I once heard a phrase that if all the world’s problems were in a bag you would be trying to pick back your own. At the time I thought well of course, my problems are miniscule. Now I think that clearly wasn’t written by a young widow. I know there are still worse problems than mine; people who deal with major issues on top of being widowed and not to mention people living in third world countries. However, if I was offered a bag of possible problems mine would certainly not be at the top of the list of problems I would want.
I know it’s not particularly helpful to myself but today I’m feeling envious of other people. I’m envious of the people who got to be married to their person for their life. I’m envious of the people who got to celebrate their first or even second wedding anniversary. I’m envious of people who got to get married and have a baby, not a funeral, a year or two later. People that get to live seemingly “normal” lives with their spouses and families.
And I’m mad. I’m mad that I was able to plan a life with Mike that I never got to live. I’m mad that happiness does not just come naturally to me anymore. It’s something I have to be conscious of and work for so I don’t slip back into my dark hole. I’m mad that I can’t just relax into happiness. That I know that I need to do certain things consistently, like exercise and get outside, even when I’m busy or want to do other things so that I can keep myself in balance.Read more
It's been a year, nine months, one week and two days since my husband took his life and I'm only now just starting to feeling angry. Even typing that, makes me ill. I'm very much NOT ok with feeling angry.
When he first died, I had a fleeting moment of thinking 'how could he have made this decision for us, without consulting me!?' and then within a split second it was gone - replaced with 'well he was sick. This wasn't my husband, this was his disease. It robbed him of his logic, his understanding of consequences and his ability to make rational decisions. It also robbed him of his ability to ask for help. In that moment, he believed there was no other way.'Read more
This weekend, my widowed sisters (and brothers) have been basking in sun and friendship in my old stomping grounds, Tampa, Florida, at a Camp Widow weekend, sponsored by Soaring Spirits Foundation, and organised by Michele Neff Hernandez, the founder of this blog, and of Soaring Spirits. I have thought about them during this weekend, and wished to be with them, as I have witnessed their photos and posts on FaceBook.Read more
There's a story I've been wanting to share here for a while now. It is one my grief counselor has encouraged me to tell, as he's felt it could be of help to others. So here goes. It's been roughly two and a half years since my fiancé died, very suddenly, in a helicopter crash. I've gone through unimaginable pain. I've wanted to climb out of my own skin. I've wanted to rip apart every synapse in my brain for the constant knowingness that he is never coming back. I've been angrier than I've ever known possible. I haven't given up though… I have kept on fighting as every new wave of this journey washes over me.Read more
It is the week of Thanksgiving, and all around me there is the message to be grateful, to be thankful for what I have, and to count my blessings.
I am thankful for many things—my brothers and their families, who made sure I got to visit them, my cousins and aunts and uncle, who made special efforts to see me while I am here, my son and his girlfriend, who travelled from faraway places to support me in my visit.
I am thankful for Stan’s family and for the beautiful part of the world he gave to me. I am thankful for my spiritual community, and for Stan’s friends and neighbours, the loving people who have supported me in the aftermath of his death.Read more
I was driving home from work recently, singing along to the radio in my own little world, when I passed a car the exact same model and colour as my husband's. Next thing I knew I was instantly transported back to That Day.
The last time I saw my husband, 11 months ago, was around 8am as he kissed me goodbye and left for work. But he didn't go to work that morning, he drove an hour away from our home, parked his car in a hotel car park, checked in and took his life.Read more
I'm sure we've all been told that 'anger' is one of the phases of grief (coincidently, Stephanie wrote about these on Thursday). I say 'phases' instead of 'stages' because, in my experience, it’s not a linear process where you graduate from one emotion to the next. Instead, it’s been a messy, complicated jumble that throws us back and forward, turning us inside and out.
Thankfully, I haven't felt a lot of anger, maybe four or five bursts in the past 10 months. But when it hits, boy oh boy, it's like a tornado has blown in hard and fast. I’m having one of the anger storms tonight, so thought I’d vent here.Read more
I've been going back over a lot of my old journal entries lately and picked one out to share a part of. For some years now I have been doing this inner-child dialogue technique... Basically having a conversation with that deepest, most vulnerable (and sometimes most wounded) part of myself by asking her questions and allowing her to share until I get to the real root of some emotions.
I know. It sounds WEIRD. And at first it felt really weird to do, but the results have always been profound at revealing some very deep emotions that I can never seem to get to so clearly any other way.
This entry was in Nov 2012, just a few months after he died:
I just finished looking through our pictures again. Sometimes, fearing I've imagined my former life, I need proof that it all really happened. Italy, our house rehab, Hawaii, Yellowstone, the hundreds of pics you took of your beloved students scrolled before my eyes. I sobbed and sobbed, scaring the cat with the sounds of my heart breaking, and what I really wanted to do, what I wish I could do, was smash everything in the room to pieces.
I wanted to feel my fist connect with glass and hear it shatter, with the drywall and feel it crumble under my fist. I wanted to throw the computer to the ground and stomp on it until it’s in countless pieces. I wanted to scream and scream and scream.
"Don't be too late tonight, I really want to spend some time with you."
"I won't. It'll be an early hunt. I'll be back before the kids go to bed. I promise."
I promise. Right before we exchanged I love you's, this was one of the last things I heard Jeremy say to me. I've played it out so many times in my head, it gets very muddled now, and I don't even remember the exact words, but I promise always pulses through. Because when I hear it in my head, it can still make me hurt and even make me angry.Read more