Hi everyone! It's good to be back and I'm thankful to Colleen for taking over for me while I was gone. Interestingly enough, she and I share the same anniversary. It was my second without Jim and I'm not gonna lie.... it was tough.
But I'm still here.
And that's something.Read more
There is a Fleetwood Mac song called "Say Goodbye," that has broken my heart repeatedly over the last four years. I have found the concept of saying goodbye to Phil so difficult that I have avoided it like the plague since he died. You see, there are still speed bumps on this road of grief that I have yet to cross over.Read more
Last week when I was posting to this blog I saw the following quote in the right hand column of the Widows Voice website.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
Albert Camus died in 1960. His life was not easy. His father died when he was an infant and he was raised in extreme poverty. Camus’s mother was deaf and according to his writings, she was in a state of almost continuous melancholy. Camus himself contracted tuberculosis at age 17.
There lies all of us an “invincible summer”. We all have resources we do not know we have until our lives change in such a way that we must find them.
When a friend is sick you hope they will get well soon. If you know someone who has cancer, you might pray fervently for them to be cured. After you've had surgery, a friend might call to tell you they hope you will heal quickly. But what about when someone dies. What do we wish then?
After Phil's death I feared getting better. I didn't want to get over it, move on, allow time to heal me, or be grateful that Phil was in a better place. Frankly, getting better sounded like forgetting, getting over it was impossible, moving on implied leaving a time when Phil was a part of my world, time as a concept wasn't doing much for me, and I couldn't think of a better place for Phil than in my arms. None of the things people said to me about healing or recovery were in any way comforting. In fact, they were horrifying. I will confess...I was afraid everyone around me would assume I didn't love Phil all that much if I could recover from losing him.
Not that I actually try. But today it's more like he is ALL I'm thinking about. Even when his beauty fills my mind I can't help but feel partial. Like someone tore off my legs and somehow…I’m still living.
I've wondered from day one (of widowhood) how long I’d survive this life. “Time” I no longer understand nor try to comprehend. I can only hope I don't live long enough to forget. If I think for too long about how much I already fail to remember, I panic. Fearing that one day there will be nothing authentic left of David in my consciousness but only a notion of who he once was.
Today's post is really for all of the "newer" women who are on this path ...... the one we didn't want to be on, the club we didn't want to join.
I was trying to think of what to say to a new friend whose husband died a few months ago. She is in the middle of what I call the "black". I am not a veteran in this process, by any stretch of the imagination. But I can see that I'm slowly moving forward. And so I wanted to encourage her, and those of you who are in the "black".
My heart is so heavy for each one of you. I wish there was something I could say, something I could do to take some of the pain off of you. But I can't, can I?Read more
Sports practices, music lessons, school meetings, homework, school projects, dinner every night, getting multiple children to different locations at the same start time, crying for daddy, asking where he went, consoling, advising, figuring out what the best solution to the problem is when you only have one opinion to consider....any of this sound familiar? The list of the duties of a single, widowed, mom is so long I haven't even scratched the surface here. Not only is the list very long, but there is not another person with whom you can split the list. Remember those days? You take son here, I will take daughter there. Would you please go into his bedroom...I went in last time he called! What should we do with this problem? What do you mean I am overreacting?! Oh, the things I miss about having a parenting partner.Read more
The last couple of weeks have consisted of a whirlwind of new experiences, new people, new opportunities, and new challenges. Generally, I drop into bed exhausted and with little time to reflect due to my constant need to plan for the next day...not a new problem for me. When I do stop to look at the path my life has taken over the last 44 months, I sometimes find myself wondering whose life I am leading. How did I get to this place? In what universe did I ever see myself speaking to rooms full of people about loss, grief and recovery? And where is Phil? Oh yes, he is dead.
And that is the one fact that centers me, odd as that may sound. Knowing that the best way to honor my love for Phil is to live the fullest life I can pushes me to do things I wouldn't have attempted before. The certainty that meeting other widows changed my life provides motivation to spread the word about the work my foundation does. Having the honor of hearing other people's stories of love and loss provides the on-going desire to create a community that people who have lost a spouse can call home. Because death has changed our definition of home, and we have to find a different safe place. I have watched what happens when random strangers share the common bond of loss, and I am always astounded by the results of these meetings. Watching this kind of interaction is like viewing hope dawn like the sun--to be understood is priceless.Read more
What is a W.S.M.? A little acronym I came up with which stands for: Widow Soul Mate
After losing Michael I had the fear of never meeting anyone else who could or would understand the pain, love, and grief that I was feeling. Luckily with my line of work, I have met many amazing people who are the epitome of survivors. In my travels through widowhood I have met a certain few which I truly care about, one who has come to be known as my WSM.
David and I were born only two days apart, out of all the years I've known him we've only been able to spend 3 birthdays together... Our 16th, our 21st, and our 22nd birthdays... (Picture taken at Six Flags California, April 2006, our 21st Birthdays)
Previously, I looked forward to new years to come, new challenges... another birthday... life. Right now, just thinking of turning another year older without him leaves me with a knot in my stomach. How is this possible? How is it that time can fearlessly move forward without the love of life and without my consent?Read more