This past week, some married friends went away on a family vacation, and asked me and Nick if we could stay at their house for 5 days while they were gone, dog-sitting and house-sitting. We were both happy to do it. Not only did it help our friends out, but it also gave us an opportunity to spend some quality alone time together. Without getting into too much detail here, our current living situations are not ideal, and do not allow us much private time at all. So a whole week in a big house together, alone with a dog, sounded like heaven.
It was. Well, my version of heaven anyway. Entire hours and days where we could freely kiss one another or hold each other's hand or reach out and flirtatiously grab the other's waist or ass, without anyone nearby or looking. Cooking and eating meals together, making shopping lists of what things we needed to buy to be prepared for the week ahead. Putting on meditation music to sleep at night, or other varied music throughout the day to help create different moods. Relaxing on the couch watching a hockey game or a movie, our legs wrapped around each other or me leaning my head against his shouder. Having my brother over for homemade pizza and some overdue chat time - meeting Nick's sister for a nice lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Staying in on New Years Eve and making tortellini and sausage with marinara sauce and garlic bread together. These are the things that I now cherish, in this new version of life.Read more
This morning I woke up and was unexpectedly very teary. I've had a great week, I've been on holidays, started studying again, enjoyed some really happy moments with family and friend and feel like I'm in a good place. Yet here they were, the sadness and the anger, paying me an unwelcome and un-invited visit.
Then I remembered, this coming Wednesday would have been my husband's 37th birthday. I knew it was coming, I've planned how I'll spend the day, I was feeling ok about it all until suddenly, I wasn't.
It will be the third that I've had to mark without him and it has started feeling like the people around me will start to forget what an important day this is. I've mentioned to a few 'it's Dan's birthday on Wednesday' and the reply has been 'oh wow, gee that's come around quickly' or 'that's right, I'd forgotten it was coming up' and not much more. How very different to the first and even the second, when people asked if I was ok, what I was planning to do and if they could do anything to help make it easier, like being with me on the day. It's as if they assume I'm ok now and the day will pass without too much fuss or bother.Read more
I'm interstate at the moment celebrating a dear friend's 40th birthday. She lives on the other side of the country (I live in Brisbane, Queensland and she lives in Perth, in Western Australia). I've been here to visit a number of times now, it's a great opportunity to have a holiday and see another part of Australia while catching up with my friend and her family.
It's got me thinking though, last time I was here for her birthday celebration was in 2012, four years ago. When Dan and I were dating and our relationship was shiny and new and exciting.
One of the things remember most from that trip was the excitement of getting a text or a phone call, hearing his voice, knowing he was thinking of me and missing me. When I returned home he'd admitted that he'd felt a bit lost without me. He'd found it hard to remember how he filled his weekends before we'd met and had been counting down the hours until I came home.Read more
I'm feeling quite proud of myself today. I've been going through a bit of a tough patch in the past couple of weeks yet despite this, I've been riding it well. If there is such a thing as 'good widowing' then I think I deserve some kind of gold star.
Well, no doubt about it, I’ve had a tough week. Following the birth of my best friend’s baby last weekend, which I assisted with, I knew it was inevitable that an emotional crash would follow such a confronting experience.
Having a front row seat for someone else’s transformation into the role of mother was more difficult than I'd feared. I love my friend, I’m happy for her… but my word, is it hard to put my own sadness aside and focus solely on her joy.
It’s a horrible, agonising feeling. On the one hand, I ache for what she has. I so badly want to feel that maternal love and it’s painful to witness every cuddle and every adoring gaze. Then, on the other hand, is the guilt I’m carrying for feeling such envy.
She’s in a bubble of bliss right now and I don’t want to rain on her parade. She wants her best friend by her side, gushing, fussing and sharing in her happiness. But I just can’t be that for her right now. In fact, I’m not even positive that I can be that for her in the future and that scares the crap out of me.
I don’t want my grief to come between myself and my friend. How do I find a place of peace where I can honour both my own emotions and her special milestone?Read more
I've mentioned a few times in the past couple of months that my best friend and her husband were having a baby. Well, this morning, at 4:30am, their beautiful baby girl entered the world and I was privileged to be there to help.
It was a long, sleepless, emotional and exhausting night and I'm struggling to find the words to explain both what an amazing experience it was and how raw and shaky I feel right now.
My friend was incredible last night, I'm just in awe of her right now. Her husband and I worked together in coaching her through her contractions, soothing her and reassuring her. I feel like we've just run a marathon together and they were both so appreciative and full of love towards me, the entire experience I felt included, valued and part of their family.
I was at her hip, bracing her left leg when she actually gave birth and had a bird's eye view of the baby's head emerging, then her face at the next contraction, then the actual birth. I also cut the cord. It was all very exciting and surreal, and I couldn't contain my emotion, crying as I held my friends hand and described what I was seeing as her daughter entered out world.Read more
I'm not really one for New Years resolutions however at the start of every year, I do like to put a lot of thought into setting myself a goal for the coming twelve months.
When Dan died from depression in July 2013, leaving me as a young, newly-wedded widow, my focus turned to just surviving.
That first five or six months was a blur and when everyone around me was welcoming in 2014, I was still trying to get a grasp on what exactly had happened to my world. There was no champagne, fireworks or kisses at midnight for me and the only goal I set myself for that coming year was 'healing'.
This became my war-cry. Every decision I made was based on that one priority. I travelled from Australia to the USA to attend Camp Widow; I reached out and created for myself a circle of widowed friends here in Australia; I attended a national conference on suicide post-vention and worked hard with my counsellor to comprehend and process the trauma that I'd experienced.
As 2014 drew to a close I started to develop an appreciation for just how far I'd come and set myself a new goal for 2015: Happiness.Read more
So another Christmas has passed us by, my third without my husband. Initially, I felt like this one was going to be a bit easier than my past two, and I guess in some ways it was.
However despite enjoying the festive build-up, the Christmas parties, house-decorating and gift-buying, the heaviness in my heart on Christmas day was unavoidable.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret... one that I'm not even sure I've fully admitted to myself.
I'm scared. My best friend is due to have her first baby in less than five weeks and I'm starting to feel absolutely petrified about it.
Amidst all the excitement and happiness over the past few months that has surrounded her pregnancy, these quiet little (selfish!) thoughts have started to creep in about how this little person is going to come in to our world and everything is going to change. I’m not ready for my friendship to change. I’m not ready to witness her move forward in to this exciting new role as ‘mother’ – one that I can’t share or relate to - and essentially, leave me behind.Read more
My Christmas tree is up. It nearly didn't happen. Again. I had that moment where I didn't see the point, with the same questions I've asked myself for the preview two years since he passed.
I thought 'I live alone, I won't even be here on Christmas day - I'll be at my sister's house. It's so depressing to decorate a tree on your own, why bother?'. Yet tradition and ritual won out over the sadness I knew it would bring.