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. 


"By Now..."

Lately I’ve been feeling some sort of an emptiness. After Drew died, for a lot of years, I was doing a lot of creative work around my grief. I was finding visual ways to express this inner world and sharing it with others. There was something about that work that felt so purposeful. It felt like I was doing something important for myself, and indirectly for others a bit too. Mainly, I felt like I was expressing who I was and what I cared about in a really bold way, and it felt right. It felt like I was being myself more fully than I ever had before. Talking about the realities of grief and loss and pain and also courage and creativity and resiliency.

Fast forward now seven years, and I’m finding myself not the person I had hoped I’d be… “by now”. This emptiness almost feels like it comes out of the absence of the really deep pain I was in during those early years. Life has kept on going, and I have kept on living it in many bold and beautiful ways. My life now though is far less governed by my grief and my pain. As the years go on, the pain softens, and somehow I have struggled to know what to do with myself without the agony of fresh grief. I’ve struggled to have a voice without that central idea of pain and loss

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  • commented on Three Divorces and a Funeral 2017-11-13 07:27:47 -0800
    Well said Gabe. I think we are all better off not trying to compare. I remember someone who’d been through divorce saying they envied me a few months after he died – it was the oddest thing I’d ever heard.

    Looking back, I know what they meant… In a way, I think they meant they envied that my love story was still beautiful, still devoted and pure. That part, I do get. Of course they envy that. Because in that one way, widowed people who were happy and in love will always have the purity of that love, and divorced people have to grapple with the dissolving of that. They have to grapple with a failure of love, a true ending of the love itself. It is the one thing we do not lose when we become widowed, the purity of our love to one another to the end, and that I think is what makes them feel their loss is worse. It’s not worse, of course, nor do I believe is ours, but entirely different kinds of loss.

    Really well said.

  • commented on Reality 2017-11-13 07:07:08 -0800
    I remember that feeling. It took what felt like an agony of time for it to begin to go away… I think a year maybe before it started to be less frequent. Your words are so honest and real, It reminded me of a very short poem I wrote the year he died…

    “Sometimes

    I just want to rip apart every synapse in my brain

    Because I am so tired

    Of the constant knowingness that you are gone."

    It was called “I don’t want to know this anymore”.

    Sending love, fellow writer.

  • commented on A New Dawn 2017-11-13 06:52:20 -0800
    Hi Candace. It’s so hard to hold onto hope in those early times of grief. You will no doubt continue to spread his love and legacy for all your days! Hold that hope close to your heart, and on the days you are too tired to swim, let it be your liferaft, keeping you afloat and letting you rest. :) All my love Candace, thank you for sharing this, it means so much to me.

  • commented on Knowing Them Deeper after Death 2017-10-30 08:11:45 -0700
    Thank you Cathy for your comment! What a meaningful journey you and your dad had in that shared grief experience – I am so glad you had that closeness with him. Much love my friend – today is actually the death anniversary of my mom, missing both of them much today. Indeed, hug the one you’re with <3

  • commented on X-ray Vision 2017-10-30 08:02:45 -0700
    Thank you for sharing this Teresa – you described it so well too, the flatness. It’s been about 5 1/5 years for me now, and I feel like the clarity started to come in a little bit better right around that year 4 for me too. It sure is a much longer process than we ever imagine, isn’t it? Much love to you!

  • commented on Live Life 2017-10-06 10:40:07 -0700
    I loved this post. And good for you – it takes so much courage not only to choose the possibility of loss, but also to write about it all. I went skydiving in my mid twenties, and I recall telling my dad – who was quite ill in the hospital at the time (and died within a few months) that I was going skydiving with this guy friend of mine. His reaction was kind of awesome… he just said, a little bit surprised, “Well that doesn’t sound like you at ALL!” But he meant it in the best of ways. That friend turned out to be the love of my life, the one who died 5 years ago now. And skydiving truly did change my life. It sounds cheesy, but i let fear get in the way a lot when I was young… that one skydive showed me how powerful and amazing facing something scary could be. It was pivotal for me.

    Good for you for supporting your daughter in living life boldly! And in turn, living life boldly yourself, by choosing to support her! I hope you let her read this! <3

  • commented on Anxiety 2017-09-08 09:29:17 -0700
    Holy shit that was tough to read, and beautiful. I can feel that feeling right there with you. I’m having my own irrational fear today. For no reason at all. Everything about today is normal, yet I feel so keenly aware of the fragility of it all. And am holding fear tightly in my throat for the idea of Mike dying. I’m so sorry you had to endure the scare last night. It’s awful. But I’m so glad today is not that day, and I hope it doesn’t come for a long long time again.

    Love you.

  • commented on Aftermath 2017-08-28 07:35:26 -0700
    Thank you for sharing this Anonymous.
    I’m so very sorry to hear of everything your niece of going through. I truly cannot imagine the added trauma all this is bringing into her already chaotic world. Please know she is in my thoughts and prayers. I hope her business makes it through and that somehow, through the midst of the aftermath some good begins to come. I can completely understand her not wanting to leave during the storm. Let’s hope the worst is finally over for now.

    Your words about the past really resonated with me too. I suppose since my fiance died, I have been fighting the fact that parts of my life are simply in the past. In a way, it feels comforting to hear you say it so plainly, perhaps helps me feel a bit more acceptance for certain times in my life I can never go back to. Acceptance is a wonderful feeling.

    Sending my love, thank you again!
    Sarah

  • commented on Here I Stand 2017-08-13 04:43:33 -0700
    oH my goodness, I know exactly how you feel when you talk about an era passing you by. The years that Drew and I spent together in Dallas were the happiest of my life to date. The most carefree and full of ease. We had a close group of friends there that became like our family. We’d go out every Tuesday night to our regular bar and hang out and laugh till nightfall together. We were there for each other when the bad stuff happened. And while Drew’s death made us all in fact even closer… I left Dallas immediately. So my friends there lost both of us from their day to day lives. Then another from our group moved out to LA. Now, we are all worlds apart, and though we are still just as close, we are all painfully aware that an era has passed us by. Quite simply, nothing will ever be the same as those years in Dallas that we shared together. Almost every time we talk, one of us will mention how much we miss it. Five years later, none of us have stopped missing not just the person we lost – but the brief and beautiful chapter of our lives. I SO get this.

    I am so very sorry for this quite sudden loss, and all of the stuff it’s bringing up for you. I totally understand that feeling about the punctuation on the end of the sentence. So well put. I can’t imagine how hard it will be to move from there. Deep breaths. This journey has SO many different facets of grief and loss doesn’t it? Ugh.

  • commented on Eight Years and Crying 2017-06-10 11:33:41 -0700
    Thank you Linda, your comment made me feel a bit better and a little less alone with this one. Thank you for reading and for sharing with me.

  • commented on Its Not Easy 2017-05-20 18:27:27 -0700
    I really cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be raising her without him. As I’m becoming a mother figure to my new guy’s daughter, i’m terrified constantly by the thought of how i would do it on my own if he died. And I know now that thats always a possibility. It plagues me. I won’t throw any sunshine at you about things getting better and all that jazz. What do I know? All I can say is, this crap sucks, and I’m really really sorry you’re in this position. He should be here for both of you. But I am glad you’re there for her – what a difference you make.

    Its so so hard when we get to that timeline where everyone expects it to be “better”. As soon as I met Mike, everyone just put me into a different category it felt like. “Oh! She’s with someone new! She’s not widowed anymore, it’s all better and we can all breath a sigh of relief now!” was the total vibe. I’m still grieving. I’m still having hard days. And now, I talk less and less about them except maybe on here. No one asks me how I’m doing. No one wants to hear about grief anymore. It feels even lonelier. I journal a lot more now privately, since I don’t really feel like telling other people helps much anymore. That does help me still. Sending you love my friend.

  • commented on Felt Like Goodbye 2017-01-15 08:04:40 -0800
    This so so beautiful. You’ve got me tearing up. I’m SO glad Caitlin is going to be okay, my GOD! What a close call… I’ll be sending good vibes that she makes a speedy recovery, i’m sure she is in so much pain.

    Somewhere in the midst of “re-entering” life as I have come to call it, I feel like i’ve let some of the lessons his death taught me slip from me. I hate that. Moving really did me in, and made me wall off my heart from people a lot for a while. But, those lessons have not entirely left me… they NEVER will. I know that because whenever I feel myself walling off I know something is up now. I know it’s a sign that i need to do the opposite of walling off, and show my heart to people. I know now how much more beautiful life is when we share the hard stuff together. I haven’t given myself the support I’ve needed this past year. As I look back that is clear. This year, the tone is already starting to change. I am deciding to reach out more, and be more vocal and more honest, and it is already helping me feel more grounded.

    Thanks for a wonderful reminder to be honest, be present, and never take any day for granted. Love you!

  • commented on Leaving 2016-12-16 18:10:13 -0800
    I feel about Texas the way you do about NY I think. It was heartbreaking to leave. I’ll never forget that rainy night when we drove across the Texas-Arkansas border and my heart just broke. I can see your hope for the adventures ahead in your words. You’ve come so far. I am so proud of you and it is beautiful to see all that your family is doing for you. I hope for this to be the beginning of some grand new directions for you. I know it will be slow, and challenging, and scary, but I know you will make it through and make it beautiful. Love you so much!

  • commented on The Vastness of the Empty Space~ 2016-12-01 05:00:03 -0800
    I love this. So beautiful. The vastness of that space, this idea really stuck with me. It must be why seeing the Grand Canyon right after he died was so perfect. As vast as that canyon was, is how vast the space inside me felt. It felt like the earth understood such expanses in a way people often don’t. I am saving this… So beautiful and though you search for words, you did find a few today that gave me words I didn’t have. Thank you my friend!

  • commented on Transitions 2016-10-16 07:05:57 -0700
    I teared up with this one, because I remember that you. I remember before you had any hope at all about relationships. I remember when you had such big fear about whether any man would desire you again. I remember wishing you could see you the way we all do – and just how beautiful you are. I remember always knowing and always being confident that you would be loved again… because you are the type to take chances and get out there and try things and push yourself and open your mind and heart, when you are ready to. I always knew it would be, and it is so wonderful to get to watch this part of the journey, where we share in this same knowing of how lovable you really are. I am so proud of you for fully diving into this new phase, and how well you have transitioned this relationship. And how well you listened to your instincts. I mean bravo. Love you!

  • commented on Vernacular 2016-09-18 06:53:04 -0700
    I think i’ve been feeling this a lot lately too, without even realizing it. Especially as my birthday comes up. I remember the very specific way he celebrated me for an entire week around my birthday… how he would tease me for weeks about the presents he’d gotten me, leaving me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. It was distinctly his way of doing things, and his way of making me feel special. His way of humor. His specific kind of goofiness and playfulness. This was a wonderful post. Thank you my friend. <3

  • commented on Your Death Is a Pain In the Ass 2016-08-07 08:02:11 -0700
    I can totally relate to this one in my own ways right now. Even though I have Mike, and yes, he now does all those things Drew used to, there are STILL so many situations going on lately that I would NOT be dealing with if it wasn’t for Drew’s death. I am completely feeling on the same page as you. We need a chat soon. Hang in there, and get your cats outta the effing kitchen when you’re cooking woman!! Love you (mommy)

  • commented on Widowhood Confusion....What? 2016-07-07 05:16:45 -0700
    Yes. So exactly the way I have felt all these years. And even with a new person in my world, my shit is still all over the place. I’m still confused, and still searching for something, and still miss Drew, and I still want to give up sometimes but somehow also am determined to “make something” of this life. Adding a new person into the mix has actually created even new confusion, and fear of him dying too. This widow life is all so damn hard, and so much work. Thank you for this one.

  • commented on The Tsunami of July 2016-07-02 09:39:48 -0700
    This took me right back to my own traumatic day. My own phone call. My own animal screams. All the disbelief. Sometimes its still hard to feel like we have somehow lived this long through it all. Its so surreal.

    I’m thinking of you. sometimes I feel the months after Drew’s death are even harder because that misery stretched on and on. Something about being in the hot Texas summer has brought back a lot of the grief too this week for me, mini flashbacks. I’m on my way back to Ohio now, and so look forward to a phonecall soon to catch up with you. Beautiful post. <3 love you!!!

  • commented on Welcome Our New Writer Michelle Midgett 2016-06-07 10:28:19 -0700
    Sunday’s writer here, saying welcome to Widow’s Voice, and thank you so much for sharing the beginning of your story… I hate for you to have this opportunity, as I do for us all, but we are glad to have you here nonetheless! I’ve been writing around 2 1/2 years here and it has been so very healing for me, I hope it is the same for you. Very beautifully written first post. Looking forward to reading more <3

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