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. 

Complex Holidays

Mother’s Day. My relationship to this day has been a complicated one for most of my life. Until more recently actually, I did not celebrate this day at all. Since my mom died when I was nine, this day has really been nothing but painful for most of my years. So much so that I just decided to forget all about it in my twenties and avoid going out in public completely until it was over. Beause for me, it wasn't Mother's Day, it was Grief Day. One of many Grief Day holidays throughout the year. 

It’s safe to say I’ve always had an understandable disdain for this and any other holiday that calls attention to what is missing for me. Nothing quite as horrific as being the kid at school who doesn’t have a mom to make a card for or invite to a special Mother’s Day event.

My relationship to this day has changed a lot in the past ten years... I met Drew, and in the years we spent together as well as the years after he died, I’ve continued to get closer to his mom. Suddenly, after he died, we found ourselves in a unique place. A mother without her child, and a child without her mother. Suddenly, we found solace in each other, and an understanding of our different but equally deep losses. To this day, even halfway across the country, we remain close and a part of each other. She gave me a reason to appreciate this holiday in a way I hadn’t been able to before. She was the first person to help me see that this day isn’t only hard for me...

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Call Me Anytime

I watched the first episode of a new show on Netflix this morning called Dead to Me. In the episode, two women meet at a grief group, both widows. They end up building a new friendship as late night phone buddies since neither of them are able to sleep. The show goes on to take a lot of unexpected twists and turns (and believe me you should so watch it!), but that one aspect had me remembering the early days of my widowhood… of building friendships with fellow widows in the wee hours of the night.

When I first connected with other widowed people, it was through a private Facebook group. Many of us ended up fairly often online, in the middle of the night. Effectively being late-night “phone” buddies for each other when we could not sleep. There was almost always someone there ready to listen, in the middle of the night or any other time of day that we just needed to feel heard and lay down our guard. And because we got each other, there was just this ease. A kind of comfort no one else could really provide. I ended up making a few of my closest friends from that initial group, people I now travel to see and talk on the phone with often.

I was fortunate to have found groups like that online, and to have since built friendships with people who will actually fulfill the words “Call me ANYTIME”. I have used that lifeline even now, seven years after my fiance died. Because new things do come up. You start dating again. You move in with someone new. You get engaged to someone new. You hit the 5 year mark or the 10 year mark from your person’s death. New stuff always comes.

So yes, I have been very fortunate to find places to spill out all my shit no matter the time of day. But I do remember for about the first 6 months, I didn’t have that.

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  • 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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