...... that describes what I am.
Much better than the old, much-hated word.
I think it's very interesting that the hatred of that word is almost universal.
Men hate it as much as women do.
Any version of "widow".
Did you hate that word when you first found yourself described as one?
I can remember the first time I heard it ...... the first time someone used it in association with me.
Shock tore through me and sucked the breath right out of my lungs.
I was literally stunned.
And then furious.
.... the "Before Me".
We all know that we are changed after the death of our spouse.
We are changed because of the death of our spouse and everything that follows in its wake.
But how am I different now?
How is the "After Janine" different from the "Before Janine"?
Let me count the ways .....Read more
...... have grown in numbers over the past 6 years.
Some people have faded from my life.
Some have stayed.
Some came in during my "after".
And those have never left.
I doubt that they ever will.
This past weekend I spent time with 8 of these people.
They are 8 of the most amazing women I know.
And 8 women that I'm proud, and so very grateful, to call "friend".
This is the board of Soaring Spirits International.
We all come with different backgrounds, different stories, different views on somethings.
I would trust them with my life.
...... remembered, but not celebrated.
Jim would've been 54 today (as I write this it's Tuesday night).
Instead, he's forever 47.
And that sucks.
In more ways than one.
I hate that his birthday is so close to Christmas ...... which is so close to the day he died.
This time of the year can be one onslaught after another.
And yes, it still brings tears.
I don't have any resolutions.
I wish that I could say that's because Jim died 6 years ago.
But I didn't make resolutions before that.
I tried, for years ...... really.
But I found that most years, I failed at whatever it was.
Maybe I set the bar too high.
Most likely I set the bar too high.
But one year I just gave them up.
...... of Christmas Past.
I know that most of you out there wish this day was just an ordinary day. Just the 25th day of December, no more, no less.
Actually, I know that most of you wish that you could've fallen asleep around December 22nd or so and stayed asleep until January 2nd. Or February 15th.
I get that.
All too well.
...... is probably the best way to describe how I am feeling today, the day that marks the sixth year since Jim died.
It also happens to be the birthday of my sister, my brother and my step-dad. Which totally sucked for them 6 years ago. I hope it sucks less now.
I'm at a good point in my life, and yet ......
...... I miss him.
So very much.
..... is what I've experienced this week.
Yes, this is the time of year when I usually experience my annual "death march". The time that my body marks, better than any earthly calendar. The days leading up to Jim's unexpected death on December 18, 2007.
This has been a good year. In many ways.
And yet, it seems unbelievable that I am coming up on 6 years.
...... the way I expected it to look ...... 6 years ago.
Six years ago he was still alive.
Although for only 14 more days, unbeknownst to any of us.
Over the years, I remember looking at people I knew, who had lost their spouse, and wondering, "What were they thinking 24 hours before?" Seriously. I thought that. I wondered.
I don't know why.
But I did.
...... is not something I have felt a lot these past almost-6 years.
I mean, I've felt it for a few things, like my children, my family and friends who were there for me when I really needed them.
But it was beyond difficult to feel thankful, while at the same time not believing that Jim was dead.
But this year ...... this year is different.
These are the things I'm thankful for, even in the midst of missing him every single day: