Just before Christmas, in 2002, Megan and I met. A few weeks later, and I was already invited to her family’s home for Christmas dinner and gifts. I was accepted into their clan with open arms, and I’ve been a part of their family ever since. I’ve been at Christmas dinner in 2005, not long after Megan’s brother died. I was there in 2010, a week before Megan got her lung transplant, where we weren’t sure if she would be there for 2011. I was there in 2014, a month after Megan died, followed a few weeks later by both her grandmother and great-grandmother.
I was there last year, where it seemed there were more people missing from the family than were present. By Christmas this year, Megan’s grandfather has also passed.
One would think that this holiday would become more and more somber each year. The family is seemingly shrinking, if one looks only at those that are no longer here.Read more
I've lived in lots of places in my life so far. I was born in Maryland and raised in Arlington, Virginia until I was 6, at which time we moved to nearby McLean. I attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC and lived on campus there, moving each year, in the dorms and residential housing. After college I moved back in with my parents, and then in with my boyfriend in Arlington, and then he and I moved to another house in DC for awhile after that.Read more
I'm sitting here in my parent's beautiful backyard on this kind of surprisingly balmy early fall evening in Virginia wondering what on earth I can say about what's going on in my life right now. How can I describe the agony of change and decision and helplessness while keeping private things private? How can I honestly tell my dear fellow widows and widowers the truth of what we've been dealing with while also maintaining the dignity of my father? How do I reveal to my beautiful community of friends in Hawaii that I may be leaving? How do I reconcile the pain of the thought of that move with the many, many signs that are appearing that my future may lay elsewhere?Read more
I'm not sure how long I will be able to continue to write here at Widow’s Voice. It breaks my heart to think that, and to write that, but various things are moving at a seriously rapid pace and I can barely keep up.
No one thinks about the prospect of being widowed when they get married. You are starting a brand new life together and things look shiny and new. But think about it. Fifty per cent of all people who get married (and stay married) will ultimately be widowed. Eventually, one of them will die. When I exclaimed to a friend how surprised I was about how many widowed friends I have, they said, well, people get married, and they die.
There's nothing special, or particular, about Saturdays. And I’m not sure when, how or why it started. Maybe a few months ago. Somewhere along the way I just started noticing how quickly the weeks seem to be speeding by. Yawn. Oh, wow, another Saturday morning already. How is that possible?
I lie there staring at the ceiling for a few moments before getting out of bed to let the dogs out. I try to fathom how much life I’ve lived without Mike already. I wonder how many more Saturdays I will wake without him.
This has been a week during which my world has been dominated by Biology 101. I have to smile as I type that, because I never, ever imagined I would be excited about studying biology, of all things. You have to know, my mom was a biologist and spent most of her career as a college level teacher. She’s retired now, but she was always telling me about how people “of a certain age” would come through her doors preparing for a new career, and that it was never too late for me. I always shooed her and her science aside, me of the right brain-dominated world. So I think she’s a little surprised herself that I’ve taken this leap towards a healthcare field. And something feels right about it for me, that maybe I’m finally taking a little of my mom’s advice. And it’s nice to parley with her in that very specific lingo.
One of the often-discussed topics between widowed people, at least in my circles, regards dating and other relationships we develop after the death of our husbands or wives. Only we widowed people know the challenges surrounding that issue, and each and every one of us has different ways of approaching it.
This image perfectly sums up my post for today. There are times in our life when our path to somewhere ends, and from that moment on, we have to begin making decisions for another journey. We have to decide to stay on the shore, at the end of that life, or wade out into the unknown and swim toward some unknown future, trusting we will be able to make it to a new and beautiful shore.
Last week I had a really bad day. I don’t know if it was just a buildup of emotions because I’ve been so busy lately, or if hormones were just doing their thing randomly, or I was trying really hard to just not feel some stuff, but wow. I went over to my place to pack some more things to bring over to Mike’s place… and I just lost my shit. I cried, and I cried, and I cried some more. I felt so completely sad to be moving. For a lot of reasons... but mostly, I am figuring out, because I'm feeling thrown back into the currents a bit again. And every time I feel that way, I am reminded that my life is currently a "plan-B". That the path I was on ended one day, and I just had to get out there and swim...Read more
It’s been an epic week. No other way to say it.
Since my boyfriend is out of town for two weeks I took the opportunity to get ahead of the possibility that I may lose this house and do a massive purge. So for three days I sweated and lifted and sorted and threw away and arranged in my carport for a garage sale. That part was really, really hard…hard physically, and hard emotionally. Even though I’ve already sorted through, given away and donated most of Mike’s stuff, there was still a lot of things of his left…and things we had together. So many memories. If there is a door that closes after a chapter of life ends, I found that door and moved stuff out of the way so I could close it…that will come later.