I often get told, “you’re always smiling” or “you smile a lot.” It’s meant in a positive way of course but I can’t help but reflect on it. A year ago, I might have felt guilty for being told I’m smiling. I had questioned whether I was allowed to feel happy after such a loss and if I was happy, just how happy I was allowed to be. I wanted to look up in a rule book: how often is a “good” widow supposed to smile or feel happy? I didn’t want to be disrespectful to Mike or for others to think I wasn’t sad anymore. I was sad but there was room for happiness too.
I don’t feel that way anymore about smiling. Part of it is I really don’t care what others think of me and my happy/sad balance. The bigger part and more important realization is that it is only because I have been so incredibly sad that I can genuinely appreciate when I feel happy. You see, when I smile and laugh I am so aware of it. I’m so conscious of feeling happy. I don’t think there has been a time since Mike died that I smiled or felt happy for a prolonged period of time without internally acknowledging that, “hey, I’m feeling happy right now and this is really nice.”Read more
Last Monday was just an average day. I had some running around to do and appointments to attend. A pre Vegas hair colour, a dentist appointment... that sort of thing. Nothing too crazy or anxiety inducing, and the panic I tend to experience on the daily remained at a reasonable low for the most part.
I ended the day by attending a relaxing yoga class with a friend of mine. It was exactly what I needed to wind down and I was well on my way to feeling the zen when, for no reason at all, a most unwelcome memory popped into my mind.
The memory was of a text Ben sent me from the hospital shortly before he died. Death was inevitable and it coming fast, and every moment felt like we were staring down the barrel of a shotgun. I had spent the entire day with him and had gone home in the middle of the night to be with the kids and make sure they were safe. I crawled into bed, texted Ben "I love you" and he texted back saying “I don’t want to die. I have so much to live for.”
At that moment I felt as though my heart had been ripped out of my chest and thrown across the room. I texted back and told him that I didn’t want him to die, but i did not say “You aren’t going to die.” To deny his pending death seemed wrong to me. It just seemed so dismissive to say “oh, don’t be silly...you aren’t going to die.” He was indeed going to die. So many people had spent the nine months after his diagnosis in denial, and that had angered me to no end. There was nothing helpful about denying what was to come, because denial has not been proven to be an effective method of curing cancer. So instead I told him that he was leaving a legacy in his three kids. And he responded that “legacy or not” he still didn’t want to die, he wanted to fight. He didn’t want to die.
One of the questions I've asked myself frequently since Jeff's death is "Am I ready and do I want to date?"
Aside from the need for physical contact, I can't say that in the first year I was at all ready for "dating". Last year, my second year of widowhood, I thought I was. With trepidation and large amount of humility, I took a look at online dating.
First posted 7 months post-widowhood on personal blog
I have worried since Jeff's death that he didn't know how much I loved him. The stupid things I did and the things I took for granted have weighed so heavily on my mind. I have felt terribly and guilty for the things that I complained about and the issues I thought were important.
Since Jeff's death I have realized that these 'things' were nothing. Not important. Not worth the words or the breath I used to express them.Read more
As humans, it seems that we all expect to have more than we do. More possessions. More time. More love. More help.
I don't know if it's just my human-ness that makes this desire for more so prevalent...or if the fact that I am a widow makes this expectation almost obsessive.
week three of
my trip around
that thing I worked
on for madeline
it's been a week
since i've seen
This is post from March 26, 2010
I've been going back to find myself, to ground this experience, to find a way to mark the growth, the good changes and all the challenges I have overcome.
I'm been going back to find courage.
This is what the post said.
“He’s in our thoughts and prayers.”
“We are sending a blanket of love.”
Those are words I read today about a boy, who like Art is
battling his second round of cancer.Read more
I got a traffic ticket a few months ago.
Should have hopped out of the car immediately waving my
husband's death certificate. (There is a copy in my computer case, not sure why I leave it there or how it even got there)
Instead, I sat in the car, feeling guilty about even thinking about using
the widow card...
to get out of something that was rightfully my fault.
I think I'm ready to try my hand at dating.
In thinking about the possibility of dating, I did something I have never done before, I went back and read something I wrote during my early days of being widowed. It was a post from my own blog, where I was discussing how our song, "Something Stupid," came to be.
I hate that I have learned so much, and have become a better person, because of Lisa’s death. And I am not patting myself on the back, I truly hate that I am better and have learned so much because of her death. I want her back more than ever so I can show her how much better I am. We would have a better marriage, because I now understand the value of a partner. We would be better parents because I am more in tune to my children and their needs. And I’d be a better friend because I have matured.Read more