Artist. Writer. Creative Mentor.
Soaring Spirits has had an enormously positive impact on my own life as a widow as well as the lives of so many friends and others. This organization is doing incredible work to help people not only to cope with widowhood, but to learn how to rebuild themselves beautifully... with love, laughter, tears, and authenticity. Most of all, Soaring Spirits gives us hope. Hope that life can still be amazing even after we have lost the most important person in our world. Hope that a beautiful life - one that our partner is always a part of - can be created.
This weekend is the first time Mike has gone out backpacking alone with zero service since we met. On previous trips, he has taken a satellite device that’s let him send me messages that he is ok. However, unfortunately it only seemed to work half the time and ended up being more of a headache than a help. So on this trip, we decided to give it a try… zero contact for over 24 hours.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with my story, my fiance died halfway across the country, while on a trip. He was a helicopter pilot, and was on a ride along with another pilot when they hit a powerline and crashed - killing him instantly.
So… the whole leaving on a trip thing? Only my hugest trigger. The whole having to say goodbye as he gets in the car and drives off thing… not knowing if I’ll ever see him again? Yup, hugest trigger.
And of course I would meet someone new that loves to do just that… go out on trips into the wilderness alone, with absolutely zero contact with the outside world. Yep, because of course. Life has a sense of humor that way.
There’s no lying that is hasn’t been easy. Even though I know all he is effectively doing is walking, eating and sleeping - same as he does at home everyday - my mind knows better now than to just say “Oh nothing will happen! It will be fine!” Because no, I don’t know that it will be fine. I don’t know that he will make it home, or that I’ll ever see him again.
Today I’m writing about a different side of grief… about being the one sitting beside someone who is grieving. About those moments watching a partner who is widowed go through their own pain. It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is a hard holiday for Mike. His wife died just a week before this holiday 3 years ago. Hitting the 3 year mark is hard enough without it happening near the holidays.
So there we were, having a very different holiday than they would have ever had before she died. Before he met me. And at some point, it was inevitably going to come crashing down. Which it did. Late the evening after Thanksgiving, we were about to get in the hot tub with everyone when his emotions welled up. He snuck away to one of the bedrooms at my sister’s house and I soon followed. As I sat beside my new best friend, putting my arm around him, I didn’t say anything at all.Read more