Staci Sulin commented on Weak at the Knees 2019-03-06 16:49:41 -0800Christine, I guess our hearts speak the same language. I ’m happy my blog spoke to you so deeply. TIme will reveal the next part of our life story. Best to you and to me as we find the women we are becoming. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Wanderlust 2 2019-03-06 15:26:30 -0800Ron, None of this is easy. Answers are hard to come by. Our worlds imploded it is no wonder we “can’t see forward”. But, with time, commitment and hard work I think things will somehow come together… Best to you, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Stale Coffee 2019-03-03 11:42:35 -0800Indie, Yes, I agree, sometimes it is hard to “really even give a shit”. Yet, here we are. I attempt to try to reenter life because the alternative is too bleak for me and my children. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Reconstruction 2019-03-03 11:32:32 -0800Indie, You sure have accomplished many “herculean job(s)”. I wish that your existence felt less “meaningless”, but I do appreciate your honesty in your comments. Best to you, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on I'm still your Girl 2019-02-18 09:34:06 -0800Laren, Thank you for sharing your heart and story with us. Like you, I cling to “the imprints of (his) existence.” And, it is a “modest comfort” as you say, but it often leaves me wanting more. More of what I can not have… It is the quandary of grief.
The love you have for Barbara comes through in your words. #longlivelove ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Lifelines 2019-02-05 17:55:07 -0800Susan,
I understand. Some days, for no particular reason, the missing goes to the depths of us. And, there is nothing that can be done except to endure it. And, as you know, the awful yearning eventually passes and returns to the dull emptiness from which it was born.
I think “wailing” is called for on the days that our Souls wildly ache. There are no words to describe the desire to have and to hold someone who is gone from here. So, sometimes tears speak when words simply can not suffice. Have your cry. Your tears will cleanse you and tomorrow is a new day. Best to you as always, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Joy Isn't Found in Tap Water 2019-02-03 16:58:07 -0800Ron,
Firstly, great tune.
Second, I think it is okay to let calls go to voice mail sometimes. We have to trust our instincts and practice self-care which includes taking time for ourself. Grief demands our attention; and although exhausting, we have to take the time to absorb it.
Best to you my fellow cold water splasher. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Exclamations and Tildes~ 2019-01-25 15:56:17 -0800I love this. I often sign off my online posts with a tildes and my initial. I never used to do this when Mike was alive. But, this makes sense now. The tildes is perfectly placed. I am not the Staci I used to be, I have been forced to recreate my identity, I am a work in progress… ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Average Widow 2019-01-17 12:12:47 -0800Susan, Thank you for your kind words. I write from my heart; and although I am glad that you feel the words so deeply, I wish you didn’t also know the pain of widowhood. Best to you as you continue to find your way. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on This is Getting Old 2019-02-03 17:10:50 -0800Suzanne, The future is not the one we imagined, that’s for sure. All the changes are overwhelming and the shared responsiblities that are now soley ours are anxiety provoking. I get it. I am no different than you, I often ask myself what I am going to do?
When I get overwhelmed, I try to remember Mike’s advice and just take things “day by day”. Somehow, we will all make it through this mess. And, I think we will recreate a good life again. I know it is not the life we imagined, but it still can be a life worth living. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on If I could Back Up 2019-01-06 20:55:07 -0800I am happy that you do not feel alone in this Laura. At Soaring Spirits we understand. The future is different than the one we envisioned but we must try to make the best of it. Seek Joy. Best to you as you try to live this new alternate life. ~S.
Staci Sulin published It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas - Finally in Blog 2019-01-03 20:48:40 -0800
This is my third Christmas without Mike. The first year, Christmas came along 6 weeks after he died and in many ways this was a blessing because I was in so much shock that nothing really phased me. I have almost no recollection of that first Christmas. And, I think this is the way it is supposed to be. I know that I cooked a complete turkey dinner, but I don't remember who sat around my table. I can't recall a single conversation. Not one. I don't even know if I ate dinner.
When I think back to that first Christmas, I can not close my eyes and envision my sons openning their gifts. But, I know that they had gifts. I just have no idea what they were. And, I do not remember shopping for their gifts. Maybe I bought them online. I don't know. I just can't remember. (There is a theme here.)
I know that I got my tree up that first year. But, I have no idea if I was helped doing this or not. I think I actually put up two tress, but I can't be sure. Like so many things over the last 25 months, I wish I could talk to Mike about all this. But, when your person dies you lose part of your shared history. *Sigh.
Now, without Mike, I have to rely soley on my memories of the past. The person who shared some of the best moments of my life is dead; and without him, I am not able to confirm or deny events of our past. This is a huge loss, something I had yet to comprehend that first year without him.
Beyond dinner and having a tree or two decorated I really can't remember anything about that first Christmas at all. Looking back, part of my lack of memory is likely due to my white wine intake. That first holiday as a widow Riesling was regularly coursing through my viens. I was in survival mode. No one was telling me what to do, because none of them had done this before. My friends still had their husbands. They had no experience to draw on. They were clueless about widowhood and so was I. Without a manual for widowhood and with no one to mentor me, I put myself into a wine induced haze for all of December starting on my birthday which landed exactly two weeks after Mike died and one week after I stood at the cemetery and buried him. After witnessing that horribly dramatic, sad and awful moment at the cemetry when the coffin lowered and TAPS played none of my friends were about to tell me not to have the wine. So, it was definitely a White Christmas that first year...
White wine or not, I do not remember Christmas shopping that year. Maybe, I had the gifts finished before Mike died - who knows? I can ask him, but since he's died I can't hear him the way I used to. Two years into this widow thing, I am tired of our one sided conversations. I am tired of the silence. I just want to have him here with me. I want so very much to share my life with him. But, this can never be. Now, I have cognitively accepted that the life we shared is over. However, two years later, I am still working on "accepting" Mike's permanent absence in my heart. This remains a work in progress.
Last year marked my second Christmas as a widow. In truth it felt like my first because I really didn't feel anything that first year. Before the second Christmas, I started dreading Christmas in July which gave a whole new cruddy meaning to "Christmas in July". I remember I felt anxious about being without Mike over the holidlays. I knew that there would be a hollowness to the entire holiday season for me and the topper would be Christmas Day. I felt like my family holidays were incomplete without him.
That second Christmas wasn't the best; and, in truth, I barely recall it. I just remember feeling empty. This third year, Mike's absence remains very obvious to me, but this Christmas season has been noticably less awful for me than the first two. It is finally beginning to feel a bit "okay".
Staci Sulin commented on Stay the Course 2019-01-02 12:05:30 -0800Karen, Your comment will serve to inspire others. I know reading your words I feel encouraged. Thank you for sharing your positivity. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on I am Different than Who you Loved 2019-02-11 01:56:40 -0800Laura, Thank you for reading my blogs. I know you feel the words I write so deeply. I wish that you did not relate so intimately to what I’ve written, but nonetheless I am glad your feelings are validated by another person who understands widowhood ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Another Birthday without him 2018-12-09 12:32:32 -0800Susan thank you for your note. There is hope and I am not the only one who is here to share this with you. I think everyone here at Soaring Spirits International will attest that if you “stay the course” (the title of the blog I am writing next) better days come. WIth all the grit we can muster, somehow, we will find our way back towards life. It takes a fine balance between grit and grace to get there, but it is possible. It is not easy, far from it. I am not there yet, but I see it is within my grasp and I am so grateful for this. Keep hope in your heart Susan, I am rooting for you this holiday season and always. Best to you, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Another Year 2018-12-09 12:39:54 -0800Beth, Thank you for your heartfelt comment. It is normal to feel completely underwhelmed and then the next moment feel utterly overwhelmed. That is grief in all it’s glory I suppose. But, like I said to Beth, when our “life force” grows stronger and our desire to LIVE gets so strong it can no longer be ignored, this is when our grief softens and gets quieter. When we decide surviving is not enough, that’s when we can begin to recreate a new life for ourselves. This moment comes eventually for everyone if they work hard. If you believe that this can and it will happen for you. Best to you, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on It's Me 2018-11-21 10:19:23 -0800Indie, Focus on the love you shared and not the missing if you can. When I am simply grateful for his love I feel less awful. Gratitude is helpful and powerful for me. In truth, I do not think the missing ever will go away. But, it can soften with practice. For me I created a mantra “I will miss you less, and love you more”. It helped me to reframe my thoughts and gave me some peace from the gut wrenching missing. Best to you, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Condiments 2018-11-11 12:13:14 -0800Susan,
I am sorry you understood my blog so deeply, but I am glad your feelings found the validation they deserve. I relate to what you’ve shared; and, like you, I will continue to treasure certain items because he touched them in the past.
Best to you, ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on I Don't Like Dessert 2018-11-21 10:27:17 -0800Luis, Thank you for your kind and heartfelt comments. And, I wish you the best this holiday season and in this “season of life”. ~S.
Staci Sulin commented on Maybe this will Help - What I know about Grief and Support 2018-11-11 12:01:01 -0800Elisa,
Thank you for your heartfelt comment.
Best to you, ~S.
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,
It has been over 2.9 years since you died.
Since you died, I have diligently and carefully worked to keep you alive in my mind.
I have replayed our conversations thousands and thousands of times.
And, I have memorized our words by heart.
In my mind, I still talk to you every single day.
I know exactly what you’d say in our imaginary dialogues.
Except, I can not hear your voice.
Over and over again, I have watched our life together play out in my imagination.
In my thoughts, you are still here.
You are still real.
Except, you’re not here anymore…
Grief evolves. Thankfully. And, my grief is no exception. Over the last 2.9 years it has changed. And, no, the changes are not always linear. Grief moves you forward and backwards and sideways. It takes you places you never expected to be. And, there is no real end point. There is not a finish line to any of this.
We can not shed our grief like I had hoped early on. Instead, we must carefully and tenderly absorb it into our bones. Grief is in the air you breath, in swirls around in your coffee, it is in the sunshine that warms your shoulders, and it lingers in your bathwater. You can not escape grief; I now realize that this isn't possible. And, it is not the goal. It never was.
Over time you learn to hold your grief and you can then allow it to fuse into your psyche. And, with consistent practice you become more and more proficient at carrying it. With grit and grace, you move forward the best way you know how. There is not another choice. There is no returning to the life you used to have. So, eventually, we all begin to build a new life around the grief that lives inside us. How we go about our rebuild is different for us all. And, likewise, what we choose to recreate is ours to decide. It is scary and overwhelming. And, it is also somewhat exciting too.
This is your life. It is the beginning of whatever you want. Recently, I read that "the beginning is the end". Read that twice. It is profound. This suggests that whatever we choose and take into our hearts as we set out, in the beginning, will determine the end.