew for several years as we wrote back and forth about death, grief, the darkness of life… about art and creativity and our love of nature. She was a talented artist and one of the most unique souls I have ever known. She knew things about life that most of us do not know - those of us who have never had to face our own mortality. I knew things she did not, having lost so many in my life before her. We were always learning from each other, and so even though we were not particularly close friends, it kind of always felt like our souls had known each other for many lifetimes.

Despite all this woman had been through, she had a brightness in her soul that everyone noticed. A brightness perhaps that comes from the burden of knowing you will not live long. And though we knew she would likely pass in a few months, it came more suddenly this week than expected. It hit me harder than I thought it would. And that familiar feeling came… the very pit of my soul could feel that her light had gone out. Her brilliant light, and all of the creative energy and beauty that she brought to this world just by being her and sharing what she loved with all of us… it was gone now. The feeling inside me that whenever I thought of her, I felt her aliveness, and it filled me with a little more of that aliveness too… just knowing she was out there living and being in such a beautiful way. It was all quiet now... except it wasn't actually. The more I listened, the more I began to hear her song again...

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  • commented on Here I Stand 2017-08-13 04:43:33 -0700
    oH my goodness, I know exactly how you feel when you talk about an era passing you by. The years that Drew and I spent together in Dallas were the happiest of my life to date. The most carefree and full of ease. We had a close group of friends there that became like our family. We’d go out every Tuesday night to our regular bar and hang out and laugh till nightfall together. We were there for each other when the bad stuff happened. And while Drew’s death made us all in fact even closer… I left Dallas immediately. So my friends there lost both of us from their day to day lives. Then another from our group moved out to LA. Now, we are all worlds apart, and though we are still just as close, we are all painfully aware that an era has passed us by. Quite simply, nothing will ever be the same as those years in Dallas that we shared together. Almost every time we talk, one of us will mention how much we miss it. Five years later, none of us have stopped missing not just the person we lost – but the brief and beautiful chapter of our lives. I SO get this.

    I am so very sorry for this quite sudden loss, and all of the stuff it’s bringing up for you. I totally understand that feeling about the punctuation on the end of the sentence. So well put. I can’t imagine how hard it will be to move from there. Deep breaths. This journey has SO many different facets of grief and loss doesn’t it? Ugh.

  • commented on Eight Years and Crying 2017-06-10 11:33:41 -0700
    Thank you Linda, your comment made me feel a bit better and a little less alone with this one. Thank you for reading and for sharing with me.

  • commented on Its Not Easy 2017-05-20 18:27:27 -0700
    I really cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be raising her without him. As I’m becoming a mother figure to my new guy’s daughter, i’m terrified constantly by the thought of how i would do it on my own if he died. And I know now that thats always a possibility. It plagues me. I won’t throw any sunshine at you about things getting better and all that jazz. What do I know? All I can say is, this crap sucks, and I’m really really sorry you’re in this position. He should be here for both of you. But I am glad you’re there for her – what a difference you make.

    Its so so hard when we get to that timeline where everyone expects it to be “better”. As soon as I met Mike, everyone just put me into a different category it felt like. “Oh! She’s with someone new! She’s not widowed anymore, it’s all better and we can all breath a sigh of relief now!” was the total vibe. I’m still grieving. I’m still having hard days. And now, I talk less and less about them except maybe on here. No one asks me how I’m doing. No one wants to hear about grief anymore. It feels even lonelier. I journal a lot more now privately, since I don’t really feel like telling other people helps much anymore. That does help me still. Sending you love my friend.

  • commented on Felt Like Goodbye 2017-01-15 08:04:40 -0800
    This so so beautiful. You’ve got me tearing up. I’m SO glad Caitlin is going to be okay, my GOD! What a close call… I’ll be sending good vibes that she makes a speedy recovery, i’m sure she is in so much pain.

    Somewhere in the midst of “re-entering” life as I have come to call it, I feel like i’ve let some of the lessons his death taught me slip from me. I hate that. Moving really did me in, and made me wall off my heart from people a lot for a while. But, those lessons have not entirely left me… they NEVER will. I know that because whenever I feel myself walling off I know something is up now. I know it’s a sign that i need to do the opposite of walling off, and show my heart to people. I know now how much more beautiful life is when we share the hard stuff together. I haven’t given myself the support I’ve needed this past year. As I look back that is clear. This year, the tone is already starting to change. I am deciding to reach out more, and be more vocal and more honest, and it is already helping me feel more grounded.

    Thanks for a wonderful reminder to be honest, be present, and never take any day for granted. Love you!

  • commented on Leaving 2016-12-16 18:10:13 -0800
    I feel about Texas the way you do about NY I think. It was heartbreaking to leave. I’ll never forget that rainy night when we drove across the Texas-Arkansas border and my heart just broke. I can see your hope for the adventures ahead in your words. You’ve come so far. I am so proud of you and it is beautiful to see all that your family is doing for you. I hope for this to be the beginning of some grand new directions for you. I know it will be slow, and challenging, and scary, but I know you will make it through and make it beautiful. Love you so much!

  • commented on The Vastness of the Empty Space~ 2016-12-01 05:00:03 -0800
    I love this. So beautiful. The vastness of that space, this idea really stuck with me. It must be why seeing the Grand Canyon right after he died was so perfect. As vast as that canyon was, is how vast the space inside me felt. It felt like the earth understood such expanses in a way people often don’t. I am saving this… So beautiful and though you search for words, you did find a few today that gave me words I didn’t have. Thank you my friend!

  • commented on Transitions 2016-10-16 07:05:57 -0700
    I teared up with this one, because I remember that you. I remember before you had any hope at all about relationships. I remember when you had such big fear about whether any man would desire you again. I remember wishing you could see you the way we all do – and just how beautiful you are. I remember always knowing and always being confident that you would be loved again… because you are the type to take chances and get out there and try things and push yourself and open your mind and heart, when you are ready to. I always knew it would be, and it is so wonderful to get to watch this part of the journey, where we share in this same knowing of how lovable you really are. I am so proud of you for fully diving into this new phase, and how well you have transitioned this relationship. And how well you listened to your instincts. I mean bravo. Love you!

  • commented on Vernacular 2016-09-18 06:53:04 -0700
    I think i’ve been feeling this a lot lately too, without even realizing it. Especially as my birthday comes up. I remember the very specific way he celebrated me for an entire week around my birthday… how he would tease me for weeks about the presents he’d gotten me, leaving me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. It was distinctly his way of doing things, and his way of making me feel special. His way of humor. His specific kind of goofiness and playfulness. This was a wonderful post. Thank you my friend. <3

  • commented on Your Death Is a Pain In the Ass 2016-08-07 08:02:11 -0700
    I can totally relate to this one in my own ways right now. Even though I have Mike, and yes, he now does all those things Drew used to, there are STILL so many situations going on lately that I would NOT be dealing with if it wasn’t for Drew’s death. I am completely feeling on the same page as you. We need a chat soon. Hang in there, and get your cats outta the effing kitchen when you’re cooking woman!! Love you (mommy)

  • commented on Widowhood Confusion....What? 2016-07-07 05:16:45 -0700
    Yes. So exactly the way I have felt all these years. And even with a new person in my world, my shit is still all over the place. I’m still confused, and still searching for something, and still miss Drew, and I still want to give up sometimes but somehow also am determined to “make something” of this life. Adding a new person into the mix has actually created even new confusion, and fear of him dying too. This widow life is all so damn hard, and so much work. Thank you for this one.

  • commented on The Tsunami of July 2016-07-02 09:39:48 -0700
    This took me right back to my own traumatic day. My own phone call. My own animal screams. All the disbelief. Sometimes its still hard to feel like we have somehow lived this long through it all. Its so surreal.

    I’m thinking of you. sometimes I feel the months after Drew’s death are even harder because that misery stretched on and on. Something about being in the hot Texas summer has brought back a lot of the grief too this week for me, mini flashbacks. I’m on my way back to Ohio now, and so look forward to a phonecall soon to catch up with you. Beautiful post. <3 love you!!!

  • commented on Welcome Our New Writer Michelle Midgett 2016-06-07 10:28:19 -0700
    Sunday’s writer here, saying welcome to Widow’s Voice, and thank you so much for sharing the beginning of your story… I hate for you to have this opportunity, as I do for us all, but we are glad to have you here nonetheless! I’ve been writing around 2 1/2 years here and it has been so very healing for me, I hope it is the same for you. Very beautifully written first post. Looking forward to reading more <3

  • commented on A New Beginning 2016-06-05 06:07:43 -0700
    This was such a good post – boy oh boy have I been there, and still find myself in that same panic from time to time even a year and a half into things with Mike. It’s such a difference from how we were when we entered into relationships before meeting death. Now, we have a knowing, a very deep knowing, as you said. Good for you for leaning into the love and taking the chance to be deeply vulnerable with your new guy. Proud of you!

  • commented on Just Do Something 2016-04-26 11:51:16 -0700
    Thank you for continuing to teach me more about you. It is an honest, vulnerable, brave post… Just saying it again!

  • commented on Dreams Coming True 2016-04-24 05:52:50 -0700
    I loved this post, and it’s so inspiring to see you stepping into this dream and making it reality! I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. Keep on keeping on!!

  • commented on Growing Me Up 2016-04-18 19:56:39 -0700
    Diane, thank you so much for writing to share… it really made my day. What a beautiful memory with your dad. Having walked beside Drew’s mom in her grief these past 4 years, my heart truly hurts for the loss you have felt as well. I’ve in fact met many mother’s who’ve lost children since Drew’s death, and the depth of that loss is about as deep into one’s soul as any could be… of course, because the love is that deep. Like you, Drew’s mom has chosen to continue to build a relationship with him in spirit… I know it has helped her so much (and me!).

    Jonathan died only a few months before Drew, and was only a few years younger. Wow. I’ll never understand why we lose the good ones so young. Sending much love to you, and Jonathan, and your dad! Thank you so much for reading all this time! I am so glad my words could help you, and that yours have helped me today too. :) All my best <3

  • commented on "It Isn't Just Me" 2016-03-18 11:15:08 -0700
    Thank you all for the comments. I am so glad others understand, even if I wish you weren’t going through the same thing as me right now. At least we’re not alone!

  • commented on Free To Be Me 2016-03-18 11:03:36 -0700
    Loved this. I felt exactly the same way. I am in such a different place this time than the last few times, and I got totally new and different things from it. But every single time, it proves to feel like home <3

  • commented on Home, Heart and Facing Fears 2016-01-07 11:05:16 -0800
    Thank you all for these wonderful comments. You each warmed my heart… sometimes it can be weeks without comments on here – and it feels really good to know that people are listening, and caring. My love to you ladies.

    Kelley, a special thank you to you, as someone who was on the other end of the phone those days a year ago when all that happened! Love you so much.

  • commented on Into the Woods 2015-12-20 13:54:18 -0800
    Thank you so much Cathy. We just returned and i have to say it gave me a deeper appreciation for the little comforts and relaxed me so much. I hope you got out for a good hike yourself!