Makeshift Plan

I do not have it figured out yet.  But, day by day I am getting closer to finding my way back to life.  I have created a makeshift plan that I’m getting excited about. And, being even mildly excited is reason to celebrate because for nearly two years I’ve been completely underwhelmed by my life.

I know that my new life will be very different from the one I imagined sharing with him.  I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is.  The life of have now is completely unrecognizable compared to the life I shared with Mike.  But, this is the life I have. I can not go back to what was because it’s gone.  Our life together died with him. 

Whether I like it or not, I have to live without him. It’s up to me to make something out of my own life.  So, I’m attempting to do just that. And, the plan I’ve come up with is solid. But, it requires me to be patient because I have children under my roof. I can’t launch into big changes immediately, but I am preparing for what I’ve decided is inevitiable.  Finally, I have a plan for my future; and, this plan and my desire to dig back into life makes me very happy.  

For the first year, I simply survived his death. And, this took everything I had.  I discovered that I was built strong; but, my grief broke me in places too.  Now, I understand that breaking is a natural part of the process.  It is necessary and unavoidable.  When you fall to your knees - you will get bruised.  And, when you are forced to crawl in the ruins of your shattered life, you bleed from the shards of what was.  This is also necessary and unavoidable.  


It’s an understatement to say that the first year was compiled of the hardest days,

and long nights of my life.  

It was beyond awful.

But, with time, the bruising has healed.

And, see that my tears serve to cleansed me and ready me for what is ahead.

Somehow, I have survived his death.

And, now I am ready to do more than just survive.  

I’ve grown restless.  

I am no longer comfortable where I am.

I can no longer exist in this holding pattern. 

 I’ve outgrown this waiting place.  

I need to move towards the future.


I’m thirsty for life again!


Looking back, I realize that it was essential to pause and gather myself after he died. But, fairly early on, I knew that I could not stay still forever.  I recognized that I could not experience life in the comfort and safety of the cocoon I created after Mike died.  

I am thankful that I never unpacked myself in this recovery zone.  I hovered there for a long time; but, I did not allow myself to get comfortable there because I know that true, authentic living can not and does not exist while in hibernation.  Nothing can be fully experienced in this suspended state.  


And, dammit, 

I did not die when he did.

I am still alive.

And, I want to LIVE.

I want to live well.  

I want to live fully and authentically. 

And, I mostly, I want to live up to my potential.


Over the last year, with lots of hard work, I have begun to find some momentum.  I’ve gained the confidence to move away from limbo, towards living.  It been a slow process; but, I have made gains.

Slowly, I am coming back to life.  I am coming back into myself.  Or, maybe more truthfully, I'm becoming who I've been meant to be all along.  With time, I am becoming the woman I need to be.  And, now, I am seeing possibilities where before I saw nothing.

I have not physically arrived at my new life yet.  But, mentally and emotionally I’ve already begun living it.  I have left the place where I’ve existed for nearly two years.  I’m working on actioning changes.  I am allowing myself get off kilter.   And, I’m taking chances.  I am pushing back fear.  Finally, I am doing what needs to be done in order to recreate a life worth living.  And, in time, you can do all this too.


Godspeed to us all,


~Mike’s Girl

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-10-07 17:36:20 -0700
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I think your story of perseverance will give many people hope. We are challenged to move outside our comfort zone when our spouse dies. It is essential to do as you have, to build a “life without him and become (these) strong, independent (women)”. Best to you and to us all. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-10-07 17:32:13 -0700
    Susan, You will get there in your own time. It is not easy. Outliving Mike has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t have it all figured out, but I am hopeful that I will find a way to life the life he wanted to live with me. It’s all I can do. Day by day I just try to keep some momentum… Best to you and to us all as we navigate our changed lives.
  • Bonnie Wishart
    commented 2018-10-07 06:07:36 -0700
    Mike’s Girl ;
    You are strong and you will get there to that place were it is mentally ..emontionally.. and physically alright for you .. Grief is a journey that you have to take alone yet with support so allow it to happen .. I to have taken this journey and it will be 9 years this Christmas .. I like the fact that you said you did not know who you were .. When my husband passed I did not know who I was and my sister told me that I was who I was suppose to be .. So I have built a life with out him and have become this strong.. independent woman .. and yes this life is so different from life with him but it is my life … hold those precious memories in a special place in your heart and that way he is forever with you .. And know You Will Get There !!! Bonnie
  • Susan McAlpine
    commented 2018-10-06 18:43:35 -0700
    I wish I shared your ability to get out of the holding pattern. I feel I have been marking time for 17 months and 11 days. I have survived but I have not thrived.