Since the spring of 2015, I have written here every Tuesday (well, “most” every Tuesday). I’ve shared my story from just a few months after losing Megan, to now. Having four plus years of what can only amount to a public “journal” has been both surreal and incredibly healing.
Oftentimes, it’s hard to recall just how “raw” I felt in that first year or so, or how confused I was about life. Whether I was doing the right things, or raising Shelby correctly, or honoring Megan’s legacy. I certainly never imagined I’d be writing this post, years later.
I felt that sharing my story here was a phase. That after a year or so, I wouldn’t have anything to discuss any further, or that I would burn out and simply wish to go silent. There have also been numerous times that I wanted to share about my new partner and current fiance, but second-guessed the subject, not wanting to feel as if I was unrelatable to the thousands of widows and widowers that either have no desire to be with another person, or have dipped their toes into the dating world, only to find that nobody even remotely compares to “their person”.
I write today to state that this “phase” is coming to an end of sorts.Read more
Just yesterday, Sarah and I surprised Shelby (and my nephew) with a trip to Cedar Point, one of the premier amusement parks in the world, just two hours from our home here in Ohio. Shelby has been asking to go back for years now, having only been once, when she was around 5 years old, with Megan and I.
She was far too young to ride anything more than the “kiddie” coasters, carousels, and the flat rides back then. Even then, she was terrified of any ride that was taller than ten feet or so. Cedar point has 18 different roller coasters...over half of which are over 100 feet tall, with one even reaching 400+ feet.
She has always been an incredibly cautious kid. She visibly displays anxiety when anything she is asked to do presents any uncertainty. Learning to ride her bike took years, because she was terrified of removing the training wheels, not because she couldn’t do it. Slowly dipping her feet into the pool, and slipping herself into 2 feet of water was her modus operandi for a decade before finally learning to really swim (and of course, loving it) this past year. Even getting her to try a new food was presented with a stubborn resistance and feigned gags while holding her nose, even before said brussel sprout was placed in front of her.
This has been frustrating for me, because I’ve never been able to put a finger on WHY she seemingly feels fragile or lacks confidence.Read more
Today was a hard day. It was filled with anger, sadness, desperation, and tears. I am angry at the fact that my husband is no longer here. I am mad that my daughter doesn’t get to grow up with her father, and that my husband doesn’t get to experience his daughter grow up. I am mad and disappointed at everything and everyone that was involved with this accident. I have the right to be angry. I wake up next to an empty space, instead of my husband’s embrace. I see my daughter give nosy kisses and try to feed chips to a picture of her father because he is not in the flesh. As a woman, my heart is broken. And as a mother, my broken heart aches with agony as I feel for my daughter. I feel a sense of desperation that I can’t bring my husband back and give her his arms, his love, his kisses, his all. It’s such a debilitating feeling. A debilitating feeling that those who lose the love of their life genuinely know.Read more
Though Shelby started middle school last year, entering the 6th grade, the jump into 7th is more significant to me. In my own schooling, the seventh grade is when I was no longer an “elementary” student. I moved on to a new school, new friends, changing classrooms, more advanced subjects, and so on.
Shelby is doing the same this year. Not only that, she will be turning thirteen soon...officially a “teenager”. She’s already formed her own tastes in music, books, activities, foods, and hobbies. She’s gone through a change in “best friends” in the past year. She’s become more independent, responsible, opinionated, and dare I say, outgoing. Recently, she started her….well, you know.
All without Megan.Read more
Today we welcome a new Widow's Voice Author to our Thursday posts! Mari - welcome to the blog, and thank you for sharing your heart with our readers!
On March 28, 2015, I met the love of my life. We had a peculiar first date, but I got a gut feeling that I needed to give him a second chance. So I did, and falling in love with him, was magical. Just only after five months of dating, he proposed to me in Sedona, AZ, at a beautiful location filled with music, candles, roses, and love. I had never been so sure of anything in my life, but his love. So we decided to get married three months later, and on November 28, 2015, I gave my all to this wonderful man. My husband was a true gentleman. He never raised his voice at me in all the years we were married. He loved me unconditionally and wanted to spend every minute with me. He was kind-hearted, smart, loving, and had a great sense of humor. I felt like I had won the lottery in love. Just after two years of being married, we decided to bring a little bundle of joy into this world. So in 2017, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl. My husband was such a wonderful father. He would help me change diapers, and he would wake up in the middle of the night to feed our daughter, and so much more. I felt blessed and honored to be his wife. Our life was incredibly beautiful, one that you see in movies, or read in novels. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it truly was. We both loved each other unconditionally and would put each other first. Our souls were in-sync. He was my best friend, my rock and indeed my force of strength.Read more
I have really enjoyed contributing to this blog, but now it is time to move on and giver others a chance to share. I thought over time I would find other widows and widowers to connect with, but it hasn’t really happened. However, as I reflect over my life, it makes sense because my life experience has always been outside the norm—I have always felt isolated from society which is what made my wife so special. She gave me a deep, deep connection with her for 15 years, and now, I have this deep, deep connection with my daughter.Read more
Whenever my daughtyer and I sleep next to each other there is a space beside us.
When I am getting Anisha ready for school there is a space next to us.
When we sleep next to each other, there is a space next to us.
When we have breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is a space next to us.
When we walk to a playground, there is a space next to us.
When we go for chocolate ice cream, there is a space next to us.
Space, spacc, space, always so much space that was once occupied by her touch.
My daughter has a friend over for a playdate today and it has been a good introspective snapshot of where I am at. I keep thinking that I have all of this new confidence, but some remnants of the old me remain, like persistent weeds that always finds new tunnels to the surface.
Shelby has now, quite literally, walked in her mother's shoes. It's odd to me that, at the age of 12, she actually fits in them, but then again, she isn't stricken with the growth-impeding disease the Megan had.
After buying her new hiking shoes and boots for years, we decided to have her try on Megan's last pair. They fit her almost perfectly. Like that first time Shelby came down the stairs wearing her mom's t-shirt, I was taken aback, and Shelby thought nothing of it.
Credit goes to Megan for that trait. She was very realistic and unemotional about her own death. She accepted it and moved on to better things. It was rare for her to be scared or have deep thoughts about it, unlike me, who constantly dreaded it. Shelby, like her mother, never worries over Megan's death. I have yet to see her show any sadness, since the funeral mass. It's honestly the best Megan could have hoped for.Read more
Seems like being a widower means adjusting my view of the world to an existence of being damaged, marred and/or scarred for the rest of my life. Life is now about managing the constant reminders of love lost. Maybe, just like my poor eyesight, my grief is becoming a deficit that I will have to carry forward as I am constantly reminded of the song, Motherless Children by Blind Willie Johnson and covered by Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and many others.Read more