Emma Pearson

My life is a whirling mix of swishy strands, dark and glowing brightly, rough and silky smooth – all attempting to be seen, felt and integrated at once. Here are some of my themes. 

I am British and now recently also French (because of Brexit), and I have lived in France for the past 21 years. I am 52 and sometimes feel to be an “older widow”, and yet I feel so young. I lost my best male friend Don to bowel cancer in September 2015, my brother Edward to glioblastoma in January 2016, my husband Mike to pancreatic cancer in April 2017, and my sweet youngest child, Julia, to grief-related suicide, in July 2019. And I met a new love (let’s call him Medjool, after my favourite kind of date), off one single meeting on a dating website. Our relationship has exploded into blossom as of June 2019. 

I am widowed and I am in a new relationship. I have lost a best friend, a sweet brother, a beloved husband and a precious child, and I still have both parents who are alive and well. I live my days with my grief wrapped in love and my love wrapped in grief. I no longer even try to make sense of anything. I just hope to keep on loving and living for as long as I can, while grieving the losses of loves that are no longer breathing by my side.

I suspect my writing here will be a complex mish-mash of love and sorrow. I also write on http://www.widowingemptynests.com/.

Sticky Issues

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.

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  • commented on What's hard for Two Widowed People in Love: Two Second Fiddles 2020-01-21 03:53:40 -0800
    Beautiful and honest sharing – I love it when you share your post spot. I learn every time from you two.
    And I cried too as I read this – the heartbreak on top of the heartbreak, the second guessing, the total absence of a strong picture of their “first” person (unlike with a divorced person where you can meet them). It’s just a messy minefield and I think the only way through is holding onto the love.

    Thank you for your courage.

  • commented on Farewell 2019 and Readers 2020-01-05 01:25:51 -0800
    thank you for your writing, Mari Posa, and thank you for your wisdom around your health and priorities

  • commented on Long lost Pineapple Shorts 2020-01-05 01:24:38 -0800
    please send photos of you in Tin’s pineapple shorts!

  • commented on Talking to Fear 2019-12-09 10:51:03 -0800
    “Gradually, I’ve been learning how to let my fears have room inside me, without letting them run the show”.

    I love how you let your emotions have a conversation inside of you. Sort of like mini family therapy. Actually, this is a form of legit therapy, and you’re right, it’s vital to make space for all. It also reminds me of Rumi’s poem, The Guest House.

    Beautifully expressed, Sarah

  • @emmappearson tweeted link to One-Time Donation. 2019-11-26 00:51:51 -0800
    Just made a donation to Soaring Spirits International https://www.soaringspirits.org/one-time-donation?recruiter_id=42114

    One-Time Donation

    *All donations are processed in US$


  • commented on Getting More than You Give 2019-11-11 04:50:40 -0800
    “I can’t think of a single other group of people I would more rather pour my heart into”.

    I also totally believe that we are beacons in the dark, lighthouses on stormy nights, for so many people – not just the widowed but anyone going through a dark night

    I am so sorry not to have been in Toronto, and I am so glad that you & Mike were able to give and give and receive and receive. A kind of beautiful love fest of broken hearts.

  • commented on Another Year Without You 2019-11-04 11:53:02 -0800
    All of it, Stacey
    Each and every word
    and especially
    “I feel like you are farther from me and I am no further ahead”.

  • commented on Caretaker 2019-11-03 23:41:54 -0800
    I am so sorry to be missing Toronto this year
    It’s a hell of a schlep from Europe, and I have my first paid work gig this week since my daughter died in the summer
    It was tough to balance up “earning money” and “spending a couple of thousand” vs the nurturing that I would get, but I made the choice to stay
    I feel less a widow now too – only two years after my Mike died… but it’s because Julia died too in the meantime and i am barely beginning to digest that horror. I need a Soaring Spirits for people who have had a child die, or both a spouse and a child…
    I am sure I will be back in time though. I will get there
    Meanwhile, Mike, just you showing up and being is more than enough

  • commented on Traveler's Remorse 2019-10-26 12:30:32 -0700
    so hard to come home
    and realise that your widowed life was patiently waiting for you on your return
    so very very hard

  • commented on What's hard for Two Widowed People in Love: Card Canceling 2019-10-20 05:53:45 -0700
    beautifully put – it’s all about honesty, transparency, communication, love, fear, and a desire to be our best self
    I learned a lot reading this

  • commented on I Didn't Die 2019-10-14 00:25:10 -0700
    wow – beautiful love, care & attention

  • commented on Phases of Widow 2019-10-14 00:23:38 -0700
    I got goosebumps, reading this

  • commented on Sudden Death Shadows 2019-10-14 00:20:01 -0700
    There goes my mind… off on it’s own horrific adventure.

    You had such scary experiences, lovely Sarah.
    And one of two of my widbuds did have their spouses die under a car as they were repairing it. Shit definitely happens.
    I like that you just sat where you could watch Mike. Still traumatic but possibly a tad less than if you’d been inside worrying and not seeing
    And I am glad Mike texted you at every corner
    Big breath… <3

  • commented on My Aliveness 2019-10-14 00:16:54 -0700
    Year four is going to be about me, not Mike. My fourth year of widowhood is going to be about my life, not his death.

    That’s powerful language, Staci.

  • commented on Engagement from Two Sides 2019-09-17 11:03:56 -0700
    Sarah and Mike – thank you for your openness and your courage writing about this – two sides, of many
    “But sometimes there just isn’t any way around that with grief. Sometimes you just have to let the pain be there”.

  • commented on A Shared Grieving 2019-09-16 23:39:03 -0700
    beautiful and terrible all at once

    stunning, Sarah

  • commented on Your Touch 2019-09-09 22:42:11 -0700
    The “never again” is so very hard. When I had been widowed about 16 months, a widow of 5+ years said that to me, and it was a shock and a blow to hear the words, but now, at almost 2.5 years, I realise just how right she was. The “never again is so very hard”