Strong on Your Love

I am tired of trying to be - 'not sad'.

  I am exhausted from the aching in my heart. 

I am weary from recognizing Joy everywhere,

All around me,

And, still feeling hollow inside,

I am aware of all the good in my life,

My heart is grateful for what I have.

So, I ask myself again and again,

Why isn't it enough?

Why isn't my life enough - without him?

I don't have the answer to this question.

For now, all I can do is ask.

And, I will be strong on his love as I seek the answers... 



Painting: Big Heart by Ivan Guaderrama


The truth is, I can write all my positive thoughts and affirmations onto this page;

But, I can not reverse all the ways that Mike's death has permanently changed me. 


I'm different now. 

Nothing can alter this. 

I can't be who I used to be - ever again.

As I am moving forward I am not just grieving Mike,

I am grieving the person I was when he was alive.

- I miss her too -



My eyes look dull and lifeless.  Sometimes...

I stop and stare because I do not recognize myself when I look in the mirror.  My reflection looks lifeless and despondent.  The emptiness in my Soul glares at me through my lackluster eyes.  Since Mike died, I often turn away from mirrors because it's too unsettling to see the dull, spiritless look I wear on my face.  I feel disappointed in myself when my disenchanted eyes reflect back at me. 


Painting: Cora Tiana


I desperately want to be carefree and happy again - like I was when Mike was alive.  I continually wish I could just be "normal" again.  And, the funny thing is that I've never wanted to be 'ordinary'.  I have always challenged myself to be more.  Now, I question why I wanted more.


What more did I want? 

When he was alive I had everything I needed.

And, in some ways, I think this is still the case. 

I have everything I need,

I just don't recognize it through my sadness.


I feel strangely disloyal to Mike, and I feel like I am deluding myself when I write that I have everything I need.  Who am I kidding?  How can I say that I have everything I need when I spend all the moments of my day wanting him back...  


Yet, something,

Deep in my Soul,

Knows that I don't need Mike,

I want Mike. 

And, that is NOT the same thing. 


As I write this, I am reminded that, not so long ago, when he was alive, I told Mike those exact words - "I don't need you.  I want you."  This is the essence of pure love.  You do not need the other person.  You just love them.  You choose them.  For them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  This is Love without attachment And, this is how I loved Mike.  And, he loved me back in the same way. 

Now, without him, I continue to stay strong on his love because I want to.  I choose to still love him.  This is a liberating realization for me.  I want to continue to love Mike.  I do not need to love him because I can't "move on".  Rather, I choose to stay strong on his love because it helps me live without him.  It is simple: I miss him less, and I love him more.  This is how I slay my grief.



Painting: Burgstaller

With his love, I know I will be 'okay' -  eventually.   Admittedly, I have no idea what 'okay' looks like, or sounds like or feels like; but, I know I will get there one day.  In my heart, I know that Mike's death should not, and will not define me.  After all, I was a lot of good things before he came along.  I am more than just Mike's fiancee.  I am more than just Mike's widow.  

I am a woman who is strong on his love.    

Mike's love showed me that there is beauty in things that are routine.  There is magic in the ordinary.  Ordinary days and moments are among some of the best memories I have of him.  And, oh what I wouldn't do to have ordinary back.  I guess that's really what I am trying to do now.  I am trying to find my place in the world again.  Like you, I am trying to figure out how to live again.  How to live without his physical presence.  How to live without his arms around my life.

In truth, I really have no idea how to live without Mike.  Yet, I am living regardless, because I do not have a choice in this.  Living without him has been forced upon me.  I don't have it all figured out, but I know that having a grateful heart is essential as I move towards life again.  I live without him, but I still carry gratitude with me wherever I go.  I have a pocket full of hope and I have Mike's love with me - always.  It will be more than enough.  It is everything I need.

Strong on his Love,




Showing 8 reactions

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  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-03-03 18:37:17 -0800
    Yes, we grief for the person we used to be. We are forever changed … Stay #strongonhislove
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-03-03 18:35:03 -0800
    Candace, like you I find #strongonhislove is my new mantra. I agree it is comforting to think our strength comes from them – still. Love is eternal.
  • Carol Curry
    commented 2018-02-28 05:23:40 -0800
    Staci, this spoke to me in a very deep way. Particularly the part when you said “I am grieving the person I was when he was alive. I miss her too.” I truly hadn’t thought of it until I read that, and I now realize that IS a tremendous part of my grief too. Thank you for this beautiful writing. May we all be inspired to find peace in our lives…one day at a time.
  • Kimberly Sanders
    commented 2018-02-22 17:52:45 -0800
    You have captured everything that I feel. I lost my husband 9 months ago and when I lost him, I lost me…..
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-02-20 17:20:29 -0800
    Candice, I’m so glad those four words resonate with you. My heart is full of hope for us all.
    Always #strongonhislove.
  • Candace Woodring
    commented 2018-02-20 16:20:36 -0800
    Thank you and thank you! Your words are so dear to my heart, and those 4 words such a comfort, I too am strong on his love.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-02-19 10:06:26 -0800
    Kim, Thanks for following me along on this journey. Connecting with others who share what is in our hearts makes us feel less isolated and helps soothe our brokeness. Together we’ve got this, somehow…
    Strong on their Love.
  • Kim Boylan
    commented 2018-02-19 06:51:58 -0800
    Staci, I can’t stop the tears right now. Beautiful. And so heartbreakingly true. Thank you.