After awhile, our friends and family don't get the daily loss reminders we do. I get these strong urges to post on social media and remind them but those posts have evolved into a way to try and help anyone who needs it. This week, as I sit in my car, I just started writting.....
It’s been almost 2 years since Clayton passed away. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like an eternity.Read more
Lately, Mike feels so far away. It is very hard to properly describe, but I will give it a try. He has taken on the feel of a memory. Now, Mike feels like more of a memory than my person. I feel lousy admitting this. It sort of feels like he is dying all over again.
In my head, Mike feels like someone who lived once upon a time - in another lifetime. Writing this and committing these thoughts to paper feels unsettling to me. It is completely jarring. I dislike that the man I love has taken on the feel of a familiar character in my favorite book. Once upon a time, Mike was real. He was flesh and blood not so long ago. And, now it seems like he lived in another place and another time. And, really, I guess he did.
Today, it does not feel like it was in my lifetime that he shared his life with me. This is the stuff that fills my head and breaks my heart. This is the stuff that widowhood is made of. Dammit. There is no happy ending I can possibly write to any of this.
The man I love now feels like a memory.
Read that again.
And, now read it another time.
The man I love now feels like a memory...
He feels so far away.
He feels like a lifetime ago.
He does not feel real anymore.
He doesn't feel real anymore because he is not.
He's not real anymore...
I have been more open-minded and openhearted to try and see signs from Tin. Some say that it is just circumstance but it helps me. It is really interesting how we have preset thoughts about certain things and “superstitions”. For my whole life I always heard that if you find a penny than it is a penny from Heaven -A small shiny token to tell you that there are others watching out for you.Read more
Recently, a widowed person told me I am a “Bad Ass”. She said this in relation to what she views as my bravery and courage. I assure you, I do not view myself as particularly brave or courageous. I feel like an ordinary, if not slightly disorientated and haggard, middle aged woman. Sure, I know that I am capable of tough stuff. Mike's death has assured me of this; but, all this aside, I am just a normal woman who has been forced to navigate some big challenges in her lifetime.
If the past is a predictor of the future, then I know that I should be okay. In my life, I have managed to be successful in most of my endeavours because of my hard work and consistent effort. Even prior to being Mike's widow, I had to exercise my tenacity. I've lived long enough that I have field tested my fortitude on several occasions and the results have usually been favorable. I know I can adapt to the curveballs life throws me. Still, none of this qualifies me as a Bad Ass. Or does it?
I have witnessed the strength of the human spirit. I've stood in awe of ordinary people who have survived very difficult things because they simply must. These people were somehow able to shed their regular run of the mill "strongness" for something extraordinary. They adapted because their survival demanded it. These people traded ordinary for extraordinary because it was required of them. They cloaked themselves in superhuman strength because all human beings have a strong desire to live forward in spite of the awful things that can happen during the course of a lifetime.
Grief requires ordinary people like us to dig deep. And, when we are tired and think that we can not continue a moment longer, grief forces us to dig even deeper. Grief demands that we find our super power again and again and again. As widowed people, we flex our inner Bad Ass every day.
So many people in our modern society are not well versed in the ways of grief. When you have never lived a year, or five years, or 50 years with the death of someone you love, you just don’t know what that will mean or be like. I have both the fortune and misfortune of having lost people at a young age… and so while I still have relatively fresh grief from my fiance dying 7 years ago, I also have long term grief from my mom dying almost 30 years ago now.
Having lived so much of my 37 years with her death has given me time to go through a lot of different phases with her. In my early 20’s is when I truly began to grieve her death in a big way. Not really capable as a child, it took time to mature to a place to break that pain open. It was my first breakup from a serious relationship that broke my grief open for my mom. And so I learned, sometimes it is like that - sometimes one loss in your world will rip open the old wounds of another loss WIDE OPEN.
In my 20’s I also began to celebrate and build a relationship to my mom once more. My family was the type to not talk about dead people, or painful things, so I learned just to think she was gone and no longer existed. But I never believed that on the inside I don’t think. It was in my 20’s that I started to celebrate her birthday again, quietly on my own. I began writing a card to her on that day to talk about all the things in my world and thank her for all the lessons she continues to teach me.Read more
I’m laying in bed and I’m only 4 days away from heading to Hawaii. I post on Facebook about the trip. In the post I ask who am I going to see there?
Soon it will be my fourth New Year's Eve without Mike. Huh. Wow... I don't even know what any of this means. Everything and nothing all at once I suppose. No matter the year, I miss him and this will not change.
My grief is evolving with time, but the missing is always there. It is more tolerable now, but in my fourth year of widowhood the sense of his absence is still ever present. I do not think this will ever change.
Mike is missing from me and it is hard to live with the aching inside me - time does not make it better. Easier? Maybe. With time, the emptiness inside me is less shocking. I am more used to the hollow feeling I have within me. In truth, I hardly remember living without the dull ache of my grief.
A new year is before us whether I like it or not. 2020 is a year Mike will never be here to live. But, I will usher it in. I didn't die. Shouldn't I welcome the new year and all the possibility it holds? Shouldn't I rejoice in my life? After all, I do still have a good life. I am grateful for all I have; but, nonetheless, I hate NYE because it feels like it puts more distance between Mike and I. He feels noticably further away these days. I don't sense him like I used to. With time, his physical attributes are fading. His voice isn't clear anymore. The feel of him is blurring. Time is making him more of a memory and less of my man.
It is very difficult to welcome in a year he will not be a part of. But, for the rest of my life this is what I will do.
It’s almost the end of the year. In a few days, it will be the 8th time I have welcomed a new year that Drew will not be alive to share in. The years have now stretched on for so long that it has all become so surreal. Eight years used to be something I was so afraid of. That first year or two, I could not fathom being 8 years away from him. Having that kind of distance of time between us. It felt so painful to think of the fact that I had absolutely no power to stop the distance of time from becoming greater and greater.
Now, on the eighth year I am about to embark on since his death, it doesn’t feel painful. It doesn’t feel like there is a greater distance between us at all. In some way, over time, I feel as though I’ve settled into a new relationship with him, and once I arrived there, I have not felt greater distance from him through the new years. I believe 100% that he still exists, in some other form, and that he is still present very often. His death changed our relationship, but it did not end it. And that is solidly what I feel...
A week ago I was given an opportunity at a big event to share with my essential oil community about inclusion, community and growth. It amazes me what has come into my life in the past year. Part of my oil journey is the loss of Tin. I share about him in every speech I give. I share about Soaring Spirits and I share about the widowed Facebook support group, A Widow’s Valor, that gives those in the Young Living oily community a place to be surrounded by other oilers. Talking about my loss isn’t easier, it’s just different. I’ll always be a work in progress and, as I practice reflection and present time, I can pull myself from the tough days to look at the big picture of my journey and rebuilding. When I stop and take time to look at my journey I can see that I have accomplished something amazing – I survived and now I’m beginning to thrive.Read more
I never would have pictured myself being so ecstatic and thrilled and jazzed up to talk about death and loss and grief. I never would have thought my heart would beat faster at the thought of making another widowed person laugh at something dark, through their tears. I never saw it coming that my life would consist of comforting people and listening to people as they walk through this narrow and confusing unlit pathway called grief.
But here I am, ecstatic.
Here I sit, heart beating ...
Here I wait, to by that listening ear
for the next person in pain.Read more