Quite early on in this widowed life, as I went out on the road and realized that I didn't recognize myself or my life in any way since the night of April 21...
I remember thinking to myself...though it was more in the way of torturing myself...with the thought...
What if Chuck were to come back to life?
Would he recognize me?
How could he possibly recognize me when I no longer had any sense of who I was or what I looked like and everything inside of me was frozen?
The mere thought that he might not recognize me caused me immeasureable pain loaded on top of the pain of his death.
Because he might come back, right?
Reality had nothing to do with it for me.
It was like shards of glass embedded in my skin, that question.
Embedded in my skin and in my blood vessels as I stood in hundreds of campgrounds around the country, looking up at the night sky in futile frustration, asking what the ever loving FUCK happened to my life?Read more
It’s been a good week. By most objective and subjective measures, it’s been a good week. For me.
And I realise it’s been a horrendous week and few days for anyone who is newly widowed, grieving, going through date landmines, dealing with death-admin. I am not a follower of Basketball, American or any other type, but god knows I have some sense of what Vanessa Laine Bryant must be beginning to experience, losing both a spouse and a child as both she and I have done.
I don’t want to be in her shoes. Even though I am, to a degree. I don’t want to be in anyone’s shoes who is so totally sucked into ground zero. I hope she finds community. Not just with widbuds, and not just with people who have lost a child, but with people who have lost a spouse AND a child. It hurts just to try to put myself in her shoes for a few minutes. I can’t. I recoil at the horror. I am sure she is too.
I am sure she will hear people say, “Oh – but at least she’s got money”. “Oh – at least she still has 3 daughters”. Oh – at least the youngest won’t grieve because she won’t remember her dad”. I would love to spare her the platitudes. But they will come. And she will wonder why she feels so angry around people’s “comforting” statements.Read more
Many people make resolutions in January.
I simply picked a word.
I picked a word to guide me into the new decade.
This is my word.
I’m not talking about romantic love.
I’m talking about: Big Love, Agape Love, Self-Love.
And, mostly I am talking about Love of Life.
The life I have in front of me.
The life I have been given.
The one that is vastly different than the one I imagined...
I am striving to love the moment I’m in.
I want to fall in love with the present (again).
I do not want to wish it away foolishly seeking more or less.
I will choose (again and again) to love the beautiful life I have.
Even though it’s not the life I imagined, I will accept it and learn to love it as completely as I loved Mike when he was alive.
I intend to live like it is the golden hour because how can I be sure it's not.
After awhile, our friends and family don't get the daily loss reminders we do. I get these strong urges to post on social media and remind them but those posts have evolved into a way to try and help anyone who needs it. This week, as I sit in my car, I just started writting.....
It’s been almost 2 years since Clayton passed away. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like an eternity.Read more
So my entire post just disappeared.
Just like my life.
Just like my husband.
Im so incredibly annoyed right now.
I wrote a brilliant post.
It was off the top of my head.
It was called "Rebuild",
and it was this amazing metaphor all about having a house built
and how if it took years to build a house and the builders kept making mistakes
and then had to tear it down,
and start over,
you would fire them.
But in widowhood,
thats what we do,
We rebuild and rebuild and rebuild,
and then tear down when its not working,
and start over.Read more
January 1, 2020 was a milestone. I didn’t mention it to anyone. I never said a word.
Over the last 500 (now 522) days, I have written a lot of words about my grief, the unending sense of loss, the brutal physical and emotional pain, the heartache and the heartbreak, the deep-rooted trauma and post-traumatic stress, as well as many other things related to how I have been since becoming a widower. And my experience is not as unique as some may think.
Those who knew me before all this, know how much I adored Suzanne. She was my best friend. In many ways, and at many times, it felt like she was my only friend. In a recent blog post, a good friend (and fellow widow) said she missed being someone’s “first priority”. I was Suzanne’s and she was mine. As widowed people, I think we can all relate to that.
So where am I now? In the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and now more than a year since Suzi died, I have become a different person. Widows all do. Many of my “old” friends are no longer part of my life. Even if they were, they probably would no longer recognize me regardless. It’s not just physically that I have changed either (dropping nearly 20-lbs, growing a beard). It’s my mental and emotional Self that has changed. I am different.Read more
I spent last weekend, starting on Thursday, at a rally for people who own T@b trailers, as I do.
My little rig has been my home on the road in the years since Chuck's death.
It's tiny in every way, but still has a surprising amount of room inside of it, for me and for storage.
I'm 5'1 and it gives me a little bit of clearance over my head.
I can take a few steps to each side.
It's all the space I'm interested in having.
Large spaces, such as are to be found in an apartment or a house, overwhelm me since Chuck's death.Read more
When I was turning 20, (back in the last millennium, and indeed more than a decade before its end), a few people asked me, “what do you want for your 20th birthday?”
I answered, “Twenty years between now and when I am 30”.
I thought it was a very clever answer. And it was also an honest answer, based on my worldview at the time. My worldview was that, “by the time you’re 30 you need to be somewhat in a career, have a profession, and be in a steady relationship”. (Seriously, did I ever believe that kind of stuff?)
AND what felt even more important to me when I was 20 was that I also travel to lots of interesting places, meet lots of lovely people, (including a few lovely men), play the field a little – or a lot, and then perhaps possibly maybe “settle down” into something resembling a career, relationship, and even a family. But how the heck to do that within 10 years? Unless I somehow got cloned (not a real possibility as this was still almost ten years before the birth of Dolly the Sheep).
In the end I had a full ten years between 20 and 30, not more, not less, just like those of us lucky ones who get to live until we are 30. And I managed to get a good bit done work-, travel-, and relationship-wise. There wasn’t so much “playing the field” as I met Mike when I was 20 ½. I realised pretty early on that I wanted to be with him into my old age, and that meant that the dating plan had to evaporate.Read more
Lately, Mike feels so far away. It is very hard to properly describe, but I will give it a try. He has taken on the feel of a memory. Now, Mike feels like more of a memory than my person. I feel lousy admitting this. It sort of feels like he is dying all over again.
In my head, Mike feels like someone who lived once upon a time - in another lifetime. Writing this and committing these thoughts to paper feels unsettling to me. It is completely jarring. I dislike that the man I love has taken on the feel of a familiar character in my favorite book. Once upon a time, Mike was real. He was flesh and blood not so long ago. And, now it seems like he lived in another place and another time. And, really, I guess he did.
Today, it does not feel like it was in my lifetime that he shared his life with me. This is the stuff that fills my head and breaks my heart. This is the stuff that widowhood is made of. Dammit. There is no happy ending I can possibly write to any of this.
The man I love now feels like a memory.
Read that again.
And, now read it another time.
The man I love now feels like a memory...
He feels so far away.
He feels like a lifetime ago.
He does not feel real anymore.
He doesn't feel real anymore because he is not.
He's not real anymore...