I’ve had some really weird and disturbing dreams the past week. The sort of dreams that don’t really relate to anything in my actual life but have lots of very stressful or strange things going on in them. In these dreams, nothing appears to relate to my actual life in any particular way. Nothing symbolic even seems to be obviously about my life.
They might not be welcome, and the past few nights I’ve caught myself feeling a tinge or dread when going to bed because I don’t want to have more disturbing dreams. Still though, it makes me think back and be grateful that these nightmares are just that - nightmares and not real. It makes me think back to the year Drew died, and how many nights I had bad dreams about how he died. In the dreams, he was either angry with me and leaving me, or had found someone else and was leaving. Not a single time did one of these dreams show the true reason he was gone - that he had died suddenly in a helicopter crash. Helicopters were never in a single one of these dreams in fact. It seemed as though my mind was trying to make sense of what had happened to him in the trauma of it all. So it would create these false stories that he had left, or that he was far away and not coming back for one reason or another - none of them ever death.Read more
The Fourth of July - All things summer right? It’s cookouts, pool, family, sunscreen and fireworks. All the freedoms you get living in the good ole USA. It’s funny how the word freedom is used. By definition, freedom means you are not enslaved or forced to act or be a certain way. You are not trapped. Of course, for the USA freedom means all of those things to show our independence. Interesting, that word freedom, because it is purely based on one’s perception of the situation.Read more
This blog will be short because I had a lasik procedure this week and my eyes get tired quickly.Read more
So this blog is a bit different than I usually write. This week I’ve been obsessed with terminology. Have you ever stopped for a minute and thought about words? Where did they come from? How they got their meaning and if they fit? Well it hit me this week that I HATE the terms widow and widower. I think the definitions are ridiculous and need to be changed. Let’s look them over, shall we?Read more
It’s an interesting thing how people around you say they understand and they will be there for you. However when you have a tough day and they respond by saying:
“I thought you said you were ok and moving on.”
“I was ok that day but there are no rules to what’s going on in my heart and my head.”
In all honesty I don’t know how to say what it feels like when you let someone in a little and they back away instead of standing by you. The best I can do is share the lyrics to P!NK’s song “Attic”Read more
When I began my life without Mike 2.5 years ago, I felt like I landed in a foreign country and I could not speak the language. There was a sense that I was standing helplessly in the baggage claims area. I simply didn't know where to go from there. I did not know how to proceed without my life companion.
I desperately wanted to ask someone for directions. I needed help. But, I didn't know any widows or widowers. And, besides, I was not sure how anyone could help me. Mike was dead, no one could fix that. So, I just stood frozen in place for a long, long time.
For the better part of that first year, I was completely bewildered. I stood alone and I spent hours numbly surveying the wreckage of our shared life. I had no idea where to begin rebuilding myself. And, in truth, I didn't even know if it was possible to recreate my identity.
Yet, somehow, as time continued, I slowly got my baggage sorted out. But, I still remained aimless. I still didn't know my destination. Where was I supposed to go? Where the hell did I want to go?
This was year one.
I watched the first episode of a new show on Netflix this morning called Dead to Me. In the episode, two women meet at a grief group, both widows. They end up building a new friendship as late night phone buddies since neither of them are able to sleep. The show goes on to take a lot of unexpected twists and turns (and believe me you should so watch it!), but that one aspect had me remembering the early days of my widowhood… of building friendships with fellow widows in the wee hours of the night.
When I first connected with other widowed people, it was through a private Facebook group. Many of us ended up fairly often online, in the middle of the night. Effectively being late-night “phone” buddies for each other when we could not sleep. There was almost always someone there ready to listen, in the middle of the night or any other time of day that we just needed to feel heard and lay down our guard. And because we got each other, there was just this ease. A kind of comfort no one else could really provide. I ended up making a few of my closest friends from that initial group, people I now travel to see and talk on the phone with often.
I was fortunate to have found groups like that online, and to have since built friendships with people who will actually fulfill the words “Call me ANYTIME”. I have used that lifeline even now, seven years after my fiance died. Because new things do come up. You start dating again. You move in with someone new. You get engaged to someone new. You hit the 5 year mark or the 10 year mark from your person’s death. New stuff always comes.
So yes, I have been very fortunate to find places to spill out all my shit no matter the time of day. But I do remember for about the first 6 months, I didn’t have that.
I had my sister and a friend in town this past week and it was wonderful. We had a great time relaxing and just enjoying each others’ company. All of us are working a side business together with a big company and doing very well. The company had recently reached out to me and asked me to host a local event. What an honor and what an amazing time. Tin would have loved all of it.Read more
Since becoming an involentary widow almost 8 years ago, I have changed in many positive ways.
I am more empathetic.
I am more sympathetic.
I am less judgemental of people's lives and situations and circumstances.
I listen better.
I stop to talk with people more.
I find more meaning and beauty in very tiny things.
I exist in the moment more.
I love profoundly and deeply.Read more
Well the past two weeks I have been absent from blog writing. The first anniversary of Tin’s passing was quickly approaching and I honestly was scared. Scared to think about it. Scared to talk about it. Scared that when the day came, it would make it more true. For the first few months, holidays, birthdays I felt like it was a short enough time span to still be a dream yet the passing of the first anniversary meant it really wasn’t a dream. It wasn't a nighttime nightmare. It was reality...Read more