I'm going to die.
Someday, yes, I'm going to die.
I didn't think much about death before Mike died; probably, many of us never do, until or unless we're hit with that horrific reality of losing someone so close to us.
Now, it seems to be constantly on my mind. The trying to make sense of the reality that he is really gone forever...and that someday, I will join him. Because...
We. Are. All. Going. To. Die.
On one of my recent posts one of the comments was about how our ancestors, living in times before modern medicine and the longer life spans we now enjoy, were likely faced with death so much more than we are. I thought of that myself often on my recent trip abroad, visiting places that contained remnants of human habitation so many more hundreds and thousands of years before we have record here in the US.Read more
The past few days since I got home from my trip I've been struggling to readjust to a 10 hour time difference. My sleep has been both in fits and spurts, and long and heavy, and at weird times. But when I woke up this morning after a solid nine hours my first thought was, ok, maybe I'm starting to catch up now, and can get back to normal pretty soon.
Ha! Normal. As if. I can hear you all thinking that, just as immediately as it hit me, what a ridiculous thought that was. What was I thinking? Normal? What the heck is that?
When did I last feel normal, I wondered next? And what was normal? Peace? Comfort? Being used to the way things are, being ok with the way things are? Feeling like the events on any given day were at least reasonably able to be anticipated? I looked it up. The dictionary definition says: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.Read more
The past two weeks I've been on a trip - a week with my folks in Virginia, and as this posts, I'm finishing up another week in the UK visiting my new guy's family.
I am sad that Mike and I didn't travel more together. We did visit my family in Virginia a few times, and he was mesmerized by the place - the lush vegetation, the history - the fireflies. But honestly, after we moved to Hawaii in 2001 we didn't leave the state very often together. The first few years our business kept us here, and then later, when his work took him back and forth to Oahu, he was just too tired from it all, and missing the Big Island too much, to want to go anywhere else.
I used to ask him, tongue in cheek because I always knew the answer, where he wanted to go for a vacation. He would look at me with that familiar twinkle in his eye, strum another chord on his ukulele, and say: Hawaii.Read more
I said to my stepdaughter yesterday after another conversation about some of the fallout in our lives since her Dad died, wow, we've learned so much about grief. It's not something we asked for, but now we understand things like what to say and what not to say to people in mourning. And we can relate to other people who are experiencing loss, with all those details of a reality without our loved ones.
She was telling me how for many months after he died she would reach for the phone to call him, then after a beat remember he was gone. I think we all have had those moments. A lot of us probably have that shock every morning for a long time. That beat it takes for us to wake up to the new, terrible reality that they are gone. But she said that it had been awhile since she reached for the phone like that. It seemed sad to her, somehow, that her brain had maybe processed the reality of his death on another level and stopped making that mistake. I get that. Because it has been a long time since I woke up with that morning jolt too. And there is a grim finality to that realization.Read more
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Robin Williams died this week. Too early. He was in pain. Hard for us all out here who didn't know him personally to imagine this, seeing only what he gave us in his performances - so much laughter, so much character, so much life. But he was. Hard not to think about his widow, and his family, suffering this loss in their private, personal lives. And it brings depression to the forefront, this week. So as we mourn the loss of this spectacular talent, maybe there will be some work done, some awareness brought forth, to help someone else in need out there. I think Mr. Williams might be glad of that, if anything else.Read more
Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky
Since my man and I ain't together,
Keeps rainin' all the time
- Stormy Weather, Billie Holliday
As I type this, not one, but two hurricanes are barreling their way towards the Big Island of Hawaii, where I live. Honestly, I really just found out about all of this on Tuesday. Since Mike died, I don't get the newspaper anymore, nor have I been watching much television news. I'm not sure exactly why. When he was alive, we were both on top of happenings and events, both worldwide and local. Without him around to share it with, it all just seems...meaningless. Or maybe, just too much to handle on top of everything else. Maybe the additional burden of the possibility of having to survive a long emergency without him is something I just haven't had the mental stamina to anticipate. But suddenly, I am reminded that the storms will come whether I'm ready for them or not.Read more
Sometimes I'd swear Mike is here with me. I keep getting the sensation of his presence...or maybe, my mind and heart are just working overtime to remember. To remember how it felt when he was in the room with me. The sound of his breath, his footsteps...how he looked, the familiar freckles on his forearms, his latest mustache creation, his favorite camo t-shirt. That bright, childlike smile he wore. It's like I don't want to forget that feeling of being next to him, or the way his essence permeated my daily life.Read more
Growing up in Virginia my parents always had a lovely garden. They still do, actually. Every year they compost and dig and plant and in the summers appear beautiful tomatoes, beans, eggplants, lettuce and lots of other things. I wasn't much into digging in the dirt when I was a kid though, so when I moved into my first house with Mike in Los Angeles back in 1999 and wanted to start a garden, my parents were a little surprised. But for me, it made it really feel like home. I now had a house and a husband; I felt grounded, and so maybe, the ground called to me.
Mike wasn't much into digging in the dirt either. But he said if I planted hot peppers, which he loved, that he would help me. So we dug out the grass in the back yard and planted all the things we wanted to eat together. I still remember him picking a ripe cherry bomb pepper, taking a bite off the end and declaring it delicious and rather sweet and wouldn't I like to try it; me, not so much. I was afraid of the heat but he insisted it wasn't that hot. Of course the nibble I took also included a few seeds and my mouth exploded into fire! I ran to the garden hose and tried to put it out. He felt bad but we both laughed a long time about that one.
When I found the Soaring Spirits International website, just after I'd finally gone online with my story and shortly before I became one of the seven widow's blogging here at Widow's Voice, I found a deep solace in the smiling faces on the photos of past events at Camp Widow. Here was a group of people dedicated to a beautiful community of support, fellowship, sharing, and friendship. Here was true life, real people...important healing at work.
Here were people devastated like I was, but able to come together, support each other, and find a way to survive.
What a fabulous idea. A place we could all go to meet. To hear each other's stories. To give and receive hugs. To wipe each other's tears. And maybe, even, to laugh together, and create new friendships and memories.Read more