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. 

Fearing More Death

I recently had a scare over someone close to me dying again. It wasn’t even a true emergency, or anyone in fact having a close call by any means. But this wasn’t just anyone. This was one of my oldest friends and someone who has been a mother to me since my own mom died when I was nine. Now that both of my parents are gone, she is one of only a few people left who were there when I was growing up. And really, she is the last of the keepers of all of my history. All of my stories. 

The other week, after having just returned from a Texas where I got some time to visit with her, I found out she was in the hospital. It wasn’t anything life-threatening, an intestinal issue that she has dealt with before. But, she is getting older, and I’ve been becoming more aware over the last year that her health isn’t as good as it could be. So my brain went into immediate overdrive when I heard she was in the hospital. Made worse by the fact that I had just seen her 3 days before, and was now sitting in my house, some 1400 miles away in Ohio. The pain of not being able to be right there by her side was so big. 

I don’t usually react to triggers in such a big way. But this time, I did. My brain immediately went back into that place of shock and trauma that hit me when Drew died seven years ago. That place where suddenly my life is completely altered and though I am there, still breathing, and my life is still there, something about it is very very wrong. Suddenly I felt the room spinning around me, just like when he died. I began to hyperventilate and exploded into panicked tears that I could not stop for what felt like ages.

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The Fear of Taking New Risks

This past week, Mike wrote about how we are continuing a dream he and his late-wife Megan shared as we are looking into getting a camper next year. There were a lot of dreams I had with Drew that never came true too. Even just planning a wedding and spending time on every little detail was something I never got to do with him. Much less a wedding itself. Hell, we didn’t even get to live together yet because we were waiting until he was done with flight school and got his first flying job. We were only a few months into him getting that job, and were finally ready to embark on so many new adventures together that we never got to. Our honeymoon plan was to get a small camper in fact, and travel across the country for a few weeks. 

Seven years later, Mike and I live together. We are engaged, and I am happily planning away every little detail while trying not to hear the whispers of “What if he dies before you ever get to the wedding?”.  We’ve already done so many of the things that Drew and I never got to do. And I’ve done a lot of things that I was only beginning to dream about when he died. I’ve been selling my art and photography and teaching healing workshops. Much of these are dreams that came out of the ashes of his death… dreams that I didn’t realize were buried deep inside me until he died and I had a perspective shift. Or dreams - like writing on this blog - that evolved from my experience with grief and my passion to help support others through it.

There are dreams that I paused when he died. Like the idea of buying that little camper. It was a bit of a different dream than the one Mike and Megan shared. For us, it was a “someday” dream of a tiny teardrop trailer, while they were actively pursuing purchasing a larger travel trailer for their little family. But still, there was a shared dream there that we can now reignite. 

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  • commented on The Distance Between Us 2015-07-14 13:03:24 -0700
    Thanks Stephanie! It’s definitely just the beginning of a whole new chapter of grieving for sure! But, one with a lot of joy mixed in. And new ways of healing.

    Tricia, I can so relate to what you said. Some times it feels like more loss… but it also feels worth it when we’re together. It had to be so hard to have such a short time with your husband once you did move closer together. Makes me think that perhaps he and I will have to find a way to be near each other even sooner – life is short after all. We never know how long we have. Thank you so much.

  • commented on Pinata 2015-07-10 16:48:38 -0700
    I am SO incredibly proud of you. More than I could even express in words. I won’t even try. This was so beautiful. You made ME cry today. This was exquisite and such an accurate portrayal. It took me back through ALL of it. All the pain, all the crawling, all the fighting, all the confusion, all the anger, all the disbelief, all the sadness. I am so grateful to call you my friend. You inspire me more than I could ever say.

  • commented on Everywhere 2015-06-19 11:34:44 -0700
    I truly loved this. It has been such an honor to watch you live through this. Even though I’m in it too, I have marveled at how you have so fearlessly leaped right into the deep end of everything. I know you will say you don’t know any other way – and that’s what makes you so extraordinary. It is just you being you, doing this grief thing the only way you know how… And your way has been so inspiring to watch. You keep me going more than you know. Love you so much!

  • commented on The Knowing 2015-05-29 17:09:31 -0700
    Freakin BEAUTIFUL. I loved this one. Powerful ending. So so proud of how far both of us have come. And so honored to be your friend.

Artist. Writer. Creative Mentor - making meaning from life's challenges through creativity.
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