I'm in Virginia now visiting my folks, in the house where I grew up. The summer after Mike died I visited here too, and was inconsolable...memories of texting my friend and fellow widow Margaret late into the night, sobbing, tears streaming down my face...unable to conceive of a world, or a life, without him. Every visit since tinged with those memories, and also creating new ones. Three years later I can't help but feel I have been swept along into a place I never could have imagined. A very different life built in the wake of his death in Kona, a new boyfriend, lots of new friends, many of whom happen also to be widowed...and now, this year, the feeling that I am ready to spread my wings a little.Read more
I’ve followed a somewhat standard path in my adult years. Megan and I met in 2002, married and bought a house in 2005, and had Shelby in 2007. Notwithstanding her illness and the extra events associated with it, we had followed a fairly “textbook” sequence of events. We were effectively playing the “Game of Life”, spinning the wheel, and seeing where we landed.
We took vacations, attended school events, and explored new and interesting things in our city all of the time. I worked a 40 hour week, with good benefits and insurance, and came home to my little 1/6th acre in the suburbs and mowed the lawn, had a beer, and ate dinner with my family.
The elephant in the room, through our entire relationship, was the fact that she had Cystic Fibrosis, and likely wasn’t going to make it to 40 years old.
Death is never far from my mind. That probably resonates with plenty of other widowed people, as well as some who have suffered the passing of someone close to them. This past month, a friend of mine died, far too young. But my mom’s friend died too, which was very sad and perhaps unnecessary given the particular circumstances. Another extended family member was also lost, and a family friend is entering hospice. And we have another new writer here at Widow’s Voice. While I am happy to welcome her to this wonderful organization, it is always a terrible thing too, to be here where we are.
Is it progress, in grief, when you realize that, fuck it looks like I'm going to live after all? When you realize that you must create a life because you're still alive, even if your wish is to not be alive, because you're so done with the whole damn missing business?
But you are alive and, therefore, practical shit is required, so you make up your mind to take care of, and tend to, the practical shit even though you don't want to, even as your heart fights doing so.Read more
I really am crazy.
I know it.
But I must do a fairly good job of appearing not only not crazy but really rational and okay, because nobody else thinks I’m crazy.
They would if they knew what my heart really looks like and what the inside of my mind looks like.
But none of that is evident on the outside.Read more
I’ve been thinking about death a lot this week…how could you not. Not only do we have our own personal losses always dangling in our hearts, but when well known cultural icons pass away the whole world mourns for them and then it’s everywhere.