For the past ten years, my vision of my happy place has been the same: a tiny beach on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize. Daniel and I spent 14 fantastic days there in the summer of 1999. At the worst of times when I have wanted to scream "calgon take me away"...this little oasis is the picture in my mind's eye. I haven't been back there since then and we always swore we would go. In 2000 we had Grayson, and life became so full that the trip took a backseat. We took plenty of other trips, just not that one.
This year is 10 years since my last visit to my happy place. I have been very tempted to go there in August, to celebrate what would have been our 17th wedding anniversary. That actually hurt to type. It's hard to believe it would be 17 years, I haven't seen him since 13. Damn death.Read more
When a friend is sick you hope they will get well soon. If you know someone who has cancer, you might pray fervently for them to be cured. After you've had surgery, a friend might call to tell you they hope you will heal quickly. But what about when someone dies. What do we wish then?
After Phil's death I feared getting better. I didn't want to get over it, move on, allow time to heal me, or be grateful that Phil was in a better place. Frankly, getting better sounded like forgetting, getting over it was impossible, moving on implied leaving a time when Phil was a part of my world, time as a concept wasn't doing much for me, and I couldn't think of a better place for Phil than in my arms. None of the things people said to me about healing or recovery were in any way comforting. In fact, they were horrifying. I will confess...I was afraid everyone around me would assume I didn't love Phil all that much if I could recover from losing him.
When did you clean out your husband's closet?
(For our new readers: Over the past several years I have interviewed many widows about their day-to-day life after the loss of their husbands. I asked all of the women I spoke to the same fifty questions, all practical inquiries about everyday life. Many readers have asked me to share my answers to these fifty questions...and since I could hardly say no seeing as the whole thing was my idea...I answer them here at Widow's Voice.)
Cleaning out Phil's closet has been an on-going process. In fact, I don't think I will really be done until I move from this house. But the initial moving of his things began six weeks after he died.Read more
Today's post is really for all of the "newer" women who are on this path ...... the one we didn't want to be on, the club we didn't want to join.
I was trying to think of what to say to a new friend whose husband died a few months ago. She is in the middle of what I call the "black". I am not a veteran in this process, by any stretch of the imagination. But I can see that I'm slowly moving forward. And so I wanted to encourage her, and those of you who are in the "black".
My heart is so heavy for each one of you. I wish there was something I could say, something I could do to take some of the pain off of you. But I can't, can I?Read more
I believe for me, that a huge part of figuring out one's grief, one most know themselves. Now I know some could say this goes without saying, but after the loss of your soul mate it's difficult finding out who this new you is, or in my case, who this new me is.
It is has been through meeting others in like situations, reflecting on my own thoughts and actions, and lastly, making myself aware of auditory and visual things out there that may help in describing things that may not be able to put into words, that I have grown leaps and bounds.Read more
Indifferent: Lack of feeling. Being neither too much nor too little. Neither good nor bad. Neither right nor wrong.
Journal entry this week: I wish I was upset, but I'm not. I wish I felt sad, but I don't. Depressed?...don't think so. I want to cry, but I can't. Scream... but I won't. I feel so out of place. Maybe this is it. I've finally snapped. I lost it to the point where I feel nothing. No ache. No agony. No burn. No malaise. Might this be the calm before the ruthless storm blindsides me once more? Or the end to my most vivid nightmare? The silence is eerie... unsettling... yet, not out of place. Still, this is wrong... I feel neither torture nor exuberance. Where's my drive? Motivation? Passion? Is there any of that left within me?
Purgatory. Emotional purgatory... that's what this is. As much as I want to feel something... I'm can't. No pain, no energy... no David.Read more
Yes ..... sometimes I talk to Jim. This is a new experience for me. I've been a widow for over 16 months and I've never really "talked" to him .... until recently.
I couldn't do it before. I couldn't believe that he could see and hear me. After all, I have no doubt that he is in Heaven .... no doubt at all. And I have no doubt that there are no tears .... or sadness in Heaven. And so I believed that there was no way he could see or hear me ...... or he would be terribly, terribly sad.
He would hate to see what his death has done to me.
And so I couldn't talk to him.Read more
What is a W.S.M.? A little acronym I came up with which stands for: Widow Soul Mate
After losing Michael I had the fear of never meeting anyone else who could or would understand the pain, love, and grief that I was feeling. Luckily with my line of work, I have met many amazing people who are the epitome of survivors. In my travels through widowhood I have met a certain few which I truly care about, one who has come to be known as my WSM.
... whether you want them to or not. I mean ---- obviously, right? I decided to carry forward with both Michele's post and Michelle's post.
After Jim died I never considered removing my wedding rings. Never. I felt it would be on my finger forever. And for many, many months it was.
And then one day ..... that feeling changed. I know that I am still Jim's wife. I will always be Jim's wife .... but to the outside world .... I am not. And so it suddenly felt like I was doing something false by wearing the rings. I in no way think this is true for every widow .... or even most widows .... I just know that one day .... it was true for me.
And so I took them (his and mine) to our local (and much frequented by Jim) jewelry shop and told them what I wanted. The rings fit perfectly inside of each other ..... and I wanted them at an angle. But I also wanted to be able to easily remove them, in case I change my mind down the road, or one of the kids wanted to use them.
This was my design and now I wear it every day (I think if you click on the picture you can see it up close).
Long Canyon Trail, in my hometown of Simi Valley, is one of my favorite places. This beautiful dirt road has been pounded by my feet on many a run. It is also the place where Phil and I most often rode our mountain bikes, went for evening runs, took the kids for night hikes looking for frogs, and did many a "double workout" on the steep hills that lie within the canyon. And on the night of Phil's death...this trail is where he was headed.
On August 31, 2005 while riding up the street towards this trail head on his mountain bike, Phil was hit and killed by a large vehicle. I was called to the scene by a witness, and sat on the green grass of the sidewalk that I passed countless times on the way to my favorite place...watching as my unconscious husband was loaded onto an ambulance. He died less than an hour later.Read more