Penny Sharman

  • commented on The Agony of Defeat 2016-07-22 18:54:00 -0700
    Hi Kelley: My sister was telling me about a novel she’s reading about two sisters who are dealing with the death of their brother who died 15 years before. It sounds like a book I might eventually read but what really caught my attention is the line she quoted “Grief is a mystery to be lived through, not a problem to be solved” and followed it up with her observation that she was sure I could relate. She said it brought out some raw grief in her (her 15 year old son was killed in an accident 18 years ago). I immediately thought of that quote when I read your post today. I think you’re right – the grief never goes away. It will be two years for me next month and there are times when I think I’m doing okay, good even, and then there are times when I am just blindsided with the intensity of my grief. Wish I could be there to give you a big hug and tell you its okay. Empty words at a time like this but heartfelt nevertheless. As you say, it will pass but right now the defeat is agony.

  • commented on Running through Grief 2016-06-27 09:38:40 -0700
    Michelle, this is a great post. I particularly loved the last paragraph – really really good words there. You are an inspiration.

  • commented on Terrawimba 2016-06-23 08:43:13 -0700
    Wow Stephanie, this is very thought provoking. This post and recent posts by Kelley and Sarah talked about dealing with change or contemplating a change or deciding if a change is required. My husband died not quite two years ago (it will be two years on August 23rd) and so I am still in the one day at a time phase, which at this point is acceptable and doable. Now I’m wondering as year 3 or 4 approaches, will I have a similar mindset. It’s comforting to know I have you and the other writers on this site to learn from. The only big decision I made recently is that I will attend Camp Widow in Toronto this September and I am really looking forward to that.

  • commented on Rebuilding Together 2016-06-18 06:49:10 -0700
    Some really good words in here Sarah. I forwarded it to my niece who has just gotten out of a very abusive marriage and is still suffering very much from that trauma of the abuse and the end of the marriage. I think she will find it helpful.

  • commented on Paper Bag 2016-06-10 17:38:14 -0700
    Kelley, I think, in a small way I get it. Lately I’ve had these very aimless days where I don’t know what I want to do or where to go, or who to contact that might bring me some joy or satisfaction or just scratch that itch. I guess it was until after my husband died that
    if I had these days, I’d talk it out with him. He was always my voice of reason. They are very unsettling and cause me to be anxious. So I can’t imagine how it is when you have extended periods of this “unspecific-ness” (I believe I just made up a word). I don’t know if it helps to know that when I read your post, I pumped my fist and yelled “Yes!!!” Despite your thoughts that your post would not be very interesting to anyone, it sure spoke to me. Thanks again!

  • commented on I'm Not Made of Stone 2016-06-08 11:26:41 -0700
    Excellent advice Mike. Thank you

  • commented on The Family I Never Knew I Needed 2016-05-28 09:47:32 -0700
    Thanks for this Rebecca. This post and Kelley Lynn’s post yesterday is confirmation that I need to go to Camp Widow and I will be registering for the camp in Toronto this fall. I have followed all of your blogs on this site since my husband died 21 months ago and I can’t begin to tell you how helpful they have all been.

  • commented on A Light In the Dark - My Tribute to Soaring Spirits International 2016-05-29 11:40:25 -0700
    That’s wonderful Sharon. I look forward to meeting you :)

  • commented on Pre-planning your Emotional Response to Death...Ain't it Precious? 2016-05-26 17:50:55 -0700
    How presumptuous of anyone to tell anyone how to grieve but particularly someone who hasn’t been there! It just makes me shake my head. It reminded me of an expression my mom used to use “Well you know, he’s 10,000 years old and there ain’t nothing he doesn’t know” followed by my dad nodding knowingly and saying “Yep, wiser than a tree full of owls” Loved this post Alison!

  • commented on Unresolved 2016-05-17 09:24:56 -0700
    Thank you for generously sharing this Mike – it’s so raw and honest. As Charlene says, be kind to yourself. You’re a good man. I can tell that by your posts and by all the wonderful things Sarah says about you. We’re lucky to have you sharing your experiences, observations and comments on this website. If you do get counselling, I hope you share some of that as well. Everything we get from this website is all so helpful and healing for all of us.

  • commented on It Took Me Ten Years 2016-05-17 09:20:13 -0700
    Thank you for this Michelle. I still have the pillow case on Gary’s pillow that was on it when he died. It’s been two years and I still haven’t washed it. I just keep putting fresh pillow cases over it. I put all his stuff away (or rather my daughter did it for me) about a week after he died. I kept it all in large plastic bins and about nine months later I went through it and made decisions – keep, give away, trash. I allowed myself to keep one bin of stuff and tucked it away. I didn’t have a problem with the give away pile but the throw away pile was so so difficult. As I was carrying it over to the garbage can, I was sobbing and telling myself “It’s just stuff Penny – just stuff”. It was a hard decision but I did it. Next up is the garage with all his tools, fishing equipment etc. That was his sanctuary but I need to do it. I don’t want my kids stuck with doing the job after I’m gone. So I’m gearing up to do it and I will. But your post makes me feel so much better about the pillow case. I’m not ready to wash it.

  • commented on The Accidental Mother, Part 2 2016-05-08 19:43:57 -0700
    This is so lovely Sarah and I immediately thought of my friend Linda who has never had any children but has many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews that she loves with all her heart and I know she has been a strong influence in their lives. In fact, her sister gave a shout-out to all the wonderful moms she knows and included Linda in the list. I sent her the link to this blog. I wanted her to know that her love for these young people does not go unnoticed and unappreciated.

  • commented on A Letter from Before, and Beyond 2016-05-03 13:34:46 -0700
    Wow Mike, I get emotional just coming across an old birthday card from my husband, I can’t begin to imagine how you felt reading Megan’s letter to Shelby. As Stephanie said, what a treasured gift.

  • commented on No Magic Answers 2016-04-28 15:29:37 -0700
    I know what you mean Stephanie. I’m going through something similar but on a much much smaller scale. After a year and a half I have finally ventured into the garage which was my husband’s domain. I stood in it for about 5 minutes completely overwhelmed because I didn’t know where to start. I needed Gary to tell me what was important and what could be given away or thrown out. Your post just spoke to me. If its important to me keep it, if not get rid of it. I will get my sons-in-law over to help and give me “man” advice about tools etc but the decision is mine. If its important to me from a practical or sentimental standpoint, I’ll keep it. If not, its gone. LIke you said, we have to start thinking about us. Thanks for prod.

  • commented on What I Can't Tell you~ 2016-04-27 19:23:09 -0700
    This is such good practical advice Alison. You can still carry on even if you feel like crap and don’t even want to pretend that you don’t feel like crap. You don’t have to judge yourself for struggling, just take that one step. Thank you.

  • commented on The Remnants of a Life 2016-04-12 10:44:19 -0700
    Purging “stuff” can be so emotional and freeing at the same time. I remember crying as I threw some of my husband’s stuff in the garbage and telling myself, “It’s just stuff Penny. You’re not throwing Gary away” I started purging paperwork and eventually sent off 4 bankers boxes of papers (75 pounds) to be shredded. My most emotional moment was when I came across a box of my husband’s college notes – pages and pages filled with his handwriting and of absolute use to no-one. I think I had my most intense meltdown when I decided it needed to be tossed. At the end of the day, my house is a lot more organized now and most of the times clutter free and I think Gary would have been pleased. It’s all stuff we talked about getting rid of and never did. As new items appear in my house, I look at them and ask is this something I want, is this something my kids would want after I’m gone and if the answer is no, then its tossed. I have the same attitude when I go shopping now. Very freeing and a side of me that is part of the new me. I guess there’s got to some upsides to being a member of this darn widows club right? Good luck in your move Rebecca.

  • commented on Back to Start 2016-04-08 14:24:28 -0700
    Kelley: Of course you can take time off from being the hopeful one. You, who have given all of us such hope and such inspiration every week, deserve nothing less than to sit back and be the one that is held and protected. Rest my friend, cry as much as you have to, be tired for as long as you need to and know that we are all in this together and let us give back to you.

  • commented on The Lows 2016-04-07 10:41:58 -0700
    Dear Stephanie: I’ve been reading your posts on this site every week since my husband died a year and a half ago and I feel as if you’re my friend now. And my heart aches that my friend is hurting so badly right now. Grief is hard enough without having to deal with the unfairness of your house foreclosure. I’m so glad you have friends you can share this with and they get it. What would we do without those friends? Sending you hugs from afar.

  • commented on Free To Be Me 2016-03-20 10:23:03 -0700
    Kelly thank you for this post. You’ve convinced me – I’m going to Camp Widow in Toronto in September. I’ve been thinking it’s been a little over a year and a half, I probably don’t need it , all the other participants look so young and I won’t fit in (I’ll be 69 this August). But after a year and a half, I still come to this site everyday and I get a little tidbit each and every time. Why would I think I couldn’t benefit from Camp Widow still? Duh! I’ll be there.

  • commented on The Pulse Beat of Love Over Everything Else~ 2016-03-17 10:14:00 -0700
    Dear Alison: My heart hurts for you at the trauma you’ve been dealing with. Grief is traumatic enough without dealing with what you had to. You will never know what was said between Chuck and his daughter and I am glad your therapy is bringing you some relief. I have read so much of your Happily Homeless blog and I can’t help but think Chuck’s daughter must have misunderstood what was said, just based on the relationship you and Chuck had. I wish for you that, as you say, " the tide of trauma will wash out to sea and the soft lapping of the love he left behind for me will become my pulse beat"