I’m sitting in Mike’s spot at the kitchen table.
Wondering how to put my love for this man into words.
As I’m sitting here,
I can’t help but notice that he’s everywhere in this house.
Once upon a time, he sat in this same chair I’m sitting on now.
I notice that my elbow is on the table and I am cupping my cheek in my hand
-exactly like Mike used to do as he sat here, occupying this very same spot.
I remember his wine glass used to be where mine is right now.
There are echoes of him everywhere.
Right at this very moment, my new fiance Mike and daughter Shelby are visiting my late-fiance's family in Texas. We have been here before. We spent Christmas with them in fact this past year. It still is so strange and surreal and beautiful to me how this all works. Mike and I stay in Drew’s old bedroom. Shelby sleeps in his sister’s old room. And we spend all this time hanging out with his family, in their house, with all of their memories. All of the memories of my old life. Somehow it just all works. It just all blends in this wonderful way - all based off love.
One of the most surreal experiences of this is having Mike’s daughter Shelby here… and how excited she is to come to Drew’s parents ranch to see all the animals. To see the cactus and scorpions and the beaches on Padre Island - my hometown. It’s so awesome getting to be the one to expose her to the state I grew up in and all the things I love.
It’s sometimes hard to know that I get so little time to share with her the things I grew up with in my life since we live so far away. Sometimes I wish so much I could share more of my own world with them, for longer. But when we do come down, and I do get to share with them this life that was my life, that was a life I shared with Drew, and a life I lived even long before I met him… it feels so good. It feels so beautiful and rewarding and loving and amazing. I don’t know any other way to say it besides, I feel so safe and secure in this world in a way I don’t when I’m not in Texas. I just feel grounded here.Read more
So you are having a great day. Your future is brightening. The birthday of your passed person is on the horizon so you book two trips to help you through the day and allow yourself to get away and enjoy life.
You don’t want to be alone and think of the 43 candles he won’t be blowing out with you this year. You don’t have to stress about finding the right birthday present but you also don’t get to see his face when his eyes light up as he pulls away the wrapping paper. You want to acknowledge the deep emptiness of the day but you know he would want you to go out and celebrate. He will be there with you. You may not see him but you will feel his presence and know he is there celebrating with you. Your excitement builds with something to look forward too. Finally you have the big boat before the storm hits. You’ve begun to prepare.Read more
When You Love Again,
after life-altering loss -
everything inside of you,
that you will again wake up,
to the very real nightmare,
of a world
where all of it
When You Love Again,
after death has stolen your other life,
and your partner -
you fear looking forward
or toward the future,
because the minute you do,
it all might come crumbling down,
and you will be left,
With the wreckage.
Sometimes, okay, let’s be honest, more often than sometimes, it feels like the best part of my life is over. She is gone. She is gone. And, she is gone. However, at the same time It feels like this is the best part of my life because I get to raise a fantastic daughter. Even though I know that it would be so, so much better if Natasha were still here, there is something magical about this time in my life. I just need to figure out how to work from home, and then things will be easier. Being diagnosed as being visually impaired doesn’t have to be a huge hindrance like losing my wife. But at the same time, come on! How many challenges do I have to face back to back!Read more
This landscape of widowhood.
The Alaskan tundra.
The Sahara Desert.
The Austrailian Outback.
Every side road in between cities and towns.
My friend just texted me about dates. Her text wasn’t about a coffee date or an up coming dinner date. Nope, her text was not about those type of dates. Instead, she was referencing dates on the calendar that are significant because her husband died.
What a Joy Kill is what most people outside of the grief community might think; but, I’m widowed too. I “get it”. I know exactly where she is coming from. I have come to understand how time and grief are intricately and intimately tied together.
My friend's text message made me stopped and deeply think about the practice of “counting days” and “keeping track of time” based on something other than a clock. Time tracking behaviour is common among the bereaved because we are grasping to measure the distance between their aliveness and their deadness. We are trying to understand how their death seems so long ago; yet, in our mind, it concurrently feels like it was only yesterday that they were alive. The reality is that Mike will have been gone from here for three years this November 2019; but to me it feels like only moments ago that he was real in this dimension.
The past month or two has been tough. This time of year usually is. It’s the time of year that led up to when Drew died. These months were some of the happiest in our relationship. He had just gotten his first job as a pilot and was finally living his dreams. We were beginning to look towards our future together, towards a wedding and a new chapter of togetherness. We were at the height of everything and going exciting places… when the crash changed all of that in an instant.
It’s already a hard enough time of year. In the background of living day to day life, I get flashes of memories of the last time we went out to dinner together, or the last time we went for a hike or the last birthday we celebrated together. Flashes of all the happiness and laughter that were ended so abruptly in a crash.
On top of all of that, our anniversary is just a week before the day he died. Forever those two events slam into me almost simultaneously… a one-two punch. And of course it has been on my mind for weeks now leading up to this week. But this time, something else happened on our anniversary a few days ago.
This time, the thing that I never ever wanted to happen, happened. For the entire day of our anniversary…
For the entire day, I was completely unaware of what day it even was. And the whole thing went by without my even realizing it was that special day. It is the horror of all horrors as a widow... to forget an important day. And let me tell you, when it first hit me, I was completely horrified.Read more
Perspective is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone gets tunnel vision but what I have learned is that our loss is actually a painful gift. I know that sounds strange to view the loss of our person as a gift but that’s the only perspective that keeps me going. That there is a reason I finally found Clayton and he was taken away from me. I can share what the loss is so others appreciate what they have, however, people quickly forget the trial and tribulations of others.
It’s so difficult to hear couples complain about each other or aspects of their lives.Read more
Things are hard.
Life is hard.
Sometimes I am convinced that life is much harder for some than for others.
Sometimes it feels like I can never get a break.
Sometimes it feels like I will always struggle and things will always be really hard,
and that is just how my life will be.
I dont know.
None of this is fact.