Understanding "Freedom"

The Fourth of July - All things summer right? It’s cookouts, pool, family, sunscreen and fireworks. All the freedoms you get living in the good ole USA. It’s funny how the word freedom is used. By definition, freedom means you are not enslaved or forced to act or be a certain way. You are not trapped. Of course, for the USA freedom means all of those things to show our independence. Interesting, that word freedom, because it is purely based on one’s perception of the situation.

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The E.R. and July

It is July right now, which means it is the countdown to "death day" once again.

That day when I literally woke up, and my healthy, 46 yr old husband, had left for work, collapsed at work, been rushed by ambulance to the E.R., and, oh yeah - 


That day , July 13th, when I called a cab and then got into a cab - which I stll dont remember doing - and ran into the E.R. , to be met with a gaggle of nurses and doctors, who would solemnly and calmly inform me that my beautiful husband had died. 

Eight years later, it still doesnt seem real, when I think back on that day. 

It still gives me chills and a nauseous feeling to go there in my brain, 

and the E.R. still gives me pains of anxiety, panic, and a feeling like someone is punching me in the gut,

over and over,

until my husband is dead,

and I am dead,

from the sheer knowing of it. 

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Thoughts About the Dead

I miss the weight of her body on top of me falling asleep.


I miss how white her teeth were and how her tying bells aroourful skirts from Rajastan. 


I miss watching her tying bells around her ankles and practicing classical Indian dance.


I miss hearing her opinions on politics, race, climate change, gender and the cosmos.


I even miss her putting on music!

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Dreaming Together

The death of your significant other can have a tendency to place your goals and dreams on hold.  You may have been planning a major purchase together...a new home, a vehicle, or even a major furniture or appliance buy.  It might have been that trip to the Grand Canyon or Alaska you had dreamed of for years. Kids? That was always a “sometime soon” until they went ahead and got themselves dead.  An experience that the two of you wanted to have together suddenly not only seems impossible, but undesirable, because it will only "remind you of them".

Just about anything that you and your partner had a shared dream of is, quite effectively, brought to a halt.  "Life keeps on moving" is indeed true, but mainly in the sense that it’s "day to day" life that keeps on moving.  Bills aren't suspended and your place of work doesn't close up shop, donating their profits to you. Your widow card doesn't come with free lunch or retail discounts.  We widows still HAVE to keep living, it’s just not the fun parts of life.  

But your dreams?  Well, there goes that.  Who the hell wants to go to the Grand Canyon, and bawl not because of the sheer beauty, but because our person isn’t there to see it with us?  Why would I move now? This was the house Megan and I shared...that place in the country won’t be enjoyable anymore, because I’m just reminded that we never got there “together”. 

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One of my goals is to become more present. I want to learn to live in the moment. I want to exist more consciously again. When Mike died I lost my ability to focus on the here and now. Looking back, maybe I never had this capability; but, when he was alive, at least I did not spend as much time lost in my thoughts. What has become my "new normal", is not normal at all.

I yearn to be ordinary again. I crave the simplicity of the old version of my life. But, again my heart is wishing for something that it can't have. I’m going to have to take what I’ve got and make the very best of it. And, really what I have is not too bad, all things considered.


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A Widow, A Mother, and A Wedding Dress

I’ve been in Texas on vacation for a few weeks, hence my absence here. I have however been waiting to share something very special that happened while we were down there. If you’re new here, I lost my fiance Drew 7 years ago in a crash. I am now engaged to a widower, Mike, and we have this new little blended family together with his daughter Shelby. When we go back to Texas for visits, we are usually visiting all of my friends and also, Drew’s family. We stay with them for usually half the trip. In fact, we sleep in Drew's bedroom, which weirdly enough isn't ever weird at all.

Since day one they have loved me as part of their own family. The week after Drew died, his mom and I were sitting together hugging and crying and she told me that when the day comes that I am with someone new, she would be honored to be the Mother of the Bride. Yeah, I cried a lot. 

Since I lost my own mom when I was nine, these words have continued to be some of the most memorable of my life. They told me so much about the heart of this woman, who was enduring the worst shock and pain of losing her son - her firstborn - only a week before. It told me that she felt the same way I did, that she and I were each other’s connection to him and we were never letting that go. Over time, it has grown into so much more.

It is no surprise then, that when Mike proposed to me (At Drew's parents' house on Christmas Eve, which I wrote about here), she was the one and only person I could imagine having with me to go dress shopping. So, while Mike, Shelby and I were down in Texas, Drew’s mom and I went out one afternoon together to go wedding dress shopping. We thought initially we’d just see what’s out there, not expecting to find THE one. What unfolded was one of the most beautifully bittersweet and incredibly surreal moments of my life.

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Sometimes the Scary Thing Brings the Most Support - Sharing

So I’ll finally share with you that when Clayton passed away I was terrified of the insecurity and my financial stability. I had no idea what to do and the thought of getting a third job (because grief is my second job) was overwhelming.

At the time, my sister had started using essential oils and had just started sharing them with her friends and was able to earn a little money on the side.  In her desire to help after Clayton’s death, she sent me some of their products and I began resting better.  It also gave me something I could focus on and learn about. So my sister, being amazing, said “Let’s do this business together. You can do as little or as much as you want.”

I was hesitant for all the reasons someone could have been but I was at rock bottom and this was the only rope being thrown down to me. I said yes, grabbed the rope and started to climb. That was a little over a year ago. I have worked hard at my own pace and that hard work has paid off financially enough for me to cover the bills. Not millions of dollars but no grandiose dream was ever promised to me. No rug has been pulled out from under me and everything has been straightforward and legitimate. No I’m not going to name the company, this isn’t a sales pitch. This is part of my journey through widowhood and if I didn’t share then I wouldn’t be honest. And since the importance of sharing is the point of this week’s post..

Since Clayton had passed, I held many things in. Let’s be honest, I held and hid many things while I cared for him. I didn’t want him to see me upset and I buried those feelings. I didn’t share with many because I had to be strong but, since his passing, the need for the emotional dam doesn’t exist and the dam is starting to crumble. If I don’t share, that dam will break and so will I. As hard as it is, I need to share my story because that is my Why. Why I can go on.

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You Feel Far Away

It's been almost 8 years since you died.
I moved out of our apartment long ago.
Then I moved again. 
And then again. 
Then I made a big move out of the NY area completely - leaving where we shared all of our years together. 
I have a totally different job than when you were alive. 
I'm going into real estate. 
I wrote about you. About us.
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Adding it All Up~

April 21, 2013.

11:21 pm.

It all stopped at that moment.

He took a quick breath in.

So did I.

And that was it.

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Sunday morning I took myself to a diner for breakfast.

Our diner.

It was not easy to go there without him. I’ve done it before, but never on a Sunday, their busiest day. I said “ for one”, and I sat myself at the countertop. 
I ordered myself a coffee - for one.
Great tunes were playing.
And, it felt good to be there.

I will admit, I did almost cried on the way there as it’s on the way to Mike’s house. The intersections, the pub, the grocery stores, the drive-in. All of it. It’s all still here, even now that he’s not. To say the drive was filled with emotional landmines is an understatement. But, like all good things, breakfast was worth it.  I’m worth it.  Mike is glad I came.  I can feel it.



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