It has been eight years since my husband's sudden death.
In the beginning, there were days where I honestly didnt see myself ever living a life with meaning again.
I didnt think I could feel joy again.
I didnt know if it would be possible to take the pain and turn it into something that might help others.
I didnt have the energy or the foresight to know how vital that might be.
How doing so would help me to survive.
and with many mis-steps,
I began to find my way.
It would be years,
about 5 years actually,
before I started to feel more grounded,
and less shaky.
It would be years,
before I found my new personality,
and collected the pieces of my old one,
that I wanted to keep,
and created this new version of myself.
I am passionate about writing words in this blog
about grief and loss and pain,
about survival and resilience and strength,
about friendships and bonds created through death.
I am fiercefully determined about speaking
and educating others
about changing the conversations surrounding grief and loss
I am incredibly happy
when someone reads my words,
in my book or this blog,
or sees my TED talk,
or watches me speak of loss in a comedic way at my Camp Widow presentations,
and something inside of them
begins the long process of healing,
that they too,
will one day have a life with meaning
This has become my greatest joy.
Taking the pain,
and paying grief forward,
to ensure those who sit in the darkness,
will someday feel the light.
I believe that for most of us,
we begin to heal,
when we can see outside of our own pain,
and be a participant
in the healing of
When a widowed friend of mine,
who I have seen struggle,
who I have sat on the phone with
sobbing and feeling hopeless and awful,
is now living a life they love,
because they built it,
nothing makes me happier.
Hearing that a widowed friend went back to college,
to get her degree,
or another found new love,
after being convinced that he never would,
or another having a baby,
when she never got to have kids with her husband,
because he died.
something as simple,
as witnessing that moment,
in a widowed person's life,
where they go from simply existing,
to really, actively living, and participating lin life
That is a moment,
that is worth everything.
When they are able to again
see natures beauty,
or hear incredible music,
and experience lifes wonders,
in a profound new way.
To watch them
take the pain of death,
turn it into more
carrying their person
every step along the way,
a connection never broken.
When someone you love dies,
it changes you
I have always believed,
it is up to you
death changes you.
What will you do with your pain?
What will you make of your loss?
What will people say,
when they tell your story?
I hope that when they tell mine,
that I lived through great pain,
because I lived with great Love,
and that I took all the horrors
I allowed death to change me,
and I will never
be the same.