When Mike died I felt my foundation shift and collapse. I buried him, but it was me who was buried alive by the wreckage of our dilapitdated life. For a long time I thought that maybe if I stood still he’d come for me.  I thought he would somehow find me and save me from the ruins of our lost life.  Then, after a while, I realized that Mike was not coming back - ever.  I recognized that I was on my own.  I knew that I had to rescue myself.  But, I felt disoriented and far from battle ready.

Early on, Grief had the upper hand because my confidence and self identity were lost and buried deep in the rubble of our shattered life. Even now, I can barely process all the changes that have occurred.

To soothe my Soul, I catch myself instinctively rocking and clutching my collarbone - as I choke for breathe.  I do this more often than I care to admit.  Daily.  My life is not easy anymore.  In fact, it is often so overwhelming that my breath is chaotic.  I'm tired of being out of breath.   

I have to starting participating life in, or it will pass me by.  I know this.  Yet, despite what I know, I have stood still.  I have been standing on the sidelines, waiting to catch my breath for far too long.  I feel myself watching life unfold.  And, I know that I need to get back in the game.  I hate that I have benched myself because I am tired.  I hate that I am sitting out rather than engaging in the game of life.  I am growing impatient with myself and my lack of commitment.  I can't just write about actioning change.  I need to bring my ideas to life.  And, to do this I have to leave the safety and predictability of the sidelines behind.  When I start participating in the game,  I will bring myself back to life.  I know this.  So, it's about time I do this. 



But, I suppose, in fairness, it is hard to remain confident and self assured when your world implodes.

However, you do learn what you’re made of when your world collapses.

Everything you are is exposed.


I’ve spent over two years on my hands and knees collecting the shards of myself that survived his death. 

But, I’m over it now. 

I’ve grown bored.

I’m tired of combing through the litter of my old life. 

Now, I am ready to do something with the tattered pieces I salvaged from the rubble of what was.

I need to LIVE.  I need to engage in life.  Mike died.  I didn't; and I better start acting like it.


When Mike died, it's accurate to say that the underpinnings of my Soul were revealed. 

I was forced to stand naked in the wreckage of my life. 

And, while I was vulnerable and uncovered I was required to take stock of myself.

None of this hasn’t been easy. 

It’s been an exercise in grace,

that’s for sure.


As I said, Mike’s death briskly undressed me. 

There is no better way to put it. 

I was left completely exposed.

And, since the day he died, I have struggled to survive the trauma of being so cruelly stripped of the life I knew.

But, now, after two years and a handful of months, surviving isn’t enough. 

For me, it’s not sufficient to simply get through the day.   

I want to live again. 

Recently,  I have begun to shroud myself in life

because this is compulsory for me at this point.

I owe it to myself to come back to life. 

I need to rise from my knees. 

I’ve spent enough time scrounging the wreckage of my life. 

There is nothing left to salvage. 

There is nothing more to find there. 


Finally, I realize that I have everything I need. 

And, in actuality, I think I did all along.

I didn’t need to find a magic wand or a powerful amulet. 

I am strong enough on my own.

I can claw my way back towards life using grit.  And, I will.

And, you can too.


I've accepted I am responsible for recreating my life.

I am the architect of my future. 

I’m in charge. 

And, you are too,


I am responsible for the quality of life I live.

I can redesign my life into anything I want.

And, yes, this is fairly daunting, but it is also somewhat exciting.


With hard work, and perseverance,

I will rebuild myself from rock bottom.

I will create a beautiful life.

I know this. 

And, I also know that I have to start again whether I’m ready or not.


As you are reading this, I am somewhere in Europe.

I have decided it is time for me to go on and live - without him.

Mike is not with me physically anymore, but he remains close to me.

When I stand on The Highlands in Scotland, I will think of Mike.

When I look at the Eiffel Tower I will remember that I imagined us there together.

When I am lay my eyes on Notre Dame Cathedral I will be fully aware that it is not just the cathedral that is under reconstruction. 

It is me too.


I know that Mike is closest to me when I live my best life.

So, even though this is not the future I imagined, I am living the best way I know how


Mike's Girl,



Showing 2 reactions

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  • Beth Ensign
    commented 2019-07-26 22:38:21 -0700
    I’m following right behind you, Staci! I, too, have spent the past 2 years basically treading water, cleaning and straightening and sprucing up the house and yard that my husband and I had lovingly renovated over 23 years — and during that time I have struggled to refind my footing, to rediscover who I am. I am giving myself two more years to decide if it feels right and important to continue to live in this house, which is such a record of him, and of us, and the life we built together. During that two years, I will travel, starting with a two-month sojourn in Italy as a WWOOF volunteer. I have done enough sitting still: now it’s time to MOVE. I don’t know what I will discover, but I know that it’s necessary to change my viewpoint.

    I will always love my dear Terry, and the beautiful life we had together. So many good times, such a lot of love and fun. Nothing can ever take that away. But life is still beautiful. There is such a lot of love to share. In continuing to live and love life I am doing what Terry would want for me to do.
  • Karen Lawrence
    commented 2019-07-25 09:47:01 -0700
    I too am trying to rebuild my life. It’s been 7 years and it’s been a lot of one step forward and several steps back. I know at times I’m too hard on myself and it’s a lot of exhausting work. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and I find I can’t do anything. I’m hoping to have more forward motion and fewer steps backwards in the future. Good luck to you!