I have been working really hard at being upbeat and positive this Christmas. I consciously remind myself of the wonderful things in my life - amazing kids, great friends, a rewarding job, an amazing community, etc. I don't want to whine. I certainly don't wish to have others internally groan and roll their eyes if I talk about how lame the holidays are as an only parent or a widow. I keep beating myself over the head with intentions of positivity and quotes about gratitude. I very often feel that I have reached the lauded grieving stage of "acceptance".
But sometimes, just sometimes, I feel myself thinking, "This sh*t blows."Read more
Anyone who reads this knows what each and every one of us would like for Christmas if we could have whatever we wanted....We also know that's an impossibility.
We could sit and count every moment that we are missing our love. Every scenario that lacks our spouse. Every tradition that falls flat without their presence.
Or we can try to find the glow that once existed in the holiday season. We can remember the laughter and hope to feel the love that was and, hopefully, is somehow still held for us by our loved one.Read more
When I first became a widow, I wanted everyone to go away. I did not want to talk, discuss, be comforted, or hear anyone. I found everything overwhelming and the need to communicate with others verbally was not at all on the list of desired actions.Read more
The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
-- Henry Ward Beecher
I have found that at times, I am a whiny, ungrateful little sap. I moan at life's injustice and cry out at the lot I have been given. I beat my fists against fate and want to scream when I hear "It happened for a reason". What the hell reason could it be that I had to lose my love so early? What reason is there that my children have to go to bed without their daddy's furry kiss?
But this quote and a few others like it help me to remember that perhaps there isn't a "reason" but a blessing for all things.Read more
Last night, I finally threw Jeff's toothbrush in the trash. 3 years, 7 months and 22 days, since he used it to scrub his teeth clean.
This action was precipitated a few days ago when I had spoken to a dear friend who is known for being outspoken and blunt. She doesn't mean harm at all but is very Northern European in the delivery of her very strong beliefs and feelings.
During our visit, she told me that I had to "get over" Jeff. She said it was time to stop grieving and that I needed to get rid of the active reminders of, not only his death, but his life as well. Photos, personal effects, etc. All these should be removed.
She told me that I was teaching the kids to grow up grieving. That they would never "get over it" if I didn't move on. My lovely friend told me that she had lost grandparents who she had been close to and favourite friends and that she had had to move on.Read more
I've had many dreams of Jeff since his death. There are a few that are terrifying renditions of the last few minutes of his life; but the vast majority centre on seeing him again in a variety of surprising locations.
I've found him on dairy farms slogging through the mud. I have glimpsed him on boats passing bridges that I stand upon. I have found him sitting at the dinner table expectant for his next meal.Read more
I wore Jeff's work coat the other night - Halloween night. It was the first time I have worn it in the three years since he died. I haven't wanted it to lose any of his smell, cells or presence by donning it myself. But with it on, I felt warm, cuddled and protected from the cold Autumn wind biting at me as I followed the kids down a variety of driveways while they asked strangers for candy.
Although I could have used his coat many times in the snow or stacking wood in the days since his death, it has hung in his closet collecting dust and the smell contained within said closet.Read more
I've been sorting through our cupboards and closets and purging the least needed/most outgrown items lately in anticipation of living mostly indoors again after a summer in the backyard and beach.
I have found mismatched gumboots, lost flashlights, a dried up snail and the odd coin. Most surprisingly, I have unearthed copious amounts of Jeff's clothing despite thinking that the vast majority of it had been distributed among family, friends and the Salvation Army.Read more
We made it. Through all the firsts. The firsts without Jeff at birthday parties, Christmas morning, through illnesses and accomplishments. His absence has been an aching void....almost a presence in itself.
But time has continued its' slithery journey. I look back over the time without my love and see that 365 days have gone by and no time at all seems to have passed. But it has and I have grown stronger.
In preparation for my son's first day of Kindergarten today, I attended an interview with his teacher yesterday. It mostly entailed questions of, "Can he tie his shoes?", "Does he feel shy in new situations?" and "Can he wipe his own bottom?"
At the end of our little meeting, his teacher asked about his special interests. I listed off his favourite play things (Lego, cars, his bike), the things he likes to do with his friends (swim, play hide-n-seek, jump on a trampoline) and his favoured topics of conversation (monster trucks, chickens and death).Read more