Beautiful Ramblings

It is my privileged to write to you each week and I hope my blog inspires you to question what is stirring in your heart.  I encourage you to lean into your grief.  And, to feel it to it's depth.  This isn't easy, but it is the only way through this mess.

I believe that we are lead back towards life and living when we allow ourselves to be still, and sit in the "nothingness" where grief lives.  Visiting this empty place is difficult, but it is necessary. This quiet place holds the blueprints of our new, changed life.  

I know you are scared to go to the edge of this place; admittedly, I am too.  But, we have to take a leap of faith.  With time, I am gathering momentum, and I am going to leap and build my wings on the way down. 

It has been  over two years since Mike died and I realize that what I fear most about the future is not the risks and uncertainty.  What I am afraid of is letting the opportunities for change pass me by.  I am afraid that I will settle into an ordinary life when I want an extraordinary life. 

I am worried that I will play small, when my potential is big.  As I write to you each week I am challenging us both not to shrink.  I am keeping us accountable.  I do not want either of us to fall back into an easy comfortableness when we can leap forward, towards a bold life.  I want you to manifest the best in yourself.  Go on, begin to recreate a beautiful life for yourself.  

From the Ledge with Wings in Hand,



This will be my fourth Christmas without him.  We only shared one Christmas together so, why does Mike's absence weigh so heavy on me when I have lived most of my life without him?   Well, there are many reasons outliving Mike is hard; there are just too many things to mention.  And, really, it is the intangible things that are hardest to live without.  What is really comes down to is that I love him deeply; and, living without the person you are so in love with is awfully difficult.

Simply put, I miss Mike and I want him back.  I want to finish living the life we thought we'd share together.  And, I know full well that I can't have this.  Sunday, I stood above his grave. Physically, I saw the markers of his deadness.  My hands touched his headstone.  My eyes read his name carved into the stone.  My lips kissed the cold stone.  As I stood to leave, I whispered I love you to my dead fiance.  He didn't answer back because he couldn't.  I get it.  I know that Mike is gone from here.  Still, despite what I understand, I continuously think about living a life that does not and can not exist.  This is the quandary of my widowhood.

I need to create these make believe thoughts less frequently.  My mind needs more space for the here and now stuff.  I need to remain grounded in the present, but I just don't know how to accomplish this.  I am in my fourth year of widowhood and I still have not found a way to keep my mind tethered in the moment I am experiencing. 


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Happy Birthday to Me

Today as I type this it is my fourth Birthday as a widow.  Since Mike died I have never celebrated my birthday and felt authentically happy.  I have always deeply felt his absence and my birthday has been difficult at best.  Really, birthdays have never been a big deal to me - even when Mike was alive.  And, I have to admit, he only lived to celebrate one birthday with me.  One.  *Sigh. 

I have lived most of my life absent from Mike so why does the lack of his presence still weigh on me four birthdays later?  Well, because it does.  Mike was my Heart, my Soul, my Love.  And, a big love like ours can not be measured in time.  A love like ours does not know time, nor space.  It is bigger than these constructs.

As Mike's widow, I have not looked forward my birthday because it just served to pronounce his absence.  But, this birthday was different.  For no particular reason my grief was lighter.  It was a gift.  Today, I celebrated my day.  I accepted and recognized that I did not die.   My life has not ended, only Mike's did.  And, of course I wish he was here celebrating me today.  But, wishes do not change reality.  Mike died.  He is not here today.  And, he will not be here tomorrow or any other day. 


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  • commented on Happy Birthday to Me 2019-12-02 14:16:25 -0800
    Don, In the past I have revisited our special places on various anniversary dates. If it FEELS right I encourage you to continue this practice. Sure, we might have “mini meltdowns” while we revisit these special places, but that is okay. Grief is messy, meltdowns happen.

    As time has continued, I feel less frequently drawn to revisit geographic places that are tied to my memories of Mike. However, there are still some days that it feels right to go some place where he was. Sometimes I need that connection. I imagine I might always need these touchstones to our shared past.


  • commented on Wonderful Life 2019-11-25 08:47:24 -0800
    Julie, I met Mike when he was 58. We had less than two years together. I have mourned his absence longer than we were together. It is not an easy way to live. I have to find a way to make my life feel less lousy. I have to believe that there is a wonderful life still ahead for me, for you and for us all. Best to you Julie as you navigate this alternate life. ~S.

  • commented on Coffee Talk 2019-11-20 14:06:02 -0800
    Don, I miss coffee talk and time with my best friend too. ~S.

  • commented on Another Year Without You 2019-11-17 22:51:28 -0800
    Ellen, We all feel we “suck” at this at times. No one gave us a manual, we are simply going by instinct here. Do what you can. And, give yourself grace.
    PS Did we meet at Camp Widow? I can’t recall your last name when we met – if you are indeed the Ellen who introduced herself to me. ~S.

  • commented on Loss Connections 2019-11-03 07:29:22 -0800
    I will be in Toronto. My first Camp Widow ever. I can’t wait to meet you Kelley.

  • commented on Live Forward 2019-11-03 07:45:32 -0800
    Gailsnn, I appreciate your note. I’m sorry you understand. ~S.

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  • commented on Adrift 2019-10-20 15:21:40 -0700
    We are in good hands.

  • commented on My Aliveness 2019-10-20 15:20:53 -0700
    9 Months is early on. I remember being just like you and reading blogs from Alison (who writes here). She was years into this mess and I was in AWE of how she did it. I wondered how she didn’t die from sadness.

    Now, I know. A part of her did die. But, a big part of her is still alive. And, it is the same for me and for you and everyone reading this.

    We are forever changed because they lived and shared their lives with us. And, part of living is dying.

    Likewise, we are profoundly changed because they died. There is no denying this.

    With time, we recreate our identities and our lives and live forward . They lived their lives. We didn’t die and we must eventually reenter life and acknowledge our “aliveness”.


  • commented on In The Past 24 Hours... 2019-09-15 18:23:59 -0700
    My heart aches reading your heartfelt words. I hold space for you in my heart Emma. ~S.

  • commented on The Thief of Joy 2019-09-15 15:30:04 -0700
    “It is what it is” is a phrase Mike used often. I love that you got tee shirts made.
    You are right, Mark will always live in your heart. #longlivelove

  • commented on Your Touch 2019-09-15 18:31:07 -0700
    Kelley, Of course I know you are the Friday writer. Maybe one day we will meet at a SS camp. I wish you didn’t relate to any of what I wrote. I am so sorry you “get it”, but I am grateful that your feelings are validated in what you read. This stuff is not for the faint of heart that’s for certain. ~S.

  • commented on Evanescence 2019-09-15 15:21:52 -0700
    Sue, I am sorry you understand my words.

  • commented on 1000 2019-08-23 15:52:03 -0700
    Thank you Mari. Writing helps. It has made this somewhat easier to bear. I hope it does the same for you. ~S.

  • commented on A Change of Heart 2019-08-12 10:20:41 -0700
    GRinNj . I absolutely hated the word acceptance in the past. It surprised me that I wrote a blog centred around acceptance. Grief evolves and sometimes it pleasantly surprises us.

  • commented on Bedsheets, Duct Tape and Hockey Sticks 2019-07-04 15:54:44 -0700
    Bonnie, Those of us in this community hold space for each other in our hearts. Stay the course, thankfully, tough days come to an end and we try again tomorrow. ~S.

  • commented on Grief Math 2019-06-13 09:09:06 -0700
    Don, I have a lousy memory – since he died – so this does help me avoid some of the pitfalls of grief. Initially, I was largely in a fog, and I am certain that this was by design. The first year is a blur to me. Now, I am becoming more present which is necessary for me and my sons. Best to you as always, ~S.

  • commented on Strongish at Best 2019-06-13 09:10:46 -0700
    Karen, Stay the course. Some days are exhausting on all fronts. Best to you, ~S.

I'm a Mother, Ex-Wife, Fiancee, and Widow who has been forced to live a life different than the one I imagined. Still, I'm a Lover of Life. Somehow, I'm still a fan of Fate. And, I actively seek Joy -this has made all the difference.
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