Artist. Writer. Creative Mentor.

Soaring Spirits has had an enormously positive impact on my own life as a widow as well as the lives of so many friends and others. This organization is doing incredible work to help people not only to cope with widowhood, but to learn how to rebuild themselves beautifully... with love, laughter, tears, and authenticity. Most of all, Soaring Spirits gives us hope. Hope that life can still be amazing even after we have lost the most important person in our world. Hope that a beautiful life - one that our partner is always a part of - can be created. 

Coffee with Missing Pieces

4714101112_49b968b236_b.jpgThere I was, at a coffee shop downtown last Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting beside a large window enjoying the rain tapping against the glass as I did some work on my computer, when suddenly my awareness was completely shifted. In that instant, I felt a deep, emptiness that was both piercing and aching at the same time. A screaming hollowness inside me.

What had happened? I overheard a word from one of the two women who sat behind me enjoying lunch together. And that word, was “Mom”.

As I continued to listen in on their conversation, the hole in my heart grew bigger and bigger. The daughter looked to be my age, and here they were, just having an ordinary lunch together. Like this is a thing they do every week. She must have fired off the word “mom” twenty more times as I listened. There was such an ease in their voices. Such a comfortable knowingness of each other. Something I have never experienced as an adult. I teared up, and actually stopped working to grab my journal and write my emotions out….

“I feel it so acutely right now. This hole in me. This lack of security. I wonder if I should go back to counseling. I wonder if I will always have trouble with avoiding things. I wonder if I will always get in my own way, and if somehow all of it is because of this hole. Because of this lack of security deep down in me. I just miss my mom.”

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100% Chance of Rain

A few weeks ago, a milestone came that I have dreaded for a very long time. It’s odd to say that, considering it was my anniversary with someone I love very much. But it wasn’t just any anniversary. It was the third year since the day Mike and I met. The third anniversary was also the last I got to have with Drew… he died six days later, suddenly. This is almost unbelievable to me.. As my 3 years with Mike have felt like a whirlwind, and the same amount of time with Drew felt somehow like a decade.

It’s no surprise that I’ve had many mixed emotions the past few weeks. Emotions about the fact that, going forward from here, each new day with Mike is one more day than what I got to have with Drew. Emotions about Mike dying somehow suddenly a week after our third anniversary. I’ve even had some particularly difficult and confusing dreams as of late… dreams that seem like my mind trying to make sense of it all again, just like in the first year after he died.

I’ve struggled to find words about how all this feels. I haven’t really even journaled about it, which is my usual go-to. So I’m trying here to confront those feelings. I don’t want to. I don’t like these feelings. Because they are so complex. Because I don’t even fully understand them. Because they make me feel guilty for not being 100% joyful when milestones hit. Quite bluntly, I feel resentment. And It feels awful. And Ugly. And not at all like a feeling I want to have.

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  • commented on Food, My Old Friend 2015-08-16 07:15:05 -0700
    I felt the same way last year when I started Crossfit… it felt so good to CARE again. About living. About myself. Yes. I cannot imagine going through what you did, and I can completely understand the logic of how you coped with it. Sitting here with my healthy breakfast and my boring water down south and cheering you on in solidarity! To living and giving a shit again!

  • commented on Widowed... without children 2015-08-16 07:11:23 -0700
    I can relate in a lot of ways. I was not even desiring children at all until I met Drew and was going to have a family with him… sharing the experience together. After he died, that desire dwindled completely. Periodically i have panicked about the time running out crap in case I DID ever want to give birth. And even though I actually would prefer to adopt… society sure does a good job of making the ticking clock thing hard to ignore!

    And then enter Mike and his daughter. No she isn’t my baby and no I didn’t get to raise her from those wee little days or see her walk or talk for the first time… but somehow it fits. In a way I can only describe as my soul knowing that this is the way for me.

    Life is full of surprises… and I think you’ve got the best attitude you can possibly have about all this scary, sad, frustrating shit. All we can do is keep our hearts open and have faith that if we are meant to be mothers – in some way, somehow – we will be. Whether by birth, adoption, or even mentoring other people’s children. And I definitely happen to think you are meant to be one. <3

  • commented on A Big Little First 2015-08-16 06:56:21 -0700
    Thank you both Rebecca and Kelley!!! It really helps to have this place to write about it all, and to know others are listening and supporting all of this. It really really helps on days when I totally lose my mind lol! Love you both!

  • commented on Silver Linings Playbook 2015-07-21 18:35:40 -0700
    It turned out so beautiful… Well done. You inspire me more each day.

  • commented on The Distance Between Us 2015-07-14 13:03:24 -0700
    Thanks Stephanie! It’s definitely just the beginning of a whole new chapter of grieving for sure! But, one with a lot of joy mixed in. And new ways of healing.

    Tricia, I can so relate to what you said. Some times it feels like more loss… but it also feels worth it when we’re together. It had to be so hard to have such a short time with your husband once you did move closer together. Makes me think that perhaps he and I will have to find a way to be near each other even sooner – life is short after all. We never know how long we have. Thank you so much.

  • commented on Pinata 2015-07-10 16:48:38 -0700
    I am SO incredibly proud of you. More than I could even express in words. I won’t even try. This was so beautiful. You made ME cry today. This was exquisite and such an accurate portrayal. It took me back through ALL of it. All the pain, all the crawling, all the fighting, all the confusion, all the anger, all the disbelief, all the sadness. I am so grateful to call you my friend. You inspire me more than I could ever say.

  • commented on Everywhere 2015-06-19 11:34:44 -0700
    I truly loved this. It has been such an honor to watch you live through this. Even though I’m in it too, I have marveled at how you have so fearlessly leaped right into the deep end of everything. I know you will say you don’t know any other way – and that’s what makes you so extraordinary. It is just you being you, doing this grief thing the only way you know how… And your way has been so inspiring to watch. You keep me going more than you know. Love you so much!

  • commented on The Knowing 2015-05-29 17:09:31 -0700
    Freakin BEAUTIFUL. I loved this one. Powerful ending. So so proud of how far both of us have come. And so honored to be your friend.

Artist. Writer. Creative Mentor - making meaning from life's challenges through creativity.
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