I'm exhausted. I've been packing, cleaning, sorting and lugging boxes all day, actually no - for weeks now. My bones ache, my feet are sore and I'm typing this through bleary eyes.
On Monday morning, two guys in a van will be pulling into the driveway of my big family home, filling it with all my precious possession and moving me into my new inner-city apartment building.
Last night I was telling someone about Dan. I spoke candidly about my widow journey since his death, and in particular, how his suicide had impacted on me. It's nearly been two years and ten months since his death and when I remember back to that first year in particular (as well as the second) it can feel like a lifetime ago while also being as familiar as if it had been yesterday.
This week we reached another milestone, albeit not exactly a traditional one. On Tuesday, it had been 1000 days since I kissed you goodbye.
The reason I know this is because I put a 'countdown' ap on my phone after you died, so I'd always know how many months, weeks or days since you'd been gone. Isn't that a strange thing to want to know! I would have certainly thought so, however it seemed really important back then, that I remembered you and your loss each and every day. The tally was significant.
Tuesday, when I saw those three zeros tick over, I didn't really know what to feel. I expected to feel sad, and on some level, of course I did, but it was a quiet, subtle sadness - not the kind that stopped me in my tracks. Because with those 1000 days has come a peace that had helped me to feel happy within myself again.Read more
In my first post for this year I spoke about setting my goal for 2016.
In this piece I wrote, "I'm sick of treading water, I want to start swimming again in 2016. I want to propel myself forward and feel like my life is moving ahead again. So this year I've chosen 'growth' as my mantra.
It took me a while to settle on this word, because grief obviously evokes a significant amount of personal growth and I've evolved in the past few years. However in 2016 I want to let go of the notion that my life is in a holding pattern. I want to grow personally and professionally and end the year in a different place than where I'm starting it."
At the time I didn't really know what I wanted my growth to look like. I knew I wanted to evolve, to surge forward and blossom.
I hoped that growth would include finding my next great love but it's also about so much more than that. I had no idea that in a little over three months, my journey of growth would have made such incredible progress.Read more
I recently wrote about my decision to move out of our family home and into a smaller apartment, better suited to my ‘single’ lifestyle. It will be a month or two until I actually make the move, however this week I started packing away things I want to put in storage and sorting out un-needed items to donate to charity or just throw in the trash.
It’s kind of scary how much ‘stuff’ I’ve accumulated. Not quite on the level of those people you see on the Hoarders TV shows, but hey, it’s a slippery slope! The problem with being just one human living in a four-bedroom house, is there are literally cupboards and even whole rooms you can fill with junk and then ignore.
So the notion of pulling every item out and assessing its worth has been very overwhelming. Luckily, my wonderful parents, who are always there to lend a hand before I can even ask them for help, arrived to help me start the mammoth task. In one afternoon we scraped the surface and as good as it felt to make a start, there is still a long way to go.
It was cathartic to shed the weight of possessions I didn’t need or use anymore. Once I started to see progress, it began to feel almost addictive. With every bag or box that packed away or threw in the rubbish bin, I felt lighter. I was on a roll… until I got to a cupboard of Dan’s office (that is now my office) containing some of his old paperwork, tax returns and computer equipment.Read more
In the past two years and eight months since Dan died, I've toyed with the idea of moving out of our house a number of times. We bought our dream home in January 2013. We were married in June 2013 and I lost him to depression only six weeks later, in July.
DISCLAIMER: Post about alcohol
I’m posting my Widows Voice blog a bit late today. I’m scheduled to publish it at 5pm every Saturday, Australian time, which is midnight Saturday over in the USA (I live in the future, you see!).
I’ve been late before but never missed a week, however as my scheduled time rolled around yesterday, I felt so overwhelmed with everything I had going on, I opted to let it slide.
I apologise to anyone who came here looking for my post earlier, I know that in the first few months – even year – after Dan died, reading this blog every night before I went to bed was my lifeline. So many different stories and circumstances, but every day the words that the writers shared reminded me that I wasn’t alone. I was part of a community and others had experienced the pain of this loss and survived.
The reason I felt so overwhelmed and busy this weekend is because I’ve started studying again and I have my first assignment due on Thursday.
I feel pretty far out of my comfort zone right now and am having a challenging time re-adjusting to the discipline and sacrifice that is required to be a student again.Read more
This Wednesday marked my husband's 37th birthday. This was the third I've had to mark without him and surprisingly, I found it to be somewhat different to the past two.
I woke up thinking about what we might have been doing if he were still here. On his last birthday, his 34th birthday, I'd snuck out of our room the evening before and hidden little gifts and clues around the house, so that when he woke on the morning of his special day there was a treasure hunt ready and waiting for him.
Thinking about that now, I can't help but smile. It may sound like a strange activity to plan for a grown man but it combined two things Dan loved - silly games and personal challenges. His face had lit up when I handed him his first clue card, he couldn't believe I'd gone to so much trouble and we raced around the house laughing and cheering as he guessed each destination and found a treasure along with the next hint.
Remembering that last birthday bought him back to me for a moment. It's not that I'd forgotten - the memories are as crisp and bright as ever - but it had been quite a while since I'd taken them down from the shelf, held them, touched them and allowed myself to be taken back there.Read more
This morning I woke up and was unexpectedly very teary. I've had a great week, I've been on holidays, started studying again, enjoyed some really happy moments with family and friend and feel like I'm in a good place. Yet here they were, the sadness and the anger, paying me an unwelcome and un-invited visit.
Then I remembered, this coming Wednesday would have been my husband's 37th birthday. I knew it was coming, I've planned how I'll spend the day, I was feeling ok about it all until suddenly, I wasn't.
It will be the third that I've had to mark without him and it has started feeling like the people around me will start to forget what an important day this is. I've mentioned to a few 'it's Dan's birthday on Wednesday' and the reply has been 'oh wow, gee that's come around quickly' or 'that's right, I'd forgotten it was coming up' and not much more. How very different to the first and even the second, when people asked if I was ok, what I was planning to do and if they could do anything to help make it easier, like being with me on the day. It's as if they assume I'm ok now and the day will pass without too much fuss or bother.Read more