Castle Made of Sand

Monday mornings are typically tough getting back into the grind but when your person’s birthday consumes that first day of a new week’s energy you can barely make it through the day let alone the week. This is the second birthday without him. These milestones seem to be flying by faster and faster but the space Tin filled seems to be just as big as the day he passed. It sometimes feels like I am drowning in the waves of emptiness. There is no other way to describe it.

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Widow Tired

Im Widow Tired. 

Tired of being widowed. 

Tired of milestone dates, grief triggers, and sleepless nights. 

Tired of the simplest things that used to be easy, taking me forever to accomplish. 

Tired of fearing the future, honoring the past, being in the moment. 

I want to be in the moment.  

Its just tiring to have to remind myself all the time,

to stop projecting. 

Stop assuming. 

Stop panicking. 

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On the Bright Side

 

     For some reason, I always feel that this blog should be sad and grief-driven.  But, today I just feel AMAZING!  It would have been our 10th anniversary last week, and yes, it was hard, I mean really hard.  However, it wasn’t nearly as hard as in the past.

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Living on Kairos Time~

I'm continually searching for new and fascinating podcasts to listen to as I drive my Odyssey of Love. Podcasts by people who think outside the box. Live outside expectations. See beyond what we've generally been taught, whether intentionally or culturally.

This perception in thinking isn't new to me; I was raised to read and question and educate myself.

When Chuck and I started our traveling days together, we let go, willingly, of our material possessions. A huge bit of it was donated to friends. What we kept, we'd go through each time we visited our storage unit. 

And what I found was that, as our pile of possessions grew smaller and smaller, I began looking inside of myself. 

Why did I believe what I did? Where did my absolutes come from? And were they serving me in my adult life?

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Underpinnings

When Mike died I felt my foundation shift and collapse. I buried him, but it was me who was buried alive by the wreckage of our dilapitdated life. For a long time I thought that maybe if I stood still he’d come for me.  I thought he would somehow find me and save me from the ruins of our lost life.  Then, after a while, I realized that Mike was not coming back - ever.  I recognized that I was on my own.  I knew that I had to rescue myself.  But, I felt disoriented and far from battle ready.

Early on, Grief had the upper hand because my confidence and self identity were lost and buried deep in the rubble of our shattered life. Even now, I can barely process all the changes that have occurred.

To soothe my Soul, I catch myself instinctively rocking and clutching my collarbone - as I choke for breathe.  I do this more often than I care to admit.  Daily.  My life is not easy anymore.  In fact, it is often so overwhelming that my breath is chaotic.  I'm tired of being out of breath.   

I have to starting participating life in, or it will pass me by.  I know this.  Yet, despite what I know, I have stood still.  I have been standing on the sidelines, waiting to catch my breath for far too long.  I feel myself watching life unfold.  And, I know that I need to get back in the game.  I hate that I have benched myself because I am tired.  I hate that I am sitting out rather than engaging in the game of life.  I am growing impatient with myself and my lack of commitment.  I can't just write about actioning change.  I need to bring my ideas to life.  And, to do this I have to leave the safety and predictability of the sidelines behind.  When I start participating in the game,  I will bring myself back to life.  I know this.  So, it's about time I do this. 

 

 

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Fearing More Death

I recently had a scare over someone close to me dying again. It wasn’t even a true emergency, or anyone in fact having a close call by any means. But this wasn’t just anyone. This was one of my oldest friends and someone who has been a mother to me since my own mom died when I was nine. Now that both of my parents are gone, she is one of only a few people left who were there when I was growing up. And really, she is the last of the keepers of all of my history. All of my stories. 

The other week, after having just returned from a Texas where I got some time to visit with her, I found out she was in the hospital. It wasn’t anything life-threatening, an intestinal issue that she has dealt with before. But, she is getting older, and I’ve been becoming more aware over the last year that her health isn’t as good as it could be. So my brain went into immediate overdrive when I heard she was in the hospital. Made worse by the fact that I had just seen her 3 days before, and was now sitting in my house, some 1400 miles away in Ohio. The pain of not being able to be right there by her side was so big. 

I don’t usually react to triggers in such a big way. But this time, I did. My brain immediately went back into that place of shock and trauma that hit me when Drew died seven years ago. That place where suddenly my life is completely altered and though I am there, still breathing, and my life is still there, something about it is very very wrong. Suddenly I felt the room spinning around me, just like when he died. I began to hyperventilate and exploded into panicked tears that I could not stop for what felt like ages.

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Not an Identity Crisis~

I don't want to only be known as a widow. 

I'm more than that.

But I don't know what I am any longer.

I've heard and read such words so frequently in these 6 years since Chuck's death.

What and who am I now?

Am I single? Am I still married? How do I define myself?

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Sensory Math Replay

Mike is unable to post today, so we went back into our archives and found this gem that he wrote back in 2015.  His words still hold true today, so enjoy this replay of his post...

 

When Megan died, i went into full sensory deprivation mode.  I could no longer see her face, hear her voice, taste her lips, smell her body wash, or touch her skin.  When suddenly, all five of my senses were deprived of their primary stimulant, I became numb.  I would venture to say that this is the case for most widows and widowers.   

Largely, I believe this explains the “fog” that so many of us have and are experiencing.  We become lethargic, depressed, stressed, absent-minded, and unaware of our own surroundings.  Place anyone in an isolation chamber, widowed or not, and eventually, a similar fog will creep in.  

These senses are independent of each other, and each of them are 20% of a whole experience.  When all I wished for was to talk to Megan and hear her voice, I honestly would have been just as happy to see her smile or feel her hug.  But it’s never enough.  I could sit and fantasize about her returning to visit from the other side, all the while knowing that whether she was here for 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 years, it would never have been enough time or sensory stimulation.  

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Another Sunday

It's Sunday again.

Right about now, I should hear you happily humming as you walk down the stairs to start the coffee.

As I lay in our bed, I should notice the familiar sound of the beans grinding. 

Soon, the smell of coffee should be thick in the air. 

There should be music playing in the kitchen.

And, any moment now, my phone should ding and the screen should light up with

- your name.

Right now, you should be sending me my "Good Morning Beautiful" text message.

The same familiar, heartfelt  3 word message you lovingly sent to me every single day.

You sent me this message to me every morning.

You sent this text on your way to work, or from home in our kitchen where you should be right now on this Sunday morning.

You should be making coffee and texting me from the kitchen table.

But, you're not here.

I'm spending another Sunday without you.

 

 

 

 

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The Fear of Taking New Risks

This past week, Mike wrote about how we are continuing a dream he and his late-wife Megan shared as we are looking into getting a camper next year. There were a lot of dreams I had with Drew that never came true too. Even just planning a wedding and spending time on every little detail was something I never got to do with him. Much less a wedding itself. Hell, we didn’t even get to live together yet because we were waiting until he was done with flight school and got his first flying job. We were only a few months into him getting that job, and were finally ready to embark on so many new adventures together that we never got to. Our honeymoon plan was to get a small camper in fact, and travel across the country for a few weeks. 

Seven years later, Mike and I live together. We are engaged, and I am happily planning away every little detail while trying not to hear the whispers of “What if he dies before you ever get to the wedding?”.  We’ve already done so many of the things that Drew and I never got to do. And I’ve done a lot of things that I was only beginning to dream about when he died. I’ve been selling my art and photography and teaching healing workshops. Much of these are dreams that came out of the ashes of his death… dreams that I didn’t realize were buried deep inside me until he died and I had a perspective shift. Or dreams - like writing on this blog - that evolved from my experience with grief and my passion to help support others through it.

There are dreams that I paused when he died. Like the idea of buying that little camper. It was a bit of a different dream than the one Mike and Megan shared. For us, it was a “someday” dream of a tiny teardrop trailer, while they were actively pursuing purchasing a larger travel trailer for their little family. But still, there was a shared dream there that we can now reignite. 

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