I'm filling in for Kelley Lynn today, she will be back next week! This post was written about four years after Phil died. It's amazing how the written words mean the same thing literally, but six years later their figurative meaning has shifted yet again.Read more
As you all know, Cassie felt that it was time for her to share her writing spot with another widowed writer. I want to begin this post by thanking Cassie for her years of dedication to Widow's Voice. She has changed so many lives on Monday after Monday after Monday...mine included. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us Cassie!
Also, we have a new writer joining us next week. Her name is Tricia, she lives in England, and she will be sharing her story with you starting next week. Welcome, Tricia...we look forward to getting to know you!
This week you’ve been on my heart minute to minute as the anniversary of our final kiss has loomed large. Flashes of the last week we shared as husband and wife have been spontaneously popping into my head with surprising clarity. There is no rhyme or reason to these recollections, and the bittersweetness of memory has both plagued and comforted me as the anniversary of your death has arrived with its usual inevitability
There are still times when your physical absence takes my breath away. It's surreal, even nine years later, that your death was the tragedy that escalated the local conversation about how motorists and cyclists can safely share the road. The image we use for our Share the Road campaign is an athletic, confident man in the prime of his life riding his bicycle on a gorgeous autumn day. When I stumble unexpectedly upon the photo hanging in a store-front window or on a community bulletin board I’m shocked every time that the athletic, confident man is you. I know, I can hear you laughing at me because I created the damn poster! But boy does it still hurt to see you smiling at me from a foam board instead of across our dining room table.Read more
Widow's Voice is a unique blog. Our writers write about widowed life as it is being lived. Which means that whenever each of our courageous authors sit down to write a post they don't have the answers to the questions they pose; they don't know how what the next twist in their own story will be, and after baring their souls with each post, they willingly risk being judged, or criticized, or misunderstood week after week after week. This team of writers give us a front row seat as they experience the ups and downs that life brings after the person with whom you planned to spend the rest of your life has died.
Sometimes the words they write resonate with lots of our readers, and other times they don't. Sometimes they receive comments validating their thoughts and feelings, other times they don't. Sometimes they have a post in their hearts that flies off their fingertips as they type, other times they struggle for each word of a post that they spend hours preparing. But, no matter how they feel, they write with the hope of making a difference. That's what keeps them going, the hope that somehow their words will find their way into another widowed person's heart...and that person will feel understood.
Last week I called Veronica and offered to write her post this week...seeing as it is Thanksgiving and she was going to have just given birth...I thought she *may* be a bit busy! (She, and her big loving family, welcomed a baby boy on Monday. Bayor Matthias weighed in at 9lb 15oz, he measured 20 inches long...and he is absolutely gorgeous!)
Initially I thought I'd share some Thanksgiving words of comfort for those of you who are missing your love desperately today. I just wanted to tell you that it is okay to feel bitter today, and that feeling awash in bitterness today won't mean that you will feel bitter forever.
Yesterday we hosted the fourth annual Share the Road Ride. This is the only Soaring Spirits event that is dedicated to my Phil in any obvious way. Banners, flyers, t-shirts all bear his name. Friends from all areas of our shared lives come together, volunteers donate their time to support our Share the Road message, and Phil's love for a good, long ride up a tough hill is honored by every bike that heads out on the road.
Phil died in a cycling accident on August 31, 2005. I don't often repeat the brutal details of his death. Over the years I have found quieter ways to tell the story of how his life ended, utilizing vague details to shield whomever I am speaking to from that horrific images that once played in my brain on an endless loop. There was a time when passing a cyclist on the road took every ounce of will I possessed. Each of my three kids learned to drive after Phil's death, I will never forget the feeling in the car as each of them found the courage to pass that first bicycle on the road. We see Phil on the road, every day.
Today is the eighth anniversary of my Phil's death. Taryn has graciously shared her blog day with me, so that I can post the annual letter I write to Phil on this day. Thank you, my friend.Read more
Michele is filling in for Michelle D. today...who is currently lounging in St. John....
My best friend, and fellow widow, is now married.
The readers here have a unique view of this new marriage, because the majority of us have outlived a spouse. We KNOW how it feels to be "parted" from our loved one by death.
I'd wager that many of us said the word 'never' if asked when we were planning to date (let alone remarry) after becoming widowed. I can tell you first-hand, Michelle did. In fact, I believe we each said, and meant, 'never' regarding the possibility of another love in our lives as we navigated the waters of grief on our side-by-side surfboards.
Today is my birthday. I am 42 years old, three years older than Phil was when he died six years ago (crazy to think he would be 46 right now!). My first birthday without him I remember wishing time could just stand still. I didn't want to age without him;I didn't want to celebrate being alive with birthday songs and presents; and I didn't want to continue on a forward path that moved away from the life I loved with Phil. Overall, December 29, 2005 was not my best birthday.
Truthfully, finding a way to appreciate the opportunity to live another year took some time. I moved from being down right pissed off about my repeating birthdays to being a bit ambivalent about the passing of time to finally accepting the fact that until my number is called my job is to seize the day.Read more
The day Phil died, my world was irrevocably changed. No amount of crying, wishing, or begging could switch my new reality back to the reality of what seems like only moments ago. The first Christmas without him, I sat on the coach alone watching the kids open gifts that only I chose, purchased, wrapped, and stowed under the tree...barely able to keep from bawling all over their happiness. I swear I could hear my heart breaking again as reality slapped me in the face on what is touted as the merriest of days. I didn't believe the pain of missing him would ever lessen. I couldn't see how that was possible if Phil was still going to be dead...and unless there was some kind of amazing magic wand under the tree that could reverse my reality, Christmas seemed doomed for ever more.Read more