Last week I was anxious and annoyed (raging, actually) over the seemingly endless list of things I thought I could not do without Ben. At the time, the top of my list of stressors was the fact that I was headed off to Camp Widow where I would be attending a Saturday night Masquerade Ball, and I realized there was no one to zip up my dress. It sent me into a full blown panic.
Well, one week later and I’m here to tell you that I survived. Not only did I survive, but I thrived. Yes, I said it … I thrived. And I’ll let you in on a secret I have always known on some level but often refused to admit …
My Mother Was Right.Read more
It's been a busy week, and the highlight was a visit with my friend Margaret who flew in for a nice long weekend from her home in the Bay area. Her husband Dave, who was healthy and fit, died of a sudden, massive stroke at age 50 three months after Mike died, and she and I were put together by mutual friends and family who saw us both falling apart and thought we might benefit from a friendship. They were right.
We have a lot in common, being suddenly and unexpectedly widowed in middle age, and without our own children (I have two beautiful adult stepdaughters). When life throws you a curveball like this - well, having someone with which to share the burden of grief, who reallygets what you're going through, can make all the difference. We spent those early days emailing, texting and chatting like mad, sobbing and laughing together nearly every day, and I went to meet her in SF when I was there to visit family the summer before last.Read more
Kevin was a fictional character on the award-winning Australian television series “Sea Change”.
Kevin ran the local caravan park and on the surface, he appeared to be a fairly one-dimensional character – a gullible, but honest single-father doing the best he could on minimum wage and abilities. ..... but doing it with an air of a man who was seemingly happy with his lot in life. ...and he loved his son. A lot.
He was the kind of bloke that quietly went about his business, giving a hand to anyone in need and asking nothing in return. Kevin could fix a toaster or a VW Kombi van and he did odd jobs for the townsfolk of the fictional seaside town of “Pearl Bay”.Read more
I wanted to take some time to just talk about my friends.
These past few months have been some of the most changing and challenging months since Michael was first killed. The difference though, is I now have an unwavering support system.
.... between a battle and a war.
But unfortunately, when you're in a war .... there are many, many battles to fight.
I am not sure what your beliefs are ..... I don't think our differing beliefs will matter as I write this. At least I hope they won't.
Home is where you hang your heart, not only your hat. When Phil died, the four walls of my home became both a refuge and a prison. I hated going out; I hated staying in.
The outside world was too bright. I felt blinded by other people's lightness, innocent happiness, and especially by their apparent disregard for the fact that the world had stopped.
Nine months after Jeff died, my beloved grandfather joined him in the great fishing grounds in the sky. My grandmother was, understandably bereft. She asked me, "Does it ever begin to feel any better?" In that moment, I was struck by one thing. We were now not only linked by blood and family, but by the kinship of grieving our spouse.Read more
“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.”
I'm at one of our bi-monthly AWP events. Our first night is one of the most interesting. For many of the widows, it is there first time to meet another with shared grief, it is a first to finally realize that they are not alone.Read more
Recently I spent eight days with one of my favorite people in the world. You all know her as our Tuesday blogger, I call her tacalla. You've heard one or the other of us use that term here on the blog (tacalla is the Spanish word for two things that share the same name), as a way of explaining our shared Michel/lleness. Just imagine for a minute the hilarious looks on the faces of our fellow vacationers when we introduced ourselves. Hi, I'm Michele. And I am Michelle. Yes, we both said Michel/lle. No, we are not twins. Yes, we confuse people all the time. No, we aren't sisters...our parents did not suffer from a serious lack of creativity or a desire to adhere to an age old family tradition. After several questions to determine why we share a name the person being introduced to us inevitably asked THE question...well then how did you meet?Read more
I recently attended the Soaring Spirits annual board retreat. Each year the board members get together in the same place to brainstorm ideas for the foundation, establish our annual goals, reestablish our focus for the year and just “be together”. Our board meets regularly, once a month, but our meetings are held via Skype because four of us live in Cali and two in Texas. I look forward each year to the “retreat” because we actually get to occupy physical space together instead of just virtual space.Read more