Staci Sulin commented on All is Calm, All is Bright 2017-12-27 15:36:20 -0800Marissa,
I completely relate to your comment, thank you for sharing. Like you, I wish that “that headstones (could) talk back or give big hugs”. I stood at the grave Christmas day and traced Mike’s name with my fingertips; and as I left I kissed his cold headstone goodbye, like I do every time. And, then, “I let the hot tears flow”.
I know we are all missing that hug you mentioned, I think we will always miss their arms around us and our lives for our entire lifetime. But, their love is present, always.
Staci Sulin commented on I can feel your arms around my Life... 2017-12-20 09:47:14 -0800Candace, thank you for your comment. I appreciate that you wrote because it’s so nice to hear what people think when they read my writing. I am so happy that you related to the post. The language is common in widow that’s for sure.
Awe, your husband called your Sweetie. I was always, “Beautiful”, “Honey” and often “Sweetie”. He called me those three words more than my name. I loved hearing his voice call out to me, and like you, I miss hearing those words so much. Staci
Staci Sulin commented on Who Am I ? 2018-01-22 17:02:12 -0800Hunter, I appreciate your comments and insight.
I think more people should ask themselves the question “Who am I?” The world would be a better place if we as human beings paused and considered what is in our hearts.
Who are we? What do we want to do in our life?
Reflecting on these big ideas serves everyone well. However, most people are too busy living their lives to stop and contemplate these existential questions.
But, grief demands that we stop; and, in this stillness we ask and sometimes find the answers to these substantial questions.
Staci Sulin wants to volunteer 2017-12-19 18:53:12 -0800
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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,
I bought a dress. In and of itself this isn’t some big deal. But, in my situation, this ordinary task is monumental and significant. I bought a dress because it caught me eye. I liked it. It is simple and classy. It is white with small black polka dots. In my mind, it seems like something I would like to wear in Paris.
I am visiting Europe this summer. In the past, I imagined going there with Mike. But, Mike died; and now this will never happen. Sure, people tell me he will “be” with me when I am there. And, yes, in Spirit, he will be. But, it is not the same. I feel awful saying this because I know Mike wishes it was different just as much as I do. But, his invisible “presence” is not enough. It is not as good as having him physically in my life. And, trust me, I have tried making it enough. It falls short and it always will.
I bought this simple summer dress knowing that he would never physically see me wearing it.
I bought this dress knowing that I will stand without him in a country that I’ve never been to wearing it.
I bought this dress knowing that as I am wearing it I will miss him.
I bought this dress for myself because there is no one else who will appreciate it on me anymore.
I bought this dress and it didn’t make me feel good. It didn’t make me feel bad either. But, like everything in my life, it was bittersweet.
Most of the people in my life see me working, raising kids, and socializing.
They believe, that after this length of time, I'm "getting on with my life".
They think I've got this.
And, maybe, in many ways, I do.
However, what I feel like inside
Does not match what they see on the outside.
Things are not exactly as they appear to be.
The truth is, I am still out of sorts.
I am still constantly carrying on conversations with my dead fiancé
in my heart and in my head.
And, after nearly 2.5 years,
I am still trying to process
what has become of my life.
I understand that those around me believe that I'm okay because I'm functioning the way most mothers do. I make breakfast. I go to work. I pay the mortgage. I raise my kids. I cook dinner. And, in the last year, I am attempting to live again.
But, there is way more to my life than one sees at first glance. My situation is complicated. I'm not 'only' a previously divorced mom raising kids alone. I am also a widowed mom who is grieving. My scenario is beyond anything I ever imagined. And, I understand that most people around me can not comprehend my life. How could they? Honestly, most days, I can't even get my head around it myself.
An accurate description of my existence involves the bold type:
I make breakfast -and drink my morning coffee by myself, in silence, because Mike is dead.
I go to work - with only a few hours sleep because every night grief keeps me awake.
I pay the mortgage - but my income is now reduced to 1/4 of what it was when Mike was alive.
I raise the kids - feeling guilty because I feel like a failed Mom who lacks enthusiasm and joy because of grief.
I cook dinner- with invisible tears streaming down my face so that my kids don't know how sad I really am.
I socialize with friends - but while in their company I still feel alone and empty inside.
Widowed people's lives are often misread, because, unless you have outlived the person you are in love with, you can not possibly comprehend the emotional devastation and range of feelings that make up our tears. The depth and breadth of my loss is beyond anything I could have previously imagined. Widowhood must be lived to be understood.
Naturally, those in our lives want us to be better. They need us to return to who we were. They don't understand that this is not possible. Those outside of our community want to believe that the death of a spouse is manageable with time. But, time itself has no real bearing on our grief. Our spouse continues to be missing from our future forever; and this is why our grief continues - in some capacity- over the course of our lifetime.