Stephanie Vendrell

Missing You Always

Dear Mike,

 

Do I have to say how much I miss you? Wherever you are, if you can hear me, you must know this, because I say it all the time. Speaking into the ether, perhaps into a void, not knowing if it is received on your end, but always imagining it is, hoping it is.

 

I see signs from you. At least that is how I choose to interpret the birds that swoop over my path in certain moments, the grasshopper on my door or in my house that appears just when my heart is clenched from a painful memory of what I have lost. That particular song that comes on the radio at that exact right time, and the shooting star that streaks across the heavens at the exact moment I look up into the night sky, thinking of you.

 

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Here I Stand

Yesterday, August 9th, would have been our 18th wedding anniversary.  Can it really be so long since that day we said our vows on that beach in Maui? He died before we made 14. I hear of people married 25 years, 40 years, 55 years…we never got that. But I am grateful for the years we did have. Believe me.

 

One of Mike’s best friends died recently here in Kona. Tabo and his family were endearingly important to our happy welcome to this island when we moved here in 2001. We shared so many meals together, holidays, birthdays. His wife Lani taught me to weave ti plant leis and to pick the flowers from our native Ohia trees…I remember she told me the legend that if you picked an Ohia flower, it would rain, and the day we first did that together, it did indeed start to rain. That time was just purely magical for us, becoming part of life here on this remote island with its rich history.

 

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  • commented on The Interview 2015-08-27 22:37:51 -0700
    Thank you Rebecca. Yes I still need to listen to it all, it is indeed a treasure. I wish I’d recorded more while he was still here, but who was to know. I am home but jet lagged for a few days I’m sure!

  • commented on Across the Pond 2015-08-13 23:46:08 -0700
    Lisa, thank you so much, I will…cheers!

  • commented on Widows Walk 2015-08-07 17:48:15 -0700
    You nailed it Lisa: eventually half of them will. Something to think about. I am glad for everyone here too, and thank you for commenting. Blessings to you.

  • commented on Happy for You, In Pain for Me 2015-08-07 17:47:14 -0700
    Pain and joy in the same breath: yes. Thank you for sharing…have yet to attend a wedding since Mike died. Can only imagine the triggers…

  • commented on Rootless 2015-08-03 20:21:58 -0700
    Yes – yet again we mirror each other. I have been working on such similar thoughts this week, Tricia. But I agree – we cannot outrun our losses. That is an important point. Thank you.

  • commented on Widow Bingo 2015-08-01 16:24:16 -0700
    Probably many of us have learned the hard way that people who have not experienced this type of loss just have no idea what they are talking about. I get the “well you know he’s still with you” all the time and I want to wring their necks. I hope as you said that this day will have some new and lovely memories now – but I also know the hard ones will probably always be there too, as they are for us all. Hugs.

  • commented on Maybe 2015-07-31 17:35:44 -0700
    Wow. What an awesome moment, Kelley. Yes we should all be dreaming big. Not always easy…but SO important. Another hug from me to you. :)

  • commented on Triggered 2015-07-30 22:26:22 -0700
    Hi Jane – thanks for writing. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to abide the reality without them, but I’m glad you went to Camp Widow. It’s a wonderful organization. Blessings to you.

  • commented on Stripped 2015-07-28 17:29:21 -0700
    Beautifully written Tricia…and sad, and so relatable. Our daily routines have changed, as they must, without our partners…and the reminders of the empty space beside us is so painful. Thank you for this.

  • commented on An Unexpected Reason to Smile 2015-07-25 16:41:54 -0700
    I am glad you have such a lovely support network of people who also loved and remembered him. No, no one was as impacted as you by his death, but it is so meaningful to know he is not forgotten by others as well. Those anniversaries are so hard…I found myself sighing a strange sort of relief when that marker passed.

  • commented on She is... 2015-07-26 15:59:53 -0700
    Thank you Yvonne…and Tricia – I find it interesting that our work sometimes seems to mirror each others without planning, as if we are somehow on a similar thought stream. I look forward to reading it…and yes, we do it because we must. So thankful to be sharing it all though.

  • commented on Silver Linings Playbook 2015-07-21 18:20:45 -0700
    I try to focus on silver linings every day…it isn’t always easy, when we do spend so much time thinking about what we’ve lost…but like you I know I would be much more cynical and introverted if I didn’t look for the bright spots. It sounds like Shelby is a very bright spot indeed, you are fortunate that way. I am glad you and Sarah found each other. Maybe some day you will find a way to live closer, but until then, having a friend and someone to love – and who loves you – is about as good as it gets.

  • commented on Dying 2015-07-17 17:01:13 -0700
    Oh Kelley, how AWFUL. On top of everything to have health problems, the scare of it all and not having our guys here to support us just SUCKS. I’ve been going through things myself I’m not ready to write about yet. And I’ve had panic attacks too since Mike died…scariest crap in the world. It all makes me think about my own demise and like you am surprised how much I DO want to live now. Wish I could give you a big hug.

  • commented on Gone Dancing 2015-07-24 16:44:00 -0700
    Hi Joann, I am so sorry for your loss…I have found that writing and sharing about my loss has helped. The community of grief is indeed warm and supportive. I am glad you found Soaring Spirits and Widow’s Voice. It is a terrible time, but you are not alone. Blessings to you.

  • commented on Enough 2015-07-14 14:33:53 -0700
    Looking back at the time of our grief is as hard as looking forward to that future without them. How did we manage it…and how will we manage it? Beautiful and expressive Tricia, thank you, and hugs.

  • commented on The Distance Between Us 2015-07-12 15:00:52 -0700
    I have found quite a few triggers in my new relationship…abandonment issues to be sure, and that is even when he is living in the same house. And you hit it right on the nose that finding someone new doesn’t “fix” everything, and that it really is another chapter in our grief. It’s been hard to explain this to people. Thank you for sharing all this…and I do feel happy you and Mike found each other. At the end of the day there is something to be said for companionship and caring on this earth no matter where we are.

  • commented on The Sisterhood of the Travelling Widows 2015-07-12 00:25:04 -0700
    I LOVE that you have this group. I too have found such solace and support in my widowed friends. There is no way I would be where I am now without them. xoxo

  • commented on What I've Learned 2015-07-20 00:50:49 -0700
    Oh Jennifer I am so terribly sorry for your loss…those first few months are so, so difficult. I am glad you’ve found Widow’s Voice and Soaring Spirits, it’s a wonderful community. Hugs to you.

  • commented on Without Him In It 2015-07-06 16:06:22 -0700
    I too have had my eyes opened to all the grief around me, its many forms, the many reactions…no hierarchy to it, indeed…and yet as you say, something reassuring to share the experience. Your writing continues to touch me very deeply. Thank you Tricia, and hugs to you.

  • commented on New Life, Old Life 2015-07-03 20:28:30 -0700
    SO frigging true. I wish I didn’t get this either…but I do, so very much. Thank you Kelley.

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