This past weekend my friend from British Columbia flew to Ontario to come to visit me. I haven’t seen her in a year since we last did a road trip together. I’ve written about her before on my own personal blog about her being The Friend I Never Wanted. She is an amazing and inspiring person. She’s a young widow too and an incredible support. We have been navigating life after loss with very similar timelines across the country.
We talk on a regular basis but it’s different actually being together. We know we’re both moving forward, and we talk about our lives now, but it just feels so much more obvious when we’re together. Our visits are like a timeline of progress in grief, to me anyways. Much has stayed the same but there’s also been change. For example, when I was asking what food she wanted as I grocery shopped for her visit she commented that she doesn’t think she had food in her house the first time I visited. At that time we were both in the first year of loss. We then tried to remember what we even did during that first visit. It all seemed like a blur. We talked about our trip together the last time we met up, just over a year out from the death of our husbands, and how we struggled to come up with a plan between the two of us. We had joked that between the two of us we had a total of 1 working brain and we hoped that would be enough to manage everything.Read more
Today I met up with a couple of my dear widowed friends who I'm working with on a project to support widowed people.
During our discussions, we spoke about how we will need some photographs of widowed people to use in our materials and started brainstorming how we can depict widowedhood - and in particular, a widowed community - with images.
- a person, looking glum and forlorn, while others around them are doing ok...
Unfortunately, I have definitely been this stereotypical widowed person countless times since my husband died. Some days I still am. But today, more than two and a half years on, these images don't reflect the widow I am today.Read more
Before I lost my husband to depression, I was so unaffected by the word 'suicide'.
The word itself and casual references are everywhere in our society. In the lyrics of popular songs and common terms of phrase; it pops up unexpectedly in movies and tv shows and it features in art work, like Banksy's 'suicidal butterflies'.
I'm ashamed to admit that I never gave a thought to just how hurtful this could be before my life was changed so drastically by suicide.
I sang along to songs like Sean Kingston's 'Beautiful Girls' never considering how it must sound to those of whom the word 'suicide' was not just another empty term - but instead the most painful word that exists in the English language.
Of course, after Dan's death, my world became scattered with these triggers that pop up and slap me in the face constantly and without warning.
Yesterday, I heard through a fellow widow that Amazon was selling t-shirts featuring horrible, tasteless images of suicide. These shirts were being marketed as 'humorous' but were nothing less than shocking and, frankly, disgusting.
My friend shared a link to an online petition that had been started by a man from Toronto who was a suicide survivor, calling for Amazon to remove these items from sale and apologise for their lack of sensitivity.Read more
An evening out with friends to listen to my new guy’s band on the water’s edge here in Kona.
Drinks, laughing, dancing. I catch myself: what am I doing here? I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I gaze out to the stars hanging over the ocean waves and mentally reach out to Mike, as I so often do. Are you out there, honey? Can you see me? I think how he would have gotten such a kick out of the lively and eccentric group of folks I find myself in the midst of. How he would be relieved I have found my smile again. How he would have loved swinging me around the dance floor. And how much he loved this place.
I'm feeling very flat tonight. It's been a long day. My office was closed due to bad weather and while, at first, I was excited at the thought of spending a day at home with no agenda, it has dragged and the quiet stillness has started to seep in under my skin.
It's a strange feeling to go to bed at night realising you haven't spoken a single word all day. It happens to me often. I've had a few text messages from friends and family checking in but there's been no human contact, no physical energy in the room to stir with mine and remind me that I'm not alone.
This week I'm all over the place, both geographically and emotionally. It took me a week plus a few days to get from Camp Widow in Tampa, back here to Arizona. In that time, I hit highs and lows, some of them to be so expected that it is given a name "Camp crash".
Additionally, tomorrow would be my and my husband's 25th wedding anniversary. We used to calculate, as we drove the country in our last 4 years together, how many anniversaries we could realistically celebrate, given our ages when we married. It was a second marriage for both of us and believe me, we celebrated our alone time once the kids (4 between us) grew up and went out on their own. No empty nest for us! Sex whenever and wherever in the house we wanted; who has time for empty nest?Read more
Once again, I have no idea what to write about tonight. Im not feeling like myself right now. I have been sick with the worst cold on the planet for almost 2 weeks now. It started about 2 days before leaving for Tampa, Florida, for Camp Widow. Being at camp and sharing a room with 3 other people and giving my comedic presentation and talking, talking, talking all week long, only made things worse. Now, Im back home, and I cant get through a sentence without coughing like a maniac. Im also absolutely exhausted. Camp was incredible, like it always is. But being sick while there kind of sucks. My energy was zapped and I felt like I was faking it all week long. I wanted so badly to hang out with people and go in the pool and the hot-tub and have drinks and stay up late with everyone else, but I was so tired and just not feeling good at all, that I opted out of most of those things. It took every ounce of energy in me to give my presentation, and as a comedian, Im a perfectionist, so I wasnt exactly happy with my results. Everyone will say they didnt notice or that it was still great, but I just felt "off."Read more
I just finished my first Camp Widow and I'm on my way back to Arizona to see our oldest son get married. As soon as Camp finished, I hopped in PinkMagic and headed north to the Panhandle and turned west. All of which is to say...I haven't even begun to filter through the experience of meeting so many beautiful people, men and women who are traveling this widowed road.
There is too much to write about, too many impressions, too much emotion, too much of pretty much everything and I need to focus on driving, so I am.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
Well here I am at Camp Widow in beautiful Tampa. Today I attended round table discussions on 'being widowed by suicide', 'being widowed without the chance to have children' and 'signs and synchronicity'. I met some wonderful, inspiring people and told my story a couple of times. And I didn't cry once.