About Me

My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Loss Changes You

Life is less now. After losing my husband, I've been stripped, not bare, but scraped and whittled away in places. Edges carved. Excitements dulled. Expectations muted. Passions calmed.

I would like to say that I am a bigger person after going through the loss of my husband, the loss of the best person I ever knew. What I feel is that I am actually a smaller person, as if in losing my partner I am left with some portion of what I became when we were together. With the disappearance of this good man from this earth, my understanding of random misfortune leaves me hollow, my insides scooped out. Anything can happen at any time, good or bad, no matter what you do. I am less attached. Emptiness comforts me. Nothing cannot be lost.

My life has become quieter. I find kindness in less of everything.

My home, my own space, is solidly here. When I come in from the cold, the door closes on known territory. I can breathe deeply from the inside. As if for the first time in my life, I embrace the desire to turn inward.

Why write about loss, you ask?

Every time I do, I find out either where I'm going next or where I am now; the destination keeps changing. At the moment, I'm going nowhere. I'm staying right here. I am not lost.


How has loss changed you? Write about it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Grief Changes

Better and better I feel. It's slow, but it's happening. My energy notching up. My hopeful nature quietly, gradually, just re-emerging after the crush of death, an opening to possibilities, productivity, new promise. I feel more patient and calm, less anxious and harried. I am eight years older than I was when Ken first was diagnosed with cancer, but I feel about 30 years wiser. I keep wishing that Ken could know the me I've become. We would have been so great together, today. I know, it's wistful thinking.

In these four years since Ken died, and in the four years before that which held his illness and cancer treatment, everything had to be held close for fear it would all blow apart, fall apart, or explode. Protection became paramount: keep germs at bay, keep frightening thoughts from surfacing, keep schedules tight, keep track, keep researching, keep stress at bay, keep death away, keep everything the same, let nothing change.

Everything changed. Nothing is the same. Everything will keep changing. More will be lost. Eventually everything.

I find this freeing. Why fear the inevitable?

Meanwhile, and as I notice new energy and confidence beginning to reveal itself, grief accompanies me everywhere but in a different form. Instead of riding on my back, it follows now from a respectful distance. Instead of shouting, it echoes. In a crowded room, it's one of the many guests, not the honored speaker. It's not dragging me around anymore. I escort it.

Grief has been my partner for a long time. Like anything and everything else, our partnership is changing.


Describe your relationship with grief. Who is this character that's been by your side? What does it give you? What does it take from you?